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Standing Against The Ecumenical Monoculture

Standing Against The Ecumenical Monoculture

Standing Against The Ecumenical Monoculture

Standing Against The Ecumenical Monoculture

God moves in a mysterious way, His wonders to perform; He plants his footsteps in the sea, And rides upon the storm.

Deep in unfathomable mines Of never failing skill He treasures up his bright designs, And works his sovereign will.

Ye fearful saints fresh courage take, The clouds ye so much dread Are big with mercy, and shall break In blessings on your head.

Judge not the LORD by feeble sense, But trust him for his grace; Behind a frowning providence, He hides a smiling face.

His purposes will ripen fast, Unfolding every hour; The bud may have a bitter taste, But sweet will be the flow’r.

Blind unbelief is sure to err, And scan his work in vain; GOD is his own interpreter, And he will make it plain.

--William Cowper

Tuesday, March 21, 2006

 

Mark Cahill Exhorts us to Contend for the Faith

Although I have only met Mark a couple times I consider him one of my friends; because his ministry has had a profound impact on my life and with his busy schedule he still finds time to answer all of my e-mails. I have pasted his March 2006 Newsletter below because it specifically addresses what I hope this blog stands for and it fits right in with a discussion that we have been having at Marvelous Light (see discussion here). Mark speaks everywhere on evangelism, has written some of my favorite books on the subject, and he lives to evangelize. Micah Millican and I picked him up from the Lexington airport once, to take him to the state FCA convention, and everyone on his flight came up, shook his hand, and thanked him for talking to them on the flight and giving them a copy of his book. On top of that, it took us forever to get him out of the airport, as he would not leave until everyone received a tract; he lives for the Gospel. I would recommend that everyone who reads this go to http://www.markcahill.org/, buy his books, and listen to his sermons.

March 2006 Newsletter

"Beloved, when I gave all diligence to write unto you of the common salvation, it was needful for me to write unto you, and exhort you that ye shouldearnestly contend for the faith which was once delivered unto the saints.
For there are certain men crept in unawares, who were beforeof old ordained to this condemnation, ungodly men, turning the grace of our God into lasciviousness, and denying the only Lord God, and our Lord Jesus Christ."
Jude 3, 4

CONTEND

I expect Hollywood to lie to me. I expect college professors to lie to me. I expect some people in government to twist the truth into lies. I expect popular magazines to distort the truth. I expect evil dictators like Adolf Hitler, Fidel Castro and Joseph Stalin to spew untruth when they open their mouths.

So, why shouldn’t I look at so-called “religious” people and expect the same thing? The Bible commands us to be very careful of wolves in sheep’s clothing—to be very careful of certain men who will creep into the church and teach ungodly things. But it seems like I always tend to give religious people a free pass, when the Bible tells me to do just the opposite. Why? Because it is often so hard to tell the difference between true and false Christians. The closer someone walks to the line of righteousness, the harder it is to tell that person apart from someone who is truly righteous (a true Christian). It’s sort of like this—someone can walk down the street all dressed up like a basketball player, but I would never know if he was one until I saw him try to take the ball to the hoop. I would need more information than just the outward appearance to come to the right conclusion. Too many times we accept religious people at face value, when we really need more information to come to the right conclusion.

I was speaking at an event recently, and I made a comment about something that was written in the will of Pope John Paul II. There were some Catholic kids and adults at the event who didn’t take too kindly to what I said. They emailed me and said that we should be all about unity, and why can’t we just unite under the same umbrella? Well at first that sounds good, but perhaps I need more information in order to draw the right conclusion about this unity umbrella. Wouldn’t you agree?

Roman Catholicism and Protestant Christianity are two faiths with some very distinct differences. The protestant reformation began when a Roman Catholic scholar, Martin Luther, protested what the Vatican was teaching. He had three main concerns.First, the Catholic Church was denying the idea of Scripture alone being the sole authority in the church. They had elevated some of the traditions of men to the same level as Scripture, which contradicts the clear teaching of the Bible.

2 Timothy 3:16-17 says,

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

Clearly, Scripture is the final authority on all things.

Traditions of men cannot be on the same level as Scripture, but at the council of Trent in 1545, the Roman Catholic Church decided that tradition was equal in authority to Scripture. The council’s decision reversed what had been accepted for over 1,500 years—that Scripture alone was the sole authority.

What were some of the traditions being held up by the church? They included: the church built upon Peter as the first pope; purgatory; prayers to Mary and other dead saints to mediate on our behalf; kneeling and praying before statues and images; confession to a priest for absolution of sins; the necessity of mass and sacraments for salvation; salvation only through the Roman Catholic Church; the Eucharist by transubstantiation literally becoming the body and blood of Jesus; the selling of indulgences; veneration and worship of Mary; the rosary; immaculate conception of Mary; sinlessness of Mary. There is no biblical backing for any of these traditions.

Mark 7:1-9 says,

"Then came together unto him the Pharisees, and certain of the scribes, which came from Jerusalem. And when they saw some of his disciples eat bread with defiled, that is to say, with unwashen, hands, they found fault. For the Pharisees, and all the Jews, except they wash their hands oft, eat not, holding the tradition of the elders. And when they come from the market, except they wash, they eat not. And many other things there be, which they have received to hold, as the washing of cups, and pots, brasen vessels, and of tables. Then the Pharisees and scribes asked him, ‘Why walk not thy disciples according to the tradition of the elders, but eat bread with unwashen hands?’ He answered and said unto them, ‘Well hath Esaias prophesied of you hypocrites, as it is written, This people honoureth me with their lips, but their heart is far from me. Howbeit in vain do they worship me, teaching for doctrines the commandments of men. For laying aside the commandment of God, ye hold the tradition of men, as the washing of pots and cups: and many other such like things ye do.’ And he said unto them, ‘Full well ye reject the commandment of God, that ye may keep your own tradition.’"

These traditions of men are contrary to the teachings of God. So what will it be—Scripture or tradition? It’s your choice.

Luther’s second concern was the Catholic Church’s denial that Christ alone is the head of the church. But Christ is the head of the church and the only one that can save us from our sins. In Roman Catholicism the pope is the head of the church, the vicar of Christ. He is also viewed as being infallible in his teachings. Since Luther’s time, the Catholic Church has even elevated Mary to the place of Christ, according to the new Catholic Catechism, published in English in 1995. She is referred to as advocate, mediator, and redeemer by the Catholic Church.

1 John 2:1,2 says,

"My little children, these things write I unto you, that ye sin not. And if any man sin, we have an advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous: And he is the propitiation for our sins: and not for ours only, but also for the sins of the whole world."

1 Timothy 2:5 says,

"For there is one God, and one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus."

Finally, the third concern that Luther had was the Catholic Church’s view of salvation. They rejected salvation by faith alone, but rather said that salvation is by faith plus works. Also, according to Catholic teaching, purgatory is a place for the purification of sins, even though the Bible doesn’t even hint that such a place exists (the council of Florence made purgatory official in 1438). Alms were given and indulgences were purchased for the dead, in hopes that such efforts would lessen a loved one’s time in purgatory. Again, the only problem is that purgatory is not taught in the Bible. If purgatory is real, then Christ’s death is insufficient for the forgiveness of sins. And that flies in the face of clear biblical teaching. But remember, if Scripture is not the sole authority, then it really doesn’t matter what the Bible says, because it can always be trumped by the teachings and traditions of men.

1 John 1:7 says,

"But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship one with another, and the blood of Jesus Christ his Son cleanseth us from all sin."

If all of my sin is cleansed by the blood of Jesus, there is no need for purgatory (even if it did exist!).

Hebrews 10:18 says,

"Now where remission of these is, there is no more offering for sin."

Nothing else can wash away our sins but the blood of Jesus. Nothing. There is no good deed that I can do to erase any sin I have ever committed. Only my faith in Jesus Christ can do that.Please make it a point to read the new Catholic Catechism of 1995. You will be amazed at what you read.

Ephesians 2:8-9 says,

"For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: Not of works, lest any man should boast."

John 14:6 says,

"Jesus saith unto him, ‘I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.’"

In 1994 there was a document signed by several evangelical and Catholic leaders called The Evangelicals and Catholics Together Document. It was a commitment by both parties to lay aside doctrinal differences and to go forward in unity fighting for social reform. Brothers and sisters in Christ, we cannot put aside our doctrinal differences just for the sake of unity. We must stand up for the truth and earnestly contend for the faith, just like the book of Jude says. We cannot compromise on truth, even if people call us “narrow-minded.” Truth is narrow.If I told you that 2+2 = 5, and you told me I was wrong, should I say that you are narrow-minded? No. I should say, “You’re right! And I’m wrong!” In the same way, the truth about Jesus Christ and salvation is very narrow, and we cannot compromise on that just so that we can all huddle together under the umbrella of unity. How can truth unify with error? Not everyone can be under the same umbrella. There’s a right umbrella and a wrong umbrella. Which one do you want to be under?You cannot go to heaven by being Roman Catholic. You cannot go to heaven by being a Baptist. You cannot go to heaven by being a Presbyterian, a Methodist, an Episcopal or a Charismatic. You cannot go to heaven by being a Muslim. You cannot go to heaven by being a Hindu. You cannot go to heaven by being a Buddhist. According to Jesus, who is the Truth, the only way you can go to heaven is by being born again, trusting in Jesus Christ alone for your salvation.

John 3:3 says,

"Jesus answered and said unto him, ‘Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God.’”

Until the nets are full,

Mark

P.S. I just received an email from some people who are witnessing in Florida. They gave the book One Heartbeat Away to an atheist. He became a Christian after reading it. They gave the book to an evolutionist. He became a creationist after reading it. Praise be to God!

85 Comments:

Anonymous Doug Poindexter said...

"All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness: That the man of God may be perfect, thoroughly furnished unto all good works." Clearly, Scripture is the final authority on all things.
Clearly not; I think your using this verse to prove sola scriptura is a good example of someone forcing their interpretation on the text rather than drawing their interpretation based on what the text actually says.
First of all, when St. Paul is writing this he is referring to the Old Testament; the New Testament as we know it didn't yet exist. In verse 15 he is writing to Timothy, "from childhood you have been acquainted with the Sacred Writings which are able to instruct you for salvation through faith in Christ Jesus."; he is referring to the Old Testament. I don't suppose you want to argue that the Old Testament is our sole rule of faith?
In verse 16, he uses the word "profitable" (or "useful") in describing Scripture. He does not say Scripture is "self-sufficient" or "all we need".
St. Paul continues in the next verse, "that the man of God may be complete, equipped for every good work." "Complete", sometime translated as "perfect", cannot be taken to mean the "only necessary item". If this were so, it would result in a Biblical contradition, for St. James wrote that steadfastness makes one "perfect and complete, lacking in nothing" (James 1:4)

11:53 AM  
Anonymous Doug Poindexter said...

You made the claim that "at the council of Trent in 1545, the Roman Catholic Church decided that tradition was equal in authority to Scripture. The council’s decision reversed what had been accepted for over 1,500 years—that Scripture alone was the sole authority." You might want to check your history! In fact, the doctrine of sola scriptura was unheard of before Luther and I challenge you to prove that it was; it is a novel doctrine. I don't even know where to begin refuting your claim because it is so baseless. The fact that every church that broke away from the Catholic Church prior to the Reformation (such as the Eastern Orthodox, Coptics, Ethiopians, Nestorians, etc, all of these broke away from the Catholic Church centuries before the Reformation) do not believe in Sola Scriptura or Sola Fide, and accept such things as all seven sacraments, transubstantiation, absolution of sins by a priest, baptism as being necessary for salvation, apostolic succession of bishops, hierarchy of bishops, priests, and deacons, prayers for the dead, intercession of saints and the Virgin Mary, veneration of images, the seven books of Scripture that Luther threw out, etc., attest that these were all universally held beliefs prior to the Reformation.
You made many claims in your post and it will take a long time to address them all. I would like to come back to them and address them but don't have time at the moment.
God bless.

12:09 PM  
Anonymous P. Chase Sears said...

I don't have much time to argue about this. But as I recall, Doug, I emailed you about this specific text and you never emailed me back. You are right about Paul referring to the Old Testament, however, what about Peter calling Pauls writings scripture? Also, what do you do with PS 119 that is a whole exhortation of the Word of God. Specifically the phrase "the Law of the Lord is perfect converthing the soul.
Lastly, a question I have for you. What is the Gospel? How does a person go to heaven? I am very curious about your catholic view.

3:02 PM  
Blogger Daniel said...

Mark,

I used to be a hardcore evangelical Protestant. I used to try to talk my Catholic mother out of the Church, because I feared that she was headed to hell for being Catholic. I watched videos and read books that all "proved" how unbiblical the Catholic faith was. Then something happened: I started to become disillusioned with the blatant contradictions in protestant doctrine. No matter how hard I tried, I couldn't reconcile things such as sola scriptura, once saved always saved, communion as a memorial only, faith alone, etc etc with Scripture. Indeed, the more I read the Bible, the more I realized how Catholic it sounded! I began an intense study of the early Church, and came to the conclusion that the only 2 churches that could possibly be the early church today was either the Orthodox or Roman Catholic. And, considering the Orthodox don't make much of the Great Commission (ever heard of an Orthodox evangelizing? I havent!), and given the endless division and doctrinal disunity of the Orthodox, and the historical fact that they broke away from Rome, I knew the Catholic Church had to be the one true Church of Christ-- the Church that Christ promised would be around until the end of time, as a city on a hill, visible for all to see (as opposed to some invisible church made up of all true believers in every denomination).

Anyhow, the reason I mention my background is because I used to have the exact same objections as you. The problem is, these objections cannot be answered by blog posts. It is your responsibility to look into the claims of the Catholic Church for yourself. We're happy to guide you, of course, but you cannot expect us to refute all of your claims for you and do all the research for you, if you're not willing to give the Catholic Church a fair chance. Given that a Church exists, which is 2,000 years old (this is simply history, that any secular historian would confirm) that is claiming to the Church founded by Christ, means that you have a moral responsibility to investigate this Church. There have been literally hundreds-- most likely thousands-- of books written that explain all of your concerns about the Church. I'd say a good place to start is with the Catechism. Let the Church speak for herself. Read it from beginning to end-- don't just pull random paragraphs out from websites, etc. Buy it and read it. All of it. That will answer many of your questions. Then, I would highly recommend buying a secular, historical book of early Christian writings. I promise you you'll be blown away by what you discover. Did the earliest Christians-- the disciples of the Apostles-- view communion as simply bread and wine? Hardly! Read and see for yourself.
Finally, there are more books than you can count that explain why Catholics believe what we do, and how it's rooted in Scripture. And, as Doug said, a good look at history might help as well. It seems you're making outrageous claims without the slightest bit of reality to back you up (for example, that Trent overturned 1500 years of church teaching when it defined Tradition on the same level as Scripture).

Again, I'm more than happy to answer your questions. My only point is that you need to meet us halfway.

PS. I agree totally with you that we cannot compromise Truth for unity. There is no unity without Truth. The ECT document was one of the most imprudent things ever printed. Fortunately, it has no doctrinal weight, neither in Catholic nor in Protestant circles, as it was an article published in an independent journal.

God bless.

3:44 PM  
Anonymous Doug Poindexter said...

Chase,
I did compose an email response a while back, but as I recall, when I tried to send it, I had spent so much time composing the email that when I tried to send it it made me login again. I thought it was sent anyway at first but since you never replied I assumed it never sent in the first place (which is apparently what happened) and just never got around to composing a new response. My apologies.
You asked: What do you do with PS 119 that is a whole exhortation of the Word of God. Specifically the phrase "the Law of the Lord is perfect converthing the soul.
My question to you is, why do you automatically assume that the "Word of God" only refers to the written Word of God?
On how to be saved . . . I can't reduce salvation to a simple formula like Protestants do. Nor do Catholics think of salvation as an "event"; I cannot say "I am saved", but I can say, "I have been saved" (Rm 8:24), "I am being saved" (1 Cor 1:18; 2 Cor 2:15; Phil 2:12; 1 Pet 1:9), and "I will be saved" (Acts 15:11; Rom 5:9-10; Rom 13:11; 1 Cor 3:15; 1 Cor 5:5; Heb 9:28).
Faith, without which it is impossible to please God, is necessary for salvation. It is the first step. The Athanasian Creed, which was written in the 4th century, states, Whosoever will be saved, before all things it is necessary that he hold the Catholic faith. Which faith except every one do keep whole and undefiled, without doubt he shall perish everlastingly. (A summary of what the Catholic faith is can be found in the Apostles' and Nicene Creeds).
Baptism is also necessary for salvation, ordinarily (1 Pet 3:21; Acts 22:16; 2:38; Titus 3:5), for in baptism God uses the instrument of water to cleanse us of all sin, original and actual,and apply the merits of Christ to us, and restore us to communion with God; we are "born again" (Jn 3:5).
Funny how Protestants always quote Ephesians 2:8-9 without quoting verse 10: For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them. Perseverance in good works to the very end is also necessary for salvation (Neh. 13:14, Psalm 11:7,28:4, Isa. 3:10, 59:18, Jer. 25:14, 50:29, Ezek. 9:10, 11:21, 36:19, Hos. 4:9, 9:15, 12:2; 1 Cor. 3:15; Matt. 7:1-3; 10:22, 24:13; Mark 13:13; 16:27; 25:31-46; Rom. 2:6-10, 13; 2 Cor. 5:10; 2 Cor. 11:15). Catholics do not believe that Christ's righteousness is merely imputed, but that it is infused in us, so that we are conformed to the image of Christ and by His sanctifying grace we can perform good works; since we rely on his grace to do this, they are not our own works which save us. I think it is so obvious in Scripture that salvation is by faith, but not by faith alone; the only time the term "faith alone" appears in Scripture is James 2:24: You see that a man is justified by works and not by faith alone. You can grasp for straws and try to explain this away but it is only because you're trying to force your belief on the text and make it say something it does not.
He must participate in the Sacrament of the Eucharist, for "Unless you eat the flesh of the Son of man and drink his blood, you have no life in you; he who eats my flesh and drinks my blood has eternal life, and I will raise him up at the last day. For my flesh is food indeed, and my blood is drink indeed. He who eats my flesh and drinks my blood abides in me, and I in him." (John 6:53ff) Serious sin after baptism is forgiven in the sacrament of penance (John 20:21-23; James 5:14-16; Acts 19:18; 1 John 1:9; notice also that there is a distinction between mortal and venial sins-- 1 John 5:16-17; Luke 12:47-48).
I hope this helps.

5:39 PM  
Anonymous Doug Poindexter said...

P.S.
Chase, Peter does indeed call Paul's writings scripture. However, this still does not account for books that weren't written by Paul or that weren't written by an apostle at all, and books that we don't know the authorship of. R.C. Sproul, whom I'm sure you are familiar with, said that the Bible is a "fallible canon of infallible books"! I disagree; the Bible is an infallible canon of infallible, divinely-inspired books; however, the Bible is not self-authenticating. We have an infallible witness to attest to the authenticity of Scripture--the Catholic Church.
Luther threw out books of Scripture on a whim; he succeeded in throwing out seven books of the Old Testament but, thankfully, didn't end up throwing out books like Hebrews, James, Revelation, etc. like he originally wanted to; so he used his private judgment to determine what books belong in the Bible and what books don't! He referred to James as an "epistle of straw with no character of the gospel in it." LOL . . . I wonder why. By "gospel" he meant, of course, HIS gospel.
P.P.S.
By the way, Scripture says that faith itself IS a work (John 6:28-29).

5:51 PM  
Blogger Pio Francis said...

+JMJ

Two quick commens before I go to work. I'll respond more later.

1: Please make it a point to read the new Catholic Catechism of 1995. You will be amazed at what you read.

Amen. Thank you, Mr Cahill.

2: You cannot go to heaven by being Roman Catholic. You cannot go to heaven by being a Baptist. You cannot go to heaven by being a Presbyterian, a Methodist, an Episcopal or a Charismatic. You cannot go to heaven by being a Muslim. You cannot go to heaven by being a Hindu. You cannot go to heaven by being a Buddhist. According to Jesus, who is the Truth, the only way you can go to heaven is by being born again, trusting in Jesus Christ alone for your salvation.

Is he saying you can only get into heaven by being "non-denominational"?

11:05 AM  
Blogger Pio Francis said...

+JMJ

Actually, before I go, I'd quickly like to plug my own blog. A few days ago I posted a bit on the doctrine of sola gratia and Church teaching. Often people think that the Catholic emphasis on works conflicts with sola gratia, but this is incorrect. Works only conflict with sola fide. Check out the post (it might save some time here):
http://somethingcatholic.blogspot.com/2006/03/is-sola-gratia-compatible-with.html

11:11 AM  
Blogger Keith Walters said...

What leads you to believe that in Matthew 16 Christ is referring to Peter as the foundation of the church?

Peter (Petros) references a rock or stone while the rock (petra upon which Christ will build the church refers to a large mass of rock a foundational bed rock. If Peter was the foundation of the church then why in Acts 4 does he speak of Christ as being the foundation of the church? Also, Peter never went to Rome so the basis of the "vicar of Christ" as being in Rome is baseless as well. How do you reconcile these things?

9:42 PM  
Anonymous Doug Poindexter said...

You asked:What leads you to believe that in Matthew 16 Christ is referring to Peter as the foundation of the church? My answer:
Because the foundation of the Petrine primacy is one is one that Jesus Christ Himself has laid and this is what the Catholic Church has always held since she was founded in 33 A.D. Why would I deny what the Church has always believed and instead believe some man (Luther) who came along 1,500+ years later? St. Paul warned in his epistle to the Galatians, "If any one preach to you a gospel, besides that which you have received, let him be anathema. I'll stick with the "faith that was once delivered unto the saints", thank you very much, and the Church which Scripture calls "the pillar and ground of the truth" [1 Tim. 3:15]; knowing that if a man "refuses to listen even to the Church, let him be to you as the heathen and publican." [Mt 18:17] That said, just like practically every other Catholic doctrine, there is ample historical evidence that the Petrine primacy was held by Christians from the very first centuries of Christianity; it's also a historical fact that Peter did become the bishop of Rome and he was martyred there; there is also scriptural evidence for this as I will show later.
For example, in 240 A.D. Tertullian wrote:
"[T]he Lord said to Peter, ‘On this rock I will build my Church, I have given you the keys of the kingdom of heaven [and] whatever you shall have bound or loosed on earth will be bound or loosed in heaven’ [Matt. 16:18–19]. . . . Upon you, he says, I will build my Church; and I will give to you the keys, not to the Church" (Modesty 21:9–10)
In 251 A.D., Cyprian of Carthage wrote: "The Lord says to Peter: ‘I say to you,’ he says, ‘that you are Peter, and upon this rock I will build my Church.’ . . . On him [Peter] he builds the Church, and to him he gives the command to feed the sheep [John 21:17], and although he assigns a like power to all the apostles, yet he founded a single chair [cathedra], and he established by his own authority a source and an intrinsic reason for that unity. Indeed, the others were that also which Peter was [i.e., apostles], but a primacy is given to Peter, whereby it is made clear that there is but one Church and one chair. So too, all [the apostles] are shepherds, and the flock is shown to be one, fed by all the apostles in single-minded accord. If someone does not hold fast to this unity of Peter, can he imagine that he still holds the faith? If he [should] desert the chair of Peter upon whom the Church was built, can he still be confident that he is in the Church?" (The Unity of the Catholic Church 4; 1st edition)
In A.D. 379 Ambrose of Milan wrote:
"[Christ] made answer: ‘You are Peter, and upon this rock will I build my Church. . . .’ Could he not, then, strengthen the faith of the man to whom, acting on his own authority, he gave the kingdom, whom he called the rock, thereby declaring him to be the foundation of the Church [Matt. 16:18]?" (The Faith 4:5)
In A.D. 382 Pope Damascus I said:
"Likewise it is decreed . . . that it ought to be announced that . . . the holy Roman Church has been placed at the forefront not by the conciliar decisions of other churches, but has received the primacy by the evangelic voice of our Lord and Savior, who says: ‘You are Peter, and upon this rock I will build my Church, and the gates of hell will not prevail against it; and I will give to you the keys of the kingdom of heaven . . . ’ [Matt. 16:18–19]. The first see, therefore, is that of Peter the apostle, that of the Roman Church, which has neither stain nor blemish nor anything like it" (Decree of Damasus 3)
Jerome, in A.D. 396 wrote: "Simon Peter, the son of John, from the village of Bethsaida in the province of Galilee, brother of Andrew the apostle, and himself chief of the apostles, after having been bishop of the church of Antioch and having preached to the Dispersion . . . pushed on to Rome in the second year of Claudius to overthrow Simon Magus, and held the sacerdotal chair there for twenty-five years until the last, that is the fourteenth, year of Nero. At his hands he received the crown of martyrdom being nailed to the cross with his head towards the ground and his feet raised on high, asserting that he was unworthy to be crucified in the same manner as his Lord" (Lives of Illustrious Men 1)
And here is something that was recorded from the Council of Ephesus in A.D. 431: "Philip, the presbyter and legate of the Apostolic See [Rome] said: ‘There is no doubt, and in fact it has been known in all ages, that the holy and most blessed Peter, prince and head of the apostles, pillar of the faith, and foundation of the Catholic Church, received the keys of the kingdom from our Lord Jesus Christ, the Savior and Redeemer of the human race, and that to him was given the power of loosing and binding sins: who down even to today and forever both lives and judges in his successors’"(Acts of the Council, session 3).
There are many, many other examples but I think you get the point. And I think these men would have had a better grasp on New Testament Greek than you, wouldn't you say?
Now, I admit I do not know Greek, but I know that Greek scholars admit that "petra" and "petros" were synonyms in first century Koine Greek. The differences between "petra" and "petros" are found in some ancient Greek poetry in another dialect of Greek, but in the Koine Greek dialect the New Testament was written in, "petra" and "petros" were synonyms. If Jesus had called Peter a "small stone", St. Matthew would have used another word, the Greek word "lithos."
Now, you're also forgetting that Jesus would have been speaking Aramaic, not Greek. Peter in Aramaic is "Kepha" (or "Cephas"), which does in fact mean Rock [John 1:42; 1 Cor 1:12; 1 Cor. 9:5] Speaking Aramaic, Jesus would have actually said: "You are Kepha [rock] and upon this kepha [rock] I will build my Church."
In his gospel, though, St. Matthew had to use "petros" and "petra" because in Greek, unlike Aramaic, nouns have different gender endings--neuter, masculine, feminine. "Petra" is feminine; Matthew could use it in the second part of 16:18, but not in the first part, because it's feminine, and you can't give a man a feminine name. So Matthew changed the ending of the noun to be masculine--"Petros".
Besides that, to claim that Jesus was calling Peter a "pebble" or "small stone" takes the passage completely out of context and doesn't agree with the structure of the narrative. Let's take a close look at this passage. Notice in the first part, in verse 17, Jesus is giving Simon a blessing: Blessed are you, Simon Bar-Jona! For flesh and blood has not revealed this to you, but my Father who is in heaven. And in the last part: I will give you the keys of the kingdom of heaven, and whatever you bind on earth shall be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven. Now think about how this verse looks if we accept the Protestant claim that Jesus is calling Peter a mere "pebble"; it just doesn't fit with the structure of the narrative. It would look like this: Blessed are you, Simon son of Jonas! For flesh and blood has not revealed this to you, but my Father who is in heaven. And I tell you, you are just a little pebble, and on this Rock I will build my Church . . . and I will give you the keys of the kingdom of heaven . . ." Do you see what I mean?
In actuality, though, Jesus is bestowing upon Simon a triple blessing and setting him up as the chief steward of His household, the Church. In Israel, a king set up a prime minister to rule under him and have authority over the whole kingdom; here Jesus is alluding to something in the 22nd chapter of Isaiah, beginning from verse 29: In that day I will call my servant Eliakim the son of Hilkiah, and I will clothe him with your robe, and will bind your belt on him, and will commit your authority to his hand; and he shall be a father to the inhabitants of Jerusalem and to the house of Judah [Pope means "papa", or father, by the way]. And I will place on his shoulder the key of the house of David; he shall open, and none shall shut; and he shall shut, and none shall open. [compare Is 22:22 and Mt 16:19; it's almost a direct quote. This is clearly what Our Lord had in mind; Jesus Christ the King was appointing Peter to be his chief steward, His prime minister, His "Vicar", if you please, to serve under Him as His representative on earth and have authority as pastor over the whole flock of God. The authority of the prime minister was passed from one man to another by giving of the keys; these were worn on the shoulder as a sign of his authority (Is 22:22)--likewise, the authority of Peter is passed down through ages to his successors, the bishops of Rome.
Please read John 21, beginning from verse 15.


You asked: If Peter was the foundation of the church then why in Acts 4 does he speak of Christ as being the foundation of the church? Jesus Christ IS the ultimate foundation of His Church, as He is her builder; Jesus built His Church on the foundation of Peter and the rest of the apostles. In Acts 4:11, Peter said that Christ is "the stone which was rejected by you builders, but which has become the cornerstone." In Ephesians 2:20, Paul says that the Church is "built on upon the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Christ Jesus Himself being the cornerstone." So here Paul says that the foundation of the Church is the apostles (Peter being the "prince of the apostles) and prophets, and Jesus Christ Himself is the chief cornerstone. If you have a problem with the Catholic Church saying that Jesus built His Church on Peter, then you also have a problem with the Apostle Paul.


You said: Also, Peter never went to Rome so the basis of the "vicar of Christ" as being in Rome is baseless as well. How do you reconcile these things?
On the contrary, your claim that Peter was never in Rome is baseless; how do you reconcile it with what we know from historical and archaeological evidence?
Now, it is true that the Scripture never explicitly states that Peter was in Rome; it also never says that he was not in Rome. It does give us a clue, however, that he was. In the greeting at the end of his epistle, Peter writes, "The church which is at Babylon, chosen together with you, greets you, and so does my son Mark." [1 Peter 5:13]
Peter was using "Babylon" figuratively to refer to Rome. He was not referring to the actual city of Babylon, the ancient capital of the Babylonian empire, as the once great city of Babylon had been reduced to a village by the time Peter was writing this and no longer played any role in history. "Babylon" was used to figuratively represent Rome because pagan Rome was as full of iniquity as ancient Babylon had been. (Consider Rev 14:8; 16:9; 17:5; 18:2; 18:10; 18:21 --these refer to the fall of the pagan Roman Empire. The apostles sometimes referred to cities using symbolic names--Rev 11:8) Peter did not want to advertise the Church's presence in Rome because if his epistle fell into the wrong hands it would cause more persecution against the Christians in Rome; so he used a code name--Babylon.

Besides this piece of evidence from scripture, it is evident from history that Peter was the leader of the Church in Rome and was martyred there!
Here are a few examples again:

“It is said that Peter’s first epistle, in which he makes mention of Mark, was composed at Rome itself; and that he himself indicates this, referring to the city figuratively as Babylon.” (Eusebius Pamphilius, The Chronicle, A.D. 303)

"Not as Peter and Paul did, do I command you [Romans]. They were apostles, and I am a convict." (Ignatius of Antioch, Letter to the Romans 4:3 [A.D. 110])

"You [Pope Soter] have also, by your very admonition, brought together the planting that was made by Peter and Paul at Rome and at Corinth; for both of them alike planted in our Corinth and taught us; and both alike, teaching similarly in Italy, suffered martyrdom at the same time" (Dionysius of Corinth, Letter to Pope Soter [A.D. 170], in Eusebius, History of the Church 2:25:8)

"Matthew also issued among the Hebrews a written Gospel in their own language, while Peter and Paul were evangelizing in Rome and laying the foundation of the Church"
(Irenaeus, Against Heresies, 3, 1:1 [A.D. 189])

"But since it would be too long to enumerate in such a volume as this the succession of all the churches, we shall confound all those who, in whatever manner, whether through self-satisfaction or vainglory, or through blindness and wicked opinion, assemble other than where it is proper, by pointing out here the succession of the bishops of the greatest and most ancient church known to all, founded and organized at Rome by the two most glorious apostles, Peter and Paul, that church which has the tradition and the faith which comes down to us after having been announced to men by the apostles. With that church [of Rome], because of its superior origin, all the churches must agree, that is, all the faithful in the whole world, and it is in her that the faithful everywhere have maintained the apostolic tradition" (Irenaeus, ibid., 3, 3, 2)

"The blessed apostles [Peter and Paul], having founded and built up the church [of Rome], they handed over the office of the episcopate to Linus. Paul makes mention of this Linus in the letter to Timothy [2 Tim. 4:21]. To him succeeded Anacletus, and after him, in the third place from the apostles, Clement was chosen for the episcopate. He had seen the blessed apostles and was acquainted with them. It might be said that he still heard the echoes of the preaching of the apostles and had their traditions before his eyes. And not only he, for there were many still remaining who had been instructed by the apostles. In the time of Clement, no small dissension having arisen among the brethren in Corinth, the church in Rome sent a very strong letter to the Corinthians, exhorting them to peace and renewing their faith. ... To this Clement, Evaristus succeeded . . . and now, in the twelfth place after the apostles, the lot of the episcopate [of Rome] has fallen to Eleutherius. In this order, and by the teaching of the apostles handed down in the Church, the preaching of the truth has come down to us"
(Irenaeus, ibid., 3, 3, 3)

"It is recorded that Paul was beheaded in Rome itself, and Peter, likewise, was crucified, during the reign [of the Emperor Nero]. The account is confirmed by the names of Peter and Paul over the cemeteries there, which remain to the present time. And it is confirmed also by a stalwart man of the Church, Gaius by name, who lived in the time of Zephyrinus, bishop of Rome. This Gaius, in a written disputation with Proclus, the leader of the sect of Cataphrygians, says this of the places in which the remains of the aforementioned apostles were deposited: ‘I can point out the trophies of the apostles. For if you are willing to go to the Vatican or to the Ostian Way, you will find the trophies of those who founded this Church’" (Gaius, Disputation with Proclus [A.D. 198] in Eusebius, Church History 2:25:5)

"The circumstances which occasioned . . . [the writing] of Mark were these: When Peter preached the Word publicly at Rome and declared the gospel by the Spirit, many who were present requested that Mark, who had been a long time his follower and who remembered his sayings, should write down what had been proclaimed" (Clement of Alexandria, Sketches [A.D. 200], in a fragment from Eusebius, History of the Church, 6, 14:1)

"But if you are near Italy, you have Rome, where authority is at hand for us too. What a happy church that is, on which the apostles poured out their whole doctrine with their blood; where Peter had a passion like that of the Lord, where Paul was crowned with the death of John [the Baptist, by being beheaded]" (Tertullian, Demurrer Against the Heretics 36 [A.D. 200])

"[T]his is the way in which the apostolic churches transmit their lists: like the church of the Smyrneans, which records that Polycarp was placed there by John, like the church of the Romans, where Clement was ordained by Peter" (Tertullian, ibid., 32:2)

"Let us see what milk the Corinthians drained from Paul; against what standard the Galatians were measured for correction; what the Philippians, Thessalonians, and Ephesians read; what even the nearby Romans sound forth, to whom both Peter and Paul bequeathed the gospel and even sealed it with their blood" (Tertullian, Against Marcion 4, 5:1 [A.D. 210])

"Victor . . . was the thirteenth bishop of Rome from Peter" (The Little Labyrinth [A.D. 211], in Eusebius, Church History 5:28:3)

"In this chair in which he himself had sat, Peter in mighty Rome commanded Linus, the first elected, to sit down. After him, Cletus too accepted the flock of the fold. As his successor, Anacletus was elected by lot. Clement follows him, well-known to apostolic men. After him Evaristus ruled the flock without crime. Alexander, sixth in succession, commends the fold to Sixtus. After his illustrious times were completed, he passed it on to Telesphorus. He was excellent, a faithful martyr . . . "
(Poem Against the Marcionites 276–284 [A.D. 267])

"[In the second] year of the two hundredth and fifth Olympiad [A.D. 42]: The apostle Peter, after he has established the church in Antioch, is sent to Rome, where he remains as a bishop of that city, preaching the gospel for twenty-five years."
(Eusebius of Caesarea, The Chronicle [A.D. 303])

"Peter, the first chosen of the apostles, having been apprehended often and thrown into prison and treated with ignominy, at last was crucified in Rome" (Peter of Alexandria, Penance, canon 9 [A.D. 306]).

"When Nero was already reigning, Peter came to Rome, where, in virtue of the performance of certain miracles which he worked . . . he converted many to righteousness and established a firm and steadfast temple to God. When this fact was reported to Nero . . . he sprang to the task of tearing down the heavenly temple and of destroying righteousness. It was he that first persecuted the servants of God. Peter he fixed to a cross, and Paul he slew" (Lactantius, The Deaths of the Persecutors 2:5 [A.D. 318])

"[Simon Magus] so deceived the city of Rome that Claudius erected a statue of him. . . .While the error was extending itself, Peter and Paul arrived, a noble pair and the rulers of the Church, and they set the error aright. . . . [T]hey launched the weapon of their like-mindedness in prayer against the Magus, and struck him down to earth. It was marvelous enough, and yet no marvel at all, for Peter was there—he that carries about the keys of heaven. And it was nothing to marvel at, for Paul was there—he that was caught up into the third heaven" (Cyril of Jerusalem, Catechetical Lectures 6:14 [A.D. 350])

"You cannot deny that you are aware that in the city of Rome the episcopal chair was given first to Peter; the chair in which Peter sat, the same who was head—that is why he is also called Cephas [‘Rock’]—of all the apostles; the one chair in which unity is maintained by all" (Opatus, The Schism of the Donatists 2:2 [A.D. 367])

"At Rome the first apostles and bishops were Peter and Paul, then Linus, then Cletus, then Clement, the contemporary of Peter and Paul" (Epiphanius of Salamis, Medicine Chest Against All Heresies 27:6 [A.D. 375])

"Simon Peter, the son of John, from the village of Bethsaida in the province of Galilee, brother of Andrew the apostle, and himself chief of the apostles, after having been bishop of the church of Antioch and having preached to the Dispersion . . . pushed on to Rome in the second year of Claudius to overthrow Simon Magus, and held the sacerdotal chair there for twenty-five years until the last, that is the fourteenth, year of Nero. At his hands he received the crown of martyrdom being nailed to the cross with his head towards the ground and his feet raised on high, asserting that he was unworthy to be crucified in the same manner as his Lord" (Jerome, Lives of Illustrious Men 1 [A.D. 396])

"If all men throughout the world were such as you most vainly accuse them of having been, what has the chair of the Roman church done to you, in which Peter sat, and in which Anastasius sits today?"
(Augustine, Against the Letters of Petilani 2:118 [A.D. 402])


The story of Peter's martyrdom in Rome is even recorded in the Protestant Foxe's Book of Martyrs. The proof to back it up is so overwhelming, to deny it is as irrational as if one were to deny that Charlemagne lived in France, or something ridiculous like that. Now I hope you see who's claim is really "baseless"--yours.
I hope this helps!
God bless.

3:44 AM  
Blogger Keith Walters said...

If Peter was the foundation of the church then why in Acts 4:11 does he say, "This Jesus is the stone that was rejected by you, the builders, which has become the cornerstone." If Peter was the corner stone wouldn't he have said, "I am the stone that is being rejected by you, the builders, and I am the corner stone." But Peter did not place himself as the foundation of the church, he placed Christ in that position. Peter, in all of his letters, never place himself in that position.

I know Peter was martyred in Rome, he wrote his letters in a Roman prison.

11:05 AM  
Blogger Keith Walters said...

It is uncertain when and by whom this church was founded. It is supposed that “strangers of Rome” (Acts 2:10), who were present at the great manifestation of the Holy Spirit on the day of Pentecost in 30 a.d., carried back with them the good news and organized the first Christian community.

It was certainly not founded by Peter or by Paul who, in his Epistle to the Romans before he visited the church, speaks of its faith as being well known throughout the whole world (Romans 1:8). Paul also speaks in the same Epistle (Romans 16:7) of dwellers in Rome, “who also were in Christ before me.” This Epistle was written in 58 a.d., from Corinth, and Paul reached Rome in 61 a.d. Had Peter founded the church in Rome or been in the city when Paul wrote Romans, or Luke wrote Acts 28:14–31, the fact would no doubt have been mentioned.

11:14 AM  
Anonymous Doug Poindexter said...

f Peter was the foundation of the church then why in Acts 4:11 does he say, "This Jesus is the stone that was rejected by you, the builders, which has become the cornerstone." If Peter was the corner stone wouldn't he have said, "I am the stone that is being rejected by you, the builders, and I am the corner stone." But Peter did not place himself as the foundation of the church, he placed Christ in that position. Peter, in all of his letters, never place himself in that position.
Did you even read my whole comment? I believe I already answered this question; Christ IS the ultimate foundation of the Church for He is the builder; He built His Church upon Peter: "Thou art Rock, and upon this rock I will built My Church." I have already shown that this could only mean Peter. Paul says that the Church is "built on the foundation of the apotles"; so there you have Paul calling the apostles the "foundation" of the Church. I don't recall ever saying that Peter is the "chief cornerstone" but that he is the "foundation" and "Rock" upon which Christ built His Church.

11:14 AM  
Blogger Keith Walters said...

Also Scripture clearly identifies Christ as the foundation (Acts 4:11-12, I Corinthians 3:11) and head of the church (Ephesians 5:23).

And I love all the research man, I am glad that you atleast take the time to back up your stuff.

11:16 AM  
Anonymous Doug Poindexter said...

t is uncertain when and by whom this church was founded. It is supposed that “strangers of Rome” (Acts 2:10), who were present at the great manifestation of the Holy Spirit on the day of Pentecost in 30 a.d., carried back with them the good news and organized the first Christian community.
Well I already gave you ample evidence from the early Church that Peter was the leader of the Church in Rome. I think people who lived in the 1st, 2nd, 3rd, and 4th centuries A.D. would know it better than you, wouldn't you say?

11:18 AM  
Anonymous Doug Poindexter said...

Catholics DO believe that Jesus Christ is the Head of the Church; otherwise we would not call the Pope "Vicar of Christ", if Christ were not the Head of the Church at all. Remember the example I gave from Isaiah--Jesus Christ is the King, and the Pope acts like His prime minister, or chief steward.
Now I'll bet your Baptist church has a head pastor, right? And he is the head of your church . . . but I bet you also will say that Jesus Christ is the head of your church, too.
Well, same here; Jesus IS the Head of the Catholic Church, the Mystical Body of Christ, and the Pope is the pastor of the universal Church and shepherd of God's flock. To say Jesus is the Head of the Church, and the Pope is the earthly leader and pastor, isn't a mutually exclusive thing, if you understand what we mean by it.

12:31 PM  
Anonymous P. Chase Sears said...

Doug -

Once again I really wish I could discuss all these issues but I truly have no time. I just wanted to correct your quote of R.C. Sproul. He did not say "falliable cannon, infalliable books." Rather he said "Falliable men, infalliable canon (Renewing your mind, March 9, 2006)." If we're going to discuss these issues in a scholarly mannar we must get things right and cite our sources.
This correction doesn't really solve anything...haha. I just thought I'd help this discussion be careful with its assertions.

10:31 PM  
Anonymous Doug Poindexter said...

Once again I really wish I could discuss all these issues but I truly have no time. I just wanted to correct your quote of R.C. Sproul. He did not say "falliable cannon, infalliable books." Rather he said "Falliable men, infalliable canon (Renewing your mind, March 9, 2006)." If we're going to discuss these issues in a scholarly mannar we must get things right and cite our sources.
This correction doesn't really solve anything...haha. I just thought I'd help this discussion be careful with its assertions.


I was mistaken when I said R.C. Sproul said that scripture is a "fallible canon of infallible books." The correct quotation is "fallible collection of infallible books."

12:16 AM  
Anonymous Doug Poindexter said...

The R.C. Sproul quote about the Bible being a "fallible canon of infallible books" can be found in his books,
Essential Truths of the Christian Faith and Sola Scriptura! The Protestant Position on the Bible, I believe.

2:24 AM  
Blogger Daniel said...

Wow,

I hope it's obvious to all readers here that protestant theology hasn't a leg to stand on. Doug gave one of the best defenses of Petrine primacy I've ever seen, and it's not even acknowledged by Keith who originally brought it up. Keith, if you have an ounce of intellectual honesty, you must admit that Doug blows your theory out of the water. You haven't answered any of his evidence, but rather keep repeating the same verses which Doug's already addressed. If you're going to invite people to your blog to discuss these issues, at least be honest and admit when they have much more evidence and a better argument than you. I think I can speak for both Doug and me when I say that we didn't become Catholic for any emotional experience, but rather because objective Truth and historical facts forced us to.

Anyhow, let the debate continue!

8:14 AM  
Blogger Keith Walters said...

Daniel-
I have read Doug's comments and I do not think they answer the question. I am glad to see that he views Christ as the true foundation of the church but the quotation of individuals who view Peter as the foundation of the church does not a foundation make. I could quote loads of Gnostics from the 1st, 2nd, & 3rd centuries their quotes; however, do not prove gnosticism.

I think this does point us toward the true issue. Because of Sola Scriptura I am forced to stand upon Scripture alone in my arguments. Catholics, on the other hand, are free to quote extra-biblical literature as authoritative because of their emphasis placed upon tradition (which sounds like II Timothy 4:3-4)

I fail to see where Doug's argument aligns with the whole of Scripture and I find no evidence that the apostles even acknowledge the position that you are imposing on them.

11:10 AM  
Blogger Keith Walters said...

I agree that the apostles were foundational in building the church (Ephesians 2:20). built on the foundation of the apostles and prophets, with Christ Jesus himself as the chief cornerstone. With the inclusions of the prophets Paul makes it clear that he is not addressing individuals (aka Peter) as the foundation but rather the Word of God which they spoke (aka Scripture). This is also seen in the NT writers' avid quotation of the OT.

I think this issue can also be traced back to Catholicism's institutionalization of the church. The Church is not an institution, it is a living body. you yourselves like living stones are being built up as a spiritual house, to be a holy priesthood, to offer spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God through Jesus Christ. For it stands in Scripture:"Behold, I am laying in Zion a stone, a cornerstone chosen and precious,
and whoever believes in him will not be put to shame." So the honor is for you who believe, but for those who do not believe, "The stone that the builders rejected has become the cornerstone,"
I Peter 2:5-7 The church is made of living stones and Christ is the foundation upon which it is built. The church is not an institution it is a living body actively advancing God's kingdom.

11:27 AM  
Blogger Woody said...

Doug, hey bro, know that I love you and join in this conversation in love. I want to point out a couple of things...one "there is one mediator between God and man, the man Christ Jesus." So I pose the question on how the Pope or a priest can even begin to stand in and forgive sins? Not trying to be a jerk, really never heard the Catholic stance and am interested. Secondly, we must take Scripture in the light of other Scripture, it is called Hermeneutics, so how do you get around Ephesians 2:8-9 that says we are not saved by works. Catholics have no answer for that passage as they point to James and say that works is required, however Protestants answer the question by showing how works is the evidence of genuine faith, expressed by James when he says "show me your faith without works and I will show you my faith through my works." Enjoying the conversation....you guys are really smart.

11:52 AM  
Anonymous Doug Poindexter said...

Keith, before I begin to your latest comment, I need to call you out on something you said earlier. In an earlier comment, you stated:
Peter never went to Rome so the basis of the "vicar of Christ" as being in Rome is baseless as well.
However, in a later comment you contradicted your first comment, saying: I know Peter was martyred in Rome, he wrote his letters in a Roman prison. And it might just be a coincidence, but you made the second comment after I supplied evidence demonstrating Peter WAS in Rome, pastored the Church there, and was martyred there. Does this mean that you have retracted your earlier claim that "Peter never went to Rome so the basis of the 'Vicar of Christ' as being in Rome is baseless as well"?

In order to have a meaningful discussion, I think it's necessary that we are consistent, or at least admit when we have used a "baseless" argument like you did.


I could quote loads of Gnostics from the 1st, 2nd, & 3rd centuries their quotes; however, do not prove gnosticism. LOL . . . well, I think you've basically admitted that the early Christians didn't hold Protestant beliefs! Why is that? If Protestantism is correct (rather, if one of the 33,000+ sects of protestantism is correct), why can't you find a single early Church Father who taught sola fide or sola scriptura, but all of them teach transubstantiation, the necessity of baptism for salvation, the seven sacraments, prayers for the dead, veneration of relics, etc.? No, they don't hold the same authority as Scripture (or Sacred Tradition, or the Magisterium, for that matter) but they still carry a lot of weight, and it proves that the early Church was the Catholic Church! By the way, Protestants also like to quote the Church Fathers . . . except they are very selective about who and what they quote; Calvinists will readily trick themselves into believing their theology is a lot older than it actually is by selectively quoting Augustine, but they try to avoid the fact that Augustine was a Catholic bishop who believed in "Catholic things" like prayers to saints, the necessity of baptism for salvation, the Real Presence of Christ in the Eucharist, purgatory, authority of Tradition, authority of the Pope, etc.
The fact that you use 2 Timothy 4:3-4 ("The time is coming when people will not endure sound teaching, but having itching ears they will accumulate for themselves teachers to suit their own likings, and will turn away from listening to the truth and wander into myths) and apply it to Catholicism completely floors me, because when I read it myself it jumped out at me and I thought, This describes Protestantism!
You see, Keith, the reality is that your final authority is not scripture; your final authority is yourself YOU decide what theology you think is "Biblical" or not. You listen to the preacher YOU think is preaching the Bible, as YOU interpret it. You associate with the church YOU agree most with, until someone realizes that what they think the Bible says conflicts with that you think the Bible says, or what the pastor thinks the Bible says, and then someone goes off to start their own brand-new "Biblical" church. There's a reason that Protestant congregations choose their own pastors . . . so they can make sure the pastor teaches what they want to hear, and when he doesn't, they fire him! Only the Bible you follow isn't the one on ink and paper--it's the one in your head, the theology you've already decided on--the real Bible, the one on ink and paper, you just use for reference material. For example 2 Timothy 3:15,16 says "From childhood you have been acquainted with the Sacred Writings which are able to instruct you for salvation through faith in Christ Jesus. All Scripture is inspired by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness."
Apparently your "mental" Bible says something else though, because somehow you look at the same verse and see this: "From childhood you have been acquainted with the Sacred Writings which are solely sufficient to instruct you for salvation though faith in Christ Jesus. All Scripture, except the those seven books the Catholics added at the Council of Trent is isnpired by God and the only thing needed for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness, that the man of God may be complete, equipped for every good work through Scripture alone." The fact is, Keith, that you, like the people described in 2 Timothy 4:3,4 listen only to the preachers who hold opinions that are akin to yours, and if Pope Martin Luther, Pope John Calvin, or Pope John MacArthur start to preach something disagreeable to your way of thinking, you can can appeal to the highest authority you accept to determine whether or not their teaching is "scriptural"--yourself! Fact is, Keith, YOU ARE YOUR OWN LITTLE POPE AND THE ARBITER OF TRUTH and you, the individual Protestant, end having the final word on the interpretation of scripture.

I think this does point us toward the true issue. Because of Sola Scriptura I am forced to stand upon Scripture alone in my arguments.
That is, you stand on your individual, fallible interpretation of scripture (unless you're willing to claim infallibility for yourself). Keith, there is a huge problem with sola scriptura--it isn't scriptural! The Bible nowhere states that it is the final authority or that everything we need to know comes directly from the Bible. The Bible doesn't even tell us what books belong in the Bible. Luther's theory of sola scriptura (and it is LUTHER's theory, because it was unheard of for the first 1500 years of Christianity before he came along) is self-defeating; it's its own Achille's heel; it claims that Scripture is the only source of doctrine, but Scripture itself never makes the claim! Unlike Catholic Sacred Tradition, which originates with Jesus Christ and the Apostles, sola scriptura really is just a "tradition of men." Scripture tells us to obey tradition (2 Thess. 2:15) and it says that the Church, not Scripture, is the "pillar and foundation of the truth." (1 Tim. 3:15) It is the Church that gave us scripture; the Church does not derive its authority from Scripture! Don't get me wrong; I'm not trying to downplay the importance of Scripture. I love and venerate the Bible as much as any Protestant, if not more so, because I accept the legitimate teaching authority Jesus Christ gave us to be our teacher and interpreter of scripture, the Catholic Church. The Catholic Church loves Scripture, safegaurds and protects it from "the ignorant and unstable who twist the Scriptures to their own destruction." (2 Peter 3:15) Just an interesting tidbit: the Catholic Church follows a cycle of Scripture readings and a large portion of Scripture is read at every Mass (I guarantee you it is more than you will hear in your protestant church on any sunday). So much Scripture, that if you went to Catholic Mass every Sunday for three years, you would have heard almost the entire Bible read. Every Mass has a reading from the Old Testament, a Psalm, the Gospels, and the Epistles. Every day, the same passages of Scripture are read in every Catholic Catholic church all over the world; if you go to two Catholic Churches in the same day, you will have heard the same passages of scripture read from the pulpit in both churches. This prevents clergy from picking their own "pet verses" and preaching from those Sunday after Sunday, as Protestant preachers are fond of doing.

The church is not an institution it is a living body actively advancing God's kingdom.
The Catholic Church IS a living body that has been actively advancing God's kingdom for the last 2,000 years.
The Church is also not some invisible, ethereal concept but an actual single, visible, and universal body. Our Lord said, "You are the light of the world. A city set on a hill cannot be hidden." A kingdom divided against itself cannot stand; Protestantism is fragmented into thousands of competing sects, each claiming to have the correct interpretation of Scripture (Matt. 12:25; Mark 3:25; Luke 11:17). Such fragmentation and division is Satanic, while God is not the author of confusion (1 Cor. 14:33)--clearly, Protestantism is not representative of the true Church of Jesus Christ. The Church is called the "Body of Christ" (Eph. 1:22-23; 5:23-32; Col. 1:18,24) because bodies are visible. If the Church was invisible, it would be called the "soul of Christ."
In John 17, Jesus prayed that His disciples would be ONE. He said,
I do not pray for these [apostles] only, but through all who believe in me through their word, that they may all be one; even as you, Father, are in me, and I in you, that they also may be in us, so that the world may believe that you have sent me." (John 17:20,21) If Protestantism is representative of true Christianity, then Jesus was a liar and His prayer was unanswered, because Protestantism is clearly not "one"; if "they may all be one, that the world may believe that you have sent me", what kind of witness does Protestantism present to the world?
For 2,000 years, Christians have always believed in a visible, identifiable Church. It was not until more than 1500 years after Christ that--suprise!--the reformers decided to alter the definition of Church. Only the Catholic Church has maintained the miraculous unity Jesus promised over the last 2,000 years.

2:45 PM  
Anonymous Doug Poindexter said...

Woody, I appreciate your sincerity.
Catholics also believe that Jesus Christ is the only mediator between God and man. But what does this mean exactly?
Let me ask you a question: do you ever pray for other Christians, or ask your brothers and sisters in Christ to pray for you? Isn't that a form of mediatorship? If Jesus is our "sole mediator" and "only advocate with the Father", why do we ask one another to pray for us instead of asking Jesus alone?
This is why: Jesus is the sole mediator in the ultimate sense, because is is all THROUGH HIM and entirely enabled BY HIM. Jesus is the "Chief Shepherd" (John 10:11-16; 1 Pet 5:4), but He also assigns lesser shepherds to be pastors of His flock (John 21:15-17; Eph 4:11); He is the ultimate Judge, yet He also assigns lesser judges to reign under Him (Matt. 19:28; 1 Cor 6:2-3; Rev 20:4); they derive their authority and power to do this solely from Him. Believers mediate for one another (1 Cor. 9:22; Eph 3:2; 1 Tim 4:16) and work together with God (1 Cor 3:9; 2 Cor 6:1). Priests have authority to forgive sins because Jesus Christ Himself extended this authority. In John 20, Jesus breathed on the Apostles and said to them, "Recieve the Holy Spirit. If you forgive the sins of any, they are forgiven; if you retain the sins of any, they are retained." (John 20:22, 23) Notice before He said this, He said to them, "As the Father sends me, so I send you"; just as the Father sent Jesus to forgive sins, Jesus sends the Apostles to forgive sins. The Apostles passed this authority to forgive sins onto their successors, the bishops, and priests by extension. Jesus is the sole mediator, but He could choose how He wanted His mediation to be applied to us--he chose to use priests of God to carry out his work of forgiveness.
I think the Apostle Paul explains this well:
"All this is from God, who through Christ reconciled us to himself, and gave us the ministry of reconciliation; that is, in Christ God was reconciling the world to himself, not counting their trespasses against them, and entrusting to us the message of reconciliation. So we are ambassadors for Christ, God making his appeal through us. We beg you on behalf of Christ, be reconciled to God." (2 Corinthians 5:18-20)


You said, "We must take Scripture in the light of other Scripture.
This arises from the false theory of "sola scriptura." As Protestantism continues to divide and multiply into thousands of sects, each claiming to use the Bible as their sole authority, it is apparent that the theory of sola scriptura is false.

How do you get around Ephesians 2:8-9 that says we are not saved by works.
Woody, how do you get around all the passages which DO teach that works play a role in our salvation? Please check all these verses, it would take too long for me to type them all out: Luke 23:41; John 3:19-21, Rom. 8:13, 2 Tim 4:14, Titus 3:8,14, Rev. 22:12; Matt. 7:1-3; Matt. 10:22, 24:13; Mark 13:13; Matt. 16:27; Matt. 25:31-46; Rom. 2:6-10, 13; Eph. 6:8; Col. 3:24-25; 1 Peter 1:17.

The Catholic position is that, yes, salvation IS a free, unmerited, undeserved gift from God. We do believe in salvation by GRACE ALONE . . . but not salvation by FAITH ALONE. Faith is the first step in which we accept the salvation God offers us in Christ; we also respond to God's gift of salvation by good works, God enables us to do. You quoted Ephesians 2:8,9, but you should also look at verse 10: "For we are his workmanship, crated in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them."
Another passage Protestants are fond of quoting is: "If you confess with your lips that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved." (Romans 10:9) Notice how it says "if you confess with your lips"--confessing with one's lips that Jesus is Lord would be a work, would it not? The verse following continues: "For man believes with his heart and so is justified, and he confesses with his lips and so is saved."
Furthermore, the works Ephesians 2:8 is talking about refers to works performed under the Law of Moses, not works performed in Christ Jesus.

[Catholics] point to James and say that works is required, however Protestants answer the question by showing how works is the evidence of genuine faith.
Protestants only say that because they are trying to force their belief on the text and reconcile it with their belief in "faith alone", when the text of James itself does not indicate that works are merely the evidence of genuine faith--he says that a man is justified by works, and not by faith only.

3:36 PM  
Blogger Woody said...

According to Roman Catholicism, Sacred Tradition and the Bible together provide the foundation of spiritual truth. From this combination the Catholic church has produced many doctrines which it says are true and biblical. Protestantism, however, rejects Roman Catholic Sacred Tradition and holds fast to the call "Sola Scriptura," or, "Scripture Alone." Catholics then challenge, "Is Sola Scriptura biblical?"
The Bible does not say "Do not use tradition" or "Scripture alone is sufficient." But the Bible does not say "The Trinity is three persons in one God," either, yet it is a fundamental doctrine of Christianity. 2 Tim. 3:16 says that scripture is inspired and profitable for correction and teaching. Scripture states that Scripture is what is good for correction and teaching, not tradition. However, in its comments on tradition, the Bible says to listen to tradition but also warns about tradition nullifying the gospel -- which we will look at below.
In discussing the issue of the Bible alone being sufficient, several points should be made:

1) The method of the New Testament authors (and Jesus as well) was to appeal to the Scriptures as the final rule of authority. Take, for example, the temptation of Christ in Matthew 4. The Devil tempts Jesus, yet Jesus used the authority of scripture, not tradition, nor even His own divine power, as the source of authority and refutation. To Jesus, the Scriptures were enough and sufficient. If there is any place in the New Testament where the idea of extra-biblical revelation or tradition could have been used, Jesus' temptation would have been a great place to present it. But Jesus does no such thing. His practice was to appeal to scripture. Should we do any less having seen His example?
The New Testament writers constantly appealed to the scriptures as their base of authority in declaring what was and was not true biblical teaching: Matt. 21:42; John 2:22; 1 Cor. 15:3-4; 1 Peter 1:10-12; 2:2; 2 Peter 1:17-19, etc. Of course, Paul in Acts 17:11 says, "Now these were more noble-minded than those in Thessalonica, for they received the word with great eagerness, examining the Scriptures daily, to see whether these things were so." Paul commends those who examine God's word for the test of truth, not for the traditions of men. Therefore, we can see that the biblical means of determining spiritual truth is by appealing to scripture, not tradition. In fact, it is the scriptures that refute the traditions of men in many instances.
2) Many doctrines in the Bible are not clearly stated, yet they are believed and taught by the church. For example, there is no statement in the Bible that says there is a Trinity, or that Jesus has two natures (God and man), or that the Holy Spirit is the third person in the Godhead. Yet, each of the statements is considered true doctrine within Christianity, being derived from biblical references. Therefore, it is not required of Scripture to have a statement to the effect, "The Bible alone is to be used for all spiritual truth," in order for the statement to be true. So, for the Catholic to require the Protestant to supply chapter and verse to prove Sola Scriptura is valid, is not necessarily consistent with biblical exegetical principles.
3) In appealing to the Bible for authentication of Inerrant Sacred Tradition, the Catholics have shown that the Bible is superior to Sacred Tradition--for the lesser is blessed by the greater (Heb. 7:7). You see, if the Bible said do not trust tradition, then Sacred Tradition would be instantly and obviously invalid. If the Bible said to trust Sacred Tradition, then the Bible is authenticating it. In either case, the Scriptures hold the place of final authority and by that position, are shown to be superior to Sacred Tradition. If Sacred Tradition were really inerrant as it is said to be, then it would be equal with the Bible. But, God’s word does not say that Sacred Tradition is inerrant or inspired as it does say about itself (2 Tim. 3:16). To merely claim that Sacred Tradition is equal and in agreement with the Bible does not make it so. Furthermore, to assert that Sacred Tradition is equal to Scripture is to effectively leave the canon wide open to doctrinal addition. Since the traditions of men change, to use tradition as a determiner of spiritual truth would mean that over time new doctrines that are not in the Bible would be added and that is exactly what has happened in Catholicism with doctrines such as purgatory, praying to Mary, indulgences, etc. Furthermore, if they can use Sacred Tradition as a source for doctrines not explicit in the Bible, then why would the Mormons then be wrong for having additional revelation as well?
4) If the Bible is not used to verify Sacred Tradition, then Sacred Tradition is functionally independent to the Word of God. If it is independent of Scripture, then it has no right to exist as an authoritative spiritual source since the Bible is what is inspired, not tradition.
5) Sacred Tradition is invalidated automatically if it contradicts the Bible, and it does. Of course, the Catholic will say that it does not. But, Catholic teachings such as purgatory, penance, indulgences, praying to Mary, etc., are not in the Bible. A natural reading of the Bible does not lend itself to such beliefs and practices. Instead, the Catholic Church has used Sacred Tradition to add to God's revealed word and then extracted out of the Bible whatever verses that might be construed to support their doctrines of Sacred Tradition.

The Catholic apologist will state that both the Bible and Sacred tradition are equal in authority and inspiration and to put one above another is a false comparison. But, by what authority does the Catholic say this? Is it because it claims to be the true church, descended from the original apostles? In response, claims do not make it true. Second, even if it were true, and I do not grant that it is, there is no guarantee that the succession of church leaders is immune to error. We saw it creep in with Peter in Acts. Are the Catholic church leaders better than Peter?
To continue, is it from tradition that the Catholic Church authenticates its Sacred Tradition? If so, then there is no check upon it. Is it from quotes of some of the church Fathers who say to follow Tradition? If so, then the church fathers are given the place of authority comparable to scripture. Is it from the Bible? If so, then Sacred Tradition holds a lesser position than the Bible because the Bible is used as the authority in validating Tradition. Is it because the Catholic Church claims to be the means by which God communicates His truth? Then, the Catholic Church has placed itself above the Scriptures.
Finally, one of the mistakes made by the Catholics is to assume that the Bible is derived from Sacred Tradition. This is false. The Church simply recognized the inspired writings of the Bible. They were in and of themselves authoritative. Various "traditions" in the Church served only to recognize what was from God. Also, to say the Bible is derived from Sacred Tradition is to make the Bible lesser than the Tradition as is stated in Heb. 7:7 that the lesser is blessed by the greater.
Since the Bible is the final authority, we should look to it as the final authenticating and inerrant source of all spiritual truth. If it says Sacred Tradition is valid, fine. But if it doesn’t, then I will trust the Bible alone. Since the Bible does not approve of the Catholic Church's Sacred Tradition, then neither should Christians.

8:17 PM  
Blogger Woody said...

Roman Catholics very often mention that the Bible never says we are saved by faith alone and that the phrase "faith alone" occurs only once in James where it says that we are not saved by faith alone. If this is so, then why do the Protestants say we are justified by faith alone and not by works? Why? Because the Bible teaches that we are justified by faith alone, and not by works.
The following is a list of verses about being saved by faith. Please take note that faith and works are contrasted. In other words, we are saved by faith "not by works" and "apart from works", etc. The point is that there are only two options. We are saved by faith alone or we are not. Since we have faith and works (both conceptually and in practice), then we are either saved by faith alone or by faith and works. There is no other option.
If we see that the scriptures exclude works in any form as a means of our salvation, then logically, we are saved by faith alone. Let's take a look at what the Bible says about faith and works. Then, afterwards, we will tackle James' statement about "faith alone".



Rom. 3:28-30, "For we maintain that a man is justified by faith apart from works of the Law. 29Or is God the God of Jews only? Is He not the God of Gentiles also? Yes, of Gentiles also, 30since indeed God who will justify the circumcised by faith and the uncircumcised through faith is one."
Rom. 4:5, "But to the one who does not work, but believes in Him who justifies the ungodly, his faith is reckoned as righteousness,"
Rom. 5:1, "therefore having been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ,"
Rom. 9:30, "What shall we say then? That Gentiles, who did not pursue righteousness, attained righteousness, even the righteousness which is by faith."
Rom. 10:4, "For Christ is the end of the law for righteousness to everyone who believes."
Rom. 11:6, "But if it is by grace, it is no longer on the basis of works, otherwise grace is no longer grace."
Gal. 2:16, "nevertheless knowing that a man is not justified by the works of the Law but through faith in Christ Jesus, even we have believed in Christ Jesus, that we may be justified by faith in Christ, and not by the works of the Law; since by the works of the Law shall no flesh be justified."
Gal. 2:21, “I do not nullify the grace of God; for if righteousness comes through the Law, then Christ died needlessly.”
Gal.3:5-6, "Does He then, who provides you with the Spirit and works miracles among you, do it by the works of the Law, or by hearing with faith? 6Even so Abraham believed God, and it was reckoned to him as righteousness."
Gal. 3:24, "Therefore the Law has become our tutor to lead us to Christ, that we may be justified by faith."
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 by works, lest any man should boast."
Phil. 3:9, "and may be found in Him, not having a righteousness of my own derived from the Law, but that which is through faith in Christ, the righteousness which comes from God on the basis of faith."
Again, works/Law is contrasted with faith repeatedly and we are told that we are not justified by works in any way. Therefore, we are made right with God by faith, not by faith and our works; hence, faith alone.

James 2:24, not by faith alone

The scriptures clearly teach that we are saved (justified) by faith in Christ and what He has done on the cross. This faith alone saves us. However, we cannot stop here without addressing what James says in James 2:24, "You see that a man is justified by works, and not by faith alone."
There is no contradiction. All you need to do is look at the context. James chapter 2 has 26 verses: Verses 1-7 instruct us to not show favoritism. Verses 8-13 are comments on the Law. Verses 14-26 are about the relationship between faith and works.
James begins this section by using the example of someone who says he has faith but has no works, "What use is it, my brethren, if a man says he has faith, but he has no works? Can that faith save him?" (James 2:14). In other words, James is addressing the issue of a dead faith, that is nothing more than a verbal pronouncement, a public confession of the mind, and is not heart-felt. It is empty of life and action. He begins with the negative and demonstrates what an empty faith is (verses 15-17, words without actions). Then he shows that that type of faith isn't much different from the faith of demons (verse 19). Finally, he gives examples of living faith that has words followed by actions. Works follow true faith and demonstrate that faith to our fellow man, but not to God. James writes of Abraham and Rahab as examples of people who demonstrated their faith by their deeds.
In brief, James is examining two kinds of faith: one that leads to godly works and one that does not. One is true, and the other is false. One is dead, the other alive; hence, "Faith without works is dead," (James 2:20). But, he is not contradicting the verses above that say salvation/justification is by faith alone.
Also, notice that James actually quotes the same verse that Paul quotes in Rom. 4:3 amongst a host of verses dealing with justification by faith. James 2:23 says, "and the Scripture was fulfilled which says, ‘and Abraham believed God, and it was reckoned to him as righteousness.'" If James was trying to teach a contradictory doctrine of faith and works than the other New Testament writers, then he would not have used Abraham as an example. Therefore, we can see that justification is by faith alone and that James was talking about false faith, not real faith when he said we are not justified by faith alone.

8:27 PM  
Blogger Woody said...

I read some of your post on the Council of Trent, here is some interesting facts about it. Lutheranism was growing strong in the 1500's. In response to this, the Roman Catholic church convened a council in November of 1544 in an attempt to counter the doctrines raised and supported by the Reformers. The official opening of the council was on Dec. 13, 1545 and was closed on Dec. 14, 1563. The council delivered many statements on various subjects. These Canons have never been denied by the Roman Catholic Church.
Following are several of the doctrinal statements made on Justification at the council of Trent. After each Canon are scriptures that contradict that Canon. I invite you to read them all in context as well. You will find them correctly used.
Finally, you will see the word "anathema" used many times by the Council. This means that those who disagree with the doctrines of this Council are cursed. In Gal. 1:8-9, the word "anathema" is used. The curse must come from God. Therefore, we conclude that according to Roman Catholicism, anyone who disagrees with the following Canons are cursed of God. The Roman Catholic church excommunicates those under anathema. In other words, excommunication means being outside the Christian church. Being outside the church means you are not saved.
In spite of what Catholicism states, the Bible speaks differently. Following each Canon is a list of appropriate scriptures countering the Catholic position.

CANON 9: "If any one saith, that by faith alone the impious is justified; in such wise as to mean, that nothing else is required to co-operate in order to the obtaining the grace of Justification, and that it is not in any way necessary, that he be prepared and disposed by the movement of his own will; let him be anathema."

"Therefore by the deeds of the law there shall no flesh be justified in his sight: for by the law is the knowledge of sin," (Rom. 3:20).

"Being justified freely by his grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus," (Rom. 3:24).

"Therefore we conclude that a man is justified by faith without the deeds of the law," (Rom. 3:28).

"For what saith the scripture? Abraham believed God, and it was counted unto him for righteousness," (Rom. 4:3).

"Therefore being justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ," (Rom. 5:1).

"For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God," (Eph. 2:8).

"Not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to his mercy he saved us, by the washing of regeneration, and renewing of the Holy Ghost," (Titus 3:5).

CANON 12: "If any one shall say that justifying faith is nothing else than confidence in the divine mercy pardoning sins for Christ's sake, or that it is that confidence alone by which we are justified ... let him be accursed"

"But as many as received him, to them gave he power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on his name," (John 1:12).

"Therefore we conclude that a man is justified by faith without the deeds of the law," (Rom. 3:28).

"For what saith the scripture? Abraham believed God, and it was counted unto him for righteousness," (Rom. 4:3).

"Wherefore he is able also to save them to the uttermost that come unto God by him, seeing he ever liveth to make intercession for them. For such an high priest became us, who is holy, harmless, undefiled, separate from sinners, and made higher than the heavens; 27Who needeth not daily, as those high priests, to offer up sacrifice, first for his own sins, and then for the people’s: for this he did once, when he offered up himself," (Heb. 7:25-27).

For the which cause I also suffer these things: nevertheless I am not ashamed: for I know whom I have believed, and am persuaded that he is able to keep that which I have committed unto him against that day," (2 Tim. 1:12).

Canon 14: "If any one saith, that man is truly absolved from his sins and justified, because that he assuredly believed himself absolved and justified; or, that no one is truly justified but he who believes himself justified; and that, by this faith alone, absolution and justification are effected; let him be anathema."

"For what saith the scripture? Abraham believed God, and it was counted unto him for righteousness," (Rom. 4:3).

"Therefore being justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ," (Rom. 5:1).

Canon 23: "lf any one saith, that a man once justified can sin no more, nor lose grace, and that therefore he that falls and sins was never truly justified; or, on the other hand, that he is able, during his whole life, to avoid all sins, even those that are venial,- except by a special privilege from God, as the Church holds in regard of the Blessed Virgin; let him be anathema."

"He that believeth on the Son hath everlasting life: and he that believeth not the Son shall not see life; but the wrath of God abideth on him," (John 3:36).

"And this is the will of him that sent me, that every one which seeth the Son, and believeth on him, may have everlasting life: and I will raise him up at the last day," (John 6:40).

"And I give unto them eternal life; and they shall never perish, neither shall any man pluck them out of my hand," (John 10:28).

"That as sin hath reigned unto death, even so might grace reign through righteousness unto eternal life by Jesus Christ our Lord," (Rom. 5:21).

"They went out from us, but they were not of us; for if they had been of us, they would no doubt have continued with us: but they went out, that they might be made manifest that they were not all of us," (1 John 2:19).

"These things have I written unto you that believe on the name of the Son of God; that ye may know that ye have eternal life, and that ye may believe on the name of the Son of God," (1 John 5:13).

Canon 24: "If any one saith, that the justice received is not preserved and also increased before God through good works; but that the said works are merely the fruits and signs of Justification obtained, but not a cause of the increase thereof; let him be anathema."
"O foolish Galatians, who hath bewitched you, that ye should not obey the truth, before whose eyes Jesus Christ hath been evidently set forth, crucified among you? 2This only would I learn of you, Received ye the Spirit by the works of the law, or by the hearing of faith? 3Are ye so foolish? having begun in the Spirit, are ye now made perfect by the flesh?" (Gal. 3:1-3).
"Stand fast therefore in the liberty wherewith Christ hath made us free, and be not entangled again with the yoke of bondage. 2Behold, I Paul say unto you, that if ye be circumcised, Christ shall profit you nothing. 3For I testify again to every man that is circumcised, that he is a debtor to do the whole law," (Gal. 5:1-3).
Canon 30: "If any one saith, that, after the grace of Justification has been received, to every penitent sinner the guilt is remitted, and the debt of eternal punishment is blotted out in such wise, that there remains not any debt of temporal punishment to be discharged either in this world, or in the next in Purgatory, before the entrance to the kingdom of heaven can be opened (to him); let him be anathema."
"Therefore being justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ," (Rom. 5:1).
"And you, being dead in your sins and the uncircumcision of your flesh, hath he quickened together with him, having forgiven you all trespasses; 14Blotting out the handwriting of ordinances that was against us, which was contrary to us, and took it out of the way, nailing it to his cross," (Col. 2:13-14).
Canon 33: "If any one saith, that, by the Catholic doctrine touching Justification, by this holy Synod inset forth in this present decree, the glory of God, or the merits of our Lord Jesus Christ are in any way derogated from, and not rather that the truth of our faith, and the glory in fine of God and of Jesus Christ are rendered (more) illustrious; let him be anathema.
This council declares that if anyone disagrees with it, they are damned.

8:34 PM  
Blogger Keith Walters said...

Fact is, Keith, YOU ARE YOUR OWN LITTLE POPE AND THE ARBITER OF TRUTH and you, the individual Protestant, end having the final word on the interpretation of scripture. Well if that is to mean the priesthood of every believer then I completely agree. After all Paul does tell us to test everything and hold to what is good so I think I am in the Biblical position to do so, insomuch as my decisions are based on the whole of Scripture.

9:11 PM  
Blogger Keith Walters said...

Doug-
As for you pointing out my contradiction my point was that the church in Rome was not started by Peter; it was bad phrasing on my part. Throughout Scripture it is clear that Peter was called to the Jews and not to the gentiles in Rome. You can reread my previous posts for more on this.

That is, you stand on your individual, fallible interpretation of scripture (unless you're willing to claim infallibility for yourself).

Yes, I am fallible. The Pope, however, claims to be infallible. Do you see that as a problem. If you do not have the interpretation, if you do not know what Scripture means, then you do not have the Scripture. So yes I stand on my interpretations, gained through dilligent exegesis, compaired to the work of other Godly men, and submitted to the whole of God's Word.

Luther's theory of sola scriptura (and it is LUTHER's theory, because it was unheard of for the first 1500 years of Christianity before he came along) is self-defeating; it's its own Achille's heel; it claims that Scripture is the only source of doctrine, but Scripture itself never makes the claim!

Actually Christ constantly confronts the Pharisees, Saducees, and Scribes for placing the rules/ doctrines/traditions of men above the Word of God. He always asks them "do you not know the Scriptures?" Christ never once asks, "have you not heard the traditions of men?" he always asks them if they have read God's Word.

9:32 PM  
Blogger Woody said...

The following quotes are taken from the book "Far from Rome, near to God: Testimonies of 50 converted Roman Catholic priests," by Richard Bennet (Carlisle, Penn: The Banner of Truth Trust, 1997). They are quite interesting and valuable since they give an insight to Catholicism from those who were priests in the Catholic Church and then left it to find salvation in Jesus.
Following are excerpts from only a few of the fifty testimonies.

Henry Gregory Adams. Born in Saskatchewan, Canada. He entered the Basilian Order of monks and adopted the monastic name of "Saint Hilarion the Great." He was ordained as a priest and served five parishes in the Lemont, Alberta area.
Sacraments. "The monastic life and the sacraments prescribed by the Roman Catholic Church did not help me to come to know Christ personally and find salvation...I realized that the man-made sacraments of my church and my good works were in vain for salvation. they lead to a false security." (p. 3)
Joseph Tremblay. Born in Quebec, Canada, 1924. He was ordained a priest in Rome, Italy and was sent to Bolivia, Chile where he served for 13 years "as a missionary in the congregation of the Oblate Fathers of Mary Immaculate."
Salvation by works. "My theology has taught me that salvation is by works and sacrifices....my theology gives me no assurance of salvation; the Bible offers me that assurance....I had been trying to save myself on my works...I was stifled in a setting in which I was pushed to do good works to merit my salvation." (pp. 9, 11-12)
Bartholomew F. Brewer. He applied to the Discalced Carmelites, a strict monastic order. He received training of "four years of high school seminary, two years in the novitiate, three years of philosophy, and four years of theology (the last after ordination)." He was ordained to the Roman Catholic priesthood at the Shrine of the Immaculate Conception of Mary in Washington, D.C. He eventually served as a diocesan priest in San Diego, California and entered the Navy as a Roman Catholic chaplain.
Upon questioning Rome's Beliefs, "At first I did not understand, but gradually I observed a wonderful change in mother. Her influence helped me realize the importance of the Bible in determining what we believe. We often discussed subjects such as the primacy of Peter, papal infallibility, the priesthood, infant baptism, confession, the mass, purgatory, the Immaculate Conception of Mary, and the bodily assumption of Mary into heaven. In time I realized that not only are these beliefs not in the Bible, they are actually contrary to the clear teaching of Scripture." (pp. 21-22)
Relying on works. He left the Roman Catholic Church, got married and through conversations with his wife and other Christians, "I finally understood that I had been relying on my own righteousness and religious efforts and not upon the completed and sufficient sacrifice of Jesus Christ. The Roman Catholic religion had never taught me that our own righteousness is fleshly and not acceptable to God, nor that we need to trust in his righteousness alone...during all those years of monastic life I had relied on the sacraments of Rome to give me grace, to save me." (p. 25)
Hugh Farrell. Born in Denver, Colorado. Entered the Order of our Lady of Mount Carmel, commonly called the Discalced Carmelite Fathers. Ordained as a priest.
Priestly power to change elements: "The priest, according to the teaching of the Roman Catholic Church, has the power to take ordinary bread and wine, and, by pronouncing the words of the consecration prayer in the sacrifice of the Mass, to change it into the actual body and blood and soul and divinity of Jesus Christ. Hence, since one cannot separate the human nature of Christ from his divinity, the bread and wine, after being changed into the body and blood of Jesus Christ, are entitled to the worship of adoration." (pp. 28)
Temporal punishment due to sins. "I knew from the teachings of the priests and nuns that I could not hope to go directly to heaven after my death. My Roman Catholic catechism taught me that after death I had to pay for the temporal punishment due to my sins. The Roman Catholic Church teaches that 'the souls of the just which, in a moment of death, are burdened with venial sins or temporal punishment due to send, enter purgatory.'" (p. 29)
Penance. Regarding life in the monastery and doing penance. "These penances consist of standing with the arms outstretched to form across, kissing the sandaled feet of the monks, receiving a blow upon the face from the monks, and, at the end of the meal, lying prostrate before the entrance to the refectory so that the departing monks must step over one's body. These, and other penances, are supposed to gain one merit in heaven and increase one's 'spiritual bank account.'" (p. 36)
The Mass and sorcery. "According to the teaching of the Roman Church the priest, no matter how unworthy he may personally be, even if he has just made a pact with the devil for his soul, has the power to change the elements of bread and wine into the actual body and blood, soul and divinity, of Jesus Christ. Provided he pronounces the words of consecration properly and has the intention of consecrating, God must come down on the altar and enter and take over the elements." (p. 39)
Alexander Carson. Baptized into the Roman Catholic Church as an infant. His priesthood studies were at St. John's seminary, Brighton, Massachusetts. He was ordained by Bishop Lawrence Shehan of Bridgeport, Connecticut in 1955 and was a priest in Alexandria, Louisiana. Also, he was pastor of Sacred Heart Catholic Church, Rayville, Louisiana.
Bible or Tradition. "...the Holy Spirit led me to judge Roman Catholic theology by the standard of the Bible. Previously, I had always judged the Bible by Roman Catholic doctrine and theology." (p. 53)
Mass contrary to scripture. "In my letter of resignation from the Roman Catholic Church and Ministry, I stated to the bishop that I was leaving the priesthood because I could no longer offer the Mass, as it was contrary to the Word of God and to my conscience." (pp. 54-55)
Charles Berry. He entered the Order of Hermits of St. Augustine and became a priest after 17 years. He was given orders to continue studying until he achieved a Ph.D. in chemistry and was then "transferred to the headquarters of the Augustinian order in the United States."
superstition. "In the United States the Roman Catholic Church is on its best behavior, putting its best foot forward because of its critics and opponents. In a Roman Catholic country, where it has few opponents or critics, it is a very different matter. Ignorance and superstition and idolatry are everywhere, and little effort, if any, is made to change the situation. Instead of following the Christianity taught in the Bible the people concentrate on the worship of statues and their local patron saints." (p. 59)
Idols and Statues. "When I met in Cuba a genuine pagan who worshiped idols (a religion transplanted from Africa by his ancestors), I asked how he could believe that a plaster idol could help him. He replied that the idol was not expected to help him; it only represented the power in heaven which could. What horrified me about his reply was that it was almost word for word the explanation Roman Catholics give for rendering honor to the statues of the saints." (p. 59)
Bob Bush. He went to a Jesuit Seminary and studied for 13 years before being ordained in 1966. He entered a post graduate program in Rome.
Works: "When I entered the order, the first thing that happened was that I was told I had to keep all the rules and regulations, that to do so would be pleasing to God, and that this was what he wanted for me. We were taught the motto, 'Keep the rule and the rule will keep you.'" (p. 66).
Salvation is by faith: "It took me many years to realize that I was compromising by staying in the Roman Catholic Church. Throughout all those years I continued to stress that salvation is only in the finished work of Jesus Christ on the cross and not in the infant baptism; that there is only one source of authority which is the Bible, the word of God; and that there is no purgatory but rather that when we die to either go to heaven or hell." (p. 69)
Salvation by works: "The Roman Catholic Church then goes on to say that in order to be saved you must keep its laws, rules and regulations. And in these laws are violated (for example, laws concerning birth control or fasting or attendance at Mass every Sunday), then you have committed a sin....'individual and integral confession and absolution constitute the only ordinary way by which the faithful person who was aware of serious sin can be reconciled with God, and with the church' (Canon 9609)." (p. 75)
"The Roman Catholic Church adds works, and that you have to do these specific things [keeping its laws, rule and regulations] ]in order to be saved, whereas the Bible says in Ephesians 2:8-9 that it is by grace that we are saved, not by works." (pp. 75-76)
As you can see, even Roman Catholic Priests can discover the truth found in God's word and escape the error of the Roman Catholic system of works righteousness. To God be the glory.

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

9:39 PM  
Blogger Keith Walters said...

Doug-

The Catholic position is that, yes, salvation IS a free, unmerited, undeserved gift from God.

Actually Catholicism does not believe that.

“Moved by the Holy Spirit and by charity, we can then merit for ourselves and for others the graces needed for our sanctification, for the increase of grace and charity, and for the attainment of eternal life (Catechism of the Catholic Church pg. 542).”

Catholicism clearly teaches that you merit (earn) eternal life, that Salvation is something you deserve (merit).

9:40 PM  
Blogger Keith Walters said...

As a compliment to everyone good research, keep it up because I am learning a lot, from both sides of the issue.

9:46 PM  
Anonymous Doug Poindexter said...

Woody, please slow down . . . it's difficult to address issues when you bring up so many topics at a time and post three HUGE comments in a row.
Also, your third post containing the "testimonies" of priests who have left the Catholic Church is not worth addressing. I know of dozens of books containting the conversion stories of Protestant Evangelical ministers who found the fullness of truth and deepened their relationship with Christ by converting to the Catholic Church. I personally know of two Protestant ministers who graduated from Asbury and came into the Catholic Church along with their wives and families.
I don't post their stories though because it contributes nothing to the discussion. Let's stick to the issues here please. Thanks.

Keith, I don't have time to address everything now, but I want to show you something from the Catechism that you quoted. Just for future reference, when referring to the Catechism you should use the paragraph numbers not page numbers since there are several editions of the Catechism. If you're going to quote the Catechism, you should at least take the time to read the preceding paragraphs so that you don't quote it out of context. Here are some quotations which might clear things up:

"With regard to God, there is no strict right to any merit on the part of man. Between God and us there is an immeasurable inequality, for we have received everything from him, our Creator.

"The merit of man before God in the Christian life arises from the fact that God has freely chosen to associate man with the work of his grace. The fatherly action of God is first on his own initiative, and then follows man's freely acting through his collaboration, so that the merit of good works is to be attributed in the first place to the grace of God, then to the faithful. Man's merit, moreover, itself is due to God, for his good actions proceed in Christ, from the predispositions and assistance given by the Holy Spirit.

"Filial adoption, in making us partakers by grace in the divine nature, can bestow true merit on us as a result of God's gratuitous justice. This is our right by grace, the full right of love, making us 'co-heirs' with Christ and worthy of obtaining 'the promised inheritance of eternal life.' The merits of our good works are gifts of the divine goodness. 'Grace has gone before us ; now we are given what is due . . . our merits are God's gifts.'

"Since the initiative belongs to God in the order of grace, no one can merit the initial grace of forgiveness and justification, at the beginning of conversion. Moved by the Holy Spirit and by charity, we can then merit for ourselves and for others the graces needed for our sanctification, for the increase of grace and charity, and for the attainment of eternal life. Even temporal goods like health and friendship can be merited in accordance with God's wisdom. These graces and goods are the object of Christian prayer. Prayer attends to the grace we need for meritorious actions.

"The charity of Christ is the source in us of all our merits before God. Grace, by uniting us to Christ in active love, ensures the supernatural quality of our acts and consequently their merit before God and before men . . ." (Catechism of the Catholic Church, paragraphs 2007-2011)

I will come back and try to address the other things you said pretty soon, I don't have time at the moment though.
God bless.

10:46 PM  
Blogger Keith Walters said...

Thanks for the quick reply. I look forward to your upcoming post.

11:35 PM  
Blogger Woody said...

Hey Doug, sorry for throwing all the info at you man. But I look forward to you trying to debate the clear Scriptural contradictions to the Canons...little hard to do. I also enjoyed reading about these Catholic priest that were trained at some the best Catholic facilities and then through their own study found Catholicism to be false. Just that it was interesting. Thirdly, please take your time, no hurry hear. I enjoy your careful research and responses.
Woody

10:36 AM  
Anonymous Doug Poindexter said...

Many doctrines in the Bible are not clearly stated, yet they are believed and taught by the church. For example, there is no statement in the Bible that says there is a Trinity, or that Jesus has two natures (God and man), or that the Holy Spirit is the third person in the Godhead. Yet, each of the statements is considered true doctrine within Christianity, being derived from biblical references.
In the 4th cenutry, a priest named Arius declared that Jesus, the Son of God, was a creature and not co-equal with the Father. To "prove" his claims, Arius quoted verses from the Bible (as the Reformers would later do). The controversy and disputes which arose over Arius' teachings become so great that the Catholic Church convened the first Ecumenical Council in Nicaea in 325 A.D. The Council, under the authority of the Pope, declared Arius's teachings to be heretical and made some declarations about the nature and person of Christ based on what Sacred Tradition had to say regarding the Scripture verses in question. If there had been no teaching authority to appeal to, the Arian heresy could have overtaken the Church. The fact is, Arius based his arguments on the Bible and "compared Scripture with Scripture", and arrived at a heretical conclusion. If this were true for Arius, what guarantee do you as a Protestant have that it is not also true for your interpretation of a given scripture verse? The fact that you know that Arius' interpretations were heretical implies that a "right" interpretation exists for the Bible passages he used. But how can we know what the right interpretation is? The only possible answer is that we need an infallible authority to tell us. That infallible authority, the Roman Catholic Church, declared Arius a heretic. If the Catholic Church had not been infallible and authoritative in declaring Arius a heretic, then Christians would have had no reason whatever to reject Arianism and all of Christendom today might have been comprised of Arians. Therefore, using the Bible alone is not a guarantee of arriving at doctrinal truth.

Actually Christ constantly confronts the Pharisees, Saducees, and Scribes for placing the rules/ doctrines/traditions of men above the Word of God. He always asks them "do you not know the Scriptures?" Christ never once asks, "have you not heard the traditions of men?" he always asks them if they have read God's Word.
Jesus sometimes condemned human traditions (more commonly called customs or disciplines)--but only when they were contrary to God's commands ["You leave the commandment of God, and hold fast the tradition of men."] He never condemned Sacred Tradition and he didn't even condemn all human tradition! Sacred Tradition and the Bible are not different or competing revelations; they are two ways that the Church hands on the gospel, the word of God. Though most of these things are implicitly found (and are never contrary to) the Bible, doctrines such as the Trinity, the two natures of Christ, hypostatic union, infant baptism, the inerrancy of Scripture, the canon of Scripture, purgatory, and Mary's perpetual virginity have been most clearly taught through apostolic Sacred Tradition. The Apostle John wrote that not everything about Jesus was written down: "There are also many other things that Jesus did; were every one of them to be written, I suppose that the world itself could not contain the books that would be written." (John 21:25) Furthermore, Scripture itself commands us to hold fast to tradition:
"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 Thesssalonians 2:15]
"Now we command you, brethren, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that you keep away from any brother who is walking in idleness and not in accord with the tradition that you received from us." [2 Thessalonians 3:6]
"I commend you because you remember me in everything and maintain the traditions even as I have delivered them to you." [1 Corinthians 11:2]
Scripture itself is in fact part of Sacred Tradition; it is just Tradition that has been written down rather than passed down by word of mouth.
When Jesus confronted the Scribes and the Pharisees and the Sadduccees, what He was actually doing was correcting their intepretation of the Old Testament Scriptures. Obviously they knew the Scriptures--it was not an appeal to read the Scriptures, it was an appeal to understand them within the context that they were written. And Jesus did in fact appeal to oral tradition. He instructed his disciples:
"The scribes and the Pharisees sit on Moses' seat; so practice and observe whatever they tell you, but not what they do; for they preach, but do not practice." (Matthew 23:2,3)
Jesus also instructed His followers to listen to the Church:
"If he refuses to listen to them, tell it to the Church; and if he refuses to listen even to the Church, let him be to you a heathen and a publican." (Matthew 18:17)
"He who hears you hears me, and he who rejects you rejects me, and he who rejects me rejects him who sent me." (Luke 10:16)
What do these verses, therefore, say about Protestants, who reject the very authority of the Church Jesus Christ established to teach us and hand on the gospel? By the way, Jesus did establish a teaching Church, not a Bible-reading Church:
"All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Go therefore and make disciples of all nations . . . teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you." (Matthew 28:18-20) He commanded His disciples to teach and preach, but He never gave them a specific command to write it down.

Jesus specifically condemned traditions of men whenever they nullify (invalidate, counteract the effectiveness of) the word of God. "Thus making void the word of God through your tradition which you hand on." (Mark 7:13) I can think of one such "tradition of men" handed down by many modern Christians which "makes void the word of God"--the Protestant tradition of "sola scriptura"! There is no way to get around the fact that "sola scriptura" is never taught in the Bible itself. Neither is there any way to get around the fact that the Bible is not self-authenticating and the canon of Scripture is not listed in Scripture itself. "Sola Scriptura" is a true tradition of men because it is never taught in Sacred Scripture or Sacred Tradition, and was unknown by the Apostles or early Christians. It did not come on the scene until the 1500s, when Luther invented it! Since it originated with Martin Luther, and not Jesus Christ and His Apostles, it is a genuine "tradition of men"! Even by accepting the canon of Scripture (well . . . most of it anyway), Protestants are in fact going against their own tradition of sola scriptura because, to accept the canon of Scripture one must of necessity accept the authority of two outside sources--Sacred Tradition and the Catholic Church. It is Sacred Tradition and the magisterial teaching authority of the Roman Catholic Church that attest to the inerrancy and inspiration of all the books of Sacred Scripture where Scripture itself is silent. This is in accordance with the instruction:
"That every word may be confirmed by the evidence of two or three witnesses." (Matthew 18:16)

Woody, about the verse you cited to support your theory of "salvation by faith only"--I think you need to look at those verses again because none of them teach salvation by faith alone! Yet another Protestant tradition you are trying to impose on the Scriptural text when Scripture itself makes no such claim. They verses either simply say that one is justified by faith (which the Catholic Church believes) or that one is justified by faith apart from works of the Law (which the Catholic Church also believes). What does St. Paul mean by "works of the Law"? Paul is referring to works and observances of the Jewish religion (i.e. circumcision, dietary laws, purification rituals, etc.) He is telling Jewish converts to Christianity that they are not bound to continue to follow their former Jewish religious practices in order to be justified, or put in a right relationship with God.

Let us look at Romans 3:28 in its Biblical context; this will also explain what Paul is referring to in the other passages where he refers to "works of the law".
"For we hold that a man is justified by faith apart from works of law. Or is God the God of Jews only? Is he not the God of Gentiles also? Yes, of Gentiles also, since God is one; and he will justify the circumcised on the ground of their faith and the uncircumcised through their faith." (Romans 3:28-30)
It is clear that when Paul teaches that a person is "justified by faith apart from works of the law," he is referring to the issue of whether or not New Testament Christians were bound to abide by Old Testament rituals contained in the "Torah." In this passage, St. Paul is instructing Christians that it was not necessary for them to observe the traditional Jewish religious laws and rituals to be saved. He is absolutely right in teaching that Christians are justified (regarded as righteous in God's eyes and, therefore, eligible for salvation in heaven) by their faith in Jesus Christ without the obligation of having to live according to Jewish Old Testament religious laws. The same principle applies in Ephesians 2:8,9 and other verses referring to "works of the law." Whereas St. Paul refers to Old Testament Jewish law when referring to "works of the law", St. James, in his epistle, is not speaking about Jewish religious observances but about the Christian corporal and spiritual works of mercy. (Based on Matt 25:35-46, the Christian "corporal works of mercy" are: feeding the hungry, giving drink to the thirsty, clothing the naked, sheltering the homeless, visiting the sick, visiting the imprisoned, burying the dead. Based on various Old and New Testament admonitions, the Christian "spiritual works of mercy" are: counseling the doubtful, instructing the ignorant, admonishing the sinner, comforting the sorrowful, forgiving of injuries, bearing wrongs patiently, praying for the living and the dead.
James teaches that, after the reception of the free gift of faith from God by grace, the Christian is called to serve Him and concrete ways and these tangible spiritual and corporal works give God an indication of the intensity and vibrancy of the Christian's invisible, internal faith. "And the dead were judged by what was written in the books, by what they had done. And the sea gave up the dead in it, Death and Hades gave up the dead in them, and all were judged by what they had done." (Rev. 20:12,13)

Martin Luther apparently recognized that "sola fide" (salvation by faith alone) is not clearly taught in Scripture. The reason I say this is because if it were clearly taught in Scripture, Luther would not have felt the need to add the word "alone" in his German translation of Romans 3:28--even when the word did not appear in the Greek scriptural manuscripts! Thus by promoting his doctrine of "sola fide," Luther broke his doctrine of "sola scriptura" (meaning that all that is necessary for Christian belief and practice is contained exclusively in the written Bible).
In September of 1530, Martin Luther writes the following letter to his friend Wenceslaus Link in a tract entitled Sendbrieff von Dolmetzschen concerning his addition to the words of St. Paul in Romans 3:28:
"You tell me what a great fuss the Papists are making because the word 'alone' is not in the text of Paul. If your Papist makes such an unnecessary row about the word 'alone,' say right out to him: "Dr. Martin Luther will have it so," and say: 'Papists and asses are one and the same thing.' I [Martin Luther] will have it so, and I order it to be so, and my will is reason enough. I know very well that the word 'alone' is not in the Latin or Greek text, and it was not necessary for the Papists to teach me that. It is true those letters are not in it, which letters the jackasses look at, as a cow stares at a new gate...It shall remain in my New Testament, and if all the Popish donkeys were to get mad and beside themselves, they will not get it out."

The Roman Catholic Church clearly condemns the notion that one can achieve eternal salvation by his "works alone" apart from the grace of God. Catholics believe that good works come after and pre-suppose the existence of a solid personal relationship with Jesus Christ. Luther's simplistic "faith alone" forumla is an incomplete description of what the Bible teaches about what is necessary for a Christian's salvation. Take a look at what Scripture teaches about the necessity of performing good works, accomplished by God's grace and assisted by the Holy Spirit:

What does it profit, my brethren, if a man says he has faith but has not works? Can his faith save him? (James 2:14)

So also, faith by itself, if it has no works, is dead. (James 2:17)

I by my works will show you my faith. (James 2:18)

You see that a man is justified by works and not by faith alone. (James 2:24)

Faith apart from works is dead. (James 2:26)

Whoever brings back a sinner from the error of his way will save his soul from death and will cover a multitude of sins. (James 5:20)

If I have all faith, so as to remove mountains, but do not have love, I am nothing. (1 Cor. 13:2)

Let us not grow weary in well-doing, for in due season we shall reap, if we do not lose heart. (Galatians 6:9)

Behold, I come quickly: and my reward is with me, to render to every man according to his works. (Revelation 22:12)

God will render to every man according to his works. To them indeed who, according to patience in good works, seek glory and honour and incorruption, eternal life. But to them that are contentious and who obey not the truth but give credit to iniquity, wrath and indignation. (Romans 2:5-7)

For in Christ Jesus neither circumcision availeth any thing nor uncircumcision: but faith that worketh by charity. (Gal 5:6)

At the General Judgment at the end of time, what will distinguish the "sheep"--who will be admitted into heaven by Jesus--from the "goats"--who will be eternally damned by Jesus--will be their loving works. These loving works will demonstrate the sincerity and depth of the Christian's faith--Matthew 25:31-46

For we must all be manifested before the judgment seat of Christ, that every one may receive the proper things of the body, according as he hath done, whether it be good or evil. (2 Corinthians 5:10)

In the book of Revelation we read that the spiritual merits of earthly good works accompany the saints when they are finally admitted into heaven. "Blessed are the dead who die in the Lord. From henceforth now, saith the Spirit, that they may rest from their labours. For their works follow them." (Rev 14:13), "It is granted to her that she should clothe herself with efine linen, glittering and white. For the fine linen are the justifications of saints." (Rev 19:8)

The New Testament tells us that Christians will not be judged by their "faith alone" but by their actual deeds and the personal conduct that they exhibited while living on earth. "...And the dead were judged according to their works." (Rev 20:12,13)

Therefore, my beloved brethren, be ye steadfast and unmoveable: always abounding in the work of the Lord, knowing that your labour is not in vain in the Lord. (1 Cor. 15:58)

For God is not unjust, that he should forget your work and the love which you have shewn in his name, you who have ministered and do minister to the saints. (Hebrews 6:10)

Not every one that saith to me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven: but he that doth the will of my Father who is in heaven, he shall enter into the kingdom of heaven. (Matthew 7:21)

In the Gospel of St Matthew a rich young man asks Jesus, "What good shall I do that I may have life everlasting?" Rather than saying that the rich young man needed to have faith alone He tells him: "If thou wilt enter into life, keep the commandments...If thou wilt be perfect, go sell what thou hast and give to the poor, and thou shalt have treasure in heaven. And come follow me." (Matt 19:16-21)

With fear and trembling work out your salvation. For it ias God who worketh in you, both to will and to accomplish, according to his good will. (Phil 2:12-13)

He that doth justice is just. (1 John 3:7)

And if you invoke the Father him who, without respect of persons, judgeth according to every one's work: converse in fear during the time of your sojourning here. (1 Peter 1:17)

We have confidence towards God. And whatsoever we shall ask, we shall receive of him: because we keep his commandments and do those things which are pleasing in his sight. (1 John 3:21,22)

In the book Surprised by Truth, by Patrick Madrid, Catholic convert Julie Swenson shares the following with her readers:
As a staunch spiritual daughter of Calvin, I believed that the unregenerate man is ever in a state of rebellion against God, incapable of doing anything right and good in God's sight. Christians are not themselves righteous, but are merely clothed in the robe of Christ's righteousness--a righteousness that is merely imputed to them; they are not intrinsically made righteous by God's sovereign grace. I believed Luther's bleak dictum that 'We are dunghills covered over with snow.' No matter how pure we might appear on the outside, we're not really pure--we remain wretched sinners . . . The Lord began to show me that this view was a twisted combination of truth and error. It is true that I desperately need the grace of Christ to buoy me up above the inclination to sin that threatens to draw us all downward into ruin, but I also realized that God's grace is not to be presumed upon. God created me a responsible, rational person who must continually reach out for his grace and, aided by that grace, turn away from sin in order to be saved."

Alan Schreck, in his book, Catholic and Christian, says:
"The Council of Trent clearly stated that out of the two (faith and works), faith was the primary means of accepting salvation ('the beginning of human salvation' from our perspective). 'Good works' or charity is also important for salvation, but as a 'fruit' of genuine faith."

In other words, the truth is that Christians are justified by a living faith that is characterized by loving works of obedience to God.

Woody, apparently some of the verses you quoted are an attempt to prove your belief in "once-saved-always-saved" ("eternal security", whatever you call it). I look forward to coming back and refuting "once-saved-always-saved" soon, but for now I think this post is already getting too long and it chould be quite enough for y'all to "chew on" for a while until I get a chance to address once saved always saved.

Keith, I couldn't help thinking, it's ironic because I totally agree with the title of your blog (Standing Against the Ecumenical Monoculture), but for completely different reasons! LOL.

3:04 AM  
Anonymous Doug Poindexter said...

P.S. I meant to put this quote in my comment but forgot. Just more proof that by accepting the Bible, Protestants must necessarily accept the authority of the Catholic Church in deciding the canon. Martin Luther said: "We concede -- as we must -- that so much of what they [the Catholic Church] say is true: that the papacy has God's word and the office of the apostles, and that we have received Holy Scriptures, Baptism, the Sacrament, and the pulpit from them. What would we know of these if it were not for them?" Sermon on the gospel of St. John, chaps. 14 - 16 (1537), in vol. 24 of LUTHER'S WORKS, St. Louis, Mo.: Concordia, 1961, 304.

Sola scriptura is not scriptural, not historical, and not workable.

3:34 AM  
Blogger Keith Walters said...

Hey I will read over your comments and respond sometime in the next two days. I am crazy busy right now.

10:39 PM  
Blogger Keith Walters said...

The only possible answer is that we need an infallible authority to tell us.
Is Scripture not infallible? The Scripture clearly teaches that Christ was begotten and not a created creature. Clearly, Arius did not compare his findings with the whole of Scripture and the verses he quoted were taken out of context; the only infallible authority you need to tell you that is God through Scripture.

Furthermore, Scripture itself commands us to hold fast to tradition
Paul is not exhorting them to holdfast to traditions, abstracted from Scripture, but rather traditions rooted in Scripture, whose authority is from Scripture. This is further confirmed when Paul mentions traditions taught by letter, Paul’s letters are Divinely Inspired Scripture. The Pope is not infallible and nothing he does is divinely inspired.

Obviously they knew the Scriptures--it was not an appeal to read the Scriptures, it was an appeal to understand them within the context that they were written.
After stating that you quote Matthew 23:2-3 in which Christ makes it clear that their failure is in doing the Scriptures; it had nothing to do with context. Actually a common saying from a Rabbi to his pupil was “Go and read,” this is what Christ was challenging and insulting the Pharisees with. If they actually knew the Scriptures, they would have lived differently.

Jesus also instructed His followers to listen to the Church
You quote Matthew 18:17 way out of context here. Christ is not instructing us to listen to the Church as an infallible authority. It is an example of church discipline and if an individual is found in unrepentant sin then you are to correct him as an individual and then the church (the local body of believers not some universal corporation) and if he remains unrepentant before the local body of believers then he is to be removed.

By the way, Jesus did establish a teaching Church, not a Bible-reading Church:
Several comments ago you praised the Catholic church for the public reading of Scripture do you wish to retract that praise? Yes, Christ established a teaching church; a church that teaches the Bible (I Timothy 4:13). You should also read Nehemiah 8 for more on how teaching works, verse 8 may be of particular interest.

He commanded His disciples to teach and preach, but He never gave them a specific command to write it down.
Is that an attack on the written word of God? Oh and God did command them to write it down (II Timothy 3:16, II Peter 1:20-22).

I can think of one such "tradition of men" handed down by many modern Christians which "makes void the word of God"--the Protestant tradition of "sola scriptura"!
So relying on Scripture as the sole authority by which we are to live our lives actually “makes void the word of God???” Hardly not, it affirms the Word of God for what it is. The damning doctrines of the Catholic church that place the traditions of men as equivalent to God’s Word make void the Word of God, they usurp the authority of Christ as head of the church, and they empty the cross of its power.

11:36 PM  
Blogger Woody said...

Doug, thanks for your research bro. It is nice to read. I especailly like the part that says, The only possible answer is that we need an infallible authority to tell us. That INFALLIBLE AUTHORITY, the Roman Catholic Church.....does this mean the Pope is infallible? If so please tell me there is biblical evidence of that!! Let us look at Rom 3:23, 1 John 1:10, Psalm 14:1, MATT 19:17 (especially interesting), all these verses point out that man is indeed fallible. Roman Catholic "Sacred Tradition" was and is built on the tradition of men, and men are fallible, none do good, all have sinned and fallen short...etc. Easy to see, but I am sure you will have another flimsy argument. Can't wait to see it.

2:04 PM  
Blogger Daniel said...

Woody,

Of course men are fallible. The Holy Spirit is not. You see, you already accept the basis of papal infallibility by accepting the inspiration of sacred scripture-- namely, that God can work through fallible men to insure something is inspired (in the case of Scripture) or at least without error (in the case of papal infallibility). People often misunderstand the doctrine of papal infallibility. The doctrine states that the pope is infallible in the areas of faith and morals, when he excercises his role as the supreme pastor of the universal Church of Christ. Those conditions are very important. This does not mean the pope, on his own, is infallible, for example, when having a dinner conversation about some Scripture passage. He can be as wrong as anyone else in his interpretation. Furthermore, infallibility is often confused with inspiration. The Scriptures are inspired-- that is, God is speaking through men as instruments. Infallibility is quite different. When the pope does make an infallible statement, it is the pope's own human words that are spoken. We do not say these are the words of the Holy Spirit coming through the pope, as we do with Scripture. Rather, we say the Holy Spirit merely PREVENTS the pope from making a theological error when proclaiming a teaching that is to be held by all the faithful. For example, we would say it is impossible for the pope to issue an encyclical that states that contraception is now morally okay to use. He cannot do this by the protection of the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit would not allow His church to fall into error. The doctrine of infallibility is implicit in these Petrine texts: John 21:15–17 ("Feed my sheep . . . "), Luke 22:32 ("I have prayed for you that your faith may not fail"), and Matthew 16:18 ("You are Peter . . . "). Papal infallibility is a natural outcome of Christ's promise to His Church that the gates of hell would never prevail, and that the Holy Spirit will "guide you into all the truth" (John 16:13).

Woody, I would encourage you to read this article (http://www.catholic.com/library/Papal_Infallibility.asp) for a better understanding of the doctrine and its clear roots in Scripture and the early Church. This article does a much better job explaining than I ever could.

God bless,
Daniel

3:44 PM  
Blogger Daniel said...

Keith,

How is Doug citing Matt 18:17 "way out of context" when he is using it in the same way you are? The only difference is that you claim Jesus is talking about a local body of believers, and you seem to think Doug is saying Christ means a universal body. That's really a moot point. I find it interesting that you admit (as you must, because the text is so obvious) that Christ is indeed referring to Church discipline and the authority of the Church over an individual believer. As a protestant, you run into quite a pickle. Let's say some member of your local body has gotten into a bad habit of going to strip clubs, and several of you are aware of this. You approach him about it, and he blows you off. You get some friends and approach him again. He blows you off again. So, you take it to your local church-- whatever that may mean-- let's say you take him to the board of elders about this problem. He is not sorry for his actions and he refuses to give up the strip club visits. So the elders say, sorry, you have to leave our congregation. The man says "fine" and leaves. He then walks a block down the street to another "bible only" church, only to be welcomed and told that there is nothing wrong with a little strip club visit here and there. After all, the Bible doesn't explicitly condemn it, and we here at Bible Church Community United go by the Bible and the Bible alone. Thus, Christ's words are rendered meaningless unless the Church Christ talked about had some AUTHORITY from Christ Himself.

4:02 PM  
Blogger Keith Walters said...

Daniel-
That was a silly argument. The authority to remove that individual from the fellowship is not rooted in the church but in Scripture. If he goes to another church and they accept him then how is that my churches fault that they are unbiblical and accommodating his sin, which is explicit in Scripture. And yes he did quote Matthew 18:17 way out of context. He interpreted it to mean "listen to the church" when it is setting forth guidelines for church discipline. It does not say, "listen to the church as it creates doctrines;" it says, "church this is how you conduct discipline."

Concerning papal infallibility you said, "The doctrine states that the pope is infallible in the areas of faith and morals, when he excercises his role as the supreme pastor of the universal Church of Christ."
How then do you explain that the disciples and Paul are all recorded as failing in these areas. None of the verses you cited said anything remotely close to papal infallibility. You should take some time and study them and find their true meaning.

5:35 PM  
Blogger Daniel said...

Keith, the problem is, who's to say the other church is "unbiblical"? It all boils down to an issue of authority. Who has the authority to delcare an interpretation of Scripture "unbiblical"? The individual believer? What about when they disagree (as is always the case)? Someone is right and someone is wrong. And we can know-- infallibly-- just who is right and who is wrong, through the ministry of an infallible, living, breathing Church. Christ didn't throw us book and say "good luck." He left us with a Church endowed with His own authority, one which teaches and sanctifies in His name. Your interpretation of Matt 18:17 just doesn't work. It's another example of what protestants have to do to reconcile blatantly "Catholic" verses with their heretical doctrine. Christ is obviously appealing to the authority of the Church in this verse. It's plain from Scripture that Christ set up a Church, and it is to this Church that Christ is referring in Matt 18:17. The Church is THE authority. Protestants have it completely backwards. The Church does not derive its authority from Scripture. Scripture derives its authority from the Church. How else would we know what books even constitute Scripture? The fact is, we need an infallible authority outside of Scripture to tell us what Scripture is. I pray that you will some day see the errors of your protestant faith and return to the Church from which your ancestors broke away. Nothing less than your salvation depends on it.

As far as the papal infallibility discussion, if you could provide some specific examples (although I already have a pretty good idea of where you'll take this), I can discuss is further with you.

10:55 PM  
Blogger Daniel said...

Woody,

I can't help but notice that every single one of your comments is a copy from CARM's website. Doug, "the Catholic", actually took time to do his research and craft logical arguments against Protestantism. You, on the other hand, could not even come up with your own arguments! You had to copy and paste from a website! Have you even researched the claims of Catholicism? Will you ever respond to Doug's challenges, or will you simply copy-and-paste more rhetoric from someone else's site? Please take this discussion more seriously. We're all under a moral obligation to seek the Truth. It would serve you well to do your own research and not simply assume your position is correct.

9:53 AM  
Anonymous Doug Poindexter said...

Well, Keith, I think Daniel did a fine job of answering your questions. I'll just put in my two cents just for the heck of it though. And I have a few questions of my own for you, Keith. If Sola Scriptura is true, shouldn't all Protestants be united in doctrine? There are literally thousands of Protestant denominations all teaching very different beliefs. Even the "Reformers" Martin Luther, John Calvin, and Ulrich Zwigli all denounced eachother's beliefs as heretical. Keith, let's just take a few denominations as an example (keep in mind there are approximately 25,000 protestant sects and denominations; there are about 10,000 if you accept the most conservative estimate, this does not include all the independent and "non denominational" churches which are denominations unto themselves). The Lutherans believe that infants should be baptized and that baptism is regenerative. They believe Christ's actual body and blood are present in Holy Communion along with the bread and wine ("consubstantiation") whereas other Protestants believe it is merely symbolic. Seventh-day Adventists believe that Christians should worship on the Jewish Sabbath (Saturday), adhere to Old Testament dietary restrictions, that Hell is annhilation and not a literal place of burning fire, Jesus is the Archangel Michael, and that foot-washing is a sacrament (or "ordinance" as you might like to call it). The Church of Christ denomination adheres strictly to sola scriptura, yet believes that adult immersion baptism is necessary for salvation, the "Lord's Supper" should be observed weekly, musical instruments should not be used in Christian worship (the New Testament never gives authority to use them),and that good works play a role in salvation. Baptists disagree about nearly everything, and Baptists cannot agree with Presbyterians that infant baptism should be practiced. Methodists, Nazarenes, and Wesleyans are Arminian and don't believe in "once saved always saved." Pentecostals believe in speaking in tongues and baptizing in Jesus' name only. Anglicans and Methodists believe in an episcopal form of church government (bishops), Baptists and Church of Christ believe in a congregational form of government, although Baptists have only pastors and deacons and Churches of Christ have preachers, elders, and deacons. Presbyterians believe the Biblical model is elders, who meet in a general assembly . . . what do all of these churches have in common though? They all claim to adhere to the "plain meaning" of scripture and hold Scripture as their highest authority and sole rule of faith and practice! They and their pastors have studied the Bible as diligently and sincerely as you and your pastors--which is correct?? The author of Hebrews exhorts, "Let us leave the elementary doctrines of Christ and go on to maturity." He specifically includes baptism, calling it an "elementary doctrine of Christ"--yet Protestants can't even agree what baptism is, what it does, how it should be done, or who should be baptized! The New Testament Church was not just an "invisible society" of the saved--it had a visible and identifiable structure and was one in doctrine. In John 17 Jesus prayed that all His followers would be one, so that the world would see them and know that they are His disciples; if the world could see their unity, clearly it was to be visible. How are Protestants concerned in any way in this passage of scripture???
Keith, are you infallible in your interpretations of Scripture? Is your pastor? If not, then you are admitting that your interpretations are indeed fallible and subject to error! How then can you even know truth from error? God is not the author of confusion--He promised to guide us into "all truth." But Protestants can't even agree about what is true and what isn't, and you ,Keith, can't even be sure that your interpretations aren't false. You think God just dropped a book out of heaven without giving us a guide to interpret it? What if the Fathers of our country left us the Constitution but didn't give us a President, Congress, and Supreme Court, where would we be? We'd have anarchy and chaos--Protestantism is spiritual anarchy and chaos!
Thankfully, God not only inspired fallible men to write infallible Scriptures, He also left us an infallible guide to correctly interpret that infallible book--the Catholic Church, and the Pope as Her earthly, visible head. The Pope is not "divinely inspired" in the sense that he receives new revelations--we Catholics believe that public revelation ended with Jesus and the Apostles. He is, however, by a special grace of the Holy Spirit, prevented from teaching error when making a solemn and official statement on matters pertaining to faith and morals. If the gates of Hell cannot prevail against the Church, if the Church is to be the pillar and ground of truth, if Jesus sent the Holy Spirit to guide us into all truth, and if Peter and his successors have the authority to bind and losse and whatever they bind and loose on earth will be bound and loosed in heaven--and God cannot possibly ratify error--then it logically follows that the Church's earthly and universal pastor, the Pope, cannot teach error. God would not allow it.

Woody...if my arguments are so "flimsy", why havent you answered any of them? Evidently you are much better at copying and pasting rhetoric from other websites than actually examining the facts! I'll bet you're real good at bashing the Catholic Church to other Protestants who already agree with you, or to Catholics who are poorly formed in their faith and don't know how to respond. Apparently you didn't expect that your beliefs and your claims against the Catholic Church could be challenged and proven false. You have contributed nothing to the discussion, so please keep your snide remarks to yourself and stop wasting everyone's time.

11:30 AM  
Blogger Woody said...

Hey Doug, thanks for the comments. I have posted arguments but it boils down to you saying that we interpret it wrong and you interpret it right. All I know is that an honest look at scripture says we are saved by grace through faith, not of ourselves. Catholics base a hope on the fact they have carried out the sacraments, that they confess their sins to some man who thinks he can be a mediator, that they have been sprinkled clean...funny since the word baptizo means to immerse. All these things, and I can say that I rely solely upon God, not anything I do. But according to Catholic teaching I am hell bound. I believe in Christ the Savior and Lord, I have put my faith in Him and trust Him alone for my salvation....but you say I have to add to that. I must carryout the sacraments, works clearly. It is so out of line with scripture it isn't even funny. My wife grew up Catholic and the system is a joke to her. I hope that some day you see the light bro. There is One Mediator, the Man Christ Jesus.

8:42 PM  
Blogger Daniel said...

Woody,

Have you read a single one of Doug's arguments? It's almost laughable that you keep repeating the same tired arguments over and over. They're about an inch deep. And you never did acknowledge that all of your comments were completely lifted-- word for word-- from another website. Have you any intellectual honesty? Doug and I used to be protestant. We know what your man-made religion has to offer: confusion and individual pride! We became Catholic, not because it was the easy road, but because we were convicted by the Truth, by objective facts, by history, by Scripture, by the early Church, by the Church Fathers, by thousands of holy saints, by the Holy Spirit. By your fruits you will know them . . . how many Mother Teresa's has the protestant "church" produced? How many Augustines? How many John Paul IIs? The most famous man in protestant history was an arrogant, vulgar tyrant by the name of Martin Luther. Woody, I pray that you will break out of your 21st century American box and examine Christian history. As a famous convert once said, To be deep in history is to cease to be Protestant.

9:19 PM  
Blogger Woody said...

Daniel, hey bro, it is from CARM and it just so happens I have read those things many tmes before and find them clearly stated on CARM. Instead of me trying to reinvent the wheel I will use the resource supplied. And it really shouldn't matter where the argument comes from. You have yet to strike down those claims I posted. I am not on here trying to argue, I am here trying to show you the light, life is a vapor.

9:20 PM  
Blogger Woody said...

Most famous Baptist....Charles Spurgeon, or William Carrey (founder of modern day missions), or lets see Lottie Moon, Annie Armstrong....don't come at me with names. You have a bunch of people that were committed to the social gospel, come with some names of people that gave their lives to the proclamation of Christ as Lord and Savior.

10:08 PM  
Anonymous Doug Poindexter said...

Woody, bro,funny that Protestants using admire their heroes for their oratorical preaching skills rather than actual holiness. I don't recall God ever being pleased with someone just because they were a good preacher. It is to be expected, though, since
Protestantism really is man-centered...its doctrines are the interpretations of men, the focal point of any Protestant "worship" service is a man--the preacher--whereas in a Catholic Mass the focal point is Jesus Christ Himself in the most Holy Sacrament of the Altar, the Blessed Eucharist. I guess it really doesn't matter how much evidence there is that the Catholic Church is true, Woody, if you're more in love with your man-made Baptist theology than you are with Jesus Christ and His truth. What it all boils down to really is that the Catholic faith is based on Divine Revelation, and your faith is based on subjective human opinion and interpretation.
By the way, Daniel and I both used to be Protestant; I was raised Protestant and he reverted. Three of our good friends will be received into the Holy Catholic Church this Easter, out of protestantism with its schisms and divisions and heresies. All of us were devout Protestant Christians, and it was our love for Jesus Christ and the truth that forced us to become Catholic, and not without the help of the Holy Spirit. We became Catholic because serious study of history and Scripture, and plain logic, led us to the conclusion that the Catholic Church IS what she says she is--the Church of Jesus Christ, the fullness of truth. Protestantism really is a joke to us now, now that we see how shallow and paper-thin it is, and how much we were missing by not being a part of the one true Church of Christ. It's a shame that your wife didn't realize the pearl of great price she was giving up by leaving the Catholic Church, trading her birthright for pottage like that. It's likely she was poorly formed in her faith to begin with, as is usually the case when Catholics leave the Lord's Church for an artificial man-made one.

10:47 PM  
Anonymous Doug Poindexter said...

Woody, bro, keep repeating all those Protestant man-made traditions like "sola fide" and "sola scriptura" and all the lies about the Catholic Church that we've already demolished. I think it was Adolf Hitler who said if you tell a big lie, and you repeat it often enough, people actually start to believe it...(must be a psychological thing). So keep repeating them because you wouldn't want to find out that the Catholic Church is actually true and be forced to admit you were wrong, you're much too prideful to do that.
God bless ;-)

10:53 PM  
Anonymous Doug Poindexter said...

Woody, I have probably said enough but I can't resist pointing out the fact that while you call William Carey the "father of modern mission", what you really mean is the father of Baptist missions. I learned about him in my Baptist Sunday school class a long time ago, but he was the first one to start Baptist missions because prior to him Baptists didn't believe in missions--they were mostly strictly Calvinist and, after all, if God predetermines that someone will be saved He will save them himself, he doesn't need some mediator to take the gospel to them (their reasoning, not mine). Whereas the Catholic Church has been sending out missionaries to preach the unabridged gospel of Jesus Christ to the nations non-stop in her 2,000 year history.

11:07 PM  
Blogger Woody said...

Your right bro, Catholics have been on mission for years....I keep forgetting the Crusades...Catholics were on a tear to make sure the gospel was spread. You think Christ would have agreed with those methods? I guess He did though since the Catholic church is infallible.

11:14 PM  
Anonymous Doug Poindexter said...

Woody, right, the Catholic Church is infallible, meaning she cannot teach error. We don't claim that individual Catholics are impeccable though (without sin!) So you can stop setting up your straw men to beat down.
By the way, I know you're not a big fan of history since your faith is absent for most of it, but if you didn't know, the Crusades were a response to Mohammedan aggression and an attempt to turn back or defend Moslem conquests of Christian lands.
Your own Pope John Calvin burned people at the stake, and Pope Martin Luther wrote tracts advocating the massacring of peasants and Jews. A bit hypocritical for you to point out atrocities Catholics have committed when Protestant history (short as it is) is filled with it.

1:11 AM  
Blogger Keith Walters said...

Everyone-
Hey guys I think we could tone down on insulting each other and continue discussing the information we present.

Daniel-
Your interpretation of Matt 18:17 just doesn't work. It's another example of what protestants have to do to reconcile blatantly "Catholic" verses with their heretical doctrine.
How does Matthew 18:17 say, "Listen to the church as it creates doctrines?" How does it not say, "Church this is how you conduct discipline?" It is clear that Christ is explaining how you discipline congregation members not establishing the infallibility of the Catholic church. Please expound the true meaning of this text to me, based on the context and original Greek, not on what the Catholic church has said; hopefully they would base their interpretations upon diligent exegesis.

Doug-
I realize there are thousands of Protestant denominations and sects and I would argue that this is not a Biblical paradigm. I would also say that much of what was mentioned was due to shoddy exegesis; claiming to hold to the plain meaning of Scripture does not guarantee that you actually do so. Does this mean I am always right and infallible? No, as I study the Scriptures God continually renews and reforms my thinking. Go to http://www.togetherforthegospel.org/ to see how these Pastors from different Protestant denominations can find unity to stand for the Gospel.

Keith, are you infallible in your interpretations of Scripture? Is your pastor? If not, then you are admitting that your interpretations are indeed fallible and subject to error! How then can you even know truth from error?
“Knowledge of ambiguity is not necessarily ambiguous knowledge.” This does not go to say that we cannot have confidence in our interpretation. Rather we can have confidence that diligent and careful exegesis will yield a valid interpretation. In the early church, there were often issues that arose and individuals such as Paul corrected them. The occurrence of such issues and discrepancies does not discredit all interpretations as false and untrustworthy; it just means we must have a teachable.

Regardless of how many Protestant denominations there are I would rather be Protestant as opposed a Catholic, the reasoning behind this is clear in my arguments, namely the Catholic church is unbiblical.

7:35 AM  
Blogger Keith Walters said...

Doug-
Your own Pope John Calvin burned people at the stake, and Pope Martin Luther wrote tracts advocating the massacring of peasants and Jews.

Yes, Calvin argued against Michael Servetus, who even the Catholics arrested and viewed as a heretic. Calvin called for a quick execution, instead of burning, but he was burned at the stake on October 27, 1553. What sets Calvin apart from the Catholic church is that they claim infallibility in their actions while Calvin says, "God is the father of mercy, he will show himself such a Father to me, who acknowledges myself to be a miserable sinner." Calvin's humble admittance that he is a "miserable sinner" is far from the Catholic churches prideful claim of infalibility.

I also know that Luther was anti-semetic.

7:49 AM  
Blogger Daniel said...

Please expound the true meaning of this text to me, based on the context and original Greek, not on what the Catholic church has said; hopefully they would base their interpretations upon diligent exegesis.

Keith, I'm not going to fall into this. I don't know a word of Greek, and I'm not going to pretend I do. What I do know is that 2,000 years of Church history backs up my interpretation, and I trust that more than some crash-course in New Testament Greek. The Catholic Church doesn't base her doctrines on revising Scripture some 2,000 years removed from history with some modern Greek scholar. She has the testimony of the men who actually wrote it! Protestants often forget that all the Apostles were the original Catholics.

At some point, we just have to bow out of an argument that isn't going anywhere. Keith, protestantism is based on arrogance and pride. Does it not frighten you that many of your interpretations of Scripture fly in the face of (at least) 1500 years of Christian history? You trust your own interpretation more than early Church fathers? More than men who walked with the Apostles?

Let me ask you a specific question: What do you do with testimony like this from 151 AD (from Justin Martyr)?

"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" (First Apology 66 [A.D. 151]).

Do you just pass it off? It doesn't bother you one bit that in the second century you have a well-known Christian basically describing the dogma of Transubstantiation? There are also even earlier extra-biblical references (in addition to Scripture itself, of course) to the Eucharist. But I chose Justin Martyr's specifically because he is writing to a non-Christian in regards to what Christianity is all about.

What do you do with things like this?

10:40 AM  
Blogger Keith Walters said...

Doug-
What I do know is that 2,000 years of Church history backs up my interpretation, and I trust that more than some crash-course in New Testament Greek. The Catholic Church doesn't base her doctrines on revising Scripture some 2,000 years removed from history with some modern Greek scholar.
Speaking on Matthew 18:17

Tertullian 208 A.D.
"Here is a portrait of the early penitential discipline sufficiently terrible, and it conforms to the apostolic pictures of the same."

Cyprian 252 A.D.
"And the blessed apostle not only warns, but also commands us to withdraw from such. . . He who is not with Christ, who is an adversary of Christ, who is hostile to His unity and peace, cannot be associated with us."

Lactantius around 300 A.D.
"But if he be willing to repent, receive him. For the Church does not receive an heathen or a publican"

Every one of these views Matthew 18:17 as setting guidelines for church discipline and not distinguishing the church as an infallible source of doctrine. This is made clear in the text and now you know I am not interpreting the text according to some new Greek scholarship.

11:54 AM  
Blogger Keith Walters said...

I guess my only question for you is the same thing Christ asked the Pharisees, "Do you not know the Scriptures? Have you not read?" Because the Bible is clear there is no need for any external authority because Scripture is clear in its meaning. Read the Bible and read it for what it says.

12:43 PM  
Anonymous Doug Poindexter said...

Keith,
Your first argument about Catholicism claiming to be "infallible" in burning people at the stake is way off the mark. The Catholic Church is infallible (without error) in her teachings, she doesn't claim that she can do no wrong. As I said, that would be called "impeccability" not infallibility. Did you even read Daniel's post where he explained what infallibility is? Though the Church is essentially holy because Her Spouse Jesus Christ is holy and because His sacraments are channels of grace which actually make one holy (not merely "declared" to be holy with no actual change, as Luther taught), individual Catholics--including clergy and Popes--may choose not to take advantage of the many wonderful graces God has given them to grow in holiness and charity. The Church is a field where wheat and tares grow; it includes saints and sinners, it isn't just an invisible society of saints.
Keith, I know in that particular verse Jesus was talking about Church discipline. His point though was to "listen to the Church." Keith, if the church were just a free association of believers who choose to come together to form a local church, as you claim, it would have no authority to conduct discipline because it is man-made. If someone doesn't like something about their church, they could simply get a couple other believers together and form one they do like. If someone is excommunicated from one local church, they can just walk down the street and join that one. Keith, even a cursory reading of the New Testament will show that the early Church was a universal body that had a hierarchy and was one in doctrine; it wasn't a collection of autonomous competing local congregations as tends to be the case with Protestantism.

Keith, can you back up your last claim? You're using faulty logic and your premises are incorrect as well. Scripture is NOT always clear in its meaning because Peter said they are "hard to understand." You still have not shown that "sola scriptura" is ever taught in the Bible, and you just ignored my questions about why, if Scripture is so clear, cannot Protestants agree on even the most basic doctrines of Christianity--your silence speaks volumes.
Thank you.

1:14 PM  
Anonymous Doug Poindexter said...

Keith, I just have to say that it was our reading of Sacred Scripture which led us into the Catholic Church! My paradigm has totally shifted. Now whenever I read Scripture I am delighted to see how it is in perfect harmony with Catholic teaching, and why shouldn't it be since Holy Mother Church gave the Scripture to us? Whereas when I was a Protestant I had to ignore or desperately explain away any verses dealing with baptism, since it's so plain in Scripture that baptism is regenerative and not just an "outward sign". Keith, be honest. When you read Scripture, you don't just "let it speak for itself"; you allow your Baptist theology to guide you in your interpretation of it.

1:25 PM  
Anonymous Doug Poindexter said...

Keith, I just have to say that it was our reading of Sacred Scripture which led us into the Catholic Church! My paradigm has totally shifted. Now whenever I read Scripture I am delighted to see how it is in perfect harmony with Catholic teaching, and why shouldn't it be since Holy Mother Church gave the Scripture to us? Whereas when I was a Protestant I had to ignore or desperately explain away any verses dealing with baptism, since it's so plain in Scripture that baptism is regenerative and not just an "outward sign". Keith, be honest. When you read Scripture, you don't just "let it speak for itself"; you allow your Baptist theology to guide you in your interpretation of it.

1:26 PM  
Anonymous Doug Poindexter said...

Ooops! Didn't mean to post that twice!
Sorry.

1:27 PM  
Blogger Keith Walters said...

Doug-
"Keith, if the church were just a free association of believers who choose to come together to form a local church, as you claim, it would have no authority to conduct discipline because it is man-made."
Actually the authority comes from Scripture. I am now going to describe the process presented in Matthew 18:15-17. You take your brother, who is sinning, aside and rebuke him; the authority to rebuke him is from Scripture (II Timothy 3:16). If he does not repent you get two of your friends and rebuke him again. If he does not repent you bring him before the church and rebuke him. If he does not repent you say, "According to the revealed word of God, specifically Matthew 18:17, we ecommunicate you because of your unrepentant heart." The authority of that entire was completely derived from Scripture we do not need the Catholic church for authority.

"The Catholic Church is infallible (without error) in her teachings, she doesn't claim that she can do no wrong."

Was the Catholic church not teaching "these men are heritics and should be burned at the stake?" Because that means she is fallible.

"since it's so plain in Scripture that baptism is regenerative and not just an "outward sign.""

Read Acts 10:44-48 Cornelius and all who heard Peter's message recieved the Holy Spirit prior to Baptism. How do you explain that?

6:30 PM  
Anonymous Doug Poindexter said...

The authority to rebuke him is from Scripture (II Timothy 3:16)
Im not sure where you find this in II Timothy 3:16. Keith, if we're going to talk about Scripture we have to talk about the one on paper and ink. I can't argue the "mental Bible" in your head that you're forcing on the text where the text itself says no such thing.

Was the Catholic church not teaching "these men are heritics and should be burned at the stake?" Because that means she is fallible.
No, she wasn't.

Read Acts 10:44-48 Cornelius and all who heard Peter's message recieved the Holy Spirit prior to Baptism. How do you explain that?
Keith, notice the passage says nothing about salvation. Whereas other passages connect baptism with forgiveness of sin and salvation, and nowhere indicate that it is an "outward sign" following salvation.

The Peter said unto them, Repent, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins, and ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost. (Acts 2:38)

Noah and his family were saved by water; likewise, we are saved in the water of baptism.
Who one time were disobedient, when once the longsuffering of God waited in the days of Noah while the ark was being prepared, wherein few, (that is, eight souls) were saved by water. The like figure to this, even baptism, doth also now save us (not the putting away of the filth of the flesh, but the answer of a good conscience toward God) by the resurrection of Jesus Christ.
(2 Peter 3:20,21)

Jesus said baptism is the means by which we are spiritually reborn, and therefore saved.
Verily, verily I say unto thee, unless a man be born of water and of the Spirit, he cannot enter into the Kingdom of God. (John 3:5)
He that believeth and is baptized shall be saved; but he that believeth not shall be damned. (Mark 16:16)

Paul also said we are spiritually reborn in baptism.
Know ye not that as many of us as were baptized into Jesus Christ were baptized into His death?
Therefore we are buried with Him by baptism into death, that just as Christ was raised up from the dead by the glory of the Father, even so we also should walk in newness of life.
(Romans 6:3-4)

Paul received the vision of Jesus Christ on the road to Damascus. He spent three days praying afterwards. Yet he was not washed clean of his sins until he was baptized.
And now why tarriest thou? Arise and be baptized and wash away thy sins, calling on the name of the Lord. (Acts 22:16)

7:05 PM  
Blogger Keith Walters said...

Doug-
I said, "The authority to rebuke him is from Scripture (II Timothy 3:16)"
You replied, "Im not sure where you find this in II Timothy 3:16. Keith, if we're going to talk about Scripture we have to talk about the one on paper and ink. I can't argue the "mental Bible" in your head that you're forcing on the text where the text itself says no such thing."

And I honestly have to ask if you have ever read the Bible? Do you suffer from a mental handicapp? Or are you just that stupid? No, I am not trying to insult you these are honest questions.

All Scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness, II Timothy 3:16

It is right there in the text "All Scripture is . . . profitable . . . for reproof (aka rebuking)."

How can you not be sure where I find it? Note he does not say "use external authority to rebuke" or "have the Catholic church rebuke them" he says rebuke them with Scripture; which he had just previously stated was breathed out by God. You are the one imposing on the text.

10:24 PM  
Anonymous Doug Poindexter said...

And I honestly have to ask if you have ever read the Bible? Do you suffer from a mental handicapp? Or are you just that stupid? No, I am not trying to insult you these are honest questions.
Keith, it was an insult; please don't try to kid anyone, including yourself, into thinking they were merely "honest questions." Obviously I read the Bible, Keith, since I have used ample Biblical evidence to correct your erroneous beliefs, whereas you have just kept repeating a handful of your pet "proof-texts" that you're taking out of context.
Keith, you really ought to invest in a dictionary, it will help you out a lot in the longrun. In his epistle to Timothy, Paul refers to Scripture (and here he is speaking of the Old Testament as the New one had not yet been written) as "profitable". Do you know what profitable means, Keith? Profitable means "useful". Do you know what the word profitable does not mean? It does not mean "sufficient"; it does not mean "all we need." Please stop reading the text as if this is what it says.

10:46 PM  
Blogger Keith Walters said...

Yes, I have a dictionary. In fact I am documenting my library and my guess would be that I have far more books than you. (That doesn't matter but it answers your chalenge.)

I know profitable means useful. But because God inspired the Scripture it is useful for for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness. Why is it useful for these things? Because God spoke it. So when rebuking an individual you should use the word of God because it it backed by the authority of God.

Notice what the text does not say. It does not say "All Scripture, when backed by the authority of the Catholic church, is useful." He says Scripture alone, by itself, is useful.

You are imposing a meaning on the text and translating it to mean that Scripture apart from the Church is useless.

11:25 AM  
Blogger Keith Walters said...

"built on the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Christ Jesus himself being the cornerstone," Ephesians 2:20

1. The Church is built upon the Apostles and Prophets (The OT and the NT)

2. Therefore, the Church derives her authority from Scripture and not vice versa.

3. Christ is the head of the Church.

The Catholic system is in complete contradiction to this; it places the church as authoritative over Scripture and the Pope over Christ.

Here is proof that the Catholic church stands in direct contradiction to Ephesisns 2:20

"[The Church] does not derive her certainty about all revealed truths from the holy Scriptures alone. Both Scripture and Tradition must be accepted and honored with equal sentiments of devotion and reverence'." (Catechism of the Catholic Church, paragraph 82.)

"The Pope enjoys, by divine institution, supreme, full, immediate, and universal power in the care of souls" (Catechism of the Catholic Church, paragraph 937)

11:38 AM  
Anonymous Doug Poindexter said...

In fact I am documenting my library and my guess would be that I have far more books than you.
LOL. A little full of ourselves aren't we?

Notice what the text does not say. It does not say "All Scripture, when backed by the authority of the Catholic church, is useful." He says Scripture alone, by itself, is useful. He never says "alone" or "by itself."

The Church is built upon the Apostles and Prophets (The OT and the NT)
I didn't see "Old Testament and New Testament" in my Bible. Keith.

The Catholic system is in complete contradiction to this; it places the church as authoritative over Scripture and the Pope over Christ.Actually Scripture is backed by the authority of the Catholic Church...Keith, you should investigate how the canon of the New Testament was formed. If the Catholic Church was not infallible in defining the canon of the New Testament, then you have as R.C. Sproul said, "A fallible collection of infallible books." Are you comfortable with having a "fallible collection"?
The Catholic Church doesn't place itself above the Scriptures; it safeguards the real meaning of Scripture. The Catholic Church doesn't place the Pope over Christ, either.

Here is proof that the Catholic church stands in direct contradiction to Ephesisns 2:20 Could you explain the contradiction? Maybe because I'm stupid or mentally handicapped, but I don't see any contradiction.

Thanks for those great quotes from the Catechism!

12:44 PM  
Blogger Daniel said...

My quote from Justin Martyr in regards to the Eucharist never was answered.

1:19 PM  
Blogger Keith Walters said...

The Church is built upon the Apostles and Prophets (The OT and the NT)

"I didn't see "Old Testament and New Testament" in my Bible. Keith."

If you understood Jewish culture you would know that references to the law or the prophets were understood to mean the Old Testament Scriptures. When speaking of the Apostles he is speaking of the doctrinal foundation laid by the Apostles (which is recorded in the New Testament). When understood in it's culturial and gramatical context this text is clear.

Here is proof that the Catholic church stands in direct contradiction to Ephesisns 2:20 "Could you explain the contradiction? Maybe because I'm stupid or mentally handicapped, but I don't see any contradiction."

Here is the contradiction with further explanation.
1. The Church is built upon the Apostles and Prophets (The OT and the NT). The church is to be built upon the doctrinal foundations laid by the apostles and prophets; these foundations are recorded in the Old and New Testament. (see I Corinthians 3 for more on the laying of doctrinal foundations.) The Catholic church faults by placing its tradition on equal standing with Scripture as the foundation Catechism of the Catholic Church, paragraph 82).

2. Therefore, the Church derives her authority from Scripture and not vice versa. The Catholic church faults by viewing the Scripture's authority as being derived from the church.(CCC paragraph 82)

3. Christ is the head of the Church. The Catholic church faults by viewing the Pope as the head of the church and as being the supreme universal power (CCC paragraphs 882 & 937) when in Matthew 28:18 Christ claims this power is His alone.

All three of these points are clear in Ephesians 2:20

11:30 PM  
Blogger Daniel said...

Keith,

You have yet to mention your position on the Justin Martyr passage on the Eucharist. Keith, it would serve you well in general to study the writings of the Church Fathers. Surely they, more than you, know the clear meaning of the Scriptures, since many of them walked with the men who wrote them. Take, for example, St. Ignatius of Antioch. Most historians agree that he was a disciple of both Apostles Peter and John. So, his interpretation of Christianity should carry some weight, no? Let's see what this holy man has to say about the Eucharist:

"Take note of those who hold heterodox opinions on the grace of Jesus Christ which has come to us, and see how contrary their opinions are to the mind of God. . . . They abstain from the Eucharist and from prayer because they do not confess that the Eucharist is the flesh of our Savior Jesus Christ, flesh which suffered for our sins and which that Father, in his goodness, raised up again. They who deny the gift of God are perishing in their disputes" (Letter to the Smyrnaeans 6:2–7:1 [A.D. 110]). (italics mine)

12:03 AM  
Blogger Keith Walters said...

Please reply to my post above about Ephesians 2:20.

I have a 37 volume set of the early church fathers, that is where I quoted Tertullian, Cyprian, and Lactantius from. I will answer you question about the Eucharist as soon as you address my previous post. And there were heretics in the early church too; just because an individual believed something in A.D. 50 does not mean it is correct.

12:57 AM  
Blogger Daniel said...

I can assure Justin Martyr and Ignatius of Antioch were not heretics. Most SAINTS were not, as a general rule.

1:09 AM  
Anonymous Doug Poindexter said...

The church is to be built upon the doctrinal foundations laid by the apostles and prophets; these foundations are recorded in the Old and New Testament. Keith, I'm confused. What exactly is your question about Ephesians 2:20? And where are you getting the idea that all apostolic teaching was recorded in the New Testament? The Bible says to follow all the traditions we have received--both oral and written (2 Thess. 2:15) Catholic Sacred Tradition is not a "tradition of men"--it is apostolic tradition. What part of oral tradition do you obey Keith??

The Catholic church faults by viewing the Pope as the head of the church and as being the supreme universal power (CCC paragraphs 882 & 937) when in Matthew 28:18 Christ claims this power is His alone. Keith, Catholicism tends not to set up these little false dichotomies that you do. I explained this quite thoroughly a while back in my earlier posts, but I'm not sure you actually read those. Christ IS the Head of the Catholic Church, and the Pope is His Vicar on earth, as He gave Peter and his successors authority to bind and loose and made Peter the pastor of the universal Church (John 21). There is one Lord, one faith, one baptism. If Jesus were the head of your "invisible church", Keith, why are all the members of your invisible church divided into tens of thosands of competing, divided sects? You can't even agree with another Baptist church down the street, much less with Christians in other Protestant denominations. Is this the kind of church Jesus leads?? He who does not gather with Him will be scattered.

And there were heretics in the early church too; just because an individual believed something in A.D. 50 does not mean it is correct. Yes there were heretics, and guess what, the people we're quoting weren't heretics! Do you know how the early Christians recognize heresy for what it was, Keith? Whenever the Church condemned a belief as heretical Do you know how the early Christians knew the Church established by Christ from heretical ones? They recognized the one that had a bishop in the line of apostolic succession as the one established by Christ! They didn't have a New Testament back then to go by; most of them couldn't even read. Believe it or not, Keith, they didn't have big leather Bibles to carry with them to church like you do; they couldn't flip from verse to verse in their Bibles to make sure their preacher was preaching the word of God. They believed the teaching they received because it came from the Church, and Christ protects His Church from teaching heresy.
Keith, there were heretics in the early Church. If we go by your definition of heretic, then all the early Christians were heretics! That's right Keith, they ALL believed in the Real Presence of Jesus Christ in the Eucharist! None of them believed it was just a symbol or memorial; they all believed it was the actual body and blood of the Lord Jesus. None of them believed that baptism was a symbol that was done after you were saved; they ALL believed that baptism is regenerative.
Can you find one early Christian--a Christian, not a Gnostic--who believed that Communion was just a symbolic meal and not the actual Body and Blood of Christ? Can you find one who believed baptism was just a symbolic act that was performed after salvation? Can you even find one early Christian who even had the same concept of salvation as you?

1:31 AM  
Blogger Pio Francis said...

+JMJ

2 things.

1) Mr Walters,
Did you really ask Douglas if he was mentally handicapped or stupid? How did that seem like a good idea? Let's speak in charity, brother.

2) I've been away for a few days, and came back to a tangled mess. I wonder if it would be a better idea to pick one topic at a time, so that we might exhaust the debate on that before going on to another subject. There are plenty of possibilities from this post alone. the papacy, authority, Sacred Tradition, Sacred Scripture, etc.

4:35 PM  
Blogger Daniel said...

Well? Let's hop to it! Someone choose a topic to begin with. Keith, do you want to create a new post so we can start afresh?

6:41 AM  
Blogger Keith Walters said...

I think we should stick to Sola Scriptura that has been what most of the debate has been about. I would like to do a new post but I am swamped right now so you can either continue it here or wait untill the weekend when I have time to post again.

4:47 PM  
Anonymous Doug Poindexter said...

I think we should stick to Sola Scriptura that has been what most of the debate has been about. I would like to do a new post but I am swamped right now so you can either continue it here or wait untill the weekend when I have time to post again.
I agree, and "sola scriptura" also happens to be one of my favorite topics. Do you think you could still answer the questions Daniel and I had about the early Church Fathers though? Thanks.

6:11 PM  
Blogger Keith Walters said...

What was the specific early church fathers question? If I get around to posting on Sola Scriptura I might answer it there.

11:49 PM  
Blogger Keith Walters said...

I should have apologized earlier but sorry for my inconsiderate remarks. Looks like I am the only person dumb enough to call names.

11:55 PM  
Blogger Daniel said...

I'm guilty of lacking charity as well. It's easy to insult one another during conversations as heated as these tend to be. I apologize to you, Keith, and to Woody, if he's around, for my lack of charity and my rude tone in many of my comments.

I'm looking forward to discussing these issues with a new start.

God bless.

2:26 PM  

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