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 Post subject: Need help in answering a facebook friend's comments, please
PostPosted: Fri Mar 09, 2012 5:50 pm 
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Hi, I haven't posted in awhile but am hoping you all will be able to help me. I need some assistance in a kind but informative response to a protestant friend's post. I linked the recent video by Fr. Barron about Protestantism and Authority, and titled it "a must-see for my Catholic fb friends". My friend David is a fairly knowledgable protestant and I will be in over my head if I attempt to give my own responses, so any assistance would be helpful.
Here it is:


Jen, you didn't say this was a "must-see" for me, but I saw it, and have a response for you to consider.

Fr. Barron quotes John Henry Newman saying "There has to be a living voice that can determine the truth of things..." - as Barron puts it, an "umpire" of sorts or "referee".

Hebrews 4:12 says that the Bible - the Word itself - is "living and active and sharper than any two-edged sword, and piercing as far as the division of soul and spirit, of both joints and marrow, and able to judge the thoughts and intentions of the heart."

Psalm 119:105 says "Thy Word is a lamp unto my feet and a light unto my Path".

But that's not good enough for the Catholic Church?

Jesus himself, in John 14-16 talks about how the Helper - that is the Holy Spirit - the Trinity Himself in Spirit form - will be our guide.

It seems to me that God already put in place the "umpire" or "living voice". And it has always been part of His plan. Check this out:

"In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was in the beginning with God. All things came into being through Him, and apart from Him nothing came into being that has come into being." - John 1:1-4

Fr. Barron even says that there is a place where the umpire/referee analogy breaks down, but that's covered under this "guarantee of the Holy Spirit". The "guarantee of the Holy Spirit" idea is totally new to me. Is he really saying that one person's spoken word must be taken literally as the very Word of God? Yet he also says that the church can overuse its authority. Is that his way of saying the church (and I take by inference he means Catholic leadership) can be wrong? Isn't history full of occasions when the Catholic church has changed a position previously spoken into authority by a Catholic leader? How does that work? Was the previous guarantee not really a guarantee, or is the guarantee of the new leader the fake one?

I go back to Hebrews 4:12 and 1 John 1 as my answer. God already initiated a plan that includes a true Umpire who will never be wrong, who is always guaranteed to be right. It's Him - in the flesh, in the Word, and in Spirit Form. And He is accessible to all. Or at least that's the way He puts it in John 3, Jeremiah 29, and all throughout scripture.


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 Post subject: Re: Need help in answering a facebook friend's comments, please
PostPosted: Fri Mar 09, 2012 6:56 pm 
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Yes, Jesus is the "true Umpire," but how does the person know they are listening to Him and not responding to personal preference? Read the Bible and pray? Ok, but again... how can one be sure that the answer is not just personal preference? Without the Church that has been here for 2,000 years there is no way to know. The bottom line issue is that if one doesn’t accept the authority of the Church as "a formal judge and standing expositor" of the Bible (Newman) they are rudderless on the ocean.

That does not mean that the Church has an answer for every issue that a person can think of, or that the Church does not allow for a significant amount of latitude on a number of issues; however, there is a limit and only by listening to the Church can one know those limits.

My recommendation would be to NOT engage in apologetics on FB and this question is a prime reason why. The topic has many potential twists and turns. In what you have posted there are four Scripture passages alone, and any one of those could take the discussion in a variety of directions.

You should invite them here.

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 Post subject: Re: Need help in answering a facebook friend's comments, please
PostPosted: Fri Mar 09, 2012 7:04 pm 
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Thanks, Greg. I invited him and hope he'll come check it out. I appreciate your answer.


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 Post subject: Re: Need help in answering a facebook friend's comments, please
PostPosted: Fri Mar 09, 2012 8:55 pm 
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MidnightSunCatholic wrote:
Hi, I haven't posted in awhile but am hoping you all will be able to help me. I need some assistance in a kind but informative response to a protestant friend's post. I linked the recent video by Fr. Barron about Protestantism and Authority, and titled it "a must-see for my Catholic fb friends". My friend David is a fairly knowledgable protestant and I will be in over my head if I attempt to give my own responses, so any assistance would be helpful.
Here it is:


Jen, you didn't say this was a "must-see" for me, but I saw it, and have a response for you to consider.

Fr. Barron quotes John Henry Newman saying "There has to be a living voice that can determine the truth of things..." - as Barron puts it, an "umpire" of sorts or "referee".

Hebrews 4:12 says that the Bible - the Word itself - is "living and active and sharper than any two-edged sword, and piercing as far as the division of soul and spirit, of both joints and marrow, and able to judge the thoughts and intentions of the heart."

Psalm 119:105 says "Thy Word is a lamp unto my feet and a light unto my Path".

But that's not good enough for the Catholic Church?

Jesus himself, in John 14-16 talks about how the Helper - that is the Holy Spirit - the Trinity Himself in Spirit form - will be our guide.

It seems to me that God already put in place the "umpire" or "living voice". And it has always been part of His plan. Check this out:

"In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was in the beginning with God. All things came into being through Him, and apart from Him nothing came into being that has come into being." - John 1:1-4

Fr. Barron even says that there is a place where the umpire/referee analogy breaks down, but that's covered under this "guarantee of the Holy Spirit". The "guarantee of the Holy Spirit" idea is totally new to me. Is he really saying that one person's spoken word must be taken literally as the very Word of God? Yet he also says that the church can overuse its authority. Is that his way of saying the church (and I take by inference he means Catholic leadership) can be wrong? Isn't history full of occasions when the Catholic church has changed a position previously spoken into authority by a Catholic leader? How does that work? Was the previous guarantee not really a guarantee, or is the guarantee of the new leader the fake one?

I go back to Hebrews 4:12 and 1 John 1 as my answer. God already initiated a plan that includes a true Umpire who will never be wrong, who is always guaranteed to be right. It's Him - in the flesh, in the Word, and in Spirit Form. And He is accessible to all. Or at least that's the way He puts it in John 3, Jeremiah 29, and all throughout scripture.





In the new testament, Jesus describes himself as the word. So 'the word' we should be listening to is not by definition the scripture. Its Jesus who is the word, he himself says. John 1:14 identifies him as the word. When the old testament, Hebrews, talks about The Word, they are talking about The Decalog, The Ten commandments..... Protestants often misinterpret 'the word' as the bible, a book that was not invented until Guttenberg, completely bypassing what the new testament says the word is........Jesus, the source of the teaching....... Unless she thinks there was some floating bible over the waters in the first day of creation. As for the John 14 to 16, Jesus is talking exclusively to the apostles, in foreshadowing of Pentecost..... He was in an enclosed room NOT talking to any Tom Dick and Harry in the street........

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Edith Stein

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 Post subject: Re: Need help in answering a facebook friend's comments, please
PostPosted: Fri Mar 09, 2012 9:19 pm 
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My first question for your friend would be this: what did the believers do in the first four centuries of the Church? There was no official canon of scripture and there were numerous writings claiming to have divine imprimateur. If our salvation comes from listening to and obeying the word alone (faith alone), then how did people get saved in those first four centuries?

The Bible has to be interpreted. Ask him who has the divine imprimateur of infallibly interpreting scripture and ask for his proof of this charism. In other words, he has to show that his chosen denomination has gotten it right over and above all the other denominations in the world, which is quite a few.

If the Bible is so perspicuous and so easy to understand and believe in, how's come you can put 100 people in a room with 100 Bibles, a stack of pizzas and a few kegs of beer, and wind up three days late with 33 denominations? Ask him how come all the denominations claim they have the truth, all swear they follow the Bible properly interpreted as led by the Holy Spirit, yet they can't agree with one another.

Those might be good for a start.


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 Post subject: Re: Need help in answering a facebook friend's comments, please
PostPosted: Fri Mar 09, 2012 9:51 pm 
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You all are INVALUABLE. Thank you!! :clap:


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 Post subject: Re: Need help in answering a facebook friend's comments, please
PostPosted: Fri Mar 09, 2012 10:44 pm 
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Mmmmmmm ... pizza and beer.

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 Post subject: Re: Need help in answering a facebook friend's comments, please
PostPosted: Sat Mar 10, 2012 1:34 am 
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Obi-Wan Kenobi wrote:
Mmmmmmm ... pizza and beer.

I've been spending too much time on facebook. I tried to find the "like" button for this post. :roll:


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 Post subject: Re: Need help in answering a facebook friend's comments, please
PostPosted: Sat Mar 10, 2012 3:15 am 
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Thank you for all of the responses. They are appreciated.


Last edited by MidnightSunCatholic on Tue Mar 13, 2012 1:01 am, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject: Re: Need help in answering a facebook friend's comments, please
PostPosted: Mon Mar 12, 2012 2:55 pm 
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Light of the East wrote:
My first question for your friend would be this: what did the believers do in the first four centuries of the Church? There was no official canon of scripture and there were numerous writings claiming to have divine imprimateur. If our salvation comes from listening to and obeying the word alone (faith alone), then how did people get saved in those first four centuries?

The Bible has to be interpreted. Ask him who has the divine imprimateur of infallibly interpreting scripture and ask for his proof of this charism. In other words, he has to show that his chosen denomination has gotten it right over and above all the other denominations in the world, which is quite a few.

If the Bible is so perspicuous and so easy to understand and believe in, how's come you can put 100 people in a room with 100 Bibles, a stack of pizzas and a few kegs of beer, and wind up three days late with 33 denominations? Ask him how come all the denominations claim they have the truth, all swear they follow the Bible properly interpreted as led by the Holy Spirit, yet they can't agree with one another.

Those might be good for a start.

Most importantly, a book cannot authenicate itself. It cannot say "this is truth" by it's claim alone. It needs an authenticator, and that is the Church.

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 Post subject: Re: Need help in answering a facebook friend's comments, please
PostPosted: Mon Mar 12, 2012 9:14 pm 
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There are many, many well-intended protestants who read the scriptures and pray for God's guidance on the meaning of this or that passage. And yet they often reach different beliefs about what the Bible says about a wide variety of topics. Who is right? How can you know?

Take for instance, the Eucharist. Is Jesus present in the bread and wine, or not? This simple question could not be agreed upon by the reformers (Luther, Calvin, Zwingli). The very first men to preach the Bible is our sole, final authority on all faith matters could not agree on what the Bible says about the Eucharist, a core aspect of worship! So they went their seperate ways and started their own churches. Which one has the correct understanding about the Eucharist? Which one was led by the Spirit? How can you know? This is proof that the Sola Scriptura principle failed from the very beginning of its use. It immediately caused division.

And yet, historically, the rest of the church for 1500 years commonly agreed that Christ was present in the bread and wine. This is easy to see in the earliest writings outside the Bible up until the time of the reformation.

There are so many other divisions in protestantism and how is an average person supposed to know which church has the correct teaching on the following: Can you lose your salvation? Can women serve as priests? Can you divorce and remarry? Are the spiritual gifts active today? Should worship be liturgical? Rapture, or not? Pre or post tribulation rapture? Gay clergy? A church leadership hierarchy? Music in church? Pictures or statues in church? Full immersion, sprinkling, or no water baptism? Can you drink, dance, or smoke? Even... is there a hell?

These are all things I have heard friends voice as differences between their churches, and I'm sure the list would be much longer if I thought it for a while.

Your friend may be as ignorant as I used to be, until I started studying church history. As I read the church fathers and learned about the early heresies and the various ecumenical councils to settle them, I was confronted with these problems above and it turned my whole world upside down. Even though I did not want to become a catholic, it was the only intellectually honest thing to do.


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 Post subject: Re: Need help in answering a facebook friend's comments, please
PostPosted: Tue Mar 13, 2012 2:56 pm 
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Quote:
Hebrews 4:12 says that the Bible - the Word itself - is "living and active and sharper than any two-edged sword, and piercing as far as the division of soul and spirit, of both joints and marrow, and able to judge the thoughts and intentions of the heart."

That passage is not about the bible but about Jesus.

12For the word of God is living and effectual, and more piercing than any two edged sword; and reaching unto the division of the soul and the spirit, of the joints also and the marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart. 13 Neither is there any creature invisible in his sight: but all things are naked and open to his eyes, to whom our speech is. 14 Having therefore a great high priest that hath passed into the heavens, Jesus the Son of God: let us hold fast our confession.

Please note the text in bold. The bible cannot discern things nor know the intents of the heart. It is Jesus, mentioned in the following verses, who does these things, not the dead letter.

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 Post subject: Re: Need help in answering a facebook friend's comments, please
PostPosted: Tue Mar 13, 2012 3:33 pm 
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In v. 12 the word "word" is the Greek word "logos" which is generally understood as the spoken word. It may also, per Strong's, carry a meaning of "the mental faculty of thinking, meditating, reasoning." In John 1 it refers to Jesus. In any event, as metal said, it is not the Bible. The word for writing is "graphō;" for Scripture specifically it would be "graphē" (IIRC).

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Formerly: Greg.

- I try to have a little something for everybody in my posts. If you notice a spelling, grammar, or punctuation error... well... I put that in for you.

- I remember a lot of things. (Some of which actually happened.)

- Even the best of men may be born in times unsuited to their virtues.


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