Reasoning with Catholics

Discussion in 'Baptist Theology & Bible Study' started by evangelist6589, Dec 5, 2014.

  1. evangelist6589

    evangelist6589
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    I am stepping outside the field of evangelism and into Apologetics. My first time doing something like this as typically I am a open air preacher.

    Last night I made an attempt to reason with three Catholic leaders at their church for 2 hours. I had said that the meeting would be primarily about Justification and other topics would need to wait for other meetings, as I believe Justification is the Catholics weakest point. However they hit me on a weak spot on the topic of Canonization as unfortunately I did not come prepared to debate on that topic and the leader did not keep his agreement to debate only justification. I have this book on Catholics by James White, but he does not hit on the topic as well as Norm Geisler in another book that I have, so I am looking through both books for the next meeting.

    I had a number of verses on Justification by faith written down and gave them a few but they kept holding to their works based argument using passages from James and also Matt 25 to indicate that works are required for salvation. However the passage that seemed to hit a nerve was Gal 2:16 (KJV) Knowing that a man is not justified by the works of the law, but by the faith of Jesus Christ, even we have believed in Jesus Christ, that we might be justified by the faith of Christ, and not by the works of the law: for by the works of the law shall no flesh be justified. Their response to this verse was that its application is first century only and not applicable for today. Strange argument, and at the same time they believe the book of James and Matt 25 is applicable to us today.

    We plan to meet again and this time I will be ready on canonization as this Norm Geisler book I have is providing much detail on this topic. Anyone ever reasoned with a Catholic? As a Calvinist all I can do is plead with them and attempt to reason, however at this time God has not granted faith and repentance to them as they may not be of the elect, so since they are interested we will meet again, but if they continue to reject the gospel, I will dust off my feet and leave. Perhaps at a later date they will come to faith.

    Also one question. Why do they like NT Wright?
     
    #1 evangelist6589, Dec 5, 2014
    Last edited by a moderator: Dec 5, 2014
  2. JonC

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    The biggest problem that I have encountered dealing with Catholics is definitely not justification. The biggest issue I've seen is tradition. So many are Catholic because their families were always Catholic. The one's I know do not believe the RCC to be right in all doctrines, but they do believe the RCC to hold all authority (for example, they disagree on priest's not being able to marry, and on the RCC stance regarding birth control...BUT they see salvation as being through the RCC). This is the second biggest issue I've seen - Catholics understanding of the Church.
     
  3. Rolfe

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    Been my experience as well.
     
  4. PreachTony

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    It's been my experience that almost everyone does this to a degree. We pick and choose the scriptures that best fit our chosen theology and we simply state that other verse no longer apply to us.

    Some people will say that the Law and the scriptures of the Old Testament are meaningless for modern Christians, and only the New Testament applies. Some will argue that certain epistles are only addressed to certain groups, and therefore not applicable to us. Others will skim over verses that don't wholly support their soteriology or eschatology. It's just something we do, though obviously that does not justify it.
     
  5. Earth Wind and Fire

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    Yes ....I know this 1st hand....however tradition can impede progress in Protestants & Baptists as well. My fathers family were preachers amongst the Calvinistic Baptists & Methodists...so they were just as stuck in their traditions. Moms people on the RC side could trace themselves back to Constantine....In fact, that was her fathers given name. Yes Tradition is big.

    But the "Real impediment" is the way they (RC's) get their Grace & Forgiveness.....IE, through saying an act of contrition and/or going to confession. Then all their sins are wiped clean leading them to go out and sin again.....to me anyway this is "Cheap Grace" not permanent or lasting.
     
  6. evangelist6589

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    Disagreement on eschatology or the sign gifts is secondary. Disagreement on justification is eternal. Faith alone without works is all over the NT. They think this is secondary and eschatology is a fundamental which is hogwash. Lots of brothers disagree with my eschatology views. But we all agree justification is faith alone.
     
  7. JonC

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    That is true as well. In this lifetime, they are taught dependence not on Christ but the Catholic Church as they hold the keys to heaven. Most that I know also believe that everyone who does good works will be saved (regardless of belief in Christ or affiliation with the Church). I wonder if this varies depending on the culture where one lives (we have a Catholic presence in our area, but they are a minority).
     
  8. evangelist6589

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    They took offense that I questioned the salvation of their priest. I said if he holds to works based salvation he is lost. They replied and told me of all the poor he is helping to justify his salvation.
     
  9. Revmitchell

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    You struggled with them because you are not near prepared to do what you are doing. You are in need of some discipleship.
     
  10. PreachTony

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    I was making the point that people do what you say these men did, and they do it for any number of reasons. It's basically a human trait. I've been told on this board that telling someone to work out their own salvation with fear and trembling is not applicable, as it was only addressed to the church at Philippi. When I questioned why it was given to all of us in the Bible if it was only meant for Philippians, the other poster went silent and eventually changed the topic.

    This is, unfortunately, the case for far too many Christians who attempt to debate and discuss certain issues. We believe ourselves to be intelligent enough, or well-prepared enough, to handle any situation that might arise.
     
  11. evangelist6589

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    Actually I was well prepared for what I planned to discuss and had many verses reviews on justification. I reviewed books which helped me better understand the Bible.

    I was not prepared for the topic at hand as he did that to throw me off. However the next time I plan to be better prepared for that topic and have numerous books on canonization including some helpful systematic theologies.

    But yes I am new to this sort of thing and am learning. Am a much better street evangelist. Practice makes perfect rev Mitchell.
     
  12. Earth Wind and Fire

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    Mostly they have been taught that they are the one true church, so they ignore anyone else who has a different prospective. In-fact they consider protestants who try to proselytize (remember that word people, Catholics love to hate it) as self righteous nuts & pests. Best to engage them when they are in a time of spiritual crisis like a divorce or a pedophile incident....then they might listen....but then later ignore you.

    My stance is only the Holy Spirit can & will call them out if they are elect. Maybe you can plant seeds but it all comes down to Him.
     
  13. gigabyte71

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    :thumbs: One has to wonder how much harm as been done by those who are not prepared for these encounters.
     
  14. Earth Wind and Fire

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    Yes Gig, but look at it the way the RCC views it, "There is an enormous field of Catholics, so what if we damage a few in the process? We are still Gods Gift to humanity." So what if he breaks a coupla eggs in the process?
     
  15. Zenas

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    If they think eschatology is fundamental you're dealing with some very unusual Catholics. They probably brought it up because they think that you believe it is fundamental. Quite a few evangelicals do hold this as very important, you know.
     
  16. evangelist6589

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    It is important. However it's wrong to say that the historic Premill has another gospel.
     
  17. Zenas

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    It's interesting. It's not very important. Whether you are preterist, dispensational, premil, postmil or amil, it will not affect your eternal destiny and it certainly won't affect what is really going to happen when Christ returns.
     
  18. evangelist6589

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    If Metzger, or Mike Gendrin could disciple u would take it. These are some good experts in the field.
     
  19. JonC

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    One thing that I've found curious are those Baptists who become Catholic. I don't see how one could be taught biblical doctrine, or even merely belong to a church that places emphasis on Scripture, and discard that for RCC doctrine.
     
  20. Salty

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    (bold my emphasis)

    E-6, does that also hold true for Church of Christ?
     

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