Now, right off the top, let me establish the ground rules of this post. I am not, repeat not, anti-Catholic. I was raised Catholic, I still watch Midnight Mass on Christmas and Easter Vigil sometimes. I believe the Pope to be a holy and wise man. I do not believe that the Catholic Church is the "Great Whore" of Revelation. I am not currently catholic because I believe what Jesus taught and what Church tradition has built up over the millennia are at odds on certain concepts, but that doesn't have to be a salvational issue. I believe that Romans 10:9 and Ephesians 2:8-9 applies to everyone. Are we good that this isn't about attacking any church? Good, let's move on.
Laurie saw a post a Facebook friend made that dovetailed with the one she got into it with someone back on Wednesday, about the raising the children with a set of values. She agreed with the article, adding some of her own thoughts about how it could be done. Somehow the original poster didn't quite get what she meant, but after a little back and forth he got her point correctly. And that would have been the end of the story...
...but along came a troll. First, she criticized Laurie for making the post "complicated". So Laurie, sweetheart that she is, calmly tried to explain she wasn't "trying to complicate", but add to the discussion with her experience of the other day, nothing more, nothing less. So then troll asked if she were a Catholic (it was a strongly Catholic FB friend who posted the original link.) So Laurie said no, but that had nothing to do with it because the author of the link was talking about all denominations and even Jews.
From then on the troll degenned into trying to pick a fight, her basic premise seeming to be that unless you were a Catholic, your faith was false and you had no business adding to the discussion. Laurie tried to be polite, and thus is ill-prepared to fight with such a person. I however am a veteran, as you know, of such tribulations, so I tried to make a sensitive yet firm end of things.
... this is Laurie's significant other on this post. As a Christian, I believe that the requirement for salvation is to accept that a) you are a sinner, and B) accept Jesus' death in payment for them. Frankly, I believe that salvation can be found in any Christian church that teaches such values. In looking over your posts, it seems you want to strike Laurie over the head with your Catholic faith. She has mentioned time and again that this was not the reason for her comments or even the original post. I can tell you why I am no longer a Catholic- I read the Bible, and found inconsistancies between what Jesus said and the teachings of the church. You really don't want me to poke holes in everything you believe, and I don't want to. Suffice it to say that I had good reasons for not staying with the Catholic church. As a fellow Christian though, you might want to remember that a) we are all God's children and B) you catch more flies with honey than vinegar. Have a nice Valentines day!
See? Nice. Our trolls response, and indeed setting the tone for much of the night, began with,
...the old "I am no longer a Catholic" is the biggest BS I have ever heard.
And pretty much went downhill from there. Relax, I'm not going to go down the whole litany of the discussion (and it is a lengthy and long winded one... she sure knew how to cut and paste! In fact, at one point she offers to let me get the last word in- and posts another 107 lines across six more posts BEFORE I can get my next word in!) But I do want to bring some of her "points" up:
First off, her very first foray to me had this tucked in it:
Which, in addition to being completely inane, brings this to mind. Protestants, to her chagrin, believe in the Bible to the exclusion of Church teaching and tradition. Now, common sense would say, "If that's the case, wouldn't the Catholic need the scissors to cut-and-paste verses into the midst of Church traditions?" So you see the logic we are dealing with here.
Then, she conveniently ignores the aforementioned verses in Ephesians, which directly say salvation is by grace through faith- not of works lest any man should boast- and then modifies James ' discussion on how faith is proved through the evidence of works, runs it all through her little computer mind, and says:
"Also what does the book of James say? It says YOU ARE NOT SAVED BY FAITH ALONE. He actually calls you ignorant, so complain to God. "
Okay, so we've established that logic will not abate her, and neither will the entirety of scripture. Now, we venture into the re-writing of history...
"And second, you should thank the Catholic Church for the Crusades, otherwise you'd be muslim....nothing wrong with defending Christendom. Why worry? You weren't around!"
So the Crusades saved us from being Muslim. Hmmm. The Crusades ended around 1272. The Muslims took most of the Balkans in 1389, Constantinople in 1453, Crimea in 1475, Serbia 1540, Budapest 1541. It was actually Polish King Jan Sobieski's lifting of the siege of Vienna itself in 1683 that stopped the growth of Islam into Europe. By all measures, the Crusades were a colossal failure unless you were a Muslim, a Venetian in 1204, or the water concessionaire at the Battle of Hattin. So I mentioned that. and I got:
...and the Crusades were not a failure...
At this point I even conceded a minor point, that the Crusades might not have been totally an "unprovoked attack"- but with the caveat that the Muslims might see things differently. Her, response, as expected:
...And to say muslims have a good point shows me again how much you hate the Catholic Church! YOU ARE A HERETIC!
Okay so now that I have firmly established my opponent's knowledge base and character, let me finish up with a set of questions she "asked" and I didn't answer.
First, she asked me, what is it that protestants are protesting about the Church (adding that "you protestants don't even know!" Apparently she thinks we have a statue of Martin Luther out in the yard somewhere.)? Well, first of all, I don't believe "we" picked the name. However, there are three tenets that we share and she apparently doesn't. Scripture alone, the Spirit breathed Word of God, which is not just the Bible, but what the Bible was before it was just one book.. the words of the prophets, the writings of Moses, the letters of Paul. Justification by faith alone- Ephesians 2:8-9 and Romans 10:9, as I mentioned before. And that all men are equal before the Lord, we are all a Royal Priesthood, and the Pope is no better than the Sunday School teacher.
Second question was, When did your church start? (Accentuating with the capital-letter phrase, "you have no history!") I'm sure you think yourself superior because your church "started" when Jesus said those famously mis-represented words to Peter about him being the rock of the church He would build. (I pointed out at one point that, surely as Peter was Pope, Paul wouldn't dispute him? Oh, wait, Paul "withstood him to his face" about eating with the Jews. So much for the "first Pope's" infallibility.) Well, I could make a case for that same moment. Or when Jesus died and rose, or at His birth on the mortal plane. But I prefer to think that The Church was born when God promised Abraham descendants " as the sands of the seashore". The Pharisees didn't think gentiles were descendants of Abraham, but Jesus told them, "I could make descendants of Abraham from these rocks" (paraphrasing Matthew 3:9).
Anyone notice the connecting thread to all her statements and questions? Here, I'll show you: They had NOTHING at all to do with the original post, and they showed NOTHING of what Christ expected us to be. It was all just an exercise in making a point no one cared about but herself. And I egged her on, because a) that's the kinda guy I am, and b) to show all of us that there are extremist nutcases on all sides. Facebook is at times a cesspool of people who love to post their opinions but don't want to hear yours. And when you try, they either ignore what you say or twist it out of any recognizable form. They spout off and promote whatever brand of hate it is they are spewing, and all you are to them is a backdrop to pitch their feces against. And when you finally decide you have had enough of your "battle of wits with one who's only half-armed", they raise their flag of victory. Witness her last post:
"Long live the Catholic Church."
A noble sentiment 99% of the time... this time, it's just words on a banner she's waving, shouting, "Hey, look at me!"
Now, you know me. Why did I let this go? Because I'd gotten mine in a few posts earlier:
HER: I already wasted enough intellect on you.
ME: ...you are right, you can hardly afford to lose too much intellect.