Paul F Pavao
This is an email I sent to one more Roman Catholic trying to proselytize me. I get Catholic proselytization letters on a regular basis, a bit more than once per month for the last six years or so. A little math says that close to 100 of them.
Almost all those emails appeal to Roman Catholic doctrines that the apologist feels is more accurate than Protestant doctrines. Taking that tack with me misses the mark.
Again, the following is quoted from an email I sent, so it's written to a specific person.
"If your email was directed at me, it's off target. I know both church history and the Scriptures better than most people. I am not a close-minded Protestant who thinks that Protestant doctrines are much more accurate than Catholic doctrines. I agree that on many doctrines the Catholics are more accurate. Protestant doctrine is pretty pitiful, but that is not a reason to join the Catholic church. It is just a reason not to join a Protestant church.
"The church of which I am a part learns from the Catholic and Orthodox churches. The Christians I am with follow Jesus wholeheartedly, and we do it together in the Spirit, in gladness, in joy, and with power. As for Protestant, Catholic, and Orthodox doctrines, we test everything, and we hold fast to what is good.
"As for the church falling, we don't believe the church has fallen. We believe it had to flee the hierarchy of the catholic churches. Many of the supervisors (bishops) of the catholic churches were replaced with new ones chosen by an emperor in the fourth century. Others lost touch with the tradition of the apostles that was once handed down. That tradition was being changed and lost in synod after synod and council after council.
"So the church ran to monasteries and the desert."
Most of the emails to me, whether to proselytize me or to complain about something I've written, mention Matthew 16:18 and Jesus' promise that the "gates of Hades" shall not prevail against the church. This last paragraph is my response to the repeated claim that Jesus meant that the Roman Catholic Church would never fall.
"None of that, however, was caused by the gates of Hades. When have you ever known gates to be offensive weapons? Gates are defensive measures, and where churches are zealous for Jesus, making him their first love and obeying him, those gates cannot stand. The church storms those gates to rescue those who are under the sway of death and the devil."
If you are interested in history on the claims of Roman Catholicism, I devoted some effort to it on my Christian history site a few years ago. Many Christians believe that the church was already Roman Catholic in the second or third century. This is not true, and I explore the issue thoroughly on several pages and videos.
You might also enjoy my shorter videos on early church history:
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