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Christianity or Roman Catholic?

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Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 12/22/2017 Category: Philosophy
Updated: 2 years ago Status: Debating Period
Viewed: 670 times Debate No: 106065
Debate Rounds (5)
Comments (7)
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I am a Christian and not a catholic. Catholic beliefs are beliefs that contradict the Bible. While the Bible says you are saved by faith, catholics say that you are saved by works. Catholics believe purgatory exists. But the Bible never mentions it. So is transsubstantiation. These beliefs are not true because the Bible never mentions them.


Catholics don't believe in Sola scriptura. What is Sola scriptura, you might be wondering? According to Wikipedia, Sola scriptura "is a Christian theological doctrine which holds that the Christian Scriptures are the sole infallible rule of faith and practice." So, it doesn't necessarily matter to Catholics if their beliefs contradict the Bible.

2 Timothy 3:16-17 says:
  • " All scripture is inspired by God and is useful for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness,so that everyone who belongs to God may be proficient, equipped for every good work."

Realize that when 2 Timothy was written, the Christian Bible (as we know it today) did not exist. So, when the author of 2 Timothy refers to "all scripture" he is referring to the Tanakh; the Hebrew Bible. Note that the author of 2 Timothy never even claims that all scripture is scientifically or historically accurate. Because it simply isn't.

Yes, the Bible never mentions transsubstantiation or purgatory. But the Bible also never mentions the doctrine of the Trinity, which even Protestants hold to.

Debate Round No. 1


Lets take a look for a second at where the catholics get their authority. They get their authority from the church. The church makes claims that aren't in the Bible. The Bible says to listen to the church, true, But it says to listen to it to a certain extent. When the church begins to make claims about things that aren't in the Bible, that is when you have to be careful. It comes down to whether you take the Bible as your authority, or the catholic church. You can't believe both because they are contradictory. Protestants get their authority from the Bible which is ultimately what God is directly telling us, his word to us. the Catholic church gets their authority from man. The church is a good authority but when it goes against what God says it becomes wrong. The difference between the church and the Bible is that the church goes against what God directly says, the Bible doesn't. Do you believe what God says or what man says? You have to choose God.
True, the Bible never mentions the exact word "Trinity." But he does say that God is 3 in 1. Trinity is just the word we use to describe it.
In the future, don't site wikipedia as a source because it is not credible.


The Genesis creation stories do not describe Creatio ex nihilo, yet Protestants believe that God created the world out of nothing. This is another example of Protestant doctrine that has no Biblical basis.
  • True, the Bible never mentions the exact word "Trinity." But he does say that God is 3 in 1.
Where does the Bible say that God is 3 in 1? Nowhere; it never says that. The doctrine of the Trinity did not exist when the Bible was being written.

As a Protestant, you believe that the Bible is the highest authority. Protestants have faith that God uses the Bible to communicate His messages to mankind. Catholics, on the other hand, have faith that God uses the Pope / the Catholic church to communicate His messages to mankind.
  • the Catholic church gets their authority from man.
I could say, "The Protestant church gets their authority from man" because the Bible was written by men. But Protestants have faith that God was using those men to get His message across! In the same way, it is wrong to say "The Catholic church gets their authority from men" because Catholics have faith that God is using the Catholic church to get His message across!

Does it really make sense to think that God would leave us with nothing more than a long, ancient book, full of conflicting messages?
  • Deuteronomy 5:9 — “You shall not bow down to them or worship them; for I the LORD am a jealous God, punishing children for the iniquity of parents, to the third and fourth generation of those who reject me.”
  • Ezekiel 18:20: “The person who sins shall die. A child shall not suffer for the iniquity of a parent, nor a parent suffer for the iniquity of a child; the righteousness of the righteous shall be his own, and the wickedness of the wicked shall be his own."
Sola scriptura just doesn't work!
Debate Round No. 2


I am going to take all of my opponents arguments and refute them in order.
1. My opponents says that the Bible never says that God created the world out of nothing.
Genesis 1:1 In the beginning God created the Heavens and the earth.
What do you think that means. It clearly states that God is the result of everything that is here. He created the Heavens and the earth.
2. My opponent states that the Bible never describes God as 3 in 1. The whole Bible talks about God as 3 persons. The Father the Son, and the Holy Spirit, and they are one being. Just because the Bible never says that God is 3 in 1, it does not mean that God is not 3 persons.
3. My opponent then says that God uses the catholic church to get his message across. This is true. There are many beliefs Christianity and Catholicism have in common, he uses the catholic church to get those across. But it goes wrong when the church says things that contradict the Bible. Yes, the Bible was written by men, but they were taught by the Holy Spirit. The scripture is still God breathed. It is still God's word.
4. My opponent mentioned that there are two verses in the Bible that contradict each other. This is not true because Deuteronomy 5:9 is talking about how there is sin in families, and Ezekiel 18:20 is talking about how everyone is responsible for their own sins. These verses are not contradictory because they are referring to different situations.
The verses in the Bible don't contradict each other. I will rethink my beliefs if you can give me one tangible example of a contradictory in the Bible. Otherwise the Bible is the only proper authority for us to use. Scripture is God breathed, the church isn't. Why would God give us a church that completely contradicts what he has said?


Response to (1)

If you read into Genesis 1:2, you would know that Genesis 1 does not describe creation out of nothing in either of its creation narratives:
  • Genesis 1:1-2: "In the beginning when God created the heavens and the earth, the earth was a formless void and darkness covered the face of the deep, while a wind from God swept over the face of the waters" (my emphasis).
Here, earth is "formless" and "dark" but contains "water." This passage does not describe Creatio ex nihilo; God is not creating the world out of nothing here.

Now, if I asked you "Where did the waters come from in Genesis 1:2?" You would surely answer, "God created it!" Because, as a Christian, you believe that God created everything. If I asked you "What did he create the water out of?" you would surely repsond, "out of nothing!" This is Creatio ex nihilo.

The problem is that Genesis does not say that God created the world out of nothing! According to Genesis, God formed our world out of an existing world; a world that was watery, dark, and without form.

Response to (2)

Here, you're contradicting yourself, and admitting that I am right!

In Round 2, you said:
  • "True, the Bible never mentions the exact word "Trinity." But [the Bible] does say that God is 3 in 1."
Just now, in Round 3, you said:
  • "Just because the Bible never says that God is 3 in 1, it does not mean that God is not 3 persons" (my emphasis).
Exactly: the Bible never says that God is 3 in 1! The doctrine of the trinity was invented later, just like the idea of Creatio ex nihilo. These ideas are simply not Biblical, yet they're part of Christianity.

Response to (4)

I don't know how you can possibly miss the contradiction between these verses:
  • "I the LORD am a jealous God; punishing children for the iniquity of parents..." (Deuteronomy 5:9)
  • "A child shall not suffer for the iniquity of a parent..." (Ezekiel 18)

Ezekiel 18 teaches that it is wrong to punish children for their parent's iniquity. According to Deuteronomy 5, God punishes children for the iniquity of parents. Clearly, these are conflicting ideas. But why? I'll explain...

Closing the Remarks

Many people wrote the Bible over a very long period of time. By studying the Bible carefully, it is clear that theology/morality has changed over time. You want proof? Just read your Bible!

Acccording to the 10 Commandments, Yahweh considers wives to be the property of their husbands. According to Yahweh, you own your wife, the same way you own your house, ox, or donkey! (Exodus 20:17). Yahweh orders the Israelites to execute each other for crimes as minor as cursing your mother or father (Leviticus 20:9). Homosexuality earns the death penalty. (Leviticus 20:13). Yahweh orders the Israelites to commit genocide, to slaughter entires communities of people including their children and babies. (Deuteronomy 20:16). In Judges 11, Jephthah sacrifices his daughter to Yahweh...human sacrifice, yikes!

Do you really think your ideas about God come from the Bible? You probably believe in an omnipotent God, creator and Lord of the entire universe, who would would die for us because He loves us so much. Yahweh was nothing like that! The Israelites didn't know about the entire planet, let alone the universe. Yahweh was the God of Israel, and Yahweh certainly did not love everybody.

The only way that you can make it through life thinking "I just follow the Bible, plain and simple!" is if you never seriously read the Bible, and only ever let Christian comrades spoon-feed you cherrypicked Bible verses out-of-context that support what you've been told to believe. The Bible is not a simple book. If you read the Bible and study it critically, you will discover that it is riddled with variances, contradictions, conflicting ideas about God, conflicting ideas about right and wrong.

Finally, the church predates the Bible. The earliest Christians had no Matthew, Mark, Luke, or John. Even if they did, most people back then were illiterate anyways. Were Jesus' 1st-century followers false Christians because they weren't following the Bible? What about the Christians who wrote the books of the New Testament? They weren't real Christians? Or maybe the modern Christian Bible isn't the be-all, end-all of the Christan faith?

Debate Round No. 3


1. I still believe that God created the heavens and the earth of out of nothing. In Genesis 1:1 it says that in the beginning God created the Heavens and the earth. He clearly says in the beginning. This can be implied that the Heavens and the earth were the beginning of God's creation. The Bible never says that God created the world out of an existing world, otherwise he would not have said "In the beginning."
2. In 1 Corinthians 8:6 it says "there is but one God, the father, through which all things came, and there is but one Lord, Jesus Christ, through which all things came and all things live." This verse implies that there is one God, but three persons. He states that there are 3 persons, yet one God. There is no verse in the Bible that states that there are 3 Gods.
3. My opponent never brings up my third argument.
4. Deuteronomy is referring to patterns of sin, while Ezekiel is referring to personal responsibilities. If the verses are referring to different circumstances, they aren't contradictory. It is as simple as that.
5. In my opponents closing remarks he mentioned a problem with Exodus 20:17. Exodus 20:17: "You shall not covet your neighbors house; you shall not covet your neighbors wife, or his ox, or his donkey, or anything that is your neighbors." This verse does not say these things are of equal value, that is aside from the point. His point in that verse is to teach that covetousness is wrong. My opponent stated Leviticus 20:17. First of all, this has nothing to do with the current argument, second of all, Old Testament Law, is no longer applicable to New Testament Christians because Jesus fulfilled the law. My opponent stated Leviticus 20:13. This verse is true, homosexuality deserves the death penalty, I am not sure why my opponent has a problem with this verse. My opponent also has a problem with Deuteronomy 20:16. Deuteronomy 20:16: "Then on the day when he assigns his possessions as and inheritance to his sons, he may not treat the son of the unloved, who is the firstborn." I am not sure where my opponent correlated this verse to ordering Israelites to commit genocide, to slaughter entire communities of people, and kill their children and babies. I would like my opponent to clarify his observation on that verse. My opponent then says that in Judges 11 Jepnath sacrifices her son to God. Again, I read through the chapter, and it doesn't talk about Jepnath giving a human sacrifice. My opponent has taken verses out of the Bible and changed them to mean different things and look conflicting.
With that, my opponent has really not proved any verses in the Bible to be contradictory. The Bible is still God breathed, and still God's word. God himself is the one who makes up the Bible. My opponent has not proved otherwise. The Catholics have taken their church and said that what they say is true. I could say the same thing about the protestant church. How does the Catholic church defend their statement that their church is the true authority.


Genesis and Creatio Ex Nihilo
Genesis 1:1 does not actually say “in the beginning God created the heavens and the earth.” That is an incorrect translation.
  • The more familiar translation of the opening words [of Genesis 1] — “In the beginning God created” — is influenced by the beginning of the Fourth Gospel (John 1.1: “In the beginning was the word”) but is incorrect according to a strict grammatical interpretation of the original Hebrew, which should be translated “When God began to create” or, more literally, “In the beginning of God’s creating.” The verse thus does not describe “creation out of nothing,” a later theological notion, nor does it address such abstract questions as the ultimate origins of matter; rather, it deals with the formation of a cosmos, an ordered universe, out of preexisting but chaotic matter — an unformed earth and an unruly sea over which a wind from God (see Genesis 8.1) swoops like a large bird (see Deuteronomy 32.11).
This quotation is from The Old Testament: A Historical and Literary Introduction to the Hebrew Scriptures by Michael D. Coogan, who teaches at Harvard Divinity School.
Should children be punished for their parents’ iniquity, or not?
The verse I brought up in Deuteronomy says that God punishes children for their parents’ wrongdoing: "I the LORD am a jealous God; punishing children for the iniquity of parents.” The verse in Ezekiel clearly states that it is wrong to punish children for their parents’ wrongdoing; rather, everyone must be held individually responsible for their own sins. If "the righteousness of the righteous shall be his own, and the wickedness of the wicked shall be his own” (as it says in Ezekiel) then how can God punish children for the iniquity of their parents (as it says He does in Deuteronomy)? This is a clear contradiction!
Where do you get the notion that the verse in Deuteronomy is about “patterns of sin”? It doesn’t say, “sin runs in families.” It doesn't say that if a father sins, his son is likely to sin too. It says that God punishes the son for his father’s sins. According to Ezekiel, it is wrong to punish the son for his father’s sins.
Are women property?
If I walked up to a modern Protestant man and asked, “Do you own your wife? Is she a form of property?” that man would respond, “Surely not!” even though, according to Yahweh in Exodus 20:17, wives are the property of their husbands. You’re right; this commandment concerning covetousness. But this commandment also clearly implies that wives are a form of property, like oxen, donkeys, and houses.
Should we follow the Old Testament Law?
You pointed out that we don’t have to follow Leviticus 20:9 because “Old Testament Law, is no longer applicable to New Testament Christians.” I understand that this is a popular idea in Christian circles, but again, this is an idea that does not come from the Bible. Jesus never taught that the Mosaic law is null and void. In fact, Jesus says, “Do not think that I have come to abolish the law or the prophets…until heaven and earth pass away, not one later, not one stroke of a letter, will pass from the law….whoever breaks one of the least of these commandments, and teaches others to do the same, will be called least in the kingdom of heaven; but whoever does them and teaches them will be called great in the kingdom of heaven.” (Matthew 5:17-19).

God Commands Genocide

Deuteronomy 20:16-17 says, "But as for the towns of these peoples that the Lord your God is giving you as an inheritance, you must not let anything that breathes remain alive. You shall annihilate them—the Hittites and the Amorites, the Canaanites and the Perizzites, the Hivites and the Jebusites—just as the Lord your God has commanded.” Here, God is instructing the Israelites to commit genocide.
Obviously, you didn’t read Judges 11 very thoroughly. Judges 11:30 says, “And Jephthah made a vow to the Lord, and said, 'If you will give the Ammonites into my hand, then whoever comes out of the doors of my house to meet me, when I return victorious from the Ammonites, shall be the Lord’s, to be offered up by me as a burnt offering.’” Jephthah is victorious over the Ammonites (Judges 11:32). When he returns home, his only daughter is the one who comes out to meet him. Jephthah is desolate: “When he saw her, he tore his clothes, and said, ‘Alas, my daughter! You have brought me very low; you have become the cause of great trouble to me. For I have opened by mouth to the Lord, and I cannot take back my vow.’” (Judges 11:35). Jephthah’s grants his daughter’s wish to be allowed to live another two months. “At the end of two months, she returned to her father, who did with her according to the vow he had made [i.e. sacrificed her to Yahweh].” (Judges 11:37). So, Jephthah’s daughter was a burnt offering to Yahweh.
About the Trinity
You brought up 1 Corinthians 8:6. This verse mentions the Father (God) and the Son (Jesus). It does not say that the Father and Son are the same. It does not say that the Holy Spirit is equivalent to the Father and the Son. The doctrine of the Trinity does not come from the Bible. The Bible speaks of the Father, Son and Holy Spirit separately. From reading the Bible, there is no indication that the Father, Son and Holy Spirit are one and the same.
The Best Argument Against Sola Scriptura
The earliest Christians had no Christian Bible. According to
"The first “canon” was the Muratorian Canon which was compiled in AD 170. The Muratorian Canon included all of the New Testament books except Hebrews, James, and 3 John.”
So, Jesus died in (approximately) 30 AD and we don’t have a Christian Bible until 170 AD. We have 150 years of pre-Bible Christianity…or was it real Christianity? Can you be a Christian, without the Bible? You tell me.
Was Paul a real Christian? According to your argument, Paul was not a real Christian because he didn’t follow the Christian Bible. Paul didn’t have any Christian Bible. What about the churches Paul wrote letters to? I guess none of the people in those churches were real Christians; they didn’t follow the Christian Bible because they didn’t have the Christian Bible. I guess the people who wrote Matthew, Mark, Luke and John weren’t real Christians, either.
The Christian church predates the Christian Bible. Originally, Christianity wasn’t based on the Chrsitian Bible because originally, there was no Christian Bible. Christianity still isn’t based on the Bible. As I’ve pointed out, many of the things modern Christians believe in (Creatio Ex Nihilo, the Trinity) do not come from the Bible.
Debate Round No. 4
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Debate Round No. 5
7 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 7 records.
Posted by squonk 2 years ago
1 Corinthians 8:6: "...there is one God, the Father, from whom are all things and for whom we exist, and one Lord, Jesus Christ, through whom are all things and through whom we exist."

This verse does not IN ANY WAY imply that God (the Father) and Jesus (the Son) are the same. It doesn't even mention the Holy Spirit, let alone claim that the Holy Spirit is also the Father and the Son. This verse doesn't even ALLUDE to there being a triune (3 in 1) God.
Posted by edster911 2 years ago
As a practicing Catholic I'd like to shed a little of what I have come to understand regarding purgatory. First off there is some evidence in the Bible that allows us to contemplate a transitory "stage" or state of being that is neither hell or heaven. Let's start in the old testament:
2 Macc 12:44-46 "for if he were not expecting the fallen to rise again, it would have been superfluous and foolish to pray for the dead...thus he made atonement for the dead that they might be absolved from their sin" ----Prayers are not needed by those in heaven, and no one can help those in hell. That means some people must be in a third condition, at least temporarily. This verse so clearly illustrates the existence of purgatory that, at the time of the Reformation, Protestants had to cut the books of the Maccabees out of their Bibles in order to avoid accepting the doctrine.

New testament:
Here's one that refutes Sola Scriptura and promotes purgatory 1 Corinthians 3:13-15 "the work of each will come to light, for the day will disclose it. It will be revealed with fire, and the fire will test the quality of each one's work....but if someone's work is burned up, that one will suffer loss; the person WILL be saved, but only as through fire." ---what else could this mean? we see in Rev 21:27 "nothing unclean will enter heaven, nor any who does abominable things or tells lies..."
The Catechism of the Catholic Church defines purgatory as a "purification, so as to achieve the holiness necessary to enter the joy of heaven," which is experienced by those "who die in God"s grace and friendship, but still imperfectly purified" (CCC 1030). It notes that "this final purification of the elect . . . is entirely different from the punishment of the damned" (CCC 1031).
After all, if a guilty soul is merely "covered," if its sinful state still exists but is officially ignored, then it is still a guilty soul. It is still unclean.
Posted by Arganger 2 years ago
Purgatory is silly. All sin leads to death in hell, and we cannot pay for them no matter what. If we could then Jesus wouldn't of had to die for our sins. But he did have to and in doing so he covered ALL of our sins.

Catholics are still Christians though.
Posted by Truth-Over-Emotion 2 years ago
I'd also like to add that the definition of Christian is "...believer in Jesus Christ and his teachings." So even if people did believe in Purgatory (that isn't mentioned in the Bible), they still believe and follow the teachings of Jesus Christ, consequently making them Christians.
Posted by Truth-Over-Emotion 2 years ago
That whole Purgatory thing is more of a preference now than a strict belief. Purgatory was created by the Catholic church in the early Middle Ages as a way to make people fork over some cash to the church. You essentially had to pay the church so your loved one could get into Heaven (that's why Luther broke off and created the Lutheran denomination). We realized after the Middle Ages, that the church was corrupt and that Purgatory most likely wasn't real. And if it was, it was just a place you go to be cleansed of your sins before you go to Heaven. So today, many (actually most) Catholics don't believe in Purgatory. We also believe more in faith in God rather than just works. We encourage it (like all Christians do), but we believe that as long as you have faith in God, and are truly sorry for whatever sins you commit, you will be saved.
Posted by Throwback 2 years ago
I second dsjpk5's comment. Most of us could debate quite effectively theses issues, given enough room to explain the biblical foundation of Catholic doctrine.
Posted by dsjpk5 2 years ago
This topic is too large to do it justice (especially with only three rounds). I would suggest you pick one doctrine and debate that.
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