Duggar husband Ben Seewald is back on social media to share his thoughts on religion — and this time he’s taking aim at Catholic beliefs. Across his social media platforms, Seewald shared images and information about a book he’s currently reading that focuses on the difference between Catholic and Protestant beliefs. When some Catholic fans began to question whether the read was a purely intellectual pursuit or an attack on their beliefs, Seewald followed up, declaring Catholic answers to theological questions “unsatisfying.”
Though Duggar fans on Seewald’s social media post were ready to give Ben the benefit of the doubt, it’s not the first time he’s spoken against the Catholic religion. According to Us Magazine, Seewald lashed out back in 2014, saying he “will in no way support” Catholics’ “depart[ure] from scripture,” and declaring that he “will call them out” for their “deadly errors.”
On Saturday, Ben shared a photo of a book he’s currently reading, and his own commentary on the book’s contents.
About halfway through reading this. Dr. James White has debated many of the top Roman Catholic apologists and is highly knowledgeable on the real issues that, yes, still matter today. This is essential because many have no idea what the REAL issues actually are between Catholics and Protestants. He goes to great lengths to fairly and accurately represent the Roman Catholic arguments, which is essential to any respectful and honorable debate. Excellent read thus far, and I'm looking forward to finishing.
“This is essential because many have no idea what the REAL issues actually are between Catholics and Protestants. He goes to great lengths to fairly and accurately represent the Roman Catholic arguments…”
The book Ben’s reading, The Roman Catholic Controversy, is by Dr. James White, director of Alpha & Omega Ministries, and his writings on what he perceives as the failure of Catholicism are extensive. These missives are are written to support White’s assertions that Catholic histories are unreliable and require blind faith, that there is no way for Catholics and Protestants to find unity in shared beliefs in Christ, and that Catholic beliefs rely on circular logic.
Many of these papers address only a specific Catholic speaker’s take on the subject, rather than the belief system as a whole. Still, Dr. James White has been called “anti-Catholic,” and Catholic Convert hosted a short piece about White’s sister converting to Catholicism and alleging that he subsequently attacked her and her religion with “nasty-grams” and a “blustering, bullying…..deep-seated anger.”
With that in mind, it’s not surprising that those Duggar fans who are familiar with Dr. White expressed concerns about Ben Seewald’s praise of him.
One Catholic who says she follows the Duggar family because of their strong faith told Seewald,
“I love that you’re learning about my faith but it would be awesome if you learned about it from someone who loves it and has watched it nurture their own life – not someone trying to convince you of how its wrong.”
Meanwhile, many followers defended him, saying that they felt sure the Duggar husband was only seeking a greater understanding.
However, it was on Seewald’s Facebook page, where he more often interacts with fans and delves into conversations, that Ben answered questions. He warned that his study was “only beginning,” despite previously addressing his problems with the Catholic faith three years ago, but then declared the following.
“However, thus far in hearing Catholic Answers radio and then hearing Dr. White’s refutations many times I have been thoroughly unsatisfied with the Catholic answers and seen much truth in what Dr. White has said.”
It may have been the last straw for some Duggar fans — a few commented to tell Seewald they didn’t approve, and that Ben wouldn’t get a true balanced view of the Catholic faith if he wasn’t willing to listen to them directly, rather than a Protestant’s interpretation of their beliefs.
On Twitter too, Seewald’s post about the book netted many replies from those who say they’re sick of the Duggar family bashing Catholics.
Meanwhile, the Duggar family’s missionary couple, Jill and Derick Dillard, are spending time evangelizing in El Salvador — where the population is 57 percent Catholic — where Derick says he’s bringing the truth of the Gospel to those who would otherwise never hear it.
While the Duggar family’s reality show seems to be staying on the air despite the exodus of sponsors, if Ben Seewald’s post alienates a large portion of the viewer base, this may be particularly bad timing to do so, especially as Josh Duggar re-enters the spotlight yet again with the announcement of a new baby due later this year.
[Featured Image by Ben Seewald/Instagram]