The Instigator
Confucius91
Pro (for)
Winning
10 Points
The Contender
Rhez
Con (against)
Losing
2 Points

The Catholic Church is the only true Church

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Post Voting Period
The voting period for this debate has ended.
after 3 votes the winner is...
Confucius91
Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 4/22/2011 Category: Religion
Updated: 6 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 1,732 times Debate No: 16084
Debate Rounds (5)
Comments (7)
Votes (3)

 

Confucius91

Pro

The First round will be for definitions only. Arguments are posted in the second round.

The Catholic Church - The Church that is in communion with the Holy See of Rome.

Only true Church - The Church teaches truth and anything that contradicts it is not Christian teaching (and hence, not the truth).

Regarding common ground, I contend that my opponent and myself are both believers in Jesus Christ, Trinitarianism, the Bible's authority and other "mere Christian" doctrines.

I look forward to an interesting debate...
Rhez

Con

I thank my opponent for the unexpected challenge.

I agree with my opponents definition of The Catholic Church, I however feel the need to address his second definition.

I will however argue that there is not ONE true church, in that I don't think a certain denomination of Christianity has the only truth. This includes not only all the different Protestant ones, but also Catholicism and Orthodoxy.

My opponent is correct in saying we are both believers in Jesus Christ, and therefore have common ground.

This will be an interesting debate, and hopefully we'll both get something out of it.
(I apologize in advance for my potentially abundant amount of grammar errors).
Debate Round No. 1
Confucius91

Pro

I am pleased to note that my opponent has accepted my challenge.

However, one thing is to be noted before I start my argumentation. The Catholic Church claims to be the One, Holy, Catholic and Apostolic Church.
It cannot merely be viewed as yet another Christian denomination. It is either a champion of lies or it is "the pillar and foundation of truth" (1 Tim. 3:15). There is no neutrality to be found.

Now let the debate begin.

Sacred Scripture is Catholic

The canon of Scripture was determined by the Catholic Church by the Council of Hippo in 393 AD and formally ratified by the Pope St. Innocent I in 405 AD. St. Athanasius had named the New Testament-canon in 367, but it was still disputed until the Pope closed the Canon[1][2][3]. This leaves the Protestant with the problem of the Church's authority. How can they reject the Catholic Church on other doctrines while still accepting her authority on the canon of the Scripture they claim to be formally sufficient for salvation?

Now let us look at some Scripture:

In the Gospel according to St. Matthew, chapter 16, we see the following passage:

And I say to thee that thou art Peter; and upon this rock, I will build my church, and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it. And I will give to thee the keys of the kingdom of heaven. And whatsoever thou shalt bind upon earth, it shall be bound also in heaven: and whatsoever thou shalt loose upon earth, it shall be loosed also in heaven. [4]


Behold the establishment of the Papacy? Maybe I am getting ahead of myself. Let us analyze the passage.
Peter is the English rendering of the Aramaic name Kêfâ‎ which means "rock". Therefore, Jesus is saying thou art "Kêfâ‎" and upon this "Kêfâ‎", I will build my Church. Therefore, the Church is built upon Peter.
We can further note the expression "keys to the kingdom of heaven" in Sacred Scripture. For example, the Prophet Isaiah said

"And I will lay the key of the house of David upon his shoulder: and he shall open, and none shall shut: and he shall shut, and none shall open"[5]

Here the marks of dignity were worn. Eliacim was appointed master of the palace, over all the other servants. This is what a 1st century Jew would have thought of after hearing Jesus speaking. “Whatever you bind on earth shall be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven” is also something a 1st century Jew would understand well. "Binding" and "loosing" were technical rabbinical terms, which meant to "forbid" and "permit" with reference to the interpretation of the law. Thusly, Peter and his successors are giving authority in the New Covenant and in the New Israel of Christianity.

The Church Fathers were Catholic

Ah yes, the Church Fathers. It would take us years if we were to discuss every belief of every father on every doctrine, so I will take The Eucharist. The Eucharist is understood to be the literal Body and Blood of Christ in the Catholic Church contrary to Protestant understanding (modern Protestants, even Luther accepted the Real Presence as
consubstantiationrather than Catholic transubstantiation[6]).
So what did the Church Fathers believe about the Eucharist? Listen to Ignatius of Antioch:
They abstain from the Eucharist and prayer, because they refuse to acknowledge that the Eucharist is the flesh of our Savior Jesus Christ, which suffered for our sins and which the Father by his goodness raised up” [7]
Now I will not quote-spam as that would just make it impossible for my opponent to argue his case. Instead, I will refer to F.L. Cross and E.A. Livingstone, eds., The Oxford Dictionary of the Christian Church, Oxford Univ. Press, 2nd ed., 1983, 475-476, 1221:

That the Eucharist conveyed to the believer the Body and Blood of Christ was universally accepted from the first . . . Even where the elements were spoken of as 'symbols' or 'antitypes' there was no intention of denying the reality of the Presence in the gifts . . . In the Patristic period there was remarkably little in the way of controversy on the subject . . . The first controversies on the nature of the Eucharistic Presence date from the earlier Middle Ages. In the 9th century, Paschasius Radbertus raised doubts as to the identity of Christ's Eucharistic Body with His Body in heaven, but won practically no support. Considerably greater stir was provoked in the 11th century by the teaching of Berengar, who opposed the doctrine of the Real Presence. He retracted his opinion, however, before his death in 1088 . . .
It was also widely held from the first that the Eucharist is in some sense a sacrifice, though here again definition was gradual. The suggestion of sacrifice is contained in much of the NT language . . . the words of institution, 'covenant,' 'memorial,' 'poured out,' all have sacrificial associations. In early post-NT times, the constant repudiation of carnal sacrifice and emphasis on life and prayer at Christian worship did not hinder the Eucharist from being described as a sacrifice from the first . . .
From early times, the Eucharistic offering was called a sacrifice in virtue of its immediate relation to the sacrifice of Christ.

I can also refer to Philip Shaff’s
History of the Christian Church. Shaff was a Protestant:

The doctrine of the sacrament of the Eucharist was not a subject of theological controversy . . . . Till the time of Paschasius Radbert, in the ninth century . . .
In general, this period . . . was already very strongly inclined toward the doctrine of transubstantiation, and toward the Greek and Roman sacrifice of the mass, which are inseparable in so far as a real sacrifice requires the real presence of the victim...
[Augustine] at the same time holds fast the real presence of Christ in the Supper . . . He was also inclined, with the Oriental fathers, to ascribe a saving virtue to the consecrated elements.

The evidence for the Eucharist is presented.

Reason is Catholic?

Protestantism relies on personal interpretation of the Scriptures, but is that even tenable from a philosophical perspective? Imagine the same with the U.S Constitution. Pure anarchy would like ensue if every American citizen was to interpret it according to his/hers bias and opinion. Instead, they have the U.S. Supreme Court to interpret it. Likewise, we have the Church to interpret the Scriptures. By their fruits you shall know them saith the Lord. What are the fruits of Sola Scriptura? Certainly, they are not unity. John Henry Cardinal Newman puts it like this:

How are the sheep of Christ's flock scattered abroad in the waste world! He came to gather them together in one; but they wander again and faint by the way, as having lost their Shepherd. What religious opinion can be named which some men or other have not at some time held? All are equally confident in the truth of their own doctrines, though the many must be mistaken. [8]


Conclusion

This is my compact case for Catholic Christianity. Catholic Christianity is a thinking man’s religion and hence, it is very hard to get around every topic in the 8,000 characters available on debate.org
I look forward to my opponents opening statement.

Sources:

[1] Douglas, J.D., ed., New Bible Dictionary, Grand Rapids, MI: Eerdmans, 1962 ed.,
[2] Cross, F.L., and E.A. Livingstone, eds., The Oxford Dictionary of the Christian Church, Oxford: Oxford Univ. Press, 2nd ed., 1983,
[3] Geisler, Norman L. & William E. Nix, From God to Us: How We Got Our Bible, 1974,
[4] The Gospel according to Saint Matthew, Douay-Rheims Bible of 1899.
[5] Isaiah 22:22
[6] Early 1520s:Althaus, Paul, The Theology of Martin Luther, translated by Robert C. Schultz, 1966.
[7] Letter to the Smyrnaeans, 6:2. 110 AD.
[8] Parochial and Plain Sermons

Rhez

Con

I commend my opponent on his obvious in-depth research on the subject matter.

I will proceed to respond to my opponent's claims, and present some evidence for my point of view. I hope 8000 characters will be enough.

Sacred Scripture IS, technically, Catholic

I do not question that the current canon of the Holy Bible was indeed decided by the early Catholic church. I will however argue, that the Catholic church has gone further and further away from what it was supposed to be.

An example would be the Apocrypha, most Jewish rabbis at the time denounced it as counterfeit[1]. It is not quoted once by Jesus, or any of the apostles. It also contradicts scripture several times, and example:

Sirach 12:4-7: “Give to the godly man, and help not a sinner. Do well unto him that is lowly, but give not to the ungodly; hold back thy bread, and give it not unto him... give unto the good, and help not the sinner.”[2]


Luke 6:27,30: "But I say to you who are hearing, Love your enemies, do good to those hating you... And to every one who is asking of thee, be giving; and from him who is taking away thy goods, be not asking again;"


This is of course not the only one, there are several, but to save space, i will refer to a source of more contradictions between the apocrypha and scripture. [3]


Papal infallibility is dangerous, and not biblical.

Now some people might think "But the Catholic church denies Sola Scriptura! It does not necessarily HAVE to be in the bible to be true!" Now, that might be correct, but, if we can somehow put the infallibility of the pope in doubt, then all the traditions of the catholic church can be put into question.

My opponent suggests that Christ made Simon the first pope of the Christian church, okay. But if Simon was indeed made the pope, then surely, no one should question his authority, especially not after Christ's resurrection? That sounds about right, until you realise he was indeed corrected, even condemned, by Paul, apostle of the Gentiles:


Galatians 2:11-14 : "And when Peter came to Antioch, to the face I stood up against him, because he was blameworthy,
for before the coming of certain from James, with the nations he was eating, and when they came, he was withdrawing and separating himself, fearing those of the circumcision, and dissemble with him also did the other Jews, so that also Barnabas was carried away by their dissimulation.

But when I saw that they are not walking uprightly to the truth of the good news, I said to Peter before all, `If thou, being a Jew, in the manner of the nations dost live, and not in the manner of the Jews, how the nations dost thou compel to Judaize?"


I humbly apologize for the long scripture quote, but I do feel it is of great importance, since it bluntly shows Paul correcting the way Peter, the supposed first pope of the Christian church, acted.


Now, I know this doesn't instantly proves that the pope has no authority, but it does justify one questioning his infallibility. And the fact that several popes have been rumored to have done very unchristlike things. Here are a few examples:

Pope Alexander VI (January 1431 – August 1503) supposedly hosting The "Banquet of Chestnuts" where several prostitutes crawled along the floor without clothes, collecting chestnuts, to the amusement of the guests, and afterwards, all the guests got to have their way with the prostitutes. [4]

Pope Honorius III (1148 – March 18, 1227) is rumored to have wrote a grimoire, involving magic, dark arts, and the summoning of demons. [5]

Pope Sergius III (897, 904-911) is rumored to have had several of his rivals for the papacy murdered. [6]

Now, even if none of these are 100 % percent confirmed, they do make one think. "Wow, should these people really be considered the holiest men on earth?"

This actually brings me to the last part my second round.

The Eucharist, symbolic or literal?

Most Catholics like to point to John 6:53-57 to prove that the Eucharist should be taking literally, those verses state:

"Jesus, therefore, said to them, `Verily, verily, I say to you, If ye may not eat the flesh of the Son of Man, and may not drink his blood, ye have no life in yourselves;

he who is eating my flesh, and is drinking my blood, hath life age-during, and I will raise him up in the last day;

for my flesh truly is food, and my blood truly is drink;

he who is eating my flesh, and is drinking my blood, doth remain in me, and I in him.

`According as the living Father sent me, and I live because of the Father, he also who is eating me, even that one shall live because of me;"

Now, if these verses were interpreted 100% literally, I could see how one would come to think that the Eucharist is indeed the consumption God's flesh and blood. But if one takes a closer look at a following verse, namely John 6:63 which states:

"the spirit it is that is giving life; the flesh doth not profit anything; the sayings that I speak to you are spirit, and they are life"

This suggests that Jesus' words had spiritual meaning, and were not meant to be understood as actually eating his flesh and blood.

Now, I am not trying to say that this proves the Eucharist isn't literal, but my point is, it certainly makes it acceptable for some people to doubt it, doesn't it?
Not if the sitting pope has anything to say about it, that's for sure.

William Sawtret was burned at the stake for doubting the literal meaning of the Eucharist.[7]

Botulf Botulfsson was also burned, for doubting the wafer's actually transforming into the flesh of God. [8]

John Badby, also burned for doubting the actual consumption of the flesh of Jesus.[9]

These are just a few of many [10]

When Martin Luther insisted that burning people at the stake was not the will of The Holy Spirit, as according to the sixth of the ten commandments

"`Thou dost not murder."

The current pope at the time, Leo X, made sure to address this in his long list of Luther's "heresies", one of them being:

33. That heretics be burned is against the will of the Spirit.[11]

Another danger of papal infallibility: it's not considered murder, if the pope calls it heresy.


Conclusion

Now I am running out of room. I had more things to add, but I hope I will get the chance to address more of my opponent's arguments later in the debate.
I would like to address again, that my purpose in this debate is not to make the Catholic church seem unchristian, but simply to call into doubt the infallibility of it.

Sources:

All my biblical quotes are from the Young's Literal Translation of the Bible.

[1] Mercer dictionary of the Bible, Watson E. Mills,Roger Aubrey Bullard
[2] http://www.catholic.org...
[3] http://www.justforcatholics.org...
[4] Wiegand, Steve; Sass, Erik (2008). The Mental Floss History of the World. New York: Harper.
[5] http://en.wikipedia.org...
[6] http://en.wikipedia.org...
[7] Feiling, Keith. A History of England. London: Macmillan, 1950.
[8] Saints, peasants and warriors. Stories from the Swedish history, 1994.
[9] Foxe's Book of Martyrs - John Badby
[10] http://en.wikipedia.org...
[11] http://www.papalencyclicals.net...

Debate Round No. 2
Confucius91

Pro

I thank my opponent once again for an interesting debate. Now I will begin my first refutation.

Sacred Scripture is Catholic

“I do not question that the current canon of the Holy Bible was indeed decided by the early Catholic church. I will however argue, that the Catholic church has gone further and further away from what it was supposed to be.

An example would be the Apocrypha…”

That seems like a contradiction to me. In one instant, my opponent affirms the authority of the Church to determine the canon of Scripture, and then he goes on to affirm that the same Church was mistaken in determining the Apocrypha to be canonical.

“…most Jewish rabbis at the time denounced it as counterfeit. It is not quoted once by Jesus, or any of the apostles…”

Would that be the same Jewish rabbis, who denounced Jesus of Christ as a blasphemer worthy of crucifixion? It would be quite problematic for a Christian to consider them authoritative. The Rabbis’ reasoning was also shown to be mistaken as they rejected the books, because there was no Hebrew version of the texts. This has been falsified as several of the books have been found in Hebrew in the Dead Sea Scrolls among others [1].

My opponent is right in saying the Gospels do not quote the Apocrypha. They do however, quote the Septuagint, which includes these books as authoritative [2].

Sirach 12:4-7

As many supposed contradictions of Scripture, this one fares not well. The passage has traditionally been understood as to mean, “That we must not partake in the crimes of others. We may also make presents to the virtuous, and pass over people of a different character, particularly when they would abuse our gifts. The honest poor must be preserved” [3]. It is quite sound advice. Would my opponent give his alms to a drug addict instead of a non-addict? The drug addict certainly requires our love, but it would not be love to sponsor him financially.

Papal infallibility

I am afraid that my opponent’s argument is a mere strawman. The Catholic Church does not teach that the Pope speaks infallibly at all times and neither does it teach that the Pope cannot sin (impeccability vs. infallibility). The Pope only teaches infallibly under very specific circumstances and this has only been utilized very few times [4].

As for Galatians 2:11-14, the passage does not contradict papal authority. Several saints have rebuked Popes and still recognized his supreme authority [5]. St. Paul fraternally corrected St. Peter on the latter’s behaviour, not teaching. There is no contradiction present.

The Eucharist

Yes, the Catholic Church does interpret the sixth chapter of the Gospel according to St. John quite literally and the 63rd verse does not contradict it for two reasons.

Firstly, when spirit and flesh are contrasted in the New Testament, it is always inthe sense of sinful human nature (“flesh”) contrasted with humanity enriched by God's grace (“spirit”)[6]. Jesus is simply teaching that you need the Grace of God in order to receive His Word.

Secondly, several disciples abandoned Jesus over this teaching, since they thought it to be absurd [7]. Why would Jesus allow them to leave if they had simply misunderstood a metaphor? When Nicodemus misunderstands the term “born again” as if he literally has to be born again of his mother, there Jesus corrects his literal understanding of a metaphor. That was for an honestly seeking man, how about several disciples? Jesus did not leave misunderstanding people to their fate, but he did leave people who understood, but did not believe, to their fate [8].

As for the heretics burned at the stake, that is and was not a Christian thing to do. However, it seemed perfectly rational within the medieval psychology of heresy and the medieval social structure. The medieval understating was that of the heretic being inherently of evil will rather than honestly mistaken. For a heretic not to recant after being denounced by the Church was viewed as crime in a religious and secular sense. Several heresies did in fact threaten civil order such as the Albigensians, who taught suicide, fornication and called marriage sinful [9]. The Catholic theologian Karl Adam notes:

It is true that heretics were tried and burnt in the Middle Ages . . . The origin of such persecutions is to be sought rather in the Byzantine and medieval conception of the state, whereby every attack on the unity of the faith was regarded as an open crime against the unity and stability of the state, and one which had to be punished according to the primitive methods of the time… [10]

The Catholic Church does not view the killing of heretics as a good thing, but neither does the killing of heretics disprove of the Catholic Church’s claims about itself. It is no secret that the Church will contain sinners and saints.

These are just a few of many”

My opponent’s source includes all sorts of heretics, not just doubters of the Eucharist. It even includes St. Jeanne d’Arc and several of the “heretics” were killed by angry mobs rather than by an ecclesiastical court.

Conclusion

My opponent’s arguments have been dismantled and several shown to be based on misunderstandings of basic Catholic theology.

Sources

[1] Abegg, Jr., Martin, Peter Flint, and Eugene Ulrich, The Dead Sea Scrolls Bible: The Oldest Known Bible Translated for the First Time into English,

[2] G. Archer and G. C. Chirichigno, Old Testament Quotations in the New Testament: A Complete Survey (Protestant)

[3]http://www.veritasbible.com...

[4] http://www.newadvent.org...

[5] Bertrand Conway, The Question Box, 1929.

[6] Several passages noted: Matthew 26:41, Romans 7:5-6,25, Romans 8:1-14, 1 Corinthians 5:5, Galatians 3:3, Galatians 4:29, Galatians 5:13-26, 1 Peter 3:18, 1 Peter 4:6,

[7] John 6:61, John 6:67. [8] Matthew 15:10-20, Matthew 16:5-12, Matthew 19:24-26

[9] Will Durant, The Age of Faith, 1950.

[10] The Spirit of Catholicism, 1929

Rhez

Con

I thank my opponent for the swift response, and in turn apologize for the fact that I cannot provide as fast replies, because of overwhelming workload approaching my exams.

The canon of sacred scripture

I apologize for my poor choice of words. When I said that the Catholic church decided the scriptural canon, I didn't mean to imply that I meant they had the authority to decide which book were, and were not scripture. I simply meant that the Catholic was indeed the first organized church to decide the cannon of the bible. The New Testament canon was basically in place even before the turn of the 1st century[1]


The fact that the Apocrypha was included in the Septuagint does not change the fact that it was not considered holy scripture until the Council of Trent in 1543, where the Catholic church officially canonized the Apocryphal books, as a part of the counter-reformation. [2]

There is also no proof that the authors of the Septuagint included the Apocrypha because they considered it scripture, or simply because they considered them important historical documents.

The esteemed biblical historian Josephus never included any of the Apocryphal books in his list of bible-canon, and the equally esteemed biblical philosopher Philo never quotes, or even mentions any of the books. [3]

Canon decides itself, if the books are divinely inspired, quoted by Jesus, or any of his apostles, and doesn't contradict with the canon, they can be considered holy writ.
There is however not one of the books in the Apocrypha which claims divine inspiration, and as I said in my last response, they are never quoted by any apostle or prophet.
Also, the entire Book of Acts, never accounts for any of the historical events taking place in the Apocrypha, despite important historical events being mentioned throughout the whole book.[4]


My opponent’s alternative interpretation of Sirach 12:4-7 seems kind of far fetched for something that's meant to be holy scripture. But I can see how it would make sense to someone who read the verse from a Catholic point of view.
This is not however the only troublesome verse in the Apocrypha:

Ecclesiasticus 25:19 Any iniquity is insignificant compared to a wife's iniquity.

Ecclesiasticus 25:24 From a woman sin had its beginning. Because of her we all die.

Ecclesiasticus 22:3 It is a disgrace to be the father of an undisciplined, and the birth of a daughter is a loss.

None of these verses sound like anything that should be included in a divinely inspired book. This blame game of which gender is more responsible for the fall of man than the other, has nothing to do with the word of G-d.

These verses confirm that none of the Apocryphal books were prophetic:

And they laid up the stones in the mountain of the temple in a convenient place, till there should come a prophet, and give answer concerning them. (1 Maccabees 4:46)

And there was a great tribulation in Israel, such as was not since the day, that there was no prophet seen in Israel. (1 Maccabees 9:27)

And that the Jews, and their priests, had consented that he should be their prince, and high priest for ever, till there should arise a faithful prophet. (1 Maccabees 14:41)

All these verses simply confirm, that at the time of the Apocrypha's writing, there were not faithful prophets in the land.

There are also several historical error in the Apocrypha, one of the larger ones being a claim made by the supposed author “Tobit”

He claims to have been alive during both the revolt of Jeroboam (931 B.C.) and when Assyria conquered Israel (722 B.C.). That's two events separated by more than 200 years, but Tobit never got any older than 158.[5]

Judith also calls Nebuchadnezzar the king of the Assyrians.[6] Even though he was the king of Babylon[7]


Papal infallibility

The very notion that the pope could speak infallibly at any time is still unbiblical. If what he says contradicts scripture, or adds/subtracts anything from it, we should not listen to it.

"You shall not add to the word which I command you, nor take from it, that you may keep the commandments of the Lord your God which I command you." Deuteronomy 4:2

"Whatever I command you, be careful to observe it; you shall not add to it nor take away from it." Deuteronomy 12:32

This can not be subjected onto Luther for removing any of the Apocryphal books, since they were not even officially considered holy writ until the year 1543, after he had removed them from the reformed bible.



The Eucharist

I understand my opponent's interpretation of this verse, I however must insist that the interpretation of Jesus' words being taken 100 % literally is not necessarily the correct way of interpreting it.

When Jesus said to Satan: 'Man does not live on bread alone, but on every word that comes from the mouth of God'" (Matthew 4:4)

I do believe he was talking about the same thing. We do not live only by food, but also by Jesus, and thereby, also by the word of G-d. What I mean is, it is meant to be understood spiritually, not literally.

There are several verses in the bible which states that the Eucharist is meant to be done in remembrance of Christ, and not to achieve salvation[8]

If indeed the Eucharist is as important as most Catholics make it out to be, then why is it not mentioned even more in the scriptures?

When the jailer asked Paul what he had to do to be saved, what did Paul say?

“30 and having brought them forth, said, `Sirs, what must I do -- that I may be saved?'

31 and they said, `Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and thou shalt be saved -- thou and thy house;'

32 and they spake to him the word of the Lord, and to all those in his household;

33 and having taken them, in that hour of the night, he did bathe [them] from the blows, and was baptized, himself and all his presently,

34 having brought them also into his house, he set food before [them], and was glad with all the household, he having believed in God.” -YLT of the bible.

He did not say anything, except that he had to believe in Jesus Christ. Would he not have mentioned the Eucharist, had it been that important?.



Conclusion

I believe I have strengthened my previous arguments, and that I have made clear some misunderstandings from my first argument. I do not think my opponent thoroughly dismantled my previous arguments, since he mostly showed an alternate way to interpret the arguments I had presented. My opponent is still to show sufficient evidence that the Catholic Church should indeed be raised above the several protestant and orthodox denominations, when it comes to the word of G-d.

I apologize for the potential abundant amount of grammar errors, It is getting late, and I did my best. I hope my opponent can make out what I was trying to say.


Sources
[1] http://www.bible-researcher.com...
[2] http://www.bible-researcher.com...
[3] Jewish Writings of the Second Temple Period: Apocrypha, Pseudepigrapha, Qumran Sectarian Writings, Philo, Josephus, Brill Academic Publishers, 1984
[4] http://www.biblegateway.com...
[5] Tobit 1:3-5; 14:11
[6] Judith 1:1, 7
[7] 2 Kings 24:1
[8] 1 Corinthians 11:23-25. Luke 22:18-20 and Matthew 26:26-28


Debate Round No. 3
Confucius91

Pro


I thank my dear opponent for his response. However, I feel it to be quite inadequate and I will now show why.


Sacred Scripture

The New Testament canon was basically in place even before the turn of the 1st century[1]”


This claim has me baffled. The claim itself is quite implausible*, but also his source is curious. The text refers to B.B. Warfield’s (a Reformed professor of theology) claim about the canon being in place before the turn of the 1st century. However, the text blatantly says:


“Warfield's position certainly simplifies the canon question by making the New Testament a closed book by the end of the first century, but it fails to do justice to the historical facts. We must pay attention to the diversity of opinions that came to expression in the early church”


So unless I am somehow missing something, it would seem that my opponent’s source not only does not support his claim, it actually opposes it.


The fact that the Apocrypha was included in the Septuagint does not change the fact that it was not considered holy scripture until the Council of Trent in 1543, where the Catholic church officially canonized the Apocryphal books, as a part of the counter-reformation. [2]”


That is not quite true. Several councils approved the “Apocrypha” as Scripture, including Hippo (393) and Carthage (397, 419), which were influenced heavily by St. Augustine. These councils are accepted among Protestants who, however arbitrarily, deny the inspiration of the “Apocrypha”.


There is also no proof that the authors of the Septuagint included the Apocrypha because they considered it scripture, or simply because they considered them important historical documents”


Well, unless my opponent can argue for the last part, then it seems more arbitrary to assume that they would include non-Scripture in a translation of Scripture. I would not add the writings of Plato to my Bible even if he is one the greatest philosophers in history.


The esteemed biblical historian Josephus never included any of the Apocryphal books in his list of bible-canon, and the equally esteemed biblical philosopher Philo never quotes, or even mentions any of the books.”


It does not contradict the Catholic position.


Canon decides itself, if the books are divinely inspired, quoted by Jesus, or any of his apostles, and doesn't contradict with the canon, they can be considered holy writ.


Is that not an example of circular reasoning? The Canon is true if it does not contradict the Canon. It still took around 350 years for the Church to establish the Canon. If that was the only criteria, then how could it take almost 4 centuries for the early Christians to settle the Canon?


Apocrypha quotes-and-problems-a-plenty

My opponent’s argument presupposes his individual authority to determine the meaning of Scripture. This is a topic, which I contested in the very beginning of the debate. Until my opponent establishes this principle, then this argument is just pointless. When he offers a problem based his understanding of a verse, then I can offer the Catholic position and we can go on like this ad nauseum if private judgment is all that matters.


On top of that, if we follow my opponent’s demand of me to account for every perceived problem/contradiction in the “Apocrypha”, then I challenge my opponent to follow this train of thought to its consequence and refute every proposed contradiction of Scripture proposed by the Sceptic’s Annotated Bible. Either he must do so or he must concede that we cannot have a debate, if I have to deal with particulars all the time. Remember what I said in my opening statement:


“Now I will not quote-spam as that would just make it impossible for my opponent to argue his case”


I hope my opponent will extend that courtesy to me as well. Argue against my first principles and my general principles.


Papal infallibility

The very notion that the pope could speak infallibly at any time is still unbiblical. If what he says contradicts scripture, or adds/subtracts anything from it, we should not listen to it”


Again, that presupposes the very thing we are contesting in this debate: the individual’s authority on interpretation. My opponent has yet to refute my understanding of “Peter the Rock” as well.


Deuteronomy


That line of interpretation could easily exclude any book written after Deuteronomy. I hope my opponent is not suggesting that.


The Eucharist

All right, we are once again that the source and summit of De Fide.


I do believe he was talking about the same thing. We do not live only by food, but also by Jesus, and thereby, also by the word of G-d. What I mean is, it is meant to be understood spiritually, not literally.


May I refer my opponent to John 1:


“In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God”


Jesus is the Word of God and it is by Him we live. However, these arguments are still pointless until my opponent establishes his authority to interpret Scripture.


He did not say anything, except that he had to believe in Jesus Christ. Would he not have mentioned the Eucharist, had it been that important?”


He said to believe in Jesus Christ. That is to trust or have faith in Jesus. That would include accepting what Jesus taught and I still maintain that Jesus quite clearly taught the doctrine of the Real Presence.


Conclusion

My opponent has more or less just begged the question in favor of private judgment, which is a doctrine I started the debate by contesting. He does not respond to several of my criticisms of his arguments, so I will presume he has conceded them. He seems to have conceded my starting argument of “The Church Fathers were Catholic” as he has only argued against the Eucharist on the presumption of private judgment.


*As you saw in my opening statement, I made a well-documented assertion, that the Canon was disputed until a series of councils and final papal ratification settled it around the turn of the 4th century.


Rhez

Con

I apologize once again for responding so late, time seems to be something I have very little of lately, and I don't seem to have a lot of time left to respond, so I will see what I can get written down.

To start of with, I will actually apologize, and admit I used a bad source. It was the last thing I added to my argument, and I obviously didn't read the source material well enough. I thank my opponent for pointing this out.

Sacred Scripture
I would like to repsond to my opponent's different claims of the Apocryphal books being cannon, but I sadly do not have the time to do this in this round, I hope my opponnent will grant me the opportunity to do this in the last round.


"Is that not an example of circular reasoning? The Canon is true if it does not contradict the Canon. It still took around 350 years for the Church to establish the Canon. If that was the only criteria, then how could it take almost 4 centuries for the early Christians to settle the Canon?"

I think you misunderstood me. I simply meant that books which claim to be divinely inspired, and doesn't contradict the widely accepted canon, can be considered to be canon. For example, the gospel of Judas claims to be divinely inspired, but it contradicts everything else we recognize as scripture, so we don't claim it to be holy writ. While I'd say the apocryphal books in no way appear to be divinely inspired, and should therefore not be considered scripture.

Interpretation of scripture

I would like to defend personal interpretation of scripture in the last round of the debate. Once again i regrettably do not have time to do it now.

I would also have liked to have added a few words about the Eucharist here, but the timer above says i have 1 minute left, so there won't be any of that.



Apology

I apologize to my opponent for my incredibly lacking response today, but exams have simply been stealing too much of my time in the last few days, and I have no one to blame but myself for accepting the debate in such a busy period.




Debate Round No. 4
Confucius91

Pro

It certainly is very misfortunate when my opponent is unable to make a proper response due to time contraints. However, for the sake of a fair debate, I will now offer my closing statement and ask my opponent to do the same. We are out of rounds and if my opponent uses his last round for arguments, then I will not be able to answer them.



Sacred Scripture is Catholic

I maintain that the Catholic Church canonized the Scriptures present in the Bible, including the Deuterocanonical books.

This has been shown to be well-documented as I described in my opening statement. My opponent affirmed that the Church was the first to recognize the Canon, but negated its authority to determine the Canon. However, this is arbitary to say the least. The dispute over the Canon was ended because the Church excersised its God-given authority, not vice-versa.

The Church Fathers were Catholic

My argument from the Church Fathers' belief in transubstantiation was never refuted. Instead, the debate shifted to arguments for the biblical basis of the doctrine. This was basically a red herring and I can only blame myself for engaging the topic. Still, I showed that Sacred Scripture was also Catholic in its eucharistic theology.

Reason is Catholic?

The majority of my opponent's argumentation rest on the Protestant pillar of private judgment. I started the debate by contesting this principle, but any substantiative defence never came about. It is only in the final rounds that it had its 15 minutes of fame. My opponent asks for a chance to defend it in the final round and I ask that he refrains from doing so, since I cannot address his arguments later on. However, should he wish to defend the principle, then I will wait for him to challenge me to a new debate.

Conclusion

The Catholic Church is magnificent. It has survived corrupt men, even popes. It has survived the persecutions of mighty empires and have spread across the Earth. It has stood up for the common man when Big Business and Big Government stepped all over him. It is the only church that can rightly claim the title of The Church. Vote Pro.

I will leave you with a saying of Blessed John Henry Newman:

History is not a creed or a catechism, it gives lessons rather than rules; still no one can mistake its general teaching in this matter, whether he accept it or stumble at it. Bold outlines and broad masses of colour rise out of the records of the past. They may be dim, they may be incomplete; but they are definite. And this one thing at least is certain; whatever history teaches, whatever it omits, whatever it exaggerates or extenuates, whatever it says and unsays, at least the Christianity of history is not Protestantism. If ever there were a safe truth, it is this.

And Protestantism has ever felt it so. I do not mean that every writer on the Protestant side has felt it; for it was the fashion at first, at least as a rhetorical argument against Rome, to appeal to past ages, or to some of them; but Protestantism, as a whole, feels it, and has felt it. This is shown in the determination already referred to of dispensing with historical Christianity altogether, and of forming a Christianity from the Bible alone: men never would have put it aside, unless they had despaired of it.





Rhez

Con

Rhez forfeited this round.
Debate Round No. 5
7 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 7 records.
Posted by DAN123 6 years ago
DAN123
i don't think the SDA is the one true church!!!!
Posted by Confucius91 6 years ago
Confucius91
Hello sir.

Where was the Seventh Day Adventist Church in 33 AD?

Sincerely
C.L.A.
Posted by perculiar360 6 years ago
perculiar360
first of all i would confidently say that religion doesnt save, it is through the blood of the lamb only will i found salvation.
if you looking for the true religion you must turn to the holly scriptures james 1:27 "pure religion and undefiled before god and the father is this, to visit the fartherless and the widows in their affliction and to keep himself unspotted from the world".
if you telling me that catholic is the true religion then i will have to disagree with you, if you tell me that judaism is the true religion i would have to disagree with you, baptist and ect... it is about following the foot steps of christ and the biblical principles and teachings. if you in a religion were they not teaching the importants of these things then you follow a false religion and you need to get on your knees and pray that the lord will guide towards the right path! {i'm from the seventh day adventist church} my mission is to preach the gospel of christ.
Posted by Confucius91 6 years ago
Confucius91
Hello, sir.

I obviously agree with Pro. What do you intend?
Posted by SkepticsAskHere 6 years ago
SkepticsAskHere
Catholicism has an interesting past and if anyone agrees with pro i would encourage you to watch the video and then send me a message
Posted by ReformedArsenal 6 years ago
ReformedArsenal
This should be interesting.
Posted by wizkid345 6 years ago
wizkid345
thats a nice thought, and catlics did come befor christians but befor that there were the jewish and all thos eancient religions so whos to say
3 votes have been placed for this debate. Showing 1 through 3 records.
Vote Placed by Cliff.Stamp 6 years ago
Cliff.Stamp
Confucius91RhezTied
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Total points awarded:52 
Reasons for voting decision: Solid opening performance by con, 2pt, but forfeit and lack of response in later rounds and well handled argument and refutation to Pro, 5 pt.
Vote Placed by tvellalott 6 years ago
tvellalott
Confucius91RhezTied
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Total points awarded:10 
Reasons for voting decision: Conduct to Pro; Con forfeited.
Vote Placed by Ore_Ele 6 years ago
Ore_Ele
Confucius91RhezTied
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Total points awarded:40 
Reasons for voting decision: The debate, I felt, was pretty even up until the end when CON fell down against the clock.