Katholisch Leben!

The Jesus Brothers

Von den Baptisten zur Katholischen Kirche

Sehr geehrter Herr Gollwitzer,

Ich würde Ihnen zu gern einmal meinen Weg zu Christus schildern allein aus dem Grund weil die Internetseite katholisch-leben.org uns Ihr Zeugnis mir dabei sehr geholfen haben.

Vorab ich, ich bin 19 Jahre alt und lebe in Magdeburg.

Als Kind hatte ich nie was mit Glauben und Gott zu tun. Meine Eltern sind Atheisten und wir Kinder wurden auch dementsprechend erzogen.

Als sich meine Eltern trennten war das nicht leicht für uns Kinder. Dann hatte ich Probleme mit meiner Mutter und bin zu meinem Vater gezogen. Er ist Alkoholiker und da habe ich es dann auch nicht lange ausgehalten und bin wieder zu meiner Mutter, doch da blieb ich auch nur ein Jahr bis Sie mich wieder zu meinem Vater schickt weil ich ihr nur kummer und Probleme bereitet habe.

Aber auch das ging nur knapp 2 Jahre gut und ich zog mit 16 Jahren wieder zu meiner Mutter!

Also ein totales durcheinander in meinem Leben. Ich denke das gerade das alles Gründe waren warum ich mir mit 16 Jahren Gedanken über den Sinn meines Lebens machte. Ich habe viel darüber nachgedacht. Mir Fragen gestellt wo komme ich her und wo gehe ich hin. Und dann stellte ich mir auch die Frage nach Gott.

In dieser Zeit habe ich auch das erste mal gebetet und Gott gefragt ob es ihn denn gibt.
Ich habe angefangen mich mit dem Christentum zu beschäftigen. Hauptsächlich über Internet.

Ich habe viel gelesen über Jesus, wer er ist usw.
Das zog sich dann über Tage und Wochen so hin. 

Bald habe ich Kontakt zu einer Baptistengemeinde aufgenommen. Ich habe mich mit dem dortigen Pastor getroffen und wir hatten ein tolles Gespräch. Er versicherte mir das ich gerettet bin wenn ich dem Herrn mein Leben überge in einem sogenannten übergabe Gebet. So beteten wir dieses gemeinsam.

Ich bin dann regelmäßig in die Gemeinde gegangen und war begeistert. Mein Glaube an Jesus wurde immer stärker. Ich wollte mich unbedingt Taufen lassen. Jesus sagt im Johannes Evangelium zu Nikodemus "Wahrlich, wahrlich, ich sage dir: Wenn nicht jemand geboren wird aus Wasser und Geist, so kann er nicht eingehen in die Königsherrschaft Gottes."

Ich habe diesen Vers gelesen und war mir dann eigentlich sicher das ich erst durch die Taufe gerettet werde. So habe ich den Pastor auf die Taufe angesprochen und Ihm gesagt das ich unbedingt getauft werden will. Dem stand nichts im Weg.

Die Baptisten aber meinen die Taufe sei reine Symbolik und nicht notwendig für das Heil, ich war trotzdem anderer Meinung.

So wurde ich am 20.01.2008 getauft. Als ich aus dem Wasser herauskam (es war eine ganzkörpertaufe) habe ich gemerkt wie alle Last von mir abfällt. Und erst ab diesem Tag habe ich mich voll und ganz als gerettet und als Christ gefühlt! In der Taufe mit Christus begraben und Auferstanden!

Ich gin regelmäßig zum Gottesdienst und zu allen Angeboten die es gab! Hauskreise, Bibelbuffet, Jugendclub usw usw. Aber schon kurze Zeit nach meiner Taufe habe ich gemerkt das mir persönlich irgendwas fehlt.

Ich hatte das Gefühl in Gottesdiensten Gott nicht genug die Ehre zu geben. Alles war so locker und happy. Aufstehen, klatschen, Hände in die Luft, tanzen usw.

In der Osternacht bin ich mit jemanden aus meinem Hauskreis in die Katholische Kirche gegangen. Wir wollten einfach mal sehen was "da so abgeht".

Also ich kann es kaum Beschreiben. Von Anfang bis Ende habe ich den Ablauf fasziniert verfolgt. Die Art und Weise wie Gott in der Messe die Ehre erwiesen wird. Die Liturgie hat mich total fasziniert. Die Gesänge mit Orgel. Die Lesung aus dem Evangelium. Es war einfach nur toll. Die Baptisten meinten die Katholiken würden nicht die Bibel lesen und auch so nicht viel damit zu tun haben, dabei ging es in der ganzen Messe um das Wort Gottes. Die Gebete, die Lesungen und die Lieder, alles aus dem Wort Gottes! Ich habe die Gegenwart Christi gespürt. Es war als wäre er mir ganz nah (zu dem Zeitpunkt wußte ich noch nichts von der Realpräsenz Christi im Altarsakrament) aber ich habe seine Gegenwart vernommen!

Ich habe in der Gemeinde am darauffolgenden Sonntag von der Messe und der Katholischen Kirche geschwärmt, aber das wurde schnell zu nichte gemacht. Ich durfte mir anhören das die Katholische Kirche ja garnichts mehr mit Jesus zu tun hat. Das Sie Irrlehren verkündet usw usw. Ich sollte mich ja fernhalten sonst sein mein Heil in Gefahr!

Am darauffolgenden Wochende im Jugendclub hat der Pastor ein Video mitgebracht nur weil ich in der Katholischen Kirche war denke ich, "Fels im Wandel der Zeiten – Die römisch-katholische Kirche".

Naja ich habe das erstmal so aufgenommen wie mein Pastor erzählt und in dem Video beschrieben wurde. Also war die Katholische Kirche für mich dann auch die vom wahren Glauben abgefallene.

Einige Zeit habe ich mich dann mit diesem Thema beschäftigt, man sagte mir die Katholische Kirche sei die große Hure Babylon die Mutter aller Greuel und ich habe das so angenommen! Aber nicht lange...

Denn da war ja noch Maria. In einem Disskusionsform war an der Seite ein Banner auf dem eine Abbildung Mariens war mit der Überschrift "Die Wundertätige Medaille, Diese Medaille kann Ihnen helfen". Ich bin einfach mal draufgegangen und habe mir alles durch gelesen. Über die Erscheinung und wie es zu der Medaille kam.

Ich habe mit dort eine bestellt und diese dann auch getragen. Am Anfang versteckt auch wenn ich Sonntags im Gottesdienst war da ich wußte es würde in den Augen der anderen Gemeindemitglieder Götzendienst sein
.
Ich habe angefangen das Ave Maria zu beten. Und mich immer mehr mit der Gottes Mutter beschäftigt. Und mich dann auch ganz offen gegen die Meinung der anderen Gemeindemitgleder geäußert!

„Siehe, von nun an preisen mich selig alle Geschlechter.“

Dieser Satz aus Marias Mund ist es der mich hat erkennen lassen das die Katholische Kirche die Kirche Christi ist. Ich habe mich immer mehr von der Gemeinde abgekapselt und mich mit der Katholischen Kirche beschäftigt. Als ich das erste mal auf die Seite katholisch-leben.org kam war ich fasziniert weil eben genau dort die Äußerungen der Freikirchen behandelt und widerlegt werden. Ganz besonders mit der Eucharistie welche auch ein wichtiger Punkt ist der mich dazu führte den Entschluß zu fassen zu konvertieren!

Sicherlich überkamen mich immer mnal wieder Zweifel und einige Dinge die ich nicht wirklich verstanden habe aber da hat mir Ihre Internetseite und Gebet immer wieder geholfen dafür bin ich Ihnen und dem Herrn sehr dankbar.

Leider bin ich immer noch nicht ganz in die Katholische Kirche aufgenommen da mir immer wieder Steine in den Weg gelegt wurden, aber ich habe hier in Magdeburg seit knapp einem dreiviertel Jahr Kontak mit einem super Priester der mich auf meinen entgültigen Eintritt in die Kirche vorbereitet. Ich muss mich aber wohl noch in Geduld üben obwohl ich es kaum noch abwarten kann.

Ich Interessiere mich auch sehr für das Gottgeweihte leben und ich wünsche mir nichts mehr als mein Leben dem Herrn und den Menschen zu widmen!

Ich will Ihnen nochmals meinen Dank aussprechen für Ihre Arbeit im Herrn und wünsche Ihnen weiterhin seinen ganzen Segen. Auch gilt mein besonderer
Dank der Gottesmutter Maria denn sie hat mich zu Christus und in seine Kirche geführt! Dank sei dem Herrn das er mir diese Große Gnade durch Maria erwiesen hat!

So komme ich nun auch zum Ende.

Abschließen will ich mit einem aus tiefsten Herzen kommenden

Gelobt sei Jesus Christus

Christian Werner

The Journey Home- 2014-6-2- Andy McNutt - Former Baptist

The Journey Home - 2014-2-17 - Charlie McKinney - Former Southern Baptist

Once Saved Always Saved?

Bible Christian Society

Topic: Apologetics for the Masses - Issue #136

(printed with permission)

A couple of things to mention – Brand new talk and upcoming speaking engagement:

Introduction

In this issue I’m going to look at an email that was sent to one of our subscribers by a Baptist minister. This particular subscriber has been engaged in a dialogue with this Baptist minister – his wife’s pastor – and seems to be getting under his skin (which is a good thing).

In this particular email, the pastor, who is a devotee of the once saved always saved dogma, is responding to a question our reader sent him about the Parable of the Prodigal Son. As I always teach folks to do, our reader used the words of the Prodigal Son’s father from Luke 15:24 (“for this my son was dead but is alive again,” to show that once saved always saved is false, and the pastor was responding to that.

I’ll put the pastor’s comments in italics, then I’ll give my response in bold. Read the parable (Luke 15:11-32), paying close attention to verse 24, and then read the newsletter.


Challenge/Response/Strategy


Pastor:  First of all, I find it incredibly amusing that you resort to the parable of the Prodigal Son to support losing one’s salvation.  I must admit that, in all of my reading on the subject of “falling from grace” and on the interpretation of this parable, I have never seen it so wrongly handled.

My Response: By what authority do you declare this interpretation of the Parable of the Prodigal Son to be wrong?  Are you infallibl e in your interpretation of Scripture?  Are you an authentic interpreter of Scripture?  If so, how so?  If not, then could you be wrong when you judge this particular interpretation to be wrong?  After all, you’ve admitted to changing your views on other issues in the past, so you must have realized you were wrong in what you believed, and so you changed those beliefs.  So, is there at least the possibility you could be wrong on this?  Also, do you or do you not believe that everyone has the right to pick up the Bible and decide for themselves, as they feel guided by the Holy Spirit, as to what the words of Scripture are saying?  Or, do you believe that only those who agree with your interpretation of Scripture have the right to read and interpret Scripture for themselves? 

Strategy: The key word here is “interpretation.”  Remember the “But That’s My Interpretation,” strategy.  How can this man say anyone’s interpretation of the Prodigal Son, or any other passage of Scripture is wrong when, by one of the main pillars of his belief system, he believes everyone has the right to pick up the Bible and read it for themselves to decide for themselves what each and every verse means, without answering to any outside authority?  He can say he “disagrees” with the interpretation, but he cannot say it is “wrong,” without betraying himself as a hypocrite.  He believes you can, and should, read the Bible for yourself to decide for yourself what it says, but when someone does that and comes up with an interpretation that is contrary to his, that other person is declared to be wrong, and apparently infallibly so!  Wel l, how can they be wrong if they have the authority to read the Bible and decide for themselves?!  Hypocrite!

Pastor: Really, I could make just one point and it would suffice.  You build your whole case around the fact that he was “dead.”  Indeed, that’s the graphic language used by the father.  But where does it say that he was ever not his son?  In fact, when the son tried to say that he was “no longer worthy to be called” his father’s son, the father brushed him aside and awarded him the symbols of complete sonship.  Even the son knew he was still his son.  He just thought he was no longer worthy to be “called” his son.  Nice try.

My Response:

What, pray tell, do you think the “graphic language” used by the father to describe his son as being “dead,” meant?  Is it completely irrelevant to the point of the parable?  Was the son still, biologically–speaking, his father’s son?  Of course he was.  So what?  Do you not know what a Jew meant by declaring a family member “dead” to them, even though that family member was still living?  I think you probably do, but you seem to choose to ignore that in your argument here.  For a Jew to declare a family member as being “dead,” even though they were still alive, meant that they were cut off from the father’s household.  They were cut off from the father.  Cut off from the family.  Cut off from any and all rights regarding the family, regarding their birthright, regarding their inheritance.  They were, for all practical purposes, dead to the father…dead to the family.  Was the prodigal son still the biological son?  Yes.  But, was he cut off from the father and all that the father had?  Yes.  So, while you are correct, he was still his father’s biological son, you seem to completely ignore the fact that he was cut off from the father’s house. 

So, I ask you, what does it mean when the father in the parable says that his son was “dead.”  You seem to think it is completel y irrelevant to the story.  If God the Father – whom I believe you will agree is represented by the father in the parable – said that you, Pastor, were “dead” to Him, what would that mean?  Would being cut off from the household of God be no big deal to you?  Would being persona non grata to God mean that you’re still saved?  That is what your argument is asserting, that for someone to be “dead” to God the Father, to be cut off from God the Father, means that they are still saved.  To you, “dead” equals “saved.”  If you want an interpretation that is amusing, I think that one qualifies.

Strategy: Ask questions.  Take whatever someone puts in front of you and go over it with a fine–toothed, common sense comb.  Don’t just accept what they say as the Gospel truth.  At the surface, what he says might seem to make sense.  But, as I’ve shown here, what he really did was completely ignore the fact that the father described the son as being dead.  He makes mention that it was “graphic” language.  So, he seems to recognize the seriousness of the father using such language to describe the prodigal son, but then he goes on to completely ignore the fact that the language the father used meant something, and that it is indeed relevant to the point being made.  And, the conclusion he comes to, which he doesn’t explicitly mention because it is a pretty ridiculous conclusion, is that the son was “saved,” even though he was described as being dead.  Being dead, in terms of salvation, means being unsaved…being lost.

Pastor: Additionally, this parable was not a theological treatise on the uncertainty of one’s salvation.  To read that into it is unjustifiable.  The parable was a rebuke of the self–righteous attitudes of the Pharisees which was depicted by the older brother.  Jesus rebuked the scribes and Pharisees and confronted them with their very ungodly attitudes toward the “sinners” of society. The ending of the parable shows that it was directed to the scribes and Pharisees.  The self–righteous, judgmental attitude of the elder brother is in stark contrast to the greatness of God’s unconditional love for the outcas t of society.  Nobody could have been more of an outcast than an apostate, immoral, swine–feeding Jew.  He challenged them to cease their loveless ways and be merciful toward those so greatly in need of the mercy of God.  He was not telling them about the intricacies of gaining and losing one’s salvation.

My Response:

So, the Parable of the Prodigal Son was obviously misnamed, eh?  It should have been the Parable of the Jealous Older Brother, right?  I mean, if the whole point of the parable was focused on the reaction of the older brother, then all of that stuff about the prodigal son leaving his father’s house, di ssipating his inheritance on sinful living, repenting of his ways and turning back to the father, the father saying he was dead and then alive “again,”...well, all of that was basically irrelevant to the story.  It was all about the older brother! 

Sorry, Pastor, but the main focus of this parable is salvation, not about how the scribes and Pharisees should be nice to everyone!  Yes, the reaction of the older brother is an important part of the parable, but it is not the main focus.  Yes, the scribes and the Pharisees were who the parable was addressed to, but the point Jesus was making to them is that He came for sinners and that God rejoices over every sinner who turns from their sinful ways.  We see that as the main point of the accompanying parables in Luke 15, do we not?

In other words, the point of the parable is salvation.  Was the main point about salvation that you could lose it even after you’ve been saved?  No.  The main point was that salvation is open to anyone who repents and turns to the Father, and that God will rejoice over every repentant sinner.  But, the Jews did not believe in once saved always saved, and neither did anyone who called themselves a Christian until the 1500’s, so of course it’s not going to be the main point of the parable.  However, whether it’s the main point or not, it is still something that is part of the parable, as it is part of the accompanying parables.  The son was alive, he was a member of his father’s household.  He rejects the father – which is what asking for his inheritance while his father was still living means…that his father was dead to him – ; then he goes off and sins and becomes “dead” to his father, no longer a part of the family, of the household.  Then, he repents and returns to his father and is alive “again.”  Alive, dead, alive again.  Saved, unsaved, saved again.

Look at the accompanying parables in Luke 15.  The lost sheep; the woman who loses a coin.  They are about finding the lost.  They are about salvation.  Which brings me to an interesting question for you: In the parable of the man who has 100 sheep, and one gets lost, would you say that the lost sheep was “saved,” even though it is described as being “lost”?  Does “lost” mean “saved” in your lexicon, just like “dead” means “saved” in your lexicon?  I mean, if I use the same logic you used in your interpr etation of the Parable of the Prodigal Son, the lost sheep must have been saved, right?  After all, even though the sheep was lost – like the prodigal son was lost – it was still that man’s sheep – just like the prodigal son was still the father’s son, right?  The lost sheep still belonged to that same man, didn’t it?  So, it must have been saved, even though it was lost, right?  Again, if you want an amusing interpretation, your interpretation that results in “lost” meaning “saved,” and in “dead” meaning “saved,” would certainly qualify.  Have you ever once interpreted the Parable of the Lost Sheep to mean that the sheep was “saved,” even though it was lost?

I would close by simply asking you, again, what did it mean when the father described the son as being “dead.”  In salvation terms, does dead mean “saved?”  What does it mean when the father describes the son as having been “lost?”  In salvation terms, does lost mean “saved?”  And, exactly what did it mean when the father said the son was alive “again?”  In salvation terms, what does it mean to be alive “again?”  One cannot be alive “again,” unless one is first alive, then dead, then alive once more.  If alive means saved, and if dead means still saved, as your argument claims, then what does alive again mean?  Why didn’t the father say, ”...for this my son was still my son and is still alive?”  Why did he use the words “dead” and “alive again?” 

Lastly, when the elder son, who you interpret as meaning the scribes and Pharisees, when he refused to come into their father’s house at the end of the parable, was he still saved?  Were the scribes and Pharisees still saved even though they rejected Jesus Christ?  After all, they were in covenant with God…sons of God…by virtue of their circumcision, so they were still his sons even after they rejected Christ, right?  So, by your logic, they should still be saved, right?  Once a son, always a son, right?  Once saved always saved, eh?

(Source: http://www.biblechristiansociety.com/)

The Journey Home - 2 27 12 - Fr. Dave Harris - Former Baptist Minister

Baptism by Immersion

Introduction

This week, I was helping someone out with an argument from a Baptist minister about baptism by immersion being the only legitimate way to baptize. So, I thought I would share it with all of you. The Baptist minister had a much longer argument on other aspects of baptism, but I am just putting down the comments of his that I responded to which focused on the Greek word for baptism, which is: “baptizo.”

Challenge/Response/Strategy

 Baptist Minister:

The practice of baptism in the New Testament was carried out in one way: the person being baptized was immersed or put completely under the water and then brought back up again. Baptism by immersion is therefore the mode of baptism or the way in which baptism was carried out in the New Testament.

My Response:
You say you go by the Bible alone, yet nowhere does the Bible specifically state that baptism is carried out in one and only one way.  Nowhere in the New Testament does it explicitly give instructions on how baptisms were carried out or how they should be carried out. You make your claim based solely on one of, but not the only, meaning of the word “baptizo.”  

Surely, with a doctorate in Scriptural Studies, you must know that the word “baptizo,” in addition to meaning “immersion,” can also mean “to wash̶ 1; or “to cleanse.”  You can verify that by looking it up in any Greek lexicon.

Baptist Minister:
Every verse in the New Testament where the word for baptism is used is a verse that proves that baptism is to be by immersion.  The very meaning of the word proves that.  The Greek word baptizo means “to plunge, dip, immerse” something in water. This is the commonly recognized and standard meaning of the term in ancient Greek literature both inside and outside of the Bible.

My Response:

Which means, according to your interpretation, that everywhere the word “baptizo” is used in the New Testament, it means to be “immersed.”  Well, let’s see if that is indeed the case.  First, let’s look at the Gospel of Luke.  Luke 11:38 states: “The Pharisee was astonished to see that He [Jesus] did not first w ash [baptizo] before dinner.”  So, going by what you’ve declared to be the “commonly recognized and standard meaning of the term [baptizo] in ancient Greek literature both inside and outside of the Bible,” that must mean the Pharisee was astonished to see that Jesus was not fully immersed in water before dinner, right?  Is that what you wish to contend Luke 11:38 means?  I’m afraid that’s the corner you’ve painted yourself into given the fact that, according to you, “baptizo,” can only mean total immersion.  

But, let’s see if that’s what the Scripture means here.  Let’s interpret Scripture with Scripture.  In Mark 7:3–4, we find something that gives a different meaning to that passage in Luke than the one that your definition of “baptizo” results in.  Mark 7:3–4, “For the Pharisees, and all the Jews, do not eat unless they wash [nipto] their hands, observing the tradition of the elders; and when they come from the market place, they do not eat unless they wash [baptizo] themselves.”  

So, in Luke 11:38, the word “baptizo” does not mean “immersion” as you have absolutely declared it to mean.  It simply means to wash, as in one’s hands.  So, we find that “baptizo” is not restricted by the Scriptures to the meaning you have restricted it to.  It is quite obvious, from the Word of God, that the word “baptizo” can simply mean cleansing or washing, as well as immersion.  In other words, I have just demonstrated, from the Bible, that your premise: “baptizo = immersion always and everywhere,” is false.

Let’s also consider the Book of Acts.  In Acts 1:4–5, Jesus tells the Apostles to stay in Jerusalem  and wait for the baptism [baptizo] of the Holy Spirit.  Do you contend that this means they will be “immersed” in the Holy Spirit?  Well, again, given the definition that you have stated as an absolute, you have to conclude that this means the Apostles will be “immersed” in the Holy Spirit.

But, what do we find when we look in Scripture?  In Acts 2, we have the Holy Spirit coming down upon the Apostles on the Day of Pentecost.  And it is very interesting how the Bible describes this “baptizo” of the Holy Spirit that Jesus spoke of.  In verses 17, 18 and 33, Scripture speaks of the baptism of the Holy Spirit as being a “pour[ing]” out of the Holy Spirit.  Why is baptism in the Spirit spoken of as a pouring out of the Holy Spirit if it really is, as you must contend, an immersion in the Holy Spirit?  The “baptizo” of the Holy Spirit, according to Scripture, has to do with “pouring,” not immersion.  Your argu ment has placed you directly at odds with Scripture.

This is further reinforced in Acts 11:15–16, where Peter makes a direct connection between baptism of the Holy Spirit and the pouring out of the Holy Spirit that he had received on Pentecost.  So, for Peter, baptism and pouring are synonymous.  Do you still wish to contend that baptism always and everywhere means immersion, when in the Acts of the Apostles the baptism of the Holy Spirit means the Holy Spirit being “poured” out onto people?   

Finally, let’s look at the testimony of the early Christians.  The Didache was written around the late 1st century and is possibly the earliest non–scriptural Christian writing we have available to us. Even though it is not inspired Scripture, it is a testimony as to the practices of the early Christians.  The Christians who wrote the Didache could have been taught directly by an Apostle, but more than l ikely they were taught by disciples of the Apostles.  Either way, they were witnesses to very early Christian practice.  

When speaking of baptism, the Didache states the following: “Concerning baptism, baptize in this manner: Having said all these things beforehand, baptize in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit in living water – that is, in running water, as in a river. If there is no living water, baptize in other water, and, if you are not able to use cold water, use warm. If you have neither, pour water three times upon the head in the name of the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.”  The witness of the early Christians tells us that baptism by pouring was an acceptable practice among the early Christians.  Why then do you regard it as unacceptable?

To sum up, your entire argument rests on your insistence that the word baptizo means one and only one thing – immersion.  This is a flawed argument on your part, though, because a Greek lexicon shows that there are other meanings for the word – to wash, or to cleanse; plus, I have shown you that in Scripture itself “baptizo” is used to mean things other than “immersion.”  It is used to mean, “to wash,” as in the washing of one’s hands; and it is used to mean “to pour,” as in the pouring out of the Spirit in the baptism of the Spirit.  Would you care to re–consider your argument?


(Source: John Martignoni: http://www.biblechristiansociety.com/home.php. Used with permission)

Q's & A's

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 an d 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 si tuation 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.

(Source: John Martignoni, http://www.biblechristiansociety.com/. Used with permission)

A Baptist friend of mine asked me where in the Bible does it use the word Pope or say anything about the Pope?

Well, you will not find the word “Pope” in the Bible. Just as you will not find the word “Trinity,” or the word “Incarnation” in the Bible. Yet, I’ll bet your Baptist friend believes in both the Trinity and the Incarnation.

Just because a particular word is not found in the Bible, does not mean that we should not use that word or that the theology implied by that word is somehow unbiblical. The word “Bible” is not found in the Bible, so does that mean we should not believe in the Bible? Of course not.

The fact of the matter is, even though the word “Pope” is not found directly in the Bible, the underlying meaning of that word is. The word “Pope” is derived from the Greek word, “pappas,” which means, "father" (Latinized as “papa”). In Isaiah 22, verses 19-24, we see God telling Shebna, who was the chief minister of the House of David, that he will be replaced in his office by Eliakim, and that Eliakim will have authority and will be a “father” [papa; pope] to the inhabitants of Jerusalem and to the House of Judah.

Also in this passage, God says that Eliakim will have the key of the House of David and that he “shall open and none shall shut; and he shall shut and none shall open.”

This passage from Isaiah was obviously on the Lord’s mind when he said to Peter, in Matthew 16:18-19, “And I tell you, you are Peter and on this rock I will build my church...I will give you the keys of the Kingdom of Heaven, and whatever you bind on earth shall be bound in Heaven, and whatever you loose on earth shall be loosed in Heaven.”

Eliakim was the chief minister in the House of David. What is the new House of David? The Church. Who is the chief minister in the Church? Peter, and his successors - the Popes. Eliakim was given the key of the kingdom. Peter is given the keys of the kingdom. Eliakim had the authority to shut and to open. Peter had the authority to bind and loose. Eliakim was a father to the those in the House of David, just so Peter is a father to those in the new House of David - the Church.

So, since Peter is a “father” to those in the Church, just as Eliakim was a “father” to those in the House of David; and the word “Pope” means “father;” then we can say that the underlying meaning of the word “Pope” is actually found in the Bible - right there in Isaiah 22. And, we can further say, that Catholic belief regarding the role of the Pope is also found right there in Isaiah 22 and Matthew 16, as well as in other parts of Scripture.

(Source: Bible Christian Society / John Martignoni. http://www.biblechristiansociety.com/apologetics/two_minute. Used with permission)

I am tired of ex-Catholics who claim to know what the Catholic Church teaches because the spent some time in the Church or were baptized as a child. Aside the fact that few of them even have a basic knowledge of what the Catechism of the Catholic Church (along with all other Church documents) teaches [if you do, why did you leave Her at first place? A love that grows cold has never been a love to begin with!]. They usually join other (protestant/evangelical/charismatic - whatever) "churches" and of course believe that their personal understanding of the written Word of God is "biblical" and "godly" (isn't that idolatry - pretending to be God oneself and knowing it all?). Some have the "generosity" of granting other Christians the right to exist ("we basically all believe the same" or "spiritually we are all one church. It does not matter where you go to." - both of which are nonsense and "non-biblical"). Others do, but in the end they end up with having the truth just the same. In the end, all those other "churches" have holes in their theologies to climb through. I am glad I am Catholic, so I don't have to be Pope myself.

Links National

Links International

Resources

Ken Hensley: Radical Reformers - The Story of the Baptists (CDs)

David Currie & Stephen Ray: The Journey Home (DVD)

Stephen Ray: Finding the Fullness of Faith (DVD)

The Radicals (DVD)


Global Anabaptist Mennonite Encyclopedia Online


A book that you guys really should read if youy want to give Catholics a chance to bring up what they have to say against all those accusations being made against them and their beliefs (and shouldn't you at least read their side, too, if you attack them? Wouldn't that be fair?):

Catholicism and Fundamentalism: The Attack on "Romanism" by "Bible Christians"(Taschenbuch)
von Karl Keating (Autor)
Taschenbuch: 360 Seiten
Verlag: Ignatius Pr (Mai 1988)
Sprache: Englisch
ISBN-10: 0898701775
ISBN-13: 978-0898701777

Warning: After having read that book you might probably not be the same as before and not believe whatever you believed in before!

Here some books by Prof. Dr. Scott Hahn, that might have the same effect:

Rome Sweet Home: Our Journey to Catholicism (Taschenbuch)
von Scott Hahn (Autor), Kimberly Hahn (Künstler)
Taschenbuch: 210 Seiten
Verlag: Ignatius Press (August 1993)
Sprache: Englisch
ISBN-10: 0898704782
ISBN-13: 978-0898704785

The Lamb's Supper: Experiencing the Mass: The Mass as Heaven on Earth (Gebundene Ausgabe)
von Scott Hahn (Autor), Benedict J. Groeschel (Künstler)
Gebundene Ausgabe: 174 Seiten
Verlag: Bantam Dell (November 1999)
Sprache: Englisch
ISBN-10: 0385496591
ISBN-13: 978-0385496599

Hail, Holy Queen: The Mother of God in the Word of God (Taschenbuch)
von Scott Hahn (Autor)
Taschenbuch: 208 Seiten
Verlag: Bantam Dell; Auflage: Reprint (19. September 2006)
Sprache: Englisch
ISBN-10: 0385501692
ISBN-13: 978-0385501699

Und hier unser Glaubenszeugnis auf Deutsch. Was glauben Katholiken wirklich und warum glauben sie es? Gibt es dafür wirklich keine biblischen Grundlagen?

Katholischer Erwachsenenkatechismus. 2 Bände: Band I: Das Glaubensbekenntnis der Kirche. Band II: Leben aus dem Glauben (Gebundene Ausgabe)
von Deutsche Bischofskonferenz (Herausgeber)
Gebundene Ausgabe: 976 Seiten
Verlag: Herder, Freiburg; Auflage: 1 (August 2006)
Sprache: Deutsch
ISBN-10: 3451291533
ISBN-13: 978-3451291531

Katechismus der Katholischen Kirche: Kompendium (Broschiert)
von Vatikan Vatikan / Deutsche Bischofskonferenz (Autor)
Broschiert: 256 Seiten
Verlag: Pattloch; Auflage: 1 (12. August 2005)
Sprache: Deutsch
ISBN-10: 3629021409
ISBN-13: 978-3629021403

Catechism of the Catholic Church

United States Catholic Catechism for Adults (Taschenbuch)
von United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (Herausgeber)
Taschenbuch: 664 Seiten
Verlag: Usccb Pub (August 2006)
Sprache: Englisch
ISBN-10: 1574554506
ISBN-13: 978-1574554502

Hier noch einige Bücher von Prof. Dr. Scott Hahn, die ebenfalls eure bisherige Sichtweise von der Katholischen Kirche radikal verändern dürften, wenn ihr Nicht-Katholiken seid:

Unser Weg nach Rom (Taschenbuch)
von Scott Hahn (Autor), Kimberly Hahn (Autor), Ludger Hölscher (Übersetzer)
Taschenbuch: 219 Seiten
Verlag: Christiana-Verlag; Auflage: 5 (2004)
Sprache: Deutsch
ISBN-10: 3717110691
ISBN-13: 978-3717110699

Das Mahl des Lammes. Die Messe als Himmel auf Erden (Gebundene Ausgabe)
von Scott Hahn (Autor), Ludger Hölscher (Übersetzer)
Gebundene Ausgabe: 176 Seiten
Verlag: Sankt Ulrich Verlag; Auflage: 1 (Februar 2003)
Sprache: Deutsch
ISBN-10: 3929246945
ISBN-13: 978-3929246940

Die Königin des Himmels: Maria suchen und finden (Gebundene Ausgabe)
von Scott Hahn (Autor), Ludger Hölscher (Übersetzer)
Gebundene Ausgabe: 157 Seiten
Verlag: Sankt Ulrich Verlag; Auflage: 1 (Februar 2004)
Sprache: Deutsch
ISBN-10: 3936484228
ISBN-13: 978-3936484229

Anabaptist History

Journey Home: Michael Cumbie