A Christian debates a Catholic on the street corner.

When your views are opposed to Scripture, claim it’s being misinterpreted (all the while misinterpreting it yourself).

When your authority is found outside the revealed Word of God, you fall into all kinds of error.

65 thoughts on “A Christian debates a Catholic on the street corner.

  1. Owned! At least the guy in the green shirt (Dan?) was honest in admitting he found Zack’s statements “interesting”. Perhaps it will inspire him to search Scripture for himself.

    Like you, Pilgrim, I especially loved this statement: “You know Scripture better than the two of us combined and that’s awesome, but I think you’re misinterpreting Scripture.” The blanket argument for faith by feelings.


  2. The blanket argument for faith by feelings.
    Used so frequently by those who are serving in false religions and cults. Also frequently used by those in Churchianity to justify their lukewarm approach to the Christian faith.


  3. Here’s a question for Catholics: If the wine in the Eucharist actually becomes blood, is this not a violation of the Jerusalem Decree? Acts 15:28-29–“For it seemed good to the Holy Spirit, and to us, to lay upon you no greater burden than these necessary things: that you abstain from things offered to idols, from blood, from things strangled, and from sexual immorality. If you keep yourselves from these, you will do well.”

    I guess these were just suggestions.


  4. Because Catholics take Jesus at his word. “Unless you eat my flesh and drink my blood you have no life in you”. Because after Jesus hammered His point home again and again the majority of Jesus’ disciples left him because of his insistence. Because when they were leaving Jesus did not say “I was only speaking symbolically, come back guys!”. Jesus even asked the 12 “are you going leave too”. He had the perfect opportunity to clarify what he meant. He chose that moment to appoint Peter as the first Pope of his Church on Earth. Because early Christians were often persecuted because the Romans considered their practice canaballism. Because from earliest record Christians believed that the Eucharist is a miracle that demands faith and especially that it is truely the body, blood, soul and divity of Jesus Christ. Because there was no serious challenge to the real presence until the reformation when the protestants, in their desire to disdain anything Catholic did what you are doing and pull out a snipet of scripure and come up with their own interpretation that does not mesh with other scripture, does not hold with scred Tradition, and is not in keeping with the Church that Christ founded.


  5. Mike B,
    You have made so many ludicrous statements in your post that it’s tough to know where to start….

    Jesus; like everyone who uses language for communicating, used figurative language. We do it all of the time….there is no need to put up a straw man here.

    If you can provide some grammatical, contextual syntactical reason to believe that after blessing by a priest, the Eucharist actually “becomes” Jesus’ body, then provide it….not sarcasm.

    We’ll start there and work our way down your post….

    Fair enough?


  6. If Mike B. is one of those rare Catholics, (one that actually reads the Scriptures for himself and doesn’t just believe what he’s told to believe), not only would he not stay a Catholic long, but he’d also not be able to come away from Hebrews and still believe what he says in his comment. Hebrews is very clear that after the ONE SACRIFICE was furnished, Jesus sat the the right hand of God. He doesn’t come back week after week in thousands of churches and turn into bread and wine. It’s another classic case of prooftexting.

    I hope he just hasn’t gotten that far yet (to Hebrews) in his reading, otherwise he’d be guilty of intellectual dishonesty.


  7. It is ironic that we have two Mike B’s on the same thread.

    I am a Lutheran. We do not teach Roman Catholic Transubstantiation so I will not defend Mike B’s belief. He is correct about the Real Presence of Christ’s Body and Blood in the Lord’s Supper. It is supported by both Scripture and early apostolic tradition. The errors which are found in memorial or spiritual views of the Lord’s Supper do not exist in the early church.

    The grammatical, contextual, syntactical reference that Bob requested is found in John 6:55. Christ says, “For my flesh is TRUE food, and my blood is TRUE drink.” The word “true” is an affirmative that removes metaphorical possibilities. It is also obvious that he is not speaking metaphorically because the audience took the statement literally. The disciples said, “This is a hard saying; who can listen to it?” in verse 60. Jesus goes on to clarify his statements by making prophecy that will prove His incarnation. Reading the entire chapter in context reveals that this was no object lesson. Jesus is quite emphatic about it. Everyone there understood what Jesus was saying, “I am manna. I am true bread. Eat me and live.”

    You then move on to the Lord’s Supper when Jesus states, “This is my body” and “This is my blood”. It is a retelling of the clear statements made in John 6. The Greek contains no hint of metaphorical speaking here. The verb is declarative. Taken in its literal translation, there is no room for metaphor. It is clear that the Lord’s Supper was not meant to be a memorial meal, but a supernatural sacrament.

    The Greek word “remembrance” in Christ’s statement “Do this in remembrance of Me” is not simply the memory recall version of the term. It is the same Greek word that author of the gospel uses for when the thief on the cross asks Christ, “Remember me when You enter Your kingdom.” Clearly, the thief does not wish for Christ to intellectually recall the thief, but to bring him into the kingdom. So also when Christ says, “Do this in remembrance of Me” he is not speaking of memorial recall, but an actual presence similar to the thief being truly present in paradise.

    Paul points to this presence of Christ’s body and blood in the Lord’s Supper when he says, “The cup of blessing that we bless, is it not a participation in the blood of Christ? The bread that we break, is it not a participation in the body of Christ?” [1 Cor 10:16] This word “participation” is often translated as “sharing in” or “communion”. It is not a metaphorical verb, but one that involves actual participation and an actual sharing as stated in John 6 where those who eat Christ’s flesh and drink His blood, “will abide in Me and I in him.”

    Paul reaffirms this understanding when he warns of the very real supernatural consequences of taking communion unworthily. Had the Lord’s Supper been just a metaphor, it would not be physically dangerous. Paul would not have said, “Whoever, therefore, eats the bread or drinks the cup of the Lord in an unworthy manner will be guilty concerning the body and blood of the Lord. Let a person examine himself, then, and so eat of the bread and drink of the cup. For anyone who eats and drinks without discerning the body eats and drinks judgment on himself. That is why many of you are weak and ill, and some have died.” [1 Cor 11:27-30]

    Early Christians did not deviate from this understanding of the Real Presence in the Lord’s Supper. In 110 AD, only a matter of decades after the death of Christ), Ignatius of Antioch said in his letter to the Romans, “I have no taste for corruptible food nor for the pleasures of this life. I desire the bread of God, which is the flesh of Jesus Christ, who was of the seed of David; and for drink I desire his blood, which is love incorruptible.”

    Justin Martyr, 181 AD, “We call this food Eucharist, and no one else is permitted to partake of it, except one who believes our teaching to be true and who has been washed in the washing which is for the remission of sins and for regeneration [i.e., has received baptism] and is thereby living as Christ enjoined. For not as common bread nor common drink do we receive these; but since Jesus Christ our Savior was made incarnate by the word of God and had both flesh and blood for our salvation, so too, as we have been taught, the food which has been made into the Eucharist by the Eucharistic prayer set down by him, and by the change of which our blood and flesh is nurtured, is both the flesh and the blood of that incarnated Jesus.”

    Clement of Alexandria, 191 AD, “’Eat my flesh,’ [Jesus] says, ‘and drink my blood.’ The Lord supplies us with these intimate nutrients, he delivers over his flesh and pours out his blood, and nothing is lacking for the growth of his children.”

    These men are among the first, second, and third generations of teachers after the apostles. All of these statements predate the authorship of the earliest manuscript copies of the Holy Scripture that we have. They stand in testament to what the early church understood when they read what we read. Taken in context with the clear words of our Lord, “This is my Body” not “This is like my Body”, it makes an argument for Real Presence that cannot be refuted with Scripture or early apostolic writing.

    The apostolic church taught a real presence of the Incarnate Christ in the Lord’s Supper, but they did not teach Transubstantiation. Alongside these Biblical and historical references to the actual existence of Christ’s body and blood, you find references to the actual existence of the wine and bread. You receive four things in the Lord’s Supper: Christ’s body and blood under the bread and wine. To say otherwise requires fallible commentary and the addition of human reason to what is clearly in the Scriptures. There can be no human additions in those places where Holy Scripture is authoritatively silent. Additions to Scripture like memorial meals, spiritual reception, priestly consecration, sacrificial participation, and transubstantiation have no Scriptural support.


  8. As a matter of clarification, the Body and Blood of Christ that is present in the Eucharist is not simply the atonement blood of the crucifixion. It is the blood of the living Christ which was sacrificed only once. The sharing of Christ’s blood every week in many churches is not a sacrifice. It is participation in His life. The first sharing of the Sacrament was prior to His death in the upper room and was a sharing of His living body and blood. By the very timing of this event, it is obvious that true, apostolic teaching of Real Presence does not teach a repeated sacrifice of Christ’s blood which had not been shed yet. Thus, the apostolic doctrine of Real Presence does not violate the One Sacrifice of Hebrews 9. It is not a sacrifice of His blood, but a communion (sharing in) His living blood.

    Christ still has living blood as He sits in heaven. To say otherwise teaches the blasphemous error that Christ is not still fully man and divides His nature into the part in heaven and the part that was on earth (like the JWs do). To say that it is impossible for Christ to impart this living blood to His church requires that the human nature of Christ has imparted mortal limitations on the Divine nature of Christ. This is not possible.

    We do not participate in the passive obedience of the crucified Christ, but the active obedience of the living, dead, and now resurrected Christ. No further sacrifice is needed. And so, both the Roman Catholics and the memorialists error because they allow their imperfect human logic to contradict Scripture.

    There is no Scripture that clearly teaches memorialism. There is no Scripture that teaches the Roman Catholic view. Both require the addition of human reason and theory to the Word of God to create a Gospel that is alien to the clear teaching of Scripture. Both require that men invent Christ’s intent or motivation and put words in His mouth. Memorialists and Transubstantiationists who seem to know exactly what Christ REALLY meant sit in the temple and speak as if they were God; that is the very definition of antichrist! The Bible warns against such new Gospels and exhorts Christians to perform exegesis that is free from human opinion and error. Deviations and additions to the Bible are foolish and of the accursed spirit that leads to damnation. [Proverbs 30:5-6; Galations 1:6-10]

    Christ said that the Bread is His Body and the Wine is His blood. Without any Divine clarification, we must take Christ at His word. We cannot falsely presume to speak for the Lord as if we knew what He really meant. God does not deceive or word things to trick men into error. If it was other than what He said, Christ would have clarified.

    Notice that when Christ speaks metaphorically the Greek uses the term “is like” instead of “is”. When He speaks in parables, He says, “The Kingdom of heaven IS LIKE a net…” etc. This Greek word for “is like” is not used in the Lord’s Supper. We must respect that.


  9. Here is more Biblical context for Real Presence:

    None of the other “I am…” statements are metaphorical. What Scripture proves about the other “I am” statements of Jesus sheds light on His meaning. In light of the Scriptural proof of the other statements, there is no room for the “Bread of Life” as an exception.

    John 8:23: And He said to them, “You are from beneath; I AM from above. You are of this world; I am not of this world. [Jesus really is from above.]

    John 8:12: Then Jesus spoke to them again, saying, “I AM the light of the world. He who follows Me shall not walk in darkness, but have the light of life.” [Jesus really is light. The vision of heaven in Revelation says that there is no sun because the lamb illuminates the city Rev 21:23.]

    John 10:9: “I am the door. If anyone enters by Me, he will be saved, and will go in and out and find pasture.” [Jesus really is the door. He is the only Mediator between God and men. No man comes to the Father but through Him.]

    John 10:11: “I am the good shepherd. The good shepherd gives His life for the sheep. [Jesus really is our shepherd. He really did give His life for us.]

    John 10:36: “do you say of Him whom the Father sanctified and sent into the world, ‘You are blaspheming,’ because I said, ‘I am the Son of God’?
    [Jesus really is the Son of God.]

    John 11:25: Jesus said to her, “I am the resurrection and the life. He who believes in Me, though he may die, he shall live. [Jesus really is the resurrection and He really is the life.]

    John 14:6: Jesus said to him, “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me. [Jesus really is the way. Jesus really is the truth. Jesus really is the life.]

    John 15:1: “I am the true vine, and My Father is the vinedresser. [Jesus really is the true vine. Our life as branches really does depend on His life. Dead branches are really cut off from the tree of life by the real Vinedresser.]

    John 6:51:”I am the living bread which came down from heaven. If anyone eats of this bread, he will live forever;” [Jesus really is the living bread which came down from heaven. We really do eat of this bread and we really do live forever.]

    We do not question these statements. We do not listen to the Devil as Eve did and wonder to ourselves, “Did God really say….?”


  10. Here is more Biblical context for Real Presence:

    None of the other “I am…” statements are metaphorical. What Scripture proves about the other “I am” statements of Jesus sheds light on His meaning. In light of the Scriptural proof of the other statements, there is no room for the “Bread of Life” as an exception.

    John 8:23: And He said to them, “You are from beneath; I am from above. You are of this world; I am not of this world. [Jesus really is from above. He really did come down.]

    John 8:12: Then Jesus spoke to them again, saying, “I AM the light of the world. He who follows Me shall not walk in darkness, but have the light of life.” [Jesus really is actual light. Revelation 21:23 says that heaven needs no sun because the Lamb illuminates the city.]

    John 10:9: “I am the door. If anyone enters by Me, he will be saved, and will go in and out and find pasture.” [Jesus really is the door. We really do go through Him. He is the only Mediator between God and men. No man comes to the Father but through Him.]

    John 10:11: “I am the good shepherd. The good shepherd gives His life for the sheep. [Jesus really is our shepherd. He really does tend to our needs, guides us, and saves us from sin. He really did give His life for us.]

    John 10:36: “do you say of Him whom the Father sanctified and sent into the world, ‘You are blaspheming,’ because I said, ‘I am the Son of God’?
    [Jesus really is the Son of God.]

    John 11:25: Jesus said to her, “I am the resurrection and the life. He who believes in Me, though he may die, he shall live. [Jesus really is the resurrection and He really is the life.]

    John 14:6: Jesus said to him, “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me. [Jesus really is the way. Jesus really is the truth. Jesus really is the life.]

    John 15:1: “I am the true vine, and My Father is the vinedresser. [Jesus really is the true vine. Our life as branches really does depend on His life. Dead branches are really cut off from the tree of life by the Father, the real vinedresser.]

    John 6:51:”I am the living bread which came down from heaven. If anyone eats of this bread, he will live forever;” [Jesus really is the living bread which came down from heaven. His body is true food. His blood is true drink. We really do eat of this bread and we really do live forever because of it.]

    We do not question these statements. The true doctrine takes them all at face value and does not quible over intent or metaphor. Applying metaphor to one applies them to all. No true Christian wonders if Christ was speaking metaphorically when He said that He was the Son of God or that He was the Way. Faith requires us to trust our Lord’s words.

    We do not listen to the Devil as Eve did and wonder to ourselves, “Did God really say….?” We do not doubt God’s clear revelation. We do not mix it with our impressions and error. We do not flavor His revelation with the false context and reason that the Devil whispers to us.


  11. I apologize for the double post. There was an error in the posting process and I thought that it had not gone through. I tweeked it and resubmitted… then they both showed up. Again, I apologize.


  12. What Scripture do you use to refute the clear message of Christ? Where does the Bible do anything but point to a supernatural event at the Lord’s Supper where Christ’s body and blood are truly present? If Christ was using metaphor when He said, “For My flesh is true food, and My blood is true drink”, where else do you think He speaking metaphorically? How much of the Bible is open to human interpretation?We need to know what is metaphor and what is emphatic?

    Was He speaking metaphorically about His divinity? Was He “like God” As the Jehovah Witnesses claim? Was He speaking metaphorically about being the Christ? Was He “like a savior” as the heretics claim? Was Paul speaking metaphorically about homosexuality? Is homosexuality “like a sin” as the liberal Christians claim?

    What is the difference between your weak support for a memorial Lord’s Supper and these weak supports that attempt to spin the clear message of Scripture to fit their personal tastes? The spin and the addition of human reason is the same. How are you different?

    I have the clear testimony of properly translated Scripture on my side. My exegesis is consistantly applied to every part of Scripture. I don’t hunt and peck verses to support my claim. My passages come from the breadth of the New Testament. I have the testimony of 1,500 years of unanimous Christian literature to support my Real Presence interpretation. Most importantly, I have the very words of Christ that are clearly literal. The burden of proof is not on me. It is on those who would say that Christ did not mean what He said. What do you have to support this? Why should I beleive you?


  13. Wow, thanks Mike B. I was considering most of the positions you mentioned but I was writing it off line and then was going to post it when I had it condensed. Well said brother in Christ.

    It is interesting that the title of this is A Catholic debates on Christian. This gets my hair up right away because the implication is that a Catholic is not a Christian. Then Bob calls my post ludicrous and then asks for no sarcasm.

    I was also thinking that Bob had no refutation to what I said, he just asked me to provide the context which Mike Baker so artfully provided.


  14. To Pilgrim.

    Your anti-Catholic bigotry shines through in your post. There are over a billion Catholics in the world and to generalize about our bible reading habits or take one video of two people discussing scripture and say that that is representative of all Catholics is silly. I am not a scripture scholar but I know some who are. And I have met many scripture scholars who are former protestants who are now Catholics. People such as Dr Scott Hahn, Steve Ray, Jimmy Akin, Tim Staples, Marcus Grodi Rosalind Moss, and Mark Shea are highly intelligent people that intellectually made the journey home to the Roman Catholic Church through intense study, prayer and even emotional pain.

    Catholics are soaked to the gills in scripture. We have it rendered in stained glass windows. We have it in statues (which we DO NOT worship, so don’t try that old red herring). We have it in incense. We have it holy water. We have it in holy oil. We have it in the priestly vestments. We have it in the rosary. We have it in the prayers we say such as the Our Father and the Hail Mary. Each time we cross our selves in the name of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit we are affirming our believe in Christ and His word. Our churches are temples to the Holy Spirit and most of them, the ones built before the fifties anyway, are designed in the shape of a cross. They are actually designed based on old testament scripture on how God demanded that the temple be built. Just about ever feature has a meaning and a refernce to scripture. The altar, the communion rail, the tabernacle, etc. In the Catholic Mass we have readings from the old testament, psalms, the new testament, and a Gospel reading. We revere the word of Christ so much that only an ordained Priest can read the Gospel reading to the people at Mass. Our songs are from scripture. No Catholic teaching or practice does not originate out of scripture and is held against sacred Tradition and the Pope’s divine governance to make sure that the Catholic way is the truth. I agree that in general Catholics can use more scripture study. But you can’t blame us. We don’t have to be our own Popes. We don’t have to wander in the desert and worry that our interpretation is the right one. We have the Holy Spirit, the Holy Catholic Church, all the Saints in heaven, the Pope, the Magisterium and Christ himself guiding us. Christ said that hell will not prevail against her (the Catholic Church) and we believe him. The reformers “protested” against some abuses, which was correct and needed, but they broke from Mother Church, which was not correct. To see their fruits look, at over 30,000 different protestant denominations in the world, many of which have contradictory interpretations of scripture. All these Christians have their truth, but there is only one truth. And that truth is in the church that Christ founded. It is the only thing I have found that makes sense out of ALL scripture, not just selected parts of it.

    To me it is intellectually dishonest to take one verse of scripture and ignore most of the rest while ignoring 2000 years of history to define your doctrine.

    I do agree with you about Hebrews. Yes, I have read it. Surprised? So do ALL Catholics. Where you have it incomplete is that the Catholic teaching is that there is a both/and. There is one sacrifice. Jesus died for our sins on the cross. However God is not limited by time. Catholics participate in and are transported to Calvary through the Mass. It is one sacrifice that we join ourselves to. We offer up our sacrifice (sins, troubles, weakness, etc.) with Christ at the Mass. It is a beautiful thing once you take the time to understand it and once you do you are in love.

    The Priest does not change the bread and wine into the body and blood of Christ. God does. Catholic teaching talks about the Priest acting “in Persona Christi”. The grace of Christ works through the Priest. That is why only an ordained Catholic (Apostolic) Priest can offer the sacrifice.


  15. Dear Mike Belisle:

    First I’d like to say that I am not anti-Catholic people. If you mean by anti-Catholic that I’m against Catholic man-made traditions of men turned doctrine. . . then yes, I am anti-Catholic just as I am anti-antyhing that is contrary to God’s truth. You can also say that I’m anti-Wiccan, anti-LDS, etc.

    I also recommend not throwing the old name labeling tactic around (I’m anti-Catholic so I must not be reasonable). I could use the same logic on you.

    It’s the Catholic church that is anti-Protestant. May I remind you of the many men and women that your church murdered for bowing their knee to Christ and Him alone and not the RC church? I bet those martyred at the hands of the RC church felt a little “anti-freedom” of religion as their flesh burned and those Catholics thought they were doing God a service.

    I never said the video was representative of all Catholics.

    I never denied that Catholicsim was steeped in “Scripture.” Your defense of your faith by citing all those examples can also be easily applied to Mormons, Jehovah’s Witnesses, etc. It’s not the “amount” of Scripture used, it’s the twisting and out-of-context use of that Scripture that I take issue with.

    Your citing several people who turned catholic also holds no value. I could cite “intelligent” people who left Catholicsim and turned to evangelicism.

    And finally, you showed the typical Catholic bait and switch. You brag of all this Scripture that you are up to your eyeballs in, then when referring to Hebrews (which NOT ALL Catholics have read) you then switch to your church traditions and teachings, and leave Scripture behind in justifying the abhorrent practice of Transubstantiation.

    Show me Scriptural support for your arguments (in context) not your RC traditions. The finally authority rests on God’s Holy Word, not man. That, Mike, is the fork in the road where you deviate.

    – The Pilgrim


  16. Dear Mike Baker:

    How one tells the difference between literal and figurative is easy. First, without the Holy Spirit, you can’t understand Scripture. Second, common sense.

    Jesus says He’s the door. So does that mean He’s made out of wood?

    And by the way, it’s the Catholic interpretation of Scripture that you have on your side.


  17. Pilgrim,

    It is difficult to dialog with you because we have opened this discussion on many fronts. You have not refuted or proven anything I said as being wrong. I do feel you need to honestly deal with how you feel about the Roman Catholic Church. I was wondering how long it would be before you threw out the old inquisition bit.

    This is a quote from Archbishop Fulton Sheen that I love.

    “There are not over a hundred people in the United States who hate the Catholic Church. There are millions, however, who hate what they wrongly believe to be the Catholic Church—which is, of course, quite a different thing. These millions can hardly be blamed for hating Catholics because Catholics “adore statues;” because they “put the Blessed Mother on the same level with God;” because they “say indulgence is a permission to commit sin;” because the Pope “is a Fascist;” because the Church “is the defender of Capitalism.” If the Church taught or believed any one of these things, it should be hated, but the fact is that the Church does not believe nor teach any one of them. It follows then that the hatred of the millions is directed against error and not against truth. As a matter of fact, if we Catholics believed all of the untruths and lies which were said against the Church, we probably would hate the Church a thousand times more than they do.

    If I were not a Catholic, and were looking for the true Church in the world today, I would look for the one Church which did not get along well with the world; in other words, I would look for the Church which the world hates. My reason for doing this would be, that if Christ is in any one of the churches of the world today, He must still be hated as He was when He was on earth in the flesh. If you would find Christ today, then find the Church that does not get along with the world. Look for the Church that is hated by the world, as Christ was hated by the world. Look for the Church which is accused of being behind the times, as Our Lord was accused of being ignorant and never having learned. Look for the Church which men sneer at as socially inferior, as they sneered at Our Lord because He came from Nazareth. Look for the Church which is accused of having a devil, as Our Lord was accused of being possessed by Beelzebub, the Prince of Devils. Look for the Church which the world rejects because it claims it is infallible, as Pilate rejected Christ because he called Himself the Truth. Look for the Church which amid the confusion of conflicting opinions, its members love as they love Christ, and respect its voice as the very voice of its Founder, and the suspicion will grow, that if the Church is unpopular with the spirit of the world, then it is unworldly, and if it is unworldly, it is other-worldly. Since it is other-worldly, it is infinitely loved and infinitely hated as was Christ Himself. … the Catholic Church is the only Church existing today which goes back to the time of Christ. History is so very clear on this point, it is curious how many miss its obviousness…”

    –Bishop Fulton Sheen


  18. Pilgrim,

    Let’s start with just one question: You are an authority on what you believe the truth to be. We all know that there is only one objective truth and that truth is not relative. I look to the authority of The Church. Who or what is your authority?


  19. Pilgrim,

    A study of actual historical record, and not hysterical anti-Catholic reformationist revisionism, shows that the number of actual tortures and death by church officials was minuscule. Most of the inquisitions and related killings were ordered by and carried out by the secular governments or rulers of the day. Actually, you can read accounts of some of the accused who pleaded to be tried by the church instead of the local rulers. This was due to the church’s more compassionate treatment and opportunities offered for reconciliation.

    I am not saying that there were not abuses, but you have to look at the events historically and through the eyes of what was normal for that period. I am also not condoning these actions. Seen today they are sinful and not in holding with the teachings of our Lord and Savior.

    You also have to look past the prejudices against the church which always focus on the negative and ignore the positive. Who else created hospitals, orphanages, universities, fed the poor, healed the sick and cared for the infirm. Most of the institutions that we take for granted in our world today we created by and run by the church.

    Did you ever study the abuses that the Lutheran’s and other reformers did after the break with Rome? Did you know that Priests were murdered, that nuns were raped, tortured and murdered? Did you know that monks and religious were killed or thrown out into the streets? That churches were destroyed? That priceless status, paintings, chalices and other religious items and artifacts were smashed burned and/or destroyed? I am sure you heard about the huge land and resource grab that happened where the aristocracy gorged itself with the pillage of the church.

    These were tough times, but stone throwing should be left to those without sin.


  20. Sola Scriptura – Where is it taught in scripture? I can’t find it.

    What I do see is “To this he called you through our Gospel, so that you may obtain the glory of our Lord Jesus Christ. So then, brethren, stand firm and hold to the traditions which you were taught by us, either by word of mouth or by letter” (2 Thess. 2:14–15).


  21. Catholics certainly hold, that we need God’s grace to be saved. But, does God’s grace alone save us, or do we have to both receive God’s grace and cooperate with that grace? If you take the classical Protestant thinking to it’s logical conclusion, you can get to places that the truth would never take you. Like accepting Jesus Christ as you personal Lord and Savior, thinking you are saved, and then being able to live a sinful life and being able to enter heaven based on that one act of grace in your past.

    Out of all the Protestant traditions this one stuns me the most. We have the 10 commandments, we have Christ’s teachings on love and charity. There are so many passages imploring us to good works that they are almost beyond counting. Why goood works if faith alone? I know the reformers and you folks are intelligent, faithful, seeking children of God, but I can’t make sense of these principles when you look at the totality of scripture. It is especially troubling when you look at the early church fathers and the historical record. When I read the writings of Luther, Calvin, Zwingli, etc. I see them reaching but not getting there.


  22. Sola Fide – Again, I do not find this in scripture and like Sola Scriptura, I am not finding historical record of Christians of any significance holding to this tradition until Luther in the 1500’s.

    The Catholic definition of faith, which is the assent of the intellect to everything which God has revealed. In other words, we hold that faith is the mind, the intellect, accepting assenting to everything which God has revealed. That’s the Catholic understanding, whereas, in Protestantism faith is not a virtue of the mind or intellect at all. It is a virtue of the will. Faith in Protestantism is identified with hope or trust.

    I guess Sola Fide mystifies me even more that Sola Gratia now that I think of it. And it has the same problems and even more to do with rejecting works.

    James proclaims that a person is justified by what he does and not by faith alone (2:24)… faith without deeds is useless… dead (2:20,26)… the devils also believe, and tremble (2:19)… a letter instructing Christians “to be doers of the word and not merely hearers” (1:22).

    Luther rejected James because it seemed to deny his interpretation of justification by faith and to argue instead that a person is justified by works.

    There is absolutely no opposition between James and Paul with regard to “faith and works”: Both of them claim that faith without good works is nothing, useless, dead faith! (1Cor.13:1-4, Jam.2:17,20)… For both James and Paul, loving one’s neighbor fulfills the law (Gal.5:1, Rom.13:10, Jam.2:8).

    “Works” are faith in action… good works are the only measure of faith, the only expression of real trust in God.

    If you have faith in Jesus, you do what he orders… as if you have faith in your Doctor you do what the Doctor orders.


  23. Sola Christo? Not sure of any Catholic dogma, doctrine, or teaching that disagrees that Jesus is the way, the truth and the life. That no one comes to the Father but through Christ. Find me some evidence and I will look into it.


  24. Mike,
    If you have faith in Jesus, you do what he orders… as if you have faith in your Doctor you do what the Doctor orders.”

    I couldn’t agree with you more. There are two kinds of faith: one that is alive (evidenced by a change in your life, holiness, desire to follow the commands, etc.) and a dead faith which is “I said a prayer, now let’s go sin.” The latter seems to be the most popular, it’s called easy-believeism. If you’ve spent any time on this blog, you’ll know that I am opposed to this because it provides a false sense of salvation.

    The book of James clarifies that if your faith is not accompanied by works, then you are more than likely not converted.

    You are saved by your Faith Alone, not of your works (Eph. 2:8-9). It is the faith that saves you, not the works.

    To believe that you have anything to offer God to add to the ultimate sacrifice He already paid, is not only insulting, but a different Gospel.

    The Pilgrim.

    P.S. In answer to your query, my ultimate and final authority is the God-breathed Scriptures.


  25. Dear Pilgrim,
    I am glad we agree, as Christians, I sometimes forget that Catholics and non-Catholics agree on most things and that there are small but significant areas where we part ways.

    Eph. 2:8-9
    What translation are you using? I am using the Revised Standard Edition (RSV) “Catholic Edition” by Ignatius Press. I purchased it because it is the closest translation to the actual Greek/Hebrew while still maintaining a decent readability. I have heard that Martin Luther added the word “alone” to his translation but frankly I did not believe it because of what the bible says about people who attempt this.

    For by grace you have been saved by faith; and this is not your own doing, it is the gift of God – lest any man should boast.

    My wife’s bible is “The New Jerusalem Bible” Standard Edition by Doubleday. She chose this bible due to it’s more readable English translation.

    Because it is by grace you have been saved, through faith; not by anything of your own, but by a gift from God; not by anything you have done, so that nobody can claim credit.

    The word “alone” is not there. Can you verify your translation please?

    The other thing I would say is that the passage refers to being saved by grace. It clarifies that “through faith” you have to cooperate with the grace freely given by God by having faith.

    PS – Can you find for me in the God-breathed scriptures where it says that it (the scriptures) are the ultimate and final (only..) authority? Would you believe/have faith in something in addition to the scriptures if in scripture this entity is identified it as the central and responsible protector of truth?


  26. Pilgrim,

    “Jesus says he’s the door. So does that mean He’s made out of wood?”

    There you go reading human reason into Scripture again. All doors are not made out of wood. Since it is possible to be a door and not be made out of wood, I would answer: “No, Jesus is not made out of wood.” The fact that He is not made of wood does not make Him less of a door. When reading scripture, one cannot apply 20th century English word definitions and usages to Ancient Greek.

    Real Presence is not just the Roman Catholic interpretation of the verse. It is also the Eastern Orthodox, and Lutheran interpretation… and it is the historical interpretation from before 100 AD to the time of the Reformation. The man who started the Reformation, Martin Luther, maintained this belief of Real Presence (without the Roman Catholic metaphysical errors) even after he was excommunicated from the Roman Catholic Church. It is the memorial interpretation that is novel and aberrant… and it has NO Scriptural support other than the verses that are twisted through fallible, human commentary to imply the possibility of memorialism.

    Mike Belisle,

    The scripture verse for Biblical primacy is:

    “I am amazed that you are so quickly deserting Him who called you by the grace of Christ, for a different gospel; which is really not another; only there are some who are disturbing you and want to distort the gospel of Christ. But even if we, or an angel from heaven, should preach to you a gospel contrary to what we have preached to you, he is to be accursed! As we have said before, so I say again now, if any man is preaching to you a gospel contrary to what you received, he is to be accursed! For am I now seeking the favor of men, or of God? Or am I striving to please men? If I were still trying to please men, I would not be a bond-servant of Christ. For I would have you know, brethren, that the gospel which was preached by me is not according to man. For I neither received it from man, nor was I taught it, but I received it through a revelation of Jesus Christ.” Gal 1:6-12

    The Scriptures are the only apostolic teachings that we have. We use Scripture to test false gospels and false preachers. Even the early church understood this:

    “It is written: ‘We ought to obey God rather than men.’ Now sometimes the things commanded by a superior are against God. Therefore, superiors are not to be obeyed in all things.” (St. Thomas Aquinas, Summa Theologiae, IIa IIae, Q. 104, A. 5)

    “Although it clearly follows from the circumstances that the Pope can err at times, and command things which must not be done, that we are not to be simply obedient to him in all things, that does not show that he must not be obeyed by all when his commands are good. To know in what cases he is to be obeyed and in what not, it is said in the Acts of the Apostles: ‘One ought to obey God rather than man’; therefore, were the Pope to command anything against Holy Scripture, or the articles of faith, or the truth of the Sacraments, or the commands of the natural or divine law, he ought not to be obeyed, but in such commands, to be passed over.” ( Juan Cardinal De Torquemada O.P. 1468, Summa de Ecclesia)

    Council Vatican I (1870): “For the Holy Ghost was promised to the successors of Peter not so that they might, by His revelation, make known some new doctrine, but that, by His assistance, they might religiously guard and faithfully expound the revelation or Deposit of Faith transmitted by the Apostles.” (Pastor Aeternus, cap. 4)

    It is therefore the duty of all Christians to preserve and guard the apostolic teaching as transmitted by the Apostles by divine revelation. To do this, we must oppose new doctrines and resist those doctrines that clearly contradict Scripture.


  27. The word “alone” does not appear in Ephesians 2:8-9 in any major English translation of the Bible. Martin Luther’s addition of the German word “allein”. Luther defended his actions by explaining that the adverb was neccessary to render a faithful translation of the text in the German language. Bible translators do this all the time since Ancient Greek is not constructed the way modern European Languages are. No matter what you do, when you translate from one language to another you are going to get in tough spots when trying to communicate the passages. I am not a master of 16th Century German, so I am going to assume that the word “allein” was neccesary in order for the passage to make sense in that language. “Alone” is not in the English translation because it is not neccessary for the grammar of the sentence.

    Eph 2:8-9 “For by grace you have been saved through faith; and that not of yourselves, it is the gift of God; not as a result of works, so that no one may boast.”

    The addition of the world “alone” in English would be repetitive since the English excludes the result of works for Salvation. The RSV, NJB, and the Vulgate say similar things… and all express teachings consistant with Sola Fide:

    You are saved by Faith which is from God. It is a gift that is not created by you. You play no part in it. It is not something you can boast in. Your works grow from that living faith. Works are not added to faith but flow from it. Faith without works is dead.


  28. Well, no one has answered the question I posed. Why did the Jerusalem Council (including Peter) declare the decree that we are to “absatin…from blood”? If Christ said that we are to drink His blood, then why did the Holy Spirit tell these men that drinking blood was forbidden? This would put Christ in opposition to the Holy Spirit, even if it is just one verse.


  29. The prohibition of ingesting blood found in the Old Testament (Deut. 12:16, 23-25) is not part of the moral law which can never be abolished. But it is part of the ceremonial law that has been abrogated at the coming of the Christ. For example, when Jesus healed on the Sabbath and when He allowed His disciples to work unlawfully on the Sabbath (Matt. 12:1-13), Jesus said that He was Lord of the Sabbath, etc. Thus the prohibition of eating of blood of the Old Testament no longer is in force for the New Testament Christian.

    Paul, by inspiration of the Holy Spirit, taught the same thing. Read the entire chapter of Romans 14, particularly verse 14: “As one who is in the Lord Jesus, I am fully convinced that no food is unclean in itself.” Also read Col. 2:16-17. Again, the forbidding of eating blood is not a law that leads or binds New Testament Christians.

    The Council at Jerusalem (Acts 15), in consideration of the strong feelings of the new Jewish believers who had detested the eating of blood most of their lives, requested the Gentile believers to abstain out of love and not offend the still tender feelings the Jewish believers had. It would be better for them not to eat blood than to offend the Jewish believers. The considerate course to follow was to avoid eating blood. But that provision was only temporary. It was not meant to govern the actions of New Testament Christians for all time, as we see from Romans 14 and Colossians 2:16-17.

    It should not bother us that Christ commanded us to eat His body and blood, but we should gladly obey and be close to Jesus in that way and to receive His forgiveness and strength. His command to “do this” clears us from any accusation of cannibalism. Jesus paid the ultimate sacrifice once and for all with His death, and thus cannot ever be sacrificed again.

    “For God was pleased to have all His fullness dwell in Him (Jesus), and through Him to reconcile to Himself all things, whether things on earth or things in heaven, by making peace through His blood, shed on the cross.” (Col. 1:26) That’s the power of His blood.


  30. You do your side a disservice by taking the passages at hand out of context. Clearly the blood that we are talking about in Deuteronomy and Acts is not human blood. To assert that it has anything to do with cannibalism or the consumption of the body and blood of Our Lord is just silly. Trying to make the Bible say something that it does not only helps to weaken the credibility of your argument. If I took a verse out of context this badly, I am sure that you would jump on it, too.

    As to the consumption ANIMAL blood that is actually covered in these texts: Yes, we are free to eat animal blood because the old ceremonial law was abolished by Christ, the Lord of the Sabbath. This is why Christians can eat a medium well steak without sin even though it contains blood. Even in that time, it would not have been a sin to eat the blood of animals. It would be wrong exercise that freedom at the expense of fellow Christians who were weaker in the faith (these Judizars who were still insisted on the old ceremonial legalism.) This is always the case with Christians. The freedom to do what is permitted is extended only so long as it does not cause others to stumble. It is “love your neighbor as yourself”.

    I find it interesting that you will cite a ceremonial law from the Old Testament about animal sacrifices and chose to obey your incorrect interpretation as it relates to human blood rather than listen to the instructions of Christ with the same obedient heart. Compare your obscure, obsolete, man-made law to the clear gift of Christ. Which do you think takes precidence?

    “So Jesus said to them, “Truly, truly, I say to you, unless you eat the flesh of the Son of Man and drink his blood, you have no life in you. Whoever feeds on my flesh and drinks my blood has eternal life, and I will raise him up on the last day. For my flesh is true food, and my blood is true drink.” John 6:53-55

    It is interesting that these words from Christ where directed at people who made the very same comments that you make now regarding the bans of blood consumption in their ceremonial law. Check the previous verses of the text:

    “Truly, truly, I say to you, whoever believes has eternal life. I am the bread of life. Your fathers ate the manna in the wilderness, and they died. This is the bread that comes down from heaven, so that one may eat of it and not die. I am the living bread that came down from heaven. If anyone eats of this bread, he will live forever. And the bread that I will give for the life of the world is my flesh.” The Jews then disputed among themselves, saying, “How can this man give us his flesh to eat?” John 6:47-52

    Even the disciples thought as you do:

    “When many of his disciples heard it, they said, “This is a hard saying; who can listen to it?” But Jesus, knowing in himself that his disciples were grumbling about this, said to them, “Do you take offense at this? Then what if you were to see the Son of Man ascending to where he was before?” John 6:60-62

    Christ’s response to them is my response to you. His blood is true drink. His flesh is true food. If you eat it, you will live forever and be raised on the last day. Are you going to take Him at His word and believe the words of your Lord or are you continue to grumble about it like they did?

    “After this many of his disciples turned back and no longer walked with him.” John 6:66


  31. All of Deuteronomy 12 is worth a read at this time.

    Note how the passage even instructs the Israelites to violate some parts of the ceremonial law that we are talking about. There were customs regarding clean and unclean foods at the time. Here in this chapter, you can see that the bans on unclean food were lifted in during this circumstance:

    “However, you may slaughter and eat meat within any of your towns, as much as you desire, according to the blessing of the LORD your God that he has given you. The unclean and the clean may eat of it, as of the gazelle and as of the deer.” Deut 12:15

    God’s perfect will is what is best for us. It never contradicts itself. Who are we to question clear instructions?

    By the Holy Spirit, I do not to presume to correct God and wrongly say that He contradicts Himself. I do not lay traps of human logic to mold God’s revelation into an image that pleases me and the way that I think it should work. It is faith that prevents me from inventing inflections and metaphors where no proof of such a thing exists. A disciple listens, believes, and obeys when Christ speaks.

    Show me REAL evidence from Scripture to support your claim that it is nothing more than bread and wine. What passage do you site that says that it is just an ordinance? Where in Scripture are Christs words modified, altered, or interpreted the way that you suggest they should be?


  32. When Jesus told them that if they did not eat the flesh and drink the blood, and manyof them scattered, it was because they thought that He was talking about literal flesh and blood, which He wasn’t. If they had been patient, the Holy Spirit would have shown them the truth. Just like when He said in Mark 16:24 that we are to “take up [our] cross and follow [Him],” do we literally drag a cross around with us everywhere we go? Or do we crawl back into our mother’s womb to be “born again?”

    Besides, the “flesh and blood” Jesus was talking about was not literal. A quick trip to Matthew 26:26-29 makes this obvious. After all, Jesus took the bread and said, “This is my body…” and He took the wine and said, “This is my blood…” Now, since Jesus said “This IS my body…this IS my blood…” and it does NOT say that these things turned into literal flesh and blood, then we must come to the natural conclusion that what Jesus was referring to in John 6 was NOT His literal body and blood.

    Besides, the Jerusalem Council in Acts 15 did not make any distinction between what type of blood we should abstain from. Therefore, we should assume it means ALL blood.


  33. “Therefore, we should assume it means ALL blood.”

    Then all Christians must be kosher. If Acts 15 applies to us today and it applies universally then ALL blood is now forbidden from ALL sources since we can’t use context to understand the actual debate that was taking place in Jerusalem at the time. That means that any food with blood is now forbidden. Blood transfusions are forbidden. All of the requirements for women on their cycles are required again. You have to embrace the whole Law. You are fobidden from all blood. It does not say what kind of blood or what kind of contact, so even touching it is sin. Is that what you are saying?

    The fact is that you can easily find out what they are talking about. Look at Acts 15:1, “But some men came down from Judea and were teaching the brothers, “Unless you are circumcised ACCORDING TO THE CUSTOM OF MOSES, you cannot be saved.” So there you go. The blood is “according to the custom of Moses”… i.e. the ceremonial law of the Old Testament… which is about ANIMAL blood.

    And for the record, this abstaining from blood (in context) was about its proper use. There were rules about spilling it and what you could eat. For example, that blood that the Jews were avoiding was painted on the doors of the slaves in Egypt during the first passover… That REAL blood was put on a REAL door to protect REAL people from REAL death. There is no metaphor there. Anyone who figured the lamb’s blood was a figurative metaphor on that night in Egypt would have lost their son. During that same passover festival many years later, Christ substituted His blood to forgive the sins of all men.

    You said, “When Jesus told them that if they did not eat the flesh and drink the blood, and many of them scattered, it was because they thought that He was talking about literal flesh and blood, WHICH HE WASN’T…”

    Which He wasn’t?!? Where does the Bible say that? Aside from your assumption based on an educated guess, where is the proof in that statement? The truth is that you GUESS that He wasn’t. Until I have inerrant proof from Holy Scripture to support your claim, that is just your opinion and it proves nothing.

    In Mark 16:24, He did not say “Pick up your TRUE cross and follow Me.” or “Your burden is a TRUE cross.” The sentences are not even similar to that of John 6. The Mark passage is figurative because the Greek grammar allows for it. Again, the comparison proves nothing other than your own personal opinion about how the english sounds to you when you read it… having already formulated your opinion about the matter in advance. If you had no opinion either way and you were reading it neutrally, you would not assume that it was a metaphor. It has already been pointed out that the critics of early Christians read this passage and considered them canabals. Early Christians read this passage and spoke as I do. They read these passages and drew the conclusion that the majority of Christians have for 2,000 years… and they spoke the native language of the actual text!

    As to Matthew 26:26-29: it is up to you to prove your point. Reasserting your belief does not help. Prove to me with Scripture that this is not a literal statement. I can prove from the Greek that it is declarative (meaning “is” translates as “is” and not “is like”). No prove it otherwise. The truth is that you can’t. It is a statement that you WANT to read as a metaphor. Since memorialism is a deviation from traditional Christianity, it is up to its supporters to prove beyond a shadow of a doubt. I do not have to prove what is clearly written because IT IS CLEARLY WRITTEN. If you want it to say something else, then you have to prove it.

    And where does logic and fallible human assumption play into this? In what way does the Bible make sense to the human mind? A God-Man? A Trinity? Eating an apple damns all of creation? If you are bringing human reason to this book you are going to walk away confused and cynical. It is about faith–not reason.

    “I speak as to sensible people; judge for yourselves what I say. The cup of blessing that we bless, is it not a participation in the blood of Christ? The bread that we break, is it not a participation in the body of Christ? Because there is one bread, we who are many are one body, for we all partake of the one bread. Consider the people of Israel: are not those who eat the sacrifices participants in the altar?” 1 Cor 10:15-18

    Is that a metaphor too?

    “For anyone who eats and drinks without discerning the body eats and drinks judgment on himself. That is why many of you are weak and ill, and some have died. But if we judged ourselves truly, we would not be judged.”

    How can a be metaphor physically dangerous?

    When you break it down, look at what the final statements are:

    Christ said, “This is My body.”
    I look at the bread and say, “That is His body.”
    You look at the bread and say, “This is a metaphor of His body.”

    Who is being true to Scripture and who is adding things to it?


  34. Very well.

    Back to the actual video…

    I think the Fundamentalist in the video would have done a better job if he had actually engaged the guys when they asked questions instead of dropping back to his primary programing: I am Fundamentalist. I am the Biblical one. All who are not Fundamentalists do not know the Bible.

    Case in point, so the Roman Catholic says, “I think that you define faith differently that we do.”

    And he is RIGHT! Roman Catholics do not look at faith the way that Fundamentalists do. The Roman Catholic church teaches a great deal of stuff about faith that is different than most Protestants… they are practically different words. In fact, Fundamentalists look at faith differently than alot of other Protestants do. He should have explored that through Scripture and educated people instead of saying, “I don’t think so I think that I define faith the way that Scripture does.” How insulting! When you are engaged in a Christian discussion it has to be about defending your belief and helping your neighbor understand what it is you are saying and why you are saying it… not about winning. If you go into a discussion thinking that you have all the answers and the other guy is always going to be wrong when he disagrees with you, neither of you are going to learn anything. We should love the truth more than ourselves. We should be open to possibilities and try to get to the truth. You cannot live in an echochamber where your beliefs are never challenged and you believe everything you are told without question. There is alot of mythology in Christianity because people do not check the truth of what is being said. Just imagine, if no one ever questioned or verified, we’d all still be Roman Catholic. Individual churches can error. Beliefs can be wrong. The Bible is not.

    That Roman Catholic was open to hearing what the Fundamentalist had to say, but he just plowed through his memorized Bible verses without even trying to outline the real differences between the two… and there are real differences. In fact, there are big errors on both sides that need to be resolved. None of that happened.

    The end result? The Fundamentalist walks away with a phone number, a couple compliments, and little else. The Roman Catholic is pretty unimpressed and says that his mind has not been changed. Neither of them really knows anything new other than the fact that they disagree.

    The reason why Christianity is in so much trouble and so many people are duped into believing crazy stuff is that the informed Christians just want to argue instead of taking the time to walk through everything and talk. There is alot of arrogance out there on the part of people who think that they know alot of stuff… and they are missing the point. It is not about winning. It is about the truth.


  35. One thing the fundamentalists forget is that the Bible was written “in the Church, by the Church, and for the Church.” The Churh was in existance before the Bible. Church history and tradition within the Church readily supplies many of the answers sought.


  36. The Bible was written by God… not the church. It was written by God, with human hands, for His people. St. Paul said, “I want you to know, brothers, that the gospel I preached is not something that man made up. I did not receive it from any man, nor was I taught it; rather, I received it by revelation from Jesus Christ.” Galatians 1:11-12. It is not the property of the church to mangle as they see fit. It is the Holy property of Christ and should be treated as such.

    One thing that people from ALL SECTS forget is that the Bible is the only viable piece of apostolic truth that we have. It is without error and was univeresally accepted by the apostolic church. The Bible instructs that nothing is to be added or taken away from it. The Bible itself instructs members of the church to use it to test their teachers. It is the litmus test for orthodoxy. Even the angels in heaven do not have precidence over the Gospel that St. Peter, St. Paul, and the other apostles preached. All messages must conform to THAT gospel.

    “I am astonished that you are so quickly deserting him who called you in the grace of Christ and are turning to a different gospel—not that there is another one, but there are some who trouble you and want to distort the gospel of Christ. But even if we or an angel from heaven should preach to you a gospel contrary to the one we preached to you, let him be accursed. As we have said before, so now I say again: If anyone is preaching to you a gospel contrary to the one you received, let him be accursed.” Galatians 1:6-9

    The Bible is not interpreted by the church. The church is held to the Bible. Even the Apostles are held to this standard. “But even if we” holds even the Apostles to that standard.

    Even Canon Law agrees with this. A heretical pope is not to be obeyed.


  37. Dear Mike Belisle:

    I haven’t forgotten about you. In your last comment to me you said: “PS – Can you find for me in the God-breathed scriptures where it says that it (the scriptures) are the ultimate and final (only..) authority? Would you believe/have faith in something in addition to the scriptures if in scripture this entity is identified it as the central and responsible protector of truth?”

    To save time allow me to direct you here. If the Bible claims to be the Word of God and all sufficient, why in the world would you not consider it the final authority in matters of truth and error?

    BTW, I am working on a post on Faith vs Works that should be available within the next couple days.

    – The Pilgrim


  38. Why would Christ appeal to lost men (the Pharisees) to take the Lord’s Supper when it is only for believers? The context of John 6 is a clear call to faith…

    I recently preached on a sermon on John 6 called, “Eating the Bread of Life by Faith “. I seek first to show what Christ doesn’t mean by referring to Himself as the Bread of Life and then to show from the context that He is clearly calling them to faith and comparing faith to eating. This sermon can be downloaded or streamed as an MP3 here:


  39. Dear Matt,

    Is this the Matt Haney? The Matt Haney who preached “Christ – The Greatest Prophet” and “From Methodist to Jehovah’s Witness to Christ as My God?”

    I’ve listened to some of your sermons. It is an honor. I will check out the one you have posted on here too.

    – The Pilgrim


  40. Hey Pilgrim,

    It is the same Matt Haney… something I didn’t mention in that sermon… (I read a lot of the first posts, but did not have time to read all of them… I skimmed over the rest… so forgive me if this point was brought up and I passed over it)

    To say that on any given Sunday, that Christ’s physical body is present at every single Catholic mass is a denial that the two natures of Christ are not mixed. Although Christ can be in a 1,000 different places at once in His divine nature, His physical body can only be at one place at a time.

    It is blasphemous to say that when Jesus spoke of needing to eat and drink of Him that He was referring to a weekly thing, like the mass, because Jesus is not speaking about something you need once a week, He is speaking about something you need constantly, every day. As I brought out in my sermon, there is an initial one time eating and drinking for salvation that Christ speaks of, but then He turns right around and says those who have eaten and been saved will continue to eat.


  41. Matt Haney,

    Allow me to clarify a few misunderstandings:

    1. Your statement about Christ’s physical body is a common Reformed arguement, but it does not hold water. You cannot divide the two natures of Christ. These two natures exist in one physical person. The physical body of Jesus is both fully God and fully man. Both natures hung on the cross for the sins of all men. Both natures were raised from the dead and ascended into heaven. These are cases where the divine nature of Christ imparted supernatural authority to the physical body. Also, a human body is incapable of living a life without sin. According to human logic, a mortal body cannot do these things… and yet this one did. Saying that the physical body only belongs to the man Jesus and not the God Jesus is not correct. We receive the whole Christ at the Lord’s Supper. It is also incorrect to say that the human nature of Christ imparts physical limitations on the divine nature. Such a statement means that Jesus Christ is less in power and majesty than God than the Father… that there are things which are beyond His power as God. All three persons of the Godhead are coequal in all things.

    2. The belief is not blasphemous. The Biblical instructions are, “as often as you do this.” That makes it a matter of Christian liberty.

    Christ never said that what he was speaking about was “one time” or “initial”. Those are words that you put there to defend your belief. We must follow Scripture Alone and not add to it. As a matter of fact, the object lesson that Christ used in John 6 was the manna from heaven that fed God’s people in the desert. It was given daily… and was not an initial or one time food.

    Even with its Scriptural weaknesses, your arguement is accepted. We do need to abide in Christ daily. There is no “once a week” limit to the Lord’s Supper. In Lutheranism, it is tradition to make it available for the church no less than once a week. I have communed more than twice a day before. The number of times one receives the Lord’s Supper is a matter of freedom under the Gospel because Christ placed no limitations on it. The only requirements are examination and proper reception as Paul teaches in his epistle. Those rules protect us from being guilty of “sinning against the body and blood of the Lord” [1 Cor 11:27]

    Here you will see that daily communion is not unheard of: “If the blood of Christ, as often as it is shed [poured out], is shed [poured out] for sin, then I should properly receive it daily, because I sin daily.”
    -St Ambrose, Exposition of Psalm 118

    As for Roman Catholics, I believe that the limitation for the Lord’s Supper for priests is no more than three times a day except in cases of emergency or special exemption. I could be wrong. Of course this is a human regulation that belongs only to that part of the church.

    In traditions that espouse a kind of Real Presence, the Lord’s Supper is but ONE way that we are mystically linked to Christ. Baptism is also a means of grace for example that imparts God’s mercy and forgives sin.

    I hope that this has been informative.


  42. You also said, “Why would Christ appeal to lost men (the Pharisees) to take the Lord’s Supper when it is only for believers? The context of John 6 is a clear call to faith…”

    Check the passage in context. The Pharisees are never mentioned. Christ is talking to the 5,000 that he fed eariler and to His disciples. They are the ones mentioned in the passage.


  43. Mike Baker,

    Wow… that is a lot to cover.

    1. Jesus did not typically do miracles out of His deity, He did them as a man just like us, dependent upon the Holy Spirit. Jesus said things like, “If I cast out devils by the Spirit” not “by my deity.” Hebrews 2:17 says, “Therefore He had to be made like his brothers in every respect”. Notice how Peter summerizes Christ’s ministry in Acts 10:38- 39, “…how God anointed Jesus of Nazareth with the Holy Spirit and with power. He went about doing good and healing all who were oppressed by the devil, for God was with him.” This is a teaching that has been largely overlooked (or not understood) today in an attempt to properly defend his deity against the false teaching of the Jehovah’s Witnesses and others. As John Owen says, “Jesus didn’t die on the cross as God, but as one who was God.” To say “God literally died on the cross” is just misguided. We didn’t need the death of God, we needed the death of a man, because it was a man (Adam) who fell into sin. Your understanding of Christ’s nature sounds like heresy that was made up to support your view of the Lord’s Supper, not something that comes straight out of Scritpure. It is a view created to support another false view.

    This sermon from Charles Leiter examines this truth about Christ doing miracles by the Spirit:
    [audio src="" /]

    This sermon by Bruce Ware at John Piper’s 2005 Conference brings this out too:

    2. You are importing “as often as you do this” into John 6, that is not in John 6. You are assuming that John 6 is about the Lord’s Supper, and then pulling from a text in Corinthians.

    John 6:53-54, “So Jesus said to them, ‘Truly, truly, I say to you, unless you eat (Greek implies a one time finished act) the flesh of the Son of Man and drink his blood, you have no life in you. Whoever feeds (Greek implies a continuous action) on my flesh and drinks my blood has eternal life (notice, it is saying those who do this already have eternal life), and I will raise him up on the last day.'” This is what I was reffering to when I mentioned the one time eating for salvation (not the Lord’s Supper, but of Christ by faith). Yet, if we have really eaten of Him by faith we will continue to do say, by faith. Saying that having the Lord’s Supper more than once a week satifies the type of need that Christ is speaking of, falls so short. That is like saying as a branch (John 15) you can be united to Christ as the Vine, a few times a week.

    You said, “Baptism is also a means of grace for example that imparts God’s mercy and forgives sin.” Now that is out and out heresy! You are adding to the work of Christ on the cross. Paul made it clear that Baptism was not part of the Gospel that saves us from our sin in 1 Corinthians 1:17, “For Christ did not send me to baptize but to preach the gospel, and not with words of eloquent wisdom, lest the cross of Christ be emptied of its power.”

    I am sure Mark 16:16 will come up, “Whoever believes and is baptized will be saved, but whoever does not believe will be condemned.” Notice the emphasis is on believing, it does not say “whoever is not baptised will be condemned”. The reason baptism is mentioned is because in those days people were baptized at the moment they professed faith in Christ, it was immdediate (we see this is Acts at Pentecost)… the fact that baptism is left out in the 2nd half proves that was not part of what was needed for salvation.

    Galatians 5:2-4 says, “Look: I, Paul, say to you that if you accept circumcision [a ritual… Baptism could easily be inserted here instead of circumcision], Christ will be of no advantage to you. 3I testify again to every man who accepts circumcision [or Baptism – and he means as means for salvatoin] that he is obligated to keep the whole law. 4You are severed from Christ, you who would be justified by the law; you have fallen away from grace.” Why does adding something like circumcision or baptism damn someone? Because you are then trusting in Christ + works to save you. Christ will not have it, it is only Christ or only works.

    Acts 2:38 is sure to come up as well, “Repent an be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins”. Again, baptism is mentioned, not because it has merit for salvation, but because that is what immediatly followed a profession in that day. If someone today said, “Repent and come down this aisle and give your life to Christ” we would not conclude that walking down the aisle is part of what merits salvation. By the way, I don’t like altar calls or having people walk down the aisles.

    Christ was baptized in our stead, Matthew 3:15, “But Jesus answered him [John the Baptist – concerning why Christ should be baptized by him], ‘Let it be so now, for thus it is fitting for us to fulfill all righteousness.” Christ did not need to be baptized, so why did He get baptized? To fulfill all the righeous requirements/laws that His people needed imputed to them to be saved. Baptism is a picture of the old man dying and being raised a new man – which is regeneratoin. In Romans 6 we see that it is clear that water baptism is not what is being discussed, but what it pictures, being crucifed with Christ and walking in newness of life. If you say water baptism is being discussed, then you must believe in baptismal regeneration… which is another heresy…


    In regards to John 6 and the Pharisees, you are right, I don’t know why I typed Pharisees (a brain fart I guess), but my point is that He said it to lost men, which these men were.

    I will not have the time to keep up with long post exchanges on a lot of different topics, so lets get back to John 6 if further discussion from me is desired.


  44. I was listening to one of the archived Crosstalk radio programs earlier this morning with Ingrid Schlueter.The topic was Christian mysticism and the guest was Pastor Ken Silva of Apprising Ministries.The pastor denies that the Catholic church is Christian and agrees with John MacArthur that the Roman Catholic church is satans best front.
    If you’d like to listen for yourself it’s about 38 minutes into the program.



  45. I don’t want to reargue the points that I already made so I will just hit the highlights…

    1. Let me say that it is possible for the man Jesus to do miracles the same way that prophets and evangelists have done. You make a good point here. It is important to note that not all of Christ’s miracles were done this way. When Christ commanded miracles to take place with the authority of God (not by the authority of God) He was acting with His full divinity. As examples: No mere man has the innate power to forgive sin as Christ did. No man ever raised himself from the dead as Christ did. No mere man can die on the cross for the sins of the world as Christ did. We always say that Christ’s miracles proved His divinity… that is because some of the things He did could only be done by God incarnate.

    Christ, who was fully God and fully man, really died on the cross. His two-natured incarnation remained intact because He is still fully God and fully man today. We did not need the death of a man, but the death of a perfect man, the Christ. This is not heresy and is supported by Scripture.
    For example: “If we live, we live to the Lord; and if we die, we die to the Lord. So, whether we live or die, we belong to the Lord. For this very reason, Christ died and returned to life so that he might be the Lord of both the dead and the living.” [Romans 14:8-9] and “But we see him who for a little while was made lower than the angels, namely Jesus, crowned with glory and honor because of the suffering of death, so that by the grace of God he might taste death for everyone. For it was fitting that he, for whom and by whom all things exist, in bringing many sons to glory, should make the founder of their salvation perfect through suffering.” [Hebrews 2:9-10] The death of a man cannot do what those scriptures say.
    Are you saying that only the human nature of Jesus died on the cross? If yes, where did the divine nature go?

    Are you saying that there are some miracles that Jesus cannot do because He is limited by His human body? Is the Son a limited person in the Godhead? Are unlimited omnipotence and omnipresence qualities that Christ does not possess? If so, how is fully He God?

    If Christ can live in the hearts of 5,000 people, why can’t He actually be in 5,000 places? …or is that whole “Christ in my heart” thing another metaphor that is just a symbol that isn’t real.

    2. I am not importing. The “as often as you do this” was used to explain communion practice against the accusation that it must be weekly thing. It is interesting that the Greek implication is followed in John 6 to say that this is a one time eating, but the same grammar rule is not used when “This is My body” implies a declarative statement.

    I will now quote you directly because you agree with me and proved my point:

    You said, “Whoever feeds (Greek implies a continuous action) on my flesh and drinks my blood has eternal life (notice, it is saying those who do this already have eternal life, and I will raise him up on the last day.”

    You are totally right. You just agreed with me that you FEED (a continuous action of “eating”). If it had said you FED it would mean that you did it in the past and it would then support your “one time eating” salvation metaphor. As you pointed out, the verb is present tense in regards to the receiving of eternal life. When I regularly receive the Lord’s Supper I am performing the very Greek verb that you quoted here in the exact tense that you said it is in and I have eternal life. I am actually doing every part of the verse as your commentary explained it.

    Baptism is not a human work. It is a gift from God which is part of Christ’s work of salvation. Salvation is not limited to the actual chronological time that Christ spent hanging on the cross. Christ is our Savior because of both His active and passive obedience. Our salvation rests in both His perfect obedience and His innocent suffering and death. Without either, you do not have salvation. In the same way, salvation is both objective and subjective: All men are saved by the cross and those who believe [present tense] are saved by faith. Baptism is A PART of that subjective faith that makes Christ’s work on the Cross a reality in the soul of a sinner.

    …and Baptism does save you by the power of Christ’s resurrection. That is not heresy. It is supported by Scripture (my emphasis added):

    For Christ also suffered once for sins, the righteous for the unrighteous, that he might bring us to God, being put to death in the flesh but made alive in the spirit, in which he went and proclaimed to the spirits in prison, because they formerly did not obey, when God’s patience waited in the days of Noah, while the ark was being prepared, in which a few, that is, eight persons, were brought safely through water. BAPTISM, WHICH CORRESPONDS TO THIS, NOW SAVES YOU, NOT AS REMOVAL OF DIRT FROM THE BODY BUT AS AN APPEAL TO GOD FOR A GOOD CONSCIENCE, THROUGH THE RESURRECTION OF JESUS CHRIST, who has gone into heaven and is at the right hand of God, with angels, authorities, and powers having been subjected to him. [1 Peter 3:18-23]

    Your quote from Paul [Galatians 5:2-4] is taken out of context. Even with you writing things into the verse, I accept your premise. You are right, baptism without faith is of no use. If you are baptized and do not believe, there is no hope for you. That does not change the fact that baptism saves you because your sin is washed away and you are given a good conscience at baptism by the work of the Holy Spirit. Baptism saves… “not as a removal of dirt… but as an appeal to God for a good conscience.”

    Here is an example: A man is drowning and he cannot save himself. The savior of the man throws him a life ring to keep him from drowning. Then the savior pulls him closer to the side with a hook. When the man starts to sink, the savior jumps in and physically pulls the man out of the water and onto terra firma. Who saved the man? The savior. What saved the man? The means that the savior used: a ring, a hook, and his hand. Baptism saves like the ring saves… it is a supernatural means that Christ uses to save a lost sinner. It is not a human work, but a means of imparting grace.

    Calling something a heresy does not make it heresy. Warning someone that he is committing blasphemy does not make it so. The Pharisees did this to Jesus all of the time, but they were wrong. All kinds of cults believe that real Christians are heretics. The Gnostics, Arians, and Pelagians accused true Christians of being heretics. Rome considers all non Roman Catholic churches to be heretical. All of these accusations are empty. Saying it does not make it true.

    Heresy (n): unorthodox religious opinion: an opinion or belief that contradicts established religious teaching, especially one that is officially condemned by a religious authority.

    What standard, religious authority or creed are you using when you repeatedly call me a blasphemer and a heretic?

    In regards to your “brain fart” regarding John 6, do not worry about it. Everyone speaks before they read. It happens to the best of us. Your assumption that they were not lost men is another case of jumping to conclusions. Later in that chapter, you find that the 12 were among them (not lost men) and other disciples who left because of what he said (also not lost men). …but even if they were lost men, there is a big difference between teaching about the Lord’s Supper and administering the Lord’s Supper. Just because Communion is for believers only, does not mean that you cannot tell lost people about it. Lost people are not going to heaven, but we still preach to them. The logic just doesn’t fly.


  46. Mike,

    My point about the one time eating is that it is enough to save completely, at that very momement… but that it leads to more eating. You are saving you eat once, get some grace, but then you have to come back for more grace… it is a never ending cycle of still needing the Lord’s Supper to stay in a state of grace. Thing that you are missing is that John 6 centers around faith… not rituals… something that lost men who long to be saved by their works would focus on.

    This whole section about eating and drinking begins with Jesus telling them how to labor for the food that does not perish, in verse 29 He says, “This is the work of God, that you believe in Him whom He has sent”. How does He conclude this teaching in verse 63, “The words that I have spoken to you are spirit and life. 64But there are some of you who do not believe [He means, you will not eat of Me].” The main issue is belief.

    In verse 35 He interchangeably uses the words “come” and “believe”, “I am the bread of life; whoever COMES to Me shall not HUNGER, and whoever BELIEVES in Me shall never THRIST.” It is implied that “coming” and “believing” are the same as eating and drinking.

    Look at verse 40, “For this is the will of my Father, that everyone who looks on the Son and believes in him should have ETERNAL LIFE”, so believing is what produces eternal life. Now look at verse 54, “Whoever feeds on my flesh and drinks my blood has ETERNAL LIFE”.

    We see this one last time in verse 47, “Truly, truly, I say to you, whoever BELIEVES has ETERNAL LIFE” and then in verse 51 He says, “If anyone EATS of this bread, he will LIVE FOREVER.”
    Do you see why Augustine said, “To eat is to believe, and to believe is to eat.” Without faith, Christ is not edible.

    Hebrews 3:19 it says, “they were unable to enter because of unbelief.” The whole issue in the wilderness was unbelief. Remember how Hebrews 4:2 reads in the KJV, “For unto us was the gospel preached, as well as unto them: but the word preached did not profit them, not being mixed with faith in them that heard it.”

    After feeding the 5,000 John 6:14 says, “When the people saw the sign that he had done…” John 20:30 says, “Now Jesus did many other signs (one of those being the feeding of the 5,000) in the presence of the disciples, which are not written in this book; 31 but these are written so that you may believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God, and that by believing you may have life in His name.”


    Where did the miracle of feeding the 5,000 take place? Luke 9:10 tells us it was at Bethsaida. In Matthew 11:20 it says, “Then He began to denounce the cities where most of His mighty works had been done, because they did not repent. 21 ‘Woe to you, Korazin! Woe to you, Bethsaida! For if the mighty works done in you had been done in Tire and Si-don, they would have repented long ago in sackcloth and ashes. 22 But I tell you, it will be more bearable on the day of judgment for Tyre and Sidon than for you.’” This feeding of the 5,000 it was no small deal, it will effect judgment day for that city. This was not about the Lord’s Supper, it was about faith in Christ.


    My authority comes not from a religious authority of creed, but the very Word of God.


  47. “This is the work of God, that you believe in Him whom He has sent.” Yes. That is what happens in the Lord’s Supper. It is a work of God that builds faith. It is not a ritual. It is a gift. A ritual is a ceremony. “ritual (n): established formal behavior: an established and prescribed pattern of observance.” While there is ritual surrounding the Lord’s Supper, it is not about the ritual, but the gift of His body and blood.

    Do not put words in Christ’s mouth. He said, “the words I have spoken to you are spirit and life. But there are some of you who do not believe.” That is it. He never says, “you will not eat of me.” Do not add to the Bible so that it sounds like it supports you when it doesn’t. That is what I meant by the Bible being the property of Christ. It is not yours to mangle to fit your argument with meanings that are never stated anywhere in the Bible.

    Eating and drinking are the same as believing and coming. It is all connected. By coming to the table and believing Christ’s promise, you receive eternal live by eating and drinking. That is why you examine yourself before the Lord’s Supper. That is why it is reserved for believers only.

    It is interesting that you quote Augustine who was a firm believer in Real Presence. When he says, “To eat is to believe, and to believe is to eat.” you should understand that he is talking about what I am saying. Observe these other Augustine quotes:

    “The bread which you see on the altar is, sanctified by the word of God, the body of Christ; that chalice, or rather what is contained in the chalice, is, sanctified by the word of God, the blood of Christ.: {Sermo 227; on p.377}

    “Christ bore Himself in His hands, when He offered His body saying: “this is my body.” {Enarr. in Ps. 33 Sermo 1, 10; on p.377}

    “Nobody eats this flesh without previously adoring it.” {Enarr. in Ps. 98, 9; on p.387}

    [Referring to the sacrifice of Melchizedek (Gen 14:18 ff.)] “The sacrifice appeared for the first time there which is now offered to God by Christians throughout the whole world.” {City of God, 16, 22; on p.403}

    “Christ is both the priest, offering Himself, and Himself the Victim. He willed that the sacramental sign of this should be the daily sacrifice of the Church.” {Ibid, 10, 20; on p.99}

    “Not all bread, but only that which receives the blessing of Christ, becomes Christ’s body.” {Ibid., 234, 2; on p.31}

    “What you see is the bread and the chalice . . . But what your faith obliges you to accept is that the bread is the Body of Christ and the chalice the Blood of Christ.”{Ibid., 272; on p.32}

    “Not only is no one forbidden to take as food the Blood of this Sacrifice, rather, all who wish to possess life are exhorted to drink thereof.” {Questions of the Hepateuch, 3, 57; on p.134}

    “The Sacrifice of our times is the Body and Blood of the Priest Himself . . . Recognize then in the Bread what hung upon the tree; in the chalice what flowed from His side.” {Sermo iii. 1-2; on p.62}

    “The Blood they had previously shed they afterwards drank.” {Mai 26, 2; 86, 3; on p.64}

    “Eat Christ, then; though eaten He yet lives, for when slain He rose from the dead. Nor do we divide Him into parts when we eat Him: though indeed this is done in the Sacrament, as the faithful well know when they eat the Flesh of Christ, for each receives his part, hence are those parts called graces. Yet though thus eaten in parts He remains whole and entire; eaten in parts in the Sacrament, He remains whole and entire in Heaven.” {Mai 129, 1; cf. Sermon 131; on p.65}

    “Out of hatred of Christ the crowd there shed Cyprian’s blood, but today a reverential multitude gathers to drink the Blood of Christ . . . this altar . . . whereon a Sacrifice is offered to God . . .” {Sermo 310, 2; cf. City of God, 8, 27, 1; on p.65}

    “He took into His hands what the faithful understand; He in some sort bore Himself when He said: ‘This is My Body.'” {Enarr. 1, 10 on Ps. 33; on p.65}

    “The very first heresy was formulated when men said: “this saying is hard and who can bear it [Jn 6:60]?” {Enarr. 1, 23 on Ps. 54; on p.66}

    I suggest that the Augustine quote that you used must be read in view of this mountain of evidence about what that great theologian really believed. That is even more important considering that Ambrose was his mentor and teacher… a man whom I can quote all day long on both baptismal regeneration AND Christ’s body and blood in the Lord’s Supper.

    You said, “Without faith, Christ is not edible.” That is not true and contradicts the following Scripture which I have quoted several times: “Whoever, therefore, eats the bread or drinks the cup of the Lord in an unworthy manner will be guilty concerning the body and blood of the Lord.” 1 Cor 11:26-28


    You did not answer hardly any of my questions.


    Your authority comes from no religious authority or creed, but the very Word of God? Then I need not fear your accusations of heresy and blasphemy because you do not speak with the authority of unanimous agreement of the church. You speak by your own authority. The Pharisees used their personal interpretation of the Word of God to call Jesus a heretic. The nonChristian cults use their personal interpretation of the Word of God to call me a heretic. There is no difference between what they do and what you do. Everything that you claim about your interpretation, they claim with equal zeal and certainty about their interpretations. In the Garden of Eden, and during the temptation of Christ, even the Devil, himself, quotes Holy Scripture to make His points. As you can see, anyone can claim to be Biblical. What is your proof that you are not like them?


  48. Mike,

    You said, “you do not speak with the authority of unanimous agreement of the church”. Statements like this, sadly show you don’t even understand that truth is found in the Word of God alone (not 1st through creeds and then reading those doctrine back into texts like John 6). Even the Apostle Paul was subject to the Word of God (Acts 17:11).

    Are you consumed with Christ or your group’s own traditions and the teachings of men?

    What do believers talk about all of the time? Christ, Christ and Christ. What do lost people talk about all of the time? Their pet forum of self-righteousness… for the Pharisees it was circumcision… for the Catholics it is the mass… for the Christ of Christ it is baptism… for 7th Day Adventist it is the Sabbath… and so on… You are consumed with the ordinances (you would probably prefer sacraments) and not the Savior Himself – Jesus Christ.

    Those sacraments will never cleanse your guilty conscious… that is why you have to keep going back.


  49. Dear Pilgrim,

    Thanks for not forgetting about me. I read the web page you linked to and do not find anything that supports Sola Scriptura. In fact, I have never found a passage in Scripture that indicates that it is the sole source of truth. Profitable yes, but not solely so. I would think that Sola Scriptura would be explicitly stated in Scripture. Please let me know when you find what entity the God-breathed holy Scriptures declares as the “pillar and bulwark of the truth”..

    Also. I wish you well on your post on faith versus works, just remember that it should not be directed towards the Catholic Church, Her teachings, or Catholics. We believe it is faith AND works. I am not aware of a Christian denomination that teaches salvation by works alone. Of course with 20,000 plus schisms from the Catholic Church after the reformation, you could probably find one somewhere. I think that a lot of Protestants think they are miles apart from the Catholic Church, but it is only because they have not been informed of the true teaching of The Church.

    It is interesting that the site you directed me towards as an attempt to support sola scripture has 2-Tim 3:16 which ends in “…that the man of God may be adequate, equipped for every good work.” If good works are totally unnecessary for salvation, why would we need to be so equipped?


  50. Mike Baker, after reading your “church is held to the Bible” post I will ask you the same question that I asked Pilgrim. What does the Bible say is the “pillar and bulwark of truth”?


  51. Mike Belisle,

    What is the “Pillar and bulwark of truth”? There is no error in the Word of God. It is God’s revelation to man which is clear and without mistake.

    “All Scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness, that the man of God may be competent, equipped for every good work.” 2 Timothy 3:16-17

    God’s breath is filled with nothing but absolute truth. If something were to be taught in the church that contradicted the clear message of Scripture (Jesus is not God for example), it is heresy… not because we say so, but because Christ Himself said so. Christian doctrine is always by His authority. The sheep do not tell the Shepherd what He said; they hear His voice and obey. Jesus and the apostles quoted and used Scripture frequently. As various errors began to creep into the church, the Apostles admonished the flock to be shrewd and hold fast to the teaching that THEY delivered: the apostolic faith. The apostolic faith was delivered by the apostles… that is why we call it the “apostolic” faith. We are to hold to the ONE, holy and apostolic faith. That is the faith of the ancient church that were delivered by men who were actually with Christ here on earth. That is the faith that is expressed in the universal creeds of the church. Those things are absolutely true.

    …so when something is directly opposed to a thing that we know to be absolutely true, conscience requires that reject it. If you have an object that you know is perfectly level and square, anything that is not parallel with it must not be perfectly level and square. If you contradict a teaching of the apostles, you cannot be teaching the apostolic faith. That is what makes the Holy Bible superior to all other books in Christendom… it contains the very words of Jesus Christ and the men that He sent.

    As Christians, we are to obey those in authority over us. Laymen should follow and obey their pastors in all things; but if their pastor preaches that there is no such thing as Hell or that Jesus Christ was really born a virgin, the people must reject what he says. By what authority? The authority of the church gives them that right because the pastor has stepped out of the apostolic faith.

    By the same token, pastors should follow those who have been placed over them in the church government in all things. Everyone should serve the church and submit to her teachings. But when we encounter times and places where parts of the church fall into error, we must love the truth more than the church. We must follow the ancient faith of Rome… not just what people in Rome may say on any given day. Councils can error and they can contradict each other. Popes can be false and teach bad doctrine that contradict previous Popes. History has proven this. In those cases, men of conscience and faith must step up and correct errors out of love for the continued health of the church. By what authority? The authority of the church gives them that ability. We are one body and Christ is the head. If you do not teach the apostolic faith, all of your claims of being true or infallible are just hot air. Anyone can claim to speak for God. In fact, almost every religion on earth makes that claim. The difference as that the apostolic faith is God actually speaking. When you agree with it, you are right. When you disagree with it, you are wrong.

    St. Peter and the other apostles said, “We must obey God rather than men!”

    It is never the job of the church to explain or discover new aspects of the faith. We are not supposed to explore, expand, or adapt timeless truth. The church is most beautiful not because of what she says or does, but by what she preserves and defends.


  52. Matt Haney,

    First, there is no sacrament that is necessary for salvation. They are means of the salvation that was objectively won on the cross. A man can go his whole live without a single sacrament and still enter paradise immediately. Example: The thief on the cross. That does that mean that sacraments do not exist or that they are not useful and required to build Christian faith. Memorialism sounds to me like some bitten Israelite in the desert saying, “I don’t need to look at the bronze snake on the pole because God already delivered me out of Egypt and He already said that people will be healed by their snake bites.” For them, ceremonies were not empty ordinances. They were necessary means by which we receive God’s gifts. God has not changed. We have necessary means today: Sacraments.

    Second, you must not be trying to really listen to what I am saying. It seems that you analyze my post for the weak point and only talk about that instead of answering my questions or defending your belief from the points that I make which are hard to refute.

    The unanimous agreement of the church IS what is taught in the Bible. The Bible alone determines what the unanimous agreement of the church is. That is what has Roman Catholic Mike Belisle asking me why I claim that Sola Scriptura is real. The agreement of the church is what prevents kooks from using the Holy Bible to teach things other than the Christian Faith. You can make the Bible say just about whatever you want if you have the proper “interpretation” or “commentary.” That is the very cause of the foolishness and heresy that this whole blog is about… this “mile wide, inch deep church” is made up of people claiming to be Biblical, but they are not.

    How does one tell what is right? Read the Bible, agree with the rest of the church who understands what the Bible teaches, and reject everything else as heresy and bad doctrine. Most fundamentalists cannot do that because they refuse to even consider any Biblical possibility other than their own rigid dogma… and you accuse me of being Pharisaical?

    The word “Trinity” never shows up in the Bible. You will never find it. Yet, it is the universal faith to believe in the Trinity because the Bible clearly teaches it. Trinitarian faith is the authoritative belief and the unanimous agreement of the church. If you disagree, you are not a minority opinion that is equally valid; you are in opposition to the church. People can use the Bible to try to say that it does not teach the Trinity… but they are wrong. They can claim to be Biblical… but they are wrong. A person who believes in the Trinity can call an antitrinitarian a heretic and be correct. The reverse is not true. One of us agrees with the church and the other does not.

    By the same token, I can say that your denial of baptismal regeneration is false doctrine and be correct. The reverse is not true. Of all the people in this conversation, I have quoted the most Scripture… and most of the time I do not even tell you what it means or insert my commentary in it. I try to let the passage speak for itself whenever possible. So when 1 Peter says that baptism saves you, I don’t need to explain what it really means because it is written there in black and white.

    Third, and with all due respect, do not presume to tell me what my “group” believes and does about traditions and ordinances. Do not tell me the reason why I go to the Lord’s Supper as if you have the ability to judge my heart and motives. Do not presume to know my state of mind or hint at the quality of my assurance.

    I grew up a Fundamentalist. I spent decades defending exactly what is being told to me in these comments. I know what you are going to say and where you are coming from because I have been there and defended it just as uncompromisingly. I did not become a Lutheran because that was the church I grew up in. My extended family certainly is not Lutheran. I did not become a Lutheran because of some scandal or bad experience that turned me off to the church that I was raised in. I became a Lutheran because they teach the Bible without adding to it. They teach Scripture alone and they do not presume to be the masters of Christ’s Gospel. They are slaves to it.

    While I was still a Fundamentalist, and very much wishing to remain one, I had to admit that much of what I believed was against Scripture. When you cut through all the smoke and mythology, the Bible is really clear. I had to admit that I was being no better than the Pope… pretending to be Christ’s vicar and creating a faith that suits me by misquoting the Bible and making up dogma that could not be defended with Holy Writ. I wish that I could still believe in Eternal Security; I really do. It would be easier. I wish that I could blindly embrace Arminianism; I really do. I just cannot reconcile those HUMANLY INVENTED dogmas with what many verses of inerrant Scripture teach. I wish that I could still believe in the validity of immersion credobaptism alone, but I find no Scripture to support it. That requirement is humanly invented. The best that people can do to defend these things is to explain that I am wrong and that they are right. They cannot point to a passage that stands on its own without commentary and say, “There.” They even have to ignore some passages of Scripture because when I bring them up, they have no choice but to dodge them and keep going with their blind dogma which resides in their mind and not on the page.

    I spent two years with just the Bible and the historical documents of the early church. I disavowed every church, every dogma, and was prepared to abandon the Christian religion itself if the Bible disproved it. If the Bible could not stand on its own as truth, then the claim of every church lacks foundation. I sat down neutrally and studied every major denominational stance on every major issue side by side. I only wanted to believe what the Bible said. I approached it academically and as neutrally as possible. To me, it didn’t matter if that made me a Mormon, a Methodist or a Roman Catholic… I just wanted to believe what the Bible taught. I was going to find the truth of this Book because every person on earth lies and misspeaks about it. When I finished that exhaustive analysis, the book taught exactly what the early church said that it did… and there is no modern church that adheres to that apostolic faith more closely than confessional Lutheranism. Are other churches still a part of the church? Of course. Can you disagree with me on some points and still be saved? Of course. Are you right on the points where the Bible and I agree while you say something different? No. I have not questioned the faith, justification, or motivation of any man here. That is between you and God.

    …so you are not talking to some koolaid-drinker hack that made these decisions out of loyalty and bias to a particular faith. I do not blindly love my “group”. I love what my group teaches… the truth. I knew that before I joined. I joined because of it. If they stop teaching the truth and refuse to recant, I will leave without hesitation. The first Sunday that I walked into the church that I now attend, I literally carried five armloads worth of theology books into the Pastor’s office. I set them down and said, “Here is what the Bible teaches. Here is what your denomination claims to believe. I know that they are both correct. Do you teach everything that they teach here?” I became a Lutheran on my own, by my own study, and by the grace of God… through the authority of Scripture alone.


  53. Pingback: A Christian debates a Catholic on the street corner. « True Discernment

  54. Mike,

    In regards to Baptism, 1 Peter 3 says (as you quoted), “NOT AS REMOVAL OF DIRT FROM THE BODY BUT AS AN APPEAL TO GOD FOR A GOOD CONSCIENCE, THROUGH THE RESURRECTION OF JESUS CHRIST”, which translates into going into the water means nothing, it is what baptism symbolizes that matters. The physical part of Baptism imparts no grace.

    You bring up so many things I disagree with, it would take too long to discuss it all. I am trying to go to the heart of the matter, as Christ often did when dealing with souls… He did not answer every question, but often jumped to the heart of the matter.

    In Jeremiah 31:34 God describes the New Covenant like this, “No longer will a man teach his neighbor, or a man his brother, saying, ‘Know the LORD,’ because they will all know me, from the least of them to the greatest, declares the LORD.” The problem is when men are not taught by God, but taught by denominations or creeds. Creeds are good in their place, but they are not your teacher.. Christ said to call no one your teacher but Him. I am not saying Churches are not suppose to have elders that teach (or have creeds they agree with), but what I am saying is that truth is not channeld through any group or creed, but only through Christ. The JW’s say truth is channeled through a group of men in New York. You are esstianlly saying the same thing as them, why? Because God did not teach you, so this group becomes extremely important to you.

    1 Corinthians 2:14, “The man without the Spirit does not accept the things that come from the Spirit of God, for they are foolishness to him, and he cannot understand them, because they are spiritually discerned. ”

    Despite all of your personal academic studying, you still have a wrong focus, and I fear a false gospel… you compared not taking the sacraments to saying “I don’t need to look at the bronze snake on the pole because God already delivered me out of Egypt and He already said that people will be healed by their snake bites.” Yet that is a picture of faith in Christ and His work on the cross! The mormons, JWs and others will claim up front that their works are not needed for salvation, but if you really press them for a long time, they will admit that their works are part of their salvation.

    In Numbers 21:4-8, because the Israelites spoke against God, He cursed them and sent deadly serpents to bite them. He then told Moses to make a bronze serpent and put it on a pole and lift it up, and all that looked to it would be live. Jesus said in John 3:14 that He was like that bronze serpent when He was lifted up on the cross. Why is looking to Jesus like they looked to the bronze snake the same as having faith in Jesus? Because they couldn’t look at the bronze serpent and look at themselves at the same time. The eye of faith never looks at itself; it always beholds another. So don’t look to yourself, look to Jesus!

    How long do you think they kept this bronze serpent around? 700 years! 2 Kings 18:4 says that King Hezekiah “broke in pieces the bronze serpent that Moses had made, for until those days the people of Israel had made offerings to it” (2 Kings 18:4). They even named the snake! Wow, if this symbol was given that high of a place for 700 years among God’s only people at that time (the Jews), than surly they must have been right! Wrong! Lost religious men would rather put their faith in the symbol, than in the One the symbol pointed to. We see this with the Pharisees. “Then they led Jesus from the house of Caiaphas to the governor’s headquarters. It was early morning. They themselves did not enter the governor’s headquarters, so that they would not be defiled, but could eat the Passover” (John 18:28). Here they are condemning the true Passover Lamb that is about to be offered up, yet they are overly concerned about the externals, keeping themselves from being unclean for the Passover feast, which points to the Lamb (Christ)! In 1 Corinthians 5:7 Paul says, “For Christ, our Passover lamb, has been sacrificed.”

    I am not sure if I will continue to post on this topic again… I think it will probably not get any more fruitful than it already has.


  55. I am not sure it has been fruitfull at all. I originally posted to state my belief and shed light on the topic. At the very least I hope that I have proven that it is possible to be a student of the Bible and still believe things that are contrary to the mandatory dogmas of Fundamentalism. You may find fault with my exegesis, but I am no dupe who just believes things without cause like the common nonfundamentalist stereotype.

    You all read a different Bible than I do. As a former Baptist, I understand just how different your belief is from mine. I realize how wrong you must think that I am and how silly my arguements must sound to you. …of course all opposing views initially sounds that way to people who only look at one side and defend it without question.

    At the very least the statement under the video should be ammended. It says, “When your authority is found outside the revealed Word of God, you fall into all kinds of error.” Since I do not agree, but my authority is Scripture, it should probably read, “When your authority is found outside of our interpretation of the revealed Word of God is, you must be in error because our dogma is unquestionably right.”


  56. I’m Catholic..

    I think instead of fighting amongst each other, we should consider each other as Christian brothers, for we all believe in the sacrifice of Christ.

    Our biggest problem (online at least) is not each other, but atheism and agnosticism.


  57. Miguel,

    Catholics have a different gospel that is taking Catholics to hell (Galatians 1:8-9). It is a gospel that requires you to perform good, religious deeds in exchange for forgiveness of sins.

    I don’t know you, so maybe you’re not a devout Catholic, and you just don’t understand what Catholics believe, or maybe you’re just in denial about what Catholicism teaches, so I can’t say whether you’re my brother or not. I certainly hope you are.

    Are you born again?



  58. The eucharist the best lie from hell. What better way to humiliate Christ than to teach that sinful priests who defy scripture by being celibate can cause Christ to turn into a wafer. I am an ex-catholic who was regenerated through the GOD breathed scriptures that have within them all that is needed to live a thoroughly godly life. According to the Catholic Church I am going to hell because I have turned my back on thier teachings but according to scripture I am going to heaven because I have denied my self knowing I am nothing but a sinner in need of a savior. My works are a part or result of my regeneration in thankful gratitude for what my wonderful savior has accomplished for me. I am not afraid to trust in my GOD alone because His word has taught me this is the truth through the on going work of the Holy Spirit. The only thing I can say to catholics is to trust in GOD , confess that you are a sinner in need of a savior, repent of your sins and fleshly works in trying to maintain your own salvation and accept Christ as the scriptures state. He is the way, the truth, and the life. It is a supernatural truth that takes man totally out of the picture and allows GOD to be GOD .


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