Come Hell or High Water, part 5

“And to the woman were given two wings of a great eagle, that she might fly into the wilderness…” (Revelation 12:14)
“And to the woman were given two wings of a great eagle, that she might fly into the wilderness…” (Revelation 12:14)

We continue this week with our series on the Woman of Revelation 12. As we have maintained thus far, the Flood of Revelation 12 is the sudden irruption of error toward the end of the fourth century, which error in practice became known to the world as Roman Catholicism. The flood that emerged from the Serpent’s mouth was nothing else than the sudden step-wise emergence and nearly universal acceptance of Roman Catholic doctrines beginning at the end of the fourth century. In our pursuit of the Woman of Revelation 12, we seek out those late fourth century saints who resisted the flood of error, and escaped from it.

Last week we discussed Jovinianus, Auxentius, Genialis, Germinator, Felix, Prontinus, Martianus, Januarius, Ingeniosus, Vigilantius, Sarmatio and Barbatianus who were all excommunicated or similarly condemned for maintaining “the new heresy and blasphemy” that the virgin, the widow and the wife—being all members of the same church—were loved equally by their Lord and Savior. Such a teaching was not to be tolerated, and the reaction was both histrionic and swift.

Their sentences of excommunication were grounded on the novelties introduced by Jerome and Ambrose who had insisted that Jesus “loves virgins more than others” (Jerome, Against Jovinianus, Book I, chapter 12), and (in plain contradiction of 1 Timothy 5:14), that young widows and virgins ought not marry and bear children (Ambrose, Epistle 63, paragraph 22). Men like Jovinianus had simply rejected as unscriptural the new triple hierarchy of merit and the teaching that the wages of chastity were everlasting life. For daring to preach out loud the doctrines of the apostles, these men were condemned and expelled.

We turn this week to another novelty of the late fourth century—the emergence of the bishop as an instrument of the state, and the beginnings of the episcopal exercise of civil power. In the latter part of the century, the role of the bishop was transformed into an office of considerable political power under the auspices of caring for the poor. The poor of that time comprised a significant segment of the populace, and when the emperor began to assign to the bishops the distribution of state goods to the lower class, the bishop began to wield inordinate influence with the emperor and power over the people.

Peter Brown, in his 1988 historical lectures at the University of Madison, observed this striking transition in the power of a bishop in the waning years of that century. “As a protector of the poor, the Christian bishop had achieved an unexpected measure of public prominence by the last decade of the fourth century” (Peter Brown, Power and Persuasion in Late Antiquity (University of Wisconsin (1992) 103). But as he notes, “love of the poor” by then had become but a euphemism, a cloak under which the bishops aggregated power quite beyond the Scriptural exhortations of charity:

“The theme of ‘love of the poor’ exercised a gravitational pull quite disproportionate to the actual workings of Christian charity in the fourth century. It drew into its orbit the two closely related issues of who, in fact, were the most effective protectors and pacifiers of the lower classes of the cities and of how wealth was best spent by the rich within the city. Both themes went far beyond the narrow limits of the church’s traditional, somewhat inward-looking concern for the poor.” (Brown, 78)

Under emperor Constantine, the church began to be viewed as a conduit for distributing the largess of the state, although early in the process the attendant obligations of that function were considered an imposition rather than an honor. The emperor had decreed that all funerals be administered by the Church, and established that all revenues for the services be paid directly to the church, tax free ( S. P. Scott, The Civil Law, vol XVI, (Cincinnati, 1932) Enactments of Justinian, Novel 59). Constantine had sent grain to the church in Alexandria “for the support of certain widows” and “abundant provision for the necessities of the poor” to the church in Heliopolis. Though born of good intention, the actions were interpreted as a “trouble” and a “pretense” to the earlier Christian writers  (Athanasius, Apologia Contra Arianos, Part 1, Chapter 1, paragraph 18; Eusebius, Life of Constantine, Book III, Chapter 58). To distribute the wealth and resources of the state was a halting attempt to respect and submit to the wishes of a king in accordance with 1 Peter 2:17, but was by no means considered a scriptural obligation attached to the bishop’s office. It could not end well.

It did not take long for those who became entangled in the state welfare function to realize just how influential and wealthy they could become by performing this service on behalf of the emperor. George of Alexandria had used his position to corner the market on funerals, and “made a profit on every corpse that was buried” (Epiphanius, Panarion 3.1.76, 1.5-6). The churches became distribution centers where the poor of the city gathered to receive their daily provisions from the hands of the bishop, and the bishop thus aggregated to himself a considerable following in the city:

“Attracted to such [distribution] centers, the poor rapidly came to be mobilized as part of the ‘symbolic retinue’ of the bishop. Their presence in the bishop’s following, along with that of monks and consecrated virgins, symbolized the unique texture of the bishop’s power. … On the great feasts of the year, the poor were put on view, through processions and solemn banquets. … These occasions may not, in fact, have significantly alleviated the state of the poor, but they carried a clear emotional message that was closely watched by contemporaries. … By being made visible, the poor were also made amenable to control.” (Brown, 97)

Control, rather than charity, was the effect of the bishops becoming “lovers of the poor” and administrators of the civil welfare state. “The poor” had been elevated to a political demographic, and as a crowd, could be mobilized to do the bishop’s bidding. The bishop, Ambrose wrote, could calm “disturbances,” but could incite them, as well, if “moved by some offense against God, or insult to the Church” (Ambrose, Epistle 40, paragraph 6). The three so called “Petrine Sees” of Alexandria, Antioch and Rome became the chief exemplars of this new civil prominence and power exercised by the bishops and their henchmen. By his ostensible “care for the poor,” each of these bishops had surrounded himself with a veritable “urban militia” that could do his bidding. By the latter part of the fourth century, that influence began to be wielded as a sword:

“While the patriarch of Alexandria became notorious for his use of such groups, he was by no means alone. The patriarch of Antioch also commanded a threatening body of lecticarii, pallbearers for the burial of the urban poor. The extensive development of the underground cemeteries of the Christian community in Rome, the famous catacombs, from the early third century onwards, placed at the disposal of the bishop a team of fossores, grave diggers skilled in excavating the tufa rock, as strong and as pugnacious as were the legendary Durham coal miners who intervened in the rowdy elections of the nineteenth century. During the disputed election in which Damasus became bishop of Rome in 366, the fossores played a prominent role in a series of murderous assaults on the supporters of his rival. Throughout the empire, the personnel associated with the bishop’s care of the poor had become a virtual urban militia.” (Brown, 103)

These bishops, who claimed to represent Him “who went about doing good” (Acts 10:38), had become little more than an arm of the state. They were shepherds of a politically expedient urban demographic instead of shepherds of the fold of God as Paul and Peter had instructed (Acts 20:28; 1 Peter 5:2-3). Indeed, the noble bishop of the apostolic era (1 Timothy 3:1) had morphed into a civil servant, each one serving as the de facto mayor of his Roman township, determining how the rich spent their money, and how the poor received theirs. Heretics were no longer just being removed from the Christian community (ex communicare) for their offenses, but were being kicked out of town (ex civitate) for them:

“Now, in the later fourth and early fifth centuries, Christian churches were being built inside … city walls, and people who did not fit into Christian communities were excluded outside them.” (Raymond Van Dam, Leadership and Community in Late Antique Gaul (University of California, 1985) 68)

Augustine, bishop of Hippo, reporting on his handling of an accused deacon, explained that he had rejected the deacon’s ostensibly deceitful request to be taken back, and removed him from the city by force (“coercitum pellendum de civitate,” Augustine, Epistle 236, paragraph 3, Migne, Patrologia Latina, vol. 33).

Never in Scriptures had the bishops ever been endowed with such civil authority as to throw people out of town, much less by force of arms. Yet by the end of the fourth century, such actions by bishops were commonplace as the episcopate was forged into a new civil power. As Brown noted, the office of bishop “had achieved an unexpected measure of public prominence” (Brown, 103), and the “shepherds” who occupied the office had learned to wield it well. The wealth of the state flowed through the hands of the bishops, before whom the people of the city gathered at the doors of the church to receive their daily bread. The urban poor became part of the “symbolic retinue” of the bishop, some of whom began to serve in his “urban militia.” In the eyes of the world, the bishop had become just another player on the world stage, leveraging an urban demographic for political influence and wielding the “unique texture” of his power to achieve his political ends—all in the name of caring for the sick and the poor.

In the midst of this episcopal chaos, Ærius of Sebaste dared to raise an emphatic objection. He had been working with the bishop, Eustathius, to care for the needs of “the crippled and infirm” (Epiphanius, Panarion 3.1.75, 1.7), but was disturbed that the bishop had “turned to the acquisition of wealth, and all sorts of property” (3.1.75, 2.2-3). Epiphanius in turn criticized Ærius and defended the bishop, not by denying the charges, but by explaining that the bishop was only doing his duty, and “could not do otherwise” (3.1.75, 2.2-3). Apparently, this was the new normal, and Ærius simply needed to adapt to it.

In his criticism of Ærius, Epiphanius was as vitriolic and unhinged as Jerome had been with Jovinianus and Vigilantius, and Ambrose had been with Sarmatio and Barbatianus. Ærius was “a person with cracked brains” (3.1.75, 1.1), and was no more than “a dung or blister-beetle,” or a “bug” (3.1.75, 8.4). “[H]is teaching was more insane than is humanly possible” (3.1.75, 3.3). From this description, we expected to find Ærius advocating bestiality, idolatry, child sacrifice, polytheism, Arianism or demon worship. Instead, what we find is a simple objection from the Scriptures against the transformation of the bishopric: was the office of bishop really supposed to be so different from the office of presbyter?:

“[H]e says, ‘What is a bishop compared with a presbyter? The one is no different from the other. There is one order,’ he said, ‘and one honor and one rank. A bishop lays on hands,’ he said, ‘but so does a presbyter. The bishop administers baptism, and the presbyter does too. The bishop performs the eucharistic liturgy, the presbyter likewise. A bishop occupies the throne, and the presbyter also occupies one.’ With this he misled many, who regarded him as their leader. … For his own and his hearers’ deception he alleges that the apostle writes to ‘presbyters and deacons’ and not to bishops, and tells the bishop, ‘Neglect not the gift that is in thee, which thou didst receive at the hands of the presbytery;’ and again, elsewhere he writes ‘to bishops and deacons’ so that, as Aerius says, bishops and presbyters are the same.” (Epiphanius, Panarion 3.1.75, 3.3)

Note that Epiphanius struggled to compile a coherent indictment of Ærius, accusing him both of denying and affirming that Paul wrote to bishops. Unable to defeat Ærius’ Scriptural arguments, Epiphanius resorted to the old Roman Catholic standby—development of doctrine—as a reason for the sudden secularization of the bishopric. In the process he inadvertently acquitted Ærius of the charge of inventing “a monstrous fictitious doctrine” (Epiphanius, Panarion 3.1.75, 1.4). In his reading of what “the apostle wrote,” Epiphanius all but conceded that Ærius was actually correct, but that the apostle’s instructions had gone out of style, and his teachings no longer applied:

“And [Ærius], as not knowing the true order of events, and not having read the most searching investigations, does not realize that the holy apostle wrote about the problems which arose when the Gospel was new. Where bishops were already consecrated he wrote to bishops and deacons, for the apostles could not establish everything at once. … This is what local churches were like at that time. All did not get each thing at the start, but what was needed was arranged for as time went on. … Thus the things the apostle wrote applied until the church expanded, achieved its full growth…” (Epiphanius, Panarion 3.1.75, 4.5, 5.7)

Paul’s teachings did not apply any more. Things were different now, Epiphanius insisted, and we must rely on tradition rather than the written instructions of the apostle:

“The church is bound to keep this custom because she has received a tradition from the fathers. …  the Only-begotten and the Holy Spirit taught both in writing and in unwritten form. … Now since these precepts have been ordained in the church, and are suitable, and all of them marvelous, this fraud is confounded in his turn.” (Epiphanius, Panarion 3.1.75, 8)

We can hardly object to Ærius’ questions. He was hardly the monstrosity and imbecile he was made out to be, and Epiphanius’ counterargument against him is tottering and implausible. In view of the transformation of the episcopal office taking place in the latter part of the 4th century, Ærius knew something was going terribly wrong, and dared to speak out against it. The apostles had used both terms—presbyter and bishop—to describe their own offices (Acts 1:20; 2 John 1; 3 John 1). Paul had written both to bishops and to deacons (Philippians 1:1) and also “had ordained them elders (presbuteros) in every church” (Acts 14:23). When Paul had final instructions for the Ephesian church, he summoned the elders (presbuteros) (Acts 20:17) and informed them that God had made them bishops (episkopos) over the flock (Acts 20:28). Thus, in Ærius’ eyes, the apostolic commendations and descriptions of the offices could by no means account for the sudden increase in the wealth, power and property of the bishops occurring in his day. He argued from the Scriptures, and Epiphanius berated him with tradition and ad hominem arguments.

For his objections, Ærius “was driven from the churches” and “often lived out in the snow with his numerous band of followers, and lodged in the open air and caves, and took refuge in the woods” (3.1.75, 3.1-2). He had been excommunicated, and thus kicked out of town altogether.

Epiphanius also accused Ærius of Arianism, saying that “he holds beliefs that are no different, but are like those of Arius,” and that he has “his tongue sharpened and his mouth battle-ready” (Epiphanius, Panarion 3.1.75, 1.3). But for all this, Epiphanius could not produce from Ærius a single statement tainted with Arianism, and instead suggested that Ærius’ affirmation of the Niæan canons must have been insincere (Epiphanius, Panarion 3.1.75, 3.2). Had Ærius been guilty of such heresy, we are sure Epiphanius would have substantiated the accusation, so eager was he to destroy the “dung beetle.”

In the end, all Epiphanius could do was defend Eustathius’ behavior in view of the current practices and size of the church, and override with tradition Ærius’ appeal to the Scriptures because Paul’s writings had not taken into account the future state of the church. Those arguments form a pretty thin foundation for Ephiphanius’ condemnation of Ærius.

Because of his Scriptural arguments and resistance to novelties, it is no wonder that Ærius, with Jovinianus and Vigilantius, is accused of being an early Protestant. As The Protestant Theological and Ecclesiastical Encyclopedia explains,

“Against the principles maintained by Aerius and his adherents nothing can be said from the stand-point of Protestantism, on which account Protestants are frequently accused of the Aerian heresy.” (Johann Jakob Herzog, The Protestant Theological and Ecclesiastical Encyclopedia, Vol I (Philadelphia, 1860) 63)

We accept the charge.

As we noted in our previous installment, the rising late 4th century novelties were met by a noble resistance movement that can be traced to the apostles. Ærius was among them, and against what little we have of his writings we can offer no meaningful objection. The so-called Ærian heresy that was ostensibly “more insane than is humanly possible,” and the so-called “new heresy and blasphemy” of Jovinianus and Vigilantius, and the so-called “intoxication of heresy” of Sarmatio and Barbatianus (Ambrose, Epistle 63, paragraph 113), were nothing less than the voice of the Woman, objecting to the flood novelties that were overtaking those who had become stupefied in the grand delusion (2 Thessalonians 2:11). In their error, the detractors ended up making arguments against the Scriptures on the grounds that the tradition of the Church was more authoritative, and that anybody who disagreed with them must have been influenced by demons. The Woman was receiving her nourishment from the Word of God, and thereby withstanding the flood of novelty, while the rest of the world was careening into doctrinal disaster.

We are hardly surprised therefore to find such men separated from the new religion of Roman Catholicism by excommunication. What had been lopped off by excommunication was actually the True Church, and what remained in power when all the dust settled was the Great Apostasy—the Little Horn of Daniel 7, the Beast of Revelation 13, the Man of Sin, the Son of Perdition of 2 Thessalonians 2—or what the world would come to know as Roman Catholicism.

We are not surprised, either, to find John Cardinal Newman identifying these early Protestants for us in his Historical Sketches. They were the early manifestations of Luther, Calvin and Zwingli:

“Where, then, is primitive Protestantism to be found? There is one chance for it, not in the second and third centuries, but in the fourth; I mean in the history of Aerius, Jovinian, and Vigilantius,—men who may be called, by some sort of analogy, the Luther, Calvin, and Zwingle, of the fourth century. And they have been so considered both by Protestants and by their opponents, so covetous, after all, of precedent are innovators, so prepared are Catholics to believe that there is nothing new under the sun.” (Newman, Historical Sketches, vol. I, section IV, chapter IV)

As we noted last week, even Roman Catholic historian, David Hunter, recognized that it was not Jovinianus who was the innovator, but his detractors. Jovinianus, he conceded, “stood much closer to the centre of the Christian tradition than previous critics have recognized,” and his detractors, Jerome and Ambrose, “represented the survival of the ancient encratite” heresy (Hunter, David G., Marriage, Celibacy and Heresy in Ancient Christianity (Oxford University Press (2007) 285).

In response to Newman’s accusation that Protestants are “covetous … of precedent,” we simply say that there is no organization on earth so bereft of—and therefore more covetous of—precedent than the Roman Catholic religion. By Newman’s own admission, he was compelled to rely on late 4th century novelties in order to extrapolate from them an imagined apostolic continuity. In his essay On the Development of Christian Doctrine, he resorted to “the clear light of the fourth and fifth centuries” to interpret the preceding era (Newman, On the Development of Christian Doctrine, Chapter 4, Section 3), so pressed was he to explain the “want of accord between the early and the late aspects of Christianity” (Newman, On the Development of Christian Doctrine, Introduction). But as we showed in Longing for Nicæa, Roman Catholicism has a hard time getting even as far back as the early 4th century, much less to the ante-Nicæan era.

Like Ambrose, Jerome and Epiphanius, Newman characterized the objections of Ærius, Jovinianus and Vigilantius as personal complaints by men who were offended at being deprived of sexual pleasures and worldly enticements. “[I]n the case of each of the three, … their respective protests seem to have arisen from some personal motive,” Newman asserted:

“Aerius is expressly declared by Epiphanius to have been Eustathius’s competitor for the see of Sebaste, and to have been disgusted at failing. He is the preacher against bishops. Jovinian was bound by a monastic vow, and he protests against fasting and coarse raiment. Vigilantius was a priest; and, therefore, he disapproves the celibacy of the clergy.” (Newman, Historical Sketches, vol. I, section IV, chapter IV, emphasis in original)

Attributing the rising protests to “personal motives” was a poor attempt to detract from the Scriptural arguments these men were putting forth against real novelties that were making headway at the time. Newman’s predecessors had used the same tactic.

Epiphanius could not imagine any other motive for Ærius’ actions than jealousy (Epiphanius, Panarion 3.1.75, 1.5-3.4), and yet in the context of the contemporary changes taking place in the office of the bishop, Ærius’ questions appear to have been based on concern for the office itself, and were grounded in the Scriptures.

Ambrose, for his part, could not imagine that the disciples of Jovinianus had any other aim than to pursue with abandon the sensual pleasures of food and sex (see Ambrose, Epistle 63, paragraph 9). Yet it is clear from their objections that they were appealing to 1 Timothy 4:1-3 regarding marriage and food God “created to be received with thanksgiving of them which believe and know the truth” (see Jerome, Against Jovinianus, Book II, paragraph 16).

Jerome assumed that Jovinianus’ only possible motive in rejecting his novelties was that “he prefers his belly to Christ” (Jerome, Against Jovinianus, Book I, paragraph 40), but tellingly observed that Jovinianus’ arguments were abundantly Scriptural and not “his own lovely flowers of rhetoric” (Jerome, Against Jovinianus, Book I, paragraph 1).

Jerome likewise insisted that Vigilantius’ only concern was that fasting and continence, if generally embraced, would cut off his revenue stream at the tavern (Jerome, Against Vigilantius, paragraph 13).

Yet Vigilantius expressed a much different, and very reasonable motive, for his objections: “Under the cloak of religion we see what is all but a heathen ceremony introduced into the churches” (Jerome, Against Vigilantius, paragraph 4). He, like his colleagues, was protesting against the flood of novelties sweeping through the church.

The real story behind these men is not a “personal motive” at all, something even Newman must have recognized, for each one of them argued against not one, but manifold, errors. Ærius, after all, was not only “against bishops,” but against celebrating the Jewish passover, praying for the dead, purgatory, and mandatory days for fasting:

“‘What is the Passover you celebrate? You are giving your allegiance to Jewish fables again. We have no business celebrating the Passover,’ he says; ‘Christ was sacrificed for our Passover.'” (Epiphanius, Panarion 3.1.75, 3.4)

“‘Why do you mention the names of the dead after their deaths (i.e., in the liturgy)? If the living prays or has given alms, how will this benefit the dead? If the prayer of the people here has benefited the people there, no one should practice piety or perform good works! He should get some friends any way he wants, either by bribery or by asking friends on his death bed, and they should pray that he may not suffer in the next life, or be held to account for his heinous sins.” (Epiphanius, Panarion 3.1.75, 3.5)

“‘And there can be no set time for fasting,’ he says. ‘These are Jewish customs, and ‘under a yoke of bondage. ‘The Law is not made for the righteous, but for murderers of fathers and murderers of mothers and the rest. If I choose to fast at all, I shall fast of my own accord, on the day of my choice, because of my liberty.'” (Epiphanius, Panarion 3.1.75, 3.6)

In view of the contemporary transformation of the Lord’s Supper into a sacrifice, we can hardly object to Ærius’ sentiment on the Passover. Regarding his objection to prayers for the dead, and his implicit rejection of purgatory, we stand in solidarity with him. Regarding the liberty of fasting according to one’s own conscience rather than by the imposition of an ecclesiastical rule, we join with him in his objections.

Early Protestants, indeed. The real story is that the general apostasy of which Paul had warned was now under way, and as John had foreseen, the preservation of the Woman by the Word of God was under way as well.

The novelties against which the Woman protested were cropping up on every side. Ærius had attracted “a throng of people” and allegedly “deceived and perverted many” with his teachings (Epiphanius, Panarion 3.1.75, 1.3-4). When he left, “he took a large body of men and women with him” (Epiphanius, Panarion 3.1.75,  3.1). Vigilantius, as Jerome reported, left in unexplained haste (Jerome, Epistle 58, paragraph 11) and had influence in “all those provinces where numbers plead freely and openly for your sect” (Jerome, Epistle 61, paragraph 1). He successfully “makes his raids upon the churches of Gaul,” Jerome complained, and was actively supported there (Jerome, Against Vigilantius, paragraph 4). Jovinianus, too, was not short of followers, as Pope Siricius (Letter to the Church at Milan), and Ambrose (Epistle 63, paragraph 7) make clear, all of whom were condemned or excommunicated with him.

Our point is not that the sheer numbers of early Protestants can in any way prove the authenticity of the movement, but rather that the historical records contain evidence of an exodus of Protestants, just when Rome’s novelties were springing up. The significance of this to our examination of Revelation 12 is that John foresaw the Flood of the Serpent terms of rising error, and the Flight of the Woman in the language of Exodus, as we highlighted in part 3.

Newman, while briefly recognizing the early Protestant movement, as quickly dismissed it, and instantly directs our attention elsewhere, since the late 4th century reformation, so he thought, did not amount to much:

“These distinct considerations [of personal motives] are surely quite sufficient to take away our interest in these three Reformers. These men are not an historical clue to a lost primitive creed, more than Origen or Tertullian; and much less do they afford any support to the creed of those moderns who would fain shelter themselves behind them. … It does certainly look as if our search after Protestantism in Antiquity would turn out a simple failure;—whatever Primitive Christianity was or was not, it was not the religion of Luther.” (Newman, Historical Sketches, vol. I, section IV, chapter IV)

But the historical record says otherwise. Not only had a reform movement arisen to resist the mounting novelties, but it was growing and persistent, and endured through what we now call “the Reformation,” which was really a second Reformation, not the first.

We will continue on this theme in our next installment.

333 thoughts on “Come Hell or High Water, part 5”

  1. Tim,

    Great article on Cardinal Newman’s assertions. It is exactly what we needed to see from him, as I understand he was homosexual. Since he was a student of the 3-4th centuries and stated “I mean in the history of Aerius, Jovinian, and Vigilantius,—men who may be called, by some sort of analogy, the Luther, Calvin, and Zwingle, of the fourth century.” It is no firmly established in history as far as I’m concerned.

    A gay Cardinal speaks against Aerius, Jovinian and Vigilantius now establishes in my mind that from Jerome comes the root of homosexuality in the priesthood.

  2. Tim said:

    “But the historical record says otherwise. Not only had a reform movement arisen to resist the mounting novelties, but it was growing and persistent, and endured through what we now call “the Reformation,” which was really a second Reformation, not the first.”

    It certainly sounds like the first reformation by Protestants and putting together all those names and writings would be very useful. It sounds like there was a major reformation taking place in the 4th century.

    I however would define the second reformation (1560-1600) and the third reformation (1638-1649) in that order. It would be interesting to see what dates can be assigned to the first reformation in the fourth century, and how deep and large it was with the Protestant leaders and their adherents.

  3. I thought the following commentary would fit nicely with Tim’s blog post today. It is now becoming so overly obvious to anyone reading these past 5 articles in the series, that the falling away from Christ began in the 4th century, and the birth of Satan’s Antichrist is coming into play. The true visible church of Jesus Christ that is built upon Christ alone is being taken over by a wicked generation (4th century). The claims of a chief Bishop, built upon Peter the Apostle, is crumbling in this 5 part-series by Tim.

    Now people see that the doctrine taught by Jerome and his followers caused the world’s first and greatest Schism in the history of the Christian church. They separated from the Apostles doctrine, which was built upon the rock Jesus Christ, and fell away from the true rock to create their own…Peter.

    The Romish system is now falling apart ladies and gentlemen. The 4th century was the start of this Schism and we see now how the Romish system of mandatory celibacy and virginity was rooted in Jerome, and now created the largest homosexual and child predatory organization in the world….all because they claim their church is built upon Peter.

    “C. The Promise of Growth (“Upon this Rock I will build My Church”).

    1. After the Lord states that Peter’s faithful testimony has come from God Himself, Christ directs His words to Peter in the hearing of all the disciples, “And I say also unto thee, That thou art Peter” (Matthew 16:18). Peter had taken the lead in making this faithful testimony on behalf of the disciples.

    Now the Lord speaks directly to Peter: “Thou art Peter.” The Lord had previously given to Peter his name (John 1:42). Here we see that Petros is the Greek equivalent of the Aramaic Cephas, and means a stone (it is in the masculine gender).

    The Lord does not refer to him as Peter, a stone, in this passage in order to identify him with the one upon which the Church will be built. For no one builds a house upon a stone as a foundation.

    Rather than identifying Peter with the rock upon which the Church will be built, there is a contrast between Peter (the stone) and Christ (the bedrock) as we shall see. Peter has given a faithful testimony, but let Peter remember that he is yet only a stone hewn out of the bedrock.

    Peter is to remember this, for shortly hereafter he rebukes the Lord (Mark 8:32), and even denies knowing the Lord three times. Peter is indeed a part of Christ, but he too is only a living stone that is built upon the foundation of Christ.

    Not only must Peter realize this, but we must realize it about Peter and about all ministers, so that we do not elevate man to the place of Christ, and thereby play the role of antichrist, the usurper of Christ’s rights and authority within His Church.

    2. After having identified Peter (Petros) as the stone, the Lord promises, “and upon this rock I will build my church.”
    a. Upon what rock? Upon Christ. For the Lord intentionally moves from Peter (or Petros in the masculine gender), as a stone, to Petra (in the feminine gender), the bedrock (cf. John 15:1 where the Greek word for “vine” is in the feminine gender and yet refers to Christ).

    If Christ had intended Peter to be the one upon whom the church was to be built, He would naturally have said, “and upon this stone (Petros in the masculine) I will build my church. But He doesn’t. The Lord alters both the word itself and the gender of the word so that there is no confusion. Is Christ the Petra upon which the Church is built?

    (1) Consider the following passages in which the Greek word petra is used of God/Christ: 2 Samuel 22:2 in the Greek Septuagint (“The Lord is my rock”); Romans 9:33 (Christ is called “a rock [petra] of offence”); 1 Corinthians 10:4 (“For they drank of that spiritual Rock that followed them: and that Rock [petra] was Christ”); 1 Peter 2:8 (Christ is once again called by Peter himself “a rock [petra] of offence”).

    And though the Greek word petra (a rock—bedrock) is not used in the following passages, it is clear that these verses convey that same truth—the Church is built upon Christ: 1 Corinthians 3:11; 1 Peter 2:6-7.

    (2) What about Ephesians 2:20? First, Peter is not specifically mentioned at all, but rather what are mentioned are the apostles and prophets collectively. Thus, there is no pre-eminence given to Peter. But second, does Paul refer to the apostles and prophets as being the foundation of the Church or does he refer to Christ as being the foundation of the apostles and prophets (“And are built upon the foundation of the apostles and prophets, [which foundation is] Jesus Christ himself being the chief corner stone”).

    On the one hand, the foundation (themelios) of 1 Corinthians 3:10 is Christ (which is the same word as used here for “foundation” in Ephesians 2:20). Since both 1 Corinthians 3:11 and Ephesians 2:20 were written by the same inspired Apostle (Paul), and since both 1 Corinthians 3:11 and Ephesians 2:20 were both talking about the place of the apostles in the Church and the place of Christ in the Church, it would seem most likely that both passages refer to Christ being the foundation of the Church.

    However, if Ephesians 2:20 refers to the apostles and prophets as the foundation of the Church, it refers to their inspired teaching which is recorded in the pages of inspired Scripture, and not to their persons.

    Moreover, it removes the supremacy of Peter as the foundation or rock upon which the Church is built, for Ephesians 2:20 places the apostles and prophets upon an equal footing as the inspired teachers given by Christ to the Church.

    b. Thus, the Lord here (in Matthew 16:18) distinguishes Himself from Peter, and identifies Himself as the Rock upon which the Church is built. Just as He said, “Destroy this temple, and in three days I will raise it up” (John 2:19), meaning the temple of His own body, so likewise he says here, “and upon this rock I will build my Church” meaning Himself.

    c. Dear ones, with that one truth established, the Roman system crumbles; for the basis of the authority claimed by Rome depends upon the apostolic succession from Peter (as head of the Visible Church) to his alleged successor and so forth.

    Without Peter as the rock upon which the Church is built, the Pope is shown to be the arch usurper of Christ’s authority and rights—he is unmasked to be the Antichrist of Scripture. And so the cry to all who are within her and to all churches who have drunk of her idolatrous doctrine, worship, and government is to come out from the midst of her—to flee her idolatry and blasphemy (Revelation 18:4).

    Only Jesus Christ, the eternal Son of God, is a firm and secure foundation upon which the Church is built. Only His merit is sufficient to uphold sinful frail men, women, and children. All other ground is sinking sand (Matthew 7:24).

    3. Now having established that Christ, the eternal Son of God is the Rock upon which the Church is built, Christ promises to build His Church (“I will build my church”). This is the Church of true believers that is built upon Christ (i.e. the Invisible Church, rather than the Visible Church of professing believers which contains both believers and hypocrites).

    It is the view of Rome that Christ here promises to build His visible professing Church containing true believers and hypocrites. In the minds of Rome it justifies her visible greatness and glory as a Church which visibly reaches around the world with one billion members. They look to their visible size and how it has grown and they declare that Christ has fulfilled His promise.

    However, just as hypocrites cannot be truly united as members to Christ the head, just as hypocrites cannot be truly united as branches to Christ the vine, just as hypocrites cannot be truly united as a bride to Christ the groom, so hypocrites cannot be truly built as living stones upon Christ the Rock.

    For unto this Church and this Church alone that is built upon Christ is it promised that the gates of hell will not prevail against it. We know that in fact the gates of hell will prevail against visible professing churches composed of both believers and hypocrites, for visible churches have backslidden from the faith into apostasy, and the visible form of the church has nearly vanished due to persecution at various points of history (as in the time of Elijah).

    No, this is not the Church which is composed of Peter the believer and Judas the hypocrite, nor of John the believer and Simon Magus the hypocrite. This is the Church of the redeemed against which the gates of hell cannot prevail, nor overcome as a flood that seeks to wash it away, for it is built upon the Rock.

    4. Here is a promise that the Church of all the redeemed in Christ, which stretches from Adam to the end of time (all who are chosen in Christ Jesus from before the foundation of the earth), will continue to be built (cf. Philippians 4:4 where the future has the idea of continuing to rejoice not beginning to rejoice).

    This is not a promise to begin building a distinct, new Church, but a promise to continue to build the Invisible church of the redeemed (which includes Old Testament believers like those mentioned in Hebrews 11).

    Does not Scripture speak of Christ as Israel’s Rock (1 Corinthians 10:3)?

    Does not Scripture say that Christ was in His Church of Israel there in the wilderness (Acts 7:38)?

    Upon what were the redeemed of Israel built, if not upon Christ the Rock of their salvation?

    Was not the gospel preached unto Old Testament believers (Galatians 3:8; Hebrews 4:2)?

    If Christ is the Lamb slain from the foundation of the world (Revelation 13:8), is He not also the Rock upon which the redeemed are built from the foundation of the world?

    The Church did not begin as an entirely new entity on the day of Pentecost. The same kingdom of God (or church) that was taken away from unbelieving Jews was that which was given to believing Jews and Gentiles (Matthew 21:43).

    Christ came to rebuild the tabernacle of David (the house of Christ, the greater David), not to build an entirely new tabernacle (according to Acts 15:16). Christ had been saving believers throughout the Old Testament and adding them to His Invisible Church, and His first coming did not bring an end to saving His people, but promoted the building of His kingdom. Salvation is the same in both the Old Testament and the New Testament—by grace through faith alone in Jesus Christ.”

  4. It matters not what these protoprotestants believed. The only thing that makes them worthy of “the true church” is that they PROTESTED. And that really is the heart of Protestantism today. Not unity of doctrine, for which there is not, but on the simple notion that protesting is next to godliness.
    Newman was right, these protoprotestants do not “afford any support to the creed of those moderns who would fain shelter themselves behind them. “

    1. Newman’s observations, of course, were tailored to guarantee his preferred outcome.

      Where is the unity of doctrine in the early church on the use of incense in worship? They can’t even find evidence of it until the 5th century, so it is simply assumed, despite the ample condemnations of its use in the early church.

      Where is the unity of doctrine in the early church on Mary’s sinlessness? They can’t even confirm it until Ambrose, and relegate attributions of Marian sin to “stray private opinions”.

      Where is the unity of doctrine on the “fact” that the elements of the Lord’s Supper are no longer called antitypes after consecration? Irenæus clearly calls them antitypes after the invocation of the Holy Spirit (Fragment 37).

      Where is the unity of doctrine on the visibility and corporeality of the sacrifice when Lactantius and Minucius insist that it is invisible and incorporeal?

      Where is the unity of doctrine on the assumption of Mary? There is no evidence for it before the 5th century.

      Where is the unity of doctrine on candles, when there is no evidence of their use until the late 4th century?

      Where is the unity of doctrine on the primacy of the pope when Polycrates would rather listen to the written words of the apostles than the tyrannical ravings of a Roman bishop?

      Where is the unity of doctrine on relics when there is no evidence that the church did anything other than bury the saints and martyrs before the end of the 4th century?

      Where is the unity of doctrine on baptismal regeneration when so many in the early church taught that baptism follows regeneration?

      Where is the unity of doctrine on Malachi 1:11 when so many in the early church saw the new covenant sacrifice as the fruit of the lips?

      Where is the unity of doctrine on “apart from the bishop let nothing be done,” when the Roman congregation itself rejected the advice of others to elect a bishop, and instead took Cyprian’s advice to settle first the matter of the lapsed?

      To all of these, Roman Catholics will respond that no unity of doctrine was required—only unity of religion. Besides, the church was being persecuted at the time. “They were all Catholic,” they say, so no formal affirmation of creed or doctrine was required.

      Very well. Ærius, Jovinianus, Vigilatius, Sarmatio, Barbatianus and the rest were all Christian, under the guidance of their Chief Shepherd in heaven, so no formal affirmation of creed or doctrine was required. Besides, they were all being persecuted at the time.

      In truth, all that remains is the eschatological argument. Roman Catholics think theirs is the true church because it is alleged to fulfill the prophecies of Christ’s Church, e.g. Newman’s appeal to the Stone of Daniel 2. But in reality, Protestantism is the True Church because it fulfills the prophecies of Christ’s Church, e.g., the Woman of Revelation 12.

      Nobody denies that Roman Catholicism fulfills prophecy. On that, everyone is agreed. Nobody denies that Christ’s Church fulfills prophecy. On that, everyone is agreed. Nobody denies that Christ’s church cannot fail. On that, everyone is agreed.

      The only question that remains is, Which prophecy does Roman Catholicism fulfill? The simple answer is that Roman Catholicism is not the Stone of Daniel 2, but the Little Horn of Daniel 7. Roman Catholics have a counter argument: the Church cannot be Antichrist.

      Of course the Church cannot be Antichrist. Everyone is agreed on that, too. That’s precisely why we say that Roman Catholicism is not the Church.

      To this, Roman Catholics will proceed into a deprecation of all the Reformation movements in history and say, Roman Catholicism is your only option. Marshall fell for that argument. Hahn fell for it. Stellman fell for it. Newman fell for it.

      But Roman Catholicism is not the only option.

      Tim

  5. Mark said:

    “The only thing that makes them worthy of “the true church” is that they PROTESTED.”

    Amen!!! Could not have said that any better than myself.

    That is the heart of the entire bible cover to cover. Those who protested evil and wickedness were those elect of Christ.

    Thank you Mark. You don’t see it, and neither did Newman, but you hit the nail on the head.

  6. Here is a great documentary with loads of testimony about the Secret lives of the homosexual priesthood as well as other wicked business at the Vatican all Catholics and Protestants should learn and research for themselves.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=urLxLj_UU8w

    “Get a glimpse of what’s happening behind the closed doors of the Vatican”

    Inside The Vatican’s Gay Bathhouse
    Published on Oct 9, 2016

    Vatican city is an interesting place. I have several questions about it – my first question focuses on the nature of it’s statehood. My second question involves Europe’s biggest gay bathhouse. You won’t believe what the Vatican government spent 30 million dollars on in 2008, or what their official language is.

    https://eskify.com

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IdcZNFVp-bY

    We can all point to Jerome for the root of the Vatican owning and operating Europe’s largest gay bathhouse in Rome.

    1. Walt,
      Shall I post articles about the homosexual Protestant ministers living double lives? How about I post about Protestant pedophile “reformed” ministers and how the reformed church has covered their tracks. Shall I post them?

      We can trace unrestrained sin for Christians back to Luther. Look at what he said, “Be a sinner, and let your sins be strong, but let your trust in Christ be stronger, and rejoice in Christ who is the victor over sin, death, and the world. We will commit sins while we are here, for this life is not a place where justice resides… No sin can separate us from Him, even if we were to kill or commit adultery thousands of times each day.”

      So: Go sin and sin STRONG!

      Oh, and here’s what Martin Luther thought about women:
      “The word and works of God is quite clear, that women were made either to be wives or prostitutes.”

  7. Tim,

    Are you familiar with any book or detailed study on the Roman Catholic history of the doctrine of celibacy? Mark’s claim that cibacy is not required to be a Priest has very much surprised me. I watched a video recently where a young man became q priest in Rome and sought marriage with a woman he met and he was refused and forced out the the priesthood. He left Rome.

    Mark says that their is no requirement to be celibate as a priest. With your research on Jerome, I think this wicked establishment requiring a vow of celibacy is the root of homosexual and child predators in the clergy.

    For Mark to claim it is not required makes me believing his is lying again, but I need to have the evidence.

    1. Walt, Here’s a great book for you:

      Apostolic Origins of Priestly Celibacy, by Christian Cochini.

      In my opinion, all you need to know about the book is that the first 300 years of post-apostolic Christianity are so hostile to the idea of priestly celibacy that Cochini just gives up and decides to make the late fourth century his starting point: “We will therefore take the late 4th century as our chronological starting point…” (p. 16). Note, as well, that Cochini was invoked in support of Ordinatio Sacerdotalis:

      “Today we can benefit from the thorough and objective research of scholars like Cardinal Alfons Stickler and Christian Cochini, S.J., to name only two among the best known. Their conclusions seem quite consonant with those of broader studies about sexual renunciation among early Christians…”

      Yes, of course. Among early Christians from the late 4th century onward. And you know my thoughts on the late 4th century.

      What is also helpful is Clement of Alexandria, who says that the conjugating, copulating, presbyter, deacon or layman is entirely approved by the Apostle himself:

      “And indeed he [the apostle Paul] entirely approves of the man who is husband of one wife, whether he be presbyter, deacon, or layman, if he conducts his marriage unblameably. “For he shall be saved by child-bearing.” [1 Timothy 2:15]” (Clement of Alexandria, Stromata, Book III, Chapter 12)

      Not exactly a screaming endorsement of priestly celibacy, is it?

      Thanks,

      Tim

    2. Walt,

      There is a subtlety to the “freedom” argument. Any Roman Catholic man is free to pursue the priesthood (unless he is married). Any Roman Catholic man is free to marry (unless he is a priest). Any Roman Catholic man is free to remain celibate (even if he is married). What he is not free to do is both become a priest and marry unless, by exception, he is a married priest of a different rite who wants to convert to the Latin rite. If you marry as an Anglican or Eastern Orthodox, and then convert to Roman Catholicism, they’ll let you stay married. If you become a priest in the Latin rite, you are not afterward free to marry. If you take a vow of celibacy in any rite, you are not afterward free to marry. But you’re totally “free” to do whatever you want. See?

      The problem is making celibacy a sacerdotal obligation. There is no Scriptural obligation for it, and yet if you are of the Latin rite with a desire to marry, you are prohibited from the priesthood, or if as a single man you are ordained to the latin rite as a priest, and desire to marry, it is forbidden to you.

      Like Hans said, “But, be that as it may, the general rule for Catholic priests is MANDATORY celibacy. And to portray it in any other way is simply disingenuous.”

      Thanks,

      Tim

      1. Tim K., I would only correct one thing which is that a priest could see that his chosen vocation which includes celibacy wasn’t properly discerned and can become layitized whereby allowing him to pursue the vocation of marriage.

        The Church never has claimed that a celibate priesthood is divinely revealed dogma. The Church could, at its discretion change this at any point in the future. Highly doubtful though.

        1. Mark, my original response to your comment referred to EWTN’s take on Ordinatio Sacerdotalis, and on my flight this evening I realized that I had cited the wrong EWTN opinion piece.

          While you may think that the Church has never claimed that a celibate priesthood is divinely revealed dogma, your tradition demands it. The council of Carthage (390 A.D.) taught that priestly celibacy was an apostolic teaching,

          ‘It was fitting that those who were at the service of the divine sacraments be perfectly continent (continentes esse in omnibus), so that what the Apostles taught and antiquity itself maintained, we too may observe'”

          And Ambrose insisted on a celibate clergy:

          “But ye know that the ministerial office must be kept pure and unspotted, and must not be defiled by conjugal intercourse.” (Duties of the Clergy, 258)

          And Jerome said the procreating bishop is an adulterer:

          “But the very choice of a bishop makes for me. For he does not say: Let a bishop be chosen who marries one wife and begets children; but who marries one wife, and has his children in subjection and well disciplined. You surely admit that he is no bishop who during his episcopate begets children. The reverse is the case— if he be discovered, he will not be bound by the ordinary obligations of a husband, but will be condemned as an adulterer. Either permit priests to perform the work of marriage with the result that virginity and marriage are on a par: or if it is unlawful for priests to touch their wives, they are so far holy in that they imitate virgin chastity.” (Jerome, Against Jovinianus, Book I, chapter 34)

          On the 40th Anniversary of Pope Paul VI’s Encyclical Sacerdotalis Caelibatus, the Prefect of the Congregation for the Clergy stated that “priestly celibacy is Christ’s precious gift to his Church.”

          In 1993, “perhaps for the first time in papal parlance,” John Paul II claimed that priestly celibacy originated with the apostles:

          “According to the Gospel, it appears that the Twelve, destined to be the first to share in his priesthood, renounced family life in order to follow him.”

          Christ’s precious gift to the church? Started by the apostles? Episcopal procreation is adultery? The ministerial office must not be defiled by conjugal intercourse?

          I think it is significantly less probable even than “highly doubtful.” There’s no way the Church could possibly back out of this now.

          Tim

      2. Tim,

        Thanks for the book link. I intend to order it tomorrow. I am now fascinated with this issue after reading Jerome and Ambrose position on mandatory celibacy in marriage, and how a virgin is to be consider a preferred vessel to Jesus Christ vs. those who find the need to marry and procreate.

        I suspect this 4th century teaching by Jerome, etal and the public excommunications of the Protestants have laid the foundation for Satan to enter the Romish church, and lay the historical ground work for all the incredible sexual and homosexual sin the the Roman Catholic Church history.

        The doctrine of celibacy in the RCC is definitely the root cause of homosexual and predatory practices. Now, to prove it originated with Jerome, etal and its history would be a fascinating study.

        There is no doubt these early Protestants and Reformers in the 4th and 5th century were incredibly brave after knowing what happened to the 1st and 2nd century Christians by the Roman Empire before Constantine. To even think about speaking against these Romish bishops and Popes took real incredible courage.

        Not one in 100 million are willing to do today in our generation. Everything is toleration of all sin, and legally license it by the State and Church.

      3. Tim, can I ask you how the word priest heirus was used 400 times in the OT, and yet never used in the NT was allowed into the Catholic church? And also, when scripture says call no man father, arent we to take that literally. I understand we call our own fathers father. But it seems to be that verse is talking about elevating any man. Do you agree with Wolvard that the elevation of the bishop was the squelching of the priesthood of believers. Cleras we are God’s clergy. Anything you might tell me to help me understand this would be helpful? Thanks K

  8. Mark wrote:

    “Shall I post articles about the homosexual Protestant ministers living double lives? How about I post about Protestant pedophile “reformed” ministers and how the reformed church has covered their tracks. Shall I post them?”

    What on earth would I care Mark as I would never defend these evil acts? You defend the evil of Roman Catholic priests but listing homosexual and child predator ministers in the reformed or general protestant church is not going to garner my defense. My covenanter and Presbyterian church discipline requires us to discipline immediately that type of wicked behavior. We are not instructed like Roman Catholics to bury the information and protect at all costs the priests from public disclosure.

    Publish away. But remember that as you do I will likely research these men and most likely prove that these mens are romish in doctrine, worship, government and discipline. You might be surprised to find these “reformed” and “protestants” you list are really Roman Catholics in there actions rather than their words. We will know them by their fruits and the fruits of this evil come from Jerome in the fourth century as we know know.

  9. Walt said, “You defend the evil of Roman Catholic priests.”
    When have I or any Catholic here defended the sins of Catholic priests? Seriously. Please back this up or publicly recant your false allegation. Why do you feel that you can lie like this and aren’t culpable before God? You feel like you can post any lie you want here without impunity.

  10. Mark said:

    “When have I or any Catholic here defended the sins of Catholic priests? Seriously. Please back this up or publicly recant your false allegation.”

    Are you serious? You have defended the Roman Catholic doctrine and remained silent on every chance to step forward and deny your evil priesthood involved in homosexual and child predator. Your method is to ignore the facts of this evil system and jump to claim protestants do it too…bla bla bla.

    Your silence needs to change today.

    1. Walt, your silence on Protestant “Reformed” child sex abuse and cover up needs to change today. Your method is to ignore the facts of this evil system and jump to claim that Catholics need to do it too. Blah, blah, blah.

  11. Tim, the paragraph where Jovanianus, Vigilantius, Aerius took followings with them gave me shivers. God was protecting his people. This article was fascinating , something I never knew. As you meticulously and methodically do this, it becomes so much more apparent the line of the Protestant church had emerged. The true church had been protected from Roman Catholicism. When I consider that Satan makes good look evil and vice versa, how else would Satan deceive nations but to mistake the false church for the true one and the true one for the false one. But those true believers always had one important trait, the word was the bread of life.

    1. Thanks, Kevin. Revelation 12 is an Exodus narrative. It should not surprise us to find that there was an exodus at the end of the 4th century when so many novelties arose, and those who saw what was happening, protested, and were summarily excommunicated. And what was their “heretical” offense? Jesus loves the widow, wife and virgin equally. The apostles called themselves, and their successors, both bishops and presbyters. Relic veneration is wrong. Mary did not remain physically a virgin in childbirth. The use of incense in worship is wrong. The use of candles in worship is wrong. It is wrong to pray for the dead. There is no purgatory. There is no more paschal sacrifice, since Jesus is our Passover. And when Eucharistic adoration took Europe by storm, The wafer they hold up in the mass is not Christ. And when the Crusades took Europe by storm, There is no value in Crusading for the Holy Land.

      For these “heresies,” millions were murdered.

      They were, and are, our brethren.

      Tim

      1. That was a good summary.

        When did they start adding the concept of the merit of works as conditions in addition to faith for salvation?

        Is the RC concept of grace, more like “glue” that adheres to the soul after they do some good work or ritual? (penance, confession to priest, Eucharist, relics, treasury of merit, giving to the poor, going on knees up the steps of St. Peters and praying to Mary, etc. )

        When did penance (doing some kind of ritual or work that the RC priest says in order to make satisfaction / proof of inward repentance) start to take over from repentance?

  12. Tim K said:

    “Thanks, Kevin. Revelation 12 is an Exodus narrative.

    It should not surprise us to find that there was an exodus at the end of the 4th century when so many novelties arose, and those who saw what was happening, protested, and were summarily excommunicated.

    And what was their “heretical” offense?

    Jesus loves the widow, wife and virgin equally.

    The apostles called themselves, and their successors, both bishops and presbyters.

    Relic veneration is wrong.

    Mary did not remain physically a virgin in childbirth.

    The use of incense in worship is wrong.

    The use of candles in worship is wrong.

    It is wrong to pray for the dead.

    There is no purgatory.

    There is no more paschal sacrifice, since Jesus is our Passover.

    And when Eucharistic adoration took Europe by storm, The wafer they hold up in the mass is not Christ.

    And when the Crusades took Europe by storm, There is no value in Crusading for the Holy Land.

    For these “heresies,” millions were murdered.

    They were, and are, our brethren.

    Tim”

    Preach these facts from the housetop throughout the world!

    May Catholics everywhere learn these truths as they are self evident in history using reason, logic and the ability to discern.

  13. The Church Christianized pagan Rome. Since the Protestant Rebellion, Rome slowly and surely slipped back into its pagan ways. That’s thanks to YOUR people, Tim, not the Catholic Church. If you don’t like how godless western society has become, all you need do is look in the mirror and remember that your predecessors 500 years ago started that decline.

    The Church did excommunicate people for heresy, essentially putting them outside of civil law. It was all done for the salvation of souls, both the heretic’s soul and the souls of those whom their teachings would hurt. I think about how many souls are damned because of Luther’s rebellion. While physical death may seem bad, as Jesus said, “Do not be afraid of those who kill the body but cannot kill the soul. Rather, be afraid of the One who can destroy both soul and body in hell.” The Church is about the salvation of souls. The innovations and heresies that arose in the 16th century, including those you believe in, including the rejection of the Sacraments, put the salvation of souls in jeopardy.

  14. As your website seems dedicated to trying to get Catholics like me to leave the Catholic Church, I think it is fair for me to ask, for the sake of discussion: If I were to leave the Catholic Church, which Church would you have me join?

    I welcome replies from
    Tim, Walt, Kevin, Ken, Hans, etc.

    I apologize in advance if you answered this elsewhere. I haven’t read every comment on this site.

    1. H. Wilnot asked,

      “If I were to leave the Catholic Church, which Church would you have me join?”

      That is a great question, one that often left me sleepless at night, wondering how one is to find the true church when there are so many “churches” claiming to be holy and apostolic. If you’re looking for the true church, how do you know where to go, and what it should be like when you get there? It was a difficult question for me. To illustrate, I’ll tell you a story of just how hard it can be.

      Jerry is Roman Catholic and has just moved to from Boulder to Boston, and is wondering which Church to attend when he settles in after the move. All he had to do is figure out which Roman Catholic church is nearest to him, and go there. He was so excited about how easy this would be! But there was a problem from the outset. There were four different Roman Catholic Churches, each one exactly two miles from his house: Sacred Heart of Mary Catholic Church, Holy Church of the Inquisition, St. Drogo’s Catholic Church and St. Marguerite d’Youville. To which church should he pledge his loyalty and his tithe? This was going to take more thinking than he imagined.

      His first week in Boston, Jerry attended Sacred Heart of Mary Catholic Church, but halfway through the service, he realized that Mary has an “Immaculate Heart,” not a “Sacred “Heart.” Only Jesus has a Sacred Heart! Jerry stomped off in confusion, wondering how a Roman Catholic Church could get it so wrong when they had the whole magisterium to teach them on this. Jerry wouldn’t be going back to Sacred Heart of Mary.

      In his second week, Jerry visits St. Drogo’s, and the sermon topic is the Immaculate Conception. The priest goes on an on about this tradition and that tradition, and that the early church occasionally talked about Mary’s sinfulness, doubt, vainglory and pride, and talks about how Thomas Aquinas didn’t believe that Mary’s actual conception was immaculate, but the priest never actually stakes out a position on the Immaculate Conception dogma. Puzzled, Jerry approaches the priest afterward and asks why he didn’t just teach directly from Ineffabilis Deus, the formally infallible definition of the Immaculate Conception by Pius IX in 1854, and the priest frowns, responding that there has been only one formally infallible dogmatic definition by a pope in the history of the Roman Catholic Church, and that Ineffabilis Deus is not it. Jerry is gobsmacked! He knows that Ineffabilis Deus is formally ex cathedra, but when he gets home to google “formally ex cathedra statements,” he realizes that there is no canon of ex cathedra statements, and so he must come up with one on his own. Using his own personal canon, and his own personal interpretation of it, he decides not to go back to St. Drogo’s.

      The next week, Jerry visits Holy Church of the Inquisition. The sermon this week is on Evangelii Gaudium. The priest assures the flock that they must not worry when the pope wanders off into economic theory, and that we don’t really have to abide by what Francis said in that particular document. Now keep in mind that Jerry came from Boulder, which is a haven for Marxists, and he remembers quite clearly that his priest at University Catholic Church in Boulder insisted that Evangelii Gaudium was infallible. Francis had quoted bishops from every continent to show that he was serious about teaching in communion with the bishops of the world, and Jerry thought that Francis’ economic system must therefore be part of the deposit of faith. Imagine his surprise to find that not everyone agreed with his personal assessment of Evangelii Gaudium! Jerry won’t be returning to the Holy Church of the Inquisition.

      The next week, Jerry attends St. Marguerite d’Youville, and this week the sermon is on Francis’ recent statement, Amoris Laetitia. Jerry loved Amoris Laetitia, since it spoke to his heart, and he personally knew of people who had been shunned after a divorce and remarriage, and it was time for the Church to come into the 21st century! What a blessing it was, and how refreshing, to have an infallible Shepherd instruct us on this important truth! To his dismay, however, the priest at St. Marguerite was a follower of Cardinal Burke, and preached that morning on how important it is that the church unite and correct Francis on his erroneous statement. Jerry won’t be returning to St. Marguerite d’Youville.

      Jerry, is out of churches that are nearby. What to do? There are 288 more parishes in the Archdiocese of Boston alone, and ever since he saw Spotlight to prepare for the Boston culture, he has realized that you can never be too careful in choosing which church to attend. At first he thought it would be easy. But the reality hit Jerry like a ton of bricks: he is faced with a long, arduous task. He longs for the apostolic and sub-apostolic era when it was easy to find the true church—just walk into town, any town, and ask where the Christians meet regularly for worship. The local directory of religious worship might list hundreds of pagan temples, and several synagogues, but only one church. If you had wandered into Ephesus, just go to the Church of Ephesus. If you were in Corinth, just go to the Church in Corinth. If you were in Philippi, just go to the Church of Philippi. How easy is that? Wow, it must have been so nice to live in the subapostolic era. You might get killed for going to church, but at least the choice was easy!

      But Jerry doesn’t live in the subapostolic era, and that changes his situation dramatically. Where, Jerry wondered, is the Church of Boston? Nowadays, he would have to go take a look at the local directory of religious worship, and look up all the Churches in Boston, and figure out which one to go to. It’s time for Jerry to get busy. Really busy.

      Jerry had a lot more options than he realized at first. He was a liberal Catholic with a traditionalist bent. Maybe there was a church just for him. He found one website on line about “How to find a progressive Catholic Church,” and he found another place online about the “great migration” taking place in the Catholic Church from liberal catholic churches to conservative Catholic Churches. Wow, this was going to take some time. Everybody their own opinion about what Catholic Church to go to, and everyone thought their opinion was right. But they all could not be right. I mean, Evangelii Gaudium is ex cathedra, or it’s not. Ineffabilis Deus is either infallible, or it’s not. Mary either had a Sacred Heart, or she didn’t. Gosh, this was going to be hard.

      The question is, Mr. Wilnot, if Jerry were to stay in the Catholic Church, which Church would you have him join?

      Thanks,

      Tim

      1. Tim, with your Protestant lenses you place so much emphasis on the homily. We go to Church for the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass.

        The first thing a Catholic would do is look on the Diocese website to make sure those parishes are actually Catholic. There is nothing wrong with a person going to a different parish as long as it is Catholic. They could find 288 more parishes, as you mentioned, and probably not drive more than an hour to get to the majority of them, so they have lots of choices where to go, but they are ALL CATHOLIC!

        BTW, the pastor must preach on the Gospel reading. That is a requirement. Those giving the homily aren’t free to choose their topics. That changed a number of years back exactly because some were going off on tangents.

        BTW, you never answered H. Wilnot’s question!

        1. Mark, if you Catholics don’t go to church for the homily, but “We go to Church for the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass,” why did they have to change the practice of “those giving the homily … going off on tangents.” If the reason you go to Church is for the Mass, it should not have mattered what tangents they were going off on.

          You continued,

          The first thing a Catholic would do is look on the Diocese website to make sure those parishes are actually Catholic. There is nothing wrong with a person going to a different parish as long as it is Catholic.

          Thanks for your personal interpretations, Mark. They are always entertaining. Taylor Marshall has a different personal interpretation. Instead of just going to a church that calls itself Catholic and is listed on the diocesan web page, you have to choose the ones that are actually Catholic in practice (according to your own personal interpretation). In fact, he lists these hilarious reasons one might need to go to a different Catholic Church, all of which were familiar to Jerry by the time he had visited all the churches in Boston:

          My priest tells off-color jokes in the homily. What should I do?
          The local RCIA instructor taught that contraception is a “personal decision” and when I asked the priest about it, he didn’t think it was a big deal.
          In confession, my priest said that “the pill” is okay in certain situations.
          The nuns at my parochial school are promoting {insert something sketchy}, should I talk to my priest about it?
          Our parish promotes Eastern non-Christian mystical practices and prayers? Should I say something?
          My pastor has forbidden Communion on the tongue. What should I do?
          The priest at my parish changes the words of the liturgy, for example “Son of Man” to “Son of Humanity” in order to be gender inclusive. Should I talk to him about this?

          What does Taylor Marshall recommend? Does he recommend, as you do, to just “look on the Diocese website”? Nope. He recommends that Jerry keep on doing what Jerry is doing:

          My advice is that you should join the Great Catholic Migration of the 21st Century. Most people recognize that there is a de facto division growing within the Catholic Church. It’s not popular are “ecclesiastically correct” to talk about this, but it’s the elephant in the living room.

          There are those cardinals, bishops, priests, religious, and laity who are 100% supportive of the Holy Father and Catholic Tradition and then there is another group that is not 100% supportive.

          The problem for me is, if I decide to come back to the Roman Catholic religion, which Church would you have me join? I think that you, Marhsall and Wilnot would all give me different answers.

          You observed,

          BTW, you never answered H. Wilnot’s question!

          True.

          Tim

        2. Tim,

          Did I say that looking at the Diocesan website was the *only* thing to do? I said it was the *first* thing to do. I agree with Taylor Marshall BTW. He and I are not in disagreement.

          The reason why the law was changed on the homily is precisely what you were referring to, people changing parishes because this person spoke on things the parishioner liked. It started to become more like Protestant Churches where you go to the church where you most like the preacher’s sermons.

          The sermon is front and center in Protestantism because you replaced the altar with the pulpit and the Holy Eucharist with a sermon. All you have left is your pastor standing up giving his personal interpretation of Scripture. He better be good at it. That’s why homiletics is so important in seminaries. I know, I took many homiletics courses.

          The center of Catholic worship is the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass. It is still a valid sacrament regardless of the teaching or preaching of the Priest. However, I agree that there are some priests who are disobedient to the Church. However, the Mass is still valid. I agree with Taylor Marshall that we should support those parishes which are in line with the teachings of the Church.

          Besides you going to a “Bible-based church” that “preaches the word”, are there any non-negotiables for you as to what they believe? Why aren’t you a Methodist or Church of Christ?

          1. Mark, you asked,

            “Did I say that looking at the Diocesan website was the *only* thing to do? I said it was the *first* thing to do.”

            Of course. And since, as you say, the 288 churches on the diocesan web page “are ALL CATHOLIC!”, looking at the diocesan web page is also the last thing to do. Your search is over! Any church on that list will suffice.

            But Marshall prescribes additional analysis so you can “support those parishes which are in line with the teachings of the Church.” But they’re “ALL CATHOLIC!” so why does it matter?

            How does the archdiocese mark which churches in their archdiocese are not actually Catholic, and those that actually are? It seems like that is something the archdiocese should tell you, not something you should determine for yourself.

            So which is it, Mark? There is “nothing wrong with a person going to a different parish” as long as it is actually catholic, i.e., listed on the archdiocesan web page? Or, rather, is there is something wrong with a person going to a parish listed on the archdiocesan web page if you personally disagree with what is being taught there? Why make the decision yourself, Mark? You’re hardly qualified. Jesus gave you a magisterium to do that. Your job is not to judge the decision of the magisterium, but to obey.

            You continued,

            “I agree with Taylor Marshall that we should support those parishes which are in line with the teachings of the Church.”

            Then being listed on the diocesan web page is enough. As you said, they’re ALL CATHOLIC. But Marshall doesn’t think they are. Would you mind getting in touch with Taylor Marshall to let him know that the churches on the diocesan web page are ALL CATHOLIC? I don’t think he knows that.

            In reality, what you mean is

            “I agree with Taylor Marshall that we should support those parishes which are in line with my personal interpretation of the teachings of the Church. Those are the actually catholic ones.”

            Thanks,

            Tim

          2. Tim, you said, “As you said, they’re ALL CATHOLIC. But Marshall doesn’t think they are. ”

            Where does Marshall say that he doesn’t think they are all Catholic? He said, “Don’t waste your God-given time and money on apostolates, parishes, and schools that are not fully supporting the one true Faith without which it is impossible to please God.”

            Again, where did he say they aren’t Catholic? They ARE CATHOLIC. A Catholic going to ANY Catholic parish will receive the same graces through the Sacraments. Again, even if a priest or people in it aren’t fully supportive of Catholic doctrines, ALL of the Sacraments are still valid and are efficacious for the Christian. This is primary. A person is still absolved from his/her sins through reconciliation. The Mass is still a sacrifice and the parishioner is still receiving the body, blood, soul, and divinity of Christ in the Eucharist, which is the center of worship to God.

            In case you don’t know this, unless something has been dogmatically defined/declared a priest is free to disagree with the Pope. Shocking to you, I know.

            Why aren’t you a Methodist or Church of Christ?

          3. Mark said,

            “In case you don’t know this, unless something has been dogmatically defined/declared a priest is free to disagree with the Pope.”

            Yes, I am very much aware of that. The problem is, you don’t know which papal statements are ex cathedra, so you don’t know which papal statements you are free to disagree with. Nor does any priest or any other parishioner. You just know in theory that there are some that you can disagree with the pope on. And since every Roman Catholic must form his own personal canon of ex cathedra papal statements, your religion is rife with discord over which papal statements are subject to disagreement with the pope, because every Roman Catholic has his own list.

            Can you give us an infallible, exhaustive list of papal statements that you are free to disagree with? In my example, Jerry was persuaded that Evangelii Gaudium was not one of those papal statements. In the same example, one of Jerry’s priests felt that Ineffabilis Deus was.

            Perhaps you can clear it up for us. Which papal statements, in your personal opinion, are the ex cathedra ones on which we are not free to disagree with the pope?

            Thanks,

            Tim

          4. Tim, where was something dogmatically defined to be binding on all Christians in Evangelii Gaudium? There wasn’t.

            If you want to know what the Church teaches, go to the Catechism of the Catholic Church. That’s where you’ll get the teachings of the Church.

            So, now that we know how a Catholic would find another Catholic parish, how does a Protestant decide on which group he/she should attend? Charistmatic preaching? A “Holy Spirit” filled church? A good youth program? Rock music? Entertaining? Why got to a church at all if all you need is God and the Bible? You can just watch different sermons online.

            I love visiting different parishes because even if it isn’t in English, I can still follow along. Talk about unity!

            Why aren’t you a Methodist or Church of Christ?

          5. It’s pretty obvious to me. Francis said he was teaching the whole church:

            “Here I have chosen to present some guidelines which can encourage and guide the whole Church in a new phase of evangelization, one marked by enthusiasm and vitality.

            Clearly, he’s serving in his pastoral role of confirming the brethren (Luke 22:32), and as shepherd and guide of the whole church (Matthew 16:18). And since he can’t lead the whole church into error (Matthew 16:18), Evangelii Gaudium must have been infallible.

            It’s pretty obvious. Were you not aware that Evangelii Gaudium was ex cathedra? Why would you think it wasn’t?

            Tim

          6. Tim, it appears you don’t understand what ex cathedra means since you think Evangelii Gaudium. I think you have been out of the Catholic Church for too long and so deep into your apocalyptic anti-Catholic theories. BTW, dis you know that the word Antichrist isn’t even found in the book of Revelation?

            Why aren’t you a Methodist or Church of Christ? How does a Protestant choose his/her church to go to?

          7. “How do you tell if a papal statement is ex cathedra?”

            I listen to the Church.

            All this is just smoke and mirrors. Are you afraid to answer H. Wilnot’s question?

          8. Mark, the Church does not tell you which papal statements are ex cathedra. If it did, we’d know. The Scriptures contain no canon of ex cathedra papal statements. Tradition contains no canon of ex cathedra papal statements. The Magisterium contains no canon of ex cathedra papal statements. The entirety of revelation, for Roman Catholics, is Scripture, Tradition and the Magisterium, and nowwhere within divine revelation is there an official, infallible list of ex cathedra papal statements. So you cannot just “listen” to the church. The church says nothing. Divine revelation for every Roman Catholic is actually “Scripture, Tradition, the Magisterium PLUS my own personal list of ex cathedra papal statements, a list that can be found nowhere within Scripture, Tradition and the Magisterium.”

            If you don’t think that matters, just listen to Taylor Marshall’s complaint that “In confession, my priest said that ‘the pill’ is okay in certain situations.” On that basis, Marshall thinks you should pick up and leave to find another church. But the matter of ‘the pill’ is really a question about whether Humanæ Vitæ was infallible. In other words, it is about his own personal list of ex cathedra papal statements.

            Marshall thinks Humanæ Vitæ was ex cathedra. The priest did not. They split ways, in Marshall’s hypothetical universe, because each one had constructed his own personal canon of infallible papal statements, and set out to find a church that agrees with his personal canon of ex cathedra statements. His own personal interpretation of divine revelation—the basis of every Roman Catholic’s choice of church on Sunday morning. Including H. Wilnot’s.

            Tim

          9. The Church has always taught that artificial contraception is a grave sin. ALL Protestant denominations until 1930 said the same thing. The Anglican communion was the first Protestant group to open the door to contraception.

            Now, I am sure YOUR group allows and encourages artificial contraception. Why is that? Why has your church changed and allowed it?

            The Catholic Church’s teaching has been consistent since the beginning of the Church. Your church has caved to society. Why?

          10. Mark, your personal opinions about artificial contraception are beside the point. The fact is, Roman Catholics cannot know for sure whether Humanæ Vitæ was made ex cathedra.

            Do you think Humanæ Vitæ was ex cathedra?

            Here’s some interesting information to help you decide:

            THE EX CATHEDRA STATUS OF THE ENCYCLICAL “HUMANAE VITAE”
            Is there a list of infallible teachings?

            You seem quite confident in your assessment. Other are not so sure. Do let us know what you decide.

            Some folks are thinking about leaving their churches over whether their priest abides by your personal interpretation of Humanæ Vitæ‘s status.

            Thanks,

            Tim

          11. Sorry, Tim, you aren’t going to get any traction with me using your argument. Any priest who counsels that it is OK to use the pill, or any artificial contraceptive means, is going against the clear teachings of the Church. You can look it up in the Catechism of the Catholic Church.

          12. Mark, I’m only asking you if Humanæ Vitæ was ex cathedra. It’s a yes or no question, not an argument. You seem to know. Can you share that knowledge with us?

            Thanks,

            Tim

          13. Tim, you are asking the wrong question. Humanæ Vitæ is a reaffirmation of the constant teaching of the Church. It doesn’t matter if it is infallible or not. It certainly isn’t ex cathedra. Maybe you are confusing infallible with ex cathedra. Something can be infallible without being ex cathedra.

            Therefore, a priest arguing that Humanæ Vitæ is not infallible still cannot say contraception is OK because the Church has always taught that it is morally wrong, even before Humanæ Vitæ.

          14. Mark, you wrote,

            “Tim, you are asking the wrong question. Humanæ Vitæ is a reaffirmation of the constant teaching of the Church. It doesn’t matter if it is infallible or not. It certainly isn’t ex cathedra.”

            Thank you, again, for your personal interpretation of the magisterium. That is your opinion. Fr. Brian W. Harrison, O.S. has a different opinion. He says that Humanæ Vitæ is ex cathedra:

            “We have now carefully examined, word for word, the four characteristics of an “ex cathedra” definition specified in the dogmatic definition of 1870, in the light of Bishop Gasser’s authoritative explanation of the text and the subsequent teaching of Vatican Council II. We have also examined “Humanae Vitae,” presenting evidence that the definition in article 14 of the encyclical clearly manifests all four characteristics. We conclude, therefore, that this definition is indeed an “ex cathedra” proclamation–infallible and irreformable in itself.” (Brian W. Harrison, O.S., The Ex Cathedra Status of the Encyclical Humanæ Vitæ)

            You say Humanæ Vitæ “certainly isn’t ex cathedra.” Fr. Harrison says it is. Whom should I believe? And more importantly, why do you two not know? You’re both confident, but you can’t both be right. Here it seems safer to go with the cleric (Fr. Harrison), instead of the layperson (Mark Rome). But it is not always so obvious.

            James Akin reports on a situation where a priest informed a married couple that the use of contraception was pretty much up to them:

            “Father, are you saying that if my wife and I, after reflection, make a mature decision to continue to contracept, that it would be an acceptable decision”? He replied, “Yes.”

            James Akin, of course, considers the priest to be guilty of “gross misrepresentation,” but that is just Akin’s opinion. In the case, it seems better to listen to the layperson (James Akin) instead of the cleric (the couple’s priest).

            And that makes my point nicely. Why should I believe you instead of a priest on Humanæ Vitæ? Why should the couple trust Akin instead of their priest? It’s not as if their priest wasn’t aware of Humanæ Vitæ. He just didn’t think it was an exercise of the extraordinary magiserium.

            And this is how Catholics shop for churches. They find one who has their same interpretation of divine revelation, choose that church, and then look down their noses at those poor misguided Protestants who choose churches that agree with their interpretation of divine revelation.

            So that why I asked, H. Wilnot. If I leave my church to join Roman Catholicism, which church would you have me join?

            Thanks,

            Tim

          15. “And this is how Catholics shop for churches. They find one who has their same interpretation of divine revelation, choose that church, and then look down their noses at those poor misguided Protestants who choose churches that agree with their interpretation of divine revelation.”

            Big red X, Tim. I as a Catholic wouldn’t shop for a church that has my interpretation of divine revelation. I know that is what Protestants do, but Catholics don’t do what Protestants by the nature of their lack of unity must do.

            The opinion of one priest does not an ex cathedra statement make. But it doesn’t matter, as I have already said, because it is the teaching of the Church that contraception is a grave moral evil. Humanae Vitae only reinforced the constant teaching of the Church so the teaching on contraception is infallible regardless of whether it was written ex cathedra. You are arguing from the wrong standpoint and don’t even know it.

            Why does PCA accept and encourage contraception?

          16. Mark, you said,

            “Big red X, Tim. I as a Catholic wouldn’t shop for a church that has my interpretation of divine revelation. I know that is what Protestants do, but Catholics don’t do what Protestants by the nature of their lack of unity must do.”

            Oh, then by all means, tell us what you would do. Do you just throw darts at a list of churches in the diocese and go to the one you hit? Or do you just choose the one that is geographically closest to you?

            You also said,

            The opinion of one priest does not an ex cathedra statement make.

            But the opinion of a layman does not reduce its status, either. In fact nobody’s opinion on its ex cathedra status is either authoritative or binding. The point is that both you and Fr. Brian W. Harrison went to Pastor Æternus searching for answers, evaluated Humanæ Vitæ according to your own personal, private interpretation of Pastor Æternus, and came to a conclusion as to whether it was ex cathedra. He determined that it was ex cathedra, and you determined that it was not. Is there anyone in Roman Catholicism who decides these cases, or is it up to each Roman Catholic to make that determination on his own?

            Thanks,

            Tim

          17. Tim K., I’ve already explained how a Catholic determines which parish to go to if he/she moves. Maybe you can explain how you choose between PCA, Presbyterian Covenanters, or Presbyterian or Presbyterian USA?

            Walt thinks you are quite the liberal group although you think Presbyterian USA is quite the liberal group.

          18. Mark, I’m sorry, I may have missed it. You said,

            “The first thing a Catholic would do is look on the Diocese website to make sure those parishes are actually Catholic. There is nothing wrong with a person going to a different parish as long as it is Catholic. They could find 288 more parishes, as you mentioned, and probably not drive more than an hour to get to the majority of them, so they have lots of choices where to go, but they are ALL CATHOLIC!”

            That sounded pretty simple. But then I provided information on the great Catholic parish migration, and you said,

            “Did I say that looking at the Diocesan website was the *only* thing to do? I said it was the *first* thing to do. I agree with Taylor Marshall BTW. He and I are not in disagreement.”

            Ok, good to know. But you never said what to do next. You agree with Taylor Marshall, who said,

            “Begin migrating to the good and holy priests who offer themselves as living sacrifices…for our spiritual well-being. Support these holy men!…institutions that support and promote traditional Catholic orthodoxy and practice.”

            Now can I assume that these are all listed on the archdiocese web page? Taylor Marshall calls them Group A (basically, the good parishes) and Group B (the bad parishes). Is that how they are listed on the archdiocese web page? I.e., do they list them in columns saying, “These parishes support and promote traditional Catholic orthodoxy and practice,” and “These parishes don’t support and promote traditional Catholic orthodoxy and practice”? I’m guessing that would make it pretty easy for you.

            Now since the archdiocese web page probably doesn’t have two columns like that, it’s probably up to you to figure out which ones are Group A and which are Group B, and to do that, you have to figure out which ones adhere to traditional Catholic orthodoxy and practice. And to figure that out, you’d need actually to know what traditional Catholic orthodoxy and practice looks like, and sounds like, and then evaluate each church to determine if it is consistent with your interpretation of what traditional Catholic orthodoxy and practice looks like, and sounds like.

            And so back to what I said,

            “And this is how Catholics shop for churches. They find one who has their same interpretation of divine revelation, choose that church, and then look down their noses at those poor misguided Protestants who choose churches that agree with their interpretation of divine revelation.”

            Which is exactly what Taylor Marshall said we should do. So I’m at a loss here. You say you agree with Taylor Marshall, and Taylor Marshall says you need to evaluate churches and determine if they agree with traditional Catholic orthodoxy and practice as you see it (or as he sees it), and yet you say that is not how you search for a church to attend.

            I’m sorry. You’ve lost me. How do you personally find a church to attend? Is there a flashing neon sign outside that says “Attend this one, Mark Rome!!”?

            I suspect it’s much less obvious, and much more subjective, than that.

            So Mark, step one: look up the catholic churches on the diocese web page.
            Then there’s the mysterious step two. What is that step?

            Thanks,

            Tim

        3. Mark,

          yes, I feel my question was not satisfactorily answered and I thin you reframed my question more aptly than I did, thanks.

          Howard Wilnot

      2. Tim,

        Thank you for your response. I appreciate the time you took to compose Jerry’s story. Sorry for my delayed response. Given my work schedule I can only check in every few days.

        I have to admit I found Jerry’s story a bit bizarre, almost as if it were manufactured to create difficulties that don’t really exist in real life. Jerry’s thought processes seemed bizarre and the parishes he visited seemed bizarre–names and all. You ask me “The question is, Mr. Wilnot, if Jerry were to stay in the Catholic Church, which Church would you have him join?” I find that question confused. If he is staying in the Catholic Church, how could he be joining the Catholic Church?.

        If you mean what parish he should join, that seems a trivial question. By Jerry’s theology he is already in the “One, Holy, Catholic, and Apostolic Church” (Nicene Creed), Ephesians 4:5: “One Lord one faith one baptism.” Sure parishes have different atmospheres but Jerry, “Viva law difference!” According to Jerry’s theology, his “church is one in faith, worship and the bond of hierarchical communion and the variety of liturgical rites and the legitimate diversity of theological and spiritual heritages and special disciplines, far from injuring her unity, make it more manifest.”
        And so Jerry, join your neighborhood parish (territorial), a personal parish, or a parish you find most enriching and have fun!

        Howard Wilnot

        1. Thank you, Howard. You wrote,

          “If you mean what parish he should join, that seems a trivial question.”

          Well thank you for providing your personal interpretation of the significance of the depth of God’s revelation to us and how it is conveyed through the church. According to you, personally, “what parish he should join” is trivial.

          To you.

          Personally.

          But not according to James Akin, who has his own personal interpretation of the significance of the depth of God’s revelation to us and how it is conveyed through the church. He is aghast upon the hearing of a couple whose priest was advising that birth control is a personal decision. If I were to join the Catholic Church, James Akin, I imagine, would not recommend that parish. He recommends that the couple not seek their priest’s counsel “on any matter of Catholic moral theology.” What is more, their priest is “at a minimum grossly ignorant of its basic principles and (with a significant degree of probability) knowingly subversive of it.” I can’t imagine that James Akin would recommend that church to me. (But I know some Catholics who are looking for exactly that kind of parish!)

          And it is not a trivial question to Taylor Marshall, who also has his own personal interpretation of the significance of the depth of God’s revelation to us and how it is conveyed through the church. He regularly receives “numerous Facebook messages, emails, and comments from Catholics who … want advice about their current “parish crisis.”” Apparently there are a lot of “parish” crises going on. Marshall does not recommend, as you do, that his readers “join your neighborhood parish (territorial), a personal parish, or a parish you find most enriching and have fun”. Instead he recommends that his readers leave their current parishes and “join the Great Catholic Migration of the 21st Century.” His personal interpretation of the significance of the depth of God’s revelation to us and how it is conveyed through the church is different from yours. In fact, he believes that “we can all readily identify the theology, liturgical styles, magazines, publications, Catholic schools, politicians, and Catholic universities” that are part of the crisis, and says that they are “still the majority in America.” Marshall recommends that his readers “identify the theology, liturgical styles” of the bad parishes, and participate in a great “parish migration”:

          This migration is made possible through public transportation and the internet. People can now drive to the “solid parish” in the diocese.

          He recommends his readers realign “their attendance, resources, skills, and money to those parishes, orders, schools, colleges, and other institutions that support and promote traditional Catholic orthodoxy and practice.” Now, to do that, I imagine that all of his readers would have to have some familiarity with traditional Catholic orthodoxy and practice. It is not just about finding a parish on the diocesan web page. He is, in essence asking his readers to study what they think is divine revelation, as Jerry did, and then choose a parish that most closely aligns with their personal interpretation of it. Which, ironically, is the very thing Jason Stellman thought he was leaving behind when he became Roman Catholic:

          When Protestants talk about true church authority … that claim is an illusion. It’s like shooting an arrow at the wall, and then painting the target around it. Because what you’re doing, is you’re basically opening up your bible and figuring out what the Gospel is, and then finding a church out there that agrees with you. … You figure out, ‘Oh yeah, this is the gospel, this is what scripture teaches. Now I’ve got to find a church that teaches what Scripture teaches, by which I mean that agrees with me about what Scripture teaches.’ (Third Annual Holy Family Conference on March 8-9, 2013, 14:40 15:30)

          What Stellman derides in Protestants, Marshall advises to his Roman Catholic readers.

          Stellman, meet Marshall. Marshall, meet Stellman. Each of you have your own personal interpretation of the significance of the depth of God’s revelation to us and how it is conveyed through the church, and you are each trying to convince me that yours is correct. Whom should I trust? Whose interpretation is correct? You say, “Viva law difference!” and you think the hypothetical difficulties don’t exist in real life for Catholics.

          Wilnot, meet Marshall, who received all those messages from his readers:

          “The messages go like this:

          My priest tells off-color jokes in the homily. What should I do?
          The local RCIA instructor taught that contraception is a “personal decision” and when I asked the priest about it, he didn’t think it was a big deal.
          In confession, my priest said that “the pill” is okay in certain situations.
          The nuns at my parochial school are promoting {insert something sketchy}, should I talk to my priest about it?
          Our parish promotes Eastern non-Christian mystical practices and prayers? Should I say something?
          My pastor has forbidden Communion on the tongue. What should I do?
          The priest at my parish changes the words of the liturgy, for example “Son of Man” to “Son of Humanity” in order to be gender inclusive. Should I talk to him about this?

          The fact that you do not believe those difficulties exist in real life suggests to me that you are not even aware of the “parish crises” going on in your own religion. Are you guys even in the same Church?

          Oh, by the way, St. Drogo is the patron saint of the nonpulchritudinous, so he’ll probably get is own church eventually, St. Marguerite d’Youville is a parish in the archdiocese of Boston, there are lots of “Sacred Heart of Mary” churches, and I can’t imagine why you would think Holy Church of the Inquisition would be a bizarre name for a church, when you’ve already had a Supreme Sacred Congregation of the Roman and Universal Inquisition.

          Thanks,

          Tim

          1. Tim, remember that nobody rejects these Catholic Churches as being part of the One Holy Catholic and Apostolic Church.

            Do you believe that the Church of Christ is a Christian church? Do you believe Methodists have enough truth to be saved? Do you even believe in a “true church” or is it just an individual thing?

            What are the “non-negotiables” for a Protestant seeking a community outside of the Catholic Church?

          2. Mark, you wrote,

            “Tim, remember that nobody rejects these Catholic Churches as being part of the One Holy Catholic and Apostolic Church. “

            Well, thank you for giving me your personal opinion on this, Mark. Let’s consider the matter of Humanæ Vitæ. Jerry visits a parish that teaches that contraception is a personal choice. Jerry understands that using contraception is a mortal sin, and that the teaching of the parish is inconsistent with the one holy catholic and apostolic faith. He is very familiar with the writings of Fr. John Hardon, and Fr. Hardon says that

            We affirm in this conference that the deliberate practice of contraception between husband and wife is objectively a mortal sin. Those who persist in its practice are acting contrary to the explicit teaching of the Roman Catholic Church. They may protest that they are Catholic. They may profess to be Catholics. But their conduct belies their profession. (Contraception, Fatal to the Faith)

            So the people who practice it are not really catholic. And the priests who teach it are not really catholic. And since it is a mortal sin to lead someone to hell through false teachings, the priest and the parishioners there are not actually catholic at all. You say that nobody rejects these churches as Catholic. Well that’s comforting, Mark. The priest and his parishioners are going to hell, but at least they’re all Catholic!

            Do you think Jerry should join that church?

            Thanks,

            Tim

          3. Thank you for your reply. I appreciate the civility of the discourse.

            The original question was if Jerry leaves the Catholic church what church should he join. If that question can’t be answered, and it hasn’t been,it would seem–if for that reason alone–Jerry should be reluctant to leave the Catholic Church–despite all else that is alleged in this website.

            So now that Jerry is staying in the Catholic Church, what parish should be join? Well, good news Jerry, if you are already in the Church Jesus founded, the parish question truly remains a personal question–Just as you suggested earlier in your earlier email that joining any of the Churches founded by the apostles in the first Century is pleasing to our Lord.

            But wait Jerry, in some parishes the priests are sinners and in other parishes the parishioners are sinners also. Should Jerry be scandalized that his parish–priests and parishioners alike–are less than perfect. No, because he has read C.S. Lewis Mere Christianity and Screwtape letters, etc. and expects to finds fellow humans in the Church and not angels.

            Thanks,
            Howard

          4. H. Wilnot, you wrote,

            “But wait Jerry, in some parishes the priests are sinners and in other parishes the parishioners are sinners also.”

            That is a red herring. At no point in my story did Jerry ever examine, and then refuse to join, a church because “the priests are sinners.” He refused to join because they were teaching the parishioners something that he personally believed to be incompatible with the Catholic faith.

            Let’s just examine, for a moment, the matter of Humanæ Vitæ. Suppose Jerry visits another church, St. Friard’s Catholic Church, and the priest teaches that contraception is a personal choice. This is, apparently, the same church attended by the couple reference in James Akin’s impassioned blog entry about birth control. The couple did not ask James Akin if there was a problem going to a church where the priest is a sinner. They were asking about a doctrinal issue as to its compatibility with the Catholic faith. James’ answer was that the priest’s teaching was not and they should not receive his instruction in moral theology.

            So, let’s say using contraception is a mortal sin. The priest is essentially sending his parishioners to hell. But you say, “Don’t worry, at least the Church is Catholic”?

            That’s not comforting at all.

            And in Marshall’s opinion, more than 1/2 of the Catholic institutions in the US are errant, and many are teaching things incompatible with the catholic faith, the odds are against Jerry if he just chooses at random. He has to choose a church where the priest is not teaching him things that will not send him to hell.

            So how does he make that decision?

            If that question can’t be answered, and it hasn’t been, it would seem–if for that reason alone–Jerry should be reluctant to join a Catholic Church when he moves to Boston–despite all else that is alleged in Roman Catholicism’s 1600 year history. If you are advising Jerry to join a church in boston, it would seem irresponsible to do so without knowing whether the priests at those churches are advocating Jerry’s participation in mortal sin.

            So how does Jerry make sure of that? Just trust the priest? Should I go with Marshall’s personal opinion that the majority of catholic parishes are dangerous to my soul? Or should I go with your personal opinion that it’s not that big of a deal? Whose personal opinion should I trust with my soul?

            Thanks,

            Tim

          5. Tim,

            Thx for your response. I am trying to reply to your recent red herring/Humanae vitae post but didn’t see a reply button.

            With all due respect, I thought I was responding to red herrings, rather than creating them. The basic red herring is that the Catholic Church is invalidated if we posit a priest “teaching the parishioners something that [a parishioner] personally believed to be incompatible with the Catholic faith.”

            So the only Christian church will be one where every parishioner is in total agreement with every priest?

            There are other points that may be red herrings, but can’t be dealt with now–that the Church is 1600 rather than 2000 years old, that by joining a particular parish Jerry is somehow joining a new Catholic Church, and what is said about the writings of James Akin and Marshall Taylor.

            So let’s look at what you say is the heart of the matter–Jerry and his desire to lean the truth about artificial birth control. As you say the teaching is in Humane vitae: Unlawful Birth Control Methods

            “14. Therefore We base Our words on the first principles of a human and Christian doctrine of marriage when We are obliged once more to declare that the direct interruption of the generative process already begun and, above all, all direct abortion, even for therapeutic reasons, are to be absolutely excluded as lawful means of regulating the number of children. (14) Equally to be condemned, as the magisterium of the Church has affirmed on many occasions, is direct sterilization, whether of the man or of the woman, whether permanent or temporary. (15)

            Similarly excluded is any action which either before, at the moment of, or after sexual intercourse, is specifically intended to prevent procreation—whether as an end or as a means. ”

            Ok, so Jerry now knows that using contraception is wrong, a teaching that the Catholic Church has taught for 2000 years, as did almost every Christian body until recently, restated in the Catholic Catechism (Section 2369) and in Humanae vitae is supported by references to many other documents, e.g. See Council of Trent Roman Catechism, Part II, ch. 8; Pius XI, encyc. letter Casti connubii: AAS 22 (1930), 562-564; Pius XII, Address to Medico-Biological Union of St. Luke: Discorsi e radiomessaggi, VI, 191-192; Address to Midwives: AAS 43 (1951), 842-843; Address to Family Campaign and other family associations: AAS 43 (1951), 857-859; John XXIII, encyc. letter Pacem in terris: AAS 55 (1963), 259-260 [TPS IX, 15-16]; Second Vatican Council, Pastoral Constitution on the Church in the World of Today, no. 51: AAS 58 (1966), 1072 [TPS XI, 293].

            And indeed everyone knows that the Catholic Church teaches against contraception. Look at how widely she is attacked for this teaching. Why was Jerry the only one who didn’t know this?

            So now Jerry knows the clear teaching of his Church, which she identifies as a biblical, apostolic, and Christian teaching, which will safeguard happiness in this life and the next.

            he also knows that his Church has an entire hierarchy whose God-given vocation is to make sure that this doctrine is taught to the faithful. Hence the encyclical Humanae vitae

            But because some priest at St. Friard’s Catholic Church is confused, and subject to admonishment for his conusion by his Bishop, etc. Jerry is supposed to give up on the idea one, holy, catholic and apostolic Church, and maybe in the idea of objective morality as well.

            So yes, be comforted and happy, Jerry. Despite the wiles of the world, and maybe even the confusion of a local priest, he has a sure teaching on this matter.

            Tim, I have to say, thanks for creating the character of Jerry, he is giving us a run for our money

            Wilnot

          6. Wilnot, you wrote,

            ” The basic red herring is that the Catholic Church is invalidated if we posit a priest “teaching the parishioners something that [a parishioner] personally believed to be incompatible with the Catholic faith.””

            I have never posited such a thing. I have simply asked how a Roman Catholic chooses his parish. I said nothing about “the Catholic Church is invalidated if…” I have also provided examples of Roman Catholics being advised to find a new parish if their current one is teaching things that are not true, or in Marshall’s words, inconsistent with “traditional Catholic orthodoxy and practice.”

            You have twice now attempted to take the discussion onto a path that has nothing to do with choosing a parish, and tried to make it about what Jerry is to do if he finds out his priest is a sinner and where Jerry can go to find what his parish priest is supposed to teach. Those are diversions. There is only one thing being discussed: how does Jerry choose his church? You incorrectly summarized:

            But because some priest at St. Friard’s Catholic Church is confused, and subject to admonishment for his conusion by his Bishop, etc. Jerry is supposed to give up on the idea one, holy, catholic and apostolic Church, and maybe in the idea of objective morality as well.

            I have never suggested any such thing. My question to you is if St. Friard’s Catholic Church is listed on the diocesan web page as a catholic church, but the priest there is teaching that contraception is a personal choice, and Fr. John Hardon says that even to use contraceptive is fatal to the faith and those who do “may protest that they are Catholic,” and “may profess to be Catholics,” but they are not, and Jerry knows that the priest there is teaching something morally, mortally wrong, since the use of contraceptives is a mortal sin, do you recommend that Jerry choose that church? Mark Rome says you have to check the diocesan web page “to make sure those parishes are actually Catholic,” but from what I read of Fr. John Hardon, it is possible to be catholic in profession but not catholic in teaching and practice, so there is a little more to it than you acknowledge.

            The question is: how does a Roman Catholic choose which church he will attend?

            If you can’t answer that question, I don’t understand why you are asking me to do so.

            From what I know of Roman Catholics and Roman Catholicism—Marshall and Hardon are good examples—you have to visit the church, determine if it is teaching in accordance with what you believe to be the “traditional Catholic orthodoxy and practice” of the Roman Catholic Church, and make a decision based on that.

            They acknowledge as much: When it comes to finding the perfect place of worship, U.S. Catholic readers say you’d better shop around.

            In other words, Roman Catholics search around looking for a church that is consistent with their personal, private evaluation of what they consider to be the content of divine revelation, and choose accordingly. The very thing for which they disparage Protestants.

            Thanks,

            Tim

          7. Wilnot has taken his leave of his friends on this website, but he forgot to say goodbye to his friend Jerry, which he will do in this final post. Because jerry is in great difficulty. After years of trying to figure out which parish to join, comparing the priests’ homilies with the canons of the 21 ecumenical councils, he has finally decided on the right parish for him But now he sees there is a bigger difficulty–which pew to join. After all, the church is made up of both clergy and laity; he is going to be sitting with the same pew members every week. How can he join a pew if some of the members might not have the right beliefs. And so he selects a pew where the parishioners seem devout and listens carefully to how they talk of the faith, what they say as CCC instructors, etc. One of the pew members teaches the marriage prep classes, and Jerry sits in to make sure that he is stating the regulation of births correctly. And yes he is satisfied, and so with great aplomb he joins that pew.

            Bu the next Sunday he is startled to find someone new sitting in the pew. He hears the newbie profess that he “believes in one God, maker of heaven and Earth, etc.’ “One God!” what does that mean? How can we know what that means without an infallible interpretation from the pope. And then who will infallibly interpret the interpreter And then who will interpret that infallibly. Wait, there is a bishop in charge of the diocese but Jerry cannot find any document where the Bishop infallibly interprets the meaning of “one, other than mindlessly repeating it every week. What good is having popes, bishops, priests, deacons, religious instruction, Catholic Schools, expositions of the Bible, councils, theologians, encyclicals, canons, catechisms, creeds if I can’t get my questions answered! I want answers!

            So in disgust jerry quits that pew and joins a different pew.
            Bye Jerry.

          8. Thank you, Wilnot, first for demonstrating your inability to answer your own question meaningfully, and second for highlighting the fundamental epistemological problem with Roman Catholicism.

            On the first score, in your introductory comment you posed the question as to which church you should join if you were to leave Roman Catholicism. I responded with Jerry’s identical predicament if he simply changes archdioceses. He faces any number of fundamental doctrinal issues on which not every priest agrees, and not all parishes are of one accord. On your first attempt to dismiss the question, you reduced it to a matter of whether Jerry could tolerate a sinful priest. But that was not Jerry’s concern. It was doctrinal unity. In your second attempt to dismiss the question, you reduced it to a matter of Jerry knowing where he could go to find out the truth even if the parish he attended was not teaching it. But that was not Jerry’s concern. It was doctrinal unity. Now on your third attempt to dismiss with the question, you have trivialized it to the same level as choosing a pew. In all three, you have avoided the issue—Jerry wants to attend a Catholic church, but to find one he has to do more than just check the archdiocesan web page. He has to see if they teach what he believes to be true (after all, Fr. John Hardon said the parish that allows birth control isn’t even Catholic, and Jerry wants to attend a Catholic church). He has to see if they practice traditional Catholic orthodoxy (after all, if they don’t, Taylor Marshall is going to implore him to pick up and migrate to a new parish that does). It’s a life and death decision. Using birth control is a mortal sin. Jerry obviously ought not attend such a parish as the one that takes a liberal view of it. After all, he’d be sitting under the teaching of a priest that does not pass muster as a Catholic, worshiping with parishioners who do not pass must as Catholics (according to Fr. Hardon).

            For some reason, Rome’s authority to define truth is important from an eschatological perspective, but for some reason, when it comes to choosing a parish, Roman Catholics won’t tell me which one Jerry ought to go to or how he should go about choosing it. And if you can’t tell me which one Jerry ought to go to (and he’s just switching archdioceses!), then you’re in no position to tell me which one I should join if I swim the Tiber.

            On the second score, you have identified exactly the problem with Roman Catholic epistemology. Catholic Answers sums it up nicely:

            “For men to be saved, they must know what is to be believed. They must have a perfectly steady rock to build upon and to trust as the source of solemn Christian teaching. And that’s why papal infallibility exists.” (Catholic Answers, Papal Infallibility)

            Humanæ Vitæ is just one example of the problem. Mark Rome examines the canons of the 21 ecumenical councils and concludes that Humanæ Vitæ is not ex cathedra. Fr. Brian Harrison examines the canons of the 21 ecumenical councils and concludes that Humanæ Vitæ IS ex cathedra. The priest in James Akins’ example doesn’t think its ex cathedra, or just ordinarily infallible.

            Who can decide? There is no infallible list of ex cathedra statements. There’s not even an infallible list of criteria that a statement must meet in order to be ex cathedra. All that is left is for Roman Catholics to judge each statement for himself and decide whether it is a “solemn, official teachings on faith and morals,” and then act accordingly. Small wonder that some priests in Roman Catholic parishes simply advise their parishioners to do as they please. They have evaluated Humanæ Vitæ and determined that it is not something that must be believed to be saved. It’s up to each Roman Catholic to decide, and from the statistics, the vast majority of American Roman Catholics don’t think Humanæ Vitæ qualifies. Heck, by Fr. John Hardon’s perspective, 86% of professing Catholics aren’t even Catholic!

            So, Papal Infallibility exists so that men may know what is to be believed to be saved, but nobody knows for sure which papal statements are the ex cathedra ones, making papal infallibility a meaningless assurance of orthodoxy. It’s really up to each Roman Catholic to decide for himself.

            In any case, since these grave doctrinal matters are as trivial to you as choosing a pew, then you have your answer. Leave Roman Catholicism, since the apostles and prophets have warned against it, and join a church with comfortable pews.

            Thanks,
            Tim

  15. ” you nullify the scriptures for the sake of your tradition” Here I believe this is a warning not to look to tradition for truth, but the word of God. ” Ask, and it shall be given to you, seek and ye shall find, knock and it shall opened unto you. For everyone that asks receives, and he that seeks finds, and to him that knocks, it shall be opened”

    1. ” I listen to the church” No you don’t, because your church can’t tell you what papal statement is ex cathedra. That’s smoke and mirrors.

    2. ” Kevin, Why aren’t you a Methodist or Church of Christ” Before I answer your question, I must address what I believe is the underlying motive in why Catholics ask this question. You are taught that salvation on comes through a church. That is faulty axiom. Churches don’t connect us to God. No church owns God. He comes to us in the gospel by his choosing. The church isn’t the same as Jesus Christ in the world. Churches aren’t continuations of incarnations, nor can they replace the finished work of Christ as the agency of redemption. The irony is since salvation comes thru the gospel by God’s choosing ( the Spirit blows when and where He wills), if you are in a system that teaches a faulty gospel how can you be saved. Sacramental forgiveness in Rome is worthiness of merit. How can that be a free gift Romans 6 : 23 . It cant. What church you are in matters little if you believe a false gospel or partake of idolatry. And that is the only thing Rome offers her people. Hell. I choose a church that relents my study of scripture. The church that I feel represents the gospel, teaches God’s word, practices the sacraments properly, and reflects church government consistent with scripture. The Methodist and Church of Christ don’t meet those criteria. But I’m not trusting my church alone for my salvation, I’m trusting Christ alone for my salvation.

      1. “I choose a church that relents my study of scripture. The church that I feel represents the gospel”

        So you chose your church based on feelings. Is that the best way to choose a church that is there to help you on your journey to salvation? Did Jesus tell us to use our feelings as our guide?

        Pretty sure the Church of Christ adherents would say the same thing about you and believe THEY have the truth that is most consistent with the Bible.

        How do you know the difference between doctrine and opinion? How do you know what a person must believe as a Christian versus what is just opinion and optional?

        1. I chose my church based of the Spirit speaking to me in scripture. It isn’t rocket science. Not all things are clear in scripture, but those things pertaining to life and godliness are. Scripture says we are complete in Christ having all things pertaining to life and Godliness. 1 John 2:27 says I have the anointing to make determinations about churches and teachers. Of course Rome wants to keep the word from its people, or say its cloudy, it protects their hoax. God doesn’t make it hard for his people to hear his word, if that were the case then why would Paul say salvation comes thru the word?

          1. Kevin, may I remind you that lots of people think they hear God speaking to them. Church of Christ people discerned that God told them to belong to that Church because it was true. Unfortunately, you don’t have an objective standard in the Scripture because you rely on your interpretation. You’ve decided what is truth, basically making you your own pope. You hate that there is one infallible pope, but are perfectly content with having millions of them in Protestantism. I bet even within your own PCA community that you have doctrinal disagreements. That’s the way it was when I was a Protestant. At one church I went to, the pastor made it a point to steer away from theology because it just divided people and he certainly didn’t want people to leave since he was making a cool million a year just as a pastor (not including his side businesses). Who would pay for his private jet if everyone left?

            Oh, but you think your church is different. I know. I thought that too. Your church has divided on doctrine, right? Presbyterians have the liberal wing (USA) and the conservative wing (PCA). Episcopalians are no different. I was Episcopalian for 7 years and saw my parish divide and then leave with the conservative Anglican wing over homosexuality and women priests.

            During this time I finding myself drawn to Catholicism more and more. I told my Anglican priest that I was leaving to become Catholic and I explained that there was no guarantee that the new Anglican community being formed wouldn’t go the way of the former Episcopalian communion. He responded that, yes, there is no guarantee.

            And this is ONE reason I am Catholic. Because the Catholic Church CAN’T change its teachings on homosexuality or other moral issues because it is guarded by the Holy Spirit. Protestant communities which are led by the people can VOTE for changing their beliefs. Can you imagine this? Is THAT apostolic? No way. No how.

            The Catholic Church has remained CONSISTENT through 2,000 years on these issues and Protestantism has caved little by little. You even accept contraception as something morally acceptable for Christians. 70 years ago ALL churches, including Protestants, saw contraception as a grave moral evil. How times have changed.

  16. Mark, I think I just answered your question. When God saved my soul in 1981 out of a life of sin in the music business in Los Angeles , it was the Spirit speaking to me through the preaching of John MacArthur on Mathew 7. Narrow is the gate and few are there who go by it, but wide is the path to destruction and many go thereby. The word of God pierced my soul and convicted me of a lifestyle of sin, and he filled me with the love of His Word. Having been justified by faith I had peace with God. And his word has been the means by which he is sanctifying me. It’s through his word that I have found the Presbyterian PCA church. We are saved by hearing the word of God, the gospel, not by joining a church. I attend the church I have discerned to be consistent with God’s word.

  17. H. Wilnot said:

    “If I were to leave the Catholic Church, which Church would you have me join?

    I welcome replies from
    Tim, Walt, Kevin, Ken, Hans, etc.

    I apologize in advance if you answered this elsewhere. I haven’t read every comment on this site.”

    My recommendation is not to join any formal church, but to worship at home in the area where you live. I encourage everyone to separate from all the churches, and start reading at home learn both Roman Catholic and Reformed doctrinal differences. Within 12 months, you will be prepared to join a faithful congregation.

    1. Walt,
      Thank you for your response. I am new to this site and have read some but not all posts.

      I appreciate the sincerity of your recommendation, but I assume that 12 months of study have already been completed since hypothetically Mr. Wilnot has read this site, studied it, and decided to leave the Catholic church.

      So which is a faithful congregation? There are a lot of competitors vying for that honorable title? There should be an objective answer. Maybe Mr. Wilmot is not learned enough to sort out all of the possibilities on his own.

      If we are advising Wilnot to leave a church, it would seem irresponsible to do so without having a replacement church to tell him to join. I would not drag a patient out of one hospital without having a better hospital to recommend for him.

      Howard Wilnot

  18. “APM has undergone an enormous upgrade. Everything is new, except of course, my commitment to Jesus Christ and the Bible, and my commitment to Reformed Theology, the 1647 WCF and the Puritans.

    With the rise of the new year, APM has introduced a huge amount of new material on the site, including the online sermon preparation course on expository preaching. If you are a minister of the Gospel, you don’t want to miss that.
    There are literally dozens of new articles, whole books (check out William Ames), and new sections to the site that I found were needed in expanding the theological reach of APM. I wanted to focus on some important topics like expository preaching (the only true kind of biblical preaching), pastoral considerations (such as the office and calling of the minister), pastoral theology (in preaching and praying), and the like. Also, I had a desire to expand the grace portion of the site. We always need more books, articles and exhortations on the doctrines of grace.

    The Pastoral Theology and Expository Preaching section is all new, including a page dedicated to video work on the pastoral office which will expand with time. Currently we have 11 videos online at that page, and another 20+ coming in the next two months. I’ve evaluated and written articles on the major pastoral theology books (15 articles so far) which, in my estimation, make up the most important works on the subject. And Puritan Publications will be working on a couple of important books on pastoral theology in the near future that have been out of print for generations. Keep an eye out.

    All of the main pages have been updated and restructured, such as TULIP and the Doctrines of Grace, with new material on Calvinism and the early church fathers. There is a new Ordo Salutis page that deals with Scripture and the historic confessions on the order of salvation. There is also a new page dedicated to questions that churches should ask pastoral candidates (and we will be creating one for candidates to ask churches). We’ve updated all the puritans biographies on the site, linked to all their books and works everywhere online, including all our updated and modernized works which are available at our other new site: Puritan Publications.

    This has been a long painstaking process, but well worth it in every way. I hope you enjoy studying at APM as much as I enjoy continuing to make it more expansive in understanding Scripture, and the theology of the Puritans and Reformers. It is my desire to see Reformed thought transform the lives of people all over the globe for the glory of God.

    Take a moment to check out all the new updates, and may the Lord bless you as you study Scripture with an earnest desire to know Jesus Christ more deeply. My prayer is that you come away with A Puritan’s Mind.”

    Enjoy!

  19. Mark, here is the most logical explanation to me why I believe the Spirit speaks to believers in scripture. How else would we be able to obey Christ when he says ” If someone comes to you and says” I am the Christ” don’t believe him.” My church can’t make that call for me, because I have to judge them also. As I have often said, my church won’t stand before God in my place. The Philippians jailer asked Paul ” how can I be saved” . Paul didn’t say, look up the right diocese and go there. He told Him believe on the Lord Jesus. So I must make an informed call on claims of who is Christ. Your church makes that claim, but fails that test.

    1. Been gone for awhile but I thought I would try to respond to some of the comments concerning “novelties that arose in the 4 th Century”. I still have not heard any attempt to explain why our Protestant brethren accept the New Testament canon list from this Church that was engulfed in all these new novelties. It was commented

      “Thanks, Kevin. Revelation 12 is an Exodus narrative.

      It should not surprise us to find that there was an exodus at the end of the 4th century when so many novelties arose, and those who saw what was happening, protested, and were summarily excommunicated.

      And what was their “heretical” offense?

      Jesus loves the widow, wife and virgin equally.

      The apostles called themselves, and their successors, both bishops and presbyters.

      Relic veneration is wrong.

      Mary did not remain physically a virgin in childbirth.

      The use of incense in worship is wrong.

      The use of candles in worship is wrong.

      It is wrong to pray for the dead.

      There is no purgatory.

      There is no more paschal sacrifice, since Jesus is our Passover.

      And when Eucharistic adoration took Europe by storm, The wafer they hold up in the mass is not Christ.

      And when the Crusades took Europe by storm, There is no value in Crusading for the Holy Land.

      For these “heresies,” millions were murdered.

      They were, and are, our brethren.

      Tim”

      Now somehow I don’t see how candles and incense got into this debate but I guess when you are so vehemently anti-Catholic that this seems to be an issue. I would wonder if Kevin, Walt and Tim allow musical instruments during their worship services since as I am sure they are aware the Church of Christ that grew out of the Restoration Movement in the US forbids musical instruments in their services due to the fact that there does not appear to be any scriptural support for their use in New Testament worship. So guys where do you find in the New Testament prohibition of candles and incense in the New Testament worship. Chapter and Verse? Are musical instruments OK?

  20. I am not sure where this comment came from

    “Jesus loves the widow, wife and virgin equally”

    but I assume it is an attempt to suggest that the marital life and the celibate life should be considered equal when it comes to following Christ. So what does St. Athanasius say in his epistle to the Monk Amun

    ” For there are two ways in life, as touching these matters. The one the more moderate and ordinary, I mean marriage; the other angelic and unsurpassed, namely virginity. Now if a man choose the way of the world, namely marriage, he is not indeed to blame; yet he will not receive such great gifts as the other. For he will receive, since he too brings forth fruit, namely thirtyfold. But if a man embrace the holy and unearthly way, even though, as compared with the former, it be rugged and hard to accomplish, yet it has the more wonderful gifts: for it grows the perfect fruit, namely an hundredfold”

    So guys was this some type of novelty that Athanasius introduced into the Christian world???? Interesting. The apostles according to our Protestant friends suggest that these two ways of life are equal and yet in the East, St. Athanasius and in the West , St Ambrose and St. Jerome start independently teaching that celibacy has a higher calling when it comes to following Christ. Amazing! Now did this belief originate in the East or the West, or was it simultaneous? Or maybe it originated with the apostles. Hmmmmm
    And I asked before why you guys accept St. Athanasius’s New Testament canon list and obviously disagree with him on the virtues of the celibate life. Maybe Walt believes that St. Athanasius was a homosexual since he brought that charge against Cardinal John Newman without any proof. What do you think Walt?

    1. Timothy P wrote,

      I am not sure where this comment came from, “Jesus loves the widow, wife and virgin equally”, but I assume it is an attempt to suggest that the marital life and the celibate life should be considered equal when it comes to following Christ.

      This follows on a discussion from Come Hell or High Water, part 4, in which Jerome castigates Jovinianus for his views on virginity. In his letter to Eustochiuim, Jerome had instructed her to have a holy pride regarding her virginity:

      “Learn in this respect a holy pride; know that you are better than they.” (Epistle 22, to Eustochium, paragraph 16)

      To this, apparently, Jovinianus had responded,

      “I do you no wrong, Virgin: you have chosen a life of chastity on account of the present distress: you determined on the course in order to be holy in body and spirit: be not proud: you and your married sisters are members of the same Church.” (Jerome, Against Jovinianus, Book I, chapter 5)

      To Jerome, that was nonsense. Jesus obviously loves virgins more:

      “Christ loves virgins more than others, because they willingly give what was not commanded them” (Jerome, Against Jovinianus, Book I, chapter 12).

      If you read the history of the Jovinianist controversy, Jovinianus and his followers were condemned for saying that they placed “every thing on a level” and “abolish[ed] the different degrees of merit” regarding celibacy, widowhood and marriage. Jovinianus’ comment was that the virgin “be not proud” was in the context of a sudden fascination with celibacy and virginity in the late 4th century.

      Anyway, regarding Athanasius’ letter to the Monk Amun, it is worthwhile examining the matter upon which he was writing to the monk. Apparently the monk was falling under the spell of those “scattering secretly among them thoughts of uncleanness and defilement” related to the evil of bodily secretions. Athanasius responded,

      “For tell me, beloved and most pious friend, what sin or uncleanness there is in any natural secretion,—as though a man were minded to make a culpable matter of the cleanings of the nose or the sputa from the mouth?”

      This was clearly not merely about saliva and nasal mucous but about the fertilization process of human sexuality, since it led into a further discussion on the natural secretions that occur in conjugal relations. Athanasius delves into “that superfluity … of the seminative channels,” and the genuine use of the sexual organs, specifically the lawful use of the sexual organs that God commanded in the garden of Eden and which was affirmed in Hebrews:

      “That lawful use which God permitted when He said, ‘Increase and multiply, and replenish the earth [Genesis 1:28]’ and which the Apostle approves in the words, ‘Marriage is honourable and the bed undefiled [Hebrews 13:4]”

      Notably, Athanasius has the full functionality of the sexual organs, complete with “the superfluity … of the seminative channels” being commanded in the Garden of Eden, and the marriage bed undefiled by those discharges. But that is not what Jerome believed:

      “And yet though Lucifer be fallen (the old serpent after his fall) … [h]e is king over all things that are in the waters— that is to say in the seat of pleasure and luxury, of propagation of children, and of the fertilisation of the marriage bed.” (Jerome, Against Jovinianus, Book II, chapter 4)

      Do you believe Satan is king of the fertilization of the marriage bed? Do you think that was an apostolic teaching? If not, why not? Athanasius believed that marital union occurred in the garden, sex was honorable and that conjugal relations did not defile the married. Jerome thought marriage occurred only after the fall and that because the 2nd day of creation was the only one that was not called “good” in the creation narrative, because the second day, relating to two, “prefigures the marriage compact” (Jerome, Against Jovinianus, Book I, chapter 16). Do you believe conjugal union occurred in the garden, or only after the fall? Do you believe marriage is “not good”?

      I think it’s pretty clear that Athanasius was not derogating marriage, as Jerome was, and that derogation of marriage was Jovinianus’ primary concern, and the concern of Jerome’s other detractors. And I don’t think Athanasius was saying, as Jerome was, that Jesus loves virgins more. Do you think Jesus loves virgins more?

      In any case, as Roman Catholic historian, David Hunter, notes, Ambrose and Jerome had fallen for the encratite error that linked sex with original sin and linked salvation to sexual purity:

      “In different ways, both Jerome and Ambrose represented the survival of the ancient encratite tradition at least in its moderate form. Both strongly associated sex with original sin and linked salvation to sexual purity.” (Hunter, David G., Marriage, Celibacy and Heresy in Ancient Christianity (Oxford University Press (2007) 285).

      I’m pretty sure, from Athanasius’s response, that he did not strongly associate sex with original sin or link salvation to sexual purity.

      Regarding the hierarchy of merit, you make an interesting observation:

      “The apostles according to our Protestant friends suggest that these two ways of life are equal and yet in the East, St. Athanasius and in the West , St Ambrose and St. Jerome start independently teaching that celibacy has a higher calling when it comes to following Christ. Amazing! Now did this belief originate in the East or the West, or was it simultaneous? Or maybe it originated with the apostles. Hmmmmm”

      This is the standard Roman Catholic hermeneutic that I find so intriguing. What Jerome, Ambrose and Athanasius taught in the latter part of the 4th century must be apostolic, Roman Catholics say, because the only possible explanation for the fact that they appear to “start independently teaching” these things in the latter part of the 4th century is that the Church must have been teaching it all along, making it apostolic. Well, that’s one way to look at it.

      Another way to look at it is that they really did start teaching these things at the end of the 4th century, just as it appears. The sudden step-wise emergence of error in the latter part of the 4th century is just what I have been highlighting and documenting.

      Your argument is fundamentally a historical and eschatological argument that goes something like this: the church cannot fail, and therefore what was taught by the church at the end of the 4th century must be what the apostles taught. It was not a novelty.

      But there is a counterargument that is equally historical and eschatological: we should expect to see the flood of error of Revelation 12 some time between the edict of Milan and the last decade of the 4th century, and sure enough, that’s when we see these errors manifesting, showing that the “flood” of Revelation 12 was a flood of error, and it occurred just before Roman Catholicism rose to civil power, as we would expect from Daniel’s prophecies.

      Anyway, the Woman of Revelation 12 departs for the wilderness where she is fed for 1,260 “days”. This happened in the latter part of the 4th century. Athanasius’ letter 39 listing the canon of the Scriptures is pretty interesting, for while it is dated 367 A.D., it shows that he learned the entire canon of Scripture “from the beginning” (paragraph 3). Since Athanasius was born and raised in a Christian home, and was born c. 298 A.D.. Let’s say he had learned the canon by the age of 12, or 310 A.D.. That’s three years before the Edict of Milan. This, the matter of the canon, was clearly a Catholic conviction of Athanasius “from the beginning”. That puts his knowledge of the canon quite early.

      But what about Mary’s virginity post partum, just to take another matter of concern to Athanasius? It turns out that, unlike the canon, he did not appear to find the matter of Mary’s virginity “an article of Catholic faith.”:

      “In Egypt, then, we find St. Athanasius clearly teaching Mary’s virginity post partum; however, he is well aware that his view is not universally accepted, but is even attacked. He betrays no surprise at this opposition, and by no means proposes his own views as an article of Catholic faith.” (Juniper Carol, The Perpetual Virginity of the Mother of God, Part II)

      Carol, for his part, cannot get evidence of the catholicity of the doctrine of Mary ever-virgin until the latter part of the 4th century:

      “The next fifty years unfolded the first phase of Marian theology, Our Lady’s perpetual virginity, and toward the year 400, this question was settled for all time in the West.” (Juniper Carol, The Perpetual Virginity of the Mother of God, Part II)

      In the east, it was closer to 392 A.D., during the episcopate of John Chrysostom. But there was a sudden interest in it, I grant you—both east and west. For you, that is evidence of apostolicity. For me, it is evidence of a growing flood of error that would have engulfed the Church had she not been equipped with the antidote: the Bible.

      She fed on that for 1,260 years of her protection in the wilderness. Not surprising that she was provided with it prior to her exodus.

      Thanks,

      Tim

      1. Tim, I am reluctant to get into debates with you as inevitably I find myself under moderation. I actually believe you have just proven my point. Where there is a difference between what the Fathers are teaching would definitely suggest that the point of contention was likely not clearly spelled out by the apostles. But that celibacy is a higher calling is clearly found in Scripture with Paul’s writings and this quote from Revelation

        Revelations 14

        These are the ones who have not been defiled with women, for they have kept themselves chaste These are the ones who follow the Lamb wherever He goes These have been purchased from among men as first fruits to God and to the Lamb.

        Now I read Athanasius’s letter before I copied the following verse and the context does not change the point of celibacy being a higher calling.

        ” For there are two ways in life, as touching these matters. The one the more moderate and ordinary, I mean marriage; the other angelic and unsurpassed, namely virginity. Now if a man choose the way of the world, namely marriage, he is not indeed to blame; yet he will not receive such great gifts as the other. For he will receive, since he too brings forth fruit, namely thirtyfold. But if a man embrace the holy and unearthly way, even though, as compared with the former, it be rugged and hard to accomplish, yet it has the more wonderful gifts: for it grows the perfect fruit, namely an hundredfold””

        So while you may point out differences in the teachings of Jerome and Athanasius , they obviously agree that celibacy is a higher calling. So when it is clearly suggested in scripture and uniformly agreed upon by the leading Fathers of the Church at that time I would hardly consider it a novel teaching. And to suggest that based on your interpretation of the book of Revelations that simultaneous uniform doctrinal teachings should suddenly appear in the fourth century in both the East and West I find to be an incredible leap of faith. It’s like the real presence. How do you convince someone that has been taught it is only a symbol that they are now to believe that it is truly the Body, Blood , Soul and Divinity of Christ? Or do you believe the apostles did not make it clear?

        1. Timothy P, you wrote,

          So while you may point out differences in the teachings of Jerome and Athanasius , they obviously agree that celibacy is a higher calling.

          Yes, they did. Can I ask your opinions on some of Jerome’s teachings, though? He said,

          “Christ loves virgins more than others, because they willingly give what was not commanded them” (Jerome, Against Jovinianus, Book I, chapter 12).

          “And yet though Lucifer be fallen (the old serpent after his fall) … [h]e is king over all things that are in the waters— that is to say in the seat of pleasure and luxury, of propagation of children, and of the fertilisation of the marriage bed.” (Jerome, Against Jovinianus, Book II, chapter 4)

          Do you believe Satan is king of the fertilization of the marriage bed?

          Do you believe Jesus loves virgins more?

          Do you believe conjugal union occurred only after the fall? Do you believe marriage is “not good”?

          Do you think these are apostolic teachings?

          I’ll get back to the rest later, but I wanted to understand your position on these teachings of Jerome.

          Thanks,

          Tim

  21. Now is praying for the dead a novelty? Of course this practice goes hand and hand with the concept for purgatory because why pray for the dead if there is not purgatory? Our Protestant brethren say

    “It is wrong to pray for the dead.

    There is no purgatory.

    There is no more paschal sacrifice, since Jesus is our Passover.”

    Now what do we hear from the birthplace of Christianity? Cyril of Jerusalem wrote the following and note the last statement “HOLD FAST THESE TRADITIONS UNDEFILED”

    “7 Then having sanctified ourselves by these spiritual Hymns, we beseech the merciful God to send forth His Holy Spirit upon the gifts lying before Him; that He may make the Bread the Body of Christ, and the Wine the Blood of Christ ; for whatsoever the Holy Ghost has touched, is surely sanctified and changed.

    8. Then, after the spiritual sacrifice, the bloodless service, is completed, over that sacrifice of propitiation we entreat God for the common peace of the Churches, for the welfare of the world ; for kings; for soldiers and allies; for the sick; for the afflicted; and, in a word, for all who stand in need of succour we all pray and offer this sacrifice.

    9. Then we commemorate also those who have fallen asleep before us, first Patriarchs, Prophets, Apostles, Martyrs, that at their prayers and intercessions God would receive our petition. Then on behalf also of the Holy Fathers and Bishops who have fallen asleep before us, and in a word of all who in past years have fallen asleep among us, believing that it will be a very great benefit to the souls , for whom the supplication is put up, while that holy and most awful sacrifice is set forth.

    10. And I wish to persuade you by an illustration. For I know that many say, what is a soul profited, which departs from this world either with sins, or without sins, if it be commemorated in the prayer? For if a king were to banish certain who had given him offense, and then those who belong to them should weave a crown and offer it to him on behalf of those under punishment, would he not grant a remission of their penalties? In the same way we, when we offer to Him our supplications for those who have fallen asleep, though they be sinners, weave no crown, but offer up Christ sacrificed for our sins , propitiating our merciful God for them as well as for ourselves.

    11. Then, after these things, we say that Prayer which the Saviour delivered to His own disciples, with a pure conscience entitling God our Father, and saying, Our Father, which art in heaven. O most surpassing loving-kindness of God! On them who revolted from Him and were in the very extreme of misery has He bestowed such a complete forgiveness of evil deeds, and so great participation of grace, as that they should even call Him Father. Our Father, which art in heaven; and they also are a heaven who bear the image of the heavenly 1 Corinthians 15:49, in whom is God, dwelling and walking in them 2 Corinthians 6:16 .

    12. Hallowed be Your Name. The Name of God is in its nature holy, whether we say so or not; but since it is sometimes profaned among sinners, according to the words, Through you My Name is continually blasphemed among the Gentiles , we pray that in us God’s Name may be hallowed; not that it comes to be holy from not being holy, but because it becomes holy in us, when we are made holy, and do things worthy of holiness.

    13. Your kingdom come. A pure soul can say with boldness, Your kingdom come; for he who has heard Paul saying, Let not therefore sin reign in your mortal body Romans 6:12, and has cleansed himself in deed, and thought, and word, will say to God, Your kingdom come.

    14. Your will be done as in heaven so on earth. God’s divine and blessed Angels do the will of God, as David said in the Psalm, Bless the Lord, all you Angels of His, mighty in strength, that do His pleasure. So then in effect you mean this by your prayer, “as in the Angels Your will is done, so likewise be it done on earth in me, O Lord.”

    15. Give us this day our substantial bread. This common bread is not substantial bread, but this Holy Bread is substantial, that is, appointed for the substance of the soul. For this Bread goes not into the belly and is cast out into the draught Matthew 15:17, but is distributed into your whole system for the benefit of body and soul. But by this day, he means, “each day,” as also Paul said, While it is called today Hebrews 3:15 .

    16. And forgive us our debts as we also forgive our debtors. For we have many sins. For we offend both in word and in thought, and very many things we do worthy of condemnation; and if we say that we have no sin, we lie, as John says. And we make a covenant with God, entreating Him to forgive us our sins, as we also forgive our neighbours their debts. Considering then what we receive and in return for what, let us not put off nor delay to forgive one another. The offenses committed against us are slight and trivial, and easily settled; but those which we have committed against God are great, and need such mercy as His only is. Take heed therefore, lest for the slight and trivial sins against you, you shut out for yourself forgiveness from God for your very grievous sins.

    17. And lead us not into temptation, O Lord. Is this then what the Lord teaches us to pray, that we may not be tempted at all? How then is it said elsewhere, “a man untempted, is a man unproved ;” and again, My brethren, count it all joy when you fall into various temptations James 1:2? But does perchance the entering into temptation mean the being overwhelmed by the temptation? For temptation is, as it were, like a winter torrent difficult to cross. Those therefore who are not overwhelmed in temptations, pass through, showing themselves excellent swimmers, and not being swept away by them at all; while those who are not such, enter into them and are overwhelmed. As for example, Judas having entered into the temptation of the love of money, swam not through it, but was overwhelmed and was strangled both in body and spirit. Peter entered into the temptation of the denial; but having entered, he was not overwhelmed by it, but manfully swam through it, and was delivered from the temptation. Listen again, in another place, to a company of unscathed saints, giving thanks for deliverance from temptation, You, O God hast proved us; You have tried us by fire like as silver is tried. You brought us into the net; You layed afflictions upon our loins. You have caused men to ride over our heads; we went through fire and water; and you brought us out into a place of rest. You see them speaking boldly in regard to their having passed through and not been pierced. But You brought us out into a place of rest; now their coming into a place of rest is their being delivered from temptation.

    18. But deliver us from the evil. If Lead us not into temptation implied the not being tempted at all, He would not have said, But deliver us from the evil. Now evil is our adversary the devil, from whom we pray to be delivered. Then after completing the prayer you say Amen ; by this Amen, which means “So be it,” setting your seal to the petitions of the divinely-taught prayer.

    19. After this the Priest says, “Holy things to holy men.” Holy are the gifts presented, having received the visitation of the Holy Ghost; holy are you also, having been deemed worthy of the Holy Ghost; the holy things therefore correspond to the holy persons. Then ye say, “One is Holy, One is the Lord, Jesus Christ. ” For One is truly holy, by nature holy; we too are holy, but not by nature, only by participation, and discipline, and prayer.

    20. After this ye hear the chanter inviting you with a sacred melody to the communion of the Holy Mysteries, and saying, O taste and see that the Lord is good. Trust not the judgment to your bodily palate no, but to faith unfaltering; for they who taste are bidden to taste, not bread and wine, but the anti-typical Body and Blood of Christ.

    21. In approaching therefore, come not with your wrists extended, or your fingers spread; but make your left hand a throne for the right, as for that which is to receive a King. And having hollowed your palm, receive the Body of Christ, saying over it, Amen. So then after having carefully hallowed your eyes by the touch of the Holy Body, partake of it; giving heed lest you lose any portion thereof ; for whatever you lose, is evidently a loss to you as it were from one of your own members. For tell me, if any one gave you grains of gold, would you not hold them with all carefulness, being on your guard against losing any of them, and suffering loss? Will you not then much more carefully keep watch, that not a crumb fall from you of what is more precious than gold and precious stones?

    22. Then after you have partaken of the Body of Christ, draw near also to the Cup of His Blood; not stretching forth your hands, but bending , and saying with an air of worship and reverence, Amen , hallow yourself by partaking also of the Blood of Christ. And while the moisture is still upon your lips, touch it with your hands, and hallow your eyes and brow and the other organs of sense. Then wait for the prayer, and give thanks unto God, who has accounted you worthy of so great mysteries.

    23. Hold fast these traditions undefiled and, keep yourselves free from offense. Sever not yourselves from the Communion; deprive not yourselves, through the pollution of sins, of these Holy and Spiritual Mysteries. And the God of peace sanctify you wholly; and may your spirit, and soul, and body be preserved entire without blame at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ 1 Thessalonians 5:23:— To whom be glory and honour and might, with the Father and the Holy Spirit, now and ever, and world without end. Amen.”

    Now Cyril of Jerusalem says these traditions have been handed down “UNDEFILED’. Are we to believe that Cyril made this all up and just clamed that it had been handed down to him “UNDEFILED”. Isn’t it interesting that they recite the Our Father during their worship service as we do in the mass today. “HOLD FAST THESE TRASTIONS UNDEFILED ” Jerusalem, the birthplace of Christianity!!!!! Isn’t it amazing that the Apostles taught their followers not to pray for the dead and by golly those dumb early Christians many of whom were slaughtered for their faith just simply forgot that teaching.

  22. So was the Virgin Birth a novelty and did Mary remain a virgin? If you read Jerome’s defense on the virginity of Mary against Helvidius what is interesting is that apparently in the very first paragraphs Jerome tells us he has been asked by other Christians to defend the orthodox view of Mary against Helvidius who was scandalizing the Christian community . Now if Mary’s perpetual virginity was not the orthodox view it sure is hard to imagine why the community was being scandalized.
    Now if one claims as our Protestant friends do that

    “Mary did not remain physically a virgin in childbirth. ”

    surely they recognize they are denying the Virgin Birth. Most Protestants actually mean by the Virgin birth the Virgin conception. They aren’t the same thing. So what does Jerome write in defending the orthodox view?

    “You have set on fire the temple of the Lord’s body, you have defiled the sanctuary of the Holy Spirit from which you are determined to make a team of four brethren and a heap of sisters come forth. In a word, joining in the chorus of the Jews, you say, “Is not this the carpenter’s son? Is not his mother called Mary? And his brethren James, and Joseph, and Simon, and Judas? And his sisters, are they not all with us? The word all would not be used if there were not a crowd of them.” Pray tell me, who, before you appeared, was acquainted with this blasphemy? Who thought the theory worth two-pence? You have gained your desire, and have become notorious by crime. For myself who am your opponent, although we live in the same city, I don’t know, as the saying is, whether you are white or black. I pass over faults of diction which abound in every book you write. I say not a word about your absurd introduction. Good heavens! I do not ask for eloquence, since, having none yourself, you applied for a supply of it to your brother Craterius. I do not ask for grace of style, I look for purity of soul: for with Christians it is the greatest of solecisms and of vices of style to introduce anything base either in word or action. I have come to the conclusion of my argument. I will deal with you as though I had as yet prevailed nothing; and you will find yourself on the horns of a dilemma. It is clear that our Lord’s brethren bore the name in the same way that Joseph was called his father: Luke 1:18 “I and your father sought you sorrowing.” It was His mother who said this, not the Jews. The Evangelist himself relates that His father and His mother were marvelling at the things which were spoken concerning Him, and there are similar passages which we have already quoted in which Joseph and Mary are called his parents. Seeing that you have been foolish enough to persuade yourself that the Greek manuscripts are corrupt, you will perhaps plead the diversity of readings. I therefore come to the Gospel of John, and there it is plainly written, John 1:45 “Philip finds Nathanael, and says unto him, We have found him of whom Moses in the law, and the prophets did write, Jesus of Nazareth, the son of Joseph.” You will certainly find this in your manuscript. Now tell me, how is Jesus the son of Joseph when it is clear that He was begotten of the Holy Ghost? Was Joseph His true father? Dull as you are, you will not venture to say that. Was he His reputed father? If so, let the same rule be applied to them when they are called brethren, that you apply to Joseph when he is called father.

    19. Now that I have cleared the rocks and shoals I must spread sail and make all speed to reach his epilogue. Feeling himself to be a smatterer, he there produces Tertullian as a witness and quotes the words of Victorinus bishop of Petavium. Of Tertullian I say no more than that he did not belong to the Church. But as regards Victorinus, I assert what has already been proved from the Gospel— that he spoke of the brethren of the Lord not as being sons of Mary, but brethren in the sense I have explained, that is to say, brethren in point of kinship not by nature. We are, however, spending our strength on trifles, and, leaving the fountain of truth, are following the tiny streams of opinion. Might I not array against you the whole series of ancient writers? Ignatius, Polycarp, Irenæus, Justin Martyr, and many other apostolic and eloquent men, who against Ebion, Theodotus of Byzantium, and Valentinus, held these same views, and wrote volumes replete with wisdom. If you had ever read what they wrote, you would be a wiser man. But I think it better to reply briefly to each point than to linger any longer and extend my book to an undue length.”

    Now Tertullian was an ideal Protestant as he went off guided by the Holy Spirit to the Montanist movement and their prophets Maximilla and Priscilla who believed in new revelations and ecstasies. Compare Helvidius’s support for his position against the Fathers Jerome cites. Polycarp was taught by St. John the Apostle and Irenaeus by Polycarp. So who would most likely have the orthodox view? Let’s see, follow the guy who believed in new revelations or those who were taught by an apostle who took care of the blessed Mother. I think I’ll go with the Apostle John.

  23. H Wilnot ” if you are advising Wilnot to leave the church, it would be irresponsible to not have a replacement church for him.” Actually Wilnot, that’s not true. Many of us on this site have answered the question Jesus poses in scripture ” if someone comes to you and says ” I am the Christ” don’t believe him.” Jesus is asking believers to make individual decision on who is the Christ and who isn’t. Since Roman Catholicism claims to be Christ’s natural body on earth, ” Rome is the Christ” we are told not to believe him.! No church is the same as Jesus in the world. Any church’s claim to replace Christ and his finished work needs to be questioned. The true church, the elect of God, are the body of Christ, not the head. Rome claims to be both, and its leader claims to be head. But scripture says there can be no other head but Jesus Colossians 1. So our admonition in love to answer the question ,who is Antichrist is paramount? Jesus is calling his calling his people out of that communion immediately since it claims to be Christ . Rev 18:4. Walt gave a great piece of advise. Scripture says we have all things pertaining to life and Godliness. Look to the scriptures, for salvation comes through the word of God. My choice of church is one that best reflects the model of scripture.

    1. Kevin,

      Thank you for your response. I hope you don’t mind if we continue with Tim’s Jerry, assessing the true Church. He believes that he should be a member of the true church, should follow the commandments it has received from the Lord, and it is where he should worship. You and this website tell Jerry “that The true church, the elect of God, are the body of Christ.” Fine, Jerry agrees. So if this Sunday he is not heading to the Catholic church, please tell Jerry which church he should go to?

      1. I think Jerry should find a good Reformed Presbyterian PCA. The gospel is preached and the sacraments are administered according to scripture. Oh ya, I would tell Jerry run as fast as he can from the mass of Rome. How do I know this. Studying the scripture. As I told Mark, we all have to answer the same question ,according to whom?

    2. This is odd language you are writing by which to dismiss the Catholic Church, e.g. “Rome is the Christ” as opposed to Christ’s Church. You seem to have created a strawman here, or I guess a straw city–Rome. Likewise, “claiming to replace Christ.” If someone has to make up quotes to smear a Church, Jerry is put on guard.

      But wanting to remain on friendly terms with Kevin, what if Jerry believes after reading the Bible, that “his choice of church is one that best reflects the model of scripture.”?

  24. Kevin, I think you could be the poster child for “Sola Individualitica” Observe your comments:

    “The church that I feel represents the gospel, teaches God’s word, practices the sacraments properly, and reflects church government consistent with scripture. The Methodist and Church of Christ don’t meet those criteria. But I’m not trusting my church alone for my salvation, I’m trusting Christ alone for my salvation.”

    “I chose my church based of the Spirit speaking to me in scripture. It isn’t rocket science”

    “Scripture says we have all things pertaining to life and Godliness. Look to the scriptures, for salvation comes through the word of God. My choice of church is one that best reflects the model of scripture.”

    No Kevin, you choice of church is not the one that best reflects the model of scripture, it is the church that best reflects your personal interpretation of Scripture. Now you do realize I am sure that the founders of the Presbyterian Church, Methodist Church and the Church of Christ each claimed that they founded their Churches based on the belief that the “Spirit speaking to me in the Scripture”. But you seem to have no problem throwing the Methodist and Church of Christ under the bus. Is it all the Spirit’s fault?
    What did you think about St, Athanasius’s comments of celibacy and Cyril of Jerusalem praying for the dead, following “TRADITIONS UNDEFILED!”.

  25. ” No Kevin, your choice of church is not the one is not the one that reflects the model of scripture, it is the church that reflects your personal interpretation. ” what were you saying about sola individulistica? That statement is sola hypocritsia.

  26. ” now you do realize I am sure the founders of the Presbyterian church …….. Each founded their churches based on ” the Spirit speaking in scripture” much like your church and its magisterium. What’s your point? In the end we all need to ask the question , According to whom?! Wouldn’t you agree?

    1. Agreed, but my Church was founded by those who gave us the Scriptures. I assume you agree they were guided by the Spirit. Your church was founded how many years later? And you still haven’t commented on St. Athanasius’s statement on the celibate life. How do you explain this spontaneous error in the East and West at the same time? And why do you accept Athanasius’s canon list for the New Testament?

  27. ” agreed, but my church was founded by those who gave us the scriptures” No church owns God, or the scriptures, they come from the mouth of God. ” I assume you agree that they were guided by the Spirit” If you mean the Roman Catholic church, no I don’t believe it is guided by the Spirit of God. The Spirit guides his true church through the word of God. Any church who teaches a false gospel and idodaltry is disqualified from being the true church. Iow, self claim means nothing. Faithfulness to the word is the only proof one can have. If God saved us based on nothing we do, have done, will do, 2Timothy 1:9. then what Athanasius says about celibacy is inconsequential to me. As far as a canon, Rome didn’t have a formal position until Trent, so you have no right criticize Protestants. Trent added the deutercanonicals, not us.

    1. Good pick up Kevin. Athanasius comment besides supporting celibacy

      ” For there are two ways in life, as touching these matters. The one the more moderate and ordinary, I mean marriage; the other angelic and unsurpassed, namely virginity”

      Also support a Faith and Merit Gospel instead of a Faith and Meritless Gospel.

      “But if a man embrace the holy and unearthly way, even though, as compared with the former, it be rugged and hard to accomplish, yet it has the more wonderful gifts: for it grows the perfect fruit, namely an hundredfold”

      Now I am hardly surprised that you find his comments inconsequential since they are diametrically opposed to your positions, but what I asked was how you explain the same position held in both the East and West during the same time period. Where did this novel belief begin? And how do you convince those who have been taught that there is no advantage to the celibate life that they should now take on as Athanasius described a “rugged and hard to accomplish” way of life. I guess it’s a little bit like getting people who have been taught that a piece of bread is a symbol that it is actually the Body, Blood , Soul and Divinity of Christ. (Clue—- they were never taught it was just a symbol)
      One final point Kevin, how did you come to the understanding that we have the correct Canon list since no inspired writer left us a list?

      ,

      1. Timothy, when you say advantage are you agreeing with Jerome and Ambrose that salvation is merited through celibacy? And if you do agree with their position then how do you answer Paul 2Timothy 1:9 ” who has saved us and called us with a holy calling, not according to anything we have done, but according to his own purpose and grace which was granted us in Christ from all eternity” Who should I believe, Paul or Ambrose and Jerome. Paul says God saved me and called me not according to anything I have done. Now how is that to be reconciled with meriting one’s salvation through celibacy? I’m listening.

        1. Kevin, I’m not sure that Jerome and Ambrose (and I don’t know why you don’t want to include Athanasius )are making the point that one earns salvation by celibacy alone. I think it is pretty obvious if you read the whole Scriptures that we must obey the commandments, and Love our neighbors. We must have Faith and ask for forgiveness for our sins. But there definitely appears to be a special place in Scripture for those who follow the celibate life. If not , how do you explain the following verses.

          Revelations 14:4

          These are the ones who have not been defiled with women, for they have kept themselves chaste These are the ones who follow the Lamb wherever He goes These have been purchased from among men as first fruits to God and to the Lamb.

          “THESE HAVE BEEN PURCHASED FROM AMONG MEN AS FIRST FRUITS TO GOD AND TO THE LAMB”

          Matthew 19:10-12

          The disciples said to Him, “If the relationship of the man with his wife is like this, it is better not to marry.” But He said to them, “Not all men can accept this statement, but only those to whom it has been given. “For there are eunuchs who were born that way from their mother’s womb; and there are eunuchs who were made eunuchs by men; and there are also eunuchs who made themselves eunuchs for the sake of the kingdom of heaven. He who is able to accept this, let him accept it

          “FOR THE SAKE OF THE KINGDOM OF HEAVEN”

          Kevin, I am sure you understand that we do not work our way into heaven by merit of our works alone just as we are not saved by Faith alone. Without Jesus Christ there is no salvation. But why do you think the celibates are the first fruits to God and to the Lam?. Little reminiscent of St. Athanasius’s comment

          “But if a man embrace the holy and unearthly way, even though, as compared with the former, it be rugged and hard to accomplish, yet it has the more wonderful gifts: for it grows the perfect fruit, namely an hundredfold”

          Now will you answer why you accept the New Testament Canon. I think Walt pointed to the authority of the Church of Scotland but I might be wrong.

      2. Timothy P said, “Also support a faith and merit gospel instead of a faith and meritless gospel.” And this is really the issue of all these discussions isn’t it. Pelagians love merit. Self centerd sacramental forgiveness makes the foundation of your salvation, you. Everytime I bring up the gospel of Jesus Mark 1:15 ” repent and believe in the gospel” Catholics want to talk about worthiness of merit. Jesus says the gospel is told and believed, not done. But you guys say it involves man’s worthiness of merit. For Reformed Christians we say to God be the glory. Paul says I am what I am by the grace of God alone. And you would do well to read about Paul’s brethren in Romans 9:32-10:4 who weren’t saved. They believed in grace. But they wanted to add their works, and God rejected them. The gospel is apart from human merit.

        1. Kevin, I just don’t think your point makes any sense. You said

          “They believed in grace. But they wanted to add their works, and God rejected them. The gospel is apart from human merit.”

          Now why would anyone lead a celibate life unless they were trying to “add their works”. So does God reject them? Hardly. They are made the “FIRST FRUITS TO GOD AND THE LAMB”. I asked before

          ” why do you think the celibates are the first fruits to God and to the Lamb?”

          1. Timothy, since Catholics actually don’t know when il papa speaks infallibly from his throne, please tell me what you think Paul is saying in Romans 9:30- 10:4? In doing so, you must understand the word works are used. Please don’t separate works done by the Spirit and other works. That distinction does not exist for Paul. Every time Paul speaks of the works, law, works of law, he is speaking of the WHOLE law. Its a whole. He says taking circumcision is a violation of the whole law. Galatians 3:10″ cursed is anyone who does not abide in ALL things written in the book of the law. James says to violate one jot or tittle is a violation of the whole law. As you approach the passage I asked you to explain to me, please explain 10:4 ” Christ is the END of the law for righteousness to those who believe. ? If Celibacy were meritorious in salvation, Christ would be the beggining of the law for righteousness to those who believe.? I’ll await your interpretation. Please don’t be afraid to play Protestant and give your interpretation, since you really can’t rely on infallibility of a church that doesn’t know when its being infallible.

    1. Walt,

      Not at all. Please feel free to share. (So that you know in advance, I am a friendly convert to the Catholic Church.)

      Best,
      Wilnot.

  28. Harold said:

    “Not at all. Please feel free to share. (So that you know in advance, I am a friendly convert to the Catholic Church.)”

    Harold, I had a chance read your responses before I was going to post to you this morning. I’m sorry to say that I will not be able to take the time to go through the detailed reasons I left the Roman Catholic church. Our situations were entirely different from what I read in your few comments here.

    However, I will share a couple basic thoughts.

    You see I was raised in the Roman Catholic system from infancy and was a very “good” Catholic boy. I was selected to read three days a week in morning mass before the congregation, and was a faithful and dedicated alter boy. I remained Catholic as a strong supporter and student of the Church until my college years when everything changed. The Priest did something to my mother that was totally unacceptable and I was determined to learn for myself the Scriptures rather than be told what they mean by the Priest. I had lived my entire life with blind and implicit faith.

    Once I read about implicit faith and understood it, I new I had to change and do so rapidly. Never again would I just simply defend and apologize for the Roman Catholic religion I had been mostly brain washed to believe end-to-end. I wanted true biblical faith, not blind implicit faith.

    “In traditional Catholic theology, special allowances are made for those who suffer from “invincible ignorance.” According to the theory, certain people are constrained in such a way that they are prevented from coming to knowledge otherwise necessary for their salvation. (They might not be rationally capable of deducing valid conclusions from the first principles of natural law, or able to derive doctrines properly from the articles of the Creed.) In such instances, it is sufficient for them to assent generally to the authority of the church. Such faith is called implicit.[1] It is important to recognize, however, that traditional Catholic thought does not allow for a faith that is completely implicit. There are some articles of faith that must be held explicitly. St. Thomas, for instance, argues that explicit faith in the incarnation and passion of Christ has always been necessary for salvation.[2]”

    I was taught that all protestant churches were not churches at all, and only my Roman Catholic church was the one true holy and apostolic church. We are all taught this from birth to death, and just listen to Mark above. The man is a total robot without any ability to discern anything outside of what he has been taught by the Roman Catholic church. He totally is convinced that every Roman Catholic is in true unity and undivided and all uphold the standard of this alleged 2,000 year old true Catholic, universal church. He is an vocal and (likely) violent defender of this belief system, and when the Pope and pedophile priests are criticized he is going to be there to defend them at all costs. If he cannot defend them for lack of public criticism he will attack the few protestants that have duplicated the same evil in hopes to make his defense of Roman Catholic evil look much more beautiful and innocent.

    I can tell that you also are a defender and apologist to some degree (not to Mark’s untraorthodox blind degree), but nevertheless the Roman Catholic church is your baby. She is what you love, what you believe in, and what you defend.

    The questions you asked everyone here were not sincere questions in my humble opinion. I don’t even know if your last name really is Wilnot. It could be, but many Catholics could change their last name to make a subtle point and I assume many would not want to use their real name on this blog. It does not matter, but after reading so many Roman Catholics who come to this blog, through out a bunch of gasoline unto the fire and then leave it is really a waste of time.

    Those who remain are truly dedicated (at all cost) to their Roman Catholic religion, and are serious defenders and apologists no matter what the facts, logic or evidence shows. The color blue will always be Cardinal Red or Purple in their eyes and heart. Nothing is going to change that until death.

    Tim has provided you some good food for thought, and while you don’t have a year to go heal yourself at home and learn of your deadly disease, and prefer to be taken to another “expert” doctor to tell you what is the truth, I am not able to help you. We all must make these critical decisions ourselves, and bouncing from one doctor to another looking for answers, when God alone is the true healer and ultimate doctor, so it is really up to you. Think, reason, read, study and learn of your illness, or perish putting your implicit faith in others totally unqualified to help you.

    1. Walt said ” I’m not even sure if your name is Wilnot” Satan works under the cover of darkness. He is the father of all lies. Why should it surprise us that many operate the same way.

    2. Walt, I defend the Catholic Church against the lies you espouse. Actually, I came into the Catholic faith because my eyes were wide open and not closed off due to some personal hurt such as what your mother endured (very sorry for that). Hurst happen in Protestant faiths as well and if you leave God because of a human, then you had your eyes on the wrong person anyway.

      You were young, in your early 20s, when you left and likely just used your mother’s issue to justify your wanting to leave it anyway. You never explained how you chose the right Protestant community to embrace. Also, why aren’t you Church of Christ or Methodist? Why did you choose the denominational path instead of the non-denominational groups that so many Protestants embrace? Do you think you traded one “true church” for THE “true church”? That would be ironic because you hate the Catholic Church for claiming to the “the true Church”.

      1. Mark said:

        “You were young, in your early 20s, when you left and likely just used your mother’s issue to justify your wanting to leave it anyway.”

        You missed the mark Mark. I did not leave the RCC, but I used the situation with my mom to read for myself the Bible and study. I remained a Roman Catholic in college in light of the nasty way my mom was treated by the Priest. But, I started to not apply implicit faith any longer to what I was taught to believe. I decided I was going to learn myself.

        This was just the beginning. I was raised to hate protestants as those evil one’s outside my “true” Roman Catholic religion, and rather than just accept this teaching as the “gospel truth” by my Priest and Church, I wanted to read for myself. It was not until almost 5 years after graduation that I started to see what I was blinded to as a Catholic. And it was not until 10 years after graduation that I renounced my position as a Roman Catholic and became protestant. I could not live anymore as a Roman Catholic like my parents wanted me to do, and left the church.

        It took years to see it, but it was only because I did not have the resources that we have today. Now, anyone who cannot see the incredible evil nature of the Roman Catholic Church is just blinded by their love for the institution and a true hatred for anything Protestant. It really is that simple.

        It is why you left the Anglican church. You wanted a bigger and better and more wealthy institution claiming authority from Peter. You were not interested in the truth, but only in the system that comes from implicit faith.

    3. Walt,

      I was very eager not to mislead. this is why my first questions were explicit posed for discussion sake, and as soon as you offered a personal testimony I made sure that you knew Harold Wilnot was a Catholic convert, for your convenience. I hope you understood that is why I mentioned it.

      But if being Catholic convert renders my questions “insincere,” I guess a hope for dialogue is doomed from the start.

      I am sorry that your mother suffered unjustly; I can see it has left its mark.

      H. Wilnot

  29. Mark said:

    “Oh, but you think your church is different. I know. I thought that too. Your church has divided on doctrine, right? Presbyterians have the liberal wing (USA) and the conservative wing (PCA). Episcopalians are no different. I was Episcopalian for 7 years and saw my parish divide and then leave with the conservative Anglican wing over homosexuality and women priests.

    During this time I finding myself drawn to Catholicism more and more. I told my Anglican priest that I was leaving to become Catholic and I explained that there was no guarantee that the new Anglican community being formed wouldn’t go the way of the former Episcopalian communion. He responded that, yes, there is no guarantee.”

    This explains everything to me. Anglican’s are really natural Roman Catholics. They all believe in the priesthood and one person as the head of their church along with Bishops to rule. They love their tradition, but find disgusting the reformed tradition that truly and effectively taught the word of God.

    Mark said:

    “And this is ONE reason I am Catholic. Because the Catholic Church CAN’T change its teachings on homosexuality or other moral issues because it is guarded by the Holy Spirit. Protestant communities which are led by the people can VOTE for changing their beliefs. Can you imagine this? Is THAT apostolic? No way. No how.

    The Catholic Church has remained CONSISTENT through 2,000 years on these issues and Protestantism has caved little by little. You even accept contraception as something morally acceptable for Christians. 70 years ago ALL churches, including Protestants, saw contraception as a grave moral evil. How times have changed.”

    This logic is so confused. It is simply amazing to me that after literally hundreds and hundreds of hours Tim has posted Catholic apologists and authorities testifying against their own Roman Catholic members for refusing to submit to the doctrines taught by the Church, and who priestly congregations totally divided against the Roman Catholic Church, he is absolutely convinced the Roman Catholic antichrist is in total unity and uniformity.

    He repeats this same theory over and over and over and over again like a paid robot. It is like listening to a London underground subway that repeats “watch your step, watch your step” over and over and over again. Crazy.

      1. Mark said:

        “Walt, why do you accept and encourage contraceptive use?”

        We don’t. Our church forbids it and that is why our church families have usually 3-4 children to 12 children with each family depending on when they joined, and accepted our biblical view against contraception.

        90% of my Roman Catholic friend DO USE contraception so the idea that your church is unified on contraception is silly.

        100% of our church DO NOT USE contraception. Now that is true unity in the elect body of Christ.

        1. “100% of our church DO NOT USE contraception. Now that is true unity in the elect body of Christ.”

          After I stopped laughing at this statement, I then decided I want to know how you know this to be true which must be equally absurd. Please tell me how you know that 100% of the PCA adherents do not use contraception and how you know that 90% of Catholics do?

          Also, can you provide a link to the PCA’s official doctrinal teaching on contraception?

          1. Mark said:

            “Please tell me how you know that 100% of the PCA adherents do not use contraception and how you know that 90% of Catholics do?

            Also, can you provide a link to the PCA’s official doctrinal teaching on contraception?”

            I do not belong to the PCA. It is my opinion that the PCA has separated from the true and faithful historical reformed Presbyterian Covenanter church.

            I suspect all PCA members use birth control, but since I don’t follow their membership and doctrines I am not certain of this view. It is possible some do not use contraception, but I don’t have any idea.

          2. Walt said, “t is my opinion that the PCA has separated from the true and faithful historical reformed Presbyterian Covenanter church.”

            So you believe Tim K and Kevin aren’t part of the “true and faithful”?

            How can a Protestant even begin to know which church to attend? According to you Presbyterian Covenanter is more faithful than PCA. Tim K. goes to a PCA church. This is just within Presbyterianism!

            Is PCA part of the “true church” or is it just the Covenanters? My head is spinning.

  30. “One of the best examples of an ultratraditionalist was the late Archbishop Marcel Lefebvre of Switzerland who stated that the reforms of Vatican II “spring from heresy and end in heresy.”11 During his reign as archbishop, Lefebvre continued to ordain priests even after the pope ordered him to stop, and he continued to use the form of the mass as prescribed at the Counter Reformation Council of Trent instead of its modern form.12”

    and even worse:

    “Second, the unhealthy and unbiblical aspects of the Catholic understanding of the communion of saints (i.e., the belief in the unity and cooperation among believers in both this world and the next) has contributed to the problem. Even some Catholics in the United States virtually worship saints and the church has failed to take aggressive measures to correct this serious problem of idolatry. It is actually much worse when it comes to devotion to the Virgin Mary, where on a practical level millions of Catholics commit idolatry on a daily basis by worshipping the virgin. This is certainly contrary to official church teaching (i.e., teaching set forth by the Vatican as standard Catholic doctrine), but the Catholic church has been derelict in correcting this serious problem. If the Catholic church wants to convince evangelical Protestants that they merely honor Mary, but do not worship her, then they must step in and stop this gross idolatry. Third, the Second Vatican Council’s openness to forms of religious pluralism has greatly exacerbated the problem. Ideas such as the “anonymous Christian” (the belief in the possibility of salvation without explicit Christian faith — even through non-Christian religions) as set forth by the influential German theologian, Karl Rahner, has acute and distressing repercussions.22 We have discussed six different species of the one genus: Roman Catholicism. Certainly there are other viewpoints expressed in today’s Catholicism, but these appear to be the major types of Catholics. We will now turn our attention to the American Catholic church.”

    http://www.equip.org/article/what-are-the-different-types-of-catholics/

  31. Tim P, I posted this before to totally destroy the Romish church position on Peter being the first of many Popes. Perhaps since you like to claim a biblical knowledge on these matters, it would be nice see what Jerome’s Latin translation says vs. the Greek original manuscripts on these verses.

    I thought the following commentary would fit nicely with Tim’s blog post today. It is now becoming so overly obvious to anyone reading these past 5 articles in the series, that the falling away from Christ began in the 4th century, and the birth of Satan’s Antichrist is coming into play. The true visible church of Jesus Christ that is built upon Christ alone is being taken over by a wicked generation (4th century). The claims of a chief Bishop, built upon Peter the Apostle, is crumbling in this 5 part-series by Tim.

    Now people see that the doctrine taught by Jerome and his followers caused the world’s first and greatest Schism in the history of the Christian church. They separated from the Apostles doctrine, which was built upon the rock Jesus Christ, and fell away from the true rock to create their own…Peter.

    The Romish system is now falling apart ladies and gentlemen. The 4th century was the start of this Schism and we see now how the Romish system of mandatory celibacy and virginity was rooted in Jerome, and now created the largest homosexual and child predatory organization in the world….all because they claim their church is built upon Peter.

    “C. The Promise of Growth (“Upon this Rock I will build My Church”).

    1. After the Lord states that Peter’s faithful testimony has come from God Himself, Christ directs His words to Peter in the hearing of all the disciples, “And I say also unto thee, That thou art Peter” (Matthew 16:18). Peter had taken the lead in making this faithful testimony on behalf of the disciples.

    Now the Lord speaks directly to Peter: “Thou art Peter.” The Lord had previously given to Peter his name (John 1:42). Here we see that Petros is the Greek equivalent of the Aramaic Cephas, and means a stone (it is in the masculine gender).

    The Lord does not refer to him as Peter, a stone, in this passage in order to identify him with the one upon which the Church will be built. For no one builds a house upon a stone as a foundation.

    Rather than identifying Peter with the rock upon which the Church will be built, there is a contrast between Peter (the stone) and Christ (the bedrock) as we shall see. Peter has given a faithful testimony, but let Peter remember that he is yet only a stone hewn out of the bedrock.

    Peter is to remember this, for shortly hereafter he rebukes the Lord (Mark 8:32), and even denies knowing the Lord three times. Peter is indeed a part of Christ, but he too is only a living stone that is built upon the foundation of Christ.

    Not only must Peter realize this, but we must realize it about Peter and about all ministers, so that we do not elevate man to the place of Christ, and thereby play the role of antichrist, the usurper of Christ’s rights and authority within His Church.

    2. After having identified Peter (Petros) as the stone, the Lord promises, “and upon this rock I will build my church.”
    a. Upon what rock? Upon Christ. For the Lord intentionally moves from Peter (or Petros in the masculine gender), as a stone, to Petra (in the feminine gender), the bedrock (cf. John 15:1 where the Greek word for “vine” is in the feminine gender and yet refers to Christ).

    If Christ had intended Peter to be the one upon whom the church was to be built, He would naturally have said, “and upon this stone (Petros in the masculine) I will build my church. But He doesn’t. The Lord alters both the word itself and the gender of the word so that there is no confusion. Is Christ the Petra upon which the Church is built?

    (1) Consider the following passages in which the Greek word petra is used of God/Christ: 2 Samuel 22:2 in the Greek Septuagint (“The Lord is my rock”); Romans 9:33 (Christ is called “a rock [petra] of offence”); 1 Corinthians 10:4 (“For they drank of that spiritual Rock that followed them: and that Rock [petra] was Christ”); 1 Peter 2:8 (Christ is once again called by Peter himself “a rock [petra] of offence”).

    And though the Greek word petra (a rock—bedrock) is not used in the following passages, it is clear that these verses convey that same truth—the Church is built upon Christ: 1 Corinthians 3:11; 1 Peter 2:6-7.

    (2) What about Ephesians 2:20? First, Peter is not specifically mentioned at all, but rather what are mentioned are the apostles and prophets collectively. Thus, there is no pre-eminence given to Peter. But second, does Paul refer to the apostles and prophets as being the foundation of the Church or does he refer to Christ as being the foundation of the apostles and prophets (“And are built upon the foundation of the apostles and prophets, [which foundation is] Jesus Christ himself being the chief corner stone”).

    On the one hand, the foundation (themelios) of 1 Corinthians 3:10 is Christ (which is the same word as used here for “foundation” in Ephesians 2:20). Since both 1 Corinthians 3:11 and Ephesians 2:20 were written by the same inspired Apostle (Paul), and since both 1 Corinthians 3:11 and Ephesians 2:20 were both talking about the place of the apostles in the Church and the place of Christ in the Church, it would seem most likely that both passages refer to Christ being the foundation of the Church.

    However, if Ephesians 2:20 refers to the apostles and prophets as the foundation of the Church, it refers to their inspired teaching which is recorded in the pages of inspired Scripture, and not to their persons.

    Moreover, it removes the supremacy of Peter as the foundation or rock upon which the Church is built, for Ephesians 2:20 places the apostles and prophets upon an equal footing as the inspired teachers given by Christ to the Church.

    b. Thus, the Lord here (in Matthew 16:18) distinguishes Himself from Peter, and identifies Himself as the Rock upon which the Church is built. Just as He said, “Destroy this temple, and in three days I will raise it up” (John 2:19), meaning the temple of His own body, so likewise he says here, “and upon this rock I will build my Church” meaning Himself.

    c. Dear ones, with that one truth established, the Roman system crumbles; for the basis of the authority claimed by Rome depends upon the apostolic succession from Peter (as head of the Visible Church) to his alleged successor and so forth.

    Without Peter as the rock upon which the Church is built, the Pope is shown to be the arch usurper of Christ’s authority and rights—he is unmasked to be the Antichrist of Scripture. And so the cry to all who are within her and to all churches who have drunk of her idolatrous doctrine, worship, and government is to come out from the midst of her—to flee her idolatry and blasphemy (Revelation 18:4).

    Only Jesus Christ, the eternal Son of God, is a firm and secure foundation upon which the Church is built. Only His merit is sufficient to uphold sinful frail men, women, and children. All other ground is sinking sand (Matthew 7:24).

    3. Now having established that Christ, the eternal Son of God is the Rock upon which the Church is built, Christ promises to build His Church (“I will build my church”). This is the Church of true believers that is built upon Christ (i.e. the Invisible Church, rather than the Visible Church of professing believers which contains both believers and hypocrites).

    It is the view of Rome that Christ here promises to build His visible professing Church containing true believers and hypocrites. In the minds of Rome it justifies her visible greatness and glory as a Church which visibly reaches around the world with one billion members. They look to their visible size and how it has grown and they declare that Christ has fulfilled His promise.

    However, just as hypocrites cannot be truly united as members to Christ the head, just as hypocrites cannot be truly united as branches to Christ the vine, just as hypocrites cannot be truly united as a bride to Christ the groom, so hypocrites cannot be truly built as living stones upon Christ the Rock.

    For unto this Church and this Church alone that is built upon Christ is it promised that the gates of hell will not prevail against it. We know that in fact the gates of hell will prevail against visible professing churches composed of both believers and hypocrites, for visible churches have backslidden from the faith into apostasy, and the visible form of the church has nearly vanished due to persecution at various points of history (as in the time of Elijah).

    No, this is not the Church which is composed of Peter the believer and Judas the hypocrite, nor of John the believer and Simon Magus the hypocrite. This is the Church of the redeemed against which the gates of hell cannot prevail, nor overcome as a flood that seeks to wash it away, for it is built upon the Rock.

    4. Here is a promise that the Church of all the redeemed in Christ, which stretches from Adam to the end of time (all who are chosen in Christ Jesus from before the foundation of the earth), will continue to be built (cf. Philippians 4:4 where the future has the idea of continuing to rejoice not beginning to rejoice).

    This is not a promise to begin building a distinct, new Church, but a promise to continue to build the Invisible church of the redeemed (which includes Old Testament believers like those mentioned in Hebrews 11).

    Does not Scripture speak of Christ as Israel’s Rock (1 Corinthians 10:3)?

    Does not Scripture say that Christ was in His Church of Israel there in the wilderness (Acts 7:38)?

    Upon what were the redeemed of Israel built, if not upon Christ the Rock of their salvation?

    Was not the gospel preached unto Old Testament believers (Galatians 3:8; Hebrews 4:2)?

    If Christ is the Lamb slain from the foundation of the world (Revelation 13:8), is He not also the Rock upon which the redeemed are built from the foundation of the world?

    The Church did not begin as an entirely new entity on the day of Pentecost. The same kingdom of God (or church) that was taken away from unbelieving Jews was that which was given to believing Jews and Gentiles (Matthew 21:43).

    Christ came to rebuild the tabernacle of David (the house of Christ, the greater David), not to build an entirely new tabernacle (according to Acts 15:16). Christ had been saving believers throughout the Old Testament and adding them to His Invisible Church, and His first coming did not bring an end to saving His people, but promoted the building of His kingdom. Salvation is the same in both the Old Testament and the New Testament—by grace through faith alone in Jesus Christ.”

    1. Walt, are you asking me to debate with you the primacy of St. Peter among the apostles in the Bible? We all agree that Christ is the Rock, the question is who did He leave in charge when He ascended into heaven? I have a few responses I need to make to Kevin but I’ll be glad to accept your challenge if you would like.

      1. Tim P wrote:

        “Walt, are you asking me to debate with you the primacy of St. Peter among the apostles in the Bible? We all agree that Christ is the Rock, the question is who did He leave in charge when He ascended into heaven?”

        I don’t have time to get into a long drawn out debate on the primacy of Peter. I do find it interesting you say that we all agree Christ is the Rock. I always was taught that Peter was the Rock that Christ was to build His church upon. Thus, I am a little bit confused as to what you are taught as a Catholic about Peter the Rock. Perhaps you can clarify.

        Another question, when you get time. What was the bible verse you use to prove that Peter went to Rome and was hung upside down on a cross?

        1. Walt , you wrote

          “I don’t have time to get into a long drawn out debate on the primacy of Peter.”

          I’m not surprised. You didn’t have time to debate the biblical evidence for the real presence in the Eucharist. .
          You then wrote

          ” I do find it interesting you say that we all agree Christ is the Rock. I always was taught that Peter was the Rock that Christ was to build His church upon. Thus, I am a little bit confused as to what you are taught as a Catholic about Peter the Rock. Perhaps you can clarify”

          Well first Walt you have to recognize that Christ changed Simon’s name to Cephas, the Greek transliteration of the Aramaic Kepha which means ROCK.
          But Walt, you wrote the following

          ” Now the Lord speaks directly to Peter: “Thou art Peter.” The Lord had previously given to Peter his name (John 1:42). Here we see that Petros is the Greek equivalent of the Aramaic Cephas, and means a stone (it is in the masculine gender).”

          Surely it wasn’t your Protestant bias to translate Cephas as stone rather then Rock. The following Concordances appear to disagree with your translation

          Strong’s Concordance

          Képhas: “a rock,” Cephas, a name given to the apostle Peter
          Original Word: Κηφᾶς, ᾶ, ὁ
          Part of Speech: Noun, Masculine
          Transliteration: Képhas
          Phonetic Spelling: (kay-fas’)
          Short Definition: Cephas
          Definition: Cephas (Aramaic for rock), the new name given to Simon Peter, the apostle.
          NAS Exhaustive Concordance
          Word Origin
          of Aramaic origin
          Definition
          “a rock,” Cephas, a name given to the apostle Peter
          NASB Translation
          Cephas (9).

          Thayer’s Greek Lexicon
          STRONGS NT 2786: Κεφας

          Κεφας, κεφα (Buttmann, 20 (18)), ὁ (Chaldean כֵּיפָא, a rock), Cephas (equivalent to Πέτρος (cf. B. D. (American edition), p. 2459)), the surname of Simon the apostle: John 1:42 (43); 1 Corinthians 1:12; 1 Corinthians 3:22; 1 Corinthians 9:5; 1 Corinthians 15:5; Galatians 2:9; and L T Tr WH also in Galatians 1:18; Galatians 2:11, 14.

          Strong’s Exhaustive Concordance
          Cephas.
          Of Chaldee origin (compare keph); the Rock; Cephas (i.e. Kepha), a surname of Peter — Cephas.

          see HEBREW keph

          Forms and Transliterations
          Κηφα Κηφᾷ Κηφᾶ Κηφαν Κηφᾶν Κηφας Κηφᾶς κίβδηλον Kepha Kephâ Kēpha Kēphâ Kephā̂i Kēphā̂i Kephan Kephân Kēphan Kēphân Kephas Kephâs Kēphas Kēphâs
          Links
          Interlinear Greek • Interlinear Hebrew • Strong’s Numbers • Englishman’s Greek Concordance • Englishman’s

          Now we can discuss Matthew 16 if you would like but I would like to know why you believe Christ changed Simon’s name to ROCK. Any plausible explanation? If your interested in going into a more in depth evaluation on Matthew 16 let me know. And I believe I asked you how many times Peter’s primacy is suggested in John 21 but you never responded. Read the chapter very carefully and I think you will be quite surprised.
          Walt, you asked

          “Another question, when you get time. What was the bible verse you use to prove that Peter went to Rome and was hung upside down on a cross?”

          Walt, where did anyone say that there was a verse in the Bible proving the Peter went to Rome and that he was hung upside down. Where do we learn that piece of history? Oral Tradition handed down in the Apostolic Churches. That same tradition that verified the writing of the New Testament were written by the apostles and St. Paul. You don’t seem to have trouble accepting that verification when it comes to the canon, but you have trouble accepting it when St. Peter was buried in Rome. Go figure.

          1. Tim P,

            There is a distinction between little “r” rock or a stone, and Christ the true Rock.

            “Matthew Henry Commentary
            16:13-20 Peter, for himself and his brethren, said that they were assured of our Lord’s being the promised Messiah, the Son of the living God. This showed that they believed Jesus to be more than man. Our Lord declared Peter to be blessed, as the teaching of God made him differ from his unbelieving countrymen. Christ added that he had named him Peter, in allusion to his stability or firmness in professing the truth. The word translated rock, is not the same word as Peter, but is of a similar meaning. Nothing can be more wrong than to suppose that Christ meant the person of Peter was the rock. Without doubt Christ himself is the Rock, the tried foundation of the church; and woe to him that attempts to lay any other! Peter’s confession is this rock as to doctrine. If Jesus be not the Christ, those that own him are not of the church, but deceivers and deceived. Our Lord next declared the authority with which Peter would be invested. He spoke in the name of his brethren, and this related to them as well as to him. They had no certain knowledge of the characters of men, and were liable to mistakes and sins in their own conduct; but they were kept from error in stating the way of acceptance and salvation, the rule of obedience, the believer’s character and experience, and the final doom of unbelievers and hypocrites. In such matters their decision was right, and it was confirmed in heaven. But all pretensions of any man, either to absolve or retain men’s sins, are blasphemous and absurd. None can forgive sins but God only. And this binding and loosing, in the common language of the Jews, signified to forbid and to allow, or to teach what is lawful or unlawful.”

            Ellicott’s Commentary for English Readers
            (18) Thou art Peter, and upon this rock . . .—It is not easy, in dealing with a text which for many centuries has been the subject-matter of endless controversies, to clear our minds of those “afterthoughts of theology” which have gathered round it, and, in part at least, overlaid its meaning. It is clear, however, that we can only reach the true meaning by putting those controversies aside, at all events till we have endeavoured to realise what thoughts the words at the time actually conveyed to those who heard them, and that when we have grasped that meaning it will be our best preparation for determining what bearing they have upon the later controversies of ancient or modern times. And (1) it would seem clear that the connection between Peter and the rock (the words in the Greek differ in gender, πέτρος and πέτρα, but were identical in the Aramaic, which our Lord probably used) was meant to be brought into special prominence. Now, at last, by this confession of his faith, Peter had risen to the height of his new calling, and was worthy of his new name. (2) Whether he is to be identified with the rock of the next clause is, however, a question on which men may legitimately differ. On the one side there is the probability that in the Aramaic, in which our Lord spoke, there would be no difference between the words in the two clauses; on the other, the possibility that He may have used the Greek words, or that the Evangelist may have intended to mark the distinction which he felt by the use of the two words, which undoubtedly differ in their meaning, πέτρος being a “stone” or fragment of rock, while πέτρα is the rock itself. The Aramaic Cepha, it may be noted, has the former rather than the latter meaning. (3) On the assumption of a distinction there follows the question, What is the rock? Peter’s faith (subjective)? or the truth (objective) which he confessed? or Christ Himself? Taking all the facts of the case, the balance seems to incline in favour of the last view. (1.) Christ and not Peter is the Rock in 1Corinthians 10:4, the Foundation in 1Corinthians 3:11. (2.) The poetry of the Old Testament associated the idea of the Rock with the greatness and steadfastness of God, not with that of a man [Deuteronomy 32:4; Deuteronomy 32:18; 2Samuel 22:3; 2Samuel 23:3; Psalm 18:2; Psalm 18:31; Psalm 18:46; Isaiah 17:10; Habakkuk 1:12 (Hebrew)]. (3.) As with the words, which in their form present a parallel to these, “Destroy this temple” (John 2:19), so here, we may believe the meaning to have been indicated by significant look or gesture. The Rock on which the Church was to be built was Himself, in the mystery of that union of the Divine and the Human which had been the subject of St. Peter’s confession. Had Peter himself been meant, we may. add, the simpler form, “Thou art Peter, and on thee will I build My Church,” would have been clearer and more natural. As it is, the collocation suggests an implied contrast: “Thou art the Rock-Apostle; and yet not the Rock on which the Church is to be built. It is enough for thee to have found the Rock, and to have built on the one Foundation.” (Comp. Matthew 7:24.)

            Expositor’s Greek Testament
            Matthew 16:18. κἀγὼ: emphatic, something very important about to be said to Peter and about him.—πέτρος, τέτρᾳ, a happy play of words. Both are appellatives to be translated “thou art a rock and on this rock,” the two being represented by the same word in Aramaean (כֵיפָא). Elsewhere in the Gospels Πέτρος is a proper name, and πέτρα only is used in the sense of rock (Matthew 7:24). What follows is in form a promise to Peter as reward of his faith. It is as personal as the most zealous advocates of Papal supremacy could desire. Yet it is as remote as the poles from what they mean. It is a case of extremes meeting. Christ did not fight to death against one form of spiritual despotism to put another, if possible worse, in its room. Personal in form, the sense of this famous logion can be expressed in abstract terms without reference to Peter’s personality. And that sense, if Christ really spoke the word, must be simple, elementary, suitable to the initial stage; withal religious and ethical rather than ecclesiastical. The more ecclesiastical we make it, the more we play into the hands of those who maintain that the passage is an interpolation. I find in it three ideas: (1) The ἐκκλησύα is to consist of men confessing Jesus to be the Christ. This is the import of ἐπὶ τ. τ. π. οἰκοδομήσω μου τ. ἐκ. Peter, believing that truth, is the foundation, and the building is to be of a piece with the foundation. Observe the emphatic position of μου. The ἐκκλησία is Christ’s; confessing Him as Christ in Peter’s sense and spirit = being Christian. (2) The new society is to be = the kingdom realised on earth. This is the import of Matthew 16:19, clause 1. The keys are the symbol of this identity. They are the keys of the gate without, not of the doors within. Peter is the gate-keeper, not the οἰκονόμος with a bunch of keys that open all doors in his hands (against Weiss)—κλειδούχου ἔργον τὸ εἰσάγειν, Euthy. Observe it is not the keys of the church but of the kingdom. The meaning is: Peter-like faith in Jesus as the Christ admits into the Kingdom of Heaven. A society of men so believing = the kingdom realised. (3) In the new society the righteousness of the kingdom will find approximate embodiment. This is the import of Matthew 16:19, second clause. Binding and loosing, in Rabbinical dialect, meant forbidding and permitting to be done. The judgment of the Rabbis was mostly wrong: the reverse of the righteousness of the kingdom. The judgment of the new society as to conduct would be in accordance with the truth of things, therefore valid in heaven. That is what Jesus meant to say. Note the perfect participles δεδεμένον, λελυμένον = shall be a thing bound or loosed once for all. The truth of all three statements is conditional on the Christ spirit continuing to rule in the new society. Only on that condition is the statement about the πύλαι ᾅδου, Matthew 16:18, clause 2, valid. What precisely the verbal meaning of the statement is—whether that the gates of Hades shall not prevail in conflict against it, as ordinarily understood; or merely that the gates, etc., shall not be stronger than it, without thought of a conflict (Weiss), is of minor moment; the point is that it is not an absolute promise. The ἐκκλησία will be strong, enduring, only so long as the faith in the Father and in Christ the Son, and the spirit of the Father and the Son, reign in it. When the Christ spirit is weak the Church will be weak, and neither creeds nor governments, nor keys, nor ecclesiastical dignities will be of much help to her.

            http://biblehub.com/commentaries/matthew/16-18.htm

          2. Geneva Study Bible
            {5} And I say also unto thee, That thou art {l} Peter, and upon this rock I will build my church; and the {m} gates of hell shall not prevail against it.

            (5) That is true faith, which confesses Christ, the virtue of which is invincible.

            (l) Christ spoke in the Syrian tongue, and therefore did not use this discourse to distinguish between Petros, which signifies Peter, and Petra, which signifies a rock, but in both places used the word Cephas: but his meaning is what is written in Greek, in which the different word endings distinguish between Peter, who is a piece of the building, and Christ the Petra, that is, the rock and foundation: or else he named him Peter because of the confession of his faith, which is the Church’s as well as his, as the old fathers witness, for so says Theophylact. That confession which you have made, shall be the foundation of the believers.

            (m) The enemies of the Church are compared to a strong kingdom, and therefore by gates are meant cities which are made strong with wise preparation and fortifications, and this is the meaning: whatever Satan can do by cunning or strength. So does Paul, calling them strongholds; 2Co 10:4.

          3. This is the best one yet…showing the Early Church Father’s never translated Peter as the Rock!

            Pulpit Commentary
            Verse 18. – And I say also (I also say) unto thee. As thou hast said unto me, “Thou art the Christ,” so I say unto thee, etc. Thou art Peter (Πέτρος, Petrus), and upon this rock (πέτρα, petra) I will build my Church. In classical Greek, the distinction between πέτρα and πέτρος is well known – the former meaning “a rock,” the latter “a piece of rock,” or “a stone.” But probably no such distinction is intended here, as there would be none in Aramaic. There is plainly a paronomasia here in the Greek; and, if our Lord spoke in Aramaic, the same play of words was exhibited in Kephas or kepha. When Jesus first called Peter to be a disciple, he imposed upon him the name Cephas, which the evangelist explains to be Peter (John 1:42). The name was bestowed in anticipation of Peter’s great confession: “Thou shalt be called.” This preannouncement was here fulfilled and confirmed. Upon this passage chiefly the claims of the Roman Church, which for fifteen centuries have been the subject of acrimonious controversy, are founded. It is hence assumed that the Christian Church is founded upon Peter and his successors, and that these successors are the Bishops of Rome. The latter assertion may be left to the decision of history, which fails to prove that Peter was ever at Rome, or that he transmitted his supposed supremacy to the episcopate of that city. We have in this place to deal with the former assertion. Who or what is the rock on which Christ says that he will hereafter build his Church? French Romanists consider it a providential coincidence that they can translate the passage, “Je te disque, Tu es Pierre; et sur cette pierre je batirai,” etc.; but persons outside the papal communion are not satisfied to hang their faith on a play of words. The early Fathers are by no means at one in their explanations of the paragraph. Living before Rome had laid claim to the tremendous privileges which it afterwards affected, they did not regard the statement in the light of later controversies; and even those who held Peter to be the rock would have indignantly repelled the assumptions which have been built on that interpretation. The apostolic Fathers seem to have mentioned the passage in none of their writings; and they could scarcely have failed to refer to it had they been aware of the tremendous issues dependent thereon. It was embodied in no Catholic Creed, and never made an article of the Christian faith. We may remark also that of the evangelists St. Matthew alone records the promise to Peter; Mark and Luke give his confession, which was the one point which Christ desired to elicit, and omit that which is considered to concern his privileges. This looks as though, in their view, the chief aim of the passage was not Peter, but Christ; not Peter’s pre-eminence, but Christ’s nature and office. At the same time, to deny all allusion to Peter in the “rock” is quite contrary to the genius of the language and to New Testament usage, and would not have been so pressed in modern times except for polemical purposes. Three views have been held on the interpretation of this passage.

            (1) That Christ himself is the Rock on which the Church should be built.

            (2) That Peter’s confession of Jesus Christ as Son of God, or God incarnate, is the Rock.

            (3) That St. Peter is the rock.

            (1) The first explanation is supported by passages where in Christ speaks of himself in the third person, e.g. “Destroy this temple;” “If any man eat of this bread; Whoso falleth on this stone,” etc. In the same sense are cited the words of Isaiah (Isaiah 28:16), “Behold, I lay in Zion for a foundation a stone, a tried stone, a precious cornerstone, a sure foundation.” Almighty God is continually called “a Rock” in the Old Testament (see 2 Samuel 22:32; Psalm 18:31; Psalm 62:2, 6, 7, etc.), so that it might be deemed natural and intelligible for Christ to call himself “this Rock,” in accordance, with the words of St. Paul (1 Corinthians 3:11), “Other foundation can no man lay than that which is laid (κεῖται), which is Jesus Christ.” But then the reference to Peter becomes unmeaning: “Thou art Peter, and upon myself I will build my Church.” It is true that some few eminent authorities have taken this view. Thus St. Augustine writes, “It was not said to him, ‘Thou art a rock (petra),’ but, ‘Thou art Peter,’ and the Rock was Christ” (‘Retract.,’ 1:21). And commentators have imagined that Christ pointed to himself as he spoke. In such surmises there is an inherent improbability, and they do not explain the commencement of the address. In saying, “Thou art Peter,” Christ, if he made any gesture at all, would have touched or turned to that apostle. Immediately after this to have directed attention to himself would have been most unnatural and contradictory. We may safely surrender the interpretation which regards Christ himself as the Rock.

            (2) The explanation which finds the rock in Peter’s great confession has been widely adopted by commentators ancient and modern. Thus St. Chrysostom, “Upon this rock, that is, on the faith of his confession. Hereby he signifies that many were now on the point of believing, and raises his spirit, and makes him a shepherd.” To the same purport might be quoted Hilary, Ambrose, Jerome, Gregory Nyss., Cyril, and others. It is remarkable that in the Collect from the Gregorian Sacramentary and in the Roman Missal on the Vigil of St. Peter and St. Paul are found the words, “Grant that thou wouldst not suffer us, whom thou hast established on the rock of the apostolic confession (quos in apostolicae confessionis petra solidasti) to be shaken by any commotions.” Bishop Wordsworth, as many exegetes virtually do, combines the two interpretations, and we cite his exposition as a specimen of the view thus held: “What he says is this, ‘I myself, now confessed by thee to be both God and Man, am the Rock of the Church. This is the foundation on which it is built.’ And because St. Peter had confessed him as such, he says to St. Peter, ‘Thou hast confessed me, and I will now confess thee; thou hast owned me, I will now own thee. Thou art Peter,’ i.e. thou art a lively stone, hewn out of and built upon me, the living Rock. Thou art a genuine Petros of me, the Divine Petra. And whosoever would be a lively stone, a Peter, must imitate thee in this thy true confession of me, the living Rock; for upon this Rock, that is, on myself, believed and confessed to be both God and Man, I will build my Church.” As the opinion that Christ means himself by “this rock” is untenable, so we consider that Peter’s confession is equally debarred from being the foundation intended. Who does not see that the Church is to be built, not on confessions or dogmas, but on men – men inspired by God to teach the great truth? A confession implies a confessor; it was the person who made the confession that is meant, not the mere statement itself, however momentous and true. Thus elsewhere the Church is said to have been built upon the foundation of the apostles and prophets (Ephesians 2:20), “Ye,” says St. Peter (1 Peter 2:5), “as living stones are built up a spiritual house.” “James and Cephas who were reputed to be pillars” (Galatians 2:9). In Revelation (Revelation 21:14) the foundationstones of the heavenly temple are “the twelve apostles of the Lamb.” Hence we gather that the rock is a person.

          4. Tim P wrote:

            “Surely it wasn’t your Protestant bias to translate Cephas as stone rather then Rock.”

            Actually no…not at all. It was the proper usage applied to the text of the passage in Greek and Latin, not the verbal Aramaic that you are using.

            Here is a excellent rebuttal and correct interpretation to the passage. I really hope you can discern and learn the differences rather than, like a robot, just come back with the same “anti-protestant” bias.

            “There is a logical flaw here.

            Karl says Jesus had no choice. But if the words petros and petra are identical, then he had another choice!

            If the Greek in Matthews gospel were meant to represent Peter as The Rock, Christ could have been recorded as saying…

            “Thou art PETROS and upon this PETRON I will build my church.”

            He transitions from Nominative Masculine Singular to Accusative Masculine Singular, which in Greek grammar would ABSOLUTELY and INCONTROVERTIBLY mean the two are the same.

            Or, He could have said “Thou are PETROS and upon you I will build my church.” Which He did not say, perhaps because there would be no word-play in that construction at all.

            Rather, He said:

            “Thou are PETROS and upon this PETRA I will build my church.”

            He transitions from Nominative Masculine Singular to Accusative Feminine Singular, which cannot be the same grammatically. It is the nature of Greek grammar that they cannot be referring to the same thing. It is ABSOLUTE and INCONTROVERTIBLE. Any Greek scholar would admit it.

            Christ is making a distinction.

            So, regardless of the original spoken language, the Gospel of Matthew as canonized by the early church maintains a distinction between the two.

            I might add that the Latin Vulgate retains the exact same grammatical structure points, so the same thing is true of the Latin as it is of the Greek. Christ could have used the Accusative Masculine Singular to set the two equal, and it could have appeared that way in Latin also, but it does not. And that is a particular problem for the Catholic Church if it is going to follow Latin grammar, which also uses case, gender, and number to show relationships in the sentence, as Greek does.

            Mr. Keating’s on-going discussion of the structure of the passage is well-taken, in the sense that Peter is without dispute given the keys. What this means, however, is another discussion entirely. But he mischaracterizes the evidence slightly. Because the word play would not be “Peter, you’re just a little pebble, but I’m going to build my church on this Rock of an affirmation of my identity that you just made.” No Protestant says Jesus is down-playing the significance of Peter. Peter is a rock or stone. He is just not The Rock.”

            http://sharperiron.org/forum/thread-greek-advice-peter-rock-issue

            Further, in researching your claims, I asked another person to examine the argument and the Greek. He responded with the following:

            “I thought the rebuttal to Keating was on mark. Since we have an authoritative Greek text, we must look to that as final (and not to spoken Aramaic). ***There is a clear contrast in the Greek words used so as to distinguish them, not so as to identify them.***

            As for the Greek definition of petros, I consulted quickly this morning (as I am on my way out of the house) the following standard Greek lexicons:

            Manual Greek Lexicon of the New Testament, G. Abbott-Smith, p. 359: “a stone.”
            A Lexicon, Abridged from Liddell and Scott’s Greek-English Lexicon, p.557: “a piece of rock, a stone.”
            A Greek-English Lexicon of the New Testament and Other Early Christian Literature, p. 660: “stone.”

            Although petros may at times be expanded in Greek literature to signify something larger than a stone or piece of rock (cp. Thayer’s Greek Lexicon), the meaning given by the lexicons above are accurate and should be used when petros is contrasted with petra. Christ could have said without any confusion or grammatical difficulties: Thou art petros, and upon this petros, I will build my church.” But an intentional contrast was made between the generally accepted distinction found in lexicons between petros and petra.”

            This closes the discussion Tim P. Any bias you have as a Roman Catholic apologist and anti-protestant and anti-Greek pundit is rebuked.

            My recommendation is that you openly repent of your sin and public defense trying to use false testimony to prove Jesus made Peter the Rock of the Church.

            It is what I was taught growing up as a Catholic, but now it is so abundantly clear to anyone who desires for the most faithful translation of the text in the original Greek (even Latin) that is the foundation of all proper literal sense method of interpretation.

            Of course, I know you will reject the above excellent detailed analysis of the text in favor of your anti-protestant position, but nevertheless, since Protestants have been defending the Word of God since the third-fourth centuries against Romish error, we will and must continue to do so.

  32. What is the true gospel on justification by faith alone, in Christ alone that is a free gift to the elect? What is the nature of justification between Roman Catholics and the true Elect?

    “The Nature of Justification

    a. According to Rome justification is a change in the moral nature of a sinner. According to Rome justification is not a judicial act of God whereby He objectively imputes the righteousness of Christ to the believing sinner and declares him to be righteous on the ground of Christ’s perfect righteousness, but rather a moral transformation by God whereby He subjectively cleanses the heart of sin and corruption and renews man within by giving to man the righteousness of God. This confusion blurs the biblical distinction between justification (an objective judicial act) and sanctification (a subjective moral transformation), thus removing the judicial nature of justification. Just as our sin was imputed to Christ, so His righteousness is imputed (not infused) to the believing sinner.

    Justification is not only the remission of sins, but also the sanctification and renewal of the interior man (CCC, p. 536, #1989).

    With justification, faith, hope, and charity are poured into our hearts, and obedience to the divine will is granted us (CCC, p. 536, #1991).

    It [i.e. justification–GLP] conforms us to the righteousness of God, who makes us inwardly just by the power of his mercy (CCC, p. 536, #1992).

    Justification entails the sanctification of his whole being (CCC, p. 537, #1995).

    Justification includes the remission of sins, sanctification, and the renewal of the inner man (CCC, p. 544, #2019).

    b. According to Westminster justification is not a subjective moral transformation, but rather an objective judicial act whereby God imputes to the believing sinner the perfect righteousness of Christ and declares him to be righteous. Westminster correctly distinguishes justification and sanctification.

    Those whom God effectually calleth, he also freely justifieth: not by infusing righteousness into them, but by pardoning their sins, and by accounting and accepting their persons as righteous; not for any thing wrought in them, or done by them, but for Christ’s sake alone; not by imputing faith itself, the act of believing, or any other evangelical obedience to them, as their righteousness; but by imputing the obedience and satisfaction of Christ unto them, they receiving and resting on him and his righteousness by faith; which faith they have not of themselves, it is the gift of God (WCF 11:1).

    Christ, by his obedience and death, did fully discharge the debt of all those that are thus justified, and did make a proper, real, and full satisfaction to his Father’s justice in their behalf. Yet inasmuch as he was given by the Father for them, and his obedience and satisfaction accepted in their stead, and both freely, not for any thing in them, their justification is only of free grace, that both the exact justice and rich grace of God might be glorified in the justification of sinners (WCF 11:3).

  33. Wow, it is amazing. This guy Pope Michael says the new Catholic religion is only 60 years old. I’ve never heard this as everyone here claims the Roman Catholic church is 2,000 year old, but in reality it is very clear that the Roman Catholic church is only 60 years old. This is one of the best interviews any Catholic could listen to so they really understand there church is 60 years old, and no older.

    To be claiming that Protestant religion is only 500 years old, but now we know that the Roman Catholic religion is only 60 years old. This is a fantastic explanation of what happened and absolutely shows the true Pope is Pope Michael here in USA.

  34. Walt, I just listened to pope Michael. Who is the real claimant ton Peter ‘ s throne? How do Catholics now make that determination. Maybe prayer? Maybe listening to the Spirit speaking through the apostate magisterium according to Michael. Will they turn to scripture? According to whom? The last time we have seen multiple claims to the chair was the days of Avignon. It’s a little hard to rely on implicit faith in a church when you got a couple of popes running around. How will Mark, or Wilnot chose, there are so many popes running around these days, so many Catholic denominations.

    1. Kevin: “It’s a little hard to rely on implicit faith in a church when you got a couple of popes running around. How will Mark, or Wilnot chose,”

      Uh-oh, now after being called insincere, poor Wilnot is being used as a test case for where he does not want to be. The question seems a simple one–Pope Francis, and before him Pope Benedict XVI, and before him Pope John Paul II, going back 2000 years in lists and history books that are published everywhere but Wilnot and his sidekick Jerry are getting the feeling that he is going to be kicked if he stays and kicked even harder when he leaves, but leave he shall, especially now that he realizes that “out of his Mouth” is not a poetic take on the Word of God, as he originally thought, but an unfriendly reference to revelation 3:16.

      Nevertheless before Wilnot leaves, taking his good friend Jerry with him, he would like to thank Tim for taking the time to create the fun Jerry stories and to Walt, who I felt did want to relate a sincere testimony to me. And so blessings and farewell to all on this site. Lord, have mercy on us sinners!

  35. Kevin said:

    “It’s a little hard to rely on implicit faith in a church when you got a couple of popes running around. How will Mark, or Wilnot chose, there are so many popes running around these days, so many Catholic denominations.”

    Pope Michael is really right on point. He has researched the history of Vatican II and its separation from the doctrines of Trent. He is absolutely correct that Vatican II followers are no longer even remotely Roman Catholic. They have all separated from the original institution that started in the 4th Century.

    Pope Michael is the real true Pope in the world today. This is clear from the research that has been documented by many traditionalist Catholics.

    The current Pope, Cardinals, Bishops and Priests are all just blindly following their institution for the money, the power and the sexual gratification with children at all levels of the church. The spirit of Antichrist has them totally blinded to even see what Pope Michael is professing.

    It was fascinating when the interviewer asked him if in fact he was a Protestant to be protesting against the current Pope and the system. He said no because he is a true Roman Catholic that rejects the separation caused by Vatican II, and indeed that makes total logical and perfect sense. He has in fact rejected Vatican II and embraced the counter teaching of Trent, and all the Pope’s before Vatican II.

    What Tim has clearly shown is that in the 4th Century, even recognized by Roman Catholic researchers and Cardinals, is that the true Apostolic church predicted and saw in the following generations the great falling away from the Apostles doctrine. The early Protestants DID NOT cause any schism.

    They held firm to the Apostles doctrine, and the schism (or the falling away) was by the Roman Pontiff, Jerome, Ambrose, etal who rejected the teaching of the Scriptures and Apostles, and rather decided to separate from the truth. They decided to start building Antichrist religion. Pope Michael has adopted that antichrist religion, but he refuses to accept Vatican II who separated into a far worse and evil religion.

    Implicit faith is the core as I was taught growing up as a Roman Catholic, and Pope Michael refuses to just accept Vatican II like all the other Catholics. He is the true Pope it is clear.

  36. Kevin,

    Watch this video. It is simply incredible and just demonstrates how messed up the protestant churches have become.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IsF2q-8ez08#t=2178.766848

    Published on Feb 28, 2014

    “A recent video from Pope Francis appealing for unity with Protestants in America has gone viral. Many are asking, “Is this a fulfillment of Bible prophecy?” Watch this special message from Pastor Doug Batchelor.”

    1. Walt, it was very good. It reminds me of when Ratzinger spoke celebrating Luther ‘ s birthday in I believe 2008. He said we can all agree with Martin Luther that we are justified by faith alone, ( but you always must listen further with Catholics ) , as it is formed in love. Ah yes , there it is.

      1. Kevin,

        Watch this video. It is just incredible. I have not been paying attention to anything going on in the Catholic church. Most of my current knowledge comes from the 4-5 posters here who day after day claim everything is perfect, in unity, the Pope is the true Vicar of Christ, and the Peter dynasty is better than ever in the history of the world. Their view is the Roman Catholic Church is the only true church, and any Protestant that gets in their way is going to suffer the consequence. Mark is their ring leader, Rocky 2nd, Tim P third and the rest of those Catholics coming and going just chime in the say, “All Hail The Pope!”

        Now watch this video. What? Division in the RCC? Not possible, just ask Mark and Rocky posting here everyday.

        https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VaJfd_Yi8vk

        Published on Dec 2, 2016

        “As the Four Cardinals make their historic stand against revolution in the Vatican, several bishops and one more cardinal move in to support them. Michael Matt tackles the question of what to do when a pope goes wrong. Do faithful lay Catholics have a role in stopping Pope Francis and the Modernists who put him in charge, or should the threat of causing scandal cause all of us to keep silent?”

  37. Tim K,

    You must watch this video please. This priest is stating everything we have been saying here on this website regarding the incredible division and disunity among Roman Catholics, and he goes into great detail how all the schism exists.

    This Pope Michael must be one of the best studied Priests (or Pope) that I have ever witnessed speaking. He is a incredible student of Roman Catholicism.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=10uZP1E0EY0

    I would be very much interested in your thoughts on his research. While he is focused on modern issues over the past 60 years, it is just fascinating as many of things he is discussing is what I too saw in the 1980’s to make me concerned.

  38. Mark wrote:

    “So you believe Tim K and Kevin aren’t part of the “true and faithful”?

    How can a Protestant even begin to know which church to attend? According to you Presbyterian Covenanter is more faithful than PCA. Tim K. goes to a PCA church. This is just within Presbyterianism!

    Is PCA part of the “true church” or is it just the Covenanters? My head is spinning.”

    Thank you so much for admitting that your head is spinning. I have witnessed this in reading your writing many times and often thought the same thing as your admission today. It just goes to show that there is hope that you are seeing your error.

    Now, I have addressed this dozens of times on this blog over the past couple years. I will try to repeat it again, but I absolutely have ZERO hope you will understand it as your mind is really struggling to even learn basic fundamentals.

    The visible church are all those who profess the name of Jesus Christ. These are true churches as to being. Thus the Roman Catholic Church and the PCA and Baptist and Methodist are true churches as to being (esse).

    “The Church of Rome can be regarded under a twofold view (schesei); either as it is Christian, with regard to the profession of Christianity and of Gospel truth which it retains; or Papal, with regard to subjection to the pope, and corruptions and capital errors (in faith as well as morals) which she has mingled with and built upon those truths besides and contrary to the Word of God. We can speak of it in different ways. In the former respect, we do not deny that there is some truth in it; but in the latter (under which it is regarded here) we deny it can be called Christian and Apostolic, but Antichristian and Apostate” (Francis Turretin, Institutes of Elenctic Theology, 1696 Latin, Presbyterian and Reformed Publishing English translation, 1997, Vol. 3, p. 121).

    In fact, within all these true churches as to being are the elect. They are many saved in these churches who are born again, and yet they are weak in sanctification of the faith. They often are struggling in the maturity of their faith in sanctification, but they are indeed the elect.

    However, there is another true church as to well-being and faithfulness of the elect. The invisible church throughout the world, in history, consistent of the elect of God.

    The catholic or universal Church which is invisible, consists of the whole number of the elect, that have been, are, or shall be gathered into one, under Christ the Head thereof; and is the spouse, the body, the fulness of Him that fills all in all.

    The visible Church, which is also catholic or universal under the gospel (not confined to one nation as before under the law), consists of all those throughout the world that profess the true religion, together with their children; and is the Kingdom of the Lord Jesus Christ; the house and family of God, out of which there is no ordinary possibility of salvation (Westminster Confession of Faith, 25:1-2).

    The elect are not always visible to man, but only God knows the exact number of the elect. Man has no clue, but we know that the visible church is made up of the elect and hypocrites and heretics and all the like professing Jesus Christ.

    Reformed Presbyterians believe that the well-being (bene esse) are the true and faithful following the Scriptures as the primary standard, and subject to our subordinate standards (where they agree to the Scriptures) provided by the Church.

    The 1560 Scottish Confession of Faith speaks of the well­being of the church when it says,

    “The notes, therefore, of the true kirk of God we believe, confess, and avow to be: first, the true preaching of the Word of God, into the which God has revealed himself to us, as the writings of the prophets and apostles do declare; secondly, the right administration of the sacraments of Christ Jesus, which must be annexed unto the word and promise of God, to seal and confirm the same in our hearts; last, ecclesiastical discipline uprightly ministered, as God’s word prescribes, whereby vice is repressed, and virtue nourished. Wheresoever then these former notes are seen, and of any time continue (be the number [of persons] never so few, about two or three) there, without all doubt, is the true kirk of Christ: who, according to his promise is in the midst of them: not that universal [kirk] (of which we have before spoken) but particular [kirks]; such as were in Corinth, Galatia, Ephesus, and other places in which the ministry was planted by Paul, and were of himself named the kirks of God” (The Scottish Confession of Faith, 1560, chapter 18, Presbyterian Heritage Publications, p. 29).

    The true and faithful reformed Presbyterian Covenanter church continues from the Apostles through history carrying the manuscripts of the old and new testament in their original languages, and reach into Scotland, England and Ireland (and other parts of Europe) while at the same time identifying the Papacy as Antichrist in the history of the visible church.

    “We judge Schismatic and Pragmatic dividers of the church, and wideners of the breaches thereof, already broken and divided, and those who sow discord among brethren and promote their contentions by individious reproaches or other ways, are to be withdrawn from” (James Renwick, An Informatory Vindication, 1687, p. 85)

    John Anderson writes,

    “I have already mentioned the important distinction between a true church [being] and a pure church [well­being].

    A church may retain the principal doctrines and ordinances of the Christian religion in her profession, in such a measure, that she may be called a true church; and yet she may as an ecclesiastical body, have such errors in doctrine; such human inventions as integral parts of her worship; such unscriptural officers and usages in her government; or may be chargeable from such defection from reformation, formerly attained, that we cannot be faithful to the cause of Christ, which, in these respects, is opposed; nor to the catholic [universal] church, for whose true interest we are bound to use our best endeavours; nor to the souls of men, which are deeply injured by such evils; without withdrawing from her communion.

    A particular church, in this case, though she ceases to be a pure church, may still be called a true church of Christ, on account of the measure, in which she retains the profession of his truths and ordinances. (John Anderson, Alexander and Rufus, 1862, SWRB, 1997, p. 77).

  39. Tim K,

    Please watch this video if you have time.

    Here they describe the church teaching on divorce, remarriage and how that anyone remarried in the Catholic Church cannot engage in sexual intercourse during marriage. It is incredible how confused the Romish church has become since 4th century.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=auJ0qYdIdHQ

      1. Mark said:

        “What are you smoking Walt?”

        I don’t smoke…sorry. The issue is pretty compelling when 4-5 now Cardinals are openly opposing your glorious Pope and alleged Vicar of Christ like at no time in history. It is very interesting to see how incredibly warped your RCC has become since Vatican I and Vatican II.

        I’ve never been one to spend a lot of time on these issues since leaving Rome as my time has been focused on the first and second reformation authors and doctrines, except recently with reading Tim’s commentaries on the ECF and his eschatological historicist views. Most fascinating for me has been how closely aligned he is with the Reformers on historicist post millennialism with some various exceptions, but firmly pointed at the Papacy and the Romish religion as the fundamental source of Antichrist.

        Even more fascinating than eschatology is the research on the early Protestants testifying against those Roman Catholic ECF who rejected the doctrines of the Apostles and separated (or fell away) from the true and faithful (well-being) Church of Jesus Christ in the 4th century.

        The wild and false claims about Peter being the head of the Church, and first Pope, and allegedly how he went to Rome to suffer and die in support of Rome is all fiction and foolishness for the blind leading the blind. Twisting the Scripture to make everything a literal interpretation, and totally ignoring the literal sense method.

        Now we will watch the true Canon of Scripture move from the Apostles into the hands of the Protestants and then into Scotland preserved, and kept away from the Romish Antichrist for effective translation that the 2nd and 3rd reformations would use to change the world, and destroy the Papacy and Antichrist with the sword of the word.

        The nail in your coffin is sealed closed now that we have found the 4th century evidence of your falling away from the true, faithful and Apostolic church of Jesus Christ.

        1. “The issue is pretty compelling when 4-5 now Cardinals are openly opposing your glorious Pope and alleged Vicar of Christ like at no time in history. ”

          Except Jesus rebuked the first Pope Peter and even Paul rebuked him for only eating with Jews. Nothing new to Catholics! Only YOU make a big deal of it. Catholics aren’t fragile like you Protestants who pick up all your toys and create a new church when you get mad.

  40. ” Catholics aren’t fragile like you Protestants , who pick up your toys and create a new church and get mad” To me this statement says allot about your lack of seriousness about the truth. If that’s how you see the Protestant Reformation ” picking up your toys to create a new church ” then you misunderstand Protestantism. The Reformers rescued the Apostles and the early church from the hair splitting academics who changed the gospel, and they disassembled the eclessial machinery that was human in origin and content.

  41. Mark said” so Kevin, it sounds like you believe in antinomianism ” Thank you for that charge. The Jews charged Paul of the same thing. I believe what scripture says, the righteousness attained for salvation comes through faith alone in Christ alone . My righteousness isn’t derived from His, it is his righteousness. Our works in scripture are only our reasonable service of worship. Romans 3:21 ” But now APART from the law, the righteousness of God has been manifested, being witnessed by the law and the profits, even the righteousness of God through FAITH, for all those who believe” Not good for your system. Righteousness for salvation comes through faith in Christ alone. He is my righteousness. As I have said many times, Rome missed the fact that Christ lived the law in our place and fulfilled all righteousness. He is my substitute. Justification isn’t sanctification or infusion. Rime’s fatal error. The justice for heaven isn’t accumulated through sacraments, but faith. Justification by faith, not by priests or sacraments.

  42. “I believe what scripture says, the righteousness attained for salvation comes through faith alone in Christ alone .”

    Yet nowhere in the Bible is that taught nor has it been taught in history until the Protestants. Nowhere does it say “faith alone”. Except in James.

    At least you admit that you believe in antinomianism. As Luther said, go sin and sin boldly! Just remember that nothing unclean will enter the kingdom. And God doesn’t mean just a forensic justification!

  43. ” yet nowhere in the Bible is that taught nor has it been taught in history” Romans 9:30 ” What shall we say then, the Gentiles who did not pursue righteousness, ATTAINED RIGHTEOUSNESS, even the righteousness that is BY FAITH.” But Israel pursuing a law of righteousness, DID NOT arrive at that righteousness. ” Why? Listen on. ” Because they did not pursue it by faith, but as though it were BY WORKS. ” It most definitely is taught in scripture. And as you can see your brethren Israel didn’t make it like you wont unless you repent of your goodness and attain it like the gentiles by faith alone in Christ alone. God bless

  44. Kevin, I can’t keep re-explaining justification to you. Paul wrote more about faith than any other NT writer and he NEVER said we are justified by “faith alone”. He had plenty of opportunities to do that, but never did. The reason he didn’t is because he didn’t teach we are justified by “faith alone”. That is a Protestant invention.

    It was so important to Luther that Paul taught this that he added the word “alone” into his Bible. Now that’s someone who respects Scripture! NOT!

    I’ll stick with Paul’s writings, not Luther’s. Remember Luther also called the Book of James an “epistle of straw”. Why? Because James taught “faith without works dead.”

  45. Paul wrote Romans 9:30-10:4 last time I checked. And the word faith isn’t only alone, it is put in opposition to works in attaining righteouness , as it is in Galatians 2:16, Ephesians 2:8. In fact Paul specifically says that Israel didn’t attain it, why? Because they pursued it by works in some way. Could you ever think that Jerome and Ambrose souls were in peril for preaching salvation by celibate merit. How would they be different than those Jews who were trusting their obedience for the righteouness for heaven? They werent. The lie of Roman Catholicism was planted early from within the church. But God kept his true church in truth. Mark, it only stands to reason that if the fulfillment of the visible apostasy antichrist Rome came 4th century, then there had to be protesters to it. And as Tim is methodically showing we can find them. In fact they shine like a light to believers. The light of Christ shone through those who protested to defend God’s truth. And those faithful will someday eat the banquet feast with our Savior.

  46. “But God kept his true church in truth. ”

    OK, Kevin, please show me in the writings from the first 3 centuries where the patristic Church Fathers taught “faith alone”.

  47. I get it Kevin. Not you or Tim K, or Walt, or Hans can show from the first three centuries where this doctrine was taught.

  48. Mark, here are 33. The Early Church and Justification – compiled by Dr. C. Mathew McMahon. My gift to you. 33 more reasons why your pagan novel religion has nothing to do with Christ’s true church. K

  49. Kevin, so go on, pick one that was from the first 3 centuries and explain how their quote teaches JBFA. Here’s a hint, only the first three quotes in that list are from the first 3 centuries, so you only need to explain one of the three.
    Thanks.

  50. Chrysostom ” The patriarch Abraham himself before receiving circumcision had been declared righteous on the score of FAITH ALONE . It wasn’t Luther who first said this. Now let’s take the Cardinal Newman heresy of development of doctrine doctrine. We go from Chrysostom statement to “to the one who works well to the end” as a reward to his merits and good works” Trent. Logically, and as Tim has so clearly shown to me in his numerous series, and in my deduction, is development of doctrine is just nonsense for anti gospel, anti orthodoxy, ant Christ. Iow, it’s Rome’s lever of defending it’s apostate attempt on the church. Look no further than Tim’s current article, and the statement by Chrysostom juxtaposed against statements from Trent as proof. But Papists will always try to convince us they are really saying the same thing. Well Mark, to the Christian saved by grace alone by faith alone through Christ alone, we will never buy the lie that being justified freely by his grace is the same as justified cooperating with His grace, nor will I ever believe that a man being saved based solely on the goodness of God and his gift can be mistaken for meriting one’s salvation through celibacy. K

  51. As I said, I want something from the first three centuries. Chrysostom is late 4th century. I am just using Tim K.’s yardstick.
    BTW, I love Chrysostom. He didn’t teach JBFA, but he isn’t in scope for this discussion. Please try again, this time from the first three centuries. Thanks.

  52. Mark ” I love Chrysostom. He didn’t teach jbfa” Chrysostom ” had been declared righteous on the score of FAITH ALONE.” My dad used to tell me nothing increases your golf score like witnesses. 😊

  53. I’ll check back now and again to see if you can come up with a church father from 100AD-300AD who taught “faith alone”.

  54. You bob and weave and dodge with the best of them.Hillary of Poitier ” wages cannot be considered as a gift, because they are due work, but God has given free grace to all men by the justification of faith” sounds awful reformed to me. You know Mark it’s not even cloudy but crystal clear, Roman Catholicism can’t be found in the early church. Hillary could in no way have meant that grace is a kinda stuff that is the currency on a merit system. A child could understand Hillary that grace is free and is attained simply by faith. In light of the evidence, I do understand your unwillingness to defend your religion. Deflection is concession. K

  55. Hilary is still 4th century but you are getting closer!
    (BTW, his quote fits well into Catholic teaching. It isn’t “reformed”)

  56. I am glad to see you reading the Catechism! Don’t forget to keep reading the rest of the section, especially through 2011.

  57. Apostolic Presbyterianism by William Cunningham and Dr. Reg Barrow

    http://www.swrb.com/newslett/actualNLs/apopresby.htm

    “The Presbyterian is, in point of government, the only apostolic church.” – Thomas Witherow, The Apostolic Church, Which Is It?

    The Apostolic Church, Which Is It? by Thomas Witherow

    Shows, based on six Scriptural and Apostolic principles, which system of governing the church [Independent, Prelatical or Presbyterian] is pleasing to God. Concludes that Presbyterianism is set forth in Scripture as of divine right.

    Joe Morecraft calls this book “irrefutable.” See Rutherfurd’s Due Right of Presbyteries or his Divine Right of Church Government for more advanced treatment of this subject.

    ” … and the church is a true visible church in the wilderness… which yet wanted [lacked-GB] circumcision and the passover forty years in the wilderness (Josh 5:5–7), this proves that there is a true visible church, where Christ is, and yet wanteth the ordinary seals, Baptism and the Lord’s Supper.” – Samuel Rutherford, Survey of the Survey of that Summe of Church Discipline, 1658, p. 17, is on the Puritan Hard Drive at http://www.puritandownloads.com/puritan-hard-drive-12-500-puritan-owen-watson-et-al-reformation-calvin-knox-luther-et-al-covenanter-rutherford-gillespie-presbyterian-hodge-calvinistic-edwards-reformed-baptist-spurgeon-bunyan-pink-et-al-books-mp3s-videos/

    1. Walt, the Presbyterian church was founded in 1560 by John Knox. It is in fact not Apostolic and can make no claims to it. Your church was born out of the reformation which, if you remember, broke away from the One Holy Catholic and Apostolic Church. The Catholic Church was founded in 33AD by Jesus Christ when he gave Peter the keys to the kingdom.

      1. Mark, said:

        “The Catholic Church was founded in 33AD by Jesus Christ when he gave Peter the keys to the kingdom.”

        Yes ark, that is what you and all Roman Catholics are taught since birth. That is what I and my whole family was taught as Catholics. However, it is all a lie.

        I thought you would really learn so.edging on this blog but apparently you have, as I said many times, lost all ability to think, reason and discern facts and evidence. You have been so thoroughly brain washed you cannot see any thing that is true but must believe a lie. You are a perfect example of scripture coming true before our eyes.
        2 Thessalonians 2:1-17
        [1]Now we beseech you, brethren, by the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, and by our gathering together unto him,
        [2]That ye be not soon shaken in mind, or be troubled, neither by spirit, nor by word, nor by letter as from us, as that the day of Christ is at hand.
        [3]Let no man deceive you by any means: for that day shall not come, except there come a falling away first, and that man of sin be revealed, the son of perdition;
        [4]Who opposeth and exalteth himself above all that is called God, or that is worshipped; so that he as God sitteth in the temple of God, shewing himself that he is God.
        [5]Remember ye not, that, when I was yet with you, I told you these things?
        [6]And now ye know what withholdeth that he might be revealed in his time.
        [7]For the mystery of iniquity doth already work: only he who now letteth will let, until he be taken out of the way.
        [8]And then shall that Wicked be revealed, whom the Lord shall consume with the spirit of his mouth, and shall destroy with the brightness of his coming:
        [9]Even him, whose coming is after the working of Satan with all power and signs and lying wonders,

        ****[10]And with all deceivableness of unrighteousness in them that perish; because they received not the love of the truth, that they might be saved.
        [11]And for this cause God shall send them strong delusion, that they should believe a lie:
        [12]That they all might be damned who believed not the truth, but had pleasure in unrighteousness.****

        [13]But we are bound to give thanks alway to God for you, brethren beloved of the Lord, because God hath from the beginning chosen you to salvation through sanctification of the Spirit and belief of the truth:
        [14]Whereunto he called you by our gospel, to the obtaining of the glory of our Lord Jesus Christ.
        [15]Therefore, brethren, stand fast, and hold the traditions which ye have been taught, whether by word, or our epistle.
        [16]Now our Lord Jesus Christ himself, and God, even our Father, which hath loved us, and hath given us everlasting consolation and good hope through grace,
        [17]Comfort your hearts, and stablish you in every good word and work.

  58. “Papists, finding it recorded here that Peter took a prominent part in the discussion which arose upon this occasion, adduce the narrative as a proof that he acted then, was entitled to act, and was recognized as entitled to act, as the vicar of Christ and the head of the church. Prelatists, finding that, several centuries afterwards, the notion was broached that James was appointed by the apostles Bishop of Jerusalem, profess to get scriptural evidence of this fancy in the prominent part which he took in the discussion. There is not in the narrative a trace of any superiority in office or jurisdiction on the part of Peter or James; so that the substance of the Popish argument is virtually this,-Peter spoke first, and therefore he was superior in authority and jurisdiction to the other apostles; while the Prelatic argument is,-James spoke last, and gave shape to the decision of the council, and therefore he was diocesan bishop, and, as such, superior in some respects even to the apostles. This of course, is sheer trifling; and the only question of real importance or difficulty connected with this matter, lies between the Presbyterians and the Congregationalists or Independents.”

    http://www.swrb.com/newslett/actualNLs/apopresby.htm

  59. Full Title: Historical Theology: A Review of the Principal Doctrinal Discussions in the Christian Church Since the Apostolic Age (2 Volume Set)
    Author: William Cunningham
    Media: Digital Download (Adobe PDF)
    Searchable: Yes
    PDF Index: Embedded, Appended
    Pages: 1276
    File Size: 50.76 MB
    Publisher: Still Waters Revival Books

    Resource Description

    Two large volumes totalling just under 1300 pages. The definitive work on doctrinal history. Compares the truth to the three major heretical systems: Romanism, Socinianism (an old form of liberalism) and Arminianism. Covers the most important disputes, focusing in on significant points of controversy in each. The value of this set should not be underestimated, for it is an antidote against much of the innovative folly so prevalent in our day. As Iain Murray, concerning human pride and scriptural interpretation, succinctly points out,

    Instead of beginning with a realization that God in His providence had already caused His Church to investigate and settle at least the great majority of Biblical doctrines, the Church, flattered by the supposed possession of superior light, began to despise the old doctrinal standards and to construct a ‘creed’ anew, as though the faith of the previous eighteen centuries counted for nothing. Nor were the evangelicals free from this plague; even they took up the slogans that ‘Christianity is not a doctrine but a life’ and that to express the truth systematically is an abuse of logic — as though to think illogically was a mark of true spirituality!

    J.J. Bonar stated that Cunningham’s “grasp and vantage of the field of theological discussion” was “of inestimable value.” This set is certainly one of the most useful items we carry and is much needed in our day.

    Introduction

    CHAPTER I. – The Church
    1. Nature of the Church
    2. Notes of the Church
    3. Promises to the Church
    4. Different Theories of the History of the Church

    CHAPTER II. – The Council Of Jerusalem
    1. Scripture Narrative
    2. The Rule of Church Power
    3. Authority of Church Officers
    4. The Place of Church Members
    5. Subordination of Church Courts
    6. Obligation of Apostolic Practice
    7. Divine Right of a Form of Church Government

    CHAPTER III. – The Apostles’ Creed

    CHAPTER IV. – The Apostolical Fathers
    1. Barnabas
    2. Hennas
    3. Clemens Romanus
    4. Polycarp
    5. Epistle to Diognetus
    6. Ignatius

    CHAPTER V. – The Heresies Of The Apostolic Age

    CHAPTER VI. – The Fathers Of The Second And Third Centuries
    1. Justin Martyr
    2. Ireneus
    3. Clemens Alexandrinus
    4. Origen
    5. Tertullian
    6. Cyprian

    CHAPTER VII. – The Church Of The First Two Centuries
    1. The Doctrines of Grace
    2. The Sufficiency of Scripture
    3. Rights of the Christian People
    4. Idolatry
    5. The Sacraments
    6. The Papal Supremacy

    CHAPTER VIII. – The Constitution Of The Church
    1. Prelacy : – State of the Question
    2. Prelacy : – Argument from Antiquity

    CHAPTER IX. – The Doctrine Of The Trinitt
    1. Testimony of the Early Church on the Trinity
    2. Nicene Creed – Consubstantiality
    3. Nicene Creed – the Eternal Sonship
    4. Nicene Creed – Procession of the Spirit

    CHAPTER X. – The Person Of Christ
    1. The Eutychian Controversy
    2. The Nestorian Controversy

    CHAPTER XI. – The Pelagian Controversy
    1. Historical Statement
    2. Depravity – Original Sin
    3. Conversion – Sovereign and Efficacious Grace
    4. Perseverance of the Saints

    CHAPTER XII. – The Worship Of Saints And Images
    1. Historical Statement
    2. Doctrinal Exposition

    CHAPTER XIII. – The Civil And Ecclesiastical Authorities
    1. Voluntaryism
    2. Co-ordinate Authorities
    3. Erastianism
    4. Popish Theory

    CHAPTER XIV. – Scholastic Theology

    CHAPTER XV. – The Canon Law

    CHAPTER XVI. – Witnesses For The Truth During The Middle Ages.
    1. Perpetuity and Visibility of the Church
    2. Waldenses and Albigenses

    CHAPTER XVII. – The Church At The Era Of The Reformation

    CHAPTER XVIII. – The Council Of Trent

    CHAPTER XIX. – The Doctrine Of The Fall
    1. Popish and Protestant Views
    2. Guilt of Adam’s First Sin
    3. The Want of Original Righteousness
    4. Corruption of Nature
    5. Concupiscence
    6. Sinfulness of Works before Regeneration
    7. Sinfulness of Works after Regeneration

    CHAPTER XX. – The Doctrine Of The Will
    1. The Will before and after the Fall
    2. The Bondage of the Will
    3. Bondage of the Will – Objections
    4. The Will in Regeneration
    5. God’s Providence, and Man’s Sin

    CHAPTER XXI. – Justification
    1. Popish and Protestant Views
    2. Nature of Justification
    3. Imputation of Christ’s Righteousness
    4. Justification by Faith alone
    5. Office of Faith in Justifying
    6. Objections to the Scriptural Doctrine
    7. The Forgiveness of Post-baptismal Sins
    8. The Merit of Good Works
    9. Practical Tendency of the Popish Doctrine of Justification

    CHAPTER XXII. – The Sacramental Principle
    1. Sacramental Grace
    2. Baptismal Regeneration
    3. Popish View of the Lord’s Supper
    4. Infant Baptism

    CHAPTER XXIII. – The Socinian Controversy
    1. Origin of Socinianism
    2. Socinian Views as to Scripture
    3. Socinian System of Theology
    4. Original and Recent Socinianism
    5. Distinction of Persons in the Godhead
    6. Trinity and Unity
    7. Evidence for the Divinity of Christ

    CHAPTER XXIV. – Doctrine Of The Atonement
    1. Connection between the Person and Work of Christ
    2. Necessity of the Atonement
    3. The Necessity and Nature of the Atonement
    4. Objections to the Doctrine of Atonement
    5. Scriptural Evidence for the Atonement
    6. Socinian View of the Atonement
    7. Arminian View of the Atonement
    8. Extent of the Atonement
    9. Evidence as to the Extent of the Atonement
    10. Extent of Atonement and Gospel Offer
    11. Extent of Atonement, and its Object
    12. Extent of the Atonement, and Calvinistic Principles

    CHAPTER XXV. – The Arminian Controversy
    1. Arminius and the Anninians
    2. Synod of Dort
    3. The Five Points
    4. Original Sin
    5. Universal and Effectual Calling
    6. Efficacious and Irresistible Grace
    7. The Decrees of God
    8. Predestination – State of the Question
    9. Predestination, and the Doctrine of the Fall
    10. Predestination, and the Omniscience of God
    11. Predestination, and the Sovereignty of God
    12. Scripture Evidence for Predestination
    13. Objections against Predestination
    14. Perseverance of Saints
    15. Socinianism – Arminianism – Calvinism

    CHAPTER XXVI. – Church Government
    1. Presbyterianism
    2. Testimony of the Reformers as to Presbyterianism
    3. Popular Election of Office-bearers
    4. Congregationalism, or Independency

    CHAPTER XXVII. – The Eeastian Controversy
    1. The Civil Magistrate and Religion
    2. Erastus and the Erastians
    3. Erastianism during the Seventeenth Century

    The Free Church of Scotland

    Index

  60. Tim K, see below. I have these two volumes in PDF if you are interested.

    “The substance of the Romish doctrine upon this general subject is, that Christ has established on earth the church as a distinct society, which is not only to continue always indefectible or without ceasing to exist, but to stand out visibly and palpably distinguished from all other societies, civil or ecclesiastical, that it is not liable to error, but will always continue to promulgate the truth, and the truth alone. When they have proved this, they then try to prove that this one church of Christ, always visible and infallible, must of necessity be in communion with the Church of Rome, the mother and mistress of all churches, and in subjection to the Bishop of Rome, the vicar of Christ and the monarch of His church.

    Protestants admit that the church, as a distinct society instituted by Christ, considered generally or in its totality, is indefectible ;—i.e., they believe that, in point of fact, it will never cease to exist, because Christ has explicitly promised this.

    They do not admit that there is anything in Scripture predicting, promising, or implying that it is to be always visible in the sense of the Romanists—i.e., that there must be at all times, in unbroken or continuous succession, an organized society publicly and palpably standing out to the eyes of men as the church of Christ; and they utterly deny that there is any good foundation for ascribing infallibility to the church in the Romish sense. They hold that there is no ground, either in scriptural statement or in historical fact, for asserting that there must always be, and has always been upon earth, a society, visible and easily recognisable, which has at all times held and proclaimed the truth of God without any mixture of error ; while they further maintain that such a description does certainly not apply de facto to the Church of Rome, or to the church in connection with the Papal See.”

    “We have seen that in the third century, and even before the end of the second, there were controversies in the church as to what were the doctrines and practices of the apostles upon some point? ; and that both parties appealed to the tradition of the church, as well as to Scripture, without being able to convince each other by the arguments derived from the one source any more than by those derived from the other. This was still more extensively the case in the fourth and fifth centuries, when, in the Arian and Pelagian controversies, both parties appealed to the testimony of the primitive church. Both in these more ancient and in more modern times, men have acted upon a notion, more or less distinctly conceived, and more or less earnestly maintained, that the fact of a doctrine or system of doctrines having been held by the early church, afforded some presumption that it had been taught by the apostles. As a general position, this may, perhaps, be admitted to be true ; but it needs to be very cautiously applied, and to be restricted within verv narrow limits. Could we fully and exactly ascertain, as we certainly cannot, the doctrine that generally prevailed in the church at large in the age immediately succeeding that of the apostles, we would confidently expect that it would be to a great extent the same as that which they taught; and could the prevailing views of that age be distinctly and unequivocally ascertained upon some particular point in regard to which Scripture had spoken so obscurely that we had great difficulty in making up our minds as to what is really taught, we might be disposed to allow the testimony of the immediately postapostolic age, if we had it, to turn the doubtful scale. This may be admitted to be true abstractly ; but it does not, in point of fact, apply to any of the actual realities of the case. And when we look more at things as they are, we see the necessity of much caution and circumspection in this matter. The history of the church abundantly confirms what the Scripture gives us reason to expect, viz., that errors and heresies may creep in privily,—the enemy sowing the tares while men are sleeping. The history of the church fully proves, moreover, that very considerable changes may be effected in the prevalent opinions of a church or nation, and of course of many churches or nations, in a comparatively short period of time; and without, perhaps, our being able to trace them to any very definite or palpable cause.

    Many instances might be adduced of the prevalent theological views of a church or nation undergoing a very considerable change, even in the course of a single generation, and this too without calling forth much public opposition ; and considering how very scanty are the remains we now have of the writings and documents of the first three centuries,—what a contrast there is in this respect between the first three centuries of the Christian era and the last three,—it is by no means certain that important changes of doctrine may not have taken place in what is called the early church, without our having any very specific evidence regarding them.

    ***Indeed, it is certain, in point of fact, that there was a gradual change going on more or less rapidly in the church, even from the time of the apostles, in regard to matters of doctrine, as well as of government and worship. It is not possible, with the evidence before us, to believe that the views of the apostolical fathers were in all respects precisely the same as those of the second century, or those of the second precisely the same as those of the third.***

    We can trace a progress,—and the progress is generally in an unsound direction,—in the direction of greater deviation from Scripture, of adding what Scripture wants, and of keeping back or perverting what Scripture contains. It is not, as Papists allege, a fuller development,—a bringing out more fully and explicitly, as circumstances demanded,—of what is contained in Scripture, and was taught at least in its germs or rudiments by the apostles. The actual features of the progressive change are inconsistent with this theory. We see scriptural principles more and more cast into the background. We see many things brought out, professed, and practised, which not only are uncountenanced by Scripture, but are plainly inconsistent either with its express statements or with its general spirit and principles. That a change was going on, and that this was its general character, is too obvious and certain as a matter of fact to admit of its being disproved, either by the general theory of the Papists as to Christ’s promises and His superintendence over His church, or by general presumptions founded upon the character of the men, and their supposed means of acquiring an accurate knowledge of divine things. If we are to take the word of God as our standard, and if it be at all fitted to serve the purposes of a rule or guide, this is a conclusion which may be fully established, and which we are not only warranted, but bound, to hold fast. Still, with all these drawbacks, and with very great practical difficulties, in regard to many questions, of arriving at a very satisfactory result, it is important and interesting to ascertain, as far as we can, what was the system of doctrine, government, and worship that prevailed in the church in early times. The chief discussions which have taken place in modern times with respect to the views of the early church, and which are still carried on in the present day, have been directed to the objects of ascertaining what were the opinions that then generally prevailed in regard to what are commonly called the doctrines of grace ; in regard to the multifarious topics involved in the controversy between Protestants and Papists, and the government of the church in general; and in regard to the doctrine of the sacraments and worship, and to the testimony of the primitive church upon these different subjects. And to the discussions which have taken place in more modern times with respect to the true import of that testimony, I propose now to advert in succession.”

    Historical Theology: A Review of the Principal Doctrinal Discussions in the Christian Church Since the Apostolic Age (2 Volume Set), William Cunningham

  61. I know you are not a really big fan of Covenanter literature, but Cunningham was not really a full adherent to all Covenanter terms of communion. He established the Free Church of Scotland. Here is his bio:

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/William_Cunningham_(theologian)

    Here is the event that caused Cunningham and several hundred more ministers to walk out of the established Church of Scotland…London and House of Commons refused to stop forcing the Church of England on the Church of Scotland.

    I know you support the PCA and its backsliding (my opinion), but it might be worth your time to read Cunningham on early church history as I don’t think it will deviate far from your own.

    http://presbyterianreformed.org/1992/04/church-state-scotland/

    “Meanwhile the court cases continued back and forth, but things came to a head in 1842. At the 1841 Assembly, William Cunningham, who had been active throughout the Non Intrusion Controversy, moved that the Assembly should petition Parliament for the abolition of patronage. His motion failed by 109 votes to 120. Undeterred, he moved in similar terms the next year, and won by a majority of sixty nine. The General Assembly of 1842 not only passed Cunningham’s motion, but proceeded to set out its grievances in a Claim, Declaration and Protest. Chalmers moved that the Claim be adopted and set formally before Parliament. His motion was carried by 241 votes to 110. All eyes were on London. What would the government do?

    On the 17th of November 1842, a Convocation of nearly five hundred ministers met in Edinburgh and passed two series of resolutions. The first committed the signatories to resist any further encroachments by the civil courts upon the jurisdiction of the Church; it was endorsed by 423 ministers attending. The second series of resolutions declared that if the government did not yield, then the signatories would have no alternative but to leave the established church. It was signed by 354 ministers, willing to abandon stipend and manse for “the crown rights of King Jesus.” In March 1843 the Commission of Assembly petitioned the House of Commons for an answer to the Claim. The Tory government of Sir Robert Peel saw no reason why the Church of Scotland should be on a different footing from the Church of England, and neither did the House of Commons. There would be no redress.

    The General Assembly met on the 18th of May 1843. After the opening diet of worship, the retiring moderator, Dr. David Welsh, read a protest against the state’s infringements on the spiritual independence of the established Church of Scotland. He left the chair, signed the tabled protest, and walked out of the Assembly. Over two hundred other commissioners followed his example. Together they marched to a hall in the Cannonmills area of Edinburgh, where they constituted the first General Assembly of the Free Church of Scotland. Among the multitudes lining the streets was Reformed Presbyterian minister William Symington, whose Messiah the Prince, had played an acknowledged role in rousing many Church of Scotland ministers to an understanding of what was at stake.

    Some 480 ministers came out of the established church at the Disruption of 1843. Chalmers defined their position regarding the relationship between church and state thus: “That is to say, though we quit the Establishment, we go out on the Establishment Principle; we quit a vitiated Establishment, but would rejoice in returning to a pure one. To express it otherwise, we are the advocates for a national recognition and national support of religion, and we are not Voluntaries.”

  62. Kevin,

    You might find it interesting to read this short primer on the differences between the Presbyterians. I’ve already given you references to the incredible public differences in the Roman Catholic church where entire catholic followers have confirmed another Pope in USA they claim to be the only true Pope, and entire groups who reject the Pope in Rome as an anti-Pope. Now you can read about the Presbyterians.

    http://www.swrb.com/newslett/actualNLs/paleo.htm

    Fortunately, we have never had any theological writers define the Presbyterians as antichrist unlike the literally thousands of theological writers in history who identify the Roman Pontiff (even Roman Catholic groups today) as Antichrist.

    It is pretty telling when thousands, even those within the Roman Catholic church, who have identified the Pope as Antichrist and the Whore of Babylon. Very telling indeed.

    Walt.

    1. Walt, the gates of hell will never prevail against the Roman Catholic Church, not matter what individuals or groups want to bring about its demise. It’s lasted for 2,000 years and has survived and so will never expire. Presbyterianism and all the other so-called reformed “isms” will eventually die out because they aren’t built on the Rock Jesus Christ. They have some truth, but not the fullness of truth. Personally, I am not looking for truth mixed with error, that is why I am Catholic.

      1. Mark said:

        “They have some truth, but not the fullness of truth. Personally, I am not looking for truth mixed with error, that is why I am Catholic.”

        For the sake of your soul, and a billion more, I wish it were true Mark…really I do. It brings tears to my eyes thinking about how sincerely wrong you are, and just how many like you have no interest in any Scriptural basis to overturn your “spotless” and “perfectly visible” Catholic tradition.

        1. Walt, but you and 40,000 other Protestant denominations all have their own spin on Christianity and wish the same! Get over it! Protestantism is and always will be the minority opinion about the Christian faith. I know you are sincere and mean well, but there’s only one Church and that is Catholic. Any truth you have is from the Catholic Church. Everything else was invented by men.

          1. Mark said:

            “Walt, but you and 40,000 other Protestant denominations all have their own spin on Christianity and wish the same! Get over it!”

            I assumed those 40,000 were Roman Catholic denominations and adherents. They have nothing to do in my own 40 years of study of Christianity. At one point in my life I used to think like you as a Catholic that there was one true Roman Catholic Church, and the rest were all schism denominations. That is what I was taught, and that is what I believed.

            It was not until I started reading sitting on the floor of antiquarian bookstores in London back in 1997-1998 that I realized what I was told was a lie.

            All the reformers were former Roman Catholic Priests and all recognized that the RCC caused the schism from the truth of Scripture. As Priests they started to translate the original manuscripts of Scripture into their vulgar language and read it clearly and concisely. Like a massive wave as Romish Priests they quickly recognized that what was being taught was nothing even close to the Holy Spirit (the true Vicar of Christ) speaking in the Scriptures.

            It hit me like a ton of bricks. How could it be possible that I was deceived? I was lied to growing up that the one true Holy Roman Catholic Church was the root of all the schism in the history of the Christian church.

            I buried myself in books and the Scriptures, and soon it was clear that the Church of Scotland soon head and shoulders above all Romish denominations in the history of the world. There was no comparison. It was so obvious that the Covenanters and Reformers were so closely aligned with my own diligent study of the Scriptures, and indeed were among the most incredibly gifted writers on doctrine, discipline, form of worship and government that has ever been written. What I read, like on this blog, had no comparison in Catholic literature. Sure, they were always considered a small remnant and insignificant, but when I traced back all the best doctrines they always went straight back to Scripture.

            The Romish and 40,000 Protestant denominations all went back to oral tradition, and a massive wave of confusion and early church Father controversy. They hung most all of their doctrines, discipline, form of worship and form of government upon the Romish tradition. Just look at Christmas, Easter, candles, pictures of Jesus, worship and adoration of Mary as the co-redeemer, alters and priestly garments, open communion, normative principle of worship, combined church and state Erastianism, voluntary associations, arminian and semi-pelagian soteriology, oral tradition superseding the Holy Spirit speaking infallibly in the Scriptures, independent form of government where the sole minister is like a mini-Pope with final authority on all moral issues, no right to appeal at local courts of Session, zero church discipline for members, pastors and priests who commit heinous sin and are secretly transferred from parish to parish, focus on incredible wealth, gold, diamonds, massive buildings, real estate empires, and Pope mobiles and private jets, etc. etc. etc. The list just goes on and on.

            No, I was interested in the meek, humble, extremely gifted reformed who laid down their lives for Christ. I wanted to see those who were dedicated to the Crown Rights of Jesus Christ, and articulated eschatology correctly in identifying the Papacy and Roman Catholic institution as the Antichrist, and all her 40,000 “Protestant” denominations as the daughters of the Whore.

            No, I see the first-third century link perfectly fit into where Rome caused schism in the Apostles doctrine, and where those Greek manuscripts traveled while Rome covenanted Jerome’s Latin Vulgate rejecting the true received text.

            The line is now clear, and Rome went to Antichrist while the history of Protesters surfaced generation after generation declaring for history what was going on with this Antichrist.

            Mark, don’t take this the wrong way, but the more you write the more I see what almost happened to me in being totally brain washed as a Roman Catholic. If it were not for Jesus Christ calling me, and drawing me and saving me and bringing me out of your system, I would be just like you totally blinded to all spiritual things of Christ. I would be on your side on this blog kicking and screaming that I was in the Holy Catholic Church and all those “protestants” were outside.

            Now, it is different, I see so much in common between Roman Catholicism and those 40,000 denominations that the connection is clear.

            I see 99% of those 40,000 agreeing with Rome, and less than 1% agreeing with the Covenanters and the reformers who laid out these principles of the true and faithful visible Christian church in history.

            Be pleased Mark, you have more in unity with those 40,000 than any of us Covenanters do…this is for sure.

          2. Walt you are part of the 40,000. It doesn’t matter what you want to believe about it, you are. Among the Christian groups there is either Catholic, Protestant, or Orthodox. You fall squarely in the Protestant camp and it is easily provable. The facts are on my side.

      2. ” Presbyterianism and all other so called reformed “isms” will eventually die out, because they aren’t built on the rock Jesus Christ” actually Mark, Reformation dealt a fatal blow to the Roman religion, and this is directly attributed to God building his church on the rock of Jesus. It’s is clear that your religion is built on a man. Just read the banner over the Basilica.

  63. “Similarly, among the broad presbyterian movement, a type of fracture has also begun to emerge. Some presbyterians are returning to the original presbyterian position of full subscription to the Westminster Standards including obedience to the continuing moral obligations of the National Covenant of Scotland and the Solemn League and Covenant. This group could accurately be labelled “paleopresbyterians” since they hold to the original conceptions of what presbyterianism means. In contrast, those presbyterians unwilling to accept full subscription to the Standards or the binding nature of the Covenants could be called “neopresbyterians” since they have effectively watered-down the original presbyterian position. Using these terms will help to clarify the issues at stake in the emerging debate between Covenanters (paleopresbyterians) and all other presbyterians (neopresbyterians).”

    And what our modern day neopresbyterians reject and fight against at all cost to the independent view and “freedom of conscience” and “freedom of religion” and “freedom of worship” and “freedom of independent thought” is easily summarized here…fighting against Christ’s true and faithful visible church directly linked to the Apostles.

    “In 1638 the (presbyterian) people of Scotland took a National Covenant as a means of solidifying resistance against the imposition of “English Popish Ceremonies” as George Gillespie called them. Five years later, during this confusing period of British history, representatives of England, Scotland, and Ireland took the Solemn League and Covenant, binding their nations together to hold to Biblical truth and resist all error, particularly Roman Catholicism and Episcopalianism. The Westminster Assembly of Divines which had just begun meeting that year, 1643, enthusiastically took the Solemn League and Covenant (Hetherington [1856] 1991, 124-128).

    Aside from its political aspects, the Solemn League and Covenant committed the three nations to certain ecclesiastical goals. George Gillespie, one of the most prominent Scottish Commissioners at the Assembly, noted what these goals were:

    Yet I must needs justify (as not only lawful, but laudable) what the solemn league and covenant of the three kingdoms obligeth us unto, namely, to endeavour to bring the churches of God in the three kingdoms to the nearest conjunction and uniformity in one confession of faith, one directory of worship, one form of church government and catechism ([1846] 1991, 82).”

    Rome has no authority to any Christian church in history, but is that incredible global Antichrist that has been identified by thousands of witnesses confirmed by their blood and torture by Antichrist for spreading the true gospel. History is replete with evidence and facts on the bloody history of the Papacy in history against true and faithful Protestors from the 4th century when the Romanist rejected the Apostles and Christ’s teaching to create their own Antichrist religion.

    Evidence, facts, reason and logic all reveal this to the Christian reader who are interested in such truth’s. All those harsh defenders of Rome and her bloody trail in history totally reject any warning given in Scripture by Christ’s witnesses and the Holy Spirit speaking to His elect. Beware, be diligent, be vigilant, be wary, study to make thyself approved, take heed, think, read, learn and test the spirits as all are not of the God of Scripture and heaven!!!

  64. If anyone really wants to see the incredible evil of the Roman Catholic church, watch this video. It is from a Roman Catholic so there is not “Protestant” and “Anti-Catholic” bias here:

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HimRHE6H3Pg

    Now is the time to really start researching what Roman Catholics, and those most faithful to the evil doctrines of Trent and their bloody history believe and teach. As more and more of these Roman Catholics adopt the teachings of Trent, we can see the forthcoming persecution on those of us who speak out against Rome and the Papal Antichrist.

    Watch, learn and prepare for those who absolutely teach and believe that no salvation exists outside of total submission of mind, heart and soul to the Roman Pontiff. Beware.

  65. Mark said:

    “Walt you are part of the 40,000. It doesn’t matter what you want to believe about it, you are. Among the Christian groups there is either Catholic, Protestant, or Orthodox. You fall squarely in the Protestant camp and it is easily provable. The facts are on my side.”

    You are somewhat correct, but not entirely. You paint three distinct colors with a broad brush. You take in 1 billion catholics in one color, then another 800 million protestants in a second color and 260 million orthodox in last color.

    http://christianity.about.com/od/denominations/p/christiantoday.htm

    However, you reach this conclusion by what Pew Research tells you, and not by what Scripture teaches you.

    If you look at Scripture, rather than Pew, you will see that there is a very tiny remnant that have not bowed their knee to the Papacy, and Antichrist in our generation. The rest all support Antichrist largely to some degree in doctrine, worship, government and discipline.

    Only a tiny remnant of faithful Covenanter Presbyterians, Puritans, and a small fraction of those who call themselves Reformed have rejected the Antichrist in history. Find those Mark and you will see the true, faithful and visible church in well-being throughout history leading back to the Apostles doctrine, and that of Scripture.

    The rest have followed Rome since the 4th century into Schism, and Protestants worse than most. Fortunately for you, the 40,000 denominations in the world all are founded on Rome. Congratulations…you have done wonders!

    “According to the Center for the Study of Global Christianity (CSGC) at Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary, there are approximately 41,000 Christian denominations and organizations in the world.”

  66. “If you look at Scripture, rather than Pew, you will see that there is a very tiny remnant that have not bowed their knee to the Papacy”

    Please show me the book, chapter, and verse where the Bible says, “a very tiny remnant that have not bowed their knee to the Papacy”. It’s funny how you talk out of both sides of your mouth. On one hand you say that the Pope isn’t mentioned in Scripture and then you can conveniently say that it is. Which is it?

    1. Mark said:

      “On one hand you say that the Pope isn’t mentioned in Scripture and then you can conveniently say that it is. Which is it?”

      It is obvious in Scripture, and taught in history by the greatest minds in the history of the Christian church!

      “Wycliffe, Tyndale, Luther, Calvin, Cranmer; in the seventeenth century, Bunyan, the translators of the King James Bible and the men who published the Westminster and Baptist confessions of Faith; Sir Isaac Newton, Wesley, Whitefield, Jonathan Edwards; and more recently Charles Spurgeon, J.C. Ryle and Dr. Martin Lloyd-Jones; these men among countless others, all saw the office of the Papacy as the antichrist.” – Michael de Semlyen, All Roads Lead to Rome, p. 205, 1991.

      1. Walt, I asked you to show me where it states in the Bible, “a very tiny remnant that have not bowed their knee to the Papacy.” I have not found one Scripture that says this. After all, the word Pope or Papacy isn’t in the Bible.
        It all comes down to your interpretation. Why should I trust you over Jesus?

  67. Mathew 7:13, ” Enter through the narrow gate, for the gate is wide and the way is broad that leads to destruction, and there are many who enter through it. For the gate is small, and the way is narrow that leads to life, and FEW find it” according to Jesus claiming to be the biggest religion and therefore the true church of Christ would seem to be the wide gate that leads to destruction. And according to Jesus only few find life. Walt is on to something. Jesus words does not serve your religion well.

  68. Mark, that’s the whole point of the gospel is it brings peace and Joy and eternal security. But that would be a hard concept for yourself as a Roman Catholic who has been taught that God gives you a little juju, and then you got to get there, and if you don’t get there, you don’t get there. Certainly I agree with you for a papist working his way to heaven, psychological security would be a hard concept. And let’s be frank, without Purgatory Roman Catholicism is a hard sell. Never knowing your saved, a mortal sin can throw you out again. But Purgatory is that safety net, a place you go if you’ve been a good Catholic to sort things out. But Jesus told the rich young ruler no man is good, and with man it’s impossible. There is one way to heaven, the gospel. By repenting and believing in the gospel alone God transfers to men’s account the righteouness of Christ . My security and peace of mind comes from Jesus life and death, not mine.

  69. “Mark, that’s the whole point of the gospel is it brings peace and Joy and eternal security.”

    I agree that the gospel brings joy to those who believe and follow it, but it doesn’t bring eternal security. Jesus was very clear that.

  70. ” for the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord” indeed eternal life is not only a quality of life but a duration, forever. So yes eternal security belongs to the one who believes in the gospel alone. Gospels aren’t followed, they are believed in. Let’s allow Jesus to tell us. Mark 1:15″ repent and BELIEVE IN the gospel. Jesus gives perspective to your mass which is done to achieve salvation, and purgatory which is done to get rid of temporal punishment remaining. As you can see Christ’s gospel is foreign to your church. So let’s just say Rome’s gospel is Antichrist.

  71. “but the free gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord” indeed eternal life is not only a quality of life but a duration, forever”

    This doesn’t say that once you accept Jesus as savior that you are saved forever, no matter what you do.

  72. ” This doesn’t say that once you accept Jesus as savior that you are saved forever, no matter what you do” actually the verse says that eternal life is a free gift. So I’m not sure how ” no matter what you do” has to do with a free gift. If I gave you my watch as a gift and you payed me for it, it wouldn’t be a gift, would it? Its a gift, you can’t earn it, nor do we deserve it. God saves us in spite of our works, not because of them. Secondly you say ” that doesn’t say that once you accept Jesus that you are saved forever” I think you are confusing your false system of worthiness of merit with Paul’s words here. He says you are saved forever, that what eternal means, forever. Its a gift. Its full and free. Meriting increases of grace isn’t a gift.

    1. Sorry for being so slow to respond. Timothy K, I did want to make an attempt to respond to your following post. This was your previous post

      Timothy F. Kauffman

      January 29, 2017 at 9:46 pm

      Timothy P, you wrote,

      So while you may point out differences in the teachings of Jerome and Athanasius , they obviously agree that celibacy is a higher calling.

      Yes, they did. Can I ask your opinions on some of Jerome’s teachings, though? He said,

      “Christ loves virgins more than others, because they willingly give what was not commanded them” (Jerome, Against Jovinianus, Book I, chapter 12).

      “And yet though Lucifer be fallen (the old serpent after his fall) … [h]e is king over all things that are in the waters— that is to say in the seat of pleasure and luxury, of propagation of children, and of the fertilisation of the marriage bed.” (Jerome, Against Jovinianus, Book II, chapter 4)

      Do you believe Satan is king of the fertilization of the marriage bed?

      Do you believe Jesus loves virgins more?

      Do you believe conjugal union occurred only after the fall? Do you believe marriage is “not good”?

      Do you think these are apostolic teachings?

      I’ll get back to the rest later, but I wanted to understand your position on these teachings of Jerome.

      Thanks,

      Tim”

      First I want to thank you for admitting that Jerome and Athanasius agree that celibacy is a higher calling. I think when you look at the Bible you come away with the same conclusion. But Timothy K, I’m not sure if you agree? Let’s look at the Bible verses

      “Then I looked, and behold, on Mount Zion stood the Lamb, and with him 144,000 who had his name and his Father’s name written on their foreheads. And I heard a voice from heaven like the roar of many waters and like the sound of loud thunder. The voice I heard was like the sound of harpists playing on their harps, and they were singing a new song before the throne and before the four living creatures and before the elders. No one could learn that song except the 144,000 who had been redeemed from the earth. It is these who have not defiled themselves with women, for they are virgins. It is these who follow the Lamb wherever he goes. These have been redeemed from mankind as first fruits for God and the Lamb, and in their mouth no lie was found, for they are blameless.”

      Revelation 14:1-5 ESV

      “I wish that all were as I myself am. But each has his own gift from God, one of one kind and one of another. To the unmarried and the widows I say that it is good for them to remain single as I am. But if they cannot exercise self-control, they should marry. For it is better to marry than to burn with passion.”

      1 Corinthians 7:7-9 ESV

      “I want you to be free from anxieties. The unmarried man is anxious about the things of the Lord, how to please the Lord. But the married man is anxious about worldly things, how to please his wife, and his interests are divided. And the unmarried or betrothed woman is anxious about the things of the Lord, how to be holy in body and spirit. But the married woman is anxious about worldly things, how to please her husband. I say this for your own benefit, not to lay any restraint upon you, but to promote good order and to secure your undivided devotion to the Lord. If anyone thinks that he is not behaving properly toward his betrothed, if his passions are strong, and it has to be, let him do as he wishes: let them marry—it is no sin. …”

      1 Corinthians 7:32-40 ESV

      So Timothy K, is celibacy a higher calling?

      Now you appear to want me to defend every statement that Jerome makes rather then to defend the teachings of the Catholic Church. And I don’t think you are giving a completely accurate assessment of Jerome’s opinion of marriage when you ask me “Do you believe that marriage is not good?” I would recommend that everyone read the entire letter to Helvidius and Jovanius for a more fair assessment of Jerome’s teachings. Revelations says “It is these who have not defiled themselves with women, for they are virgins”. Paul says if you “cannot exercise self control, they should marry”. Not exactly flattering statements for us who are married and defiling ourselves with women and showing a lack of self control according to Scripture. But let’s agree one needs to read the entire scriptures and all of Jerome’s comments. But I think there are interesting points of discussion you raise. Does Jesus love virgins more? Not sure it’s a Catholic teaching but what do you think?

      1. Like I said, Timothy P, you wrote,

        “Now you appear to want me to defend every statement that Jerome makes rather then to defend the teachings of the Catholic Church.”

        I have never asked you to defend a single thing Jerome says. I merely asked your opinion about his teachings.

        I’ll get back to the rest later, but like I said, I wanted to understand your position on these teachings of Jerome.

        Do you believe Satan is king of the fertilization of the marriage bed?

        Do you believe Jesus loves virgins more?

        Do you believe conjugal union occurred only after the fall? Do you believe marriage is “not good”?

        Do you think these are apostolic teachings?

        Thanks,

        Tim

        1. Tim K,

          Tim P made a good point from scripture. So, let me ask you, do you believe that virgins don’t “defile themselves with women”?

          Also, do you believe that those who marry can’t exercise self-control?

          Thanks.

          1. Mark, thank you for giving me your personal opinion of Timothy P’s personal interpretation of Scripture. However, like I said, I first want to know his opinions on Jerome’s teachings.

            Thanks,

            Tim

          2. Tim K,

            I see. You want Tim P’s personal opinion about your personal opinion of Jerome’s opinions.

            Whatever Jerome’s opinions are, he doesn’t speak for the universal Church and doesn’t have the charism of infallibility. So your opinion, or Tim P’s opinion, or my opinion, about Jerome’s opinion doesn’t really matter.

            Thanks.

          3. Mark, you wrote,

            “I see. You want Tim P’s personal opinion about your personal opinion of Jerome’s opinions.”

            Not exactly. It is not my opinion that Jerome said Lucifer is king over the the propagation of children, and the fertilization process of the marriage bed. It is simply a fact that he said it:

            “And yet though Lucifer be fallen (the old serpent after his fall), “his strength is in his loins, and his force is in the muscles of his belly. The great trees are overshadowed by him, and he sleeps beside the reed, the rush, and the sedge.” He is king over all things that are in the waters— that is to say in the seat of pleasure and luxury, of propagation of children, and of the fertilisation of the marriage bed.” (Jerome, Against Jovinianus, Book II, chapter 4)

            It is not my opinion that Jerome said Jesus loves virgins more. It is simply a fact that he said that:

            “And therefore Christ loves virgins more than others, because they willingly give what was not commanded them.” (Jerome, Against Jovinianus, Book I, paragraph 12)

            It is not my opinion that Jerome thought marriage is “not good.” Jerome actually said he suspects the “good” of something that is just the lesser of two evils:

            “When you come to marriage, you do not say it is good to marry, because you cannot then add ” than to burn;” but you say, “It is better to marry than to burn.” If marriage in itself be good, do not compare it with fire, but simply say “It is good to marry.” I suspect the goodness of that thing which is forced into the position of being only the lesser of two evils. What I want is not a smaller evil, but a thing absolutely good.” (Jerome, Against Jovinianus, Book I, paragraph 9)

            Jerome also understood that the second day was not called “good” because it prefigured marriage:

            “This too we must observe, at least if we would faithfully follow the Hebrew, that while Scripture on the first, third, fourth, fifth, and sixth days relates that, having finished the works of each, “God saw that it was good,” on the second day it omitted this altogether, leaving us to understand that two is not a good number because it destroys unity, and prefigures the marriage compact.” (Against Jovinianus, Book I, paragraph 16).

            It is not my opinion that Jerome said marriage took place after the fall. He actually said it:

            “And as regards Adam and Eve we must maintain that before the fall they were virgins in Paradise: but after they sinned, and were cast out of Paradise, they were immediately married.” (Against Jovinianus, Book I, paragraph 16).

            It is not my opinion that Jerome said these things. He actually said these things.

            I am curious to know if Timothy P agrees with what Jerome said. Is marriage really “not good”? Did marriage really take place only after the fall? Is Satan really king over the fertilization process and the begetting of children? Does Jesus really love virgins more?

            You responded that it is just my opinion that Jerome said these things, but that is a diversion. Jerome actually said these things. It is not merely “my opinion” that he did.

            Timothy P responded that I appear to want him “to defend every statement that Jerome makes,” but that is just a diversion. I have never asked him “to defend every statement that Jerome makes.” I have merely asked him his opinion on these particular teachings of Jerome.

            If it is your opinion that your opinion does not matter, then there is nothing constraining you to comment on this thread. But I would like to know from Timothy P if he agrees with these things that Jerome said.

            Thanks,

            Tim

          4. Tim K.,

            You said, “Mark, thank you for giving me your personal opinion of Timothy P’s personal interpretation of Scripture. ”

            I didn’t give you my personal interpretation. It is actually in the Bible.

            Revelation 14:4, “These are those who did not defile themselves with women, for they remained virgins. They follow the Lamb wherever he goes. They were purchased from among mankind and offered as firstfruits to God and the Lamb.”

            1 Cor. 7:9, “but if they cannot exercise self-control they should marry”

            So, it’s not my “personal opinion” about scripture.

          5. Mark, you objected,

            “I didn’t give you my personal interpretation. It is actually in the Bible.”

            But here is what you said:

            “Tim P made a good point from scripture.”

            That’s your personal interpretation of Timothy P’s personal interpretation of Scripture, and I thanked you for it. Are you saying that the Bible says that Tim P made a good point from Scripture? If so, where does the Bible say that Tim P made a good point?

            Thanks,

            Tim

    2. Kevin, but a free gift is not one without requirements! First, you have to accept the gift. We have free will and so God isn’t going to force his free gift on anyone who is unwilling to accept it. Secondly being a Christian costs us dearly! Read Luke 14:25-33. Jesus says, “Whoever does not carry the cross and follow me cannot be my disciple.” We must be willing to count the cost and give up everything to follow Jesus. This is why Protestantism teaches the WIDE gate! All that is required is to believe in Jesus and accept his free gift. Then forever and ever you will be justified. This is EXACTLY OPPOSITE what Jesus taught and isn’t the gospel message.

      1. ” whatever Jerome’s opinions are, he doesn’t speak for the universal church and doesn’t have the charism of infallibility.” But that’s your opinion, which isn’t infallible. ” so your opinion, or my opinion, or Tim P’s opinion doesn’t really matter.” This isn’t logical. If noboby’s opinion or view mattered , then why do we cite different theologians or apologists? We wouldn’t have had the Reformation if Luther’s view didn’t matter. Even your magisterium’s view must pass through the scrutiny of scripture. We all have to answer the question, according to whom. And as Reformed Christians have told you, your in the same position.

        1. I guess my main question Kevin and Timothy K is do you believe that the celibate life is a higher calling as suggested by the biblical quotes in the Bible and as Timothy K admits was professed by Jerome and St.Athanasius. Between the
          Bible and Jerome and Athanasius do you find a denial that the celibate life is not a higher calling? The bible verses don’t really need interpreting, and we can post them all if you would like. I just need to see your quotes from the early Church Fathers that deny the higher calling of celibacy.
          Now Mark and I obviously agree we are defending Catholic teaching, not the individual statements of every Church Father but since Timothy K presumably disagrees with the statements from St Jerome I’ll be glad to render my opinion concerning the statements and do I think they are apostolic. May require a few post but I’ll give it a try. Let me start with the easier one

          Do you believe that Jesus loves Virgins more? My answer would be yes. Now why would I say that? It seems like a little common sense should come into play. Let’s look at what St. Paul wrote:

          “I want you to be free from anxieties. The unmarried man is anxious about the things of the Lord, how to please the Lord. But the married man is anxious about worldly things, how to please his wife, and his interests are divided. And the unmarried or betrothed woman is anxious about the things of the Lord, how to be holy in body and spirit. But the married woman is anxious about worldly things, how to please her husband. I say this for your own benefit, not to lay any restraint upon you, but to promote good order and to secure your undivided devotion to the Lord. If anyone thinks that he is not behaving properly toward his betrothed, if his passions are strong, and it has to be, let him do as he wishes: let them marry—it is no sin. …”

          1 Corinthians 7:32-40 ESV

          Now let’s see. I am the Lord and I have the virgin dedicating his or her life totally on “how to please the Lord”. And on the other hand the married person who is “anxious about wordly things”. Which one am I going to love more?
          You have two friends. One does everything in his power to make you happy. The other one is glad to give you his spare time but has other commitments. Which are you going to love more?
          I think the fact that you would be bothered by the fact that the Lord might love those who are celibate and have dedicated themselves to the Lord speaks more to some basic insecurity rather then taking a rational assessment of what St Paul is telling you. But let me look and see if I can find from scripture any examples where Christ is shown to Love Virgins more.

          1. Ok, do we have any evidence from the Bible that Jesus loves virgins more. Well who did Jesus choose to be the most blessed among women? The Virgin!!!

            Luke 1: 27-28

            and the virgin’s name was Mary
            28
            And the angel came in unto her, and said, Hail ,thou that art highly favoured, the Lord is with thee, blessed art thou amongst women”

            Let’s see if there are any other biblical examples which suggest Christ loved a virgin over those who were married.

    1. Kevin, you obviously haven’t read Luke 14:25-33.

      And in Matthew 19 when the rich young ruler asked Christ what he must do to inherit eternal life, what did Jesus say? Accept my free gift?
      No he said, “If you wish to enter into life, keep the commandments.”

      Shocking, I know it must be for you, to see that Jesus actually REQUIRES something of you. You have taken scripture and twisted them to your own destruction.

    2. Kevin remember that Catholics all follow the catechism which teaches justification and sanctification are the largely the same and salvation comes by an infused moral righteousness and transformation.

      The scriptures and reformers teach justification is different than sanctification and salvation comes from an objective judicial act by God declaring you justified by the imputed righteousness and works of Christ. Moral transformation known as sanctification begins most effectively after justification.

      CHAPTER XXI. – Justification
      1. Popish and Protestant Views
      2. Nature of Justification
      3. Imputation of Christ’s Righteousness
      4. Justification by Faith alone
      5. Office of Faith in Justifying
      6. Objections to the Scriptural Doctrine
      7. The Forgiveness of Post-baptismal Sins
      8. The Merit of Good Works
      9. Practical Tendency of the Popish Doctrine of Justification

      1. Walt, thanks , I know this. I feel we need to continually draw the distinction between the gospel which is a message about something that happened in the past and not what we do or will do or what God does in believers. The for us, not the in us. Incidentally, you have done a great job of this by providing the WCF on justification. To remain under the delusion and veil that infusion, sanctification, or obedience, or human merit is the gospel, is to be lost. I’m watching the discussion here with Mark and Timothy P. They are under the allusion that because God calls someone to celibacy, which we would agree scripture teaches as an opportunity to focus solely on God, is some advantage in attaining salvation or position with God. Peter was married and was given an important position among apostles. Adam was in a covenant of works, celibacy should have been an advantage under their position, yet God gave him Eve.

        1. Kevin, Walt said

          “The reformers taught it as a special gift to be single and give your attention more toward God than toward your spouse. God is always to be worshiped and cherished first beyond those of the human race, whether relatives or friends.”

          Now Kevin, how is celibacy a special gift if it does not provide “some advantage in attaining salvation or position with God”. And Kevin, Walt says ‘God is always to be worshiped and cherished first beyond those of the human race , whether relatives or friends” but isn’t worshiping and cherishing God a work.

          And I’m not sure about your comment on Adam and Eve. Was Eve a punishment to Adam or a “special gift”?

          1. Timothy P ” now Kevin, how is celibacy a special gift if it does not provide some advantage in attaining salvation or position with God” Go to google, put in Trinity Foundation ” What is the gospel” If you can understand that article, you will answer your own question.

        2. Jesus didn’t say that celibacy is better than marriage because he doesn’t like marriage. Celibacy is the better way because it allows one to focus solely on God and not on things of the world. Paul is very clear when he says in 1 Cor 7, “I want you to be free from anxieties. The unmarried man is anxious about the affairs of the Lord, how to please the Lord; but the married man is anxious about the affairs of the world, how to please his wife, and his interests are divided. And the unmarried woman and the virgin are anxious about the affairs of the Lord, so that they may be holy in body and spirit; but the married woman is anxious about the affairs of the world, how to please her husband. I say this for your own benefit, not to put any restraint upon you, but to promote good order and unhindered devotion to the Lord.”

          This goes back to the gospel. What is eternal life? John 17:3, “Now this is eternal life: that they know you, the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom you have sent.”

          Jesus came so that we may know the Father. He came so that we can have a relationship with the Trinity. To have a relationship with God means that we grow to become like Him. The knowledge of God is what we are striving towards. Now we look through a glass dimly. Because of our fallen nature, we “see only a reflection as in a mirror; then we shall see face to face. Now I know in part; then I shall know fully, even as I am fully known.”

          Eternal life is existing in the beatific vision of God. Those who have more charity in their hearts will have a greater beatific vision of God. 1 John 4:8, “Whoever does not love does not know God, because God is love.”

          1 Peter 1:15, “But just as he who called you is holy, so be holy in all you do.”

          In this way, celibacy assists those who are called to it to grow in love and holiness.

          The Catholic teaching is so Biblical and beautiful and reasonable and true!

  73. Mark, you are very confused. You cherry picked the passage on the rich young ruler narrative and arrived at Roman Catholicism. Jesus told the man that to elicit a response, knowing his heart. The RYR said he had kept all the commandments. And what did Jesus say, OK, cmon in. No! He identified his imperfection by asking him to sell everything. Mark, the law requires perfection. And the RYR said he had kept the law from his youth. He hadn’t. And he knew that, and so did Jesus. Why else would he chase Jesus down and fall to his feet. He lacked something. And Jesus said ” with man it is impossible, with God all things are possible. ” Men aren’t righteous by cleaning up their life, they righteous by believing in the gospel. God makes believers holy, but it isn’t what makes the righteous before God. Confusing this is fatal. K

    1. Kevin, of course you would try to make Jesus INTEND to say something other than he did. That is why you have problems understanding the gospel.

  74. So does Jesus Love the Virgin more? I am almost hesitant to point out these biblical quotes as Walt seems to believe that two celibate men that love each other must be homosexual . I think his accusation was directed at Cardinal Newman but hopefully Walt will not level the same charge against our Lord and Savior and the Beloved disciple John. Tradition tells us, the same tradition by which we accept the authorship of the New Testament books, that John the disciple was never married. I came across a prayer on an orthodox Christian website referring to the virgin disciple. So what does Scripture tell us about Jesus’s relationship with John the virgin

    The disciple whom Jesus loved

    Jesus and the Beloved Disciple
    The phrase the disciple whom Jesus loved (Greek: ὁ μαθητὴς ὃν ἠγάπα ὁ Ἰησοῦς, ho mathētēs hon ēgapā ho Iēsous) or, in John 20:2, the Beloved Disciple (Greek: ὃν ἐφίλει ὁ Ἰησοῦς, hon ephilei ho Iēsous) is used five times in the Gospel of John,[41] but in no other New Testament accounts of Jesus. John 21:24 claims that the Gospel of John is based on the written testimony of this disciple.

    The disciple whom Jesus loved is referred to, specifically, six times in John’s gospel:
    It is this disciple who, while reclining beside Jesus at the Last Supper, asks Jesus, after being requested by Peter to do so, who it is that will betray him.[Jn 13:23-25]
    Later at the crucifixion, Jesus tells his mother, “Woman, here is your son”, and to the Beloved Disciple he says, “Here is your mother.”[Jn 19:26-27]
    When Mary Magdalene discovers the empty tomb, she runs to tell the Beloved Disciple and Peter. The two men rush to the empty tomb and the Beloved Disciple is the first to reach the empty tomb. However, Peter is the first to enter.[Jn 20:1-10]
    In John 21, the last chapter of the Gospel of John, the Beloved Disciple is one of seven fishermen involved in the miraculous catch of 153 fish.[Jn 21:1-25] [42]
    Also in the book’s final chapter, after Jesus hints to Peter how Peter will die, Peter sees the Beloved Disciple following them and asks, “What about him?” Jesus answers, “If I want him to remain until I come, what is that to you? You follow Me!”[John 21:20-23]
    Again in the gospel’s last chapter, it states that the very book itself is based on the written testimony of the disciple whom Jesus loved.[John 21:24]

    Now if Christ loved all the disciples equally, why was John singled out as “the disciple whom Jesus loved”?

    I know that Jesus loves me, but I don’t have a problem with the fact that he loves his Mother and the Beloved Disciple more.

    1. Tim P says:

      “So does Jesus Love the Virgin more? I am almost hesitant to point out these biblical quotes as Walt seems to believe that two celibate men that love each other must be homosexual . I think his accusation was directed at Cardinal Newman but hopefully Walt will not level the same charge against our Lord and Savior and the Beloved disciple John. Tradition tells us, the same tradition by which we accept the authorship of the New Testament books, that John the disciple was never married. I came across a prayer on an orthodox Christian website referring to the virgin disciple. So what does Scripture tell us about Jesus’s relationship with John the virgin”

      Scripture has many examples of men remaining single, as were the prophets and some apostles. The reformers taught it as a special gift to be single and give your attention more toward God than toward your spouse. God is always to be worshiped and cherished first beyond those of the human race, whether relatives or friends.

      The Romish error is they require (even though Mark claims that there is no evidence) each priest to take a vow of celibacy to be in the profession of clergy and priesthood. Pope Francis looks like he might overturn this requirement, and allow men in the priesthood to marry either a man or a women. I certainly think Pope Francis is open to homosexual unions within the Priesthood, and maybe even open to marriage by both homosexuals and heterosexuals.

      Yes, there is solid evidence that Cardinal Newman was a homosexual priest, and had a lover in his priestly friend. It is not a guarantee as the research shows as he did not “come out of the closet” to declare he was gay, but the incredible amount of evidence in his own handwriting leads one to conclude that he was saying it publicly to his closest advisors and his beloved followers who worshiped him. The gay community support him as one of their likely gay priests.

      So much for that vow of celibacy working with two men who lived together for like 40 years side by side.

      1. Walt writes

        Scripture has many examples of men remaining single, as were the prophets and some apostles. The reformers taught it as a special gift to be single and give your attention more toward God than toward your spouse. God is always to be worshiped and cherished first beyond those of the human race, whether relatives or friends. ”

        Thank you Walt for agreeing with Jerome and Athanasius that the celibate life dedicated to Christ is a higher calling. So do you think that since this special gift was given to them that Jesus loves them more?

        Walt also wrote

        “Pope Francis looks like he might overturn this requirement, and allow men in the priesthood to marry either a man or a women. I certainly think Pope Francis is open to homosexual unions within the Priesthood, and maybe even open to marriage by both homosexuals and heterosexuals. ”

        Walt, you mean the Catholic Church might follow the lead of some of the Presbyterian Churches?

        Walt writes:

        “Yes, there is solid evidence that Cardinal Newman was a homosexual priest, and had a lover in his priestly friend”

        Walt , your solid evidence is about as solid as the Biblical evidence that Jesus and the Beloved Disciple were gay lovers. You need to go back to watching the Catholic Girls Gone Wild videos because it seems like you can’t keep your mind out of the gutter. When you want to have a serious discussion on the Biblical evidence for the belief in the real presence let me know. By the way I did listen to James White’s video on John 6 that I believe Ken recommended and you will never guess Mr. White’s reason given as to why the disciples who left Christ left Him.

        1. Tim P wrote:

          “Thank you Walt for agreeing with Jerome and Athanasius that the celibate life dedicated to Christ is a higher calling. So do you think that since this special gift was given to them that Jesus loves them more?”

          I’m really confused. Why would Jesus love them more? Are you saying when they are saved Jesus loves them more than others, or are you saying that all men and women who are dedicated to the celibate life (whether Christian or non-Christian) are loved more by Jesus?

        2. Tim P wrote:

          “Walt , your solid evidence is about as solid as the Biblical evidence that Jesus and the Beloved Disciple were gay lovers. You need to go back to watching the Catholic Girls Gone Wild videos because it seems like you can’t keep your mind out of the gutter.”

          I never heard of those videos. What are they? In regard to your comparison between Jesus and John as gay lovers because Newman and Ambrose St. John were likely homosexual lovers is disgusting. It is blasphemy pure and simple. Comparing Our Lord and the Apostle John to the homosexual couple Newman and his life long intimate friend and likely lover is crazy.

          It is far better to listen to someone who has deeply researched their relationship, and also someone who is gay that writes about both of them. Let the truth be told:

          “But as I got into the research, I was surprised both by how compelling their love story is, and how hard it was to find an overview of their relationship on the Internet. Details of their deep love for each other are available on the Web, but mostly on websites that aim to prove they were not homosexual. It’s odd how they end up supporting the very point that they are trying to discredit. So I put it all together from a queer point of view.”

          1. Amazing Walt, there is a gay writer who wants us to believe that Newman was homosexual. I’m sure that person does not have any agenda on his plate. And that is your proof that Newman was a homosexual!
            And I agree with you it would be blasphemy to suggest that Jesus and the Beloved disciple were homosexual if I was seriously suggesting that. But you have to admit, the appearance is a little suspect. Two Celibate men and one repeatedly referred to as the disciple that Jesus loved . What is disgusting is your claim that Newman and his friend were homosexual based on “SOLID EVIDENCE”. I guess when you think your are saved you feel free to make all the unsubstantiated allegations you want. Remember when you claimed there were more homosexual priest then there are actual priest in the world. Are you ready to debate the real presence in the Eucharist yet?

        3. Tim P wrote:

          “Walt, you mean the Catholic Church might follow the lead of some of the Presbyterian Churches?”

          Yes, just like most of them who are liberal.

  75. Let me respond further to Jerome’s beliefs
    Timothy K wrote

    ” Can I ask your opinions on some of Jerome’s teachings, though? He said, ………

    Do you believe marriage is “not good”?”

    Now this is why I suggested that people need to read Jerome’s entire responses to Helvidius and Jovanius and not rely on snippets taken from his writings. Timothy K, by your comment you suggest that Jerome felt that marriage was “not good”. Is that a fair accusation? Jerome wrote the following against Jovanius

    ” This circumstance led me shrewdly to suspect that his object in proclaiming the excellence of marriage was only to disparage virginity. For when the less is put upon a level with the greater, the lower profits by comparison, but the higher suffers wrong. For ourselves, we do not follow the views of Marcion and Manichæus, and disparage marriage; nor, deceived by the error of Tatian, the leader of the Encratites, do we think all intercourse impure; he condemns and rejects not only marriage but also food which God created for the use of man. We know that in a great house, there are not only vessels of gold and silver, but also of wood and earthenware. And that upon the foundation, Christ, which Paul the master-builder laid, some build gold, silver, precious stones: others, on the contrary, hay, wood, straw. We are not ignorant of the words, “Marriage is honourable among all, and the bed undefiled.” We have read God’s first command, Genesis 1:28 “Be fruitful, and multiply, and replenish the earth”; but while we honour marriage we prefer virginity which is the offspring of marriage. Will silver cease to be silver, if gold is more precious than silver? ”

    Timothy K, your suggestion that Jerome was teaching that marriage was “not good” would be like me accusing St. Paul of teaching that marriage was not good because the celibate can consecrate their entire life to Christ. I think the above quote clearly puts Jerome’s opinion in context. I don’t see a whole lot of difference between St. Paul and St. Jerome on these issues.

    1. Timothy P, it is interesting that you write,

      “Timothy K, your suggestion that Jerome was teaching that marriage was “not good” would be like me accusing St. Paul of teaching that marriage was not good because the celibate can consecrate their entire life to Christ. I think the above quote clearly puts Jerome’s opinion in context. I don’t see a whole lot of difference between St. Paul and St. Jerome on these issues.”

      It is interesting because Jerome was addressing the Apostle Paul himself when he said:

      When you come to marriage, you do not say it is good to marry, because you cannot then add “than to burn;” but you say, “It is better to marry than to burn.” If marriage in itself be good, do not compare it with fire, but simply say “It is good to marry.” I suspect the goodness of that thing which is forced into the position of being only the lesser of two evils. What I want is not a smaller evil, but a thing absolutely good.” (Jerome, Against Jovinianus, Book I, chapter 9)

      Jerome relies upon Paul to arrive at his conclusion that marriage “in itself” is not “good.” In fact, when he says “I suspect the goodness” of marriage, he is doubting its goodness and simply calls it the lesser of two evils, all based on his interpretation of what Paul was saying. So in reality, my suggestion that Jerome was teaching that marriage was “not good” is actually very much like Jerome accusing St. Paul of teaching that marriage was not good because that is exactly what Jerome thought he had understood from Paul.

      In any case, you are correct that neither your nor Jerome’s opinions are binding on anyone, but it is also true that the popes of the latter part of the 4th century relied heavily on Jerome for their interpretation of Scripture, so it is easy to see how Jerome’s derogation of marriage became a staple of Roman Catholicism which does in fact derogate marriage, no matter how much it pays lip service to the institution.

      Thank you for your opinions.

      Tim

      1. “a staple of Roman Catholicism which does in fact derogate marriage”

        I SMH with this remark. Does your church remarry divorced people against Jesus’ teaching? How does one go about getting married in your church if they are divorced?

        It is your community and most Protestant groups who derogate marriage, NOT the Catholic Church.

        1. Mark, in our community, we do not remarry divorced people against Jesus’ teaching. However, divorced people who have entered a new union are made to feel part of the church. Our community’s care of such persons should not be considered a weakening of the belief in the indissolubility of marriage, but rather of an expression of the church’s care and love.

          Do you have a problem with that?

          Thanks,

          Tim

          1. So, you admit people who were remarried in the Methodist communion, but you remain pure and don’t perform such ceremonies?

            Or, maybe you remarry people but do not feel that it is against Jesus’ teaching, such as if one commits adultery then it is OK to remarry?

            So, in your church, really all one should do is leave the community, get divorced, then return. Or, just claim that one spouse is unfaithful and then the divorce is permissible.

            Your church, no matter how well intended (and I think it is close) still doesn’t follow Jesus’ teachings on marriage. In this, it derogates marriage.

            Only the Catholic Church holds marriage up to be what it was intended by Christ.

            Thanks.

          2. Well, thank you, Mark and Timothy P, for demonstrating exactly the problem with claims of perspicuity of the teachings of the Magisterium of the Roman Catholic religion.

            Mark Rome said “Your church, … still doesn’t follow Jesus’ teachings on marriage,” and Timothy P wrote, “Oh my. Are you really serious?”

            And yet, I have merely recited back to you the teaching of your own sovereign, Pope Francis I, from his recent ex cathedra papal statement, Amoris Lætitia:

            “It is important that the divorced who have entered a new union should be made to feel part of the Church. “They are not excommunicated” and they should not be treated as such, since they remain part of the ecclesial community. These situations “require careful discernment and respectful accompaniment. Language or conduct that might lead them to feel discriminated against should be avoided, and they should be encouraged to participate in the life of the community. The Christian community’s care of such persons is not to be considered a weakening of its faith and testimony to the indissolubility of marriage; rather, such care is a particular expression of its charity”.” (p. 243)

            This is the epicenter of a little rebellion going on within Roman Catholicism at this very moment. The problem is, nobody knows for sure who is the rebel. Is it Francis himself, or is it Burke and his fellow cardinals? Or is it Mark Rome and Timothy P? You don’t even know if his statement is ex cathedra.

            Yes, Mark and Timothy P, you and Burke and the other cardinals are all more catholic than the pope himself. But your disagreement with the pope is just your personal opinion based on your personal interpretation of the magisterium of the church, and so is Burke’s. None of you is capable of teaching ex cathedra on marriage, except your beloved Francis, and you think Francis is wrong. This time. In in your opinion, Pius IX was right (that one time) and Paul VI was right (that other time). In your personal opinion. Well, in my personal opinion, Amoris Lætitia was from the chair of St. Peter, and you and the rest of the rebels need to get in line with your head of state, Christ’s “representative on earth.”

            In one sense, your personal opinion carries no weight at all, since you have no teaching authority. But in another sense, your personal opinion carries all the weight in the world because it is upon your own personal opinion that all of the meaning of the Magisterium and its teaching is suspended. You have to decide on your own whether Francis’ teaching is consistent with the teaching of the magisterium. Some say yes. Some say no.

            Let me know when you get it all figured out!

            Tim

          3. Tim K wrote:

            “Mark, in our community, we do not remarry divorced people against Jesus’ teaching.”

            Tim, does your denomination allow any case for lawful, biblical divorce?

          4. Walt, I hope you have seen by now that my response to Mark was tongue-in-cheek, based on the teachings of his own infallible sovereign. In any case, I believe that in the case of an unbeliever abandoning a believing spouse, s/he is not bound and can remarry (1 Corinthians 7:15), and that remarriage after divorce is adultery “except it be for fornication” (Matthew 19:9).

            Thanks,

            Tim

          5. Matthew 19:9 isn’t talking about adultery. The word is porneia. It is referring to marrying a relative too close in blood line thereby making the marriage invalid.

          6. Mark,

            You wrote,

            Matthew 19:9 isn’t talking about adultery.

            I’m not sure I understand your objection. The passage is clearly talking about adultery because Jesus mentions adultery twice in that verse. And the word you identify as “porneia,” I did not render as adultery, but as “fornication.”

            Is that the wrong word? Can you help me understand your objection?

            Tim

          7. Porneia doesn’t mean adultery, or fornication, or unchastity, or sexual impurity as it is commonly translated. It is a term that is specific to sexual relations with a close relative. There is no “unfaithful” clause in getting out of a marriage, or if one is addicted to pornography. Marriage is for life. The “porneia exception” isn’t even fornication because that is between unmarried people. Porneia, or marrying a close relative, renders the marriage as invalid and the person is free to marry because their marriage wasn’t valid from the beginning.

          8. Well, congratulations, Mark.

            You are either anathema, or the new pope and supreme pontiff of the Roman Catholic religion and more authoritative than the Council of Trent.

            The Council of Trent (Session 4, April 8, 1546) made the Vulgate the official bible translation of the Roman Catholic Church, and the Vulgate translates the Greek ‘porneia’ in Matthew 19:9 as fornication, as in “nisi ob fornicationem,” which is why the Douay Rheims renders it as “fornication,” as in “except it be for fornication.” For all other Roman Catholics on the planet except you, “fornication” is the binding translation of the exception clause in Matthew 19:9.

            Trent decreed,

            “But if any one receive not, as sacred and canonical, the said books entire with all their parts, as they have been used to be read in the Catholic Church, and as they are contained in the old Latin vulgate edition; and knowingly and deliberately contemn the traditions aforesaid; let him be anathema.” (Council of Trent, Decree Concerning the Canonical Scriptures, Celebrated on the eighth day of the month of April, in the year 1546)

            But you apparently do not accept the said Vulgate books “entire with all their parts” and now knowingly and deliberately condemn one of the parts of the Vulgate. Trent says that makes you anathema.

            You continued,

            “The “porneia exception” isn’t even fornication because that is between unmarried people.”

            Tell it to Trent, Mark, and tell it to Jerome. The ‘porneia exception’ has been “except it be for fornication” for a long, long time in Roman Catholicism, no matter how abhorrent the Vulgate and Douay renderings are to you. (I thought Roman Catholicism had completely fixed the problem of personal interpretation of Scriptures. When did that change?) Even as recently as 1970, the exception clause of Matthew 19:9 was being translated as “lewd conduct is a separate case” in the Roman Catholic NAB. Fortunately in 2011 the USCCB revised the New Testament so now it reads, “unless the marriage is unlawful,” which is consistent with your personal interpretation of Matthew 19:9.

            Well, you might be able to convene a council to get the Vulgate changed, though, since, in your personal opinion, “The “porneia exception” isn’t even fornication.” That is, if you are even Roman Catholic anymore. I think those anathemas from Trent are pretty serious.

            Best,

            Tim

          9. I see, Tim K., you think it is OK lie about what your ecclesial communion teaches? Great Christian witness.

            Also, I addressed what you wrote because you said it was YOUR Church’s teaching, which didn’t answer my question anyway.

            Let’s try again, OK Tim K.? Can you answer truthfully or will you continue to refuse to let your “yes be yes” and your “no, no.” Which is it Tim? Are you capable of telling the truth?

            What does your Church teach about divorce and remarriage?

          10. Mark, it was no lie. What I said was true, and that really is how our Christian community deals with divorced and remarried couples who join our church. The wording was tongue in cheek, but the substance of it is in fact true. I worded it the way I did precisely because it is sufficiently vague that it both reflects my community’s position, and is stated in such a way that no Catholic could possibly object without getting twisted in the knots of his own magisterium’s contradictions and unclarity. And yet the doctrinaire Roman Catholics on this comment section immediately rejected it on the assumption that any protestant position on divorce and remarriage must be wrong, not even realizing that I had just recited their own teaching back to them.

            And so now you ask,

            “What does your Church teach about divorce and remarriage?”

            Why should I tell you, Mark? You don’t even believe your own Vulgate. Your own sovereign pontiff releases a statement on Marriage, and one group says it legitimizes communion for the improperly divorced, and another group says it does not, and everyone is sure they are right. Burke says the faithful need not to panic in the face of Amoris Lætitia but should hold fast to the Church’s teaching on marriage and Divorce while they plan a correction of the pope’s teaching. And yet Francis thinks Amoris Lætitia properly reflects the Church’s teaching on marriage and needs no correction.

            You guys don’t even know what your own church’s position on divorce and remarriage is, and you demand a position from me?

            Ok, here it is: our position on divorce and remarriage is consistent with the teachings of the apostles.

            Thanks,

            Tim

          11. Tim, define “fornication” and tell me what the difference is between fornication and adultery. If someone who is married has sex with another person besides his/her spouse, is that called adultery or fornication?

          12. Mark, I don’t need to give you my definition of “fornication” to make my point, and I certainly don’t need yours. I merely need to show that Jerome, who gave you your blessed Vulgate and its “fornicationem” exception clause in Matthew 19:9, considered fornication to be adultery committed my a married person. In his commentary on Matthew, he addressed this specific verse, saying that the wife commits fornication when she gives the “one flesh” of marriage to another, that is, “when she hath distributed of that one flesh to another, and hath separated herself from her husband by fornication” (“cum illa unam carnem in aliam diviserit, et se fornicatione separaverit a marito.“)

            You explicitly deny that the exception clause is “fornication,” and yet your official church teaching is explicitly that the exception clause is “fornication,” and the guy who gave you that translation explicitly says that “fornication” is when a married woman gives “one flesh” to another. Your personal opinion isn’t supposed to matter, so I don’t know why your personal, private interpretation of Matthew 19:9 is so important to establish here.

            Don’t worry about me, Mark. You should worry about the fact that Trent anathematizes you for rejecting even a part of the Vulgate, which you clearly do.

            Thanks,

            Tim

          13. Tim K., already know what your church teaches. You have the “infidelity exception clause” which most Prots have. If one spouse was unfaithful, then you are OK to remarry. Of course, just as with most things, you can take that to mean just about anything such as “she flirted with my brother” or “he was looking at pornography” or “you name it”.

            You are also conflating the pastoral teachings on remarried people with the Church’s teachings on divorce and remarriage. It isn’t serving you well in this argument.

            The point is, your church derogates marriage, and we haven’t even gotten to how it does that with regards to contraception. The Catholic Church upholds Christ’s teachings and does not derogate marriage.

          14. Mark, you wrote,

            The Catholic Church upholds Christ’s teachings …

            Sure it does, Mark. And you think “Christ’s teachings” are that there is only a “sexual relations with a close relative exception clause” in Matthew 19:9, and Jerome thought “Christ’s teachings” are that there is an “adultery exception clause” because, that’s what he thought “fornication” meant when he translated the Vulgate, and in your personal opinion Jerome’s translation is wrong because porneia doesn’t mean fornication and fornication doesn’t mean adultery.

            But you’re confident that you have “Christ’s teachings”. 🙂

            Sure you do.

            Anyway, Mark, none of this even matters, since you’re not even Catholic. Trent anathematizes you for rejecting a part of the Vulgate, the “fornication” exception clause, because in your humble opinion, porneia doesn’t mean what Trent said it does.

            Mark, I hope you find peace some day. You have not found it Rome, since Rome had condemned you for rejecting Jerome’s translation of porneia as fornication.

            Perhaps you will one day find a religion that is more consistent with your personal interpretation of Scripture.

            Best regards,

            Tim

          15. Tim K. said, ” and Jerome thought “Christ’s teachings” are that there is an “adultery exception clause” because, that’s what he thought “fornication” meant when he translated the Vulgate”

            Please show me where Jerome said this. You said “that’s what he thought “fornication” meant when he translated the Vulgate.”

            Please show me where this is exactly what Jerome “thought” when he translated Matthew 19:9.

            Thanks.

          16. Mark, I’ve already provided you with Jerome’s commentary on his own translation of Matthew 19, and in that commentary on his own translation of Matthew 19, he said that adultery is when “a wife hath distributed of that one flesh to another, and hath separated herself from her husband by fornication.” Thus, not only did he think “fornication” was a good translation of “porneia,” but also that “fornication” is that which a spouse commits when s/he violates the “one flesh” of marriage by giving it to another.

            If your position is that Jerome’s Vulgate translation doesn’t prove that he thought that “fornication” was an appropriate translation of “porneia,” and that his own commentary on his own Vulgate translation doesn’t prove that he believed that “fornication” referred to marital infidelity, I just don’t think there is anything left to talk about about. I just don’t think you are capable of rationale communication.

            Thanks, and I hope you find peace one day.

            Tim

          17. Mark, for your benefit, here is the entirety of Jerome’s commentary on Matthew 19:9 of the Vulgate translation which he personally rendered for Pope Damasus, and which became the authoritative version of Scriptures for Roman Catholicism. I have highlighted each reference to “fornication” in the original text of his commentary on his own translation of Matthew 19:9:

            “(vers. 9) < <Dico autem vobis, quia quicunque dimiserit uxorem suam, nisi ob fornicationem, et aliam duxerit, moechatur. Et qui dimissam duxerit, moecharur.>>

            “Unchastity is the only (sola fornicatio) cause which may overcome a man’s love for his wife: yea, more; when she hath distributed of that one flesh to another, and hath separated herself by unchastity (fornicatione), she ought not to be retained: lest she bring the man also under a curse, since the Scripture saith, ‘He who retaineth an adulteress is foolish and ungodly.’ In whatever case then there is fornication (fornicatio), and suspicion of fornication (fornicationis), a man is free to put away his wife. And because it might happen that one brought false charge against the innocent, and with a view to a second matrimonial connection might inflict a reproach on the former one; he is directed so to dimiss his wife, as not to leave another while his first is alive. For His saying is to the effect: ‘If not for lust, but for wrong done, thou sendest away a wife: why after experiencing infelicity in the former marriage, dost thou cast thyself into the danger of a new one? Also because it might happen, that the wife for her part should by the same law give a bill of divorce to her husband, the same cautionary precept is given, that she may not take another man. And because a harlot, and one who has been an adulteress, would not fear reproach; the second husband is warned that if he marry such an one, he must be under the reproach of adultery.” (Jerome, Commentary on Matthew 19:9)

            You may find this English rendering in John Keble‘s treatise, “Sequel of the Argument Against Immediately Repealing the Laws which Treat the Nuptial Bond as Indissoluble” from 1857. He was Anglican, but you needn’t worry, as he was a leader of the Oxford Movement.

            If you would like to verify the original Latin, see Migne’s Patrologia Latina, Vol 26, col 140.

            As anyone can see, your own authoritative source of the Scriptures does not define “porneia” as “sexual relations with a close relative,” as you have insisted it must mean. You also asked,

            “If someone who is married has sex with another person besides his/her spouse, is that called adultery or fornication?”

            Don’t ask me, Mark. Ask “St.” Jerome!

            Tim

          18. Tim K.,

            1) You do understand that Jerome’s commentary is not part of the Trent anathema. Do you understand that?

            2) Further, Jerome doesn’t say that one is free to marry another if a spouse is unfaithful. In fact, he makes clear that one CANNOT marry another.

            Why does your church make an exception for this?

            This is the Catholic teaching. Even if one spouse is unfaithful, or as Jerome says “Unchaste”, the spouse is NOT free to remarry while the former spouse is alive.

            Hope that helps.
            Thanks.

          19. Mark, you wrote,

            “1) You do understand that Jerome’s commentary is not part of the Trent anathema. Do you understand that? “

            What is the relevance of that point? I have never said you were anathema because of Jerome’s interpretation of Matthew 19:9. Trent said you are anathema for rejecting a part of the Vulgate.

            You continued,

            “2) Further, Jerome doesn’t say that one is free to marry another if a spouse is unfaithful. In fact, he makes clear that one CANNOT marry another.”

            Why do you care what Jerome says about remarrying, when you reject his translation of “porneia”? If he’s wrong about “porneia” how are you so sure he’s right about remarriage. Aren’t you “picking and choosing” here?

            But like I said, you’re not even Roman Catholic anymore, Mark. None of this matters.

            Tim

      2. Timothy K

        You did not address Jerome’s comment

        “but while we honour marriage we prefer virginity which is the offspring of marriage. Will silver cease to be silver, if gold is more precious than silver? ”

        I think one could accuse Jerome of being somewhat inconsistent, but when one realizes that he believed they were living in the end times as many of the early Christians apparently thought one could understand why he thought that any activity that diverted a Christian from being totally committed to serving Christ was “not good” or a “lesser evil”. I doubt that Jerome would “honour marriage” if he actually felt that it was evil . It’s a little like the statement from Revelations

        ” Revelation 14:4, “These are those who did not defile themselves with women, for they remained virgins. They follow the Lamb wherever he goes. They were purchased from among mankind and offered as firstfruits to God and the Lamb.””

        No question in the ancient world it would appear that having sex even in marriage was consider participating in one’s animal nature rather then the higher human or spiritual nature would you not agree?

        Timothy K , your follow up comment I thought was particularly bizarre given the difficulty and hassle one has to go through as a Catholic to get a divorce and the rather free pass a Protestant has who divorces.

        Timothy K wrote

        “but it is also true that the popes of the latter part of the 4th century relied heavily on Jerome for their interpretation of Scripture, so it is easy to see how Jerome’s derogation of marriage became a staple of Roman Catholicism which does in fact derogate marriage, no matter how much it pays lip service to the institution”

        Catholicism derogates marriage? Seriously Timothy K?
        Then you responded to Mark Rome on how your Church handles divorce

        “However, divorced people who have entered a new union are made to feel part of the church. Our community’s care of such persons should not be considered a weakening of the belief in the indissolubility of marriage, but rather of an expression of the church’s care and love”

        Oh my. Are you really serious? And you accuse the Catholic Church of the derogation of Marriage.

  76. Now Timothy K wrote

    “Not exactly. It is not my opinion that Jerome said Lucifer is king over the the propagation of children, and the fertilization process of the marriage bed. It is simply a fact that he said it:

    “And yet though Lucifer be fallen (the old serpent after his fall), “his strength is in his loins, and his force is in the muscles of his belly. The great trees are overshadowed by him, and he sleeps beside the reed, the rush, and the sedge.” He is king over all things that are in the waters— that is to say in the seat of pleasure and luxury, of propagation of children, and of the fertilisation of the marriage bed.” (Jerome, Against Jovinianus, Book II, chapter 4)”

    Interesting. I would love to hear from some women if any read this website what they think about this comment. A good friend tells me we all have a little freak in us and I’m not sure that is a holy thing but maybe I am wrong. Don’t want to get into the particulars of people’s sex lives like Walt seems to but I would like a feminine perspective. Thank God for sex but I’m not sure lusting after my wife is a holy thing.

  77. ” only the Catholic church holds marriage up to what Jesus intended it to be” really Mark. My best friend who claims to be a believer is living with his Catholic girlfriend, both divorced, both free to take the Jesus wafer with their priest in full knowledge, even though the Catholic synagogue says there ain’t any grace available to them in the mass. They are both seeking annulments, which they were told they couldn’t get for two years. His rich sister drops in, pays for the church roof, voilà the annulments are on their way.

  78. Tim K said:

    “Walt, I hope you have seen by now that my response to Mark was tongue-in-cheek, based on the teachings of his own infallible sovereign. In any case, I believe that in the case of an unbeliever abandoning a believing spouse, s/he is not bound and can remarry (1 Corinthians 7:15), and that remarriage after divorce is adultery “except it be for fornication” (Matthew 19:9).

    Thanks,

    Tim”

    Thanks…I was not really paying attention. Mark is painful for me to read so sorry I missed it. Thanks also for properly stating clearly the Scriptures on lawful divorce.

  79. Wow, I’ve been watching this Catholic and the more I watch him it is so nice to see someone that is Catholic who is being very critical of the Pope and the Catholic system.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Z-km6UzTwxw

    If I were not Presbyterian, I would consider digging more into this guy and his Catholic theology since I bet with a little work we could show him that the papacy is Antichrist. I think he would see it.

  80. “Similarly, among the broad presbyterian movement, a type of fracture has also begun to emerge. Some presbyterians are returning to the original presbyterian position of full subscription to the Westminster Standards including obedience to the continuing moral obligations of the National Covenant of Scotland and the Solemn League and Covenant. This group could accurately be labelled “paleopresbyterians” since they hold to the original conceptions of what presbyterianism means. In contrast, those presbyterians unwilling to accept full subscription to the Standards or the binding nature of the Covenants could be called “neopresbyterians” since they have effectively watered-down the original presbyterian position. Using these terms will help to clarify the issues at stake in the emerging debate between Covenanters (paleopresbyterians) and all other presbyterians (neopresbyterians).”

    And what our modern day neopresbyterians reject and fight against at all cost to the independent view and “freedom of conscience” and “freedom of religion” and “freedom of worship” and “freedom of independent thought” is easily summarized here…fighting against Christ’s true and faithful visible church directly linked to the Apostles.

    “In 1638 the (presbyterian) people of Scotland took a National Covenant as a means of solidifying resistance against the imposition of “English Popish Ceremonies” as George Gillespie called them. Five years later, during this confusing period of British history, representatives of England, Scotland, and Ireland took the Solemn League and Covenant, binding their nations together to hold to Biblical truth and resist all error, particularly Roman Catholicism and Episcopalianism. The Westminster Assembly of Divines which had just begun meeting that year, 1643, enthusiastically took the Solemn League and Covenant (Hetherington [1856] 1991, 124-128).

    Aside from its political aspects, the Solemn League and Covenant committed the three nations to certain ecclesiastical goals. George Gillespie, one of the most prominent Scottish Commissioners at the Assembly, noted what these goals were:

    Yet I must needs justify (as not only lawful, but laudable) what the solemn league and covenant of the three kingdoms obligeth us unto, namely, to endeavour to bring the churches of God in the three kingdoms to the nearest conjunction and uniformity in one confession of faith, one directory of worship, one form of church government and catechism ([1846] 1991, 82).”

    Rome has no authority to any Christian church in history, but is that incredible global Antichrist that has been identified by thousands of witnesses confirmed by their blood and torture by Antichrist for spreading the true gospel. History is replete with evidence and facts on the bloody history of the Papacy in history against true and faithful Protestors from the 4th century when the Romanist rejected the Apostles and Christ’s teaching to create their own Antichrist religion.

    Evidence, facts, reason and logic all reveal this to the Christian reader who are interested in such truth’s. All those harsh defenders of Rome and her bloody trail in history totally reject any warning given in Scripture by Christ’s witnesses and the Holy Spirit speaking to His elect. Beware, be diligent, be vigilant, be wary, study to make thyself approved, take heed, think, read, learn and test the spirits as all are not of the God of Scripture and heaven!!!

  81. Tim P said:

    “Amazing Walt, there is a gay writer who wants us to believe that Newman was homosexual. I’m sure that person does not have any agenda on his plate. And that is your proof that Newman was a homosexual!”

    Yes, he knows what to look for in the writings of Newman better than most researchers. What? Am I suppose to look to you as a totally unbiased author on Newman, or look to the Roman Catholic Church as the one to interpret the writings of Newman? Give me a break Tim, the fact is that he has significant writings which demonstrate a true love for a lover rather than a merely a friend, or best friend. He writes in his writings like he is a man in the closet unable to disclose his true secrets about his lifelong roommate. The counter claims made by the Catholic Church hold little weight in my mind, but the independent third-party researchers (both straight and gay) hold far more weight. YOU are no expert on Newman. Your opinion is only talking points you have as a Catholic.

    “What is disgusting is your claim that Newman and his friend were homosexual based on “SOLID EVIDENCE”. I guess when you think your are saved you feel free to make all the unsubstantiated allegations you want. Remember when you claimed there were more homosexual priest then there are actual priest in the world. Are you ready to debate the real presence in the Eucharist yet?”

    If I said solid evidence that I was mistaken. I apologize. The researchers I’ve read have not got solid evidence. His writings and the way he loved this man like there was no God except for his roommate seems strange to many researchers. It is truly possible he was absolutely straight, and had no homosexual relationship, but the evidence points to the opposite.

    Nevertheless, the entire point of bringing Newman into the picture is that during his generation it was absolute taboo to discuss homosexual relations publicly as a Priest or Cardinal. Now, the Vatican is filled with them and they are very open about it as the undercover videos I posted demonstrate. Plus, the Vatican owns the largest gay bathhouse in Europe, and multiple Priests live in that building. What business does the Vatican have in owning a gay bathhouse as the voice of Christ?

    NONE…wake up.

  82. Tim wrote:

    “Are you ready to debate the real presence in the Eucharist yet?”

    I was thinking about this as you know a long time. However, after I shut down your arguments on the papacy springing from Peter I don’t think it is necessary.

    Without the perfect line to Peter, you guys are done.

    1. Walt, I just hadn’t had time to respond to the Peter comment and your Protestant commentaries. Would you like to start with Peter first. It’s a shame the early Christian’s didn’t have Protestant commentaries so they could have understood what Christ meant when He said “Thou art Peter, and upon this rock I will build my Church”. By the way, you never did respond to my question how many times in John 21 is Peter’s primacy revealed? You do know this was the last chapter of the last Gospel written. So you decide, Peter’s primacy or the Real Presence?

      1. Timothy P, I’m not sure you know this but a majority of the early fathers did indeed believe it was the confession of Peter upon which the true church is built on, not the man.

        1. Kevin,

          I proved it in Scripture without any question. I provided all the proper translations in the Greek, but Timothy P spends all his waking hours defending his religion. He has no intention to learn anything. His objective here is to make everything confusing.

          He wrote:

          “Mr. Solid Evidence never backs up his assertions, just keeps throwing hand grenades with almost no regard for the truth. Then says, “If I said solid evidence that I was mistaken. I apologize”. Sorry Walt, the damage has been done. How do you know someone may have read your statement but never saw your apology.”

          No, you fool, I gave my opinion from what I read on the subject. It was an informed opinion, it was not a matter of fact conclusion as I made clear. I truly believe, in my opinion from the evidence I read, that Cardinal Newman was a homosexual priest. He kept it hidden from all except his roommate and lover of course, but it is only my opinion from what I read.

          Your defense of him is of course standard. If you asked me to give an opinion on whether Jesus and John were homosexuals as you imply is the same as charging Cardinal Newman, I would say absolutely no evidence anywhere I have ever read. If you asked me to give an opinion on whether Pope Francis is homosexual, I would say absolutely no evidence I have ever seen. Cardinal Newman and the dozens/hundreds, perhaps thousands of Priests, Bishops and Cardinals in the RCC are homosexual and actively engaged in homosexual relationships. This is based upon EVIDENCE I read.

          No evidence Christ or John or Pope Francis are or even have homosexual tendencies. Lots of evidence for the rest of the Romish priesthood I’m sorry to say.

        2. Well that is definitely a point that Walt and I could discuss Kevin if he is willing to commit to a debate of the biblical evidence for Peter’s primacy and the early church evidence. He has the Protestant commentary on Matthew 16 and the early fathers belief that you just mentioned so I think he would jump at the opportunity. But while we wait to see if he is willing to make that commitment maybe you could help Walt with the biblical question I asked him.

          “By the way, you never did respond to my question how many times in John 21 is Peter’s primacy revealed?”

      2. Tim P.,

        Do you really think that your foolish logic so often in your posts make any sense to anyone except for you? What happened to all the Catholics that used to post here? They seem to drop like flies except you and Mark. Is there any wonder they come, through out a few comments, and then depart to find another blog where they can be more effective in trying to convert former Catholics back to the fold of the Antichrist.

        You seem to ignore the Protestants in the 4th century that rose to defend the Scriptures in opposition from Romish builders and developers of Antichrist. I believe we will see a whole lot more as we begin to much more clearly understand the events unfolding in the 2nd-4th century, and the great falling away, the great original schism by Rome and the foundation of Antichrist being laid in history.

        1. “where they can be more effective in trying to convert former Catholics back”

          Do you think I am trying to convert you? No, I am not. Ony the Holy Spirit can do that. Us Catholics don’t need to defend our religion because it goes all the way back to Christ. We have an unbroken line of Popes going back 2,000 years.
          No, it is Protestants like yourself who need to defend your 16th century innovations. Yes, your innovations are just 500 years old and many of your doctrines are revisions of revisions! Not only that, but you need to explain why the Methodists are wrong the Baptists are wrong the Church of Christ’s are wrong, the Anglicans are wrong, etc. For you only have one small corner of Protestant theology.
          One thing is for certain, the ECFs were Catholic in teaching, not Protestant. You think you stand on the Bible, but what you have shown is that you only stand on your interpretation of the Bible. You read into Scripture your theology. So do Methodists, so does Church of Christ, so do Jehovah’s Witnesses.

          All of you “Bible only” Christians sure rely heavily on your own traditions that were invented by men 500 years ago.

  83. There is a lot of discussion about fake news in the media today and Timothy K you response to Mark Rome and my discussions on marriage is a perfect example. It is popular in the news to try to paint Pope Francis as some radical pontiff getting ready as Walt claims to condone homosexuality. Walt wrote

    “Pope Francis looks like he might overturn this requirement, and allow men in the priesthood to marry either a man or a women. I certainly think Pope Francis is open to homosexual unions within the Priesthood, and maybe even open to marriage by both homosexuals and heterosexuals. ”

    Mr. Solid Evidence never backs up his assertions, just keeps throwing hand grenades with almost no regard for the truth. Then says, “If I said solid evidence that I was mistaken. I apologize”. Sorry Walt, the damage has been done. How do you know someone may have read your statement but never saw your apology.

    So Timothy K, as if the radical pope is making some dramatic change in Catholic teaching, you quote Pope Francis in the following clip

    And yet, I have merely recited back to you the teaching of your own sovereign, Pope Francis I, from his recent ex cathedra papal statement, Amoris Lætitia:

    “It is important that the divorced who have entered a new union should be made to feel part of the Church. “They are not excommunicated” and they should not be treated as such, since they remain part of the ecclesial community. These situations “require careful discernment and respectful accompaniment. Language or conduct that might lead them to feel discriminated against should be avoided, and they should be encouraged to participate in the life of the community. The Christian community’s care of such persons is not to be considered a weakening of its faith and testimony to the indissolubility of marriage; rather, such care is a particular expression of its charity”.” (p. 243)

    Radical change by that crazy new pontiff? Only if you had taken the time to read the Catechism you would have read the following comment which make the same points that your quote from Francis makes. Speaking of divorced and remarried Catholic who cannot receive Eucharistic Communion we read

    “1651 Toward Christians who live in this situation, and who often keep the faith and desire to bring up their children in a Christian manner, priests and the whole community must manifest an attentive solicitude, so that they do not consider themselves separated from the Church, in whose life they can and must participate as baptized persons:
    They should be encouraged to listen to the Word of God, to attend the Sacrifice of the Mass, to persevere in prayer, to contribute to works of charity and to community efforts for justice, to bring up their children in the Christian faith, to cultivate the spirit and practice of penance and thus implore, day by day, God’s grace. 161”

    Did Francis do away with the annulment process? No. Are divorced but remarried Catholic encouraged to take communion if there marriage has not been annulled? No.

    But let’s for a moment pretend that Francis did change things and switched to the more liberal view towards divorce that you apparently have in your Church. Timothy K, you made a very specific claim

    “so it is easy to see how Jerome’s derogation of marriage became a staple of Roman Catholicism which does in fact derogate marriage, no matter how much it pays lip service to the institution”

    So was the Catholic Church derogating marriage with it’s more conservative stance before or now that it is following the Protestant example. ( Of course there is no uniform Protestant example or practice)

    1. Thank you, Timothy P, for demonstrating the empty rhetoric of your apologetic method.

      I wrote:

      “However, divorced people who have entered a new union are made to feel part of the church. Our community’s care of such persons should not be considered a weakening of the belief in the indissolubility of marriage, but rather of an expression of the church’s care and love”

      I had basically regurgitated the “Supreme Pontiff’s” controversial teachings on divorce and remarriage from Amoris Lætitia paragraph 243, recasting it to you as if it were my own to demonstrate a point. Because it came from me, you and Mark responded with indignation, and went on about how much I was derogating marriage to hold such a position.

      Then when you realized that this is actually the teaching of your very own “Supreme Pontiff,” you turned on a dime and insisted that paragraph 243 of Amoris Lætitia is nothing more than was the Catechism currently states:


      “Only if you had taken the time to read the Catechism you would have read the following comment which make the same points that your quote from Francis makes [in Amoris Lætitia, 243].”

      Hmmm. It wasn’t such a concise summary of the Catechism when it came from me. 🙂

      But that is precisely my point. If I say it, I have derogated marriage. If “Holy Father” Pope Francis says the same thing, it is perfectly consistent with the Catechism. An ample demonstration of the emptiness of your apologetic. If only you had read Amoris Lætitia, you would have recognized that the statement you condemned as a derogation of marriage is none other than the position your pontiff recently affirmed in his apostolic exhortation.

      As for your “fake news” accusation, tell it to the actual news services currently reporting on the kerfuffle within Roman Catholicism:

      “Pope Francis’s letter, Amoris Laetitia, apparently makes it possible — opens the door — for divorced/remarried Catholics to receive Holy Communion despite their living in an adulterous relationship. Several German bishops and Argentinian bishops have said this is the intent of Amoris Laetitia.” (Catholic News Service, Cardinal Burke: Francis ‘Cannot Change’ What JPII Wrote–No Communion For Divorced/Remarried)

      “German Cardinal Reinhard Marx said in a new interview that he thinks it’s “very clear” that Amoris Laetitia allows Communion for remarried divorcees, and that Pope Francis intended it that way.” (Life Site News, German Cardinal: It’s ‘very clear’ the Pope backs our stance on Communion for ‘remarried’

      The only “fake news” here is your claim that this is fake news.

      Regarding Amoris Lætitia, you opined,

      “Are divorced but remarried Catholic encouraged to take communion if there marriage has not been annulled? No.”

      Well, thank you very much for your personal opinion, Timothy P. Cardinal Marx has a different one, as do other German bishops and Argentinian bishops, and Bishop Francis seems intent on not clearing up the mess.

      Why should I believe you over Cardinal Marx? Are you rebelling against the teachings of a cardinal?

      Thanks,

      Tim

      1. Timothy K,

        Where did I say you were derogating marriage? Remember this started out with your comment

        “so it is easy to see how Jerome’s derogation of marriage became a staple of Roman Catholicism which does in fact derogate marriage, no matter how much it pays lip service to the institution”

        Now if you only adhere to part of the Catechism teaching and no mention of the need for an annulment or other restrictions and then claim that Catholics are derogating marriage why would I not respond “Seriously”? I have not been the one claiming that Protestants derogate marriage. And you did not respond to my question

        ” So was the Catholic Church derogating marriage with it’s more conservative stance before or now that it is following the Protestant example. ( Of course there is no uniform Protestant example or practice)”

        I apologize for the Fake news comment
        and personally I would probably be in favor of letting divorced Catholics take communion but I can see both sides of the argument. I guess it’s part of the binding and loosing that we as Catholics let the Church decided. But with the ease with which a Protestant can go through a divorce and be accepted I find it baffling that you accuse Catholics of derogating marriage.

      2. Tim K said about Tim P,

        “Well, thank you very much for your personal opinion, Timothy P. Cardinal Marx has a different one, as do other German bishops and Argentinian bishops, and Bishop Francis seems intent on not clearing up the mess.”

        I was just sitting here catching up on today’s posts and it is really exhausting discussing anything with these two guys Tim P and Mark. They take everything anyone says and they twist it into anything confusing and all sorts of allegations that you have to constantly go back and forth spending all your time making it clear what was said.

        In Tim P attempt to claim that the Scriptures teach Apostle Peter was the Rock on which Christ built His church, which is the entire foundation for Romanism, we have absolutely clearly proved it is not what Scripture teaches using multiple Greek interpretations. Nobody, except Rome and its followers, believes that Peter was the Rock upon which Christ built His church. It is a major error, and without this one point in Romish doctrine, the entire Papal system is built upon a lie and deception.

        He bounces around and around desperate to say anything to confuse the matter. I can see why you block him from posting as it is really counter productive to discuss anything with him or Mark. As I say, it is painful to read these guys as like Robots it is over and over their same confusion.

        1. Walt, hate to keep correcting you but here we go again.
          Walt states

          “Nobody, except Rome and its followers, believes that Peter was the Rock upon which Christ built His church. It is a major error, and without this one point in Romish doctrine, the entire Papal system is built upon a lie and deception.”

          Nobody except Rome Walt? Here is a non-Catholic referring to the “bad Greek” your Protestant commentaries relied upon that I thought I would post while you decide if you want to debate Peter’s primacy. And It’s not one point Walt. Why won’t you address John 21. I asked Kevin to help you but it appears you’re on your own. Personally I would prefer we just debate the issue instead of posting other’s commentaries. Agreed? Maybe we could start off with your explaining why Christ changed Simons name to Cephas. , the ROCK

          The Rock-Foundation of Matthew 16:17-20
          Jesus replied, “Blessed are you, Simon son of Jonah, for this was not revealed to you by man, but by my Father in heaven. And I tell you that you are Peter, and on this rock I will build my church, and the gates of Hades will not overcome it. I will give you the keys of the kingdom of heaven; whatever you bind on earth will be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth will be loosed in heaven.” Then he warned his disciples not to tell anyone that he was the Christ. (Matthew 16:17-20)
          ajpokriqei;” de; oJ jIhsou'” ei\pen aujtw’/, Makavrio” ei\, Sivmwn Bariwna’, o{ti sa;rx kai; ai|ma oujk ajpekavluyevn soi ajll’ oJ pathvr mou oJ ejn toi'” oujranoi'”. [] kajgw; dev soi levgw o{ti su; ei\ Pevtro”, kai; ejpi; tauvth/ th’/ pevtra/ oijkodomhvsw mou th;n ejkklhsivan, kai; puvlai a{/dou ouj katiscuvsousin aujth'”. [] dwvsw soi ta;” klei’da” th'” basileiva” tw’n oujranw’n, kai; o} eja;n dhvsh/” ejpi; th'” gh'” e[stai dedemevnon ejn toi'” oujranoi'”, kai; o} eja;n luvsh/” ejpi; th'” gh'” e[stai lelumevnon ejn toi'” oujranoi'”. [ tovte ejpetivmhsen toi'” maqhtai'” i{na mhdeni; ei[pwsin o{ti aujtov” ejstin oJ Cristov”. (Matthew 16:17-20, UBS Greek Text)
          Introduction
          For many years, the Roman Catholic church has used this passage to substantiate the doctrine of the papacy. On the other hand, many non-Catholic people have explained this passage with a combination of “bad Greek” and bad exegesis leading to a conclusion that supposedly invalidates the papacy. Yet, both of these traditional explanations of this passage are incorrect.
          Since the doctrine of the papacy is a very emotional issue, people can be tempted to make their minds up about this issue first, and then look for ways to make the Scriptures say what they already believe. This is not the way to understand the Word!

          There are many persuasive and conclusive arguments against the papacy, both Scriptural and historical: The doctrine of the papacy does not depend upon a particular understanding of this passage. Yet, the proper exegesis of this passage is critical to understanding the role of Peter in the early church. Here we will discuss this passage with a view towards understanding what the Scriptures intend to communicate to us in this passage. Who is the rock foundation of the church—and what does it really mean?

          What Does “Petros” Mean?
          The basis of the traditional non-Catholic understanding of this passage is the assertion that petros (petrov”, masculine in gender) is a small, fragmentary rock and that petra (pevtra, feminine in gender) is a large, immense rock. From this supposed difference in meaning, it has been concluded that Simon Peter is not the rock-foundation of the church in Matthew 16:18. For instance, Alan Richardson claims:
          … “petros” means a fragment of “petra,” rock. … The saying can hardly mean that Peter is the rock on which the church is built, since the foundation-rock of the church is Christ (or faith in Christ). Rather, it is Peter’s rock-like faith in Christ which is to be the foundation of the church.Another alternative is offered by Cairnes: Christ called Peter a petros, or stone, but He spoke of the rock on which he would build the church as petra, a living rock. The word “rock” that is applied to Peter is masculine in gender, but the “rock” on which Christ said he would build his church is feminine in gender. There is good reason to believe that the correct interpretation is that Christ was by the word “rock” referring to Peter’s confession of Him as “the Christ, the Son of the Living God.”One problem here is that the authors’ a priori assumptions of the “foundation of the church” prevent a reasonable exegesis. Read what they said again! They assume what they set out to prove. The mere assertion of a claim does not make that claim truthful.
          More seriously, reputable non-Catholic Greek scholars have similar difficulties with this basis and conclusion. For instance, Oscar Cullman discusses the masculine petros and feminine petra in the following way:
          The masculine “petros” is used more for isolated rocks or small stones, including flints and pebbles for slings. Since there is such a great difference in content, the emphasis should be noted, though in practice one cannot differentiate too strictly between “petra” and “petros;” they are often used interchangeably.Colin Brown says: It seems most likely that the original word Jesus used for both “petra” and “petros” was the Aramaic “kepa,” and that the difference in the Greek was due to the appropriateness of giving Peter a masculine form of the word for “rock”. Although “petros” can mean a detached rock or stone and “petra” a mass of living rock, the two words could be used interchangeably. Without further clear indication it is impossible to build any firm argument on the distinction between the two words.Following on Brown’s comments, it is instructive to see how the Scripture supports his conclusion, based upon its definition of petros: Jesus looked at him and said, “You are Simon son of John. You will be called Cephas” (which, when translated, is Peter) (John 1:42).The point here is this: kepa (“Cephas”) could not be translated into Petra because petra is feminine, while petros is masculine and thus could be appropriate as a name for a man. The feminine petra and the masculine petros both have the same root, namely petr, for petros is derived from petra. It should also be noted that words having the same root and the same meaning but different genders occur frequently and are well known in Koine Greek. The claim of an inherent difference in meaning between the two words is false. Any difference in meaning must be supported by the context of how the words are used.
          At this point in our study we need to consider the context of this passage to see how petros is used in Matthew 16:18.

          How Matthew Uses “Petros” in Matthew 16:18
          There are two aspects of context that ought to be considered. The first aspect is the sentence structure and grammar of the surrounding words in the saying. This materially relates to translation. The second aspect of context concerns how the meaning of the surrounding paragraph relates to the usage of the word in question.

          The text uses the conjunctive phrase kai epi tautee (kai; ejpi; tauvth/), which is rightly translated “and upon this.” Kai typically indicates continuity of thought between two words or clauses, in contrast to the adversative conjunctions alla (alla) or de (de), which would be translated “but.” Tautee is the near demonstrative pronoun, in contrast to the far demonstrative pronouns hetera (etera) or ekeinos (ekeino”) which would be translated “that.” This conjunctive phrase builds upon the previous clause in the sentence. It serves to equate the second rock with the first.

          Now some have pointed out the grammar rule that Greek adjectives must agree in case, gender and number with the nouns they modify. Citing the gender difference between the two words petra and petros, they conclude that Simon Peter is not the foundation-rock of the church.

          However, the rule doesn’t apply here because both words are nouns, not adjectives. This is an example of the “bad Greek” I referred to at the outset.

          Some have suggested that the lack of the article in front of petros and the presence of the article in front of petra means we should understand this saying as: “You are a rock, Simon, and on the rock I will build my church,” with this understanding implying a rock-foundation other than Simon Peter. This is another example of “bad Greek,” showing a lack of understanding of Greek grammar and sentence structure. The predicate nominative never has an article—as a matter of fact, this is how a predicate nominative is recognized. Thus, pointing out the lack of an article in front of petros is utterly irrelevant.

          D. A. Carson comments:
          … on the basis of the distinction between “petros” and “petra,” many have attempted to avoid identifying Peter as the rock on which Jesus builds his church. Peter is a mere “stone,” it is alleged, but Jesus himself is the “rock,” as Peter himself attests (1 Peter 2:5-8). Others adopt some other distinction: e.g. “upon this rock of revealed truth- this truth you have just confessed- I will build my church.” Yet if it were not for Protestant reactions against extremes of Roman Catholic interpretation, it is doubtful whether many would have taken “rock” to mean anything but Peter.
          … Had Matthew wanted to say no more than Peter was a stone in contrast with Jesus the Rock, the more common word would have been “lithos” (“stone” of almost any size). Then there would have been no pun- and that is just the point!
          Cullman adds: … the parallelism of “thou art rock” and “upon this rock I will build” shows that the second rock can only be referring to the first. It is thus evident that Jesus is referring to Peter … to be the foundation of his “ecclesia.” To this extent Roman Catholic exegesis is right and all Protestant attempts to evade this interpretation are to be rejected.In this sentence and paragraph, petros and petra are equated and thus have an equivalent meaning.
          Exegetical Alternatives and The Search for “Obvious Meaning”
          Non-Catholic scholars who claim that the rock-foundation of the church isn’t Peter have made many suggestions about what the rock is. Some, like Richardson above, offer more than one answer—in his case, faith in Christ, or Christ himself. Other popular suggestions are Simon’s confession and the truth of his confession, namely Jesus’ identity as the Messiah. This collection of options presents some serious difficulties.

          First, the lack of a clear exegetical alternative to Peter being the rock-foundation of the church only helps to prove that he is indeed the rock-foundation of the church. Naively, one might be persuaded that the many “possibilities” being offered strengthen the traditional non-Catholic position. In fact, the opposite is true—none of the alternatives is obvious enough from the text to be obviously correct. Each of these alternative “obvious meanings” requires some unnatural and odd perspective to be utilized.

          Secondly, none of these “possibilities” are confirmed in the sentence. Jesus didn’t say Simon’s confession was a rock, or that his faith was a rock, but that Simon himself was a rock. And remember, Jesus named him Rock prior to the event (John 1:42).

          A Priori Biases and Figures of Speech
          Taking a different approach, some point to 1 Corinthians 3:11, Ephesians 2:20 and/or 1 Peter 2:7-8 and claim that the foundation of the church is clearly Christ. Then they go into Matthew 16:18 with this a priori bias and, missing what Jesus says, claim that Jesus is the foundation of the church and therefore the rock-foundation of the church. However, such an approach doesn’t say anything about the rock of Matthew 16:18 but rather simply avoids honest exegesis. We must ask the question: what was Matthew trying to communicate to his readers?

          Figures of speech need to be understood in their contexts, for the New Testament writers used similar figures of speech in different contexts and with different meanings. For instance, Jesus is the Firstborn , but so are Christians (Colossians 1:15,18, Hebrews 12:23). Jesus is the Light, and so are his disciples (John 8:12, Matthew 5:14). Jesus is the Son of God, but Christians are sons of God (Mark 1:1 Galatians 3:26). Jesus is an apostle, but so are Christians (Hebrews 3:1, Romans 1:5). Jesus is the Lamb of God, but his followers are sheep (John 1:29, John 10:8). Jesus is the builder of the church, but so was Paul (Matthew 16:18, 1 Corinthians 3:10).

          What is the point? Does the Scripture contradict itself? No! But figures of speech must be understood in their context; apart from its context, a figure of speech means nothing. Just because the idea of the “foundation” of the church is spoken of in one passage, the details of the metaphor do not necessarily “transfer” to other passages. Plainly, the ideas taught by 1 Corinthians 3:11, Ephesians 2:20 and 1 Peter 2:7-8 don’t have anything to do with the exegesis of Matthew 16:18.

          Based on the preceding discussion of the meaning of petros, how Matthew uses petros in Matthew 16:18, the exegetical difficulties with other alternatives, and the nature of figures of speech, we may conclude that Simon Peter is the rock-foundation of the church in Matthew 16:18. The next step is to understand what Matthew 16:18 says Peter’s role actually was to be.

          Peter’s Role in the Kingdom
          Peter has three basic roles in the kingdom/church according to the passage in question.
          •The foundation of the church/kingdom
          •The keeper of the keys of the kingdom/church
          •The “binder and looser” on earth
          We see the “foundation” aspect of Peter’s work fulfilled in Acts 2:38, when Peter is the one to answer the question, “What shall we do?” The answer comes from Peter’s mouth; it is in this sense that he is the foundation of the church. People initially entered the church based on what he said.
          We see the “keys to the kingdom/church” aspect of Peter’s work fulfilled in his words “repent and be baptized” in Acts 2:38. Simon the Rock now announces the means of entry into the kingdom/church. 1 Corinthians 12:13 tells us that baptism is indeed the means of entry into the church.

          In considering Peter’s role of “binding and loosing” on the earth, first we need to discuss an important aspect of the Greek text. Matthew 16:19 uses a grammatical structure known as a future- perfect periphrastic in describing this binding and loosing in heaven.

          A future- perfect periphrastic uses the future tense of the Greek “to be” verb eimi and the perfect participle of another verb. The kind of action described by such a verb is that at some future point in time, the results of something that was done previously will still be true.

          Because of the future- periphrastic verb structure in Matthew 16:19, the binding and loosing that has been done in heaven at some point in the past will still be true when Peter acts to bind and loose at this future date. This finds its fulfillment in Acts 2, where Peter opens the kingdom for “all whom the Lord our God will call” (Acts 2:39) with a message not from his own creativity or imagination but something that was already “bound and loosed”: repent and be baptized (Acts 2:38). Of course, these were taught by Jesus during his earthly ministry; see Luke 13:3, John 3:3-5 and Matthew 28:19.

          Jesus was not giving future authorization and approval to whatever creative ideas Peter may have devised, he was assuring that Peter would do the exactly proper thing—binding on earth that which had already been bound in heaven—when the time came to answer the famous question of Acts 2:37. This specifically and exclusively refers to the means of entry into the kingdom/church. At no other time in the early church did Peter ever act to bind anything in a similar way. Advocates of the law-making powers of Peter will be disappointed to see that Peter never really made any laws, he simply expressed laws that had already been made.

          This concept of binding and loosing is far more significant to the doctrine of the papacy and its pronouncements than the discussion about whether Peter is the Rock. Yet, the future-perfect periphrastic is rarely discussed in discussing this passage. When properly understood, however, the concept makes perfect sense and fits together well with other parts of the Scripture.

          Now once the kingdom came and its means of entry was explicitly revealed, Peter’s unique role, as discussed in Matthew 16:18-19, was fulfilled. After this time, all of the apostles exercised equal authority in the teaching of the early church; notice who the teachers are in Acts 2:42.

          Conclusion
          We have shown by sound means of exegesis that Simon Peter is the rock-foundation of the church in Matthew 16:17-20. We have discussed some objections to this position and have shown both the source and difficulties with these objections.

          In terms of the papacy, there are several appeals to make. First, the papacy does not rest upon the question of whether Simon Peter is the rock-foundation of the church in Matthew 16:17-20. Logically speaking, Peter can be the Rock without creating a papacy, since the papacy does not exist in the New Testament.

          Second, the comments of the non-Catholics Colin Brown, D. A. Carson and Oscar Cullman referenced above need to be heeded. They have not defended or supported the papacy. Rather, they have appealed to the proper understanding of the words involved in this passage, and a proper exegesis of this pivotal piece of Scripture. We have seen these explanations in contrast to some of the unnatural interpretations of this passage that defy logic and seek to circumvent the obvious meaning of the passage.

          In addition, we have discussed what this passage teaches about Peter’s role in the beginning of the church, and we have seen how his role fits in harmony with the balance of the New Testament. Just as God chose Noah, Abraham, Moses and others in times past, he chose Peter for the task of opening the doors of the kingdom of God to the world.

          These facts leave us with one sound alternative: to accept the clear teaching of this passage that Peter is the rock-foundation of the church in Matthew 16:18.

          Copyright 1997 © John Engler. All rights reserved.

          1. Tim P quoted the typical error used by Catholic and non-Catholics trying to prove what Jesus said:

            “t seems most likely that the original word Jesus used for both “petra” and “petros” was the Aramaic “kepa,” and that the difference in the Greek was due to the appropriateness of giving Peter a masculine form of the word for “rock”. Although “petros” can mean a detached rock or stone and “petra” a mass of living rock, the two words could be used interchangeably.”

            The problem with this typical argument is that oral “guessing” what Jesus said is not the issue. The truth is that we can only use the Greek received text, and that settles the argument forever.

            Don’t be confused or deceived by these Scholars what Jesus said orally, but look to only the true intended meaning of the Greek text. Peter is a stone, and Jesus is the Rock, and it is upon Jesus His church is built.

            Avoid Antichrist doctrine from Rome at all costs.

  84. Before Tim K. jumps all over it, one small correction Tim P., divorced Catholics can take communion., as long as they are living chastely. It is remarried Catholics, who haven’t had their previous marriage(s) declared invalid, who are not allowed into communion.

    1. Thanks Mark. You know I was thinking how to respond to Timothy K comment

      ” so it is easy to see how Jerome’s derogation of marriage became a staple of Roman Catholicism which does in fact derogate marriage, no matter how much it pays lip service to the institution.”
      so I thought well if the Church does in fact derogate marriage , then one would obviously expect a higher divorce rate among Catholics. Let me goggle it and see what I can come up with.

  85. Seems like Catholics are less likely to divorce . That’s odd if as Timothy K claims the Church in fact derogates marriage. This is just one article
    “”Divorce and remarriage

    U.S. divorce rates for various faith
    groups, age groups, & geographic areas

    Sponsored link.

    Divorce rates in the U.S.:

    “There is consensus that the overall U.S. divorce rate had a brief spurt after WW2, followed by a decline, then started rising in the 1960s and even more quickly in the 1970s, then leveled off [in the] 1980s and [has since] declined slightly.” 7 However, such gross statistics are misleading. There are a number of factors involved that obscure the real data:

    bullet
    The normal lifestyle of American young adults is to live together for a period of time in a type of informal trial marriage. These relationships frequently do not endure.

    bullet
    Couples enter into their first marriage at a older age than in the past.

    bullet A growing percentage of committed couples have decided to live in a common-law relationship rather than get married. This is particularly true among some elderly who fear reduction in government support payments.

    The current U.S. divorce rate:

    The media frequently reports that 50% of American marriages will end in divorce. This number appears to have been derived from very skimpy data related to a single county or state. However, it appears to be reasonably close to the probable value. The Americans for Divorce Reform estimates that “Probably, 40 or possibly even 50 percent of marriages will end in divorce if current trends continue. However, that is only a projection and a prediction.” 7

    Divorce rates among Christian groups:

    The slogan: “The family that prays together, stays together” is well known. There has been much anecdotal evidence that has led to “unsubstantiated claims that the divorce rate for Christians who attended church regularly, pray together or who meet other conditions is only 1 or 2 percent”. 8 Emphasis ours]. Dr. Tom Ellis, chairman of the Southern Baptist Convention’s Council on the Family said that for “…born-again Christian couples who marry…in the church after having received premarital counseling…and attend church regularly and pray daily together…” experience only 1 divorce out of nearly 39,000 marriages — or 0.00256 percent. 9

    A recent study by the Barna Research Group throws extreme doubt on these estimates. Barna released the results of their poll about divorce on 1999-DEC-21. 1 They had interviewed 3,854 adults from the 48 contiguous states. The margin of error is ±2 percentage points. The survey found:

    bullet
    11% of the adult population is currently divorced.

    bullet
    25% of adults have had at least one divorce during their lifetime.

    bullet Divorce rates among conservative Christians were significantly higher than for other faith groups, and much higher than Atheists and Agnostics experience.

    George Barna, president and founder of Barna Research Group, commented:

    “While it may be alarming to discover that born again Christians are more likely than others to experience a divorce, that pattern has been in place for quite some time. Even more disturbing, perhaps, is that when those individuals experience a divorce many of them feel their community of faith provides rejection rather than support and healing. But the research also raises questions regarding the effectiveness of how churches minister to families. The ultimate responsibility for a marriage belongs to the husband and wife, but the high incidence of divorce within the Christian community challenges the idea that churches provide truly practical and life-changing support for marriages.”

    According to the Dallas Morning News, a Dallas TX newspaper, the national study “raised eyebrows, sowed confusion, [and] even brought on a little holy anger.” This caused George Barna to write a letter to his supporters, saying that he is standing by his data, even though it is upsetting. He said that “We rarely find substantial differences” between the moral behavior of Christians and non-Christians. Barna Project Director Meg Flammang said: “We would love to be able to report that Christians are living very distinct lives and impacting the community, but … in the area of divorce rates they continue to be the same.” Both statements seem to be projecting the belief that conservative Christians and liberal Christians have the same divorce rate. This disagrees with their own data.

    The survey has come under some criticism:

    bullet
    David Popenoe, co-director of the National Marriage Project at Rutgers University has said that the survey doesn’t make sense. He based this belief on his assessment that Christians follow biblical models of the family, making a bond that “the secular world doesn’t have…It just stands to reason that the bond of religion is protective of marriage, and I believe it is.”

    bullet
    Tom Ellis of the Southern Baptist Convention suggests that the Barna poll is inaccurate because the people contacted may have called themselves born-again Christians, without having previously made a real commitment to God. He said: “We believe that there is something more to being a Christian…Just saying you are [a born-again] Christian is not going to guarantee that your marriage is going to stay together.” 9

    bullet Some researchers have suggested that religion may have little or no effect on divorce rates. The apparently higher rate among born-again Christians, and lower rate among Atheists and Agnostics may be due to the influence of financial and/or educational factors.

    One reason for the discrepancy of beliefs about divorce rates among born-again Christians may be that their churches are unaware of the true number of divorcing couples in their midst.

    bullet
    Many couples would find it difficult to continue attending services in the same congregation after their marital separation. Meeting at church would be awkward. So, they drop out.

    bullet Many probably find that the climate in their church is very negative towards divorcing couples. So, they move to other congregations that are either more accepting of divorce, or are unaware of their marital status.

    Barna report: Variation in divorce rates among Christian faith groups:

    Denomination (in order of decreasing divorce rate)
    % who have been divorced

    Non-denominational ** 34%
    Baptists 29%
    Mainline Protestants 25%
    Mormons 24%
    Catholics 21%
    Lutherans 21%

    ** Barna uses the term “non-denominational” to refer to Evangelical Christian congregations that are not affiliated with a specific denomination. The vast majority are fundamentalist in their theological beliefs. More info.

    Barna’s results verified findings of earlier polls: that conservative Protestant Christians, on average, have the highest divorce rate, while mainline Christians have a much lower rate. They found some new information as well: that atheists and agnostics have the lowest divorce rate of all. George Barna commented that the results raise “questions regarding the effectiveness of how churches minister to families.” The data challenge “the idea that churches provide truly practical and life-changing support for marriage.”

    Donald Hughes, author of The Divorce Reality, said:

    “In the churches, people have a superstitious view that Christianity will keep them from divorce, but they are subject to the same problems as everyone else, and they include a lack of relationship skills. …Just being born again is not a rabbit’s foot.”

    Hughes claim that 90% of divorces among born-again couples occur after they have been “saved.””

  86. Here is a good example of the typical Catholic who goes film by film and reviews it. Any facts used in the film are immediately responded to by the same Catholic on every film.

    “Christianity-The First Two Thousand Years”

    “It gets three stars, because much if it is factual, and it’s presentation is very well-done. I appreciated it for its cinematographic value.
    There are several errors that I spotted here, and I would expect more out of A&E.
    Such errors include:
    1) James, not Peter, was the leader of the first Christian community.
    This is clearly false. The vast consensus among scholars is that Peter was the leader of the early Christian community. Check out the Encyclopedia Britannica article “Peter”, as well as anything published by Oxford University, as well as just about every book on Church history.
    The “historical consultant” for the 1st 1000 years was Dominic Crossan of the laughable Jesus seminar. He wrote a book titled “James, the Brother of Jesus”. It’s pretty much his view, and the view of his small circle of scholarly rejects that James, not Peter, was the leader of the early Church.
    James may have had immediate leadership over Jerusalem, but primary leadership was Peter’s This is evidenced in the very name “Peter” itself. See Matthew 16:13-19, as well as the Church Fathers.
    Also, the DVD is inconsistent. It begins by introducing the disciples, and it actually identifies Peter as their leader. 20 minutes into the documentary they say the leader was James. Inconsistent.
    2) The role of women in the early Church.
    There is not one documented record of a woman serving in a clerical role. You did have orders of deaconesses, but the liturgical manuals we have in our possession, like the “Apostolic Tradition” and the canons of the Council of Nicea, make it clear that these were not ordained positions.
    The early Church did have prominent women figures. There were orders of virgins, widows, and deaconesses. But these were forerunners to the modern nun, not “women clergy”, as the film implies.
    3) The film says that the three-fold hierarchy of bishop, priest, and deacon was “proposed” by Ignatius of Antioch, in the 100s A.D..
    It is true that Ignatius’s letters, written around 107 A.D., are among the first references we have to this hierarchy, but they aren’t THE first. Such appears in the Letter of Pope Saint Clement I to the Corinthians, and is certainly implicit in the Bible itself.
    Not only that, but by the time Ignatius had begun writing his letters, on his way to martyrdom, he had already been bishop of some 40 years. So we know for a fact that there was a three-fold hierarchy at least by 67 A.D., when the Apostles were still alive. (Granted, this system was not universal in Apostolic times, but it certainly was by the 2nd century). It’s also important to mention that Ignatius was a disciple of John the Apostle. The documentary fails to mention this. The show also says that Ignatius was among the first to bar women from the clergy. Again, there is no evidence of this. Saint Paul himself had barred women from preaching in the churches.
    4) Not once in the first disc of the film is it mentioned that the orthodox branch of Christianity was known as “the Catholic Church”. This is a serious fly-over. One hears the of this one Christian body, but it isn’t called “catholic” until DVD disc 2, which starts off in the year 1000. Ignatius was the first one to employ the term, and it was used to distinguish orthodox Christians from heretical ones.
    5) The DVD says that Pope Saint Leo I was the first Pope to assert authority over the East. Again, this is false. Pope Saint Clement I, Pope Saint Victor, Saint Ireneaus, the Ecumenical Councils prior to Chalcedon, etc. all affirmed the primacy of the Pope. The Popes of Rome frequently took it upon themselves to excommunicate heretical Eastern Patriarchs, and later on Eastern Christianity sided with them.
    6) In Disc 2, Post-Reformation Catholicism is passed off as completely anti-intellectual and anti-technology. When the Church condemned “Modernism”, it wasn’t condemning change or technology, but rather what we call today “liberal Catholicism”. And Vatican II didn’t change any of that.
    7) The series ends on a negative note with the document “Dominus Iesus”. What isn’t mentioned is that “Dominus Iesus” was little more than a re-statement, word for word, of the teaching of Vatican II. (It’s presented as anti-ecumenical). It’s obvious that the producers of the series did not bother to read the document.
    8) The Church in Colonial America is presented as pro-slavery, with certain exceptions among friars. This is not true. All the popes, even prior to 492, condemned slavery as incompatible with the Catholic religion. They were largely ignored, but the penalty of excommunication “ipsi facto” (the same punishment given to women who commit abortions today) was threatened, and applied, to those who kept slaves.
    9) The lie that Pope Pius XII did nothing to help Jews is told in this documentary. Pius XII helped save over 800,000 Jews, more than any other nation did. H did this through monasteries, convents, fake baptismal certificates, and sneaking Jews in the Vatican among the Swiss Guard. Catholics were the 2nd-largest group murdered in the Holocaust, after Jews. Of the 5 million non-Jews murdered in the Holocaust, 3 million were Catholics.
    I’m not trying to be an apologist for Catholicism (yes, I am Catholic), but I think that all my comments and discrepancies are justified and objective.
    Pretty good, but take it with a grain of salt.”

    1. Walt, those who deny the truth of Catholicism in my opinion are the same type of people who believe the U.S. staged landing on the moon and flew the planes into the WTC towers on 9/11. Constantly rehashing bad arguments and conspiracy theories to support what essentially is their own desire to create a religion that works for them. Most can’t do that since they aren’t real religious leaders, so they pick from the hundreds around them that at their core just believe the same conspiracy theory. The only real criteria is whether that group has at best 70% of the same beliefs about scripture and they must be thoroughly anti-Catholic.

  87. ” Walt, those who deny the truth of Catholicism in my opinion….. ” no one here denies the truth of Catholicism ” We deny that Catholicism is the truth. Big difference. The truth about Catholicism can be found on the researched pages of this site and the pages of scripture , and just like new moons or rainbows in the OT, the scripture screams out in warning who the Antichrist is. Make no mistake that is the truth about Catholicism we will never deny.

  88. Kevin, speaking of truth did you ever share those comments on the real presence from Irenaeus with anyone like I asked you. What did they think?

    1. Timothy P, you have never provided “comments from Irenæus on the Real Presence.” You have cut and pasted different sentences from Against Heresies, Book V, Chapter 2 and from Against Heresies Book IV, Chapter 18, and not even in their original order, and you provided them as if they were “Irenæus’ comments on the Real Presence.” Irenæus was not commenting on “the Real Presence,” makes no mention of “the Real Presence” and was not reacting against an ostensible rejection of “the Real Presence” when he wrote those words.

      If you want to have an intelligent conversation on this, I would suggest that you go back to Irenæus and read the sentences you provided, but this time in their original order, and in the original context in which he wrote them. Then, provide his words and say “in my opinion, this supports the Real Presence.” Do not represent those words as “Irenæus’ comments on the Real Presence,” for he was not commenting on “the Real Presence.”

      Thanks,

      Tim

      1. Timothy K, if Irenaeus comments affirm his belief in the real presence then he is indeed commenting on the real presence, And putting the quotes ” in their original order, and in the original context in which he wrote them” does absolutely nothing in changing the meaning of the passages. There is an obvious reason that Kevin has not wanted to share those quote, because he knows they undermine your and his position on the real presence. If changing the order or showing how if placed in proper context the meaning of those passages changed you would have shown us how when they were first mentioned.

        1. Timothy P wrote,

          “if Irenaeus comments affirm his belief in the real presence then he is indeed commenting on the real presence”

          That’s a pretty big “if,” Timothy P. You have yet to show that the comments affirm his belief. I can’t see how they do. They are Irenæus’ comments on the incarnation, not on the “real presence.” As I have noted several times before, he does not even say “real” or “presence” in any of the citations you provided. The fact that you are reluctant actually to cite the original sources (as opposed to just pasting them as if they actually are Irenæus’ comments on the Real Presence”) or even look at them in their original order, shows me that you are simply engaging “drive by” apologetics. Context matters, Timothy P, and I have insisted since May of 2016 when you first posted the comments that you look at them in their original context. For some reason you refuse to do it, and consider it an imposition to do so.

          You’ll have to do better than this, Timothy P. Show me from the original context how Irenæus’ comments support a belief in the real presence. I’m not seeing it.

          Thanks,

          Tim

    2. Timothy P, a point that really stuck with me, if I’m not mistaken, and one you should really consider, is the use of antitype before any real presence doctrine was raised in Roman Catholicism. The meticulous analysis that Tim is doing with the early church is shining a light on where these false doctrines were introduced in the church, such as salvation by chastity merit, real presence, kneeling introduced in the service, violating categories in the Lord’s supper, etc. Timothy P, based on Paul’s warnings alone that the mystery of iniquity would come from within the church, the man of sin, the son of perdition, and the fact that Paul said it was already at work, should prod you to look for those errors. The only way to recognize them is measuring them against scripture and the apostolic faith passed down. I would encourage you to read each series here without your RC glasses on, look for the truth. Its what is great about Protestantism. We look for the Spirit speaking in scriptures as we size up claimed orthodoxy.

      1. Kevin, you wrote
        “Its what is great about Protestantism. We look for the Spirit speaking in scriptures as we size up claimed orthodoxy.”

        Somehow Kevin I don’t believe thousands of Protestant denominations is great.

        Kevin, you also wrote

        “Timothy P, a point that really stuck with me, if I’m not mistaken, and one you should really consider, is the use of antitype before any real presence doctrine was raised in Roman Catholicism.”

        Kevin you may have missed this discussion before.
        While Timothy K disagrees Patristic scholars tell us that the modern meaning of terms such as Type, Figure and Symbol are not as the understanding was at the time the Church Fathers wrote. If you read the following explanation maybe you can see where we are coming from. Now I know Timothy K disagrees and has attacked some of these Patristic scholars not on this specific point in order to question their validity, but so far I do not believe he has provided any scholars who support his position. If he has I apologize as I could have missed it

        PROGRESS IN EUCHARISTIC DOCTRINE from Kelly, EARLY CHRISTIAN DOCTRINES

        “In the third century the early Christian identification of the eucharistic bread and wine with the Lord’s body and blood continued unchanged, although a difference of approach can be detected in East and West. The outline, too, of a more considered theology of the eucharistic sacrifice begins to appear [I’ll cover Sacrifice later]. In the West the equation of the consecrated elements with the body and blood was quite straightforward, although the fact that the presence is sacramental was never forgotten. Hippolytus speaks of ‘the body and the blood’ through which the Church is saved, and Tertullian regularly describes [E.g. de orat. 19; de idol. 7] the bread as ‘the Lord’s body.’ The converted pagan, he remarks [De pud. 9], ‘feeds on the richness of the Lord’s body, that is, on the eucharist.’ The REALISM of his theology comes to light in the argument [De res. carn. 8], based on the intimate relation of body and soul, that just as in baptism the body is washed with water so that the soul may be cleansed, so in the eucharist ‘the flesh feeds on Christ’s body and blood so that the soul may be filled with God.’ Clearly his assumption is that the Savior’s BODY and BLOOD are as REAL as the baptismal WATER.” (Kelly, pg 211)

        So says J.N.D. Kelly, Oxford scholar and one of the greatest Protestant patristic scholars of the 20th century. Schaff may have been good last century, but his accounts on the Eucharist are incomplete and misleading. Further, Kelly goes on to say concerning -figura- —

        “Occasionally these writers use language which has been held to imply that, for all its realist sound, their use of the terms ‘body’ and ‘blood’ may after all be merely symbolical. Tertullian, for example, refers [E.g. C. Marc. 3,19; 4,40] to the bread as ‘a figure’ (figura) of Christ’s body, and once speaks [Ibid I,14: cf. Hippolytus, apost. trad. 32,3] of ‘the bread by which He represents (repraesentat) His very body.’

        “YET WE SHOULD BE CAUTIOUS ABOUT INTERPRETING SUCH EXPRESSIONS IN A MODERN FASHION. According to ancient modes of thought a mysterious relationship existed between the thing symbolized and its symbol, figure or type; the symbol in some sense WAS the thing symbolized. Again, the verb -repraesentare-, in Tertullian’s vocabulary [Cf. ibid 4,22; de monog. 10], retained its original significance of ‘to make PRESENT.’

        “All that his language really suggests is that, while accepting the EQUATION of the elements with the body and blood, he remains conscious of the sacramental distinction between them [as do Catholics today — see the Catechism, paragraphs 1333ff].

        “In fact, he is trying, with the aid of the concept of -figura-, to rationalize to himself the apparent contradiction between (a) the dogma that the elements are NOW Christ’s body and blood, and (b) the empirical fact that for sensation they remain bread and wine.” (JND Kelly, EARLY CHRISTIAN DOCTRINES, page 212)

        Darwell Stone on Tertullian from A HISTORY OF THE DOCTRINE OF THE HOLY EUCHARIST

        “Another kind of phraseology is found most markedly in Tertullian… Tertullian more than once uses like language with explicit reference to the Eucharist. He asserts our Lord’s intention to have been to show that bread was ‘the figure (figura) of His body’ : he explains the words ‘This is My body’ as meaning ‘This is the figure (figura) of My body’; he interprets the words of institution as placing our Lord’s body under the head of, or in the category of, bread (corpus eius in pane censetur) [Adv Marc iii,19; iv,40; De Orat 6]. He says also that our Lord by the use of bread ‘makes present (repraesentat) His very body’ [Adv Marc i,14].

        “The consideration of this type of phraseology must include some discussion of (a) the meaning of the words ‘symbol’ [in Clement of Alexandria] and ‘figure’ (figura) [in Tertullian]; (b) the meaning of the word translated ‘makes present’ (repraesentat); (c) the relation of the passages here quoted to other statements of the same writers.” [something which Schaff did not address] (Stone, volume 1, page 29)

        FIGURA IN TERTULLIAN — “This is the FIGURE of My body”

        After Stone points out the different meanings, associations and tendencies of the words “symbol” and “figure” even in present language and cultures, he goes on to say

        “As regards the early Church it may be confidently stated that the notions suggested by words meaning ‘symbol’ would differ in important respects from those which like words would suggest to an ordinary Englishman or German of today. Dr. Harnack has stated a crucial difference with great clearness.

        ‘What we nowadays,’ he writes, ‘understand by “symbol” is a thing which is not that which it represents; at that time “symbol” denoted a thing which in some kind of way REALLY IS what it signifies…What we now call “symbol” is something wholly different from what was so called by the ancient Church.’ [HISTORY OF DOGMA, ii,144; iv,289]

        “…Still more explicit indications of the meaning of such terms [as symbol or figure] in the phraseology of Tertullian may be shown by an examination of his language elsewhere and by a comparison of other known uses of the word ‘figura.’

        “In describing the Incarnation Tertullian uses the phrase ‘caro FIGURATUS’ to denote that our Lord received in the womb of His Virgin Mother not only the appearance but also the REALITY of flesh [Apol 21; cf. Adv Marc iv,21]. He says that our Lord made known to the Apostles ‘the form (FIGURA) of His voice’ [Scorp 12]. He uses the word ‘figura’ in the sense of a main point in, or head of, a discussion [Adv Marc ii,21]. Elsewhere he denotes by it the prophetic anticipation of an event afterwards to be fulfilled [De Monog 6 — the Latin is provided in note].” (Stone, vol 1, pg 30,31)

        Stone goes on to give further examples of “figura” —

        (1) In one of Seneca’s letters it is the equivalent of the Greek word -idea- as used in Platonic philosophy (Ep lxv,7 Latin given).

        (2) The translation of Phil 2:6 “being in the FORM of God” in the old Latin version becomes “in FIGURA Dei constitutus”

        (3) After Tertullian, a Roman council spoke of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Ghost as being “of one Godhead, one power, one FIGURA, one essence” (Council of 370 A.D.)

        (4) a Gallican version of the Nicene Creed translated “was made flesh and became man” by “corpus atque FIGURAM hominis suscepit”

        “A scholar of great authority as to the meaning of early Latin documents has inferred from these facts that in Tertullian ‘figura’ is equivalent not to -schema- but to -charakter- [see Turner, Journal of Theological Studies, vii,596], that is, it would approach more nearly to ‘ACTUAL and distinctive NATURE’ than to ‘symbol’ or ‘figure’ in the modern sense of those terms.

        “The question of the meaning of such words in connection with the Eucharist will recur again in a later period. It may be sufficient here to express the warning that to suppose that ‘symbol’ in Clement of Alexandria or ‘figure’ in Tertullian must mean the same as in modern speech would be to assent to a line of thought which is GRAVELY MISLEADING.” (Stone, vol 1, pg 31)

        REPRAESENTAT — “by which He MAKES PRESENT His very body”

        Next Stone analyzes the uses of the word -repraesentat- in Tertullian which occurs in the phrase “by which He makes present His very body” in which Tertullian is describing the use of material things in the ministries of grace as an argument against the view of Marcion that matter is essentially evil. The passage reads as follows —

        “Even up to the present time has not disdained the water which is the Creator’s work, by which He washes His own people, or the oil whereby He anoints them, or the mixture of milk and honey with which He feeds them as infants, or the bread by which He makes present (repraesentat) His very body, requiring even in His own Sacraments the ‘beggarly elements’ (mendicitatibus) of the Creator.” (Tertullian, Adv Marc i,14)

        Stone goes on to explain that according to the context in which the word -repraesentat- is used “it may denote that the presence is actual or that it is only to the mind.” Stone proceeds to give 21 examples of the use of -repraesentat- in Tertullian and concludes —

        “Consequently an examination of the usage of Tertullian in other places does not decisively determine whether the phrase ‘the bread by which He makes present His very body’ means that the ‘very body’ is actually present in the element of bread or that by means of the bread it is depicted or represented to the mind and soul.” (Stone, volume 1, page 33)

        Stone then says that it is therefore important to inquire what is Tertullian’s teaching about the Sacraments in general, and about the Eucharist in particular, in other passages than those where the words “figura” and “repraesentat” are used. And this other phraseology of his falls under the third kind distinguished by Stone in the Ante-Nicene Fathers where the bread and wine of the Eucharist are described as the body and blood of Christ.

        Tertullian on the Sacraments and Real Presence

        St. Ignatius, St. Justin Martyr, and St. Irenaeus are then cited extensively for this literal view of the Eucharist as the body and blood of Christ. Stone continues concerning Tertullian’s view of the Eucharist and Sacraments —

        “A very imperfect idea of the Eucharistic doctrine of Tertullian would be given if attention were confined to those passages in his writings in which he describes the Eucharist as the ‘figura’ of the body of Christ and the means by which our Lord ‘makes His body present.’ To understand it rightly, it must be viewed in the general setting of sacramental principle which Tertullian emphasizes. In his eyes the Incarnation has introduced new aspects of the relation of man to God. The human flesh which the Lord then took is an abiding reality. ‘That same Person who suffered,’ he declares, ‘will come from heaven; that same Person who was raised from the dead will appear to all. And they who pierced Him will see and recognize the very flesh against which they raged’ [De carn Christi, 24]. With this Christ, thus retaining His human body and blood, Christians are closely united. The baptised are clothed with Christ; in them Christ lives [De

        1. Timothy P,

          I can’t believe you are still using this tired old cut and paste argument on “figure” and “symbol” in the early church.

          My favorite is this one from Darwell Stone on Tertullian from his History of the Holy Eucharist:

          “He says that our Lord made known to the Apostles ‘the form (FIGURA) of His voice’ [Scorp 12]”

          But in Turtullian’s Scorpiace, he said,

          “cui potius figuram vocis suae declarasset”

          Timothy P, “figuram vocis” does not mean “the form of His voice.” It means “figure of speech”!. Tertullian had just written in the previous chapter that Jesus spoke in figures of speech, i.e., allegories, parables and riddles:

          “If these announcements are not understood as they are made, without doubt they signify something else than the sound indicates; and there will be one thing in the words, another in their meanings, as is the case with allegories, with parables, with riddles.” (Tertullian, Scorpiace, 11)

          After speaking in riddles and parables, Jesus then made known to his disciples His figures of speech. This is why your cut and paste apologetics doesn’t work. Your “experts” are wrong, and when you use their arguments to support the central theme of your arguments, you are wrong, too. Read Scorpiace 11-12 yourself and to see why Stone’s argument on that point is so ridiculous and unscholarly. The english translation there is “made known the veiled import of His own language” which shows that “figure” in this context literally mean figure! That’s right. He spoke in figures of speech to the crowds, and then made known to his disciples what the figures meant. When read in its actual context, Timothy P, Tertullian’s statement makes sense.

          Stone goes on,

          “Still more explicit indications of the meaning of such terms [as symbol or figure] in the phraseology of Tertullian may be shown by an examination of his language elsewhere and by a comparison of other known uses of the word ‘figura.’”

          That’s true; like in On the resurrection of the Flesh:

          “Now, if this were the case, the figures themselves could not possibly have been distinguished, inasmuch as the verities (veritates) would not have been declared, out of which the figurative language is stretched. And, indeed, if all are figures (figureæ), where will be that of which they are the figures (figuræ)? How can you hold up a mirror for your face, if the face nowhere exists? But, in truth, all are not figures, but there are also literal statements;” (On the resurrection of the Flesh ,chapter 20).

          Tertullian knew full well that the “figurative” is not “literal” thing itself. And yet Stone wants to ignore all that and force feed us his nonsense.

          What is worse, Stone commits your error of cutting and pasting Harnack’s History of Dogma:

          “‘What we nowadays,’ he writes, ‘understand by “symbol” is a thing which is not that which it represents; at that time “symbol” denoted a thing which in some kind of way REALLY IS what it signifies…What we now call “symbol” is something wholly different from what was so called by the ancient Church.’” [HISTORY OF DOGMA, ii,144; iv,289]

          But Harnack was wrong. Just look at Clement of Alexandria:

          “Let no one then think it strange, when we say that the Lord’s blood is figuratively represented as milk. … Wherefore the Holy Spirit in the apostle, using the voice of the Lord, says mystically, “I have given you milk to drink.” [1 Corinthians 3:2] … The same blood and milk of the Lord is therefore the symbol (συμβολον) of the Lord’s passion and teaching.” (Clement of Alexandria, The Pædagogus, chapter 6).

          Do you think blood and milk REALLY ARE the Lord’s passion and teaching? Or just symbolic of it?

          Timothy P, you can cut and paste your nonsense here as much as you like (within limits, of course), but it ruins your arguments.

          By the way, you said, “Now I know Timothy K disagrees and has attacked some of these Patristic scholars not on this specific point.” Well, yes you did miss it, as you suggest. I addressed all of this cut and paste back in December of last year. You say I have cited no “experts” to support my position. I don’t need the experts, Timothy P, and they aren’t serving you very well, either.

          Enjoy,

          Tim

          1. “You say I have cited no “experts” to support my position. I don’t need the experts, Timothy P, and they aren’t serving you very well, either.”

            My point has just been made Timothy K. All the experts are wrong Didn’t you admit you were not an expert in the ancient languages? Isn’t it amazing that not one scholar is wrong but they are all wrong on this point and you don’t seem to be able to come up with any reputable scholar that supports your position. Now I have mentioned before how do you persuade people that have been taught that the Eucharist is a symbol that it is not a symbol but the actual body and blood of Jesus Christ?. There is a reason you have never attempted to answer that question and it’s the same reason you would never admit that Christ established a visible Church with teaching authority. Pride!!!

          2. Timothy P,

            I am not an expert in the ancient languages, as I have acknowledged to anyone who asks. I have not represented myself as an expert in the ancient languages here or in any other forum. My statement “I don’t need the experts” has a context Tim, and the context is the evidence I provided that shows that even a layperson can see that Stone and Harnack were wrong. Stone said “figuram vocis” in Scorpiace meant not “figure of speech” but the “form” of His words,” to show that “figure” in Tertullian did not mean “figure” the way we use it today. Upon inspection, Stone got it exactly wrong, as I showed you by providing “figuram vocis” in its context in Scorpiace 11-12. You can read that in English to see that Tertullian was referring explicitly to Jesus’ figures of speech. Any layperson or cleric or trained linguist can read that for himself and arrive at the same conclusion if he is willing to examine the evidence and the context. Stone is terribly, laughably, and galactically wrong about Tertullian’s use of Figure in Scorpiace 12, and I don’t need that kind of expertise, and neither do you. Set aside your chagrin, Timothy P, and read Scorpiace 11 and 12 and then come back here and tell me that you still believe Stone was right in his assessment of “figuram vocis.” You know very well that he was not. The question is, are you humble enough to examine the actual evidence in context and acknowledge it?

            Harnack, for his part, said that in the ancient church, “symbol” meant the reality of the thing, wholly unlike the way we use symbol today. And yet I have provided evidence to you that Clement of Alexandria used “symbol” exactly the way Harnack said the early church did not use it, exactly the way we use it today. And I have asked you, “Do you think blood and milk REALLY ARE the Lord’s passion and teaching? Or just symbolic of it?” Do you really think Clement meant it that way? You know very well from the context that Clement did not. Harnack’s statement was incorrect, and you know it. The question is, are you humble enough to examine the actual evidence in context and acknowledge it?

            Your shift to a separate topic of convincing people that the Eucharist is not a symbol, and the topic of “teaching authority” is simply a diversion. Let’s stipulate, for the sake of conversation that I am proud. Ok. What does that have to do with whether Stone was wrong on Scorpiace? What does that have to do with Harnack’s misstatement? Read the evidence, Timothy P, and see for yourself. Tertullian was speaking of figures of speech, a fact that overturns Stone’s unscholarly analysis, and Clement was using “symbol” exactly the way we use it today. As I have said, I don’t need Stone’s and Harnack’s “expertise” and neither do you.

            In any case, I may indeed be proud and I will invest no time here attempting to disprove what may in fact be true in my life. However, I would encourage you to revisit our conversation on teaching authority, and examine whether your representation of it is true. If you will examine that conversation in its context, you will see that I refused to answer your question on “teaching authority” because you refused to define “teaching authority,” and when I pressed you to define the terms of your inquiry, you simply changed the question. You can read my answer to your inquiry on that topic here. As you know very well, I have never denied that Jesus established a visible church with teaching authority. But as any schoolboy knows, I would be a fool to answer a question in which the terms were not defined in advance.

            Finally, regarding your comment,

            “Now I have mentioned before how do you persuade people that have been taught that the Eucharist is a symbol that it is not a symbol but the actual body and blood of Jesus Christ?. There is a reason you have never attempted to answer that question…”

            I have no idea why you would make such an accusation, Timothy P. I have invested a great deal of time here on this blog answering that very question.

            Thank you,

            Tim

        2. Tim P,
          Thanks for this discussion. It should close the book on what Tertullian (and others) truly believed about the Eucharist – that it was indeed our Lord’s body and blood and NOT just a symbol.

          Sadly, this is where Kevin will probably just double down on Christ’s Church being the Antichrist.

          1. Rocky, when Stone gets Tertullian so wrong in places where even a layperson can tell what Tertullian was saying, “close the book” is hardly the right action here. Tertullian clearly understood the difference between the “figures” and the “verities,” as he plainly stated. And do you really think “figuram vocis” means “form of His Words” in the context Stone cited from Tertullian? Do you really believe that Clement of Alexandria thought the symbol of “milk” was really “Christ’s passion and teaching”?

            These are things you can sort out on your own without relying on “experts.” Why not give it a shot instead of “closing the book”?

            Tim

          2. Tim said ” these are things sort out without relying on experts. Why not give it a shot, instead of closing the book.” a great question. And that’s why I have been so invested in your work. I truly believe that the continual focus on who is the Antichrist versus who is the true church is the key. Otherwise, why would anyone who is told by their church it is the Church of Jesus Christ for 2 thousand years and transubstantiation and the sacrifice of the our mass is your only ticket to heaven would want to sort things out. Faith comes from hearing the word of God, which not only includes the true gospel, but the truths that expose the Roman Catholic Church for what it really is, the fulfillment Antichrist of scripture.

        3. I just read the quote from Kelly you provided. ” based in the intimate relation between body and soul” as far as Im concerned here is where Kelly makes his mistake. What does he mean the intimate relation between body and soul? Does he mean the soul physically eats flesh. Because if he does, he is wrong. Denied by the words of Jesus. The words I speak are Spirit, the flesh profits NOTHING. The only hope my flesh has is the Spirit of Christ in me. That’s the hope of glory in me according to Paul. My body is perishing. Paul says the inner man is being renewed day by day as the outer man is passing away. Sorry Timothy P, I don’t believe grace comes through nature, but its supernatural and comes from heaven through the Spirit of Christ. My body is saved through the Spirit, not the flesh. I’ll receive a new body some day, a heavenly body. The Lord’s supper is a participation in the body and the blood in the sense that we have died with Him and been raised. This all happens by the Spirit of God. To the degree that these fathers didn’t understand that we are called to a spiritual relationship with Christ, and I’m not saying they didn’t, they were wrong, and so is Kelly.

  89. Kevin, may I remind you that the Catholic Church also teaches that the Eucharist is an antitype. No problem there. However, the bread and wine are not JUST antitypes (or symbols).

    Why don’t you and Tim K. spend as much time on JWs and Mormons as you do with Catholics? Since the second largest religion is made up of Ex-Catholics, I think you would be more concerned that they don’t end up Pentecostal or JWs or Mormon. Just saying.

    I understand Tim K. wanting to justify leaving the Catholic Church but I don’t understand you. You have no skin in the game. Either we’re elect or not, according to you. Nothing you do will change that decision by God. Just relax and let God be in charge.

    1. ” you have no skin in the game, either we are elect or we aren’t, just relax and let God be in charge.” Except Mark God calls us to spread the gospel. Spurgeon said, if everyone could lift up their shirt and there was a big E on their chest then we would know who to speak the gospel to. But we dont. So I obey God. God called me to have some skin in the game. He uses the preaching of the word to save people. Put it this way, he asks us to open the jail door and he decides who comes out.

  90. BTW, Tim K., we can agree to disagree on the interpretation of Porneia. One thing that Matthew 19 doesn’t do is allow remarriage as a result of sexual unchastity on the part of one spouse.
    Therefore, your assertion that the Catholic Church derogates marriage is a FALSE claim.

    1. Mark Rome wrote:

      “BTW, Tim K., we can agree to disagree on the interpretation of Porneia.”

      No, we can’t. You’re appealing to the original Greek and making an interpretive judgment call on your own. It’s the very thing prohibited to Roman Catholics, and condemned in Protestants by those same Roman Catholics.

      Mark Rome’s position: “Porneia [in Matthew 19:9] doesn’t mean adultery, or fornication, or unchastity, or sexual impurity as it is commonly translated.”

      Roman Catholic Authoritative Vulgate (Common) Translation: “dico autem vobis quia quicumque dimiserit uxorem suam nisi ob fornicationem et aliam duxerit moechatur et qui dimissam duxerit moechatur.”

      Roman Catholic Douay Rheims translation: “And I say to you, that whosoever shall put away his wife, except it be for fornication, and shall marry another, committeth adultery: and he that shall marry her that is put away, committeth adultery.”

      4th Session of the Council of Trent, Decree Concerning the Canonical Scriptures: “But if any one receive not, as sacred and canonical, the said books entire with all their parts [and that includes translating “porneia” as “fornicationem”], as they have been used to be read in the Catholic Church, and as they are contained in the old Latin vulgate edition; and knowingly and deliberately contemn the traditions aforesaid; let him be anathema.”

      Mark, it simply is not your prerogative as a Roman Catholic to argue from the Greek that “fornication” is the wrong way to translate “porneia,” when your own Church has told you that “fornicationem” is exactly the right way to translation “porneia.”

      You continued,

      “Therefore, your assertion that the Catholic Church derogates marriage is a FALSE claim.”

      What do you care, Mark? You’re not even Roman Catholic anymore. You have knowingly disparaged the Vulgate translation and taken it upon yourself to interpret the meaning of Scriptures on your own, a skill with which you yourself know that you are not endowed.

      We’re not going to agree to disagree, Mark. The offense you have committed against “Holy Mother Church” is precisely the sin of which you accuse the protestants you malign. As you yourself have said right here on this very site,

      “God didn’t set it up so that a person could pick up a Bible and decide what truth was for themselves.”

      Except for Mark. Right? Did God set it up so that you could pick up a Bible and decide what truth is for yourself? Just you? Who are you to say that “porneia” should not be rendered “fornication” when your own religion in its authoritative Scriptures translates it that way?

      Have a good day,

      Tim

      1. It’s unfortunate that you are now just picking and choosing which posts of mine to let through and then respond to the ones you want and neglect the ones you don’t.
        Curiously, you haven’t given your interpretation of Matthew 19:9 and how your church handles divorced and remarried people based on this passage. As I mentioned in another post, which is still sitting in moderation, Matthew 19:9 does not give permission to remarry if you say unchastity or adultery is committed. He only gave permission to divorce.

        1. Mark, you wrote,

          “Curiously, you haven’t given your interpretation of Matthew 19:9…”

          This is why you are under moderation again, Mark. Because you “pick and choose” reality. I have already given my interpretation of Matthew 19:9 here, and you responded to it. And I followed up here with the earliest known patristic interpretation of Matthew 19:9, which happens to agree with mine and disagrees with yours, and you responded to that, too.

          Have a good day.

          Tim

          1. The Church has always taught that if one divorces and then remarries they are committing adultery, even because of sexual immorality or “fornication” . You refuse to answer what fornication means and what your church teaches about those who can remarry. You deceptively claim your church teaches what the Catholic Church teaches in some “gotcha” moment. You also falsely claim that the Catholic Church derogates marriage.

            We hold marriage higher than you do. Unless you want to explain why your position doesn’t derogate marriage. But, I doubt you will because you dodge every question that you know will not be favorable to your position.

            Putting me in moderation just shows that you can’t handle tough questions and is a waste of my time.

          2. Mark, you wrote,

            “Putting me in moderation just shows that you can’t handle tough questions … “

            No. It shows that you pick and choose reality and have to be corrected each time you post. It’s just easier this way.

            You wrote,

            “You refuse to answer what fornication means and what your church teaches about those who can remarry.”

            This is exactly what I am talking about. I have already answered this question of what my church teaches about those who can remarry here.

            And porneia, by the way, obviously does not refer solely “to sexual relations with a close relative.” Paul said beware of porneuo (1 Corinthians 10:8) in reference to Numbers 25 where the Israelites were having sexual relations with people of another nation.

            You continued,

            “You deceptively claim your church teaches what the Catholic Church teaches in some “gotcha” moment.”

            Actually, no, that is not what I said. I said I worded my response in such a way that it mirrored Amoris Lætitia’s wording in 243, and believe me, it had the desired effect. Doctrinaire Roman Catholics condemned the teaching until they realized it came from the pope. Then suddenly it was in perfect conformance with the Catechism. And besides, not everyone agrees with you that paragraph 243 is “what the Catholic Church teaches.” Timothy P says it is what the Catholic Church teaches, but Cardinal Burke, in his words to those who are concerned with the language of 243, advises them to focus instead on what the Catholic Church actually teaches. See, the jury is still deliberating on whether 243 REALLY IS what the Catholic Church teaches. Which is hilarious, frankly, because the argument for infallibility at Vatican I was that the pope judges all and is judged by no one. Do you not know Canon 1556, “Prima Sedes a nemine iudicatur”? “The First See is judged by no one.”

            Unless, of course, he is wrong. The problem is, how do you know if he’s wrong? By judging his words. Which is verboten:

            “The first or primatial see is subject to no one’s judgment. This proposition must be taken in the fullest extent, not only with regard to the object of infallibility. For in matters of faith and morals it was always customary to receive the final sentence from the Apostolic See, whose judgment no one dared to dispute, as the tradition of the Fathers demonstrates. Neither was it ever allowed to reconsider questions or controversies once settled by the Holy See. But even the person of the Supreme Pontiff was ever considered as unamenable to human judgment, he being responsible and answerable to God alone, even though accused of personal misdeeds and crimes. A remarkable instance is that of Pope Symmachus (498-514). He, indeed, submitted to the convocation of a council (the Synodus Palmaris, 502), because he deemed it his duty to see to it that no stain was inflicted upon his character, but that synod itself is a splendid vindication of our canon. The synod adopted the Apology of Ennodius of Pavia, in which occurs the noteworthy sentence: “God wished the causes of other men to be decided by men; but He has reserved to His own tribunal, without question, the ruler of this see.” No further argument for the traditional view is required. A general council could not judge the Pope, because, unless convoked or ratified by him, it could not render a valid sentence. Hence nothing is left but an appeal to God, who will take care of His Church and its head.” (Rev. Charles Augustine, A Commentary on the New Code of Canon Law, Vol. VII, pp. 11-12)

            See? You are not allowed to judge Amoris Lætitia. Or are you? Nobody actually knows.

            Thanks,

            Tim

          3. Forget moderation, this guy should be banned by bringing absolutely nothing to the table but obfuscation and off topic comments. It is so painful to even filter through his tripe when scrolling to get to your input Tim. He never answers questions directly and is always taking threads on wild goose hunts in every which direction the wind blows. Personally I wouldn’t allow any comments from anyone that aren’t on topic, since after the 10-12 meaningful comments and discussion, Team Pontiff always takes these threads into 300+ comments on a multitude of topics. Its to the point I just wander down to the “Comments RSS” link and just read your material. Unfortunately you are very careful to document and hold people to their own words, so I have to read all Team Pontiffs comments through your responses when you accurately quote them and expose them as nothing more than incoherence and word twisting. God Bless you Tim, you have very high tolerance of pain. LOL

          4. Thanks, Dan,

            I appreciate your thoughts, and I can assure you, I have been advised more than once to keep Roman Catholic commenters at bay. As difficult as it is to filter through and read their comments, they are very helpful (and I think instructional), to the Christian reader.

            The Roman Catholic claim to be the true church reduces to two arguments built upon a delusion, and almost every argument the Roman Catholic makes can be categorized as one or both of those two arguments: the historical argument and the eschatological argument.

            As can be seen when Roman Catholicism’s claims are examined against history, the historical argument fails, which is why apologists like Cardinal Newman have to develop “the development of doctrine” doctrine. Even he recognized a “want of accord” between the apostolic church and the institution that developed as the sun was setting on the 4th century.

            The eschatological argument fails, as well, once Daniel 2 is harmonized with Daniel 7, as I showed in The Fifth Empire. The reason is quite simple. The Stone strikes the statue in the feet of the 4th empire, breaking the feet alone (Daniel 2:34). Then the stone grinds all the empires to dust together such that there is not a single trace of any of those empires left anywhere on the face of the earth, for “the wind carried them away” and “no place was found for them” (Daniel 2:35). Only then does the Stone become “a great mountain, and [fill] the whole earth” (Daniel 2:35). In Daniel 7, the body of the 4th beast is destroyed, but the preceding empires are not utterly destroyed at all, but rather live on for a time (Daniel 7:12). As we know from Revelation 13:1-2, the preceding empires live on in the form of the Beast. The Beast, comprised of all the preceding empires, spends some time making war against the saints (Daniel 7:21, Revelation 13:7), and then its earthly dominion is utterly destroyed as well (Daniel 7:26). That places Daniel 7:12 and Revelation 13:1-2 after Daniel 2:34 when the feet alone are broken, but before Daniel 2:35 when all the preceding empires are utterly destroyed. It is only at that point that the Stone, having utterly destroyed the preceding empires, fills the whole earth (Daniel 2:35), introducing the earthly manifestation of Christ’s Kingdom as it takes its earthly dominion. No sooner. The significance of this chronology laid out for us in Daniel 2 and 7 is that it is the Beast, not the Stone that is the 5th earthly empire after Rome. But Roman Catholicism’s eschatological argument is that she is the Stone, the successor to the Roman Empire. Once it is understood that Antichrist, not the Stone, is the successor to the Roman Empire, Roman Catholicism’s eschatological argument falls apart, too.

            Lacking either a valid historical argument or a valid eschatological argument, all that is left is the delusion, and by “delusion,” I mean the “strong delusion” of 2 Thessalonians 2:11, and the “strong delusion” is nothing other than the presumption of apostolic continuity (PAC).

            Cardinal Newman notoriously suggested that “To be deep in history is to cease to be a Protestant” (Newman, An Essay on the Development of Christian Doctrine, Introduction). And yet even as he wrote that essay he struggled with “a want of accord between the early and the late aspects of Christianity,” and suggested that perhaps the reason distinctively Roman Catholic teachings were absent in the early ages was “for the sake of reverence, that sacred subjects might not be profaned by the heathen; and for the sake of catechumens, that they might not be oppressed or carried away by a sudden communication of the whole circle of revealed truth.”

            What to do? There was only one thing to do. Presume apostolic continuity and reason from that presumption. The Historical and Eschatological arguments (ref: Daniel 2) are present from the beginning of his essay, and his ultimate fallback position is that we must presume apostolic continuity in all of it:

            “All such views of Christianity imply that there is no sufficient body of historical proof to interfere with, or at least to prevail against, any number whatever of free and independent hypotheses concerning it. But this, surely, is not self-evident, and has itself to be proved. [TFK: the historical argument] Till positive reasons grounded on facts are adduced to the contrary, the most natural hypotheses, the most agreeable to our mode of proceeding in parallel cases, and that which takes precedence of all others, is to consider that the society of Christians, which the Apostles left on earth, were of that religion to which the Apostles had converted them; that the external continuity of name, profession, and communion, argues a real continuity of doctrine; that, as Christianity began by manifesting itself as of a certain shape and bearing to all mankind, therefore it went on so to manifest itself; and that the more, considering that prophecy had already determined that it was to be a power visible in the world and sovereign over it, characters which are accurately fulfilled in that historical Christianity to which we commonly give the name. [TFK: the eschatological argument] It is not a violent assumption, then, but rather mere abstinence from the wanton admission of a principle which would necessarily lead to the most vexatious and preposterous scepticism, to take it for granted, before proof to the contrary, that the Christianity of the second, fourth, seventh, twelfth, sixteenth, and intermediate centuries is in its substance the very religion which Christ and His Apostles taught in the first, [TFK: the presumption of apostolic continuity] whatever may be the modifications for good or for evil which lapse of years, or the vicissitudes of human affairs, have impressed upon it.”

            Although our Roman Catholic interlocutors would deny it, everything they propose here falls back on the historical argument (i.e., “we are the only church that can trace its lineage back to the apostles”), and the eschatological argument (i.e, “if the Roman Catholic Church is in error, then Jesus’ promise was false that the gates of hell could not prevail”), both of which rely upon a grand delusion that there is any continuity whatsoever between Rome’s novelties and the apostolic church. It is that delusion that leads men to suggest that the early church used “symbol” and “figure” differently than we do today, or that Nicæa had recognized the primacy of Rome in canon 6, or that incense must have been used in the early church even though no evidence can be produced to support it, or that the early church only prohibited images prophylactically until they could be introduced later under more careful guidance, or that early references to Mary’s sinfulness were mere “stray private opinion,” or observe quizzically that for some reason the “altars” of the early church looked remarkably like common household tables.

            That delusion is not something that Roman Catholics can shake off of their own accord, nor is it something that we of our powers can divest them. Nevertheless it is instructional, I think, to observe them as they struggle under its weight, and to that end it is worthwhile to allow them to opine here.

            Thanks so much,

            Tim

          5. The grand delusion, Tim K., is that you could find any groups that teach Protestantism, primarily it’s two pillars of Sola Scriptura and Sola Fide, at the very least, back through the centuries to the Apostles. At least you haven’t done it thus far. Giving your personal eschatological spin on the ECFs trying to disprove Catholic teachings does not, in fact, make your beliefs anywhere found in the ECFs.

            More than that, why don’t you give your definition of what true, authentic, Apostolic Christianity looks like and which modern-day Protestant group holds to the fullness of these truths? Can you articulate the teachings? on Baptism? on Eternal security? on Women preachers? on the Real Presence?

            After you do this, please explain why YOU are right and other Protestants, who don’t agree with you, are wrong. By what authority can you claim to know the truth? Or, does the infallible Holy Spirit guide people into lies and distortions? How do YOU know the difference between an essential doctrine for Christianity versus an opinion? What criteria do you use? The PCA gave its OPINION that Christians can divorce and remarry in cases of “fornication”. Is that a binding decisions on all Christians, or just for PCA members?

            It is not up to the Catholic Church to prove the teachings of the Church from antiquity, it is the new kids on the block, like your church, which needs to defend them. I don’t see them in the early church at all. I see Catholicism.

          6. Mark, you wrote,

            “After you do this, please explain why YOU are right and other Protestants, who don’t agree with you, are wrong.”

            And yet, you have never been able to explain why YOU are right and other Catholics, who don’t agree with you, are wrong. You continued,

            “By what authority can you claim to know the truth?”

            And yet, you have never explained by what authority you can claim to understand and know the truth from the teachings of the magisterium. Yet daily you would offer to interpret them for us here. You continued,

            “Or, does the infallible Holy Spirit guide people into lies and distortions?”

            A laughable question from a religion that cannot explain when its own “infallible” shepherd speaks infallibly! You continued,

            “How do YOU know the difference between an essential doctrine for Christianity versus an opinion?”

            How do YOU, Mark? Would you join a Catholic Church that adhered to the fullness of Amoris Lætitia the way Cardinal Burke interprets it? Or would you instead join a Catholic Church that adhered to the fullness of Amoris Lætitia the way Cardinal Müller interprets it? Or the way the other German Bishops interpret it? Who is right? You? Who are you to judge? If only God had given your church an infallible shepherd to clear all this up!

            “Over the past ten months, bishops around the world have issued widely varying interpretations of Pope Francis’s document Amoris Laetitia, especially its provisions on Communion for the divorced and civilly remarried. Rarely has the contrast been quite as sharp as Wednesday, however, when the German bishops’ conference and the Vatican’s German doctrinal czar appeared to virtually contradict one another.” (Germans still jousting over the proper reading of ‘Amoris Laetitia’)

            Lacking such a shepherd, perhaps Mark Rome will step in for us and tell us which of the “widely varying interpretations” of Amoris Lætitia is correct? You continued,

            “What criteria do you use?”

            Indeed, the very question I have posed to you, and which you have been unable to answer. You continued,

            “The PCA gave its OPINION that Christians can divorce and remarry in cases of “fornication”. Is that a binding decisions on all Christians, or just for PCA members?”

            Mark, you can’t even tell me why Amoris Lætitia is or is not correct, much less whether it is ex cathedra, without falling back on your own personal interpretation of history, Scripture and the magisterium. And yet you think you can trip me up on questions that you yourself cannot answer for your own religion?

            Of course it is binding on all Christians, Mark. Not because the PCA said it, but because Christ said it. Remarrying after divorce (except in cases of fornication) is adultery (Matthew 19:9). That means that remarrying after a lawful divorce is not adultery. That’s why it’s called “the exception clause.”

            Thanks,

            Tim

          7. As I said, the Catholic Church doesn’t have to PROVE anything. You have free will to believe the Church or not. Some will believe the evidence, some will not.

            As a former Protestant turned Catholic, it is wonderful to live FOR something, instead of just against something. I believe God can give someone the grace needed to believe what the Catholic Church teaches. However, we need to be predisposed to receive that grace. If we are actively working against it, that grace may never come. Once I softened my heart towards the Catholic Church I started seeing the truth claims.

            Whether one disagrees with the Catholic Church because of invincible or vincible ignorance, only God can judge that.

          8. Mark wrote,

            “I believe God can give someone the grace needed to believe what the Catholic Church teaches.”

            Very well. I believe God can give someone the grace needed to believe what the Scriptures teach. Whether one disagrees with the Scriptures because of invincible or vincible ignorance, only God can judge that.

            Thanks,

            Tim

          9. “Very well. I believe God can give someone the grace needed to believe what the Scriptures teach. ”

            I don’t believe the infallible Holy Spirit tells you one way to interpret Scriptures and then tells another Protestant something completely different.

            And, yes, I do believe that God gave us an infallible authority to pass on the faith, and that isn’t called “The Holy Bible”. It is called the Church. 1 Tim 3:15, the Church is the pillar and foundation of truth, not the Bible.

          10. Mark, you wrote,

            “I do believe that God gave us an infallible authority to pass on the faith … It is called the Church.”

            Great. Which interpretation of Amoris Lætitia is correct, Mark? The “Church” can’t even tell me. What is the “teaching of the Church,” Mark? Do you believe the Holy Spirit tells you one way to interpret Amoris Lætitia and then tells another Catholic something completely different? Surely you should all arrive at the same interpretation of Amoris Lætitia!

            Just tell me which interpretation of Amoris Lætitia is correct so that I do not stumble into mortal sin. Can you help me, Mark? Can you tell me what the true teaching of the Church is? None of your popes and cardinals has been able to help me know if Amoris Lætitia is actually a teaching of the church.

            Thanks,

            Tim

          11. Sorry Tim K., Amoris Lætitia isn’t Scripture. And again you have failed to answer fundamental questions. Yes, you left the Catholic Church and decided that PCA was the best thing going. Is the PCA infallible? What doctrines must be held to be a Christian?

            The Presbyterian church was founded by John Knox 1560. As a researcher of the ECFs, can you show name a Presbyterian minister from the 4th century who taught everything that the PCA teaches today?

          12. Mark, you observed,

            “Sorry Tim K., Amoris Lætitia isn’t Scripture.”

            Of course it is not. The problem is, you don’t know if it is even a teaching of the church, and yet it comes from your “infallible” papacy, the presumptive purpose of which office is precisely so you do not have to sort these things out on your own. And yet, here we are.

            Without trying once again to change the subject, why not just tell us what the correct interpretation of Amoris Lætitia is. Surely you know!

            Tim

          13. Tim K., your posts have convinced me to leave the Catholic Church. Which Protestant church should I join? I need your help and recommendation.

          14. Mark, your personal, private interpretation of Scripture, your personal, private interpretation of the Magisterium, your personal, private interpretation of Tradition, and your personal, private determination of which papal statements are ex cathedra, have convinced me to join the Roman Catholic Church. (wink) All that remains is for me to choose the right interpretation of Amoris Lætitia, since there are so many warring factions within Roman Catholicism trying to figure out what Francis meant. Which one is right? I want to make sure I join the right parish, and as you know, the wrong interpretation could leave my soul in mortal danger. Can you tell me the right interpretation so I don’t go to hell? What is the right interpretation?

            Tim

          15. TK: “So all I did in response was ask the question right back to you (and any other Roman Catholic who asks it), and you simply cannot answer it (and neither could Wilnot), because it exposes the underlying problem of your religion: you must decide on your own which parish you should attend based on your own personal, private interpretation, all the while comforting yourself that you have not relied on your own personal, private interpretation.”

            Wilnot: Having done his time in purgatory, wilnot decided to leave this rather malicious website, but as he predicted, he received a kick after he left and so has decided, perhaps foolishly, to reply, hoping that because he is replying to a comment against him, as with the presidential primaries, this answer will make it through moderation.

            Wilnot came on with a simple question: if you convince a Catholic to leave the ship of Peter, which church would you have him join, lest he drown. Tk refused to answer.

            Wilnot 1-TK 0

            Then our good friend Jerry saw through the absurd attempts to confuse his faith in the Church by someone who could not distinguish between a pew, a parish, a diocese, a local church, and the universal church, and decided to escape purgatory as well.

            Jerry 1–TK 0

            Adding up to:

            One, Holy, Catholic and Apostolic Church (pews, parishes, diocese and all) 2
            –purgatorial website 0

          16. Wilnot, you may tally the score however you like, but I have simply exposed your question as the red herring that it is, and your answers as deliberate attempts to dodge the very question you have posed. I’ll post my response again for you here in case you missed it:

            “On the first score, in your introductory comment you posed the question as to which church you should join if you were to leave Roman Catholicism. I responded with Jerry’s identical predicament if he simply changes archdioceses. He faces any number of fundamental doctrinal issues on which not every priest agrees, and not all parishes are of one accord. On your first attempt to dismiss the question, you reduced it to a matter of whether Jerry could tolerate a sinful priest. But that was not Jerry’s concern. It was doctrinal unity. In your second attempt to dismiss the question, you reduced it to a matter of Jerry knowing where he could go to find out the truth even if the parish he attended was not teaching it. But that was not Jerry’s concern. It was doctrinal unity. Now on your third attempt to dismiss with the question, you have trivialized it to the same level as choosing a pew. In all three, you have avoided the issue—Jerry wants to attend a Catholic church, but to find one he has to do more than just check the archdiocesan web page. He has to see if they teach what he believes to be true (after all, Fr. John Hardon said the parish that allows birth control isn’t even Catholic, and Jerry wants to attend a Catholic church). He has to see if they practice traditional Catholic orthodoxy (after all, if they don’t, Taylor Marshall is going to implore him to pick up and migrate to a new parish that does). It’s a life and death decision.”

            Roman Catholics love to come here and ask the question, but cannot answer it when asked. And the reason is obvious: there are so many different opinions on how to select a valid Roman Catholic parish, that hardly any two Roman Catholics will give the same answer, and unless they answer that it is simply a matter of choosing the closest one, they are stumbling into the “protestant error” of weighing the truth for themselves and determining which parish teaches most similarly to what they personally believe to be the correct interpretation of Scripture, Tradition and the Magisterium.

            So, until you can answer your own question, I will simply expose your silliness for what it is.

            Now as regards keeping score, I invite your attention to a little contretemps between Jesus and the pharisees. The pharisees, seeking to trap Him, asked him by what authority He taught. Instead of answering, He posed a question back to them, a question they could not answer. And so He replied, “Neither do I tell you by what authority I do these things” (Mark 11:33).

            Now, by Wilnot’s scorekeeping, It’s Pharisees 1, Jesus 0, because Jesus would not answer. But we don’t keep score by who does and does not answer questions. But if you must keep score, then feel free to call the game: Wilnot 100, Tim K 0. It matters nothing to me.

            But now that the scorekeeping can be set aside, why not just answer the question without dithering? Tell me, Wilnot, which Roman Catholic parish I should attend if I convert? Your ultimate answer, at its core, was that it does not matter as long as it claims to be Roman Catholic, and yet that is just your personal opinion. I can give you plenty of examples of other Roman Catholics who think it matters a great deal, and would recommend against joining the very Roman Catholic parishes you would have me join. After all, as Roman Catholic apologist Taylor Marshall once said, “there is a de facto division growing within the Catholic Church,” and that is why he says you must choose your parish carefully by determining which one teaches closest to the truth as you understand it. The problem is, there are lots of different opinions as to what constitutes a faithful parish that teaches the truth, and you guys can’t even agree on what Amoris Lætitia means. And no Roman Catholic can tell me how to figure it out. If you guys cannot even handle the words of men, how can you handle the Word of God? And indeed, why should I trust you on which Catholic parish do join?

            And thus, neither will I answer your question.

            Thank you,

            Tim

          17. Can’t find the right reply button.

            But replying to TK and who is not answering the question “which church?”

            Wilnot asked the question. TK refused to answer.

            TK asked Wilnot in turn and he answered in great length.

            Let’s review.

            Wilnot: which church should Jerry join?

            TK: I will not answer. Which church should Jerry join?

            Wilnot: The Catholic Church.

            TK; Which Catholic church?

            Wilnot: Everyone knows what the Catholic Church is. The one, holy, Catholic and apostolic church. The church in communion with the Bishop of Rome.

            TK: But which denomination of the Catholic Church? And which personal interpretation of which denomination of the Church in communion with Rome.
            Wilnot: These questions are too absurd to answer. But to make it crystal clear: He should join his local diocese of the Catholic Church. He should join the local parish of his local diocese of the Catholic Church. He should sit in whichever pew he finds the seats more comfortable.

          18. Thank you, Wilnot, for your personal interpretation of the One Holy Catholic Apostolic Church. What is “absurd” is any notion that the religion your profess is either One, or Holy, or Catholic or Apostolic. I see no evidence of it. In any case, you say, regarding which Catholic parish Jerry should join,

            “But to make it crystal clear: He should join his local diocese of the Catholic Church. He should join the local parish of his local diocese of the Catholic Church. He should sit in whichever pew he finds the seats more comfortable.”

            That is interesting, and I appreciate your response. In my initial response to you, you may recall, “Jerry” found that one of the four equidistant churches he visited in the diocese was not affirming Mary’s sinlessness. In our discussion, Jerry also visited a church where the pastor said contraception was a personal choice. Let’s just consider, in the former case, a nearby church in the diocese isn’t actually teaching that Mary is sinless. Based on your response, Jerry should be fine with it, and just join. Vive la difference! Or in the latter case, a nearby church in the diocese privately allows contraception. Jerry should be fine with it, and just join. Your response to all this is, “Vive la difference!,” Jerry, “parishes have different atmospheres,” and “legitimate diversity of theological and spiritual heritages and special disciplines,” and those differences don’t injure Rome’s unity, but only make it more manifest. Well a lot of Roman Catholics would beg to differ, and don’t think contraception and the immaculacy of Mary are negotiable; differences in that regard are not to be tolerated. As I also showed you, there are actual Roman Catholic parishes where these kinds of issues are real, and parishioners have to deal with them by more than just papering over the differences and calling it “unity.”

            For example, Taylor Marshall’s blog post on this very issue:

            I have been receiving numerous Facebook messages, emails, and comments from Catholics who read this blog and want advice about their current “parish crisis.” The messages go like this:

            My priest tells off-color jokes in the homily. What should I do?
            The local RCIA instructor taught that contraception is a “personal decision” and when I asked the priest about it, he didn’t think it was a big deal.
            In confession, my priest said that “the pill” is okay in certain situations.
            The nuns at my parochial school are promoting {insert something sketchy}, should I talk to my priest about it?
            Our parish promotes Eastern non-Christian mystical practices and prayers? Should I say something?
            My pastor has forbidden Communion on the tongue. What should I do?
            The priest at my parish changes the words of the liturgy, for example “Son of Man” to “Son of Humanity” in order to be gender inclusive. Should I talk to him about this?

            From your perspective, Wilnot, these issues are just evidence of unity. Well, in Marshall’s opinion, they are evidence of a de facto division within the Roman Catholic Church. Both of you cannot be right, and I don’t know who to trust. You, or Marshall? To put a fine point on it, if I asked you which catholic parish to join, you effectively have recommended that Jerry just choose the nearest one. But if I ask Marshall the same question, he talks about geographic migration to a parish or diocese more consistent with what he believes to b consistent with “traditional Catholic orthodoxy and practice.” He would recommend a different one, and does not say “Vive la difference!” Quite the opposite.

            Your question is intended to highlight a division within Protestantism, presumably because you would get different answers from different Protestants about which church to join. But as I have shown, if I were to ask different Catholics about which parish Jerry should join, I would get different answers from them, too. There is a “de facto” division within Roman Catholicism—in fact there are a great many divisions. All you have done in your responses is pretend they don’t exist, and then offer to me a One Holy Catholic Apostolic Church that cannot figure out the meaning of Amoris Lætitia, and has substantive doctrinal differences from parish to parish.

            If I were to ask Cardinal Burke if Jerry should join one of the churches administered by a bishop like those in Malta, Buenos Aires, and San Diego who allow Communion for adulterers, I’m sure he would recommend against it. But if I asked one of those German bishops and cardinals (Cardinal Walter Kasper; Cardinal Reinhard Marx; Bishop Franz-Josef Bode; and Archbishop Heiner Koch) who have taken a liberal interpretation of Amoris Lætitia if Jerry should join a church that takes Cardinal Burke’s stodgy, conservative view of Amoris Lætitia, they would probably recommend that Jerry not.

            Funny thing is, Timothy P reviewed a critical paragraph of Amoris Lætitia (243), and concluded that it was perfectly consistent with the Catechism, but Cardinal Burke read that same paragraph and determined that Amoris Lætitia is not magisterial!

            “My position is that “Amoris Laetitia” is not magisterial because it contains serious ambiguities that confuse people and can lead them into error and grave sin. A document with these defects cannot be part of the Church’s perennial teaching.”—Cardinal Burke, November 15, 2016

            Why can’t you guys just get along? Why are there so many divisions within the “One” “Holy” “Catholic” “Apostolic” “Church,” Wilnot? At last count, I think there are at least 40,000 of them.

            Thanks for your thoughtful guesswork on the teaching ministry of the church and which parish Jerry should join. I can’t seem to get the same answer from two Catholics in a row, and each one seems to think that my eternal salvation depends on choosing one that is “actually catholic.” If only there was a supreme pontiff who could sort this out for us, instead of causing the very problem he was supposed to prevent.

            Best,

            Tim

        2. Tim K., what part of “it’s not scripture” and “it isn’t infallible” do you not understand? To state that one could go to hell if one interprets Amoris Laetitia incorrectly makes me doubt your sincerity and whether you really seek reasonable discussion. Amoris Laetitia is mostly a pastoral letter and is for the Bishops and Priests. It looks to me that you do this to avoid answering the tough questions.

          1. Mark, have you even read Amoris Lætitia? Mortal sin is what the whole controversy is about: some bishops are interpreting it in such a way as to justify the ‘mortal sin’ of adultery. You wrote,

            “To state that one could go to hell if one interprets Amoris Laetitia incorrectly makes me doubt your sincerity and whether you really seek reasonable discussion.”

            I would encourage you to read the Apostolic Exhortation, Mark, to see what it actually says, so that you can comment on it appropriately. Francis said,

            “Hence it can no longer simply be said that all those in any ‘irregular’ situation are living in a state of mortal sin and are deprived of sanctifying grace. More is involved here than mere ignorance of the rule. A subject may know full well the rule, yet have great difficulty in understanding ‘its inherent values'” (Amoris Lætitia, 301)

            Those “irregular” situations are in reference to “the baptized who are divorced and civilly remarried” (AL, 299), which you personally consider adultery. I’m guessing you think those in the mortal sin of remarriage after divorce are completely deprived of sanctifying grace. In other words, you probably agree with Cardinal Müller who cleared it all up by saying the opposite as Francis:

            “For Catholic doctrine, it is impossible for mortal sin to coexist with sanctifying grace.”

            If you don’t think encouraging people to continue in mortal puts their souls in danger, I not only wonder if you read Amoris Lætitia. I wonder if you have read the Catechism. Besides, John Paul II said that “if [you] were admitted to the Eucharist [while in mortal sin], the faithful would be led into error and confusion regarding the Church’s teaching about the indissolubility of marriage” (Familaris consortio 84). So yes, it’s all about the condition of my eternal soul, and closer to your heart, the indefectibility of the church. So like I’ve said, you have persuaded me to join your religion! (wink) Now, which parish should I join? I’m seriously leaning toward one of the churches administered by a bishop like those in Malta, Buenos Aires, and San Diego who allow Communion for adulterers. Would you recommend one of those churches? Why, or why not?

            You continued,

            Amoris Laetitia is mostly a pastoral letter and is for the Bishops and Priests.

            Well, thank you for your personal interpretation of the Magisterium, Mark. Francis I says otherwise:

            “Consequently, I do not recommend a rushed reading of the text. The greatest benefit, for families themselves and for those engaged in the family apostolate, will come if each part is read patiently and carefully, or if attention is paid to the parts dealing with their specific needs. It is likely, for example, that married couples will be more concerned with Chapters Four and Five, and pastoral ministers with Chapter Six, while everyone should feel challenged by Chapter Eight. ” (AL, 7)

            Sounds like only one chapter was written “mostly for the Bishops and Priests,” Mark, and the rest is pretty much for everyone. Did you even read it, Mark? You concluded,

            It looks to me that you do this to avoid answering the tough questions.

            The tough question is the one you are avoiding. You’ve convinced me! (wink) Now, which parish should I join, Mark? Which parish has the correct interpretation of Amoris Lætitia? Remember, I could go to hell if you send me to one that interprets Amoris Laetitia differently than you do.

            Thanks,

            Tim

          2. Tim K., as with most non-Catholics who read something from the Church, you show you don’t even understand the basics. Amoris Lætitia is meat and you are still needing milk.

            You should start with properly understanding mortal sin. If you need help, you can refer to the CCC 1856-1861. Once you’ve done that, if you have any questions, let me know.

            Thanks.

          3. Mark, do you think “St.” John Paul II was not aware of the Catechism? It was John Paul II, not me, who said that to allow remarried divorced people to be admitted to the Eucharist, would be to lead the faithful into error and confusion regarding the Church’s teaching about the indissolubility of marriage (Familaris consortio 84). And yet some Bishops today are interpreting Amoris Lætitia in precisely the way that would cause the church to lead the faithful into error and confusion, the very reason you all needed a pope to begin with—to make sure what is currently happening does not happen. I know what mortal sin is, and I know that there is an internal dispute currently going on among Roman Catholics about whether some interpretations of Amoris Lætitia are leading people into it. That’s not me digesting the “meat” on my own, as you say, but Bishops and Cardinals digesting the “meat” for me. They are all arguing over whether Amoris Lætitia is leading people into mortal sin, and in their personal opinion it is, and in Francis’ personal opinion, it is not. Wasn’t Francis’ opinion supposed to settle it? I thought that’s why y’all had a pope? So that the church is not led into confusion and error? And here we have the pope himself as the cause of it all.

            In the midst of this controversy, we have this hilarious insight from John Paul Meenan over at Catholic Insight. No worries, people! If we disagree with what the current pope teaches, he says, we can just go back and find a teaching of a previous pope that we agree with, and consider that teaching authoritative!:

            “Whatever current office-holders in the Church do to stretch, obfuscate or even ignore the law, with whatever good motives we may hope, we always have previous authoritative teaching as a light and guide, a beacon point and foundation in whatever ensues. Without the guidance of the Church’s doctrine and laws, our fallible and fickle conscience left on its own is no match for the Evil One, the father of lies and deceit, all-too-able and willing to exploit our own weaknesses and selfish desires.” (Amoris Laetitia, Mortal and Grave Sin)

            There’s not a Protestant commenting here that doesn’t know what that means: Roman Catholics do EXACTLY what they claim they do not, and in fact, they do that which they look down their noses at Protestants for doing. And you do the same thing, Mark. You can’t answer my question on the meaning of Amoris Lætitita because it would uncover your own hypocrisy. You personally have a private interpretation of the Catechism, the Magisterium, Tradition and Scriptures, and based on that personal, private interpretation you decide which Catholic parish most closely aligns with it, and you choose that parish to attend.

            And that gets me back to your original question, which was,

            “your posts have convinced me to leave the Catholic Church. Which Protestant church should I join? I need your help and recommendation.”

            The intent of the question from the Roman Catholic is to befuddle the Protestant who must, by his own profession, rely on Scripture alone, which is the full extent of God’s revelation to him, to point to him to the right church, and 2nd Baptist is nowhere mentioned in the Scriptures. So the Roman Catholic then immediately and subtly switches gears, responding that its easy for him to choose based on the Scripture alone, because he has a Church that interprets the Scripture for him. But that is a diversion, because no Roman Catholic is truly free to choose his church based on Rome’s interpretation of Scripture alone. No, he must choose his church based on whether that church properly interprets the full extent of God’s revelation to the Catholic, and that includes not only Scripture, but also Tradition and the Magisterium as well. And frankly, St. Mary Marguerite’s Catholic Church in Slidell isn’t mentioned in any of those sources of revelation, either. So the Catholic then has to put on his Protestant thinking cap and figure out which parish to attend. That’s why it is so funny to read John Paul Meenan’s response that even if the current pope is causing confusion, you can always go back and find a pope who agrees with your personal interpretation of Tradition, the Magisterium and the Scripture—the very thing Catholics say they don’t, and are in fact prohibited, from doing! As Roman Catholic apologist, Taylor Marshall once said in 2013 before Amoris Lætitia, “There are those cardinals, bishops, priests, religious, and laity who are 100% supportive of the Holy Father and Catholic Tradition and then there is another group that is not 100% supportive.” He says we should get behind the folks who are 100% supportive. The problem is, nobody knows exactly who those cardinals, bishops, priests, religious, and laity are, and now, traditionalist Marshall is probably not 100% in support of Francis on Amoris Lætitia! We shall see how his “great migration” dictum stands up under the burden of reconciling Francis to Tradition, something that Cardinal Burke has been unable to do.

            As to your question, I understand why it was framed, and I understand the underlying hypocrisy in the Roman Catholic who asks it. So all I did in response was ask the question right back to you (and any other Roman Catholic who asks it), and you simply cannot answer it (and neither could Wilnot), because it exposes the underlying problem of your religion: you must decide on your own which parish you should attend based on your own personal, private interpretation, all the while comforting yourself that you have not relied on your own personal, private interpretation.

            In the end, Roman Catholics settle for something quite profound as the basis for their personal interpretation of the religion that ostensibly does not require their personal interpretation: implicit faith. While there may be doctrinal differences from parish to parish, and even from pew to pew, they are all under the same church, and all implicitly trust that that church, for all of its various errors and internal disputes, can save them because they implicitly believe whatever the Roman Catholic Church believes even if one does not know it personally. Under that rubric, their Church is their savior, and they trust that the church can save them, even if they don’t know (and can’t explain!) what it teaches. And these same Roman Catholics turn on their heels and demand to know which Protestant Church can save them, not realizing that Protestants don’t even believe their church is their savior the way Roman Catholics do.

            Now since you have more than amply demonstrated that you not only do not know what your own church teaches, and frankly have not even read the most recent papal pronouncement, and further are unwilling to tell me which Roman Catholic parish to attend if I convert, and what is the correct interpretation of Amoris Lætitia (simple requests, mind you!) I will leave you to your own devices, Mark. No further comments from you will be released from moderation until you answer the questions: what does Amoris Lætitia actually mean, and which parish should I attend if I convert? You don’t know, and can’t answer, so I see no reason to continue our conversation.

            Best,

            Tim

          4. You said, “They are all arguing over whether Amoris Lætitia is leading people into mortal sin.”

            Really? Quote for me ONE Bishop or Cardinal that suggests Amoris Laetitia will lead people into mortal sin. It is obvious to me that you do not understand the Catholic teaching on mortal sin.

          5. Mark,

            Cardinal Burke said,

            “And here we’re talking about the salvation of souls, people being led into error in matters which have to do with their eternal salvation.”

            “And my concern is that Amoris Laetitia seems in some way to permit an interpretation which would lead to a practice which contradicts the constant practice of the Church and that simply is a source of the gravest concern for me.”

            I’m pretty sure, Mark, that the kind of “grave sins” that lead people into error in matters which have to do with their eternal salvation, are the “mortal” kind. Venial, sins, according to the Catechism (1863) only “merits temporal punishment,” not eternal punishment.

            Mark, it’s best for you to get back to the books and read up on what your religion teaches. I can’t help you any more here.

            We’ll consider this your last comment. Good day,

            Tim

      2. TK,

        I think our two positions are now clear. I appreciate that you paid close attention to my posts and allowed them on your blog with no moderation.

        Kind regards,

        Wilnot

  91. Tim K. said, “This is exactly what I am talking about. I have already answered this question of what my church teaches about those who can remarry here.”

    Again, you refuse to define fornication.

  92. Tim K.,

    I am backing off my assertion that the Catholic Church teaches that porneia is only translated as illicit sexual relations with close relatives. It certainly is an appropriate interpretation but that isn’t the only one. Porneia is a broad term for sexual immorality. Jerome even called it “unchastity” in his commentary on the word he chose, which is was fornication. But most people just associate that term with sexual relations between two unmarried people, but porneia is broader than that.

    When it comes to the Church’s teaching that marriage is insoluble, I believe that it is mainly due to the fact that Matthew 19:9 doesn’t give an exception clause for porneia: sexual immorality, unchastity, or “fornication” as you name it. Porneia is a broad term, and can include adultery. However, it only makes *divorce* permissible, but not remarriage. Jesus is clear that remarriage constitutes adultery. In this way, the Catholic Church upholds the dignity of marriage the way Jesus did and does not derogate it as you accuse.

    1. Mark, what do you mean by

      “… Matthew 19:9 doesn’t give an exception clause for porneia: sexual immorality, unchastity, or “fornication” as you name it.”

      I don’t understand what your statement means. The original Greek says “except for porneia.”

      Thanks,

      Tim

  93. Tim K., it is my understanding that the Catholic Church teaches that porneia is only an exception for divorce, but not remarriage. One who remarries commits adultery.

  94. Tim K. said”

    “Although our Roman Catholic interlocutors would deny it, everything they propose here falls back on the historical argument (i.e., “we are the only church that can trace its lineage back to the apostles”), and the eschatological argument (i.e, “if the Roman Catholic Church is in error, then Jesus’ promise was false that the gates of hell could not prevail”), both of which rely upon a grand delusion that there is any continuity whatsoever between Rome’s novelties and the apostolic church.”

    The apostolic claims are historical and eschatological.

    This is why Tim P refuses to deal with the argument that Peter is not the Rock upon which Christ built His Church. The entire foundation of Rome totally collapses with the proper literal sense interpretation of Scripture.

    As I said soon after this #5 blog post:

    “The true visible church of Jesus Christ that is built upon Christ alone is being taken over by a wicked generation (4th century). The claims of a chief Bishop, built upon Peter the Apostle, is crumbling in this 5 part-series by Tim.”

    And my previous post of an excellent sermon says:

    “b. Thus, the Lord here (in Matthew 16:18) distinguishes Himself from Peter, and identifies Himself as the Rock upon which the Church is built. Just as He said, “Destroy this temple, and in three days I will raise it up” (John 2:19), meaning the temple of His own body, so likewise he says here, “and upon this rock I will build my Church” meaning Himself.

    c. Dear ones, with that one truth established, the Roman system crumbles; for the basis of the authority claimed by Rome depends upon the apostolic succession from Peter (as head of the Visible Church) to his alleged successor and so forth.

    Without Peter as the rock upon which the Church is built, the Pope is shown to be the arch usurper of Christ’s authority and rights—he is unmasked to be the Antichrist of Scripture. And so the cry to all who are within her and to all churches who have drunk of her idolatrous doctrine, worship, and government is to come out from the midst of her—to flee her idolatry and blasphemy (Revelation 18:4).”

    The lesson is very simple. Without the apostolic line from Peter to the Papal system firmly proven in Scripture and in History, the entire Romish system is quickly identified as Antichrist. It is Rome claim that Peter is their Rock and the Pope’s are the Rocks after Peter.

    Scripture shows the Papacy is Antichrist, and fits perfectly now into both Scripture and History like a glove.

    It is why Tim P and Mark Rome wants nothing to do with this topic, and rather focuses on so many other issues.

    1. Walt I have offered to debate you on Peter’s primacy. And like Daniel I would be glad to limit the debate to just that topic. You never did respond to my question on the last chapter of John how many times is Peter preeminence acknowledged? Did you go read the chapter to find out?

  95. ” as a former Protestant turned Catholic, it is wonderful to live for something than just live against something” what if you you are living for the wrong “something” ? Why wouldn’t any Christian who believed Satan was using the Roman Catholic Church to drag people into hell, not be against it? Spurgeon told his people to pray against it everyday, and to turn their face to heaven when they pray. A part of living for Christ is warning others of error. Listen to Jude ” save others , snatching them out of the fire” Truly Mark, you are living under an historical and eschatological delusion. Roman Catholicism, the thing you are living for, doesn’t add up. But you can’t see it.

  96. Tim,

    If you get a chance to watch this video on “How the Roman Catholic Church started” it would be interesting if you have heard about the Christians being persecuted under Constantine and whether the claims in here that Constantine took the position of Vicar of Christ is true.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4tMvcBukXL4&t=25s#t=893.155554

    I suppose you also may have seen this video, but it goes into detail how the Roman Catholic church was formed by Constantine taking us back earlier than what you identified.

    “The Real History of the evil Roman Catholic Church”

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LClaSilFlA8

    You may have already gone into these dates in detail, but it would be very interesting if we could find out who these Christians were that fell under the persecution of Constantine, and where they fled. They could be the first Protestants.

    You wrote:

    “Under emperor Constantine, the church began to be viewed as a conduit for distributing the largess of the state, although early in the process the attendant obligations of that function were considered an imposition rather than an honor. The emperor had decreed that all funerals be administered by the Church, and established that all revenues for the services be paid directly to the church, tax free ( S. P. Scott, The Civil Law, vol XVI, (Cincinnati, 1932) Enactments of Justinian, Novel 59). Constantine had sent grain to the church in Alexandria “for the support of certain widows” and “abundant provision for the necessities of the poor” to the church in Heliopolis. Though born of good intention, the actions were interpreted as a “trouble” and a “pretense” to the earlier Christian writers (Athanasius, Apologia Contra Arianos, Part 1, Chapter 1, paragraph 18; Eusebius, Life of Constantine, Book III, Chapter 58). To distribute the wealth and resources of the state was a halting attempt to respect and submit to the wishes of a king in accordance with 1 Peter 2:17, but was by no means considered a scriptural obligation attached to the bishop’s office. It could not end well.”

    I wonder if this persecution under Constantine corresponds to this period, or does it correspond to a later period in the 4th-5th century? Maybe in your next article you can use more defined dates of this period of the first Protestants.

  97. Timothy K wrote

    “Although our Roman Catholic interlocutors would deny it, everything they propose here falls back on the historical argument (i.e., “we are the only church that can trace its lineage back to the apostles”), and the eschatological argument (i.e, “if the Roman Catholic Church is in error, then Jesus’ promise was false that the gates of hell could not prevail”), both of which rely upon a grand delusion that there is any continuity whatsoever between Rome’s novelties and the apostolic church. It is that delusion that leads men to suggest that the early church used “symbol” and “figure” differently than we do today”

    Unfortunately Timothy K the delusion you claim is from Protestant Patristic scholars so you will have to try and explain why they feel it necessary to aid the Catholics on this point. Now the Patristic Scholars seem to be in agreement

    “YET WE SHOULD BE CAUTIOUS ABOUT INTERPRETING SUCH EXPRESSIONS IN A MODERN FASHION. According to ancient modes of thought a mysterious relationship existed between the thing symbolized and its symbol, figure or type; the symbol in some sense WAS the thing symbolized.” J. N D Kelly

    Now Timothy K countered against Stone

    “Stone said “figuram vocis” in Scorpiace meant not “figure of speech” but the “form” of His words,” to show that “figure” in Tertullian did not mean “figure” the way we use it today. Upon inspection, Stone got it exactly wrong, as I showed you by providing “figuram vocis” in its context in Scorpiace 11-12. You can read that in English to see that Tertullian was referring explicitly to Jesus’ figures of speech.

    Now for anyone who has read the bible I am amazed that Timothy K you believe that Stone’s mistranslation of a single passage when other passages were given to support his position somehow refutes the underlying premise.

    “(1) In one of Seneca’s letters it is the equivalent of the Greek word -idea- as used in Platonic philosophy (Ep lxv,7 Latin given).

    (2) The translation of Phil 2:6 “being in the FORM of God” in the old Latin version becomes “in FIGURA Dei constitutus”

    (3) After Tertullian, a Roman council spoke of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Ghost as being “of one Godhead, one power, one FIGURA, one essence” (Council of 370 A.D.)

    (4) a Gallican version of the Nicene Creed translated “was made flesh and became man” by “corpus atque FIGURAM hominis suscepit”

    Stone echoes the comment of Kelly

    “The question of the meaning of such words in connection with the Eucharist will recur again in a later period. It may be sufficient here to express the warning that to suppose that ‘symbol’ in Clement of Alexandria or ‘figure’ in Tertullian must mean the same as in modern speech would be to assent to a line of thought which is GRAVELY MISLEADING.” (Stone, vol 1, pg 31)

    Now Timothy K, I did read the chapters of
    Scarpiace that you referred to and I couldn’t find the exact translations that you or Stone were referring to. Is it in the following passage

    “Who, now, should know better the marrow of the Scriptures than the school of Christ itself?— the persons whom the Lord both chose for Himself as scholars, certainly to be fully instructed in all points, and appointed to us for masters to instruct us in all points. To whom would He have rather made known the veiled import of His own language, than to him to whom He disclosed the likeness of His own glory— to Peter, John, and James, and afterwards to Paul, to whom He granted participation in (the joys of) paradise too, prior to his martyrdom?

    Again I may be missing it but even if Stone had mistranslated this one passage you’ll have to explain to me how you deal with the other passages he gave’

    Another point, it appears that you believe that if you can come up with an example where symbol is used in the early writings that seems to match the modern meaning of the word that what the Patristic scholars say is incorrect. but they never said the word was never used in the modern sense, they simply warned against assuming the modern sense which of course is what you, Kevin and Walt are doing.

    Now Timothy K, what about your attack on Harnack
    Harnack wrote

    What we nowadays,’ he writes, ‘understand by “symbol” is a thing which is not that which it represents; at that time “symbol” denoted a thing which in some kind of way REALLY IS what it signifies…What we now call “symbol” is something wholly different from what was so called by the ancient Church.’ [HISTORY OF DOGMA, ii,144; iv,289]

    Timothy K responded

    “Harnack, for his part, said that in the ancient church, “symbol” meant the reality of the thing, wholly unlike the way we use symbol today. And yet I have provided evidence to you that Clement of Alexandria used “symbol” exactly the way Harnack said the early church did not use it, exactly the way we use it today. And I have asked you, “Do you think blood and milk REALLY ARE the Lord’s passion and teaching? Or just symbolic of it?” Do you really think Clement meant it that way? You know very well from the context that Clement did not. Harnack’s statement was incorrect, and you know it. The question is, are you humble enough to examine the actual evidence in context and acknowledge it?”

    Timothy K, I’m humble enough to point out that you are mixing apples and oranges. For a symbol to actually contain the reality of that it symbolizes the symbol itself must have a physical existence. Clement was using symbolic language speaking of blood and milk. There is absolutely no evidence that I am aware of that blood and milk that he was referring to actually existed. So how can something that does not exist contain the reality of that that it symbolizes.

    Now Timothy K, you admitted you were not a scholar of ancient Greek or Latin, but you made no attempt to deal with the following quote

    “A scholar of great authority as to the meaning of early Latin documents has inferred from these facts that in Tertullian ‘figura’ is equivalent not to -schema- but to -charakter- [see Turner, Journal of Theological Studies, vii,596], that is, it would approach more nearly to ‘ACTUAL and distinctive NATURE’ than to ‘symbol’ or ‘figure’ in the modern sense of those terms.

    So this guy Turner, Kelly, Stone and Harnack are all wrong about the meaning Type, Symbol and Figure had in the writings of the early Church ? And you call us delusional

    1. Timothy P, you wrote many things, but so that we may stay on a single topic, I will limit my response (at this time) to this comment from you:

      Now Timothy K, I did read the chapters of Scarpiace that you referred to and I couldn’t find the exact translations that you or Stone were referring to. Is it in the following passage

      Yes, you have the right passage, and I have now inserted the original Latin for your edification:

      “Who, now, should know better the marrow of the Scriptures than the school of Christ itself?— the persons whom the Lord both chose for Himself as scholars, certainly to be fully instructed in all points, and appointed to us for masters to instruct us in all points. To whom would He have rather made known the veiled import of His own language (Cui potius figuram vocis suæ declarasset), than to him to whom He disclosed the likeness of His own glory— to Peter, John, and James, and afterwards to Paul, to whom He granted participation in (the joys of) paradise too, prior to his martyrdom?

      In other words, “To whom would He have rather made known His figure of speech,” for “figuram vocis” means “figure of speech”. It does not mean, as Stone claimed, “the form (FIGURA) of His voice” as if to convey “the reality” rather than “the figure.” Stone’s claim is simply laughable and unscholarly, especially in view of the actual context of the original citation from Tertullian. Tertullian had just finished saying in the previous chapter how often Jesus spoke to the disciples in figures, riddles, parables and allegories:

      “In the parable also of the withering of the word after the green blade had sprung up, He is drawing a picture (figurat ardorem) with reference to the burning heat of persecutions. If these announcements are not understood as they are made, without doubt they signify something else than the sound indicates; and there will be one thing in the words, another in their meanings, as is the case with allegories, with parables, with riddles (ut allegoriæ, ut parabolæ, ut ænigmata).” (Scorpiace, 11)

      Now having spoken so explicitly on Jesus’ use of figures and parables and allegories and riddles which mean something different than the actual words suggest—and according to the Scriptures were used by Jesus to confound His audience (Matthew 13:10-11)—Tertullian then moves on in the next chapter to talk about how even though He spoke in figures, allegories, parables and riddles to the masses, nevertheless, Jesus made known His figure of speech (figuram vocis) to the disciples (Scorpiace, 12). Clearly, from the context, “figura” here means exactly what we would think it means today: “figure of speech,” and not the reality. Just to see how far off Stone was on this point, read his argument again on how differently the ancients used the term than we do today:

      “…Still more explicit indications of the meaning of such terms [as symbol or figure] in the phraseology of Tertullian may be shown by an examination of his language elsewhere and by a comparison of other known uses of the word ‘figura.’ … He says that our Lord made known to the Apostles ‘the form (FIGURA) of His voice’ [Scorp 12]. … A scholar of great authority as to the meaning of the early Latin documents has inferred from these facts that in Tertullian ‘figura’ … would approach more nearly to ‘actual and distinctive nature’ than ‘symbol’ or figure’ in the modern sense of those terms.” (Darwell Stone, A History of the Doctrine of the Holy Eucharist, 30)

      And yet, it is clear from Scorpiace 12 that Tertullian had in fact used “figure” in the modern sense of the term. As I have noted previously, Stone got Tertullian dead wrong in Scorpiace, and also left out some pretty damning evidence from Tertullian’s On the Resurrection of the Flesh, where he uses “figure” to mean the exact opposite of “actual and distinctive nature”, as the following illustration demonstrates:

      “Now, if this were the case, the figures themselves could not possibly have been distinguished, inasmuch as the verities (veritates) would not have been declared, out of which the figurative language is stretched. And, indeed, if all are figures (figureæ), where will be that of which they are the figures (figuræ)? How can you hold up a mirror for your face, if the face nowhere exists? But, in truth, all are not figures, but there are also literal statements;” (On the resurrection of the Flesh, chapter 20).

      Here he uses “figuræ” to mean the opposite of a literal statement, such that the “figure” absolutely IS NOT the “verity”, or the “actual and distinctive nature.” Thus, Stone, and his “scholar of great authority” were wrong to try to establish in Tertullian a fixed meaning of figure, for by doing so they managed to rule out what Tertullian himself was actually saying. It does not take a trained patristic “expert” to figure that out.

      Perhaps in light of this you can see why I get a nice chuckle out of Stone’s ridiculous analysis and his subsequent warning:

      “It may be sufficient here to express the warning that to suppose that … ‘figure’ in Tertullian must mean the same as in modern speech would be to assent to a line of thought which is GRAVELY MISLEADING.” (Stone, vol 1, pg 31)

      What is more “GRAVELY MISLEADING,” Timothy P? To perpetuate the nonsense by cut and paste apologetics (as you have) or to correct it by going back to the original sources (as I have)? At least partially on the authority of your cut and paste comment from Biblical Catholic Apologetics, you have caused Rocky to think that the matter had been decisively resolved on the authority of your “experts,” yet all Stone had done was to arrive by stumbling and error at an understanding of “figure” that would support the Roman Catholic view, for he was probably the most influential leader of the Anglo-Catholic Movement in his day. You say I am obligated “to try and explain why [Protestant Patristic Scholars] feel it necessary to aid the Catholics on this point,” and the answer is simple: that’s what Anglo-Catholics do, Timothy P. They argue the Roman Catholic position on historical doctrines, laboring as they do under the same delusion, the presumption of apostolic continuity.

      It does not take long to figure out that Stone, as an Anglo-Catholic, was trying to justify his own belief in the “Catholic” view of the Eucharist, which is why he incorrectly loads Tertullian with later views of the Eucharist, and then adamantly warns against not joining him in his mistake.

      Timothy P, can you see that Stone and his “scholar of great authority” were wrong on Tertullian’s use of “figure” in Scorpiace 12?

      If you cannot see that and acknowledge it, I cannot help you.

      Thanks,

      Tim

    1. Kevin, I think the quote you are referring to is this quote form Gelasius, but I must ask when you receive communion do you believe you are partaking of Christ’s divine-nature?

      “The sacrament of the body and blood of Christ, which we receive, is a divine thing, because by it we are made partakers of the divine-nature. Yet the substance or nature of the bread and wine does not cease. And assuredly the image and the similitude of the body and blood of Christ are celebrated in the performance of the mysteries.” Gelasius, bishop of Rome, in Jacques Paul Migne, Patrologiae Latinae, Tractatus de duabis naturis Adversus Eutychen et Nestorium 14.”

      Now apparently James White uses this quote and all I can do is give you the Catholic response but I am sure it’s not going to go over well since there appears to be a reluctance to accept that words can change their meaning over time and the fact that any word has multiple meanings. Gelasius was speaking hundreds of year before the theologians were trying to describe the Eucharist based on Aristotelian principles of matter. We are dealing with a mystery, if language could adequately describe a mystery it wouldn’t be a mystery would it?

      Catholic response to Gelasius comments

      “The gist is that it is a difference of vocabulary, not a difference of Theological position, with today’s theologians. And considering the Pope in question CLEARLY believes in the Literal Presence, It appears it is not as big a slam dunk as Mr. White claims.

      Originally Posted by James Beecham View Post
      The gist is that it is a difference of vocabulary, not a difference of Theological position, with today’s theologians. And considering the Pope in question CLEARLY believes in the Literal Presence, It appears it is not as big a slam dunk as Mr. White claims.

      Indeed. St. Gelasius died in 496. This was LONG before the Church (by which I mean mainly the Scholastics and St. Thomas Aquinas) explored the philosophical difference between “substance” and “accidents” which was originally articulated by Aristotle, and LONG before this distinction was so clearly taught (without direct reference to Aristotle’s philosophical framework) by the Council of Trent.

      St. Gelasius used terminology that would (a thousand years later) become more specific and doctrinal, but it is clear that he is merely saying that the “accidents” of Eucharist remain unchanged. When we read his words 1600 years later, with minds informed by St. Thomas Aquinas and the Council of Trent, we might imagine that they say something that the Holy Father never intended to say, because his words had not yet acquired the meaning that we ascribe to them today.

      Alas, this is an example of the type of “scholarship” that anti-Catholics use to trick people.

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  98. Timothy P, it’s amazing to watch you chide us for being careful not to interpret these words in the modern sense WHILE you are giving us your modern interpretation of how symbol and figure really mean the real thing. How do you know? Tim has clearly shown you in Turtulian that the word is very similar to modern understanding. Incidentally, do you think the words Jesus Christ mean something different today?

  99. Are you talking about the words “This IS my body”. ? No, I don’t think the word IS has changed, but if you have some Patristic scholars that have evidence it has changed I’ll be glad to look at the evidence

  100. No, I’m talking about the word figura, figure. If it means the opposite of a literal statement. But for you to admit what Turtullian is saying you would have to deny the basis for your whole system wouldn’t you? Stone capitulated. And so must you.

    1. Kevin
      My admitting that Stone picked a poor example in the verse from Scarpiace to show his point

      “It may be sufficient here to express the warning that to suppose that … ‘figure’ in Tertullian must mean the same as in modern speech would be to assent to a line of thought which is GRAVELY MISLEADING.” (Stone, vol 1, pg 31)

      would hardly be “to deny the basis of your whole system”. Kevin, you have to look at all the evidence, For example, you say
      ” the word figura, figure …. it means the opposite of a literal statement”. So Kevin, how does your definition fit in with Stone’s other examples?

      “(1) In one of Seneca’s letters it is the equivalent of the Greek word -idea- as used in Platonic philosophy (Ep lxv,7 Latin given).

      (2) The translation of Phil 2:6 “being in the FORM of God” in the old Latin version becomes “in FIGURA Dei constitutus”

      (3) After Tertullian, a Roman council spoke of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Ghost as being “of one Godhead, one power, one FIGURA, one essence” (Council of 370 A.D.)

      (4) a Gallican version of the Nicene Creed translated “was made flesh and became man” by “corpus atque FIGURAM hominis suscepit”

      Now Timothy K has problems with cutting and pasting the quotes from a number of Patristic scholars that confirm Stone’s position and I totally agree with Timothy K that those claims should be looked at in detail but the point remains that neither you nor Timothy K can “cut and paste” a list of scholars that support your position. I have seen the same argument against Catholic apologist cutting and pasting innumerable quotes from the Church Fathers showing their belief in the real presence. There is a very simple reason why Protestants don’t cut and paste list of quotes from the Fathers denying their belief in the real presence. Because they can’t come up with any convincing lists!!!!!! It’s the same reason Kevin that you refuse to show Irenaeus’s quotes to friends and relatives for an unbiased opinion as to rather after they read the quotes do they believe Irenaeus believed in the real presence.
      Now Timothy K makes a very valid point that the scholars cited I believe are mostly out of the Anglican community and there is no question their judgment could be biased. But surely there are scholars in the Fundamentalist Churches that would speak out against their comments if what they say is not true.
      And of course the issue goes beyond Patristics. Timothy K has admitted he is not a scholar of ancient Greek or Latin but then he says

      ” It is that delusion that leads men to suggest that the early church used “symbol” and “figure” differently than we do today”

      Now if Timothy K is not a scholar of the ancient languages how does he know that the meaning of these words have not changed. Does he have an expert that is willing to make that claim, provide that expert’s name and the expert’s arguments to support that position. So Kevin, maybe you can help Timothy K find a Patristic scholar, or an expert on the ancient Greek and Latin that support your position. I am not saying that person is not out there but I would be very interested in reading what he has to say if you can find him or her.

  101. Tim, in your studies have you addressed Revelation 18: 7 ” to the degree that she glorified herself and lived sensuously , to the same degree give her torment and mourning , for she says in her heart ” I sit as a queen and I’m not a widow” and will never see mourning.” The part ” I sit as a queen” within the context of Babylon being Rome, is this a reference to Marian domination, or is it just that Babylon reigns? . I’m trying to understand this part of the verse. Any insight you might have would be appreciated. Thanks K

    1. Kevin,

      In the context of the chapter, and the broader context of the whole book of Revelation, 18:7 is in reference to the city itself, the harlot identified in Revelation 17.

      Revelation 17 describes the city as “the great whore that sitteth upon many waters: With whom the kings of the earth have committed fornication” (Revelation 17:1-2), and Revelation 18 says similarly, “the kings of the earth, who have committed fornication and lived deliciously with her” (Revelation 18:9).

      It is worth keeping in mind that while Roman Catholics view Revelation 14:4 as a literal reference to celibate “virgins” “which were not defiled with women,” the context of Revelation shows just how silly the Roman Catholic interpretation is. One of the main constructs of Revelation is the contrast between those who become entangled with “Babylon” and those who don’t. Thus, the Lord calls to His own, “Come out of her, my people, that ye be not partakers of her sins,” that is, that you not be like the kings of the earth who have committed fornication with her. The “virgins” of Revelation 14 stand in contrast with the fornicating nations of Revelation 17, 18 and 19.

      If Revelation 14:4 is about literal virgins, then Revelation 17:2 and Revelation 18:9 are about kings literally having sexual relations with a city, which is impossible. Once it is seen that the “fornication” involved in Revelation 17 and 18 is idolatry and other entanglements with “that great city, which reigneth over the kings of the earth” (Revelation 17:18), or Rome, then it becomes clear that the “virgins” of Revelation 14:4 are not Roman Catholicism’s priestly celibate caste and consecrated virgins, but rather the elect who have managed to avoid Rome and her fornications.

      Thanks,

      Tim

  102. Thank you Tim. Highly instructive. I would interested to know if true believers in that communion would eventually come out of her as the Lord calls them because it seems true believers would eventually see the gross idolatry and false gospel of that church. I have a Catholic friend who I told the gospel too and he repented and believed in the gospel. He is still in the Catholic Church but he is starting to see the errors. Of course I believe those true believers in that church are bad Catholics, for to believe their gospel and worship Mary and the Jesus wafer surely will keep Catholics out of heaven it seems to me. Anyway thank you. My wife and I have found a good PCA church and are happy there. I wish I had made the move from the bible church many years before. It is amazing to me, and I’m sure it is to you, the utter ignorance in all Protestant churches toward Roman Catholicism . So many think it’s just another denomination. They don’t know the difference between a denomination and a religion. The few years I have been here and really studied Romanism , the less it has any semblance to the apostolic faith passed down. K

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