Personal Interpretation


#1

I have posted this question several times on several differant sites, but have never realy been given a logical explaination to the points brought up.

It does deal with Sola Scriptora and the beleife that if all you do is read the bible, God will guide you.

To those that agree with the doctrine of Sola Scriptora, how do you respond to the following concerns I have with it. I am not trying to bode you into an arguement, I am geinunly curious how you account for this…

The Basis for my questions come from 2 peter cht 1. At the end of chapter one we are told that all personal interpretation and prophecy of man should be suspect except those from the spirit.

Now, i know many of our protestant brothers and sisters will see this and say exactly, you cannot trust your own interpretation, but it says we are to trust the Holy spirit, and that is what guides our interpretation…

My Quesiton is this.

How do you KNOW you are being guided by the holy spirit. There are three possible reasons for someone to come up with their interpretation of verses in scripture

  1. The interpretation can come form your own understadning of the world. Everything we do effects the outcome of every choice we make. When we do somethign as important as reading the bible, how do we know our past experiences are not influencing our interpretation. It may be accurate, but how do you know. All you ahve to go on is your own feelings in the matter. It may “Feel” amazingly right, but infact be amazingly wrong. I

  2. Worst case - The devil is playing wiht our little heads. Remember, event eh devil can appear as an angel of light. I have often heard people rebuff this with they will KNOW it is the devil. I say, No you wont. The devil is the master of lies. If ther are people here on earth that can cheat you and you never even know it, how much better do you think the devil is at this. The BEST scams are those where you never knew you were scammed. So, how do you know your interpretation is not a creation of the devil’s games. The best lies are those that are based in truth. What better truth to use as a lie than the words Christ gave us.

  3. Realy is the holy spirit - no explaination needed…

So, How do you knwo which of these three cases is your understanding if you are depending on your own persoanl interpretation. We cannot go by feeling because in each of these cases our feelings will say we have it right. How do you reconcile these issues when reading. You can very easily become a false teacher, and never even know it.

The answer sadly cannot be God will show me the way, because, while he might, again how do you knwo which of the three cases is true. You cannot say Ill pray for the right answer, because once again, back to the same three issues.

To each of you in Christ


#2

My other question would be, if the Holy Spirit is guiding each of our Protestant Brethren, why are so many of them coming up with so many different interpretations?


#3

LSK:

I’m sure there are others who could answer better than I…but it seems to me that the promise to guide interpretation through the Holy Spirit was made to the Apostles and the Church and not to each individual.

The Church has a special authority to protect the truth of scripture that our Protestant friends do not recognize.

I’m going by memory here…but there is a verse in Acts where the Apotles are debating if circumsicion is needed for Christians and Peter says (I’m paraphrasing) that “we and the Holy Spirit have decided…”. That has always struck me as proof that the Holy Spirit is protecting the Church from error.

Hope that helps.


#4

[quote=LSK]My other question would be, if the Holy Spirit is guiding each of our Protestant Brethren, why are so many of them coming up with so many different interpretations?
[/quote]

Nailed my comment on the head… it’s exactly what I was going to write. My SIL has tried to use my “lack” of reading the Bible as proof that she has to read it. I’ve tried to gently let her know that I do in fact read it, but I don’t try to interpret the Bible like she does as I have no authority to do so.

The other question is “from what authority do you have to interpret the Bible?.. if you don’t understand a passage, who do you turn to and what is their authority to interpret the Bible?” And for some reason, whenever I’m confused and I go to the Church, and it’s explained to me, it just feels right so I have the faith the Church won’t let me down in Her interpretation of the Bible (not to mention, it was the Catholic Church that put the Bible together as a book so why would I want to look elsewhere?) :slight_smile:


#5

[quote=heisenburg]I have posted this question several times on several differant sites, but have never realy been given a logical explaination to the points brought up.

It does deal with Sola Scriptora and the beleife that if all you do is read the bible, God will guide you.

To those that agree with the doctrine of Sola Scriptora, how do you respond to the following concerns I have with it. I am not trying to bode you into an arguement, I am geinunly curious how you account for this…

The Basis for my questions come from 2 peter cht 1. At the end of chapter one we are told that all personal interpretation and prophecy of man should be suspect except those from the spirit.

Now, i know many of our protestant brothers and sisters will see this and say exactly, you cannot trust your own interpretation, but it says we are to trust the Holy spirit, and that is what guides our interpretation…

My Quesiton is this.

How do you KNOW you are being guided by the holy spirit. There are three possible reasons for someone to come up with their interpretation of verses in scripture

  1. The interpretation can come form your own understadning of the world. Everything we do effects the outcome of every choice we make. When we do somethign as important as reading the bible, how do we know our past experiences are not influencing our interpretation. It may be accurate, but how do you know. All you ahve to go on is your own feelings in the matter. It may “Feel” amazingly right, but infact be amazingly wrong. I

  2. Worst case - The devil is playing wiht our little heads. Remember, event eh devil can appear as an angel of light. I have often heard people rebuff this with they will KNOW it is the devil. I say, No you wont. The devil is the master of lies. If ther are people here on earth that can cheat you and you never even know it, how much better do you think the devil is at this. The BEST scams are those where you never knew you were scammed. So, how do you know your interpretation is not a creation of the devil’s games. The best lies are those that are based in truth. What better truth to use as a lie than the words Christ gave us.

  3. Realy is the holy spirit - no explaination needed…

So, How do you knwo which of these three cases is your understanding if you are depending on your own persoanl interpretation. We cannot go by feeling because in each of these cases our feelings will say we have it right. How do you reconcile these issues when reading. You can very easily become a false teacher, and never even know it.

The answer sadly cannot be God will show me the way, because, while he might, again how do you knwo which of the three cases is true. You cannot say Ill pray for the right answer, because once again, back to the same three issues.

To each of you in Christ
[/quote]

I think part of an answer may be, that although man in his weakness and sinfulness cannot, by his own strength or his own resources, draw near to God, God in His mercy draws near to him. Man’s weakness and emptiness and inability to judge as he ought to, does not make God unable to help him.

To your first objection - I would agree whole-heartedly; while adding, that all the causes & effects mentioned are themselves wholly dependent on God. Our inability to notice the activity of God, in no way takes from the reality of that activity. “All the ways of the Lord are Mercy & Truth” - so all that happens to us, however remote from “religious” activities (such as reading the Bible) it may be, can be a means of God’s Presence and grace. The barriers which we cannot surmount, are no barrier to God’s grace: our weakness and unwisdom, does not make Him weak or unwise.

As for number two: the more united with Christ we become, the more we have His mind, not ours; His Will, not ours; His Wisdom, not ours. AFAICS, positive love of God is our best defence against that deception. As C.S.Lewis (I think) says somewhere, Christians who are not otherwise well-educated often show great wisdom, because life in Christ is itself an education. The better we come to know Christ, the better and more deeply we will know Him, and what is in accord with Him.

[continue…]


#6

…continued & ended]

I would imagine a Protestant would also say that the perspicuity of Scripture, and the ministry of the Holy Spirit to the spirit of the believing Christian living by faith in Christ, are both powerful helps (to say the least) in showing Christians what the main Christian realities are: one does not (AFAIK) find Protestants who say that Isaiah was the Messiah, or that the Bible has 56 books, or that witchcraft & kidnapping are acts supremely pleasing to God. The definiteness of Protestantism that makes examples of it to be Protestant rather than Catholic or Coptic or Assyrian, and keeps Protestantism Protestant, serves to stop Protestants making certain decisions about what is Protestant: it is not an unmeaning chaos, unless one takes for granted that the only possible way of being Christian has to involve the same degree of theological definiteness as one finds in the CC. And, many Protestantisms are very keen on preservation of doctrine. The more brakes there are on individual whimsicality, the less likely there is to be chaos in a church. So Protesantism is also stabilised by its tradition - there are things that it cannot be.

Those decisions, may allow more freedom to differ than we in the CC might find comfortable - but we would judging by our standards, not by theirs: we’d not be seeing Protestantism as a Protestant might, or reacting to it as he would. And because of the multiplicity of forms of Protestantism, a given Church may be smaller and less varied than the CC - but the spiritual unity between different Protestant churches is not less real; it is a unity of a different type. And there is a real unity; even though it is not as easily perceived as that of a Church which insists on the importance of visible unity as the CC does.
So it is not self-evident that the CC’s way of being the Church is an ideal. Only if judged by Catholic standards does Protestantism seem a chaotic Babel - not by its own: because it is Christian in ways which are in part different from ours. Its very difference from the CC, helps to blunt the edge of many Catholic reservations about it, because it does not see being Christian quite as we do.

That’s not a full answer to your question - the answer is ultimately mysterious IMO. Yet God acts in us. ##


#7

Another question in a similar vein would be, why did the Holy Spirit’s guidance change, causing every major Christian religion to change their position on Contraception - well, every major Christian religion except the Catholic Church. Every one of the major Protestant Religions condemned contraception prior to 1930. None of them condemn it any more.

Now again, I ask you, what happened to the Holy Spirit to cause this shift in doctrine? Is the Holy Spirit guiding us, or are we trying to guide the Holy Spirit?

Notworthy


#8

Good Morning Gottle

I Appreciate your thoughtful response. it does shed a little more light on how they will see scripture. Unfortunantly, my original questiosn still remain…

  1. In regards to You description of issue (1), I do not deny that everyhtin that happens, happens because god either did it, or allowed it. However, it is our meager ability to comprehind what god has down that throws us for a loop. I have seen statments made by Jewish Converts that say christianity need to return to the old law and thats what we are missing as christians. Why does he beleive this? part of it comes from the fact he was previously Jewish. His understadning though of actions have caused a skewed interpretation. One created by his own head, and not by god. He beleives with every ounce he is right ebcause that is what HIS history has led him to. So, while everything comes form god, not ever understadning is in agree ment with god

  2. In regards to your explaination question (2), While I agree that the more we strive to become christian, the more liek him we become. However, a counter to that is this. The devil doesnt do much with those that are lukewarm, he already has them in his grasps. However, the more like you christ you try and become, the more the devil will fight you. And th more sly he will become. Extremely strong christians have been led astray by the devil because he is an expert con artist. so, jsut because someone strives to be liek christ does not immune him from the attacks spawned by the devil.

I am in no way shape or form saying all protestant beliefs are wrong. They have a significant right. It is jsut difficult under their logic to be sure if their interpretation is accurate… and that is what i am quesiton…

Understand, i am not trying to pick apart your statements, only trying to point out how my logic works. I appreciate your thoughtful response

In Christ


#9

[quote=heisenburg]The Basis for my questions come from 2 peter cht 1. At the end of chapter one we are told that all personal interpretation and prophecy of man should be suspect except those from the spirit.
[/quote]

The section that you are referring to says nothing about the reader of scripture interpreting scripture; you are wrong on that. There are many who say that the constitution calls for a separation of church and state, that phrase is nowhere in the constitution; they are wrong on that. Likewise, there is no prohibition contained in scripture against the private interpretion of scripture. To the contrary, reading and understanding scripture is encouraged and commanded by God. How else will you know what He expects of you?

Let’s look at the verses in question:

2 Peter 1: 20-21

20 But know this first of all, that no prophecy of Scripture is a matter of one’s own interpretation,
21 for no prophecy was ever made by an act of human will, but men moved by the Holy Spirit spoke from God.

Reading the verses carefully, one notes that it is Prophecy of Scripture that is spoken of in the passage. It is not saying anything about a reader interpreting Scripture as he reads. The verse assures the believer that scripture is not from men, but from God, the Holy Spirit, moving men to write what God wanted written.

This is further supported by the immediately preceding context:

16 For we did not follow cleverly devised tales when we made known to you the power and coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, but we were eyewitnesses of His majesty.
17 For when He received honor and glory from God the Father, such an utterance as this was made to Him by the Majestic Glory, “This is My beloved Son with whom I am well-pleased”—
18 and we ourselves heard this utterance made from heaven when we were with Him on the holy mountain.
19 So we have the prophetic word made more sure, to which you do well to pay attention as to a lamp shining in a dark place, until the day dawns and the morning star arises in your hearts.

That the Holy Spirit was superintending the writing of scripture is further attested to by Peter in his first epistle:

1 Peter 1:10-12
10 As to this salvation, the prophets who prophesied of the grace that would come to you made careful searches and inquiries,
11 seeking to know what person or time the Spirit of Christ within them was indicating as He predicted the sufferings of Christ and the glories to follow.
12 It was revealed to them that they were not serving themselves, but you, in these things which now have been announced to you through those who preached the gospel to you by the Holy Spirit sent from heaven—things into which angels long to look.

Again, there is no prohibition against the interpretation of scripture. That is a man-made notion.

Paul commended those in Berea for checking out what he was saying against the scripture. Christ held the Jews accountable for knowing the scripture with His oft-repeated question, “have you not read?, and His oft-repeated saying, “it is written. Again, there is no prohibition to one’s interpreting scripture.

Where you err is in your demand for a logical answer to a supernatural action:

You say:

[quote=heisenburg]I…have never realy been given a logical explaination to the points brought up.
[/quote]

The explanation is not logical, but supernatural.

The apostle John twice records Jesus telling the apostles that the H.S. will guide them and teach them, and John twice records that each believer has the same H.S. doing the same work in the believer. (John 14:26; 16:13ff; 1 Jn 2:20, 27).

As tamccrackine says:

[quote=tamccrackine]The other question is “from what authority do you have to interpret the Bible?.. if you don’t understand a passage, who do you turn to and what is their authority to interpret the Bible?” And for some reason, whenever I’m confused and I go to the Church, and it’s explained to me, it just feels right so I have the faith the Church won’t let me down in Her interpretation of the Bible (not to mention, it was the Catholic Church that put the Bible together as a book so why would I want to look elsewhere?)
[/quote]

Notice that tamccrackine relies on feelings to know what is true.

That is something that you, heisenburg say, may feel amazingly right, but in fact, be amazingly wrong.

How is it that you know what the truth is, when you are told that you cannot interpret scripture. If you cannot interpret scripture, then you have no way of knowing whether or not what you are being taught is true; logically, that is a fact.


#10

sandusky wrote:

How is it that you know what the truth is, when you are told that you cannot interpret scripture. If you cannot interpret scripture, then you have no way of knowing whether or not what you are being taught is true; logically, that is a fact.

You are assuming that the verses you cited give individuals the right to decide matters of faith and morals as doctrines or dogmas. But that is not the case. Individuals are NOT to interpret Scripture for the purpose of deciding what is and what isn’t a doctrine or a dogma, but rather we are to interpret Scriptures for our personal growth in virtue.

How can any individual know what is proper doctrine or dogma just by reading the Bible? If we could do that then Jesus could have simply written down everything he wanted us to know, like the Ten Commandments, and leave us a set of instructions. But, he didn’t do that. He established a hierarchical Church and appointed Apostles to decide doctrine and dogma. Look at Acts 15. Why, if every Christian can interpret the Bible equally well, did the Apostles bother to hold a council to decide on the issue of circumcision for Gentile believers and the eating of strangled meat? They all had the OT to read for themselves, after all.

I’m afraid Sola Scriptura just isn’t viable because it does not promote unity in the body of Christ but rather, as we can plainly see, divisions in the Body of Christ. This cannot be a good thing.


#11

Della is right… the Church doesn’t try to tell us what every
verse in the bible means…

in fact, the Church has not issued an “official interpretation” of
the scriptures… the Church has made statements on 7 passages
about their applications to doctrinal positions…

the defined texts are…

John 3:5
Luke 22:19
1 Corinthians 11:24
John 20:23
John 20:22
Romans 5:12
James 5:14

:slight_smile:

sorry, had to add the 1st… lol

:slight_smile:


#12

[quote=Della]You are assuming that the verses you cited give individuals the right to decide matters of faith and morals as doctrines or dogmas. But that is not the case. Individuals are NOT to interpret Scripture for the purpose of deciding what is and what isn’t a doctrine or a dogma, but rather we are to interpret Scriptures for our personal growth in virtue.
[/quote]

You are changing the subject, Della, and you are assuming what I am assuming, and I am assuming nothing. I am citing verses in support of my statements.

The verses say that H.S. guided the apostles into the truth, and that each believer has that same Spirit as a teacher. Are you denying what Jesus and John said? Or, are you saying that Jesus and John are wrong? Which is it? It seems that they think we can understand and interpret the scripture.

It is the individual who will stand before God and be judged. He will stand alone and not with a church. Read the book. Therefore, it is incumbent upon each to understand what is being said.

[quote=Della]How can any individual know what is proper doctrine or dogma just by reading the Bible?
[/quote]

1 Jn 2:20, 27, tells us how; and in 2 Tim 3:15, Paul tells Timothy that sacred writings are able to make one wise to salvation in Christ. Is Paul wrong? Or, do you just think that he does no know what he is talking about?

Again, you are off topic, Della.

The question is, how do you know?

How to you know what the truth is, Della, if you cannot interpret the Scripture?


#13

The only logical conclusion along the line of your thinking is that the Holy Spirit must have guided different people to make different interpretations.

No, he doesn’t say that they ALONE are able to make one wise to salvation in Christ. They are neccessary, but are they sufficient? Read Timothy 3:10-18 to get the whole context

Notworthy


#14

While you’re at it, Sandusky, I ask once again (I think I’ve posted this about 6 times on various threads and I’ve not received an answer, yet):

Another question in a similar vein would be, why did the Holy Spirit’s guidance change, causing every major Christian religion to change their position on Contraception - well, every major Christian religion except the Catholic Church. Every one of the major Protestant Religions condemned contraception prior to 1930. None of them condemn it any more.

Now again, I ask you, what happened to the Holy Spirit to cause this shift in doctrine? Is the Holy Spirit guiding us, or are we trying to guide the Holy Spirit?

Notworthy


#15

[quote=Notworthy]The only logical conclusion along the line of your thinking is that the Holy Spirit must have guided different people to make different interpretations.
[/quote]

Nice try. But the scripture says that the H.S. guides people into Truth; He does not guide people into error. Your statement is nonsensical.

[quote=Notworthy]No, he doesn’t say that they ALONE are able to make one wise to salvation in Christ. They are neccessary, but are they sufficient? Read Timothy 3:10-18 to get the whole context
[/quote]

2 Tim 3 has only 17 verses. Paul says that the scripture is able to make one wise unto salvation. There are no caveats. Why is that so difficult for you to understand?

But that is all beside the point.

You are changing the subject.

The question is: How do you know what is true?

Notworthy, how do you know that what you believe is true, if you cannot interpret the scripture?


#16

[quote=sandusky]Nice try. But the scripture says that the H.S. guides people into Truth; He does not guide people into error. Your statement is nonsensical.

[/quote]

Correct! Just as nonsensical as assuming the Spirit guides different people to different truths. Yet, this is what happens among the numerous denominations. Thank you for helping me to point that out!

Notworthy


#17

Because I have 3 things:
The Holy Scriptures - for they are part of the Word of God handed down through generations.
Sacred Tradition - for they are another part of the Word of God handed down through generations.
A Magisterium - for they are guided by the Holy Spirit to help my Church, “The Pillar and Bulwark of Truth”, to teach me.

That is why the Catholic Church is One, Holy, Catholic, and Apostolic! It’s why I love my Church, and why I adore my Lord who built my Chuch!

God Bless!

Notworthy


#18

[quote=NotWorthy]While you’re at it, Sandusky, I ask once again (I think I’ve posted this about 6 times on various threads and I’ve not received an answer, yet):

Another question in a similar vein would be, why did the Holy Spirit’s guidance change, causing every major Christian religion to change their position on Contraception - well, every major Christian religion except the Catholic Church. Every one of the major Protestant Religions condemned contraception prior to 1930. None of them condemn it any more.

Now again, I ask you, what happened to the Holy Spirit to cause this shift in doctrine? Is the Holy Spirit guiding us, or are we trying to guide the Holy Spirit?

Notworthy
[/quote]

If you notice, or rather, accept, the simple fact that the HS won’t lead astray the TRUE Church, you’ll notice the CC is the only one that has stood firm on it’s decision about contraception. Then take another step and read Humane Vitae and visit CCLI.org for more information. You’ll see the history (very simple as a matter of fact) the reason the other churches decided contraception was ok. They decided “Alright, in SOME cases, it’s ok” and that just blew the door wide open for all. Then this nazi-feminist junk started up and blew it apart and what leg did those churches stand on? The Catholic Church has always held firm on its stance of contraception. It wasn’t the HS leading any of those other churches astray, it was MEN (and I say this in a gender neutral manner) that lead themselves to believe it was ok and then making the decision, it wasn’t the holy spirit making that choice.

did that answer your question? I urge you to check out ccli.org and get their little pamphlet about the history of contraception. It’s really interesting.


#19

[quote=Notworthy]No, he doesn’t say that they [scripture] ALONE are able to make one wise to salvation in Christ. They are neccessary, but are they sufficient?
[/quote]

To reiterate, Paul says the scripture is able to make one wise to salvation; if, as Paul says, scripture has the ability to make one wise to salvation, then scripture is, by that ability ascribed to it by Paul, sufficient.

[quote=Notworthy]Correct! Just as nonsensical as assuming the Spirit guides different people to different truths. Yet, this is what happens among the numerous denominations. Thank you for helping me to point that out!
[/quote]

Don’t thank me so quickly, Notworthy; It is evident to me, that not only can you not interpret scripture, but you also cannot interpret a simple post on this forum.

I said the Spirit leads His people into truth, not error; I said nothing about different truths, that is your phrase, and a contradiction, and not a part of my statement. There is only one truth, not different truths, unless you subscribe to relativism.

As far as your remark about numerous denominations, there are as many numerous, and different positions within the body of Catholicisim as there are protestant denominations. Again, you change the subject in order to avoid answering the question.

[quote=Notworthy]Because I have 3 things:
The Holy Scriptures - for they are part of the Word of God handed down through generations.
Sacred Tradition - for they are another part of the Word of God handed down through generations.
A Magisterium - for they are guided by the Holy Spirit to help my Church, “The Pillar and Bulwark of Truth”, to teach me.
[/quote]

But what good are any of those things to you, if you cannot interpret for yourself what they are saying, and what they mean? I can only conclude that you are giving assent to them with your eyes closed.

[quote=Notworthy]That is why the Catholic Church is One, Holy, Catholic, and Apostolic! It’s why I love my Church, and why I adore my Lord who built my Chuch!
[/quote]

What you are saying is a meaningless statement given without reason, if you cannot interpret for yourself.

So, I find that you are still avoiding the question posed on this thread:

Without the ability to understand and interpret for yourself, how have you arrived at the conclusion that the RCC has the truth?


#20

Sandusky

If I may,

I understand what you are trying to say. I understand your usage of Pauls statements saying that study scripture can make one wise to salvation. This is comepletly true. To an extent. A few things musty always be considered when discussing pauls statements on Scripture.

  1. Paul was a master if you will at Old Testiment studies. Any time he is speaking of scripture, this is what he is refering to. He is NOT referring to the NT as it was not compiled, or even written yet in most cases. He couldnt have know his scouldings of the differant churches would become Scripture. Why then do I say your statement is in essense correct? Because God DID give us the means and the way to follow him in the Old Testiment. We can know via the old testement what neds to be done to follow god ACCORDING TO THE OLD LAW. Unfortunantly, it is very near impossible to actually follow the letter of the law a mandated by the OT. This is a reason (though small) why Christ came to us. It is God helping us out.

  2. Why did paul write his letters? Most of the time, it was to REBUKE various churches actions in interpreting what was said and what was written. In Otherwords, the were reading the scripture they had, reading the letters that were circulating about Jesus, and STILL not interpreting what Jesus wanted properly. I think it is in Col. that there was a group of ‘believers’ that also thought scripture meant for the to WORSHIP angels along side of god. The differant churches were reading scripture yet still falling away. Not until GUIDENCE came from someone with the holy spirit did thye begin to understand. I am not referring to Paul either. Paul submited to someone else, and even says he does (i beleive in acts) I am refering to the CHURCH in which paul was a leader in and of PETER who was the earthly head. (even if you dont beleive in papal succession, there are many instances where Peter is clearly the earthly leader HIS church. Also, while I am saying leader, Christ is the ultimate head to our church, so please do not think I am saying the the POPE or Peter was above christ. This is false)

We cannot simply read the bible and expect to completly understand it. We msut keep it in context not only of other scripture, but also of the historical time frames we are talking about. Almost ALL refrences to scripture in the NT is talking abotu scripture in the OT, not scripture that was not yet known to be inspired, let alone even written yet in most cases.

Those that Assume Paul was also talking about NT scriptures are basing there beleif on a HUGE assumtion, and one that CANNOT be supported by scripture or history.

Hopefully this will help in answering some of your questions. Please feel free to ask followup questions, or to more clearly state questions you have that have not yet been answered. We are trying to answer your questions. So, if you feel there are questions we are not answering. Explicitly type them out in a short post.We may siply be missing what youa re asking

To you in Christ


DISCLAIMER: The views and opinions expressed in these forums do not necessarily reflect those of Catholic Answers. For official apologetics resources please visit www.catholic.com.