Apologetics for the Masses - Issue #193

Bible Christian Society

General Comments

Hey folks, I need a favor from you guys – there is a poll being conducted at this guy’s blog where you can vote for your favorite Catholic speaker. Yours truly is one of the 250 nominees. Would you do me a favor, and if you are of a mind to do so, go to this blog and put in a vote. You can vote for up to 15 speakers, and of course I would love to be one of the folks you vote for. I’m just hoping to get enough votes to bring the Bible Christian Society to the attention of some folks who maybe have never heard of us – which is actually what this poll is all about…bringing to people’s attention all of the various Catholic speakers out there. The link to the voting site is: http://brandonvogt.com/scsmvoting/. The list of speakers is alphabetical by first name. The thing is, the voting ends Thursday morning at 9:00 AM (Eastern), so you’ve got to pull that trigger today if you’re going to do it. I really appreciate the support!


This week’s newsletter is going to be a short one in an attempt to appease, at least temporarily, those folks who occasionally complain that my newsletters are too long. So, for all of you guys with short attention spans…this one’s for you!

Two parts to this newsletter: 1) A quick Q&A about responding to someone who thinks all Catholics are going to Hell and approaches you in an attempt to save your soul; and 2) Some questions you can ask of our Protestant brothers and sisters to get them thinking about what they believe and why they believe it. These questions have appeared in past newsletters, but every week I’m getting new subscribers, so I am doing this primarily for those who may not have seen these questions before, and for those of you who have, a little refresher now and then never hurts.

Hope you enjoy.


Q:        A co-worker of mine recently found out that I am Catholic and he came up and started a conversation with me that quickly turned (at his instigation) to religion.  He basically said to me that he was concerned for the eternal salvation of my soul because I am Catholic and told me that I needed to accept Jesus into my heart in order to be saved.  I got a little angry with him and let him know that I didn’t appreciate what he was saying and he need not bother talking to me about religion, or anything else for that matter, any more.  After thinking about it, I realized I probably could have handled the situation a little better, but I am still a bit angry that he would assume I’m going to Hell just because I’m Catholic. I’m wondering where he gets off making an assumption like that, but I also would like to know how I could have handled it differently?

A:         Ah, yes, the ol’, “All dogs go to Heaven and all Catholics go to Hell,” routine.  To answer the first part of your question: “Where does he get off” assuming Catholics are not saved and are headed for eternal damnation, I’m going to say something that might shock you at first, but bear with me - I applaud him for doing what he did. I say that because, by him striking up that conversation with you he was actually showing you the love of Jesus Christ.  That whole conversation grew out of his concern for the salvation of your soul.  He took a big risk talking to you, especially at work, about such a topic; yet he did so because he wanted to bring you to Jesus Christ.  Obviously, I disagree with his assumption that folks who are Catholic are going to Hell but, again, I admire him for his boldness and for the love of Christ that he was exhibiting for you.  I cannot begin to tell you how much I admire that kind of attitude and how much I wish more Catholics had that kind of attitude…how much I wish that more Catholics would be concerned with the salvation of souls…all souls.


So many times I have heard a Catholic say something like, “Well, my son married a Baptist girl and he started going to her church. I wish he was still going to the Catholic Church, but I have no problem with the fact that he’s going to a Baptist church.”  They have “no problem” that their son (or daughter or brother or sister or mother or father) has left the Catholic Church and is now going to a Baptist (or Methodist or Presbyterian or Evangelical or…) church!?  They have no problem that their family member has left the Eucharist – the Body, Blood, Soul, and Divinity of Jesus Christ – in order to receive a piece of bread and some grape juice!?  They have no problem that their family member no longer goes to Confession!?  They have no problem that their family member has now rejected the Pope, Mary and the Saints, the priesthood, and many other gifts of God that reside in the Catholic Church!?


That kind of attitude drives me absolutely bonkers!  If you believe that Jesus Christ is truly present in the Eucharist, then how can you be “okay” with anyone leaving the Eucharist for something much less?  Or, how can you be satisfied that a loved one, or a friend, or a co-worker, or anyone else – who is not nor has ever been Catholic – has never received the Eucharist in the first place?  If you love them, if you care about them, do you not want to do all that you can to try and get them into the Church and to receive the Eucharist? 


We are often so concerned about offending someone, that we simply turn away from even making an attempt to share with them the truths of the Catholic Faith.  Your co-worker was probably concerned about offending you as well, but he swallowed his fear, trusted in Christ, and struck up a conversation with you anyway. 


Now, you might say, “Well, but he offended me and so it backfired on him and I don’t want to have the same result.” Did it really backfire on him?  Haven’t you been thinking about that conversation since you had it?  Didn’t that conversation bother you enough that you had to ask someone about it?  Isn’t that conversation making you think about your faith journey and where you are as a Catholic Christian?  Even though you got angry, he was actually very successful in what he was trying to do.  He planted a seed in your soul.  A seed that the Holy Spirit is using to work on you and which may one day bear great fruit. 


We cannot hold back from evangelizing folks because we’re afraid of offending them.  We have an obligation to share the truths of our faith with those around us and we cannot let fear of offending someone stop us.  Jesus Christ was not afraid of speaking the truth.  Jesus Christ was not afraid of offending anyone.  As long as we speak the truth in love, with respect for the other person, we need not be afraid, because Jesus will use our efforts for the good of all involved, even if it doesn’t seem like we were initially successful.  Our job is to throw the seeds out there, then pray for the Holy Spirit to do His job and bring those seeds to fruition.


So, how could you have handled the situation differently?  You could have thanked him for being concerned about the salvation of your soul and you could have told him that you have the same concern for his soul, and then asked him if he would be open to hearing about the Catholic Faith.  And, in order to be better prepared next time, and there will be a next time, I would recommend a talk of mine entitled, “Apologetics for the Scripturally-Challenged,” that you can get for free – on CD or mp3 download – at my website: www.biblechristiansociety.com.  It teaches you how to respond in just such a situation and turn the situation into an opportunity to evangelize.



Below are some questions you can ask folks you know, or who you might currently be in a discussion with, who believe in the Protestant dogma of Sola Scriptura – the Bible alone.  They cannot answer these questions from the Bible alone, and so their belief in Sola Scriptura refutes itself:  

1) Where in the Bible does it say that we should go by the Bible alone when it comes to all matters pertaining to faith and morals? Scripture verse?

2) Where in the Bible does it list the books which should be part of the Bible? Scripture verse?

3) Where in the Bible does it say that public revelation ended with the death of the last apostle? Scripture verse?

4) Do you believe the writer of the Gospel of Mark was inspired by the Holy Spirit? Yes or no?

5) If yes, where in the Bible does it say that the writer of the Gospel of Mark was inspired by the Holy Spirit? Scripture verse?

6) Who did write the Gospel of Mark, and how do you know?

7) Do you believe the writer of the Letter to the Hebrews was inspired by the Holy Spirit?

8) If yes, where in the Bible does it tell us that the writer of the Letter to the Hebrews was inspired by the Holy Spirit? Scripture verse?

9) Where in the Bible does it tell us who the writer of the Letter to the Hebrews was? Scripture verse?

10) If you don’t know who wrote the Letter to the Hebrews, then how do you know it is inspired?


In Conclusion

I hope all of you have a great week. Next week I’m going to give you the rest of my conversation, if you can call it that, with Mr. Bud Weber (Issues #184 and #185), I think you will find it most enlightening.

And, finally, don’t forget to vote [today!]for your favorite Catholic speaker(s) at: http://brandonvogt.com/scsmvoting/

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Apologetics for the Masses