To Tom Nosser re: Apologetics.


#1

Tom Nosser has accused me of weak apologietics. Here I will copy another of my posts and expand it.

I was once directed by my priest to spend a year outside of the Church. He wanted me to spend a year in Protestant churches, Jewish synagogues and so forth. I did so. He did not require me to convert to them. He simply sent me out because I claimed the RCC was the one and only. His response was “If it is the one and only, why are you here? Go there.” Do you get my drift? I had a wonderfully good time and made many friends. I watched the Passion Play at Easter in a Baptist Church in a totally black neighborhood. It was fascinating. Jesus was a black sharecropper accused by whites. Wonderful. We had ribs and greens afterwards. Very hospitable and curious about the Church.They complained tremendously about what they called our calesthentics. Kneeling and so forth. One of the ladies became my daughter’s kindergarten teacher at my daughter’s private Catholic school. (You see, I don’t think my daughter is old enough to truly believe anything.)
I spent time in a Jewish synagogue where the rabbi told me most earnestly about his last trip to the West Bank. He wanted more support from washington in obtaining nuclear wapons for Israel. WWII rang clear in the minds of the rabbi and his people. They still live in clear fear.
I had the Passover meal with them. They are unshakeable in their reverence for the One God. An inspiring people.
I wandered over to the Greek Orthodox Church down the street from me. That was where I first developed my interest in icon painting and learned to make baklava. The Greek Orthodox women of that church were much more liberal than the RCC in terms of birth control methods. Their strength and belief in their Church was wonderful. I found them to be a bit cold, though.
I went to the Church of the First Thessalonians on a Sunday. Unfortunately, that was the day the city police decided to arrest the Thessalonians on methamphetamine manufacturing charges. Apparently they had a meth lab in the basement.
I wandered then over to the local Unitarian Church wher e they showed me new quilt stitches.
There is more.
However, my attending and joining other religions in no way reflects a conversion to them. It reflects faith in my own.
I don’t wander now. God has brought me to this place, on a volcano, where there are only two Churches, RCC and the fundamentalists.
I was in a foster home as a child when my mother was sick for two years. My foster parents were Mormons. Lovely, concerned people, trying hard to care for many children. Strong sense of social justice. They took excellent care of me. The only fault I found with them is that they repeatedly condemned my mother and wanted to adopt me as she was a Catholic. They loved me so much, they felt I would be better off with them. I’m afraid I could not allow them to do that.
The Seventh Day Adventists have excellent doctors. One of them saved the life of my son when everyone else put him beyond hope. They are also an extremely cheerful people.
My father was a follower of Mary Baker Eddy before he converted to Catholicism. A wonderful man who fed, sheltered, protected and loved me. What more could I do for him in return than ask God to bring him fully into the Real Presence of Christ?
These are my apologies, Tom. No one sits around and lets the people they love and have deep gratitude for believe in error unless they insist on it.
Mary


#2

[quote=iwonder]No one sits around and lets the people they love and have deep gratitude for believe in error unless they insist on it.
[/quote]

Amen. Jesus least of all.


#3

Ah, but Brad, there is more. From today’s gospel: “Anyone who gives so much as a cup of cold water to one of these because they are a disciple, has done the same for me.” I have been given much more than a cup of cold water by all of the above. So, it is always good for Catholics to remember, that while other Catholics may be ridiculing the false prophets and their testimonies, they are also simultaneously petitioning God for mercy on the false prophets followers. I condemn the teachings of the false prophets. But how could I condemn the mormons themselves? I tell God everyday how people of other religions have treated me well. He knows. So it is always unwise for Catholics to confuse the two issues.
So now, I have to run and meet my plumber. He rescued me, quicker than anyone else on Friday when the basement in my bakery began to flood. He knew if it continued, I would be out of business for the week so he scurried about and fixed the disaster. Woe, is me- he is a ------- anti Catholic Berean Fundamentalist! :bigyikes:
My fellow Catholics on the other hand were more interested in complaining because the bakery was not open to serve them.
I condemn the idea of sola scriptura in the Berean Church. I see it as the work of the devil, just as the earlier Manachean heresies. But I say before God at Mass, this morning- look at Pete and how well he worked for me. Look at the disaster he saved me from. Bless him and his heart and don’t look on his anti Catholicism. Look at what he did for THIS Catholic instead. :bigyikes: And I hope Tom Nosser will someday learn apologetics is not about being incredibly learned and intellectual. Apologetics is born entirely out of love and nothing else. So yes, I do condemn Mormon prophets as false. But the Holy Spirit determines that their followers will have more good than evil to show for themselves, since evil is purely the absence of good and the Holy Spirit, which is all good, cannot be overcome by the darkness. We have His word for it.


#4

Hello Mary,

I have a number of thoughts on your post, but I want to correct a couple of things first.

I never called you a poor Apologist, I merely said that I thought one of your posts appeared to me to be poor apologetics. When others on this board suggested that I test Clement of Rome to see if he advocated the Word of Wisdom or some other LDS practice I pointed out that the Catholic Church would fall under the “Clement Test” too. Thus his method of demonstrating the falsity of my beliefs was flawed in a fatal way. Your pointing to the plethora of different beliefs could be of marginal effectiveness against one who claims to be a sola scriptura Christian because this seems to result in confusion. There is less confusion in the orthopraxy of the CoJCoLDS than there is in the orthodoxy of the Catholic Church IMO. But what is important is that as a LDS I do not care that many other teachers have a lesser share of the light. The Jews would say the same thing about the Early Church.

Now you may have just suggested that you are not here to argue from a scholarly perspective concerning the truth claims of the CC and CoJCoLDS. If that were the case, you would enter into threads and claim that you love those who err and that you would pray for us. As soon as you offer a set of supposed facts and suggest that these facts have a bearing upon the truth claims of our churches you are engaging in apologetics. I totally respect that you do this out of love, but I believe I do too (although sometimes not enough).

Maybe I will only be expressing thoughts. If there is something you think I need to specifically address I will be happy to. Here are more thoughts.

Perhaps my favorite quote by Joseph Smith is the following:

[quote=Joseph Smith]If I esteem mankind to be in error, shall I bear them down? No. I will lift them up, and in their own way too, if I cannot persuade them my way is better; and I will not seek to compel any man to believe as I do, only by the force of reasoning, for truth will cut its own way. Do you believe in Jesus Christ and the Gospel of salvation which he revealed? So do I. Christians should cease wrangling and contending with each other, and cultivate the principles of union and friendship in their midst; and they will do it before the millennium can be ushered in and Christ takes possession of His kingdom.
[/quote]

I take a lot of liberty from this quote. While I am certain I am guilty of “wrangling and contending” to a certain extent as I have stated many times, I am not calling you to convert. Instead I am calling you to not put for silly or false things against my church. I believe that if every LDS knew a Catholic like AugustineH354 and every Catholic knew a LDS like Mormon Fool or perhaps some others, we could engage each other with greater love and less silliness.

I believe there is an absolute truth. Either my understanding is closer to that truth than yours or yours is closer than mine. I do not think either of us are served by pointing to Catholics worshiping Saints or LDS having similarities with groups neither of us would argue has the most truth. This is one of the reasons good apologetics (when apologetics are being used at all) are important.

I however agree with you that love is more important than knowledge or apologetics. The cookie jar is on the bottom shelf we do not need to be well learned to receive the rewards of God.

BTW, if you do not mind I ask, did you express great doubt about the truth or the “one true church” aspect of the Catholic Church before you Priest sent you on your 1 year journey?

Charity, TOm


#5

[quote=TOmNossor]Hello Mary,

I have a number of thoughts on your post, but I want to correct a couple of things first.

I never called you a poor Apologist, I merely said that I thought one of your posts appeared to me to be poor apologetics. When others on this board suggested that I test Clement of Rome to see if he advocated the Word of Wisdom or some other LDS practice I pointed out that the Catholic Church would fall under the “Clement Test” too. Thus his method of demonstrating the falsity of my beliefs was flawed in a fatal way. Your pointing to the plethora of different beliefs could be of marginal effectiveness against one who claims to be a sola scriptura Christian because this seems to result in confusion. There is less confusion in the orthopraxy of the CoJCoLDS than there is in the orthodoxy of the Catholic Church IMO. But what is important is that as a LDS I do not care that many other teachers have a lesser share of the light. The Jews would say the same thing about the Early Church.

Now you may have just suggested that you are not here to argue from a scholarly perspective concerning the truth claims of the CC and CoJCoLDS. If that were the case, you would enter into threads and claim that you love those who err and that you would pray for us. As soon as you offer a set of supposed facts and suggest that these facts have a bearing upon the truth claims of our churches you are engaging in apologetics. I totally respect that you do this out of love, but I believe I do too (although sometimes not enough).

Maybe I will only be expressing thoughts. If there is something you think I need to specifically address I will be happy to. Here are more thoughts.

Perhaps my favorite quote by Joseph Smith is the following:

I take a lot of liberty from this quote. While I am certain I am guilty of “wrangling and contending” to a certain extent as I have stated many times, I am not calling you to convert. Instead I am calling you to not put for silly or false things against my church. I believe that if every LDS knew a Catholic like AugustineH354 and every Catholic knew a LDS like Mormon Fool or perhaps some others, we could engage each other with greater love and less silliness.

I believe there is an absolute truth. Either my understanding is closer to that truth than yours or yours is closer than mine. I do not think either of us are served by pointing to Catholics worshiping Saints or LDS having similarities with groups neither of us would argue has the most truth. This is one of the reasons good apologetics (when apologetics are being used at all) are important.

I however agree with you that love is more important than knowledge or apologetics. The cookie jar is on the bottom shelf we do not need to be well learned to receive the rewards of God.

BTW, if you do not mind I ask, did you express great doubt about the truth or the “one true church” aspect of the Catholic Church before you Priest sent you on your 1 year journey?

Charity, TOm
[/quote]

Ummmm no. I expressed absolute confidence in my Church. And so he told me to go. I must say that I have been blessed to never doubt my Church. I have doubted my own worthiness of her, but I have never doubted her. That is why I find it fairly painful to be constantly referred to websites like whyprophet.com by B.J. and Wademann. You say you do not want me to put silly or false things against your Church. then I suggest your Mormon posters stop posting links to the obscene website why prophets.com. If you do not want silly, stop giving me obscenities.


#6

[quote=iwonder]Ummmm no. I expressed absolute confidence in my Church. And so he told me to go. I must say that I have been blessed to never doubt my Church. I have doubted my own worthiness of her, but I have never doubted her. That is why I find it fairly painful to be constantly referred to websites like whyprophet.com by B.J. and Wademann.
[/quote]

Wow! I think it is wonderful that you and your priest had enough faith that he was able to send you out to experience other religions. As time allows I try to do the same thing, but I am certain that my continual link the CoJCoLDS take both time and “little child-ness” away from my efforts.

BUT, I cannot understand how your priest could have suggested you walk away from the real presence of Christ. This makes no sense to me and in truth seems to contradict things that I thought I understood. How can it be acceptable to have done this? (not to mention that not attending mass weekly is a sin).

[quote=iwonder] You say you do not want me to put silly or false things against your Church. then I suggest your Mormon posters stop posting links to the obscene website why prophets.com. If you do not want silly, stop giving me obscenities.
[/quote]

I regularly resist the urge of seeming to seriously post some anti-Catholic silliness in response to anti-Mormon silliness. It just doesn’t help. If I recall correctly I find some of whyprophets.com interesting. The dates are interesting (although there are much better some of which point to different groups than Catholics or LDS).

If I recall they occasionally seemed to say that Popes sinned, horrible things happened, the Catholic Church is not true. I would and have responded with a good dose of wheat and tares to such things.

Charity, TOm


#7

Sorry, you mis understood. I think I clearly stated that it was in no way intended that I convert. And your assumptions are erroneous. I did attend weekly Mass, every Sunday and daily as well. Never stopped attending mine. Just went out and spend time with others as well. Talking, watching, listening. Their thoughts, their beliefs, their fears. He never suggested I walk away from the Real Presence of Christ. He suggested I take it to others. As a result I formed very strong relationships with others in various religions and it was helpful to us all. One of the things about Catholic Church is that we are sticklers for clear facts. The Holy Spirit after all, does say what it means. Therefore, we state what we mean and we sort of have an expectation for others not to change it, or re write it or read things into it that are not there. As in this case. If you read my prior post, Tom, there is nothing there that would imply that I left the Real Presence, left the Church, did not attend Mass, now is there? When I read things into other’s statements stuff that is not there, I find myself examining my motives. Maybe you should do that as well. It advances apologetics, self honesty, does.


#8

Iwonder,
This is getting ridiculous. First you said, “I was once directed by my priest to spend a year outside of the Church.”

From this statement I think the assumption Tom made was what anyone would make having read your post.

Then you later said, Tom, there is nothing there that would imply that I left the Real Presence, left the Church, did not attend Mass, now is there?”

Well, what the heck does it mean to “spend a year outside of the Church” if you never stopped attending Mass??!!

How can we have a discussion when you say one thing and then later deny that you said it??


#9

I am a fan of allowing you to clarify what you meant, but when you say to me:

[quote=iwonder]If you read my prior post, Tom, there is nothing there that would imply that I left the Real Presence, left the Church, did not attend Mass, now is there? When I read things into other’s statements stuff that is not there, I find myself examining my motives. Maybe you should do that as well. It advances apologetics, self honesty, does.
[/quote]

And yet as Casen pointed out your post was quite clear that you were “outside the Catholic Church.”

I assumed that you meant “Outside the Catholic Church” as it is defined post Vatican II and not as it was believed virtually universally before Vatican II (which would mean that you rejected Christ or some such things during your time “outside the Catholic Church.”)

Even if these words did not have a very specific Catholic meaning, they would seem to mean something quite different than what you expressed.

In any case, it never occurred to me that you were 1 year “outside the Catholic Church” because while you attended Mass weekly (even daily) you also paid attention to other churches.

Do you think you might be some in fact primarily responsible for me misunderstanding? The fact is I read your post 2-3 times because I was amazed at what you were communicating. Would you like to retract your last comments to me?

Charity, TOm

Oh, and I was not suggesting he intended for you to convert, but that if you were “Outside of the Catholic Church” then you did not partake of the Real Presence. This would be unconscionable if you truly believed in the Real Presence. [font=Arial][/font]


#10

No offense to the people posting on this thread, but I don’t see the point here other than to engage in an argument.


#11

[quote=TOmNossor]I am a fan of allowing you to clarify what you meant, but when you say to me:

And yet as Casen pointed out your post was quite clear that you were “outside the Catholic Church.”

I assumed that you meant “Outside the Catholic Church” as it is defined post Vatican II and not as it was believed virtually universally before Vatican II (which would mean that you rejected Christ or some such things during your time “outside the Catholic Church.”)

Even if these words did not have a very specific Catholic meaning, they would seem to mean something quite different than what you expressed.

In any case, it never occurred to me that you were 1 year “outside the Catholic Church” because while you attended Mass weekly (even daily) you also paid attention to other churches.

Do you think you might be some in fact primarily responsible for me misunderstanding? The fact is I read your post 2-3 times because I was amazed at what you were communicating. Would you like to retract your last comments to me?

Charity, TOm

Oh, and I was not suggesting he intended for you to convert, but that if you were “Outside of the Catholic Church” then you did not partake of the Real Presence. This would be unconscionable if you truly believed in the Real Presence. [font=Arial][/font]
[/quote]

Again, you are being perfectly argumentative. I have never said and I have never been outside of the Church, whatever that means. Actually, I belong to a Catholic religious order and have taken my vows. It is an order with a missionary charism and we commonly travel. And I agree with the Tkdnick. To continue to talk with you would be purely for argumentation. May God continue to lead you toward Him.


#12

[quote=tkdnick]No offense to the people posting on this thread, but I don’t see the point here other than to engage in an argument.
[/quote]

I have to agree with tkdnick, this is between TOm and iwonder.

God Bless.


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