Apologetics for the Masses - Issue #135

Bible Christian Society

General Comments

Hey folks, a few things to mention:

1)For all of you in the Atlanta area, I will be speaking at the “Defending Our Catholic Faith” seminar at St. Catherine of Siena parish, in Kennesaw, Ga., on Saturday, February 27, from 9:30 AM until 2:00 PM. Free Admission. For more details, check out this website: www.scsnewsletter.com/apologetics.html

2) Be on the look out for my first new talk in a couple of years or so. It’s not a straight up apologetics talk, but I can’t do anything within including some apologetics. I hope to start offering it within the next week or so.

3) Two new Spanish talks will also be available within a week or two. They are: Apostolic Authority and the Pope; and The Rapture and the Bible.

4) Also, I’ve started working on the scripts for some YouTube videos…maybe I’ll get several of those done sometime in March or April. The whole series of videos will be under the title of: Questions Protestants Can’t Answer. I’ll let you know when I get some done.


Two more Q&A’s today – one on annulment and one on prayers to the saints.


Q:    A co-worker of mine, who is Baptist, said that nowhere in the Bible does it mention anything about annulments, so he claims that our teaching in this area is contrary to the Bible.  How should I respond to him?

A:    First, let’s be clear on what an annulment is.  It is not a “Catholic divorce” as some have referred to it.  An annulment occurs when the Church issues a decree of nullity in regard to a particular marriage.  A decree of nullity is simply a pronouncement from the Church that a marriage never truly existed (CCC #1629).  There could be different reasons for issuing such a decree, but it is basically saying that there was some condition, or conditions, present at the time of the wedding which served as an impediment to an actual marriage bond being formed.

Does the Bible say anything about annulments?  Well, yes and no.  Your co-worker is right in that the word “annulment” is not mentioned in the Bible; however, the concept behind an annulment can definitely be found in Scripture.  For example, the reason John the Baptist was put in prison and eventually beheaded was because he said to King Herod, “It is not lawful for you to have your brother’s wife.”  

King Herod had married his brother Philip’s wife.  Even though the marriage may have been legal from the standpoint of the prevailing secular law of the time, it obviously was not in accord with God’s law.  

So, this is an example of a marriage that was never truly a marriage in the eyes of God, even though it may have been a marriage in the eyes of the state.  This is the type of marriage for which, in the Christian era, the Church would have issued a decree of nullity – an annulment – for.  By issuing an annulment, the Church is simply saying what John the Baptist was saying in regard to Herod’s marriage – no true marriage ever existed.

We find another example in Scripture of a situation where the Church would issue a decree of nullity if necessary.  1 Corinthians 5:1, “It is widely reported that there is immorality among you…a man living with his father’s wife.”  Now, it does not say that this man had married his stepmother, he probably had not, but let’s assume for the sake of argument that he had.  That, too, would be an example of a  marriage that was not really a marriage in the eyes of God, and the Church would issue a decree of nullity which basically says just that – no marriage ever really existed.

So, ask your Baptist friend if he thinks King Herod was lawfully married to Herodias.  If he says, “No,” which is the correct scriptural answer, then simply say, “So, if the Church issued a decree proclaiming that Herod and Herodias were not really married, you would have no problem with that?”  When he says that he would not have a problem with it, then simply tell him that he has signed off on the Church issuing annulments.


Q:    In 1 Timothy it says that Jesus is our sole mediator, yet we pray to Mary and the Saints.  Is that going against the Bible?

A:    1 Tim 2:5 says, “For there is one God, and there is one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus…”  “By praying to the saints, you Catholics are going against the Bible because you are making them mediators between God and man, and Jesus is our sole mediator ” 

Well, let’s look and see why that interpretation doesn’t hold scriptural water.  In the O.T. we see that Moses, Abraham, and Job interceded on behalf of others – that’s mediating between God and man.  Plus, we know that it is okay to ask others here on earth to pray and intercede for us – that’s mediating between God and man.  Once again, we have a situation where a passage of the Bible is being misinterpreted and misunderstood.  

There is indeed only one mediator between God and man, the man Jesus Christ, but as members of the Body of Christ, He allows us to share in His mediation.

Scripture says that we have only one foundation, Jesus Christ (1 Cor 3:11); but, Scripture says that there is more than one foundation (Eph 2:19-20).  Scripture says that we have only one Judge, Jesus Christ (James 4:12); but, Scripture tells us there is more than one judge (1 Cor 6:2).  

Contradictions in Scripture?  No   Not when these passages are read in context.  Jesus is the only foundation and Jesus is the only judge.  But, we are members of Jesus’ Body.  Therefore, we are able, according to the graces given by Christ, to share in Jesus’ role as foundation and as judge, and in other aspects of Christ, as well.  Another example, as a father, I share in God’s role as Father, by His grace.  And, so also, the saints in Heaven can and do share in Christ’s role as Mediator.

So, yes, Jesus is our sole mediator, but anyone who is a member of Jesus’ body, shares in His role as mediator and this is especially true of the saints in Heaven who are perfectly united to Christ.

In Conclusion

Hope you have a great week!

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Apologetics for the Masses