[quote=Elzee]Thanks Joe. (I just started reading the CCC last week. I have so much to learn. Thank you!)
I recently finished mine and it took me almost four weeks! It is so full of truth, you can’t deny it when you read it. Keep going.
I actually did reply similarly to what you have. Her response was basically - ‘it’s just obvious that’s what the Scritpures mean’ (in reply to #1 above). And… 'if you’re of God you wouldn’t murder, but if you did, God would not condemn you to hell because Jesus covered all my sins. He would not send me to hell for murder ’ (in reply to #2).
“Jesus covered my sins” is so typical. Yes He did, or we wouldn’t have a hope of going to heaven, but I hope she doesn’t think that if someone “of God” relapsed into whatever sinful activity, be it murder, idolatry, fornication, etc., that the person would still be able to enter heaven (unless they were forgiven, of course).
(At this point I brought up 1 Corinthians ('neither fornicator, idolator, etc.). She said that applies to the people in Corinth who weren’t really saved yet (they had not been ‘washed’ - those who had been ‘washed’ did not do such things).
I love this one. Knowing what she meant by being “saved,” she is still incorrect. 1 Corinthians, as well as *every other *New Testament letter, was written to people who were already Christians, not unbelievers. And since they were Christians, we know that they had been washed, in Baptism, and yet, they were still messing things up. Her logic fails at the outset.
We also briefly talked about purgatory in which case I was just flat out told ‘I was wrong’ many times (we revisited your #1 above at this point…). When I offered to show her the biblical basis for purgatory, she said* ‘I know all those verses. I used to be Catholic and they interpret them incorrectly. That’s why I’m Lutheran’.*
Being an ex-Catholic, your friend should know not only the biblical basis for Purgatory, but also the Church’s Tradition on the subject. She may no longer agree with it, but she should at least understand why the Church teaches it.
It’s clear that your friend is very bitter toward the Catholic Church, or she wouldn’t have left. I don’t know why she picked Lutheranism, but I suspect it has something to do with Church authority (after all, that’s how Lutheranism started). Whatever the reasons for her leaving the Church, she is obviously not going to budge, at least not now. You could show her the biblical basis for any Catholic doctrine (and you can), and she’s still not going listen. Her mind is made up. Does that mean there’s nothing you can do? Not at all. Here are just a few suggestions (I’m in a similar situation and these are working for me):
Pray for her. Ask the Holy Spirit to soften her heart and make it more open to the truth. Tell her you’d like to pray for her. She may not want you to, but do it anyway, and tell her you are. Prayer is the one weapon for which there is no defense.
Be a good example. Live your faith and let her see the light of Christ shine through you.
Ask her why she is so resentful toward the Catholic Church. Maybe it has nothing to do with doctrine (it almost never does), but rather something happened, or she had a bad experience with a priest or church, or perhaps she disagrees with a particular teaching on a social issue.
Read, read, read. There is a ton of really good Catholic material out there. Also, if she’s willing to read Catholic literature, give her some good material. If she will listen to taped material, Catholic Answers Live has some excellent shows on Purgatory you can download, and EWTN has one of the best, most insightful explanations on Purgatory you’ll find at: ewtn.com/vondemand/audio/seriessearchprog.asp?seriesID=54&T1=hahn
Be patient, and best of luck.