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Friday, June 20, 2008

Common Questions from Protestants

You know how we always say not to pile all of your objections to the Catholic Church in one long comment? Well, Dave Armstrong has answered one of those sorts of comments on his blog. His reply is extremely long, and it is full to other articles he was written with material backing up his response. I'll excerpt a few bits here, but it's worth wandering over with a drink and a good amount of time for reading.

The protestant words are in green, and Dave's words are in black.

Peter was a leader, yes, but I don't see him being a "pope" in Scripture, let alone infallible.
Papal infallibility is exercised in conjunction with the Church as a whole: bishops and councils. Scripture expressly states that a council of the early Church was infallible:
Acts 15:29-30: "For it has seemed good to the Holy Spirit and to us to lay upon you no greater burden than these necessary things: that you abstain from what has been sacrificed to idols and from blood and from what is strangled and from unchastity."
It is not implausible, then, to hold to papal infallibility, in light of the virtual infallibility of both prophets and apostles, that is manifest in Scripture. The great authority of the papacy is seen in how Scripture presents Peter:

50 New Testament Proofs for Petrine Primacy and the Papacy

The Biblical, Primitive Papacy: St. Peter the "Rock": Scholarly Opinion (Mostly Protestant)

The Biblical, Primitive Papacy: St. Peter & the "Keys of the Kingdom of Heaven": Scholarly Opinion (Mostly Protestant) (+ Part II)

The Bible teaches us that "all have sinned and come short of the glory of God."

Sinfulness has no direct relation to infallibility. If it did, then we couldn't have inspired Scripture, since sinners wrote all of it (Moses, David, Paul, Peter). If a sinner can write Scripture that is divinely inspired, then he can be protected from error (infallibility) because the latter (a negative protection) is a lot less of a miracle than the former, which is a positive attribute.
. . .
When the early believer "broke bread," it was a simple memorial and wasn't regarded as His literal body and blood.

All the evidence of early Church belief that we have mitigates against this. Don't take my word for it. You can consult any reputable Protestant historian of that period: History of the Doctrine of the Eucharist: Nine Protestant Scholarly Sources.

This is a fact. I'm not trying to argue it. It is simply factual information.

With all due respect, I don't think you can demonstrate historically that it was a fact. I think what we find is the exact opposite. Since I cited all Protestant scholars in the above survey, it can't be said that they had a Catholic bias and were merely looking to confirm what they already believed (i.e., special pleading).

We have no reason whatsoever (no factual information) to think that the apostles ever turned bread and wine into the body and blood of Jesus.

Again, I must disagree. That's not, I submit, what the Apostle Paul thought, as we saw in 1 Corinthians 10:16 above. In 1 Corinthians 11:27-30 Paul states that partaking of Communion "in an unworthy manner" causes one to be guilty of "profaning the body and blood of the Lord." That is Real Presence. He's not just saying one is "abusing the memory of the Lord" or some such, as we would say if someone spit on a grave or something. No; it is profaning His actual body and blood, because that is what Paul believes was present in the Eucharist.

Martin Luther thought both of these texts were absolutely clear and compelling. He wrote about 1 Corinthians 10:16:
Even if we had no other passage than this we could sufficiently strengthen all consciences and sufficiently overcome all adversaries . . . He could not have spoken more clearly and strongly . . . The bread which is broken or distributed piece by piece is the participation in the body of Christ. It is, it is, it is, he says, the participation in the body of Christ. Wherein does the participation in the body of Christ consist? It cannot be anything else than that as each takes a part of the broken bread he takes therewith the body of Christ . . .

(Against the Heavenly Prophets in the Matter of Images and Sacraments, 1525; Luther's Works, Vol. 40: 177, 181, 178)
And about 1 Corinthians 11:27-30:
It is not sound reasoning arbitrarily to associate the sin which St. Paul attributes to eating with remembrance of Christ, of which Paul does not speak. For he does not say, “Who unworthily holds the Lord in remembrance,” but “Who unworthily eats and drinks.”

(Ibid., 183-184)

If Jesus wanted to teach what Catholics teach on this question, He would have made it very6 clear so there would be no confusion. And the Last Supper was not regarded as an ongoing ritual.

He was absolutely clear at the Last Supper ("This is My Body"). And He was so clear in the discourse in John 6 that it is the only known record of disciples ceasing to follow Jesus, because they couldn't handle the teaching of Real Presence:
John 6:52-66: The Jews then disputed among themselves, saying, "How can this man give us his flesh to eat?" So Jesus said to them, "Truly, truly, I say to you, unless you eat the flesh of the Son of man and drink his blood, you have no life in you; he who eats my flesh and drinks my blood has eternal life, and I will raise him up at the last day. For my flesh is food indeed, and my blood is drink indeed. He who eats my flesh and drinks my blood abides in me, and I in him. As the living Father sent me, and I live because of the Father, so he who eats me will live because of me. This is the bread which came down from heaven, not such as the fathers ate and died; he who eats this bread will live for ever." This he said in the synagogue, as he taught at Caper'na-um. Many of his disciples, when they heard it, said, "This is a hard saying; who can listen to it?" But Jesus, knowing in himself that his disciples murmured at it, said to them, "Do you take offense at this? Then what if you were to see the Son of man ascending where he was before? It is the spirit that gives life, the flesh is of no avail; the words that I have spoken to you are spirit and life. But there are some of you that do not believe." For Jesus knew from the first who those were that did not believe, and who it was that would betray him. And he said, "This is why I told you that no one can come to me unless it is granted him by the Father." After this many of his disciples drew back and no longer went about with him.
. . .

In other words, the transubstantiation wasn't even a twinkle in anybody's eye back then. That whole transubstantiation idea came wayyyy later, my friend. Truly it did.


So what? It's a development of an earlier doctrine that had always been held, just like the Trinity.
ME: The Apostle Paul refers to the "table of the Lord" an "altars" in the context of Christian worship. That only meant one thing: sacrifice, and since there were no more sacrifices of lambs and goats, it referred to Jesus' sacrifice on the cross and the Eucharist:



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16 comments:

Blondie said...

This is a post for Catholic parents. A wee bit off-topic, but not really.

Last week, my 12yo son stayed with my inlaws and saw a few of his cousins. We are the only Catholics in the family, and he was bombarded with questions and accusations by his Protestant cousins. I was pleased to hear that he was pretty well-prepared to answer them, but it reminded me to get out the "Friendly Defenders" flash cards that we bought a while back, and start working with him again. You can find more about them here:

http://www.friendlydefenders.com
/index2.htm

First of all, I will say that knowing your faith well is the best defense - but these flash cards are great practice for kids and gives them practice answering common objections. My kids love them and they ask each other the questions and see if they can answer. We use them all together as a family too.

Buildeth Her House said...

I'm not Catholic , and I haven't taken offense or have been hurt by Candy's RC posts..... I haven't read them through completely either.....so I really can't give an opinion on them. But what I do know is that having a blog soley devoted to bashing her because of your differences wouldn't be a very Catholic or Christian thing to do.

Proverbs 26:20
Where no wood is, there the fire goeth out: so where there is no talebearer, the strife ceaseth.

catthief said...

I would like to say thank you for allowing everyone to post their comments EVEN if they disagree with your beliefs and then answering their questions. I really appreciate that about this blog.

Elena said...

But what I do know is that having a blog soley devoted to bashing her because of your differences wouldn't be a very Catholic or Christian thing to do.

So do I. That's why this blog is not about solely bashing anyone. In fact this is a "no bash" zone.

Kelly said...

But what I do know is that having a blog soley devoted to bashing her because of your differences wouldn't be a very Catholic or Christian thing to do.

Could you point out the part of this post that is bashing Candy?

Tracy said...

Great post Kelly, thanks for the link to Dave's site, I'm adding it to my blog roll!!

KitKat said...

I just don't understand why some commentors believe that this is a "Bash Candy" or "anti-Candy" website. Yes, peolple have expressed some frustration at the accusations against the Catholic Church that have been presented on Candy's website and about the fact that she has been less than willing to let Catholics correct any misinformation that she has published on her blog with the real facts about Catholicism. But my understanding is that this website was created because Candy refused to let Catholics comment with the facts about Catholicism when she posted her articles about the Roman Catholic Church, NOT to attack her personally. This blog is "The other side of the story" to the one-sided anti-Catholicism posts on Candy's blog. Yes, you may occasionally read some frustration in the comment section but Elena, Kelly and the other bloggers are careful to make sure that no one is "bashed". There is, I believe, a difference between expressing occasional frustration about a situation and bashing an individual.

Blondie said...

Obviously people like "buildeth her house" find this blog and don't bother to read any of it before posting some kind of infammatory comment about it being a Candy-bashing site.

The least you could do is READ a few entries before criticizing this blog.

Buildeth Her House said...

Yes, I do see you talk about other things besides Candy on this blog.... such as your Cahtolic faith. It's the over all premise of the blog. I mean it is called " Visits to Candyland". If someone named a blog solely after me because we had differences or unpleasant disagreements.....I don't think I would be flattered. It's the motive behind the blog. Isn't their another way you can defend your faith without her being the primary focus?

I don't agree with everything she blogs about either..... but I wouldn't put a blog up about it. If I think about it.... if I put up individual blogs & named them after every person I had a disagreement with......boy oh boy, that's alot of wasted energy & it is kind of funny to think about all the blogs I could come up with : )
Anyway the only thing it could possibly do is fuel the fire & bitterness in one's heart toward another. It leaves no place for forgiveness.

I wasn't responding to anything about this particular post....I was just commenting on the blog as a whole.

Proverbs 26:20
Where no wood is, there the fire goeth out: so where there is no talebearer, the strife ceaseth.

Tracy said...

I have posted at Baptist message boards, Lutheran message boards (run by Lutheran ministers!!) and they all let me post and don't mess with my post or link it to a jack chick page etc. My point being, they may not agree with me at all but they are decent enough to have a discussion with me without words becoming nasty. I have even had some back down and admit they needed to look into more of the Catholic church as they really didn't understand it all (wow!!) I'm not trying to convert them but just to state the facts and although they do come across at times as trying to convert me... for their part, they publish my posts in their entirety and don't get nasty with their words.
Elena and Kelly have always allowed people to post and discuss their faiths even if they personally don't agree. The only time they sensor is when the post is totally off topic and just meant to hurt and say mean off topic things that have nothing to with the Church.

Elena said...

Yes, I do see you talk about other things besides Candy on this blog.... such as your Cahtolic faith. It's the over all premise of the blog. I mean it is called " Visits to Candyland". If someone named a blog solely after me because we had differences or unpleasant disagreements.....I don't think I would be flattered.

This blog started because Candy would post things about Catholicism that were untrue and erroneous AND THEN, she would NOT allow Catholics or anyone else to correct her in her comment boxes. As her e-mail is also available, I felt that I had no other choice but to get the message across to her and her readers via this blog.

Additionally, Candy has also taken my comments, and the comments of other people and she has lied about them or mischaracterized them without letting others read the actual comment. This blog was also started as a way to document my actual comments so that there could be no question about what was actually said.

But don't feel too bad for Candy. Because of this blog her numbers have soared.

It's the motive behind the blog. Isn't their another way you can defend your faith without her being the primary focus?

On this blog, she is the person we are defending the faith from. She is the one who posts untruths, half truths and outright lies. She is the one who refuses to let corrections through on her posts. If she would stop, we would stop.

I don't agree with everything she blogs about either..... but I wouldn't put a blog up about it.

Well I wouldn't have ordinarily either. However Candy is so outspoken, so recalcitrant to correction and claims to have over 2000 readers a day. By reason of conscience I could not let her outrageous posts go unchallenged.

If I think about it.... if I put up individual blogs & named them after every person I had a disagreement with......boy oh boy, that's alot of wasted energy & it is kind of funny to think about all the blogs I could come up with : )

That's why it's best to pick your battles.

I wouldn't say this blog has been a waste of energy. May people have written in the comments or e-mailed me to thank me for it. Many non-Catholics have told me that they understand Catholicism much better now and they are thankful to have any misconceptions cleared up.



Anyway the only thing it could possibly do is fuel the fire & bitterness in one's heart toward another. It leaves no place for forgiveness.

Well I wouldn't say that. I am totally willing to take this blog down if Candy ceases and desists in talking about Catholicism. In fact, I did take it down for a while last fall. I can honestly say that I feel no bitterness or even anger towards Candy. I consider myself simply an apologist and I am giving readers a chance to read both sides.

BTW, if I were following Candy's commenting practices, your comment would not ever show up on the blog.

I wasn't responding to anything about this particular post....I was just commenting on the blog as a whole.

Well I think that you should probably spend some more time reading the blog as a whole. There's a lot of history here that you are obviously unaware of.

Mary said...

I just wanted to say thank you for taking the time to write this post. It must have taken hours! I have learned alot about Catholicism since I started coming here. This blog should be required reading for everyone who has questions about the Catholic faith.

Thanks for your efforts, and hours of research.

Mary in TN
(blog has been neglected for months!)

Kelly said...

I just wanted to say thank you for taking the time to write this post. It must have taken hours!

I can't take the credit Mary, this post is an excerpt from Dave Armstrong's website. I provided a link in the post, if you would like to read what he wrote in its entirety.

And Tracy, I sometimes think about Dave when we get accused of having an inflammatory blog. Those professional apologists, such as Dave Armstrong, can get mighty fired up on occasion!

buildeth her house, I believe we answered many of your concerns very recently, so even reading down the front page would give you a better idea for our motivation for the blog, and assurances that we are not attacking Candy personally, but are addressing her misinformation on the Catholic Church.

If you ran into a Muslim who told you that Christians believed Jesus was a wise man who was the son of Mary and Joseph, wouldn't you be obligated to correct him? Matters of faith are very important, and while Candy is free to disagree with us theologically, we want people to understand what the Catholic Church really teaches. The, I suppose, you can disagree with what we really believe, instead of what you just think we believe! ;)

Diana said...

Hello, I’m not a Catholic myself, but my sister has recently married and her Husband and his family are Catholic. My sister is going through her initiation and they are meeting each week mainly at my sisters house because her mother-in-law isn’t in the best of health but wants to be involved with it. I’ve been helping out and I have to tell you, I’m really enjoying the meetings. It’s really opening my eyes, and it does make one stop and think. I understand the need for this website. I myself can’t see any bashing going on here. Just correcting the un-truths. I think you ladies are doing a great job. We turn to your site for almost everything.
Blessings to all

Kelly said...

Thank you very much for the compliments, Diana!

Clare said...

Blondie, thanks for the 'friendly defenders' tip. Looks like just the thing for us.