The Instigator
michaellofton
Pro (for)
Losing
3 Points
The Contender
tonyrobinson
Con (against)
Winning
4 Points

Catholics are in continuity with the Church of Jesus and the Apostles, while Protestants are not.

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Post Voting Period
The voting period for this debate has ended.
after 2 votes the winner is...
tonyrobinson
Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 12/29/2014 Category: Religion
Updated: 2 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 884 times Debate No: 67617
Debate Rounds (3)
Comments (21)
Votes (2)

 

michaellofton

Pro

The Catholic Church is in continuity with the Church established by Jesus and the Aposltes, while the Protestant communions are no longer in continuity with the Church established by Jesus and the Apostles.
tonyrobinson

Con

I accept the challenge.
Debate Round No. 1
michaellofton

Pro

Thank you Tony for accepting the challenge. I want to say I appreciate your willingness to discuss/debate such an important issue. For full disclosure, I wanted to note that I am a former Protestant (Baptist, Presbyterian) who converted to the Catholic Church.

I would first appeal to the following Scriptures to demonstrate that Jesus communicated His authority to the Apostles.

"As the Father has sent me, so I send you." (John 20:21)
"Whoever listens to you listens to me. Whoever rejects you rejects me. And whoever rejects me rejects the one who sent me." (Luke 10:16)
"Whatever you bind on earth shall be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven." (Matt. 16:18; Matt. 18:18)

Next, we must note that Scripture confirms this authority passed from the Apostles to their successors:

[Paul to Timothy] "And what you heard from me through many witnesses entrust to faithful people who will have the ability to teach others as well." (2 Timothy 2:2)
"They appointed presbyters for them in each church." (Acts 14:23)
[Paul to Titus] "For this reason I left you in Crete so that you might . . . appoint presbyters in every town, as I directed you." (Titus 1:5)

The earliest Christians, including the immediate successors of the Apostles, claimed to have the authority of the Apostles. St. Ignatius of Antioch, who was most likely a disciple of the Apostle John, said:

"For we ought to receive every one whom the Master of the house sends to be over His household, as we would do Him that sent him. It is manifest, therefore, that we should look upon the bishop even as we would upon the Lord Himself." (St. Ignatius to the Ephesians, between A.D. 98-117)

Pope St. Clement of Rome, in the early second century, claimed the authority of the Apostles passed to their successors, as he wrote the following:

"Through countryside and city [the apostles] preached, and they appointed their earliest converts, testing them by the Spirit, to be the bishops and deacons of future believers. Nor was this a novelty, for bishops and deacons had been written about a long time earlier. . . . Our apostles knew through our Lord Jesus Christ that there would be strife for the office of bishop. For this reason, therefore, having received perfect foreknowledge, they appointed those who have already been mentioned and afterwards added the further provision that, if they should die, other approved men should succeed to their ministry" (Letter to the Corinthians 42:4"5, 44:1"3 [A.D. 80]).

Tertullian, while debating the Gnostics, who claimed to have the true teachings of the Apostles, appealed to this argument as he stated that we can only know what Jesus and the Apostles taught by looking to the very churches they established (since the canon of Scripture was not entirely determined at that time):

"From this, therefore, do we draw up our rule. Since the Lord Jesus Christ sent the apostles to preach, (our rule is) that no others ought to be received as preachers than those whom Christ appointed . . . Now, what that was which they preached " in other words, what it was which Christ revealed to them " can, as I must here likewise prescribe, properly be proved in no other way than by those very churches which the apostles founded in person." (Prescription against Heretics, 21).

By appealing to Church history, I know that this does not carry the same weight as Scripture, but it can at least serve to demonstrate the earliest Christians believed the authority of Jesus passed to the Apostles and then to their successors.

Moving forward, we note that the Catholic Church maintains Apostolic succession (i.e., the Bishops in the Catholic Church of today were ordained through the laying on of hands by Bishops who were ordained by Bishops that go back in unbroken succession to the Bishops the Apostles ordained) and Protestants do not dispute this.

Now that we have established that Jesus passed His authority to the Apostles, who passed this authority to successors, which makes its way in an unbroken line to present day Catholic Bishops, we must note this is not the case with Protestants. Most Protestants do not claim to have Apostolic succession (the Anglicans do but Catholics and Orthodox Christians do not accept their ordinations because they lost the sacrament of Holy Orders for various reasons) and are thus unable to demonstrate that they are the legitimate successors of the Apostles. They may appeal to Scripture all they would like in order to say that they are in continuity doctrinally with the Apostles, but it can be demonstrated that some Protestant doctrines were not the doctrines passed down to the successors of the Apostles by reading what the earliest Christians believed in the Ante-Nicene era. Additionally, the Protestant is ultimately unable to appeal to Scripture because there has to first be a magisterium (i.e. a teaching authority established by Jesus) in order to determine which books belong in the Bible. Once that is determined, a magisterium is still needed in order to determine who has the correct interpretation of Scripture, since not all matters of doctrine are evident by Scripture alone (see 2 Peter 3:16).

Thank you, Tony, for allowing me to give the Catholic position and I await your response.
tonyrobinson

Con

I will not argue that the apostles were founders of the Christian church, they walked with Jesus and he gave them instructions to carry on after is ascension.
I am surprised that you have not made the argument as many Catholics claiming that the Roman Catholic church is the one true church and that is the one church Jesus was referring to when he said he would be back for his church.
The Christian church is the Roman Catholic Church, so is this continuity also with the Eastern Orthodox? Most Popes during the early days after the separation did not think so. Pope Urban II did not think so and he jumped into war with the Seljuk Turks in an effort to reunite them. That was of course the first Crusade, in that crusade the Christians slaughtered many people, even innocent people many were Christian and others were Jewish. That does not sound divinely inspired or in continuity with the apostles.
If you choose to show succession wouldn't all protestants be a succession to the original protestant Martin Luther who was a Catholic priest who studied under other priests. By your own definition Martin Luther was a successor to the apostles then those under him must have been successors to the apostles as well. However the Catholics considered and possibly still consider Luther a heretic. He offered to recant everything if they could prove him wrong with the scripture, they declined to attempt that and continued with the trial.

I know what many Catholics claim, however claims do not equal reality. So claim as much as you or they wish and that does not change the facts. The fact is that God has no favorites and shows no preference. The man Catholics claim as the first Pope realized that. When the Bible refers to the church he is referring to his people. God the father and Jesus have no denomination, so they are neither Catholic or Protestant.
Acts 10
34 Then Peter opened his mouth, and said, Of a truth I perceive that God is no respecter of persons:

35 But in every nation he that feareth him, and worketh righteousness, is accepted with him.

Peter also showed his Christ Like virtues by showing no favoritism to Jews over Gentiles

44 While Peter yet spake these words, the Holy Ghost fell on all them which heard the word.

45 And they of the circumcision which believed were astonished, as many as came with Peter, because that on the Gentiles also was poured out the gift of the Holy Ghost.

46 For they heard them speak with tongues, and magnify God. Then answered Peter,

47 Can any man forbid water, that these should not be baptized, which have received the Holy Ghost as well as we

I have never heard of the Prescription against the heretics however from your own quote it says "From this, therefore, do we draw up our rule. Since the Lord Jesus Christ sent the apostles to preach, (our rule is) that no others ought to be received as preachers than those whom Christ appointed . ."

So is it your claim that appointees made by successors even today carries the same weight as Jesus personally appointing them?
The authority of the apostles was as church leaders much like today's leaders. However they far from have the same authority as Christ had, he never relinquished such authority. Granted he is not walking on earth or with us physically, however his word and spirit is here to guide us. His spirit that draws people into service is what determines whom Christ appoints not anyone who claims direct succession to the apostles. Of those who claim such a drawing many are found to be false preachers many are great men of God. Whether or not they were truly called of God to be leaders is between them and God and we should not follow anyone merely due to their claim of succession. Jesus said we are known by our fruits, therefore if we have personal relationship with God we will not follow anyone else and we will sit under the ministry of someone appointed by Jesus, not someone self appointed or appointed by man.

In conclusion the Church of Jesus is all of his people. Each person is judged individually not by nation or denomination. The extent of Continuity with Jesus and the Apostles is determined for each individual person not by Catholic or Protestant. Otherwise then Peter was wrong when he said God is no respecter of persons.
The Catholic Church claim to be the one true church and direct successors to the apostles therefore the only legitimate leaders of the Church of Jesus is arrogant and scripturally unsound.
Debate Round No. 2
michaellofton

Pro

You said: "I am surprised that you have not made the argument as many Catholics claiming that the Roman Catholic church is the one true church and that is the one church Jesus was referring to when he said he would be back for his church." I did not bring this up because it isn't necessarily relevant to our discussion/debate. Yes, the Catholic Church is the one true Church, in the sense that it alone possesses the fullness of the faith. However, this does not mean non-Catholic Christians do not possess some elements of the truth. In fact, they do. But these true elements in non-Catholic communions came from the Catholic Church (see the Catechism of the Catholic Church, 816-819).

You ask: "The Christian church is the Roman Catholic Church, so is this continuity also with the Eastern Orthodox?" Keep in mind, the Catholic Church is not simply the Roman Catholic Church because we also have around 20 different Eastern Catholic Churches in full communion with the Bishop of Rome. Technically, the Roman Catholic Church is known as the Latin Rite part pf the Catholic Church and it is only one part of the entire Catholic Church. As to the Eastern Orthodox, they maintain Apostolic succession, so their sacraments are valid, and they maintain the same faith as we do, so that isn't the issue between us. The issue between the Catholic Church and the Eastern Orthodox and Oriental Orthodox Churches, is that they understand Papal primacy differently than we do (they do affirm Papal primacy, just differently than we do). It isn't necessarily a doctrinal difference as it is a difference in practice. This, however, is different from Protestants, who neither maintain Apostolic succession, nor possess the fullness of the faith.

You said: "Most Popes during the early days after the separation did not think so. Pope Urban II did not think so and he jumped into war with the Seljuk Turks in an effort to reunite them. That was of course the first Crusade, in that crusade the Christians slaughtered many people, even innocent people many were Christian and others were Jewish. That does not sound divinely inspired or in continuity with the apostles." Popes in the Middle Ages, even unto the present, still recognize the Eastern Orthodox Churches are not in full communion with the Catholic Church, but this doesn't mean we rejected the fact that they maintain Apostolic succession and valid sacraments. As far as the Crusades, though this is greatly off topic, much can be said here as there is often alot of misinformation floating around on the Internet. I recommend you listen to this radio interview on the real story of the Crusades by scholar Dr. Steve Weidenkopf found here http://www.catholic.com... Lastly, as far as the Crusades detracting from the inspiration or continuity with the Apostles, two points much be made. First, much of what you have probably been told about the Crusades is historically false. Second, even though some Catholics did sin during the Crusades, this does not detract from the fact that the Church is in continuity with the Apostles through Apostolic succession, nor does this detract from the overall necessity of the Crusades, but that is a very different debate. Remember, abuse does not refute use. Also, we should keep in mind that Catholics, even Popes can sin and make horrible mistakes, but this does not detract from the infallibility of the Church, as this is strictly limited to teachings on faith and morals, not the practice of faith and morals. Remember, the Israelites were chosen by God and were His people, but they sure did mess up at times, but this didn't detract from the fact that they were divinely established.

You said "If you choose to show succession wouldn't all protestants be a succession to the original protestant Martin Luther who was a Catholic priest who studied under other priests" Protestants do not have Apostolic succession because Apostolic succession comes from Bishops whose ordinations go back to the Apostles. Luther was only a priest, so, since he did not have the fullness of the sacrament of holy orders, he technically didn't have Apostolic succession. It would have been Luther's bishop who had Apostolic succession. Some Bishops who had Apostolic succession left the faith and joined the Protestant revolt, but they did not pass on their succession because they ceased to believe in the sacrament of holy orders and in the priesthood, which is essential for the passing on of Apostolic succession. Thus, Protestants do not have Apostolic succession, which Catholics do since they maintained the sacrament of Holy orders and the doctrine of the priesthood. In order for a sacrament to be confected, intent is required on part of the one administering the sacrament. Protestants lost Apostolic succession because they did not have the intent on passing on holy orders and the priesthood, since they denied these doctrines. As far as Luther, he was given plenty of opportunity to recant and when he obstinately persisted in heresy, he was excommunicated. He was proven to be in heresy, for example, by Johann Eck, who debated him in public and proved this. Luther was given plenty of refutations to his heresies, but this is also a different topic.

You said: "The fact is that God has no favorites and shows no preference." God is no respecter of persons, with this I agree. It does not logically follow this means that you can belong to whatever denomination you would like. If you carry your logic out to its conclusion, this would mean you can belong to any religion you would like, but we know this is explicitly false according to Scripture, so your interpretation of that Scripture is incorrect. God is no respecter of persons insofar as we are all equally condemned before God apart from Christ Jesus, Jews and Gentiles. I agree God does not have a denomination. Catholicism isn't a denomination, it is the Church. So when Scripture speaks about the Church, it is the same thing as Catholicism, which simply means universal, that is, the universal Church.

You ask: "So is it your claim that appointees made by successors even today carries the same weight as Jesus personally appointing them?" Jesus said He passed His authority to the Apostles, who themselves appointed successors with this authority. Jesus made it clear he gave the Apostles His authority when he said "he who listens to you, listens to me".

You said: "The authority of the apostles was as church leaders much like today's leaders. However they far from have the same authority as Christ had, he never relinquished such authority." Simply saying this does not make it so. I provided Scriptures at the beginning of the debate demonstrating this, and you did not deal with them.

You said: "Granted he is not walking on earth or with us physically, however his word and spirit is here to guide us." True, His Spirit is the one who guides us, but through whom? Catholics believe the Spirit guides the Church through the magisterium, so this does not refute the Catholic claim.

You said: "His spirit that draws people into service is what determines whom Christ appoints not anyone who claims direct succession to the apostles." How do you know who the Spirit has chosen? What if I were to say the Spirit chose me and I were to start my own Church, how would you refute that without appealing to Apostolic succession?

You said: "The Catholic Church claim to be the one true church and direct successors to the apostles therefore the only legitimate leaders of the Church of Jesus is arrogant and scripturally unsound." It would be arrogant if Jesus did not establish a Church, but since He did, the claim is well grounded.


In conclusion, I don't think you have interacted with the material I have presented in a direct way, and have often strayed from the topic of the debate, please do so for the benefit of our readers.
tonyrobinson

Con

How do you debate a Protestant and expect him to accept Catechisms of the Catholic church as a valid source of information. Use the Bible, as your own texts are not scripture and carries no weight for protestants.
As far as the first Crusade, I know it better than most from history books not from Catholic doctrine. The first crusade was necessary but it was the only necessary one and the only one won by the Christians. The sacrament of holy orders and priesthood was not established by Jesus or the apostles. If you actually went by the example of Peter or claimed first Pope then Priest could be married as Peter was married. .
"As far as Luther, he was given plenty of opportunity to recant and when he obstinately persisted in heresy, he was excommunicated. He was proven to be in heresy, for example, by Johann Eck, who debated him in public and proved this. Luther was given plenty of refutations to his heresies, but this is also a different topic" Catholic history books must read much differently than any history book I have read. Luther used scriptures against the Catholic church and that was heresy? So the bishops determine what is heresy? That is the same logic the bishops used to execute a pregnant woman in Bolivia for the heresy of marrying a priest who left the priesthood. What heresy did Luther commit? What scripture did Johann Eck used to prove Luther wrong? He never admitted wrong because the Catholic church then as now stood more on its own man made doctrine than it does divine scripture.
"If you carry your logic out to its conclusion, this would mean you can belong to any religion you would like" LOL No man by any other religion is born again or in favor of Gods grace. The Bible is quite clear on expectations of God and huis rewards and punishments. 3 John is very clear in that and also any verse that begins with "whosoever". The majority of the scriptures you provided were from the catholic canon not the Bible, I addressed the actual scriptures you used.

You said "Catholicism isn't a denomination, it is the Church. So when Scripture speaks about the Church, it is the same thing as Catholicism, which simply means universal, that is, the universal Church." Christianity is a religion, it consists of many groups called denominations, Catholic is the biggest and oldest denomination by still a denomination. So you think that each time the church was mentioned in the Bible it refers to the catholic church. Then by that logic you think that only Catholics are able to be saved and go to heaven. Did Jesus not say that he would be back after the his church? He did not say he would be back after his church and those other people (protestants) he said his church. Not the apostles church or the bishops church, but his church. Also is it not possible for people to go to church and not be saved? If they are catholic then by your logic they are still saved.
"How do you know who the Spirit has chosen? What if I were to say the Spirit chose me and I were to start my own Church, how would you refute that without appealing to Apostolic succession?"
Apostolic succession does not determine the scriptures or what is right and wrong otherwise no Bishop could do wrong, however no man even your Pope is infallible. To say otherwise would be heresy. I have heard many different ministers all who claim they were lead of God and doing Gods work. However as Jesus said you will know his people by their fruits. The Bible also says that we do err by not knowing his word. Some of those ministers I have heard were wrong, they twisted scriptures and taught things that were against Gods word. Someone who is wrong and strays from Gods word as a church will not deceive those who are prayerful and know God.

"You said: "The Catholic Church claim to be the one true church and direct successors to the apostles therefore the only legitimate leaders of the Church of Jesus is arrogant and scripturally unsound." It would be arrogant if Jesus did not establish a Church, but since He did, the claim is well grounded."

His church that he established was not the Catholic Church or any other group. It was his followers, the Christian people the ones he return for, the ones he calls his church. To claim that God is concerned about apostolic succession or that he references the Catholic church as the one true church as you claim is saying that he has favorites and the words of Peter I quoted suggests otherwise. When the Bible says whosoever.... it means just that, it never any Catholic whosoever... or and Protestant whosoever..., because God does not care about that does not consider a persons denomination but treats them individually. As individuals people can be in continuity with the Church of Jesus and the apostles regardless of what church they belong to.
Debate Round No. 3
21 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 10 records.
Posted by tonyrobinson 5 months ago
tonyrobinson
After a year are you still as brainwashed as to think the Pope can do no wrong? Nobody is infallible even Jesus while on earth was fallible. Although he never sinned and never failed he was actually capable of doing so, otherwise he would not have been a worthy sacrifice and he would have died in vain. Yet you think the Pope is infallible, that is heresy.
Posted by Vajrasattva-LeRoy 2 years ago
Vajrasattva-LeRoy
Any FAKE & FRAUD who then says, gee willikers, how dare you
call me a fake & a fraud, we obviously can't have any reasonable discussion,
You can't have a reasonable discussion with anybody,
is a Dam* F**l.
Think about what they called me long ago, & how I responded.
(Translated into modern English. )
You are a Liar like your Father, who was a Liar & a Murderer from the beginning.
You do not know me because you don't know my Father who sent me.
If ye would be my follower, obey my Commandment:
Love one another.
Posted by michaellofton 2 years ago
michaellofton
Vajrasattva-LeRoy, I think you lost the privilege of having a reasonable discussion with me, or anyone else I would imagine, when you started out by claiming I am a "fraud" and a "fake" when you don't even know me. To me, that ends the discussion/debate.
Posted by Vajrasattva-LeRoy 2 years ago
Vajrasattva-LeRoy
I said that you said that God's name was Yahweh.
I've been trying to find that statement.
You may claim that you don't believe that God's name was Yahweh if you want to.
It's on you.
Posted by Vajrasattva-LeRoy 2 years ago
Vajrasattva-LeRoy
PLEASE allow me to get back into this Debate/ Arguments/ Comments.
Like I wrote before, NEITHER of you have any understanding of what you're writing about.
Just one example:
You state "The name of the Biblical God was Yahweh."
His name WASN'T Yahweh.
He claimed to have a HEBREW name, PRONOUNCED Yahweh.
Posted by michaellofton 2 years ago
michaellofton
I do not concede that Pope Urban was an immoral man, or performed immoral acts, not do I concede that he advocated the slaughter of innocent people. However, for the sake of argument, even assuming what you say is true that does not detract from papal infallibility as defined by Catholics. Here is how the First Vatican Council defined this doctrine:

a02;we teach and define as a divinely revealed dogma that

a26;when the Roman pontiff speaks EX CATHEDRA,
a26;that is, when,
1.in the exercise of his office as shepherd and teacher of all Christians,
2.in virtue of his supreme apostolic authority,
3.he defines a doctrine concerning faith or morals to be held by the whole church,
a26;he possesses,
a26;by the divine assistance promised to him in blessed Peter,
a26; that infallibility which the divine Redeemer willed his church to enjoy in defining doctrine concerning faith or morals.
a26;Therefore, such definitions of the Roman pontiff are of themselves, and not by the consent of the church, irreversible.

Thus, even if a Pope were to say, I, by virtue of my authority as Pope, say that it is good to murder innocent people, even this would still not fall under the category of papal infallibility because he must declare that this is to be held by the universal church.

Can you show me where Pope Urban or any other Pope has, in the exercise of his office as shepherd and teacher of all Christians, in virtue of his supreme apostolic authority, defined a doctrine that is immoral to be held by the whole church?

If you cannot, then you have not refuted what Catholics believe about Papal infallibility, but only what you think Catholics believe Papal infallibility is. As to dealing with specific examples, why don't you start a debate and invite me to it, and we will discuss/debate the issues. I think that would be much better than debating in the combox.
Posted by tonyrobinson 2 years ago
tonyrobinson
Yes you said the Pope is infallible on the matters of morals and faith. So I ask how the instruction of the slaughter of non combatants of all three major religions not a moral fallacy.
Posted by michaellofton 2 years ago
michaellofton
I already clarified under what conditions a Pope is infallible but you don't seem to be getting it. If you start a debate on Papal infallibility, please let me know and I'll respond to your arguments at that time.
Posted by tonyrobinson 2 years ago
tonyrobinson
So Pope Urban II was infallible. His actions led to the slaughter of hundreds of innocent people granted the intent of the first crusade was to fight against the muslims. They also killed Jewish people and any Christians who gave refuge to any Jewish person. Those they killed did not have to be combatants just there and found to be wrong according to them. They killed the Jewish people to retaliate against Christ crucifixion. Pope Urban condoned these actions, yet he was infallible on matters of morals?
Posted by michaellofton 2 years ago
michaellofton
I never said the Apostle Peter was not infallible. I believe he was infallible on matters of faith and morals, like his successors. I'd be happy to debate this.

I'd also be happy to debate that there is not salvation outside the Church, as well as invincible ignorance, because both are in Scripture.

You seem to be making alot of claims, each of which I don't mind answering, but each being a full debate in and of itself. Also, much of what you are saying about Catholics is not representative of Cathicism. Here is what I would suggest. Try to understand Catholicism according to what Catholics teach Catholicism is, and then refute that, rather than refute that you think Catholicism is. The former makes for a good debate, the latter is simply a straw man.
2 votes have been placed for this debate. Showing 1 through 2 records.
Vote Placed by MattStPaul 2 years ago
MattStPaul
michaelloftontonyrobinsonTied
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Total points awarded:04 
Reasons for voting decision: BEFORE the debate: Con AFTER the debate: Con CONDUCT: both were equally professional and addressed relevant issues (Con won b/c I agreed more with him) SPELLING/GRAMMAR: both should be awarded equally, however, Pros reliance on books is not persuasive. Con could have and should have provided more citations from authority; but not all of us have time to research; given this, CON wins b/c his research is not from academia only (academia being a flaky authority anyway) but from simple reason and logic. CONVINCING ARGUMENTS: tie (but w/o persuasion towards Pro's side I remain unmoved) RELIABLE SOURCES: academics are not persuasive, Pro; they are, at most, more facts. Ultimately, logic and simplicity win out. They are a more perfect reflection of how the people think and reason. Simplicity wins every time. Congrats Con. - MSP
Vote Placed by dsjpk5 2 years ago
dsjpk5
michaelloftontonyrobinsonTied
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Total points awarded:30 
Reasons for voting decision: Con engaged in a lot of straw man arguments concerning Pro's claims(apostolic succession, church VS denomination, continuity VS sin), so arguments to Pro