Sunday, November 30, 2014

PRAYING TO THE SAINTS - REVISITED



A while back, we did an article on praying to the saints in Heaven, demonstrating how unbiblical this concept is.  The article can be found here:


Although this practice is found in the Catholic Church, the Orthodox Churches, and even in some of the Protestant Churches, it seems to be most popular with Catholics.  Note what the Catholic Church says about this teaching...

Official Sources

The Council of Trent teaches that “it is good and useful” to invoke (pray to) the saints in Heaven and ask them for their prayers, their aid, and their help in “obtaining benefits from God.”  This same Council also warned that anyone who denies that this is true is “wholly to be condemned.” (Session 25, On the Invocation, Veneration, and Relics, of Saints, and on Sacred Images)

According to the Catechism of the Catholic Church, the intercession of the saints will “fix the whole Church more firmly in holiness” and “by their fraternal concern is our weakness greatly helped.” (CCC #956)

The Catechism also says that “their intercession is their most exalted service to God’s plan.” (CCC #2683)

The Catholic document Lumen Gentium (“Light of the Nations”), which is a dogmatic constitution on the Church, tells us that the saints in Heaven, through their intercession, “lend nobility to the worship which the Church offers to God here on earth and in many ways contribute to its greater edification.” (Chapter 7, Paragraph 49)

According to the New Advent Catholic Encyclopedia (online):

“Canonization is a precept of the Roman Pontiff commanding public veneration to be paid an individual by the Universal Church.“ [Emphasis added]  

And again:

“The pope then issues a Bull of Canonization in which he not only permits, but commands, the public cultus, or veneration, of the saint.” (“Beatification and Canonization”) [Emphasis added]

Concerning Mary, the Catechism says of her:

“… You conceived the living God and, by your prayers, will deliver our souls from death” (CCC #966). [Emphasis added]

“Mary… by her manifold intercession continues to bring us the gifts of eternal salvation… Therefore the Blessed Virgin is invoked in the Church under the titles of Advocate, Helper, Benefactress, and Mediatrix” (CCC #969). [Emphasis added]

“… The Church rightly honors ‘the Blessed Virgin with special devotion.  From the most ancient times the Blessed Virgin has been honored with the title of “Mother of God,” to whose protection the faithful fly in all their dangers and needs…’” (CCC #971) [Emphasis added]

If This is All True…

Ok, a lot of special claims have been made here concerning the intercession of saints, and (especially) Mary, in these official Catholic sources.  According to Catholics, praying to saints has been a “universal practice of the church” since ancient times.  If this is all true, and if praying to the saints in Heaven is “good and useful” to “obtain benefits from God,” if it does indeed “fix the whole Church more firmly in holiness,” and contributes so much to the “greater edification” of the church, delivering our souls from death, bringing us “gifts of eternal salvation,” and if the faithful are to “fly in all their dangers and needs” toward the saints’ protection... then surely, something of this magnitude would at least be mentioned in Scripture, wouldn’t you think? 

It’s Just Not There

If all of the Catholic sources above are correct, then praying to Mary and the saints must be a wonderful and spiritually helpful thing to do.  But if that’s true, then why is this concept totally absent from the God-breathed Scriptures (in spite of the confident claim of Catholics that this teaching is a biblical idea)?  In the Bible, there are literally hundreds of references to prayer, and not a single one of them encourages us to pray to someone OTHER THAN GOD.  In fact, we are warned that God is a jealous God (Exodus 20:5; Deuteronomy 4:24; Nahum 1:2), and the constant example is to call upon HIM in time of need… not saints, angels, etc. (Jeremiah 33:3; Psalm 50:15; 91:15; Matthew 6:6, 9).  We are to pray to Him alone (Psalm 73:25).

So, has God been negligent, or perhaps even cruel, to withhold such a seemingly vital “treasure” from His people who study the Bible?  No, this teaching of praying to saints is not a treasure, but a trap!

Strain a Gnat… Swallow a Camel

It is truly amazing that Catholics can, on the one hand, see an infallible dogma (the supposed “Immaculate Conception” of Mary, herself) in Luke 1:28 … and yet, on the other hand, altogether MISS such a simple and obvious biblical pattern of praying ONLY to God, a concept that is thoroughly interwoven throughout all the Scriptures!  The pattern of hundreds of references to prayer is ignored in the one case, while a Catholic dogma is fabricated from the twisted “evidence” of (mainly) a single verse, in the other.  This is not only tragic, but dishonest.  And furthermore, to add insult to injury, remember, Catholics are commanded by the pope to pray to saints (as noted above) and those who don’t are condemned by the Council of Trent.

Conclusion

Catholics will often tell us that when they pray to saints, they are simply asking the saints to pray, or intercede, for them (the Catholic).  But in many cases, it is obvious that their requests are so much more than just “asking for prayer.”  In Scripture, prayer is never “just asking.”  Rather, biblical prayer is an act of WORSHIP, humbly addressing Almighty God, and Him alone.  Attempting to address anyone (or anything) else in prayer (even if only for the purpose of asking for intercession) is idolatry.  Any alleged “benefits” from praying to Mary, angels or saints are deceptive, at best, and ultimately destructive to souls, at worst.

83 comments:

  1. Russell,

    Instead of posting false straw-man arguments, why not convert back to the Catholic Church!!? Peter was the first pope(Matthew 16:18-19) and the pope is infallible!!!!! ;)

    If you dumb Protestants really had any sort of knowledge of the truth, then why do so many of you convert to our religion?

    Jonathon

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  2. Jonathon,

    After I was finished reading this article, I discovered that the burden of proof is on you(and many other Catholics). Did you even read and examine this article? Of course not. You are obviously too biased and stupid to do so. The Lord Jesus Christ is the ONLY foundation for the Church (1 Corinthians 3:11) and He holds primacy in ALL things (Colossians 1:18). Now that leaves no space for the pope!

    Is the pope really infallible in teaching? Remember, "all have sinned" (Romans 3:23) and God is the ONLY source of infallible truth (Romans 3:4). The doctrine of Papal Infallibility was "invented" by the Catholic Church in 1870 AD. To make matters even worse for you Jonathon, popes have contradicted each other and Scripture repeatedly. For example, why does the pope teach you guys to call your priests "father" when the Bible very clearly condemns such actions (Matthew 23:9)? So much for a source of "infallible truth". LOL! ;)

    You said, "If you dumb Protestants really had any sort of knowledge of the truth, then why do so many of you convert to our religion?"

    Do you really want to start insulting other Christians for their beliefs? When you call others "dumb", you need to look at yourself and your Catholic friends. Just look at how uneducated most of you are when it comes to the knowledge of the Scriptures! Do you think that you are "better" than other Christians or something? People only join the Catholic religion because they have deceived by Satan.

    If you are humble enough to admit it, Russell definitely knows what he is talking about and you probably do not know anything about your own religion! One has to wonder, why do you Catholics always complain about the truth?

    Jesse


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    1. Jesse, you may be better at arguing now, and we may have gon through this before, but I have some rebuttles.
      1. The Lord Jesus is the only foundation, but that doesn't mean Jesus couldn't have laid commands and power to the Apostles. So this would also mean that their is room for a pope if he was appointed by Jesus.
      2. On matters of calling people "father", is not Abraham our father in faith, and Paul not say he is the father in faith to a certain community, I forget what letter, since he brought the gospel to them?
      3. You claim that a bunch of Catholics convert to Protestantism, well I could make the same claim that a bunch of protestants convert to Catholicism, I know a couple.
      4. I could also claim that Catholics who convert away are deceived by satan.
      5. On infallibility, the Church doesn't claim popes are sinless so that doesn't have weight. God is the only infallible truth, and He works through the pope.

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    2. On Saint prayers:
      If saints themselves act in response to prayer, it because of God. There is also the classic argument that we ask other people to pray for us. Now what is the difference between saints and angels and humans on earth. Saints are dead? No they're are alive in heaven, in extremely close communion with God. Why can't they hear us? Jesus says there is much rejoicing in heaven over on sinner that turns than 99 who need not repent. So those in heaven can see this.
      There is in the bible examples of heavenly intercession, by some else other than God. Some these are taken from the Deutercanonicals: Raphael saves Tobit and his family in the book of Tobit. Jesus says that there are angels in heaven watching over all the little children. In II Maccabees, one of the Jews sees Jeremiah praying on be half of the Jews, to God. So we could conclude the Bible is okay with us asking for saintly intercession.

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    3. Hi Sean,
      (Part 1)

      "The Lord Jesus is the only foundation, but that doesn't mean Jesus couldn't have laid commands and power to the Apostles. So this would also mean that their is room for a pope if he was appointed by Jesus."

      No genuine Christian doubts the fact that Jesus Christ gave commandments for the church to preach and defend the Truth of the gospel (Matthew 28:18-20; John 14:15-23; Acts 20:26-32; 1 Timothy 3:14-15). But it does not automatically follow from this premise that a single head bishop structure is necessary or even a part of church government, especially when the New Testament is silent about one. We can function without Pope like figures because we have the God-breathed Scriptures (Luke 1:1-4; Timothy 3:13-17; 2 Peter 1:3-4). Are these not a trustworthy standard of faith? If not, then why? Can you produce any argument of SUBSTANCE to counter my Jesus as the only head of the church argument?

      "2. On matters of calling people "father", is not Abraham our father in faith, and Paul not say he is the father in faith to a certain community, I forget what letter, since he brought the gospel to them?"

      A "father in the faith" is clearly not the same as the occupation of religious titles of honor, which are clearly forbidden by the context of Matthew 23:8-10. Furthermore, we never see titles in the New Testament Scriptures for leaders in the church such as "Doctor Peter", " Father Paul", or "Reverend John". These clearly reflect an attitude of arrogance and thus put God to anger.

      I believe that the second reference you mentioned is 1 Corinthians 4:15, but that is totally different than "Father Paul"!

      "3. You claim that a bunch of Catholics convert to Protestantism, well I could make the same claim that a bunch of protestants convert to Catholicism, I know a couple."

      Concerning point three, I NEVER used the idea of Roman Catholic conversions to Protestantism as a means to bash other Catholics. If I did, then yes, I would indeed be guilty of a double standard. But that is not the case here at all. I was simply trying to defend Russell and myself from a bully.

      Could you tell me about some of those "Catholic converts" that you told me about? Who are they? Why did they convert to the Roman Catholic Church? Did you have any influence on those individuals? I am just curious.

      "4. I could also claim that Catholics who convert away are deceived by satan."

      Your claim actually may be true in some cases, for reasons very from person to person. But Scripture should always be the primary reason for abandoning any system of doctrine. They are the only sure way of knowing divine truth.

      "5. On infallibility, the Church doesn't claim popes are sinless so that doesn't have weight. God is the only infallible truth, and He works through the pope."

      Okay, I apologize for being a bit harsh to the anonymous charather. You are right about God being the only source of infallible truth and Popes admitting to being fallible to the things outside the spiritual realm.

      On the contrary, the mere fact that your church repeatedly contradicts the Holy Scriptures is sufficient evidence that God does not work through the Pope and thereby excludes your church from being the one true church.

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    4. (Part 2)

      "If saints themselves act in response to prayer, it because of God."

      What exactly do you mean by this statement about prayer? What is on your mind? I believe that you need to expound on what you have said here.

      "There is also the classic argument that we ask other people to pray for us. Now what is the difference between saints and angels and humans on earth."

      Well, you would have to pray directly to Mary and the saints because they are not physically present on the earth. Moreover, it would be absurd to pray to somebody in heaven when he or she is in turn going to ask God.

      According to the catechism and the New Advent Catholic Encyclopedia, Roman Catholics do indeed pray directly to Mary and the saints. This "classical" argument of yours is tired, overused, and completely false.

      "Saints are dead? No they're are alive in heaven, in extremely close communion with God."

      Alright, I never said or believed that the saints in heaven were merely "dead". That is misrepresentation on your part.

      Just because a saint is very alive with the presence of God in the heaeunly sancutary does not mean that he or she is capable of answering or being a recipient of prayers.

      "Why can't they hear us?"

      Obviously, it is logically impossible for Mary and the saints to successfully hear and address every prayer directed to them, for they are not all-knowimg or omnipresent.

      How can finite beings answer millions of different types of prayers in different languages across the globe at the same time? To ascribe such qualities to creations with limitations is to turn them into an idol because they are not deity, as is the case with the Trinity. In fact, this concept of praying to saints is a classical example of worshipping the creature more than the majestic Creator (Romans 1:25).

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    5. (Part 3)

      "Jesus says there is much rejoicing in heaven over on sinner that turns than 99 who need not repent."

      Not so fast! Rejoicing over a conversion from sin does not equal receiving a prayer request. Further, this does not mean that we have been given any permission to pray to other beings.

      "There is in the bible examples of heavenly intercession, by some else other than God."

      Really? Do you even know what you are talking about? In Scripture, there are literally hundreds of examples of answered and unanswered prayer requests. There are even dozens of Scriptural references talking about prayer and praise to God. And these were ALL directed to God alone. We haven't even been given ANY permission to behave in that manner. We are to follow the patterns set forth by Scripture. The constant example is to pray to Him and trust in Him ALONE for everything we want and need! How can a person as brilliant as you totally miss this point? What you NEED to do is to point out examples of APPROVED prayers to other beings to us in the canonical writings.

      "Some these are taken from the Deutercanonicals...."

      I would dispute the inspiration of the deutercanonical or apocryphal books, but that subject is another discussion for another day. All that I know is that the real Old Testament writings forbid contact with the dead (Deuteronomy 18:9-14; Leviticus 19:31).

      "Jesus says that there are angels in heaven watching over all the little children."

      Where? I need to know the citation so that I can glimpse at the context of the passage and address your claims on this one.

      "So we could conclude the Bible is okay with us asking for saintly intercession."

      Yeah, only according to your whacky interpretation of Scripture.

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  3. Hi Russell,

    If praying to Greek gods such as Apollo and Zeus is wrong, then would it not also be wrong for Catholics to pray to Mary and the saints, since it involves the same concept of praying to someone other than God?

    Jesse

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  4. Check the meaning of the word to Pray, it simply means to Ask or to pertition. And we use it in that context. So i freely pray to whomever i want but i worship God alone.

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    1. Hello Perfect,

      But you need to recognize that the SCRIPTURAL concept of prayer is ALWAYS an act worship. "Asking" is only a component of prayer. It can also include gratitude and praise.

      Throughout the Bible, all prayers were directed to God alone. We have no examples of anyone offering prayers to other beings or even God approving of such actions.Only God knows everything about everybody's internal desires (1 Kings 8:37-39). We should desire Him alone (Psalm 73:25-26). And, only His name is to be venerated (Psalm 148:13).

      If you "freely pray to whoever you want", then do you pray to yourself or your parents? Why can't you just intercede for yourself? Would you pray to Apollo or Zeus?

      Jesse

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    2. Why can't we intercede for ourselves? Well, praying to God for help is kind of doing that. We can ask our parents for their prayers. Zeus and Apollo aren't real.

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    3. Hi Sean,

      Here we go again! I just have one quick comment to make.

      You said,"Zeus and Apollo aren't real."

      I think that you may have missed the point of my illustration above. I was simply trying to demonstrate the absurdities of Mug's ideas, nothing more and nothing less.


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    4. Sean,

      One last thing, please make sure that you click on the links to the other articles with additional information. For this one, see:

      http://answeringcatholicclaims.blogspot.com/2011/02/praying-to-saints.html

      Make sure that you take the time to read and examine the articles on this blog and the many other reputable ones out there. Don't be afraid to ask questions or make objections to presented materials !

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  5. Jesse, I'm not going to answer in order, I'll start with Part 3:

    "Not so fast! Rejoicing over a conversion from sin does not equal receiving a prayer request. Further, this does not mean that we have been given any permission to pray to other beings."

    Yes, it would be wrong for me to equivocate these two ideas, but the scripture passage shows that those in heaven do have some understanding of what's going on on earth. We could than link this to say that saints have a capability of hearing prayers.

    On your passage about my comment on "other heavenly intercession", I didn't say that there was examples of people asking for help from the servants of God, but rather there was acts from the servants of God for people, this could leads us then to ask them for their intercession since we know they do that for us to God.

    That passage you want is Matthew 18:10 "Beware that you don't look down on any of these little ones. For I tell you that in heaven their angels are always in the presence of my heavenly Father" -New Living Translation

    Another example of this in what you would consider "the Bible" (not Deutercanonicals) would be in Daniel. The Archangel Michael, the angel of Israel goes to fight other nations. This is an example of intercession for a community by St. Michael.

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  6. Part 3 continued
    "Yeah, only according to your whacky interpretation of Scripture."
    What makes your infallible interpretation any better than mine? Aren't we supposed follow scripture how we believe it to be? You may say you're supposed to follow the right interpretation, well what makes it right, other than one's own interpretation. So all those thousands of denominations are wrong because you think the Bible says them to be, when they think the opposite...

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  7. I'm going backwards, (on your) Part 2

    So, what do I mean? Well, If a prayer to a saint is answered it is ultimately because God did the wanted act, or because God empowered the saint to do it. Saints aren't answering us because of their own desire or power, but because God is answering us.

    Going on, so the difference between people on earth and the saints is that the saints are in heaven and this requires us to pray to them. So then prayer is the talking to a heavenly being when we are on earth, no? How is this worship exactly? Does God want us only to talk to Him. The prayer that we use to for the saints, does it have to be the same as your definition as an act of worship exclusively for God. Also if an angel came down from heaven could we ask him to pray for us, would that be prayer?

    So you said it would be absurd for us to pray to a saint when he/she is just going to turn to God to pray.
    This isn't absurd if your still praying to God along with the saint. The more people praying the better. Also if they are in close communion with God, maybe their prayers can have more weight or something. Logically they could be heard better, since they're in more direct communion with God. Yes, yes I know God can hear all prayers equally.

    "Just because a saint is very alive with the presence of God in the heaeunly sancutary does not mean that he or she is capable of answering or being a recipient of prayers"

    It doesn't mean they can't hear us on the contrary. You also said that it is logically impossible for the saints, being finite to hear all the millions of different languaged prayers. In heaven, we be much more powerful than on earth. We also see at Pentecost the indifference of the Apostles to the different languages. In heaven are languages really going to matter? If so how than will we be able to understand all those different races that, hopefully, made it to heaven? Number may be the bigger deal in this though. How will the saints be able to respond to all those prayers, being finite? Unless God gives them this power in heaven they couldn't, but unless God gives me the power to I couldn't be typing now.

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  8. Part 1
    This is not in order but anyway:

    So if someone is some relation with us shouldn't we acknowledge that? If someone is our father in faith, we should give them that honor. We recognise that our mother is our mother. Is that wrong. Also if the Scriptures say not to call someone FATHER, since when did that include elder, teacher, etc. We should give due honor.

    How can we function without a teaching authority, a highest earthly head, a pope, when people can't seem to agree on scripture and really believe they are right?

    You actually didn't claim that Catholics converted to protestantism.

    By your own interpretation we contradict the Bible.

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  9. Hi Sean,
    (Part 1)

    Look, you have got to post things in chronological order and/or try to quote materials from your critics/interrogators for the sake of simplicity and organization. That's generally how folks like me, Russell, and the other bloggers do things. But anyway, I don't want to delve into lengthy debates on the irrelevant topics and will thus attempt to be as brief as possible.

    "So if someone is some relation with us shouldn't we acknowledge that?"

    Yes, we should out of respect for them, but those who occupy religious titles of honor are clearly violating the emphatic teachings of Christ.

    "If someone is our father in faith, we should give them that honor."

    No true Christian denies that we are to humbly submit to the leaders to whom Christ appointed us (Hebrews 13:7). We are to give honor unto whom honor is due. However, we are to honor them according to the principles of the Lord Jesus Christ. And yes, the religious leaders are being disobedient EVEN IF they are humble people.

    "We recognize that our mother is our mother. Is that wrong?"

    Wrong context on the use of the title, buddy.

    "Also if the Scriptures say not to call someone FATHER, since when did that include elder, teacher, etc."

    The Scriptures are abundantly clear concerning this matter:
    "But you are not to be called ‘Rabbi,’ for you have one Teacher, and you are all brothers. 9 And do not call anyone on earth ‘father,’ for you have one Father, and he is in heaven. 10 Nor are you to be called instructors, for you have one Instructor, the Messiah. 11 The greatest among you will be your servant. 12 For those who exalt themselves will be humbled, and those who humble themselves will be exalted."

    You also should take notice of the fact that we find ZERO occupation of any religious title of honor in the New Testament.

    "How can we function without a teaching authority, a highest earthly head, a pope, when people can't seem to agree on scripture and really believe they are right?"

    The Kingdom of God is a spiritual Kingdom (Luke 17:20) and thus needs only one spiritual head, namely Christ Jesus(1 Corinthians 11:3; Colossians 1:17-18; Ephesians 5:23-24). It is also true that the Holy Spirit functions as the vicar on earth (John 14:26; 16:13-15). Of course, there are ministers in the church along other authorities, but they are all subject to the supreme authority of the infallible Scriptures (John 10:35; 2 Timothy 3:15-17).

    Disagreement comes not from the supposedly ambiguous passages of Scripture, but rather, from the misapplication of Sola Scriptura, that is, not having a humble and prayerful heart and not interpreting Scripture in the appropriate context with the use of our reason.

    But, Scripture can only be interpreted in light of Scripture, since it alone is incorruptible. In other words, it is self-interpreting (Hebrews 4:12).

    The Church of Corinth was bitterly divided on doctrinal issues such as who had the ultimate authority (1 Corinthians 1:10-13) and what morality consists of (1 Corinthians 6:9-10). This obviously applies to the Christian church as a whole today. Notice that Paul rebukes the Corinthian Christians for following human leaders such as himself, Apollos, or Peter. How could he rebuke them for following "Pope Peter" if the Church of Rome is the one true church and that we must obey it? The simple answer is that the Papacy did not exist back then and that we are all to be united in Christ ALONE (1 Corinthians 3:11). The apostle gives the solution for the church's problems: keep your thinking in accordance with God's will. We do this by sticking to the Bible, not the men who proclaim false doctrine (1 Corinthians 4:6). Divisions exist within the church today because of arrogance over unbiblical standards such as who sounds the best when preaching or what teachings sound good to the ears. Stick to Scripture, and your thinking will stay in accordance with God's will.

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    1. Part 1
      "Of course, there are ministers in the church along other authorities, but they are all subject to the supreme authority of the infallible Scriptures (John 10:35; 2 Timothy 3:15-17)."
      "But, Scripture can only be interpreted in light of Scripture, since it alone is incorruptible. In other words, it is self-interpreting (Hebrews 4:12)."

      You said that there are ministers in the Church, but then that Scripture is self interpreting. Why would there need to be leaders if scripture was self-interpreting. Also what interpretation did you use to come up with the meaning of Hebrews 4:12? Did you use the Bible's interpretation of the Bible. If you did than how do know? Isn't this kind of like the idea of illumination. Use also said that we needed to use our reason, couldn't this than just go against what you said about self-interpretation if we have to use our reason to decide if its the right meaning?

      "How could he rebuke them for following "Pope Peter" if the Church of Rome is the one true church and that we must obey it? The simple answer is that the Papacy did not exist back then and that we are all to be united in Christ ALONE"

      Just because Paul rebuked them on saying that Peter was there doesn't mean that there was no papacy. The people could have been more focused on worldly things, leaders, not spiritual. A Catholic shouldn't say he's a follower of Pope Francis as if the Pope is his highest leader. Yes, we should all be united in Christ. If a CEO appointed a task master, and workers completely ignored him doesn't that mean there not fully united with that CEO? Also the presence of people saying that they're a follower of Peter could hint at there being a Pope, just someone misunderstood something. Also remember that Christianity was 20 years, every belief wasn't wide spread yet.

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    2. Hi Sean,
      (Part 1)

      "Why would there need to be leaders if scripture was self-interpreting?"

      There are leaders in the church because people need to perform the special functions of the ministry in order to keep the church running properly (Ephesians 4:11-15; 1 Corinthians 12-14; 1 Timothy 3-5; Titus 1). Think of how a plant has roots to help it gain nutrients from the surrounding environment. We just don't need an "infallible" earthly head , as you Catholics suggest. Nor does a plant need "infallible" earthly roots to do its job correctly.

      "Also what interpretation did you use to come up with the meaning of Hebrews 4:12?"

      Scriptures is called the "Word of God" (John 10:35), and so is Jesus Christ(John 1:1-3). Anything that comes from God is "living and powerful" (Hebrews 4:12), in contrast to being "dead and powerless". These concepts do not need any additional "revealing" for us to receive the spiritual benefits of relying on them when needed. Things from God have the ability to transform our ordinary earthly lives into a spiritual pool of holiness by themselves simply because they are God-breathed.

      Just as the sacrifice of Jesus Christ is all-sufficient to redeem mankind from sin, the Scriptures are the all-sufficient guide to lead the church to Him.

      "Did you use the Bible's interpretation of the Bible. If you did, than how do know?"

      Sean, comments like these that are intended to mock an opponent are outright immature and stupid. I am just telling you so that you may know in the future because they can backfire on you. But we have to use our intellect and reason to make ANY decision in life. You can't just stare at something without using your brain and say, "Hey, I don't get this." Life does not work out that way! There is a reason why God gave these abilities to us, you know?

      "Isn't this kind of like the idea of illumination?"

      I don't see the logical connection.

      "Use also said that we needed to use our reason, couldn't this than just go against what you said about self-interpretation if we have to use our reason to decide if its the right meaning?"

      No, you are simply reading a false message into what I have been telling you. We have to you our processing skills in order to recognize the purpose or meaning of any imagined concrete or abstract idea. This is analogous to a mother providing her little child a spoonful of food or medicine. While the Scriptures are providing us with the information necessary for a godly life, we must choose to study, listen, accept, reflect on, and act out the message that we discover from the written Word of God. It is a part of our calling to be good stewards of the gospel (2 Timothy 2:15).

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    3. (Part 2)

      "Just because Paul rebuked them on saying that Peter was there doesn't mean that there was no papacy."

      Whoa, you totally misunderstood everything that I said here! No, the Apostle Paul rebuked the Corinthian Christians for DIRECTLY CLAIMING to be followers of eminent individuals such as himself, Peter, and Apollos because we are all called to have one mind in Christ (1 Corinthians 1:10-13).

      By the way, I never denied that Peter was in Rome (i.e. 1 Peter 5:13). The issue here is the myriad evidence against the claims of him being a supreme leader. And lastly, being in Rome for any period of time or dying there does not make a person a bishop there.

      "The people could have been more focused on worldly things, leaders, not spiritual."

      They WERE focused on worldly desires and customs. For proof of my claims, all that you have to do is READ the first letter of Paul to the Corinthians. But this does not help your case any because some members at the Church of Corinth obviously thought that they were in the right. They were deceiving themselves when they were in reality acting contrary to the Will of God. Hence, why factions existed there. Does this not sound like the widespread problem in the church today? the ultimate solution to the problem is turning to the Scriptures as the ultimate measuring stick to help us avoid these spiritual problems (1 Corinthians 4:6). Let THEM be the judge, Sean.

      "A Catholic shouldn't say he's a follower of Pope Francis as if the Pope is his highest leader."

      But he IS the highest leader of the Church, according to official Roman Catholic teaching.

      "Also the presence of people saying that they're a follower of Peter could hint at there being a Pope, just someone misunderstood something."

      No, it is only evidence for the idolatry in people's hearts.

      "Also remember that Christianity was 20 years, every belief wasn't wide spread yet."

      The belief in the Papacy should have been accepted throughout all orthodox Christianity, just as the Virgin Birth, Jesus Christ as the Savior of the world, and the existence of God as Creator was affirmed. Offices in the church are quintessential. And yes, the Christian faith proliferated at a quick rate and flourished well throughout the Roman empire.

      By the way, the truthfulness of a religious claim is not based on its longevity, but rather, its faithfulness to the testimony of Scriptural instruction.

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    4. Part 1
      "There are leaders in the church because people need to perform the special functions of the ministry in order to keep the church running properly (Ephesians 4:11-15; 1 Corinthians 12-14; 1 Timothy 3-5; Titus 1). Think of how a plant has roots to help it gain nutrients from the surrounding environment. We just don't need an "infallible" earthly head , as you Catholics suggest. Nor does a plant need "infallible" earthly roots to do its job correctly."

      One of the jobs is teaching right?(Ephesians 4:11) Teaching go along with interpreting texts correctly and passing to the others. Infallibilty may be helpful in giving lay people a certainty, also it if its true than it should be accepted.

      "Just as the sacrifice of Jesus Christ is all-sufficient to redeem mankind from sin, the Scriptures are the all-sufficient guide to lead the church to Him."

      We still need someone to help us through to the correct doctrines, and that's God through the Church. The Scriptures weren't supposed to work by themselves, but with the Church and Tradition. Trying to make it like that is trying to change what it always was supposed to be.

      "No, you are simply reading a false message into what I have been telling you. We have to you our processing skills in order to recognize the purpose or meaning of any imagined concrete or abstract idea. This is analogous to a mother providing her little child a spoonful of food or medicine. While the Scriptures are providing us with the information necessary for a godly life, we must choose to study, listen, accept, reflect on, and act out the message that we discover from the written Word of God. It is a part of our calling to be good stewards of the gospel (2 Timothy 2:15)."

      These actually seems true and good.

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    5. "Whoa, you totally misunderstood everything that I said here! No, the Apostle Paul rebuked the Corinthian Christians for DIRECTLY CLAIMING to be followers of eminent individuals such as himself, Peter, and Apollos because we are all called to have one mind in Christ (1 Corinthians 1:10-13)."

      Yes, ok, and part of being united under Christ, is to be united under His successor sort of like ancient Israel should have listened to the prophets and the Israelites did right to follow Ezra/Nehemiah after the Babylonian Captivity.

      "By the way, I never denied that Peter was in Rome (i.e. 1 Peter 5:13). The issue here is the myriad evidence against the claims of him being a supreme leader. And lastly, being in Rome for any period of time or dying there does not make a person a bishop there."

      It doesn't make one a bishop, but does support that he could of been one. Also Peter wrote at least one of his DOCTRINAL letters from Rome using the code name Babylon (1 Peter 5:13).

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    6. Hello Sean,
      (Part 1)

      "Teaching go along with interpreting texts correctly and passing to the others."

      Yes, there are teachers in the church. But we are all obligated to discern truth from error and we are all subordinate to the testimony of Scripture (1 Timothy 3:14-15; 2 Timothy 3:15-17). We are to "pass" on the truth of the gospel to the world.

      "Infallibility may be helpful in giving lay people a certainty, also it if its true than it should be accepted."

      According to the Bible, IT is the standard by which we derive the "certainty" of truthfulness of the doctrines that we uphold (Luke 1:1-4). We use them as the ultimate standard to evaluate the truthfulness of religious claims (Acts 17:11-12).

      The Scriptures contain the commandments of the Lord within them (1 Corinthians 14:37) and are the standard by which Jesus will judge on the last day (Romans 2:16; James 2:12; Revelation 20:12). This alone should be abundant proof for the doctrine of Sola Scriptura.

      On what basis should we accept the notion of infallibility? Can you show us without using circular reasoning? Where do the Scriptures assert the infallibility of the church?

      "We still need someone to help us through to the correct doctrines, and that's God through the Church."

      Through the power of the Holy Spirit the church will prevail to the end...

      "The Scriptures weren't supposed to work by themselves..."

      They alone are supposed to function as the ULTIMATE authority for believers.

      "...but with the Church and Tradition."

      Any evidence for those major assertions of yours?

      "Trying to make it like that is trying to change what it always was supposed to be."

      Really? How so?

      "These actually seems true and good."

      Why bother with critiquing my responses then?

      "...and part of being united under Christ, is to be united under His successor sort of like ancient Israel should have listened to the prophets and the Israelites did right to follow Ezra/Nehemiah after the Babylonian Captivity."

      Originally speaking, the Jewish people were not to be ruled by kings. It was not until the Israelites begged the prophet Samuel to plea to God for an official earthly ruler. Saul ended up getting elected and he ended up being a failure. Though some good kings reined God's chosen nation throughout the Old Testament, the majority were actually failures. And when the Jews abandoned the Scriptures and His commandments, look where they ended up, right in the face of His fury.

      Once again, you are guilty of committing a non-sequitur fallacy. You always assume the because X has Y, then Y must require Z. But how did you obtain that conclusion? You need to prove from Scripture that the New Testament church indeed has a chain of apostolic successors, like Israel. You are confusing the context of a church with a kingdom, but these are in reality two separate entities. And remember, both Testaments have differences. You just can't read the concept of "apostolic succession" into the New Testament.

      A very powerful argument against the primacy of the Apostle Peter is the fact that the apostles had an a dispute among themselves as to which of them should be the greatest (Luke 22:24-26). They clearly failed to recognize that Peter was allegedly their "head". Also, the occasion of the argument was the night of the betrayal--the last night of the Lord's earthly ministry--and yet the apostles still did not understand that Christ had given Peter a position of primacy. The Lord settled the argument, not by stating that He had already made Peter head, but by declaring that the Gentiles have their heads, "But not so with you." Thus, Jesus very plainly taught that no one would occupy any such place as a Benefactor (or Pope) to exercise authority over the others.

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    7. (Part 2)

      "Also Peter wrote at least one of his DOCTRINAL letters from Rome using the code name Babylon (1 Peter 5:13)."

      So is the Roman Catholic Church the "Babylonian Whore" mentioned in Revelation 17?

      Notice that Peter tells us that he is writing his last epistle to the church so that we can remember the apostolic teachings of Jesus Christ (2 Peter 3:1-2). If the notion of apostolic succession was supposed to be in the church from the very beginning, then why did the Apostle Peter use Scripture as the means to pass on the truth to future generations? Why not just "sit back and relax" and leave the job to the "infallible ministers" of the church? Why is the same theme repeated in second Timothy?

      Here is a link to an interesting article that should give you a great brain exercise:
      http://www.eaec.org/cults/rc/confusion_of_the_popes.htm

      Lastly, you should know that even claiming to posses a list of successors leading back to the apostles does not make the claims of a religious organization true. It all depends on faithfulness to the written Word of God. Apostolic authority was passed on through the writings of the apostles, not through apostolic succession.

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    8. Part 2 continued...

      "They WERE focused on worldly desires and customs. For proof of my claims, all that you have to do is READ the first letter of Paul to the Corinthians. But this does not help your case any because some members at the Church of Corinth obviously thought that they were in the right. They were deceiving themselves when they were in reality acting contrary to the Will of God. Hence, why factions existed there. Does this not sound like the widespread problem in the church today? the ultimate solution to the problem is turning to the Scriptures as the ultimate measuring stick to help us avoid these spiritual problems (1 Corinthians 4:6). Let THEM be the judge, Sean."

      Ok, they were following earthly ways. So they weren't following the Papacy correctly. They were acting wrongly in their honor of Peter. Also I would say the way to end factions is to turn to the Church.

      "But he IS the highest leader of the Church, according to official Roman Catholic teaching."

      God is higher than him in authority. We shouldn't act as if were following just the pope, maybe that was the problem of the Corinthians.

      "Also the presence of people saying that they're a follower of Peter could hint at there being a Pope, just someone misunderstood something."

      "No, it is only evidence for the idolatry in people's hearts."- (Jesse responding)

      It could be evidence of sin, them taking the papacy wrongly or something wrongly, but also them thinking as Peter highly could show that some of them had a papacy.

      "The belief in the Papacy should have been accepted throughout all orthodox Christianity, just as the Virgin Birth, Jesus Christ as the Savior of the world, and the existence of God as Creator was affirmed. Offices in the church are quintessential. And yes, the Christian faith proliferated at a quick rate and flourished well throughout the Roman empire."

      Some people may have had it, as seen in 1 Corinthians, but not every knew about the Trinity, Jesus's divinity, or what was supposed to be regarded as Scripture in early Christianity.

      "By the way, the truthfulness of a religious claim is not based on its longevity, but rather, its faithfulness to the testimony of Scriptural instruction."

      Yes it isn't based on longevity, so doesn't that mean if the papacy wasn't totally accepted at the start it could still be true. The second part, again, it's up to the Church.

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    9. Hi Sean,
      (Part 1)

      You have been repeatedly attempting to insert papal primacy into Paul's first epistle to the Church of Corinth, but your attempt is deprived of biblical justification, as evidenced by your post(s) above. In fact, the notion of Papal supremacy is strangely absent from 1 Corinthians 12-14, which is a text specifically talking about positions of authority in the church and special functions or gifts in ministry. But the entire reason that this particular church back in the day had the contentions that it did was SIN (i.e. 1 Corinthians 5; 6:9-11). It is vitally important to note that the Corinthian Christians thought that their own individual positions on theological issues were correct, when in reality they were not at all serving Jesus Christ according to His will. There is no evidence in the context of 1 Corinthians for "wrongly submitting to Papal authority" verses "submitting to Papal authority in the correct manner". The Apostle Paul would have commended the followers of Peter if he were the first pope, but he rebuked them. Even Peter himself never accepted worldly praise, as modern popes do (i.e. Acts 3:6-7; 10:25-26). So your arguments are invalid.

      Furthermore, take notice of the fact that this epistle is the direct mirror reflection of the current state of the whole church today. The solution to the problem would be to turn to the Scriptures as the final authority to settle religious disputes which prevents worldly arrogance (1 Corinthians 4:6). Again Sean, let the inspired writings be the judge of things.

      "Some people may have had it, as seen in 1 Corinthians, but not every knew about the Trinity, Jesus's divinity, or what was supposed to be regarded as Scripture in early Christianity."

      On the contrary, every genuine Christian held to the essential doctrines of the Christian faith which includes the deity of Christ, since the Scriptures are crystal clear on these types of matters and the apostolic deposit of the faith was once for all delivered unto the saints (Jude 3).

      "Yes it isn't based on longevity..."

      That excludes your claim to apostolic succession!

      "...so doesn't that mean if the papacy wasn't totally accepted at the start it could still be true."

      I never used the popularity of something as a means to determine the truthfulness or falseness of a claim, but rather, agreement to the written Word of God.

      "The second part, again, it's up to the Church."

      What exactly is this supposed to mean? Are we supposed to accept the Roman Catholic Church as being the one true church because she says so? This would be a logical impossibility because thousands of religious groups made the identical claims that you guys make.

      Once again, you are putting the cart before the horse. You are assuming what you are trying to prove. But you need to prove that your denomination is more truthful than others by means of scriptural revelation, which you have not done at all so far.





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    10. Part 1

      Paul may not have talked about a papacy, that doesn't mean it wasn't there. Also though the Corinthians were in some error, seeing some regarded Peter with an authority could show that there was a Papacy.

      "On the contrary, every genuine Christian held to the essential doctrines of the Christian faith which includes the deity of Christ, since the Scriptures are crystal clear on these types of matters and the apostolic deposit of the faith was once for all delivered unto the saints (Jude 3)."

      There was the great heresy of Arianism in the 4 century leading sometimes over half of Christians astray. They thought that at a time Jesus didn't exist, and they had Scriptural arguments (mainly Proverbs 8). Looking back one could say that the genuine Christians believed main doctrines, but it may not have been that easy living back then.

      That excludes your claim to apostolic succession!

      No it doesn't, longetivity also doesn't mean its wrong. Longetivity or the acknowledgement of something could support it though.

      "What exactly is this supposed to mean? Are we supposed to accept the Roman Catholic Church as being the one true church because she says so? This would be a logical impossibility because thousands of religious groups made the identical claims that you guys make."

      The Roman Catholic Church was the one started by Jesus in the Gospels and Acts, it has the testimony of the Church Fathers. I has always been around bishop to bishop.



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    11. Part 1

      Paul may not have talked about the papacy, that doesn't mean it didn't exist. Also though the Corinthians took something wrongly seeing that some regarded Peter with a higher authority, could show that the Papacy was recognized, yes I am repeating myself.

      "On the contrary, every genuine Christian held to the essential doctrines of the Christian faith which includes the deity of Christ, since the Scriptures are crystal clear on these types of matters and the apostolic deposit of the faith was once for all delivered unto the saints (Jude 3)."

      In the 4th century there was the great heresy of Arianism. It lead at times more people people astray than there were in the orthodox, Catholic Church They believed that there was a time that Jesus didn't exist. They had scriptural proof for this mainly Proverbs 8. They tied Jesus with the Wisdom of God.
      It may not have been so obvious back than, even now, who was the genuine Christian.

      "That excludes your claim to apostolic succession!"

      No it doesn't. Longevity doesn't mean its wrong, and having teachings, having teachings from the Apostles could just support a Church more.

      "What exactly is this supposed to mean? Are we supposed to accept the Roman Catholic Church as being the one true church because she says so? This would be a logical impossibility because thousands of religious groups made the identical claims that you guys make."

      The Catholic Church was the one started by Jesus in the Gospels and Acts, it has the testimony of Church Fathers and early bishops, showing its passing authority.







      Delete
    12. Hi Sean,
      (Part 1)

      "...seeing some regarded Peter with an authority could show that there was a Papacy."

      But why would the Apostle Paul rebuke the Corinthian Christians who upheld that specific view of the Apostle Peter? How come we don't have evidence of Peter going to the Church of Corinth to settle the dispute (Instead, Paul wrote an epistle with his own hand)? They would have been correct, if Peter was indeed the first pope.

      "There was the great heresy of Arianism in the 4 century leading sometimes over half of Christians astray...it may not have been that easy living back then"

      Why would so many Christians fall away from the faith? Also, take notice of the fact that the early church councils sometimes took several years and had a really difficult time coming to a conclusion on doctrinal matters. This does not sound like an infallible church to me!

      The Lord Jesus Christ has always existed. And yes, Jesus is indeed the "Word of God", who became literal flesh and blood (John 1:14). He is GOD IN THE FLESH (1 Timothy 3:16). To be honest, Sean, Proverbs 8 would only testify in favor of the deity of Christ.

      "No it doesn't..."

      Yes, it does because the concept of apostolic succession itself is an appeal to longevity. In other words, it continues on throughout history.

      But, even possessing a document giving a list of successors claiming to trace back to the first century church does not make your religion true anymore than a random individual claiming to own a "one, true, inspired body of revelation demonstrating the total apostasy of all Christendom" is true. Hence, why we need to appeal to the Scriptures for the final say in all matters relating to faith and morals.

      "The Catholic Church was the one started by Jesus in the Gospels and Acts, it has the testimony of Church Fathers and early bishops, showing its passing authority."

      If any of the above claims of yours are true, then why don't we find any uniquely Catholic doctrines in the Book of Acts, or the rest of the New Testament Scriptures? Remember, the Bible is not just an inspired book containing all of the necessary teachings of Jesus Christ and His apostles. It is also an accurate historical document. So we can look at the Bible from the perspective of a reputable historian.


      Delete
  10. (Part 2)

    "Well, If a prayer to a saint is answered it is ultimately because God did the wanted act, or because God empowered the saint to do it. Saints aren't answering us because of their own desire or power, but because God is answering us."

    No, the heavenly Father does not want us to have contact with the spirits of the deceased, as I clearly brought up in one of my previous posts.

    "So then prayer is the talking to a heavenly being when we are on earth, no? How is this worship exactly?"

    But you need to recognize that the SCRIPTURAL concept of prayer is ALWAYS an act worship. "Asking" is only a component of prayer. It can also include other components such as gratitude, praise, and contrition.

    Throughout the Bible, all prayers were directed to God alone. We have no examples of anyone offering prayers to other beings or even God approving of such actions. Only God knows everything about everybody's internal desires (1 Kings 8:37-39). We should desire Him alone (Psalm 73:25-26). And, only His name is to be venerated (Psalm 148:13).

    We know that prayer in Scripture is an act of worship just by looking at the language used (i.e. Psalm 23; Matthew 6:6-14). Sean, you cannot just water down this sacred act by claiming that it is "merely talking to someone". This clearly demonstrates how lowly many Roman Catholics tend to view the concept of prayer!

    "Does God want us only to talk to Him."

    If you mean "pray" to Him alone, then yes, yes, and YES!

    "The prayer that we use to for the saints, does it have to be the same as your definition as an act of worship exclusively for God. Also if an angel came down from heaven could we ask him to pray for us, would that be prayer?"

    You're confused. The Scriptures do not make a distinction between "types of prayer" and "types of veneration", as the Church of Rome does.

    "So you said it would be absurd for us to pray to a saint when he/she is just going to turn to God to pray."

    Yes, they are literally in the EXACT location, Heaven. Why not just do the right thing by turning to God alone?

    "This isn't absurd if your still praying to God along with the saint"

    But the saints are not physically present and the Scriptures nowhere sanction the idea of praying "along with a saint who is in heaven". How does the discussion shift from the morality of praying directly TO the saints to praying ALONGSIDE them to reach God? Now, you are just playing word games.

    "The more people praying the better."

    So more people praying to Baal or another idol equals a justification of the practice? Since when does popularity make something right or more possible to be right?

    "Also if they are in close communion with God, maybe their prayers can have more weight or something. Logically they could be heard better, since they're in more direct communion with God."

    Ah, now you are resorting to a totally unproven and unscriptural theory telling us that the saint's ability to hear our prayers is based on the weight or amount of them petitioned to the beings. But merely being in more communion with God still does not mean ability to answer prayer petitions.

    By the way, you still haven't addressed my comments on being limited/omnipresent/omnipotent.

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    Replies
    1. Part 2
      "No, the heavenly Father does not want us to have contact with the spirits of the deceased, as I clearly brought up in one of my previous posts."
      I would say the answers form saints are from God.
      "But you need to recognize that the SCRIPTURAL concept of prayer is ALWAYS an act worship. "Asking" is only a component of prayer. It can also include other components such as gratitude, praise, and contrition."

      If your defintion of prayer HAS to be worship, then maybe that's not what Catholics are doing, or should be doing, instead some other act of petition. You may say there is no other act of petition than Biblical praer. Why? Why does have to be like that.

      "Yes, they are literally in the EXACT location, Heaven. Why not just do the right thing by turning to God alone?"
      "But the saints are not physically present and the Scriptures nowhere sanction the idea of praying "along with a saint who is in heaven". How does the discussion shift from the morality of praying directly TO the saints to praying ALONGSIDE them to reach God? Now, you are just playing word games."

      So if one prays to the saint to pray to God for them, and then prays to God, are not both of them praying to God now, Thus that person praying to God alongside the saint?

      "So more people praying to Baal or another idol equals a justification of the practice? Since when does popularity make something right or more possible to be right?"

      You may have misunderstood me here. I wasn't trying to say that because a lot of people are doonig an act that makes it right. Rather I was saying that if a lot of people are praying for something that's better. For example, isn't better if a lot of people are praying for a sick person to God rather than just one?

      "Ah, now you are resorting to a totally unproven and unscriptural theory telling us that the saint's ability to hear our prayers is based on the weight or amount of them petitioned to the beings. But merely being in more communion with God still does not mean ability to answer prayer petitions."

      How did you get that from what you quoted from me: "Also if they are in close communion with God, maybe their prayers can have more weight or something. Logically they could be heard better, since they're in more direct communion with God." In that quote I didn't say that saints could here us a better if people more people are praying to them in that quote. It seems if they are limited beings and not being able to answer every prayer and a bunch people a praying for the same thing to them they could get the message better as we could get the message better if more people are yelling at us to do the same thing rather than one person.

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    2. Sean,
      (Part 1)

      "I would say the answers form saints are from God."

      Or maybe the evil demons who want you to believe that.

      "If your definition of prayer HAS to be worship, then maybe that's not what Catholics are doing, or should be doing, instead some other act of petition."

      But the biblical definition of prayer IS A FORM OF WORSHIP. The Scriptures give us simple principles to follow on various issues concerning worship and holiness. And the constant biblical model is: praying to GOD ALONE. This is VERY uncomplicated. And the Catholics (or anybody else for that matter) who engage in this type of activity are indeed putting themselves into the spiritual danger of eternal hell fire. This Truth is not merely something that I have invented or developed sole on my own whim.

      "You may say there is no other act of petition than Biblical prayer. Why? Why does have to be like that."

      This is nothing more than the silly, nonsensical rants that I hear from the folks who are too afraid to abandon a false system of doctrine when they are too emotionally trapped in the pond of deception. You are having a very difficult time seeing the seriousness of your errors simply because you have been indoctrinated into a nasty doctrinal beast since the day of your conception. You have been told millions of times that you are right because you are right. It is a proven fact of psychology that when something is repeated so many times, it almost always gets accepted as the standard of truth by the ignorant, regardless of any external evidence. But you have got to learn...And you are fully capable....I know that you can learn to see past your emotions.....

      The answer to your question is actually quite simple and paramount to know. That is how the Creator wanted things to be. You need to remember that God is a jealous God (Exodus 20:4-5; Deuteronomy 24:4; Nahum 1:2). He will therefore tolerate ZERO idolatry on judgment day or anytime for that matter (1 Corinthians 6:9-10; Galatians 5:19-21; Revelation 21:8).

      "So if one prays to the saint to pray to God for them, and then prays to God, are not both of them praying to God now, Thus that person praying to God alongside the saint?"

      That's just unbiblical, ridiculous, irrational, and completely unnecessary work.

      "Rather I was saying that if a lot of people are praying for something that's better. For example, isn't better if a lot of people are praying for a sick person to God rather than just one?"

      Yes, but it ultimately depends on the motives of the people. You need to pray to God according to His will. If there is a right way to do a task (as is the case here), then there is always a wrong way of doing things.

      "It seems if they are limited beings and not being able to answer every prayer and a bunch people a praying for the same thing to them they could get the message better as we could get the message better if more people are yelling at us to do the same thing rather than one person."

      This is simply wishful thinking. In reality, thousands of different people are praying thousands of different prayers. But your case is not based on Scripture and is highly unlikely from a logical perspective. You simply cannot ascribe attributes such as answering prayers to beings other than God because that would render Him useless and would imply polytheism, as is the case with the Catholic Church.

      Delete
    3. Part 1
      "Or maybe the evil demons who want you to believe that"

      Or maybe its God working through the saint.

      "But the biblical definition of prayer IS A FORM OF WORSHIP. The Scriptures give us simple principles to follow on various issues concerning worship and holiness. And the constant biblical model is: praying to GOD ALONE. This is VERY uncomplicated. And the Catholics (or anybody else for that matter) who engage in this type of activity are indeed putting themselves into the spiritual danger of eternal hell fire. This Truth is not merely something that I have invented or developed sole on my own whim."

      Prayer is indeed an act of Honoring, and we are supposed to give honor to who it is due to. It is due to the saints who have won the race to God. Is asking a saint to pray to God, or help, realising it is God above all this who will answer the prayer, really giving an honor to high for them. Early Christians didn't see a problem with this: Hermas in the Shepherd or Hermas 1st or 2nd century, a papyrus dating around 250 A.D. asks for Theotokos' (God-bearer, Mary) intercession. Taking saintly prayer to far may be dangerous, but not necessarily in the correct boundary.

      "That's just unbiblical, ridiculous, irrational, and completely unnecessary work."

      How is it ridiculous to ask for a saint to pray for you and you continue to pray for yourself. The more people praying the better. Is it ridiculous to ask someone to pray for yourself and you to continue to pray. You could spent that time praying instead of asking.

      "Yes, but it ultimately depends on the motives of the people. You need to pray to God according to His will. If there is a right way to do a task (as is the case here), then there is always a wrong way of doing things."

      Yes people should pray "God's will be done". Also praying to the saints isn't an incorrect way.


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    4. "This is simply wishful thinking. In reality, thousands of different people are praying thousands of different prayers. But your case is not based on Scripture and is highly unlikely from a logical perspective. You simply cannot ascribe attributes such as answering prayers to beings other than God because that would render Him useless and would imply polytheism, as is the case with the Catholic Church."

      We do see those examples in Scripture I had put down and the Jeremiah passage from Maccabees. The people in Heaven want the best for us, if they could pray, wouldn't they? Is God gonna not let them help us to Him. On the surface saintly prayer may seem like polytheism, but there is God, above it all.

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    5. Hi Sean,
      (Part 1)

      "Or maybe its God working through the saint."

      In the end, it comes down to whether the message of a spirit matches up to the God-breathed revelation available to us. And yes, we are to "test the spirits to see whether they are of God" (1 John 4:1-4).

      "Is asking a saint to pray to God, or help, realizing it is God above all this who will answer the prayer, really giving an honor to high for them?"

      I've already offered my critique of this fallacious argument in detail in previous posts on this blog page, yet you have brought no counterpoints up since then.

      "Early Christians didn't see a problem with this..."

      Some early Christians also did not have problems with denying the deity of Christ, as you mentioned above. Furthermore, Marcionism and Pelagiansim are also paragon examples of deadly heresies, which arose as soon as the second century. Does "early acceptance of a belief" provide justification for any grievous errors? If not, then why?

      Could you please show me the source of this Shepard of Hermas quote? Then, I would be able to evaluate your claims.

      The Apostle Paul, on his departure from the Church of Ephesus, warned the Christians that heretical ideas and false teachings would arise EVEN FROM PEOPLE OF THAT SPECIFIC FLOCK (Acts 20:26-32). Peter even referred to those same concepts throughout his epistles. And lastly, both gave all bishops the same obligations and turned the readers to the the Scriptures as a means of battling teachings that are contrary to those established at the beginning of the church (Acts 20:28; 32; 2 Timothy 3:13-17; 1 Peter 5:1-5; 2 Peter 3:1-2).

      By the way, you would actually be impressed with how Protestant apologists have addressed various Romanist arguments, which are constructed on quotes from the church fathers. Both sides are conducting investigations on at the same amount of evidence. The question the shifts to who is interpreting the quotes references correctly. But who is the infallible interpreter of those volumes of writings?

      Of course, you have no choice but to run to people of later centuries. You cannot put together a sound biblical argument in support of your abominable doctrines. They obviously developed over the course of many years.

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    6. Sean,
      (Part 2)

      "Taking saintly prayer to far may be dangerous, but not necessarily in the correct boundary."

      Who gets to establish the boundaries, if any exist at all? Who gets to determine what is idolatry and what is not? This is just convenient.

      If one form of prayer to beings other than God can be justified, then what is stopping us from just permitting false worship altogether? If your answer is going to be the Roman Catholic Church, then not only do you have a great case of circular reasoning, but you also would be guilty of "covering your tracks".

      "How is it ridiculous to ask for a saint to pray for you and you continue to pray for yourself?"

      It is one thing to ask a person to pray on your behalf, but it is another to pray to someone other than God in times of need or searching for a source of trust and comfort. It is pointless to depend on multiple beings, when One is right in front of you. He is available at all times and is limited to nothing. How is this not offensive to God? How are you not placing your trust in the wrong person?

      "The more people praying the better..."

      To whom are these hypothetical people praying to and relying on in these desperate times? Who is truly able to give us everything that we want and need? Will these people be comforted when they are in hell all because they let their emotions get in the way of seeing the Truth?

      "... You could spent that time praying instead of asking..."

      This distinction of yours is simply a man-made distinction that is deprived of any biblical justification.

      "The people in Heaven want the best for us, if they could pray, wouldn't they?"

      Yes, but they would want us to serve God ACCORDING TO HIS WILL. He will cast the unfaithful and unbelieving off.

      "Is God gonna not let them help us to Him?"

      You do realize that God does not need us. He does not need us, AT ALL. He does not have to help us or even allow us to exist. He is not somehow obligated or in debt to us, Sean. It's quite the other way around. But because He is completely righteous, infallible, and all-loving, He chose to rescue us unworthy rags. All that we have to do is accept and rely on Him for EVERYTHING. Our Mediator is Jesus Christ, who is God (1 Timothy 2:4-6). Why not take the simpler road that will actually lead you directly to eternal salvation?

      "On the surface saintly prayer may seem like polytheism, but there is God, above it all."

      This is highly suspicious. Saintly prayer seems like polytheism BECAUSE IT IS A FORM OF POLYTHEISM!

      In Scripture, notice that every incident involving the use of an angel or long dead follower of God communicating with living people on earth requires them to actually come to earth. Why can't they just speak from heaven above? This is a clear indication that beings in heaven are most probably not aware of or able to hear activities taking place on earth, let alone hear our alleged prayer requests.

      But merely being used as an instrument to accomplish God's mission(s) simply does not translate into evidence of heavenly saints or angels being able to receive and or answer prayers from us.

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  11. (Part 3)

    "Logically they could be heard better, since they're in more direct communion with God."

    On what basis do you establish this argument?

    "It doesn't mean they can't hear us on the contrary."

    On the contrary, you totally missed the point of what I was saying at the time. I was simply showing you that existing in heaven does equal having power to grant prayer requests. In other words, I am showing you that you claims do not necessarily follow from their premises.

    "In heaven, we be much more powerful than on earth."

    How do you know that we will have more powers in heaven? On what basis do you know that we will not have the same abilities as we do on earth? Either way, having "more" abilities is not the same as having "infinite" abilities. In fact, that comes NOT EVEN CLOSE to having any powers comparable to that of God's. But I must ask you what kind of supernatural abilities will we inherit (an argument based on Scripture alone).

    "We also see at Pentecost the indifference of the Apostles to the different languages."

    The apostles received the ability to preach to people of different languages, not to answer prayer requests or even intercede for the people around them. This point does not even tell us anything about the saints in heaven business. And lastly, Pentecost does not equal Heaven. You are wrongfully taking various events completely out of their contexts.

    "In heaven are languages really going to matter?"

    At this point, my answer to your question is going to be a yes. Presently speaking in a worldly sense, the gospel still needs to be taught to the lost and the final judgment has not arrived yet. In the FUTURE, however, language barriers will mean nothing because the final destiny of everybody will be permanently set forth and prayers to the saints will thus not even matter by then. God will have united all true believers in His Son, Jesus Christ.

    "If so, how than will we be able to understand all those different races that, hopefully, made it to heaven?"

    Races have nothing to do with this debate. Their means of salvation is the same as ours, through Jesus alone (Acts 4:10-12). Furthermore, God is no respecter of persons (Acts 10:34; 2 Corinthians 5:10; 1 Peter 1:17).

    Being a different race does not mean that you will have the ability to answer prayers in heaven.

    "Unless God gives them this power in heaven they couldn't, but unless God gives me the power to I couldn't be typing now."

    The question was never whether God had the power to give saints in heaven the ability to answer prayers. I honestly do not believe that any authentic Christ seeker would do such. The actual question that we should be focused on is, "Did God give saints in heaven the ability to answer our prayer petitions or intercede on our behalf?" So far, I have not seen any proof of this activity.

    And yes, the problem of numbers and limitations is pretty damning!




    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Part 3
      "I was simply showing you that existing in heaven does equal having power to grant prayer requests. In other words, I am showing you that you claims do not necessarily follow from their premises."

      Being heaven doesn't mean a saint can answer. If the prayer to them is to pray to God, I think they c
      could fulfill that. If God didn't let them of course they couldn't. Other prayers to them God would have to decide, its him who is ultimately going to answer if the prayer is something like, "help me find my missing keys".

      "How do you know that we will have more powers in heaven? On what basis do you know that we will not have the same abilities as we do on earth? Either way, having "more" abilities is not the same as having "infinite" abilities. In fact, that comes NOT EVEN CLOSE to having any powers comparable to that of God's. But I must ask you what kind of supernatural abilities will we inherit (an argument based on Scripture alone)."

      We will get a heavenly body and be free from decomposing and sin (Matt. 6:20, Rom. 7:24). Jesus could walk through walls after he rose, maybe it was because He was God. So will be more powerful. Will we be be able to hear more prayers, who knows. Maybe, but "eye has not seen, ear has not heard, nor mind conceived what God has planned for those who love" (1 Cor. 2:9). So we may. Saints being limited can't hear all our prayers unless God lets them. Since those in heaven seem to respond to things on earth they may be able to hear some.

      "At this point, my answer to your question is going to be a yes. Presently speaking in a worldly sense, the gospel still needs to be taught to the lost and the final judgment has not arrived yet. In the FUTURE, however, language barriers will mean nothing because the final destiny of everybody will be permanently set forth and prayers to the saints will thus not even matter by then. God will have united all true believers in His Son, Jesus Christ."

      Of course language matters for us. We're still on earth. But those in heaven. Do you still think it matters to them. So Greek speaking Paul can't talk to some French speaking guy in heaven because they talk a different language? If it doesn't affect them why should it affect a saints ability to hear prayers, who's in heaven.
      "Races have nothing to do with this debate. Their means of salvation is the same as ours, through Jesus alone (Acts 4:10-12). Furthermore, God is no respecter of persons (Acts 10:34; 2 Corinthians 5:10; 1 Peter 1:17)."

      Different races may very well speak different languages. If different languaged people make to heaven will they be able to talk to each other. God doesn't care if you're Indian or African etc.



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    2. Hi Sean,
      (Part 1)

      "If the prayer to them is to pray to God, I think they could fulfill that.... Other prayers to them God would have to decide, its him who is ultimately going to answer if the prayer is something like, 'help me find my missing keys'...."

      But where is Scripture do we find any of the stuff that you are talking about?

      "We will get a heavenly body and be free from decomposing and sin (Matt. 6:20, Rom. 7:24). Jesus could walk through walls after he rose, maybe it was because He was God. So will be more powerful. "

      Good! I suspected that you would mention the fact that we will eventually receive a new and perfected body (1 Corinthians 15:50-53; 1 Thessalonians 4:13-18)! But it does not automatically flow from this statement that we will be able to answer prayers directed to us on earth.

      Concerning your comment about Jesus walking through walls, I don't think that is a really convincing argument for your position. Jesus could also walk on water, calm a storm, transform water into wine, and even heal the sick. Our nature restricts us from doing these miracles. Jesus Christ only had these abilities because HE IS GOD IN THE FLESH (1 Timothy 3:16). What you need to understand, is that humans, whether they have glorified bodies or not, will always have the same limitations. It is not as if we can become some sort of deity in the afterlife.

      "Maybe, but "eye has not seen, ear has not heard, nor mind conceived what God has planned for those who love" (1 Cor. 2:9). So we may."

      I am not exactly sure what you are trying to prove by quoting this verse, but I will try to address it to the best of my ability.

      The context of this chapter is about contrasting the worldly wisdom of man and the pure wisdom of God. The carnal mind is unable to apprehend spiritual concepts and therefore cares nothing for the things of the Lord. Verse nine, quoted above, is simply telling us that the princes and kings of this world did not know that Jesus was truly divine and of His purpose. They had some sort of "veil" over their eyes. If they did know, then they never would have acted in the manner that they treated Him. But the Holy Spirit of God has revealed the transcendent truths of the gospel to those who believe (V. 10).

      And yes, the salvation of God is going to be so wonderful and great that we have absolutely no idea of what He has in store for us. In fact, we are probably not even able to grasp how grand it will be in Heaven, since we have never been there. But that is a discussion on heavenly rewards of praise (1 Corinthians 3:10-15), not praying to a being other than God. These are two separate discussions.

      "Saints being limited can't hear all our prayers unless God lets them."

      True. But the question is whether He did let them or not. So far, I haven't seen the evidence.

      "Do you still think it matters to them?"

      No.

      "...why should it affect a saints ability to hear prayers, who's in heaven?"

      Simply because they are not omnipresent, omnipotent, and omniscient.








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    3. Part 1

      "But where is Scripture do we find any of the stuff that you are talking about?"

      It's not just Scripture, but Tradition and the Church, and if you comment "where in Scripture.." I can repeat that.

      "Good! I suspected that you would mention the fact that we will eventually receive a new and perfected body (1 Corinthians 15:50-53; 1 Thessalonians 4:13-18)! But it does not automatically flow from this statement that we will be able to answer prayers directed to us on earth."

      We will be "newer" more powerful. Does it say in Scripture that we''l be more powerful than angels too?
      Seeing the 1 Cor. 2:9 we don't know that we won't do what Catholics believe saints to do.

      "No."
      "Simply because they are not omnipresent, omnipotent, and omniscient."

      This no is to do you think language will be a barrier in Heaven, right So if it's not a barrier in Heaven to the saints, do you think it will still affect them hearing prayers, (E.g. Do you think Mary will not able to understand prayers to her in English, since she spoke maybe Aramaic)



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    4. Sean,
      (Part 1)

      "It's not just Scripture, but Tradition and the Church, and if you comment "where in Scripture."

      This type of logic certainly opens the doors to many horrible doctrines that flatly violate what God wants us to do. All that you have to do is just look at the religions that make the same claims as you do. With the Scriptures alone, we can have more security and more certainty on what is true and good. In reality, Sola Scriptura is the much easier route to abide by.

      "I can repeat that."

      No, you need to establish evidence for your claims before you state them. You just can't have it your way.

      "We will be "newer", more powerful."

      Being "newer" and "perfected in holiness" does not equal being more powerful.

      "Does it say in Scripture that we will be more powerful than angels too?"

      I am completely unfamiliar with such a Scripture passage. In fact, I do not get what you are trying to prove. But if there is a passage in Scripture making this statement, then it would apply to our Lord Jesus Christ. Are you somehow suggesting that we can become gods or something?

      "Seeing the in 1 Cor. 2:9 we don't know that we won't do what Catholics believe saints to do."

      This response does nothing to refute my previous commentaries on 1 Corinthians 2:9 and simply fails to get Sean's absurd point across. Additionally, we know from the principles of Scripture that praying to Mary and the saints is wrong and that we do indeed have plenty of details of what heaven and hell will be like. Even on completely different topics pertaining to the afterlife, we can still make many inferences with sufficient certainty (i.e Matthew 25:31-46; Luke 16:19-31; 2 Corinthians 5:6-10; Revelation 20:11-15; etc.).

      "This no is to do you think language will be a barrier in Heaven, right So if it's not a barrier in Heaven to the saints, do you think it will still affect them hearing prayers..."

      Sorry, what I meant is two different realms (worldly and spiritual) and limitations to human capacity (now that I have finally found the words to occupy).

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  12. (Part 4)

    "We could than link this to say that saints have a capability of hearing prayers."

    No, that idea does not follow. In fact, it seems pretty read into the text. It is therefore up to you to prove yourself on this one.

    ".....but rather there was acts from the servants of God for people, this could leads us then to ask them for their intercession since we know they do that for us to God."

    God sending a servant/angel from heaven to do good for other people does not equal being capable of hearing prayers directed to you from earth.

    Just because a supernatural being is doing something that we perceive as kind or even helpful does not necessarily mean that we should ask them to intercede on our behalf. Remember, our hearts can be be cunning (Jeremiah 17:9) and that even Satan can deceptively reveal himself as an angel of light (2 Corinthians 11:13-15). That's why it is so important to test any spiritual message that we come across to the Holy Writ (Isaiah 8:20; Acts 17:11-12). The salvation of souls is far too precious to lose to the fiery coals of hell. Sean, for your benefit, I am telling you that need to learn how not to think in such a blind and hasty manner. It ultimately depends on the context of each biblical example of what you term "heavenly intercession by somebody other than God."

    "That passage you want is Matthew 18:10 "Beware that you don't look down on any of these little ones. For I tell you that in heaven their angels are always in the presence of my heavenly Father" -New Living Translation"

    This verse is simply telling us not to mistreat little children because God and the angels will be a witness against us on judgment day. This beautiful verse says nothing about praying to angels or saints.

    "The Archangel Michael, the angel of Israel goes to fight other nations. This is an example of intercession for a community by St. Michael."

    Can you please give a citation for this? Then, I will be able to address your claims on this passage better.

    "What makes your infallible interpretation any better than mine?"

    I NEVER declared that my interpretations of any particular Scripture passage, or anything else for that matter, were infallible. That is a mistake on your part that is worthy of serious reproof. I am NOT infallible and neither are you. Besides, two contradictory views cannot both be right at the same time. We are to occupy hermeneutical principles, use our common sense to the best of our ability, and have an open and prayerful heart. That's ALL we have.

    If we need an infallible interpreter of Scripture so that we can obtain the correct meaning behind each passage of Scripture, then which church who makes such a claim should we join? How do you know that your answer to this question is accurate? Why is it that the Church has offered VERY FEW official interpretations of SO LITTLE passages in the Bible, if it has been around since the very beginning of Christendom and is an absolutely necessary for salvation? Why is the concept of an infallible interpreter of Scripture that demands absolute blind submission never found within the pages of the Bible? How do you know with certainty that your church's interpretation of Scripture is correct? How do you know if you are correctly interpreting the official teachings of your Magisterium?

    Notice that we have to make an "official" interpretation of every text that we examine or every decision that we are about to execute at any point in time. Why is it that there are no special "popes" for these categories in life?

    "Aren't we supposed follow scripture how we believe it to be?"

    No, we are to act in a reasonable manner. We are supposed to follow things according to the will of the Creator. It is NOT all about us. And since a Pope is not part of that Will, we are not obligated to follow him. Once again, you are seriously misrepresenting me and the other adherents to the doctrine of Sola Scriptura.

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    1. Part 4
      "No, that idea does not follow. In fact, it seems pretty read into the text. It is therefore up to you to prove yourself on this one."

      If those in heaven know if a sinner repents than why couldn't they hear a person talk. Are those in heaven just oblivious to what goes on on earth. How don't these tie together?

      "God sending a servant/angel from heaven to do good for other people does not equal being capable of hearing prayers directed to you from earth.

      Just because a supernatural being is doing something that we perceive as kind or even helpful does not necessarily mean that we should ask them to intercede on our behalf. Remember, our hearts can be be cunning (Jeremiah 17:9) and that even Satan can deceptively reveal himself as an angel of light (2 Corinthians 11:13-15). That's why it is so important to test any spiritual message that we come across to the Holy Writ (Isaiah 8:20; Acts 17:11-12). The salvation of souls is far too precious to lose to the fiery coals of hell. Sean, for your benefit, I am telling you that need to learn how not to think in such a blind and hasty manner. It ultimately depends on the context of each biblical example of what you term "heavenly intercession by somebody other than God."

      Those biblical examples may not say they can hear our prayers, but it could mean we could ask themm for intercession since they do help us. Do the biblical examples need to be tested since there from scripture?
      The St. Michael example is Daniel 10:21-22, 12:1. The intercession is of course ultimately from God in the Bible, but it's being done by one of His servants, e.g. Michael.

      "This verse is simply telling us not to mistreat little children because God and the angels will be a witness against us on judgment day. This beautiful verse says nothing about praying to angels or saints."

      This verse does show intercession of angels though.

      For your big response on infallible interpretation, instead how about: what makes your Fallible interpretation better than mine?

      "If we need an infallible interpreter of Scripture so that we can obtain the correct meaning behind each passage of Scripture, then which church who makes such a claim should we join? How do you know that your answer to this question is accurate? Why is it that the Church has offered VERY FEW official interpretations of SO LITTLE passages in the Bible, if it has been around since the very beginning of Christendom and is an absolutely necessary for salvation? Why is the concept of an infallible interpreter of Scripture that demands absolute blind submission never found within the pages of the Bible? How do you know with certainty that your church's interpretation of Scripture is correct? How do you know if you are correctly interpreting the official teachings of your Magisterium?
      No, we are to act in a reasonable manner. We are supposed to follow things according to the will of the Creator. It is NOT all about us. And since a Pope is not part of that Will, we are not obligated to follow him. Once again, you are seriously misrepresenting me and the other adherents to the doctrine of Sola Scriptura."

      So are we supposed to blindly submit or not. You say were are supposed to submit to the will of the Creator, true, but wouldn't this involve submitting to an important interpretation of scripture, whether we like it or not. So what interpretation are we supposed to submit to? Yours? because you think its right and you've judged that its right when I could judge that it is wrong.

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    2. Sean,
      (Part 1)

      "If those in heaven know if a sinner repents, than why couldn't they hear a person talk? Are those in heaven just oblivious to what goes on on earth. How don't these tie together?"

      Just because a saint is very alive with the presence of God in the heavenly sanctuary and is aware of conversions on earth does not mean that he or she is capable of answering or being a recipient of prayers. The angels most probably know when a soul is added into the Book of Life. Yet, this argument of yours simply does not add up to be considered as "evidence" for your case.

      You go on quite a bit about angels interceding on behalf of people, but I am quite sure that they were doing such by GOD'S REQUEST, not our own.

      "For your big response on infallible interpretation, instead how about: what makes your Fallible interpretation better than mine?"

      The ones that agrees more with the context and principles of Scripture, along with the use of rightful reason.

      "So are we supposed to blindly submit or not?"

      No, we know through the Old Testament Scriptures that God is good. We know through the testimony of HIS OWN SON and His disciples that the Father is good. We know through various logical proofs and by nature that He exists. What is really telling is that you never bothered to answer any of the questions that I posed to you. Instead, you go on angrily mocking me. Are you running out of ammunition or something?

      "So what interpretation are we supposed to submit to? Yours? Because you think its right and you've judged that its right when I could judge that it is wrong."

      Generally speaking, the interpretation that we are supposed to follow is the one that flows naturally from the text.













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    3. Part 1

      "The ones that agrees more with the context and principles of Scripture, along with the use of rightful reason."

      Don't people use their reason to decide whether or not an interpretation follows the principles of Scripture. One guy could judge yours doesn't.

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    4. I mean a fairly reasonable interpretation that does not make the Bible "contradict" itself, which is impossible because it is God-breathed (Psalm 19:7-14; John 10:35; 2 Timothy 3:16; 1 Peter 1:23-25; 2 Peter 1:16-21).

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    5. "I mean a fairly reasonable interpretation that does not make the Bible "contradict" itself, which is impossible because it is God-breathed (Psalm 19:7-14; John 10:35; 2 Timothy 3:16; 1 Peter 1:23-25; 2 Peter 1:16-21)."

      Again, isn't that from ones interpretation, whether it contradicts Scripture?

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    6. Hi Sean,

      Don't we have to use our reason to figure out everything in all aspects of life? What purpose would we serve if we were nothing more than mindless robots or highly evolved animals? Why is it that infallibility is not in issue in our world when an all-loving God would never make us work with things beyond our scope of comprehension? With comprehension comes the ability to work with things.

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  13. (Part 5)

    "You may say you're supposed to follow the right interpretation, well what makes it right, other than one's own interpretation."

    Every time you launch attacks on the perspicuity of Scripture, you reveal your true attitude towards the written Word of God. While you claim to love the divine book and uphold it as an infallible rule of faith, you disrespect it by claiming that it is to difficult for the common mind to understand. But we know that an all-loving God would not give us a package that we are unable to wrap.

    Sean, you are not getting anywhere when you over complicate the true simplicity of the Bible. Though it may contain its share of metaphorical statements, it is simply nowhere as hard as you make it out to be. God will give understanding to ANY heart who hungers and thirsts for the knowledge of the truth. Just keep seeking, knocking, and you shall receive. It's really that easy!

    A significant observation to make is that throughout the gospels, Jesus usually appeared to the poor, the uneducated, and the ungodly, rather than all of the "scholars" and people of higher wealth and authority. Secondly, recognize that practically all of the New Testament epistles were written to the "common" people. Do you not see a pattern? The idea that the truth can only be understood by an elite group of authoritative people is generally a sign of a spiritually unhealthy cult, rather than a solid, Bible-believing, Christ centered church. Another is the denial of the Bible as being the sufficient rule of faith for the church.

    "So all those thousands of denominations are wrong because you think the Bible says them to be, when they think the opposite."

    The argument from divisions within Protestantism is also fatally flawed and totally outdated. Not only are the numbers oftentimes far outstretched, but Scripture actually permits us to have our own opinions on minor doctrinal issues (Romans 14; 1 Corinthians 8). All the denominations that are considered Christian by your standards all agree on the essential doctrines of the faith.

    Consider the serious divisions within the deep and dark chasms of Romanism. Individual Roman Catholics and even leaders/theologians of the Church disagree on important issues ranging from whether females can be qualified priests, to accepting homosexuality, and even abortion! So you are obviously not in a better situation than anybody else because WE ALL suffer from church divisions. We are all imperfect human beings.

    Having a "referee" to settle disputes does not mean that you are free of them. In fact, your Pope has done very little to fix any of the existing problems in the world today.

    If sola Scriptura cannot be the correct method of determining truth because of the religious division among churches that claim to use Sola Scriptura, then does this not also disqualify the Roman Catholic and Orthodox churches method of using tradition, since they are divided against themselves? What about the big theological differences among the church fathers?

    If you want to debate any of the above issues that we have gone over, then please indicate which one(s) so that we can go to an article addressing the relevant topic(s).

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Part 5
      "time you launch attacks on the perspicuity of Scripture, you reveal your true attitude towards the written Word of God. While you claim to love the divine book and uphold it as an infallible rule of faith, you disrespect it by claiming that it is to difficult for the common mind to understand. But we know that an all-loving God would not give us a package that we are unable to wrap.

      God gave us the Bible. People should read, but God also gave us the Church so we could settle difficult passages. God didn't leave us without a key to open a treasure box.

      "Sean, you are not getting anywhere when you over complicate the true simplicity of the Bible. Though it may contain its share of metaphorical statements, it is simply nowhere as hard as you make it out to be. God will give understanding to ANY heart who hungers and thirsts for the knowledge of the truth. Just keep seeking, knocking, and you shall receive. It's really that easy!"

      Yes if I keep looking I will eventually find the truth. It will be in the Catholic Church. Martin Luther thought every one would come to the same conclusion when they read scripture and look at where that went.

      Jesus needed to explain the parable to the Apostles. He even said He would do this. He said the normal people would hear and not understand etc. There were also elders in the Churches that Paul sent letters to for a reason.

      "Consider the serious divisions within the deep and dark chasms of Romanism. Individual Roman Catholics and even leaders/theologians of the Church disagree on important issues ranging from whether females can be qualified priests, to accepting homosexuality, and even abortion! So you are obviously not in a better situation than anybody else because WE ALL suffer from church divisions. We are all imperfect human beings."

      People who disagree with things in the Catholic Church disagree with the Church. The teaching of the Church isn't fractured. The Church teaches Women priesthood NO, the act of homosexuality NO, in the Catechism abortion is met with a NO.

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    2. Hi Sean,
      (Part 1)

      "...but God also gave us the Church so we could settle difficult passages."

      Where in Scripture does it state that we must submit to an infallible interpreter?

      "God didn't leave us without a key to open a treasure box."

      Good! And that "key" is right in front of us to grab! All that we have to do is choose and act upon what is moral.

      "Martin Luther thought every one would come to the same conclusion when they read scripture and look at where that went"

      Personally, my intention was never to defend any possible flaws of Martin Luther. Nobody is infallible. But I highly doubt that he thought that everyone would reach "identical opinions on every issue", as you claim. That would be completely irrational and impossible. Very few are doing God's will (Matthew 7:13-28) and are thus against Him and each other. What did I say about minor divisions, though?

      But if you do want a blog specifically dedicated to countering the claims of modern-day Roman Catholicism and defending the Protestant Reformers, then go here:
      http://beggarsallreformation.blogspot.com/

      "Jesus needed to explain the parables to the Apostles. He even said He would do this."

      On the contrary, there were also parables that the apostles could understand without additional explanation. But isn't it ironic that there was no infallible interpreter sitting beside Jesus when He spoke to the crowds who sometimes did not understand Him? Why is it that He did not always explain Himself? Furthermore, we must ask why Jesus made people interpret the Scriptures for themselves and held them accountable when they were wrong (i.e. Matthew 22:22-32; Luke 10:25-28; John 5:39-40; Matthew 26;54).

      "He said the normal people would hear and not understand etc."

      Yeah, ONLY those who willfully rejected His teachings!

      "There were also elders in the Churches that Paul sent letters to for a reason."

      In the New Testament canon, only 1 Timothy, 2 Timothy, and Titus were directed specifically to the ministers of the church. All the others were directed to all individuals who wanted to read them. But none of this supports the Papacy because we have no warnings in those three epistles forbidding the people from taking the time to read them. You are only partially correct for the totally wrong reasons (nothing about absolute control or perpetual church infallibility)!

      "People who disagree with things in the Catholic Church disagree with the Church. The teaching of the Church isn't fractured."

      People who dispute the things clearly taught in Scripture disagree with God. The teachings of the Bible and original Protestantism are not "fractured", either. All true Christians say an emphatic "NO" to the things that I listed above. In either result, divisions neither refute a person's ultimate "rule of faith" nor does unity guarantee accuracy.


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    3. On that Martin Luther thing that I said, I'm snot sure if he said that, but I think I heard some where.

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    4. Part 1 "good, and that "key" is right in front of you just grab it.." That "key" is the Church which can help us with the the understanding of the Bible, "the treasure chest".

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    5. Part 1 continued. " why didn't Jesus have an infallible interpreter by Him or always explain Himself ". He is the Infallible interpreter who would explain the parables to the Apostles and not to the crowds, speaking in parables to them, so they would " hear and not understand". (Mark4:12).

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    7. Part 1
      "Personally, my intention was never to defend any possible flaws of Martin Luther. Nobody is infallible. But I highly doubt that he thought that everyone would reach "identical opinions on every issue", as you claim. That would be completely irrational and impossible. Very few are doing God's will (Matthew 7:13-28) and are thus against Him and each other. What did I say about minor divisions, though?"

      Some of the divisions aren't so minor. Especially with the Catholic Church. The protestants splits with he Catholic Church over things like no sacraments are big and not good for them. Even in some protestant sects, like Calvinism and predestination, and with Lutherans and using statues and having saints. Some groups may not take differences as minor as others may too, which is another disagreement.

      "On the contrary, there were also parables that the apostles could understand without additional explanation. But isn't it ironic that there was no infallible interpreter sitting beside Jesus when He spoke to the crowds who sometimes did not understand Him? Why is it that He did not always explain Himself? Furthermore, we must ask why Jesus made people interpret the Scriptures for themselves and held them accountable when they were wrong (i.e. Matthew 22:22-32; Luke 10:25-28; John 5:39-40; Matthew 26;54)."

      Jesus is the infallible interpreter and he would explain the parables to the disciples(Mark 4:34) but wouldn't to the people so they "may hear and not understand"(Mark 4:12). So he knew they wouldn't understand in following the prophet Isaiah.

      "In the New Testament canon, only 1 Timothy, 2 Timothy, and Titus were directed specifically to the ministers of the church. All the others were directed to all individuals who wanted to read them. But none of this supports the Papacy because we have no warnings in those three epistles forbidding the people from taking the time to read them. You are only partially correct for the totally wrong reasons (nothing about absolute control or perpetual church infallibility)!"

      Some people took Paul's messages wrongly as seen in some of his letters, so Paul would have to resolve them. He sent Timothy places maybe to look after the Church make sure people are following the right way. Normal people can read the Bible, but they can't make up their own thoughts about it without being subject to the authority of the Church.

      Delete
    8. Hi Sean,
      (Part 1)

      "On that Martin Luther thing that I said, I'm snot sure if he said that, but I think I heard some where."

      Do not state something as if it is a proven fact or with absolute certainty when you are in reality not sure at all about the truth of your claims. But if you are still going to carry that preposterous objection around, then do not be afraid to visit and/or ask the authors of the blog that I had referenced to previously.

      "That key is the Church which can help us with the the understanding of the Bible, the treasure chest."

      I understood what you were trying to illustrate through your analogy, but that can actually be used against you, as plainly seen above. But do you have any scriptural support for your myriad of assertions?

      "Jesus is the infallible interpreter and would explain things to His close disciples, but speak in parables to the people so they "may hear and not understand" (Mark 4:12)."

      Jesus often made the common people interpret the Scriptures and oftentimes held them responsible when they were wrong about something. And no, Jesus never demanded people to blindly submit to His claims while He alone made official interpretations of Scripture and never do we see Him appointing an official interpreter of Scripture for us to obey in all aspects of life in the Bible. Neither did He ever try to take the scrolls away from the Scribes and Pharisees of the Law to "prevent them from making errors in interpreting Scripture". The Lord clearly expects us to interpret the Scriptures correctly, and how that is done must be a mystery to you. Moreover, the many people who did not understand Him were in the dilemma that they were in because they did not truly believe the claims that he established (1 Corinthians 2). For example, read the Bread of Life Discourse in John chapters 5 and 6. By the way, nice job with taking Scripture out of its appropriate context.

      Concerning your comments on divisions, I am sticking to everything that I have said previously, since you keep on repeating yourself, misrepresenting the actual beliefs of other fellow denominations, and have not really made any new statements contradicting the points that I have raised. But notice that the churches who have a hierarchical structure tend to have more pernicious and aberrant doctrines and practices than those who follow Scripture alone. You also have done a great job in dodging the questions that I have posed for you.

      "Some people took Paul's messages wrongly as seen in some of his letters..."

      Heresies arise in the church and continue to redevelop in different forms of severity or variation. And I have already told you how they form and how to deal with them. So what is your point?

      "...but they can't make up their own thoughts about it without being subject to the authority of the Church."

      No true advocate of the doctrine of Sola Scriptura believes that he or she can interpret the Bible in any way he or she wants. As I have stated multiple times before, we are called to act reasonably. But the maverick of Rome is certainly not that of that of Jesus Christ and His gospel.

      Delete
    9. Part 1
      "I understood what you were trying to illustrate through your analogy, but that can actually be used against you, as plainly seen above. But do you have any scriptural support for your myriad of assertions?"

      I don't need necessarily need Scriptural support, because the Bible isn't the only source of Revelation. Having it would be all the nicer, and also what were the Apostles and they're successors supposed to do? Jesus sent them to teach His message and explain to people (Phillip and the Eunach).


      "But notice that the churches who have a hierarchical structure tend to have more pernicious and aberrant doctrines and practices than those who follow Scripture alone."

      Catholics could think that protestants have weird doctrines and think that their lack of authority is absurd. You may say that Scripture is your authority.

      "No true advocate of the doctrine of Sola Scriptura believes that he or she can interpret the Bible in any way he or she wants. As I have stated multiple times before, we are called to act reasonably. But the maverick of Rome is certainly not that of that of Jesus Christ and His gospel."

      We can't make interpretation, even if we think its true and not have it subject to Church. Jesus did set up a Church, a "catholic" (universal) NOT universalist, Church. It being in Rome, well, you could defend that with it taking over the Roman empire and wanting a place to govern duties. The center of the empire could be helpful.

      Delete
    10. Hi Sean,
      (Part 1)

      I am somewhat troubled by your last response, and I am about to explain why.

      "I don't need necessarily need Scriptural support, because the Bible isn't the only source of Revelation. "

      Yes, you do need ample scriptural support for the ultimate authority of the Catholic Church and all of her claims to apostolic authority. Then, you can make a case for all of Rome's unbiblical doctrines. So where is the proof of your assertions? And if the Bible cannot be used as the grounds for establishing the truthfulness of fundamental articles of the Christian faith, then how could I submit to your church? BY WHAT AUTHORITY CAN YOU TELL ME THAT I AM WRONG AND THAT I NEED TO SUBMIT TO YOUR SPECIFIC CHURCH!? How could you effectively tell me that you are right and that I am in the wrong? What if I felt that groups such as the Mormons, Jehovah's Witnesses, or Scientology were correct in the exact sense that your church claims? There would never be any standard of truth!

      This is clearly a cop-out response because you seem unable to answer any of my questions and have not refuted any of my objections so far. What inspired revelation do you personally have that nobody else has, Sean? On what basis do you claim that the Bible is not the only source of divine revelation? What tangible documentation can you provide to justify your claims? If you cannot prove that some other source of infallible authority exists outside the Bible, then logically, it alone stands and functions as the final authority in doctrinal matters. You cannot just appeal to your church's own self-proclaimed authority or her traditions because that would be mere circular reasoning.

      "Having it would be all the nicer..."

      We ALREADY HAVE EVERYTHING necessary for salvation found in the Scriptures. How do you explain 2 Timothy 3:15-17? All that you have to do is accept this truth!

      "Jesus sent them to teach His message and explain to people (Phillip and the Eunuch)."

      I believe that the passage that you referenced to above is found in Acts 8:28-36. So I will attempt to address it to the best of my ability.

      Yes, teachers do exist in the church. In fact, nobody even claims that all portions of Scripture are equally clear. We may very well need things explained to us at times. But this text says nothing about infallibility or that only an infallible interpretation of Scripture would suffice for the confused Eunuch.

      You see, the Eunuch was from far away (Ethiopia), and he had apparently not been given a chance to hear about the teachings of the gospel message. Philip, who was at the right place at the right time by the power of the Holy Spirit, was given the opportunity to explain the passage from Isaiah 53. He was confused simply because he did not know who the prophet Isaiah was referring to (.34). The gospel was not spread out back in the day, as it is today in our world. That is all this text is about. In short, this Acts 8:28-36 has nothing to do with infallible interpretations of Scripture.

      Delete
    11. Sean Dolan,
      (Part 2)

      "Catholics could think that protestants have weird doctrines and think that their lack of authority is absurd."

      Who cares about what Roman Catholics think about other religious groups? In what ways does this enhance the discussion at hand? Just because we reject a hierarchical structure for a church government does not mean that we do not have authorities or a government. We are simply saying that all outside authorities are subject the the ultimate authority of the Scriptures. Having two different church structures does not equal having no church authority. But I can say that an unjust authority, like the Roman Catholic Church, is no authority at all. So you Papists really have no church authority to follow.

      "We can't make interpretation, even if we think its true and not have it subject to Church."

      Yes, we can make interpretations of Scripture, and we have to do so in order to figure out the true church. We have to make interpretations and judgments of everything in our daily lives. Otherwise, nothing could work, or, in a religious context, I would end up getting stuck with the Muslims or the Moonies.

      "Jesus did set up a Church, a "catholic" (universal) NOT universalist..."

      Settle down and learn to take a sarcastic joke, my friend.

      Delete
    12. Sean,
      (Part 3)

      And lastly, learn to heed to the words of Scripture, for they say that we are able to understand them fully when we devote enough time and study with a prayerful heart:

      “For we are not writing to you anything other than what you read and understand and I hope you will fully understand” (2 Corinthians 1:13)

      "But until this very day whenever Moses is read, a veil lies over their minds, but when one turns to the Lord, the veil is removed" (2 Corinthians 3:15-16)

      "The secret things belong to the LORD our God, but the things that are revealed belong to us and to our children forever, that we may do all the words of this law” (Deuteronomy 29:29)

      "The law of the LORD is perfect, reviving the soul; the testimony of the LORD is sure, making wise the simple; the precepts of the LORD are right, rejoicing the heart; the commandment of the LORD is pure, enlightening the eyes" (Psalms 19:7-8).

      "O how love I thy law! it is my meditation all the day. Thou through thy commandments hast made me wiser than mine enemies: for they are ever with me. I have more understanding than all my teachers: for thy testimonies are my meditation. I understand more than the ancients, because I keep thy precepts. I have refrained my feet from every evil way, that I might keep thy word. I have not departed from thy judgments: for thou hast taught me. How sweet are thy words unto my taste! yea, sweeter than honey to my mouth! Through thy precepts I get understanding: therefore I hate every false way. Thy word is a lamp unto my feet, and a light unto my path" (Psalm 119:97-105)

      "The unfolding of your words gives light; it imparts understanding to the simple" (Psalms 119:130)

      “from childhood you have been acquainted with the sacred writings, which are able to make you wise for salvation through faith in Christ Jesus” (2 Timothy 3:15)

      "And we have the prophetic word more fully confirmed, to which you will do well to pay attention as to a lamp shining in a dark place, until the day dawns and the morning star rises in your hearts” (2 Peter 1:19)

      "These were more noble than those in Thessalonica, in that they received the word with all readiness of mind, and searched the scriptures daily, whether those things were so. Therefore many of them believed; also of honourable women which were Greeks, and of men, not a few" (Acts 17:11-12)

      "Forasmuch as many have taken in hand to set forth in order a declaration of those things which are most surely believed among us, even as they delivered them unto us, which from the beginning were eyewitnesses, and ministers of the word; it seemed good to me also, having had perfect understanding of all things from the very first, to write unto thee in order, most excellent Theophilus, that thou mightest know the certainty of those things, wherein thou hast been instructed" (Luke 1:1-4)

      "How that by revelation he made known unto me the mystery; (as I wrote afore in few words, whereby, when ye read, ye may understand my knowledge in the mystery of Christ), Which in other ages was not made known unto the sons of men, as it is now revealed unto his holy apostles and prophets by the Spirit" (Ephesians 3:3-5)

      "Therefore do not be foolish, but understand what the Lord's will is" (Ephesians 5:17)

      Delete
    13. Part 1 continued

      "Neither did He ever try to take the scrolls away from the Scribes and Pharisees of the Law to "prevent them from making errors in interpreting Scripture"."

      They didn't have the Church back than Jesus during His ministry, and it wasn't fully in action 'til after the Last Supper, Death, Rising, Pentecost. The Pharisees were the teaching authority, and they weren't infallible, but that doesn't mean the Church isn't.

      Delete
    14. Part 1

      Jesse by what authority can you tell me I'm wrong. What gives the Scriptures authority and how do you know. The Scriptures say they are God-breathed, and you choose to accept that. I think they are too, but also that the Church is. The Church has years of authority, seen in ecumenical councils, Church Fathers, and the New Testament.

      "Yes, teachers do exist in the church. In fact, nobody even claims that all portions of Scripture are equally clear. We may very well need things explained to us at times."

      Who's supposed to explain them then, and couldn't disagreement arise from these unclear portions.

      Delete
    15. Part 3

      These are great quotes. They say how the Scriptures give understanding etc. Some could read into them sola scriptura, or just see the great gift of God that is Scriptures, and how it can help us on our way to Heaven.

      Delete
    16. On the Luke verse...

      Luke doesn't write to Theophilus that Scripture is enough to instruct on how to get to Heaven, rather that Theophilus will know what things happened in Christ's life and the teachings of Christianity with certainty, by putting it in words. Maybe Theophilus trusts Luke's word more than others, so it wouldn't matter if Luke told him orally or not. But if this did say Sola Scriptura, wouldn't that mean the Gospel of Luke is sufficient.

      Delete
    17. Luke continued. It may have been more profitable to write so Theophilus could look over, but perhaps It wasn't the writing that made it for certain but the person telling it. Look at 2 John 12. God's revelation is enough not only in words but in the Church and its teachings.

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    18. The Acts verse doesn't say that Scripture is sufficient. The people seem to understand. God will give us a true way, if we truly search Him, and perhaps part of that understanding is to know the Church is to help us. These verses are true in some sense, but your interpretation isn't necessarily true.

      Delete
    19. Hi Sean,
      (Part 1)

      "The Pharisees were the teaching authority..."

      Who were, of course, subject to the judgement of God and the Old Testament Scriptures.

      "...and they weren't infallible, but that doesn't mean the Church isn't."

      But how does your notion that the church is infallible come into being? How does fallibility transition into infallibility? What infallible evidence can you provide us with to establish any of your claims? Remember, you can't use the Bible because you believe that it is an insufficient body of divine revelation. So you need to appeal to an outside source. Can you?

      "...by what authority can you tell me I'm wrong..."

      Sean, you can't just take this standard and apply it to me or other people. You are the one who denies Sola Scriptura and the burden of proof thus rests on you. And, one does not need authority to correct other people. We are ALL liable to errors, which can be of differing severity.

      "What gives the Scriptures authority and how do you know?"

      God is the One who gave the Scriptures authority, and the only way that we can know this is through the testimony of the inspired apostles and prophets. Are you trying to ask something else (if so, then please clarify) or are you trying to make me give you a "scientific" answer? If so, then I cannot answer this. Nobody can scientifically or mathematically prove things in faith or morals.

      But if you so insist that I answer your question which is phrased in the manner that it is in, then I will tell you that an "infallible church" does not sound any more logical of an answer than mine. If you add an infallible organization into this scenario, then only a bigger circle wold be formed! Both of our answers would be based on faith. We all must place our trust in something. Otherwise, nothing would make any sense and the world could not function at all. You could never be able to prove that the Catholic Church is infallible from a "scientific" worldview because your answer is based on theology.

      If you meant something else by your question, then please explain yourself.

      "...but also that the Church is..."

      How do you know this?

      "The Church has years of authority..."

      Ah, you are appealing to longevity as a standard of truth again.

      "...seen in ecumenical councils, Church Fathers, and the New Testament..."

      How can this be when Scripture and the Church contradict each other? Why not claim to have a broken "three-legged stool"?

      "Who's supposed to explain them then, and couldn't disagreement arise from these unclear portions."

      1.) The only available option is the fallible teachers, scholars, and historians of the church.
      2.) How come popes were not very effective in deciding matters when opposing views were being debated at the early church councils? Why did they "choose" to exercise their permanent gift of infallibility so scarcely throughout history? How come the pope has resolved very few issues existing within the Roman Catholic Church today?

      Delete
    20. Hi Sean,
      (Part 1)

      "The Pharisees were the teaching authority..."

      Who were, of course, subject to the judgement of God and the Old Testament Scriptures.

      "...and they weren't infallible, but that doesn't mean the Church isn't."

      But how does your notion that the church is infallible come into being? How does fallibility transition into infallibility? What infallible evidence can you provide us with to establish any of your claims? Remember, you can't use the Bible because you believe that it is an insufficient body of divine revelation. So you need to appeal to an outside source. Can you?

      "...by what authority can you tell me I'm wrong..."

      Sean, you can't just take this standard and apply it to me or other people. You are the one who denies Sola Scriptura and the burden of proof thus rests on you. And, one does not need authority to correct other people. We are ALL liable to errors, which can be of differing severity.

      "What gives the Scriptures authority and how do you know?"

      God is the One who gave the Scriptures authority, and the only way that we can know this is through the testimony of the inspired apostles and prophets. Are you trying to ask something else (if so, then please clarify) or are you trying to make me give you a "scientific" answer? If so, then I cannot answer this. Nobody can scientifically or mathematically prove things in faith or morals.

      But if you so insist that I answer your question which is phrased in the manner that it is in, then I will tell you that an "infallible church" does not sound any more logical of an answer than mine. If you add an infallible organization into this scenario, then only a bigger circle wold be formed! Both of our answers would be based on faith. We all must place our trust in something. Otherwise, nothing would make any sense and the world could not function at all. You could never be able to prove that the Catholic Church is infallible from a "scientific" worldview because your answer is based on theology.

      If you meant something else by your question, then please explain yourself.

      "...but also that the Church is..."

      How do you know this?

      "The Church has years of authority..."

      Ah, you are appealing to longevity as a standard of truth again.

      "...seen in ecumenical councils, Church Fathers, and the New Testament..."

      How can this be when Scripture and the Church contradict each other? Why not claim to have a broken "three-legged stool"?

      "Who's supposed to explain them then, and couldn't disagreement arise from these unclear portions."

      1.) The only available option is the fallible teachers, scholars, and historians of the church.
      2.) How come popes were not very effective in deciding matters when opposing views were being debated at the early church councils? Why did they "choose" to exercise their permanent gift of infallibility so scarcely throughout history? How come the pope has resolved very few issues existing within the Roman Catholic Church today?

      Delete
    21. Hi Sean,
      (Part 1)

      "The Pharisees were the teaching authority..."

      Who were, of course, subject to the judgement of God and the Old Testament Scriptures.

      "...and they weren't infallible, but that doesn't mean the Church isn't."

      But how does your notion that the church is infallible come into being? How does fallibility transition into infallibility? What infallible evidence can you provide us with to establish any of your claims? Remember, you can't use the Bible because you believe that it is an insufficient body of divine revelation. So you need to appeal to an outside source. Can you?

      "...by what authority can you tell me I'm wrong..."

      Sean, you can't just take this standard and apply it to me or other people. You are the one who denies Sola Scriptura and the burden of proof thus rests on you. And, one does not need authority to correct other people. We are ALL liable to errors, which can be of differing severity.

      "What gives the Scriptures authority and how do you know?"

      God is the One who gave the Scriptures authority, and the only way that we can know this is through the testimony of the inspired apostles and prophets. Are you trying to ask something else (if so, then please clarify) or are you trying to make me give you a "scientific" answer? If so, then I cannot answer this. Nobody can scientifically or mathematically prove things in faith or morals.

      But if you so insist that I answer your question which is phrased in the manner that it is in, then I will tell you that an "infallible church" does not sound any more logical of an answer than mine. If you add an infallible organization into this scenario, then only a bigger circle wold be formed! Both of our answers would be based on faith. We all must place our trust in something. Otherwise, nothing would make any sense and the world could not function at all. You could never be able to prove that the Catholic Church is infallible from a "scientific" worldview because your answer is based on theology.

      If you meant something else by your question, then please explain yourself.

      "...but also that the Church is..."

      How do you know this?

      "The Church has years of authority..."

      Ah, you are appealing to longevity as a standard of truth again.

      "...seen in ecumenical councils, Church Fathers, and the New Testament..."

      How can this be when Scripture and the Church contradict each other? Why not claim to have a broken "three-legged stool"?

      "Who's supposed to explain them then, and couldn't disagreement arise from these unclear portions."

      1.) The only available option is the fallible teachers, scholars, and historians of the church.
      2.) How come popes were not very effective in deciding matters when opposing views were being debated at the early church councils? Why did they "choose" to exercise their permanent gift of infallibility so scarcely throughout history? How come the pope has resolved very few issues existing within the Roman Catholic Church today?

      Delete
    22. Sean,
      (Part 2)

      "...On the Luke verse..."

      But the fact still remains that Luke told Teophilus that he was writing to bring certainty of the Truth in the presence of various oral traditions and uninspired writings. He produced Scripture under the influence of the Holy Spirit. 1.) Luke wrote Scripture, 2.) Luke 1:1-4 demonstrates the superiority of Scripture to oral traditions and non-canonical writings because of what it does, brings certainty of the Truth, 3.) We are never told that the other two items mentioned in the text can give us as much certainty as Scripture, or any certainty at all, and 4.) If Scripture is infallible and we are not given another infallible authority (which is the case here), then it logically follows from the premise that Scripture is the only infallible rule of faith for the church.

      "But if this did say Sola Scriptura, wouldn't that mean the Gospel of Luke is sufficient?"

      1.) No, the verse in question still says what it says.
      2.)It would be inconsistent to argue for the inspiration of the Old Testament Scriptures, but not also for the New Testament.
      3.)The New Testament calls itself "Scripture" (2 Peter 3:15-16).
      4.) The Old Testament Scriptures were a sufficient rule of faith, but not in the sense that the New Testament Scriptures are unnecessary. The Scriptures of the Old Covenant were sufficient in the sense that they made the basis for the fundamental doctrines of Judaism. The New Testament Scriptures simply extract on essential Truths that have ALREADY been established by God. While the Scriptural revelation was sufficient for the specific period of time that it was written in, the content of a believer's faith changed as doctrines reached their clearest and most complete state of being.

      "Look at 2 John 12. God's revelation is enough not only in words but in the Church and its teachings."

      Delete
    23. Hi Sean,
      (Part 3)

      2 John 12 says, "I have much to write to you, but I do not want to use paper and ink. Instead, I hope to visit you and talk with you face to face, so that our joy may be complete."

      1.) You cannot just assert without proof that what the Apostle John was talking about is identical or even similar to the stuff that you profess to believe in.
      2.) Anybody can misuse passages like these to open doors to nasty doctrines of all sorts.
      3.) It is equally plausible to believe that John COULD HAVE came to the particular church that he was addressing in this epistle to publicly rebuke a person who committed adultery or to set up a new bishop who can teach sound doctrine and exhort the fellow Christians. If the passage is indeed speaking about doctrine, then maybe the things John wanted to bring up are mentioned in other Books of the Bible. Why does 2 John 12 have to go your way?
      4.) This text does not say that the Bible is an insufficient rule of faith. It simply means that John decided not to write everything down into his epistle. He wanted to speak directly to the audience for the sake of their comfort.

      "But these are written that you may believe that Jesus is the Messiah, the Son of God, and that by believing you may have life in his name." (John 20:31)

      "That which was from the beginning, which we have heard, which we have seen with our eyes, which we have looked at and our hands have touched—this we proclaim concerning the Word of life. The life appeared; we have seen it and testify to it, and we proclaim to you the eternal life, which was with the Father and has appeared to us. We proclaim to you what we have seen and heard, so that you also may have fellowship with us. And our fellowship is with the Father and with his Son, Jesus Christ. We write this to make our joy complete." (1 John 1:1-4)

      "His divine power has given us everything we need for a godly life through our knowledge of him who called us by his own glory and goodness. Through these he has given us his very great and precious promises, so that through them you may participate in the divine nature, having escaped the corruption in the world caused by evil desires." (2 Peter 1:3-4)

      "The Acts verse doesn't say that Scripture is sufficient..."

      But Acts 17:11-12 does give us an example of the ultimate authority of Scripture.

      "God will give us a true way, if we truly search Him, and perhaps part of that understanding is to know the Church is to help us."

      What are you saying? Are you saying that there other ways to the Truth? Which way is the best way? How do I know that your church is true when you say that I am not supposed to use private judgement?

      "These verses are true in some sense..."

      How can God-breathed writings be "true in some sense" or only partially true? This does not make any sense.

      "...but your interpretation isn't necessarily true."

      You and your Church's interpretations of Scripture are not necessarily true, either.

      Delete
  14. Jessie Lange,

    You said:

    “Every time you launch attacks on the perspicuity of Scripture, you reveal your true attitude towards the written Word of God. While you claim to love the divine book and uphold it as an infallible rule of faith, you disrespect it by claiming that it is to difficult for the common mind to understand. But we know that an all-loving God would not give us a package that we are unable to wrap.”

    Very well said, Jessie!

    What you said applies not only to Catholics but to anyone else with this attitude. Thanks for your comments!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Russell,

      I appreciate the input and apologize if I am sounding arrogant, exclusive, or being harsh at all.

      The truth of the matter is that I have been trying to evangelize that silly Sean Dolan kid for awhile now. He's a pretty respectful and diligent fellow.

      Thanks for understanding!

      Delete
  15. Jessie,

    No problem. You are doing fine and I appreciate your ministry. And Sean is certainly welcome here also.

    ReplyDelete
  16. Part 2

    "Who cares about what Roman Catholics think about other religious groups? In what ways does this enhance the discussion at hand?

    You said that Churches with a hierarchical structure seem to have more pernicious and aberrant beliefs. Catholics could think that of Churches without them. Also could I say than "who cares what protestants believe."

    "Yes, we can make interpretations of Scripture, and we have to do so in order to figure out the true church. We have to make interpretations and judgments of everything in our daily lives. Otherwise, nothing could work, or, in a religious context, I would end up getting stuck with the Muslims or the Moonies. "

    Alright, I agree. If you don't believe in the Church, well should you just submit, by Catholic teachings? We should use our judgement, somehow we should come to the Truth, by argument, fake it til make it or others. I've read that the Church wishes, or allows, you to search for the truth where ever it may take you, somethin like that. We would use our reason in this.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Sean,
      (Part 1)

      "You said that Churches with a hierarchical structure seem to have more pernicious and aberrant beliefs. Catholics could think that of Churches without them."

      Well, no doctrinal security can exist if the Bible is insufficient and is thus in need of supplemental revelation. And what I said about denominations who reject the truth of Sola Scriptura generally having worse doctrinal errors is indeed true.

      My apologies for the double standard fallacy that I posed earlier.

      "We should use our judgement, somehow we should come to the Truth, by argument, fake it til make it or others."

      The way that we seek and discover the Truth is by means of our reason. This is the tool that we have to use for executing any decision in life. God will not merely spoon feed us Truth because that would promote the sin of laziness. But the other three ways that you mentioned are obviously out of the question because they involve being hasty or careless in decision making, which will most likely lead a person to hell.

      If the Church was meant to be the infallible guide in faith and morals, then why do we have the Bible? An infallible book would be moot and redundant because that is supposed to be the function of church government.

      Delete
    2. Part 1

      "Well, no doctrinal security can exist if the Bible is insufficient and is thus in need of supplemental revelation. And what I said about denominations who reject the truth of Sola Scriptura generally having worse doctrinal errors is indeed true."

      Why can't doctrinal security exist? Accepting (seemly) just Biblical teachings is up to one's reason and is fallible, so how is this doctrinal security. If one takes the Church as one takes the Bible, why wouldn't doctrinal security exist.


      "If the Church was meant to be the infallible guide in faith and morals, then why do we have the Bible? An infallible book would be moot and redundant because that is supposed to be the function of church government."

      Think about this: each book in the Bible is infallible, no? The gospel is of John, Genesis, Isaiah. They're all inerrant, but you take them all. Some people also think they contradict each other, and have evidence for it. You still accept that they don't contradict eachother or nature. The Church may seem to to contradict the Bible in areas, but the Bible seems to contradict itself in areas too. Just because the Bible or the Church are infallible doesn't mean that they can't go together. Also each book of the Bible isn't sufficient by itself, no? Altogether by your doctrine they are, why can't the Church join in? This may not have answered your response.


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    3. Hi Sean,
      (Part 1)

      "Why can't doctrinal security exist?"

      The canon of Scripture as we have it today is closed. That body of revelation is complete because it has already been established, that is, written into scrolls which have been preserved in almost perfect condition throughout the centuries. Furthermore, we can easily respond to misinterpreted texts which are used to promote heresy by examining their appropriate context and by seeing what other passages say about that particular subject. The Bible is readily available to us.

      As for the Roman Catholic Church, however, she is not a clear guide because she occupies many technical terms which would most likely stump the average person. Her theology is simply too sophisticated. Rome has never even successfully defined what she means by "tradition" or what it consists of. Your doctrines are the consequence of continuous development or change through a long period of time. The Church of Rome is certainly not "closed". Now, that's very confusing!

      "Accepting (seemly) just Biblical teachings is up to one's reason and is fallible, so how is this doctrinal security."

      Sean, we have to use our reason for everything. It is why we can make sense out of anything. Human reason is what keeps the world turning. And the notion of "infallible certainty" is simply non-existent for us. We are not infallible. Thankfully, God has made us able to do things correctly. Just look at the world around you for proof of this!

      "They're all inerrant, but you take them all."

      If something is inerrant, then, by definition, that object in itself must also be infallible. These two concepts are interrelated.

      "Some people also think they contradict each other, and have evidence for it..."

      Do people really have evidence for the Scriptures contradicting themselves? If this is true, then why do we proclaim the inerrancy or divine inspiration of the Bible? Would this not at least refute Roman Catholicism on this point? Why not just give up on professing to be Christian in general?

      These alleged "contradictions" which are mentioned by skeptics always form as a result of willful misinterpretation of Scripture and/or intentional omission of outside historical evidence or minor details surrounding any events in question.

      "The Church may seem to to contradict the Bible in areas..."

      The Church "seems" to contradict the Bible in many different places BECAUSE ITS TEACHINGS ARE CLEARLY OPPOSED TO THE PLAIN MESSAGE OF THE BIBLE. Why does the Catholic Church bother to teach that it itself is infallible? To silence opponents? The Bible is a historical document that is actually consistent in itself. You know better than to pull these cheap tactics.

      You need to find a valid reason for embracing your Church's infallibility before asserting it, Sean.

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