Saturday, January 05, 2008

Charges From a Protestant

In response to my old post on the book of Acts (as the beginning of the Catholic Church) Jim, a Protestant, wrote the following (my response in red):

You remind me of an Evolutionist who takes 150 years of thoery and a vocabulary that was built around evolution and then expects a creationist to debate using that same dialogue.

Ok.

The Catholic Church has 1800 years of tradition

Make that 2000.

and a language that is totally distinct from the teaching, concepts and language of the Bible.

That seems odd that we would canonize a Bible with teachings that were not compatible with our own.

When I look at a Catholic Catachism I feel like I've gone into the twilight zone.

Only fringe Protestant denominations would have more than 2 or 3% disagreement with the Catholic Catechism. Have you not actually read the catechism or do you belong to one of these fringe denominations?

It's so far removed from the
language of the bible,it's hard to believe they have a common link.For instance "The Immaculate heart of our blessed mother mary,
eucharist,transubstantiation,devotion to the saints,prayers to the saints,purgatory, Papal infallability, Celibacy of the Priest,

I'm not going to answer these points because I'd be wasting my breath but if you want each one dealt with see www.catholic.com.

Sunday worship,

That's explicitly in Scripture. Acts 20:7 Also see this post to clear up this issue and probably a few other errors you believe in.


Christmas"

See this post.

The list could go on forever. Where did this come from? It wasn't from the Bible.I know you are agaist "solo scripturo" so I guess your not bothered by any of this.It's like once you do away with the Bible as the sole authority then it's whoevers got the loudest voice or the sharpest sword,which,by the way, was well used in the inquisition.

The Bible was never "done away with" as sole authority, it never was to begin with. That was Luther's heretical idea in the 16th century. The Catholic Church is older than the canon. How can the Bible be the sole authority before it exists?

Jesus said I am the way the truth and the life ,no man comes to the Father but by me. There is no mention of popes and priest and
saints or the mother mary.

Am I detecting a bit of a false dichotomy here??? But no mention of priests, saints or Mary in the Bible? What version are you reading exactly?

There is no mention of penance or fasting.



...

You take the Mass and make it into something dark and mysterious ,

Why do you care? You don't even celebrate mass.

when all Jesus said was do this in rememberence of me.

Is that all? I seem to remember something like "My body is real food" and something like "unless you eat My flesh and drink My blood you have no life in you". Does that strange version you're working with have John chapter 6 in it?

I've never been to a Catholic service and I'm sure you could point out a lot of good points
about the church

Well I would just point you to the Scriptures to see what Christ said about His Church rather than tell you myself. You could start with Matthew 16:18

but it could never outway the obvious conflict with the Bible. Thank you, Jim
Now I find it strange (but strangely predictable) that Jim didn't respond to even a single one of my points in the post. Rather, he just regurgitated the typical Protestant objections to Catholicism (plus a few cultish ones).

We could really boil it all down to one objection (which is the principal objection we all have at some level) and that is - authority. Did Christ establish authority on earth? If that answer is yes, then the only candidate is the Catholic Church. Furthermore, if Christ established authority on Earth, then we must subject ourselves to it regardless of our personal opinions on the subject.

Now many great Christian minds have come to nearly all of the conclusions that the Catholic Church has with the help of the Scriptures, the writings of the Church fathers and the guiding call of the Holy Spirit. But we needn't be smart enough to understand all the doctrines and theology of the Christian faith - we can accept the teachings of the Church based on our faith in Christ and the authority He Himself established on Earth. We can also take comfort in our faith that the Holy Spirit would simply not allow His Church to be so incredibly misleading to the vast majority of all Christians since Christ.

9 comments:

Thos said...

Tim,

1) We all owe a duty to God, based on John 17 (in anyone's reading), to communicate clearly with each other and have a proper understanding of respective teachings. Truthful understandings have to be the starting part of all dialogue leading to greater truth. I hope Jim learned more from your responses than you hope.

2) I agree that authority is ultimately the issue. You can't talk enough about authority.

What do you think of this view though (I'll paraphrase and pretend it's mine): 'yeah, it comes down to authority, but there are fundamental truths that, once crossed, relieve the subject from an obligation to obey his superior'? Military analogy: I obey all orders of senior officers. But if they tell me to commit an unlawful act (like burn a civilian village in war), I am obligated to disobey.

I'm weighing this one.

Peace in Christ,
Thos.

Tim A. Troutman said...

Well my reply wasn't merely for Jim, in fact I don't expect him to read it, thats partly why I made a new post instead of just replying to his message.

But while my tone was perhaps a bit too sarcastic, I didn't attack him or say anything I wouldn't expect to hear from anyone if I attacked their religion.

But as for what he could learn from me, I did point him to places that would thoroughly answer his points (not that he's interested) but if he was, I made it easier for him.

On the authority issue, of course we are not allowed to violate our consciences, (and the Catholic Church affirms this).

With regard to the Catholic Church, what we perceive to be implications of things like prayer to saints, Mariology etc... may violate our consciences. They did mine.

But I've come to the conclusion that I was wrong about all of them. Maybe it's just Catholic brainwashing. ;)

Thos said...

Tim,

I did not say you were too sarcastic. I said, "I hope Jim learned more from your responses than you hope." I mean, don't give up on people that seem to be reading from a different sheet of music. Protestants and Catholics do read from different sheets of music, so its good when one of us takes the time to explain what we think is nice about the notes on our own page, to help the other consider them,

Objectively.

Peace in Christ,
Thos.

Tim A. Troutman said...

Well call it apologetics fatigue.
I mean there was a time where I believed all the things he did and was misled about the Catholic Church. But the difference is, I never went around attacking the Church on those points (and never would without researching it first).

When you make outlandish attacks on a religion, you ought to have done your homework before hand. If you are willing to stake your respectability on a few whims and make attacks such as these, you're not going to listen to reason when your charges are answered.

In the post I linked to regarding Catholicism's link to paganism, I received a video from a friend making all these outlandish charges. I answered every point in detail in that post. In response he merely said "you missed the point" and made some other charges against the Church. As for Jim, I've answered all his points on this blog at one time or another (I pointed to most of the answers) and others (like Catholic Answers) have done a much better job than me. I gave him resources to learn the truth but I don't expect he will.

Having said that, I DO hope he will learn all there is to know about the Catholic Church. The material to answer every objection is out there.

Tiber Jumper said...

Another excellent GFF post. I loved the last two paragraphs, it all comes down to authority. I know what you mean about apologetics fatigue. Keep up the good fight and
keep up the goodworks :)

deb said...

Good points. I live in the south so I understand the fatigue that comes with answering questions. Perhaps a good rule would be to only allow one question at a time. A common ploy is to throw several questions at the apologists with the hope that he/she will be overwhelmed by the very number of questions.

Anonymous said...

Tim,
It's Jim again.I didn't really mean to come across in an attack mode. In reading some of your comments ,I guess that's how it was taken. But having said that
I admit that I totally disagree with the Catholic Faith. You seem to stess authority quite a lot.As in the Churches authority to interpret scripture. That's one of those exclusively Catholic things. I don't see other churches saying things like that. Especially to the point of altering the Bible. For instance the way they change the ten commandments to allow for images to be adored if not worshiped. And split up the last commandment so there will still be ten.Now I know that's in the catholic catachism but it's still taught that way.Regarding Sunday worship I recall reading a Catholic document in which it was stated that Protestants didn't have a right to keep Sunday since it was changed by the Catholic church because they had the authority.I would like to see one
statement that advised the church to switch to Sunday. Jesus said the Sabbath was made for man. I wonder why He didn't take that opportunity to clarify that sunday was the new Sabbath.Regarding Christmas ,Jesus never made any declarations about celebrating His birth and I doubt He would have chosen the day that many cultures celebrated the sun god and Mitra,and any number of false gods. Concerning the Popes there is no proof whatsoever that Peter was the first Pope nor was many of the Bishops of Rome hat died martrys deaths rather than submit to Roman paganry. Just like the Catholic church does with many things in history they where adopted into the church through
the rewriting of history. These where the same thought police that controlled the thinking or the lack thereof of millions of people for hundreds of years, it's called the dark ages.Priest spoke in latin and a commoner could not read the Bible with out fear of punishment.How many people where burned at the stake just for trying to translate the Bible into a readable text.Do you think that the same people that did this would not alter history to show the Papal line going back to Peter. I would say that The Catholic Church at first was just a group of Christian churches that organized.Probably at the time of the canonization of the Scripture it was in no form like the Church we see today,but by the time Constantine came on the scene the the mixture with the pagan influince was complete. Therefore you have the things like the Vestal virgins or nuns and you the Worship of the Mother and infant son that came from pagan queen of heaven and her infant son. If I had time I could list many things that point to an mixing of pagan and holy that became the Catholic Church.I know this sounds like I really attacking your beliefs and to a point I am But mainly I trying stand up for the truth. And the truth isn't relative. It's either right or wrong. Anybody that has an attitude like Rodney King's" can't we all get along"
is denying God's truth.Not that I advocate offending people with our beliefs. It's just that we are not doing people a favor if we let the continue in a false beliefe system without at least trying to tell them.Of course you probably feel the same way in regards to your church but we aren't both right one of us is decieved.How is that for arrogant.I realize that I haven't really backed anything up with quotes from scripture or other means and without that my argument is at best weak. If you care to put up with my comments any more matbe one of these days I'll take the time to back up some of my points. Hope no offense is taken,God Bless,Jim

Theo said...

Dear Jim:

As one who loves Jesus Christ our Lord I commend you to His holy presence and earnestly pray that the Holy Spirit guide you toward greater revelation of His love, life and kingdom, that you may better practice the faith handed down to us from Christ through the Apostles and live rightly before God, cleansed in his sight, that you may be joined with Him forever.

I'm unsure whether you've developed your impressions based upon observing malpractice of the faith or by reading misguided propaganda, or some combination, but please know that what you represented as Catholic faith, simply is not so. If The Church actually taught or practiced what you mistakenly believe she teaches, I would not remain a Catholic--and if I might hazard a guess: I expect none of those who have commented here would remain either.

We who have some knowledge of our faith easily recognize those many areas you misunderstand, and we would gladly offer you instruction as to the truth; however, this requires that you should be willing to hear the truth whatever it may be. How do you know if you are willing? If you find yourself inclined to simply deny whatever evidence is presented you contrary to your notions, then I suggest you might require some personal growth before continuing.

Please know:

* We neither take away from nor add to Holy Scripture.

* We worship no thing or being but the One God who is the Holy Trinity who is God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit.

* We have no doctrine or practice involving or emulating that of Vestal virgins, the Vestal priesthood or the worship or even acknowledgement of the pagan goddess, Vestus, nor have we ever.

* To my knowledge, no person was ever been burned at the stake (at least not under the direction of the Catholic Church) "just for trying to translate the Bible into a readable text." In fact, it was the Church that championed translation of scripture from Greek and Hebrew into the common language of the people.

May God bless you with every good gift according to His will.

Your brother in Christ,
--Theo

Tim A. Troutman said...

Theo, thanks for the backup. I posted my lengthy and not nearly as ecumenical response here.