"Beware lest any man spoil you through philosophy and vain deceit, after the tradition of men, after the rudiments of the world, and not after Christ." (Colossians 2:8)
Roman Catholic apologists and those genuinely seeking the Lord sometimes raise questions concerning how Scriptures came into being. Scripture itself TELLS US how it came to be, we do not need to wonder! ALL of it is "breathed out by God," (Theopneustos, the Greek word used in II Timothy 3:16) and "came not in old time by the will of man: but holy men of God spake as they were moved by the Holy Ghost" (II Peter 1:21b). )
I will not "debate"these things, because the Bible clearly states principles which show debate is not the method by which the Word of God is to be spread. These principles are (PLEASE look up and read the supporting scriptures from a KJV bible or even a Douay - I am not just saying these things):
1.) Scriptural truth is discerned and understood spiritually, not with man's intellect and logic (I Cor. 2:14 - really, all of I Cor. 1:17-2:14). We are told it is impossible without the Holy Spirit's intervention for man to understand scripture. Therefore it is impossible to argue using just human logic and prove to someone that a point in scripture is true. The Bible is the sword "of the Spirit" not "of Brent Rider" or any other MAN (Eph. 6:17), so it is the Spirit that uses it to separate what is of the soul (man's corrupt intellect) and what is of the Spirit (God's truth in the scriptures) (Heb. 4:12). This should tell you that when someone tells you something, you need to read the scripture for yourself (Acts 17:11), simply listen to what it says, and let the Holy Spirit teach you truth (1 John 20:20-27), for "no prophecy (teaching) of the scripture is of any private interpretation" (II Peter 1:20).
2.) Because of #1 above We are to preach (proclaim!) the gospel (I Cor. 1:17) and the truth of the scripture, and let it stand. Preaching or proclaiming is to simply say it "loud and clear" and state it so that there can be no mistake about what the message is (you have to know what it says yourself before you can do this!). It is the Lord's work through the Holy Spirit, not ours, to convince and convict men of the truth. We preach it and let it be.
3.) The bible does not say "debate the Word" or "argue the truth of the Word." It does say "preach the Word" (see #2) (II Tim. 4:2-4). In fact we are to avoid "arguments," "doubtful disputations," and words "to no profit" (Rom. 14:1)(II Tim. 2:14). You never see any of God's prophets or the apostles arguing back and forth. They proclaimed the truth and let it stand. God is able to back up His Word and see it does its job (Isaiah 55:11). We simply need to be faithful witnesses (II Tim. 2:2).
4.) If any man hears and believes, AMEN! If they are interested but have questions or want honest discussion, answer them (I Peter 3:15)! If any will not receive the Word, though, they are being "willingly ignorant" (II Peter 3:5 - evolutionists!) and there is not a thing you can do to convince someone who is not seeking the truth, but only to discredit what we preach and put forward their own agenda or follow their own blind leaders - they both end up in the ditch (Matt. 15:12-14). Christ says in these verses to "let them alone." We are also told that If any man is (willingly or obstinately) ignorant, having been told the truth, let him be ignorant (I Cor. 14:38).
5.) One very practical reason for #4 is there is not time to waste trying to convince those who refuse to listen. "The night is far spent" (Rom. 13:12), and there is not much time left to reach those who DO have questions and ARE seeking truth. One of Satan's strategies has to be to tie up true believers with good knowledge and true motives debating in circles with those who won't listen (see #4) instead of concentrating on finding those that will and seeing them pass from death to life by our Lord's grace. We are told to "redeem the time" in relation to preaching the "mystery of Christ" (Collossians 4:3-6 - POWERFUL verses!). The seventy were told when sent out to preach the kingdom that if they were not received in a city to say "even the very dust of your city which cleaveth on us, we do wipe off against you..." and move on! Read Luke 10:1-12!
6.) Finally, if you debate a Catholic (or any non-Christian apologist) on his terms, you CANNOT WIN! The fact is that Satan has had over 6,000 years to polish up his lies to make them attractive to the human mind and soul. They "feel" right to the unsaved; "There is a way which seemeth right unto a man, but the end thereof are the ways of death." (Proverbs 14:12). Some of these lies are exposed (I Tim 4:1-4) as doctrines of demons. If you read these verses you will see that scripture is brutally honest about who teaches them SO THAT THOSE WHO WILL LISTEN CAN BE WARNED WHO THE LIARS ARE AND AVOID THEM! But when you argue with someone who will not listen and does not want to learn all you do is go round and round with circular logic and lies.
I truly encourage those who have real questions, are unsure about what they should believe, and those who are genuinely seeking truth to post to the Proclaiming The Gospel BBS questions to be answered and issues to be discussed IN THE LIGHT OF SCRIPTURE. If you are unwilling to listen to what un-twisted Scripture has to say about the topic you wish to discuss, THIS IS NOT THE PLACE FOR YOU
Have you read ALL the scriptures listed above yet?
Will you listen to them for what they say and not try to twist them to say something else?
Will you listen to them alone, and not me?
Tough love in Christ, with regard and respect only for the scriptures
- Brent -