The Instigator
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The Contender
Con (against)
1 Points

Catholicism or Protestantism? (Pro-Protestant, Con-Catholic)

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Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 7/21/2015 Category: Religion
Updated: 3 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 1,143 times Debate No: 77927
Debate Rounds (4)
Comments (5)
Votes (1)




I am arguing from Protestant point of view. I would like to debate whether Protestantism or Catholicism follows the Bible more accurately. In other words, I would like to focus on specific practices of each denomination that is considered incorrect by the other. I do not want any insults towards one denomination.

1st round- acceptance
2nd round- statement
3rd round rebuttal
4th round- conclusion


Having just accepted this challenge, I’d like to make a quick clarification before we begin. I do not conform to a religious doctrine, but if I were to do so, it would be Catholicism because of their interpretation of the bible. Hence, I’ll be arguing their use of the Bible is more accurate. Before we begin, does my opponent have any definitions he’d care to mention?
I look forward to a well fought debate! Let’s keep this civil but impassioned!

Debate Round No. 1


I would like to thank the Con for accepting the challenge. I look forward to a civil and informative debate as well.

Papacy will be the main focus of this argument.

Pope- the head of Roman Catholic Church
It is clearly written in the Bible that Jesus is the head of the church. "And he is the head of the body, the church; he is the beginning and the firstborn from among the dead, so that in everything he might have the supremacy" (Colossians 1:18). The pastors of Protestant church do not hold same position. They are just a part of the body, chosen by God to deliver His word to the believers. Pastors are defined as "a spiritual overseer, a clergyman serving a local church or parish." (Merriam-Webster definition) It is written in the Bible, "But you are not to be like that. Instead, the greatest among you should be like the youngest, and the one who rules like the one who serves" (Luke 22:26). Pope, according to Catholic Church, is a supreme primacy over the Church of Christ. Therefore, he clearly does not follow the Bible"s instructions.

Catholics believe that Popes are infallible when he exercises his office as the head of the Church. Also, they believe that Peter was the first pope. However, we see in the Bible that Peter was not infallible, and Paul had to correct him when Peter decided to treat the circumcised in a superior manner compared to the uncircumcised. It is written, "But when Cephas came to Antioch, I opposed him to his face, because he stood condemned. For before certain men came from James, he was eating with the Gentiles; but when they came he drew back and separated himself, fearing the circumcision party. And the rest of the Jews acted hypocritically along with him, so that even Barnabas was led astray by their hypocrisy. But when I saw that their conduct was not in step with the truth of the gospel, I said to Cephas before them all, "If you, though a Jew, live like a Gentile and not like a Jew, how can you force the Gentiles to live like Jews?" (Galatians 2:11-14). Even if Peter received the papacy from Jesus, he was clearly not infallible, showing a flaw in Catholic belief.

I will not mention all the terrible decisions made by the pope or bishops, however here are some examples.
Pope Boniface VIII, who massacred entire towns and killed thousands.
Pope Alexander VI, who had illegitimate children and robbed money from the wealthy using his status.
Pope Urban II, who preached "Just War" (First Crusade)
Pope Leo X, who lived an exorbitant lifestyle and sold indulgences to cover the expanses.

I am aware that the leaders of Protestantism was not perfect either. Salem Witch Trial or rule of Oliver Cromwell are just some examples of incompetent Protestant leaders. However, in Protestantism, the leaders are not thought of as having infallibility while assuming office. In fact, they are more likely to be spiritually attacked by demons, since their downfall will likely cause many believers to falter. In Protestantism, one preacher's teachings do not represent the religion, and believers are aware of this. This is also why there are so many denominations of Protestants, while there is only one Roman Catholic Church.

As for the matter of Apostleship and the pope and bishops' being the Vicar of Jesus, the Catholic beliefs are also contradictory to the Bible. Catholics believe that only some people (bishops, popes, etc.) are given the apostleship and the power to represent Jesus. That is based on the Biblical verse where Jesus gave Disciple John the key to heaven. "I will give you the keys of the kingdom of heaven; whatever you bind on earth will be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth will be loosed in heaven" (Matthew 16:19). However, Protestants believe that the key is merely symbolic, like most of the Bible, and believe that every one of us have the responsibility and power that in Catholic Church only the popes and the bishops have. This belief is based on the following Biblical verses:
"We are therefore Christ's ambassadors, as though God were making his appeal through us. We implore you on Christ's behalf: Be reconciled to God" (2 Corinthians 5:20).
"Through him we received grace and apostleship to call all the Gentiles to the obedience that comes from faith for his name's sake" (Romans 1:5).
You can see from these verses that John symbolizes what we have all become after we accept Jesus Christ.

Before I end my argument, I would like to clarify one thing: by Protestantism I do not mean certain cults, such as Mormons, Jehovah's Witness, etc. These churches have deviated from the teachings of Christ, and are not considered true Christians. Anglican Church is debatable, since it is very similar to Catholic Church and has been created only because of Henry VII. If you have a debate about Anglican church, however, feel free to state it. Also, Protestantism cannot be defined by one specific denomination. Protestants do not have one unified leader like Catholic pope, so in order to prove Protestantism wrong, you must prove the general idea behind Protestantism wrong. If you disagree with this statement, please mention it in your next argument.

I look forward to your next argument. Thank you.

New International Version Bible
Book of Romans
Book of Matthew
Book of 2 Corinthians
Book of Colossians
Book of Luke
Book of Galatians


Thanks to my opponent for creating this debate.

While my opponent’s argument will focus on papacy, my argument will outline why Catholicism follows the Bible more precisely than Protestantism

Firstly, I feel it is important to state that both religions have their pros and cons, and while Protestantism may be a preferred form of religion, it is not necessarily exempt from high positions of power (the main focus of my opponent’s arguments)

However, my arguments are intended to explain why Catholicism follows the Bible, so, without further ado, where are my main points.

1. VIEWPOINTS ON SINOne of the most hazardous facets of the Protestant doctrine is that its followers seldom, if at all, view all sin as equal. No, instead they focus on sin they are exempt from, such as murder. This is troublesome because it creates a dichotomy for someone who believes their sin makes them inferior to their peers. (For example, a d pious homosexual who feels that his sin guarantees him Hell, whereas the judgmental and dishonest nature of his peers does not.) In the Catholic doctrine, a more cynical, but inclusive tone is taken. We are all sinners, and must atone for our sins. The Catholic doctrine pays attention to the term “equal” which follows the love one-another message of the Bible quite nicely.

2. VIEWPOINTS ON WORSHIP1st Chronicles 16:23 tells us to worship God every day. Protestants main worship day is on Sunday. While not all Protestants follow this belief, a large percentile do. They absolve the rest of the week for acts of normative behavior. A devout Protestant normally does this.A devout Catholic regularly attends mass (which mostly occur over three times a week) While this may not directly follow the previously mentioned verse, it more closely does so.

3. VIEWPOINTS ON MARRIAGE Tying in with the sin argument, Catholics follow the Bible more directly when it comes to marriage. In the Protestant doctrines, divorce is far more common and accepted. This viewpoint directly assaults the Bible’s view of marriage.

The question this debate aims to resolve is which doctrine follows the Bible more closely.

Whereas I do not conform to religion, nor do I agree with either doctrine, as an academic argument, Catholicism may be more controversial, but it also follows the Bible more strictly.

Thanks, again, for Pro initiating this debate! I look forward to rebuttals.

Debate Round No. 2


I would like to express my gratitude to Con for an informed and civil debate so far. I hope that this will continue until the end. I will now state by counterarguments.

1. Viewpoints on sin
It is true that Protestants don't see all sins as equal. However, all sins' cost is death. "For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord" (Romans 6:23). Homosexuality results in same penalty as lying, disobeying, or being afraid. However, Christians can earn eternal life not because their sin is not great, but only because of Jesus' death. "For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith: and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God, not by works, so that no one can boast" (Ephesians 2:8-9). One might say that people who commit "lesser" sins may judge the people who commit greater sins, or that someone who commit greater sins might think that he does not deserve eternal life. However, Bible clearly says that Christians must not judge others."Do not judge, or you too will be judged" (Matthew 7:1). Therefore, true Christians will never look down upon others, no matter what sins they committed. Of course, matter of "pious homosexual" is a different topic and I will not mention it in this argument.

2. Viewpoints on Worship
It is true that we must worship God every day. However, going to church is one way of worshiping him. Protestants worship God in our daily lives, as it is written in Psalms 15. "Those who lead blameless lives and do what is right, speaking the truth from sincere hearts" (Psalms 15:2). It explains who can worship God in His sacred tent. If we apply this verse to our lives, we can clearly see that we can and should worship God in our daily lives.

3. Viewpoints on Marriage
Many Protestant denominations discourages and bans divorces. For example, Baptist church strongly opposes divorce. There are some churches that recognize divorce (though not accepting remarriage), which is similar to Catholic practices. In case of adultery, however, divorce is allowed. "But I say to you that everyone who divorces his wife, except on the ground of sexual immorality, makes her commit adultery, and whoever marries a divorced woman commits adultery" (Matthew 5:32).

I, being a devout Protestant, believe that Protestants follow the Bible more accurately. I am eagerly awaiting your opinion on the matter.

This has so far been a debate with much civility as one can hope for. I would like to say that I am thoroughly enjoying this debate. I can hardly wait for your next argument.
Thank you.

New International Version Bible
Book of Matthew
Book of Ephesians
Book of Psalms
Book of Romans


I extend my thanks to my opponent, as well, for a very civil and engaging debate.

In the last round I gave my arguments as to why Catholicism follows the Bible more correctly. My opponent then attempted to refute my assertions. A method of which I will return the favor.

My opponent’s assertions can be summed up as such: Since Catholics define the pope as the highest religious authority in the world, they do not follow the teachings of the Bible. Since Protestants do not place such authority in papacy, they follow the Bible more properly.

This is erroneous for two reasons.

1.) There are also religious leaders of supreme primacy over Protestant churches.

2.) As Protestants view pastors as an instrument for God, so do Catholics in regards to the Pope.

Point 1: While Protestants may not have a universal figure of authority within their religion, they still place undue trust in their official leaders. For example, The United Methodist Church (the largest Protestant denomination) places undue trust in their bishops, council members, and members of the General Conference (Who literally speaks for all Methodist Churches). Hence, if my opponent argues that placing undue trust in leaders of the church violates the Bible, protestants much also be held accountable for this.

Point 2: My opponent describes Pastors as “a part of the body, chosen by God to deliver His word to the believers.” The same definition can be given to the Pope. Catholics do not recognize the Pope as un-sinful or universally correct. In fact, often times Catholics question a Pope’s decision. My opponent erroneously stated “However, in Protestantism, the leaders are not thought of as having infallibility while assuming office.” Protestants are not the only ones questioning their leaders’ infallibility. In fact, whenever politics is concerned, questioning of leadership is guaranteed. Because of this, Protestantism makes the same mistakes Catholicism does.

Finally, I’d like to refute a few choice quotes from my opponent:

1. “In Protestantism, one preacher's teachings do not represent the religion, and believers are aware of this.” Yet again the same can be said for Catholicism. My opponent has made the mistake to assume that Catholics are unquestioning when it comes to the Pope.

2. “Before I end my argument, I would like to clarify one thing: by Protestantism I do not mean certain cults, such as Mormons, Jehovah's Witness, etc. These churches have deviated from the teachings of Christ, and are not considered true Christians.” If my opponent is arguing for Protestantism, he should be fully inclusive. Unless he provides official evidence that Mormons et. all are not considered to be true Christians, he must be prepared to argue on their behalf.

3. “It is true that Protestants don't see all sins as equal.” My opponent has conceded that my point is right. While he goes onto explain additional beliefs, he does concede that Protestantism violates that specific teaching of the Bible.

4. “It is true that we must worship God every day. However, going to church is one way of worshiping him. Protestants worship God in our daily lives.” The same can be said for Catholics.

With my rebuttals complete, I turn the argument over to my opponent for the final round! Good Luck!

Debate Round No. 3


Jeong_Donghyun forfeited this round.


Since my opponant has forfeited the last round, I extend all my arguments here.

When voting I ask you to consider the fact that everythig my opponant argued against Roman Catholicism can be turned around and argued against Christianaity. I would also like to mention that, in a minor way, he conceeded a few points of mine earlier. Therefore I ask you to vote Con for this debate!
Debate Round No. 4
5 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 5 records.
Posted by Jeong_Donghyun 3 years ago
My Apology to the Con, I was not able to get back to the debate. I did not anticipate such an event, and I would like to apologize to Con for not answering the debate.
Posted by dsjpk5 3 years ago
Pro CLEARLY doesn't understand what "infallible" means. It has nothing to do with behavior.
Posted by Jeong_Donghyun 3 years ago
That sounds good. Maybe I'll make another debate with that topic.
Posted by Jamais23 3 years ago
Very broad topic. You guys should focus on one subject at least like debating Sola Scriptura, Sola Fide, Immaculate Conception, Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary, Peter as the First Pope, etc.
Posted by dsjpk5 3 years ago
Quite a broad subject. I can see this going off into several tangents with not enough space to fully hash them out.
1 votes has been placed for this debate.
Vote Placed by dsjpk5 3 years ago
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Total points awarded:01 
Reasons for voting decision: Pro ff a round. This is bad conduct.