Will Scripture help me find the truth?


#1

Hi everyone
I’ve been a Christian for 9 years (Protestant) and recently I’ve wanted to find out more about Catholicism. I have been doing some reading and listening to some podcasts online, and I’m working my way through all the obscure bits of the Bible that I know I haven’t read properly yet!

Yesterday I was watching a You Tube clip of a sermon by Catholic priest, who was told by someone in the street that he would go to hell for being Catholic.
The priest gave a good and convincing sermon, which I liked very much.

Then I started reading all the comments underneath and it was basically a long fight between Catholics and non-Catholics, hurling scripture verses at one another with different interpretations; each pointing out how wrong the other was, quoting or denying the works/existence of the Early Church Fathers etc etc

I had started to feel really excited about my search into the ’ Real Truth’, and now I just feel disillusioned. Quite why I thought I could read the Bible, or anything else, and come to some sort of conclusion for myself when 600 years of scholars trying to do so since the Reformation have failed to reach an agreement, was pretty silly and arrogant of me.

I am praying that the Holy Spirit will lead me, but was that evidence of Him telling me to leave it alone and go back to my thinking that somehow as long as you believe Jesus is your Saviour, everything is going to be ok? :confused::confused:

Would be grateful for any thoughts/book recommendations/anything really

Thank you :slight_smile:


#2

Don’t let it get you down, and get used to it.

Truth is part of our journey of faith, but YouTube is often not worth the time…at least the comments anyway.

You are going to encounter n-Cs and a-Cs who will admonish you against even considering the Catholic faith and (God forbid :rolleyes:) if you convert you will encounter those who will give you grief about it. That’s one reason that this site exists, because there is a great deal of misinformation around concerning our most holy faith and sometimes Catholics are unsure how to respond.

My Testimony is a good example, and my experience has really strengthened my faith and taught me to be a better evangelist.

You also need to consider if your own experience is really Biblically based or is it some modern interpretation of men. I have some recommendations that should give you good food for thought, and if you want to I am available to talk to you via PM or email through this site.

Have a look at these articles of mine and see what you think.

[LIST]
*]Does the Bible teach that everything that we believe and practice has to be found in its pages?
*]How Is A Catholic Saved?
*]Who REALLY Preaches “A Different Gospel”?
*]What Was Authentic Early Christian Worship Really Like?
*]The Eucharist IS Scriptural
[/LIST]


#3

Welcome to CAF! :wave:

My first recommendation is to not read through the comments on YouTube videos. :stuck_out_tongue: Those can get downright vile even – sadly – on really good videos about the faith.

You might read and reflect on the story of Philip and the Ethiopian in Acts 8:26-40. Philip happens upon an Ethiopian reading from Isaiah and so Philip asks, “Do you understand what you are reading?” To which the Ethiopian replies, “How can I, unless someone instructs me?”

That sort of encapsulates the necessity for an infallible, visible teaching office to persist throughout time. As you discovered, many people of all different viewpoints can fling Bible verses back and forth in an effort to “prove” their point of view (which is many times completely the opposite of the other guy’s point of view). Jesus leaving us the Bible with no way for us to interpret it would be akin to the founding fathers of the United States writing the Constitution but not establishing a Supreme Court to interpret it moving forward. The result would be chaos.

But definitely do not let that dissuade you from reading the Scriptures. Philip did not tell the Ethiopian that he’d better stop reading because he could get himself into serious trouble. We should read and reflect on Scripture every day, always asking for the Holy Spirit’s guidance. And when questions arise, we look to the Catholic Church for guidance, because we trust Jesus when He gave the Church that authority.

I will pray for you as you seek the truth. Christ will lead you in your quest. Please pray for me, too. God bless!


#4

The scriptures will lead you to truth because there you will find Jesus and Jesus is Truth.

Keep reading.

-Tim-


#5

http://www.mpactagency.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/04/You-cant-handle-the-truth.jpg

:smiley:

Don’t stop reading!!!


#6

Hmm…let me cite the example of St. Paul:

Galatians 2:2 I went in response to a revelation and, meeting privately with those esteemed as leaders, I presented to them the gospel that I preach among the Gentiles. I wanted to be sure I was not running and had not been running my race in vain.

From the example of St. Paul above…the true HS will lead you to an authority, an apostolic authority…not just anyone, to submit to that apostolic authority.

And the Bible also says…to test the spirits, but then how would you test the spirit?

1John 4… Dear friends, do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits to see whether they are from God, because many false prophets have gone out into the world……………6 We are from God, and whoever knows God listens to us; but whoever is not from God does not listen to us. This is how we recognize the Spirit[a] of truth and the spirit of falsehood.

As everyone has said, keep reading, keep seeking, keep learning, and keep being open to the prodding of the HS…let Him lead you. It will not be easy, there will be trials, but be steadfast.


#7

Welcome!

I come from a Protestant (Baptist) background, so I have some understanding of your viewpoint. As you have noted, it can seem overwhelming when sides start to throw out competing Bible verses.

So take a step back, and let’s take a good look at the Bible. Is it one book? No, it’s actually 73 different books, letters, poems, etc. (Protestants only recognize 66 books, but let’s not derail our discussion on that just yet). Each one has a different style, message, author, theme, and audience in mind. So we have to dig into the different books to really understand what we’re reading.

And let’s also ask, how did we get the Bible? Did it drop from the sky after Jesus ascended to Heaven 40 days after Easter? No, the NT was written over the next few decades, and declared as the holy word of God. But who declared it so? (Ah, that’s a great question!) Something else we must remember, while Jesus did not leave us the NT, what did He leave us? The Church.

Also, does the Bible claim to hold all of the revelation of Christ and the Christian faith? It may surprise you that the answer is no. In fact, the Bible says exactly the opposite.

So really start to ask questions about the foundations for the Christian faith. Listen to who Jesus gave authority to speak in His name. Listen to the Church He built.


#8

Good advise! :thumbsup:


#9

It basically comes down to one of two conclusions. You must follow one:

  1. Jesus Christ either came to establish a Church, or he didn’t. If he did, it would have to be a visible Church that someone could identify by the Scriptural and historical evidence. An invisible “spiritual Church” is ridiculous. Find that Church he established and follow it, because if Jesus Christ established it, in his power and grace he will maintain it in truth and unity, both in structure and doctrine. To me, the evidence is irrefutable that this Church is the Catholic Church.

  2. Keep stumbling along, being blown back and forth by the opinions of others and of yourself, which you admit are not definitive. Join a church that suits your moods and inclinations, and go to a new one when that one doesn’t scratch your itch. Or, don’t join a church at all where you can make it up as you go along, presuming you are being guided by the Holy Spirit (even when it flatly contradicts with what others believe who also presume to be guided by the Holy Spirit!) but never really knowing.

If you look at these two models, ask yourself: What is most like a reflection of what Jesus had in mind when he established his Church? You are morally bound, then, to join that Church, and cease to be disturbed or agitated about what anything the other side says or does.

I have one book recommendation for you: Evangelical Is Not Enough, by Thomas Howard.

Hope that helps. :slight_smile:


#10

Bogolino
The Sacred Scriptures lead you to the Catholic Church.

Have you studied these passages? Have you seen and heard what Jesus actually taught? Now here this:
**Jesus established His Church and explicitly made four promises to Peter alone: **
“You are Peter and on this rock I will build My Church.” (Mt 16:18)
“The gates of hell will not prevail against it.”(Mt 16:18)
I will give you the keys of the Kingdom of heaven.” ( Mt 16:19)
“Whatever you bind on earth will be bound in heaven.” (Mt 16:19) [Later also to the Twelve]

**Sole authority: **
“Strengthen your brethren.” (Lk 22:32)
“Feed My sheep.”(Jn 21:17).

What did Jesus say about hearing His Church? It is necessary to be subject to the right authority. Obedience is the very heart of religion. We went from God by disobedience; the road back is by obedience. And the authority of the Pope is that of Christ. Of him Christ said, “He that heareth you, heareth Me; and he that despiseth you, despiseth Me.” Lk10:16. Again, Christ said, “If a man will not hear the Church, let him be as the heathen.” Matt. 18:17. Our Lord could never have commanded men to obey two conflicting authorities.

St John counsels: “We belong to God, and anyone who knows God listens to us, while anyone who does not belong to God refuses to hear us. This is how we know the spirit of truth and the spirit of deceit.” (1 Jn 4:6 ).

In Colossians 2: 4-23, St Paul calls on his flock to follow Christ “as you were taught” and warns against merely “human precepts and teachings.”

1 Cor 1:10: I urge you brothers, in the name of Our Lord Jesus Christ, that all of you agree in what you say, and that there be no divisions among you, but that you be united in the same mind and in the same purpose.

“That we should no longer be children, tossed to and fro and carried about by every wind of doctrine, by the trickery of men, in the cunning craftiness by which they lie in wait to deceive.” (Eph 4:14). Further, “For there will come a time when they will not endure the sound doctrine; but having itching ears, will heap up to themselves teachers according to their lusts. And they will turn away their hearing from the truth and turn aside rather to fables.” (2 Tim 4:3).

Keep asking for guidance here and you will get it.


#11

Thank you so much for all your advice and encouragement! :slight_smile:

I will persevere in my quest! Some of the stuff I’m reading really resonates with me, and that must be a good thing.

I’m very glad I have come across this forum - I’m sure I’ll have lots of questions and worries, the more I go into this! :o:o

Once again, thank you all for taking the time to reply.

God bless


#12

We do what we can. :tiphat: Definitely feel free to bring up any questions or concerns as you move forward. We try to be (mostly :o) helpful. :slight_smile:


#13

May God bless you in your search.

You can always ask anything, even if others have asked 1,000 times before. I know that seeing a question that you would like to ask is already there with 435 comments can be daunting to explore. You have permission to ask your question, in your way, again.

Peace in Christ


#14

#15

#16

I like to think of the story in the scriptures about the two disciples on the road to Emmaus. Jesus joins them but they do not recognize Him. He joins in on their conversation about the events of the last couple of days wherein Jesus was crucified. Jesus then explaims to them why the Messiah had to die. He opens up the scriptures to them and explains it like they had never had it explained before. Their hearts are burning but… they do not recognize Jesus. It is only when Jesus says the blessing and breaks the bread that they understand. Jesus disappears but He is still with them in the Eucharist.

The scriptures are, as stated in the scriptures themselves, profitable for teaching, for reproof … but they are not the be all and end all. The Bible was never intended to be a self study guide to christianity. It was a liturgical book to be used in worship in the church. The purpose of the canon was to weed out all the Gnostic writings that claimed to be divinely inspired but were in fact not so. Then books in the canon then were the only books that could be used in worship. Removing them from the church does violence to the scriptures as we all witness with the plethora of protestant denominations with their contradictory doctrines. Those disciples on the road to Emmaus had the scriptures but needed someone to open them, to give the proper interpretation to them. Those disciples had Jesus. We have the church.


#17

Absolutely spot-on! Well said.


#18

#19

St. Francis de Sales writes in The Catholic Controversy on the authority of general councils:

Again, if the legitimate assembly of the pastors and heads of the Church could once be surprised by error, how would the word of the master be verified: The gates of hell shall not prevail against it? How could error and hellish strength more triumphantly seize upon the Church than by having subdued doctors, pastors and captains, with the general? And this word: I am with you all days even to the consummation of the world. What would become of it? And how would the Church be the pillar and ground of truth, if its bases and foundations support error and falsehood? Doctors and pastors are the visible foundations of the Church, on whose ministry the rest is supported.

Finally, what stricter command have we than to take our food from the hand of our pastors? Does not S. Paul say that the Holy Ghost has placed them over the flock to rule us, and that Our Lord has given them to us that we may not be tossed to and fro, and carried about with every wind of doctrine! What respect then must we not pay to the ordinances and canons which emanate from their general assembly? It is true that taken separately their teachings are subject to correction, but when they are together and when all the ecclesiastical authority is collected into one, who shall dispute the sentence which comes forth? If the salt lose its savor, wherewith shall it be preserved? If the chiefs are blind, who shall lead the others? If the pillars are falling, who shall hold them up? In a word, what has the Church more grand, more certain, more solid, for the overthrow of heresy, than the judgment of general Councils? The Scripture, Beza will say. But I have already shown that “heresy is of the understanding not of the Scripture, the fault lies in the meaning, not in the words.” Who knows not how many passages the Arian brought forward? what was there to be said against him except that he understood them wrongly? But he is quite right to believe that it is you who interpret wrongly, not he, you that are mistaken, not he; that his appeal to the analogy of the Faith is more sound than yours, so long as they are but private individuals who oppose his novelties. Yes, if one deprive the Councils of supreme authority in decision and declarations necessary for the understanding of the Holy Word, this Holy Word will be as much profaned as texts of Aristotle, and our articles of religion will be subject to never-ending revision, and from being safe and steady Christians we shall become wretched academics.


#20

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