Christians are pagan worshipers
Debate Rounds (3)
"Although the cross has become a revered relic and often even an object of worship, I would like to explore the ancient background of this cherished symbol. In our last broadcast we discovered that the Bible describes the worship of Tammuz, the Pagan God of the Sun. Satan inspired those idolatrous people to represent Tammuz by the letter "T," the first letter of his name. It came to be a world-wide symbol of sun worship and all the moral pollution attached to that kind of worship. The heathen actually sacrificed human beings to the devil on crosses. Centuries before Jesus was born crucifixion was a method of worshiping the pagan sun god.
When sun-worshiping generals went to battle they offered thousands of human sacrifices to the devil. It is said that Alexander the Great, after a victorious campaign, crucified over 10,000 human beings on the cross to celebrate his victory. Three-thousand chief Babylonians were crucified at one time as a sacrifice to the Devil.
When the Catholics first went down into South America and Mexico, soon after these were discovered, they were amazed to find that the sun-worshiping heathen there had crosses. They were amazed because they did not know that these people knew anything about crosses. They did not know anything about Christianity, but they had crosses because they were the sign of Tammuz-the Sun God. But listen, friends, the time finally came for the Son of God to be born. The exact day of His birth no one knows. But He lived to be thirty-three and one-half when He was crucified, which was in the spring of the year at the time of the Passover. Listen friends, it is almost too terrible for words. You remember Tammuz was exalted by Satan to be the false Messiah or rival of Jesus. The symbol of the cross, the first letter of his name, "T", was the sign of sun worship. Down through the years, many times as Satan had succeeded in leading Israel into sin and Pagan sun worship, it had seemed that the sun god was victorious over the true God. Jesus, the Creator of the world, came into a world that had forgotten Him. He suffered every insult at its hands and, finally, died upon the symbol of sun worship, the cross; as Paul says, "Even the death of the cross."(Amazing Facts).
The facts of Christianity have been taken by past Catholicism ideas and have been influenced upon Protestant churches. Today's churches have been taking the "truth" and have been using it to please the individual. Christian churches base beliefs off of traditional doctrine. Traditional doctrine has not been placed for a pure religion but for a selfish purpose.
"By the fourth century A.D. the Roman Empire had invested the growing church with its own wealth and a large degree of political power, thinking to extend its own domain. Unfortunately for the world, this blend of religious and temporal power was an intoxicating mix that forever changed those who tasted it. No longer the meek and harmless body of Christ, the church devoured the hand that fed her, and in 538 A.D. Emperor Justinian decreed that the Roman Church now ruled the world. Henceforth, its reign would be known as the "Holy Roman Empire."
The world staggered under the oppression of the Roman Church during the dark ages that followed. In her thirst for ever greater power and domination, she absorbed all other religions into herself and adulterated the pure doctrine of Christ with an amalgam of superstitions and heresies. This characteristic itself was typical of all the pagan nations, which by conquest perpetually added to their list of deities. Says Durant in The Story of Civilization: "There were gods who presided over every moment of a man's life, gods of the house and garden, of food and drink, of health and sickness." The Roman Church gathered these gods into her bosom and gave them saints' names. Prayers for the dead, instead of ascending to Cybele were now offered up to the Virgin Mary. The use of idols and amulets was preserved, as were offerings of appeasement (penance and indulgences). The pagan kings were believed to be incarnations of the sun-god, and the Roman Church had its counterpart in the pope as the vicar of Christ.
The earliest Christians had denied all compromise with false doctrine and had gladly suffered horrible martyrdoms for refusing even to place a pinch of incense at the feet of pagan altars. Yet in just a few generations of time, a curtain of moral blackness shrouded the church. Ever anxious to assimilate and conquer, she integrated virtually every feature of sun worship into her own rites. To spite the Jews whom they hated and to accommodate the legions of sun worshipers that were entering the "faith" through conquest, church leaders very early presumed to transfer the sanctity of the Sabbath to the first day of the week. Sunday was proclaimed a holiday in honor of Jesus' resurrection, a cunning perversion that eventually brought scorn upon God's great moral law, the Ten Commandments. In time this master stroke also effectively obliterated the worship of God as the literal Creator of the universe, which in turn prepared a wide path for the emergence of evolutionary philosophy, centuries later"(Crews).
Lastly the misconception of death in Christianity has been adopted by pagan beliefs and also Greek philosophy.
God said, through the prophet, "Behold, all souls are mine: as the soul of the father, so also the soul of the son is mine: the soul that sinneth, it shall die" (Ezekiel 18:4). This firmly establishes that the soul is definitely not immortal by nature, or it could not experience death. Since the word "immortal" means "not subject to death," there could be no question of death for a soul possessing an innate immortality. At least ten other verses affirm exactly the same thing: the soul is not naturally immortal.
Jesus, the great Master Teacher, declared that the soul could die, in Matthew 10:28. "And fear not them which kill the body ... but rather fear him which is able to destroy both soul and body in hell." By this clear statement, Christ places the matter beyond all question. The soul can die and will die in the fires of hell. Therefore, it cannot be immortal by nature.
This is shocking to a lot of people. The traditional position has been exactly the opposite of this. How upsetting it is to learn that in all the 1700 biblical occurrences of the words "soul" and "spirit" not once are they referred to as being immortal or undying.
Where, then, did the doctrine come from? Most of us have heard about the "soul that never dies" from our earliest years of childhood. One thing is certain: it did not originate in the Scriptures. The truth is that it came directly from pagan tradition and mythology. The ancient Chinese ancestor-worship was rooted in the belief that the soul did not die. Egyptian pyramid hieroglyphics reveal that the doctrine of a naturally immortal soul was basic to their worship of the sun god. In India, where I lived for years, the Hindus believe strongly in reincarnation and transmigration of the soul. Darkest African voodoo ceremonies are built around the concept of an undying soul. "(Crews).
Did the earliest Christiand reject the cross because of its pagan roots? No, rather, they looked upon it as a reminder of what Jesus did for them. 1 Corinthians 1:18 "For the preaching of the cross is to them that perish foolishness; but unto us which are saved it is the power of God." It reminds us of the saving power of Christ"s death on the cross. Paul doesn"t care that the cross is a pagan symbol; it has a different meaning for Christians. He speaks of those who reject the gospel as "enemies of the cross of Christ." (Philippians 3:18) So we see that contrary to Pro"s claim that use of the cross is unbiblical, the cross was actually a significant symbol to the earliest Christians in the Bible. It wasn"t that pagans convinced Christians to accept the cross, but it was because of what Jesus did for us on that cross that made it a significant symbol in first-century Christianity.
Using a pagan symbol is not the same thing as engaging in pagan worship, as long as the symbol doesn"t carry the same meaning for the Christian as it does for the pagan. For example:
"Our [Roman] calendar is not Christian in origin. It descends directly from the Egyptians, who originated the 12 month year, 365 day system. A pagan Egyptian scientist, Sosigenes, suggested this plan to the pagan Emperor Julius Caesar, who directed that it go into effect throughout the Roman Empire in 45 B.C. As adopted it indicated its pagan origin by the names of the months"called after Janus, Maia, Juno, etc. The days were not named but numbered on a complicated system involving Ides, Nones, and Calends. It was not until 321 A.D. that the seven-day week feature was added, when the Emperor Constantine (supposedly) adopted Christianity. Oddly enough for his weekdays he chose pagan names which are still used." (Journal of Calendar Reform, Sept. 1953, p. 128.)
When you use the pagan names Saturday (Saturn"s day from the Roman god Saturn) and Sunday (the sun-god), or Thursday (Thor, god of thunder) you are not doing so in honor of those false gods as the ancient pagans once did. Similarly, when Christians use the cross they don"t do it in honor of pagan gods or with pagan meanings. The Christian use of the cross is not an example of paganism anymore than our use of the calendar.
"Although for Americans covering the bride"s face with a veil has come to represent innocence and purity, the practice was originally used in other cultures as protection from harm or molestation and was one of many rituals adopted out of concern for the happiness, safety, and fertility of the bride and groom. "raised chairs, red carpets, special shoes and other forms of insulation or protection have been used to defend against malicious spirits on the ground. "The current Western practice of having a bridal party to attend the couple evolved from a Roman tradition, in which the bridesmaids and ushers dressed exactly like the bride and groom, to protect the wedding couple by confusing evil spirits." ""Something Old, Something New"Ethnic Weddings in America, (Philadelphia, PA: The Balch Institute for Ethnic Studies, 1987), p. 8
"The custom of giving a wedding ring dates back to the ancient Romans. "Wearing the wedding ring on the ring finger of the left hand is another old custom. People once thought that a vein or nerve ran directly from this finger to the heart." " The World Book Encyclopedia, vol. 13, 2000, p. 221
"The wedding cake has its origins far back in time. "In Rome the early marriage rite was called conferreatio from the cake of wheat"which the couple first offered to the gods, then ate together." " The Encyclopedia Americana, vol. 28, 1999, p. 565
"There is not a single point connected with marriage which is not shrouded in innumerable superstitions, some of them dating back to hoary antiquity." " A Short History of Marriage, by Ethel L. Urlin, (Detroit Singing Tree Press, 1969), p. 201
Are Christians guilty of paganism just because pagans used wedding rings and so on before they did? Of course not, because these things carry a different significance for Christians, and so does the cross. For Pro to be consistent with his argument, he needs to repudiate the use of the calendar and marriage customs to sustain his theory.
The Bible allows Christians to eat meat offered in sacrifice to pagan idols as long as the Christian eating the meat does so with a heart of gratitude toward God and does not cause a weaker brother to stumble by doing so? (1 Cor 8:4, 7-8) Since God allows Christians to eat pagan meat if their heart-motives are pure, why would God be displeased with Christians today who choose to remember Christ by use of the cross?
The Bible forbids the worship of images, but not the use of images. Notice God even commanded the making and use of various images such as the golden cherubs and the ark which were used in rituals on the Day of Atonement. (Exo 25:17-22; Lev 16) God commanded Moses to make a copper serpent coiled on a pole even though the serpent was a pagan symbol used in Egypt long before. (Num 21:8-9) Twelve bulls were made in constructing the temple even though stone animals were pagan symbols venerated in Egypt long before. (1 Kings 7:25) So the Bible has nothing against the using a symbol just because pagans their own meanings to it. Should we stop appreciating the sun just because Egyptians worship it as a god named Ra?
One word tends to have more than one meaning in any language. The Hebrew word Elohim means "God" in Genesis 1:1, but means "gods" in Exodus 12:12. So too, the word soul does at times mean the physical body, but at time it doesn"t. At Matt 10:28 Jesus contrasted the would with the body saying: "And fear not them which kill the body, but are not able to kill the soul;" one can be killed, the other cannot. Then he says "fear him which is able to destroy both soul and body," the word "both" indicating two distinct entities " so the soul in this case isn"t the body at all.
Pro argues that if God can kill the soul, the soul isn"t immortal, but has it not occurred to him that God can first strip an immortal soul of his immortality, then kill him? So this doesn"t prove the soul isn"t immortal. It might not be, but Pro"s argument is still weak. We have souls of people who were killed on earth, alive in heaven at Revelation 6:9-11. More proof the soul survives the death of the body is Luke 16:19-31 where the rich man, Lazarus and Abraham all exist alive in another place after their bodies had died. Paul preferred to become absent from his body so he could be present with the Lord. (2 Cor 5:6-8) What part of him could be absent from his body if not the soul?
The Bible has plenty examples where God"s people engaged in warfare. (Joshua 11; Deu 7:1-7) Christians today have Biblical basis for protecting their families even if violence is necessary. This is part of protecting those you love. Does Pro believe that we should have no armed police officers? How will they protect us then?
We have enough examples in the Bible of God"s people taking high office in government to effect change in the lives of people. (Gen 41:39-45; Dan 5:7, 29) God himself sets up kings. (1 Sam 13:13-14; 16:1) So we have Biblical basis for all these practices, negating Pro"s claim that they are unbiblical and pagan.
The Roman Church grew out of the orthodox Christian movement, once Gnosticism was demolished. A rigid hierarchy was built, with the Bishop of Rome, the Pope, at the top, controlling doctrine. It grew into a vast juggernaut, however, and as is the nature of large bloated bureaucracies that outlast their usefulness, the Church grew corrupt. Attempts were made to eliminate the corruption, but these only had limited effect.
In the 11th century, the entire eastern Church broke away from Rome, and eventually drifted into a group of national Orthodox Churches. In the 16th century, of course, the Reformation got underway, and the Church was never the same again...
Today, Christianity is a bewildering array of Catholic and Orthodox Churches and Protestant denominations, each of which claims to be the "real" Christianity, and that all the rest are "in error....In any event, while the Reformation utterly fragmented Christianity into many "splinters," as I stated at the outset, there never was a time when the Church was unified under a single banner. Even in the heyday of the Roman Church, from about the 8th century to the 11th, the "unity" of the Church was only an illusion. Churches in the east were effectively on their own, anyway; the Great (or Eastern) Schism of the 11th century, merely formalized a situation that had long been in effect, already. Rome was never a party to purely eastern controversies such as monophysitism or iconoclasm; they were resolved entirely without the Pope"s assistance(early).
he Roman Emperor Constantine, sometimes surnamed "the Great," had declared Christianity an acceptable religion, in the Edict of Milan (313). His motives in doing so are a bit uncertain. He claimed to have had a vision of a cross in the heavens, prior to a battle he fought against another imperial contender, & heard a voice telling him to win in the name of the Christian God. As it turned out, he was victorious, & he saw this as a good omen & a sign of his favor with the Christian God. It may have happened this way, however, Constantine likely had less supernatural motives for permitting Christian belief. Christianity was an eastern-urban faith; in spite of three centuries of sporadic persecution, in many of the larger towns & cities (such as Antioch and Alexandria), it was the prevailing religion. By ending persecution of Christians, Constantine hoped to win over the urban populations, & with their support, he could enhance his own prestige & authority as Emperor. This was made all the more important due to a plague which had swept the western Empire during the reign of his predecessor, Emperor Diocletian. Any hope of rebuildign the west depended on the economically-thriving east.
By the early 320"s, Constantine had made himself the sole Emperor, having defeated his last rival, Lucinius. Aware of some of the theological contention in the Church, especially in Alexandria, Constantine was concerned that the Church might fracture, and thus dilute its support for him. Not fully understanding the issues at stake, he invited the bishops & patriarchs to meet at Nic"a, to resolve their differences, suggesting that it was merely a semantic matter, of no real importance.Constantine couldn"t possibly have been more wrong. The matter was considered gravely important by leading Churchmen; they didn"t consider it just a semantic distinction. What the Emperor had planned as a meeting to set aside differences and create unity, proved to be anything but.
In the first early church the Christians didn't accept the cross as a symbol.The word cross in the bible was representing an event not symbol.It would refer to what happen at the cross not the actually symbol.The Protestant church came out of the Catholic Church for religious freedom.The Protestant church still had adopted the pagan traditions excluding the doctrines of Mary and the Rosary etc.Every Protestant church today has come from another church because they find more truth in the Bible not Christianity.
So where does it in the Bible does it say that Christmas or Easter should be recognized?..
But wait..doesn't it represent Jesus??it doesn't contradict the bible.
Let's see what else doesn't contradict the Bible.
"Since the Immaculate Conception and Assumption are not explicit in Scripture, Fundamentalists conclude that the doctrines are false. Here, of course, we get into an entirely separate matter, the question of sola scriptura, or the Protestant "Bible only" theory. There is no room in this tract to consider that idea. Let it just be said that if the position of the Catholic Church is true, then the notion of sola scriptura is false."(catholic)
So in the Protestant view the scriptures are true.But Christmas is not of the scriptures.
" There is then no problem with the Church officially defining a doctrine which is not explicitly in Scripture, so long as it is not in contradiction to Scripture." (catholic)
So as long as scripture is not contradicted then it's okay to worship on Sundays...
Sundays??yes,sundays are also not biblical.
"The seventh day is the sabbath of the Lord thy God." Exodus 20:10. "And when the sabbath was past, ...very early in the morning the first day of the week, they came unto the sepulchre." Mark 16:1, 2.
Answer: The Sabbath is not the first day of the week (Sunday), as many believe, but the seventh day (Saturday). Notice from the above Scripture that the Sabbath is the day that comes just before the first day of the week.(Amazing Facts).
8. But wasn't the Sabbath changed to Sunday at Christ's death or resurrection?
Answer: No, there is not the remotest hint that the Sabbath was changed at Christ's death or resurrection. The Bible teaches just the opposite. Please carefully review the following evidence:
A. God blessed the Sabbath.
"The Lord blessed the sabbath day and hallowed it." Exodus 20:11. "And God blessed the seventh day, and sanctified it." Genesis 2:3.
B. Christ expected His people to be still keeping the Sabbath in A.D. 70 when Jerusalem was destroyed.
Knowing full well that Jerusalem would be destroyed by Rome in A.D. 70, Jesus warned His followers of that time, saying, "But pray ye that your flight be not in the winter, neither on the sabbath day." Matthew 24:20, emphasis added. Jesus made it clear that He intended for the Sabbath to be kept even 40 years after His resurrection. In fact, there is no intimation anywhere in the Scriptures that Jesus, His Father, or the apostles ever (at any time, under any circumstances) changed the holy seventh-day Sabbath to any other day.
12. Well, if Sundaykeeping isn't in the Bible, whose idea was it anyway?
"And he shall think to change the times and the law." Daniel 7:25, RSV.* "Thus have ye made the commandment of God of none effect by your tradition." "In vain they do worship me, teaching for doctrines the commandments of men." Matthew 15:6, 9. "Her priests have violated my law." "And her prophets have daubed them with untempered mortar, ... saying, Thus saith the Lord God, when the Lord hath not spoken." Ezekiel 22:26, 28.
Answer: Misguided men of long years past announced that God's holy day was changed from Sabbath to Sunday. God predicted it would happen, and it did. This error was passed on to our unsuspecting generation as gospel fact. Sundaykeeping is a tradition of uninspired men and breaks God's law, which commands Sabbathkeeping. Only God can make a day holy. God blessed the Sabbath, and when God blesses, no man can "reverse it." Numbers 23:20.
So in the sense of beliefs of Christianity,most christians today are misleaded because of past history.
He mentions the fact that denominations are divided into Catholic, Orthodox and Protestant denominations, all claiming to be "real" Christianity, but this does absolutely nothing to prove that the doctrine which he highlighted regarding the soul, the cross, politics and warfare, are unbiblical or pagan. What"s more, the Bible doesn"t teach that to be a Christian means one has to agree on every single point of doctrine. For example some believe in holydays and others do not, but God accepts them both; some believe in eating certain foods, other teach it"s a sin, but God accept them both. (Rom 14:1-9) Both those who believed in keeping the law of Moses and those who knew it was abolished were accepted as "believers." (Acts 21:20-26; 15:5) So folks may disagree on minor issues not connected to one"s salvation and still be legitimately called Christian. Not even the apostles of Jesus were correct in ever detail of what they believed. (John 21:21-23; Matt 16:21-23; Luke 24:17-21) So citing division among churches isn"t going to prove Pro"s case that they aren"t true Christians. He needs to first identify what a Christian is, then show us that the teachings or practices of all these denominations he talks about do not meet this standard.
Bashing Constantine and the Catholics for their dismal record hardly proves that Adventists, Baptists, Methodists, Weslyans, Pentecostals, Evangelicals, Apostolic, and other churches are not Christian. Nor does it show the central beliefs of all these denominations to be in error. Pro says that the early Church didn"t use the cross as a symbol, only mentioning it in reference to an event, but even if that is true, I have already shown that the Bible has nothing in its official doctrine against the use of symbols, and in fact we have examples of God commanding images to be used in rituals. Pro"s argument is also flawed, because he is trying to say that if the first Christians didn"t have something that neither should Christians today. He uses Christmas and Easter as examples. But again, to be consistent with this position, he must also say that Christians should not celebrate wedding anniversaries, use wedding rings, and women should not wear pants, because the earliest Christians also didn"t do these things. By his logic, we Christians would have to throw away our Julian Calendars and anything else early Christians didn"t possess. Such a view is very extreme, and goes against the teaching of Scripture, for the Bible teaches that we should not burden anyone with commands not found in God"s word. (Gal 1:8-9; Prov 30:5-6; 1 Cor 4:6) The Bible contains no command against celebrating the birth of our Savior, so if Pro thinks this is incompatible with Christianity, he needs to show it to us from Scripture.
So where does it in the Bible does it say that Christmas or Easter should be recognized? Tell me where the Bible says wedding anniversaries should be recognized and you"ll have your answer. Also, where in the Bible are these things prohibited? Unless Pro can find the prohibition against celebrating the resurrection and birth of Jesus, he can"t prove these holidays are contrary to Scripture. The Bible doesn"t tell us to watch TV or read the newspaper, so should we abandon these to, Pro?
Pro again: "So in the Protestant view the scriptures are true. But Christmas is not of the scriptures."
Answer: The Scriptures being true doesn"t mean that once something isn"t in the Bible that it is wrong. Do you think its wrong to have a minister or priest marry couples just because no minister is mentioned in the Bible as performing marriage ceremonies? Do you think it"s wrong to wear a wedding ring just because it isn"t in the Bible?
Pro again: So as long as scripture is not contradicted then it's okay to worship on Sundays...
Answer: Yes. It"s ok to worship on Sundays because it doesn"t contradict Scripture, and I challenge you to show me where it does!
Pro again: "Sundays are also not biblical."
Answer: Yes, they are: Pentecost is a name used in the New Testament to denote the Festival of Harvest (Ex 23:16) or Festival of Weeks (Ex 34:22), called also "the day of the first ripe fruits." (Nu 28:26) Instructions for this festival are found at Leviticus 23:15-21; Numbers 28:26-31; Deuteronomy 16:9-12. It was to be celebrated on the 50th day (Pentecost means "Fiftieth [Day]") from Nisan 16, the day that the barley sheaf was offered. (Le 23:15,"16) Since this day came after the Saturday Sabbath, it would have fallen on Sunday (assuming Pro is using our current calendar). On this day, Sunday, Christians met for worship in Acts 2:1-11. The also met for worship on the 1st day of the week in Acts 20:7 and 1 Corinthians 16:1-2. What"s more, according to Acts 2:46, 47 and Acts 5:42, Christians met for worship every day. I assume every day would include Sunday, would it not? So it is Biblical to meet for worship on Sundays. Pro stands refuted.
As for the Sabbath, it is pointless debating if the Sabbath is Saturday or Sunday, because the Sabbath was abolished. Exodus 34:27-28; Deuteronomy 4:13; 9:9; 1 Kings 8:9, 21 and 2 Chronicles 6:11 all identify the covenant God made with Israel as the law which included the Sabbath. Hebrews 8:13 makes it clear that this covenant has been removed. Colossians 2:14, 16-17 also acknowledges the passing away of the Sabbath command, therefore none can judge us regarding such holydays. If the Sabbath were binding, elders in the church could judge us for Sabbath breaking, but Paul makes it clear we no longer have to observe such days. (Rom 14:4-9) The law of Moses with its Sabbath has been done away with (Eph 2:15). Under the New Covenant we have laws to obey, but the Sabbath isn"t one of them, and I challenge Pro to show me one verse in the New Testament that commands Christians to keep the Sabbath.
Please carefully review the following evidence:
A. God blessed the Sabbath, but it was a shadow pointing to Christ (Col 2:16-17), now that Christ has come we no longer need the shadows, we have the reality. (Heb 10:1)
B. Matthew 24:20 doesn"t say to keep the Sabbath, rather, it say we should pray that their flight wouldn"t occur in winter or on the Sabbath. Does praying that you won"t have flight in winter make winter a holyday to be observed? Of course not! The same is true of the Sabbath. Jesus wasn"t teaching anyone to observe winter or the Sabbath as holydays, but rather, pray not to have to travel at these times because it would be difficult to flee in winter because of the snow, and the gates would be closed on the Sabbath, because the Jews who still observed holydays of the law of Moses had restrictions on how far one could travel on the Sabbath. Christians would have a hard time escaping the city at this time because the Jews would persecute them for Sabbath-breaking.
Daniel 7:25 doesn"t say that the law being mentioned there is God"s law, and in fact, only God can change God"s law, no one else, so this couldn"t be God"s law being changed by this political power. God ended his law to Israel it at the cross. (Heb 7:12, 18)
1) Pro dropped three of his four original arguments regarding the soul, and Christian participation in politics and warfare.
2) He was unable to show that the Bible forbids the use of the cross or any other symbol.
3) He was unable to find any Biblical law or principal against observing Christmas, and only made an argument from silence which I overcame
4) I refuted his claims about the day of worship. Worship of God is not restricted to a day. Christians worshipped everyday, so they had no day of worship. (Acts 5:42) And everything Jesus did on the Sabbath he also did on the first day. (Mark 1:21, 32-42.
For these reasons, Vote Pro.
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