A Catholic Leap

There is little doubt that many Roman Catholic doctrines simply aren’t in the Bible. They’ve been introduced by the Roman Catholic Church over the centuries. Much as Muslims make weak attempts to find prophecies about Muhammad in the Bible, Catholics grasp at straws to find support for their doctrines in the Bible.

I recently had a conversation with a couple of knowledgeable Catholics. I started by discussing the fact that the Bible blatantly contradicts some of their beliefs. Specifically, they claimed that atheists “of good will” could end up in heaven. There are dozens of verses that prove that line of thinking wrong, and I quoted a few to them. Their response was that they don’t care what I say about the Bible, because according to Catholic teaching, no one is able to interpret the Bible outside the authority of Rome.

This was the first time I’d heard that from a Catholic, and it turns out that it really is the standard teaching of Rome, and it’s based on a misinterpretation of 2 Peter 1:20. Later, they mentioned that there really is no infallible interpretation of this verse, so I’m not sure what authority they have to give any interpretation of that verse.

I showed them Acts 17:11, which describes how the Bereans were commended for scrutinizing Paul’s teaching with the Scripture. I asked them why the Bereans were able to verify Paul’s teaching with the Scripture, but today I am unable to verify Rome’s teaching with Scripture. They never directly answered my question. I gave up asking the question when the only “answer” provided was:

Why did Paul have to “check in” with the Apostles and have them lay hands on him to continue his ministry?

That has absolutely nothing to do with my question. Honest, knowledgeable answers generally don’t start with a “why” and end with a question mark.

They do think that I should verify the doctrines of Rome, but not by searching Scripture. I should determine the truth of Rome’s claims by verifying that their doctrines haven’t changed over the last 2,000 years, and I should do this by reading church fathers. (They were kind enough to give me a list of church fathers to check out.)

But this only leads to more questions. If I’m not trustworthy enough to interpret Scripture, why am I trustworthy enough to interpret the writings of church fathers? Why should I read the second generation (or later) of Christian beliefs when the Bible provides the first generation? If two church fathers disagree (there are many early “Christians” who were outright heretics), which one is trustworthy?

There is no good way to test the Catholic Church. Bottom line: I’m supposed to become a Catholic, because the pope says so.

Trust me.

At the root of this disagreement is the epistemology of Catholics and Evangelicals. Evangelicals believe the Bible is the only source for absolute truth, and Catholics have the Bible plus their tradition. The problem is that the Bible is insufficient to arrive at modern Catholic doctrines (if not contradictory to those doctrines), and there is no other infallible, inerrant source to attest to Catholic doctrines. In order to buy into the teaching of Rome, you must take a blind leap of faith.

120 thoughts on “A Catholic Leap

  1. Great post Bill.

    The church of Rome used to attack and put to death those who dared to possess a Bible in their own language. That didn’t work so now the church of Rome seeks to attack and put to death the very Word of God itself.

    Why do they mistrust, reject, and hate it so? Because the doctrines of Rome contradict the Scriptures and, like any good cult, they must protect and preserve their investment by assaulting the very thing that stands in opposition to their false teachings and the very Law that will condemn them on Judgment Day.

    Sola Scriputra, Sola Fide, Sola Gratia, Solus Christus, Soli Deo Gloria to the end, my brother!

    – Pilgrim

  2. I have more Catholic neighbors than anything else. They have accepted my tracts. One mother even let her girls come to one day of our DVBS, and both professed faith in Christ. Unless Mom changes, they will have to attend the Catholic church until grown. She is very open to talk to me, but very busy. I have a hard time finding any neighbors at home. I pray for all the neighbors that I have met.

  3. “Bottom line: I’m supposed to become a Catholic, because the pope says so.”

    This rationale is the bottom line of all that “good Catholics” do. They are forbidden from engaging in apologetics with folks outside their cult, same as JWs, lest they be exposed to Truth.

  4. Sure.

    We (our pastors) use vestments to call to mind, the service of Chrust to us, and that we ought be servants.

    We use a Christ candle to call to mind the light of God in Christ Jesus.

    There are others, but I’m late for work. Gotta run.
    ___________________________________________________

    One more for the road.

    We observe ‘Ash Wednesday’. Not in the bible, but it keeps our own mortality in mind, and what Christ has done about, for our sakes.

    Stuff like that.

    It helps us to keep Christ, and His gospel central in our lives.

    Do we have to do any of it? No, we don’t. (unlike so may Catholic traditions that they feel they HAVE TO DO.

    But we want to do it, because it is good for us and our faith.

  5. Old Adam,
    I ask this in all sincerity—why would one follow the traditions of Rome? Why observe ash wed., as Rome does {Ash Wednesday marks the onset of the Lent, the 40-day period of fasting and abstinence. It is also known as the ‘Day of Ashes’. So called because on that day at church the faithful have their foreheads marked with ashes in the shape of a cross.
    The name ‘Day of Ashes’ comes from “Dies Cinerum” in the Roman Missal and is found in the earliest existing copies of the Gregorian Sacramentary. The concept originated by the Roman Catholics somewhere in the 6th century. Though the exact origin of the day is not clear, the custom of marking the head with ashes on this Day is said to have originated during the papacy of Gregory the Great}?

    As for recalling what Christ has done, isn’t that why the Lord’s supper was instituted?

    There are many ‘traditions’ that some denominations have borrowed from Rome, such as Ash Wed. Why would anybody take something from the church of Satan and practice it? The Lutheran view on baptism is another debatable topic {as a former Lutheran, I often ask ‘why is it when I was baptized as a youth, I went on to live the worst kind of sinful life one could imagine?’ Water baptism does not save, nor does it regenerate. Enough said on that.
    There were too many Roman influences within the Lutheran denomination for me to endure. I do understand that all denominations are a far cry from the early church we find in the book of Acts; this isn’t about ‘my denomination is better than yours’.
    I personally have no desire to partake of anything from Rome when I go to worship and praise my Lord.

    Lyn

  6. We don’t throw the baby out with the bathwater.

    If it is a good tradition that lifts up Christ and helps us to focus on Him (not the pope, or the Catholic Church), then it is useful and we keep it.

    It also helps us to keep us anchored in Christ, that we don’t float around hither and yon with the latest things in worship that come down the pike…that put the emphasis on ‘us’.
    ___________________________________________________________

    It helps to keep us counter-cultural, and not looking just like the culture (that is the problem).

    The last thing we need when we go to worship, is to have ourselves handed back to us.

    Many of the things we do call to the mind and heart, the other-worldliness of God.

  7. Old Adam, thank you for your kind response. May I ask this…

    Does a ritual or tradition separate, or keep us from looking like the culture? That speaks of a mere outward appearance. Of course, the RCC is notorious for looking good on the outside.
    Isn’t it the doctrine of regeneration that separates us? We are being renewed, or transformed daily by the power of God which manifests itself in our thinking, speech, and actions. What brings about this transformation? Romans 12:2 tells us this, ‘And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind’. How do we renew our mind? By filling it with the word of God.
    Reading God’s word produces right thinking, which in turn, produces right living. This is how unbelievers should be able to tell true Christians, by their speech, words, and deeds. I am not talking of a salvation by works, I am merely stating that evidence of truly being born again is made known by right speaking and living.

  8. The trouble with Rome is their theology. A little bit of you and a little bit of God (not Christ alone).

    Looking different and being different are not the same (of course).

    We place Holy Scripture first, then tradition (as long as it is useful to help us keep centered in Christ)

    Grace alone, the Word alone, through Faith alone, is our motto.

    We don’t place such an emphasis on evidence, since no one knows the heart, or the motivations of the ones doing the works. And since “all our rigjhteous deeds are as filty rags”.

    We place the onus and emphasis on Christ, and His promises to us.

    Gotta run…late for work!

    Thanks!

  9. Personally, I don’t need ashes placed on my head, candles lit, or any other man-made tradition to “remind” me of Christ or keep me “focused” on Christ. Will what was begun in and by the Spirit now be completed, perfected, and continued in the flesh?

    And as for being “counter-cultural” I suggest a more profound practice: Read the Bible and do what it says! There’s nothing more counter-cultural than that.

    If any of these traditions were needful or helpful they would have been seen in the Scriptures. I have the Word of God, and (as Lyn aptly pointed out) the Lord’s Supper to do what man-made traditions try to replace.

    But I don’t suspect that we’ll see eye to eye on this subject OldAdam, after all, you also adhere to the Romish doctrine of paedobaptism and we had to agree to disagree then, so this will be yet another DefCon post that you’re spinning your wheels on.

    Sincerely,
    – The Pilgrim

  10. Old Adam,
    I am not attacking you personally, however, the Lutheran set of beliefs is questionable. There is no scriptural basis for ashes, candles, etc {yes, the Jews covered themselves in sackcloth and ashes as a sign of repentance; true repentance is being broken over sin; a heart that sees its own wickedness and cries out for mercy and forgiveness is what is needed}. These are traditions implemented by the RCC; any church that borrows anything from the RCC is scary. I would not defend such dealings, but rather run from them.
    We must be loyal to Christ and His word alone, certainly not borrowing or adding things from Satan’s church. This is the fine line that so many refuse to cross…is our loyalty to Christ alone, or to the teachings/traditions of a denomination? I find this a tough sell even within my own denomination of Southern Baptist; it’s easier {and less painful!} to remove a tooth than it is to convince a Southern Baptist salvation isn’t based on their decision. Praise be to God, my pastor holds to a reformed belief.

    The one thing I will never forget about my former Lutheran pastor…I asked him why he never preached on being born again and he said, ‘oh, we don’t teach that here!’. That was my last Sunday of attending that church.

  11. @Lynn
    “it’s easier {and less painful!} to remove a tooth than it is to convince a Southern Baptist salvation isn’t based on their decision. ” LOL

    Amen to that! LOL

  12. Re : the discussion on “usefull” traditions. A well known preacher was chastized for something he said with the criticism” you have turned the church back 50years” His reply “I’m sorry. I wanted to turn it back 2000 years.

  13. Well said Bill. You summed up Rome’s ways perfectly. The Bible is an afterthought at best where what Rome and her apologists say trumps anything the Scriptures might say to the contrary.

    You likewise are correct about those of “good will” entering into heaven. Indeed they will according to Rome where she has nearly everyone entering into the kingdom of God. Jews who deny the Messiah, Muslims and all those of other religions who from their supposedly good heart are seeking God.

    The Church’s relationship with the Muslims. “The plan of salvation also includes those who acknowledge the Creator, in the first place amongst whom are the Muslims; these profess to hold the faith of Abraham, and together with us they adore the one, merciful God, mankind’s judge on the last day.” (Para 841)

    The Church’s bond with non-Christian religions is in the first place the common origin and end of the human race:
    All nations form but one community. This is so because all stem from the one stock which God created to people the entire earth, and also because all share a common destiny, namely God. His providence, evident goodness, and saving designs extend to all against the day when the elect are gathered together in the holy city. (Para 842)

    Those who, through no fault of their own, do not know the Gospel of Christ or his Church, but who nevertheless seek God with a sincere heart, and, moved by grace, try in their actions to do his will as they know it through the dictates of their conscience – those too may achieve eternal salvation. (Para 847)

    The only ones who will not be saved are the Biblical Christians who knowingly reject the Papacy.

    …Basing itself on Scripture and Tradition, the Council teaches that the [Catholic] Church, a pilgrim now on earth, is necessary for salvation: the one Christ is the mediator and the way of salvation; he is present to us in his body which is the Church. He himself explicitly asserted the necessity of faith and Baptism, and thereby affirmed at the same time the necessity of the Church which men enter through Baptism as through a door. Hence they could not be saved who, knowing that the Catholic Church was founded as necessary by God through Christ, would refuse either to enter it or to remain in it. (Para 846 – bold added)

    And so in Rome you have Buddhists, New Agers, Hindus, Muslims, Christ denying Jews (cf Para 839,840) and those of all other religious beliefs being saved, but not Bible believing Christians who reject the Papacy.

  14. Brother Michael,

    Thanks for the quotes. I have to wonder if they’ve always believed that people of any religion can go to heaven. I recently happened upon this quote:

    “We declare, assert, define and pronounce: To be subject to the Roman pontiff is to every human creature altogether necessary for salvation.” (Pope Boniface VIII, Papal Bull Unam Sanctam, 1302)

    I’m either misunderstanding what that means, or they’ve changed their doctrine on this topic. What do you think about that quote? Don’t Catholics think the content of a Papal Bull is authoritative and infallible? Clearly they want to avoid inconsistent doctrine, so would they just say he was confused or what?

    Thanks,
    Bill

  15. If a Roman Catholic were to stop doing all the things their Mother teaches, throw out their man-made/unbiblical “Traditions” and simply follow what God has said in His written word, they would become Protestant overnight.

  16. Hi Bill,
    First, yes, that should certainly be an infallible decree.

    Second, you raise an excellent point and highlight one of the many contradictions found in Catholicism past and Catholicism present. But in Rome, this cannot be for how can one infallible papal decree negate another if both are said to be infallible? Certainly this presents Rome with a quandary. A quandary she really did not have to deal with much in days past when she held a lock on the Scriptures and prevented the commoner, by punishment of death, from reading or even owning a Bible.

    But, to God be the Glory, all this changed starting with the printing press and mass publication of the Scriptures as well as papers/tracts dealing with Rome’s anti-Biblical doctrines. And how much more so today with all the information we have access to.

    This really must be causing Rome great angst as the proverbial cat is out of the bag and cannot be put back in. So, she must employ more shrewder tactics much in the same fashion as you will find with Mormons and JW’s presented with similar challenges.

    In dealing with the excellent example you have highlighted, Robert Zins notes this as well where he writes that “..it is well to keep in mind that Roman apologists nonetheless continue to work overtime to hide their inconsistencies while all the while failing to see that their Roman Catholic religion cannot bring anyone to salvation.” Amen to that!

    Here is the article from where this quote comes where you can study one example of how Rome attempts to deal with this blatant contradiction. Be forewarned as you will now be entering the Roman Spin Zone…

  17. brother Michael,

    Many thanks for posting the link to the Roman Spin Zone. I have read several articles on that site over the past year and thank the Lord for their service.

    More proof that the wide gate leads to the broad path that leads to destruction. And many who are deceived are on that path.

    But there is a narrow gate that leads to a rough path that leads to eternal life. And few are on that path, but they have the Spirit of the living God as their guide and their guarantee.

  18. If baptism were necessary for salvation, then why did Christ go to the cross?
    I am amazed when Christians overlook the book of Acts concerning baptism. From Acts 2:41, ‘Then they that gladly received his word were baptized: and the same day there were added unto them about three thousand souls.’ How does an infant gladly receive his word? Baptism follows a profession of faith, it isn’t part of the pre-salvation process. To teach infant baptism as necessary for salvation is to teach salvation by works; you then make null and void the biblical salvation by grace.
    I must ask, again, why is it I lived such a wicked and sinful life, I was baptized in a Lutheran church as a teen. Had I died prior to 2003, I would have gone to hell. So why was there no new creation after this water baptism?
    The only baptism that cleanses and changes is that of the Holy Spirit; this is part of the new birth that my former Lutheran pastor refused to preach/teach…and no wonder, it doesn’t line up with traditional thinking.

  19. “If baptism were necessary for salvation, then why did Christ go to the cross?”

    When you get to Heaven, ask Jesus why he commanded baptism… will you?

    That he commanded it is good enough for many of us.

  20. Consider this. The Apostle Paul spoke for Jesus. Whatever he said was authoritative. So when Paul speaks of what is to be required for salvation, don’t you think he would say everything that would be required? If Paul left something out he would be held accountable and he would be no different than the false teachers that he warns us about in so many places in Scripture.

    Here is the account of Paul and Silas in jail. When the jailor asks Paul what he must do to be saved, look at what Paul says and doesn’t say.

    Acts16:31 And they said, Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and thou shalt be saved, and thy house.Acts16:32 And they spake unto him the word of the Lord, and to all that were in his house.
    Acts16:33 And he took them the same hour of the night, and washed their stripes; and was baptized, he and all his, straightway.

    Paul tells the jailor to just believe to be saved. If water baptism was necessary to salvation then shouldn’t Paul have told the jailer? This is what Paul did not say: “Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ(and be baptized in water),and thou shalt be saved”

    If it was so important as to affect a persons salvation then wouldn’t Paul have included baptism in his statement to the jailor?

    Here are some more Scriptures from Paul on the subject of salvation.

    Romans 10:8 But what saith it? The word is nigh thee, even in thy mouth, and in thy heart: that is, the word of faith, which we preach;
    Romans 10:9 That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved.
    Romans 10:10 For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation.
    Romans 10:11 For the scripture saith, Whosoever believeth on him shall not be ashamed.
    Romans 10:12 For there is no difference between the Jew and the Greek: for the same Lord over all is rich unto all that call upon him.
    Romans 10:13 For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved

    Paul doesn’t mention water baptism at all in these verses. Paul never says:

    Romans 10:9 That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead,(and be water baptized) thou shalt be saved.
    Romans 10:10 For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession (and being baptized in water) is made unto salvation.
    Romans 10:11 For the scripture saith, Whosoever believeth on him(and is baptized in water) shall not be ashamed.
    Romans 10:12 For there is no difference between the Jew and the Greek: for the same Lord over all is rich unto all that call upon him (and are baptized in water).
    Romans 10:13 For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord (and be baptized in water) shall be saved

    That may seem overdone but, if baptism was important for salvation then wouldn’t Paul have said so in these verses? He doesn’t mention it even once.

    Here is Paul speaking in one of his letters to the Church in Corinth.

    1Corinthians 1:13 Is Christ divided? was Paul crucified for you? or were ye baptized in the name of Paul?
    1Corinthians 1:14 I thank God that I baptized none of you, but Crispus and Gaius;
    1Corinthians 1:15 Lest any should say that I had baptized in mine own name.
    1Corinthians 1:16 And I baptized also the household of Stephanas: besides, I know not whether I baptized any other.
    1Corinthians 1:17 For Christ sent me not to baptize, but to preach the gospel: not with wisdom of words, lest the cross of Christ should be made of none effect.
    1Corinthians 1:18 For the preaching of the cross is to them that perish foolishness; but unto us which are saved it is the power of God.

    Notice what Paul says in verse 17. “Christ sent me not to baptize, but to preach the gospel”. If baptism is necessary for salvation then Paul is saying that Jesus told him not to do it. Because Paul said Jesus told him to preach the gospel. Here is a big problem. If baptism was necessary for salvation then shouldn’t verse 17 read something like “for Christ sent me to preach the gospel (and water baptism)”?

    So what is the gospel that Paul preached?

    1Cor15:1 Moreover, brethren, I declare unto you the gospel which I preached unto you, which also ye have received, and wherein ye stand;
    1Corinthians 15:2 By which also ye are saved, if ye keep in memory what I preached unto you, unless ye have believed in vain.
    1Corinthians 15:3 For I delivered unto you first of all that which I also received, how that Christ died for our sins according to the scriptures;
    1Corinthians 15:4 And that he was buried, and that he rose again the third day according to the scriptures:

    The gospel that Paul preaches is the death, burial, and resurrection of Jesus Christ. He says nothing of water baptism in the gospel.

    Acts20:27 For I have not shunned to declare unto you all the counsel of God.
    Acts20:28 Take heed therefore unto yourselves, and to all the flock, over the which the Holy Ghost hath made you overseers, to feed the church of God, which he hath purchased with his own blood.

    In these verses Paul said he came and preached the whole counsel of God. Paul doesn’t preach much on water baptism.

  21. Here’s a balanced piece describing some of the differences between Confessional Lutheranism and Reformed Theology.

    Bill said: This was the first time I’d heard that from a Catholic, and it turns out that it really is the standard teaching of Rome, and it’s based on a misinterpretation of 2 Peter 1:20. Later, they mentioned that there really is no infallible interpretation of this verse, so I’m not sure what authority they have to give any interpretation of that verse.

    Welcome to the labyrinthine and deceitful world of Romanist apologetics. Ironically the very first place most begin is precisely where the fall began. To wit, like the serpent in the garden, they cast doubt upon the veracity of the Word of God: “Yea, hath God said?”

    Then continuing in the pattern of the enemy of Truth they offer as a substitute another authority in place of the ultimate authority God’s special revelation further attempting to undermine the very foundations of truth; the theopneustos (God breathed) scriptures. These substitute authorities vary, but they will generally consist of the Romanist apologist himself parroting something from a creed, a council, a pontiff, a catechism, a bull, an ECF, and so on and so forth.

    Yet ultimate authorities are peculiar things, because by definition there’s nothing higher to which one may appeal. Since Rome has built her house upon the sand of human wisdom, and cast her lot in with an allegedly infallible interpreter of the scriptures – the Magisterium – she can never, ever concede to being wrong. Thus Rome is right, because Rome is always right. A Romanist appeals to so-called “sacred tradition” as his ultimate authority, which he places above the authority of scripture itself, yet this selfsame sacred tradition is amorphous, undocumented, and indefinable which thing provides Rome with an endless supply of ludicrous and blasphemous claims of apostolic authority.

    Sadly all the Romanist has done by punting his responsibility to rightly divide the Word of God to the Mother Church is to move the epistemic question back one step. If scripture lacks perpiscuity, and the Romanist cannot trust himself to accurately interpret God’s Word, then how is the Romanist to trust in his ability to interpret the infallible interpretations of the Magisterium? Are the words of the Magisterium more perspicuous than the Word of God? After all, everything men read or hear must be interpreted by the individual in order to be meaningful. In this way we can see that the Romanist who punts his responsibility to Rome is in no better position than the Protestant who faces up to the difficulty of directly encountering God’s truth in the scriptures.

    Here many Romanists will object, but the truth remains that by appealing to the Rome’s infallible interpretation of the scriptures in the Magisterium, and denying the perpiscuity of scripture outside of the “sacred tradition” expounded by Rome, then by default Rome herself has become the ultimate authority for Romanists.

    There are many, many proofs for this assertion, but it is clearly demonstrated by her teachings, an example of which Bill pointed out earlier:

    “We declare, assert, define and pronounce: To be subject to the Roman pontiff is to every human creature altogether necessary for salvation.” (Pope Boniface VIII, Papal Bull Unam Sanctam, 1302)

    Can there be a more rabidly sectarian and anti-catholic position than that of the Romanist which anathematizes all those who are not in communion with the Roman See?

    The wicked boastfulness of the Roman communion is appalling.

    She makes her appearance as a lamb, yet she speaks like a dragon.

    She rides upon the beast, drunken with the blood of the saints.

    The office of the Pope arrogates the very titles of Deity upon itself, thereby seating a man in the temple of God, declaring himself to be God – the abomination that makes desolate.

    With Spurgeon may we boldly declare:

    Some men’s minds are growing weaker in the battle. I hear them speaking of incorporating certain Roman Catholic beliefs into our Protestantism – and what is that but Roman Catholicism made worse than it was before, by being more despicable and deceivable than even Catholicism itself. Don’t you hear men talk of the Roman Catholics these days and say, “Oh! well, they differ a little from us.” Doesn’t the evangelical party in the Church of England seem at the present moment to embrace some of the Roman Catholic teachings? All is well with that Church when it is separated from the heretics, and a great gulf is fixed, but all that helps to bridge that gulf will mar her glory and destroy her power. We must have no truce, no treaty with Rome. War! War! War! with her! There cannot be peace. She cannot have peace with us – we cannot have peace with her. She hates the true Church, and we can only say that the hatred is reciprocated. We would not lay a hand on her priests; we would not touch a hair of their heads. Let them be free; but we will attempt to destroy their doctrine from the face of the earth because it is the doctrine of demons. O God, let the Roman Catholic Church perish, let it be consumed in the smoke.

    In Christ,
    CD

  22. When one chooses to believe church-fed doctrine and traditions, and deliberately overlooks and/or twists God’s word to fit their teachings, that person falls headfirst into apostacy. To teach/believe one MUST perform a work without digging deeper into God’s word to investigate is to go against the biblical teaching of salvation by grace. Faith and salvation are given by God, as a gift, to whom He has chosen before the foundation of the world. Isaiah clearly teaches all our righteousness is like filthy rags {Isa. 64:6}. Not one soul could ever perform any work that would cause God to look upon them with favor and save them. The sin of pride keeps many from understanding they bring nothing to the table when it comes to salvation…no work, no ritual, no tradition will save a dead-in-sin sinner. It is all of grace. I do hope Old Adam will consider reading this sermon from C.H. Spurgeon.

  23. It is interesting to note that not even the harlot of Rome practiced infant baptism for centuries. In fact, infant baptism by Rome was not made mandatory on pain of torture and even death until the 5th century.

    I have stated before that the problem with Lutheranism is that the apple did not fall that far from the tree. This was the problem with many who now consider themselves to be Protestant. They were Protestants because they protested against Rome and came out from her skirts, yet far too many kept far too much which is why is it so easy to see the return taking place by many who were solidly evangelical for the last couple of centuries.

    Baptism is an ordinance and not a sacrament. It does not give forth any measure of saving grace. It bestows no additional grace upon the one being baptized and as has already been clearly delineated from Scripture, baptism in the New Testament was for those who were believers only and was always by full immersion (baptizo).

  24. Below are what a lady on Facebook and I have written back and forth to each other. It is dealing with Catholicism.

    Me ~ “Mary is not worthy of worship since she was a sinful human being like all of us are. When you worship her, the 1st Commandment is being violated.”

    Her ~ “George, the great thing about opening the door to Jesus is that it allows our loving Christian heart to love many and to love endlessly. There’s enough room to love and worship Jesus and also love and HONOR (not worship), his Blessed Mother, Mary. :D”

    Me ~ “http://defendingcontending.com/category/roman-catholicism/

    http://defendingcontending.com/2009/07/21/ten-reasons-not-to-ask-jesus-into-your-heart-by-todd-friel/

    Two great links that I suggest the RCC folks and the ask Jesus into your heart folks. =)”

    Her ~ “That’s okay David, I’ll pass on your anti-Catholicism links.

    Dominus illuminatio mea! :D”

    Me ~ “That’s your choice Michele. Just as I am glad I am not subject to the Papacy, the Rosary, to Mary, to the Eucharist, etc. I actually enjoy being considered “anathema” (I think that is spelled right) by the RCC.”

    Her ~ “@David, that’s the great thing about being born an American, we are free to worship the Lord however we want. And it’s clear that you are passionate in your belief in Christ, as I am! In spite of what you believe, the RCC doesn’t detest people who don’t believe in the teachings of the Catholic Church. If you enjoy being “anathema”…well, whatever floats your boat, dude!! Lol. God Bless you David, and I’ll keep you in my prayers when I go to Mass tonight. =)”

    Just curious what you all have to say about this. Am I going to far on this with her?

  25. David T,

    I’d say you’re doing good. My goal in witnessing to anyone is to help them see the justice of their deserving hell. If they see it, then they’re ready to hear the good news. Self-righteous religious people need to have any hope in their own goodness and good deeds taken away so that they realize their only hope is Christ.

    Thanks,
    Bill

  26. David T –
    Here is a good site that has some great materials for Catholics. Both for your reference and others.

    One thing we have to remember with Catholics and anyone who has been raised from infancy in a particular system is that they are hardened to hearing any opposing positions. Thus, sometimes it is best to deal with them where they are and not to overload them by trying to deal with all of their doctrinal aberrations. To use an analogy, we feed babies milk and adults meat.

    Because of this, sometimes it is best to lay a solid foundation from the Scriptures dealing with a key issue like having the Bible as the final authority in matters of faith and practice. Then, if we have an active ear, we can begin to build upon this; but only when you believe it is time. That is, don’t try to build the first floor before you have the foundation laid knowing that it can handle the additional load. To return to our baby analogy, if you introduce solid/strained food into the babies diet and find that their stomach cannot handle it yet, then it would be best to return back to milk.

    Hope this helps and blessings to you in your labor of love.

  27. Brother Michael ~

    You are right. I sometimes have the habit of trying to build a house without the foundation. Thank you for the advice on that.

    Bill ~

    Thank you for your words also.

    God Bless you both!

  28. Bill,

    If I may, I’d like to respond to five of the things you said in this post. I feel like between your original post and the numerous comments following it, the consensus is that Catholics are ignorant or acting in bad faith. Hopefully, I can clear this up, and provide a more accurate understanding of the Catholic stance on a couple issues:

    1. You claim that “Biblical Christianity” relies upon the Bible alone for all of its doctrines, while Catholicism (along with other world religions) relies upon the Bible “plus.” Let me put this to the test. You believe, I assume, that the Bible is made up of 66 books. Where in the Bible does it say that?

    I agree with you that each one of those 66 books of the Bible is “God-breathed, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness, so that the man of God may be perfect, thoroughly furnished unto all good works” (cf. 2 Timothy 3:16-17). But obviously, this doesn’t mean that there can’t be other books which are also God-breathed, with all of the other qualities which St. Paul describes. I mean, at the time that Paul is writing, not all the New Testament Books have been written. So Paul isn’t saying that “only” these Books are God-breathed.

    But, of course, Paul also doesn’t say which books are Scriptures, and which are not. So there’s still need for some sort of external witness of some kind. So in divining 66 books as the appropriate number of Biblical books, you should be able to show from Scriptura alone, (a) which books these are; and (b) how you know that other books don’t belong in the canon as well.

    For (a), if I believe that Exodus is true, I have to believe that the Ten Commandments are God-breathed, because it says so right there. But if I believe that the Gospel of Mark is true, for example, that doesn’t (by itself) prove that Mark is God-breathed. I mean, I think that Mere Christianity is a great Christian book, but that doesn’t make it divinely inspired.

    For (b), the early Christians accepted more than 66 books. The Bereans you cite to were Greek Jews, for example. The Greek version of the Bible has more books than the modern Protestant Bible: it matches the Catholic Bible. These books, called the Deuterocanon by Catholics and the Apocrypha by Protestants, are accepted by all of the Apostolic Churches: Catholics, Eastern Orthodox, Coptics, etc. While there are some more minor disputes (the canonicity of the so-called “Psalm 151,” for example), no church prior to the Reformation ever ripped these books out of the Bible. Where in the Bible did the Reformers get permission to do that?

    2. You asked, “If I’m not trustworthy enough to interpret Scripture, why am I trustworthy enough to interpret the writings of church fathers?” Imagine if the Ethiopian eunuch took that approach in Acts 8:30-31. He couldn’t understand Isaiah on his own (I challenge any Christian to say otherwise for themselves – it’s simply too full of Divine insight for any one person to understand by themselves). But he doesn’t say to Philip, “If I’m not trustworthy enough to interpret Isaiah, why am I trustworthy enough to interpret what you’re telling me, Philip?” So your viewpoint seems, if I may be so bold, unbiblical.

    3. “Why should I read the second generation (or later) of Christian beliefs when the Bible provides the first generation?” Two reasons: (1) because the Bible is not, and does not intend or claim to be, the only tool in the Christian’s arsenal; and (2) because you don’t have to choose between the Bible and the Early Church Fathers. It’s not one or the other. I read the Gospels, and proclaim them to be the inspired word of God; that doesn’t mean I can’t also read the Epistles, and proclaim them to be the inspired word of God. And within the first generation of Christians, there are other writings (like the Didache), which, while not divinely inspired in the way that the Bible is, describe the Faith delivered once and for all to the Apostles. The writings of the early Church Fathers provide more glimpses of that Faith, including on questions which the Bible isn’t explicit. The early Christians for example, specifically condemned abortion. Certain Protestant denominations today claim that since the Bible isn’t explicit on this point, that it’s up to the conscience of the believer: in other words, it’s every Christian’s “right to choose.”

    4. “If two church fathers disagree (there are many early “Christians” who were outright heretics), which one is trustworthy?” This is a great question. In almost every case in which this occurs, an honest examination of the Church’s history provides a crystal clear answer. It was precisely because such disputes were going on between Christians that the Council of Jerusalem was called in Acts 15, and the later Councils served the same purpose: condemn heresy, and further clarify the truth. Things like the Trinity, and the fact that Jesus and the Father are consubstantial (one in being/substance) are later developments which don’t add any new doctrines to the faith (they’re what the Apostles believed), but which do add new clarity.

    But the fact that even well-meaning, well-educated (often at the feet of the Apostles) Church Fathers disagreed at times only suggests all the more that individual private interpretation is a terrible guide (my first point). As for those early Christians you correctly note as heretics, remember that every one of them was too arrogant to submit to the Church when they disagreed. Each of them suffered from too much pride in their own understanding of Christianity, and are remembered as heretics for it today. It’s those who were willing to submit even their intellect to the Holy Spirit-guided Church who Catholics and creedal Protestants honor as authentic and holy men and women.

    5. You claim that Catholics are asked to believe the Faith just because the Pope says, effectively, “trust me,” and are forced to take a blind leap of Faith. Strangely enough, you claim this is because the papacy alone is held to be the “only infallible, inerrant source” of Catholic doctrines. In fact, the papacy isn’t a source of doctrine. I challenge you, if you disagree, to find a single issue on which a pope creates a doctrine not explicitly attested to in early Church sources. You can claim that they’re traditions which shouldn’t be part of Sacred Tradition, but you can’t credibly claim they’re made up by the pope. I think that as a Christian, you should be more careful about imputing bad faith to those you disagree with.

    All of us, like it or not, put an incredible amount of faith in the work of men, whether it be the original proclamation of the Gospel, the traditions surrounding it (things like: these books come from the Apostles, they’re Holy, they’re God-Breathed, there’s 73 of them, etc.). For Catholics, it makes sense to put this trust in them, because we don’t think it’s the fallible men, but the Holy Spirit guiding them, which makes them trustworthy. For yourself, it seems to be simply blind faith. You at once denounce the Church Fathers and Tradition while affirming the very things which compose the Tradition they preserve: the Bible being central among Sacred Tradition. I think if you considered how you got the Bible, you’d realize that you’re placing more faith, and more blindly, than I think if you considered how you got the Bible, you’d realize that you’re placing more faith, and more blindly, than your Catholic brethren.

    Peace of Christ, brother!

    Joe.

  29. Bill,

    Hope you’re doing well :) Just thought I’d let you know the papal bull Unam Sanctam issued by Pope Boniface VIII was not a dogmatic decree, since it was not ecumenical, meaning it was not addressed to the entire church. I’ve seen this question come up before. Here’s a link and list for your reference, on how to tell if a Pope is speaking “ex cathedra”:

    Ex Cathedra:
    The conditions required for ex cathedra teaching are mentioned in the Vatican decree:

    1) The pontiff must teach in his public and official capacity as pastor and doctor of all Christians, not merely in his private capacity as a theologian, preacher or allocutionist, nor in his capacity as a temporal prince or as a mere ordinary of the Diocese of Rome. It must be clear that he speaks as spiritual head of the Church universal.
    2) Then it is only when, in this capacity, he teaches some doctrine of faith or morals that he is infallible (see below, IV).
    3) Further it must be sufficiently evident that he intends to teach with all the fullness and finality of his supreme Apostolic authority, in other words that he wishes to determine some point of doctrine in an absolutely final and irrevocable way, or to define it in the technical sense (see DEFINITION). These are well-recognized formulas by means of which the defining intention may be manifested.
    4) Finally for an ex cathedra decision it must be clear that the pope intends to bind the whole Church. To demand internal assent from all the faithful to his teaching under pain of incurring spiritual shipwreck (naufragium fidei) according to the expression used by Pius IX in defining the Immaculate Conception of the Blessed Virgin. Theoretically, this intention might be made sufficiently clear in a papal decision which is addressed only to a particular Church; but in present day conditions, when it is so easy to communicate with the most distant parts of the earth and to secure a literally universal promulgation of papal acts, the presumption is that unless the pope formally addresses the whole Church in the recognized official way, he does not intend his doctrinal teaching to be held by all the faithful as ex cathedra and infallible.

  30. Stacey,

    Simply reading the four points you’ve posted make it very clear that the Roman Catholic Church is anti-biblical and apostate, worshiping people and a false Christ.

  31. Hi Stacey,

    Were those rules you provided in place when Boniface made his pronouncement in 1302? Are you saying he was confused or mistaken? Did he not know proper Catholic doctrine? Do you think previous generations of Catholics believed that there was no salvation outside of Rome?

    Thanks,
    Bill

  32. Bill,

    I would be glad to answer your questions. When and if I believe you have any interest in understanding my responses. I don’t much care if you agree, but I don’t really want to waste my time trying to help you understand my position when it’s clear you want to take whatever snippet I say that you think you can easily dismantle and latch on to that rather than the entire of what I’m saying to you. Like in our discussion on Chris’s post on Hell. Unfortunately, since I’m caring for two children during the day, I have limited time in which to engage in online discussions.

    If you can answer my question on whether you believe the “true church of Christ” went underground for 2000 years or if you believe it didn’t exist altogether before the Reformation, then maybe we’ll have a philosophical starting point from which to understand our differences. Likewise, it would be very beneficial if you could explain by what authority you interpret the Biblical passages you use to “disprove” our arguments. Otherwise, I have no reason to believe your interpretation over mine, or Calvins, or Luthers, or Joe’s, or Shane’s, or James White’s, or my mom and dad’s, or the Holy Catholic Church’s.

    Likewise, I am uninterested in what anyone else has to say regarding their interpretations of the Bible, and how they believe the Catholic Church is unbiblical, unless they first begin by telling me by what authority I should believe their interpretation over my own or anyone else’s.
    _________________________________________________________________________

    Shane,

    Do you not believe that Christ sits at the right hand of the Father? We are still on earth, and we all here believe that the second coming has not yet happened. A man administrates your church, and you have no problem with him being your spiritual head. Likewise, the husband is the spiritual head of the wife. What’s the problem here?

    The only difference is, Catholics believe God chose our spiritual head and has in the Bible guaranteed to guide him in truth by the Holy Spirit. You have chosen your spiritual head. I prefer God’s choice.

  33. Stacey~

    Evidence please for the Pope being “God’s” choice for the Spiritual head of the Church. I’ll be waiting a long time for that because there is no evidence for the “Pope” from the Bible.

    Besides, I doubt that Shane’s Church or my Church or anyone who truly believes in Christ’s Church has placed the Pastor to be the “Spiritual” head of their Church. They are in the position of Pastor/Teacher because of what the Bible says in the book of Titus and 1 Timothy.

    There is no problem in the husband being the spiritual head of the wife because that’s what the Bible says the way of a marriage is to be. Just as Christ is the head of the Church and loves her and died for her, the husband is over the wife (Does not the Bible say that the Church is not to permit a woman to teach over man?).

    The Catholic Church, which may upset you, is a cult. They lie to people with their teachings of the worship of Mary, the Rosary, the Pope, the calling of a man in the Church “Father” (does not the Bible say to call no man Father (in a spiritual sense) except your Father in Heaven?), Purgatory, etc.

    As for me, I believe that Christ is at the right hand of the Father, not in the wafer and in the wine dying each time Mass is held.

    ~ David

  34. Stacey,

    Feel free to take your time to respond.

    I genuinely want to understand your beliefs. But that doesn’t mean I won’t challenge them. My questions point out what I believe to be problems with what you’re saying.

    I certainly think that Boniface meant what he was saying to be true. Don’t you? In 2010, it’s just not convenient for you, and you want to find a way around it, but the only thing that really matters is whether Boniface thought he was speaking the truth. Respectfully, I consider the pope to be a better authority on Catholic beliefs than you. To understand what Catholics believed in 1302, I think it’s safe to say Boniface would be a good source for that information.

    Unfortunately for you, this quote causes the Catholic Church to fail even the test you proposed (has Rome maintained consistent doctrine for 2000 years?) on how to verify the doctrines of Rome. I would see how you would want to explain it away.

    As far as whether there were no true Christians until the reformation, I’d say there have always been true Christians since the day of Pentecost. You can check out this http://defendingcontending.com/2009/08/11/error-everybody-was-catholic-until-the-reformation/ for more specifics.

    And as I pointed out at first, John 3:3 would be one of many verses that show that atheists of good will cannot go to heaven. As far as I’m concerned, you’d have to show that atheists can be born again without knowing it or without believing in Jesus, or that this verse somehow doesn’t apply to some people. But maybe you’ll come up with a novel explanation.

    Thanks,
    Bill

  35. Eph5:23 For the husband is the head of the wife, even as Christ is the head of the church: and he is the saviour of the body.

    Col1:18 And he is the head of the body, the church: who is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead; that in all things he might have the preeminence.

    2Tim3:16 All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness:
    2Tim3:17 That the man of God may be perfect, throughly furnished unto all good works.

    I don’t consider my pastor to be infallible. Just because it comes out of his mouth doesn’t mean it is right. If he said something to the effect of “in order to be saved you have to believe on Jesus and fly a kite every Saturday” I would go to the Bible to see if it is so. Which to me is not different than the pope or a priest saying that in order for me to be saved I must “believe on Jesus and (insert whatever thing other than faith here)”.

  36. Shane,

    I have no contention with those verses, since I affirm the whole of Scripture to be inspired by the Holy Spirit. I also believe Christ is the head of the Body of Christ. I don’t see why, though, since Christ is the head of the Body of Christ, you think there is no administrative and Earthly leader. There is Biblical reason to believe Christ left Peter in charge of the Apostles, and the Apostles in charge of the church.

    If you can’t believe what your pastor/church says, why do you go to church?

  37. Stacey ~

    Please provide Scriptural support for saying that Christ left Peter in charge of the Apostles. That’s all I am asking. (And please, put the Scripture in its context.) =)

    ~ David

  38. I think you missed my point. I will take what my pastor says as being true unless it doesn’t line up with Scripture. Which is why I compare what he teaches with Scripture to see if it is true.
    I have been taught many things that don’t line up with Scripture. If I hadn’t looked to the Bible I would still be believing them.
    I was always taught that if I didn’t speak in tongues there was something wrong with me.
    I was always taught that one little sin would cause me to lose my salvation.
    If you really want to know if what someone is teaching is true then God will show you.

    John14:26 But the Comforter, which is the Holy Ghost, whom the Father will send in my name, he shall teach you all things, and bring all things to your remembrance, whatsoever I have said unto you.

    1Jn2:26 These things have I written unto you concerning them that seduce you.
    1Jn2:27 But the anointing which ye have received of him abideth in you, and ye need not that any man teach you: but as the same anointing teacheth you of all things, and is truth, and is no lie, and even as it hath taught you, ye shall abide in him.

    Jas1:5 If any of you lack wisdom, let him ask of God, that giveth to all men liberally, and upbraideth not; and it shall be given him.

    2Tim3:15 And that from a child thou hast known the holy scriptures, which are able to make thee wise unto salvation through faith which is in Christ Jesus.

    Acts17:11 These were more noble than those in Thessalonica, in that they received the word with all readiness of mind, and searched the scriptures daily, whether those things were so.
    Acts17:12 Therefore many of them believed; also of honourable women which were Greeks, and of men, not a few.

  39. 1) The pontiff must teach in his public and official capacity as pastor and doctor of all Christians, not merely in his private capacity as a theologian, preacher or allocutionist, nor in his capacity as a temporal prince or as a mere ordinary of the Diocese of Rome. It must be clear that he speaks as spiritual head of the Church universal.

    This sounds like the card that Mormons like to play when we point out that one of their “prophets” taught something utterly false and absurd (Brigham Young’s “Adam-God” for example). “Wellll…..ya know….that was just a sermon….He was simply giving his opinion…he wasn’t speaking as prophet…..” Etc etc etc.

    And here we see that Vaticanists play the same card. That when a Pope teaches something that doesn’t quite jive, they can pull out the old “He-wasn’t-speaking-infallibly-ex-cathedra-so-it’s-not-official-Catholic-doctrine” card.

    Now, that brings up a very interesting question: If the Pope is Christ’s representative on earth, and if there are times when the Pope teaches something that is not authoritative and binding–does that mean that Jesus taught things that were not authoritative and binding?

    Funny, in one of the Scriptures that Shane mentioned (Acts 17:11-12), the Bereans were commended for investigating things being taught by direct apostles of Christ–yet the authority of the Pope is not to be questioned.

  40. Bill,

    On the Hell post, I tried to explain to you the source of Tradition – the essential, unchanged, dogmatic beliefs of the Church throughout history. An essential point, which you will say is “convenient” for me, is that no man’s isolated opinion is what makes up that Tradition. You are right in that it would show the Church is not who she says she is if the Church at one point in history said you have to be a member of the Catholic Church to be saved and then later changed that to say otherwise. But what Pope Boniface said in this Bull is not what the Church says or has said. A theologian, Pope, bishop, etc. may speak wrongly, and here he does in saying, “We declare, assert, define and pronounce: To be subject to the Roman pontiff is to every human creature altogether necessary for salvation” Pope Boniface did not agree with the Church itself. We can’t confuse the infallibility of the office with the fallibility of the man. He was not speaking ex cathedra, and what he said was not even accepted at the time, regardless of how it is now.

    You may say that this is awfully “convenient” for me to say, but I’m not trying to convince you of this, I am merely explaining why you are wrong when you assert that Pope Boniface’s statement is a change of dogma, and I hope you will not propogate that misconception.

    However, the Church does and has accepted the idea that “outside the church there is no salvation” (“extra ecclesia nulla salus”), as first written by Cyprian in the third century as “Quia salus extra ecclesiam non est”. This is understood in two ways:

    Firstly, in “Discovering Saint Patrick“, Thomas O’Loughlin, a theological historian, notes that early Christians thought that extra ecclesia nulla salus referred to the mystical church and was interchangeable with “body of Christ”. They even thought it stemmed from “Apart from me you can do nothing” (John 15:5). You would agree with this, no? That outside of membership in the body of Christ, there is no salvation?

    Secondly, since it is through the Church that the Word of God is brought into the world, if you are saved, you are saved through the Church, whether you be a member or not, whether you think it the mystical body or the visible body.

    So, to clarify your beliefs, you think the true church consists of an invisible/mystical body of Christians, and that this body of believers were unknown and unrecognizable to the world for at least 1000 years? It is to your credit that you don’t believe the church was utterly destroyed and then “resurrected” by the Reformers.
    __________________________________________________________________

    David,

    Sorry, in the flurry of comments and a hectic day, I completely missed your comment to me. And anything that you have to say about the Catholic Church, I guarantee I’ve heard it before. It may upset me that the Body of Christ is maligned, but that is all.

    Please understand this: I do NOT want to debate the meaning of verses with you. I have no reason to accept your interpretation of any verses, and it would be a waste of time.

    You say there is no evidence, but there is no evidence using your interpretation of the Bible. I understand that in Matt 16:18,19 Christ said he would build his church on Peter. He changed his name to “rock” since this was such an important thing. This was done immediately after Christ said that Peter’s revelation could only have come from God, signifying that God is able to reveal the truth to Peter despite his human failings. I also find it suggestive that in Acts, Peter is spoken of first out of the Apostles. Count the number of times it is written “Peter and the apostles”. He speaks first. He gives the sermon at Pentacost. He spoke when he and John were imprisoned. Most importantly, Peter settled the dispute at the first Council of Jerusalem over circumcision.

    It’s funny that you have no problem calling the husband the “spiritual head”, but balk at the term for a pastor simply because we call the Pope the spiritual head, so it must be bad.

    Your misconceptions of the Catholic Church are very generic. I do hope you will investigate what the Church actually teaches about these things, rather than believing what James White’s apologetic crowd has to say about it. After hearing what the Catholic Church has to say for herself, I found not only that I had many misconceptions, but that these apologists are downright dishonest in their representation of her.

  41. Stacey, your misconceptions of Peter and the rock are due to RCC false teachings…notice the context of the verse,’you are Peter and upon THIS ROCK’ if Christ were talking to Peter, why didn’t he say, ‘You are Peter and upon YOU’. It is clear Christ was referring to the foundation of his church, which is what Peter means, i.e. rock. He wasn’t building His church on Peter, but on the meaning of Peter’s name, rock.

  42. It was not Peter or his confession upon which Christ built the church. Christ is the cornerstone rejected by the Jewish leaders. He is the Rock of refuge and the firm foundation of everything that will pass through the fires of judgment.

    On Christ the solid Rock I stand, all other ground is sinking sand.

    As with our testimonies of God’s grace in saving us, such tales do not save; so it is with Peter’s confession. Important but not essential. The Gospel of Christ crucified for the sins of His chosen ones is the power of salvation for those who are called.

    Nothing man does is essential. God does not rely on man for anything. Only what Christ has done has merit.

  43. unworthy and Steve,

    Tell me by what authority you interpret these verses this way.
    ________________________________________________________

    Shane,

    You said: Which is why I compare what he teaches with Scripture to see if it is true. I have been taught many things that don’t line up with Scripture. If I hadn’t looked to the Bible I would still be believing them.
    I was always taught that if I didn’t speak in tongues there was something wrong with me.
    I was always taught that one little sin would cause me to lose my salvation.

    You’ve no idea how much I can sympathize with you. The problem is, you are relying on yourself now. You read the Scriptures yourself, and decide what they mean, then use that to decide whether your pastor is right or not. Men cannot be trusted, as you and I know from personal experience. By the same token, we cannot be trusted to decide for ourselves whether baptism is efficacious, whether John 6 is literal or not, whether we have to persevere to be saved or whether perseverence is merely a sign of already being saved. Instead, we have to trust God that He can and will guide the Church He instituted in all truth (as He promised) despite their human failings, just as God revealed to Peter that Jesus is the Christ despite his failings. It is the mark of the Holy Spirit and the authority of Christ that we must seek and find, not the wisdom of men’s interpretations of the Bible, including our own. It is those ordained of the Holy Spirit after the succession of those ordained by Christ, rather than a democratic vote on who is the holiest and best, that should lead Christ’s Church.

  44. That Christ is the Messiah , the Son of the God, is the confession of faith by which God uses (implants) in the hearts of men to believe.

    It is this confession, spoken in faith to others, that is how God builds His Church.

  45. Stacey ~

    Why would Christ build his Church with Peter as the head when a few verses after that (which I have seen many a Catholic totally ignore), tell to Peter “Get behind me Satan! You are a stumbling block to me; you do not have in mind the things of God, but the things of men.”? Seems pretty confusing to me.

    As for the Roman Catholic Church, I have learned enough from my brothers and sisters on here as well as people whom I know in person that are either ex-Catholics or are Catholics or from careful study who are amazed at the things they find in the Bible that they find totally contradict what they have been taught by the RCC.

    What I find wrong in something you said was your answer to me about the husband being the spiritual head. Is not Christ called the “Bridegroom” while we (who are those truly saved and called by the Lord) are called the “Bride”? Is not Christ the spiritual head of the Church? As Christ is the head in the Church, the husband has been designated as the spiritual head in the family.

    I believe that there have been true believers in the body of Christ since the time of Jesus, but the problem is, a lot of them had to go into hiding for years because of the constant torment they received from the RCC for trying to write the Bible in their own tongue or for trying to teach the Bible to people who the RCC said should not learn the Bible.

    As for James White, I’m sorry, I don’t know who that is. Like I stated earlier in this comment, I learned about the RCC from careful study, from people who have left the RCC, and people who are still stuck in the cult called the RCC.

    Also, I have to ask Stacey, why does the RCC say “Father” when talking to men in the RCC? Are we not told in the Bible (I’ll have to find the verse at another time, sorry) to call no man Father (in a spiritual sense that is) except our Father in Heaven?

    ~ David

  46. As I find no Scriptural support for indulgences, the eucharist being the literal body and blood of Christ, praying to Mary and to the saints, baptismal regeneration, abstaining from meats on certain days, the sinlessness of Mary.

    I do find support for the completed work of Jesus on the cross as to secure the believers salvation.
    I do find Scriptural support for the believers faith to be a gift from God and not something the believer naturally has.
    I do find Scriptural support that no amount of works can justify anyone in the eyes of God.
    I do find Scriptural support that the blood of Christ has cleansed the believers from all their sins.

    It is not necessary for me to list these Scriptures as you will not believe my interpretation anyways. Been nice talking to ya.

  47. Stacey

    unworthy and Steve,

    Tell me by what authority you interpret these verses this way.

    Stacey,

    By what authority did you choose Rome? Was your decision fallible or infallible?

    In Christ,
    CD

  48. Joe Heschmeyer said:

    1. You claim that “Biblical Christianity” relies upon the Bible alone for all of its doctrines, while Catholicism (along with other world religions) relies upon the Bible “plus.” Let me put this to the test. You believe, I assume, that the Bible is made up of 66 books. Where in the Bible does it say that?

    With the Bible in hand one simply adds up the books and arrives at 66.

    I agree with you that each one of those 66 books of the Bible is “God-breathed, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness, so that the man of God may be perfect, thoroughly furnished unto all good works” (cf. 2 Timothy 3:16-17). But obviously, this doesn’t mean that there can’t be other books which are also God-breathed, with all of the other qualities which St. Paul describes. I mean, at the time that Paul is writing, not all the New Testament Books have been written. So Paul isn’t saying that “only” these Books are God-breathed.

    Paul, writing under inspiration of the Holy Spirit, is declaring all theopneustos (God breathed) scriptures to, in fact, be scripture, and those alone – past, present and future. We have those 66 books in the Holy Bible.

    But, of course, Paul also doesn’t say which books are Scriptures, and which are not. So there’s still need for some sort of external witness of some kind. So in divining 66 books as the appropriate number of Biblical books, you should be able to show from Scriptura alone, (a) which books these are; and (b) how you know that other books don’t belong in the canon as well.

    Paul also doesn’t say the Book of Mormon, The Pearl of Great Price, and Doctrines and Covenants aren’t scripture; nor the Qu’ran for that matter – but they aren’t.

    And we do show from scripture alone which books are in the scriptures. The scriptures are self-attesting, and do not require any external witness or “divining” in order to “become” scripture. The scriptures are recognized and received as such by the church through various means, including the leading and persuasion of the Holy Spirit. The scriptures are an artifact of Revelation, not an object of revelation.

    Sola Scriptura assumes the scriptures, therefore, as previously mentioned, most small children can add up the number of books, given the scriptures; that number being 66.

    For (a), if I believe that Exodus is true, I have to believe that the Ten Commandments are God-breathed, because it says so right there. But if I believe that the Gospel of Mark is true, for example, that doesn’t (by itself) prove that Mark is God-breathed. I mean, I think that Mere Christianity is a great Christian book, but that doesn’t make it divinely inspired.

    Which is why Mormon belief that their books are scripture, and Muslim belief that their book is scripture, are false. Sinful men hold many erroneous and false beliefs. Alternatively many men don’t believe Exodus, Mark, or any other part of the scriptures are inspired, yet they are, despite the unbelief of sinful men.

    For (b), the early Christians accepted more than 66 books. The Bereans you cite to were Greek Jews, for example. The Greek version of the Bible has more books than the modern Protestant Bible: it matches the Catholic Bible. These books, called the Deuterocanon by Catholics and the Apocrypha by Protestants, are accepted by all of the Apostolic Churches: Catholics, Eastern Orthodox, Coptics, etc. While there are some more minor disputes (the canonicity of the so-called “Psalm 151,” for example), no church prior to the Reformation ever ripped these books out of the Bible. Where in the Bible did the Reformers get permission to do that?

    One must be careful to define the ECF use of the word “scripture” since sometimes ECF’s made reference to scripture, but their meaning as to whether the referenced “scripture” was considered canonical or not must be evaluated in context.

    Many of the ECF’s, including Athanasius in his Festal Letter 39, as well as Jerome rejected as canonical the material which later, at Trent, was declared as canonical. It’s your church, in fact, that forced these books into the officially recognized canon of Rome, even though they are uninspired.

    None of the Apocrypha are included (or accepted) in the Hebrew canon of scripture, and, of course, 2 Maccabees internally disclaims inspiration.

    Also what was Cardinal Cajetan – the Jesuit champion of Rome who was sent to rebut Luther – talking about when he said:

    “Here we close our commentaries on the historical books of the Old Testament. For the rest (that is, Judith, Tobit, and the books of Maccabees) are counted by St. Jerome out of the canonical books, and are placed among the Apocrypha, along with Wisdom and Ecclesiasticus, as is plain from the Prologus Galeatus. Nor be thou disturbed, like a raw scholar, if thou shouldest find anywhere, either in the sacred councils or the sacred doctors, these books reckoned canonical. For the words as well as of councils and of doctors are to be reduced to the correction of Jerome. Now, according to his judgment, in the epistle to the bishops Chromatius and Heliodorus, these books (and any other like books in the canon of the bible) are not canonical, that is, not in the nature of a rule for confirming matters of faith. Yet, they may be called canonical, that is, in the nature of a rule for the edification of the faithful, as being received and authorized in the canon of the bible for that purpose. By the help of this distinction thou mayest see thy way clear through that which Augustine says, and what is written in the provincial council of Carthage.” (Commentary on All the Authentic Historical Books of the Old Testament; cited in William Whitaker, A Disputation on Holy Scripture (Cambridge: University Press, 1849, 48.)

    But the fact that even well-meaning, well-educated (often at the feet of the Apostles) Church Fathers disagreed at times only suggests all the more that individual private interpretation is a terrible guide (my first point). As for those early Christians you correctly note as heretics, remember that every one of them was too arrogant to submit to the Church when they disagreed. Each of them suffered from too much pride in their own understanding of Christianity, and are remembered as heretics for it today. It’s those who were willing to submit even their intellect to the Holy Spirit-guided Church who Catholics and creedal Protestants honor as authentic and holy men and women.

    Like Athanasius, for example?

    5. You claim that Catholics are asked to believe the Faith just because the Pope says, effectively, “trust me,” and are forced to take a blind leap of Faith. Strangely enough, you claim this is because the papacy alone is held to be the “only infallible, inerrant source” of Catholic doctrines. In fact, the papacy isn’t a source of doctrine. I challenge you, if you disagree, to find a single issue on which a pope creates a doctrine not explicitly attested to in early Church sources. You can claim that they’re traditions which shouldn’t be part of Sacred Tradition, but you can’t credibly claim they’re made up by the pope. I think that as a Christian, you should be more careful about imputing bad faith to those you disagree with.

    All of us, like it or not, put an incredible amount of faith in the work of men, whether it be the original proclamation of the Gospel, the traditions surrounding it (things like: these books come from the Apostles, they’re Holy, they’re God-Breathed, there’s 73 of them, etc.). For Catholics, it makes sense to put this trust in them, because we don’t think it’s the fallible men, but the Holy Spirit guiding them, which makes them trustworthy. For yourself, it seems to be simply blind faith. You at once denounce the Church Fathers and Tradition while affirming the very things which compose the Tradition they preserve: the Bible being central among Sacred Tradition. I think if you considered how you got the Bible, you’d realize that you’re placing more faith, and more blindly, than I think if you considered how you got the Bible, you’d realize that you’re placing more faith, and more blindly, than your Catholic brethren.

    Where is the “Sacred Tradition”? Is the same “Sacred Tradition” that tells you the apocrypha is inspired scripture also the “Sacred Tradition” that tells you Mary was assumed into heaven bodily? Could you name an ECF at the council of Nicea, for example, who believed in the dogmas of papal primacy, papal infallibility, or the bodily assumption of Mary?

    Since, according to Rome, the canon of scripture wasn’t defined until Trent, how did an OT Jew know what the OT scriptures were? How was Jesus able to upbraid the Pharisees and Sadducees, and his own disciples for not understanding the OT prophecies, types, and presentations about Him if the canon was uncertain and unknowable until 1546 A.D.?

    Or how about these Romanist favorites:

    Prayers for the dead; Making the sign of the cross; Veneration of angels and dead saints, and use of images; The beginning of mass as a daily celebration; The worship and exaltation of Mary and use of term “Mother of God”; Priests dressing differently from laity; Extreme unction; The doctrine of purgatory, instituted by Gregory I; The Latin Language used in worship and prayer; Prayers directed to Mary, dead saints and angels; Title of “Pope” or “universal bishop” first given to Boniface III; Kissing the pope’s foot, began with Pope Constantine; Temporal power of the popes, conferred by Pepin, King of France; Worship of the cross, images, and relics; Holy water, mixed with a pinch of salt and blessed by a priest; College of Cardinals established; Canonization of dead saints first by Pope John XV; Fastings on Fridays and during Lent; The mass developed as a sacrifice and attendance made mandatory; Celibacy of the priesthood decreed by Pope Gregory VII; The rosary used in prayer; The Inquisition, instituted by the Council of Verona; Sale of Indulgences;Transubstantiation, proclaimed by Pope Innocent III; Auricular (private) confession of sins to a priest, instituted by Pope Innocent III in Lateran Council; Adoration of wafer (Host), decreed by Pope Honorius III; Bible forbidden to laymen and placed on Index of Forbidden Books by the Council of Toulouse; The Scapular, invented by Simon Stock, an English monk; Cup forbidden to the people at communion by Council of Constance; Purgatory proclaimed as a dogma by Council of Florence; The doctrine of seven sacraments affirmed; The Ave Maria (Hail Mary); Jesuit order founded by Loyola; Tradition declared to be of equal authority with the Bible by Council of Trent; The Apocryphal books added to the Bible by the Council of Trent; Immaculate Conception of the Virgin Mary, proclaimed by Pope Pius IX; Syllabus of Errors, proclaimed by Pope Pius IX and ratified by the Vatican Council; condemned freedom of religion, conscience, speech, press, and scientific discoveries which are disapproved by the Roman Church; Infallibility of the pope in matters of faith and morals proclaimed by the Vatican Council; Public schools condemned by Pope Pius XI; Assumption of the Virgin Mary (bodily ascension into heaven shortly after her death), proclaimed by Pope XII; Mary proclaimed mother of the Church by Pope Paul VI.

    And who could forget these Apostolic favorites?

    Monks, nuns, monasteries, convents, forty days of Lent, holy week, Palm Sunday, Ash Wednesday, All Saints Day, Candlemas Day, fish day, meat days, incense, holy oil, holy palms, St. Christopher medals, charms, relics, novenas, and many more!

    Ah, Rome, the true expression of the primitive church, unchanged as it was handed down from the Apostles!

    And you thought only The Watchtower Society and the Latter-Day Saints were privy to “new light” and revelation!

    It must be exciting (or confusing depending on one’s perspective) to be a Jehovah’s Witnesses, a Mormon, or a Romanist as one waits in eager anticipation to see what the newest revelation will be.

    And “new light” is so helpful and expedient for clearing away the embarrassing theological clutter of yesteryear!

    Will the 144,000 be completed this coming year so that the kingdom age can finally be ushered in?

    Will Joseph Smith Jr.’s prophesied temple be built on the Temple Lot this year in Jackson County, Missouri, ushering in the return of Christ?

    Will there be an infallible papal declaration this year identifying Mary as Co-Redemptrix with Christ so that all may truly know that no one can enter the blessed kingdom without passing through her?

    As for me, I think I’ll just stick with the 66 books of the Holy Bible, the true Apostolic deposit.

    Sola Scriptura! Sola Fide! Sola Gratia! Solus Christus! Soli Deo Gloria!

    In Christ,
    CD

  49. Stacy, by what authority do you say Peter is who Christ built his church on? Man made doctrines and group[s] of men do not count, nor do religious denominations of any kind.
    My answer is based on the authority of God’s word, as ‘it is written'; not twisted to fit some religious teachings. Let me ask you this, where in scripture do I find the clear biblical teaching on the office of the pope? I find instructions for deacons, and elders {btw, Peter professes to be an ‘elder’, but he never professes to be a pope}, but I’ve yet to find biblical teachings for the popery.

  50. Everybody,

    I can’t keep up conversations with all of you, and really can’t keep them all up with thoughtful and good answers. Please, don’t just throw whatever practice of the Catholic Church you think is wonky and demand a defense. Then the several conversations running on here will go all over the place (in circles) that way. If you think you’re doing it for my benefit, don’t. I’ve heard it all. If you’re interested in having something explained, I can do my best, but it may take a while for me to get back to all of you.

  51. Hi Stacey,

    Thanks for taking the time to do all this writing. I know it can take quite a bit of time.

    1. Do you have evidence that the peers of Boniface disagreed with him?

    2. Why should I believe what select church fathers wrote apart from speaking infallibly, but I should reject what Boniface says? Is it simply because of the dates of the writing?

    3. Do you have evidence from before 1302 that says that non-Catholics can be saved?

    4. Even if you found heaps of evidence for 1 and 3, does it really matter, since the Bible contradicts it?

    5. Have you had a chance to look up the infallible interpretation of John 3:3 to see how atheists can get to heaven in spite of not being born again?

    Regarding your other points: No church brought the Bible into existence. The Old Testament existed 1000 years before anyone from Rome called themselves a pope. It is the Old Testament Scriptures the Bereans used to verify what Paul was saying. We have the Bible we have because God is sovereign, and He has made sure that His sheep hear His voice and follow His word, and not the words of a thief. He didn’t do this miraculously, but by seemingly natural means.

    There were plenty of alternatives to Rome before the Reformation. In the article I referenced, the Coptic church broke away from Rome hundreds of years before the Reformation as just one example.

    Thanks,
    Bill

  52. Stacey, no one here has a desire to join the apostate RCC church, some here have come out of her by the grace of God. We’ve heard all the cliches and typical RCC answers as to what you believe. You obviously have no desire to debate solely using God’s word, you come here to defend a denomination, a man-made religion. There are no takers here, perhaps it would be best for you to move on. There are numerous blogs which cater to what you believe, this isn’t one of them.

  53. unworthy,

    I did not even come to defend my faith. I came only to correct a factual error I saw Bill propagating — that the papal bull, Unam Sanctam was binding on the Catholic faithful. It is not. It was not written ex cathedra, as I have shown. As you wish, I will not press conversation with you. If others wish to continue asking questions in good faith, I will answer.

  54. Stacy, You asked me by what authority do I claim in saying that Peter is NOT the first pope, and I answered you. I asked you where the office of pope is taught in scripture, and by what authority you claim Peter is a pope, using scripture, and you do not answer. I don’t mean a roundabout answer, I mean clear, concise biblical proof that states Peter is a pope as well as the head. Be warned, there are too many passages that verify Christ is the rock, or the foundation of His church. For example, from Ephesians 1:21, ‘Far above all principality, and power, and might, and dominion, and every name that is named, not only in this world, but also in that which is to come:
    Eph 1:22 And hath put all things under his feet, and gave him to be the head over all things to the church,
    Eph 1:23 Which is his body, the fulness of him that filleth all in all.
    If you believe God’s word is true, then to say Peter is the head of the church is to call God a liar. He clearly states Christ as the head in verse 22.

    If you wish to answer me, I am willing to listen.

  55. When Jesus said to Simon Peter, “You are Peter, and upon this rock I will build My church” (Matthew 16:18), it’s important to get the language correct — specifically Greek.

    Though Peter’s name can mean rock (petros), Jesus did not say, “You are Peter (Petros), and upon this rock (petros) I will build my church.”

    What He said was, “You are Peter (Petros), and upon this rock (petra) I will build My church.”

    The word Jesus chose to use for rock, petra, is a feminine noun that refers to a mass of rock. The New Testament uses this word in Matthew 7:24-25 to refer to the bedrock upon which a wise man built his house.

    Petra is also found later in Matthew’s Gospel with reference to Jesus’ tomb, which workers had carved out of solid rock (Matthew 27:60).

    Peter’s name, Petros, on the other hand, is masculine in gender and refers to a boulder or a detached stone. Greek literature also uses it of a small stone that might be picked up and thrown.

    Peter himself wrote of Christ as a rock (petra):

    “For this is contained in Scripture: ‘Behold I lay in Zion a choice stone, a precious corner stone, and he who believes in Him shall not be disappointed.’ This precious value, then, is for you who believe. But for those who disbelieve, ‘The stone which the builders rejected, this became the very corner stone,’ and, ‘A stone of stumbling and a rock [petra] of offense.’” (1 Peter 2:6-8)

    James G. McCarthy has a helpful book, The Gospel According to Rome.

  56. David,

    Forgive the amount of time it takes for me to get back to you, please :)

    I find it really encouraging that several verses later (after handing Peter the keys to heaven and saying that the church will be built on Peter since God revealed to him who Christ was), we see how screwed up Peter is. In fact, the only thing Peter ever gets right is his confession that Jesus is the Christ, Son of the Living God, and that wasn’t his, it was revealed by God. Peter tries to fight back when the soldiers come to take Christ away and later even denies Christ. Peter really is helpless without God, like all men are. Our trust in the office of the Pope isn’t trust that Peter and his successors are supercool, smart, holy, always right men of God. It’s that God can and does work through the least capable of us to reveal his truth. God has promised to sustain His church, and I believe He is able despite all our failings. That’s why I think Christ immediately turned around and corrected Peter.

    A question for you, though. Do you think that men drove the true church of Christ into the ground (destroyed or dispersed, whatever you may think) through their human failings, and that God was not able to sustain a visible and recognizable church to lead those who would believe in Him? Or do you think He just didn’t want to?

    As for what you know about the Catholic Church, I wonder if you have spoken with many faithful Catholics who are knowledgeable in their faith? You make many accusations, such as that Catholics worship Mary, that suggest otherwise. We do not. We honor her, and I would daresay we honor her less than Reformed Protestants honor Calvin, since we do not base our faith on what she has taught.

    Of course Christ is the spiritual head of the Church. Do you not see, from stating that a husband is the spiritual head of the family, that there are levels of this? You have a pastor, heading your spiritual church family, regardless of what you choose to call him. You do not therefore assume that Christ is not the spiritual head of the Body of Christ. That’s ridiculous. Likewise, it is ridiculous to assume that since we call the Pope the spiritual head on Earth that we therefore don’t recognize Christ as the eternal and supreme spiritual head of His own Body.

    As for calling priests “Father”, the same thing goes there. There are levels of calling someone “father”. You do not object to calling a biological father “father”, do you? Likewise, a priest is not called “father” in the same way that we address “Our Father in heaven”. We do not pray to the priest as the creator of all there is. In the same breath, Christ told us not to call anyone “teacher” or “leader”. You call the leader of your church “pastor” or “shepherd”, and often the pastor’s title is “doctor”, explicitly “teacher”. Is this much different? I do not see that Christ was literally telling us not to use these words, but to not follow any man as if he was the Maker, believing a new gospel without the testament of the Holy Spirit.
    ___________________________________________________________

    Shane,

    There is support for all that, but you do not accept my interpretations of the verses that support them. When I read these verses and have this understanding of them, where do you suggest I go to “correct” this understanding?

    Indulgences: Matt 16:19, Matt 18:18

    Eucharist: John 6:25-70, 1 Cor 10:16, 1 Cor 11:29

    Baptismal regeneration: John 3:5, Acts 2:38, Acts 22:16, Romans 6:3-4, Col. 2:12, Mark 1:4, Mark 16:16, 1 Peter 3:21

    Fasting: Matt 9:15, Matt 4:2

    Mary’s sinless nature: Genesis 3:15, Luke 1:28, Mark 1:24, John 6:69, Matt 19:17

    There is no Scriptural support that Christ was not literal when He instituted the Eucharist, or that when Christ said you must be born of water and the spirit He didn’t really mean it, or that we should imitate Christ in all things except fasting, or that Christ didn’t receive His sinless human nature from Mary, etc.

    It depends on how you choose to interpret these verses, and you are interpreting them in a void, first assuming what you are trying to prove (like John 6 is not literal), and taking other people’s word for it as a starting point, who have nothing other than their charms to recommend them. I am interpreting them in the context of 2000 years of Christian history, seeking the understanding of the gospel that I believe God can and did preserve so that I could recognize it.

    It may surprise you, if you are getting your version of Catholicism from those who do not know what the Church teaches, that she does indeed teach that:
    it is only through the sacrifice of Christ on the cross that we have hope of salvation
    our faith is a complete gift from God
    our salvation is only by God’s grace
    we cannot earn our way to heaven
    the blood of Christ was shed for the remission of sins

    People say the Church teaches otherwise because she maintains the freedom of human will under grace and that we can reject God’s grace at any time with that freedom.

  57. @Stacey

    That is a lot of Scriptures for me to reply back to. It would take me a while. I will throw out one to start with. John3:5 doesn’t have anything to do with water baptism. See Ezekiel36:25-27.
    He is talking to Nicodemous who should be aware of this prophecy of the Spiritual birth(being born again). But Nic goes on to show his ignorance of it as Jesus is talking to him.

    But my interpretations are invalid I suppose?

  58. Well, Shane, there really is no reason for me to believe your interpretations over my own interpretations, is there?

    Btw, I see Ezekiel 36 as a prophecy that baptism will wash away sins. There’s no reason to believe the prophecy was only symbolic. I think I said the same to Bill in Chris’s post on hell.

  59. 1Cor1:14 I thank God that I baptized none of you, but Crispus and Gaius;
    1Cor1:15 Lest any should say that I had baptized in mine own name.
    1Cor1:16 And I baptized also the household of Stephanas: besides, I know not whether I baptized any other.
    1Cor1:17 For Christ sent me not to baptize, but to preach the gospel: not with wisdom of words, lest the cross of Christ should be made of none effect.

    another thing on baptismal regeneration. If water baptism is necessary for salvation then the Apostle Paul seems to be contradicting that fact. If water baptism is necessary don’t you think that Paul would have said something to the effect of “Christ sent me to baptize, and to preach the gospel and water baptism”.

    http://new5pointer.blogspot.com/2010/01/is-water-baptism-necessary-to-be-saved.html

    But we could debate the meaning of Scriptures until Jesus comes back which is another topic that can be debated until Jesus comes back. : )

  60. Stacey,
    If water baptism washes away sins, what was the point of Christ dying on the cross? Also, how did the thief on the cross get into heaven, he was not baptized, and yet, Christ told him, ‘today you will be with me in paradise’. How was that possible?

    Ephesians 2:8.9- ‘For by grace are ye saved, through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is a gift of God, not of works, lest any man should boast’.
    ————————————————————————————
    Another question, you claim Mary was sinless, if so, what do you do with these passages from Luke 1:47, 48, ‘And my spirit has rejoiced in God my Savior, for He has regarded the lowly state of His maidservant’.
    If Mary were sinless, why did she call God her ‘Savior’? What did He save her from, if not her sins?

  61. Coram and unworthy,

    You answered my question only by directing the question back at me. That is something that apparently Bill believes is a cop out, and only done when you don’t have a good answer. I will give you the benefit of the doubt, though. Do you have an answer?

    What I want to know is why should I accept your interpretation? What do you have to recommend it to me? I read these verses differently than you, and you say I twist the Scriptures while I say you do. How can we decide between us? You want me to take your word for it, when you in turn have taken someone else’s word for it, and they took Calvin’s word for it. In order to read Scriptures the way you do, I have to accept your position a priori and assume that authority is a bad thing and therefore the authority of the church must be rejected.

    The authority that I refer to in interpreting these Scriptures is the authority of Christ given to the Apostles when He ordained them. From the day of Pentecost, they have been led in all truth by the Holy Spirit, as promised by Christ. They laid hands on their successors, conveying the gift of the Holy Spirit, as testified in the Bible, such that their successors likewise preached the same gospel as they did, and by the same authority. These men have led the church that Christ instituted, and have professed the same gospel for 2000 years.

    If you know a better way to recognize the authority of Christ and the guidance of the Holy Spirit, let me know.

    unworthy,

    I have given evidence from the Bible for the office of the Pope (to David). The contention is now how to decide whether my interpretation of those verses or yours is correct. You want explicit proofs from the Bible, but I believe the Bible cannot be separated from the understanding of it that the Apostles passed down through generations of the Church. If the men that the Apostles taught state Matt 16:18 refers to the ordination of Peter as the chief of the Apostles, why should I believe differently?

    You seem to suggest that since Christ is the rock of our faith that what He said to Peter couldn’t have meant Peter was left in charge of the Church. That’s kinda silly. He changed Simon’s name to Peter, making it obvious that He was calling Peter the rock. Why else would He have done that? Again, you assume that since Christ is our eternal foundation, there can be no other Earthly foundation. The head of the Church that is Peter is an Earthly, temporary head, which does not supplant the head of Christ, who is always supreme. There are levels and nuances that you ignore when you declare impossible what Christ has said, merely because you want to equate the foundation that Christ declares in Peter with the foundation that Christ is. They are not the same, one does not preclude the other.

    Out of curiosity, do you think then, that the Apostles were not in charge of the church, since you believe there is no Earthly leadership? Likewise, after the Apostles died, do you believe nobody was left in charge?

    Jeff,

    I admire your attention to detail, but fear you miss the forest for the trees. There is no reason to assume that because different forms of the same word were used to describe Peter (a man, no? isn’t it right to use the masculine here?) and a mass of rock, arguably a large foundational rock (necessarily feminine form for the description of the item), they must refer to different things. I could say something like “The proposed health care bill is idiotic and idiocy should be rejected.” Different forms of the word “idiot” don’t mean that I’ve switched subjects. Bad logic.

    Bill,

    Please permit me a little more time before I reply to you, and the rest of what everyone has written here. I fear my children are losing patience with my writing comments for the day.

  62. Stacey, contrary to what you claim, I HAVE answered your questions, from my 5:13 a.m. post, ‘My answer is based on the authority of God’s word, as ‘it is written’; not twisted to fit some religious teachings’.
    As for the office of pope being taught in scripture, you have NOT provided scriptural support for this. I am asking you for a verse that states the word ‘pope’ clearly within the verse.
    Peter gives us his ‘title’ in 1 Peter 5:1, ‘The elders who are among you I exhort, I WHO AM A FELLOW ELDER and a witness of the sufferings of Christ and also a partaker of the glory that will be revealed’.
    Can you point me to a clear passage where Peter uses the word ‘pope’ in referring to himself? You see, when we twist words, or add/take away from God’s word, we can make it fit just about every doctrine of wind that’s out there. That is why I MUST INSIST you find the EXACT word POPE in scripture and point me to it.

    Now, will you address my latest post?

  63. I have decided to not respond on this topic to Stacey anymore. She may consider it a cop out or a victory or whatever she wants to consider it, but with her, I see too much “I see” interpretations from her instead of “The Bible says”. I have learned that you can’t discuss things with people who use the “I see” or the “I believe” when talking about Scripture instead of using “The Bible says”.

    May the Lord of Mercy & Grace reach out to you Stacey and bring you back into His body instead of the perverted area that is full of Mormons, JW’s, SDA’s, Charismatics, Catholics, and more.

    God Bless & Grace to my brothers and sisters who are in conversation with Stacey. I am sorry to be dropping out but she left me no other choice.

  64. Hi Bill,

    Thanks for taking the time to write this blog post. I am glad and humbled that you found our discussion to be interesting enough so as to write about it in this manner.

    I was intrigued to read your thoughts, and to see what you had taken away from the conversation. However, I was somewhat dismayed that you had completely missed (well, perhaps “distorted” would be a better word) a very important point that I had tried to press with you in the combox of my original post. Since I think it is so important, I took the time to reiterate it in another post on my blog that you and your readers may like to read:

    http://artosepiousios.wordpress.com/2010/02/16/response-to-a-catholic-leap/

    Peace, and God bless,

    Chris

  65. David T, you have made a very keen observation about Stacey; for example, from her 11:55 a.m. post, ‘Btw, I see Ezekiel 36 as a prophecy that baptism will wash away sins’.
    She doesn’t even realize she is breaking a commandment by creating a ‘god’ in her own image, one that she says is this, or this, etc. I too picked up on her way of ‘interpreting’ scripture; she then demands others varify their ‘authority’ to intrepret. My response is ‘God’s word’. That is our authority! She also states ‘Well, Shane, there really is no reason for me to believe your interpretations over my own interpretations, is there?’ She doesn’t understand the proper way to study God’s word; which does NOT include cherry-picking passages that ‘fit’ her theology.
    I understand your frustration and wonder how much longer this somewhat endless debate will go on. She is not interested in truth, only defending her ‘faith’, which, btw, she claims she didn’t come here to do! From her 6:20 a.m. post, ‘I did not even come to defend my faith. I came only to correct a factual error I saw Bill propagating’—if this is true, why is she defending her faith? Why not just leave? Now she has proven herself to be a liar, as well as an idolator {creating a ‘god’ to fit her set of beliefs}.
    Prayerfully, at some point, we will all see this merry-go-round is going nowhere, she is giving the ‘standard’ answers to RCC dogma. You are right in bowing out, nothing really is getting accomplished.

  66. I will leave, as I and my “Romish perversion” am obviously not welcome here. I was simply answering questions that were put to me, giving the benefit of the doubt to the askers, assuming that they wanted an answer and weren’t only trying to dismantle my beliefs.

    Shane, Bill, anyone else who wishes to discuss anything with me, I am still happy to answer questions, and you can feel free to email me with them if you have anything further you wish to discuss.

    My email is trillianlala(at)gmail.com

  67. Stacey,

    I admire your attention to detail, but fear you miss the forest for the trees.

    Wow, you read James G. McCarthy’s book already?

    There is no reason to assume that because different forms of the same word were used to describe Peter (a man, no? isn’t it right to use the masculine here?) and a mass of rock, arguably a large foundational rock (necessarily feminine form for the description of the item), they must refer to different things.

    In English we are robbed of the richness of gender-specific nouns found in many other languages. Allow me to use my ‘other 1st language’, German, as an example:

    German has three gender cases: der, die, and das; essentially: he, she, it.

    If a noun is masculine and another noun is feminine (or neutral, for that matter) then it must be a completely different word… not simply a “gender-ized” case for the gender of a person to whom it is applied.

    It’s a simple concept, really, but I can’t blame you for being ignorant of such linguistic subtleties.

    But… I hope you are teachable!

    I could say something like “The proposed health care bill is idiotic and idiocy should be rejected.” Different forms of the word “idiot” don’t mean that I’ve switched subjects.

    See, you are in over your head linguistically.

    Bad logic.

    You are correct, Stacey, you have used bad logic.

    In Christ,
    – Jeff H

  68. Jeff H.,

    It would appear that your last comment to Stacey violates “Rule of Engagement” #4 of this blog:

    4). DefCon will not tolerate demeaning, harsh-toned, vitriolic, abrasive, coarse, condescending, vindictive, abusive, insulting, disrespectful and/or downright mean-spirited comments.

    Then again, given the candor expressed in the comments attached to this post, it almost appears as though Calvinists consider meanness to be a virtue.

  69. Chris, to stand firm in the faith, opposing false teachings is always misconstrued as ‘unloving’. Now, if you care to use scripture to point out unloving attacks, then feel free. If, however, you base your view on opinion, how are you any different than what you accuse us of?

  70. unworthy1,

    Now, if you care to use scripture to point out unloving attacks, then feel free.

    If you can tell me what “Scripture” actually means, then I’d be happy to oblige you.

  71. Can you back your claim of being unloving by showing us, from God’s word, where we have either falsely accused or errored in any of the postings that speak out against the teachings of the Roman Catholic church?

  72. Hi Chris,

    It would appear that your last comment to Stacey violates “Rule of Engagement” #4 of this blog

    Where?

    I pointed out a clearly visible lack in Stacey’s knowledge of language. She had attempted to use her incorrect understanding to make her point. I called her on it.

    That’s what we do here!

    Thanks, though. If I need rebuking or correction in any area I welcome it.

    If you can tell me what “Scripture” actually means, then I’d be happy to oblige you.

    Scripture… as in “from the Bible.” — Use Bible verses (in context) to support any point you make. The Bible is the ultimate Authority.

    Blessings,
    – Jeff H

  73. Chris, after viewing your blog, it’s clear why you would ask what scripture means. From your ‘response to a Catholic leap’, ‘The bottom line of Bill’s post, and the issue that I tried to press with him in the combox of my “Hell” post, is that he believes “the Bible is the only source for absolute truth”. This is a very strong statement, and it’s quite clear that it taints Bill’s entire perspective when he tries to look at something like Catholicism, which does not fit in with the fundamental tenant of his philosophy.’

    You do not recognize God’s Word as the only source of truth, so you naturally cannot argue from it. We here at Defcon do not hold to man-made tradition, nor man-made teachings. We do not uphold any denominational doctrine over God’s word; the only view is that of Bill’s; God’s word is the only source of absolute truth, it is life-changing, not merely a form of outward religiosity, but an actual transforming power that changes from the inside out.
    ——————————————————————————-
    This isn’t about ‘Protestants’ attacking ‘Catholics’, or visa versa; this is about blood bought born from above believers who God has saved, all by His grace made available through Christ as evidenced by a changed life— believers who will live and die for absolute truth found in God’s word. Believers who oppose error in every way at every level; praying God will save those caught in false teachings, cults, and apostasy. Believers who cry out for the very souls of those who mock, ridicule and persecute them.
    I find it amazing so many claim to believe in the God of the Bible, yet, reject His word as authoritative, truthful and standing the test of time.

  74. Yes, she meant “Chris,” not “Jeff.” I’ve jumped in and made the correction to avoid any further confusion.

    :o)

    I’ve also decided to jump in and put an end to this monumental waste of time. When Chris is going to play word games like . . .

    If you can tell me what “Scripture” actually means, then I’d be happy to oblige you.

    . . . then there’s no point in casting any additional pearls.

    Let’s cut to the chase.

    1). Stacy and Chris are representing Rome.
    Rome teaches “Jesus Christ AND . . . “.

    2). The Judaizers went around teaching “Jesus Christ AND . . .”.

    3). Paul said that they and anyone (including an angel from Heaven) who taught ‘another’ gospel (in Galatia’s case it was “Jesus Christ AND . . .” ) were anathema.

    4). Thus, the doctrines of Rome are anathema because, as the Judaizers, Rome teaches “Jesus Christ AND . . . “.

    How long would Paul have permitted the Judaizers to expound their heresies? Certainly not as long as we have been tolerant and patient here with Stacy and Chris.

    DefCon will not be a platform for the heretical doctrines of Rome. It would defeat the whole purpose of the blog, would it not?

    Any objections, refer to numbers 1, 2, 3, and 4 of our Rules of Engagement.

    Sincerely,
    – Pilgrim

  75. I was born and raised a devout evangelical Protestant and converted to Catholicism at the age of 22. By happenstance I stumbled upon this blog, and was quite amused to see that, contrary to what I believed until today, there are some protestants who still refer to the Roman Catholic Church with terms like “Satan’s church.”

    I would only like to add to this litany of comments an encouragement: that you consider–and only then attempt to refute–what the Catholic Church actually teaches and believes. One thing I found during and since my conversion is that most anti-Catholic vitriol is animated by distortions of what the RCC in reality believes (and these distortions, most surprisingly, are propagated by protestants themselves).

    If ascertaining the true meaning of the fullness of divine revelation in the person of Christ is our aim, it is quite unhelpful to drum up anti-Catholic sentiment by appealing to things which the Church neither teaches nor condones.

    I once read that there are not a hundred people in the world know what the Catholic church teaches and reject it–the point being that what most anti-Catholics reject is in fact not Catholic. What I found was that it is quite easy to reject “Catholic teachings” AS PORTRAYED BY PROTESTANTS, but it is entirely different thing to consider the faith as it is, and as it has been handed down and preserved in its fullness in the one, holy, catholic, and apostolic Church. Until you at least accurately identify the teachings, your rejections of straw men only obscures the issues* and puts us further from knowing truth.

    *Of course, I am not saying there are not true differences between protestants and Catholics–there are. But what I am saying is that protestants should at least understand the nature of those differences before rejecting the Church.

    One additional comment in support of my broad point: note that not a single citation to Catholic teaching appears anywhere on this posting or the subsequent comments. When an institution has been around for nearly two millenia, there are plenty of things written by it. Better to cite those than play fast and loose with what it purportedly believes.

    Feel free to email me if you want to discuss. jbssnowbrder@aol.com

  76. Hi David
    Your first line clarifies the problem.You converted from one religion to another religion.The Lord Jesus Christ wants you to convert to Him.Unregenerate Protestants and unregenerate Catholics are under the same judgement from the Lord of Glory(Jn 3:36)

  77. Would you be so kind as to show us where we have “distorted” the teachings of the RCC? Just one place? I’m sure you could show Brother Michael, an ex-Catholic, how he has misunderstood the Catholic doctrines that he was raised believing and teaching.

    Or is this simply another in the long line of “You Protestants are wrong, but I won’t specifically say how” comments that we have received from so many other Roman Catholics?

    note that not a single citation to Catholic teaching appears anywhere on this posting or the subsequent comments.

    Funny you should say that, because even Stacey, our Roman Catholic visitor, didn’t use “a single citation to Catholic teaching.” However, Brother Michael did indeed quote your own Catechism here.

  78. fourpointer,

    “Would you be so kind as to show us where we have
    “distorted” the teachings of the RCC? Just one place?”

    Well, in the spirit of Mt. 5:41, here are two:

    In this comment, “Jeff H” believes that Catholics re-sacrifice Jesus every week in the Eucharist, as do you in this comment, and as does “brother Michael” in this comment.

    That’s not what the Catholic Church actually
    believes
    .

    In this
    post
    , “The Pilgrim” says, “Roman Catholicism teaches that you must do some part on your own to merit God’s favor, that your redemption was not purchased complete and in-full on the cross”. Again, not exactly what the Catholic Church teaches (see: here, here, and here).

    If that’s not enough, I’m sure I could easily oblige you with some
    more examples…

  79. Would you be so kind Chris to provide the actual quote as to what I wrote that you are referring to. I know full well what Rome teaches about the sacrifice of the Mass and its re-presenting of Christ’s sacrifice.. So if I miss-wrote, this will be corrected.

  80. brother Michael,

    You wrote:

    “And that he even needs to be offered up again which directly opposes the doctrine that Christ Jesus was offered ONCE for the sins of many and then sat down at the right hand of God. But not so in Catholicism where he is offered as a victim again, and again, and again. Hence, you have the Catholic Jesus perpetually hanging defeated, dejected and forlorn on the crucifix.”

    I know full well what Rome teaches about the sacrifice of the Mass and its re-presenting of Christ’s sacrifice..

    No, obviously you don’t, as evidenced by the above quote.

  81. So that is your answer? Truth stings, does it not when your doctrine patently contradicts the clear teachings of Scripture? Sorry to say but I do understand it which is what grates you whereby you are said to eat your Jesus every Mass as he is immolated on your alter and supposedly called down from heaven by your priest.

    Is not your Jesus hanging on the crucifix perpetually nailed there? Of course he is. Is he not also locked up in your tabernacle by your priests or paraded about in the Monstrance or given for the food of others? Certainly he is.

  82. brother Michael,

    So that is your answer? Truth stings, does it not when your doctrine patently contradicts the clear teachings of Scripture?

    Look, this was provided at the request of “fourpointer” who wanted to be shown “…where we have “distorted” the teachings of the RCC”, and requested that you too, brother Michael, an “ex-Catholic”, be shown how you have “…misunderstood the Catholic doctrines that he was raised believing and teaching.” I was not asked to provide a “Scriptural” basis (whatever that term means for Protestants) for the Catholic Church’s belief in the Eucharist, but simply to show where and how you folks do indeed distort the teaching of the Catholic Church, and this I have done.

    Are you not man enough to admit that you, and others here, have and perpetuate a distorted understanding of Catholic doctrine?

  83. Chris,
    You have gone way past wearing out your welcome here.

    You defend a ‘religion’ that is not based solely on God’s word, then have the audacity to attack those here who use God’s word to expose the errors of what you believe. Your ‘god’ is NOT the God of the Bible, your ‘god’ is man-made and will not save you.
    As for F.P. and Michael’s response, you simply accuse and dance around the issues; you cannot support your beliefs with scripture because you do not uphold God’s word as solely authoritative. That is what F.P. was asking you to do, but you have opted to play ‘dumb’ as to what the term ‘scripture’ actually means. It’s more song and dance from a religion that comes straight from the pit of hell. Brother Michael has been saved out of the religion of hell you still cleave to, I trust his testimony and praise God for his exposing the errors of the RCC through Michael, and countless others who’ve been rescued from darkness.

    You need to move on.

    lyn

  84. Lyn,

    I agree with you.
    ********************
    Chris, when people come here to debate but do so with an enquiring mind, they will always be welcome. However, when they come and blindly swallow at gnats and refuse to be taught, the truth is not in them. Our prayer will be that you will lay aside church traditions and the harlotry of Rome long enough to study the Scriptures for yourself, seek mercy and forgiveness at the cross of Jesus Christ, and then rejoice when you have been redeemed from man-made religions that send countless millions to hell.

    The Desert Pastor

  85. As a retort to my claim that . . .

    Roman Catholicism teaches that you must do some part on your own to merit God’s favor, that your redemption was not purchased complete and in-full on the cross . . .

    Chris provided links to the CCC, one of which had this quote:

    Since the initiative belongs to God in the order of grace, no one can merit the initial grace of forgiveness and justification, at the beginning of conversion. Moved by the Holy Spirit and by charity, we can then merit for ourselves and for others the graces needed for our sanctification, for the increase of grace and charity, and for the attainment of eternal life.

    Notice we cannot “merit the initial grace of forgiveness and justification, at the beginning of conversion” but after that then WE CAN in fact “merit for ourselves and for others the graces needed for our sanctification, for the increase of grace and charity, and for the attainment of eternal life.”

    You foolish Galatians, who has bewitched you, before whose eyes Jesus Christ was publicly portrayed as crucified? This is the only thing I want to find out from you: did you receive the Spirit by the works of the Law, or by hearing with faith? Are you so foolish? Having begun by the Spirit, are you now being perfected by the flesh? Did you suffer so many things in vain–if indeed it was in vain? So then, does He who provides you with the Spirit and works miracles among you, do it by the works of the Law, or by hearing with faith? Even so Abraham BELIEVED GOD, AND IT WAS RECKONED TO HIM AS RIGHTEOUSNESS.
    Galatians 3:1-6

    So what have we learned from this?
    A). Without sanctification–that the CCC says you can merit for yourself and even others–no one will see God (Hebrews 12:14).

    B). The CCC teaches that this merit obtained by you is needed “for the attainment of eternal life.

    So what I said in the quote cited by Chris still stands, “[In Roman Catholicism] you must do some part on your own to merit God’s favor, that your redemption was not purchased complete and in-full on the cross” because if it had been, then there would be no need for you to merit anything of your own.

    Bottom line, Rome teaches “Jesus Christ and . . .” just as the Judaizers did in Galatians. And just like in Galatians, the Apostle Paul made it clear that this was “another gospel,” and whoever preaches “another gospel,” be it an apostle, an angel from heaven, or a Romish apologist on an internet blog, he is anathema.

    Repent and turn to the Lord Jesus Christ for salvation.

    – Pilgrim

    And He also told this parable to some people who trusted in themselves that they were righteous, and viewed others with contempt:
    “Two men went up into the temple to pray, one a Pharisee and the other a tax collector. “The Pharisee stood and was praying this to himself: ‘God, I thank You that I am not like other people: swindlers, unjust, adulterers, or even like this tax collector. ‘I fast twice a week; I pay tithes of all that I “But the tax collector,standing some distance away, was even unwilling to lift up his eyes to heaven, but was beating his breast, saying, ‘God, be merciful to me, the “I tell you, this man went to his house justified rather than the other;for everyone who exalts himself will be humbled, but he who humbles himself will be And they were bringing even their babies to Him so that He would touch them, but when the disciples saw it, they began rebuking But Jesus called for them, saying, “Permit the children to come to Me, and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of God belongs to such as “Truly I say to you, whoever does not receive the kingdom of God like a child will not enter it at all.” Luke 18:9-17

  86. Chris,

    In this comment, “Jeff H” believes that Catholics re-sacrifice Jesus every week in the Eucharist, as do you in this comment, and as does “brother Michael” in this comment.

    That’s not what the Catholic Church actually believes.

    “If any one saith that in the Mass a true and proper sacrifice is not offered to God; or, that to be offered is nothing else but that Christ is given us to eat; let him be anathema” (Council of Trent, Session XXII, Cannon 1).

    AND…

    “If any one saith, that the sacrifice of the mass is only a sacrifice of praise and of thanksgiving; or, that it is a bare commemoration of the sacrifice consummated on the cross, but not a propitiatory sacrifice; or, that it profits him only who receives; and that it ought not to be offered for the living and the dead for sins, pains, satisfactions, and other necessities; let him be anathema” (Council of Trent, Session XXII, Canon 3).

    In Christian Love,
    – Jeff H

  87. Chris wrote: I was not asked to provide a “Scriptural” basis (whatever that term means for Protestants) for the Catholic Church’s belief in the Eucharist, but simply to show where and how you folks do indeed distort the teaching of the Catholic Church, and this I have done.

    Actually you did no such thing. What you did was to provide two quotes of mine and then boldly declare: No, obviously you don’t, as evidenced by the above quote.

    If you believe this showed where I was wrong, I guess I’m missing it as you wrote nothing to engage me but simply to attack. This by taking the high ground and claiming I’m wrong and you are right. And, as has been pointed out by the brethren above, this does not indicate a serious desire to discuss matters.

    If you do want to discuss matters in a civil manner any of us would be more than willing to do so. If you want to accuse us of not understanding Catholicism, you do well to move on because we do understand it and that is actually the problem as we are not in the dark like many.

  88. Chris,

    I guess Michael and I should have been more specific. While we could split hairs by saying that Rome does not officially declare the Mass to be a “re-sacrifice” of Christ–it is, in fact, a “re-sacrifice” of Christ. If it isn’t, then how do you square the Romish position on the Eucharist with Jesus’ words in John 19:30–“It is finished.” If Christ did not complete His work on the cross, but has to have a sinful man continue that work daily with crackers and Kool-aid, then what exactly was “finished”?

    It isn’t a matter of Protestants “distorting” what the Vatican teaches. It’s a matter of the Vatican distorting what the Bible teaches.

  89. The Catholic Church is the only Church that traces all the way back to Jesus. We are the original Christians. All the other Christian religions such as Lutherans, Born-Agains, Protestants, et al. are offshoots which were all founded on men such as Martin Luther who was involved in freemasonry which is Satanic (no wonder he preached hatred against Christ’s Church; his purpose was to divide Christianity). The Catholic Church was founded on Peter, the rock; all of the others are not. Period.

    I’ve heard a lot of ridicule against devotion to the Virgin Mary, saints and angels. We pray to them and honor them that they may intercede with God on our behalf, guiding us closer to Him. We do NOT worship Mary nor anyone else besides God the Father, Son and Holy Spirit.

    The Catholic Church is the only Church to keep complete medical records of all miraculous events. So when somebody is miraculously cured of their blindness, the Church researches the matter rigorously to determine in a full-proof manner that the event is truly supernatural in origin. This is opposed to, say, televangelists who shout and scream some gospel quotes while they place their hands on somebody who then fall backwards, then makes bogus, unproven claims like “Bob from Florida” was cured or some other such nonsense.

    We’re also the only Church that has incorruptible bodies of saints.

    http://www.catholicapologetics.info/library/gallery/incorrupt/incorrupt.htm

    One good example: Blessed Imelda Lambertini died in 1333 and her body is still preserved perfectly. You can view it on the above-linked site, among many others.

    While the Catholic Church does have its share of problems, this is due to bad human judgement and sin, not one stemming from the religion itself. You should feel ashamed for calling the one true Church “Satan’s Church,” all the while propogating your man-made, streamlined version of it. Sorry, you don’t get into Heaven just because you ‘believe in Jesus’ but also by DOING HIS FATHER’S WILL.

  90. Michael,

    After a comment like yours I can only assume that you either a.) didn’t bother to read, or else b.) utterly failed to comprehend the original post and the one-hundred comments that preceded yours since you studiously avoided meaningful interaction with anything said, choosing instead to make bald assertions.

    Frankly these facts don’t speak well of the rigorousness of your Romanist position.

    In Christ,
    CD

  91. I understand when people are deliberately defaming and attacking my religion, making assumptions such as that we worship the Pope (completely unture; his purpose is to carry on the work that began with Peter) or Virgin Mary (again, we don’t worship her), asserting that we Catholics are on the “wide road to Hell,” etc. etc. For the record, we don’t become Catholics “because the Pope says so,” as you suggested, but rather because only within Catholicism lies the full history and adherence to of the Christian faith.

    That said, there are times when I don’t necessarily agree with something. For example: macro-evolution. I absolutely reject it and in no way is it compatible with my faith. I believe that when God created the Earth, He did exactly what He said: the Earth was created in six days. Not “millions or billions of years” as the secular-scientific community suggests. I’m sure you agree with this.

  92. Michael,

    Has the Magisterium of Rome given an infallible interpretation of Genesis 1-3? If not, isn’t your personal belief about a literal 6-day creation a matter of private interpretation of Scripture? As a Romanist are you authorized to undertake this type of interpretation on your own?

    Please confirm your church’s official position before you reply.

    In Christ,
    CD

  93. From what I understand, they came out and said something along the lines that evolution could be compatible with the gospel teachings, something I strongly disagree with, because A) I believe in the Word of God, and B) we shouldn’t need to conform to the expectations of the status quo.

    Nevertheless, I’m Catholic and I always will be.

    I’ll assume that you heard what just happened in NY with “gay marriage.” This just comes to show that evil is running rampant in this country. Things are going from bad to worse.

  94. Michael,

    With all due respect you didn’t answer my question. I asked if, as a Romanist, you were authorized to conduct private interpretations of Scripture and I asked you to confirm your church’s official teaching before responding. You did neither, so I’ll answer my own question for you. According to Rome you stand in defiance of your own church by engaging in the private reading and interpretation of Scripture, under pain of excommunication. Through the years Mother Rome has had much to say about such things, officially.

    Following is a list of practices that Rome has officially condemned for her membership in the dogmatic Constitution, “Unigenitus,” authorized by Clement XI. No subsequent action by Rome has negated, undone, retracted or redacted any portion of these dogmatic pronouncements. Of course this is only to be expected since according to Rome the Pope is infallible when speaking ex cathedra, and his pronouncements are as binding as the very words of God in the Scriptures since he speaks as the Vicar of Christ on earth and because Rome claims her traditions to be of equal authority with the Holy Writ. Rome is always right because Rome is always right, she can’t be wrong being by her own definition the [alleged] “Pillar and foundation of the truth”.

    Here is the pronouncement followed by the things pertaining to the Scriptures that it condemns, including the private reading of scripture by the laity such as yourself:

    “Declared and condemned as false, captious, evil-sounding, offensive to pious ears, scandalous, pernicious, rash, injurious to the Church and her practice, insulting not only to the Church but also the secular powers, seditious, impious, blasphemous, suspected of heresy, and smacking of heresy itself, and, besides, favoring heretics and heresies, and also schisms, erroneous, close to heresy, many times condemned, and finally heretical, clearly renewing many heresies respectively and most especially those which are contained in the infamous propositions of Jansen, and indeed accepted in that sense in which these have been condemned.”

    [1429] 79. It is useful and necessary at all times, in all places, and for every kind of person, to study and to know the spirit, the piety, and the mysteries of Sacred Scripture.
    [1430] 80. The reading of Sacred Scripture is for all.
    [1431] 81. The sacred obscurity of the Word of God is no reason for the laity to dispense themselves from reading it.
    [1432] 82. The Lord’s Day ought to be sanctified by Christians with readings of pious works and above all of the Holy Scriptures. It is harmful for a Christian to wish to withdraw from this reading.
    [1433] 83. It is an illusion to persuade oneself that knowledge of the mysteries of religion should not be communicated to women by the reading of Sacred Scriptures. Not from the simplicity of women, but from the proud knowledge of men has arisen the abuse of the Scriptures, and have heresies been born.
    [1434] 84. To snatch away from the hands of Christians the New Testament, or to hold it closed against them by taking away from them the means of understanding it, is to close for them the mouth of Christ.
    [1435] 85. To forbid Christians to read Sacred Scripture, especially the Gospels, is to forbid the use of light to the sons of light, and to cause them to suffer a kind of excommunication.

    This information is taken from Denzinger’s “Sources of Catholic Dogma” (first part)(second part). The first number is the number from Denzinger’s English translation, the second number is the number of the “error” identified by Clement XI, and hence by Rome herself.

    Please understand that my primary concern is the state of your soul, Michael. I want you to be truly right with Christ. I’m not pushing some particular denomination or congregation, I’m pushing for salvation by grace alone, through faith alone, in Christ alone for your personal salvation (Eph. 2:8-9).

    Please consider it.

    In Christ,
    CD

    HT: TurretinFan

  95. Michael,
    I thank you for visiting this site and for engaging with the writers and contributors. They write as CD noted not to argue for arguments sake or to push a particular denomination, but out of love and for their honest concern for you.

    In writing today, I will not add to what CD and others have written except to ask you to stop and examine what you are saying. Your defense, and that I have heard from all Catholics, is to defend the church; that is to defend the Roman Catholic church as the means of salvation – the only means. This being exactly what I read in your post where you passionately defended your faith in the Roman Catholic institution. And how you stated that Rome is the “…only church” to do this, and the “…only church” to do that. And how all other churches that are not Catholic are obviously apostate due to breaking off from Rome.

    Yet Michael what I did not see in your post, not even a glimmer was your defense of Jesus and his authored and finished work and how you were resting in it. Not a glimmer. And please do not come back now and say that oh, yes I believe that too. For your heart has already been revealed where your love and your assurance of salvation is to be found in Rome. And Rome alone. For therein you have been taught and likewise believe, that if you are found within her four walls, and since she is the only true apostolic church (as you believe), then you are safe and that salvation is yours – even if you need to go to purgatory for a few thousand years. It is as if Rome is the ark and if one is able to get in before the rain starts to fall, then all will be well with them.

    This Michael is a lie. Salvation is found in no church where NONE of the editors on this site will defend their church as the means of salvation nor will any blood-bought saint of God. Nor do we shrink back in fear when the sins of a church or a man, or simply an ad-hominem attack, are hurled against our brethren or their non-Catholic churches. For we fear this not where often you will hear us declare the very same thing. This because our faith is not found in a church, an organization or an institute, rather it is found in a person and that person is the Lord Jesus Christ.

    I ask Michael that you stop to honestly consider these things and examine your heart and the state of it. For while you believe today that your assurance in Rome’s rightness is your ticket to heaven, you will find on that last great day it was the exact opposite. Today Michael that can change – today is the day of salvation for tomorrow may never come so please, stop and think long and hard.

    with love
    brother Michael

  96. Coram Deo, first I apologize for my delayed response but I wanted to be 100% certain of things. I conferred with a local priest with regards to Genesis. I wasn’t excommunicated for my admittedly errenous understanding of how the Church tackled the subject of creation (phew!).

    “To commit heresy, one must refuse to be corrected. A person who is ready to be corrected or who is unaware that what he has been saying is against Church teaching is not a heretic.”

    Source: http://www.catholic.com/library/Great_Heresies.asp

    It was my mistake to conceive that the Church had taken a stand against the six-day creation scenario. However, thanks to this, I’ve more fully researched this matter and the Church states that one may take either the position of instantaneous creation (as I had) or developmental creation/theistic evolution. It forbids atheistic evolution (i.e. random chance). Therefore, fortunately, I held to one of two acceptable positions anyway. Ultimately, my faith in the Catholic Church is strengthened, not weakened, as a direct result.

    For more on this: http://www.catholic.com/library/Adam_Eve_and_Evolution.asp

    You seem a bit hung up on the whole ‘excommunication’ thing, but perhaps you’d be better served in coming to understanding more about your own faith, its history, etc.
    —————————————
    Brother Michael, you said: “Yet Michael what I did not see in your post, not even a glimmer was your defense of Jesus and his authored and finished work and how you were resting in it. Not a glimmer. And please do not come back now and say that oh, yes I believe that too. For your heart has already been revealed where your love and your assurance of salvation is to be found in Rome. And Rome alone.”

    The Catholic Church isn’t merely a building — it’s a body of people who are united in faith. The Pope’s mission is to carry on the work of Peter: to spread the good news, to tend to the flock and make sure that they do not go astray, as well as other very important tasks.

    Now then, why does Jesus or His work require my defense? What, do you believe that Rome is just “assuming” that it is the one, true faith? Jesus gave the keys to His kingdom to Peter, and this lineage is traced back by all historical accounts directly to the Catholic Church. “You are Peter, and on this rock I will build my Church, and the gates of hell will not prevail against it” Matt. 16:18

    All schisms and offshoots thereafter go back to men besides Peter, such as Martin Luther and the other individuals responsible for the Reformation who, again, had ties to Freemasonry. I need not expound on why this stands in opposition to God, let alone that it constitutes apostacy, hereism, etc.

    You also said, “This Michael is a lie. Salvation is found in no church where NONE of the editors on this site will defend their church as the means of salvation nor will any blood-bought saint of God. Nor do we shrink back in fear when the sins of a church or a man, or simply an ad-hominem attack, are hurled against our brethren or their non-Catholic churches. For we fear this not where often you will hear us declare the very same thing. This because our faith is not found in a church, an organization or an institute, rather it is found in a person and that person is the Lord Jesus Christ.”

    I’ve heard a myriad of attacks being leveled against the Catholic Church, including in many of the posts here, referring to us as “Satan’s church” and such, yet I didn’t hear one word of correction from you.

    As for “founding your faith on the Lord Jesus Christ,” that’s all well and good, but where in scripture does God forbid intercession and ongoing dialogue regarding our faith?

    “I urge, then, first of all, that requests, prayers, intercession and thanksgiving be made for everyone …This is good, and pleases God our Savior, who wants all men to be saved and to come to a knowledge of the truth.” Tim. 2:1-4

    We know that there is but one Mediator (Jesus) between God and man, but nowhere does it forbid prayer and intercession. As explained before, when we pray to the saints and angels, we pray for their intercession with Jesus on our behalf, which God finds pleasing (the Bible says so). It does us no service to blatantly ignore this precious gift of God’s grace. Do you presume that His mother, the angels and saints just sit up in Heaven, looking down upon us, doing nothing? They assist God in working towards our salvation, that we may arrive safely in His Heavenly kingdom after our mortal journey comes to an end. Lastly, ‘prayer’ does not equate to ‘worship.’

    For more on this subject as a whole: http://www.davidmacd.com/catholic/mary_do_catholics_pray_to_her.htm

    Yes, I believe the Catholic Church to be the one, true Christian faith. We worship God The Father, The Son and The Holy Spirit. We’re the original foundation for all Christianity.

  97. Michael wrote:
    …the Church states that one may take either the position of instantaneous creation (as I had) or developmental creation/theistic evolution… Ultimately, my faith in the Catholic Church is strengthened, not weakened, as a direct result.

    So, your [allegedly] infallible interpreter (pope) of the [truly] infallible Word of God cannot determine whether God created the universe in six days as written in Genesis or whether all life evolved over millions of years, and THAT only strengthens your belief in your church with him as the leader.

    That’s truly incredible. May I just express my hope for you in the words… Here’s mud in your eye. (John 9:1-41)

    …We’re the original foundation for all Christianity.

    Has anyone notified the Lord Jesus of the change in management?

    /sarc (Sigh)

  98. There have been many a theological discussion with regards to this very subject. The simple answer is that we do not rely solely on scripture for all matters (sola scriptura); we must also be enlightened by the Holy Spirit and continue dialogue and study in order to more fully understand the world around us and the spiritual one as well.

    http://www.catholicapologetics.info/apologetics/protestantism/sola.htm

    The lineage of the Catholic Church traces all the way back to Jesus. If you want to talk about “change of management” then you need to look at the Reformation which traces back just five centuries. Am I to assume that Christianity only truly began when Martin Luther decided to break away from Catholicism to become self-appointed leader of his own ministry?

  99. I have to shake my head in disbelief. History ‘edited’ by the Catholic Church? Are you serious? And then you point me towards a revisionist who reinterprets the Catholic Church & its teachings in order to suit his bias. Says Miller: “The worship of the Virgin Mary originally sprang from the ascetic spirit which became so prevalent in the fourth century. Before this period, there is no trace of the worship of Mary.” Miller makes one incredible fallacious statement after another. Never has the Church propogated worship of Mary. He points at Constantine, an ANTI-POPE, and then makes one absurd accusation after another.

    “The world ceases to persecute; great advantages are held out to Christians by the civil establishment of Christianity; Constantine professes to be converted, and ascribes his triumphs to the virtues of the cross. The snare alas! is successful, the church is flattered by his patronage, shakes hands with the world, and sinks into its position — “even where Satan’s seat is.” All was now lost as to her corporate and proper testimony, and the way to popery laid open. Every worldly advantage was no doubt gained; but alas! alas! it was at the cost of the honour and glory of her heavenly Lord and Saviour.
    …Why, the church as a body had accepted the Emperor’s terms, was now united to the State, and was dwelling in the world. This was Babylon spiritually — committing fornication with the kings of the earth. But He who walks in the midst of the golden candlesticks judges her action and her condition.”

    Miller is making bold declarations and false allegations, speaking all the while as if he were some authority on history and the Bible. Actually, I shouldn’t say “history” because this is obviously all demonically inspired and not at all real history. Ask him to produce historical documentation to verify his wild accusations — he can’t. Then, he takes catechism and reinterprets it in whatever way he deems appropriate, all the while pulling up Bible passage after Bible passage to reinforce his rebellious stance. This is blasphemous.

    A REAL list of the popes, dating all the way back to Peter: http://www.newadvent.org/cathen/12272b.htm

    Your schism is just another division of Christ’s Church. No matter what Miller or anyone else manufactures against the Church, we’ll never fall to the forces of evil.

    BTW, thanks for mocking me by assigning me that stupid avatar.

  100. Simon Peter himself confessed the Rock was Christ, not himself (1Pet.2:8,4)
    Paul himself confessed the Rock was Christ (1Cor.10:1-4)
    Jesus Himself said that He Himself was the rock (Matt.21:42,44, Dan.2)
    A little rock is Simon Peter and those who adopt this rock are Israel’s enemies (Deut.32:31)
    Peter was married (Matt.8)
    Peter had children (1Pet.5:13)
    Peter erred in his doctrines (Gal.2:11; 2:14)
    Peter said the supreme political power on earth was the King, not the pope (1Pet.2:13)
    Peter said Christians were priests who were called to offer Spiritual sacrifices, (1Pet.2:5), not Nicolaitanes repeating literal sacrifices (Heb.10:11)
    Peter would not allow a man to bow down in front of him (Acts 10:26)
    Peter baptized only Adults (Acts 2)
    Peter baptized Gentiles AFTER they received the Holy Spirit, not at birth (Acts 10:44-47)
    Peter wore no long robes, had no crown, sported no ring on his finger and in his latter years, preached the free Salvation of God as a Gift of Grace, apart from sacraments of any kind (Acts 15:11)
    If there was anything like Apostolic succession, (which there isn’t) your popes have failed at it miserably…

  101. What a way to divert. Sorry that I don’t have the liberty of time to respond to each and every thing but, as usual, you’re pulling the typical ‘sola scriptura’ “I’ll just interpret things however I want” routine. That explains why there are hundreds of schisms that break off of Protestantism — everyone is free to interpret things in their own way. Doesn’t matter if you change the meaning of a particular passage or omit entire books. Heck, you could go start up your own ministry! The sky’s the limit. Doesn’t matter if you’re ‘qualified’ or not. Authority is something to be taken lightly. Nobody is qualified to tell you what to do.

  102. Michael,

    Even some Roman Catholic historians are honest enough to report the horrible abuse of power and wretched sin of many of the popes in the dark and middle ages. If the popes are God’s representative on Earth, how could this be? Two popes at a time, warring against one another – on more than one occasion. Persecution of saints who stand on the Word of God rather than submit to the synagogue of Satan in Rome.

  103. So you need to resort to the usual “Crusades/Inquisition/Witch Burnings” argument. Wow, so over the course of several centuries, about 200,000 people died as a result. Would you also care to bring up the over 100 million that were killed under communist rule, i.e. secular-atheism? Would you care to make mention of the amount of carity work the Catholic Church has done (FAR more than any other religious institute), or who it was that invented the hospital? Would you also care to mention how anywhere from 700,000 to 860,000 Jews were secretly escorted to safety by the Catholic Church during Nazi Germany? Etc. I could go on and on.

    I don’t want to continue this argument with somebody who keeps referring to the Catholic Church as being “the synagogue of Satan” while always dodging everything I bring up.

  104. About 200,000 people were murdered; according to whom? Where even if that number were accurate for simple argument’s sake, certainly a mere 200,000 people butchered in the most demonic and barbaric means ever devised by man is just a spit in the ocean, yes? Butchered by what is said to be God’s most holy church, the citadel of truth, upon order of the so called vicars of Christ.

    But why argue, I mean everyone has a bad day, even popes and inquisitors, yes? I mean, let us be reasonable and accept the fact that a little blood letting to rid mother Rome from the heretical separatists is a necessary evil that must be done for the better good.

    And why split hairs and think on these things; but rather let us focus our eyes on all the good Rome has done and let bygones be bygones. All as Michael has clarified for us all the heavenly accounting system whereby all one need is to have more “good” and charitable works than evil so as to gain not only God’s favor but ours. So get busy folks and start tipping those scales in your favor!

    Ah, If only this is how things worked. But suffice to say it is not; in Rome, yes, this is how things work, but in God’s kingdom, not so. Never was and never will be.

  105. Yeah, sure thing. And all Protestants are just a bunch of saintly people, right? I think not. I don’t need to go down that road. You’re going to think whatever way you want regardless. Protestant vs Catholic, Islam vs Christianity, atheism vs the world, morality vs immorality, etc. Same old story.

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