An Apologist Defends the Faith of the Catholic Church and its Interpretation of Holy Scripture!
Would You Like to Become a Good Apologist?
John Martignoni at the Bible Christian Society is an apologist and has a free newsletter that gives instructions on how to be a better apologist when you feel called upon to defend the Church when you hear someone say or write something that is incorrect.
John's instruction system makes a lot of sense. He prints a question that he has received; then he explains how a question like that should be handled; and then then he gives his answer. If you would like to be better able to speak confidently about your Catholic faith, why not visit John's web site and subscribe to his newsletter. He also has audio tapes that he will send you for free (he will accept a free will offering, though).
Here is an example of the information he sent in today's newsletter:
Well, I never heard back from Karen (see Issue #9), so, in this newsletter, I'm just going to put out there a couple of questions that I've received from Catholics along with the answers I gave them to those questions. This is a bit different from the standard newsletter, but I told you that some of these would be on their way to you. In fact, the next 2 or 3 issues may follow this same format.
Introduction Issue No. 10
You have probably encountered this first question in one form or another. You may not have ever been asked the second question before, but I thought you might be interested in it.
As always, please feel free to forward this to anyone and everyone in your email lists. And, please feel free to print it out and copy it to give to others.
I began taking a Catholic Bible Study course a few weeks ago...The teacher has degrees in Divinity and Theology...He says that the Bible cannot be taken "literally"...I understand that, am open to that and believe that...however, I was of the mind that the New Testament was true as written...he used the miracle of the loaves and fishes to challenge us as to whether we thought this "actually" happened or...if the five thousand men listening to Jesus preach were moved to share the food that they had been hoarding...I left there (and my small group of 5 others) feeling upset, confused,and a bit sad...we began to question whether the water became wine at Cana and if all other miracles can be dismissed as well...what are your thoughts on this and what should we do at our next class?
First of all, please feel free to tell your teacher that I said he/she is an idiot. Second, if you paid money for this course, ask for a refund. Third, tell your teacher that the official teaching of the Catholic Church, as found in the Catechism of the Catholic Church (CCC), is that Catholics are to take the Bible literally. CCC #115: "According to an ancient tradition, one can distinguish between two senses of Scripture: the literal and the spiritual... CCC #116: "The literal sense is the meaning conveyed by the words of Scripture and discovered by exegesis, following the rules of sound interpretation: 'All other senses of Sacred Scripture are based on the literal.'"
Fourth, say to your teacher that since this is a "Catholic" bible study, you would like for him to give you the official documents of the Catholic Church that teach what he was teaching. He won't be able to do it because that is not what the Church teaches.
Fifth, tell him that he obviously is not reading the passage on the loaves and the fishes in context. If the "miracle" was that Jesus got everyone to "share" their hidden food that they had been hoarding, then why would they want to make him king because of that (John 6:11-15)? I can just imagine one of the Jews yelling, "Hey, he got us to share our food, let's make him king!" And all the other Jews shouting, "Yeah! He got us to share, let's make him king!!!!" Oh, please... Editor's note: :-)
Also, if they were hoarding this food, why does it say that they filled twelve baskets with fragments from the "five barley loaves?" And please ask your teacher to give one historical document as evidence to support his interpretation of events...just one. We have an historical document, the Bible...it says what it says. It would make sense that one would need to rely on some other historical document, which gives a different account of events, in order to reach the conclusion that it didn't happen the way the Bible relates it.
But, your teacher has no such historical document. Nor does he have a document from the official teachings of the Church that says what he's saying. What your teacher has is a loss of faith. He does not believe in miracles. He obviously does not believe in the divinity of Christ. He obviously does not believe in the Eucharist. And, in order to make himself feel better about his lack of faith, he wants you to lose your faith, too. Kind of like the kids who do bad things, they want other kids to do bad things with them...it kind of helps them to justify and rationalize what they're doing.
Sixth, go back to my website and click on the "Booklets" page. Print off the booklet entitled "Catholics and the Bible," and read some of the quotes that I have there from official Church documents. Also, order the tape/CD entitled "Catholics and the Bible." You might want to order one for everyone in your class, including your teacher.
Seventh, tell your teacher that I challenge him/her to a public debate on the "literal" nature of Scripture. Eighth, go to www.catholicscripturestudy.com and sign up for one of their Bible studies. You won't get any of the garbage from them that you got from this other anti-Catholic, anti-Christian Bible study. Ninth, the events of the New Testament really did happen. And, tenth, tell your teacher he needs to seriously consider the words of Scripture about those who teach error and lead others astray.
Hope that helps.
By the way, if anyone is offended because I use the word "idiot"...well, sorry 'bout that, but that's the word I use for Catholics who teach garbage and try to convince others that you can be healthy if you would just eat their garbage. I never use that word with non-Catholics...just for the Catholics who should, and usually do, know that they are teaching in opposition to the Church.
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