Apologetics

A Southern Baptist writes:

I am a Southern  Baptist who has a lot of respect for the Catholic faith. The Immaculate Conception is a hard concept for me. Does it also include the belief that Mary never sinned? How does that pass muster with Rom. 3:23 “For all have sinned and come short of the glory of God?” It seems like Paul would have noted the one exception here in Mary if that were the case.

 From my limited studies, I think Catholics have a very good argument for their position regarding the Eucharist. But wasn’t it several centuries before this concept of Mary arose in the Church?

 Dear Friend: yours is a good question. From the early centuries, Mary was considered the All Holy One and considered as without sin. Rom 3:23 is a general statement but does not mention exceptions to the rule. For example, Jesus was a man without sin, therefore an exception.

 The New Adam (Jesus) is without sin. From the 1st century Mary has been viewed as the New Eve. It would be appropriate, actually proper, that the New Eve be without sin also.

Those who die before the age of reason, or who are mentally deficient are also exceptions. Job could even be called an exception if you take God’s report of him literally (Job 1:8).

Romans is also discussing that it is not only the Gentiles that have sinned but also the Jews. All can be a collective of peoples. “You Jews think you are righteous because you are of Abraham? You think only the Gentiles are in sin. No, all have sinned, Gentile and Jew alike”

This is born out in Psalm 14 from where Rom 3:9 (parallel passage to Rom 3:23) is quoted. Here is says, Psalm 14:2–3 “The Lord looks down from heaven upon the children of men, to see if there are any that act wisely, that seek after God. They have all gone astray, they are all alike corrupt; there is none that does good, no, not one.”

Yet immediately following we find that God has his righteous. Psalm 14:5–6 “There they shall be in great terror, for God is with the generation of the righteous. You would confound the plans of the poor, but the Lord is his refuge.”

As a Baptist I used to use the Bible often for proof-texts and sound bites. Scripture is much more subtle than that. It is our tradition, whether Baptist, Catholic, Jewish, Mormon, etc., that guides us in our approach to Scripture. The real question is, which tradition will you allow to direct your interpretation and study? I chose the tradition that was practiced from the first century until today – which is Catholic.

Wish I had more time. I warn you (tongue in cheek) that if you want to stay Baptist you are asking dangerous questions and dancing very close to the fire :-)

You will find helpful writings on this matter here, especially the short explanation on the radio of the Immaculate Conception and Assumption.

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“Rome vs. the Bible” vs. Reality

by Steve Ray on November 24, 2017

A friend named Poor Knight for the Lord put up a blog recently refuting a list of lies about the Catholic Faith (another refutation is here). I have copied it here for your edification. I put up a similar article a week ago and throught this would be a good supplement.

POOR KNIGHT WRITES: There are a variety of articles out with titles like “Rome vs. the Bible” which suggests that the Bible disproves the Catholic Church. 

But, what would the people who swallow this article you do if they discovered the majority of the bad things you were taught about Catholicism were incorrect and meant to deceive them? What would they think if they found out the Catholic Church really is the truth and has been teaching correctly for 2,000 years?

 The pamphlet “Rome vs the Bible” has many factual errors – some blatant and others more subtle.  In discovering these errors, will you continue to spread them, or will you correct them?

Authority

“Rome vs the Bible” (RvB) claims that “the Bible teaches Scripture has authority over the church” and cites 2Tim3:16.  RvB then claims “Catholicism teaches the Church has authority over Scriptures” and cites the Catholic Catechism (CCC) paragraphs 100 and 119.
 Reality shows Catholicism teaches that the Church is the authoritative interpreter of Scripture (85, 100, 119) by the power of the Holy Spirit (109-114) but clearly teaches “the Church is the servant of Scripture. “(86)  RvB doesn’t report accurate Catholic teaching.   Why?
 Also 2 Tim 3:16 says nothing about the church.  It merely shows the high authority, inerrancy and inspiration of Scripture , something that Catholicism teaches (101-141).  But is that the only thing that has authority according to Scripture? 
 Ask yourself: what do I believe has the authority to decide between arguing Christians? What do I believe is the pillar and foundation of truth for the Christian? What did God plan to use, from the beginning of time, to make known His entire wisdom?
 RvB would like you to believe it is The Bible alone. Reality shows, according to that Bible, it is: The Church (Mt 18:15-18; 1Tim3:15; Eph 3:10)  Also ask: How do I know what books belong in Scripture?   Scripture cannot tell you but the Church did and does.
 Salvation / Justification
 RvB implicitly denies that one can lose salvation.  RvB then derides Catholicism for believing in Mortal sin and the ability to lose salvation.
Reality shows that the Bible explicity teaches there is Mortal sin, or the “sins that lead to death” (‘death’ = ‘mortal’ in Latin)(1Jn5:17) meaning a spiritual death.  The Bible teaches that a Christian can, indeed, lose salvation through sinning. Take heed you who think you stand secure, lest you fall.  (1Cor 10:6-8; 11-12) (Rom 11:22; Gal 5:6; 2 Pet  2:20-22) RvB doesn’t address these verses.  Why not?
 RvB states “man is Justified once by faith”.  RvB then condemns Catholicism for teaching that Salvation and Justification are a process, with a one-time event to begin them, but then cooperation needed to continue progressing in them.
Reality shows the Bible says both Salvation and Justification are processes with a past completed event (Rom 8:24; Eph 2:5-8 etc), present application (1Cor1:8; 2Cor2:15; Phil 2:12), and future cooperation needed to get to heaven (Rom 5:9-10; 1Cor 3:12-15).
RvB doesn’t address the rest of these Biblical passages.  Why not?
RvB implies that faith alone is what saves someone and works will come afterward, but does not have anything to do with salvation.  RvB then claims Catholicism teaches that one can earn “their own salvation” through good works.
 Reality is Catholicism teaches that no one can earn their own salvation (2010) .  Catholicism teaches that we are justified entirely by Grace (1996).  Catholicism teaches Grace / Justification is the work of Christ’s atoning death on the Cross and by His Blood (1992).  Catholicism teaches that we must have faith in Christ to be saved (161).  Catholicism recognizes that once we have Grace, we must cooperate with God to continue walking in the Light, so that the blood of Christ continues to cleanse us (2006-2029, cf 1Jn 1:7)
RvB again does not report Catholic teaching accurately.  Why not?
 
Reality shows the Bible teaches we are saved by Grace which no one can earn (Eph 2:8-9).  But once we are “in Christ” we are commanded to do good works (Eph 2:10).  If we disobey this command, we cannot be saved (Jn 3:36); If we rely only on faith, without good works, that faith cannot save us.  Good works complete our faith, as it did with Abraham, and therefore it was credited to him as righteousness.  Just as a body cannot be alive first and the soul comes later, faith without good works is dead. 
The only place in Scripture the phrase “Faith Alone” appears it says:  We are justified by works and NOT BY FAITH ALONE (Ja 2:14-24). 
 We must work out our salvation with fear and trembling for it is God who works in us (Grace) both to will (faith) and to work (good works) (Ph 2:15-16).  We must keep the Commandments to go to heaven (Mk 10:17-22)
 Reality is everywhere in Scripture where people are judged to heaven or hell, they are judged by theirworks (Rom 2:5-11; Mt 25-31-46; Rev 20:12 among many others). RvB neglects to mention any of these Bible passages.  Why not?

 Baptism

 RvB states that only the Holy Spirit regenerates people.  RvB then implies that Catholicism is opposed to this by teaching Baptism regenerates people.
Reality is that Catholicism teaches Christ empowered Baptism to bring the Holy Spirit, which is why it regenerates people (1225; 1987; 2017). Reality shows that Christ said exactly that (Jn3:5).  Reality also shows that the Bible teaches Baptism is necessary for salvation and forgives sins (1Pet 3:21-22; Act 2:38-39)
 RvB again fails to give accurate representation of Catholicism and ignores Scripture.  Why?
 Eucharist / The Lord’s Supper
 
RvB states, “the Lord’s Supper is a memorial” implying an intellectual recollection only and cites 1Cor11:24-25.  RvB then implies that the Catholic Mass is re-sacrificing Christ.
Reality shows that the word for “remembrance” (anamnesis) means making a past event present today. Also the word for “do” implies sacrifice.  Christ also said, “This IS my Body” and “This IS my Blood” not “this represents” (Lk 22:19-20; paralleled in Mk, Mt; 1Cor11:24-25).  Christ also commands us to “Eat My Flesh” and “Drink My Blood” numerous times using language that can only be interpreted literally without doing violence to the text. (Jn 6:51-56).  Paul also tells us this is a literal participation in Christ’s Body and Blood (1 Cor 10:16) and to receive without discerning Christ’s Body, is to be guilty of His literal Body and Blood i.e. of murder (1 Cor 10:27-30).
Reality is Catholicism teaches Christ’s sacrifice was Once-For-All, and the Eucharist is making that One Sacrifice present today (re-presenting) (1362-1363).
Reality also is all Christians writings from the first EIGHT CENTURIES taught the literal interpretation of Christ’s words.  One cannot find a single Christian writer who states what RvB believes about the Lord’s Supper for 800 years after Christ’s Ascension.
Reality also shows RvB’s idea of “the Lord’s Supper” was made up by men in the 16th Century.   A warning from Scripture is appropriate here: Gal 1:8.
 RvB only cites one of the dozens of paragraphs of the CCC dealing with this; only one of the Bible verses above and doesn’t tell you what those words actually mean.  Why?

Anathemas

Anathema merely means to not belong to the community.  RvB would like you to believe it means “condemned to hell.” 
 RvB’s own teachings (Faith Alone, Scripture Alone, Symbolic Only Lord’s Supper, Once Saved Always Saved, the Rapture etc) were made up by men in the 16th Century or later. Protestant Historians like JMD Kelly acknowledge this.
 RvB’s own warning (Gal 1:6-9) applies to them, not to the Catholic Church whose biblical teachings have stayed consistnent for 2000 years.  One only need to read the writings of the students of the Apostles to see this is true.
 By believing – and pushing –  these brand new, non-biblical teachings RvB proves they ‘do not belong’ to the Church Christ founded.

 

 Saints / Priests

 RvB claims that Catholicism doesn’t teach that all Christians are priests and saints.
 
Reality: The Catholic Church explicitly teaches the priesthood of all believers and that all Christians are saints (priesthood: 1141; 1268; 1546 / saints: 946-962).  RvB did not bother to take 10 seconds on a internet search to find this out. Why Not?
Reality: Recognizing what Scripture tells us, Catholicism teaches  Christ also set up a ministerial priesthood by giving it much of His Authority (Lk 10:16; Jn 20:21-23 cf. 2Cor 5:18; Mt:18:18 and many others) and that the “Holy Ones” in heaven (1 Thes 3:13) (the Latin word ‘holy’ is where ‘saint’ comes from) / the souls of Just men made perfect can now, because of Christ, be address and approached (Heb 12:22-24).  Since: the Church is the Body of Christ(Col 1:18); Christ only has one Body, not multiple (1Cor 12:12); Death cannot separate us from Christ (Rom 8:37-38); and we, in Christ, are commanded to pray for one another (1Tim2:1-4), therefore those members of the Church in Heaven are praying for us, and presenting our prayers before the Throne of God (Rev 5:8).
RvB does not present the full Biblical picture and presents a completely FALSE representation of Catholic teaching.  WHY?
 Final Thoughts
RvB does NOT want to present accurate Catholic teaching, nor the full Biblical teaching on these topics. WHY?
They have believed the Traditions of Men: Martin Luther, John Calvin, Ulrich Zwingli, John Smyth, John Wesley, and the tens of thousands after them.  They have not held fast to the Traditions of God, which includes Sacred Scripture, (2Thes2:15; 3:6; 1Thes3:13; 2Tim2:2; 1Cor11:2) passed on faithfully for 2000 years by the Catholic Church!
 We encourage you to read your denomination’s teaching charters / documents / confessionals and compare them to   1) History: the writings of the 1st Christians after the Apostles 2) The WHOLE Bible 3) The Catechism of the Catholic Church.”

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Click on image for more pictures, cities with Catholic Evangelism, Stories, and What YOU Can Do!

 Cities across the country are now set up with Catholics evangelizing in the streets. And the phenomenon is growing. Many are converts, some have been Catholics all their lives – but all are excited and can’t keep it quiet any longer. 

They are training new recruits. It is fun and fruitful. It is blessed and earns rewards in heaven. It is saving souls. 

Please check out their website, join if you can, help as you are able. These are people using their own funds and time. Can you help them? I am sending a check for $250 to help them with much needed signs. Contact them with ways you can help.

Keep up the good work guys and gals!    Visit their website at http://streetevangelization.com/ 

Hear Steve Dawson explain on Relevant Radio here. 

 

 

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Inept Attempt to Dismiss the Petrine Primacy in the See of Rome

November 19, 2017

Someone on the Catholic Discussion Forum asserted his opinion and tradition against the papacy in the Catholic Church. I gave short, imperfect, and brief comments in the ten minutes I had free today. This is a thread on whether or not the office of the papacy with qualifications for successors is mentioned in scripture. My […]

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Evangelicals with Statues?

November 16, 2017

A while ago I took off running through a commercial area behind the hotel where I was staying while doing a parish mission. I discovered a nice jogging trail through the woods so I swung onto the trail and headed through the trees. Soon I came into the open to see a beautiful lake. A […]

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A Friend Meets Mormon Missionaries

November 15, 2017

Fr. Tom Smith, from a long line of Mormons back to Joseph Smith, tells why he converted to the Catholic Church. Read it HERE A friend wrote about Mormons below: I was doing a little shopping that day. Since I was in the neighborhood of a friend, I thought, I will stop by for a […]

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Did Solomon’s Mother Bathsheba Demonstrate Mary is NOT a Good Intercessor?

November 12, 2017

I put up a post a few days ago with a video of my talk in Ephesus about Mary being Queen of Heaven and an Intercessor for the people of God’s kingdom. Someone wrote to object saying, It is interesting Steve, as to what you left out in your reference to 1 Kings 2:19 , Solomon’s Mother […]

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What Does God See When He Opens His Eyes?

November 8, 2017

Since we are in Capernaum today – where Jesus said, “Eat My Flesh and Drink My Blood.” I thought it would be appropriate to post again this popular blog post that explains the Sacrifice of the Mass. Recently we went to Mass with two Protestants.  As we walked in the door — there it was, […]

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Mary a Mediatrix? Isn’t there just One Mediator?

November 6, 2017

The Bible says, “For there is one God, and there is one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus” (1 Tim 2:5). Yet Catholics refer to Mary as a Mediatrix (feminine form of the word mediator). So, isn’t that prima facie evidence that Catholics make up doctrines, worship Mary and disregard the Bible? […]

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Did Jesus Ascend into Heaven from Mount of Olives (Acts 1:12) or from Bethany (Luke 24:50)?

November 4, 2017

One of our past pilgrims wrote with an apparent contradiction in the Bible and what I had said in Israel. The wording in the two verses below is what caused the confusion. Acts 1:12  “[After the Ascension] they returned to Jerusalem from the mount called Olivet, which is near Jerusalem, a sabbath day’s journey away.” Luke […]

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Jews as Proof of God’s Existence & Faithfulness

November 3, 2017

Winston Churchill wrote “Some people like the Jews, and some do not. But no thoughtful man can deny the fact that they are, beyond any question, the most formidable and the most remarkable race which has appeared in the world.“ He is absolutely right! I have often said they are remarkable people –gifted in a […]

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All Souls, Purgatory and Dirty China

November 2, 2017

Gus Llyod’s Reflection on Purgatory Today we celebrate the Feast of All Souls. It is the day we remember all the souls in Purgatory. Purgatory can be a controversial topic, and hard to explain. So, I would like to help you with that. Following is one of the chapters of A Minute in the Church […]

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Are You Born Again?

November 1, 2017

Since we are all renewing our Baptismal Vows at the Jordan River today, thought this post from a year ago might be appropriate :-) It seems that God is kind of predictable in a way :-) since He always starts new things in the same way — with “water and the Spirit“. Consider the following: 1) The […]

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Sherlock Holmes an Idolater – Praying to People?

October 31, 2017

Last night my wife and I were watching an episode of Sherlock Holmes on TV. He has always been one of my favorite characters and I can remember reading all the stories to our kids as they grew up. On TV I think Jeremy Brett does the best portrayal and it is always a delightful […]

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What Does the Word Catholic Mean? A History of the Word “Catholic”

October 28, 2017

As a Protestant, I went to an Evangelical church that changed an important and historical word in the  Apostles Creed. Instead of the “holy, catholic Church,” we were the “holy, Christian church.” At the time, I thought nothing of it. There was certainly no evil intent, just a loathing of the Catholic Church and a […]

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Response to a Southern Baptist

October 27, 2017

I received an e-mail from a Southern Baptist and decided to take a few minutes to respond. Thought others might be edifited by it so I have posted it here without using his name. His email is contained in regular text and MY RESPONSE IS IN CAPITAL LETTERS. **************************************************** HELLO FRIEND: I WILL ANSWER BRIEFLY […]

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