Answering Evangelicals

Evangelicals are often some the finest non-Catholic Christians. They get many things right, but  they regrettably do not understand Catholicism very well. (If they did, they would become Catholic.) Here is how you can answer some of their most common misunderstandings:

“Why do you Catholics worship Mary?”
Nobody worships Mary, she is only a creature, but she is highly honored as the Mother of God. In this we follow Jesus, who surpassingly fulfilled the commandant “Honor your Father and Mother.” Indeed, Mary is our mother too. (See John 19:27 & Revelation 12:17)

“Why do you pray to Mary and the saints when we can pray to Jesus directly?”
Have you ever asked someone to pray for you? Of course you have, and rightly so. The Bible tells us to “pray for one another” because “the fervent prayer of a righteous person is very powerful.” (James 5:16) We can always pray to Jesus, but sometimes we also ask the saints, our holiest friends, to offer prayers with us and for us (as we see them doing in Revelation 5:8.)

“Have you been ‘born-again?'”
Yes, because I am baptized. As Jesus told Nicodemus, one enters the kingdom of God by being “born of water and Spirit.” (John 3:5) Demonstrating what he meant, “After this, Jesus and his disciples went into the region of Judea, where he spent some time with them baptizing.” (John 3:22) Indeed, as St. Peter wrote, “baptism now saves you.” (1st Peter 3:21)

“Have you accepted Jesus Christ as your personal Lord and Savior?”
Yes. For example, I often receive him as my Lord and Savior in the Eucharist. As Jesus said, “Whoever eats my flesh and drinks my blood remains in me and I in him.” (John 6:56)

“Do you believe you can earn salvation by your works, rather than by faith alone?”
No one can earn the initial grace of salvation by their works. (Ephesians 2:8-9) But once God has brought us into his friendship we must cooperate with his grace in our actions, “otherwise [we] will be cut off.” (Romans 11:22) “Faith without works is dead.” (James 2:17)

“How can you believe that the Pope, a sinner like every man, is infallible?”
The Holy Spirit used sinful men to write the inspired Scriptures. Likewise, God protects the Pope from teaching in error about Christian faith and morals lest the whole Church be led astray. Jesus made St. Peter both the Church’s rock foundation and its chief shepherd on earth. (Matthew 16:18-19) The Pope is St. Peter’s successor in that office.

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