Yesterday, I had a friendly debate with one of my co-workers.
My company is going through a re-organization and those of us with more seniority are being thrown back together, since most of the folks with less seniority have lost their jobs. Those of us remaining have known each other for years and its nice to see old faces, again.
One of the unforeseen consequences of this reorganization, is that the work groups are manned with people who believe in prayer. I guess, as we get older, most of us get wiser and we learn that we need to turn to God. Every morning, we start out with a prayer and I’ve never heard such a loud, heart felt, “Amen!” as I’ve heard from this group. Thank God for that.
Anyway, yesterday, two of my buddies, both Protestant, were arguing about what the Bible says. I’ll call them Calvin and Luther to protect the innocent, so to speak. Since we aren’t allowed to talk religion at work.
The argument was about OSAS and whether one can continue to sin after being saved. It had gone on between them for a long time, but I was content to just listen. I don’t normally get involved unless someone invites me. Calvin is studying for a Pastorate. And Luther, is a Pastor. They both have known me, for years. But I guess Calvin had forgotten that I am Catholic.
And he turned to me for assistance. Lol. He probably wishes he hadn’t.
It went something like this:
Calvin said: “I don’t lean upon my righteousness, there is only one that is righteous. Christ Jesus took flesh in order to die upon the Cross and I am covered with His righteousness!” Turning to me, he asked, “Isn’t that right?”
Luther said, “He’s trying to tell you that according to his gospel, he doesn’t have to stop sinning”.
Calvin retorted, “That’s what the Scripture says!” At this point, Calvin was preaching. You know, the way Protestants do in that sort of sing song voice. Some people get upset by that. I’m used to it.
De Maria: “Well, you know I believe different than you, right?” At this point, Luther walked away in frustration. I don’t think he spoke to Calvin the rest of the day.
Calvin asked, “What do you believe?”
De Maria, “I believe what the Catholic Church teaches. Scripture says that the Church is the Pillar of Truth, 1 Timothy 3:15.”
Calvin, “But the Church has gone wrong. You’re not supposed to follow man’s teachings. You’re supposed to follow the Word of God. Whatever a man says, you need to look it up in the Word of God. The Church has gone wrong…”
De Maria interrupting, “Scripture says that the Church is the Teacher of God’s Wisdom, Ephesians 3:10.”
Calvin, “But the Scripture is the only inspired Word of God. That means that God inspired men to write the Scriptures.”
De Maria, “God inspired men to preach. And the Scripture doesn’t say anywhere that God ever stopped inspiring men to preach. In fact, Jesus Christ commanded the Church to Teach all which He commanded and said He would be with the Church to the end of the world.”
Calvin, “He commanded the Church to Baptize and make disciples.”
De Maria, “Yeah, well, that’s what that means. Jesus didn’t hand out Bibles. The Church had to start out preaching and then wrote down what they preached, later.”
Calvin, “Me and you ain’t on the same page.”
De Maria, “I told you I believe different than you.”
Calvin, “You need to go to Scripture.”
De Maria, “You and Luther went to Scripture. I didn’t see it do you any good with him, either.”
Calvin, “That’s cause he exalts himself. And Scripture says, ‘whoever exalts himself, God will abase.”
De Maria, “I’m not gonna touch that.”
Calvin, “You need to go to Scripture. Scripture can’t mislead you. The Church can mislead you.” Turning to the one remaining onlooker, he said, “Me and him, we just ain’t seein’ eye to eye.”
De Maria, “No, I guess we ain’t.”
Calvin, “We’d better go do some actual work. We ain’t gettin’ paid to talk.”
De Maria, “No, we’re not.”
So, we went back to work.
We’re off for the holidays, now. But I am so looking forward to 2016.
May you all have a blessed and happy New Year!