The Instigator
Csavage472
Pro (for)
Winning
28 Points
The Contender
Tatarize
Con (against)
Losing
15 Points

Is The Roman Catholic Doctrine of Purgatory Based on the Bible???

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Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 3/11/2009 Category: Religion
Updated: 8 years ago Status: Voting Period
Viewed: 4,223 times Debate No: 7345
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Csavage472

Pro

Dear My Evangelical Brothers & Sisters in Christ:

Well, anyway, I didn't mean to disturb you, but I would just like to take this time and present to my Evangelical friends a credible, rational, and unequivocal Biblical defense for the Roman Catholic Doctrine of Purgatory. And, "Absolutely YES!!!," I have the audacity to make that statement with a "straight face" that the Bible, unequivocally & irrefutably, proves that the idea and concept of the state (not "place," contrary to popular opinion) of Purgatory does indeed exists. First and foremost, though, before we can have any type of logical discussion, one must first and foremost understand that most Evangelicals have misinterpeted the Catholic Dogma of Purgatory:

(1) The RCC's official teaching is that Purgatory---as above mentioned---is a state of existence and not some illusive "3rd Place" in the same way that Rome's teaching is that both Heaven & Hell are states and not "physical places." The reasoning here is obvious: the immortal soul of a human being is abstract (like the "mind" and "intellect") and therefore cannot be simply "confined" to a raw physical place. Moreover, the actual punishment of Hell is not "fire" moreso than it is eternal separation from God's LOVE. The reason that Jesus describes Hell in such graphic and figurative language is that once a person realizes at Judgment that they will not experience God's Love, it will be the equivalent to a person on the Earth burning in fire for all eternity since (for obvious reasons) a person on earth cannot fully phantom "eternal separation from God" since one might be (literally) a dogmatic Satanist.

(2) (a) The main point that people misinterpret about Purgatory is that it is the person suffering and paying for his sins. This is blasphemous and contrary to the Word of God. Jesus already paid the ultimate price and suffering for our sins on the Cross with his Precious Blood Free of Charge. Rather, Purgatory is the person suffering for the damage done as a consequence of the sin out of simple justice.

(b) Case in point: if I walk up to you in the street and punch you in the nose thus breaking the bones etc., and then I heartfully repent to you the next week in which you (as a Christian) humbly forgive me, do I "owe" you for your forgiveness??? Of course not!!! Nevertheless, if I were truely repentent, I would write you a check to fully compensate you for your hospital bill and/or expenses. The money that I give you (penance) is not paying you for your "forgiveness," per say, but for the damage that was done to your nose causing you to go to the hospital.

In other words, my "apologizing" (confession) in and of itself is not going to fix the bones in your nose; moreover, the money that had to be RE-directed to pay your hospital bill could have been better utilized in paying your credit card debt, taking your family to dinner, or donating to a homeless person to get something to eat, am I right?

(3) (a) Now, your natural position would be that "Well, you make a very logical point, but God does not see it that way and it [Purgatory] is contrary to Scripture!!!," am I right? Well, that is further from the truth. Now, if you are going to look for the actual word "Purgatory" in the Bible, you will never find it. However, you will find the idea of its existence. In the same way, we as Christians steadfastly believe that God manifests Himself into 3 distinct personalities: Father, Son, Holy Spirit (a.k.a. The Trinity); a Jehoviah Witness will argue the case that "The word 'Trinity' exists no where in the Word of God and therefore the doctrine is demonic etc.!!!" However, as you will affirm, the Jehoviah Witness is 100% correct but the idea of the Trinity is irrefutably in Scripture, nonetheless.

(b) "For other foundation can no man lay than that is laid, which is Jesus Christ. Now if any man build upon this foundation gold, silver, precious stones, wood, hay, stubble; Every man's work shall be made manifest: for the Day [of Judgment] shall declare it, because it shall be revealed by fire; and the fire shall try every man's work of what sort it is. If any man's work abide which he hath built thereupon, he shall receive a reward [salvation]. If any man's work shall be burned, he shall suffer loss [temporal punishment]: but he himself shall be saved; yet so as by fire."
---The Apostle Paul's First Letter to the Corinthians 3:11-15---

Now, ask yourself this very critical question: How can one "suffer loss" in Heavenly Paradise where Christ promises Eternal Happiness??? If there is any kind of loss once a person is deemed "saved" in Heaven, that automatically constitutes the Lord Jesus Christ as a Liar!!! Well, we both are credibly certain that Jesus is no liar and who is the Real "Father of Lies."

Also, notice that the Divinely-Inspired wording of Paul puts a condition ("yet so through fire") on a person's actual entrance into Heavenly Glory ("Saved"). But I thought salvation---at least according to Luther and the Reformers---was "unconditional"??? On the contrary, salvation is not unconditional; only God's LOVE is. The former is a blasphemous-yet-subtle Lie concocted by Satan to deceive millions to Hell with him. In fact, the Apostle John even affirms that our love to God [and man] is conditional.

(4) "Ye have heard that it was said of them of old time, Thou shalt not kill; and whosoever shall kill shall be in danger of the judgment: But I say unto you, That whosoever is angry with his brother without a cause shall be in danger of the Judgment: and whosoever shall say to his brother, Raca, shall be in danger of the council: but whosoever shall say, Thou fool, shall be in danger of hell fire. Therefore if thou bring thy gift to the altar, and there rememberest that thy brother hath ought against thee; Leave there thy gift before the altar, and go thy way; first be reconciled to thy brother, and then come and offer thy gift. Agree with thine adversary quickly, whiles thou art in the way with him; lest at any time the adversary deliver thee to the judge, and the judge deliver thee to the officer, and thou be cast into PRISON. Verily I say unto thee, Thou shalt by No Means come out thence, till thou hast paid the uttermost farthing (penny)."
---The Words of our Lord Jesus Christ, according to the Gospel of
Matthew 5:21-26---

(5) In conclusion, the Evangelical opposition to the doctrine of the existence of the idea of Purgatory (like that of the idea of the Trinity) is based solely on your & Martin Luther's philosophy. However, when framing a theological doctrine to preach dogmatically as "Truth" to the masses, one is obligated to align that philosophy with that of the Bible's and Jesus' philosophy. If you are incapable of doing that, then your "philosphy" is just that of the world. And I am pretty certain that we both agree who & where does the "world's philosophy" come from!!! Thanks and God bless.

best,
Christian

P.S.: Not in anyway to "go off of topic," of course, but may I quickly ask of someone a rather straightforward question in the hopes of receiving a straightforward answer? Anyway, do you believe that there are TWO distinct categories of sin: in other words, a "big sin," if you will, that sends a person to Hell, in addition to a "little sin," if you will, that doesn't necessarily condemn a person to Hell but simply injures their relationship with God? Thanks again.
Tatarize

Con

The Roman Catholic Doctrine of Purgatory is based on greed. It's a scam in order to get quantities of money from people to shorten their stay in this made up place. There's no biblical support at all. It was made whole cloth as a storing ground to get money and buy many indulgences from the church.

My opponents arguments are based on a few lines of logical argument and theological arguments. Outside of Biblical references these make no matter to the topic at hand. The question isn't whether or not purgatory makes any logical sense but rather whether the Bible supports it.

"Purgatory is the person suffering for the damage done as a consequence of the sin out of simple justice."

This is a distinction without a difference between paying for ones sins or suffering for them. You are in both cases to suffer because of your religious wrongdoings. As such, the idea of purgatory does easily violate the actual Biblical idea that you are freed from sins by the blood of Christ. It would be like saying, "you've been sentenced to life in prison but the judge has suspended the entire sentence and you just have to stay in prison for a few weeks just for the sake of justice."

In the second logical argument for Purgatory, Pro argues that if he were to walk up and punch me in the face, then ask for forgiveness, and were forgiven, but on top of that were to pay the medical bills. The forgiveness is given but you still have to pay. This is, however, a strawman argument. Within Christian theology whether I forgive you or not doesn't change one jot or tittle. I could bear a grudge against you forever. You could go around punching people all day, slicing them up, murdering and raping and you'd never need their forgiveness. Their forgiveness and their medical bills are moot. What matter's is God's forgiveness. You need but ask and you will be forgiven of your sins. What happens on Earth, stays on Earth. It doesn't matter if people forgive you, it only matters if God forgives you. Certainly one could point out that if I stabbed you in the face and then asked God to forgive me that I am forgiven and it doesn't help your or fix your face, but that's not the theologically relevant point to make. God doesn't have medical bills, so this entire argument is pointless.

While it is actually true that you won't find the word "Trinity" in the Bible but the idea is clearly there. It's also true you won't find the word "homosexuality" either but the idea is there. However you won't find the word "Internet" there either, nor would you find the idea. This is a point of considerable disanalogy. While it is true that it might not have the word but still have the idea, the fact is, when it comes to purgatory it has neither the word nor the idea. This will not save you, as such.

However, we find in all these arguments simply logical reasons to accept the claim. We aren't dealing with logical things, we are dealing with Biblical things. Without the Bible, my opponents argument fails.

---

Finally we get to the one point where my opponent cites the Bible. I Corinthians 3:15 says that if any man's worldly works are burned he shall suffer loss, but he shall still be saved. This sentiment is roughly identical to the ideas portrayed by Jesus during the Sermon on the Mount, "And if thy right eye offend thee, pluck it out, and cast it from thee: for it is profitable for thee that one of thy members should perish, and not that thy whole body should be cast into hell." -- The loss is worldly loss. The concept being conveyed is that worldly possessions are pointless when compared to hell fire. That you should not fear a trial by fire, because you will still be saved. You're simply adding the words "[temporal punishment]" and assuming we're just going to ignore the fact that that isn't even remotely what that's about. One isn't "suffer loss" in Heavenly Paradise, they are suffering loss on Earth when their stuff gets burned.

It isn't simply odd interpolation that says that believers are unconditionally saved. John 3:16 is the most quoted passage in the Bible because it says exactly that: "3:16 For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life." If you believe in the Christian God you get to live forever. Period. No side tracks or detours, go directly to heaven, do not pass go, do collect everlasting salvation.

The Evangelical opposition to the doctrine of Purgatory is not strictly based on Martin Luther. While Luther may have been one of the early critics the idea that there's no Biblical support for Purgatory comes from the Bible. By reading it cover to cover it doesn't have one jot to say about even the idea of purgatory. It says you go to Heaven, you don't get stuck in a temporary hell until your family pays the church a bunch of cash. It says you are saved, your sins are forgiven, you shall have salvation. No time-out box, no waiting game, nothing!

---

If you look closely you will notice gives direct support from only one passage of the Bible, and he completely takes it out of context and inserts into the passage the very idea he needs to show is already there. The argument is entirely weakened by the factual reality. Purgatory is a scam thought up later by the Catholic church. There's nothing Biblical about the idea. It doesn't serve Christ is serves mammon. It's entirely fictitious even within fiction.
Debate Round No. 1
Csavage472

Pro

Thanks, Tatarize, for your rebuttal. I appreciate it greatly. First and foremost, I will concede to your point that evil and corrupt men in the Roman Catholic Church *manipulated* and *distorted* the Doctrine of Purgatory for greed and financial gain via the selling of indulgences to build St. Peter's Cathedral in Rome. This was wrong and the RCC has *repudiated* that corrupt practice of selling indulgences in the Council of Trent (1543) to the present-day.

(1) However, that is beside the point that the doctrine ITSELF is biblically inspired. For an example, I defer you to scripture:

" 'Will a man rob God? Yet you are robbing Me! But you say, 'How have we robbed You?' In tithes and offerings.
You are cursed with a curse, for you are robbing Me, the whole nation of you!"
---The Book of Malachi 3:8-9---

You see, it is imperative in the scriptures for a believing Christian to donate at least 10% of his/her income to the Church for proper maintenance and edification. However, there are corrupt men in EVANGELICAL churches that misuse and manipulate this scripture to siphon money away from the church community for individual and financial gain. However, does that mean that Christians are to ignore the Word of God which commands the faithful to give at least a tenth of their income back to God's House??? Of course not. Nevertheless, the selling of indulgences are non-existent today and thereby the question is moot.

(2) "This is a distinction without a difference between paying for ones sins or suffering for them. You are in both cases to suffer because of your religious wrongdoings. As such, the idea of purgatory does easily violate the actual Biblical idea that you are freed from sins by the blood of Christ. It would be like saying, 'you've been sentenced to life in prison but the judge has suspended the entire sentence and you just have to stay in prison for a few weeks just for the sake of justice'."---Tatarize

(a) Actually, your analysis is NOT comparative of what Purgatory is at all. Rather, it would be like saying the following: "You've been sentenced to die by *execution*, but the Governor [Jesus Christ] has signed a Pardon on your behalf to spare you of that ordeal. However, you STILL have to make up for the damage that was DONE by serving 10-25 years in prison!!!" The whole idea of Purgatory is modeled on the idea that Christians are obligated to do PENANCE for their forgiven Mortal Sins. Now, naturally, of course, you as an Evangelical are inclined to say the following: "That is hogwash!!! Jesus never commanded the faithful to do penance (or retribution for the damage done to God and society) for sins.

(b) But actually, Jesus' explicit commandment to do penance is inherent in a biblical passage that you, yourself, cited:

"If your right eye causes you to sin, pluck it out and cast it from you; for it is more profitable for you that one of your members perish, than for your whole body to be cast into hell. 30 And if your right hand causes you to sin, cut it off and cast it from you; for it is more profitable for you that one of your members perish, than for your whole body to be cast into hell."
---Gospel of Matthew 5:29-30---

Now, how is a *rational* person to exegete this biblical text? Is Jesus *really* advocating that a person (literally) "pluck his eye out" or "cut his hand off"? What will happen if a person lusts after a woman 3 times, should he cut his head off? Of course, it is an absurd interpretation. However, the only rational explanation for what Jesus is commanding is that a sinner *sacrifices* something of abstract or concrete value (time and/or redistribution of one's wealth to the poor, etc.) to make up for the DAMAGE done by the sin. It is a symbolic interpretation to do penance. The idea of Purgatory is premised on the fact that if a person dies *before* they do those penances (which are inherently commanded by Christ in Matthew 5:29-30), those penances must still be made in the next life. By the way, you failed to give a proper rebuttal to my citation of the scripture according to Matthew 5:21-26 where Jesus says "you will be thrown into prison and NOT released until you have paid the last penny."

(3) Since you did not decide to answer my "challenge question" of whether there exists in Scripture a biblical basis for the Catholic Doctrine of "Mortal and Venial Sin" (which correlates nicely to this debate), I will cite scripture proving it:

"If anyone sees his brother sinning a sin which does NOT lead to death [or undeadly], he will ask, and He will give him life for those who commit sin NOT leading to death [or undeadly]. There IS sin leading to death [deadly]. I do not say that he should pray about that. All unrighteousness is sin, and there is sin NOT leading to death [undeadly]."
---1 John 5:16-17---

(a) First and foremost, note very clearly that the Scripture is emphatically clear that there are TWO distinct classifications of sin: "Deadly" (or the Latin translation, Mortal) & UNdeadly (or Venial, which is Latin for "pardonable"). Second, what is obvious is that the question that must be asked is "What kind of DEATH is the scriptures speaking about???" We know from reason that it *cannot* be speaking about mere "physical" death b/c we are ALL predestined to die whether we sin or not. Therefore, logic and reason dictates that it MUST be *spiritual* death, or Hell.

(b) Now, let's ask a critically vital question: if Scripture inerrantly and emphatically affirms that there are some sins that LEAD a person to Hell (spiritual death), and other sins that do NOT lead a person to Hell, but Revelation 21:27 clear affirms "nothing UNCLEAN will enter it," where does logic and reason lead one to believe a person to go that has tainted UN-deadly sins on their soul when they die and appear before the Judgment Seat of the Lord Jesus Christ.....except for a state of temporal punishment wherefore "the person would be saved only as through fire"(Purgatory)??? Thanks again and take care.
Tatarize

Con

Yes, selling indulgences was wrong. So now the church only gives them out from time to time on special occasions if you come back to church and participate. They are treated like 15% off coupons but only if you buy right now.

http://www.nytimes.com...

"The return of indulgences began with Pope John Paul II, who authorized bishops to offer them in 2000 as part of the celebration of the church's third millennium. But the offers have increased markedly under his successor, Pope Benedict, who has made plenary indulgences part of church anniversary celebrations nine times in the last three years. The current offer is tied to the yearlong celebration of St. Paul, which continues through June."

However, even though the practice of indulgences like simony are largely done away with, the underlying theological bits are still there. Purgatory was simply part of the scam. They couldn't just say it was a scam so they stopped giving indulgences and everybody is simply going to purgatory for no reason whatsoever.

--

Malachi makes no reference to purgatory. Sure, there are other scams like tithing to the church and stealing various funds though a variety of manners. I never argued that churches weren't corrupt. They certainly are. They produce nothing of value and take in money, any way you cut that it's a scam. However the issue at hand is whether or not there's Biblical support for purgatory. In bringing up indulgences I was simply explaining why the church made the whole thing up (buy your way out of mini-hell we invented).

--

"you as an Evangelical are inclined to say the following: "That is hogwash!!! Jesus never commanded the faithful to do penance (or retribution for the damage done to God and society) for sins."

I'm not an evangelical (not even Christian), that IS hogwash, and yes-- there's no command for penance. The cited passage is simply describing that you should sacrifice secular goods for spiritual goods. If your eye is going to lead you towards hell get rid of your eye. If your money is going to make you sin get rid of it. If your hand is going to make you sin, get rid of it. The passage is pointing out that with the promise of heaven afoot you should be ready to sacrifice everything even your own life to save your soul. This isn't an idea that you should damage your self and suffer because of your sin, though the images of Opus Dei flogging themselves is amusing, it's a radically silly and obviously wrong interpretation. However, even if I granted that Jesus was telling you to hurt yourself if you get bad thoughts (no wonder so many Catholics are so very Catholic) that still provides not one jot of suggestion that purgatory exists.

This debate has nothing to do with Mortal and Venial sin. Simply whether or not there's a place called purgatory within Biblical theology. There is not. Arguing that there are classes of sins is fine, but that doesn't demand anybody to assume purgatory, nor does the giving reasons to assume suffice as an acceptable prooftext.

--

Ultimately I find the entire argument to be underwhelming. You understand catholic theology quite well, but the only Bible bits you've brought up have been completely unrelated. We are being told that secular costs no matter how great are secondary to spiritual costs. -- That's all. That's your entire argument to conclude it's "Based on the Bible". You've taken a couple things out of context to conclude that you need to be punished even after you're saved. The argument is really bad.

Here's a copy of NIV's translation of Matthew 5:27:30:

"You have heard that it was said, 'Do not commit adultery.' But I tell you that anyone who looks at a woman lustfully has already committed adultery with her in his heart. If your right eye causes you to sin, gouge it out and throw it away. It is better for you to lose one part of your body than for your whole body to be thrown into hell. And if your right hand causes you to sin, cut it off and throw it away. It is better for you to lose one part of your body than for your whole body to go into hell.

Your argument is that that is saying that you should punish yourself by doing these things and that that punishment for doing such things message carries over to theologically suggest a different kind of afterlife where you hang out separated until your family gives the church enough money.

---

Purgatory was invented to push the scam of indulgences. When the scam got called by enough protestants they stopped it but never did away with the purgatory theology. It's a vestigial bit of theology left over from an easy way to fleece the masses. However the point of this debate and my arguments is that there's no Biblical reason to suppose it in the first place. Without that key bit to actually support the topic the entire debate is hollow and you cannot succeed.
Debate Round No. 2
Csavage472

Pro

(1) "However the point of this debate and my arguments is that there's no Biblical reason to suppose it in the first place. Without that key bit to actually support the topic the entire debate is hollow and you cannot succeed."--Tatarize

(a) How can you insist on saying that I have no "biblical reason" to support the doctrine of Purgatory if you do NOT answer my biblical exegesis of the texts that I cite such as Matthew 5:21-26, 1 John 5:16-17, and Rev. 21:27??? These passages, taken together, clearly lay the foundation for a biblical basis of the IDEA of Purgatory.

(b) Also, I never said indulgences were wrong but just the *selling* of them. For example, the thief on the cross would be an example of a Christian who received a plenary indulgence b/c the suffering that he endured on the cross sufficed for the DAMAGE done by his sins out of simple justice to God and man. Jesus' sacrifice ultimately paid the price for his sins so that he will not have to go to HELL, but the APPLICATION of that redemption had not yet taken place. Again, you must analyze the biblical citations that I cited. The proof of the doctrine of Mortal and Venial Sin (which you admited yourself was plausible in Scripture) is key in understanding the doctrine of Purgatory because it creates a "Third State" of souls who are stained with UN-deadly sins that do NOT lead to Hellfire but, at the same time, cannot enter directly into Heaven. Where else can they go but a purgatorial place to be saved "yet as so by fire???"

(2) In conclusion, I apologize to the reference of you being an Evangelical Christian. After reading your profile, I realize that you are an atheist. I just assumed that you were a Christian b/c you responded to my debate prompt.

Thanks and take care.
Tatarize

Con

Pro: "How can you insist on saying that I have no "biblical reason" to support the doctrine of Purgatory if you do NOT answer my biblical exegesis of the texts that I cite such as Matthew 5:21-26, 1 John 5:16-17, and Rev. 21:27??? These passages, taken together, clearly lay the foundation for a biblical basis of the IDEA of Purgatory."

I can say that because taken together or apart they don't clearly lay anything. As this is the only pressing point on topic I'll review and respond to them again.

http://www.biblegateway.com...;

21"You have heard that it was said to the people long ago, 'Do not murder,[a] and anyone who murders will be subject to judgment.' 22But I tell you that anyone who is angry with his brother[b]will be subject to judgment. Again, anyone who says to his brother, 'Raca,[c]' is answerable to the Sanhedrin. But anyone who says, 'You fool!' will be in danger of the fire of hell.
23"Therefore, if you are offering your gift at the altar and there remember that your brother has something against you, 24leave your gift there in front of the altar. First go and be reconciled to your brother; then come and offer your gift.
25"Settle matters quickly with your adversary who is taking you to court. Do it while you are still with him on the way, or he may hand you over to the judge, and the judge may hand you over to the officer, and you may be thrown into prison. 26I tell you the truth, you will not get out until you have paid the last penny.[d]

Just as you should not look at women with lust you should not remain angry at your brother. This does not suggest there is a mini-hell where you spend time after you die.

http://www.biblegateway.com...;

16If anyone sees his brother commit a sin that does not lead to death, he should pray and God will give him life. I refer to those whose sin does not lead to death. There is a sin that leads to death. I am not saying that he should pray about that. 17All wrongdoing is sin, and there is sin that does not lead to death.

This suggests that some wrongdoings will kill you and other will not. Just because you didn't get hurt doesn't mean you didn't sin. This does not suggest there is a mini-hell where you spend time after you die.

http://www.biblegateway.com...;

27Nothing impure will ever enter it, nor will anyone who does what is shameful or deceitful, but only those whose names are written in the Lamb's book of life.

This quote from revelations is referring to New Jerusalem which will fall from the sky, having seven bases made out of seven different types of stones and will glow by itself, with angels guarding the gates holding their bowls. This does not suggest there is a mini-hell where you spend time after you die.

---

I suggested that you had no biblical support for the doctrine, not because you made no Biblical citations but rather because what you cited had NOTHING to do with it. With some twisted logic you might argue that there are different kinds of sins, perhaps that you need to be sinless to enter heaven, or that you need to atone for sin. However, even allowing that, the Blood of Christ washes away all the sins. Those who accept Christ as their personal lord and savior are cleansed of their sins. Nothing about any of your points suggests for a moment that even if they are held sinless by God they still need to go to this holding tank for some punishment.

The Roman Catholic Doctrine of Purgatory is based on the need to do a scam, then having the scam bits they needed they went back to try and prooftext the doctrine and come up remarkably short. I've heard people argue the Bible supports evolution, condemns slavery, and is okay with homosexuality: those arguments have without fail been this bad. A few out of context quotes to try and a lot of exegesis to try and make the Bible say what it doesn't say. It isn't simply that the word Purgatory isn't in the Bible, but the very notion and idea is completely absent and the antithesis of the salvation of the Blood of Christ.

Romans 5:9 "Much more then, being now justified by his blood, we shall be saved from wrath through him." --- You know saved from wrath except for that little Mini-hell Catholics invented to fleece the masses. Right?
Debate Round No. 3
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Total points awarded:03