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A Convert's Response to Friends
The Coming Home Network ^ | Robert E. Day

Posted on 04/18/2008 11:33:27 AM PDT by annalex

A Convert's Response
to Friends

From a letter by Robert E. Day

Though this issue is devoted to Mary, we thought it would be helpful to include this more general apologetics article written by a lay convert to his friends.

Dear Folks,

Because you are among several folks who are worried that we have fallen off the Christian cliff, I thought that this record of an interchange with Internet friends who had similar concerns might ease your anxiety about our salvation prospects. It is important to understand that we are not writing this to try to convert you, but to hopefully neutralize your prejudices so if any other friend converts, you can say "Gee Whiz, that is wonderful" as opposed to "You poor lost soul." Here is the interchange:

Friend: How can you join the Roman Catholic Church when the Pope has all that authority over you and what right has he to lead the Church anyhow?

Response: A marvelous question that many Evangelicals have and a critical question for the validity of the Catholic Church as the Church of Jesus Christ. To begin with, at Caesarea/Philippi at the rock above the source of the Jordan River and on which there was a statue of one of the Pagan Gods, Jesus Christ told Peter that, he, Peter was the rock, and on this rock, Jesus would build his Church as recorded in Mt:16, 18. Furthermore, Jesus gave him the Keys to the Kingdom, (vs.19), which is a reference back to Isaiah 22 referring to the office of Prime Minister. This essentially made Peter the first Vicar of Christ. In other words when the King gave the Keys to the Kingdom to the Prime Minister, it was meant to be for the office and to be handed on to the successors. Since then 262 Popes have succeeded Peter to this day. One more reference is helpful: at the end of the Book of John 21:17, Jesus, after asking Peter three times if he loved him, then told him to "feed my sheep".

Friend: Interesting, but where in the Bible is there evidence that Peter assumed his position as Prime Minister?

Response: Good question since we need to verify these claims either in the Bible or in the Church traditions. In the Book of Acts of the Apostles, Peter showed us that he was the Chief Apostle in several places: (1) In Ch. 1, Peter was in charge of filling the Office vacated by Judas; (2) after Pentecost in Ch. 2, it was Peter who explained the meaning of Pentecost to the people; (3) in Ch. 3 Peter healed the crippled beggar, then gave a long speech explaining the need to repent and believe; (4) in Ch. 4 Peter made the presentation to the Sanhedrin standing firm against their threats; (5) in Ch. 15 Peter led the first Jerusalem Council to settle a controversy when certain Jewish Christians demanded that the Gentiles be circumcised; and (6) in Ch. 10 Peter was given the vision by God to go to Cornelius and baptize him and his family. Peter went to Rome and with the help of Paul built the Christian body. It would take too long here for all of the references, but the first, second, third, fourth and later century fathers, in their writings, refer to Peter as the first Pope: i.e. Iraneous, Polycarp, Ignatius, Martyr, Origin, Augustine and others. Their letters are available for reading. (A good summary of these important references can be found in "Jesus, Peter and the Keys" (Queenship) by Butler, Dahlgren and Hess)

Friend: You exhausted me with that answer, and let’s suppose I reluctantly agree, but I plan to read the Church Fathers to verify your assertions because I have not been told about such proofs by my local pastor. But we still have problems: you people are not allowed to read the Bible.

Response: We hear that all the time and it persists from the old days when a) there were no Bibles to read, b) illiteracy prevailed, c) many printed Bibles contained both accidental and intentional misprints, and d) there was a fear that the same results would prevail as occurred in Protestantism. There are now estimated to be over 25,000 Christian denominations and groups in the world because of so many interpretations of the Bible. The Catholic Catechism, Article 3, clearly states that Catholics are encouraged to read and study the Bible. In fact, we had six different adult Bible Classes on the Acts of the Apostles at my Parish this fall and they will resume in the Spring.

Friend: I guess my sources have been incorrect or biased, certainly uninformed. But there is more. I understand that you Catholics have to try to work your way to heaven, and that is not Biblical according to my Bible. Also, you add tradition to your bag of tricks where we Evangelicals believe in salvation by Faith Alone and Bible Alone without the traditions of men.

Response: The cry of the Reformation was Sola Scriptura and Sola Fide. Yet the Bible states nowhere that we are saved by faith alone or that the only source of Christianity is the Bible alone. So neither of these solas are in the Bible. In fact James 2:24 clearly states that we are NOT saved by faith alone but by faith and works. This is confirmed in many places including Galatians 5:6 "faith working by charity." Second Timothy 3:16 is the verse most often quoted by Evangelicals to prove Bible Alone, but the letters to Timothy had not even been written until near the end of Paul’s tenure, so his reference was to the Old Testament. Paul did not say that the Old Testament scriptures were the only source, only that they were inspired and profitable. As to tradition, Catholics do not believe in traditions of men but in Sacred Tradition. An example is the Trinity which is not in the Bible per se. In the early centuries there was no final collection of letters called the New Testament so Christian Truth had to be passed on by Tradition. It was by word of mouth as Paul says in II Thessalonians 2:15, "follow the TRADITIONS I have taught you." We learn a great deal about the Traditions of the Church from the early Fathers. You will discover this when you read their writings. And it is interesting to read the last Chapter, verse 25 of the Book of John, where he talks about the many things that are not written. If you believe what he says you might conclude that the Bible is not the only source of truth. There is one caution, though, about reading the writings of the early Church Fathers (some of whom were witnesses of the disciples, i.e. Polycarp was a friend of John). The great Anglican convert, Cardinal John Newman, warned that you cannot remain Protestant if you read and study the history of the Church.

Friend: Frankly I don’t like the idea of a central Church and Pope telling me what to do.

Response: In this day and age no one seems to like to yield to authority; they would rather do their own thing, or whatever feels good. But remember that the Church is the body of Christ. And as the Vicar of Christ, the Pope is speaking for him. The interpretations as reproduced in the Catechism and in Encyclicals that are presented to the faithful serve to provide a proper understanding of doctrine. The encyclicals usually are written and the councils called as a result of heretic challenges as a means of clarification of the Biblical, Traditional, and Church view. For example, the Council of Jerusalem followed the circumcision question and the Council of Trent followed the Reformation heresies.

Friend: You seem to have an answer for everything and frankly I am startled to learn of your responses. There are many more problems, however. You have all of these so-called Sacraments whereas we don’t have to be bothered with them. Why don’t you tell me why they are necessary?

Response: All right, let’s explore them one at a time starting with Baptism—including Infant Baptism, which is always good for a debate. You will note in the Book of Acts that early Christians were Baptized after they repented and received Jesus. In Ch 16 Paul baptized the jailer and his entire family, as did Peter with the household of Cornelius who was the first Gentile Christian. We can assume that there were children in the family, thus infants were undoubtedly baptized. John 3:5 says that a man (pardon the male chauvinism) must be born again of the water and the spirit to enter the kingdom of heaven. The Catholic belief, based on Bible exegesis and Tradition is that water baptism removes original sin through the mystical combination of the water and the spirit.

Friend: I’ve got you on that one, as even Catholics believe that they are sinners. How could they be considered sinners if original sin was removed at Baptism?

Response: The Catholic Church teaches that God leaves us with concupiscence, which is the ability to sin as we go through life, otherwise we would all be robots. The challenge for mankind is to fight diligently to overcome the sinful desires and temptations in order to gain our place in God’s kingdom. He gives us a free will to accept or reject his grace, and it is only through God’s grace that we have the power to resist. If we lead a sinful life, God punishes us by letting us go, and in so doing we become addicted to whatever sin we choose and can lose our salvation. He will always allow us back into his flock, but only if we repent and sin no more, e.g. the Prodigal Son.

Friend: You are a difficult person to back into a corner, but let’s explore some more of your Sacraments. I understand marriage and am upset that many of the Evangelicals do not consider it a sacred vow, or covenant, with God. In that respect I am Catholic already. And Confirmation makes sense to me also. But there is this problem with the Eucharist. I am convinced that it is symbolic and I cannot go along with the idea of eating flesh and drinking blood. At our Church, we have communion once a month or so, which should suffice for a symbolic gesture. I am sure you agree with that, right?

Response: Wrong....the Eucharist seems to be difficult for you Evangelicals probably because you do not study your Bible in all the key places where it is explained. It started back when Abraham went to the High Priest Melchizedek who gave him bread and wine. And it is present in the Passover feast, and certainly it is very clear at the Last Supper as described in the Gospels. You will note as you read the early Church Fathers that not only was infant baptism followed, but the Eucharist was also celebrated with a belief in the real presence of Jesus Christ. To understand this you must read John 6, the entire chapter, very slowly and prayerfully. You will note in vs 50 that Jesus refers to the bread that comes down from heaven after the ascension. This is to calm their fears of cannibalism. So it is heavenly bread and blood that he is referring to. Six times in the chapter he tells them to eat his flesh and drink his blood and note that all but the twelve walk away. He did not say, "Hey fellows I did not mean it literally, come on back." No, he let them go. Don’t you think if it were meant to be a symbolic gesture he would have stopped them? The Eucharist is the heart of the Mass and we believe that Jesus Christ is present with us in the consecrated bread and wine. Even Martin Luther believed in the presence of Christ in the Eucharist.

Friend: I guess I’ll have to read and study John 6 to verify your assertions. Evangelicalism is a lot simpler: all I have to do is say the Sinner’s prayer and I’m given a non-revocable ticket to heaven; have faith and I will automatically do good works, but whether or not I do good works, it doesn’t matter, as my salvation is imputed, as RC Sproul claims. Now for another point that you brought up. You brought it up, so don’t blame me. I have been told that the Mass is a pagan ritual and certainly not Biblical.

Response: I would certainly like to know who you have been talking to, for they certainly were not talking about the Roman Catholic Church. I hate to burst your bubble but according to the Bible your sense of security is a false one. The Bible is very clear about justification and sanctification being a journey that can lead us to salvation but it is also clear that we must work hard through God’s grace in obedience to His will throughout our life. Can you imagine the God of the Bible accepting a dedicated sinner, although claiming to be Born Again, who is unrepentant, into his kingdom? Even Paul talks about how he struggles to do good and fails and has to keep trying. Why would he bother if he already had his ticket? Regarding the Mass, it is what makes Catholicism so beautiful. Nearly every word in the Mass is from the Bible, except the Homily. Not only do we read from the Old and New Testaments but we sing the Psalms, the Lord’s Prayer and we repeat the Nicene Creed. And as an aside, have you ever noticed near the end of the Creed "one (not 25,000) Holy, Catholic and Apostolic Church? As stated above, there is a continuous apostolic succession of 262 Popes up to our present John Paul II. And have you ever encountered such a Holy Man, and with the courage of a Lion? He even has the courage to fight off the militant feminists.

Friend: I must say that I am exhausted and bewildered as I have not been told any of what you have stated above; in fact, quite the opposite. But you will have to admit that you worship Mary. (Got you on that one I bet.) And why do you have all those statues?

Response: Again, you have a misconception of what Catholics believe. You must tell me who taught you all of these terrible untruths; I don’t blame you for thinking I fell off the cliff. The Catholic Church believes that Mary was ever virgin and the Mother of Jesus. As a Mother, she nurtured Jesus as a boy and was faithfully with him to the end. It is difficult for Catholics to understand why Protestant mothers would be troubled in honoring Mary, the greatest mother of them all who, as the second Eve, was obedient to the Lord, whereas Eve disobeyed God. As a loving Mother, she is asked to intercede for us when praying to Jesus. We know, as do you, that we must go to the Father through the Son per John 6 (vs. 30f). And Catholics certainly can pray to Jesus directly. But we do not hesitate to ask those who are close to Jesus to put in a good word. I would guess that this happens in every family when the children suspect that the father will say no, they go to the mother first. In fact, you, yourself will ask friends to pray for you or someone you know. How much greater is it to ask Mary, the Mother of Jesus, to intercede for us? We believe that the Catholic Church is a Covenant Family with God the Father, Jesus the Son, Mary our Mother and we His children. Regarding the statues, you will agree, I am certain, that they are beautiful reminders of our Lord and the Saints. I bet that you have family pictures in your house as a reminder of family and friends. (And what was that nativity scene I saw in front of your church last Christmas?)

Friend: You have given me food for thought/ After digesting this I’ll be back to ask more questions, as it is evident that I may have been misled. But I am not going to give in without a struggle and an in-depth study—right?

Response: Right—you must find out for yourself and not rely on the words of mere men like me. I urge you to read, study, and pray for guidance from the Holy Spirit. You will find the Catholic faith to be a rich and deeply holy faith. And it has taken many hours of study of Catholic writings, early history, and the Bible, plus listening to the teachings on EWTN of people like Fr. Benedict Groeschel and other brilliant and well educated men, in addition to discussions with Catholic friends, to gather the meager understanding I’ve secured so far. May our Lord richly bless you in your struggles and study!

 

Robert, and his wife Sylvia are both converts to the Catholic Church.

 


TOPICS: Catholic; Ecumenism
KEYWORDS: catholic
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1 posted on 04/18/2008 11:38:13 AM PDT by annalex
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To: 353FMG; Always Right; Antoninus; ArrogantBustard; CTK YKC; dan1123; DogwoodSouth; FourtySeven; ...
50 Days of Easter 2008 Celebration ping, dedicated to converts to the Catholic faith. If you want to be on the list but are not on it already, or if you are on it but do not want to be, let me know either publicly or privately.

Happy Easter. Christ is risen!

Alex.


Previously posted conversion stories:

Anti-Catholicism, Hypocrisy and Double Standards
Why I Returned to the Catholic Church. Part I: Darkness
Why I Returned to the Catholic Church. Part II: Doubts
Why I Returned to the Catholic Church. Part III: Tradition and Church
Why I Returned to the Catholic Church. Part IV: Crucifix and Altar
Why I Returned to the Catholic Church. Part V: The Catholics and the Pope
Why I Returned to the Catholic Church. Part VI: The Biblical Reality
His Open Arms Welcomed Me
Catholic Conversion Stories & Resources
My Personal Conversion Story
My (Imminent) Reception into the Roman Catholic Church
Catholics Come Home
My Journey of Faith
LOGIC AND THE FOUNDATIONS OF PROTESTANTISM
"What is Truth?" An Examination of Sola Scriptura
"Have you not read?" The Authority behind Biblical Interpretation
The Crisis of Authority in the Reformation
Our Journey Home
Our Lady’s Gentle Call to Peace
A story of conversion at the Lamb of God Shrine
Who is Mary of Nazareth?
Mary and the Problem of Christian Unity
Why I'm Catholic

Also see:
Sheep That Go Astray
Pope Benedict Goes to Washington

2 posted on 04/18/2008 11:39:20 AM PDT by annalex (http://www.catecheticsonline.com/CatenaAurea.php)
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To: annalex

LOL.


3 posted on 04/18/2008 11:41:53 AM PDT by Quix (GOD ALONE IS GOD; WORTHY; PAID THE PRICE; IS COMING AGAIN; KNOWS ALL; IS LOVING; IS ALTOGETHER GOOD)
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Bump!


4 posted on 04/18/2008 11:43:28 AM PDT by trisham (Zen is not easy. It takes effort to attain nothingness. And then what do you have? Bupkis.)
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To: annalex
I am glad he mentioned Fr. Groeschel by name. Like the saints in heaven, so the monks on earth are witnesses to our faith.

  The founding members of the Franciscan Friars of the Renewal pictured here are (l-r): Fr. Robert Stanion, Fr. Andrew Apostoli, Fr. Glenn Sudano, Fr. Benedict Groeschel, Fr. Stan Fortuna, and Fr. Bob Lombardo. Read Fr. Bernard's article to see how the friars' recent General Chapter began a second era in the history of the Community.

(www.franciscanfriars.com)

5 posted on 04/18/2008 11:55:16 AM PDT by annalex (http://www.catecheticsonline.com/CatenaAurea.php)
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To: annalex

  The Lord Jesus speaks of a hundredfold gift of brothers and sisters for those who follow Him, and it looks like the Friars and Sisters of the Renewal have just surpassed that number! As both communities continue to grow, by Divine grace, it is a rare occasion to be able to get us all (or nearly all) together for a photo like this. The setting is Kellenberg High School near Mineola, Long Island, where the General Chapter of 2005 took place. This excellent Catholic high school is run by the Marianist Brothers of the Meriba Province, whom the friars are greatly indebted to for their hospitality and friendship.


6 posted on 04/18/2008 11:57:14 AM PDT by annalex (http://www.catecheticsonline.com/CatenaAurea.php)
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To: Quix

YOU ARE A JOKE!


7 posted on 04/18/2008 12:22:21 PM PDT by notaliberal (Christ Our Hope!)
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To: annalex

Bookmarking for later (thanks for posting!)


8 posted on 04/18/2008 12:30:34 PM PDT by VRWCer (Barack Hussein Obama - The Pied Piper of stupid people.)
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To: annalex

I notice there were no questions about evolution, higher criticism, or myths and errors in the Bible. Why is that always left out of such things? Do Protestants not ask about them?


9 posted on 04/18/2008 12:30:42 PM PDT by Zionist Conspirator ( . . . va'akhaltem 'oto bechippazon, Pesach hu' leHaShem.)
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To: notaliberal

GOODNESS!

An unexpected DELAY in the RC magicsterical reps’ assaultiveness.

I hope all are well.


10 posted on 04/18/2008 12:33:01 PM PDT by Quix (GOD ALONE IS GOD; WORTHY; PAID THE PRICE; IS COMING AGAIN; KNOWS ALL; IS LOVING; IS ALTOGETHER GOOD)
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To: Zionist Conspirator; Quix

You two are like seagulls. You fly by, crap on someone’s head, and carry happily on.


11 posted on 04/18/2008 12:38:17 PM PDT by Pyro7480 ("If the angels could be jealous of men, they would be so for one reason: Holy Communion." -M. Kolbe)
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To: Zionist Conspirator

They do. Usually, the question is framed in terms of the Bible Alone doctrine, which the Catholics reject. They way you frame the question as that of inerrancy of the Old Testament combined with skepticism toward the new is, of course, inherently un-Christian, so I would not expect it to be also a Protestant position.


12 posted on 04/18/2008 12:39:41 PM PDT by annalex (http://www.catecheticsonline.com/CatenaAurea.php)
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To: Pyro7480

I

BEG YOUR PARDON!

I only deposit the richest, most gilded and coveted nutrients for Heaven’s Flowers.

Oh, That’s right . . . the assertion was made according to the RC magicsterical’s Rubber Dictionary???


13 posted on 04/18/2008 12:42:29 PM PDT by Quix (GOD ALONE IS GOD; WORTHY; PAID THE PRICE; IS COMING AGAIN; KNOWS ALL; IS LOVING; IS ALTOGETHER GOOD)
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To: Quix
the RC magicsterical

****************

The use of incorrect spelling seems unfortunately, likely to mislead at least some about Catholicism. Would you mind discontinuing this misrepresentation?

14 posted on 04/18/2008 12:42:33 PM PDT by trisham (Zen is not easy. It takes effort to attain nothingness. And then what do you have? Bupkis.)
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To: Pyro7480; Zionist Conspirator; Quix

Eh, no. You cannot combine the two. I find Zionist Conspirator well informed, very polite, and his posts have serious content clearly expressed. I have engaged in several discussions with him, both privately and publicly on FR and have no complaint about his debating style.


15 posted on 04/18/2008 12:43:18 PM PDT by annalex (http://www.catecheticsonline.com/CatenaAurea.php)
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To: trisham

I’d be happy to discontinue use of it

WHEN

the RC magicsterical reps cease posting such brazenly UNBIBLICAL, UNHISTORICAL UNTRUE, SPIRITUALLY DESTRUCTIVE, fantasized magical nonsense about Mary and Christ’s Church Universal.


16 posted on 04/18/2008 12:44:48 PM PDT by Quix (GOD ALONE IS GOD; WORTHY; PAID THE PRICE; IS COMING AGAIN; KNOWS ALL; IS LOVING; IS ALTOGETHER GOOD)
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To: annalex; Zionist Conspirator; Quix
In this instance, I have to disagree.

I notice there were no questions about evolution, higher criticism, or myths and errors in the Bible. Why is that always left out of such things?

What relevance does this have with the article above?

17 posted on 04/18/2008 12:45:06 PM PDT by Pyro7480 ("If the angels could be jealous of men, they would be so for one reason: Holy Communion." -M. Kolbe)
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To: Quix
I only deposit the richest, most gilded and coveted nutrients for Heaven’s Flowers.

I have to must admit the above was pretty funny. ;-)

18 posted on 04/18/2008 12:46:01 PM PDT by Pyro7480 ("If the angels could be jealous of men, they would be so for one reason: Holy Communion." -M. Kolbe)
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To: Quix

Then I must tell you that I find you unworthy of further discourse.


19 posted on 04/18/2008 12:47:14 PM PDT by trisham (Zen is not easy. It takes effort to attain nothingness. And then what do you have? Bupkis.)
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To: Pyro7480
"You fly by, crap on someone’s head, and carry happily on."

Bill Maher Style.

20 posted on 04/18/2008 12:47:34 PM PDT by RabidBartender
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To: Pyro7480

Watch yourself.

Such even temporary slips of humor could be dreadfully dangerous to one’s starchy sensibilities. But your secret is safe. I won’t publicize it . . . much.

Oh, you already did. Wheew, safe I am.


21 posted on 04/18/2008 12:48:16 PM PDT by Quix (GOD ALONE IS GOD; WORTHY; PAID THE PRICE; IS COMING AGAIN; KNOWS ALL; IS LOVING; IS ALTOGETHER GOOD)
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To: Pyro7480; Zionist Conspirator

Broadly speaking it is on topic. The article is written to “neutralize prejudices”. Zionist Conspirator’s chief concern is the Catholic doctrine of Biblical inerrancy, which he finds too liberal. I agree with him that it would be among legitimate questions put to Catholics, albeit not in the first tier of questions, because after all Protestant views on Biblical inerrancy range as well.


22 posted on 04/18/2008 12:50:40 PM PDT by annalex (http://www.catecheticsonline.com/CatenaAurea.php)
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To: trisham; Alex Murphy; alpha-8-25-02; blue-duncan; Dr. Eckleburg; ears_to_hear; Forest Keeper; ...

Goodness!

Evidently you didn’t get the RC’s Magicsterical’s

memo

on that MANY months ago.

Please try harder to keep up. I wouldn’t want you to miss the next FLASH BULLETIN

about the

NEXT idolatrous, blasphemous Magnificent Magical Earth-Mother Marion dogma to be formally pontificated and promulgated and horrifically heralded.

BTW, I haven’t been worth a lot for a long time.

I’d ‘only’ Jesus and His Blood that seem to demonstrate otherwise.


23 posted on 04/18/2008 12:51:42 PM PDT by Quix (GOD ALONE IS GOD; WORTHY; PAID THE PRICE; IS COMING AGAIN; KNOWS ALL; IS LOVING; IS ALTOGETHER GOOD)
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To: RabidBartender

I didn’t know Bill Maher was in the RUBBER DICTIONARY.


24 posted on 04/18/2008 12:52:48 PM PDT by Quix (GOD ALONE IS GOD; WORTHY; PAID THE PRICE; IS COMING AGAIN; KNOWS ALL; IS LOVING; IS ALTOGETHER GOOD)
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To: Quix

As I said, I have nothing more to say to you. Please direct your hostility elsewhere.


25 posted on 04/18/2008 12:53:36 PM PDT by trisham (Zen is not easy. It takes effort to attain nothingness. And then what do you have? Bupkis.)
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To: Quix

You truly have some baggage don’t you. How sad! I’ll pray to our Blessed Mother for you.


26 posted on 04/18/2008 1:02:14 PM PDT by notaliberal (Christ Our Hope!)
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To: Quix
"I didn’t know Bill Maher was in the RUBBER DICTIONARY. "

Not quite certain what that is, unless the folks at Trojan have gone into publishing.

27 posted on 04/18/2008 1:17:39 PM PDT by RabidBartender
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To: Quix
WHEN the RC magicsterical reps cease posting such brazenly UNBIBLICAL, UNHISTORICAL UNTRUE, SPIRITUALLY DESTRUCTIVE, fantasized magical nonsense about Mary and Christ’s Church Universal.

Such a position would be commendable were you to answer those biblical assertions that you so studiously ignore, such as demonstrations of Mary's unique character and position, proofs the Bible and the "word of God" are two separate entities, rebellion against Church authority, and your own sado-evangelistic style.

28 posted on 04/18/2008 1:18:52 PM PDT by papertyger
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To: RabidBartender

LOL!


29 posted on 04/18/2008 1:22:29 PM PDT by Pyro7480 ("If the angels could be jealous of men, they would be so for one reason: Holy Communion." -M. Kolbe)
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To: Quix
Such even temporary slips of humor could be dreadfully dangerous to one’s starchy sensibilities
As a mad man who casteth firebrands, arrows, and death, So is the man that deceiveth his neighbour, and saith, Am not I in sport?

30 posted on 04/18/2008 1:24:08 PM PDT by papertyger
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To: annalex
Usually, the question is framed in terms of the Bible Alone doctrine

As you well know, I don't do this.

As someone who has been through the shock of converting to Catholicism and having to deal with the evolutionism, higher criticism, and Biblical liberalism of the Church, I am sincerely interested at how other Fundamentalist converts deal with this problem. What I don't understand is pretending the issue doesn't exist.

31 posted on 04/18/2008 1:36:27 PM PDT by Zionist Conspirator ( . . . va'akhaltem 'oto bechippazon, Pesach hu' leHaShem.)
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To: Pyro7480
In this instance, I have to disagree.

I notice there were no questions about evolution, higher criticism, or myths and errors in the Bible. Why is that always left out of such things?

What relevance does this have with the article above?

It's relevant because I'm interesting in learning how other converts to Catholicism from a Fundamentalist background deal with the issues I mentioned. Do they cave in and become evolutionists and errantists themselves? Do they maintain their inerrantism while feeling guilty for "being bad Catholics?" Do they persevere?

I'm genuinely interested and genuinely puzzled at how little Protestant converts talk about this. But you know good and well that they have to deal with it. I just wonder how.

32 posted on 04/18/2008 1:41:40 PM PDT by Zionist Conspirator ( . . . va'akhaltem 'oto bechippazon, Pesach hu' leHaShem.)
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To: Zionist Conspirator

I don’t know for sure. I am a convert, but from the Russian Orthodox Church: I never had to struggle with ANY doctrinal question at all. My wife converted from Protestantism, most recently, of Baptist variety, but her views on the interpretation of the scripture were always orthodox Catholic. We know a nun who once told her that the Old Testament stories were to be understood allegorically, and Ann and I were both apalled. However, we could not be sure what exactly she meant. Ann did tell me that if anyone in a Catholic class told our children anythign like that, that would be the end of that class for them, and I, of course, agree. But that is not something she had to struggle with in order to convert as the fundamentalist creationist views are firmly within the Catholic spectrum on this issue, and in fact, the allegorical view is heretical.

Imagine that someone is considering immigration to the US and he learns that there is a lot of snow in Minnessota. Our prospective immigrant likes warm weather and the idea of settling in a cold climate frightens him. Would that be a reason not to come to the US? Of course not: he can also live in the South and have all the sun he wants to have. People who come to the Catholic Church struggle with things that leave them no option, such as communion of saints or the papacy, or the sacraments. On biblical literalism, they can keep them and be Catholic.

As I like to repeat: we take the scripture — all of it — literally, but we take it in historical, cultural and linguistic context. Anyone who reads the Bible under these principles will be Catholic or Orthodox.

My other guess is that Protestantism taken as a whole has its doze of biblical liberalism. The idea to share his faith with others who disagree on biblical literalism should not be foreign to a Protestant.


33 posted on 04/18/2008 1:56:42 PM PDT by annalex (http://www.catecheticsonline.com/CatenaAurea.php)
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To: annalex
Thank you for understanding the reasons for my post, Annalex. I really didn't mean it as a "hit and run" but am honestly puzzled about how converts from Fundamentalism handle Catholicism.

Imagine that someone is considering immigration to the US and he learns that there is a lot of snow in Minnessota. Our prospective immigrant likes warm weather and the idea of settling in a cold climate frightens him. Would that be a reason not to come to the US? Of course not: he can also live in the South and have all the sun he wants to have. People who come to the Catholic Church struggle with things that leave them no option, such as communion of saints or the papacy, or the sacraments. On biblical literalism, they can keep them and be Catholic.

Now you see, I can't understand why Biblical inerrancy is less important than papal infallibility or communion of the saints.

34 posted on 04/18/2008 2:12:04 PM PDT by Zionist Conspirator ( . . . va'akhaltem 'oto bechippazon, Pesach hu' leHaShem.)
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To: Zionist Conspirator

We don’t say it is less important; it is just not in the deposit of faith “once delivered to the saints”. We have no record or institutional memory of Christ discussing cosmology with the disciples, or evolution, or lack of it.

He did one thing that is related. More than a few times He said something that gives a certain contrast between what He taught and what the Old Testament writes. In the Sermon on the Mount the recurring theme is “it is written ... but I say to you ...”. He never contradicts the Old Testament directly, but He explains and expands the meaning beyond the literal. For example, the literal is “thou shalt not kill” but Christ explains that even an expression of anger, or an insult is already a violation of the spirit of that commandment. Then He goes over most of the Decaloge in that fashion.

Another time Christ is accused of working on the Sabbath, and again he teaches a reasoned, analytical approach to scripture, giving an example of a work on an emergency (a donkey in distress), and an example from another passage of the scripture where King David acted in seeming contradiction to the literal commandments. “Sabbath is for the man, not man for the Sabbath” Jesus concluded.

These are examples we have to go by. They do not give a conclusive picture of whether the six days of creation were literal 24 hour days or something else; whether Adam was shaped from literal mud as a clay scuplture or if it was some lengthy process with intermediate stages of theistic evolution. They do allow the use of reason and going beyond the immediately literal in approaching this, or any other scripture.

Not that these issues are unimportant, they are simply not in the Church’s job description to dogmatize about. For the Church to proclaim a dogma she needs a definite insight into the sacred deposit of faith given the apostles. We don’t find sufficient material there to form a single doctrine. Hence, this matter is open to speculation.

There are certain things that inhere to the deposit of faith. They are God as the single first cause of creation, Adam and Eve only parents of man, man having dominion over the rest of the creation, original sin etc. So, for example, on random undirected evolution hypothesis we say a definite, resounding NO. To theistic evolution or to old earth we cannot say a No, but we welcome young earth and non-evolutionary views as well.


35 posted on 04/18/2008 3:17:40 PM PDT by annalex (http://www.catecheticsonline.com/CatenaAurea.php)
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To: Zionist Conspirator
As someone who has been through the shock of converting to Catholicism and having to deal with the evolutionism, higher criticism, and Biblical liberalism of the Church, I am sincerely interested at how other Fundamentalist converts deal with this problem. What I don't understand is pretending the issue doesn't exist.

I, for one, do not pretend the issue does not exist.

I handle it the same way I handle my recognition the Constitution of the United States is not universally viewed through the eyes of "original intent."

A President who does not nominate constructionist jurists to the Supreme Court is still the President, exercising all the powers thereof.

To my knowledge, the Holy Father has not declared those who hold my views on biblical inerrancy, or evolution, to be heterodox, and so long as he does not, while I accept he has the authority to do so, there is no existential crisis whereby I must choose between my convictions and the Catholic Church.

I regard my fellow Catholics who feel differently about such issues to be simply, genuinely, and HONESTLY, mistaken.

36 posted on 04/18/2008 4:43:05 PM PDT by papertyger
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To: papertyger
Excellent summary, papertyger. I'd have said the same thing, if I were having one of my Fully Coherent days.

I regard my fellow Catholics who feel differently about such issues to be simply, genuinely, and HONESTLY, mistaken.

Exactly! And my fellow Christians of the non-Catholic persuasion.

37 posted on 04/18/2008 7:24:27 PM PDT by Tax-chick ("It's hard to be stressed out over your spouse while you're in a bathtub drinking wine together.")
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To: papertyger

So is the man that deceiveth his neighbour

= = =

I may be brutally candid . . . but deception is of no interest to me.

except . . . of course . . . the many centuries of deception on the part of the RC magicsterical . . . particularly about Christ’s Church Universal and about the Magnificent Magical Earth-Mother Mary caricature.


38 posted on 04/18/2008 7:48:15 PM PDT by Quix (GOD ALONE IS GOD; WORTHY; PAID THE PRICE; IS COMING AGAIN; KNOWS ALL; IS LOVING; IS ALTOGETHER GOOD)
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To: papertyger

Given the facts . . .

Post 30 comes across as rather . . . deceptive.


39 posted on 04/19/2008 4:39:03 AM PDT by Quix (GOD ALONE IS GOD; WORTHY; PAID THE PRICE; IS COMING AGAIN; KNOWS ALL; IS LOVING; IS ALTOGETHER GOOD)
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To: Quix

Why is everybody talking like Yoda on this thread?


40 posted on 04/19/2008 4:43:11 AM PDT by ovrtaxt (This election is like running in the Special Olympics. Even if McCain wins, we’re still retarded.)
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To: ovrtaxt

. . . I don’t know . . . interesting question . . .

Fixated at the Star Wars Developmental Stage?

A desperate inner-child-yearning for cliche’d realities?

Aged baby boomers desperate yearing for a young Luke Skywalker’s relationship with a SIMPLISTIC Master Father Figure?

Yoda infected susceptible humans through an ET network of sub-space managed extra dimensional subliminal Behaior Mod puppet training for the sheeple to make the globalist takeover easier?

It’s spring. Christmas is too far away. So instead of dreams about Santa—it’s about Yoda??

I give up. You tell me.


41 posted on 04/19/2008 4:54:18 AM PDT by Quix (GOD ALONE IS GOD; WORTHY; PAID THE PRICE; IS COMING AGAIN; KNOWS ALL; IS LOVING; IS ALTOGETHER GOOD)
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To: Quix

Hmmmmm consider it I will.

Yes, the Force is strong in this one......


42 posted on 04/19/2008 5:02:14 AM PDT by ovrtaxt (This election is like running in the Special Olympics. Even if McCain wins, we’re still retarded.)
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To: annalex

43 posted on 04/19/2008 5:09:58 AM PDT by big'ol_freeper ("Preach the Gospel always, and when necessary use words". ~ St. Francis of Assisi)
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To: big'ol_freeper; Alex Murphy; alpha-8-25-02; blue-duncan; Dr. Eckleburg; ears_to_hear; ...

How sweet of you. That must count for some significant Heavenly points! Much appreciated.

BTW, thanks for the bump.

I do think that a post like that . . .

so WONDER-FULLY WRONG,

IS VERY educational.

Another great illustration of

THE RC MAGICSTERICAL RUBBER DICTIONARY.

where SAME = DIFFERENT; DIFFERENT = SAME

TRUTH = FALSEHOOD; FALSEHOOD = TRUTH

KINDNESS, THOUGHTFULNESS AND LOVE = HATRED

Very illustrative. Much appreciated.

It is a bit disappointing, however, to understand that a significant number of RC reps are evidently teaching their children/taught their children that

when they meet a Protty on the ball field . . . or in the locker room and overhear some statement that has not passed the censors of the RC magicsterical . . . that the RC child MUST ABSOLUTELY HATE ALL PROTTYS for such statements . . .

that it’s the ONLY way the RC magicsterical allows RC’s to construe reality.

i.e.

ANY UNRUBBERIZED THEOLOGICAL STATEMENT by any Protty MUST result in automatic HATRED of all PROTTYS—that’s the only alternative response allowed.

Otherwise the unhateful RC rep will have to spend several extra eternities in purgatory starching and folding Magnificent Magical Earth-Mother Mary’s magical hankys.

It’s NOT SUFFICIENT to the RC magicsterical NOR to Magnificent Magical Earth-Mother Mary to merely hate the statement. The class of all PROTTYS must ALL be 100% hated automatically . . . under threat of Excombobulation.

That must result in increasing numbers of very edifice-like haters. An amazing sociological, psychological, theological, relational, parenting Standard Operating Procedure. Very impressive.

Oh, and that bit about . . . when a theological statement doesn’t match the RC magicsterical’s latest RUBBERIZATION, VULCANIZATION . . . the statement cannot be described as from satan’s throne in hell—THE INDIVIDUAL AND THE WHOLE CLASS OF SIMILAR INDIVIDUALS MUST BE classed and described as from hell and under satan’s robotic rule. Very impressive.

It’s that old RCP2 problem where SAME - DIFFERENT AND DIFFERENT = SAME. To wit—statements = people’s essences . . .

—STATEMENTS ARE THE SAME THING AS PEOPLE.

—AND INDIVIDUALS ARE THE SAME THING AS A WHOLE CLASS OF PEOPLE.

Somehow, I think I didn’t get that memo, though, in my reading about the Pope’s visit. And I haven’t read that in any of his speeches.

Maybe it was in his private comments in the inter-faith meeting he had. That’s it—he must have cursed them all to hell in that little meeting after the reporters left.

That must have been one slick operation . . . all loving and conciliatory toward the other faith folks publically and cursing them to hell the minute the reporters left the group. Very impressive. I wonder how he swore the Secret Serv guards to secrecy. Maybe he had them under a Vulcanized mind meld !!!!CONTROL!!!! scheme of some kind.


44 posted on 04/19/2008 9:33:28 AM PDT by Quix (GOD ALONE IS GOD; WORTHY; PAID THE PRICE; IS COMING AGAIN; KNOWS ALL; IS LOVING; IS ALTOGETHER GOOD)
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To: Quix

"Um...huh?"

45 posted on 04/19/2008 9:36:50 AM PDT by big'ol_freeper ("Preach the Gospel always, and when necessary use words". ~ St. Francis of Assisi)
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To: big'ol_freeper

LOL! Did you create that graphic?


46 posted on 04/19/2008 9:43:37 AM PDT by Pyro7480 ("If the angels could be jealous of men, they would be so for one reason: Holy Communion." -M. Kolbe)
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To: Pyro7480

Yes. I think it captures the apparent mindset of those (few) who display a knee-jerk compulsion to actively hate and disparage Christ’s Church.


47 posted on 04/19/2008 9:46:34 AM PDT by big'ol_freeper ("Preach the Gospel always, and when necessary use words". ~ St. Francis of Assisi)
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To: big'ol_freeper

MUCH appreciate your mandated blessing and permission to

assert that ALL RC’S 100% WORSHIP MARY BLASPHEMOUSLY 100% OF THE TIME.

Very gracious of you.

I don’t happen to believe that’s true but it’s nice that you give us such a PERMISSIVE MANDATE to assert such things by your model reality mangled assertions.

I guess the old outrage about Prottys assertin untrue things about RC’s has bitten the dust? Fascinating.


48 posted on 04/19/2008 9:53:29 AM PDT by Quix (GOD ALONE IS GOD; WORTHY; PAID THE PRICE; IS COMING AGAIN; KNOWS ALL; IS LOVING; IS ALTOGETHER GOOD)
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To: big'ol_freeper

Heh. :)


49 posted on 04/19/2008 9:55:33 AM PDT by trisham (Zen is not easy. It takes effort to attain nothingness. And then what do you have? Bupkis.)
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To: annalex
It's the Mary thing, for me it always comes down to the Mary thing. I could never pray to anyone other than the Triune God.

Nothing in Catholic argument is at all persuasive when it comes to praying to Mary or saints. In fact, it seems defensive bordering desperate.

I disagree with the Catholic notion of justification by works, and a few other things, and I can be persuaded at least to a point of stalemate on a few other doctrines, but for me the idea that praying to Mary or saints isn't "worship" is just ludicrous. There is no historical precedent, especially going back to the Old Testament for any kind of prayer that is not, in fact, a part of worship. Period. I'm fine with this being applied to Jesus, as I believe he is the second person of the Trinity.

However, there is simply no scriptural basis for it, and there is nothing in the history of the early church, the apostles, or church fathers that suggests it was ever done, or would have been acceptable. It is a later invention, three or four hundred years later.

50 posted on 04/19/2008 9:55:46 AM PDT by Boagenes (I'm your huckleberry, that's just my game.)
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