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Debate on the Doctrine of Mary – John Salza versus Randy Blackaby

Posted by catholicfaithdefender on March 22, 2008

In the following exchange, Catholic Apologist, John Salza takes critical issue with Protestant, Randy Blackaby, on the Church’s doctrine regarding, Mary, the Mother of God. Below is their exchange:

R. Blackaby: Mary, the mother of Jesus, is one of the most interesting and important women found in Scripture.

J. Salza: While the Bible is full of many “interesting and important women,” Mary is THE most important of them all. Who could be more important than the woman who gave flesh to the Word of God? Mr. Blackaby begins his article by downplaying the greatest human being God ever created.

R. Blackaby: The Bible describes her magnificent faith from the time she becomes pregnant until she stands at the foot of the cross. Hers is a compelling story. But Catholicism has developed the story of Mary over the centuries until today she is called sinless, “the gate of heaven,” and the mediatress between God and man.

J. Salza: No where does the Catholic Church teach that Mary is the “mediatress between God and man.” The Catholic Church teaches that there is “only one mediator between God and man, the man Christ Jesus who gave Himself as a ransom for many” (1 Tim 2:5). You notice right away that Mr. Blackaby makes accusations about Mary as “mediatress” (a word he evidently made up) without substantiating his accusations with references to Catholic teaching. Nevertheless, the Church and the Scriptures teach us that we can ask Mary and the saints to pray for us by virtue of the mediation of Christ, just like we ask each other to do so, because “the prayers of the righteous are powerful indeed” (Jm 5:16). That makes all of us “mediators” in the one mediator, Jesus Christ. This is why, for example, Scripture teaches that the saints mediate on our behalf in heaven by responding to the prayers of those on earth (Apoc 6:9-11; 5:8; 8-3-4).

R. Blackaby: How did she evolve from the very holy woman of the Bible to a sinless, undying female mediator through whom men can approach God? The answer may help us understand how all error progresses. Let’s start with reality. The story of Mary is a marvelous one. As a virgin she conceived the Christ child through the Holy Spirit, as prophesied 700 years before (Luke Isaiah 7:14). This woman was God’s instrument for bringing Jesus into the world in the flesh. Her strength is evidenced in the things she endured. Her story needs no mythological additions to make it wondrous, inspiring and faith-building. But the fact that additions aren’t needed doesn’t prevent men from creating “cunningly devised fables” (2 Peter 1:16; 2 Timothy 4:1-4).

J. Salza: Mr. Blackaby intimates that the Catholic Church’s 2,000 year-old tradition regarding the Blessed Virgin Mary is nothing but “mythological additions,” but does not provide any support for his novel opinions about Mary, other than his own private interpretation of Scripture (the same Scriptures the Catholic Church gave him). Let’s see who is really advancing “mythological additions” as we proceed with this critique.

Fable Of The Immaculate Conception

R. Blackaby: Many presume the term “immaculate conception” refers to the fact Jesus was born without sin. But that is not the case. Catholic doctrine teaches Mary was born without sin. “When we say that Mary was conceived without sin we mean that from the very first moment of her existence she was free from original sin, she was full of grace” (Mary—Doctrine for Everyman, page 17).

J. Salza: This is an accurate statement of Catholic teaching, but if Mr. Blackaby is going to cite from an authority, he should quote the official teachings of the Catholic Church (from the popes and the Magisterium). He should not rely on obscure books written by unidentified authors. While I have not read the book from which Mr. Blackaby cites throughout this article, it does not represent official Catholic teaching, that is, teaching issued by the Church’s Magisterium. Perhaps Mr. Blackaby doesn’t wish to cite Magisterial documents because he has an agenda, and has found a resource to support his pet theories. We shall see.

R. Blackaby: We’re exploring how error evolves. So, did you catch in the Catholic explanation above about why they came to believe she was born without sin? It’s because they believe another error—the idea that men are born in sin or inherit the sin of Adam through their parents.

J. Salza: This shows just how little Mr. Blackaby knows about Christianity. If people were not born into the sin of Adam, we would not need a Savior! St. Paul says that “through one man sin entered the world” (Rom 5:12). Paul further says “we were by nature children of wrath, like the rest of mankind” (Eph 2:3). David says “Behold, I was brought forth in iniquity, and in sin did my mother conceive me” (Ps 51:5). Job says “Man that is born of woman is of few days and full of trouble…Who can bring a clean thing out of an unclean? There is not one” (Job 14:1,4). These Scriptures clearly teach that sin is part of our lives from the moment of conception. Mr. Blackaby probably subscribes to the erroneous belief that sin is only manifested when a person reaches the age of reason. But the Scriptures and the 2,000 year-old teaching tradition of the Church on original sin say nothing of the sort.

R. Blackaby: But the birth and sinless nature of Jesus cast the doctrine of inherited depravity in grave doubt.

J. Salza: Wait a minute. What is the doctrine of “inherited depravity”? Mr. Blackaby seems to be making up the doctrines as he goes along. The Church has never defined the doctrine of original sin as “inherited depravity.” Such a description is more synonymous with the Protestant teachings of John Calvin. This shows just how much Protestants get their wires crossed when they venture out and interpret the Scriptures without the divine guidance of the Church.

R. Blackaby: If babies inherit the sinful nature of their parents, how did Jesus come to be born without sin? Why didn’t he “catch” or otherwise “pick up” all the sins of his ancestors through Mary?

J. Salza: Mr. Blackaby is now implicitly recognizing the legitimacy of the doctrine of original sin and why God effected the Immaculate Conception – because, as Job says, “Who can bring a clean thing out of an unclean? There is not one” (Job. 14:4). Jesus was born without sin because Mary was without sin, according to the will of God. Mr. Blackaby is simply begging the question, not refuting the conclusion. Surely, Mr. Blackaby is not going to argue that God couldn’t create Mary without sin, is he? And is Mr. Blackaby really going to argue that God the Father would let the finger of Satan touch His Son in the womb of Mary? Mr. Blackaby later accuses the Church of blasphemy, but if Mr. Blackaby is going to advance such an argument about Jesus and Mary, then I can think of nothing more blasphemous than Mr. Blackaby’s heretical theology.

R. Blackaby: So, Catholic scholars faced a choice. Repudiate the false notion of inherited sin or create an answer to the dilemma. They chose the latter route. On December 8, 1854, Pope Pius IX declared Mary had been born without sin. Thus, they explained Jesus’ sinless nature and held on to the doctrine of inherited sin.

J. Salza: That is not at all the way things occurred. The doctrine of the Immaculate Conception was not “created” to “answer” any “dilemma.” The doctrine was always believed by a consensus of the Church Fathers, doctors, saints, medievals and popes since the birth of the Church on Pentecost Sunday. If Mr. Blackaby disagrees, then have him produce just one quote from the first five centuries of the Church that denied Mary was sinless. It was in the face of Protestant dissenters (like the likes of Mr. Blackaby) that Pius IX decided to dogmatize what the Church had believed for the previous 1800 years. As the loving father and shepherd of the universal Church that he was, Pius IX issued Ineffabilis Deus to spare his children from the confusion brought about by the heretical teachings of Protestant exegetes.

The belief in the Immaculate Conceptions goes all the way back to the Scriptures themselves. When the angel Gabriel appeared to Mary, he did not call her “Mary.” He called her “full of grace” (in Greek, kecharitomene)(Lk 1:43). The word kecharitomene means that Mary received a complete and perfect endowment of grace from God. This perfect endowment occurred at Mary’s Immaculate Conception, when she was created by God without sin. Only one other person in Scripture is described as “full of grace,” and that person is Jesus Christ (John 1:14).

To demonstrate the perennial belief in the Immaculate Conception of Mary, here are some quotes from the early Church fathers from the first five centuries of the Catholic Church:

He was the ark formed of incorruptible wood. For by this is signified that His tabernacle was exempt from putridity and corruption.” Hippolytus, Orations Inillud, Dominus pascit me (ante A.D. 235).

“This Virgin Mother of the Only-begotten of God, is called Mary, worthy of God, immaculate of the immaculate, one of the one.” Origen, Homily 1(A.D. 244).

“Let woman praise Her, the pure Mary.” Ephraim, Hymns on the Nativity, 15:23 (A.D. 370).

“Thou alone and thy Mother are in all things fair, there is no flaw in thee and no stain in thy Mother.” Ephraem, Nisibene Hymns, 27:8 (A.D. 370).

“O noble Virgin, truly you are greater than any other greatness. For who is your equal in greatness, O dwelling place of God the Word? To whom among all creatures shall I compare you, O Virgin? You are greater than them all O Covenant, clothed with purity instead of gold! You are the Ark in which is found the golden vessel containing the true manna, that is, the flesh in which divinity resides.” Athanasius, Homily of the Papyrus of Turin, 71:216 (ante AD 373) .

“Mary, a Virgin not only undefiled but a Virgin whom grace has made inviolate, free of every stain of sin.” Ambrose, Sermon 22:30 (A.D. 388) .

“We must except the Holy Virgin Mary, concerning whom I wish to raise no question when it touches the subject of sins, out of honour to the Lord; for from Him we know what abundance of grace for overcoming sin in every particular was conferred upon her who had the merit to conceive and bear Him who undoubtedly had no sin.” Augustine, Nature and Grace,4 2[36] (A.D.415) .

“As he formed her without any stain of her own, so He proceeded from her contracting no stain.” Proclus of Constantinople, Homily 1 (ante A.D. 446) .

“A virgin, innocent, spotless, free of all defect, untouched, unsullied, holy in soul and body, like a lily sprouting among thorns.” Theodotus of Ancrya, Homily VI:11(ante A.D. 446) .

“The angel took not the Virgin from Joseph, but gave her to Christ, to whom she was pledged from Joseph, but gave her to Christ, to whom she was pledged in the womb, when she was made.” Peter Chrysologus, Sermon 140 (A.D. 449) .

“[T]he very fact that God has elected her proves that none was ever holier than Mary, if any stain had disfigured her soul, if any other virgin had been purer and holier, God would have selected her and rejected Mary.” Jacob of Sarug (ante A.D. 521) .

R. Blackaby: But it makes one wonder. If Mary was sinless, why did she say, “my spirit has rejoiced in God my savior” (Luke 1:47-48)? Describing someone as your savior implies the need for salvation. Mary must have recognized she had sinned.

J. Salza: This shows just how little Mr. Blackaby understands about the Immaculate Conception. If Mr. Blackaby would have actually read the document he previously cited (Pius IX’s Ineffabilis Deus), he would not have to “wonder” any longer. Pius IX stated that Mary was granted this “singular privilege and grace by God in view of the merits of Jesus Christ, the Savior of the human race.” That is, the merits of Jesus Christ’s sacrifice on the cross were applied in advance to Mary. Just as God applied the merits of Christ’s sacrifice to the Old Testament saints before Christ died on the cross, He did the same with Mary (only at the moment of her conception, not death). The only difference between us and Mary is that Mary was created and redeemed at the same time. The Scriptures are full of examples where God consecrates people in the womb to perform His divine work (Jer 1:5; Lk 1:41; Rom 9:9-12).

Therefore, Mary needed a Savior every bit as much as we do. That is why Mary rejoices in God her Savior. Mary’s statement doesn’t prove that she thought or knew she had sin. Mary’s statement simply demonstrates that she knew she needed a Savior like everyone else. “It makes me wonder” how Mr. Blackaby can critique Catholic teaching with an internet article when he knows precious little about it.

Fable Of Mary’s Perpetual Virginity

R. Blackaby: The Bible clearly states that Mary was a virgin who had never known a man sexually from the time she conceived until after the birth of Jesus (Matthew 1:18, 23-25; Luke 1:26-35). Thus, the birth of Jesus was absolutely unique. The manner of his birth helps depict the two-fold nature of our Lord, being man and God at once. But why would the Catholic church contend that Mary remained a virgin for her entire life on earth? They contend she never had sexual relations with a man or had any other children. To quote their approved writings, “It is Catholic faith that Mary was a virgin before the divine birth; during it; and after it—Our Lady never had any other children” (Mary—Doctrine for Everyman, p. 14).

J. Salza: Once again, Mary’s perpetual virginity has been believed by the Church for 2,000 years. Why? Because Mary is the Immaculate Ark of the New Covenant, as we just saw Athanasius say in 373 A.D. If Mr. Blackaby has read the Bible, he would know that the ark of the Old Covenant was, for the Jews, the most sacred article of religious worship. It contained the Ten Commandments, Aaron’s rod that budded, and the manna from heaven. The ark was made of the purest gold (Ex 25:11-21), and the Jews celebrated its presence with veneration, vestments and songs (see 1 Chron 15-16). In fact, the ark was so holy that when Uzzah put his hand on it to prevent it from tipping over during a journey, God killed Uzzah for touching it (2 Sam 6:7; 1 Chron 13:9-10). God even slew some of the men of Beth-shemesh because they looked into the ark (1 Sam 6:19).

How is this relevant to Mary? Because the sacred writers teach that Mary is the Ark of the New Covenant, for the Old ark contained the written word, but Mary contained the Word made flesh. For example, the word “overshadow,” which the angel Gabriel used to describe Mary’s conception of Jesus, is the same word (in Greek, episkiasei) used to describe God’s glory cloud “overshadowing” the ark of the Old Covenant (Ex 24:15-16; 40:34-38; 1 Kg 8:10-11; Job 14:4; 2 Mac 2:4-8). Mary was overshadowed by God’s shekinah (glory cloud) and became the “Holy of Holies” of the New Covenant, pure and undefiled.

Luke makes direct comparisons between Elizabeth’s greeting of Mary and David’s greeting of the ark of the Old Covenant as described in the book of Samuel. For example,

  • In 2 Sam 6:2, David “arose and went” to bring out the ark; in Lk 1:39, Mary “arose and went” to greet Elizabeth.
  • In 2 Sam 6:9, David says “how can the ark of the Lord come to me?”; in Lk 1:43, Elizabeth says “how can the mother of my Lord come to me?”
  • In 2 Sam 6:16, David leaps for joy before the ark; in Luke 1:41, John the Baptist leaps for joy before Mary.
  • In 2 Sam 6:11, the ark remains in the house for three months; in Luke 1:43, Mary remains in the house for three months.

Finally, John in the Apocalypse also makes a direct connection between the ark of the Old Covenant and Mary. When John received his apocalyptic revelations, the Jews had not seen the ark of the covenant, their center of worship, for six centuries. In Apocalypse 11:19, John tells the Jews that he has finally seen the long, lost ark. However, instead of describing to the Jews all the gory details, he, in the very next verse, describes the “woman clothed with the sun, with the moon under her feet, and on her head a crown of twelve stars” (Apoc 12:1). Why would he do such a thing, when the Jews would have been begging John to tell them about the ark? Because John is emphasizing to them and to us that Mary is the Ark of the New Covenant, and is worthy of veneration and praise even more so than the old ark. Mr. Blackaby passed right over all of this in his efforts to accuse Mary, the undefiled Ark of God, of sin.

R. Blackaby: Like our first fable, this one is rooted in yet another false premise. The Catholic church teaches that abstinence from marriage and sexuality is a superior position spiritually. This is why priests, nuns and other church leaders take vows of celibacy.

J. Salza: I don’t know what Bible Mr. Blackaby reads, but St. Paul teaches the same thing. Paul says “it is better for a man not to touch a woman” (1 Cor 7:1), and wishes that everyone were celibate like him (1 Cor 7:7). Paul teaches that marriage can introduce worldly temptations that can interfere with one’s relationship with God (1 Cor 7:28). In fact, Paul says just the opposite of what Mr. Blackaby is advocating when he says: “So that he who marries his betrothed does well, and he who refrains from marriage will do better” (1 Cor 7:38). Again, Mr. Blackaby is way off the mark.

R. Blackaby: But to maintain their doctrine on celibacy, the myth about Mary’s perpetual virginity runs headlong into conflict with the Bible. The Bible only declares that Joseph did not know his wife sexually “till she had brought forth her firstborn son” (Matthew 1:24-25).

J. Salza: If Mr. Blackaby is referring to the word “till” as implying that Mary had relations in the future, Mr. Blackaby has shown that he doesn’t have a sound understanding of biblical Greek. The word “till” (from the Greek, heos hou) is an action that only describes the past, never the future. He knew her “not until” she bore a son means that he knew her “not up to the point that” she bore a son. The phrase has nothing to do with Joseph’s relationship with Mary after she bore her son.

For example, Jesus says “Truly I say to you, till heaven and earth pass away, not a dot will pass from the law until all is accomplished” (Mt 5:18). This doesn’t mean that after heaven and earth pass away, all will no longer be accomplished. When Jesus says He will be with us “until the end of the world” (Mt 28:19), this doesn’t mean that He will no longer be with us after the end of the world. Luke says that Anna was a widow “until” she was eighty-four (Luke 2:37). This does not mean that Anna was not a widow after she was eighty-four. There are many other examples of this in the Old Testament as well (Gen 8:7; 28:15; 2 Sam 6:23).

If Mr. Blackaby is referring to the phrase “firstborn son,” this phrase was a common Jewish expression to mean “the first child to open the womb.” See Exodus 13:2,12. Under the Mosaic law, the “firstborn son” had to be sanctified (Ex 34:20). “Firstborn” status does not require a “second born” because the term has nothing to do with the mother having other children. As Ezekiel prophesied: “This gate shall remain shut; it shall not be opened, and no one shall enter by it; therefore, it shall remain shut” (Ezek 44:2).

R. Blackaby: Jesus is declared to have had brothers and sisters (Mark 6:3; Matthew 12:46-50; Acts 1:14).

J. Salza: Again, this is quite an elementary apologia and demonstrates Mr. Blackaby’s lack of proficiency in Koine Greek. First, note that none of these verses ever say that Jesus’ “brothers and sisters” are children of the Virgin Mary. Second, throughout Scripture, cousins are called “brothers” (in Greek, adelphoi) because there is no word for “cousin” in Hebrew or Aramaic. For example, in the book of Genesis we see that Lot is Abraham’s nephew (Gen 11:26-27), but later we see that Lot is also described as Abraham’s “brother” (Gen 13:8; 14:14,16). Laban calls Jacob his “brother” even though Jacob is his nephew (Gen 29:15). Scripture also shows that “brothers” can refer to those not even related by blood, such as a friend (2 Sam 1:26; 1 Kg 9:13; 20:32) or an ally (Amos 1:9). I have also demonstrated in my book and on my website that the “James and Joseph” of Mark 6:3 are Jesus’ cousins, not his biological brothers.

R. Blackaby: And Hebrews 13:4 declares that marriage is honorable, including the sexual component (“the bed”).

J. Salza: Once again, in the typical Protestant fashion, Mr. Blackaby selectively chooses certain Bible verses from which he then forms overall theological conclusions. This is no way to exegete Scripture. If Mr. Blackaby found a verse that says Mary had relations with her husband, he would have something. But since the Bible never teaches such a thing, he is required to build a case by eisegeting passages that have nothing to do with Mary. His approach is quite elementary and can be easily refuted.

R. Blackaby: The Apostle Paul taught that husbands and wives should not deprive or defraud one another of the sexual component of marriage (1 Corinthians 7:1-5) and the sexual union is a part of a man and woman becoming “one flesh” (Matthew 19:5-6).

J. Salza: Actually, Paul opens up this teaching on marriage by saying in the first verse “It is good for a man not to touch a woman” (1 Cor 7:1), which rebuts the whole thrust of Mr. Blackaby’s argument. It is only to avoid “sexual immorality” that Paul encourages sexual relations (1 Cor 7:2). Paul is clearly teaching that the greater good is abstinence for the kingdom, but he is also rebutting those in the early Church who believed that sexual relations were evil (v.28). If a married couple would be led into sin because of their sexual drives, Paul teaches them not to deprive each other unless by mutual agreement. These are general teachings about living a chaste marriage, and have nothing at all to do with the Blessed Virgin Mary. (Since Matthew 19:5-6 has nothing to do with the teachings of Paul as Mr. Blackaby suggests, I will provide no comment on it, other than to say that it, too, has nothing to do with Mary either.)

R. Blackaby: It is interesting that the Catholic church will “annul” a marriage and say it never really existed if it isn’t sexually “consummated.” Did Mary’s marriage to Joseph never really exist?

J. Salza: Once again, Mr. Blackaby doesn’t understand Catholic teaching, even though he pretends he does. The Church does not teach that marriage must be consummated in order to be valid. It only teaches that a consummated marriage cannot be dissolved since the couple has been joined together in a one flesh union (now we can go to Mt 19:5-6). The Church teaches that marriage is an exchange of rights to the acts proper to the procreation of children, but couples can choose to forgo these rights for the sake of the kingdom of God. This is precisely what Mary and Joseph did, so that their marriage would be entirely devoted to the service of the Incarnation.

R. Blackaby: What a tangled web is weaved when error is compounded by more error. But that is the nature of the evolution of false teaching.

J. Salza: The only thing that is “tangled” up is Mr. Blackaby’s exegesis of Scripture and his understanding of Catholic theology. It is no wonder why he fails to provide any support for his conclusions from the patristics, medievals, or popes. His private judgment theology is the only “error that is compounded by more error.”

Fable Of The Assumption Of Mary Into Heaven

R. Blackaby: Some books call this the “great assumption.” That’s a pretty good description. This Catholic doctrine teaches that Mary never died but was taken directly to heaven like Enoch and Elijah. “When the course of our Lady’s life on earth was ended she was taken up body and soul into heaven” (Mary—Doctrine for Everyman, p. 34).

J. Salza: Nota bene – Unlike what Mr. Blackaby just advanced, the Catholic doctrine does not teach that “Mary never died.” The fact is that the doctrine doesn’t say whether Mary died or not. Mr. Blackaby obviously does not read the papal documents he feigns to read. Even the book from which Mr. Blackaby quotes accurately sets forth the Church’s teaching by saying “when the course of our Lady’s life on earth was ended,” but it doesn’t say that “Mary never died.” If Mr. Blackaby can’t even properly articulate Catholic dogma, then why should we believe any of his conclusions regarding that dogma?

R. Blackaby: The Bible says absolutely nothing about Mary after reporting her and Jesus’ brothers assembling with the disciples after the Lord’s ascension (Acts 1:14). So, why did Catholics feel a need to create this doctrine?

J. Salza: Perhaps Mr. Blackaby can show us where “The Bible has to say something” in order for that something to be true. This is quite an “assumption” (pun intended) on Mr. Blackaby’s part. The Bible “says absolutely nothing about” the canon of Scripture, and yet Mr. Blackaby believes that the 27 books of the New Testament are divinely inspired. In fact, the Bible “says absolutely nothing about” a lot of things that Mr. Blackaby believes regarding the Trinity and Christology, but when in comes to Mary, it must be in the Bible for it to be true. This shows that Mr. Blackaby operates in a world of his own making, one that is based on theological relavistism.

R. Blackaby: Remember, error leads to error. Remember how the doctrine of original sin led to the development of the doctrine of immaculate conception? That doctrine didn’t end the problems Catholics had with the idea that men inherit sin from their forefathers.

J. Salza: I have already addressed these erroneous and unsubstantiated contentions with quotes from Scripture and the early Church fathers. And yes, Mr. Blackaby, “error leads to error,” which is why every one of your false premises lead to false conclusions.

R. Blackaby: By declaring Mary sinless, they created a new dilemma. Everyone who has read the book of Romans knows the Bible declares “the wages of sin is death” (6:23). But, wait a minute. If Mary had no sin, why would she die? Why would she receive the wages of a sinner when she hadn’t earned them?

J. Salza: Notice how Mr. Blackaby assumes Mary died, even though the Church never said that she did. Mr. Blackaby is creating a straw man so that he can knock it down in order to appear like he knows what he is talking about. But this shouldn’t fool anyone. Nevertheless, let’s play along and assume Mary died. This poses no problem for Paul’s statement about the wages of sin being death.

First, as an aside, Paul’s statement “the wages of sin is death” is intended to encapsulate the five previous chapters concerning his teaching on justification, not whether Mary died or not. Paul is teaching that, if the Romans were to base their relationship with God on their own natural powers and not grace, they would be condemend, just like the Jews were condemning themselves under their continued observance of the Mosaic law. That is, if the Romans were trying to “earn” their salvation from God, the “wages” from such efforts would lead to death (see also Rom 4:4). This is why Paul follows up his statement with “but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord” (Rom 6:23). This is also why Paul repeatedly teaches the Romans that they are “justified by faith, and not works of the law” (Rom 3:20,28). Paul was teaching the distinction between law versus grace, which is the key paradigm on his teaching of justification. In a system of law, we try to “earn” our salvation with “wages” that lead to death. But in a system of grace, salvation is a “free gift” which leads to eternal life. Paul’s teaching has nothing to do with whether or not the Blessed Virgin Mary died.

Second, Jesus and Mary, even though they were sinless, still inherited the defects of the body, to the extent these defects were not inconsistent with their perfection of grace (this is the teaching of the angelic doctor, Thomas Aquinas). For example, Jesus and Mary had hunger, thirst, and fatigue. These were defects of their human natures that were brought into the world by Adam. These defects are to be distinguished from other defects such as proneness toward evil and difficulty in doing good. Neither Jesus nor Mary suffered from these kinds of defects because they would be inconsistent with their perfection of grace. Thus, if Mary did die, which would be the natural consequence of her human nature, her death cannot be attributed to her having any sin on her soul.

R. Blackaby: Catholic doctrine had created a clear conflict. So, the choice was to repudiate the doctrines of the immaculate conception and original sin or “fix” the conflict with an explanation. Catholics chose the latter course. In 1950, the year before I was born, it became official Catholic dogma that Mary didn’t die.

J. Salza: Again, notwithstanding his 56 years of wisdom, Mr. Blackaby plainly shows his ignorance of Catholic teaching. Pius XII’s dogmatic teaching in Munificentissimus Deus on the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary does not say that “Mary didn’t die.” Mr. Blackaby is showing the world that he does not comprehend the teachings of the Catholic Church, even though he is using the internet to convince you otherwise. “Error leads to error” indeed.

Fable Of Mary As Mediatress Or Mediatrix

R. Blackaby: If Mary was sinless and went straight to heaven without facing the judgment of our Lord, she certainly would be greater than the mighty lawgiver of old, Moses. She would be greater than Abraham, the model of faith. So, where does her “assumption” lead?

J. Salza: Yes, I would certainly agree that Mary is greater than Moses and Abraham – combined. Mary is greater because God chose her to bring the Son of God into the world. While Moses brought into the world the Word on tablets, Mary brought into the world the Word made flesh. And although Abraham was an ancestor of Jesus (2,000 years removed), Mary was Jesus’ mother. Who, dear reader, do you think is greater?

R. Blackaby: We really see how error evolves into complete and total blasphemy now. The Catholic church calls Mary a mediatress or mediatrix (feminine form of mediator). “The name mediatress is given her insofar as she exercises this influence in heaven” (Mary—Doctrine for Everyman, p. 40). This is problematic because the Apostle Paul said, “For there is one God and one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus” (1 Timothy 2:5). If Mary is a mediator, that makes “two” of them.

J. Salza: As we have already stated, Jesus Christ is the one mediator between God and man. But that does not preclude Jesus from applying His role as mediator anyway He sees fit. In fact, right before Paul says that “Jesus is the one mediator” (1 Tim 2:5), Paul appeals for mediation from others besides Christ, by urging that “supplications, prayers, intercessions and thanksgivings be made for all men” (1 Tim 2:1). How can Paul appeal to mediation from others if Jesus is our only mediator? Because, as St. Paul answers, “this is good, and is acceptable in the sight of God our Savior, who desires all men to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth” (1 Tim 2:3-4). Therefore, although Jesus is our one mediator, He has charged us to be intercessors, or subordinate mediators with Him. We are able to do this by virtue of our baptismal priesthood.

This is why Paul can say “I complete in my body what is lacking in the sufferings of Christ for the sake of His Body, the Church (Col 1:24). Was anything lacking in Christ’s sufferings? Of course not. Paul is teaching us that God invites us to participate in the work of Jesus Christ, whether it be through intercession, suffering, works of charity and so forth. God is not threatened by the great glory and responsibility He gives His children. Indeed, the God that is worshiped in the Catholic Church is a loving Father who is intimately involved with His children and who invites their participation, just as earthly fathers do for their children.

R. Blackaby: So, the Catholic church had a choice. Back away from this doctrine or develop it further. They chose the latter.

J. Salza: What “developments” is Mr. Blackaby referring to, anyway? He cites no documents. Nevertheless, the Scriptural basis for saintly intercession is clear. How much more evidence does Mr. Blackaby desire?

R. Blackaby: Calling her the “mother of God,” they also described her as the “gate of heaven” because, they say, no one can enter the blessed kingdom without passing through her.

J. Salza: Wait another minute. Elizabeth calls Mary “the mother of God” when she says: “How can the mother of my Lord (Greek: kuriou; Heb: Adonai; Latin Vulgate: Domini) come to me?” (Lk 1:43). Is Mr. Blackaby criticizing the words that Elizabeth chose when she greeted Mary? This is troubling indeed, since both Elizabeth’s declaration and Luke’s recording of same were inspired by the Holy Ghost. Also, where, Mr. Blackaby, does the Church teach that “no one can enter the blessed kingdom without passing through her [Mary]?”

R. Blackaby: So, Catholics pray to Mary. They claim that Jesus, as judge, is too harsh, but that Mary will not refuse anyone. Wow! That makes Mary sound more full of grace and mercy than even our Lord. And he’s the one who died for our sins on the cross.

J. Salza: When anti-Catholics make such sweeping statements about the teachings of the Church, we must take them to task. Tell us, Mr. Blackaby, where the Catholic Church teaches that “Jesus, as judge, is too harsh, but that Mary will not refuse anyone”? Can you refer me to a specific papal or conciliar teaching? A paragraph in the catechism perhaps? Or any book at all with a Catholic imprimatur? The Catholic Church teaches no such thing. But Mr. Blackaby has demonstrated that he really doesn’t know, or perhaps doesn’t even care, what the Church really teaches. He is a man on a mission, and that is to denigrate the Church that Jesus Christ has built upon the rock of Peter (Mt 16:18-19), the One, Holy, Catholic and Apostolic Church.

R. Blackaby: Jesus taught his disciples to pray to God “in my name” (John 14:13-14). Jesus declared, “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me” (John 14:6). Peter preached as the church first began, “Nor is there salvation in any other, for there is no other name under heaven given among men by which we must be saved” (Acts 4:12). He was speaking of Jesus, not Mary.

J. Salza: We have no disagreement here. Mary is not our Savior. Jesus Christ is our Savior. The foregoing passages have nothing to do with Mary, nor do they take away from Mary’s uniqueness as the Mother of God, the Ark of the Covenant, and the woman “full of grace.”

R. Blackaby: Jesus declared that “all power” had been given to him “in heaven and on earth” (Matthew 28:18). That wouldn’t leave any for Mary.

J. Salza: Just because the Father gave “all power” to Jesus, this does not mean that Jesus cannot share it with others. The Scriptures clearly teach that Jesus does share it with others. He confers upon His apostles the authority to forgive and retain sins (John 20:23); He gives Peter the keys of authority over the Church and the power to bind and loose (Mt 16:18-19); He also gives the other apostles the authority to bind and loose (Mt. 18:18); He gives the priests of the Church the authority to anoint the sick and forgive their sins (Jm 5:14-15); He gives baptized Christians the authority to suffer redemptively (Col 1:24); He gives the apostles the power to confect the Eucharist (Mt 26:26-28); He gives Christians the power to intercede for others (all kinds of examples in the writings of Paul, James and John). Again, Mr. Blackaby, if God is not threatened by the power He gives His children, you shouldn’t be either.

R. Blackaby: So, the Catholic church had a choice. It could repudiate this error and worship Jesus as Lord and only mediator, or it could develop this doctrine further. It chose to develop its error.

J. Salza: I don’t know how long Mr. Blackaby’s “Bible Christian” sect has been around, but the Catholic Church, for 2,000 years, has been worshiping Jesus Christ as its only Lord and Savior. The only “error” that this critique has demonstrated is the error of Mr. Blackaby’s approach to Sacred Scripture.

R. Blackaby: And that latter course is pure blasphemy, assuming for Mary the prerogatives of deity. In the same Catholic document previously quoted, it reads, “All power is given to thee (Mary—rb) in heaven and on earth” and “at the command of Mary all obey—even God.” What? Even God obeys Mary?

J. Salza: If the Catholic Church actually taught what Mr. Blackaby believes she teaches (that we worship Mary), then such teaching would be blasphemous indeed. But as we have seen, the only thing that is blasphemous in this dialogue is Mr. Blackaby’s unfounded and unsubstantiated allegation that we worship Mary as God. This is the product of Mr. Blackaby’s fallacious hermeneutic, faulty biblical exegesis and unfamiliarity with the early Church fathers, not to mention his evident prejudice against the Catholic Church. When people try to interpret the Scriptures outside of the living Tradition of the Church who gave us them, they end up “twisting the Scriptures to their own destruction” (2 Pet 3:16).

R. Blackaby: “The whole Trinity, O Mary, gave thee a name…above every other name, that at thy name, every knee should bow, of things in heaven, on earth, and under the earth,” says the same Catholic document.

J. Salza: Again, another quote from the unknown. What Catholic document? Mr. Blackaby doesn’t say. But I can assure you, whatever “Catholic document” Mr. Blackaby is quoting from, it is not from the Magisterium of the Catholic Church. Yes, the Blessed Trinity gave Mary a unique name (“full of grace”; kecharitomene), but no, “Jesus” is the name above every other name. Mr. Blackaby has yet to prove any of his contentions in this article.

R. Blackaby: All that leaves a Bible believer with mouth agape.

J. Salza: What leaves my mouth “agape” is the lack of “agape” that Mr. Blackaby has for the Blessed Virgin Mary.

Why Opposing Error Is So Important

R. Blackaby: Perhaps you are seeing not only the errors of Catholicism about Mary but the more important issue—how error evolves into monstrous and blasphemous false doctrine that totally repudiates the teaching of Scripture and elevates the human to the level of divinity. Beginning with the doctrine of original sin, the myths and fables about Mary have grown until now she is viewed as sinless and virtually equal with Jesus. There has been a move afoot for several years now to declare her a co-mediator with Christ. Her supposed assumption into heaven and associated doctrines make her equal in glory with Jesus and her declared mediation makes it seem she actually has greater influence than the Lord himself. This article has explored the development of one area of false doctrine in one human denomination. But the principle applies in the Lord’s church as well. If we teach and believe error and then refuse to repent when it obviously conflicts with the clear teaching of scripture, then we can expect the error to evolve into much more egregious error.

J. Salza: Mr. Blackaby ends the article the same way he began the article and the same way he argued throughout the article – making unsubstantiated claims about what the Catholic Church teaches, all of which are utterly false. Mr. Blackaby closes his article by stating that the Church raises Mary “to the level of divinity”; that Mary is “virtually equal to Jesus”; that Mary is “equal in glory with Jesus”; and that Mary may even have “greater influence than the Lord himself.” Yet Mr. Blackaby doesn’t cite papal writings, decrees, encyclicals, bulls, apostolic letters, conciliar documents or Catechisms of the Catholic Church to prove his points. Certainly, Mr. Blackaby has a 2,000 year-old corpus of Catholic teaching into which he can tap to prove his assertions. Instead, Mr. Blackaby relies upon his own interpretation of Scripture. The only official teachings Mr. Blackaby produced from the Church were Pius IX’s Ineffabilis Deus (1854) and Pius XII’s Munificentissimus Deus (1950), and we demonstrated that Mr. Blackaby misrepresented the teachings in these documents. For the benefit of the reader, I have attached these two papal decrees below:

Ineffabilis Deus

Munificentissimus Deus

Sticking with Mr. Blackaby’s theme, the only thing this article has demonstrated is that error compounds error when one attempts to intepret the Scriptures outside of the living Tradition of the Catholic Church. Yes, Mr. Blackaby, opposing error is important. That is why I chose to write this rebuttal to your article.

R. Blackaby: Dear Mr. Salza:

Your recent critique of my article, “The Evolving Doctrine of Mary: A Case Study in the Progress of Error,” carried in the on-line magazine re:thinking, caused me to investigate further what I had written. Your charges that I don’t understand Catholic doctrine about Mary or that I misrepresent it unsettled me at first, because I am not nearly as well versed on what Catholic doctrine says as I am about what the Bible states.

So, while your review of my article did little to address the obvious conflicts between what the Bible says and what Catholic doctrine says, I was genuinely concerned that I might have misrepresented Catholic doctrine. I have no desire to do that. I determined not to send you a reply too quickly, but to further research this matter, consult Catholic documents and talk with some who have been Catholics. As a result of this inquiry, I now write once again, more convinced than ever that Catholic doctrine about Mary is at once erroneous, unscriptural, unnecessary, misleading and in some cases blasphemous.

Though I am certainly not credentialed as an expert in Catholic theology, I was somewhat amazed that someone, as yourself, who styles himself a “Catholic apologist” would charge that the Catholic church does not teach certain things, when it can be easily shown it does.

You didn’t like some of my sourcing, so in this response I shall try to be careful to quote sources carrying the imprimatur (Catholic church’s official sanction, “let it be printed”) and the nihil obstat (Catholic church’s declaration that the document has no error in it). I believe it will be hard to say of these that they don’t represent Catholic teaching.

Additionally, what I ask Mr. Salza and other readers to observe in what follows is how little the Bible says about Mary and how much the Catholic church simply has created and imbued with the presumptive authority of “church tradition.” Jesus warned against substituting tradition for God’s authoritative will. He said, “This people honors me with their lips, but their heart is far from me. And in vain do they worship me, teaching as doctrines the commandments of men” (Mark 7:6-7). The Lord’s words well describe the traditions created by Catholicism about Mary.

J. Salza: Mr. Blackaby, thank you for this dialogue. Since it has been over two months since I have written to you, I didn’t think that you would respond. Before I respond to your statements below, I am disappointed that you have chosen not to interact directly with my rebuttal. You say I did “little” to address what you deem are “obvious conflicts,” yet you chose not to address the whole of my rebuttal head-on. You simply wrote an article in isolation so you could pick and choose what you wanted to address. If you wish to continue this dialogue, I ask that you interact with my statements directly. Otherwise, it looks like you are avoiding my arguments which, in many cases, you are.

Second, throughout your presentation, you should have prefaced your remarks with “This is what St. Alphonsus Liguori teaches” or “This is what St. Bonaventure teaches” instead of repeatedly exclaiming “This is what the Catholic Church teaches.” As you well know, writings from a couple of saints do not necessarily reflect Catholic teaching (for example, Thomas Aquinas, the great saint and theologian of the Catholic Church, believed that ensoulment occurred months after conception – contrary to Church teaching). The saints are not the Catholic Magisterium, and the Church dogmatically decrees that we are not bound by their interpretation of Scripture unless they are unanimous. It is important for your readers to understand this distinction.

I did invite you to cite even writings with a Catholic imprimatur, but you well know that these are tertiary resources that don’t speak for the Catholic Church per se (If you honestly didn’t know this, then you may disregard my comments to the contrary as you are not culpable for your error). This is why I asked you to “quote from the official teachings of the Catholic Church (the popes and the Magisterium).”

Your presentation includes not one single quote issued by the Church. Since you took over two months to get back to me and evidently did research during this extended period, I was hoping for a lot more from you. This is a glaring weakness in your presentation. Nevertheless, I will address the material that you have presented to me.

R. Blackaby: 1. Mr. Salza ridicules my statement about Catholicism viewing Mary as a “mediatress.” He says I must have made up that word. Technically, Catholics call her a “mediatrix.” Both terms are the feminine form of “mediator.” Neither term is found in most dictionaries. Catholics do claim to affirm 1 Timothy 2:5 (“one mediator between God and men…Christ Jesus”) while by slight of hand saying that Mary mediates between man and Jesus.

But, as common logic concludes, if you have to go through Mary to get to Jesus and through Jesus to get to God the Father, you’ve gone through two mediators. Any other conclusion is religious sophistry.

J. Salza: This is really quite a simple issue with which there should be no disagreement. Jesus is indeed our “one mediator.” But when we ask others to pray for us, are we not asking them to “mediate” on our behalf? When someone prays to God for us, is Mr. Blackaby suggesting that they are not a mediator? If not, what are they? Mr. Blackaby’s exegesis of 1 Tim. 2:5 excludes mediation from anyone else. However, as I pointed out in my original rebuttal (which Mr. Blackaby did not address), right before Paul calls Jesus the “one mediator,” he appeals to all of us to offer “supplications, prayers, intercessions and thanksgivings” to God (v.1). In other words, he asks for mediation from others besides Jesus, all the while acknowledging that Jesus is the one mediator.

Is Paul’s teaching inconsistent? Of course not. Paul is teaching us that, although Jesus is our one mediator, we can join our prayers and sacrifices with His. Jesus shares His mediation with us. This is why Paul says we can “make up what is lacking in the sufferings of Christ for the sake of His body” (Col. 1:24; another verse Mr. Blackaby didn’t address in my first rebuttal). Unlike what Mr. Blackaby is suggesting, nothing in Scripture precludes us from sharing in Jesus’ role as the one mediator before the Father. To the contrary, Scripture repeatedly tells us to offer our prayers for the benefit of others. By virtue of the Holy Spirit, we share in the divine sonship of Jesus Christ and, with Christ, are able to cry out “Abba, Father” (Rom. 8:14-15; Gal. 4:6; 3:26-27).

Mr. Blackaby’s narrow exegesis actually gives Christ less glory than the Catholic view. As Catholics, we know that even though Jesus is our one mediator and does not need any help from us, He shares His mediation with us, just as He shares with us His holiness and glory. This is what a loving Father does for His children. This concept of God sharing His gifts with His children is an overriding theme of the Catholic faith.

R. Blackaby: Listen to what the Catholic church teaches in its own words. In the book “The Glories of Mary” by Alphonsus Liguori (nihil obstat, Daniel V. Flynn, JCD, censor librorum; imprimatur, Joseph T. O’Keefe, vicar general, archdiocese of New York; Catholic Book Publishing Co. NY, 1981), Mary is called “the channel—to Jesus and from Jesus—by God’s own arrangement” (p. 9). She is further styled “most gracious Advocate” (p. 15) and “spouse of the king” (p. 18).

What do Catholics believe Mary does in this role of mediation and advocacy? Listen to the words of this same approved book on Mary.

  • “By the merits of Jesus, Mary was made the mediatrix of our salvation; not a mediatrix of justice, of course, but of grace and intercession—as St. Bonaventure expressly calls her: ‘Mary, the most faithful mediatrix of our salvation’” (p. 97).
  • “And St. Lawrence Justinian asks, ‘How can she be otherwise than full of grace? She has been made the ladder of paradise, the gate of heaven, the most true mediatrix between God and human beings’” (p. 97).

J. Salza: Mr. Blackaby says “Listen to what the Catholic church teaches in its own words,” yet St. Alphonsus Liguori is not the Catholic Church. If Mr. Blackaby is going to quote from source documents, he should at least be clear about their level of authority. Writings from the saints do not carry any Magisterial authority.

Nevertheless, Catholics would see little problem with these statements. When Alphonsus calls Mary “a channel to and from Jesus,” he is simply stating that Mary is a channel of grace. He is not saying that Mary is the source of grace. Jesus Christ is the only source of grace. Mary is a channel, or an instrument of God’s grace, in a most profound way.

If Mr. Blackaby is living a life of Christian virtue, I hope that he too thinks of himself as a channel of grace. God works in and through us by the power of His Spirit. Thus, we are all “channels” of that grace, bearing witness to Christ and bringing people to the truth. This is why Paul calls us “God’s co-workers” (1 Cor. 3:9). The word for “co-workers” (Greek, sunergoi) literally means “synergists.” This means we, as channels of grace, work together with God in building up His kingdom.

Same thing with calling Mary “advocate” and “mediatrix.” Mary is a “co-worker” of God in her role as advocate and intercessor because she prays for us and our well-being, as do the rest of the saints. She does this in a subordinate way to Jesus’ advocacy and mediation. The Scriptures are full of examples of saintly mediation. Since Mary had a unique role in God’s plan of salvation by bringing the Word of God into the world, she can also be called the “ladder of paradise,” and the “gate of heaven.” She is not the source of paradise or heaven; she is the means by which God made heaven accessible to us through Christ our Lord. It is very common for saints, particularly those in the Middle Ages, to use such loving and flowery language to describe the Blessed Mother.

Here is the point: The Catholic Church never, ever elevates Mary to the level of deity, and Mr. Blackaby knows this. There is an infinite distance between the power of Jesus and the power of Mary. Jesus is the Creator, and Mary is the creature. Without Jesus’ power, Mary would have no power. But Protestants want to treat Mary as nothing more than a disposable vessel. How sad.

Catholics, on the other hand, recognize the incredible gifts that God has given to Mary and the rest of us. We participate in the work of Christ in furthering His kingdom, and Mary, as the mother of God’s Son, does this more intimately than any other creature. I guess when Mary prophesied “all generations will call me blessed” (Luke 1:48), she didn’t have Mr. Blackaby in mind.

Perhaps Mr. Blackaby can find just one quote from any of the fathers of the first seven centuries of the Catholic Church attempting to downgrade Mary the way Mr. Blackaby wants to do. He knows none exist, otherwise he would be presenting them to us. He also avoided addressing the patristic quotations that I provided him which demonstrate the fathers’ belief in Mary’s sinless nature. In fact, Martin Luther, the man who ignited the Reformation, had a deep and loving devotion to the Blessed Virgin Mary, and believed in Mary’s Immaculate Conception and her role as mediatrix. Luther would be disgusted with Mr. Blackaby’s attempts to denigrate Mary as a mere Jewish lady who gave birth to Jesus.

R. Blackaby: Mr. Salza ridiculed my assertion that Mary is elevated to the mediatorial role the Bible says is held singularly by Jesus—yet he must argue with his own St. Justinian.

Let it be understood that Catholic doctrine about Mary very clearly makes her pivotal in human salvation. They believe a person cannot be saved from sin or go to heaven without her mediatorial work.

  • “God will not save us without the intercession of Mary,” St. Bonaventure is quoted as saying in the same approved document (p. 107).
  • “No one, O most holy Mary, can know God but through you. No one can be saved or redeemed but through you, O Mother of God,” St. Germanus is quoted as saying (p. 107).
  • “St. Bonaventure says Mary is called ‘the Gate of Heaven’ because no one can enter that blessed kingdom without passing through her” (p. 102).

Now, dear readers, consider this. You can read your Bible from cover to cover and not find a single passage that asserts what Catholic doctrine does about Mary’s intercessory role in salvation. Most importantly, you can read in Acts 4:10-12 that the Apostle Peter declared regarding the name of Jesus “nor is there salvation in any other, for there is no other name under heaven given among men by which we must be saved.” If there is “no other name” by which we can be saved, that leaves out Mary’s name. So, you have a choice. You can believe what the Bible says or you can believe what the Catholic church teaches.

J. Salza: “Dear readers, you can read your Bible from cover to cover and not find a single passage that asserts” that the Bible is the only authority for the Christian. Yet, this is Mr. Blackaby’s premise throughout this dialogue. This is the real issue, Mr. Blackaby. If you cannot demonstrate that the Bible is the only source of God’s word, then none of your conclusions about Catholic teaching are trustworthy, since the conclusions are based on a false premise.

Further, unlike what Mr. Blackaby claims, these statements from a couple of saints are not “Catholic doctrine.” Nevertheless, let us review them. St. Bonaventure is another example of a saint in the Middle Ages who had a profound devotion to Mary. When Bonaventure says that God will not save us without Mary, who can argue with him? Without Mary, Jesus Christ would not have come in the flesh to redeem us. The Son of God needed a human body to make atonement for our sins, and He received this body from Mary.

Mary is not doing the saving, Mr. Blackaby. Jesus is the one and only Savior. But without Mary, the Incarnation and redemption would not have been possible. So, yes, Mr. Blackaby, Mary is “pivotal in human salvation.” Again, this in no way takes away from the glory and honor that is due to God. To the contrary, it better highlights God’s glory and honor, because it shows that He shares it lovingly with His children. When you make the proper distinctions, Mr. Blackaby, you should see no problem with the Catholic and Apostolic view of Mary.

R. Blackaby: If you aren’t yet convinced Catholics have left biblical authority and created a blasphemously berserk mythology about Mary, read these further quotes from “The Glories of Mary.”

J. Salza: Mr. Blackaby, where does the Bible say anything about “biblical authority”? Please explain what you mean by this, since it evidently is the premise upon which your whole apologetic is based. Of course, I agree that the Bible is an authority – it is the written Word of God. But that same Bible doesn’t teach that it is the only authority.

R. Blackaby: “The authority a mother has over her son is so great that, even though he is a monarch, with absolute dominion over all his subjects, she can never become her son’s subject” (p. 113).

“At the command of Mary all obey, even God (emphasis mine). She is omnipotent, for the queen, according to all laws, enjoys the same privileges as the king…Therefore, to use the words of St. Antonine, God has put the whole church not only under the patronage, but even under the power and authority, of Mary. Since, then, the mother must have the same power as the Son, Mary became omnipotent because Jesus is omnipotent” (p. 114).

Now, Mr. Salza, I did not misrepresent what the Catholic church teaches about Mary. If I am guilty of anything in my first article, it is of not fully detailing the extreme audacity of this apostate church. Come on now, Catholic friends, do you really believe that at the command of Mary all obey—even God? If Mary has that much authority, she is greater than God.

J. Salza: Again, Mr. Blackaby concludes that writings from the saints are “what the Catholic church teaches about Mary.” I understand your tactics. If I were you, I too would pick some obscure quotes from saints who lived in the Middle Ages to try to denigrate the Catholic faith. They often used powerful language to express their love for Mary and the many gifts God gave them through her intercession. These quotes are “easy targets” for those who are on a mission. It is telling why you don’t quote from official Magisterial documents.

Which brings us to an important point. There is a central authority in Catholicism, and that is the Catholic Church (from which Mr. Blackaby rarely quotes). Mr. Blackaby has no such authority in his world other than his own private interpretation of Scripture. He will pretend that Scripture is perspicuous and self-attesting, yet there are about 30,000 different “Bible” churches that all teach different doctrines regarding the Christian faith, most of which have cropped up in the last 50 years. I could find a dozen Protestant apologists who all hold different opinions about justification, baptism and a host of other issues to demonstrate how arbitrary and erroneous Protestantism is. This is the main reason why thousands of Protestant pastors have come home to the Catholic Church in recent years.

For example, I could find one Protestant apologist who would disagree with Mr. Blackaby’s understanding of baptism. Mr. Blackaby would accuse the Protestant apologist of not having a “biblical” view. The Protestant apologist would accuse Mr. Blackaby of the same. Even though baptism is one of the most basic tenets of the Christian faith, these two Christians would be in disagreement. Unfortunately for them, there is no method in Protestantism of resolving their disagreement. Yet they both claim that the Bible is their only authority. But if the Bible can’t resolve their disagreement, then how can it be their only authority? Help us with this, Mr. Blackaby.

Regarding St. Bonaventure’s statements, the Church doesn’t teach that Mary is greater than God, and Mr. Blackaby knows this. So why does Mr. Blackaby intimate it? That is not at all genuine. In fact, Bonaventure doesn’t even claim this, but Mr. Blackaby does. We can understand Bonaventure and Liguori by reading Scripture. In the Apocalypse, John reveals “the woman clothed with the sun, with the moon under her feet and on her head a crown of twelve stars” (Apoc. 12:1). The early Fathers of the Church viewed this woman to be Mary, since she was giving birth to the Savior (v.5), and her offspring keep the commandments of God and bear testimony to Jesus (v.17). Since Mary had a “crown” on her head of “twelve stars” (representing the twelve tribes and twelve apostles), the Fathers called Mary the “Queen of Heaven.”

Since the Old Covenant kingdom of David is a prototype of the New Covenant Kingdom of Christ, we can look to the role of the queen in the Old as a foreshadowing of her role in the New. In the Davidic kingdom, the Queen Mother (Hebrew: Gebirah) would sit at the king’s right hand (1 Kings 2:19). The Queen would also intercede before the king on the people’s behalf. When she would present her petition to the king, the king would not refuse her (1 Kings 2:17). The king would also bow down to the Queen Mother as a gesture of honor (1 Kings 2:19). As God reveals through Scripture, the king tells his Queen Mother: “Make your request, my mother; for I will not refuse you” (1 Kings 2:20).

Mary is the Queen of the New Covenant Kingdom, and Jesus is our King. When Mary presents her petitions to Jesus, Jesus does not refuse His Mother. Such a view is backed by Scriptural, patristic, and historical witness. The Catholic view gives the most glory to Jesus Christ because, even though He doesn’t need our help, He invites us (especially His Mother) to participate in His mediation, His holiness, His glory. That is what our loving God does for His children.

R. Blackaby: As I suggested in my first article, Catholic doctrine is not the static “we’ve always taught this” concept it presents. Rather, it is constantly evolving. This is nowhere more true than in doctrines regarding Mary. There is at present an effort underway to have her officially designated “co-redemptrix” or co-redeemer with Christ.

J. Salza: Is Mr. Blackaby actually saying that doctrine does not develop over time? I will expose the error in this statement shortly. First, we must define what it means to say “development of doctrine.” This phrase does not mean that the Church invents new doctrine or that the Church’s doctrine changes over time. That would be impossible because the Church’s doctrine is the immutable teaching of Christ which He handed to His apostles.

The “development of doctrine” simply means that the Church’s understanding of Christ’s revelation, as reflected in the depth and clarity of her teaching, evolves as she is guided into all truth (John 16:13). This process is necessary as the subjective and human side of the Church strives to expound the objective and divine truth of God.

I have already provided quotes from the early Fathers which demonstrated their belief in Mary’s sinless nature. I have a host of additional quotes on my website. This demonstrates that the early Church possessed the Catholic understanding of Mary as mediator, co-worker in redemption, immaculately conceived, queen of the New Covenant kingdom, ark of the New Covenant, assumed into heaven, and so forth. Over time, the Church further expounded these truths which were always believed since apostolic times. I would agree that some doctrines are more explicit in the early Church than others. Marian doctrines developed later than some other doctrines. But this doesn’t infringe upon their apostolic origins, as the early Fathers so testify. The Church didn’t issue an official papal teaching against artificial birth control until the 20th century, even though the Church has always held contraception to be an intrinsically evil act.

If Mr. Blackaby doesn’t believe in the “development of doctrine,” then he shouldn’t believe in his Bible. After all, the canon of Scripture was not determined until the end of the fourth century. The understanding of the canon “developed” over time. Same thing with many other Catholic doctrines that Mr. Blackaby believes (regarding the Trinity, Christology, etc.). These doctrines “developed” over the course of the fourth, fifth, sixth and seventh centuries as the Church was led by the Spirit (John 14:25; John 16:13).

If Mr. Blackaby believes in the Catholic Church’s dogmatic pronouncements regarding the Trinity and the canon of Scripture, why doesn’t he believe her pronouncements about Mary? That is because Mr. Blackaby operates in a world of relativism. This is the necessary result of his “Bible only” Christianity.

R. Blackaby: St. Albert the Great already has called her “co-helper of redemption” (ibid, p. 105). In 1985, Pope John Paul II recognized Mary as co-redemptrix during a speech in Ecuador and elsewhere. He said Mary was “crucified spiritually with her crucified Son” and that “her role as Co-redemptrix did not cease after the glorification of her Son”.All that remains is for a pope to make this awful assertion an “infallible” declaration.

J. Salza: Of course Mary is “co-helper of redemption.” She brought the redeemer into the world. Wouldn’t any person with a modicum of honesty say that Mary “helped” in God’s plan of redemption? In fact, God had to ask Mary permission for this help! (Luke 1:38).

Mary is also “co-redemptrix.” If Mr. Blackaby knows a bit of Latin, then he would know that “co-redemptrix” means “with the redeemer.” “Co” is from the Latin word cum which means “with,” and redemptrix means “redeemer.” Thus, the word means Mary is the woman “with the redeemer” (cf. Gal. 4:4) because she was with Jesus from the moment of His conception to the moment of His Ascension, and is now with Him for all eternity. And yes, Mary was indeed “crucified spiritually with her Son.” What mother would not spiritually share in the sufferings of her child, especially at the foot of the brutal cross? Why do these statements pose such a problem for Mr. Blackaby?

R. Blackaby: 2. Mr. Salza seeks to justify the supposed mediation of Mary by noting James 5:16 speaks of Christians praying for one another and citing passages from the book of Revelation which make reference to the prayers of the saints. This is disingenuous. The issue isn’t other saints (Christians) praying for other saints. The issue is the Catholic assertion that men can pray to “dead” saints and receive special mediation from them or Mary.

J. Salza: Mr. Blackaby, would you mind explaining to your readers what a “dead” saint is? Are you suggesting that the saints who have died and gone to heaven are “dead”? Where does your Bible teach such a thing? The only thing that is disingenuous is your claim that Catholics are somehow practicing necromancy. What Bible are you reading?

The Bible is clear that the saints in heaven are alive (not dead). The Apocalypse reveals that the saints are alive in heaven because they are chanting songs of worship around the throne of God (see, for example Apoc. 5:9). These are the same saints, Mr. Blackaby, who are offering their prayers to God in bowls full of incense (Apoc. 5:8; 8:3).

These are also the same saints who are offering imprecatory prayers to God so that He avenges their blood on those who dwell upon the earth (Apoc. 6:10-11). Perhaps Mr. Blackaby can point out where in Scripture God cuts off all communication between the saints in heaven and the saint on earth? Scripture says quite the opposite. That is why in the 2,000 year-old Apostles’ Creed, the early Church professed a belief in the “communion of saints.”

R. Blackaby: Mr. Salza suggests Christians praying for other Christians makes us all mediators. Perhaps this is true, in a limited sense. But this isn’t at all comparable to what Catholics teach about Mary’s mediatorial role. And Mr. Salza knows this well.

J. Salza: Why, Mr. Blackaby, can we be mediators “in a limited sense” if Jesus Christ is the one and only mediator? Didn’t you suggest earlier that multiple mediators is “religious sophistry”? Please explain that to us. Is Jesus Christ the only mediator, or can we also mediate “in a limited sense”? This time, please interact directly with my question.

As I have demonstrated in my first rebuttal, Scripture teaches we can be subordinate mediators or intercessors in Christ because this is what God invites us to be. Paul says our mediation is “good and acceptable” to God (1 Tim 2:3). I am encouraged that Mr. Blackaby acknowledges we can be mediators “in a limited sense.” I concur with him. We, along with Mary, are only mediators because of the one mediatorial role of Jesus Christ.

Thus, our mediation is “limited” to the mediation of Christ. We cannot act as mediators independently of Christ, nor will God grant our petitions if they are inconsistent with the will of Christ. As I stated before, theology is about making the proper distinctions. Mr. Blackaby is bent on elevating Mary’s mediatorial role to equal or even above Jesus, but he knows quite well that the Church teaches no such thing. Let’s try to be honest in this discussion.

R. Blackaby: 3. My critic didn’t disagree with what I asserted about the Catholic church’s teaching on the immaculate conception. He just criticized my sourcing. I could further source what his church teaches, but it seems unnecessary here.

J. Salza: Mr. Blackaby does not quote from official Magisterial documents because he says it is “unnecessary,” yet he should know that the teachings of the Magisterium are absolutely necessary in understanding what the Catholic Church actually teaches. The Church’s official pronouncements (not saints’ opinions) are all that matters. It is also telling that Mr. Blackaby did not address any of the quotes of the early Church fathers that I presented to him. These quotes (taken from the third, fourth, fifth and sixth centuries of the Church) affirm the Catholic view of Mary as sinless, inviolate, spotless, free from all defect, worthy of praise, etc.

Why did Mr. Blackaby avoid addressing these quotes from the Fathers? Because, Christian reader, they support Catholic teaching. Thus, Blackaby runs from these quotes. That is why he chose not to directly interact with my rebuttal. Instead, he chose to write a rebuttal article in isolation. This is the easy way out when you have quotes from early Christians supporting Catholic teaching that stare you right in the face.

R. Blackaby: 4. I had said, regarding the immaculate conception, that the Catholic church teaches Mary was born free of “original sin.” Mr. Salza quoted Romans 5:12, Ephesians 2:3, Psalm 51:5 and Job 14:1,4 to assert men do inherit sin from Adam. But none of those passages teach that. They demonstrate that sin first entered the world through the act of Adam, that David’s mother was a sinner and that all men have sinned.

Ezekiel 18 makes the issue clear. “The soul that sins shall die” (v. 4). We don’t inherit sin or a sinful nature. We sin when we personally act against God’s commandment. The prophet’s words go on to make this even clearer. “The soul who sins shall die. The son shall not bear the guilt of the father, nor the father bear the guilt of the son” (v. 20).

J. Salza: Mr. Blackaby is missing the mark. If, as Mr. Blackaby says, “sin first entered the world through the act of Adam,” then doesn’t that prove my point? We are sinners because Adam sinned. How did we become sinners? We inherited Adam’s sin, and not only his sin, but also the effects of Adam’s sin. The presence of sin deals with our very “being,” not just our conduct. Our “being” exists at the moment of conception. That is why, Mr. Blackaby, you and I get tired, fatigued, hungry, etc. God doesn’t just declare us sinners. We really are sinners, and we feel the effects of that sin every single day of our lives.

I am glad Mr. Blackaby quoted Ezekiel 18 because it supports the Catholic view of how God deals with sinners. First, God is talking about how He judges a person’s works, not how people have inherited the sin of Adam. Notice also that there is nothing about a one-time profession of “faith alone” in God in these verses. A person’s salvation or damnation is dictated by what a person does in his life, not just how much faith he has.

Second, when God says the soul that sins shall die, He is talking about eternally punishing those who do evil, not how Adam’s sin is transmitted to his progeny. God is talking about His judgment of our free will choices. While we sin in our conduct, we are sinners even before we make a choice to do evil. That is because sin is part of our nature. God also affirms that a son is not punished for his father’s sins, because that was a common and erroneous view of the time, just as many people erroneously thought that physical defects were from personal sins.

The fact that God is talking about how the father doesn’t bear the guilt of the son (v.20) proves that this discussion is not about the transmission of Adam’s sin (father to son), but about how the son has free will and can make choices independently of his father (son/father). They both will be judged separately, based upon their individual conduct.

Third, Ezekiel affirms the Catholic view that even a righteous man can turn away from God and become wicked (v.24). This flies in the face of Mr. Blackaby’s belief that, once you accept God into your heart, you are eternally saved. Ezekiel says just the opposite. A righteous person who is pleasing to God can later turn away from God if he doesn’t persevere in his grace. There is nothing about “false faith” or “phony righteousness” which is part of Mr. Blackaby’s Protestant theology.

I won’t let Mr. Blackaby casually dismiss the Scripture verses I presented to him which allude to original sin. In Ephesians 2:3, Paul says that “we were by nature, children of wrath.” Paul is talking about our “nature,” not our “conduct,” and he is discussing it in the context of “children.” In Psalm 51:5, David is discussing sin in the context of his conception, not his mother’s “conduct.”

Similarly, in Job 14, God is referring to us being born and how nothing “clean” can come out of something “unclean” as it relates to the birthing process. Job is referring to the transmission of the original sin through the process of being “born” (or “conceived” as David says in the Psalm). Since what gives birth is unclean, what is born is unclean as well. There is nothing about sinful “conduct” in these verses. I suggest Mr. Blackaby look again at these passages.

When Mr. Blackaby looked at Romans 5:12, he should have continued with Paul’s teaching in Romans 5:19: “For as by one man’s disobedience many were made sinners, so by one man’s obedience many will be made righteous.” The word for “made” (Greek, katestathesan) refers to an ontological change in the person. Paul is talking about our “state of being,” just as he talks about our “nature” in Ephesians 2:3. Thus, when Paul says we were “made” sinners, he is teaching us that we have all been infused with the sin of Adam. This is consistent with the other Scriptures I presented.

We should all be able to relate to this. We have disordered passions which are not consistent with right reason, which the Church calls “concupiscence.” This inclination to sin is part of our “being.” It is this concupiscence that leads us to engage in sinful conduct. This is because we have inherited this sin and its resulting defects from Adam.

Here are some quotes from the early Church fathers (limited to the first three centuries) that support the Catholic Church’s 2,000 year-old teaching on original sin:

“Every soul, then, by reason of its birth, has its nature in Adam until it is born again in Christ; moreover, it is unclean all the while that it remains without this regeneration; and because unclean, it is actively sinful, and suffuses even the flesh (by reason of their conjunction) with its own shame.” Tertullian, On the Soul, 40 (A.D. 208) .

“If, in the case of the worst sinners and of those who formerly sinned much against God, when afterwards they believe, the remission of their sins is granted and no one is held back from Baptism and grace, how much more, then, should an infant not be held back, who, having but recently been born, has done no sin, except that, born of the flesh according to Adam. He has contracted the contagion of that old death from his first being born. For this very reason does he approach more easily to receive the remission of sins: because the sins forgiven him are not his own but those of another [from Adam].” Cyprian, Epistle to Fidus, 68[64]:5 (c. A.D. 250).

“And this thought commends itself strongly to the right-minded. For since the first man Adam altered, and through sin death came into the world, therefore it became the second Adam to be unalterable; that, should the Serpent again assault, even the Serpent’s deceit might be baffled, and, the Lord being unalterable and unchangeable, the Serpent might become powerless in his assault against all. For as when Adam had transgressed, his sin reached unto all men, so, when the Lord had become man and had overthrown the Serpent, that so great strength of His is to extend through all men, so that each of us may say, ‘For we are not ignorant of his devices’ Good reason then that the Lord, who ever is in nature unalterable, loving righteousness and hating iniquity, should be anointed and Himself’ sent, that, He, being and remaining the same, by taking this alterable flesh, ‘might condemn sin in it,’ and might secure its freedom, and its ability s henceforth ‘to fulfil the righteousness of the law’ in itself, so as to be able to say, ‘But we are not in the flesh but in the Spirit, if so be that the Spirit of God dwelleth in us.’” Athanasius, Against the Arians, I:51 (A.D. 358).

“Little given, much gotten; by the donation of food the original sin is discharged. Just as Adam transmitted the sin by his wicked eating, we destroy that treacherous food when we cure the need and hunger.” Basil, Eulogies & Sermons, Famine & Drought 8:7 (ante 379).

“And further, above this, we have in common reason, the Law, the Prophets, the very Sufferings of Christ, by which we were all without exception created anew, who partake of the same Adam, and were led astray by the serpent and slain by sin, and are saved by the heavenly Adam and brought back by the tree of shame to the tree of life from whence we had fallen.” Gregory of Nazianzen, Against the Arians, 33:9 (A.D. 380).

“For death is alike to all, without difference for the poor, without exception for the rich. And so although through the sin of one alone, yet it passed upon all; that we may not refuse to acknowledge Him to be also the Author of death, Whom we do not refuse to acknowledge as the Author of our race; and that, as through one death is ours, so should be also the resurrection; and that we should not refuse the misery, that we may attain to the gift. For, as we read, Christ ‘is come to save that which was lost,’ and ‘to be Lord both of the dead and living.’ In Adam I fell, in Adam I was cast out of Paradise, in Adam I died; how shall the Lord call me back, except He find me in Adam; guilty as I was in him, so now justified in Christ. If, then, death be the debt of all, we must be able to endure the payment. But this topic must be reserved for later treatment.” Ambrose, On the Death of his brother Satyrus, II:6 (A.D. 380).

“In whom” — that is, in Adam — ‘all have sinned’. And he said ‘in whom,’ using the masculine form, when he was speaking of a woman, because the reference was not to a specific individual but to the race. It is clear, therefore, that all have sinned in Adam,en masse as it were; for when he himself was corrupted by sin, all whom he begot were born under sin. On his account, then, all are sinners, because we are all from him. He lost God’s favor when he strayed.” Ambrosiaster, Commentaries on thirteen Pauline Epistles, Rom 5:12 (A.D. 384).

“After Adam sinned, as I noted before, when the Lord said, ‘You are earth, and to earth you shall return’, Adam was condemned to death. This condemnation passed on to the whole race. For all sinned, already by their sharing in that nature, as the Apostle says: “For through one man sin made its entry, and through sin death, and thus it came down to all men, because all have sinned…Someone will say to me: But the sin of Adam deservedly passed on to his posterity, because they were begotten of him: but how are we to be begotten of Christ, so that we can be saved through Him? Do not think of these things in a carnal fashion. You have already seen how we are begotten by Christ our Parent. In these last times Christ took a soul and with it flesh from Mary: this flesh came to prepare salvation.” Pacian, Sermons on Baptism, 2,6 (ante A.D. 392).

“Evil was mixed with our nature from the beginning…through those who by their disobedience introduced the disease. Just as in the natural propagation of the species each animal engenders its like, so man is born from man, a being subject to passions from a being subject to passions, a sinner from a sinner. Thus sin takes its rise in us as we are born; it grows with us and keeps us company till life’s term.” Gregory of Nyssa, The Beatitudes, 6 (ante A.D. 394).

R. Blackaby: Mr. Salza emphasized the difference between the Catholic doctrine of original sin and the Protestant concept of inherited depravity. The difference is minor, the outcome and implications largely the same. (I’m sure it will baffle Mr. Salza and perhaps other readers, but I’m neither Catholic nor Protestant. I’m simply a Christian. And the Bible teaches neither the concept of inherited original sin or inherited depravity.)

J. Salza: Mr. Blackaby, if you are not a Catholic, then you are a Protestant. Anyone who believes in Christ but “protests” against His One, Holy, Catholic and Apostolic Church is a Protestant. Also, there is a big difference between the Catholic teaching on original sin and the Calvinistic teaching of inherited depravity. The Catholic view of original sin holds that, while man has been weakened, he can still respond to God’s grace through his free will.

Those who believe in inherited depravity generally believe that man is not even free to respond to God. As a result, they have manufactured the doctrine of double predestination, where God supposedly predestines some people to heaven and others to hell. I agree with Mr. Blackaby that the Bible does not teach inherited depravity.

R. Blackaby: My critic backhandedly admits what I contended about the reasoning behind creating the immaculate conception myth. If men inherit sin from their parents, then Jesus would have inherited sin from Mary. But if we understand the principles of Ezekiel 18, we need neither puzzle nor invent fantasies. No, Mr. Salza, I don’t “let the finger of Satan touch (Jesus) in the womb of Mary.” I don’t believe the Bible teaches any child is touched with sin in the womb.

J. Salza: As I have already demonstrated, the Scriptures and early Church fathers disagree with you. END.

R. Blackaby: 5. Like many other Catholics I’ve talked to, Mr. Salza reasserts the myth that Catholic teaching hasn’t developed or evolved but has been static since the establishment of the church on the first Pentecost after the Lord’s resurrection. He said if I disagree, I should produce one quote from the first five centuries where someone denied the immaculate conception. Hmmm! I shall simply turn the tables and ask Mr. Salza to produce one quote from the first century in which the inspired apostles lived where anyone affirmed the immaculate conception of Mary. Certainly the Bible doesn’t teach such.

J. Salza: Are you serious, Mr. Blackaby? I have already provided Mr. Blackaby a volume of quotes from the early Church fathers which call Mary “the ark,” “incorruptible,” “exempt from corruption,” “immaculate,” “worthy of praise,” “without stain,” “without flaw,” “greater than any other greatness,” “greater than them all,” “undefiled,” “free of every stain of sin,” “without any stain of sin of her own,” spotless,” “untouched,” “unsullied,” and “none ever holier than Mary.” Would you like me to produce these quotes once again? Mr. Blackaby refused to address any of these quotes which claim that Mary was without sin. I am sure your readers are wondering why you won’t address these quotes.

I never said “Catholic teaching hasn’t developed or evolved,” you did. If you read my piece on the “development of doctrine,” I explain how all Christian doctrines have evolved from the single deposit of faith since the beginning of the Church. Some of the Church’s doctrines are more explicit in Scripture than others, but they all come from the same Apostolic Tradition that was given to the Church. The quotes from the early Church Fathers bear witness to this reality.

If Mr. Blackaby limits what he believes to “quotes from the first century in which the inspired apostles lived,” then why does he believe in the canon of Scripture? The apostles didn’t settle the canon. The canon wasn’t determined until the end of the fourth century. In fact, we may conclude that some of the apostles were dead before all the books in the New Testament canon were even written! (This is certainly the case with John’s Apocalypse.) And how does Mr. Blackaby know that the apostles didn’t believe in the Immaculate Conception? Scripture strongly suggests it, and the early Fathers affirm it. Where did the Fathers get such an idea? From the apostolic tradition, perhaps?

R. Blackaby: 6. Censuring me for my supposed ignorance, Mr. Salza says, “The only difference between us and Mary is that Mary was created and redeemed at the same time.” Well, maybe I am ignorant, but it certainly seems that the previous quotes from Catholic documents show many more differences. And I am ignorant of any Bible passage that says Mary was specially redeemed at her conception. I await book, chapter and verse.

J. Salza: Mr. Blackaby demands “book, chapter and verse,” yet I await the book, chapter and verse that says everything that God has revealed to us is in the Bible. I will attempt to accommodate your request, Mr. Blackaby. Will you accommodate mine?

I noted in my first rebuttal that Luke records God’s angel as calling Mary “full of grace.” This is in the first chapter, verse 43. Even the Protestant Reformers agreed that God, based on this passage, was saying Mary was completely perfected in grace. She was the new “Holy of Holies” of the Incarnate Word. The Greek word that Luke uses to refer to Mary’s state of grace (kecharitomene) necessarily requires us to look at a “prior event” that brought about her perfection of grace. The closest we could say this in English is “you are perfectly graced.” The consensus of the Fathers of the Church held that this “prior event” was Mary’s conception. Again, the patristic witness and early Church councils all bear testimony to the Catholic view.

R. Blackaby: 7. Mr. Salza asserts “sacred writers” teach that Mary is the Ark of the New Covenant, and from that premise seeks to justify Catholic doctrine about the perpetual virginity of Mary. His biblical quotations fall short of establishing his rhetoric.

J. Salza: Mr. Blackaby, you are exposing your weakness every time you choose not to interact with the quotes from Scripture or the Fathers, and instead dismiss them as my “rhetoric.” Will you do your readers a favor and address the parallels between the arks of the Old and New Covenant, which St. Luke, St. John and the early Church fathers made? You are not a genuine opponent if you are going to dismiss things as “rhetoric” and not address them head-on.

I went into quite a bit of detail demonstrating the parallels between Luke and Samuel (2 Sam. 6 and Luke 1), and Mr. Blackaby just dismisses them as “rhetoric.” Is Blackaby calling God’s word “rhetoric?” Is this the way he handles Scripture? He never says one word about these compelling parallels. Perhaps that is because Mr. Blackaby doesn’t want to leave his comfort zone of preconceived ideas and faulty premises regarding Catholic teaching. Mr. Blackaby wants nothing to do with the study of biblical typology and the early Fathers.

Mr. Blackaby, I hope you can understand my concerns with your approach. Even though you chose to quote almost exclusively from St. Alphonsus Liguouri and St. Bonaventure (whose opinions don’t always reflect Catholic teaching), I still attempted to explain what I believed the saints meant by their statements. I would like you to play by the same rules, especially when I am quoting from the very Scriptures you hold as your only authority.

R. Blackaby: He appeals to Paul’s statements in 1 Corinthians 7 to assert the Bible teaches the spiritual superiority of celibacy. But he takes the apostle out of context, for Paul is addressing the saints during a special circumstance, which he calls “the present distress” (v. 26).

J. Salza: This is desperate exegesis. Paul expressly states “it is better for a man not to touch a woman” (v.1) and wishes all were celibate like he was (v.7). Then Paul says: “So that he who marries his betrothed does well, and he who refrains from marriage will do better” (v.38). Paul’s teaching is precisely the opposite of what Mr. Blackaby is advancing about marriage: Paul says celibacy is superior to marriage, and Blackaby says marriage is superior to celibacy! Since Mr. Blackaby is caught with his exegetical pants down, he claims that I am taking Paul’s teachings “out of context.” Yet Paul’s reference to the “present distress” (v.26) is precisely the basis for Paul’s teaching on the superiority of celibacy.

If Mr. Blackaby wants to denigrate the Church’s teaching on marriage, then he has a difficult path to travel. The Catholic Church has been at the forefront in its teachings on the sanctity of marriage. That is why the Church, at the direction of her founder Jesus Christ, elevated marriage to a sacrament. This is also why, in obedience to Christ, the Catholic Church teaches that a sacramental marriage is indissoluble, and that remarriage after divorce is adultery (Matt. 19:9; Mark 10:11-12; Luke 16:18).

Many Protestant “churches,” however, don’t follow Jesus’ teachings. Their pastors tell the people to “follow their consciences” when it comes to divorce, contraception, and even homosexual unions. I don’t know where Mr. Blackaby’s church stands on these issues, but the Catholic Church has taught the same thing about marriage and life issues for 2,000 years.

R. Blackaby: Listen carefully to Hebrews 13:4: “Marriage is honorable among all, and the bed undefiled, but fornicators and adulterers God will judge.” The scandal of pedophiles, molesters and homosexuals in the present day Catholic church are strong evidence that Mr. Salza’s famous Magisterium is wrong and is guilty of “speaking lies in hypocrisy…forbidding to marry, and commanding to abstain from foods which God created to be received with thanksgiving…” (1 Timothy 4:1-3).

J. Salza: Mr. Blackaby is now playing psychologist. All of a sudden, Mr. Blackaby knows why the Church has been afflicted with perverts and sodomites in recent years. According to Blackaby’s diagnosis, it is because Catholic priests cannot marry. Yet the Church in the west has been practicing priestly celibacy for 2,000 years, and has never seen anything like the scandal she currently faces in the 21st century.

I am just as appalled at the scandal, Mr. Blackaby, as you are. Satan always goes after Christ’s true Church. The Lord Jesus warned us as much. These evil prelates are under the divine judgment of God and will suffer eternal punishments unless they repent. The problems in the Catholic Church have nothing to do with priestly celibacy; they have everything to do with a loss of faith in Jesus Christ. There are thousands of celibate priests living holy and faithful lives. The Catholic Church’s teaching on life, marriage, and sexuality is a light to a world that is crippled by evil and faithlessness. Just because some of her prelates don’t live up to the Church’s teachings does not mean the Church’s teachings are not true.

R. Blackaby: Mr. Salza calls my assertion that the Bible speaks of Jesus having brothers and sisters a “quite elementary apologia.” On that we are absolutely agreed. He says I lack a proficiency in Koine Greek. He and I may be in the same boat there, because he claims these brothers and sisters are “cousins” and that because the Hebrew and Aramaic languages have no word for cousin, the Bible used the terms brothers and sisters.

Huh? The New Testament was written in Greek, not Hebrew. The Greek language does have a word for cousin. It is “sungenis.” If the inspired writers had wanted to say Jesus had cousins, there was a word available. But they said he had brothers and sisters. Yes, elementary Dr. Salza, elementary!

J. Salza: Mr. Blackaby acts like I don’t know the New Testament was written in Greek, or that I don’t know that there is a Greek word for cousin. He does this to downplay his opponent’s abilities, but I am sure his readers can that this is nothing but demagoguery. If Mr. Blackaby would have read my comments carefully, he would have understood my point.

When people in Scripture refer to Jesus’ “brothers” in their conversations, the Holy Spirit recorded what the people actually said. Since the people of Jesus’ time spoke Hebrew and Aramaic and didn’t have a word for “cousin” in their native tongue, they would have orally referred to Jesus’ relatives as “brothers,” and the Spirit would have recorded it as such. How Mr. Blackaby missed this is beyond me.

Nevertheless, if Mr. Blackaby really wants to demonstrate that Jesus had brothers and sisters, then I await his evidence. I will gladly address each and every claim Mr. Blackaby brings forth to prove that Mary had other children, and demonstrate that these claims are absolutely fallacious. Mr. Blackaby knows that Scripture never says the Virgin Mary had any other children besides Jesus. Let’s see what he comes up with. I also note that Mr. Blackaby, once again, failed to interact with any of my arguments which prove the Bible does not teach that Jesus had brothers or sisters.

R. Blackaby: 8. Did Mary die? Was she assumed into heaven, body and soul? Mr. Salza says the Catholic church doesn’t say whether she died or not. It does say she was assumed into heaven. But, of course, the Bible doesn’t say that. It is just part of that mythological mysticism and mayhem that is Catholic tradition.

J. Salza: Another example of “The Bible doesn’t say” apologia. Please, Mr. Blackaby, show us where the Bible teaches that it has to be in the Bible to be true. And while you are hopelessly looking for a verse to support your false premise, read Apoc. 12 where it describes “the woman clothed with the sun, with the moon under her feet and on her head a crown of twelve stars” (v.1). While the woman may be a symbol for the Church, can you honestly argue that the woman is not Mary, the one who is giving birth to the Savior? And if you properly concede that the woman is Mary (as the early Church Fathers did), you must also concede that she is in heaven body and soul, since she has the moon under her “feet” and a crown on her “head.”

Also, it was Mr. Blackaby who argued that Mary died, and he attempted to quote from Pope Pius XII’s Munificentissumus Deus to support his claim. He argued that Mary died to try and prove that she was with sin. However, the papal decree he used does not say that Mary died. And now that I revealed Mr. Blackaby’s error, he blows it off. He acts like his initial claim is irrelevant, even though he advanced it to refute Catholic teaching. This shows that Mr. Blackaby can’t admit when he is wrong about Catholic teaching. If he can’t admit he was wrong here, we should not expect him to make concessions on anything else.

R. Blackaby: My “Bible authority” demands befuddle Mr. Salza. He wonders where the Bible provides the “canon of scripture.” His implication is that the Catholic church determined what is scripture and what is not. Nonsense. The New Testament books are their own “canon.” We don’t need the Catholic church to determine canonicity.

J. Salza: Let’s discuss this, Mr. Blackaby. First, it is not my “implication” that the Catholic Church determined the canon of Scripture. It is called “history.” Even many of your own Protestant apologists admit that the Catholic Church determined the canon of Scripture at regional councils at the end of the fourth century. But you claim that this is “nonsense.”

Then tell us all, Mr. Blackaby, who determined the canon? You claim that the “New Testament books are their own ‘canon.’” But how can the New Testament books be the canon, if those same books don’t tell us what the canon is? There is no inspired table of contents, Mr. Blackaby. This poses quite a dilemma for you, since you base your faith on the Bible alone. I would like to you address the “canon of Scripture” issue in more detail so that your readers will begin to see that “authority” is really the heart of the issue.

R. Blackaby: 9. Mr. Salza asked where the Catholic church teaches that no one can enter the blessed kingdom without passing through Mary. Well, that was the statement of St. Bonaventure, quoted in “The Glories of Mary.” Mr. Salza, are you familiar with Mr. Bonaventure and the book cited? Come now, be honest.

J. Salza: Notice that I asked Mr. Blackaby where the “Catholic Church” teaches that we must pass through Mary, but Mr. Blackaby chose only to quote from St. Bonaventure. St. Bonaventure is not the Catholic Church. Nevertheless, the saint’s expressions pose no real problem for Christian theology. It was God’s will to come to us through a woman. There is nothing problematic about concluding that it is God’s will that we return to Him through the same woman. And nothing in Mr. Blackaby’s Bible would preclude such a conclusion. If it does, we again await the book, chapter and verse.

R. Blackaby: 10. Again, casting aspersions on my credibility, Mr. Salza asks where a papal, conciliar teaching, catechism or book with Catholic imprimatur ever said that Jesus, as judge, is too harsh, but Mary will not refuse anyone. You didn’t like my earlier citation, so contemplate these. All again come from the famously Catholic book “The Glories of Mary“, which we’ve already documented is imprimatured and declared to be without error by the Catholic Magisterium.

  • “St. Anselm, to increase our confidence, says this: ‘When we pray to the Mother of God we are heard more quickly than when we call directly on the name of Jesus—for her Son is not only our Lord but our Judge. But when we call upon the name of His Mother, though our own merits will not insure an answer, yet her merits intercede for us and we are answered’” (p. 85).
  • “But maybe His infinite Majesty frightens you…and you would like another advocate to intercede with Him. Then go to Mary and she will plead with her Son for you” (p. 123).
  • “Every prayer of hers is like an established law for the Lord, obliging him to be merciful to everyone for whom she intercedes” (p. 20, emphasis mine).

That last one is a classic. Mary makes laws for the Lord and He is obliged to follow her direction. Mr. Salza, that is absolutely ludicrous. That guts the lordship of Jesus Christ, making him subservient to his earthly mother.

J. Salza: There you go twisting words, Mr. Blackaby. St. Anselm did not say “Mary makes laws for the Lord.” He says that her prayer “is like an established law for the Lord.” There is a big difference. Anselm is talking about God’s nature, and how the prayers of the Blessed Mother affect His nature. When she petitions her Son, Jesus responds to her “as if” it is a law, because it is His nature to respond to His mother. Jesus can’t go against His nature, otherwise it would be a lie.

R. Blackaby: 11. Finally, Mr. Salza leaves the impression with readers that I concocted the quote, “The whole Trinity, O Mary, gave thee a name…above every other name, that at thy name, every knee should bow, of things in heaven, on earth, and under the earth.” He didn’t like my source. Well, how about, again, “The Glories of Mary“, p. 165, “The whole Trinity, O Mary, gave you a name, after that of your Divine Son, so that at your name every knee should bend, of things in heaven, on earth, and under the earth.” Mr. Salza, it’s imprimatured by your Magisterium.

J. Salza: Mr. Blackaby, the Catholic Magisterium doesn’t issue imprimaturs. Catholic bishops do (and sometimes they don’t do a very good job!) This is precisely why, after Mr. Blackaby presented this quote, I stated in my first rebuttal that “it is not from the Magisterium of the Catholic Church.” That fact remains; this is not a quote from the Catholic Magisterium. If we continue this dialogue, I respectfully ask that you get your authorities straight.

Conclusions:

R. Blackaby: If Mr. Salza’s main point is that I’m not a Catholic theologian and don’t know every nuance of Catholic doctrine, we can agree. But I have demonstrated that he is a poor apologist for Catholic teaching himself. His ridicule of me rings hollow in the face of Catholic documents that bear the authorities he demands.

J. Salza: I would judge who the poorer apologist is based on how the apologist interacts with the arguments presented to him. As we have seen, Mr. Blackaby failed to address most of my arguments concerning saintly intercession, Mary as the sinless ark of the New Covenant, Mary’s perpetual virginity, and the many quotes from the early Church fathers that support Catholic teaching on these subjects.

Rather than interact with my rebuttal, he chose to skirt most of the authorities I advanced and write a side article about his position. And then he quotes exclusively from un-official sources (writings from a few saints) to make his points, even though he has a 2,000 year-old corpus of official Catholic teaching (Catechism, conciliar decrees) from which to draw. This is no way to vet a topic, and shows who the poorer apologist really is.

R. Blackaby: But the greater issue is the one I affirmed in my first article. The Catholic doctrine of Mary has been created and has evolved over time. And Mr. Salza has tried to blunt the impact of what revelation of Catholicism teaching reveals about this doctrine that dethrones Christ and enthrones a fine, but simply human, woman. Mr. Salza contends Catholic doctrine doesn’t change. But Catholics haven’t always believed in the infallibility of the pope, yet they do today. In a debate in Cincinnati on January 13, 1837 with Alexander Campbell, Archbishop Purcell said, “Appeals were lodged before the bishop of Rome, though he was not believed to be infallible. Neither is he now. No enlightened Catholic holds the pope’s infallibility to be an article of faith. I do not, and none of my brethren, that I know of, do. Catholics believe the pope, as a man, to be liable to error, as almost any other man in the universe. Man is man, and no man is infallible, neither in doctrine or morals” (Debate on the Roman Catholic Religion, Campbell and Purcell, p. 27). I believe an archbishop is a member of the Magisterium, Mr. Salza. He was at least a pretty important Catholic for Purcell-Marian High School in Cincinnati is named after him.

That was what Archbishop Purcell said in 1837. But in 1870, the Vatican Council declared papal infallibility had always been the teaching of the Catholic church. It would be easy to document internal Catholic debate over papal infallibility, but Mr. Salza and every knowledgeable Catholic already know about such.

J. Salza: Mr. Blackaby contends that “Catholics haven’t always believed in the infallibility of the pope.” Mr. Blackaby, I will again take you to task. Please find me one (just one) early Church Father during the first five centuries after Christ’s Ascension who didn’t hold the Catholic understanding of the papacy (that is, that Jesus built His Church upon the rock of Peter, gave Peter the keys to the kingdom to facilitate succession, and endowed Peter with infallible “binding” and “loosing” authority whenever he spoke officially for the Church on matters of faith or morals).

You claim that this will be easy for you, as you say: “it would be easy to document internal Catholic debate over papal infallibility.” If it is so easy, Mr. Blackaby, then this won’t take you much time at all. We await the fruits of your research.

My brothers and sisters in Christ, Catholics have believed in the infallibility of the pope ever since Jesus gave Peter the keys to the kingdom of heaven, the authority to bind or loose on earth what is bound or loosed in heaven, and promised that the gates of hell would never prevail against His Church, which He built upon the rock of Peter (Matt. 16:18-19). I can produce quote after quote from the early Church fathers who all held to the Catholic view of the papacy.

But instead of addressing Scripture and the early Church Fathers, Mr. Blackaby appeals to a supposed 19th century speech made by an obscure bishop who has no authority to speak for the Catholic Church. No, Mr. Blackaby, Bishop Purcell is not the Catholic Magisterium. In fact, as you point out, the Catholic Magisterium disagreed with Bishop Purcell’s alleged commentary about the papacy in its dogmatic pronouncements at the First Vatican Council. These teachings affirmed what the Church always believed about papal infallibility, even though Mr. Blackaby may be able to find a few dissenters.

That is why the Catholic Church is Christ’s true Church. Unlike Protestantism, the Catholic Church has a divinely-appointed authority, and that is the pope. It doesn’t really matter what anyone else says about Catholic teaching, whether it comes from a nobody like me or a Catholic bishop like Purcell. The question is whether or not it is taught by the Church. Christ has given us His sacred teaching through both the oral and written apostolic word, which He has entrusted to His Holy Catholic Church. As we have seen, in Mr. Blackaby’s most recent presentation, he never quoted once from the Catholic Church.

An Offer For A Public Discussion

R. Blackaby: Mr. Salza, one of my brethren, a former Catholic himself, has asked me to challenge you to publicly debate the teachings of Roman Catholicism in a week of evening discussions on different topics. Do you believe strongly enough that you have the truth to accept such an offer? As a declared apologist for Catholicism you would appear to be a man up to that challenge. I hope you will accept.

J. Salza: Mr. Blackaby, please clarify your challenge. If you are handing this debate off to someone else, please identify my opponent, and I will be happy to oblige. But I would like to debate you first (if this is not what you are proposing, forgive my misunderstanding). I challenge you, Mr. Blackaby, to debate me on the topic of sola Scriptura, since this is the premise upon which your whole apologia is based. This is the crux of the issue between Catholics and Protestants.

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Debate on the Exegesis of Matthew 16:18-19: John Salza vs. Evan May

Posted by catholicfaithdefender on March 22, 2008

John Salza-is one of the famous Catholic Apologetics
E. May: Matthew 16 is among the list of famous isolated prooftexts that Roman Catholic scholarship has continually presented to the field of apologetics. It has been refuted for centuries, and yet Romanists cite it as quickly today as they ever have.

J. Salza: Mr. May wants to give his readers the impression that the Catholic position “has been refuted for centuries” to predispose his readers to the “truth” of his position. This type of introductory commentary is a common debate tactic, and it doesn’t impress me. As we will see, even though Mr. May says the Catholic position “has been refuted for centuries,” he offers no support from either Scripture or tradition to make his case. In fact, both Scripture and the Fathers highlight the errors in Mr. May’s positions, which you will see shortly.

If you have read any of Mr. May’s posts about me or other Catholic apologists, you also see that he accuses us of using illogical arguments and anachronisms. This is nothing more than a smoke screen for the inadequacy of his own positions. Please have patience with this dialogue, and you will see how Mr. May is really the one guilty of these charges. You will see how Mr. May twists the Scriptures to his own destruction (2 Pet 3:16).

E. May: The amount of assumptions, however, that the Romanist must force into this passage is innumerable. Equally innumerable are the assumptions and anachronistic readings that are forcibly read into the early Fathers that comment on this text. Romanism simply cannot be defended exegetically. For this reason, the defender of the gospel of Rome starts with the assumption that the modern Roman church, with its doctrine and practices of today, is indeed the one true church. This is not something that is ever demonstrated. The mistake of this assumption is shown when the modern papacy is read back into the New Testament text, where such a concept never existed in the first place. The error is undeniable.

J. Salza: Mr. May kicks things off by blowing a lot of smoke at his readers, but we will soon discover how shallow his approach to Scripture and the Fathers really is. We will see whose position is more defensible exegetically. We will also see how the Fathers not only fail to help Mr. May, but actually refute his contentions.

It is also a typical ploy to accuse Catholics of “reading back” into the text. Mr. May confuses reading the plain meaning of the text with “reading back” into the text. As we proceed with this dialogue, the readers should pay close attention to who is actually reading the plain meaning of the text, and who is reading into the text that which he wishes to see. It will soon be obvious.

Matthew 16 13Now when Jesus came into the district of Caesarea Philippi, he asked his disciples, “Who do people say that the Son of Man is?” 14And they said, “Some say John the Baptist, others say Elijah, and others Jeremiah or one of the prophets.”

E. May: From the beginning the focus is on the person of Christ. Jesus asks the question, “Who do men say that I am? The Son of man?” He asks his disciples if men own him as the Messiah. They give differing, false opinions from the people. These opinions were good and honorable, but they were not true. They are high opinions, but not high enough. These opinions might honor Christ as prophet, but they do not rightly honor him as Messiah and Savior.

J. Salza: Agreed. And because the first part of Matthew 16 is about the person of Jesus, the second part of Matthew 16 (vv.18-19) is about the person of Peter. Mr. May properly sets the stage for the pending discussion. This set-up will ultimately support the Catholic position: Jesus builds the Church upon the person of Peter, not specifically upon Peter’s faith, which is what Mr. May will contend later on in the discussion.

15He said to them, “But who do you say that I am?” 16Simon Peter replied, “You are the Christ, the Son of the living God.” 17And Jesus answered him, “Blessed are you, Simon Bar-Jonah! For flesh and blood has not revealed this to you, but my Father who is in heaven.

E. May: Jesus then questions the opinions of the disciples. Surely the disciples, who were taught better than all others and shared more intimacy with Christ should render a correct answer. Before the disciples can be sent out for the work of ministry, they must display that they grasp the most important thing. If to them Christ was merely John the Baptist or Elijah, their mission for the church would surely fail. The success of the mission is based upon what truth it is built, and Jesus makes sure that the disciples are grasping the very essence of his ministry. Therefore, Jesus begins the examination. He questions to explore whether or not his closest followers have their mission built upon the firm foundation of who he is.

J. Salza: I have little problem with any of this, but it is a bit long winded and off line. Yes, Christ is establishing the Church which is part of His Messianic mission. The question Matthew 16 answers is upon whom Christ builds the Church and with whom Christ invests His authority to carry on His mission. As the text demonstrates (but which Mr. May denies), the answer is Peter.

E. May: Peter speaks for the other disciples and answers the question. Peter did indeed have the boldness to be forward on such matters, as we see in other New Testament texts. But this does not communicate any primacy or superiority of Peter above the rest of the Apostles, for we see others speaking as the mouth for the rest elsewhere (Mark 9:38; John 14:5, 8, 22).

J. Salza: Here is where Mr. May runs into trouble. He says that Peter’s declaration did not give Peter “any primacy or superiority” above the rest of the apostles. A plain reading of the subsequent text, however, demonstrates this is not at all the case. After Peter communicated the Father’s revelation, Jesus renamed Simon to Peter, declared that He would build the Church upon the rock of Peter, gave Peter the keys to the kingdom of heaven, and invested Peter with the singular authority to infallibly bind and loose (since what Peter binds or looses on earth will be bound or loosed in heaven). Jesus gave none of these privileges to the other apostles. So it is not only exegetically untenable but also dishonest for Mr. May to tell us Peter was not given “any primacy or superiority” over the other apostles. Mr. May accuses Catholics of “reading back” into the text what we want to see, and yet his own exegesis reveals himself guilty of the error, not me. The text is clear that Jesus was giving Simon Peter a unique role in the early Church, and the Fathers were unanimous about this fact.

E. May: Peter answers the question correctly; the disciples knew Christ to be the Son of the living God. While others thought him to be the ghost of Elijah or Jeremiah, they knew Christ to be the Son of the living God

J. Salza: No, Mr. May, only Peter “answers the question correctly.” Only Peter knew Christ to be the Son of God. The other “disciples” got it wrong (this is another example of Mr. May reading into the text what he wishes to see). That is why Jesus conferred upon Peter alone the special privileges of the keys and the singular authority to bind and loose. The readers will notice that Mr. May repeats this error in various ways throughout this dialogue. He does this in an attempt to minimize Peter’s importance. He wants you to believe that Jesus did not give any special privileges to Peter, but the text does not allow for such a conclusion.

E. May: But it is not as if anything within the disciple set them apart to know this correct answer. The fact that Peter answered correctly does not set Peter apart from the rest of the disciples, or even from those who answered incorrectly. This is because Peter’s knowledge depended upon divine revelation. It was God who was to receive the glory, not flesh and bone.

J. Salza: Amen, Mr. May. A Catholic could not have said it better. It was precisely because God gave Peter a divine revelation and Peter was able to infallibly communicate that revelation that Jesus chooses to build His Church upon Peter. God intruded into the mind of Peter and gave Him this infallible truth, and Peter was able to orally communicate that truth infallibly to Jesus and the other apostles. As Jesus indicates, it was not because of Peter’s own abilities or worthiness. It was also not because of Peter’s faith. Peter’s articulation of this Christological truth has nothing to do with Peter’s faith or worthiness. Jesus’ conferral of the divine privileges upon Peter has to do only with Peter’s ability to receive and communicate God’s divine revelation.

The implication of your statement in this section (that Peter’s knowledge was based on divine revelation) contradicts your subsequent arguments that Jesus builds the Church only on Peter’s “faith,” but not his “person.” There is nothing about “faith” in Matt. 16:18-19. The passage is about God giving Peter a divine revelation, and Peter communicating that revelation.

E. May: Peter received an undeserving blessing from above so that he was enabled to know the very truth on which all others were to be built–the very foundation on which the mission of the Apostles was to be fulfilled. Christ’s declaration of blessing upon Peter removed the opportunity for Peter to claim any glory for himself–something very habitual of the disciples. The grace of God mortifies pride, and Christ’s declaration of the grace of God upon the life of Peter in revealing truth to him removed any possibility for God’s glory to be robbed by a creature.

J. Salza: No problem. Peter would be nothing without Jesus. Catholics agree. But this isn’t relevant to the discussion. Mr. May is creating a straw man to knock down. Further, Mr. May must understand that even though Jesus is the rock of the Church and the keeper of the keys, He can and does share these distinctions with Peter. God is not intimidated by the glory He confers upon His children, so Mr. May shouldn’t be either.

E. May: Christ also reminds Peter of his roots: he was Bar-Jonah. Peter was not born to this dignity, but it was granted to him by divine grace–grace that does not allow the glory of God to stolen by the creature of God.

J. Salza: No problem here either. Catholics agree. It is precisely the fact that Peter is so human that underscores the divine gifts Jesus is now conferring upon him. This is why there is a major distinction between Peter’s authoritative teaching and his (or any pope’s) personal conduct.

18And I tell you, you are Peter, and on this rock I will build my church, and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it.

E. May: Jesus, using the emphatic pronoun (alluding back to Peter’s confession), states, “But I, the Messiah, for my part, tell you.” Peter had just received a revelation of truth from the father. Now he is about to receive truth from the Son. It is Christ who makes this statement. He is the church’s head. He is the ultimate authority.

J. Salza: Catholics agree. None of this is at issue. But again, even though Jesus is the ultimate authority, He has delegated to Peter the authority to rule the Church in His place as His Vicar, through the power of the keys. Jesus delegates His authority to Peter, but does not relinquish it. Jesus is still in charge, and Peter is directly accountable to Jesus for his actions. Jesus gave us many parables about how the Master would leave his land to his subjects, and then come back and render an account (see Mt 21:33-44; 25:14-30; Mk 12:1-11; Lk 16:1-10; 19:11-27; 20:9-18). This is precisely what Jesus will do with the leaders He has placed over the Church, beginning with Peter and his successors. Peter himself knew this all too well when he wrote “For the time has come for judgment to begin with the household of God; and if it begins with us, what will be the end of those who do not obey the gospel of God?” (1 Pet 4:17).

E. May: Jesus singles out Peter, once again alluding back to the statement, “You, you who just made that statement.” Just as Peter singled out Jesus and revealed his identity, Jesus is about to single out Peter and reveal his identity. He states, “You are ?????? (Petros),” and follows that up with, “and on this ????? (petra) I will build my church.”

J. Salza: This is good exegesis. Mr. May identifies the parallel between Jesus’ person and Peter’s person. Just as Peter’s confession was about the person of Jesus, Jesus’ declarations will now be about the person (or “identity” as Mr. May says) of Peter. The problem with Mr. May’s position is that he later argues that Jesus doesn’t build His Church upon the person of Peter, but upon Peter’s faith. This is a glaring inconsistency in Mr. May’s argumentation.

E. May: To what petra refers has been debated among exegetes. It can basically be broken down into three categories:

1. Christological (Christ is the Rock) -Augustine

2. Petrine (Peter is the Rock) -Tertullian, Cyprian, and Basil the Great

3. Faith (the confession is the Rock) -Chrysostom and Cyril of Jerusalem

From a theological perspective, any of the three could be accepted.

J. Salza: Catholics have no problem in calling all three categories true. Jesus is the rock, and He shares His rock status with Peter. Peter’s faith may also be called “rock,” but this is a less acceptable conclusion for a couple of reasons. First, Matthew 16:18-19 never uses the word “faith.” The passage is not about Peter’s faith, but his communication of God’s divine revelation. Second, Scripture never equates “rock” with “faith.” Scripture associates “rock” with “persons,” such as Christ (1 Cor 10:4), Peter (John 1:42) and Abraham (Isaiah 51:1-2). Third, we can’t divorce Peter’s faith from Peter’s person. Faith is an attribute of who Peter is as a person. Fourth, because Peter was speaking about Jesus as a person, Jesus was in turn speaking about Peter as a person, not his faith, as Mr. May pointed out a few paragraphs ago.

E. May: Christ is the Rock on which the church is built (Isaiah 28:16). The stone is laid by Christ (“I will build it”), and the stone is Christ. Christ is the only solid foundation. He is the firm rock that will not sink under the weight of the building.

J. Salza: While it is true that Jesus is the real rock of the Church, that is not what Jesus says in Matthew 16:18. Jesus says Peter is the rock on which He will build the Church. Mr. May feels the need to switch to Isaiah 28:16, but we are exegeting Matthew 16:18-19, not Isaiah 28:16.

Mr. May’s exegesis reveals further problems because He says “Christ is the rock on which the Church is built,” and then says “I will build it” in reference to Christ. Notice how Mr. May puts words into the mouth of Scripture. Matthew 16:18-19 does not say “Christ is the rock on which the Church is built.” It says Peter (Petros) is the rock on which the Church is built. Moreover, since Jesus says He is the one who will build the Church (v.18), Jesus cannot be both the rock and the builder. As the text plainly says, Peter is the rock, and Jesus is the builder. So, brothers, you judge who is “reading into the text” what he wants to see.

E. May: But we also see an emphasis from the text on the confession of who Christ is. From the beginning, Jesus examined his disciples, asking “But who do you say that I am.” He made certain that they passed the examination of affirming that which is most important. This confession was given to the disciples by divine revelation.

J. Salza: I warned the readers about this recurring error in Mr. May’s exegesis, and here it is again. Mr. May keeps saying that the “confession was giving to the disciples by divine revelation.” First, the confession is not what is given; the revelation is what is given. Second, the Father gave the revelation to Peter alone, not the disciples. The disciples got the question wrong. Mr. May wants to “read into the text” that the other disciples also received the revelation in order to minimize Peter’s uniqueness, but the text is clear that Peter alone received and communicated the revelation.

E. May: But there is also a possibility of the Rock, while primarily and most importantly representing Christ himself, being allegorical of the apostles (represented by Peter) who were to be the foundation of the church (Ephesians 2:20). For Romanists, this verse not only affirms the preeminence of Peter as the Prince of the apostles, but it also lays the groundwork for the establishment of a permanent Roman see with full Petrine authority.

J. Salza: As he did with Isaiah 28:16, Mr. May now shifts to another verse (this time, Ephesians 2:20) to help him interpret Matthew 16:18-19. But no problem. Ephesians 2:20 says that the apostles are the foundation of the Church. Matthew 16:18-19 says that Peter is the rock of the Church, and the keeper of the keys. This demonstrates the Catholic position that the Church is built upon persons, not the “Bible,” or “faith” as Mr. May contends. This also demonstrates that, even though Jesus is the rock, foundation, cornerstone and source of all power and truth, He confers these distinctions upon certain members of the Church, most especially Peter. Peter is the rock upon which the foundation is laid. This also means the Church is hierarchical and authoritative, not merely mystical and invisible which is how Protestants understand “church.”

E. May: But this is simply not something that is presented in this passage. Is the man who lays the first stone to be the sole foundation? Does Peter’s being called “Rock” necessitate an infallible pontiff of the entire church, from whom there is an apostolic succession? I think we can fairly answer “Absolutely not.”

J. Salza: Notice how Mr. May wants to shift your attention away from Matt 16:18-19 and to Ephesians 2:20 to disprove the “preeminence of Peter as the Prince of the Apostles.” But we are not using Ephesians 2:20; we are using Matthew 16:18-19. In Matthew 16:18-19, Jesus changes Simon’s name to Peter, says He will build the Church upon Peter, gives Peter the keys to the kingdom, and gives Peter the authority to bind and loose. THAT, Mr. May, is what demonstrates the “preeminence of Peter as the Prince of the Apostles.” It is interesting that you used the title “Prince of the Apostles.” This title, which distinguishes Peter from the rest of the apostles, was used by many of the early Church Fathers in describing Peter and his authority over the apostles. I am assuming you agree that Peter is indeed the Prince of the Apostles. But you say that Peter had no authority over them? Help us with that, Mr. May (using Scripture and the Fathers).

You imply that calling Peter “rock” does not “necessitate an infallible Pontiff,” and then make a statement about “apostolic succession.” Let’s deal with these one at a time. First, you admitted that Peter made an infallible declaration in calling Jesus the Christ, which He received from the Father. So you are not going to deny that God gives Peter the ability to communicate infallibly, are you? And as a result of Peter’s infallible declaration, Jesus says He will build His Church upon Peter, and gives Peter the keys to the kingdom of heaven and the authority to bind and loose. Jesus’ affirms Peter as the infallible leader of the Church, as evidenced by his revelatory declaration, new name, keys, and infallible binding and loosing authority. As you may know, “binding” and “loosing” are rabbinical terms that deal with making doctrinal pronouncements and disciplinary decrees for the faithful.

In this regard, Jesus promises that whatever Peter binds or looses on earth will be bound or loosed in heaven. Because God cannot lie (Titus 1:2), Jesus could only make such a sweeping promise to Peter if He guaranteed that Peter’s teaching would be infallible. Otherwise, the gates of hell would indeed prevail. Thus, just as God intruded into the mind of Peter and gave him the revelation that Jesus is the Christ, God continues to penetrate Peter’s mind so that what he binds or looses on earth can be ratified by heaven. God prevents Peter from teaching error (which is the definition of infallibility). You can’t get much more explicit in demonstrating infallible teaching authority than Matthew 16:18-19.

Which brings us to your comment about “apostolic succession.” The Fathers also understood the keys to be a symbol of dynastic succession to Peter’s seat of authority. This seat of authority would replace Moses’ seat of authority then occupied by the Sanhedrin. The keys were symbols of authority and succession. We see reference to the keys in Isaiah 22 where David’s vicar had the keys to the kingdom and the authority to open and shut. Jesus, the Son of David, also appoints a Vicar over His kingdom, and gives him the keys of the kingdom and the authority to bind (shut) and loose (open). The Fathers were unanimous in their understanding of the keys. Your exegesis fails to address the critical significance that the “keys” have on this discussion.

E. May: Christ promises to preserve his church. The gates of hell will not prevail against it. This is because it is built upon the firm foundation of Christ himself, upon the very confession that Christ is the Messiah, the Son of the living God, upon Christ’s laying of the foundation of the Apostles (represented by Peter the Rock). It is all about Christ!

J. Salza: We have been over this before. Yes, it is all about Christ. But this does not mean that Christ cannot delegate His authority to Peter, which is what the Scriptures say He does. Notice also Mr. May’s equivocation. First he says the Church “is built upon the firm foundation of Christ himself.” But then he says it is built “upon the very confession that Christ is the Messiah.” Which one is it, Mr. May? Is the Church built upon the foundation of Christ or the confession of Peter? Mr. May certainly has a way of twisting Scripture. Matthew 16:18-19 says that the Church is built upon the rock of Peter, and that is a tough pill for Mr. May to swallow.

19-I will give you the keys of the kingdom of heaven, and whatever you bind on earth shall be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven.”

E. May: Christ the king will (future tense) give the keys of the kingdom to his Apostles.

J. Salza: Dear readers, here is yet another example of the bias in Mr. May’s exegesis. Remember, I warned you that Mr. May would continue to attribute Peter’s divine privileges to the other apostles. He does it again here. He “reads into” the text what he wants to see. Jesus does not give the keys of the kingdom “to his Apostles.” Jesus gives the keys to Peter alone. Mr. May, if you disagree, then please give us book, chapter and verse where Jesus gives the keys to the other apostles. Mr. May must argue this in order to downplay Peter’s significance. If Jesus really gives Peter alone the keys, then it looks like Peter has special authority that the other apostles do not have. And then it begins to look like the Catholic position has merit. How does Mr. May deal with this? He says Jesus gave the keys to all the apostles, not just Peter.

E. May: They will unlock the door to the Gentiles, an act that specifically Peter performs (Acts 10:28). As Christ ascended on high, he gave gifts to the Church (Eph 4:11). From Christ, the ministers (not just Peter but the rest as well [John 20:21]) receive the authority and power.

J. Salza: Peter unlocks the door to the Gentiles because he is the one with the keys. This supports the Catholic position. Unlocking the door to the Gentiles is a divine act that only Jesus can do, and yet Peter performs the act. Why? Because Jesus delegated divine authority to Peter, and Peter acts in Jesus’ name. Also, note that the authority to “bind and loose” is not limited to “unlocking the door to the Gentiles.” It also refers to declaring dogmatic and disciplinary decrees as well as forgiving and retaining sin (which is set forth in the passage Mr. May cites, John 20:21-23).

E. May: With the keys of doctrine and discipline, the Apostles will bind and loose, unlock and lock, doing so with the authority of heaven.

J. Salza: Yes, Mr. May, the keys do the locking and unlocking, and they are Jesus’ keys. But what does Jesus do with the keys? He gives them to Peter, to act on His behalf while He is in heaven. That means, in your own words, Peter “will bind and loose, unlock and lock, doing so with the authority of heaven.” In other words, Peter will teach infallibly.

It is true that Jesus confers binding and loosing authority on the rest of the apostles in Matthew 18:17-18, but Jesus gives Peter alone the keys. Since the binding (shutting) and loosing (opening) authority are derived from the keys which Peter alone holds, the other apostles can only bind and loose when in union with Peter. Thus, Jesus gives Peter the singular authority to bind and loose, and the apostles the collective authority to bind and loose (Jesus doesn’t single any apostle out when he confers upon them binding and loosing authority in Mt 18:18 because he has already identified Peter as the one with the keys in Mt 16:19). In order for there to be unity in the Church, the apostles will have to be united to Peter when they bind and loose. Otherwise, there would be inconsistency in doctrine. Heaven cannot lie, and heaven is the one confirming the binding and loosing authority of Peter.

E. May: Matthew Henry states, “It shall be bound in heaven, and loosed in heaven: not that Christ hath hereby obliged himself to confirm all church-censures, right or wrong; but such as are duly passed according to the word, clave non errante – the key turning the right way, such are sealed in heaven; that is, the word of the gospel, in the mouth of faithful ministers, is to be locked upon, not as the word of man, but as the word of God, and to be received accordingly (1 Thess. 2:13, John 12:20).”

J. Salza: The Greek uses the passive voice which indicates that heaven is receiving the binding and loosing from Peter. This is an incredible statement that Jesus makes. Heaven will ratify Peter’s binding and loosing decisions. But in order for this to be true, Peter must be prevented from teaching error, for God cannot lie. Thus, God must penetrate the mind of Peter (just as He did when Peter confessed Jesus as the Messiah) and prevent him from teaching error. Otherwise, Jesus could not make such a sweeping promise. All this supports the Catholic understanding of the papacy.

Also, Mr. May cites 1 Thess. 2:13 in which Paul says that the oral teaching of the apostles is the word of God. If Mr. May believes in sola Scriptura, then how does he reconcile the doctrine with Paul’s teaching in 1 Thess. 2:13? Sola Scriptura holds that the word of God comes only through the Scriptures, and that this is what was taught to the first century Church. If that is true, Mr. May, then how come Paul teaches the Thessalonians that the word of God comes to us orally as well?

E. May: This is what the text states. It is neither less nor more than what the text states. It is as far as the text allows, and exactly that far. This is consistent Biblical exegesis that does not attempt to impose theological agendas upon unsuspecting passages.

J. Salza: Yes, the text states that Simon spoke infallibly, that Jesus changed Simon’s name to Peter, that Jesus promised to build His Church upon Peter, that the gates of hell would not prevail against this Church built upon the rock of Peter, that Jesus would give Peter the keys to the kingdom of heaven, and that Peter would having the authority to bind and loose in heaven what he bound and loosed on earth.

So, yes, Mr. May, “this is what the text states. It is neither less nor more than what the text states.” And it provides the basis for papal infallibility – Jesus puts one man in charge; his authority and successive office is symbolized by the keys of the kingdom; and his infallibility is guaranteed by the promise of Jesus Christ Himself:

“Whatever you bind on earth will be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth will be loosed in heaven” (Matt 16:19).

E. May: Yet there are other questions we must ask. Do Romanists really believe that Peter understood these words in the sense that they interpret them? Did Peter view this as Jesus giving him ultimate and infallible authority over the church? Did the rest of the disciples view it in this manner (the disciples who later argued over who was the greatest)?

J. Salza: Mr. May wants us to read Peter’s mind to determine what Jesus meant. Mr. May, why don’t you simply read what the text says? If you read what the text says, you see that Jesus conferred a special charism of authority and infallibility upon Peter. Jesus renamed Simon to Peter, said He would build the Church upon him, gave him the keys to the kingdom, and promised him that what he bound or loosed would be bound or loosed in heaven. If what Peter binds or looses is ratified by heaven, then Peter acts with infallible authority. As you have said yourself, “this is what the text says.”

The early Fathers all viewed Peter as the head of the Church. I have scores of patristic quotations that are too voluminous to post on the site, but I will email them to you separately if you wish. Peter’s declarations and actions in the book of Acts and elsewhere further support the Catholic understanding of papal authority. And Linus (who followed Peter), Anacletus, Clement, etc. all understood Jesus word’s the same way. That is why we see men succeeding to the chair of Peter in the early Church, even though it meant certain martyrdom. Mr. May, we can all be thankful for the witness these men gave to Christ by the very shedding of their own blood.

E. May: Peter himself gives us an answer:

1 Peter 2 4As you come to him, a living stone rejected by men but in the sight of God chosen and precious, 5you yourselves like living stones are being built up as a spiritual house, to be a holy priesthood, to offer spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God through Jesus Christ. 6For it stands in Scripture: “Behold, I am laying in Zion a stone, a cornerstone chosen and precious, and whoever believes in him will not be put to shame.” 7So the honor is for you who believe, but for those who do not believe, “The stone that the builders rejected has become the cornerstone,” 8and “A stone of stumbling, and a rock of offense.” They stumble because they disobey the word, as they were destined to do.

E. May: The precious stone and cornerstone, the rock upon which the Church will be built, according to Peter, is not himself, but the Lord Jesus Christ.

J. Salza: I am surprised by such shoddy exegesis. Just because Peter says Jesus is the cornerstone in 1 Peter 2:4, Mr. May concludes that Peter is not the rock of the Church in Matthew 16:18. Mr. May’s faulty exegesis assumes that attributions used in Scripture can be applied to only one person. This is not so. For example:

  • in Ephesians 2:20, the apostles are called the foundation of the Church;
  • in 1 Corinthians 3:11, Jesus is called the foundation of the Church.
  • In 1 Corinthians 3:12, the faithful build upon the foundation;
  • in Matthew 16:18, Jesus builds upon the foundation.
  • In 1 Peter 2:5, the faithful are called the stones of God’s spiritual house;
  • in Acts 4:11, Jesus is called the stone of God’s house.
  • In 1 Corinthians 3:16, the faithful are the temple of God;
  • in Apocalypse 21:22, Jesus is the temple of God.
  • In Acts 20:28, the apostles are called the bishops of the flock;
  • in 1 Peter 2:25, Jesus is called the Bishop of the flock.

If Scripture applies the words “foundation,” “builders,” “stones,” “temple,” and “bishop” to both Jesus and His faithful, nothing prevents Scripture from applying the word “rock” to both Jesus and Peter. Moreover, we don’t need Matthew 16:18 to prove Peter is the rock because Jesus called Peter the rock in John 1:42! That is the fatal blow to Mr. May’s thesis about who is the rock.

E. May: Furthermore, he does not view himself as being vested with authority over the other apostles:

1 Peter 5 1So I exhort the elders among you, as a fellow elder and a witness of the sufferings of Christ, as well as a partaker in the glory that is going to be revealed: 2shepherd the flock of God that is among you, exercising oversight, not under compulsion, but willingly, as God would have you; not for shameful gain, but eagerly; 3not domineering over those in your charge, but being examples to the flock. 4And when the chief Shepherd appears, you will receive the unfading crown of glory.

E. May: Peter refers to himself merely as a fellow elder with the other elders of the Church. All of these elders are under the ultimate authority of the Lord Jesus Christ. Peter does not think of himself as the vicar of Christ or the visible head of the Church. Rather, he views himself as an apostle among other apostles, as a fellow elder with other elders. The only head and ruler of the Church is Jesus Christ.

J. Salza: This is another silly argument. Peter, under divine inspiration, is giving an order to the clergy to tend the flock of God. Peter issues the order by saying “I exhort the presbyters” (v.1). This would certainly be presumptuous if Peter had no authority over them. We might also ask Mr. May why Peter’s humility undermines his authority? Jesus describes Himself as “meek and humble of heart” (Mt 11:29). Does that lessen Jesus’ authority, Mr. May? Of course not.

By calling himself a fellow presbyter, Peter is imitating the humility of His Lord, which he also commands his readers to practice elsewhere in Scripture. Peter imitated the Lord’s humility all the way to his own crucifixion. Presumably, Mr. May would not argue that the President of the United States undermines his authority when he says “My fellow Americans.” Nor should he argue the same regarding Peter.

Matthew 16: Examining Vatican I

E. May: Before examining Matthew 16 from a historical perspective, we must be reminded of the qualifications which Vatican I has set for us. What is the interpretation that Vatican I demands? The First Vatican Council (1869-70) convened by Pope Pius IX, affirmed that it could validate its claims and its interpretation of Matthew 16:18-19 by the practice of the Church throughout the ages, as well as through the “unanimous consent” of the Fathers. We must remember this as we look from the historical perspective. Vatican I necessitates that its interpretation of Matthew 16 be the unanimous consent of the early Fathers. Vatican I necessitates that we see Peter as the undisputed head and ruler of the Church, acknowledged as such by the apostles and the Church in general. It necessitates that the early church recognize the bishop of Rome as the infallible successor of Peter, with all authority concerning doctrine and practice.

From the council of Trent:

Furthermore, to check unbridled spirits, itt (sic) decrees that no one relying on his own judgment shall, in matters of faith and morals pertaining to the edification of Christian doctrine, distorting the Holy Scriptures in accordance with his own conceptions, presume to interpret them contrary to that sense which holy mother Church, to whom it belongs to judge of their true sense and interpretation, has held and holds, or even contrary to the unanimous consent of the Fathers, even though such interpretations should never at any time be published.–The Council of Trent, 4th Session, the Canonical Scriptures, Rockford:Tan (1978), pp. 18-19

Later affirmed by Vatican I:

And as the things which the holy Synod of Trent decreed for the good of souls concerning the interpretation of Divine Scripture, in order to curb rebellious spirits, have been wrongly explained by some, we, renewing the said decree, declare this to be their sense, that, in matters of faith and morals, appertaining to the building up of Christian doctrine, that is to be held as the true sense of Holy Scripture which our holy Mother Church hath held and holds, to whom it belongs to judge of the true sense and interpretation of the Holy Scripture; and therefore that it is permitted to no one to interpret the Sacred Scripture contrary to this sense, nor, likewise, contrary to the unanimous consent of the Fathers.–Philip Schaff, Dogmatic Decrees of the Vatican Council, as found in The Creeds of Christendom, Vol II, New York:Harper (1877), p. 242

From these quotes we learn two things:

1. Only the Roman Catholic church has the authority to accurately interpret Scripture.

2. No one, not even the RCC herself, is to hold an interpretation contrary to the unanimous consent of the Fathers.

Matthew 16: Historical Perspectives

How did the early Fathers view Matthew 16? Did they view it as an establishment of Peter as infallible pope, with authority over all of the church, with a line of successors coming from him?

J. Salza: This warrants additional commentary. First, notice that the Church says we are bound to the Fathers’ interpretation of Scripture when they are unanimous in their interpretation. While there were about a hundred Fathers worthy of note who wrote about the papacy, Mr. May mentions only about a dozen of them, and quotes from less than ten (and I will deal with each quotation). Needless to say, this does not represent a majority of them. Mr. May wishes to give the impression that we are dealing with the unanimity the Church requires, but this is not so. I point this out only to highlight the errors in Mr. May’s approach. He habitually overstates his case and then fails to deliver. I am pleased to dig into the Fathers and demonstrate how they are harmful to Mr. May’s position, and fully support Catholic teaching.

Second, as we will see, Mr. May quotes from the early Fathers primarily to prove that Peter is not really the rock of the Church. He ignores the other relevant issues concerning Peter and the keys, his binding and loosing authority, and his position as chief shepherd over the whole Church. Anyway, Mr. May’s attempt to prove from the Fathers that Peter is not the rock of the Church causes him two insurmountable problems: (1) John 1:42 already demonstrates that Peter is the “rock”; and, (2) For every quote Mr. May provides, I provide at least another quote from the same father indicating that Peter is the rock foundation of the Church.

So what will Mr. May do? Well, he might be honest with us and change his position about Peter not being the rock of the Church. Or, he might accuse me of misreading the Fathers or say the quotes are irrelevant or not binding. We shall see. I will let you be the judge of the quotes from the Fathers.

Augustine:

But whom say ye that I am? Peter answered, ‘Thou art the Christ, the Son of the living God.’ One for many gave the answer, Unity in many. Then said the Lord to him, ‘Blessed art thou, Simon Barjonas: for flesh and blood hath not revealed it unto thee, but My Father which is in heaven.’ Then He added, ‘and I say unto thee.’ As if He had said, ‘Because thou hast said unto Me, ‘Thou art the Christ the Son of the living God,” I also say unto thee, ‘Thou art Peter.” For before he was called Simon. Now this name of Peter was given him by the Lord, and in a figure, that he should signify the Church. For seeing that Christ is the rock (petra), Peter is the Christian people. For the rock (petra) is the original name. Therefore Peter is so called from the rock; not the rock from Peter; as Christ is not called Christ from the Christian, but the Christian from Christ. ‘Therefore,’ he saith, ‘Thou art Peter; and upon this Rock’ which thou hast confessed, upon this rock which thou hast acknowledged, saying, ‘Thou art the Christ, the Son of the living God, will I build My Church;’ that is upon Myself, the Son of the Living God, ‘will I build My Church.’ I will build thee upon Myself, not Myself upon Thee.

E. May: Augustine considered Christ to be the petra in this passage, and Peter, being the Petros, represented all Christians who are built upon the firm foundation of Christ himself.

J. Salza: Augustine is not saying that Peter is not the rock of the Church, as Mr. May contends. Augustine is saying that Jesus is the rock and Peter is grafted into Jesus because he is Jesus’ Vicar. Jesus is the source, not Peter. That is why Augustine says “Peter is so called from the rock; not the rock from Peter.” This is what I have said all along. Jesus is the rock, but He shares this status with Peter. Augustine’s comments underscore that Peter has truly received a divine appointment from Christ. He rules and governs the Church as the Vicar of Jesus Christ Himself.

Augustine’s comments also highlight the unifying principle that Peter’s seat of authority brings about in Christ’s true Church. Augustine says “Peter is the Christian people” because Peter is the source of unity for the entire, universal, Catholic Church. This is why the thousands of Protestant denominations (all who reject papal authority and even disagree with each other on basic Christian doctrines) cannot be Christ’s true Church.

Augustine also says:

“Number the priests even from that seat of Peter. And in that order of fathers see to whom succeeded: that is the rock which the proud gates of hades do not conquer.” Augustine, Psalmus contro Partem Donati (A.D. 393).

J. Salza: Augustine recognizes not only Peter’s seat of authority, but also that Peter’s chair has successors. Mr. May, who are Peter’s successors? Can you provide us a list? I can. Here it is.. We also see that Augustine equates “rock” with the papacy as a whole (not just Christ or Peter) when he speaks of the succession to the chair. Augustine does not help Mr. May’s case.

Cyprian:

Certainly the other Apostles also were what Peter was, endued with an equal fellowship both of honour and power; but a commencement is made from unity, that the Church may be set before us as one; which one Church, in the Song of Songs, doth the Holy Spirit design and name in the Person of our Lord.

E. May: Cyprian, though recognizing the rock as Peter, recognized the true Rock to be Christ, and Peter representing all of the church in unity.

J. Salza: That is exactly what I have said all along. Jesus is the rock, and yet He calls Peter the rock as well. He shares with Peter His “rock” status. And I am glad that Mr. May correctly points out that Peter represents “all of the church in unity.” A Catholic could not have said it better. One must ask where such unity exists in Mr. May’s church.

E. May: Roman Catholic historian Michael Winter acknowledges that Cyprian refers to Peter in a non-Roman sense:

Cyprian used the Petrine text of Matthew to defend episcopal authority, but many later theologians, influenced by the papal connections of the text, have interpreted Cyprian in a pro-papal sense which was alien to his thought. . . Cyprian would have used Matthew 16 to defend the authority of any bishop, but since he happened to employ it for the sake of the Bishop of Rome, it created the impression that he understood it as referring to papal authority. . . Catholics as well as Protestants are now generally agreed that Cyprian did not attribute a superior authority to Peter. Michael Winter, St. Peter and the Popes (Westport: Greenwood, 1960), pp. 47-48.

J. Salza: Perhaps uncomfortable with the Scriptures, Mr. May feels the need to quote from some obscure historian to advance his case. I too can quote from historians and apologists to advance my case. I suggest, however, that we stick to the Scriptures and the Fathers. And, by the way, speaking of Cyprian, the following quotes show just how little the historian Michael Winter knows about him. Look what Cyprian says about Peter:

“For first to Peter, upon whom He built the Church, and from whom He appointed and showed that unity should spring, the Lord gave this power that that should be in heaven which he should have loosed on earth.” Cyprian, c.A.D. 246, Ep. lxxiii ad Fubaian. p. 131, in Colin Lindsay, The Evidence for the Papacy, (London: Longmans, 1870), 23.

“Peter, also to whom the Lord commends His sheep to be fed and guarded, on whom He laid the foundation of the Church.” Cyprian, c.A.D. 246, De Habitu Virg., p. 176, in Colin Lindsay, The Evidence for the Papacy, (London: Longmans, 1870), 23.

“On him He builds the Church, and to him He gives the command to feed the sheep; and although He assigns a like power to all the Apostles, yet He founded a single chair, and He established by His own authority a source and an intrinsic reason for that unity. Indeed, the others were that also which Peter was; but a primacy is given to Peter, whereby it is made clear that there is but one Church and one chair.” Cyprian, c.A.D. 246, De ecclesiae catholicae unitate 4, in Jurgen’s The Faith of the Early Fathers, vol. 1 (Collegeville, MN: The Liturgical Press, 1970), p. 220.

J. Salza: Mr. May, did you catch that? Cyprian says “but a primacy is given to Peter, whereby it is made clear that there is but one Church and one chair.” Will you now recant your irresponsible reliance upon Michael Winter and your own position that Peter does not have primacy?

Anyone with a basic knowledge of the early Church Fathers would never make the claims that Mr. May advances. It just shows that Mr. May doesn’t really know the Fathers or Scripture like he thinks he does. Here is yet another quote from Cyprian:

“If someone does not hold fast to this unity of Peter, can he imagine that he still holds the faith? If he desert the chair of Peter upon whom the Church was built, can he still be confident that he is in the Church?” Cyprian, c.A.D. 246.

J. Salza: Mr. May, I will ask you the same question that Cyprian asks (the same Cyprian you attempted to quote from to prove your case): If you don’t hold fast to the unity of Peter, do you imagine that you still hold the faith? If you desert the chair of Peter (Mr. May doesn’t even believe there is a chair of Peter), do you still think you are in the Church?

John Chrysostom:

E. May: Chrysostom viewed the rock to be Peter’s confession of faith:

The Lord favours Peter, giving him a great reward, because he built the church upon him. For since Peter had confessed Jesus son of God, Jesus said that this confession which Peter uttered would be the foundation of future believers, just as every man should be about to raise up the house of faith and should be about to lay this foundation. For even if we put together innumerable virtues, we, however, may not have the foundation — a proper confession, and we build in vain. Moreover since Jesus said my church, he showed himself to be the lord of creation: for all realities serve God. . . .Therefore if we shall have been confirmed in the confession of Christ, the gates of hell, that is, sins, will not prevail against us. –Cited by John Bigane, Faith, Christ or Peter: Matthew 16:18 in Sixteenth-Century Roman Catholic Exegesis (Washington D.C.: University Press, 1981), pp. 31-32.

J. Salza: Chrysostom’s first statement is that Jesus “built the church upon him [Peter].” This flatly contradicts Mr. May’s position. Chrysostom says nothing about faith in this statement. He then says Jesus also builds upon Peter’s faith as well, but as I have said before, this is no problem for the Catholic position. Jesus can build upon both. The problem is divorcing Peter’s faith from his person. Faith is just one attribute of Peter’s person. Nothing in Scripture ever limits Jesus’ building to the faith of Peter. Further, Scripture never equates “rock” with “faith” and never says that the Church is built upon “faith,” but upon persons. That is why Jesus calls the person of Peter the “rock” in John 1:42. Surely Mr. May is not going to argue that John 1:42 is about Peter’s faith but not his person, is he?

E. May: Furthermore, while Chrysostom refers to Peter as the first of the apostles, the leader of the apostles, etc, he also refers to other apostles having primacy in other passages:

“James was invested with the chief rule [in Acts 15], and think it no hardship. So clean was their soul from love of glory. ‘And after that they had held their peace, James answered,’ etc. (v. 13.) Peter indeed spoke more strongly, but James here more mildly: for thus it behooves one in high authority, to leave what is unpleasant for others to say, while he himself appears in the milder part.” (Homilies on the Acts of the Apostles, 33)

J. Salza: This quote proves that Peter had authority over James, which doesn’t help Mr. May’s case at all. Peter is the one who spoke what was “unpleasant.” James spoke “more mildly” because he was under Peter’s authority. That is why Peter issued the doctrinal decision in Acts 15, and James followed the decision, only adding his pastoral opinion regarding the application of the Noachide laws. This is also why Paul spent 15 days with Peter, not James, when he went to Jerusalem (even though James was the bishop of Jerusalem; see Gal. 1:18-19). Mr. May’s quote of Chrysostom proves too much for him. Look at what else Chrysostom says which denies Mr. May’s thesis:

“Peter, that Leader of the choir, that Mouth of the rest of the Apostles, that Head of the brotherhood, that One set over the entire universe, that Foundation of the Church.” John Chrysostom, c.A.D. 387, T. iii. Hom. de Dec. Mill. Talent. n. 3, p. 4, 5, in Colin Lindsay, The Evidence for the Papacy, (London: Longmans, 1870), 41.

“This very Peter – and when I name Peter I name that unbroken Rock, that firm Foundation, the Great Apostle, the First of the disciples, the First called, and the First who obeyed.” John Chrysostom, c.A.D. 387, T. ii. Hom. iii. de Paenit. n. 4, p. 300, in Colin Lindsay, The Evidence for the Papacy, (London: Longmans, 1870), 41.

“In those days Peter rose up in the midst of the disciples” (Acts i.15): “Both as being ardent, and as intrusted by Christ with the flock,…he first acts with authority in this matter, as having all put into his hands; for to him Christ had said, ‘And thou, being converted, confirm thy brethren.” John Chrysostom, A.D. 387, Hom. iii. in Act. Apost. Tom. ix. p. 26, in Charles F. B. Allnatt, ed., Cathedra Petri – The Titles and Prerogatives of St. Peter, (London: Burns & Oates, 1879), 37.

“And should any one say, ‘Why then did James receive the throne of Jerusalem?’: this is my answer: that He appointed this man (Peter) not teacher of that throne, but of the habitable globe.” John Chrysostom, A.D. 387, Ib. Hom. lxxxviii. n. 6, p. 600, in Joseph Berrington, John Kirk, eds., and James Waterworth, rev. The Faith of Catholics, vol. 2 (New York: Pustet & Co., 1884), 34.

E. May: In regards to apostolic succession, Chrysostom refers to Ignatius, a bishop of Antioch, as the successor of Peter:

“At all events the master of the whole world, Peter, to whose hands He committed the keys of heaven, whom He commanded to do and to bear all, He bade tarry here [Antioch] for a long period. Thus in His sight our city was equivalent to the whole world. But since I have mentioned Peter, I have perceived a fifth crown woven from him, and this is that this man [Ignatius of Antioch] succeeded to the office after him. For just as any one taking a great stone from a foundation hastens by all means to introduce an equivalent to it, lest he should shake the whole building, and make it more unsound, so, accordingly, when Peter was about to depart from here, the grace of the Spirit introduced another teacher equivalent to Peter, so that the building already completed should not be made more unsound by the insignificance of the successor.” (Homily on St. Ignatius, 4)

E. May: Does this mean that Chrysostom considered James to be Pope? Does this mean that Chrysostom considered Ignatius to be Pope? No, and neither was Chrysostom referring to Peter as Pope when he referred to him as Rock. Rather, it is the message of the gospel that leads to true apostolic succession.

J. Salza: Mr. May is confusing Peter’s ordination of bishops with successors to the chair of Peter. Here, Chrysostom is telling us that Ignatius succeeded Peter as the bishop of Antioch. The historical record indicates that Peter ordained Ignatius as bishop of Antioch. Before Peter’s ordination of Ignatius, Peter was in charge of Antioch. This homily has nothing to do with the succession to Peter’s office. So Mr. May’s usage of this quotation is entirely misplaced.

This is also the same Ignatius who held to the primacy of the Church in Rome. I guess that makes Ignatius a “Romanist,” according to Mr. May’s terminology. He says:

“Ignatius, also called Theophorus, to the Church that has found mercy in the transcendent Majesty of the Most High Father and of Jesus Christ, His only Son; the church by the will of Him who willed all things that exist, beloved and illuminated through the faith and love of Jesus Christ our God; which also presides in the chief place of the Roman territory; a church worthy of God, worthy of honor, worthy of felicitation, worthy of praise, worthy of success, worthy of sanctification, and presiding in love, maintaining the law of Christ…You have never grudged any man. You have taught others.” Ignatius, A.D. 106, Epistle to the Romans, Preface, The Epistles of St. Clement of Rome and St. Ignatius of Antioch, Ancient Christian Writers, (New York: Newman Press, 1946), trans. James A. Kleist.

J. Salza: By the way, this is also the same Ignatius of Antioch who claimed membership in the Catholic Church, believed in baptismal regeneration, and said that we eat the flesh of Christ in the Eucharist. I doubt that Mr. May wants to deal with Ignatius’ views on baptism or the Eucharist, which fully support Catholic doctrine. We can save these topics for another time.

Basil the Great:

And the house of God, located on the peaks of the mountains, is the Chruch (sic) according to the opinion of the Apostle. For he says that one must know “how to behave in the household of God.” Now the foundation of this Church are the holy mountains, since it is built upon the foundation of the apostles and prophets. One of these mountains was indeed Peter, upon which rock the Lord promised to build his Church. Truly indeed and by highest right are sublime and elevated souls, souls which raise themselves above earthly things, called “mountains.” The soul of the blessed Peter was called a lofty rock because he had a strong mooring in the faith and bore constantly and bravely the blows inflicted by temptations. All, therefore, who have acquired an understanding of the Godhead–on account of the breadth of mind and of those actions which proceed from it–are the peaks of the mountains, and upon the house of God is built. (Commentary on the Prophet Isaiah, Cap. II.66, PG 30:233)

E. May: In this passage, Basil states that Peter is one part of the foundation, that the mountains are the apostles and prophets, and Peter is but one of them. He is a rock, not because he is the foundation of the church, but “because he had a strong mooring in the faith and bore constantly and bravely the blows inflicted by temptations.”

J. Salza: If it were only that simple for Mr. May. We see that Basil calls Peter the rock on which Jesus builds the Church. In fact, Peter is the only apostle singled out in Basil’s analysis. Further, no one is saying that the Church is not built upon the other apostles. Basil, like Scripture, makes a distinction between the “rock” of Peter and the “foundation” of the other apostles. None of this proves anything for Mr. May. In fact, as with the rest of the Fathers Mr. May quotes, Basil denies Mr. May’s thesis:

“And when he, the instrument of such and so great a judgment; he the minister of the so great wrath of God upon a sinner; that blessed Peter, who was preferred before all the disciples; who alone received a greater testimony and blessing than the rest; he to whom were entrusted the keys of the kingdom of heaven, &c.” Basil the Great, A.D. 371, T. ii. p. 1. Procem. de Judic. Dei, n. 7, p. 221, in Colin Lindsay, The Evidence for the Papacy, (London: Longmans, 1870), 35.

J. Salza: Unlike what Mr. May wants his readers to believe, Basil says that Peter “was preferred before all the disciples” and “received a greater testimony and blessing than the rest.” Why? Because Peter was “entrusted the keys of the kingdom of heaven.” This demonstrates that Peter’s unique authority is derived from the keys. The keys give Peter the authority to make infallible binding and loosing pronouncements, and effect succession to Peter’s chair, just like they were used in the Davidic kingdom. Mr. May overlooks all of this when advancing his Protestant arguments.

Cyril of Alexandria:

E. May: Cyril viewed the rock to be the confession of faith:

But what why do we say that they are foundations of the earth? For Christ is the foundation and unshakeable base of all things–But the next foundations, these nearer to us, can be understood to be the apostles and the evangelists, those eyewitnesses and ministers of the word who have arisen for the strengthening of the faith. For when we recognize that their own traditions must be followed, we serve a faith which is true and does not deviate from Christ. For when he wisely and blamelessly confessed his faith to Jesus saying, ‘You are the Christ, Son of the living God,” Jesus said to divine Peter: ‘You are Peter and upon this rock I will build my Church.” Now, by the work ‘rock’ Jesus indicated, I think, the immoveable faith of the disciple…And I tell you, you are Peter, and upon this rock I will build my Chruch (sic), and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it.’ The surname, I believe, calls nothing other than the unshakeable and very firm faith of the disciple ‘a rock’ upon which the Church was founded and made firm and remains continually impregnable even with respect to the very gates of Hell. (Commentary on Isaiah IV.2 PG 760:940; Dialogue on the Trinity IV, PG 75:866)

J. Salza: We have already addressed this above. We can include Peter’s faith into the equation, but not at the exclusion of his person. Jesus calls Peter “rock” independently of his faith in John 1:42, as well as in Matthew 16:18 (since Peter’s divine communication, not his faith, is at issue). The following quote from Cyril proves my point:

“He suffers him no longer to be called Simon, exercising authority and rule over him already as having become His own. But by a title suitable to the thing, He changed his name into Peter, from the word petra (rock); for on him He was afterwards to found His Church.” Cyril of Alexandria, A.D. 424, T. iv. Comm. in Joan., p. 131, in Colin Lindsay, The Evidence for the Papacy, (London: Longmans, 1870), 50.

J. Salza: Here, Cyril says that Jesus founded His Church “on him,” in reference to Peter, the person. So Cyril says that Jesus builds the Church both on Peter as well as his faith, even though Mr. May wants us to believe that Cyril says Jesus builds His Church only upon Peter’s faith. Cyril also says that Peter is the shepherd over the whole Church:

“He [Christ] promises to found the church, assigning immoveableness to it, as he is the Lord of strength, and over this he sets Peter as shepherd.” Cyril of Alexandria, A.D. 429, Comm. on. Matt., ad. loc., Migne, Patr. Graec., vol. 72, col. 424, in Michael M. Winter, Saint Peter and the Popes, (Baltimore: Helicon, 1960), 74.

Gregory of Nyssa:

E. May: Gregory as well viewed the rock to be the confession of faith: The warmth of our praises does not extend to Simon insofar as he was a catcher of fish: rather it extends to his firm faith, which is at the same time the foundation of the whole Church (Panegyric on St. Stephen, PG 46:733)

J. Salza: Already addressed above. Gregory, like the rest of the Fathers, also says that Jesus builds His Church upon the person of Peter:

“The memory of Peter, the Head of the Apostles, is celebrated; and magnified indeed with him are the other members of the Church; but upon him is the Church of God firmly established. For he is, agreeably to the gift conferred upon him by the Lord, that unbroken and most firm Rock upon which the Lord built His Church.” Gregory of Nyssa, A.D. 371, Alt. Or. De S. Steph. Galland t.vi. p. 600, in Colin Lindsay, The Evidence for the Papacy, (London: Longmans, 1870), 32.

J. Salza: Gregory also says that Peter is the leader of the apostles:

“The leader and coryphaeus of the Apostolic choir…The head of the Apostles.” Gregory of Nyssa, A.D. 371, Alt. Orat. De S. Steph. tom. iii. p. 730, 4, in Charles F. B. Allnatt, ed., Cathedra Petri – The Titles and Prerogatives of St. Peter, (London: Burns & Oates, 1879), 51.

Jerome:

E. May: For Jerome, the Rock was Christ:

The one foundation which the apostolic architect laid is our Lord Jesus Christ. Upon this stable and firm foundation, which has itself bee laid on solid ground, the Church of Christ is built…For the Church was founded upon the rock, Christ, the Catholic Church, is the one dove; she stands the perfect one, and near to His right hand, and has nothing sinister in her…The rock is Christ, Who gave to His apostels, that they also should be called rocks, “Thou are Peter, and upon this rock I will build my Church (Commentary on Mt 7.25 M.P.L., Vol. 26, Col. 51; Epistle 65:15, Ad Principiam, Cited by J. Waterworth S J., A Commentary)

J. Salza: Once again, Catholics believe that the Rock is Christ. But as we have said, Jesus confers this distinction upon Peter as well. Listen to what else Jerome says about Peter:

“What has Paul to do with Aristotle? Or Peter with Plato? For as the latter [Plato] was the prince of philosophers, so was the former [Peter] chief of the Apostles; on him the Lord’s Church was firmly founded, and neither rushing flood nor storm can shake it.” Jerome, A.D. 417, Against the Pelagians 1:14a, in Philip Schaff and Henry Wace, eds., Nicene and Post-Nicene Fathers – Jerome: Letters and Select Works, 2nd series, vol. 6, (Peabody, MA: Hendrickson, 1994), 455.

“Thou art Peter, and upon this rock I will build my Church.’ As He bestowed light on His Apostles, so that they were to be called ‘light of the world,’ and as they obtained other titles from the Lord, so also to Simon, who believed on the Rock Christ, was given the name Peter (Rock). And in accordance with the metaphor of a rock, it is justly said to him, ‘I will build my Church on thee.’” Jerome, c.A.D. 385-398, Ib. 1. iii. Comm. In Matt., Patr. Lat. i. col. 74, in Colin Lindsay, The Evidence for the Papacy, (London: Longmans, 1870), 40.

J. Salza: These and many other quotations are devastating to Mr. May’s position.

Paul of Emesa:

E. May: Paul of Emesa affirms that the rock was the confession of faith:

Upon this faith the Church of God has been founded. With this expectation, upon this rock the Lord God placed the foundations of the Church. When then the Lord Christ was going to Jerusalem, He asked the disciples, saying, “Whom do men say that the Son of Man is?” The apostles say, “Some Elias, other Jeremias, or one of the prophets,” And he says, but you that is, My elect, you who have followed Me for three years, and have seen My power, and miracles, and beheld Me walking on the sea, who have shared My table. “Whom do you say that I am” Instantly, the Coryphaeus of the apostles, the mouth of the disciples, Peter, “Thou art the Christ, the Son of the Living God.” (Homily of the Nativity)

J. Salza: I found no other quotes from Paul of Emesa. But this Father demonstrates that Peter is the spokesman for the apostles. That is because Peter has authority over them. Jesus designates Peter alone as the chief shepherd over the other apostles and the Church at large (John 21:15-17), and prays for Peter alone that he might be the source of strength for the other apostles (Luke 22:31-32).

Tertullian:

E. May: Tertullian was the first to recognize the rock as Peter, but he does not identify him as being the rock in the sense that the Church was built upon him, but in the sense that the church is built through him as he preaches the gospel.

J. Salza: Mr. May doesn’t provide any quotes from Tertullian, so I will:

“Was anything hidden from Peter, who was called the Rock whereon the Church was to be built; who obtained the keys of the kingdom of heaven, and the power of loosing and of binding in heaven and on earth?” Tertullian, c.A.D. 200-220, De Praescript Haeret, n.22, p. 209, in Colin Lindsay, The Evidence for the Papacy, (London: Longmans, 1870), 19.

J. Salza: There is nothing about the Church being built “through” Peter, if Mr. May thinks that is an important distinction. Tertullian says that “whereon [in reference to Peter] the Church was to be built.” Tertullian is yet another Father who says the Church is built upon the person of Peter.

E. May: The list could go on and on.

J. Salza: It sure could, Mr. May. And each time the list would grow more and more devastating to your position.

E. May: Eusebius viewed the rock as Christ.

J. Salza: Already addressed. Further, Eusebius viewed Peter as the leader of the apostles:

“That powerful and great one of the Apostles, who, on account of his excellence, was the leader of all the rest.” Eusebius, A.D. 325, Com. in Ps. lxviii 9, tom. v. p. 737, in Charles F. B. Allnatt, ed., Cathedra Petri – The Titles and Prerogatives of St. Peter, (London: Burns & Oates, 1879), 49.

E. May: Ambrose viewed the rock as the confession of faith.

J. Salza: Again, Mr. May makes another misleading and irrelevant statement. Here are some more quotes from Ambrose which are fatal to Mr. May’s position:

“Peter is called ‘rock’ because, like an immovable rock, he sustains the joints and mass of the entire Christian edifice.” Ambrose, c.A.D. 385-389, Sermon 4, in The Great Commentary of Cornelius Lapide, II, Catholic Standard Library, trans. Mossman (John Hodges & Co, 1887), 220, in Michael Mallone, ed., The Apostolic Digest, (Irving ,TX: Sacred Heart, 1987), 248.

“Therefore where Peter is, there is the Church; where the Church is, there death is not, but life eternal; and therefore it was added, and ‘the gates of hell shall not prevail against it,’ and, ‘I will give to thee the keys of the kingdom of heaven.’ Blessed Peter, against whom the gates of hell prevailed not, nor were the gates of heaven closed against him; but who, on the contrary, destroyed the porches of hell and opened the heavenly places.” Ambrose, c.A.D. 385-389, T. i. In Ps. xl. n. 30, p. 879, 880, in Colin Lindsay, The Evidence for the Papacy, (London: Longmans, 1870), 37.

“Peter, after having been tempted by the devil, is set over the Church. The Lord, therefore, signified beforehand what that is, that He afterwards chose him the pastor of the Lord’s flock. For to him He said, ‘But thou, when thou art converted, confirm thy brethren.’” Ambrose, c.A.D. 385-389, De Fide, lib. Iv. c. 5, n. 56, in Charles F. B. Allnatt, ed., Cathedra Petri – The Titles and Prerogatives of St. Peter, (London: Burns & Oates, 1879), 36-37.

J. Salza: Ambrose even refers to the “Roman See” in union with the “Catholic Church.” Would Mr. May also call Ambrose a “Romanist”?

“St. Ambrose…declares union with the Roman See to be union with the Catholic Church. Speaking of his brother Satyrus, who had arrived, after shipwreck, in a place of doubtful orthodoxy, he says: “He called the Bishop to him, and not accounting any grace true which was not of the true faith, he inquired of him whether he agreed with the Catholic Bishops, that is, with the Roman Church.” Ambrose, A.D. 385, De Excessa Frat. n. 46, tom. ii. p. 1126, in Charles F. B. Allnatt, ed., Cathedra Petri – The Titles and Prerogatives of St. Peter, (London: Burns & Oates, 1879), 94.

E. May: Bede viewed the rock as Christ.

J. Salza: No quotes provided, but already addressed.

E. May: Pallaudius of Helenopolis viewed the rock as the confession of faith.

J. Salza: Same thing here, and same response.

E. May: Here is the point: we hardly have the “unanimous consent” that is demanded by Trent and Vatican I.

J. Salza: Again, Mr. May assumes that citing a dozen or so Fathers is a unanimity of the Fathers. He is wrong. Second, we have just demonstrated that the Fathers from whom Mr. May quotes actually contradict his views. What a quandary for Mr. May.

E. May: Why does Rome demand an outrageous interpretation of the passage, with no exegetical warrant, that scores of church fathers simply missed? The answer is Sola Ecclesia.

J. Salza: Mr. May, thank you for helping me explain and vindicate the Catholic Church’s teaching on the papacy using Scripture and the early Church Fathers. This dialogue has demonstrated that you “read into” the Scriptures what you want to see (e.g., Peter is not the rock; all the apostles knew Jesus was the Son of God in Mt 16:18-19; all the apostles were given the keys to the kingdom of heaven, etc.). You initially come off like you are in the know and your opponent is an idiot, so I was expecting a lot more from you. But when you gave us your exegesis of Matthew 16:18-19 and analysis of the Fathers, you revealed your true colors. You demonstrated your bias against the Catholic faith and not your proficiency in apologetics.

Catholics do not believe in Sola Ecclesia. We believe in Sola Verbum Dei (the Word of God alone). This word comes to us from Christ and the apostles through both the written and oral tradition (2 Thess 2:15), which has been entrusted to the Church that Jesus builds upon the rock of Peter (Matt. 16:18:19; 1 Tim 3:15). The ineffable wisdom of God is made know through this Church (Eph. 3:9-10).

I hope this short dialogue is helpful to those who read it, Catholic and Protestant alike. I will take my leave and let the readers be the judge of who is more faithful to the plain meaning of Scripture, me or Mr. May. If Mr. May comes back and continues to accuse me of “reading into” the text, we will know why this debate is over.

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Ang Krus Patik Ba Sa Mananap Nga Mapintas? By Wendell Talibong

Posted by catholicfaithdefender on March 13, 2008

Pagsupak:
Ang krus ug ang pagpanguros sa Simbahang Katoliko maoy timaan sa mananap nga mapintas. Ang Pinadayag 13:16 nagkanayon: “Gipugos sa mananap nga mapatikan ang tanang tawo, inila ug dili inila, dato ug kabos, ulipon ug dili ulipon, diha sa tuo nilang kamot ug agtang.”
Busa tin-aw nga ang katumanan niini mao ang Katoliko sanglit kon manguros kamo gigamit man ninyo ang tuong kamot ug dayon ibutang sa inyong agtang.
Kini atong mabasa sa librong Katoliko nga Religion: Doctrine and Practice, by Rev. Fr. Francis B. Cassily, p. 341, nga nagkanayon: “In making the sign of the cross, we place the extended fingers of the right hand on the forehead.”
Lain pang librong Katoliko ang nag-angkon nga ang pagpatik sa agtang ug sa tuong kamot maoy timaan sa Anti-Cristo. Ang Pasion Candaba, 1960 ni Padre Aniceto dela
Merced, p. 207, kini nag-ingon: “Ipaguutos mag quintal sa noo o canang camay sucat pagca quilalanan na sila nga, I, campong tunay nitong Anti-Christong hunghang.”
Si Cardinal Gibbons miangkon nga ang pagpanguros wala gitudlo sa Bibliya. ANG PANANAMPALATAYA NG ATING MGA NINUNO ni James Cardinal Gibbons, p. 10 nag-ingon: “Si Tertuliano, na nabuhay ng ikalawang siglo ng kapanahunang Kristiano, ay nagsabi ng ganito: ‘Sa lahat ng gawain namin, sa pagpanhik o pagpanaog, sa pagbibihis, sa paghuhugas, sa pagkain, bago matulog, ay kinukurusan namin ang aming mga noo. Ang mga gawaing ito’y tunay ngang di iniuutos ng tahasan ng Kasulatan; datapuwa’t iniuutos ng tradisyon, pinagtitibay ng kaugalian, ginaganap ng pananalig.’”
Laing pari nga Katoliko nga si Padre Clement H. Crock, ang mipatin-aw, nga sa wala pa si Cristo, ang krus gigamit na sa pagsilot sa mga kriminal ug nagsimbolo kini sa kaulawan.
Ang Discources on the Apostles’ Creed, p. 16 nagkanayon: “Before the time of Christ the cross was the symbol of shame, ignorance, the noose, or the electric chair, it was the instrument for the execution of the worst criminals as a symbol of disgrace before the whole world.”
Klaro nga ang krus simbolo gayod sa kamatayon kay sa panahon sa Merkules sa Badles, ang pari moingon: “Memente, homo, qui pulvis es et in pulverem reverteris.” Nga ang hubad nag-ingon: “Hinumdumi, tawo, nga ikaw gikan sa abog ug sa abog ka usab mopauli.”
Nganong gisimba man usab ninyong mga Katoliko ang krus sanglit ang liturhiya sa Biyernes Santo mag-awit niining mosunod: “Ecce lignum crusis, in quo salus mundi pepindit. Venite Adoremus.” Nga sa ato pa, kini nag-ingon: “Tan-awa, ang kahoy nga Krus, kang kansang gibitay ang kaluwasan sa Kalibotan. Dali kamo ug simbahon ta siya.”
Kon ang imong amahan gipusil ug unya namatay, kuhaon ba ninyo ang bala nga nakapatay sa inyong amahan ug ikulintas sama sa krus nga gikamatyan sa atong Ginoo?
Unsay imong ikasulti niini?
Tubag:
Ato kining tubagon sa punto por punto gayud. Ang gihisgutan ni San Juan sa Pinadayag
13:16, dili mao ang krus nga gibatbat ni Padre Francis B. Cassily, S.J. sa iyang librong, Religion: Doctrine and Practice, p. 341. Sanglit kon atong basahon ang Pinadayag 13:17, kini nag-ingon: “Walay makapamalit ug makapamaligya gawas niadtong may patik sa ngalan sa mananap o sa numero nga simbolo sa maong ngalan.”
Kon ang krus ug ang pagpanguros pa maoy katumanan niini, nahitabo ba sa kasaysayan nga gidid-an ang si bisan kinsa sa pagpamaligya ug sa pagpamalit kon dili mahibalong manguros? Wala gayud. Kay ang gihisgutan ni
San Juan nga patik dili man ang krus kon dili ang timaan sa mananap nga mapintas nga nagsimbolo sa ngalan sa usa ka tawo nga 666. Ang Pinadayag 13:18 nagkanayon: “Salabtunon kini. Ang maalam makasabot sa kahulogan sa numero sa mananap kay ang numero simbolo man sa ngalan sa usa ka tawo. Ang numero niini 666.”
Nan, kinsa may maayong laki nga makahimo sa pagkwenta sa krus aron mosibo kini sa numero nga 666?
Angayan natong masayran nga ang katawhan sa Dios sukad pa sa Daang Tugon adunay patik sa ilang agtang ug sa tuong kamot. Ang Deuteronomio 6:7-9 nag-ingon: “Ituslo kini sa inyong kabataan. Hisgoti kini kon anaa kamo sa inyong balay, o magpanaw kamo, o sa dayon na sa inyong katulog ug sa pagmata ninyo sa buntag. Ibugkos kini sa inyong kamot ingon nga ilhanan ug ibutang ingon nga ilhanan sa inyong agtang. Isulat kini sa pultahan sa inyong balay ug diha sa inyong mga ganghaan.”
Ang krus mao gayud ang timaan sa katawhan sa Dios. Ang Ezekiel 9:-6 (Bibliya sa Kristohanong Katilingban), nagkanayon: “Unya, ang Himaya sa Diyos sa
Israel misaka gikan sa Kerubin nga nahimutangan niini ug miadto sa tugkaran sa balay. Gitawag ni Yahweh ang tawo nga nagbisti’g lino nga nagdala sa gamiton pagsulat diha sa iyang kilid. Miingon siya: ‘Agi sa tunga sa syudad, sa Jerusalem, ug markahi sa krus ang agtang sa mga lalaki nga nanghupaw ug nag-agulo tungod sa tanang ngil-ad nga nahimo dinhi. Nadungog ko siya nga miingon sa uban: ‘Karon makaagi ka sa Syudad sunod niya ug pamatya sila. Ayaw’g tan-aw nila sa kaluoy. Ayaw’g pakita og kaaghop, niining tanan sa mga tigulang nga lalaki, sa mga batan-ong lalaki, sa mga birhen, sa mga kabataan ug sa kababayen-an, apan ayaw tandoga ang dunay timaan sa krus.”
Busa kon atong tibawason sa pagbasa ang Religion Doctrine and Practice, p. 341, kini nagkanayon: “In making the sign of the cross we place the extended fingers of our right hand on the forehead and say the words, ‘In the name of the Father’; then we bring our hand to our breast and say, ‘and of the Son’; and while bringing our hand from the left to the right shoulder we say, ‘and of the Holy Ghost,’ and add ‘Amen.’

Pinaagi sa pagpanguros gidala nato sa atong lawas ang patik sa timaan ni Jesus. Ang Galacia 6:17 (King James Version), nag-ingon: “Sukad karon, wala na untay si bisan kinsa nga magsamok kanako; kay gidala ko nga patik sa akong lawas ang timaan ni Jesus.”
Ang krus sa atong Ginoo takos gayud nga ipasigarbo. Ang Galacia 6:14 (Maayong Balita), nagkanayon: “Apan alang kanako magpasigarbo lamang ako sa krus sa atong Ginoong Jesu-Cristo ….”
Ang timaan sa mananap nga mapintas sa Pinadayag 13:17 ug dili ang pagpanguros maoy gipasabot ni Padre Aniceto dela Merced sa iyang librong Candaba, pahina 207, nga nag-ingon: “Ipag-uutos mag quintal sa noo o canang camay sucat pagca quilalanan na sila nga, I, campong tunay nitong Anti-Christong hunang.” Tin-aw nga dili gayud ang pagpanguros maoy gipasabot sa pari sanglit walay si bisan kinsa nga makapamalit ug makapamaligya gawas niadtong dunay patik sa anti-cristo, ug wala mahitabo sa kasaysayan sa kalibotan nga dili tugotan ang si bisan kinsa sa pagpalit ug pagpamaligya kon dili mahibalong manguros.
Ang krus mahinungdanon sa kinabuhi sa Kristiyanos. Ang 1 Corinto 1:18 nagkanayon: “Kay ang mensahe mahitungod sa kamatayon ni Cristo didto sa krus binuang alang niadtong wala maluwas; apan kanatong giluwas, gahom kini sa Dios.”
Sa Daang Tugon ang katawhan sa Dios adunay patik sa agtang ug sa ilang kamot. Ang Exodo 13:16 nag-ingon: “Kining maong seremonyas nahimong usa ka tigpahinumdom, usa ka timaan diha sa among kamot o usa ka patik sa among agtang, kay giluwas man kami sa GINOO gikan sa Ehipto pinaagi sa iyang talagsaong gahom.”
Maingon nga nahimong patik sa agtang ug sa kamot ang timaan nga nagpahinumdom sa katawhan sa Dios sa dihang giluwas sila gikan sa Ehipto; ang krus usab nahimong timaan sa sumusunod ni Jesus. Ang Mateo 16:24 nagkanayon: “Unya miingon si Jesus sa iyang mga tinun-an, ‘Ang buot mahimong akong tinun-an kinahanglan nga hikalimtan niya ang iyang kaugalingon, pas-anon niya ang iyang krus, ug mosunod siya kanako.”
Busa sa Bag-ong Tugon ang katawhan sa Dios adunay timaan sa ilang agtang. Ang Pinadayag 22:3-4 nag-ingon: “Anaa sa siyudad ang trono sa Dios ug sa nating karnero, ug simbahon siya sa mga alagad niya. Nakakita sila sa nawong niya ug ang iyang ngalan isulat sa ilang agtang.”
Ang Dios nga gipadayag nato sa pagpanguros mao ang Santisima Trinidad kun usa ka Dios diha sa tulo ka managlahing persona. Ang 1 John 5:7, (King James Version) nagkanayon: “For there are three that bear record in heaven, the Father, the Word, and the Holy Ghost: and these three are one.”
Ang pulong nga atong gilutok sa pagpanguros mao ang pulong nga gikan ni Jesus. Ang Mateo 28:19 nag-ingon: “Busa panlakaw kamo ngadto sa tanang katawhan sa tibuok kalibotan ug himoa sila nga akong mga tinun-an, ug bunyagi sila sa ngalan sa Amahan, sa Anak ug sa Epiritu Santo.”
Tungod sa sagradong timaan, si Jesus nakaila sa iyang mga karnero. Ang Juan
10:15 nag-ingon: “Ako ang maayong magbalantay sa karnero. Ingon nga ang Amahan nakaila kanako ug ako nakaila sa Amahan, nakaila usab ako sa akong mga karnero ug sila nakaila kanako.”
Kini ang hinungdan nga manguros gayud kita sa higayon nga molabay kita’g simbahan tungod kay nakaila kita sa sulod sa tabernakulo nga mao ang matuod nga lawas ug dugo ni Cristo. Ug sa atong pagpanguros atong gipadayag ang timaan sa pagkakristiyanos ug gisangpit nato ang misteryo sa atong pagtuo, ang Santisima Trinidad.
Kanang giingon ni James Cardinal Gibbons sa pahina 10 sa iyang PANANAMPALATAYA NG ATING MGA NINUNO, nga nagkanayon: “Si Tertuliano, na nabuhay ng ikalawang siglo ng kapanahunang kristiyano, ay nagsabi ng ganito: ‘Sa lahat ng gawain namin, sa pagpanhik o pagpanaog, sa pagbibihis, sa paghuhugas, sa pagkain, bago matulog, ay kinukurusan namin ang aming mga noo. Ang mga gawaing ito’y tunay nga di iniuutos ng tahasan ng Kasulatan; datapuwat iniuutos ng tradisyon, pinagtitibay ng kaugalian, ginaganap ng pananalig.” Wala kini magpasabot nga sayop na ang pagpanguros sanglit ang tradisyon maoy nagmatuod ug giingon nga wala gitudlo sa Bibliya.
Angayan natong masayran nga ang Bibliya bunga sa tradisyon ug ang mga apostoles nagtudlo’g tradisyon. 1 Corinthians 11:2, (New American Bible) nagkanayon: “I praise you because you always remember me and are holding fast the traditions just as I handed them on to you.”
Sanglit gawas sa mga sinulat nga gitudlo sa mga apostoles ilang gimando nga atong dawaton usab ang ilang tradisyon. 2 Thessalonian
2:15 (The Gideons) nag-ingon: “Therefore, brethren, stand fast, and hold the traditions which ye have been taught, whether by word, or our epistle.”
Busa dili sa letra por letra ang tanang pagpanudlo sa Santa Iglesia. Ang 2 Corinto 3:6 (King James Version) nagkanayon: “…dili sa letra, kon dili sa Espiritu; kay ang letra nagapatay, apan ang Espiritu nagahatag og kinabuhi.”
Kanang giingon sa mga Ministro ni Manalo nga giangkon kuno sa Katoliko nga ang krus nagsimbolo sa kaulawan ug gigamit sa pagsilot sa mga kriminal, usa kini ka paglubag sa buot ipasabot ni Fr. Crock sanglit wala man nila tiwasa sa pagbasa ang page 16 sa Discourses on the Apostles’ Creed.
Ania ang gisulat ni Fr. Crock: “Before the time of Christ the cross was the symbol of shame, ignorance and dishonor. Like the guillotine, the noose, or the electric chair, it was the instrument for the execution of the worst criminals. The cross was branded upon the forehead of criminals as a symbol of disgrace before the whole world. But once Christ had foretold that ‘I, if I be lifted up from the earth, will draw all things to Myself,’ the cross was no longer destined to remain the disgraceful symbol of infamy. With His Crucifixion, the cross was become the symbol of honor, the standard of Christian faith, the symbol of salvation.” Busa tin-aw nga sa panahon ni Cristo ang krus nahimong simbolo sa kaluwasan. Ang 1 Corinto
1:18 nagkanayon: “Kay ang mensahe mahitungod sa kamatayon ni Cristo didto sa krus binuang alang niadtong wala maluwas, apan kanatong giluwas, gahom kini sa Dios.”
Tungod niini si San Pablo nagpasigarbo sa krus ni Jesus. Ang Galacia 6:14 nag-ingon: “Apan alang kanako magpasigarbo lamang ako sa krus sa atong Ginoong Jesu-Cristo…”
Kay ang krus gihimo ni Jesus nga timaan sa iyang mga sumusunod. Ang Mateo 16:24 nagkanayon: “Unya si Jesus miingon sa iyang mga tinun-an, ‘ang buot nga mahimong akong tinun-an kinahanglan nga hikalimtan niya ang iyang kaugalingon, pas-anon niya ang iyang krus ug mosunod kanako.’ ”
Ang Bibliya nga hubad sa mga Protestante nagtudlo nga gikinahanglang mobasa kita sa mga libro sa kasaysayan.
Ang Job 8:8 (The Living Bible) nag-ingon: “Read the history books and see..”
Ang kasaysayan nag-asoy usab nga ang krus ug ang timaan sa krus (pagpanguros)
usa ka karaang pagtulon-an sukad pa sa panahon sa mga Apostoles ni Cristo. Ang EUROPE BEFORE MODERN TIMES by O’Brien, page 194, kini nagkanayon: “Other Features of the Early Church. The sign of the cross and the veneration of the bodies of martyrs come from most ancient times. Sunday was kept holy from the time of the apostles.”
Kanang giingon nga ang krus simbolo sa kamatayon kay sa Merkoles sa Badlis, ang pari moingon: “Memente, homo, qui pulvis es et in pulverem reverteris.” Nga ang hubad nagkanayon: “Hinumdomi, tawo, nga ikaw gikan sa abog ug sa abog usab ka mopauli.” Kini nga pulong gikutlo sa Genesis 3:19, nga nag-ingon: “…Hinimo ka gikan sa yuta ug sa yuta ka mopauli.”
Tinuod nga sa panahon sa kamatayon ang atong lawas mopauli sa abog apan tungod sa kamatayon ug pagkabanhaw ni Jesus ang atong kalag mopauli sa Amahan. Ang Tobias 4:3 (Vulgata Latina) nagkanayon: “Sa dawaton na sa Dios ang akong kalag, ilubong ang akong lawas.”
Busa kadtong kamatayon nga walay pagkabanhaw kaniadto gihataga’g paglaom pinaagi sa kamatayon sa krus ni Cristo. Ang Juan
3:14 nag-ingon: “Ingon nga giisa ni Moises ang bitin nga tombaga didto sa kamingawan, ang bitin nga tombaga nga gibutang sa tukon, ang anak sa tawo kinahanglan nga iisa usab. Aron ang tanan nga motuo kaniya makabaton og kinabuhi nga walay kataposan.”
Kanang giingon sa Biyernes Santo nga: “Ecce lignum crusis, in quo salus mundi pepindit. Venite Adoremus”, nga ang hubad niini nagkanayon: “Tan-awa, ang kahoy nga Krus, kang kansang gibitay ang kaluwasan sa kalibotan. Dali kamo simbahon ta siya.” Wala kini magpasabot nga ang krus sa iyang pagkakahoy maoy gisimba nato kondili ang gilarawanan niini nga mao ang nagpakatawong Dios ug midupa sa krus.
Sama pananglit sa bandila sa atong nasod, daghang mga sundalo, polis ug mga magtutudlo ang mosaludo sa bandila. Wala kini magpasabot nga ang pagka-panapton sa bandila maoy gitahod kondili ang simbulo niini.
Sama pananglit nga ang mga anak ni Jacob nga misimba sa tumoy sa iyang sungkod wala kini magpasabot ang sungkod na ni Jacob maoy ilang Dios kondili ang Dios mismo nga gisimbolohan sa sungkod ilang amahan. Ang Hebreo 11:21 (Vulgata Latina) nagkanayon: “Tungod sa pagtuo gipanalanginan ni Jakob, sa namatay na siya, ang tagsatagsa sa mga anak ni Jose; ug nagsimba sa tumoy sa iyang sungkod.”m

Posted in Apologetics-Visayan | Leave a Comment »

The journey of Marion and David Ahmed from Pentecostalism to Catholicism

Posted by catholicfaithdefender on March 13, 2008

I was ‘born-again’ into a (black) Pentecostal/Charismatic church (1987) in Aldershot Hampshire UK. My wife (Marion) was in the same church from birth, also having a ‘born-again’ experience at the age of 13. I quickly became active in the church with a preaching and teaching ministry and my wife with praise and worship. In the late 80′s we started working alongside a dynamic prophet/evangelist Renny McLean helping to set up a church in Brixton, London (now http://www.globalglory.org based in Texas). As is common in Protestant circles differences of opinion and small dissatisfactions (over the years) resulted in two more churches and by 1998 we found ourselves back at our original Pentecostal/Charismatic church. At that time we very much felt that we were being sent back with more experience to help take the church to, what is commonly termed… ‘the next level’.

About a year later somebody joined our church that was Reformed i.e. ‘once saved always saved’ in their theology. Whilst I was attempting to convert him to fundamentalist Arminian (one saved not always saved) theology, I read historic documents and articles and came to realise my theological position was far from the same as original Protestant Reformation theology. After much wrestling with our consciences my wife and I decided it was our duty to move towards truth and thus moved to a Reformed theological position (2001) with the result of not a little castigation and breakdown of church relationships.

Eventually we found a church that was both Reformed and Charismatic… the best of both as we thought then! More theological and historical study (2002) led us to see that the genre of reformation theology we had adopted was quite weak in its structure and consequently far to open to theological error and questionable worship practice. After more study we came to appreciate the Calvinist/Presbyterian position as evidently more grounded in theological history and with a well-worn systematic theology and a background of great theologians that had bolstered its ranks. In addition we began to see the necessity of protecting the historic traditions, practices and liturgy of the church that were clearly absent in the Reformed/ Charismatic tradition we had chosen.

This created a problem for us, as in the UK there are few if any Presbyterian churches. We opted for an Anglican church that had a high view of liturgy and communion along with some openness to the gifts of the Spirit. At the same time we began attending the Anglican Church we stumbled across Lutheranism via the US programme http://www.issuesetc.org. Lutheran apologetics came out on top seeming to be the most historically consistent, having the most scrupulous interpretation of scripture, the highest regard for doctrine, a high view of the sacraments and maintaining historical liturgical practice. Consequently by 2003 we became fully committed to Lutheranism and then better understanding the sacrament of baptism had our three children baptised in Resurrection Lutheran church in Cambridge UK. The Lutheran community is extremely small in the UK and we were unable to find a church close enough to worship at. On top of this when we did travel to churches they seemed theologically loose compared to what we had received from http://www.issuesetc.org which was a conservative brand of Lutheranism that holds fast to traditional Lutheranism.

The question evidently came to us that if Luther was the Father of the Reformation as lead ‘infallibly’ by the Holy Spirit, then why weren’t all Protestants Lutherans? From our learning it did indeed seem that Luther only envisaged a type of ‘new’ reformed Catholic Church not a multitude of denominations and theological positions. It was about this time I entered into discussions with a Pastor/Teacher friend of mine concerning the ‘uses of the (God’s) Law. Protestant historical Reformation teaching had taught me there was a standard answer to this question that was ‘it is a tutor to lead us to Christ’. My friend said he did not agree with this and suggested we had no use of the Law any longer as we are under grace. This led me to reading a book in which four major theologians gave their perspective and rebuttal of other perspective on this issue. After reading this book my theological world was shaken as it became clear to me that these ‘giants’ of Protestant theology could not agree on what position was the truth… therefore how could I, a layman, possibly know the truth apart from choosing a preference… which might not be the truth. Extreme frustration set in whilst attempting to unravel this conundrum in a search for the truth.

During this journey over many years a close friend (Steve) had taken a similar journey although he was more ‘loose’ with his theology and had not settled for Calvinism or Lutheranism. Steve had a brother who was a Catholic priest and I often sent apologetic arguments via Steve to ‘show him the way’. In late 2004 I saw very little of Steve and shortly after April 2005 Steve advised he had been confirmed in the Catholic Church saying only that through his discussions with his brother and after study and thought it just seemed right. I was aghast and made it my sole aim to show Steve that this was not just a step backwards but a turning around and walking in the wrong direction! So my studies began to centre on Catholicism, requiring some study of Catholic apologetics. The first inkling of truth came through Peter Kreeft a Catholic apologist after I heard an online audio of how he came to be a Catholic at a Calvinist Seminary. I also heard him suggest the idea that without a ‘single infallible voice’ i.e. the Pope, it is impossible to know absolutely we are being led in theological truth. Whilst the logic of this made sense my anti-Catholic bias negated the force of the argument Shortly after this I stumbled across ‘The Journey Home’ that showed that there was more than a few Protestants who had found their way to Rome. Eventually I found my way on to apologetic sites including Steve Ray’s, and also Catholic Answers Live that provided audio debates around all the difficult issues that Protestants have. I had told my friend Steve that hell would have to freeze over before I became a Catholic and as I continued to study the arguments it seemed that it was time to consider buying a pair of skates.

Marion has always been true to her own conscience regarding theological matters and often came a little more slowly to a new more truthful and biblical theological position. She later confided in my that when she heard Peter Kreeft’s argument concerning the Pope and the Magesterium she knew I was going to follow this argument right into the Catholic Church. She had her own struggles with Marian doctrines and Purgatory however there was (and is) sufficient material to bring such arguments to a peaceful close.

There were difficulties, however I was able to get help through a contact through the ‘Coming Home Network’ (a network that provides information and help for interested Protestants). In September 2005 we started an RCIA programme in Our Lady Queen of Heaven in Frimley (UK) and will be receive our confirmation at the Easter Vigil in April 2005.

It has been a joyous journey although not without its disappointments. As Scott Hann writes in his book Rome Sweet Home, we feel we have come home but we do not feel at home. We do miss the overt and close fellowship of Protestantism that exists both within the church and outside of the church service (Mass). In particular we miss being able to pick up the phone or jump in the car and meet with somebody who you know has an equal commitment and understanding of the Christian walk. In addition we miss the house prayer meetings/bible studies of Protestantism as well as the commitment of all to sharing the gospel as a standard part of Christian life. However we do see changes in the Catholic Church, and one must always consider that it is Christ’s church and he will bear the burden of bringing it to fruition.

Ultimately nothing but nothing can replace what we now know to be the privilege of the Mass and receiving the Eucharist… body, blood, soul and divinity of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ.

Posted in Converts | 2 Comments »

Santa Maria takos bang Pasidonggan?

Posted by catholicfaithdefender on March 12, 2008

Ginaingon nga ang planita nga labing duol sa adlaw maoy makaangkon sa hilabihan ka init ug kahayag gikan mismo sa adlaw, sa samang paagi ang labing duol ni Ginoong Jesus makaangkon usab sa hilabihan ka balaan nga kinabuhi.
Bisan ang mga protestante nag-ila sa Jerusalem, Judea, Nazaret ug sa kalbaryo nga kining dapita mga balaang ka yutaan tungod kay kini giagi-an sa tunob sa atong manluluwas, apan kon ang yuta giilang balaan nga walay kinabuhi unsa pa kaha ang kabalaan ni Santa Maria nga maoy labing duol gayud ni Ginoong Jesus ksansang tago-angkan ang tago-angkan mao gi-agi-an sa pagkahimong tawo sa atong Ginoo.

Pangutana:
Nganong gihhong diosdios man sa Katoliko si Maria? Ania ang kamatuoran: Ang pari nga si Alberion nagtudlo nga si Maria, Rayna sa Langit. Ang Glories and Virtues of Mary, by Very Rev. J. Alboione, page 165, kini nagkanayon: “Mary is the Queen of heaven and earth; she is the Queen of purgatory, of the mission, of the rosary, of peace – the universal Queen.” Dili ba sa Daang Tugon adunay diosdios nga Rayna sa Langit? Ang Jeremias 7: 18-20 nag-ingon: “Nangahoy ang kabataan, ug naghaling ang kalalakin-an, ug ang kababayen-an nagmasa sa harina aron himuon nga pan alang sa ilang diosa nga kuno maoy Rayna sa Langit. Naghalad usab sila’g mga ilimnon ngadto sa uban pang mga dios aron pakaulawan nila ako. Apan ako gayud kaha ang ilang gipakaulawan? Dili! Sila ra ang naulawan! Busa ako, ang GINOONG DIOS, magpahamtang kanila sa akong kapintas ang katawhan ug ang kahayopan lakip ang kakahoyan ug ang kaumahan. Ang akong kasuko sama sa kalayo nga walay makapalong.”
Ang gitudlo sa Katoliko nakasupak sa Balaang Kasulatan tungod kay giila si Maria nga maoy sinugdanan sa kaluwasan sa kalibotan. Ang TRUE DEVOTION to MARY, adapted by Eddie Doherty, page 18, kini nagkanayon: “The salvation of the world was begun by Mary.” Apan ang Bibliya nagtudlo nga walay kaluwasan nga pinaagi ni bisan kinsa, kon dili diha kang Cristo lamang. Ang Buhat 4:12 nag-ingon: “Ug walay kaluwasan pinaagi ni bisan kinsa, kay walay bisan unsa pa nga laing ngalan sa silong sa langit nga gihatag ngadto sa mga tawo nga pinaagi mamaluwas kita.”
Lain pang bugal-bugal nga pagtulon-an sa Katoliko mao ang pag-ingon nga si Maria adunay pinasahing relasyon sa Santisima Trinidad. Ang Glories and Virtues of Mary, by Very Rev. J. Alboine, page 143 nag-ingon: “Si Maria ingon nga matuod nga Inahan sa Dios adunay pinasahi nga relasyon sa Santisima Trinidad, sa maong katarungan, siya nahimo nga anak sa Dios, asawa sa Dios, ug Inahan sa Dios.” Kon mao kana, labaw pa ba diay si Maria kay sa Dios? Ang Ephesians 4:6 (New King James Version), nag-ingon kini nga: “One God and Father of all, who is above all, and in you all.”
Tungod niini nagkabangi ang pagtulon-an sa Katoliko sa Pinadayag 12:1, sanglit adunay librong Katoliko nga nag-ingon nga ang maong propesiya ni Juan haom gayud kang Maria. Ang MARIAN HANDBOOK Catechism, Sr. M. Crocifissa Villodres, D.S.P., page 70, nagkanayon: “We find an echo of those traditions in the vision described by St. John in the Apocalypse of a Woman ‘clothed with the sun, with the moon under her feet, and on her head a crown of twelve stars.’ ” Apan sa komentaryo sa Bibliyang Katoliko nagpadayag nga kini nga propesiya dili gayud haom kang Maria. Ang komentaryo sa Pinadayag 12:1, sa Saint Joseph Edition of the HOLY BIBLE, page 272, kini nagkanayon: “A woman: this woman is not the Blessed Virgin, for the details of the prophecy do not fit her.” Busa unsa may imong ikasulti niini?
Tubag:
Ato kining tubagon sa punto por punto gayud. Unang punto: Ang pag-ila sa Katoliko nga si Santa Maria Rayna sa Langit, wala kini magpasabot nga siya giilang diosa sa Simbahan o kaha susama na siya sa Dios. Ang Katoliko wala magtudlo nga si Santa Maria sama sa Dios busa dili siya diosa sa Santa Iglesia. Ang OUR CATHOLIC FAITH, 1977 Edition, by Most Rev. Louis LaRavoire Morrow, page 123, tin-aw nga nag-ingon: “CATHOLIC DO NOT BELIEVE: That the Blessed Virgin is equal to God” Angayang masayran nga si Jesus nga natawo kang Maria usa ka Prinsipe. Ang Isaias 9:6 nagkanayon: “Kay natawo alang kanato ang usa ka bata, gihatag kanato ang usa ka anak lalaki; ug siya ang magmando sa tanan, ug ngalan siya’g ‘Maalamong Magtatambag.’ ‘Dios nga Gamhanan,’ ‘Walay Kataposang Amahan,’ ‘Prinsipe sa Pakigdait.’ ” Natural nga kon ang anak Prinsipe ang inahan usab usa ka Rayna. Ang gikaaligutgotan sa Dios nga Rayna sa Langit sa Jeremias 7:18-20, mao ang giilang diosa sa katawhan kaniadto. Apan adunay Rayna sa Langit usab diin ang Dios nagmando sa katawhan sa pagpadayon sa paghalad alang sa maong Rayna. Ang Jeremias 44:25 nagkanayon: “Gisultihan ko ang tanang tawo, labi na ang mga babaye, sa giingon sa GINOO nga Labing Gamhanan, ang Dios sa Israel, ngadto sa katawhan sa Juda nga nagpuyo sa Ehipto, ‘Kamo ug ang inyong asawa nanaad ngadto sa Rayna sa Langit. Gisaad ninyo ang paghalad og mananap nga gisunog ug sa mga halad nga ilimnon ug gituman gayud ninyo kini! Busa padayona kini! Giila si Santa Maria nga Rayna usab sa purgatoryo, sa misyon, sa Rosaryo ug sa kalinaw tungod kay siya ang binendisyonan nga anak sa Dios labaw sa tanang mga babaye ibabaw sa yuta.’ ” Ang Judit 13:23 (Vulgata Latina), nag-ingon: “Binendisyonan ka, anak, sa Ginoong Dios sa kahitas-an, labaw sa tanang mga babaye ibabaw sa yuta.” Ang iyang kalig-on ug kabililhon gipanagna nga moabot sa kinatumyan sa yuta. Ang Mga Sanglitanan 31:10 (Vulgata Latina), nag-ingon: “Kinsay makakaplag og babayeng malig-on? Ang sa layo o gikan sa kinatumyang mga utlanan ang iyang bili.” Siya bililhon gayud sanglit gipanagna na usab nga isangyaw siya nga bulahan uyamot. Ang Mga Sanglitanan 31:28 nag-ingon: “Nanindog ang iyang mga anak ug siya ilang gisangyaw nga bulahan uyamot.” Ang iyang pagkaputli ug pagkapili sa pagpanamkon sa manunubos ang nakapahimo niyang labing bulahan. Ang Awit 6:6-7 nagkanayon: “Usa ra ang akong salampati, ang putli nako, ang bugtong sa akong inahan, ang pinili sa manamkon kaniya, nakakita kaniya ang mga anak nga babaye. Ug misangyaw nga siya mao ang labing bulahan.” Angayang hinumdoman nga bugtong usa lang ka ulay ang gipili sa Dios nga manamkon kang Jesus. Ang Isias 7:14 nag-ingon: “Busa ang GINOO gayud mohatag kanimo’g timaan, ug kini mao nga usa ka batan-ong dalaga manamkon ug moanak og usa ka lalaki, ug nganlan niya siya’g Emmanuel.” Ug natuman kini kang Santa Maria. Ang Mateo 1:22-24 nagkanayon: “Ug kining tanan nahitabo aron matuman ang giingon sa Ginoo pinaagi sa propeta, ‘Ang usa ka babayeng ulay magmabdos ug moanak og lalaki, ug nganlan siya’g Emmanuel’ (nga sa ato pa. ‘ang Dios uban kanato’) Busa sa pagmata ni Jose gituman niya ang gisugo sa anghel ug gipangasawa niya si Maria.” Tungod niini si Santa Maria ang katumanan sa Bag-ong Tugon nga tawgo’g bulahan sa babaye nga tanan Ang Lucas 1:48, si Santa Maria miingon: “Ug sukad karon ang tanang mga tawo motawag kanakog bulahan.” Ang unang mitawag kaniyag bulahan mao si anghel Gabril. Ang Luke 1:28-29 (The New Testament of Our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ), nagkanayon: “And when the angel had come to her, he said, ‘Hail, full of grace, the Lord is with thee, Blessed are thou among women.’ ” Si Santa Elisabet usab mitawag kaniyag bulahan sa tanang mga babaye. Cf. 1:42, kini nag-ingon: “And Elizabeth was filled with the Holy Spirit, and cried out wit a loud voice, saying, ‘Blessed are thou among women and blessed is the fruit of thy womb!’ ”
Ang ikaduhang punto, tinuod nga si Ginuong Jesu-Cristo lang ang giingon sa Buhat 4:12, ngawalay kaluwasan pinaagi ni bisan kinsa, kay walay bisan unsa pa nga laing ngalan sa silong sa langit nga gihatag ngadto sa mga tawo nga pinaagi maluwas kita. Ug ang sa TRUE DEVOTIO to MARY, page 18, nga ang kaluwasan sa kalibutan nagsugod kang Maria, wala kini magpasabot nga si Santa Maria ang manluluwas, kondili ang prosiso sa pagluwas sa Dios sa katawhan nagsugod kayod sa usa ka babaye nga si Santa Maria ingon nga napukan ang tawo pinaagi sa unang babaye nga si Eva. Ang Galacia 4:4-5, nag-ingon: “Apan pag-abot sa hustong panahon, gipadala sa Dios ang iyang Anak. Mianhi siya ingon nga anak sa tawhanong inahan, ug nagpuyo siya ilalom sa Balaod, aron pagluwas naidtong nailalom sa Balaod ug aron mahimo kitang mga anak sa Dios.”
Tungod sa sala sa unang ginikanan ang tawo nahilayo sa grasya sa Dios. Ang Roma 3:23, nagkanayon: “Nakasala ang tanan ug nahilayo sa Dios. Apan si Santa Maria ang gipuno sa grasya sa Dios. Ang Lucas 1:28, (Bag-ong Testamento sa Atong Manunubos ug Ginoong Jesukristo), kini nag-ingon: “Ug pag-abot sa anghel ngadto kaniya, miingon siya: ‘Maghimaya ka, puno ka sa grasya; ang Ginuo naa kanimo; bulahan ka sa mga babaye ngatanan’” Ang grasya sa Dios nga mipuno kang Santa Maria mao ang grasya nga mimatarong sa tawo pinaagi sa pagluwas ni Ginuong Jesu-Cristo. Ang Roma 3:24, nagkanayon: “Apan pinaagi sa grasya sa Dios mahimo silang matarong pinaagi kang Cristo Jesus nga nagluwas kanila.” Sukad sa sinugdan ang prosiso sa pagluwas sa Dios giandam pinaagi sa usa ka babaye. Ang Isaias 7:14, nagkanayon: “Busa ang GINUO gayod mohatag kanatog timaan, ug kini mao nga usa ka batan-ong dalaga manamkon ug moanak ug usa ka lalaki, ug nganlan siyag Emmanuel.”
Ang ikatulong punto, mao ang gimamit sa Iglesia ni Manalo nga librong Katoliko nga GLORIES AND VITUES OF MARY, page 143, nga nag-ingon: “Si Maria ingon nga matuod nga Inahan sa Dios adunay pinasahi nga relasyon sa Santisima Trinidad, sa maong katarungan, siya mahimo nga anak sa Dios, asawa sa Dios, ug inahan sa Dios.” Busa ipalutaw sa mga Ministro ni Manalo nga ang pagtulon-ang Katoliko, pagtulon-ang bugalbugal kuno. Angayan natong masayran nga ang GLORIES AND VIRTUES OF MARY, usa ka debosyonariyo nga basahon nga naghatag og pasidungog kang Santa Maria apan wala magpasabot nga literal ngayod ang gipasabot nga si Maria asawa sa Dios, kini nga pulong gitawag og allegorical kun pamahayag nga naghupot og simbulokanhong paglarawan sa kamatuoran nga buot ipasabot. Kon atong susihon pag-ayo ang Balaang Kasolatan, tinuod gayod nga si Maria anak sa Dios sanglit si bisan kinsa nga midawat kang Jesus nahimong anak sa Dios. Ang Juan 1:12, kini nagkanayon: “Bisa kinsa nga magdawat kaniya ang Amahan maghatag maghatag og katungod kang bisan kinsa nga mahimong anak sa Dios.” Ug si Santa Maria midawat gayod sa iyang anak labaw sa pagdawat sa tanang tawo ug ang niadtong nagsupak kang Jesus ang kaguol nga bation ni Santa Maria sama sa mahait nga espada nga mulagbas sa iyang kasing-kasing. Ang Lucas 2:34-35, nag-ingon: “Unya nanalangin si Simeon kanila ug miingon kang Maria nga inahan sa bata. ‘Kining bataa gipili sa Dios alang sa kalaglaganug kaluwasan sa daghang mga tawo sa Israel; mahimo siyang ilhanan gikan sa Dios nga supakon sa daghang mga tawo, ug tungod niini madayag ang ilang mga tinaguang hunahuna. Ug ang kaguol, sama sa usa ka espada, molagbas sa imong kaugalingong kasingkasing.’”
Ang pag-ingon nga si Maria asawa sa Dios, usa gihapon kini ka ellegory kun hulad pamulong. Tungod kay ang Kristiyanos adunay dili mabugto nga relasyon tali sa Dios sama sa bana ug sa asawa nga adunay talikala nga dili mabugto samtang buhi pa sila. Ang Jeremias 3:14 (King James Version), nag-ingon: “Bumalik kamo, Oh mga anak nga masalaypon, nagaingon si Jehova; kay ako mao ang inyong bana; …” Atong maklaro nga ang mga anak ni Jehova mao ang Israel, ingon nga gipangasawa niya ang Israel ug dili kini mabulag kaniya, ug si Santa Maria anak man usab sa Dios ug sanglit lakip siya sa nasod sa Israel nan matawag usab siyag asawa sa Dios subay sa hulad nga pamulong kon allegory.
Ang pag-ingon nga si Santa Maria Inahan sa Dios dili kini sayop kay ang gi-anak ni Santa Maria mao man ang persona mismo ni Jesus nga anaa ang kinaiya sa pagka Dios ug Tawong Matuod. Sa duha ka kinaiya labaw gayod ang iyang pagka Dios sa iyang pagkatawo. Mao nga ang Katoliko nag-ingon nga si Santa Maria Inahan sa Dios kadtong Dios nga nagpakatawo. Ang 1 Timoteo 3:16, (King James Version), nag-ingon: “Ug dili malalis nga daku gayud ang pagkatinago sa atong tinuohan: Ang Dios nga gipadayag diha sa lawas.” Kining Dios nga gipadayag sa lawas mao si Cristo. Ang Juan I:1,14, nagkanayon: “Sa wala pay nabuhat bisan usan, ang Pulong diha na. Ang Pulong uban sa Dios, ug ang Pulong Dios. Ang Pulong nahimong tawo ug mipuyo uban kanato…” Kining maong Dios nagpakatawo pinaagi kang Santa Maria. Ang Mateo 1:23, nag-ingon: “’’Ang usa ka babayeng ulay magmabdos ug moanak ug lalaki, ug nganlan siyag Emmanue’ (nga sa ato pa, ‘Ang Dios ania uban kanato’)” Si Santa Isabel nga napuno sa Epiritu miila kang Maria nga Inahan sa iyang Ginuo. Ang Lucas 1:43, nagkanayon: “Ngano kaha nga miduaw man kanako ang inahan sa akong Ginuo? Ug angayang masayran nga ang Ginuo mao ang Dios. Ang Salmo 86:15, nag-ingon: “Ikaw o Ginuo, mao ang Dios…” Tin-aw nga ang Ginuo mao ang Dios ug si Jesus mao ang Ginuo sa tanan. Ang Buhat 10:36 nagkanayon: “Nasayod kamo nga gipadala niya ngadto sa katawhan sa Israel ang mensahe sa Maayong Balita sa pakigdait pinaagi kang Jesu-Cristo nga mao ang Ginuo sa tanan.”

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ANG DAAN DOON, ANG DAAN DITO, SAAN KA TUTUNGO?Ang mga salu-salungat na aral ni Ingkong at ng Dating Daan

Posted by catholicfaithdefender on March 12, 2008

Ang Kasaysayan
Noong 1922, tumiwalag sina Nicolaz Perez at Teofilo Ora sa Iglesia ni Kristo (bersyon ni Manalo) pagkatapos na mapag-alamang si Kristo ay tunay na D’yos. Itinatag ng dalawa ang Iglesia Verdadero de Cristo. Hindi nagtagal at nagkaroon ng hidwaan ang dalawang tagapagtatag. Dahil dito tumiwalag si Nicolaz Perez sa grupo at itinatag ang Iglesia ng Dios Kay Kristo Hesus, Haligi at Suhay ng Katotohanan. Ang mga magulang ni Ginoong Eli Soriano ay kabilang sa grupong ito ni Ginoong Nicolaz Perez. Sa edad na 17, hindi natapos ni Ginoong Soriano ang kanyang sekondaryang pag-aaral, naging malapit na pinagkakatiwalaan ni Perez si Soriano. Naging bulung-bulungan sa grupo na ang papalit kay Perez ay si Soriano, ngunit noong 1975, nagulat ang marami ng mapili si Levita Gugulan. Noong una pumayag dito si Ginoong Soriano, ngunit ‘di nagtagal ito’y kanya ring kinontesta dahil sa paniniwalang ang isang relihiyon ng D’yos ay kahit kailan man ‘di pweding pamunuan ng isang babae. Bagaman may sinasabing ganito ang Bibliya, hindi ito ang tunay na dahilan kung bakit kinalaban ni Soriano si Gugulan. Ang totoong dahilan ay, hindi matanggap ng grupo ni Soriano (at ni Soriano na rin) na hindi ang lider nito ang napiling manguna sa samahan. Dahil dito, noong 1976, itiniwalag si Eliseo Soriano ni Gugulan sa grupo. Nagtatag si Soriano ng sarili niyang relihiyon (na taliwas naman sa sinasabi niyang galing pa sa Herusalem ang kanyang relihiyon) at tinawag itong, “Iglesia ng Dios kay Kristo Hesus, Haligi at Saligan ng Katotohanan”. Di nagtagal binago ng grupo ang pangalan ng kanilang samahan at naging “Iglesia ng Dios kay Kristo Hesus, Haligi at Suhay ng Katotohanan” na kaparihas naman sa pangalan ng grupo ni Gugulan, na “Iglesia ng D’yos kay Kristo Hesus, Haligi at Suhay ng Katotohanan”. Nagtulak ito kay Gugulan na sampahan ng kaso si Soriano dahil sa panggagaya ng pangalan ng samahan niya. Nagkaroon ng matinding labanan at hidwaan ang grupo na mapagsa-hanggang ngayon ay nagpapatuloy. Noong 2002 lamang, nagpalabas ang Korte Suprema ng desisyong pumapanig sa grupo ni Levita Gugulan, kaya binago ulit ng grupo ang pangalan ng samahan para maging “Iglesia ni YHWH at ni YHWSA HMSYH “.

ANG MGA SALUNGATANG ARAL NI INGKONG

Kung ika’y manonood sa programa ni Soriano, mabibighani ka sa tili “kagalingan” ni Soriano sa Bibliya. Ayon pa nga kay Arnold Clavio, isang media anchor sa isang estasyon ng telebesyon, si Eliseo Soriano daw ay “isang dalubhasa sa Bibliya”. Papaano ba naman, si Soriano na mismo ang nagsabing kaya niyang basahin ang Bibliya kahit nakapatay ang ilaw. Ngunit kung pag-aaralang mabuti ang kanyang mga salaysay, makikita ang salungatang pahayag nito. Narito ang iilan sa napakaraming mga salungatang pahayag ni Soriano;

PAPALIT PALIT, KONTRA KONTRA DOKTRINA NI INGKONG…….

SUGO

Unang pahayag
SORIANO: “Ako po ay ano…isang ordinaryong…. mangangaral ng… salita ng Dios,ayaw kong tumanggap ng kahit anong claim na,.….ke propeta , ke sugo…….”

Pangalawang pahayag
Soriano:”Napaka-baliw ko naman, kung nangangaral ako hindi naman ako naniniwalang ako’y sugo”

Pangatlong pahayag
SORIANO: “If I claim na nangangaral ako,therefore, I am obliged to confirm or to say that I am a sugo…”

PULITIKA

Unang paninindigan
Soriano: “Kaya ho yong’ nagsasabi sila’y mangangaral tapos kumakandidato, mabuti wag’ nyong i-boto yun’ eh hehe! mga kababayan”
Soriano: “Ako po naniniwala iyong isang mangangaral na talagang sa Dios, hindi ka dapat kumandidato eh, bakit eh ihahalo mo iyong sarili mo don’ sa alam mong maraming dumi, iyong pulitika”
Soriano: “ah eh marami ngayon eh kina-kapital ang Biblia at kanyang religion para gawing propaganda sa election”
Soriano: “Kasi hindi gawain ng mga kristyano iyon eh, iyong mangampanya iyong mga kung ano-anong mga….. gimik na iyan sa politika”
Soriano: “ibang religious lider mataas ang pangarap eh, gusto nila mag-karoon narin sila ng control sa state, which is against the constitution”

Pangalawang paninindigan
Soriano: “Nakaka-inis din tong’ mga mambabatas natin mula sa congress hangang sa senate eh, ba’t hindi nila yan’ sugpuin yang’ ganyan, na protektahan nila ang kapakanan ng mahihirap kapatid na Jocel . Kaya parang gusto kong kumandidatong …..SENADOR eh!”
Soriano: Ang totoo sabi ko nga…kaya kung ako magiging Senador eh…ang ipo – propose ko iyong mga aral sa Biblia eh na gawing batas eh,…ano! Maganda aral sa Biblia eh, pagka naka-50 anyos ka ‘don sa lupa eh…ibibigay mo naman sa iba eh
Luz: Hindi puro sayo nalang
Soriano: Oo, maganda iyon! Halimbawa hindi na maka-bayad ‘yung may utang sayo, ha! Hindi na talaga maka-bayad kahit anong mangyari, pagdating ng ika-50 taong may utang eh papatawarin na ‘nya iyon eh
Danny: Kanya na iyon
Luz: Papatawarin na ‘nya iyon
Soriano:Diba ‘no! Ang ganda ‘non ano!?
Luz: Oho!

Willy: “kapatid, i-boto po natin si Bro. Eli sa 2004
(Caller): Ay naku opo! Basta nag-kandidato po si Bro. Eli eh para maging matuwid napo ang takbo ng ating bansa (Willy): Salamat po”
Jocel: “Naniniwala ako kay bro. Eli na sya’ ay sugo ng Dios kaya lang mas mabuti na hindi na sya’ tumakbo na presidente, kasi mahahati ang priority nya and mawawala sya’ sa …ng oras sa gawain para sa Iglesia nyo”
Willy: “hmmm?! Is that possible bro. Eli? Mr. President?”(tawanan)
Soriano: “alam mo kapatid ano, ang pamumuno hindi naman makakapag-hiwalay sayo sa Dios iyong pamumuno eh, ba eh …..gagawin mo nga iyong pamumuno iyong galing sa Biblia eh, paano kang mahihiwalay sa Dios”

Matatandaan na si Soriano ay nag-file ng kanyang Certificate of Candidacy para senador noong 2004 elections.

ORDINASYON

Unang paninindigan ng Dating Daan
Danny: “yung’ ginagamit mong basehan…ng Biblia 2Tim. sa saling Mangadang Balita Biblia saling katoliko, eh…. wala kadin namang letra for letra may mababasa ka ba dong’ ordinasyon yon’ kapatid na Resty?
Resty: “wala nga”
Danny: “O! Walang ordinasyon don’”

Pangalawang paninindigan ng Dating Daan
Danny: “piro ibig bang sabihin eh….iyong pag-papatong ng kamay sa Magandang Balita Biblia eh…yun’ na eh….antimano agad eh ordinasyon? Hindi kami tumututol ho! na ito’y… ordinasyon pero sagutin mo! Ordinasyon ba ito o hinde?

OPISYAL NA PANGALAN AYON SA BIBLIA

Unang paninindigan ni Soriano
Soriano: “unang – una wala ka namang mababasa sa Bibliang… OPISYAL na pangalan”

Ikalawang paninindigan ni Soriano
Soriano: “Kaya kung ang pag-uusapan ay opisyal na pangalan ng Iglesia, walang ka-opi-opisyalan kundi Ang Iglesia Ng Dios!(palakpakan at hiyawan) Iyan ang dapat ninyong maintindihan”

Soriano: “Kaya po iyong Iglesia Ng Dios, iyon po’y nasalig o natayo sa ibabaw ng batong saligan ng pananampalataya iyang si Cristo-Jesus, kaya Iglesia Ng Dios kay Cristo-Jesus, iyan ang pangalang sinasabi ng Banal na Kasulatan. Iyan ang opisyal at kumpletong opisyal na pangalan(dahak) ng tunay na samahan o Iglesiang itinuturo ng Banal na Kasulatan mga mahal na kababayan”

Danny: “Eh tayo kapatid na Willy eh sa apat na sulok ng mundo eh kilala bilang grupo ng Ang Dating Daan eh, rehistrado naman iyong ating ADD, iyong Bayan ng Katotohanan ay rehistrado rin

SATANAS, MABUTI O MASAMA?

Unang paninindigan ni Soriano
Soriano: “Hindi naman po dating si Satanas eh masama eh! Hindi ho ba?! Hindi naman dating si Satanas eh sinungaling! Kaya lang sya sumama’t naging sinungaling ng sya’ eh mag-paka-sama, at ito’y gawa ng kanyang sarili! Hindi gawain ng Ama ito”

Soriano: “8: 44 ng Juan. Kayo’y sa inyong Amang Diablo at ang mga nais ng inyong Ama ang ibig ninyong gawin. Sya’y isang mama-matay tao buhat pa ng una, at hindi nananatili sa katotohanan sapagkat walang katotohanan sa kanya, napansin po ninyo? Si Satanas hindi dating masama eh! Hindi sya’ dating sinungaling! Ang sabe, sya’y mamamatay tao buhat pa ng una! At hindi sya nananatili sa katotohanan. Kailan po sya’ inatangang mamamatay tao? Buhat pa ng una! Buhat ng paki-alaman nya’ si Eva’t si Adan sa halamanan ng Eden. Hayon, hindi ang wika sya’ nananatili sa katotohanan. Samakatwid ang ibig sabihin, may isang panahon nasa katotohanan si Satanas”

Ikalawang paninindigan ni Soriano
Soriano: “Si Satanas pala kung Biblia ang pag-babatayan hindi naman naging mabuti kahit kailan. Hindi! Mula pa ika sa pasimula ay nag-kakasala na sya’ eh, sabi ni Juan. Tanungin natin si Jesus. Pakingan natin sa 8: 44 .”

Taga-basa: “Ng Juan. Kayo’y sa inyong Amang Diablo at ang mga nais ng inyong Ama ang ibig ninyong’ gawin. Sya’y isang mamamatay tao buhat pa ng una”

Soriano: “Kailan pa sya’ naging mamamatay tao? Buhat pa ng una. Eh Where in history o what time in history na si Satanas ay maipapakita mong mabuti?

Soriano: “Sabi ng lahat ng pastor si Satanas daw ay Kerubin”
Gremlin 1: “mm-uh”
Gremlin 2: “Ganon nga po”
Gremlin 2: “Oo”
Soriano: “Mabuti! Sakdal! Tapos, sa pasimula! Tapos sumama!
Gremlin: “Sa pasimula”
Gremlin: “umm-uh”
Soriano: “Eh me nabasa ako!
Gremlin 1: “hihihihi!”
Gremlin 2: “hahahaha!”
Soriano: “Sa umpisa palang pala eh tarantado na ito!
Gremlin 1: “Aray ko!”
Gremlin 2: “Patay tayo!”
Gremlin 3: “hahahaha!!”
Soriano: “Saan mo kukunin ngayon ang pag-tutol dyan? O sige nga?! Diba?!
Gremlin 1: “hahahaha!”
Gremlin 2: “hahahaha!”
Gremlin 3: “hahahaha! Eh bakit kana ba ….?

NO FIXED AMOUNT?

Unang paninindigan ni Soriano
Soriano: “contribution are given with the voluntary price from believer”
Willy: “No fixed amount, bro Eli?
Soriano: “No fixed amount”

****************************************************
Soriano: “pero parang turo ko. O ikaw, isang libo ka, limang libo ka. Hindi ganon! Dito basta’t ayon sa ipinasya ng puso mo, maluwag sa kalooban mo at….ayon sa pag-kakilala mo”
***************************************************

Willy: “Magbigay ang bawat isa ayon sa ipinasya ng kanyang puso, wag’ mabigat sa loob o sa kailangan, sapagkat iniibig ng Dios ang nag-bibigay na masaya”
Soriano: “Ayon! Ang gusto ng Dios, mag-bibigay ka ayon sa iyong pasya ng puso. Therefore, kailangan boluntaryong gusto ng Dios, nag-bibigay kang masaya ayon sa pasya ng iyong puso. Iyan ang batas ng Kristyanismo sa pag-bibigay sa iglesia o sa gawain ng panginoon o sa pag-kakawang-gawa, mag-bibigay ayon sa pasya ng puso! Voluntarily! Ngayon, papano isinasagawa iyong pag-bibigay na buluntad? Hindi pinipilit! Walang insinuation”

Pangalawang paninindigan
Soriano: “Pero humihingi lang kong’ tulong, DALAWAMPUNG MILYON lang ang kailangan ko para ma-alisan ako ng isipin, yun’ palang p20M dalawampung libong myembro lang na tig-iisang libo me p20M na eh, eh mahigit naman tayo sa 20 thousand, tig-iisang libo lang eh meron ng 20M. Sana…. katukin ng Dios ang kalooban ninyo mga kapatid. Please! Nakiki-usap ako sa inyo, ease me with my burden, tulungan nyo ako napaka-bigat na po, napaka-bigat na nagkakapatong-patong na ang aking pasan-pasan”
Soriano: “Ipag-palagay mo nalang sampung libo nalang tayo. Halimbawa tig-sasang-daang piso nalang, sampung libong mag-kano? Sampung libong isang daan? Isang milyon na yon’ eh! Eh kung mag-bigay ng tig-isa-isang libo iyong me kaya? Ilan na? Sampung milyon na! O eh mag-bigay lang ng tigdyi-dyis-mil iyong me kaya! Ang gaang-gaan lang ng dyis-mil sa me kaya eh! Sampung libo, beinte-mil, singkwenta-mil, sang’ daang libo! Magaan lang yon’! Kaya lang iyong me kayang nag-bibigay ng daang-libo pag-binilang mo sa daliri hindi ka lalagpas doon sa pangalawa, ha! Ang nag-bibigay ng daang-libo rito sa ating samahan parang isa lang ang tanda ko o dalawa, sabi ko nga sayo hindi ka lalagpas don’ sa pangalawang daliri eh. Maraming me kaya rito hindi maka-pagbigay ng daang-libo eh! Hindi makapag-bitaw! Kung meron man, isa, dalawa, mag-asawa pa! Eh lalusin mo ng lahat yung’ iba, hindi nag-bibigay nung’ ganon, ako na ang nag-sasabi sa inyo, gusto nyo’ ebidensya? Eh kung mag-bibigay lang ang lahat ng me kaya palagay ko pag-bigay nya ng tig-isa-isang-daang libo, madaling-madali matatapos iyon, magaan lang kase eh

ABULUYAN

Unang salaysay
Soriano: “Eh ngayon ba naman sa mga myembro mo nirarasyunan mo ba naman araw-araw! O kayo-kayo lang mga ministro ang nakikinabang dyan sa kinukurakot ninyong mga salaping hindi naman sa paraan ng Biblia”

Ikalawang salaysay
Soriano: “at kinukwenta ko na, kung halimbawa dalawampung libo ang mag-aabuluyan, at saka yan’ hindi abuluyan yan’ na yung’ duktrinang abuluyan na pag-tulong sa Iglesia bro. Jocel ano, iyan eh para sa convention center na ginastusan ko na ng mahigit 100 milyon, humihingi lang ako ng tulong sa myembro”

TEMPLO

Unang salaysay
Soriano: “Tanong pa nya’ isa, si Jesus ay nag-punta sa templo sa Lucas 2:46, bakit wala kayong templo? Meron naman, meron kami di’ lang kasing-gagara nung’ mga templo ngayon dito sa ating bansa, meron naman kami. Gusto mo pakita mo punta ka rito sa Pampanga meron ehe! Malaki, malaki pa sa Araneta Coliseum hehe!”

Pangalawang salaysay
Soriano: “Iyan ang chismiz kapatid na Jocel, napaka-liwanag na chismis nyan’ kase eh, unang-una, hindi naman templo yon’. Sa terminasyon palang ay hindi na mis-inform na ito eh. Mabuti nga ipakita nyo’ dyan yung’ naka-lagay don’, ADD convention center ha! Hindi templo yun’ano!? Convention center yun’ kapatid! Hindi pala kita kapatid, maano ang utak mo. Diba?! Hindi templo iyon, iyon ay convention center, Ka Bularan for your information” “Pero sasabihin mo iyon convention center namin sinabi ko raw templo, katarantaduhan iyang pinag-gagagawa mo na yan’! Convention center nga eh! Hindi kaba nakaka-intindi?!”

PULITIKA 2

Unang salaysay
Nag-tatanong: “Eh di’ ibig pong sabihin kinokontra ni bro. Eli sinabi nya’ non na… ang mga anak ng Dios hindi dapat maki-halo sa pulitika, kasi narinig ko po iyon eh word for word eh”
Danny: “Ay wala pong ganon!
Nag-tatanong: “De’ meron po, napanood ko”
Danny: “Ay…iyon po syempre ang sasabihin nyo’ dahil kayo’y oposisyonista namin”

Pangalawang salaysay
Nag-tatanong: “So…ang mangangaral sa Dios pwedeng hong maki-halo sa pulitika”
Danny: “Kami na po?”
Nag-tatanong: “Opo iyon napo tanong ko”
Danny: “Pwede po! Ayon iyan sa itinatadhana ng batas at saka wala naman pong masamang sinasabi sa Biblia, provided na wala kang lalabagin na batas sa Biblia”

*********************************
Soriano: “Napaka-mali ng ginagawa ng sinumang puno ng religion na nang-hihimasok sa pamamahala ng bansa. Iyon ay mga puno ng religion na hindi ginagamit ang kanilang mga utak”

*********************************

Pagsalungat ng mga manggagawa ni Soriano sa kanya
Willy: “Pati iyong pag-kakandidato ni bro. Eli eh, hehehahahaha! Inuunahan na tayo bro. Jocel mangampanya, hahahahahaha!”

HOLY SUPPER

Salaysay 1
Soriano: “Symbolical yung’ ginawa ni Cristo, and it can be perform spiritually. Kaya dito sa amin, meron ho kaming putol-putol ng tinapay dito. Ini-inom din namin ang katas ng ubas o ang dugo ni Cristo ”

Salaysay 2
Willy: “Ang atin pong ah…stand dito don Manolo, ito po kung Biblia po ang tatanungin hindi naman po ito dapat na ihulog sa literal don Manolo, at iyan nga po’y ipinag-kamalian na ng mga unang Kristyano. Sinasabi po sa I Cor. 11: 22 patuloy na sa akala po ng mga taga-Corinto eh iyon eh dapat na isagawa sa paraang literal”

Salaysay 3
Soriano: “Nung’ unang ituro ni Cristo yan’, nag-karoon sila ng literal na pag-babanal na hapunan eh”

KATAWAN o IGLESIA?

Pahayag 1 ni Soriano
Soriano: “Sapagkat may isa lang katawan! At ang katawan na tinatawag ng Biblia’y ang iglesia. Kung isa lang ang katawan, isa lang ang iglesia”

Pahayag 2 ni Soriano
Soriano: “At kay Manalo: Ang katawan ang iglesia, kaya iglesia ililigtas. Hindi iglesia ililigtas, ang ililigtas katawan!Naintindihan nyo’ ba mga mang-gagawa? Maling sabihin na ang iglesia ililigtas! Kasi, pag-sinabing iglesia kasama yung’ ulo! Pati si Cristo, pati ba si Cristo ililigtas mo? Kundi ka isang dakot na tanga! Biro mo nagka-matay na kayo di’ nyo’ pa naintindihan. Buti nalang bago ako mamatay naintindihan ko, merong nag-pakilala nung tunay na diwa ng Biblia! Sa awa ng Dios. Tapos, ang iglesia ni Cristo ang ililigtas ni Cristo. Mali pala iyong tema na yon’. Patutunayan ko ang katawan ang ililigtas hindi ang iglesia, dahil pag-sinabing iglesia kasama na roon si Cristo. Ba’t mo naman pati iyon ipaliligtas mo pa eh ligtas naman talaga iyon, sya’ nga ang taga-pagligtas eh”

PUWET NG DIOS

Soriano: At sinabi ng Dios, lalangin natin ang tao sa ating larawan, ayon sa ating wangis. Nilalang ng Dios ang tao ayon sa kanyang sariling larawan, ayon sa larawan ng Dios nilalang….. nya, nilalang nya sila na lalake at babae. Oh! kung ikaw naniniwalang nilalang ka sa larawan ng Dios, kung may PUWIT KA TATANGGAPIN MONG MAY PUWIT ANG DIOS!
Soriano: “Pero hindi ibig sabihin sa langit eh… may upuan ang Dios eh ibig sabihin may puwet na ang Dios”

DIOS SI ELI O HINDE?

Paninindigan 1
Soriano: “Ang Dios nandiyan lang eh, naka-handa laging sumama sayo. Ang Dios sumasama sabi nga ni Pablo, kung ang Dios ang aking katulong hindi ako natatakot, anong magagawa sa akin ng tao? Eh biro mo Dios ka tao lang sya’! Ulitin natin”
Willy: “Ano pa’t ating masasabi ng buong tapang, ang Panginoon ang aking katulong, hindi ako matatakot, anong magagawa sa akin ng tao”
Soriano: “O kita nyo! Ang Panginoon ang katulong ko, ba’t ako matatakot? Ano ang magagawa sa akin ng tao! Eh tao lang kayo eh, kasama ko ang Dios pati ako Dios narin eh”

Paninindigan 2
Soriano: “Nag-papakilala raw tayong Dios? Never na tayo nag-papakilalang Dios”

ALAGAD O KAWAL TUMAKAS?

Ang pagkontra ng manggagawa ni Soriano sa kanya
Nagtatanong: Ang punto po kasi doon’, ang pinag-uusapan, sino ang tumakas? Humuli o iyong mga alagad?
(halatang pilit tinatabunan ni Willy iyong boses ng nagtatanong sa pamamagitan ng pagsagot kaagad doon sa nagtatanong kahit di’ pa natatapos ang katanungan)
Willy: Hindi ho ba sinasabi ko na sa inyo kapatid! Hindi ba sinasabi ko sa inyo, ayon sa na-itinuro sa akin ni brother Eli na hindi ko naman iiwan iyon kapatid. Ang mga alagad tumakas, pati iyong mga nakakita ng mga kabutihang ginawa ng panginoon
Nagtatanong: Ang tanong maliwanag eh, sino po ba ang tumakas, iyong humuli o iyong mga alagad? Ngayon sabi nyo’ ngayon, ang tumakas iyong mga alagad, okey lang!
Willy: Hindi! Kung nakinig po kayong ng maige kapatid sinasabi ko sa inyo, iyong mga alagad tumakas

Ang turo ni Bro. Eli…
Soriano: Ang umiwan po sa kanya ay yung mga dumadakip sakanya.
Nagtatanong: Ah iniwan p…. di ba po dinakip sya bakit po sya iniwan?
Soriano: di iniwan, hindi po sya dinakip ng oras na iyon…
Nagtatanong: Ah…..
Soriano: iniwan sya ng lahat ng dumadakip sakanya at tumakas…… hindi po kasi pupwede na ang nangiwan sakanya mga apostol e

KERRUBIN

Ang aral ni Bro. Eli…
Soriano: Patunayan mo sa akin si Satanas ‘yung kerubin ‘dun sa…
Willy: 28 ng Ezekiel
Soriano: 28 ng Ezekiel, sige patunayan mo. Tutol ako!

Ang sabi ng kanyang manggagawa…
Danny: “Kita mo Allan, ‘yun palang demonyo na dating kerubin talagang maganda”

Sabi naman ni Bro. Eli…
Soriano: “Eh pero kami, halimbawa sabihin mo, eh ba’t ika sabi ni Danny ang kerubin daw eh si satanas, bakit ang sabi naman ni Soriano eh patunayan mo. Ba’t sinabi ko ba sayo, hindi ‘sya?

Nakakalito talaga…

MOISES….GINAWANG DIOS?

Unang turo ni Bro Eli…
Soriano: Kasi ‘yung pagka-Dios ni Moises eh ang gumawa eh ‘yung Dios! Kaya ang sabi ng Dios kay Moises: Ginawa kitang Dios kay Fahraon. Oh ngayon, sasabihin ng INC, eh di’ ika hindi tunay na Dios. Anong hindi tunay! ‘Sya na nga ang gumawa. Meron ba namang ginawa ang Dios na hindi tunay

Itinanggi ni Bro Eli ang kanyang unang turo
Soriano: Wala naman tayong sinasabing si Moises ginawa ng Dios na tunay na Dios eh, wala naman ‘non eh
Base sa ating nabasa, ipagkakatiwala mo pa ba ang iyong kaluluwa sa taong salu-salungatan kung mag-turo?

Posted in Apologetics-Tagalog | 2 Comments »

Usa ra ang Tinuod nga Iglesia By: Wendell Talibong ‘CFD’

Posted by catholicfaithdefender on March 12, 2008

Dili gayod mahimo nga ang iglesia sa atong Ginoo susama sa mga iglesia nga gitukod lang og mga tawo. Dili katungdanan sa tawo ang pagtukod og iglesia kon dili katungdanan kini sa Ginoo. Ang Tito 3:10 (Bibliya sa Kristohanong Katilingban) nag-ingon: “ Kon may mopasiugda’g mga sekta sa simbahan, pasidan-i siya sa maka-usa ug unya, sa makaduha. Kon magpadayon siya, pahilayo kaniya.”
Sama pananglit nga ang kwartang usa ka libo ka pesos imong ipa Xerox, apan dili poyde nga ang resulta sa Xerox bisan pag colored kini maoy gamiton sa imong pagpalit.
Sa atong panahon mosubra na og 30 mil ka mga relihiyon o sekta nga tinukod lang og mga tawo apan nanghimakak sa ilang matuod nga mga magtutukod ug nagpatuo nga gitukod sila ni Cristo. Ang PASUGO/February 2002, p.13 ni Leopoldo L. Guevara, nagkanayon: “Isipin na lamang na sa panig pa lamang ng mga nagpakilalang Protestante ay umaabot na sa 20,800 ang mga denominasyon; bukod pa rito ay mayroon pang mahigit na 15,000 ahensyang pang-iglesia (Moody Monthly, September 1984).”
Busa si Ginoong Jesu-Cristo nagpasidaan kanato batok sa mga mini nga mga propeta kinsa nagdala sa iyang ngalan aron paglimbong sa mga inosenting katawhan. Ang Mateo 24:24-25 nagkanayon: “Kay manungha ang mga mini nga propeta; maghimo silag mga milagro ug mga katingalahan aron pagpahisalaag sa mga pinili sa Dios, kon mahimo pa. Timan-i nga gipasidan-an ko na kamo niini.”
Nan, unsaon man nato pag-ila sa matuod nga iglesia aron dili kita malimbongan niadtong nakigkompitensya kaniya?
Ang matuod nga iglesia adunay mga timaan, kansang mga timaan dili na nato makaplagan sa pundok nga gitukod lang og mga tawo.
Mao kini ang mga timaan sa Tinuod nga Simbahan
Nagkahiusa, ang unang timaan sa matuod nga iglesia mao ang ‘PANAGHI-USA’ ubos sa usa lamang ka magbalantay. Ang Juan 10:16 nag-ingon: “Ako adunay ubang mga karnero nga wala mahisakop niining torila. Kinahanglan dad-on ko usab sila nganhi ug mamati sila sa akong tingog ug mahimo silang usa na lamang ka panon ubos sa usa ka magbalantay.”
Kining mga karnero nga gihisgotan ni Cristo mao ang panon sa katawhan. Ang Salmo 79:13 nag-ingon: “Unya kami nga imong katawhan, ang karnero sa imong panon.”
Ang magbalantay mao ang mga obispo ug ang toril mao ang Simbahan sa Dios nga gipalit sa dugo ni Cristo. Ang Buhat 20:28 (VULGATA LATINA) nagkanayon: “Bantayi ang inyong kaugalingon ug ang tibuok nga toril, diin gipahiluna kamo sa Espiritu Santo nga mga obispo aron pagmando sa Simbahan sa Dios, nga iyang gipalit sa iyang kaugalingon nga dugo.”
Ang dili makighiusa sa matuod nga iglesia ug sa mga obispo nga maoy magbalantay niini moresulta gayod sa pagkabahinbahin. Sa Mateo 12:30, kini nag-ingon: “Ang dili dapig kanako batok gayod kanako; ug ang dili motabang kanako pagtigom, nagpatibulaag.”
Ang kasaysayan nagmatuod nga ang Iglesia Katolika nagkahiusa ubos sa usa ka magbalantay nga mao ang Papa sa Roma, samtang ang mga Protestante nagkabahinbahin sa lainlaing sekta. Ang KASAYSAYAN NG DAIGDIG (ika apat na edisyon) ni Dra. Sonia M. Zaide, sa pahina 151, nagkanayon kini: “Ang mga Katoliko ay buklod sa isang organisasyon sa ilalim ng pinakamataas na puno – ang papa sa Vatican; samantalang ang mga Protestante ay hatihati sa maraming sekta gaya ng Anglican, Congregationalist, Lutheran, Calvinist, Presbyterian, Methodist, Baptist, Seventh Day Adventist, atb. na malalaya sa isa’t isa.”
Pagsupak:
Kon ang timaan sa matuod nga Iglesia mao ang panaghiusa, nan, nganong gi-angkon man sa iyang pari subay librong Katoliko nga kamo adunay panagsumpakiay sa Katolisismo?
Ang The Spirit of Catholicism by Karl Adam, p.2, nag-ingon: “It is quite true, Catholicism is a union of contraries.” Dili ba giangkon man ni Karl Adam nga ang Katolisismo napuno sa panagsumpakiay? Busa wala diay kamo magkahiusa.

Tubag:
Tin-aw nga usa ka pagtuis sa kamatuoran ang gibuhat sa mga magsusupak sa Santa Iglesia, sanglit ang pamahayag ni Fr. Karl Adam wala man tiwasa sa pagbasa. Mao kini ang nasulat sa pahina 2: “It is quite true, Catholicism is a union of contraries. But contraries are not contradictories.”
Gipasabot lang sa pari nga ang panagsumpakiay dili sabton nga mohunong na ngadto sa malungtarong pagkabahinbahin. Bisan sa panahon pa sa mga Apostoles adunay panagsumpakiay. Ang Buhat 15:2 nag-ingon: “Kining pagtulon-ana gisupak pag-ayo ni Pablo ug Bernabe; busa gikauyonan nga si Pablo ug si Bernabe ug pipila ka tinun-an sa Antioquia mangadto sa Jerusalem ug makigkita sa mga apostoles ug sa mga kadagkoan bahin niining butanga.”
Apan bisan pa sa panagbangi nagpabilin nga adunay usa lamang ka pagtuo ang Matuod nga Iglesia. Ang Efeso 4:5 nagkanayon: “May usa lamang ka Ginoo, usa ka pagtuo, ug usa ka bunyag;” Sanglit ang atong Ginoo nag-ampo alang sa iyang Iglesia. Ang Juan 17:21 nag-ingon: “Nag-ampo ako nga mausa unta sila amahan, mausa unta sila dinhi kanato ingon nga ikaw ania kanako ug ako anaa kanimo, aron motuo ang kalibotan nga ikaw ang nagpadala kanako.”
Santa, ang ikaduhang timaan sa matuod nga Iglesia mao ang “PAGKABALAAN” kon Santa. Si Cristo nga magtutukod sa iyang Iglesia balaan. Ang 1Pedro 1:16 nag-ingon: “… ‘Pagbalaan kamo kay ako balaan man.’ ”
Ug matuod nga Iglesia gipakasama ni Jesus sa usa ka punoan. Ang Juan 15:5 nagkanayon: “Ako ang punoan sa paras, ug kamo ang mga sanga. Ang magpabilin kanako ug ako diha kaniya mamungag daghan; kay kon wala ako wala kamo’y mahimo.”
Kon unsa ang kahimtang sa punoan mao usab ang matang sa mga sanga niini tungod sa gamot nga nagpatubo kaniya. Ang Roma 11:16, nagkanayon: “Kon balaan ang unang tipik sa pan nga gihalad ngadto sa Dios, balaan usab ang kinatibuk-an niini; ug kon balaan ang mga gamot sa kahoy, balaan usab ang mga sanga.”
Sama sa usa ka maayong punoan nga mamungag maayong bunga, ang matuod nga Iglesia usab adunay maayong bunga. Ang Roma 6:22 (Bibliya sa Kristohanong Katilingban) nag-ingon: “Karon, hinuon, naluwas na mo sa sala ug nag-alagad sa Dios. Namunga mo ug nagtubo sa kabalaan. Ang sangpotanan niini: kinabuhing dayon.”
Kamatuoran niini, daghan na ang mga bayani sa Pagtuong Katoliko nga mao ang mga santos; mga dalaygon ug diosnong mga tawo kansang mga binuhatan dili gayod makalimtan. Ang Sirac 44:10-15 nagkanayon: “Apan dayegon ta kining diosnong mga tawo, kansang matarong nga mga binuhatan wala gayod kalimti. Ang ilang kabantog magpadayon ngadto sa ilang mga kaliwat, ug mao kini ang ilang sulondon. Ang ilang mga kaliwat magpadayon sa pag-amping sa kasabotan, ug sa kanunay maghimo niini, tungod sa gihimo sa ilang katigulangan. Ang ilang mga kaliwat gibutang sa lubnganan, apan ang ilang kabantog magpadayon hangtod sa kahangtoran. Ang mga nasod mag-asoy mahitungod sa kaalam niining mga tawhana ug ang katawhan sa Dios magdayeg kanila.”
Kadaghanan kanila nagpakamatay tungod sa Pagtuo ug ang ilang dugo nahimong binhi sa Kristiyanismo. PSALMS 116:15 (THE GIDEONS) nag-ingon: “Precious in the sight of the Lord is the death of his saints” kun hamili sa panan-aw sa Dios ang kamatayon sa iyang mga Santos.
Pinaagi sa mga diosnong tawo napasidunggan usab si Cristo. Ang Juan 17:10 nag-ingon: “Ang tanan nga akoa, imo; ug ang tanan nga imo, akoa; ug diha kanila gipasidunggan ako.”
Tungod niini ang Ginoo himayaon taliwala sa iyang mga santos. Ang 2 Tesalonika 1:10 (Bibliya sa Kristohanong Katilingban) nagkanayon: “Nianang adlawa himayaon ang Ginoo taliwala sa inyong mga santos. Daygon siya sa mga matuohon, kamo nga midawat sa among pagsaksi.”
Ug busa ang matuod nga Iglesia gitawag og Simbahan sa mga santos. Ang 1 KORINTO 14:33 (VULGATA LATINA) nag-ingon: “Kay dili siya ang Dios ug kabingkilan; hinunoa, kadaitan: sa ingon usab nagatudlo ako diha sa tanang mga Simbahan sa mga santos.”
Ang timaan sa PAGKABALAAN sa Simbang Katoliko gisupak pag-ayo sa mga pundamentalista ilabi na sa grupo ni Felix Manalo. Ilang gamiton ang PANANAMPALATAYA NG ATING MGA NINUNO, ni James Cardinal Gibbons, sa pahina 30, diin kini nagkanayon: “Nalulungkot kaming ipagtapat na ang kabulokan sa moral ay malimit na susumpongan sa pinapupunan ng nagsasabing sila’y Katoliko. Di natin maipipikit ang ating mga mata sa harap ng mga katotohanang maraming-marami sa kanila ang di nabubuhay ayon sa pinag-uutos ng kanilang Iglesia, kundi bagkus nagiging sanhi pa ng kalungkot-lungkot na eskandalo, nguni’t sa aba niya na magiging daan ng mga ito. Tinanggap ko rin naman ang mga kasalanan ng mga Katoliko’y lalong karimarimarim sa mata ng Dios kaysa kasalanan ng nahihiwalay nilang mga kapatid, sapagkat maraming grasya ang nasasayang nila.”
Tungod niini ang mga Ministro ni Manalo moingon nga giangkon kuno ni Cardinal Gibbons nga bulok na ang moralidad sa Simbahang Katoliko, busa ato kining ipatin-aw kay maayo man mo research ang mga ministro ni Manalo batok sa Katoliko, apan dili lang maayong mosabot sa ilang gibasa. Tin-aw ang giingon ni Cardinal Gibbons nga: “Di natin maipipikit ang ating mga mata sa harap ng mga katotohanang maraming-marami sa kanila ang di nabubuhay ayon sa pinag-uutos ng kanilang Iglesia,..”
Klaro nga ang gihisgotang mga makasasalang tawo ni Cardinal Gibbons, mao ang mga tawo nga wala magkinabuhi subay sa gitudlo sa Iglesia kay siya nag-ingon:“…marami-marami ang di nabubuhay ayon sa pinag-uutos ng kanilang Iglesia…”. Kining mga tawhana nahimong makasasala dili tungod kay sila mga sakop sa Katoliko, kondili nahimo silang makasasala tungod kay wala sila magpuyo sa gitudlo sa Santa Iglesia, apan ang kasaysayan usab nagpamatuod nga daghan nang mga makasasala ang misunod sa pagtulon-ang katoliko ug tungod niini sila nahimong mga santos.
Dakong bakak usab ang giingon sa mga ministro ni Manalo, nga si Cardinal Gibbons miangkon kuno subay sa librong PANANAMPALATAYA NG ATING MGA NINUNO, nga dili balaan o santa ang Simbahang Katoliko. Sanglit kon atong basahon ang pahina 23 sa maong libro, si Cardinal Gibbons nagkanayon: “Ang pagkabanal ay isa ring tanda ng tunay na Iglesia: sapagkat, sa dasal na sumasampalataya ay sinabi natin ang ganito, Sumasampalataya ako sa Santa Iglesia Katolika.”
Lain pang librong Katoliko nga gamiton sa mga ministro ni Manalo mao ang libro ni Atty. Teofilo N. Tumulak, C.F.D., Imprimatur: Ricardo Cardinal Vidal, nga nag-uloha’g “DILI ANG TANAN”, diin sa pahina 131, kini nag-ingon: “Angkunon ko nga ang mga “yawa” anaa sa simbahang Katoliko. Ug malagmit ang gidaghanon niining mga yawa-a mosibo sa gidaghanon sa mga diosnon nga misimba aron sa pag-ampo.”
Tugod niini mga ministro ni Manalo moingon nga dili kuno balaan ang Katoliko gomikan kay ang mga yawa kuno anaa man sulod niining Simbahana. Usa gihapon kini ka tikas, sanglit wala nila tiwasa pagbasa ang nasulat sa maong libro aron paglibog sa mga inosente. Ania ang gipahayag ni Atty. Tumulak sa pahina 131: “Angkunon ko ang mga “yawa” anaa sa simbahang Katoliko. Ug malagmit nga ang gidaghanon niining mga yawa-a mosibo sa gidaghanon sa mga diosnon nga mosimba aron sa pag-ampo. Ang “yawa” ugod magsunodsunod man sa mga tawong diosnon. Dili kini moadto sa ilang simbahan kay unsa may adtuon nga wala man didto ang ilang tintalon. …Ang akong ikaingon mao nga walay yawa nga motintal og laing yawa. Pananglit, ikaw maoy kauban sa “yawa” manguros kaha ikaw aron pag-abog sa imong kauban? Dili tingali kay ang yawa dili mahitabo nga moabog sa iyang kauban nga mao ang yawa.”
Ang buhat sa mga ministro ni Manalo nagpa-ilag gayod kon kinsa ang ilang amahan. Ang Juan 8:44 nagkanayon: “Mga anak kamo sa inyong amahan nga mao ang yawa, …”
Nalimot ang mga Ministro ni Manalo nga ang yawa mo-alig-ig sa matuod nga pagtuo (Lukas 22:30). Magsunodsunod usab ang yawa sa mga tawong diosnon busa kinahanglan nga kita magmaampuon (1Pedro 5:8). Apan kon tinuod pa nga ang Katoliko iya sa yawa, nan! Nganong dinhi man sila sa Katoliko manguha’g sakop?
Katolika, ang ikatulong timaan sa matuod nga Iglesia mao nga kini “KATOLIKA” kun malukpanon o universal; sanglit tungod sa Santa Iglesia ang mensahe ni Jesus “mikaylap” sa tibuok kayutaan. Ang pulong “mikaylap” gikan sa griego nga “Katholis”. Ang Lucas 4:14 (sa Bibliya nga NOVUM TESTAMENTUM GRAECE), kini nag-ingon: “kai feme ekelthen katholis tes perikorou peri autou.” Samtang ang griego nga “Katholis” gihubad sa latin og “Universam”. Kini atong mabasa sa Bibliya nga NOVUM TESTAMENTUM LATINE, Lucas 4:14, nga nagkanayon: “et fama exiit per universam regionem de illo.” Ang Bibliya nga Cebuano Popular Version mihubad sa pulong “Katholis” ug “Universam” nga “mikaylap”. Kini nag-ingon: “Mikaylap sa tibuok kayutaan ang balita mahitungod kaniya.”
Ang pulong “Katoliko” gikan usab sa griego nga “Kataholos” nagkahulogan kini’g “Pagtuo nga Nasangyaw sa Tibuok Kalibotan”. Ang Roma 1:8 (NOVUM TESTAMENTUM GRAECE) nagkanayon: “He pistis humon KATangeketai en HOLO to kosmo…” Ang pulong “He pistis humon” nagkahuloga’g “ang inyong pagtuo”(your faith), samtang ang “Katangeletai” nagkahuloga’g “nasangyaw sa tibuok” (is proclaimed / heralded throughout), ug ang “En holo to kosmo” gihubad og “sa tibuok kalibotan”.
Kining pulong “Katoliko” usa ka compound verb nga gilangkubag preposition “KATA” (throughout) nga nagkahuloga’g “sa tanang bahin sa” ug ang adjective nga “HOLOS” (whole) gihubad og “sa tibuok” kun “KATA-HOLOS”.
Kini ang gihulagway ni San Pablo sa iglesia sa Roma nga kaniadtong nahiagom pa sa grabing pagpanglutos ug ang dugo sa mga santos nahimong binhi sa pagtuong Katoliko nga mipukan sa paganong estado sa Roma ug mikabig kanila ngadto sa Kristiyanismo. Ang Roma 1:8 nagkanayon: “Una sa tanan, nagpasalamat ako sa Dios pinaagi kang Jesu-Cristo alang kaninyong tanan; kay nasangyaw sa tibuok kalibotan ang inyong pagtuo.”
Dili tinuod ang giingon sa mga protestante nga ang pulong “Katoliko” dili mabasa sa Bibliya letra por letra tungod kay ang ulohan sa Isaias 62:1 (VULGATA LATINA) nag-ingon: “Bag-ong Siyon kun Simbahang Katoliko.”
Ang footnote sa nasulat sa Leviticus 17:3,(Doay Version) nagkanayon: “The law of God forbids sacrifices to be offered in any other place but at the tabernacle or temple of the Lord: to signify that no sacrifice would be acceptable to God, out of his true temple, the one, holy, catholic, apostolic, church.”
Sa Bibliya nga NOVUM TESTAMENTUM LATINE mabasa usab nato ang “Catholica”, sa ulohan nga bahin sa SANTIAGO 1:1 nga nag-ingon: “EPISTOLA CATHOLICA BEATI IACOBI APOSTOLI.”
Sa Bibliyang Griego atong mabasa ang Ekklesia Katholes sa Buhat 9:31, nagkanayon: Hie mein oun Ekklesia Katholis Tes Judaias kai Galalaias kai Samarias eirenen ekenien oikomodo mene.” Sa ato pa nga ang Tibuok Makaylapong Iglesia milukop sa Judea sa Galelia ug sa Samaria…
Ang Bibliyang hubad sa mga Protestante nga The Living Bible, sa Job 8:8, nag-ingon: “Read the history books and see…”
Busa ang kasaysayan nagmatuod nga ang Simbahang Katoliko gitukod ni Jesu-Cristo kaniadtong tuig A.D. 33. Ang Grollier Encyclopedia, Vol. V, page 106 nag-ingon: “Catholic Church (Gr. Katholikos, universal, general). Term generally applied to the Divine society founded by Jesus Christ, and endowed by the outpouring of the Holy Ghost on the day of Pentecost. More specifically the name denotes the body of the faithful in communion with the Bishop of Rome, hence often called Roman Catholics.”
Apan ang mga sakop ni Felix Y. Manalo, mogamit og mga librong Katoliko aron pagtuis sa Balaan tang Pagtuo. Sila moingon nga ang Katoliko dili kuno tinukod ni Cristo tungod kay sa librong THE CHURCH by Rev. Fr. Daniel Lord, S.J., page 35, nagkanayon kini: “The Catholic Church did not start with Christ.” Busa moingon ang mga Ministro nga giangkon kuno sa Paring Katoliko nga ang Santa Iglesia wala magsukad ni Cristo.
Usa kini ka pagpanlimbong sa mga ministro, sanglit wala gihapon nila tiwasa sa pagbasa ang buot pagpasabot sa pari. Ang gipasabot ni Padre Daniel Lord nga ang Katoliko wala magsukad ni Cristo mao ang buluhaton alang sa kaluwasan, nga sa wala pa matukod ni Cristo ang Santa Iglesia Katolika, ang buluhaton sa kaluwasan nagsugod na bisan pa sa panahon sa unang ginikanan nga sila si Adan ug si Eva. Apan kon atong basahon ang pahina 68 sa maong libro, ang pari nag-ingon: “Who is the founder of the Catholic Church? The God of nature and the God of Grace is the founder of the Catholic Church.” Tin-aw nga ang Dios maoy nagtukod sa Santa Iglesia. Lamang ang pagtukod niini isip kapunongan nga lawas ni Cristo (Efeso 5:23) diha na sa pag-ingon ni Jesus sa Mateo 16:18, nga nagkanayon: “pagatukoron ko ang akong iglesia ug bisan ang ganghaan sa Hades dili makadaog kaniya.”
Lain pang librong Katoliko nga gamiton sa mga Minstro, mao ang, PAGEANT OF THE POPES by John Farrow sa page 3, nagkanayon kini: “The Church was born and it was in being but in those very first days it was not yet catholic.” Busa moingon ang mga Ministro nga giangkon kuno nato nga dili Katoliko ang nahimugso nga iglesia.
Wala gihapon nila kini tiwasa sa pagbasa. Ang gipasabot nga dili pa Katoliko kadtong pagtuo sa mga Judeo (Judaism) nga walay labot ang mga hentel. Ania ang sumpay sa pagpasabot ni Farrow sa page 3 nga wala nila tiwasa sa pagbasa: “For long centuries their composite heritage of religion and race had been jealously guarded by the Jews.”
Apan ang iglesia nga gitukod ni Jesus dili lang alang sa mga Judeo kon dili alang sa tanan, busa Katoliko na kining daan. Sama nga ang kamoting bagon sa unang adlaw pa sukad sa pagtanom sa uma daan na kining kamoting bagon bisan og wala pa ang iyang buhat sa pagkatay sa kaumahan.
Sa maong pahina (page 3) si Farrow miingon:“…event that proved to be of the highest historical importance, the act that marked the development of the Church into the international and inter-racial society which from that time on has offered to all, no matter what race or rank.”
Ilang gamiton usab ang libro ni Padre Edward K. Taylor, C.M.S. nga, ROMAN CATHOLIC, sa page 3, kini nagkanayon: “Catholic was first used by St. Ignatius, bishop Antioch in Syria who was martyred about A.D. 110. It was to stress the unity of the universal Church that St. Ignatius invented the name.” Moingon dayon ang mga Ministro ni Manalo nga si St. Ignatius diay ang nag-imbinto sa ngalang Katoliko busa dili si Cristo.
Usa gihapon kini sa kapagpanglingla, sanglit kon atong sugdon sa pagbasa ang pahina 3, si Padre Taylor nag-ingon: “ ‘Catholic’ is the ancient name by which the Church of Christ has been known for nineteen centuries,”. Klaro ang pagpasabot ni Padre Taylor nga ang pulong “Katoliko” maoy usa ka karaan nga ngalan nga ang Iglesia ni Cristo naila na niini sukad sa napulog siyam ka gatusan ka mga ka tuigan.
Sama nga sa tuig A.D. 56, si San Pablo maoy unang migamit sa pulong nga, “iglesia ni Cristo” sa iyang sulat sa taga-Roma. Si San Ignacio isip tinun-an ni San Juan maoy unang migamit sa pulong, “Katoliko” agig pagpaila nga ang matuod nga iglesia ni Cristo mulokop gayod sa tibuok kalibotan busa kini Katoliko.
Ang libro ni Fr. Juan Trinidad, S.J. gamiton usab sa mga ministro sa ilang pagpanikas og mga kalag. Ang THE CHURCH OF CHRIST AND OTHER PROTESTANT SECTS, page 24 to 25, nag-ingon: “Secondly, the name of the Catholic Apostolic Roman Church did not come from Jesus Christ.” Busa ang mga Ministro moingon nga si Padre Trinidad nag-angkon kuno nga ang ngalang Iglesia Katolika Apostolika Romana wala gayod kuno magagikan kang Cristo.
Laing tikas kini, tungod kay wala sugda pagbasa sa mga ministro ni Manalo ang nasulat sa maong libro. Ania ang gisulat ni Padre Trinidad: “Therefore, the two reasons why the preachers of the Iglesia ni Cristo are against the Catholic Roman Church: 1. First, the title “Pope” did not come from Jesus. 2. Secondly, the name of the Catholic Apostolic Roman Church did not Come from Jesus.” Tin-aw nga dili kini kaugalingong pamahayag ni Padre Trinidad, igo lang niyang gikutlo ang katarongan sa mga ministro ni Manalo sa ilang pagsupak sa Katoliko.
Sa maong pahina (page 25) nag-ingon si Padre Trinidad: “A rose by any other name will be sweet still,” kon ang bulak nga rosas bisan tawgon sa lain nga ngalan nagpabilin sa iyang kahumot. Ang matuod nga Iglesia usab sa panahon sa mga apostolis gitawag sa nagkalainlaing ngalan sama sa “Simbahan sa mga Santos”, 1 Cor. 14:33(Vulgata Latina); “Iglesia sa Judea”, Galacia 1:13; “Iglesia sa mga Hentil”, Roma 16:4 ug ang “Iglesia sa Dios”, 1Timoteo 3:13, apan mao ra kini ang iglesia nga gitukod ni Cristo.
Ang dili husto mao, nga bisan pag nganlag Iglesia ni Cristo ang pundok nga gitukod lang og tawo dili kini makapatinuod sa peke nga iglesia. Sama nga ang botelya sa Coke sudlan gani natog patis mora pod og tinuod nga Coke tan-awon; apan ang sulod niini nga patis dili motam-is tungod lang kay marka sa botelya Coke.
Apostolika, Ang ika-upat nga timaan sa Matuod nga Iglesia mao ang “PAGKA-APOSTOLIKA”, sanglit ang Katoliko mao ang tinuod nga Iglesia ni Cristo kansang kasaysayan nagsukad gayod sa panahon sa mga Apostoles.
Ang matuod nga iglesia gitukod ni Jesus sa ibabaw ni San Pedro, ang unang Santo Papa sa Simbahan. Ang Mateo 16:18-19 nag-ingon: “Busa sultihan ko ikaw: ikaw si Pedro ug ibabaw niining bato tukoron ko ang akong iglesia, ug bisan gani ang kamatayon dili gayod makabuntog niini. Ihatag ko kanimo ang mga yawe sa Gingharian sa Langit: ang imong idili dinhi sa yuta, idili usab didto sa langit; ug ang imong itugot dinhi sa yuta, itugot usab didto sa langit.”
Sa Daang Tugon si Abram ginganlan sa Dios og Abraham tungod kay siya gihimong amahan sa tanang katawhan. Sa Bag-ong Tugon usab ang ngalan ni Saulo gihulipan sa Dios og Pablo sanglit gihimo siyang apostol sa mga Hentil. Ang Dios adunay dakong tuyo sa higayon nga usbon niya ang ngalan sa usa ka tawo; sama ni Simon giusab ni Jesus og Pedro nga nagkahuloga’g “BATO”. Ang John 1:42 (CEBUANO-ENGLISH DIGLOT BIBLE) nag-ingon: “Then he took Simon to Jesus, Jesus looked at him and said, ‘Your name is Simon son of John, but you will be called Cephas.’ (This is the name as Peter and means ‘a rock’)”.
Gipahimotang ni Jesus ang iglesia sa “bato” tungod kay miingon man siya sa Mateo 16:18 nga: “….bisan gani ang kamatayon dili gayod makabuntog niini.”
Ang matuod nga iglesia sama sa panimalay sa usa ka maalamong tawo nga gipahiluna ibabaw sa bato ug sa dihang gihapak kini sa dakong unos wala gayod kini mapukan kay lig-on man ang iyang sukaranan. Ang Mateo 7:24-25 nagkanayon: “Busa ang tanan nga nakadungog sa akong gisulti ug nagtuman niini mahisama sa usa ka tawo nga maalamon nga nagtukod sa iyang balay diha sa bato. Sa dihang mibundak ang ulan, ug mibaha ang mga suba, ug ang hangin mihapak ug mikusokuso niadtong balaya, wala kini matumba kay natukod man diha sa bato.”
Kining balay nga dili gayod matumba mao ang iglesia sa Dios. Ang 1 Timoteo 3:15 nag-ingon: “Apan kon malangan ako kining sulata maoy magtudlo kanimo kon unsaon nato pagkinabuhi diha sa panimalay sa Dios, nga mao ang iglesia sa buhi nga Dios, ang haligi ug ang sukaranan sa kamatuoran!”
Lig-on ang haligi sa matuod nga iglesia kansang sukaranan sa kamatuoran mao ang mga propeta ug mga apostoles. Ang Efeso 2:20-21 nagkanayon: “Gitukod kamo diha sa sukaranan nga gipahimotang sa mga apostoles ug sa mga propeta, ug ang bato nga gisukaran nga mao si Cristo Jesus. Siya ang nagsagang sa tibuok balay hangtod mahimo kining balaan nga templo sa Ginoo.”
Si Propeta Daniel nagtagna sa Matuod nga Iglesia nga dili gayod mapukan ni ang gahom mailog sa ilang katawhan ug modugmok pa kini’g mga Gingharian. Ang Daniel 2:44 nag-ingon, “Sa panahon niining mga haria ang Dios sa langit magtukod og usa ka gingharian nga dili gayod malumpag ni ang iyang gahom maagaw sa laing katawhan. Dugmokon niya kining mga ginghariana ug kini maoy ilang katapusan, ug kining gingharian mobarog hangtod sa kahangtoran.”
Ang footnote sa Daniel 2:44 sa Bibliya nga Doay Version nagmatuod nga ang gingharian nga mobarog hangtod sa kahangtoran mao ang Simbahang Katoliko. Kini nag-ingon: “the kingdom of Christ is the Catholic Church, which cannot be destroyed.”
Usa sa mga gingharian nga gidugmok sa Santa Iglesia mao ang gingharian sa paganong Roma. Bisan pa nga daghang mga santos ang nagbuhis og kinabuhi apan wala mabuntog ang Katoliko sa mga pagpanglutos; ug ang dugo sa mga balaan maoy nahimong binhi sa pagtuo nga a nakakabig sa pagka-kristiyanos sa paganong nasud. Gipamatud-an sa kasaysayan. Sa ANCIENT AND MEDIEVAL HISTORY by Francis S. Betten, page 272, nag-ingon: “All the physical force the mightiest of empires could muster was arrayed against the Church. As the world persecuted Christ, it also persecuted his followers. If we add to this the religious, moral, and social conditions prevailing in the Roman Empire, and the fact that the new religion could have no attraction to man’s natural inclinations, we gladly agree with those who see in its victory a miracle which alone would suffice to prove its divine origin.”
Apan kining Apostolikanhong timaan sa Matuod nga Iglesia, tuison pag-ayo sa mga Ministro ni Manalo. Ipatuo sa I.N.C. nga ang Katoliko kuno mao ang mibiya sa pagtuo ug nagpatalinghog kuno sa malimbungong espiritu.

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