We received this really neat email the other day:
Hope you are doing well! This is one of your teen readers writing. Sorry if there is too much email bothering you these days! I wanted to ask a Bible question regarding John 20:23.
First of all, thank you so much for what you do! SO helpful and encouraging to learn from someone who’s already been there. I’m a younger-aged beginning “fisher,” and your books and materials were part of the ones that helped our family to jump into the water, so to say! It has been an amazing journey.
But, anyway, we went witnessing at a large campus recently with some friends (lots of amazing conversations)! One person in our group started talking with a friendly Catholic gentleman and his family. The conversation went to there being one mediator between God and man; Jesus, the only One who can deal with our sins, and that what the Catholic Church does is unbiblical, because there, you’d go through a wrong mediator, a priest, to get your sins forgiven.
The Catholic disagreed, saying that his church is the only true church with a biblical foundation and that his priest has the ongoing right to forgive their congregation’s sins based on John 20:23. (That is, if Jesus delegated this authority to the apostles, it was handed down to the Catholic Church priesthood, too.)
Well, that was a stumper. Our group person did answer that this verse was taken out of context and tried explaining, etc. The conversation moved on, but I’m thinking about how to reply to this man’s statement. Of course, no arguing. I know it’s wrong. That’s a lot of doctrine to make off of one verse, but how would you reasonably explain this place to a non-Christian, especially within a limited moment of time? From searching out this verse online, it seems to be a central tenet of Catholic belief. Just wondering if you’ve ever run into this type of discussion before and how you would respond.
Thank you so much for your time!
TikTok, phones, video games, movies, Netflix, etc.? Nope. Teens out witnessing is better by far than anything the world has to offer them. Or teens on a college campus witnessing is one of the best ways for them to redeem the time. Never, ever underestimate what a teenager can do for the Lord when they are empowered by the Holy Spirit! Praise ye the Lord!!
What are your teens up to this week?
Until the Nets are Full,
P.S. This was actually a pretty easy question to answer. Why? I have dealt with it before! You learn pretty quickly, when you are out and about sharing your faith, that you tend to get a lot of the same questions. And, even if you cannot answer a particular question, that doesn’t mean the give-and-take needs to end. As you read up above, they continued the conversation. They are a very impressive group of teenagers!
P.P.S. If you want some good information about how the Catholic Church stacks up against the Bible, you can listen to this talk I gave at a conference one time. Many have told me that the information is very eye opening.