The Instigator
RCCD777
Pro (for)
Losing
0 Points
The Contender
TheTruthAnalyst
Con (against)
Winning
3 Points

The Catholic Church IS the ONE TRUE CHURCH

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Post Voting Period
The voting period for this debate has ended.
after 2 votes the winner is...
TheTruthAnalyst
Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 11/21/2011 Category: Religion
Updated: 5 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 2,460 times Debate No: 19411
Debate Rounds (5)
Comments (9)
Votes (2)

 

RCCD777

Pro

Many people like to say that the Catholic Church is evil, corrupt and is not Christian but all these claims are incorrect. The Catholic Church is not only Christian but it is the TRUE Christian Church. It is estimated that there are 33,000 denominations in the world today and only 1 of them is the Church Christ founded. The Catholic Church is scriptural, it is tradtional, it is historical and it is archaeologically proven to be the TRUE Church. The other curches have SOME Truth but the Catholic Church alone has the FULLNESS of the Truth. Can anone try and prove this wrong?
TheTruthAnalyst

Con

I will accept. The Catholic Church is not the one true church. I will show that the Catholic Church is not the true Christian church which Christ founded.
Debate Round No. 1
RCCD777

Pro

Ok in order for you to win the debate you must :
Show evidence that the Catholic Church is not the True Church Scripturally and Historically.
You must give an explanation as to why you agree with your statement
Finally, you must give a convincing argument to those reading this debate as to why they should believe you and why they should not be Catholic. (If you believe they shouldnt)
TheTruthAnalyst

Con

I ask my opponent to present arguments supporting his position that the Catholic Church is the one true church, rather than imposing new requirements on me outside of the initial premise of the debate.

I am not going to attempt to persuade anybody as to why they should or should not be Catholic, I am only going to present arguments showing that the Catholic Church is not the one true church.


The Organization of Christ's Church

Christ's church was built upon a specific foundation of prophets and apostles, with Christ at the head of the church.[1] Without a foundation, no structure can stand, so the foundation of prophets and apostles must exist for a church to be eligible to be called Christ's church.

Apostles


After Judas, there was a vacancy in the apostolic leadership of the church. Peter showed the importance of an apostle being present for Christ's ministry from baptism to resurrection. The apostles must be able to act as witnesses of Christ's resurrection.[2]


This requirement for apostles is universal, and one cannot call them self an apostle in this sense without being witness to the resurrected Christ. I propose that the Catholic Church(assumption is Roman Catholic) has no foundation of apostles that can bear witness to the resurrected Christ. Instead, the Catholic Church has a Pope, which is in no way mentioned in Christ's teaching or organization of His original church.

All of the apostles listed in the Bible have passed on. There are no more who can fulfill the role of being witness to the resurrected Christ, so there can be no church with the apostolic foundation.

[1]Ephesians 2:19-20 NIV
[2]Acts 1:20-22 NIV
Debate Round No. 2
RCCD777

Pro

I see my opponent is not a believer of Apostolic Succession. God never said, "I'll give you leaders with authority for about 400 years, but after the Bible is compiled, you are all on your own." First of all, the Foundation of the Catholic Church was ST.Peter. Peter is the Rock Upon which the Church was built.(Matthew 16:18) Peter's Authority did not end with Peter, instead the Authority was passed to his successors which are the popes of today. The bible tells us apostolic authority is transferred through the laying on of hands (ordination). This authority must come from a Catholic bishop. (Acts 13:3) Paul calls his position a divine "office." An office has successors. It does not end at death or it is not an office. (Colossians 1:25) Hebrews 7:23 also tells us an office continues with successors after the previous office-holder's death. My opponent says "Without a foundation, no structure can stand" and he is right. The foundation of the Catholic Church is the successor of ST.Peter the Pope. The Second Vatican Council says But in order to keep the Gospel forever whole and alive within the Church, the Apostles left bishops as their successors, "handing over" to them "the authority to teach in their own place." This is True. My opponent also says that the Pope is in no way mentioned in Christ's teachings. Jesus made Peter the first pope. (Matthew 16:18) In John 21:15-17 Jesus tells Peter to feed, tend and care for his sheep. Jesus makes Peter a shepherd even though Jesus is the shepherd. (John 10) Peter became Christ's vicar and after the death of Peter, his authority was passed on to the next and this is succession. Also, not everything Jesus did is in the bible. (John 20:30) Also, nowhere in the Bible does it say to follow the Bible Alone. We as Catholics follow Tradition which was passed on to us from the Apostles.

Finally, we become witnesses of Christ when we have faith that he is alive.
TheTruthAnalyst

Con

I will begin by addressing Pro's arguments.

" Peter is the Rock Upon which the Church was built.(Matthew 16:18)"

In Matthew 16:18, the word used for Peter is Petros[1]. The word used 'upon this rock' is Petra, which is the feminine form[2]. Why would Christ call Peter a female? Since a different word is used, I assert that it is not the 'rock' Peter(Petros) that Christ was speaking of, or else the word would have been Petros.

"The bible tells us apostolic authority is transferred through the laying on of hands (ordination)."

The bible tells us that Apostles must be witness to the resurrected Christ and to his ministry[3].

"This authority must come from a Catholic bishop. (Acts 13:3)"

The passage Pro refers to doesn't refer to the calling of an Apostle. The word 'Apostolos' isn't present in Acts 13.[4]

"Paul calls his position a divine "office." An office has successors."

Pro provides no basis for the requirement that an office has successors. Indeed, Matthias was called to replace Judas, but he was called from the pool of men who had been with Christ from his baptism through his resurrection. When that pool of potential apostolic witnesses ran out, there was nobody left to act as an apostle. If indeed the office of apostle has succession in the Catholic Church, then there should still be 12 Apostles acting as witness(eye-witness) of Christ's ministry and resurrection.

"It does not end at death or it is not an office. (Colossians 1:25) "

Colossians 1:25 doesn't uphold Pro's assertion of an office continuing after death. I quote (NIV) "I have become its servant by the commission God gave me to present to you the word of God in its fullness".

Nor does Hebrews 7:23 speak of succession. "Now there have been many of those priests, since death prevented them from continuing in office;". This verse only says that death prevents a priest from continuing in office, nothing more.

" But in order to keep the Gospel forever whole and alive within the Church, the Apostles left bishops as their successors, "handing over" to them "the authority to teach in their own place.""

Pro admits that the Catholic Church doesn't claim a foundation of Apostles and Prophets. Rather, it claims a foundation of Bishops. This is clearly not the same foundation as required in Ephesians 2:19-20.
"19 Consequently, you are no longer foreigners and aliens, but fellow citizens with God's people and members of God's household,
20
built on the foundation of the apostles and prophets, with Christ Jesus himself as the chief cornerstone."

The Catholic Church operates without the apostolic office, which scripture clearly dictates is the foundation of God's household.

"Jesus made Peter the first pope. (Matthew 16:18) "

There is no mention in Matthew 16:18 of the word Pope or father. Pro's citation doesn't support his claim.

"In John 21:15-17 Jesus tells Peter to feed, tend and care for his sheep."

I have no contention with this. Peter was charged as the head of the Apostles.

"Jesus makes Peter a shepherd even though Jesus is the shepherd. (John 10)"

Again, I have no contention with this. All of the Apostles, Prophets, Teachers, and Bishops were given authority to watch over Christ's lambs. However, to draw the idea of necessary succession from this is unfounded.

"Peter became Christ's vicar and after the death of Peter, his authority was passed on to the next and this is succession."

This is the claim of the Catholic Church, but it is unfounded in scripture.

"Also, not everything Jesus did is in the bible. (John 20:30)"

This is true. However, if it isn't recorded in the Bible, how can we verify any information. Any church can claim to have succession because it's histories teach so. This type of claim though, has no support other than itself.

"Also, nowhere in the Bible does it say to follow the Bible Alone. We as Catholics follow Tradition which was passed on to us from the Apostles."

Catholics follow what they consider to be tradition, but Pro provides no substantial evidence for what makes this tradition proper. As I have asserted before, Apostles, the foundation of Christ's church(along with prophets), had to be witness to Christ's ministry and resurrection. The Catholic Church claims the apostles passed on their authority, but there is no scriptural basis for this. If we are to compare the Catholic Church to Christ's church, we have only the scriptures for comparison.

I propose that the scriptural requirement for prophets and apostles is in direct contradiction with the Catholic Church's claim that the apostles passed the authority to bishops.

"Finally, we become witnesses of Christ when we have faith that he is alive."

Again, the requirement is laid out in Acts 1:21-22.

"21 Therefore it is necessary to choose one of the men who have been with us the whole time the Lord Jesus went in and out among us,
22 beginning from John's baptism to the time when Jesus was taken up from us. For one of these must become a witness with us of his resurrection.""

It is not enough to be a witness of Christ. An apostle must have been witness to Christ's ministry, must have actually been there with the other apostles. Nobody in the Catholic Church fits this requirement, so the Catholic Church must necessarily be built upon a foundation other than prophets and apostles.

[1]http://www.biblestudytools.com...
Peter = "a rock or a stone"
one of the twelve disciples of Jesus
[2]http://www.biblestudytools.com...
a rock, cliff or ledge
[3]Acts 1:20-22 NIV
[4]http://www.biblestudytools.com...;
Debate Round No. 3
RCCD777

Pro

Several times have my opponent said "This is not found in scripture" or "This is unfounded in scripture" etc. but he cannot prove that we are to follow the bible alone. He says the scripture says this and the scripture says that though scripture itself says the Church is the "PILLAR AND GROUND OF THE TRUTH" (1Timothy 3:15) but not the bible. Now my opponent said that "In Matthew 16:18, the word used for Peter is Petros[1]. The word used 'upon this rock' is Petra, which is the feminine form[2]. Why would Christ call Peter a female? Since a different word is used, I assert that it is not the 'rock' Peter(Petros) that Christ was speaking of, or else the word would have been Petros."
I should point out that the language that Jesus spoke was Aramaic and the Aramaic word for Peter is "Kephas"(John :42) and this is what Jesus said. "You are "Kephas" and upon "kephas" I will build my church." Upon Kephas the Church was built. Kephas means "a massive rock". A catholic apologist named Mario Derksen explained it better. He says " Note that this is the passage in which Simon's name is changed to Petros (in Greek) or Cephas (in Aramaic; cf. St. John 1:42). Cephas means rock; there is no dispute about that. It is only a matter of common sense that Petros also means rock, even though the literal word is petra, which is a feminine noun, and it is really not difficult to imagine why Christ the Lord did not wish to give Simon a feminine name! Secondly, if you look at the above context, if "upon this rock" does not refer to St. Peter, then why did Christ change Simon's name right then and there? What was the purpose of adding "Thou art Peter"? Could Christ not have changed that name at another occasion? Why would the Lord effectively say, "Blessed are you, Simon. You are now to be called Peter, and upon I now build my Church. Here are the keys to the Kingdom of Heaven!" ??

Thirdly, our English language obscures the pun being made in this verse, but it's clear in some of the other languages of the world (I think we need to remind ourselves every now and then that English isn't the only language in the world). So, here's a little game now for the readers: read the verse (St. Matthew 16:18) in the following different languages and see if you can pick out which two words in each of these examples are the same (or very close to being the same).

GREEK: kago de soi lego hoti su ei Petros, kai epi taute te petra oikodomeso mou ten ekklesian, kai pulai hadou ou katischusousin autes.

FRENCH: Et moi, je te d�clare : Tu es Pierre, et sur cette pierre j'�difierai mon Eglise, contre laquelle la mort elle-m�me ne pourra rien.

ITALIAN: E io ti dico: Tu sei Pietro e su questa pietra edificher� la mia chiesa e le porte degli inferi non prevarranno contro di essa.

LATIN: et ego dico tibi quia tu es Petrus et super hanc petram aedificabo ecclesiam meam et portae inferi non praevalebunt adversum eam.

SPANISH: Yo te digo que t� eres Pedro, y sobre esta piedra edificar� mi iglesia, y las puertas del reino de la muerte no prevalecer�n contra ella

Even linguistically, you can see that these two words are related to each other, and refer to each other in this sentence. Just by looking at the other languages, it should be clear on the face of it, especially in the French! While the author says, "it is more plausible that Jesus is referring to anything other than Peter," what is obvious just by looking at the words themselves is that it is highly unlikely that "petra" refers to anything except Petros. "

My opponent also says "The bible tells us that Apostles must be witness to the resurrected Christ and to his ministry[3]." I have a question, what is your definition of a "witness"?

My opponent also says "Pro admits that the Catholic Church doesn't claim a foundation of Apostles and Prophets. Rather, it claims a foundation of Bishops. This is clearly not the same foundation as required in Ephesians 2:19-20." In this passage, Paul is saying that Jesus is the foundaion of the Christian Faith. The difference is that the church is the structure and body of Christ while faith is neccessary to become a member of the church.

My opponent also says " Catholics follow what they consider to be tradition, but Pro provides no substantial evidence for what makes this tradition proper" 2 Thessalonians 2:15 tells us to follow Tradition. Jesus said he would send us the Holy Ghost. The Holy Ghost guides the Church and the Holy Ghost will not lead the church in the direction of destruction.

Finally, I have another question for my opponent. You say you follow scripture alone but how do you know your interpretation of scripture is correct? The bible says that scripture can be interpreted to ones own destruction. (2 Peter 3:16) and no prophecy of scripture is of any private interpretation (2 Peter 1:20) but you seem to privately interpret scripture. Consider this story from FR.Damien. He says "Let us suppose that here is an Episcopalian minister. He is (just for the sake of argument) a sincere, an honest, a well-meaning and prayerful man. He reads his Bible in a prayerful spirit, and from the Word of the Bible, he says it is clear that there must be bishops. For without bishops there can be no priests, without priests no Sacraments, and without Sacraments no Church. The Presbyterian is a sincere and well meaning man. He reads the Bible also, and deduces that there should be no bishops, but only presbyters. "Here is the Bible," says the Episcopalian; and "here is the Bible to give you a lie," says the Presbyterian. Yet both of them are prayerful and well-meaning men.

Then the Baptist comes in. He is (again for the sake of argument) a well-meaning, honest man, and prayerful also. "Well," says the Baptist, "have you ever been baptized?" "I was," says the Episcopalian, "when I was a baby."

"And so was I," says the Presbyterian, "when I was a baby." "But," says the Baptist, "you are going to Hell as sure as you live."

Next comes the Unitarian, (presumably) well-meaning, honest, and sincere. "Well," says the Unitarian, "allow me to tell you that you are a pack of idolaters. You worship a man for a God who is no God at all." And he gives several texts from the Bible to prove it, while the others are stopping their ears that they may not hear the blasphemies of the Unitarian. And they all contend that they have the true meaning of the Bible.

Next comes the Methodist, and he says, "My friends, have you got any religion at all?" "Of course we have," they say. "Did you ever feel religion," says the Methodist, "the Spirit of God moving within you?" "Nonsense," says the Presbyterian, "we are guided by our reason and judgment." "Well," says the Methodist, "if you have never felt religion, you never had it, and will go to Hell for eternity."

The Universalist next comes in, and hears them threatening one another with eternal hellfire. "Why," says he, "you are a strange set of people. Do you not understand the Word of God? There is no Hell at all. That idea is good enough to scare old women and children," and he proves it from the Bible.

Now comes in the Quaker. He urges them not to quarrel, and advises that they do not baptize at all. He is the sincerest of men (not really, but for argument's sake), and gives the Bible for his faith.

Another comes in and says: "Baptize the men and let the women alone. For the Bible says, 'unless a man be born again of water and the Holy Ghost, he cannot enter the Kingdom of Heaven.' So," says he, "the women are all right, but baptize the men."

Next comes in the Shaker, and says he: "You are a presumptuous people. Do you not know that the Bible tells you that you must work out your salvation in fear and trembling, and you do not tremble at all. By brethren, if you want to go to heaven shake, brother, shake!"
How do you know your "private interpretation" is correct?
TheTruthAnalyst

Con

"scripture itself says the Church is the "PILLAR AND GROUND OF THE TRUTH" (1Timothy 3:15)"

Pro would present statements and beliefs by the Catholic Church as unrefutable evidence because the Catholic Church is true. Pro cannot beg the question in this manner as the debate is about whether or not the Catholic Church is the one true Church. Because of the premise of the debate, any stance by the Catholic Church cannot be used to prove its own veracity. The only independent source we have to compare to is the Bible.

I have shown that the Church of Christ was established upon the foundations of prophets and apostles.

Pro's argument is as follows:

1 - The Church of Christ is the pillar of truth.
2 - The Catholic Church is the Church of Christ.
3 - The Catholic Church is the pillar of truth, and it's teachings are to be taken as scripture.

My argument is as follows:

1 - The Church of Christ is founded on apostles and prophets.[1]
2 - The Catholic Church is founded on bishops.[2]
3 - The Catholic Church is therefore not the Church of Christ.

As to Pro's continuing arguments about Peter, even if Peter were the rock of the church(being part of the foundation of apostles), upon his death, the apostles were no more, hence the foundation was no more. There is no scriptural basis for passing on the 'keys to the Kingdom of Heave' to anyone other than the apostles.

Pro points out the verses in different languages, which has no bearing on the argument. Any translation will be less-perfect than the original, so examining the bible in other languages than the original is futile.

Pro asks for a definition of witness that I have provided several times. Acts 1:21-22:

"21 Therefore it is necessary to choose one of the men who have been with us the whole time the Lord Jesus went in and out among us,
22 beginning from John's baptism to the time when Jesus was taken up from us. For one of these must become a witness with us of his resurrection."

The apostolic witness needed to be present with the other apostles at the time of Christ's ministry and resurrection. I again assert that nobody in the Catholic Church fits this requirement.

"In this passage, Paul is saying that Jesus is the foundation of the Christian Faith. The difference is that the church is the structure and body of Christ while faith is necessary to become a member of the church."

The scripture referenced[1] states unequivocally that God's household is built on the foundation of prophets and apostles, with Christ being the corner stone. Pro cannot change this scripture's requirement to only be Christ and faith. The foundation of apostles and prophets must be present.


"2 Thessalonians 2:15 tells us to follow Tradition."

This scripture reads: "So then, brothers, stand firm and hold to the teachings we passed on to you, whether by word of mouth or by letter."

I assert that the teachings we must hold on to are the teachings of scripture. Ephesians clearly shows us what Christ's Church must be founded upon.

"Jesus said he would send us the Holy Ghost. The Holy Ghost guides the Church and the Holy Ghost will not lead the church in the direction of destruction."

Pro assumes that the Holy Ghost is leading the Catholic Church. This point begs the question that the Catholic Church is true to prove that it is led by the Holy Ghost. Any other reference to discerning truth by the Holy Ghost only leads to individual, subjective perception, and cannot be used as a conclusive argument in this debate.

"The bible says that scripture can be interpreted to ones own destruction. "

Pro brings up a great point. He calls my interpretation of the scripture as 'private', but I propose that Pro's interpretation is similarly 'private'. Pro asks 'How do you know your 'private interpretation' is correct?'.

I use this question as evidence against Pro's claim. How does the Catholic Church know its interpretation is correct? How does Pro know his interpretation is correct? If we throw doubt on one interpretation, we must fairly throw doubt on all.


[1]Ephesians 2:19-20 NIV
[2]http://www.crossroadsinitiative.com...
But in order to keep the Gospel forever whole and alive within the Church, the Apostles left bishops as their successors, "handing over" to them "the authority to teach in their own place."
Debate Round No. 4
RCCD777

Pro

This is what we believe. The Apostles are the foundation of the Church (Ephesians 2:19-20), and Peter had a certain primacy over the other Apostles. I never said the Apostles are not the foundation of the Church but Peter has supreme authority over them so it is better to say He is the foundation of the Catholic Church for he is Peter the Rock.

My opponent said "The only independent source we have to compare to is the Bible." Where is that in the bible? You cannot show me. The Catholic Church does not follow the bible ALONE ! One way you couldve proved the church wrong was to show that we are to follow the bible alone but nowhere in the bible does it tell us to do this.

My opponent said "The Catholic Church is founded on bishops." Correction:
The Catholic Church was founded on ST.Peter(an apostle and a bishop)

My opponent says "upon his death, the apostles were no more, hence the foundation was no more."
Question for my opponent: Why would Jesus would give this tremendous authority to St. Peter and not intend for it to be passed on?
Jesus said the gates of hell shall not prevail against his church. (Matthew 16:18) but if this authority was lost because of the death of the apostles, we are also lost and are sheep without a shepherd. John 14:16 tells us Jesus will not leave us orphans but if he has left us without a shepherd we are orphans. Jesus knew St. Peter would be die therefore, Christ must have intended the office of Peter to last until the end of time.

My opponent said " Pro asks for a definition of witness that I have provided several times. Acts 1:21-22:

"21 Therefore it is necessary to choose one of the men who have been with us the whole time the Lord Jesus went in and out among us,
22 beginning from John's baptism to the time when Jesus was taken up from us. For one of these must become a witness with us of his resurrection."
I meant EXACT definition. The definition of witness is "A person who sees an event, typically a crime or accident, take place." You quote from Acts 1:21-22 which reads "one of these must become a witness with us of his resurrection". Your interpretation is (I guess) that they must have been present at the resurrection of our lord but ST.Paul, ST.Timothy, and ST.Titus were apostles but were not present at Christ's resurrection. All three of them were chosen.

My opponent said "I assert that the teachings we must hold on to are the teachings of scripture."This is not what the passage says.

My opponent says "Pro assumes that the Holy Ghost is leading the Catholic Church. This point begs the question that the Catholic Church is true to prove that it is led by the Holy Ghost. Any other reference to discerning truth by the Holy Ghost only leads to individual, subjective perception, and cannot be used as a conclusive argument in this debate."

The Catholic Church is historically the Original Church therefore the Catholic Church is the Church which the gates of hell shall not prevail against. (Matthew 16:18) The Catholic Church is the Church that is the body of Christ. (Colossians 1:18) The Catholic Church is the Church that the Spirit of Truth will guide to the Truth. The Catholic Church is the Church that is called the bride of Christ. (Ephesians 5:22-33) The Catholic Church is the PILLAR AND GROUND OF THE TRUTH. (1 Timothy 3:15) The Catholic Church is the Church of Jesus Christ and is therefore, the ONE TRUE CHURCH !

In Closing...
These are quotes from the Early Church Fathers who agreed that the Catholic Church is the ONE TRUE CHURCH and most of these Fathers lived in the early times.

The four marks of the Church are her Unity, Holiness (Sanctity), Catholicity, and Apostolicity. "These four essential characteristics, proper to the Catholic Church alone, visibly manifest to the world that she is the true Church of Christ." (Catholic Dictionary)

"He has said to her [the Church], 'Go and teach all nations...I am with you all days, even to the consummation of the world.' These words explain the intentions of Jesus Christ. The Divine Master wants His Church to be in the world the instrument for the salvation of souls. This is so much His desire that to the Church alone, to the exclusion of all other organizations, He has entrusted the care of guiding souls to their final supernatural beatitude. It is certainly His will that His Church should fulfill in the world the office of an organism necessary for the salvation of the world." (Fahey)

"It is clear to everyone who knows the Gospel that the care of the whole Church has been committed to the blessed Peter, chief of the apostles." (Pope St. Gregory I the Great, Doctor of the Church, c. 595 A.D.)

"Reckon up the priests form the days that Peter sat, and in their ancestral ranks note who succeeded whom; for that is the rock over which the gates of hell shall never prevail." (St. Augustine, Doctor of the Church, 4th century A.D.)

"It is clear that this Church [of Rome] is to all churches throughout the world as the head is to the members, and that whoever separates himself from it becomes an exile from the Christian religion." (Pope St. Boniface I, 422 A.D.)

Here is a timeline of when some of the other "churches" where founded. These churches could not have been founded by Christ for they were founded later on and by man.

I hope oneday there will be UNITY between these church. Thank You.

Church Year Established Founder Where Established

Catholic 33 Jesus Christ Jerusalem

Orthodox 1054 Schismatic Catholic
Bishops Constantinople

Lutheran 1517 Martin Luther Germany

Anabaptist 1521 Nicholas Storch &
Thomas Munzer Germany

Anglican 1534 Henry VIII England

Mennonites 1536 Menno Simons Switzerland

Calvinist 1555 John Calvin Switzerland

Presbyterian 1560 John Knox Scotland

Congregational 1582 Robert Brown Holland

Baptist 1609 John Smyth Amsterdam

Dutch Reformed 1628 Michaelis Jones New York

Congregationalist 1648 Pilgrims and Puritans Massachusetts

Quakers 1649 George Fox England

Amish 1693 Jacob Amman France

Freemasons 1717 Masons from four lodges London

Methodist 1739 John & Charles
Wesley England

Unitarian 1774 Theophilus Lindey London

Methodist Episcopal 1784 60 Preachers Baltimore, MD

Episcopalian 1789 Samuel Seabury American Colonies

United Brethren 1800 Philip Otterbein &
Martin Boehn Maryland

Disciples of Christ 1827 Thomas & Alexander
Campbell Kentucky

Mormon 1830 Joseph Smith New York

Methodist Protestant 1830 Methodist United States

Church of Christ 1836 Warren Stone &
Alexander Campbell Kentucky

Seventh Day Adventist 1844 Ellen White Washington, NH

Christadelphian (Brethren
of Christ 1844 John Thomas Richmond, VA

Salvation Army 1865 William Booth London

Holiness 1867 Methodist United States

Jehovah's Witnesses 1874 Charles Taze Russell Pennsylvania

Christian Science 1879 Mary Baker Eddy Boston

Church of God in Christ 1895 Various churches of God Arkansas

Church of Nazarene c. 1850-1900 Various religious bodies Pilot Point, TX

Pentecstal 1901 Charles F. Parkham Topeka, KS

Aglipayan 1902 Gregorio Aglipay Philippines

Assemblies of God 1914 Pentecostalism Hot Springs, AZ

Iglesia ni Christo 1914 Felix Manalo Philippines

Four-square Gospel 1917 Aimee Semple
McPherson Los Angeles, CA

United Church of Christ 1961 Reformed and
Congregationalist Philadelphia, PA

Calvary Chapel 1965 Chuck Smith Costa Mesa, CA

United Methodist 1968 Methodist and United
Brethren Dallas, TX

Born-again c. 1970s Various religious bodies United States

Harvest Christian 1972 Greg Laurie Riverside, CA

Saddleback 1982 Rick Warren California

Non-denominational c. 1990s various United States
TheTruthAnalyst

Con

I appreciate the debate and Pro's arguments.

Once again, Pro stated the Catholic belief that the Apostles are the foundation of the church, but the only relation the Catholic Church has to Apostles is a claim of succession. The Catholic Church does not claim to have the foundation of prophets and apostles as provided in Ephesians. Any church can claim they have succession, but still won't fit the requirement of having Apostles to witness Christ's resurrection.

Pro still wants to use Catholic teachings and beliefs as evidence, not understanding that the veracity of the Catholic Church, as well as its teachings, are the very topic of this debate. I could just as easily say 'The Mormon Church is true because it claims succession from Peter, and because it has succession from Peter the Mormon Church is true'. This is begging the question and holds no value as an argument.

Pro states that the Catholic church was founded on Peter, who was an apostle, but my point is that the Catholic Church no longer is founded on apostles, but rather bishops.

Christ's reasons for choosing Peter aren't on the table. No scripture shows clearly that the apostleship would be passed on after Peter. Christ said He wouldn't leave his sheep alone, and for that purpose he sent the Holy Ghost. Nor does the leadership of a church dying off mean the 'gates of hell' have prevailed against the church. It simply means the apostles died.

Pro provided a definition of witness. All of the apostles were witnesses. No member of the Catholic Church claims to be so. St. Paul was witness to the resurrected Christ[1]. Pro provides no reference to Paul, Timothy, or Titus being referenced as apostles. Paul is called an apostle in Titus 1:1. The word apostolos in Timothy and Titus is Paul referring to himself as an apostle. Without citation, there is no evidence that Timothy or Titus would need to fulfill the requirement.

"My opponent said "I assert that the teachings we must hold on to are the teachings of scripture."This is not what the passage says."

The passage in question is 2 Thessalonians 2:15, which reads as follows:

"So then, brothers, stand firm and hold to the teachings we passed on to you, whether by word of mouth or by letter."

We have no verifiable record of the verbal words of any of the apostles, other than what is written. Therefore, the written word is the only reliable source by which we can compare truth.

"The Catholic Church is historically the Original Church therefore the Catholic Church is the Church which the gates of hell shall not prevail against."

Circular reasoning. The Catholic church is the Original Church so it is Christ's Church. This argument has no merit.

" The Catholic Church is the Church that is the body of Christ."

Again, no merit besides reference to a scripture. These scriptures say nothing about a Catholic church. This same argument applies to the rest of Pro's paragraph. He is stating a position with no evidence or argument.

Pro then provides quotes from Catholic teachings that assert the truthfulness of the Catholic Church. We've been over this before.

Pro closes with time lines for different churches. The Catholic Church claims to have been established when Christ established His church. We have come full circle at last. Christ established a church with prophets and apostles. The Catholic Church does not have prophets and apostles. Therefore, the Catholic Church cannot be the same church as the one that Christ established.

To briefly summarize Pro's and Con's arguments:

Pro's argument is as follows:

1 - The Church of Christ is the pillar of truth.
2 - The Catholic Church is the Church of Christ.
3 - The Catholic Church is the pillar of truth, and it's teachings are to be taken as scripture.

My argument is as follows:

1 - The Church of Christ is founded on prophets and apostles.
2 - The Catholic Church is not founded on prophets and apostles.
3 - The Catholic Church is therefore not the Church of Christ.

[1]Acts 26:9-23
Debate Round No. 5
9 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 9 records.
Posted by Chrysippus 5 years ago
Chrysippus
I am going to abstain from voting on this, as I am very biased on this subject. I have spent a good deal of time (in RL, not on here) arguing that no one branch of Christianity has a monopoly on the truth, but that all are part of the Universal Church (the original meaning of the term "catholic"; not that everyone is completely correct, but that there are basic details that are essential to salvation, and divisions over other matters do not prevent both sides from being part of the true Church).

I would not be able to give Pro the benefit of the doubt voting on this debate.
Posted by wiploc 5 years ago
wiploc
Good debate, guys.
Posted by RCCD777 5 years ago
RCCD777
I truly appreciate you cutting time from yourself for this debate. You are the 1st person I have debated on this website. This was also a good expierence. Good Luck to you in voting as well.
Posted by TheTruthAnalyst 5 years ago
TheTruthAnalyst
Thank you for the debate RCCD777. I was able to look at a lot of topics that I haven't looked at in quite a while. Best of luck to you in voting.
Posted by TheTruthAnalyst 5 years ago
TheTruthAnalyst
I will use the basis of the Catholic Church, being Christ's teachings and deeds as recorded in the NT.

If necessary, I will go into historical issues.
Posted by vmpire321 5 years ago
vmpire321
You guys planning on using actual evidence.... or just logic/reasoning?
Posted by 16kadams 5 years ago
16kadams
well I am a catholic but I dissagree, the protestants are similar to us except they just hate us, so disragard what I said
Posted by 16kadams 5 years ago
16kadams
AGREED caps
Posted by Nur-Ab-Sal 5 years ago
Nur-Ab-Sal
It's too bad I agree with you, and I don't like playing devil's advocate…
2 votes have been placed for this debate. Showing 1 through 2 records.
Vote Placed by Renascor 5 years ago
Renascor
RCCD777TheTruthAnalystTied
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Reasons for voting decision: Con has done very well to point out the problems with the Catholic Church.
Vote Placed by wiploc 5 years ago
wiploc
RCCD777TheTruthAnalystTied
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Reasons for voting decision: A hard one to judge. If Pro had the burden of proof, I'd vote for Con. Pro normally has the burden of proof, but here it seems to be shared. Con's main argument isn't compelling, but he does okay at undermining Pro's arguments. If we're going to believe that the Catholic church is the one true church because it says so, then why not believe all those other churches because of what they say? Shared burden; no proof either way. I'll call it a tie.