Reading the Bible with a Protestant


#1

Hi!

My boyfriend, a member of Calvary Chapel (whose pastors frequently insert subtle anti-Catholic propaganda), and I sometimes read the Bible together. He recently asked how he can become a Catholic. I become confused and told him that he can’t, because he does not believe what we do; he often bashes Catholicism because of his lack of knowledge of our beliefs and does not understand how hateful he acts towards us. My intention was to encourage him to learn more about it seeing as I think that must be the first step towards conversion, but I sort of accidentally convinced him that it wasn’t a good idea instead. Oops.

Next time we read the bible together, is there any specific book that we can read together to re-open the door (that I accidentally slammed shut) to get him to consider Catholicism as a possible option for him? He has a lot of issues with the Church, and I know a single reading isn’t going to change anything for him, but I would love for him to eventually convert and am always praying that he someday will. The fact that he expressed interest (something that HE brought up, I did not) makes me think that there’s a chance!

Thanks in advance

EDIT: when we read, we use his Bible, a King James version. Mine is on my nook and his is paper so it is easier to share that way. I don’t know if that is an important detail, but just in case…


#2

The first thing that you need to do - - AND THIS IS CRITICAL - - is to apologize for your earlier unkind remark(s) and explain that he certainly CAN become Catholic once he is convicted in his heart that the Church is indeed the true Church. Then start your discussion / bible reading from there.

No book in the Bible is going to be terribly useful until you do the above…Time might eventually heal the wound…but it is far better to do the apologizing and speed up the process.

Once you have smoothed this over (and this still may take some time) and if he again expresses an openness, you can ask him about issues he has with Church teachings and tackle them one at a time.

Peace
James


#3

I will echo JRKH…do apologize first for mis-speaking…:smiley:

Anyway, these article may help, it discusses how each on of us reads and understands the Bible:

Ecclesial Deism

calledtocommunion.com/2009/07/ecclesial-deism/


#4

JRKH is right. Apologize. Then tell him that your answer should have been “You can begin the process of becoming a Catholic by attending RCIA. I would love to be your sponsor and go through it with you. We would both learn a lot. If, at the end of RCIA (about a year), you want to become a Catholic, then you complete your reception of the initiatory sacraments and you are in.”

Good luck,
Paul


#5

I can think of seven books - The Deuterocanonical Books - the ones you won’t find in the modern King James version. Not to necessarily study their context but to study why they are in the Catholic bible and not in the KJV.

Peace!!!


#6

Does he? Is it accidental or from a place of ignorance or a lack of complete understanding?
Because if he asked how to become Catholic, I’m guessing that is unlikely to come from a place of hatefulness. $0.02

I might be slightly sensitive to this as a very recent former protestant (LCMS). In one of our recent Bible study modules, we did “Rome Sweet Home,” which you may encourage him to read, incidentally. Anyway, many of the “cradle Catholics” had almost what I considered a bit of a persecution complex towards Protestants as they described “discrimination.” Even my wife towards me to some extent. I can’t speak for all protestants, nor should they paint with such a broad brush, but please consider that it may not be hateful bashing.

Also, really like what adf417 mentions. That was one of the big ones for me in my conversion. Sola Scriptura but without the whole of the scriptures? Eventually became too much to swallow.


#7

The other advice above is very good and I concur. I think that it’s possible that you misunderstood him and so you need to take the time to let him explain and encourage him to do so. Communication is often difficult, but especially between lovers and especially more so on religion.

However, I do have a couple of ideas that I think will help.

[LIST=1]
*]You need to bring a hard copy of the Catholic Bible to your studies. N-Cs 9and especially a-Cs) already think we don’t read it, know it, and are discouraged from doing so by the church. I suggest that if he is a big fan of the KJV that you get yourself a copy of the Douay-Rheims Bible because they both use the same era language since the DRB actually came out 2 years before the other. Otherwise, at least get a hard copy of the RSV-CE 2 and use it.

*]I suggest that you invest in a couple of handy things that will help get him past his a-C thinking.
[/LIST]

[LIST]
*] Surprised by Truth

                                                                                                        **Special Price:                                      $12.95                **

*]
shop.catholic.com/media/catalog/product/cache/1/small_image/135x/9df78eab33525d08d6e5fb8d27136e95/b/e/beginning-apologetics-1_1.jpg Beginning Apologetics Volume 1: How to Explain and Defend the Catholic Faith

                                                                                                                                                             Special Price:                                      $4.95                

[/LIST]
There are other sources as well, but these are a good start.

You need to realize that while he is probably hoping to convert you away from the faith, that you need to make your best efforts to counter-evangelize him into the faith. If you are seriously contemplating marrying this fellow you need to be realistic and know that unless he converts you may find yourself in a bad situation in that you have to insure that your kids are raised in the faith and he has to agree and promise to allow that. This is a non-negotiable in the eyes of the church, okay?

If he is as ingrained anti-Catholic as it sounds, would you want your children subjected to that as they grow up?

I’m not talking bad about your guy, but I just think you need to think this through prayerfully for your own good and the good of your children when they inevitably arrive. :slight_smile:


#8

I agree with JRKH, you definitely should apologize for your statement. Misunderstanding of Catholic beliefs isn’t a permanent exclusion from the Church. What I would recommend is, after you apologize, you say "how about we look at what the Catholic church teaches and see if we can find it in here (pointing at the Bible)’’ and go topic by topic.

P.S. :thumbsup: :thumbsup: on the use of the KJV.


#9

I agree with the others, very good advice.

also, one person mentioned discerning the relationship. just wanted to add one thing on to that. there is a chance he might not convert so I think it would be wise to think about whether or not you’d be ok with that. are you willing to eventually marry him as he is now?


#10

Thanks, everyone!

The apology came immediately. He knows I am not the best with words on the spot so he understood and accepted my sorry. He forgave me, but neither of us knew how to continue that conversation so we just… didn’t.

JRKH, you (and everyone who agreed) is totally right about how critical apologizing is. Thank you.

pablope, wow that is long! I am going to go through it tonight, thank you for the link!

PaulDupre1, Thank you for wording it out for me so I know how to say it when it comes up again. That is really helpful.

JSSD, I guess hateful wasn’t the right word to use, sorry. I’ve been to his church a few times and each service there was strong but subtle anti-Catholic propaganda thrown in. When he asks me afterwards how I liked it, I tell him about it and he dismisses it as me being too sensitive (which is probably true to an extent). But when we are together talking about this stuff, he will repeat the incorrect and borderline offensive slurs that he has been exposed to. I believe it is accidental.

Church Militant, he and I have talked about marriage and future children, and I told him that any children I have WILL be raised Catholic. He wants them exposed to other options, but said as long as they are raised with Christ that is all he cares about. However, this possibility of marriage and kids is a long way off! He is somewhat ingrained anti-Catholic, but he has changed a lot in that aspect since we met and have become a lot more open minded. He was born again 2 years ago and his first (and only, prior to meeting me) experience with Catholicism was a negative one. Oh, and thanks for the references!

TxGodfollower, I am not quite well versed enough to be able to do that without a reference to tell me where in the Bible to look for certain topics. Would it is weird if I had my laptop out to look things up immediately before pointing it out in the Bible??

angell1, yes. Thank you for bringing that possibility up. I should be careful not to forget that.


#11

I’m not sticking up for him, but you may just call him on out it, politely but firmly, and have an open, honest discussion. :slight_smile:
You might be too sensitive, but my wife would tell me I’m not sensitive enough and we were in a very similar situation. He may not think of himself as anti-Catholic at all, and I’d be curious what the [anti-Catholic] messages are. I’d ask out of pure ignorance & curiosity and a little bit to “get her goat” things like, “Why X?” “What’s the deal with Y?” “How come Z?” and often she’d sort of stammer out, “I don’t know, shut up.”

Keep in mind, what he has heard about X, Y, and Z are from a protestant upbringing, I’m assuming. He may or may not have an open mind about it. I thought I did (and obviously I’m here today). Tell him why it bothers you and ask what he really thinks about it.

And FWIW, when we married, I had zero intention of converting, although I promised any and all kids could be raised however. I had no idea if we’d even have kids (11 years later, we don’t), but I was serious about that. Now I’d want them in a Catholic school. And it took probably 10 years of marriage before that all happened. And quite honestly finding the right church and people. :thumbsup:


#12

2nd thought:
I bet X, Y, and Z are things like Mary and the Saints, Holy Water, various traditions, types of sins, etc. These were for me, anyway.

When I was in that above-mentioned class, some of the Cradle-catholics who felt so persecuted would go on about how protestants “hated” ________.

Hate?!? Usually not. $0.02. And the whole thing reminded me of when a reporter (supposedly) asked Julia Child what the French think of Thanksgiving. “Why, they don’t think of it at all!” Well, what do the protestants think about Mary? And that might be perfectly applicable here. :slight_smile:


#13

the most general impression I have of protestants is that they actively disagree with anything and everything that the catholic church teaches (my shift key doesn’t work all the time, by the way).

there are many books that 1) explain and dismiss the objections of protestants and that 2) explain the teachings and practices of the catholic church.

in a separate thread in the evangelization forum, I explain,as best as I understand it, that Martin Luther threw out 7 books of the Bible, contrary to what Paul says in 2 Tim 3 that “all scripture is inspired by God.”

First, what was Paul referring to, when he said “all scripture”? He was referring to the Jewish Septuagint (this is an entirely separate, but related subject: what is important, that when Judaism translated the holy scriptures for Jews who did not understand Hebrew, the Septuagint was produced – hundreds of years even before Christ – long ago settling what Judaism considered important and inspired texts of scripture), which contains the 7 books Luther threw out. So, Luther contradicted St. Paul regarding the inspiration of these books.

More to the point, a lot of protestants assert that “the bible is their only authority” – so then what gave Luther the authority to remove 7 books, when St. Paul says otherwise?
So, this “sola scriptura” – bible authority alone – doesn’t “wash” with one of the first major so-called reformers. EVERY protestant is not Lutheran, but they are Luther-ist, in that they follow his German translation, about which books belong in the bible.

you may not want to argue this point with him, but you should keep in mind what the protestant heresy is about.

the day Luther was born, there were 73 books in the Bible; they day he died, Luther had only 66 books in his Bible. See? this doesn’t hinge on anything IN those 7 deleted books, but on one of the books protestants cling to, 2 Tim chapter 3. everything protestants believe derives from the error of Luther.

elsewhere, Paul says that he has passed on to his disciples what he received – this “passing on” is tradition, sacred tradition, upon which, with the Bible and the teaching authority of the church granted by Christ and assured by the indwelling of the Holy Spirit in the Church, is the basis of Catholic teaching and belief.

a good book for converts is Catholicism and Fundamentalism and another titled “Why do catholics do that? a guide to the teachings and practices of the Catholic Church.”

Catholics are not nearly so indoctrinated against protestants as they are towards catholics. as biased as protestants are towards the pope, there was never a pope who did anything like Luther did, to throw 7 books out of the bible. Even Jesus did not do that, and even stated somewhere that ‘scripture cannot be nullified.’ (I guess Luther and a lot of protestants don’t pay much attention to that.)

this issue of throwing 7 books out of the bible is so old, almost 500 years old, that it seems to be a settled point – to all protestants it is, that’s for sure. But, to Catholics, it should be an important warning sign of the basis and content of all protestant beliefs and practices. You should not allow yourself to drift off to some protestant cult of Martin Luther.


#14

Get the Ignatius study bible. Or if not, every time you come to verses that you have trouble with, this link is very good for the New Testament. haydock1859.tripod.com/ . This link is a Catholic commentary.

When reading scripture with people who are not Catholic, whenever someone says that this verse shows that the Catholic Church is wrong, it is always good to say "let’s see the Church’s reply to that statement. "


#15

To justineAnne,
I would recommend AGAINST using everything quoted here (or cut out) in arguing against your boyfriend. Pointing out the faults of someone else’s style of Christianity is highly unlikely to endear them to your own.

However, sirach2v4 does raise some good points.

Anything and everything? Seriously?
Who are you hanging out with? :confused:

I explain,as best as I understand it, that Martin Luther threw out 7 books of the Bible,

First, what was Paul referring to, when he said “all scripture”? He was referring to the Jewish Septuagint (this is an entirely separate, but related subject: what is important, that when Judaism translated the holy scriptures for Jews who did not understand Hebrew, the Septuagint was produced – hundreds of years even before Christ – long ago settling what Judaism considered important and inspired texts of scripture), which contains the 7 books Luther threw out. So, Luther contradicted St. Paul regarding the inspiration of these books.

OK, you go on and on and make the same point several more times. As best you understand it, “Luther threw out books.” For all of Luther’s faults, and there were many, did he randomly pick and choose or did he go with the Masoretic Text? What you consider “long ago settled” for the Greek Jews was not necessarily “settled” worldwide, in fact, this Jewish canon he chose was actually pretty common in Europe at the time. (I’m told) Lastly, did he “throw them out” or put them in another section with a derogatory name? Admittedly, he had some negative thoughts on even a few NT books, and there was the potential addition of one word, which has caused a big rift between us all.

I absolutely agree with the gist that this was the wrong thing to do, incidentally. I am Catholic. However, as we often remind each other in this very forum, recall the context. You are painting a picture of a “heretic” starting a “cult.” Luther himself was a monk trying to reform the church from within. Some things correctly (counter-reformation, anyone?), and obviously some things incorrectly.

elsewhere, Paul says that he has passed on to his disciples what he received – this “passing on” is tradition, sacred tradition, upon which, with the Bible and the teaching authority of the church granted by Christ and assured by the indwelling of the Holy Spirit in the Church, is the basis of Catholic teaching and belief.

This is another huge part of what I eventually came to accept. It is worth discussing.

a good book for converts is Catholicism and Fundamentalism and another titled “Why do catholics do that? a guide to the teachings and practices of the Catholic Church.”

Another is “Catholicism for Protestants” and yet another “Waking up Catholic.”

Catholics are not nearly so indoctrinated against protestants as they are towards catholics.

Pretty broad brush. $0.02
I, for one, can say I never had this sort of angst or ill-will against Catholics that I read in this very post. :confused:

this issue of throwing 7 books out of the bible is so old, almost 500 years old, that it seems to be a settled point – to all protestants it is, that’s for sure. But, to Catholics, it should be an important warning sign of the basis and content of all protestant beliefs and practices. You should not allow yourself to drift off to some protestant cult of Martin Luther.

You shouldn’t argue this way either. My honest advice would be to focus on what you have in common. I don’t see much fruit coming of splitting hairs on the differences when there is so much similar and when Christians worldwide should really be trying to unite ourselves, rather than divide.


#16

Thank you for your comments and criticisms.

What was common in Europe in Luther’s time is not relevant to what Paul was referring to in 2 Tim 3 as the “sacred writings” and “all scripture.” It’s Paul’s time that is important, not Luther’s time.

Undoubtedly my previous post has blunt points in it, but protestants can be very blunt at times, and I have been at the center of their target, take my word for that.

the oldest Masoretic text dates from the eighth or ninth centure AD, and so it cannot establish be invoked in this discussion. the Septuagint dates hundreds of years before Christ and Paul, and it is the Septuagint that is quoted in the New Testament.

The facts in my previous posts should be taught to every Catholic. Many Catholics fall away from the faith, to join evangelical churches,etc. They drink the poisonous cool-aid of false teachers.


#17

#18

[quote=justineAnne]Hi!
My boyfriend, a member of Calvary Chapel …
[/quote]

Calvary Chapel is a modern church but orthodox in essential Christian beliefs. Be glad that he’s not an atheist. :slight_smile:

[quote=justineAnne] … whose pastors frequently insert subtle anti-Catholic propaganda …
[/quote]

Yeah, unnecessary isnt it? :o Some Christians denigrate each other. And it happens both ways unfortunately. What’s the answer Sis?

[quote=justineAnne]… and I sometimes read the Bible together …
[/quote]

Can only do good! Do you pray together too? Now that might be worth trying out. :wink:


#19

Great response :thumbsup:


#20

That’s all fair, but not where the blame was placed. It is unfortunate that you felt targeted, but not reason enough IMHO to use devisive rather than unitive discussion.

Do you sincerely believe that no protestants will be in Heaven? If you do not believe that, perhaps suggestions of “falling away from faith” and “poisonous cool-aid [sic] of false teachers” isn’t the best evangelical technique. :slight_smile:


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