Skip to comments.+ the BEGGAR KING: Answer to an Anti-Catholic + Part I
Posted on 04/16/2012 4:33:07 AM PDT by GonzoII
Catholics are accustomed to being the favorite target of bigots. The Catholic Church is attacked and ridiculed by both the left and the right, by both Secularists and Fundamentalists. Their points might be different but the methods are universally the same; disinformation and willful misrepresentation.
What follows is an exchange of views. I am presenting the text of an anonymous tract which I've frequently found on-line. It is a pretty good example of an attack on the Church from the "fundamentalist" perspective. I present it here in its entirety, unedited. I've added my own rebuttal and corrections throughout, usually paragraph by paragraph. Here is the key to who wrote what:
The original text of the anonymous tract appears like this, in italics and colored purple.
** My rebuttal follows in bold-face blue and is set off by two asterisks.
I've used the author's table of contents. Each chapter is a separate link and is hot-buttoned. The flow of the original text is somewhat haphazard and not well thought out but I've retained it. Feel free to jump around.
There are hundreds of millions of Roman Catholics world-wide, yet many are largely unaware of the dramatic differences between the official teachings, practices, and positions of the Catholic Church, and the clear teaching of the Holy Bible. There are multitudes of dedicated Catholics who are spiritually uninformed concerning these differences because of a lack of sound biblical instruction and exposure.
** There are indeed multitudes of Catholics, as well as Christians of other denominations, who lack "lack sound biblical instruction and exposure." But where will they find it? SOUND biblical instruction comes from the Church!
Though many Roman Catholics give unquestioned support to their church and strongly reject any possibility that their church may be in conflict with their own Catholic Bible, there are sincere Catholics who see glaring inconsistencies and contradictions between the official teachings of the Roman Catholic Church and the fundamental truths contained in the sacred Scriptures. This booklet offers Roman Catholics, who are seeking after truth, a clear- cut comparison between the major teachings of the Catholic Church and the Word of God. The Word of God is the supreme authority from which all Roman Catholics must derive their beliefs and practices. All Scripture references cited in this booklet are taken only from official Catholic translations of the Bible.
** Every polemicist has an axe to grind and here is my adversary's axe: "The Word of God (meaning, I think, biblical scripture in this context) is the supreme authority from which all Roman Catholics must derive their beliefs and practices." This thesis statement calls forth the Protestant Doctrine of Sola Scriptura. Catholics believe that the Bible IS authoritative, as long as it is properly understood. But we find NO justification in Scripture or out for the notion that it constitutes a "supreme authority" on ALL matters of "beliefs and practices." In fact, the record of Scripture actually says something else, as we shall see...
While this booklet scripturally challenges many of the teachings within Roman Catholicism, it is not an attack upon the competence, sincerity, intelligence, integrity, or religious dedication of individual Catholics. This booklet doesn't deny the reality that many Catholics possess strong convictions and are deeply devoted to their religious beliefs. Neither do we deny the fact that some Catholics have had a genuine, born-again experience in Christ.
** Here we have the standard disclaimer that the author is not attacking Catholics, just Catholic doctrine. But it is going to be difficult to tell a few "hundreds of millions of Roman Catholics worldwide" that they are completely mistaken or that they have been duped all along, without attacking their competence or intelligence, isn't it? Note also that the author uses his own yardstick of what constitutes a "Christian," despite the fact that the Bible no where requires a "born-again experience" of anyone.
However, this booklet does challenge many of the positions and practices of the Catholic Church by using a point-by-point comparison of its major teachings and the obvious truths of the Word of God. This booklet asks Roman Catholics to carefully examine the Scriptures with an intellectually honest and open attitude (Acts 17:11), and to judge for themselves what the Bible actually says apart from official church censorship, restrictions, warnings, indoctrination, and qualifications. We believe the clear truths of the Catholic Bible will speak for themselves.
** Again we are told what the author is going to do. Let me add my own thesis here. I will show that this author's arguments are flawed by virtue of poor scholarship, poor logic, a lack of concern in presenting Catholic teaching fairly, a myopic reading of scripture and a sad lack of charity.
The fundamental problem confronting the average Roman Catholic is the fact that they are almost completely unaware of what the Catholic Bible really teaches. Many sincere Catholics, including laymen and parish priests alike, have never had sufficient cause to question the teachings of their church because they have never been adequately instructed in the Scriptural truths which challenge the principle doctrines of Catholicism.
** It would be a very rare Catholic who has never been accosted by a would-be evangelist quoting snippets of scripture to show that Catholic the "error" of his or her way.
The tragic reality is that the overwhelming majority of Catholics have either never personally studied the Bible, or have only done so under the strict supervision and scrutiny of their church. Many have not been exposed to the clear, simple truths of the Bible because they have been repeatedly warned to rely on the official interpretations, opinions, and traditions of the church.
** Yes, it is a tragic reality that so many Catholics have never personally studied the Bible. But let us be serious, many Catholics DO read the Bible at home. And scripture is an integral element of Catholic worship (the Mass). Does the author know that as many as five scripture readings (from the old testament, psalms, epistles and gospels) are read at the Mass every day? I don't personally know of a parish which doesn't have some kind of scripture study available, "under the strict supervision and scrutiny of their church." Does that sound menacing? The vast majority of Christians, of ALL denominations, learn about the Bible THROUGH THEIR OWN CHURCH. Why make it sound conspiratorial?
Even though Catholic versions of the Bible (Jerusalem Bible, New American, and Challoner-Rheims Version of the Latin Vulgate) encourage Bible reading and study (Deut. 6:7-9; Ps. 119:9-11; Acts 17:11), the tragic historical fact is that Catholicism, with very few exceptions, has repeatedly discouraged Bible reading and study, and even banned or restricted its use, distribution, and possession.
** The Church does have a tragic history and we, this anonymous author and I, will examine that history as we proceed. Does the church, "with very few exceptions," repeatedly discourage Bible reading and study? The answer is simply NO!
The Roman Catholic Church has traditionally suppressed, opposed, and forbidden the open use of the Bible. It was first officially forbidden to the people and placed on the index of Forbidden Books List by the Council of Valencia in 1229 AD The Council of Trent (1545-63 AD) also prohibited its use and pronounced a curse upon anyone who would dare oppose this decree. Many popes have issued decrees forbidding Bible reading in the common language of the people, condemning Bible societies and banning its possession and translation under penalty of mortal sin and death. The Roman Catholic Church has openly burned Bibles and those who translated it or promoted its study, reading, and use (John Hus, 1415 AD; William Tyndale, 1536 AD)
** The author makes sweeping, perhaps wishful, exclamations of "fact" and backs them up with a smattering of dates. But is this scholarship? "Facts" are part of a historical record. Let's see how the author did here:
Though external pressures have caused Rome to relax its restrictions and opposition against Bible reading in America, the Bible is still widely withheld and its distribution and free use discouraged in many countries which are heavily influenced by Roman Catholicism.
** Any Catholic will tell you that Rome doesn't bow to "external pressure" or they surely would have on artificial birth control and married priests by now. Bald statements such as "the Bible is still widely withheld...in many countries" need to be documented somehow to be taken seriously.
[To be continued...]
Where is that in the Bible?
But here's this:
(1Ti 3:15) But if I tarry long, that thou mayest know how thou oughtest to behave thyself in the house of God, which is the church of the living God, the pillar and ground of the truth.
Like I care what some “Christian” that hates me thinks.
John 3:3 Jesus answered and said unto him, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God.
John 3: 7 Marvel not that I said unto thee, Ye must be born again.
I’ve often wondered why people make that claim when it’s pretty obvious there in black and white.
My friend, I put experience in italics as the author did because he well knows one must be born again through water and spirit. He was emphasizing "experience" as a stimulating or moving experience which one is not required to perceive after Baptism.
Clarified in post #5.
Catholics are quite aware that they have to be born again we've known it for 2000 years. ;0)
I saw that coming, and wondered why the author included it, because it’s hotly contriverted between Catholics and Protestants, and not central to his argument
The problem is that the passage says, “born from above,” in the Greek. “From above” is idiomatically used occasionally to mean, “once more,” sort of like the way we will use “over.” Nicodemus plainly takes this as the meaning of Jesus (3:4), but Jesus immediately corrects him. The problem with King James and subsequent English translations is that the translation, “born again” captures only Nicodemus’ false understanding, and none of the literal meaning.
I agree with you. With Scripture, a good person with quotes can use Scripture for his own interpretation. People can agree/disagree on what a particular quote from the Bible means. Agree to disagree. Unless there is a uniform interpretation of what Scripture means there will always be these differences of opinion, interpretation and "black and white."
Just MY opinion.
Joh 1:1-4 (1) In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. (2) The same was in the beginning with God. (3) All things were made by him; and without him was not any thing made that was made. (4) In him was life; and the life was the light of men.
Mat 28:18 (18) And Jesus came and spake unto them, saying, All power is given unto me in heaven and in earth.
Act 13:38-39 (38) Be it known unto you therefore, men and brethren, that through this man is preached unto you the forgiveness of sins: (39) And by him all that believe are justified from all things, from which ye could not be justified by the law of Moses.
Eph 4:11-15 (11) And he gave some, apostles; and some, prophets; and some, evangelists; and some, pastors and teachers; (12) For the perfecting of the saints, for the work of the ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ: (13) Till we all come in the unity of the faith, and of the knowledge of the Son of God, unto a perfect man, unto the measure of the stature of the fulness of Christ: (14) That we henceforth be no more children, tossed to and fro, and carried about with every wind of doctrine, by the sleight of men, and cunning craftiness, whereby they lie in wait to deceive; (15) But speaking the truth in love, may grow up into him in all things, which is the head, even Christ:
The interpretation comes from God the Holy Spirit. This is also why God provides the spiritual gift of Pastor-Teacher.
Are you saying one can just go dunk his head and be baptised?
He was emphasizing "experience" as a stimulating or moving experience which one is not required to perceive after Baptism.
The whole point of the act is to obey God and Jesus. The act of obeying is also (in part) emotional. That is the experience we are talking about, isn't it? To become ever closer to our Savior?
Again, I agree with you.
Too bad all Pastors-Teachers aren't on the same page and interpret differently what they receive from God the Holy Spirit. As I said, without ONE interpretation from ONE authority here on earth, the Holy Spirit is speaking to ears that are hearing different things. My opinion.
Nice try at subtlety but it doesnt work. I can assure you that in every true believers life there is that experience of a changed heart. Its when the knowledge moves from the head to the heart. If you havent experienced it I pray you will. The “outward keeping of rituals does NOT make one a true member of Christs body.
But speaking the truth in love
through this man is preached unto you the forgiveness of sins
That's why the practice of infant baptism doesn't work.
Every pastor-teacher in fellowship with God teaches consistently the Word of God. Nothing else is required. God doesn’t need denominations such as the RCC to verify His Word. He provides. By faith we know Him.
Huh... the second part didn’t print...
Born again, means “born once over.” Something “done over” is done the right way. You don’t call a “do over” on a perfect play. What makes it perfect? Jesus explains, that it means being born of water and spirit. The water is a reference to baptism. What the author of this post stated is that there is no need for a “born again EXPERIENCE;” There is no need to do things the wrong way first. A child born of Christian parents who instruct him well and blessedly in the faith has no need to go screw up his life utterly, and then only as an adult be born of water and spirit. I don’t mean he doesn’t mean to be born “once over,” simply that the baptism and upbringing he receives suffices, so long as he relies upon God his entire life.
When the disciples baptized entire households, there is no mention of children being excluded. Nor is mention made of any children of followers of Christ being baptized once they reached adult age. To the contrary, the bible explicitly states that entire households (which would include extended families, servants, and the servants’ families) were baptized at once.
One does not baptize himself he is baptized. And no there does not need to be an emotional experience" thereby.
"The whole point of the act is to obey God and Jesus. The act of obeying is also (in part) emotional. That is the experience we are talking about, isn't it? To become ever closer to our Savior?"
Practicing virtue indeed involves emotions but many times they are contrary to the will of God but we do his will in SPITE of negative feelings toward the good. The emotions are entirely in second place the will remains supreme in doing God's will.
Could you show me in the Bible where the Scripture is sufficient for all truth from God. Does the Bible say that the Bible is the pillar and ground of truth?
There's always a "but"
... many times they are contrary to the will of God but we do his will in SPITE of negative feelings toward the good.
Perhaps, but none of that matters as those were not the emotions I was talking about.
The emotions are entirely in second place the will remains supreme in doing God's will.
Agreed. But the emotions are still there, impossible to separate from the act. That "experience" exists during and after the baptism, whether you admit it or not.
If that experience does not exist, then I claim you have not been baptised, but merely went for a swim--much like just showing up at church twice a year.