Ok, so today I had a discussion with a family member who is a die hard Baptist, about the Catholic Church. He eventually posted this link for me to read and I have no idea how to respond to it and it’s points. Any help with coming up with the correct Catholic response to this article would be VERY helpful. Thank you ahead of time!
You respond by saying the article is wise in going directly to Catholic sources. This is much better than taking the word of what bad Catholics or anti Catholics say Catholicism teaches. However, your response is to the errors your family members believe are the teachings of true Christianity such as his claims about where the bible came from. For example the bible did NOT come directly from just the Apostles. And it was NOT the original Apostles who confirmed the canon of the bible that the Baptists themselves use for the most part. It was the successors to the Apostles , the bishops through the Holy Spirit that eventually gave us the bible. Baptists dont want to accept this because they need to think that everything the believe simply comes from the bible which just fell from heaven or was directly handed down by the Apostles living at the time of Christ. This is simply not historical fact!
Another example is his belief in the doctrine of the individuals interpretation of scripture. That is NOT scriptural. The bible says that the " interpretation of prophesy" (not the future eschatology, but the divine meaning or wisdom of scripture),must NOT be done by the individual.
His presuppositions about Christianity, are a man made Baptist tradition, many of which are in complete opposition to scripture.
Another is his starting point that salvation is from faith alone! Another un biblical man made doctrine.
Oh, and I almost forgot the biggest issue for them. The bible does NOT teach that the bible is the sufficient authority of the truth! The bible says the Church is the pillar and foundation of truth or faith depending on translation.
Just take each of his suppositions and you can find good pieces here on CA which completely refute the Baptist man made tradition.
I do have to give him credit , again , for going directly to the sources. But even there he misinterprets some of the Catholic sources because he is used to his Baptist practice of proof-texting which completely ignores the real context.
Dont be fooled by sites like this. They have nothing new that cannot be easily addressed. And at least this one does not start with a complete list of half baked lies about Catholicism as do many others. The untruths are mainly in the writers initial presuppositions about what Christianity is or what the bible really teaches or his mis interpretations of Catholic sources. While a step above some of the real garbage out there, it is still wrong!
God bless. Go in peace and love in your communication with your family member. Some time it just takes a little loving but firm responses to sites like these, but mostly it will be a long process because certain sects like the Baptists have been told distortions, lies and bigotry for hundreds of years.
I wouldn’t bother if I were you. You will only wind up in a circular conversation.
Peter started one church and that is the Catholic Church. Notice how he started his paragraphs as some Catholics? Most Catholics do not think that way.
If not for the Catholics we would Not have the scriptures. That you can Google.
Scriptures MAY make us perfect? No human can ever achieve perfection.
He is a sola scriptura (spelling) person and I wouldn’t waste my time debating with him.
Any one can interpret the bible to his liking, that is why we have the Magisterium and
Tradition. The Catholic Church has the true interpretation of the bible.
Good luck and God Bless
Ask if he is open to learning what the Catholic Church teaches and why - ask him to be honest and to approach with an open mind and an open heart and to ask God to help him discover who the Church is. Most of the time, the only thing we can do is pray for our family members who hate the Church.
There are many articles, video clips and cd’s that he could read or listen to or watch, but if his heart and mind are not open, then unfortunately, he will stay where he is.
If he is open suggest the following:
Steven Ray, "Are you born again?:
The Journey Home EWTN:
Confessions of a Mega Church Pastor
There is also an audio cd by the same title and it was very good:
The list is really endless. The writings of the Church Fathers has moved many stubborn hearts:
Good luck. A good read is “Search and Rescue” by Patrick Madrid, and I think you can listen for free on EWTN the audio cd if you can’t find the book.
Galatians I: 8,9
But even if we or an Angel from heaven should preach to you a gospel other than the one that we preached to you let that one be accursed. As we have said before and now I say again if anyone preaches to you a gospel other than the one that you received, let that one be accursed.
2 Timothy 4: 3,4
For the time is coming when people will not endure sound teaching but having itching ears they will accumulate for themselves teachers to suit their own likings and will turn away from listening to the truth and wander into myths.
Who Founded your Church.
If you are a Baptist, you owe the tenets of your religion to John Smyth, who launched it in Amsterdam in 1608.
If you are Roman Catholic, you know that your religion was founded in the year 33 by Jesus Christ the Son of God, and it is still the same Church.
It would be very difficult for us to go through all of his claims in one thread. A better and more systematic way to find answers to his claims would be this: first, break them down into what each claim is.
First, he says that Catholic apologists are not authoritative and therefore he doesn’t need to read them.
Second, he says that Catholics are wrong to believe that the Sacraments are necessary for salvation. He cites Romans 11:6 to prove us wrong on this point.
Third, he says that Catholics are wrong to believe both Scripture and Tradition are necessary. He cites Revelation 22:18-19 and 2 Timothy 3:16-17 to prove us wrong on this point.
Fourth, he says that Catholics are wrong to believe in Purgatory. He cites no Scriptures to prove us wrong on this point, but merely says it’s not in the Bible.
Fifth, he says that Catholics are wrong to believe that Mary is queen of heaven. He cites no Scriptures to prove us wrong on this point, but merely says it’s not in the Bible.
Sixth, he says that Catholics are wrong to believe that the Church gave us the Bible. He cites no Scriptures to prove us wrong on this point, but merely asserts that the Apostles gave us the Bible. (They were the Church, and they didn’t give us the Canon of Scripture. That came about 300 years after them.)
Seventh, he says that Catholics are wrong to believe that Peter was the pope. He cites no Scriptures to prove us wrong on this point, but merely asserts that because he was married and didn’t live in a palace with treasure, he couldn’t have been pope.
Eighth, he says that Catholics are wrong to believe that Mary is the mother of God, queen of heaven, co-redemptrix, and that we can pray to her. He cites no Scriptures to prove us wrong on these points, but merely says they aren’t in the Bible.
Ninth, he says that Catholics are wrong to believe the Eucharist is really Christ’s Body and Blood. He cites 1 Corinthians 11:24-25 to prove us wrong on this point.
Tenth, he says that Catholics are wrong to believe in a special priesthood. He cites 1 Peter 2:9 to prove us wrong on this point.
Eleventh, he says that Catholics are wrong to have rosaries, relics, pilgrimages, shrines, incense, candles, robes, and Purgatory. He cites no Scriptures to prove us wrong on these points, but merely says they aren’t in the Bible.
Twelfth, he says that he doesn’t need any teachers and can interpret God’s word for himself. He cites 1 John 2:27 to prove this.
Finally, he says that he can understand and reject Catholic doctrine just as well as Catholics can understand and reject Baptist doctrine.
Now, I recommend that you search the forums based on the thirteen items listed. For items 2-12, you should find plenty, either by searching the forums for the Scriptures cited, or for the terms used in this breakdown. If you can’t find anything, feel free to start a thread about any one of them you choose. But we can’t go through 13 items in one thread; it’s a violation of forum rules and it’s really hard to do.
Some Roman Catholics claim that they believe THE BIBLE is the sufficient and authoritative Word of God,…
To be Catholic is to accept that Scriptures is Holy Writ, inerrant, in all its parts….
Since The Church PROCLAIMS that, all who hold it as their rule of faith is using the Catholic Ruler!
The Word of God, however, LIVES and is PRESENT among us!..sometimes ‘disguises’ Himself as a wafer!
Some Roman Catholics claim that they do not believe in PURGATORY,…
All Catholics accept this as being part of the deposit of Faith
Some Roman Catholics claim that they don’t believe MARY IS THE QUEEN OF HEAVEN,…
A known FACT among Catholics! Jesus was born God in human flesh!..not a human Who progressed to Godhood! That being the case, His Mum must be ‘Queen’ of His Kingdom, otherwise Jesus is a liar and has no kingdom………and his mother bore a madman! (It’s all Him, not her, per se)
It was not the Catholic Church that gave us the Bible; it was the Apostles through the promised Holy Spirit. They delivered to us the doctrines that God wants the churches to follow until the return of Christ…
If he can trace The Bible back through history to ANY Apostle without touching The Catholic Church, I’ll join his dementia!
If he accepts The Catholic Church compiled Scriptures under Guidance of the Holy Spirit but now The Holy One has left The Church to guide him….???..demented.
Since the Scripture is able to make the man of God “perfect,” it is obvious that the Scripture is sufficient. Paul taught us that the Scripture is the sole authority for faith and practice.
That’s not what Paul said!..unless it’s Susan Paul who used to be a local comedienne.
- I HAVE AN UNCTION FROM GOD AND I CAN THEREFORE JUDGE AND INTERPRET DOCTRINE…*
Wow! He has something alright, if ‘unction’ is a term for a person with a forked-tounge!
If someone tells me that I cannot understand doctrine for myself, he is calling God a liar…
No, sir! I’m calling you a liar! (Slap leather!)
As a God-called preacher, therefore, I must warn people of this false system. This is not hatred. This is not anger and bitterness. This is not jealousy. This is not ignorance. This is not sectarianism. This is obedience to the Word of Almighty God.
No, it’s called DEMENTIA!
I don’t understand Roman Catholicism. These people usually tell me that to understand Roman Catholicism properly I must read some Catholic apologist such as Karl Keating or Keith Fournier or Peter Kreeft or Scott Hahn or Patrick Madrid.
Perhaps not the apologists, but READ SOMETHING other than toilet walls and musings of anti-Catholic comedians! The underlined bit is the most accurate piece of writing in the whole prose.
Thanks AlexanderC, I fell for it again and wasted 17minutes of my life!
Waynec is correct here. The first red flag for me was the amount of text the author uses forming his personal “authoritative” resume. Regarding his manner (or method), he spends copious time describing how he will not speak to Kreeft or Hahn about Catholicism because they are not authoritative (fair enough) and he will only go to the source; but then describes a volume of sidewalk Catholics he’s consulted about the Catholic faith and goes on to describe his authoritative knowledge.
Well, which is it?
He further states definitively that he has unction “from God” and that if you disagree, then you are calling God a liar. This is the point where you should stop reading. He uses a passage from 1 John to prove this. Here’s the thing. John wasn’t talking to him. The quick and easy reason is that John believes in the efficacy of grace through baptism as he stated in chapter 3 of his gospel.
A Calvinist-leaning OSAS free-grace baptist preacher denies efficacy in baptism. He and St. John do not believe in the same faith. The Holy Spirit can neither deceive nor be deceived.
We can certainly refute his claims, but usually when you see such close-minded and polemic approaches as this, the best we can do is pray for them.
This is true, however only for Europeans. If you are an American, your baptist church was started by Roger Williams in 1632. He built the First Baptist Church in what is now Providence, RI after some controversy in Massachusetts. Both men were members of the Church of England and fled in search of religious freedom; Smyth to Amsterdam 1608 and Williams to “New England” in 1632. The are historically unrelated to one another.
For this comment of his:*The Apostles taught us nothing about purgatory or prayers to Mary and the “saints” or Mary as the Queen of Heaven.*I would recommend:
With purgatory, sometimes, it might be helpful to ask your friend if they believe they are not perfect and sometimes sin. If he agrees, which he should, ask them if people in heaven have the same blemish and if there is sin in heaven. If he agrees, which he should, ask him what happens between his current condition and what will be his heavenly condition? If he admits to a “change,” which basic reason must admit, then he basically believes in purgatory himself.
Regarding his special “unction” from God, I would concede the following point to him: I would say that either he is correct and God is a liar or that he is wrong and he has no such “unction” from God. One thing is certain, you both can’t be right. Tell him you agree on that.
How to respond to a family member? I would say “Out of respect for your request, I read it but just can’t take seriously such weak reasoning, not to mention proof-texted theology. His claiming to be qualified to refute Catholicism is like me claiming to have complete understanding of science because I have read 100 books by scientists, visited 16 chemistry labs and been to the Harvard campus 3 times. He doesn’t state why the Catholic Church teaches any of the doctrines/dogmas/practices he listed, making this not a persuasive paper at all, but a statement of belief in his own authority.”
As suggested above, you could ask your relative to choose one assertion of the preacher’s at a time. The preacher will lose credibility pretty quickly, assuming your relative is open to hearing the truth and admitting that once a self-proclaimed “authority” is proven wrong, he can no longer be respected as trustworthy or true.
OR, say “I’m not sure what reaction you hoped I’d have but I’m so sorry to have found it to be a poorly-reasoned article that didn’t do anything substantial to explain or refute Catholic teaching. The overwhelming message I got out of it was the preacher’s assertion of his own perceived authority, and what he himself says is right and that centuries of theologians and holy men and women guided by the Holy Spirit have been wrong. If you’d like to look into any one of the doctrines mentioned, I’d be glad to forward you links to study yourself! Love, me”
OR, “which one part of the article did you most want to discuss with me?”
OR, just pray for him to be moved to study the CC himself one day!
Here are Questions for “Bible Christians”:
Just say that you will be happy to answer his questions if he will answer some of yours.
You’d be better off, imo, to pray for him, and to pray for yourself, that your own faith won’t be weakened by those who reject or try to undermine it.
I suggest going to a website Radio Replies (radioreplies.info/) and looking up what you need help refuting. Over a series of decades, Fathers Rumble and Carty compiled thousands of questions lobbed at them about Catholicism. Scott Hahn recommends it as mandatory reading for protestants and catholics alike.
There are general responses to these main points and then several particular responses to each issue raised. There are many resources for any particular argument.
- I BASE MY VIEWS OF THE ROMAN CATHOLIC CHURCH DIRECTLY UPON ITS AUTHORITATIVE DECLARATIONS, SUCH AS THE COUNCIL OF TRENT, PAPAL BULLS, THE VATICAN II COUNCIL, AND THE NEW CATHOLIC CATECHISM
What he really means is that he has collected several helpful quotes from around the internet and then plugged those into his views on Catholicism. It is logically ludicrous to assert that he has come up with his opinions about the Church based solely or even predominantly on official Church documents. He merely states it this way so as to influence the reader about his supposed impartiality. What he has really done is read lots of anti-Catholic sources to come up with his arguments and then used Church documents from the internet he has found useful to “interpret” his own way and to bolster his arguments. This is Internet Anti-Catholic 101.
- I HAVE AN UNCTION FROM GOD AND I CAN THEREFORE JUDGE AND INTERPRET DOCTRINE.
He uses 1 John 2:27 as his proof text:
“…but the anointing which you received from him abides in you, and you have no need that any one should teach you; as his anointing teaches you about everything, and is true, and is no lie, just as it has taught you, abide in him.”
Yet doing so raises more questions than answers. Was John writing to him personally? To all future Christians? How did he come to the conclusion that this verse means what he thinks it means? Is he the only person who correctly judges and interprets doctrine? If so, why? If so, how does he know that he is the only one? Are only the people who he happens to agree with correct in their judgement and interpretation? How does he know that the Catholic Church isn’t the one who receives such “unction of judgement” and not him?
- IF A CATHOLIC CAN UNDERSTAND BAPTIST DOCTRINE AND REJECT IT, I CAN UNDERSTAND CATHOLIC DOCTRINE AND REJECT IT.
The word “understand” is not useful here, and implies that each person who rejects completely understands correctly what he or she is rejecting. We can “understand” only to the best of our current abilities, yet we can accept or reject this or that church’s doctrine at any time.
One thing stood out here:
“My sole authority in faith and practice is the Bible.”
To put it simply, this is standard fakery and self-delusion. Ask anyone who claims this to explain how he came to that conclusion. The bible nowhere states anything of the sort, and to come to that conclusion you must use non-biblical ideas and sources, which of course is a circle of illogical thinking. In actuality, what is happening is that people simply take bible verses and plug them into their own teaching and message and beliefs. This sort of bait-and-switch is overwhelmingly normal in anyone labeling themselves a “bible-only Christian” and once you realize it, you spot it everywhere.
They preach a message about this or that, then insert a bible passage into their sermon or online argument in order to give that argument heft, then go on with their message-- having “proved” their point with the passage. Then they claim they “only rely on the bible” or, as in this case, “my sole authority is the bible”, when in reality they’ve used all sorts of non-biblical sources to come up with their beliefs and in reality their sole authority is themselves.
In the article the Baptist minister points to what some Catholics believe. For example, that some Catholics don’t believe in purgatory or that some Catholics don’t believe that Mary is the Mother of God. What any particular Catholic believes or does not believe should not lead anyone to deduce what the Catholic Church teaches. In fact, both purgatory and Mary being the Mother of God are required beliefs to be in line with Catholic teachings from the Magisterium and if a so called Catholic denies these beliefs then he or she is not following the Catholic Church’s teachings and thus, is not truly Catholic.
He has a long list of things he has done to claim credibility yet he is foolish enough to try and make points about Catholicism based on what some Catholics do or do not believe. That is foolish. A wise man would look to what the Catholic Church’s Magisterium teaches and while he does point to the CCC he makes mistakes by using what some Catholics believe or do not believe to make Catholic teachings seem to be unclear and not trustworthy. Foolish in my opinion.
Back in the old days they used to play a game. Two kings would send out their strongest gladiators to do battle while the kings would watch on. This is in effect what your Baptist family member has done. He has called in a third party ‘gladiator’ of his cause, and expects you to address this gladiator, while they themselves sit back and relax.
For me I don’t play this type of google gladiator trump game. I would say thank you for the link but respectfully I have not read it. And then don’t read it. Gladiator down.