While many Protestants deny that Roman Catholicism is a Christian denomination, one of the most persistent criticisms of Protestants by Roman Catholics is that we, allegedly, can only trace our religion back to the 16th century. Arguing that point, the Roman Catholic apologist offers what he believes to be the most compelling rebuttal possible: if Roman Catholicism is not the True Church, then the True Church must have perished shortly after it was formed, being then revived only in the 16th century, making Jesus a liar (Matthew 16:18). The Protestant is thereby presented with an unpalatable dilemma: either accept that Roman Catholicism is and always has been the True Church, or acknowledge that Jesus Christ is a liar. Many a professing Evangelical has stumbled at the false dilemma, concluding that because Jesus is not a liar, then Roman Catholicism must be the True church.
As we noted in our first installment in this series, Roman Catholicism has added to the Eucharistic liturgy a step that is unscriptural and therefore generally unfamiliar to most Protestants. As part of the liturgy, the priest pours a little water into the wine that is used to celebrate the Lord’s Supper. Unable to justify the rite from the Scriptures, Roman Catholicism makes its typical appeal to antiquity, claiming that the rite certainly must be of apostolic origins because it is found in the earliest traditions of the Church. But in this series we have analyzed the data from the Early Church and found that our early forebears knew of no such “apostolic” ritual. Continue reading The Mingled Cup, part 5