Several questions presented to me by a pentacostal. Help!

Here are several questions that Ive been asked. How do I answer these? Any help would be wonderful. God Bless!!

The following list give a summation of what we have been trying to emphasize. If the Bible is a Catholic book,

  1. Why does it condemn clerical dress? (Matt. 23:5-6).
  2. Why does it teach against the adoration of Mary? (Luke 11:27-28).
  3. Why does it show that all Christians are priests? (1 Pet. 2:5,9).
  4. Why does it condemn the observance of special days? (Gal. 4:9-11).
  5. Why does it teach that all Christians are saints? (1 Cor. 1:2).
  6. Why does it condemn the making and adoration of images? (Ex. 20:4-5).
  7. Why does it teach that baptism is immersion instead of pouring? (Col. 2:12).
  8. Why does it forbid us to address religious leaders as “father”? (Matt. 23:9).
  9. Why does it teach that Christ is the only foundation and not the apostle Peter? (1 Cor. 3:11).
  10. Why does it teach that there is one mediator instead of many? (1 Tim. 2:5).
  11. Why does it teach that a bishop must be a married man? (1 Tim. 3:2, 4-5).
  12. Why is it opposed to the primacy of Peter? (Luke 22:24-27).
  13. Why does it oppose the idea of purgatory? (Luke 16:26).
  14. Why is it completely silent about infant baptism, instrumental music in worship, indulgences, confession to priests, the rosary, the mass, and many other things in the Catholic Church?

[quote=NolePaul2005]1. Why does it condemn clerical dress? (Matt. 23:5-6).
2. Why does it teach against the adoration of Mary? (Luke 11:27-28).
3. Why does it show that all Christians are priests? (1 Pet. 2:5,9).
4. Why does it condemn the observance of special days? (Gal. 4:9-11).
5. Why does it teach that all Christians are saints? (1 Cor. 1:2).
6. Why does it condemn the making and adoration of images? (Ex. 20:4-5).
7. Why does it teach that baptism is immersion instead of pouring? (Col. 2:12).
8. Why does it forbid us to address religious leaders as “father”? (Matt. 23:9).
9. Why does it teach that Christ is the only foundation and not the apostle Peter? (1 Cor. 3:11).
10. Why does it teach that there is one mediator instead of many? (1 Tim. 2:5).
11. Why does it teach that a bishop must be a married man? (1 Tim. 3:2, 4-5).
12. Why is it opposed to the primacy of Peter? (Luke 22:24-27).
13. Why does it oppose the idea of purgatory? (Luke 16:26).
14. Why is it completely silent about infant baptism, instrumental music in worship, indulgences, confession to priests, the rosary, the mass, and many other things in the Catholic Church?

  1. It doesn’t.
  2. For the same reason the Catholic Church does.
  3. For the same reason the Catholic Church does.
  4. It doesn’t.
  5. For the same reason the Catholic Church does.
  6. It doesn’t condemn the making of images. It condemns their adoration for the same reason the Catholic Church does.
  7. It doesn’t.
  8. It doesn’t.
  9. It doesn’t.
  10. It doesn’t.
  11. It doesn’t.
  12. It doesn’t.
  13. It doesn’t.
  14. That’s not one question. Be specific.

– Mark L. Chance.

How can I explain those things to them?

[quote=NolePaul2005]How can I explain those things to them?

You can’t. No one who cuts-and-pastes a laundry list of cliche’ anti-Catholic questions is interested in having things explained to them. Just post a link to this site and move on.

– Mark L. Chance.

First of all, he got that list from, which is the website of an independant church that seems to follow along the lines of Ulrich Zqingli’s ideas (he was the strictest of the reformers). Their basic Protestant doctrine is pretty accurate (as far as a Protestant perspective is concerned), and they also have a huge section on all different “false doctrines,” as they call them, like Catholicism, Jehovah’s Witnesses, Mormons, Annihalationists, etc. Some of the false doctrine stuff is ok (namely the truely false doctrines like Jehovah’s witnesses, because they are so false they’re easy to refute.) However, their Catholic section is just sad.

That being said, this website was the number one reason I was held back from Catholicism for so long. It is very good in the sense that what it says looks good, especially to someone who already has the ideat that Catholicism is wrong. Why I say it’s sad is that once you can get the smoke out of your eyes, you realize that the arguements are really pathetic and don’t even touch the “good” anti-Catholic arguements out there. It’s sortof like gold plated metal: looks good on the outside, but is worthless on the inside.

Lol, for instance, they have a whole section on what they call “respecting God’s silence,” by which they mean if it isn’t explicitly in the Bible, we can’t do it. And they take it far. The way they describe it (though they’d deny this), if the Bible doesn’t specifically say we can look at a clock, we’re not allowed to!

OK I am going to start giving you your answers in another post, I just wanted to get this up so you could be aware of it while I work on the answers. :slight_smile:

I hope you get some good factual answers from others here. And there are plenty of facts you will be able to use.

As for me, I have come to believe that Catholics understand scripture so differently compared to reformists, and sola scriptura is so radically defective, that debate is not fruitful.

Some day I’ll start another thread on this, but as I study history, I am increasingly saddened at what the protestant churches have done to our culture.

Did you know that Margaret Sanger deliberately strategized to take advantage of the natural hatred of protestants toward Catholics to push her radical birth control and abortion agenda on America?

The American Federation of Churches - umbrella group for protestants - jumped on her bandwagon early in the 20th Century. She whipped them into a frenzy to defeat the Catholics.

Protestants willingly served as useful idiots for the Culture of Death.

But in the 21st century, they come around acting as if they were pro-life all along. And it sickens me to see them grope in scripture to suddenly justify their newly discovered pro-life viewpoint we Catholics have always had.

I do get a feeling of deja-vu here. I’m sure I’ve seen this list in the forums recently.

[quote=steve99]I do get a feeling of deja-vu here. I’m sure I’ve seen this list in the forums recently.

Ah yes,

  1. Read the passage in context. Jesus is condemning the Pharisees for their faults, one of which is that they try to show themselves off to everybody as really holy. In other words, they are more concerned with people seeing them as important and special than they are with A) How God saw them, and B) actually following God’s laws. Jesus is saying that they doctor up their clothes for the purpose of being noticed and looked upon as special. Priests do not do this. Clerical dress, as he calls it, in the Catholic Church is intended to A) identify Priests to those who need them (NOT to show off), and B) give honor to God during Church. During the Bill Clinton Impeachment, Chief Justice Rehnquist added gold bars to his robe. A lot of people criticized him for trying to show off and make himself look special. This is what Jesus condemns, not what the Church does.

  2. First: Catholics don’t ADORE Mary; they respect and honor her (the word venerate can be used, it is about the same as honoring). Vatican II specifically spoke out AGAINST people who give too much devotion to Mary! Second: this passage is often used to say Mary isn’t Blessed or whatever. It doesn’t. Jesus doesn’t tell the woman, “no she isn’t Blessed.” He just says that people who keep the word of God are Blessed even more. He is making the point to the woman that it is more important to keep the word of God and to follow Him than to go around saying Mary is Blessed or anything. He is saying, “God first.” That is all! If Mary weren’t Blessed, then Gabriel wouldn’t have told her so in Luke 1:28! Angels don’t go throwing around words like that. Moreso, the phrase “Blessed art thou among women” is a Semitism, which means that it had a specific meaning in the Semitic language that was spoken at the time. In Aramaic (or Hebrew or any Semitic language), which Mary and Jesus and Babriel spoke, this phrase literally means, “You are the MOST blessed of ALL women!”

  3. Have to look it up. In the interest of time, I am skipping it. There IS a response that I simply can’t recall now and will put up later.

  4. First of all, the word “special” is not in the Greek. Secondly, read the passage in context. St. Paul is speaking out here against pagan practices, that is all. He is writing to a gentile (which is pagan) group who have fallen backwards and resumed practicing what they did before Christ, such as worshipping certain gods on certain days. This is what he is condemning. The practice of Holy Days of Obligation have nothing to do with this. If we are to not observe any special days, then we can’t celebrate Christmas or Easter. In fact, we can’t even worship on Sundays, because they are also “days” that we observe on a schedule!

  5. The Catholic Church does too. All Christians are saints. The Church, however, has a list of CANONIZED Saints, that is, persons the Church has studied and determined to have been matter of factly Christian and pleasing to God. They never say that other people aren’t saints. They teach we are all saints, in fact, but they have a list of canonized ones so that the faithful have certain people as examples for good living (like Paul said to follow his example). [The canonized Saints are also canonized because the Church knows they are in heaven. I didn’t mention this here because I will when I respond to number 10.]

  1. This is possibly the most ridiculous objection anti-Catholics make. Read the ENTIRE passage first of all. God says thou shalt not BOW DOWN to them, and worship them AS GODS (serve them, KJV). At the time of Moses (and up until hundreds of years after Christ), many people built statues and worshipped them specifically as though the STATUE ITSELF were a god. People rejected God and instead worshipped statues. Catholics don’t do this. A Statue of Jesus, or of Mary, or of a Saint, is NOT worshipped, and certainly not as a god. We know that a statue of Jesus is not a god itself, but that what the statue represents, JESUS, IS God. Statues of Saints aren’t gods, but what they represent, the Saints, are honorable people worth remembering. Would this man have a problem with the statue of Lincoln in DC? Of course not. Nobody worships it. That is what God forbids, not just making them. People say we can’t make statues of Jesus because we can’t make statues of things “in the heavens above.” The Hebrews had MANY different words for heaven. This one simply means, the SKY. So we can’t make statues of birds or whatever, again AS gods. In fact, God Himself commands statues to be made all the time! In Exodus 25, He tells the people to make giant 6 foot tall statues of cherubims (angels) for the ark of the covenant! God would not violate His own law. He also tells Solomon to make a whole bunch of statues of angels for THE Temple, the Temple which was the center of Judaism (the one Jesus destroyed in three days, although it had been rebuilt several times by that point).

  2. This is pathetic. This passage does not say ANYTHING about immersion. It is saying how by being baptized, we are literally buried with Jesus in the tomb, and literally raise with Him as He did. Do you see how far people will stretch things to try to attack Catholicism (to think I did this before!). Ask him this: would it be right to say that we should worship in the same way as the Christians taught by Jesus, Paul, James, Peter, etc., from the 1st century? Because they all believed in non-immersive (and immersive) baptism, and we have writings of theirs to prove it! (This applies to EVERY Catholic teaching, and if he says we shouldn’t worship like these people, he’s pretty far gone lol)

  3. It doesn’t say this. This is another example of Jesus speaking in extremes. If we follow his words literally, its a sin to call our biological dads “father,” to call our teachers in high school, “teacher,” etc. Jesus is making sure that we know that we have one true master, Him, and one true father, Him (well, the Father, but you know what I mean). This answer is not literal enough to satisfy people who attack the Catholic Church, so consider this: people used to call St. Paul, St. Peter, and St. John the Apostle “Father!” Look in the Bible:

2 Timothy 1:2 - “To Timothy, my beloved child: Grace, mercy, and peace from God the Father and Christ Jesus our Lord” (Paul as Father)
2 Timothy 2:1 - “You then, my son, be strong in the grace that is in Christ Jesus” (Paul as Father)
Philemon 10 - “I appeal to you for my child, Onesimus, whose father I have become in my imprisonment” (Paul as Father)
1 Peter 5:13 - “She who is at Babylon, who is likewise chosen, sends you greetings; and so does my son Mark” (Peter as Father)
3 John 4 - “No greater joy can I have than this, to hear that my children follow the truth” (John as Father)
Also 1 Corinthians 4:17, 1 Timothy 1:2, 1 Timothy 1:18, Phillipians 2:22, Titus 1:4, 2 Corinthians 12:14, Galatians 4:19, 1 John 2:1, 1 John 2:13-14.
And Especially 1 Corinthians 4:14-15 - “I do not write this to make you ashamed, but to admonish you as my beloved children. For though you have countless guides in Christ, you do not have many fathers. For I became your father in Christ Jesus through the gospel” (Paul as Father)

  1. It does not say anything about Peter in this verse lol. It says that nobody can lay any foundation other than what Jesus already did, in other words, nobody can lay anything different. You want proof this verse is bogus? Just look at the PREVIOUS ONE, where Paul says, “According to God’s grace that was given to me, as a skilled master builder I have laid a foundation, and another builds on it. But each one must be careful how he builds on it.” St. Paul says HE HIMSELF LAID A FOUNDATION. If literally Christ laid the only one, Paul is commiting blasphemy! Read in context (with the previous one lol), this says that Paul is laying a foundation of teaching in them, and they must lay a foundation in others, but be careful because they can only teach the same thing as Christ taught and not other stuff. (Which, btw, the Catholic Church does not do; every teaching, Tradition included, is traced back directly to Christ and the Apostles.)

  2. There is one mediator. Christ alone. This obviously is an attack on the communion of the saints, and of “praying” to them. I personally hate that word, because yes we can only pray to God. When Catholics say they pray to Mary or the Saints, I think they are using the wrong word. All a Catholic does when he or she talks to Mary or a Saint is just that: talking. If I had cancer, I would ask you and all my friends to pray for me, and nobody would have any problem with that. That is all communion of the Saints is. It doesn’t make them mediators, it makes them, quite honestly, friends who love us and will pray to God for us the same as our earthly friends. The Bible tells us all over that People in Christ NEVER die, and have eternal life, and REMAIN A PART OF THE BODY OF CHRIST. You and I are a part of that body, and so is Mary and St. Paul. In asking them to pray for us, we are just talking to other people who are ALIVE IN CHIRST. They are just in heaven. It’s literally the same thing as asking a friend from another city to pray for us lol. The only difference is that the Saints are in Heaven and free from sin, so their prayers are more effective. (Any Protestant will tell you that a God will listen person who is not sinning more than one who is. This is not exactly true, but its close enough)

  3. It doesn’t. All this says is that an elder, priest, whatever, must have AT MOST one wife. At the time, there was a lot of polygamy going around, especially among the gentiles. Paul is instructing Timothy that this is not allowed of church leaders, because (aside from the fact Christ prohibited it) it would only encourage the church goers to follow the example. If an elder must have at least one wife, itwould go against St. Paul’s statement that it is better not to marry than to marry, and that to devote oneself fully to God it is best not to marry. (all in 1 Corinthians 7) Obviously a church leader should be as devoted to God as possible. The idea that Paul said to not marry to be devoted to God AND that church leaders must marry would be a complete and utter contradiction. The Catholic Church simply follows Paul’s advice that to avoid marriage is best to devote oneself to God (and actually there are only some parts of the world where celibacy is required).

  1. This doesn’t say Peter wasn’t the leader. It says Peter wasn’t BETTER than anyone else (or that anyone was better than anyone for that matter). It also tells us that the greatest people are the ones who serve. It’s a good teaching about humility, not a command that there was no leader lol. George Bush, for instance, is our leader in the USA, but that doesn’t mean he’s BETTER than me (some would say he’s worse no doubt lol[but not me :stuck_out_tongue: ]). The Bible is FULL of proof of St. Peter’s primacy. For instance, when Jesus says He shall give Peter the keys of heaven, and the power to bind and loose, the Greek verbs are singular and indicate that Jesus was speaking to ONLY Peter. Also, after St. Paul was converted, one of the first things he did was go to SPECIFICALLY see Peter to confer with him (Gal. 1:18 and around there. It says he went to meet Peter, not to meet “the apostles,” or “James and Peter,” or anything like that. Also, by comparing Acts and Galatians, there is disagreement among scholars about if Paul even ever preached before meeting Peter. If he waited 3 years to meet Peter before preaching, what does that say?) Also, every time the apostles are listed, Peter is first and Judas last. That is clearly a formula. Also, Judas and Peter commited about the same sin: rejecting Christ. Peter repented whereas Judas did not. That certainly speaks to a parallel (worst vs. “best”). Also, none of the other Apostles had their faith tested (at least in the Bible, which your friend thinks is all we need). Also, Jesus prayed that Peter’s faith would not fail (again, the Greek shows that he was praying ONLY for Peter’s faith). Go to for a MASSIVE amount of data on Peter (and absolutely everything else for that matter. Great, top notch site.)

  2. This passage says there is a gulf between Heaven and Hell, it says nothing about Purgatory. Furthermore, it is an example, not literal. Does Jesus really teach that people in Hell can have conversations with the folks in Heaven? Lol I don’t think so! (I could be wrong of course but I am pretty sure lol) The Bible supports Purgatory. It says that we will be purified by fire, among other things. It says that on judgement day, our works will be tested, and if they fail, we will escape, but only “through fire,” (1 Corinthians 3:15). I am not well versed on Biblical Purgatory, so I am not giving much info, but it is VERY much in there. See that sire from question 12.

  3. It’s not. It talks about entire families being baptized, and these families almost certainly included children and babies. Remember, in the first century, children were a families lifeblood! They worked the fields, they helped feed the family, etc. etc. etc. Also, there was no contraception. Also, children could easily die, so people had to have a lot of them. The idea of a household not having infants or children to be baptized is very unlikely (given how many households are baptized!) Confession to Priests is in there: John 20:21-23, including the phrase, “If you forgive the sins of any, they are forgiven them; if you retain the sins of any, they are retained.” If we are to confess only to God, as Protestants say, why did Jesus say anything about the Apostles RETAINING peoples sins?! The Mass is heavily based on the Bible, ESPECIALLY Hebrews (which is one of the reasons Martin Luther wanted it kicked out of the Bible!) See the website. The Rosary doesn’t need to be: Jews used to pray the Psalms with what we would call a Rosary even before the time of Christ. His attack on music is because, like I said, he follows the ideas of Ulrich Zwingli, who believed that if it was not specifically in the Bible, we could not do it. This leads to the idea that we can’t check out wristwatches because Jesus never told us we could. Indulgences and everything else are based on whats in there, but loosely. Further, they don’t need to be, because Sola Scriptura is the single most absurd idea in all of theology (see the above website, as well as my piece on it:

God Bless!


These responses are most helpful. Ive been debating with this guy for a few weeks now. This guy is one of these preachers who goes around on College Campuses preaching his fire and brimstone judgement.


Just remember that no matter how wrong he is, he is (probably) doing what he does out of love and concern, for God and for the people he preaches to.

As far as dealing with such people, I think it is best to find something, however unimportant, that is blatantly obvious and can’t be refuted. For me, it was seeing all the references to Paul calling people “children” and saying he became their “father in Christ” (be careful because a lot of translations render this, “I begot you in Christ, or I gave birth to you in Christ”). After that, I was open to seeing other things. Ultimately, it was the stuff I wrote down in my paper on Sola Scriptura that really got me. The info is all historical and logical, and none of it based on simple Catholic teaching. I found it impossible to ignore history and logic. That’s a big step though. Like I said, if you are arguing, try to find something that is very, very plain and obvious that is also not too important so he won’t be too objectionable to accept it. For instance, naturally the idea of calling someone Father is not as big a deal to a Protestant as talking to Mary, and most Protestants will actually call Priests Father if they know or meet them out of A) it’s just what society calls them, like calling a professor Professor and B) it’s not a big enough deal to them religiously (though to some it is. To these people, the smallest thing is as big as the biggest and they are hard to reach). I wouldn’t go with the Father thing with him, because it may not work (it worked for me because my mind is logical and mathematical, so naturally seeing “my children” is enough to prove he Paul was called Father. To others the connection isn’t so good). Something like number 9 is what I mean. Just show how off base the website is (also mention what I said about the silence of God and wristwatches to disprove the site. If he says that one mistake doesn’t disprove the whole site, ask why one bad pope disproves the whole papacy :wink: ) If he won’t admit number 9 is totally off, he will be really hard to reach. In all cases, pray fervently! :slight_smile: Make sure you aren’t concerned with being right or proving him wrong. Care ONLY for helping him to see the truth of God, and remember that ONLY by God will he be able to (John 6:44).

Hang in there, Paul!

Others have already given you some pretty detailed answers, so I won’t repeat them (too much typing). However, I did want to offer a piece of advice: get this guy to stick to one question at a time. It is a common tactic, among protestants, to pepper you with a laundry list of items that can be overwhelming. And remember: most of these questions have, at their root, a basic question of authority. If you can get the papacy down ( has some good short articles on this; Steve Ray’s “Upon This Rock” is an excellent book for an in-depth look), you’re on firm ground. Best wishes, and God bless.

Send him a copy of Scott Hahn’s conversion story on CD-ROM. Hahn was a presbyterian minister who was also very anti-catholic and after years of study he came to the conclusion that the Catholic Church is the true church. It’s very powerful and very persuasive. It will not likely convince him all at once, but it may get him thinking…

Best of luck. :smiley:

This might be too deep for him, but it’s something most people (esp. Protestants) haven’t heard before:

The Catholic Church says a sin is not mortal unless the person KNOWS the gravity of it and knows what they are doing.

What does Jesus say on the cross?

“Forgive them Father; they know not what they do” Luke 23:34

That may work, because even while Protestants know Catholics find Bible verses to support their beliefs (though they think they misuse them), this is one of those things that they think a Catholic can’t find even the slightest support for (I know I was one lol).

Oh, my Heavens! It’s that LIST again. We should have an article in ASK AN APOLOGIST dedicated to that list, alone.

NolePaul, in another thread I finished answering about half of the list.

The entire list is based on misreadings and misinterpretations of Scripture

Peace be with you!

These have been pretty thouroughly explained, but here’s one more important point to make on clerical dress…

What priests and bishops wear is, for the most part, a stylized Roman overcoat. You see, when these were in style the priests dressed the same as everyone else! There was no “special” or different dress for the clergy. However, when the everyday styles changed, the clergy simply continued to dress in the same way they always had; they never just started to dress differently than the laity.

In Christ,

Thank you for posting this. I am in the process of looking to convert to being a Catholic and these very same questions keep popping up from my friends and family. As I am still in the newly learning phase the answers given here have been most helpful to me. :slight_smile:

I really feel in my heart and soul that the Catholic Church is THE Church Christ founded, but it does help so much to understand it mentally as well.

You all are amazing with your knowledge, I can’t believe how much I’ve learned here. Thanks again!

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