“Faith Alone” Does Not Mean “Intellectually Assenting to a Few Facts about Jesus Alone”, Works Are Important and Indeed Necessary

Sharing this short conversation I had with two protestants (one is Anglican). Both of them agree that Faith Alone should be accompanied by good works. This is in contrast to the belief of many other protestants who say they have been saved by Jesus’ dying on the cross and that once saved they are always saved.

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Protestant 1 posted.

Requiring anything in addition to faith in Jesus Christ for salvation is a works-based salvation. To add anything to the gospel is to say that Jesus’ death on the cross was not sufficient to purchase our salvation.

Comments section:

Protestant 2 Yes, but we need to define terms here. True faith always brings forth good works. The good works don’t in and of themselves contribute to salvation, but they are the necessary fruit of faith.Roman Catholics and Orthdox tend to assume that by “faith alone” Protestants mean “intellectually assenting to a few facts about Jesus” alone. That’s not what we mean. Often we find ourselves talking past each other because our terms are undefined.

  • Jong Esto I was wondering how Protestants interpret this verse? Early Christians never argued about having to work (a lot) to be saved.James 2:24 You see that a man is justified by works and not by faith alone.
  • Protestant 2 Jong Esto The context of the verse is dealing with what true faith means. James is concerned with a faith that does not manifest itself with action. If we assume that salvation is not of works at all, as Paul teaches in several of his letters (e.g. Ephesians 2:8-9), and that there cannot be a contradiction between James and Paul, in my view the Protestant understanding harmonises the two teachings: works are important and indeed necessary, but they don’t save us, but rather prove our faith (“I will show you my faith by my works”, as James says). They are brought forth because of the work of God in us; or, as Luther put it, true faith “doesn’t stop to ask if good works ought to be done, but before anyone asks, it already has done them and continues to do them without ceasing”.
  • Jong Esto Protestant 2 Thank you. I am Catholic and agree with you: like C. S. Lewis, he compared grace and works to the blades of a pair of scissors. Both are necessary.In my observation, Protestantism puts more emphasis on faith while Catholicism and Orthodoxy put equal emphasis on both faith and works.
  • Protestant 2 Jong Esto I am a traditional Protestant (an Anglo-Catholic), and to be honest I agree with Roman Catholicism about a lot of things: I think the scriptures teach baptismal regeneration and the real presence. As an Anglican I also think there’s a large role for tradition to play in the modern church (though a subordinate one to scripture). I also think that many modern Protestants misunderstand faith alone. I’m about as Catholic as you can get without actually being Catholic.There are two things that are stopping me from taking the final step and becoming a Catholic: justification by faith and works, and the Mary stuff. On the one hand, I’m prepared to accept that in many cases we are talking at cross purposes (misunderstanding what each side means by “faith” and “works”, for instance), but on the other I am sceptical about joining a church that officially anathematised sola fide at Trent. I’m also reticent to join a church that teaches (if inconsistently) that Mary is co-redemptrix when the scriptures say exactly the opposite.
  • Jong Esto Protestant 2 i appreciate this. Can you share which particular statements/canon/s the the council produced about sola fide that you don’t agree with. I would guess #29? https://en.m.wikipedia.org/…/List_of_excommunicable…
  • Protestant 1 Protestant 2 We are justified ( by faith ) , declared righteous, at the moment of our salvation. After we enter the stage of justification comes sanctification , sanctification is not the act of God declaring a person righteous; rather, it is the continual process by which God is actually making a person righteous. Sanctification is the deliverance from the power of sin and is a present and continuous process of believers becoming Christlike, accomplished by the Holy Spirit’s power and presence. Sanctification represents a believer’s victory over the flesh (Romans 7:24–25), the world (1 John 5:4), and the devil (James 4:7). During sanctification comes works we have to do works so our faith won’t be dead and those works are reading the Bible, picking up your cross daily, basically trying to be more like Christ as you possibly can be
  • Protestant 2 Protestant 1 I don’t disagree with what you say but my main point was that because we are imprecise in our vocabulary, we tend to confuse non-Protestant Christians into thinking we are basically antinomians who don’t care about holiness or obedience. In my experience, we tend to be talking about the same things in a different way, using different vocabulary — leading to all sorts of hostility which is often deeply overblown. That’s my two cents anyway.
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My Conversation with a Protestant Brother Who Said, “I Just Can’t Comprehend How Catholicism Can See Praying to Mary Is Correct.”

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(Facebook Main post)
Can someone with a deeper understanding of this catholic practice explain it to me more in depth?
I know that there are a few versus that giving praise to mother marry stems from. One big one being Luke 11:27.
But read through 28 as well.
Luke 11:27-28~
“As he said these things, a woman in the crowd raised her voice and said to him, “Blessed is the womb that bore you, and the breasts at which you nursed!” But he said, “Blessed rather are those who hear the word of God and keep it!”
So this was not a correct approach as seen in the last part of the verse.
Also, Marry was a sinful woman. She birthed Christ yes. But he was only Christ because of God’s doing. And neither Joseph nor Marry had any influence in that.
And the Bible also says in 1st Timothy 2:5 that- “ For there is one God, and there is one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus.”
I just can’t comprehend how Catholicism can see praying to Marry is correct.
Have they not read these passages as well? Plus others!
And they also tend to make statues of the different quote on quote “Saints”
But mostly I am asking about Marry.
Is this not idolatry? I cannot compute
(My comment)
You’ll just end up knowing your allies here.
I suggest you take a course in Mariology. Many non Catholics with open mind have done it. Mariology gives you our Catholic views and understanding about Mary and all the titles given to her.
Remember God put an enmity between the woman (Mary) in Genesis and the serpent (Satan) and between Satan’s seed and Mary’s seed (Gen 3:15). We Catholics are obviously on Mary’s side.
She intercedes for us like many other saints living and dead. It’s her main role, she intercedes and lead us to Jesus his son, the one and only mediator between God and humankind.
You can send me a message if you want.
(Messenger chat starts…)
So when you say that Mary is one who intercedes for us and that it her main role, what scripture do you have that speaks on that?
I assume it’s in one of the seven books is protistans don’t use
Hi ***** how are you? I said she “and many other saints” intercede for us. Intercession can be made by a living person (like our pastors) or those who died in the friendship of God (the saints and prophets like Moses, etc.)
Sorry late reply. I appreciate your willingness. So is the intercession by those who are not alive based on scriptures? And also, does that imply that any person who has died but received salvation can intercede? Like a family member? Or do you just refer to saints and figures in the Bible? Also, if that is correct, that would mean the o oh thing special about Jesus is that he took the judgement of God upon himself. And on him we must believe. If your understanding in regards to intercession are correct, then would that not take away the unique attribute of Jesus that he is the one who connects us to the father?
Also, what then do you take from 1st Timothy 2:5? “For there is one God, and one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus”
Sorry also im doing this between my tasks. Appreciate your responses too. Mediation is Christ’s unique role and nobody else can replace our Lord for that. So Paul’s words to Timothy and other verses like Jn 17:3; 1 Cor 8:6 support that. Intercessors can be our family members both living and dead, or simply YOU can be my intercessor. I can ask you to intercede for me. James 5:16-18 says the righteous man’s prayer has great power in its effects. Since our souls are immortal, we Catholic believe the righteous men and women who died can still intercede for us. Yes! We Catholics believe they are alive and are in the presence of God. Try to reflect on 2 Kings 13:21. There’s a miracle there attributed to a dead prophet.
Okay thank you
Let me know what you think about that miracle in Kings.
Romans 15:30 reveals to me that the living can intercede for the living. That is my reasoning for that belief which you also agree with. However I have never found any scripture that speaks on the dead being allowed to intercede. Elisha we are almost certain is in heaven. But as far as our own family goes, we can not be sure. Even if we would like to think so. The instance you pointed me towards is interesting indeed. However just because this was showing us an action taken by someone who had already died, that doesn’t necessarily mean that the dead can intercede. I feel as though this subject is similar to some others. An Example being communion. Some churches take it once a week. Some once a month. Some even just once or twice per year. None of them are wrong or right though since the Bible simply says “as often as ye partake of it” So in the same way is this belief in intercession aside from Christ just kinda a personal belief/choice? I just can’t understand why a person would desire to have someone besides Christ intercede for them when they could just pray directly to Christ.
It’s easy. Christ mediates, the saints can only intercede. And we are informed in the Bible (James 5:16) that the prayers of certain people are more effective than those of others. And there are many other verses that supports intercessory prayers.
Elisha’s intercession and the frequency of the Holy Communion cannot be compared. I agree that the frequency is not really mandated in detail in the Bible reason why we Catholics actually do it every day in many parishes. Elisha’s intercession is clearly stated in the Bible and we cannot not believe in it.
Once again I appreciate your responses. So many people are defensive right from the start of a conversation when someone disagrees with their point of view. Which is sad. Anyway, I see where you are coming from there. It’s a difference in interpretation then I guess? See, I always thought that verse to be referring to men like you or I when it speaks of prayers of righteous people. And as far as Elisha goes, I guess I was more so speaking about intercession specifically to do with prayers. Also another thing that has me thinking is your use of two words. Those being intercede and mediate. I always took that as being the same thing. As in, if Christ is the mediator he is then also the intercessor. I could look it up online but that could very well give me a non biblical definition. So instead I’ll ask your thoughts on it since I don’t have any knowledge of it. What is the difference between mediator and intercessor within your belief? Does Christ being the mediator not also mean he is the one true intercessor? That is what my understanding has always been anyway.
No worries am glad we have this healthy discussion. Jesus Christ is the unique mediator between heaven and humankind. Of course as mediator, he mediates and intercedes between us and the Father. The saints intercedes for us to Jesus. This may seem inefficient for a non-Catholic but it’s very effective in the evangelisation and for individual spirituality too. When we look at Mexico, millions of pagan natives converts to Christianity because of Mary’s apparition there in the 16th century. If you have time in the future, the story of Guadalupe might interest you. Countless miracles happened and still happening because of Mary’s intercession. As a Catholic, I can pray straight to Jesus or to the Father in Jesus’ name. But my spiritual life has been enriched thru asking Intercession from Mary and other saints like Saint John Vianney. What Christian group do you belong to btw?
I see. Well I don’t exactly know if it gets to God still that way but I respect your view and am interested for sure. And what do you mean by what group? I attend a small church in southern Indians in the U.S. It is a Pentecostal denomination. Though even though I attend that church I often attend others. I don’t really have what people would call a “home church” And I consider myself to be non denominational. I do attend the church I mentioned above the most though. And it is part of the restoration movement. Does that tell you anything?
Yeah. I understand now how hard it is for you as a pentecostal or a non denominational to understand the role of saints. For me, easy because I’m born and raised Catholic. It’s something that existed since the beginning of Christianity. Only around early 1600s that strong claims against it started. But there were times when I also doubted about it. But studying both the Catholic teachings and non-Catholics objections cleared my doubts and humbly subjected myself to the teachings of the Church. I hope I have answered some of your questions and hope someday you will find a home church where you could receive the valid sacraments which we Catholics believe are essentials to our souls and for our salvation. If you have questions about Catholic Faith you can ask me I can only share my own experience and understanding. If you want an expert to answer your questions there are a lot of exceptional Catholic apologists in the US. Most of them were not Catholics. Try your luck and call Catholic Answers +18883187884. I listen to their program sometimes.
Thank you! I am less seasoned than you are in my faith being that I am so young. However that does not make it impossible for me to withhold knowledge as well I suppose. So if you ever for some reason would have a question for me I will do the same in answering to the best of my ability. It’s night where I am. I don’t know what it is where you are but have a good day/night regardless.
I’ll sure will ask you a couple of questions not related to this topic in the future. Thanks. For now, I did forget something earlier to ask regarding intercession of saints. Maybe you already encounter this before. What do you think of Rev 5:8? When we pray, it’s always for ourselves and/or for others people right? In this case, Who would benefit from the prayers of the saints in heaven when they are already in glory with God? In our eyes as Catholics, those on earth (and in purgatory – let’s not talk about purgatory :-)) are the beneficiaries of their prayers. By the way, Im in the Philippines. 🙂
So as a catholic, are you required to be subject to ALL of the practices? Like, can you be catholic but not to the Hail Mary’s? Can you be catholic but not use any intercessors? As in, praying to Jesus only. Can you be catholic but be in disagreement with the Pope? Can you be catholic but drink a substitute for the wine instead of wine? Can you be a catholic but be willing to attend Protestant gatherings? Things like that.
Btw, we are 12 hours apart in our time. So when it is 6:00 am for you, it is 6:00 PM for me and etc. So I’ll try to send messages to you with that in mind so that I don’t send you things at ridiculous times.
Yes. I can be Catholic and pray straight to Jesus only and not say the Hail Marys or ask intercession but I feel guilty not to because the sacred scriptures encourage us to do so. Popes are not infallible when their messages is not addressed to the universal Church. So yeah i disagree a lot especially with the current Pope. Not sure what you refer with wine substitute? It’s a sin for us to attend protestant weddings and prayers AND participate in them. But ok to attend as observer only.
Why is it sinful to pray prayers? Could you not meet me in person and pray with me on the fly? Or do you always have to do specific prayers that are practiced? And do you consider me your brother although I am not catholic? Or only if I became catholic? Also, what sacred scriptures encourage it?
Simple prayers are fine. We can pray together no problem. But rituals and ceremonies (like wedding) are a big no. We are brothers as adopted children of God (Gal 4:5). You don’t need to be Catholic if your conscience does not tell you so. Sacred Scriptures = The Holy Bible
Im actually working at night here so going to bed now haha.
Alright haha
-end of conversation-
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Is Judas in Hell? A Friendly Discussion with a Fellow Catholic

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With Bro. Eliseo Soriano‘s recent death, it is sometimes unavoidable to think whether he, who attacked the Catholic Church and other Christian sects, was saved or damned. Catholics are divided in this argument because it is a question that does not come up very often.

A Catholic priest who is very well respected in the field of apologetics in the Philippines posted something on his Facebook page related to the above-mentioned topic. I saw his post and I agreed that it is not useless to pray for the soul of the pastor. Another Catholic saw the same post who aggressively provoke the priest telling him to study a bit more about the matter. He does not like the idea of praying for the soul of a sinner. He sticks to an old belief that sinners like Judas are in hell, so, why pray for them?

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We had a separate conversation in the comments section of the priest’s post and this is the transcript. Note: I am hiding his identity until I get his permission to reveal his name in this post. His arguments in red and my responses in black fonts.

There is a consensus among the Fathers of the Church that JUDAS IS IN HELL.

In a 5th Century sermon, Pope St. Leo the Great said Judas Iscariot, the son of perdition, is punished eternally in hell.

“The traitor #Judas did not attain to this mercy, for the son of perdition (Jn. 17:12), at whose right hand the devil had stood (Ps. 108:6), had before this died in despair; even while Christ was fulfilling the mystery of the general redemption… The godless betrayer, shutting his mind to all these things, turned upon himself, NOT WITH A MIND TO REPENT, but in the madness of self-destruction: so that this man who had sold the Author of life to the executioners of His death, even in the act of dying sinned unto the increase of his own #eternal punishment.” cf. Sermon 62, On the Passion of the Lord

Even Pope Pius XI attested it.

“JUDAS, an Apostle of Christ, ‘one of the twelve,’ as the Evangelists sadly observe, WAS LED DOWN TO THE ABYSS OF INIQUITY (hell) precisely through the spirit of greed for earthly things.” (Encyclical Ad Catholici Sacredotii, n. 49)

“In the case of JUDAS, the abuse of grace was the reason for his reprobation, since he was made reprobate because HE DIED WITHOUT GRACE.” –St. Thomas Aquinas, Truth, Q. 6, Art. 2; p. 262 [Translated by Fr. Robert W. Mulligan, S.J.]

(https://books.google.com.ph/books?id=kupLAwAAQBAJ&pg=PA262&lpg=PA262&dq=In+the+case+of+JUDAS,+the+abuse+of+grace+was+the+reason+for+his+reprobation,+since+he+was+made+reprobate+because+HE+DIED+WITHOUT+GRACE&source=bl&ots=3zfjrjVGMP&sig=ACfU3U2LT2lPINTbHboVlW8ctCSE7OPGTQ&hl=ceb&sa=X&ved=2ahUKEwi8rvaq8uXuAhUdxYsBHSz4AzwQ6AEwBXoECAsQAQ#v=onepage&q&f=true)

Our Lord Jesus Christ also condemned Judas Iscariot.

“The Son of Man goes as it is written of him, but #WOE to that one by whom the Son of Man is betrayed! It would have been better for that one not to have been born.” St. Matthew 26:24

The Church has consistently believed that there will be at least two human beings in hell. The first is the Antichrist who is described in Revelation 20:10 as being “tormented day and night forever and ever.” One could also reasonably assume, given the principle of biblical typology, that all of the Antichrists described by St. John in his first letter as well as those who have been historically considered types of the Antichrist also suffered a similar fate. The other example is Judas Iscariot. Although the Church is not in the habit of declaring reverse canonizations, the witness of Scripture offers no other interpretation than that Judas Iscariot ended up in hell. In Matthew 26:24, Our Lord Jesus Christ declares that “would be better for that man [that betrayed Him] if he had never been born.” In John 6:70 He calls Judas “a devil” and in 17:2 He says that “none of them was lost except the son of destruction.” None of these could be true if Judas Iscariot was counted among the Blessed.

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(His Name) These are good arguments really. Please Allow me to comment.

Recorded or written sermons of Popes not addressed to the universal church, St Thomas, and the Fathers of the Church are not infallible. Even encyclicals are not infallible unless it’s really stated in that encyclical that this and this are infallible. You may read Humani Generis 1950.

To address this Ad Catholici Sacredotii you mentioned. It did say “abyss of inequity” which simply refers to a state of our souls when we succumb to temptations and the devil takes over us thus leading us to sin. The encyclical did not talk about hell but it was exhorting ministers m, like the apostles, to always be in a state of grace unlike Judas.

Finally, with Jesus’s statement during last supper about Judas, there is no certainty in that verse that Judas did not repent. He is God of Love and he wants us all qualified souls to himself.

Conclusion: The Universal Church never officially condemned anyone to hell! Judas, Bro Eli, etc. They are in hell if they did not truly repent before death! But we still pray for them as Christians who love their enemies.

Cheers bro!

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Jong Esto Faithful and informed Catholics know that JUDAS IS IN HELL.

The Council of Trent Catechism teaches that Judas lost his soul and thus, is in hell:

“Furthermore, no one can deny that it is a virtue to be sorrowful at the time, in the manner, and to the extent which are required. To regulate sorrow in this manner belongs to the virtue of penance. Some conceive a sorrow which bears no proportion to their crimes. Nay, there are some, says Solomon, who are glad when they have done evil. Others, on the contrary, give themselves to such melancholy and grief, as utterly to abandon all hope of salvation. Such, perhaps, was the condition of Cain when he exclaimed: My iniquity is greater than that I may deserve pardon. SUCH CERTAINLY WAS THE CONDITION OF #JUDAS, WHO, REPENTING, HANGED HIMSELF, AND THUS #LOST_SOUL AND BODY. Penance, therefore, considered as a virtue, assists us in restraining within the bounds of moderation our sense of sorrow.” [Council of Trent Catechism, section The Sacrament of Penance, subsection Penance Proved To Be A Virtue, (emphasis added)]

The Council of Trent Catechism further teaches that Judas’s apostleship brought him only #eternal ruin. Here are the catechism’s words:

“Some are attracted to the priesthood by ambition and love of honors; while there are others who desire to be ordained simply in order that they may abound in riches, as is proved by the fact that unless some wealthy benefice were conferred on them, they would not dream of receiving Holy Orders. It is such as these that our Savior describes as hirelings, who, in the words of Ezechiel, feed themselves and not the sheep, and whose baseness and dishonesty have not only brought great disgrace on the ecclesiastical state, so much so that hardly anything is now more vile and contemptible in the eyes of the faithful, but also end in this, that they derive NO OTHER FRUIT FROM THEIR PRIESTHOOD THAN WAS DERIVED BY JUDAS FROM THE APOSTLESHIP, WHICH ONLY BROUGHT HIM #EVERLASTING_DESTRUCTION.” [Council of Trent Catechism, section: The Sacrament of Holy Orders, subsection: The Right Intention, (emphasis added).

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(His Name) bro, Catechisms are not infallible!

Councils will produce infallible statements starting with “if anyone… let him be anathema”. Those are the infallible statements. The council of Trent did not say anything about Judas in its list of excommunicable offences.

Bro, it’s really easy! 1. Only God knows the heart and mind of the sinner. 2. The Church can excommunicate (for repentance) but can not condemn.

It took me years of studies and a lot of humility to understand infallibility.

Please message me privately should you want to chat further.

“Ad servitium Christi et Ecclesia ubique incitantis!”

http://www.theprayinglensman.com

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“The Roman Catechism is a work of exceptional authority. At the very least it has the same authority as a dogmatic Encyclical, it is an authoritative exposition of Catholic doctrine given forth, and GUARANTEED TO BE ORTHODOX BY THE CATHOLIC CHURCH AND HER SUPREME HEAD ON EARTH.” –Doctor John Hagan, [Rector of the Irish College in Rome, 1904-1930], cf. Authority and Excellence of the Roman Catechism

Before Vatican II, the case of Judas was not an issue. No Catholic doubted that Judas is in Hell. Exorcists attested to it. After Vatican 2 when some Catholics believe in false idea about “mercy”, their minds changed but not the Doctrine of the Church.

Judas was damned in hell because of suicide.

“Suicide is the sin of those in DESPAIR, who do not believe in God’s mercy and ability to carry them through all adversities. Suicide is a sin of Judas.

The suicide no longer holds that God forgives anything and everything when a sinner repents. He no longer holds that God is infinitely powerful, that he can draw good out of the most horrible evils.” (My Catholic Faith by Bishop Louis La Ravoire Morrow, S.T.D., p. 217)

“For if we look to its value, we must confess that the Redeemer shed His blood for the salvation of all; but if we look to THE FRUIT which mankind have received from it, we shall easily find that it PERTAINS not unto all, but TO MANY of the human race. When therefore (‘our Lord) said: For you, He meant either THOSE WHO WERE PRESENT, or those chosen from among the Jewish people, such as were, WITH THE EXCEPTION OF JUDAS, the disciples with whom He was speaking. When He added, And for many, He wished to be understood to mean the remainder of the elect from among the Jews or Gentiles.” (Catechism of the Council of Trent, p.147)

The Dogmatic Council of Trent never doubted that Judas was exempted from the FRUITS OF SALVATION offered by Christ at the Cross.

Judas was damned in Hell long before the Council declared it.

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(His Name) if you understand the limits of infallibility then we wouldn’t be arguing on this.

Bro can you confirm, just so it’s clear, are you with SSPX?

I am not with them bro.

Ok. I sent you a private message.

Cheers!

Hello bro can we continue here? (Now in Facebook Messenger private message)

Hi bro

So bro, although the Church does not define who are now in hell, which opinion do you side with? Is Judas saved or damned?

For me he is in hell and should be damned after all he has done.

Pero sarili ko lang paningin yan (But it’s just my own conclusion) as a human with limited thinking. Even my fav Saint John Vianney said Judas is in hell. There is less to no possibility kasi na nasaved siya (that he repented) if we refer to the written account(Bible). Plus Tradition supports his damnation as you may know from many references. Unfortunately wala pang (there is still no) official and infallible statement that ascertains his damnation. Di ba dapat 3 yan nagsupport sa isang teaching. (Shouldn’t it be that these three should support a teaching?) Bible, Tradition, at Magisterium? Once the Mother Church promulgates officially and solemnly that Judas is damned, that’s the time na mag fully agree ako with you (that I would fully agree with you). Kaso lang bro murag dili na mahitabo kay sa Ginoo man nang trabaho gud dili sa simbahan. (But I doubt it would happen because it’s God’s job to condemn and not the Church’s. All the Church can do is ask God for a sign na naging saint ang isang tao (that a person lived as a saint).

Ah pariho diay tag opinion bro. (Ah, so we have the same opinion then, bro.) Gani, ang mga visionaries ug exorcists ila pod gisulti nga naimpierno si Judas Iscariot. (In fact, visionaries and exorcists said that Judas is in hell.)

Correct! Pero (but), for Messages from visions and other private revelations, the faithful are not obliged to believe every single message attributed to these revelations. The Church can only confirm that such and such came from God and approve its devotions. Remember a seer or an exorcist is just but a member and they don’t represent the Universal Church.

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Let us serve Christ and the Church in all circumstances!

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The 3 Objectives of Catholic Apologetics

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A Catholic apologist and an exorcist priest from the Philippines, Father Darwin Gitgano, highlighted these three objectives of Catholic Apologetics during an online meeting with a group of Catholic Faith Defenders Cooperators (some aspiring to be official Catholic Faith Defenders in the future) on May 24, 2020. The priest emphasized the importance of defending the Catholic Faith in our times today when many people thirst for the truth amidst all the confusions caused by the attacks against the Mother Church.

Apologetics is of course not to silence and condemn anyone who do not confess the Catholic Faith. It has to be done with a dose of ecumenism and should not cause enmity between the attacker and the defender. Many of us have experienced debates that ended up badly to a point of unfriending an opponent. This is because we want to shame them of their false beliefs instead of having a friendly conversation about each other’s views.

Catholic Apologetics, if done well, could lead many to rediscover the beauty of Catholicism and why becoming a Catholic and practicing the faith is of vital importance for one’s soul. In apologetics, numerous souls are at stake, so, an apologist should be well equipped with knowledge and skills prior to engaging in faith-based discussions. It would be better for “unprepared apologist who confuse more souls” if a millstone were hung round his neck and he were cast into the sea. This is how I understand Jesus’s words in Luke 17:2. So, here are what aspiring apologists should look forward in their future apostolate:

Explain our belief in God

First, Catholic apologists should be able to explain why they believe in God without using the Bible. Those who do not believe in God do not believe in the Bible or any written account about a person or happenings related to anything divine or supernatural. Still, an apologist can make use of reasoning Saint Thomas Aquinas and other philosophers use to prove that there is someone beyond time and space who has power over everything seen and unseen.

Explain Christianity

Second, apologists should be able to explain God’s plan of salvation for humanity through Jesus Christ. To our Buddhist and Hindu brethren, they will not believe in the Sacred Scriptures because they also have sacred writings of their own. They even have sacred traditions handed over to them by their ancestors. They have their own prophets and saints too. To our Muslim and Jewish brethren, we cannot use the New Testament because they focus more on the Pentateuch and the writings of the Old Testament. Still, there are ways to explain to them our stand in a diplomatic way without starting a fight with them.

Explain the Catholic faith

Third, and most importantly, apologists should be able to explain to other Christians why the Catholic Church is the ONLY church that Christ built under the guidance of the Holy Spirit and in the person of a Pope as Christ’s representative. This time we can use the entire Bible, the Sacred Tradition and the history of Christianity to defend our stand. Therefore, it is imperative for an apologist to be familiar with the Holy Bible, its history and the messages God wants to deliver to mankind through it. An apologist should be able to make reference in the Holy Bible the teachings of Catholicism.

Conclusion

Catholic apologetics is not to shame non-Catholics of their beliefs or force them to confess the Catholic faith. Conversion is God’s job, although, we are all encouraged to help defend God and his Church against those who attack her. If we do not study our faith we become easy preys for those who want us out of the Church, and once we are out of the Church, we no longer have access to the sacraments (instituted by Christ) that keep our souls alive and healthy.

Read my other post:

Let us serve Christ and the Church in all circumstances!

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