The Instigator
WFTL
Pro (for)
Losing
0 Points
The Contender
WalkingTarget
Con (against)
Winning
7 Points

The church of Christ is the only church one must be in to be saved.

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Post Voting Period
The voting period for this debate has ended.
after 2 votes the winner is...
WalkingTarget
Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 11/18/2016 Category: Religion
Updated: 1 week ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 509 times Debate No: 97157
Debate Rounds (4)
Comments (37)
Votes (2)

 

WFTL

Pro

My proposition is the church of Christ is the only church one must be in to be saved.
WalkingTarget

Con

Debate accepted.
Debate Round No. 1
WFTL

Pro

Thank you for accepting this very important proposition, as I plan to show that the church of Christ is the only church one must be in to be saved, although my opponent may state otherwise by claiming all churches say the same thing, or, that there are other churches mentioned in the bible, which I will prove to be false.

In order to prove my opponent wrong I will use the New Testament scriptures as my sole source.
I will prove the churches of Christ is the "only church" that abides by the New Testament pattern.

History of the churches of Christ according to scripture.

1. Established on the day of Pentecost in AD33, Acts 2;41-47, 41 Then they that gladly received his word were baptized: and the same day there were added unto them about three thousand souls.

42 And they continued stedfastly in the apostles' doctrine and fellowship, and in breaking of bread, and in prayers.

43 And fear came upon every soul: and many wonders and signs were done by the apostles.

44 And all that believed were together, and had all things common;

45 And sold their possessions and goods, and parted them to all men, as every man had need.

46 And they, continuing daily with one accord in the temple, and breaking bread from house to house, did eat their meat with gladness and singleness of heart,

47 Praising God, and having favour with all the people. And the Lord added to the church daily such as should be saved.

2. Baptism by believers of accountability, Acts 2:38King James Version (KJV)

38 Then Peter said unto them, Repent, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins, and ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost.

Mark 16:16King James Version (KJV)

16 He that believeth and is baptized shall be saved; but he that believeth not shall be damned.

3. Following the pattern given by the Holy Spirit to the Apostles so they would know everything that was needed to tell and show us how to go by,1 John 1:1-3King James Version (KJV)

1 That which was from the beginning, which we have heard, which we have seen with our eyes, which we have looked upon, and our hands have handled, of the Word of life;

2 (For the life was manifested, and we have seen it, and bear witness, and shew unto you that eternal life, which was with the Father, and was manifested unto us;)

3 That which we have seen and heard declare we unto you, that ye also may have fellowship with us: and truly our fellowship is with the Father, and with his Son Jesus Christ.

3. Ephesians 4:5-6King James Version (KJV)

5 One Lord, one faith, one baptism,

6 One God and Father of all, who is above all, and through all, and in you all.

4. Acts 20:7King James Version (KJV)

7 And upon the first day of the week, when the disciples came together to break bread, Paul preached unto them, ready to depart on the morrow; and continued his speech until midnight.

5. 1 Corinthians 16:2King James Version (KJV)

2 Upon the first day of the week let every one of you lay by him in store, as God hath prospered him, that there be no gatherings when I come.

6. Singing only is authorized, Colossians 3:16King James Version (KJV)

16 Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly in all wisdom; teaching and admonishing one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing with grace in your hearts to the Lord.

Ephesians 5:19King James Version (KJV)

19 Speaking to yourselves in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody in your heart to the Lord;

===================================================================================================

I have shown the history of the beginning of the churches of Christ, and answered the who, what, when, where, why and how of the churches of Christ, and now my opponent will have to prove that the churches of Christ is not the one and only true church.
WalkingTarget

Con

I would like to first thank WFTL for challenging me to this debate. I also want to express gratitude for him personally. From the profile image, though it is pretty small, it is my guess that he is a US Army Veteran and I wish him a happy belated Veteran’s Day. Thank you for your service in preserving my freedom. Thank God for you. The Lord bless you and keep you; The Lord make His face shine upon you, And be gracious to you; The Lord lift up His countenance upon you, And give you peace. (Num 6:24-26)

As I read the opening statement, two fallacies jumped out at me and I will address those first.

Hasty Generalization [1]

WFTL lists six criteria for the one true church Christ established from a very small pool of information largely based on the Epistles and Acts of the Apostles, and he does so under the assumption that it is, “History of the churches of Christ according to scripture.” Which is mere assertion and nothing more. To further demonstrate, these claims are so general that many denominations I can think of would say Amen to all of them. If I were trying to prove my church was the one true church, I would cite evidence that would distinguish my church from every other church.

What is particularly striking about his list is not the generality and vagueness but that WFTL knows this as he preempts my argument by saying, “although my opponent may state otherwise by claiming all churches say the same thing, or, that there are other churches mentioned in the bible, which I will prove to be false.” He knows full well that other churches meet that criteria and he wants this debate to flow in a particular direction. Enter fallacy two.

Shifting the Burden of Proof [2]

If you could not see it from the beginning, WFTL makes it clear in the end, “now my opponent will have to prove that the churches of Christ is not the one and only true church.”

Unfortunately for WFTL, I am not the one who has to prove his church or any other church is the one true church. That responsibility is set squarely on the person making the Affirmative claim which is, “My (WFTL’s) proposition is the church of Christ is the only church one must be in to be saved.” Naturally, to do so WFTL will have to prove that the Churches of Christ is the One True Church Jesus Christ promised to establish in Matt 16:16-18 and he will not get there simply by saying that other churches are not that church and so win by default. He cannot prove his point by disproving others.

Church, not Churches

WFTL headlines his six points with, “History of the churches of Christ according to scripture.” But Christ did not promise to establish Churches but one Church. Matt 16:18, “And I say also unto thee, That thou art Peter, and upon this rock I will build my church…”

WFTL cites Acts 2:41-47 demonstrating the work of the power of the Holy Spirit though the first of the apostles, Peter, after preaching at the Sanhedrin and the rapid growth of the church that followed but it says nothing of the church multiplying into churches.

Baptism by Accountable Believers

WFTL finally cites a gospel along with a verse from the preceding section from acts and presumably this is another watermark that would identify only the Churches of Christ but notice the passages only say that believers should be baptized and that Christ commands his Apostles to baptize but not that they are the only ones who can baptize nor are instructions given on how to baptize. Again, no defining watermark that would demonstrate that his church members can baptize and others cannot.

How does the Churches of Christ follow the Pattern?

WFTL says the church he belongs to follows a pattern given in 1 John 1:1-3 in which John writes about the apostolic witness to the Word of life, Jesus Christ, so that by their experience we to can have fellowship with Him and the Father but again, he does not demonstrate how his church does this and other do not. Again, no unique watermark.

Because Acts 20:7 & 1 Corinthians 16:2

In points 4 &5, WFTL is now citing verses without explination. I know it can't be for lack of space as he used less than 3,800 of the 10,000 characters that are allotted to each person per round. Again, there is nothing that would distinguish his church from another. As a Catholic, I can tell you we tithe to our church without waiting for our overseer to arrive and have communion every Sunday as well. Again, the Churches of Christ aren’t the only ones who fit this pattern and it is up to WFTL to show us why his way is different than any other church with evidence and not simply assertion.

So Jesus Told The Apostles, No Tambourines … Right ...

At least it is something that would distinguish my church from WFTL’s. To address the obvious, neither Col. 3:16 nor Eph. 5:19 condemn the use of musical instruments nor bouncing balls during worship music. I wish they condemned the Christian Rock for worship music but they didn’t do that either.

The very idea that using instruments is somehow violating worship is inconsistent with the Old Testament. 1 Sam 16:16-23 demonstrates that music with the use of instruments is very useful as David’s harp would repel a demon that would torment Saul.

We can also look at Ephesians 5:19 in another light. First, we must ask, is Paul tells the Ephesians to sing and make melody with their voice alone, or is it possible to sing with your voice and make a melody with an instrument like a harp? If David had a harp for Saul, it is certainly possible so how do we know which interpretation is correct? As we all know, the bible did not fall from the sky in perfect King James English.

From the Greek lexicon, the word for melody is psallo: [psallo,] to touch or play on a musical instrument, properly denotes such sacred songs or poems as are sung to stringed instruments, and may here refer to those of David; hymns.[3]

If the author was trying to imply that the use of instruments was unauthorized and inconsistent with worship, why not use the word, humneó: to sing the praise of, sing hymns to, to sing a hymn, to sing singing of paschal hymns these were Psalms 113 - 118 and 136, which the Jews called the "great Hallel". [4]

It is well known that the
Greeks had a word for everything. If Paul wanted to convey a message that instruments were forbidden in worship, I have demonstrated that there are better words to use. If anything else, Eph 5:19 demonstrates that the Paul instructed the Ephesians to make melody with instruments in violation of Church of Christ doctrine of forbidden worship noise. In other words, the Churches of Christ worship is not the worship described in scripture.

What Did The Early Church Ask For?

WFTL asserts that the bible is talking about his church, but is it really? This problem of authenticity of the one true Church is nothing new to Christianity, and the bible test would not work as there was no defined canon of scripture until the late 4th century. Irenaeus, bishop of Lyon in the 2nd century, wrote Against Heresies around 175AD because there was a similar problem with the Gnostic's who claimed to have apostolic teachings but there was one simple way the one true church could tell who was really valid from a poser “It is within the power of all, therefore, in every Church, who may wish to see the truth, to contemplate clearly the tradition of the apostles manifested throughout the whole world; and we are in a position to reckon up those who were by the apostles instituted bishops in the Churches, and [to demonstrate] the succession of these men to our own times; those who neither taught nor knew of anything like what these [heretics] rave about.” [5]

In other words, it was common to have a list of bishops to know they were apostolic in origin so everyone to know their bishops with their teachings could be trusted. Irenaeus, himself was ordained a bishop named Polycarp, and he was ordained by John the Evangelist, an apostle. [6]

So to prove the Church of Christ is Apostolic in origin, I would have to ask as Tertullian does, “Perhaps some heretics may claim Apostolic antiquity: we reply: Let them publish the origins of their churches and unroll the catalogue of their bishops till now from the Apostles or from some bishop appointed by the Apostles, as the Smyrnaeans count from Polycarp and John, and the Romans from Clement and Peter; let heretics invent something to match this.”[7]

Likewise, WFTL can end this debate rather quickly if he were to unfold his churches catalogue and show for us the line of succession between Barton W. Stone and Alexander Campbell and the Apostles. Again, WFTL has the positive claim and it is not on the Catholic Church to prove its origin but to demonstrate that this is not an impossible task, follow the number to a good online source. [8]

Summery

WFTL is going to have to provide some actual evidence for his claim. His proposition is not true just because he quote a bible verse and he says it is true. This begs the question. For example, let me go back to Matt. 16:18, “And I say also unto 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 said, see, the bible says the church must be apostolic because the bible says so with one clear successor as the leader of the entire church. WFTL would not accept this as evidence. Further, if I am the one making the claim, it is not on WFTL to prove me wrong, it is on me to prove I’m right. I would have the burden of proof. Likewise, it is on WFTL to prove the exclusive nature of the proposed bible verses to his church. Also, I would ask WFTL to describe his church for us rather than leave us to assume thing about his church, or churches, or whatever they are.

Thank you.

[1] http://tinyurl.com...

[2] http://tinyurl.com...

[3] http://tinyurl.com...

[4] http://tinyurl.com...

[5] http://tinyurl.com...

[6] http://tinyurl.com...

[7] ibid

[8] http://tinyurl.com...

Debate Round No. 2
WFTL

Pro

My opponent states other churches worship the same as the churches of Christ does, I ask him to name just "one" other church that does.

There is not one church on this planet today that worships like the churches mentioned in the bible, as they're all the same church, they were simply expressed in the bible this way.

An example would be like when he was talking about the church in Ephesus, that church wasn't Ephesus, that was the location of the church, the church being spoken of, is the church of Christ.

1 Corinthians1:10, 10Now I beseech you, brethren, by the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that ye all speak the same thing, and that there be no divisions among you; but that ye be perfectly joined together in the same mind and in the same judgment.

Romans 16:16King James Version (KJV)
16 Salute one another with an holy kiss. The churches of Christ salute you.

Here's a list of the churches in the bible, as you can see throughout scripture that all of these are the churches of Christ, as they all worship the exactly the same way.

a. Church of God
b. The Way
c. The seven churches in Asia
The Seven Churches: Eras?
The Seven Churches: Ephesus
The Seven Churches: Smyrna
The Seven Churches: Pergamos
The Seven Churches: Thyatira
The Seven Churches: Sardis
The Seven Churches: Philadelphia
The Seven Churches: Laodicea

==================================================================================================

Shifting the Burden of Proof fallacy is a valid technique, or else why would we be debating. If I didn't shift the burden of proof, I would only be making a statement for one just to read and not respond to, so no debate needed.

My opponent says he doesn't have to prove that the churches of Christ are not the one true church, then I ask, why are you debating me?

My opponent states that the information I gave with scripture doesn't prove that it refers to the churches of Christ, then I ask my opponent what church does it apply to, as there's only one church, as he stated and I agree, which proves there's only one way to worship God, that's why Jesus said he would build " my church "It is quite obvious that Matthew 16;18 refers to one church, , as this would make no sense otherwise.

3. Ephesians 4:5-6King James Version (KJV)
5 One Lord, one faith, one baptism,

God has given us exactly how we are to worship him and how to set up the church, and the entire New Testament shows one way, unless my opponent can prove this false. The New Testament has elders, deacons, teachers and ministers, no Pope, no Cardinals, etc.

a. Acts 20:28-31
b. 1 Tim. 3:5:
c. 1 Tim. 5:17; 1 Th. 5:12:
d. Tit. 1:7:
e. Heb. 13:17:
f. 1 Pet. 5:2-3:
Luke 6:40
1 Peter 2:21-22

"For even hereunto were ye called: because Christ also suffered for us, leaving us an example, that ye should follow his steps: Who did no sin, neither was guile found in his mouth." (KJV)

King James Bible
And they continued stedfastly in the apostles' doctrine and fellowship, and in breaking of bread, and in prayers.

Matthew 28;20 KJV, 20 Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and, lo, I am with you alway, even unto the end of the world. Amen.

1 Timothy 6:3 - If any man teach otherwise, and consent not to wholesome words, [even] the words of our Lord Jesus Christ, and to the doctrine which is according to godliness;

Revelation 13:1-18 - And I stood upon the sand of the sea, and saw a beast rise up out of the sea, having seven heads and ten horns, and upon his horns ten crowns, and upon his heads the name of blasphemy. (Read More...)

1 John 4:1-3 - Beloved, believe not every spirit, but try the spirits whether they are of God: because many false prophets are gone out into the world. (Read More...)

1 Timothy 1:3 - As I besought thee to abide still at Ephesus, when I went into Macedonia, that thou mightest charge some that they teach no other doctrine,

1 Corinthians 14:33 - For God is not [the author] of confusion, but of peace, as in all churches of the saints.

2 Timothy 4:3-4 - For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but after their own lusts shall they heap to themselves teachers, having itching ears; (Read More...)

Galatians 1:6-10 - I marvel that ye are so soon removed from him that called you into the grace of Christ unto another gospel: (Read More...)
==================================================================================================

My opponent states instruments were allowed in the Old Testament, but he seems to forget this is the new Testament era, and Jesus has authorized singing only as I have proven with scripture in the above argument. The verse states sing and make melody with your heart, the instrument being used is your "heart" ,

Ephesians 5:19King James Version (KJV)
19 Speaking to yourselves in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody in your heart to the Lord;
God wanted no instruments to have the congregation praising him in spirit and in truth. Instruments are man made and have no way to edify or educate one, thus the reason for singing only, as words have meaning. God only wants what he created worshipping him ,not what man made.

My opponent says it doesn't tell how one is to be baptized, I submit proof beyond any doubt that the way one is to be baptized is by immersion, which represents the death, burial and resurrection as one can see in these verses below.

.

1 Peter 3:21 - The like figure whereunto [even] baptism doth also now save us (not the putting away of the filth of the flesh, but the answer of a good conscience toward God,) by the resurrection of Jesus Christ:

Romans 6:4 - Therefore we are buried with him by baptism into death: that like as Christ was raised up from the dead by the glory of the Father, even so we also should walk in newness of life.

Colossians 2:12-13 - Buried with him in baptism, wherein also ye are risen with [him] through the faith of the operation of God, who hath raised him from the dead. (Read More...)

Ephesians 4:5 - One Lord, one faith, one baptism,

Acts 2:41 - Then they that gladly received his word were baptized: and the same day there were added [unto them] about three thousand souls.

Romans 6:3-4 - Know ye not, that so many of us as were baptized into Jesus Christ were baptized into his death? (Read More...)

Galatians 3:27 - For as many of you as have been baptized into Christ have put on Christ.

Matthew 3:16 - And Jesus, when he was baptized, went up straightway out of the water: and, lo, the heavens were opened unto him, and he saw the Spirit of God descending like a dove, and lighting upon him:

Acts 8:38 - And he commanded the chariot to stand still: and they went down both into the water, both Philip and the eunuch; and he baptized him.

Colossians 2:12 - Buried with him in baptism, wherein also ye are risen with [him] through the faith of the operation of God, who hath raised him from the dead.

Romans 6:3 - Know ye not, that so many of us as were baptized into Jesus Christ were baptized into his death?
===================================================================================================
After the passing of the apostles there was an apostasy -- a falling away from the faith (Acts 20:29,30; I Timothy 4:1-4; II Timothy 4:1-4), which ultimately came to be known as the Catholic Church, with doctrines and practices not authorized by Christ and his apostles. In 606 A.D. Boniface III, Bishop of Rome, became the first "universal Bishop", later known as the Pope. In the Eleventh Century the Catholic Church divided into two groups, Roman and Greek, with the Roman Catholic becoming the greater of the two. Also I have provided additional proof via this site in which I have provided which explains in detail on when the Catholic church was established, https://youtu.be.......

3b. This site that I have provided will in detail explain when and why the Catholic church started and that they do not abide by the New Testament pattern, http://www.lavistachurchofchrist.org.......
===================================================================================================
In summary,

Christians must learn from the New Testament, the law of Christ for all people today, how God wants to be worshipped today. The acts of worship required by God are plainly set forth in the New Testament.

The Lord"s Supper

The Lord"s supper or communion (1 Corinthians 10:16) consists of two things: (1) unleavened bread (without yeast) and (2) the fruit of the vine (grape juice). The purpose of the Lord"s Supper is to bring to our remembrance the sacrifice of the body and blood of Jesus on the cross for our sins (Matthew 26:26-29). We must be very careful when we partake of the communion that we discern the blood and body of Jesus so that we partake in a worthy manner (1 Corinthians 11:23-30). Christians are to eat the the Lord"s Supper every first day of every week (Acts 20:7).

Prayer

Prayers offered to God are to be a part of our public worship as well as our private daily devotions. There are many examples and precepts concerning prayer in the New Testament (1 Timothy 2:1-2, 8; Philippians 4:6, etc.). In our prayers to God we give thanks and praise His name. In our prayers we can pray for our needs and for the needs of others. Jesus gave us a "model" prayer in Matthew 6:5-15. He did not intend for us simply to repeat this prayer by rote, but gave it as an example by which we could pattern our own prayers. Jesus Christ is our mediator and high priest. Therefore, our prayers must be addressed to God in the name of Jesus (John 16:23; 1 Timothy 2:5; Hebrews 4:14-16; 1 John 2:1-2).

Preaching and Teaching God's Word.

God has commanded us to teach His Word (Matthew 28:19-20). Both saved and sinners need to be taught.

The evidence is clear that there's only one true church, that being the churches of Christ, Romans 16;16.
WalkingTarget

Con

In Summary: Lord’s Supper, Prayer, Preaching and Teaching God's Word, and Plagiarism!!!
Lines of scripture are not the only thing WFTL likes to cut and paste. WFTL’s entire summery, save the last line is cut and paste from http://truthfortheworld.org....

I accepted the challenge to debate WFTL not a website. I ask the voters to take this into consideration when judging the debate.


And the Fallacies Keep Rolling In…

Strawman Fallacy

WFTL starts his rebuttal with a strawman. Remember what I talked about at the tail end of calling him out on hasty generalization? WFTL was so prepared for me to go chasing down the path to prove his unproven assertions wrong that when I do not deliver what he wants, he has to set up a Strawman and argues against Ephesus being a different church. I never argued it was. Anyway, the evidence is clearly in the preposition: Church in Ephesus. Dead giveaway. If the church was called Ephesus, there would be a comma instead of the word in.

Burden of Proof Perpetuated

WFTL wants to know why I don’t have the burden of proof. I don't because I am not making the positive claim. According to DDO, this person most often has the burden of proof.[1]
He also asks, If I wasn’t going to disprove his church as the one true church, why am I debating him? To that I must ask: If you aren’t prepared make, let alone prove your proposition, why did you issue a challenge with a positive claim in the Pro position?

Fallacy of Equivocation

WFTL assumes that the one true church established by Jesus is the church he belongs to. We agree, Christ established only one church but this doesn’t imply that it WFTL’s church. That is what he has yet to prove.

WFTL tries to push this claim by making use of Paul’s phrase “churches of Christ” but he is not referring to the three words noun. Consulting the Greek once more, the word for churches is ekklēsia: a gathering of citizens called out from their homes into some public place, an assembly. [2] If you look at the context of the entire chapter, Paul is greeting many people by name and says that the whole assembly of the church greets them also. That is all.

Red Herring #1

WFTL Puts forward that some catholic terminology isn’t in the New Testament. This is entirely beside the point. I remind him, I am not the one making the positive claim about my faith, WFTL is. Catholicism is not on trial, the churches of Christ is.


Red Herring #2

First, WFTL persists in not wanting to debate his proposition but Red Herrings instead. This debate is not about whether or not my church is apostate, nor does it have any bearing on whether or not his church is the New Testament Church so I won’t waste the time defending what is not on trial. If he wanted to debate his church against another, he should have said so in his proposition.

Secondly, WFTL cites youtu.be, as in the search engine. I am sure there is a lot of anti-Catholic stuff on there but there is also anti-CoC stuff too. [3]


Lastly, WFTL provides a site that, “will in detail explain when and why the Catholic church started and that they do not abide by the New Testament pattern” but give it a click and you find nothing about Catholicism but you will find that, “The La Vista Church of Christ, … has no bowling league, no softball team, nor does it sponsor a Boy Scout troop. We have an air-conditioned building with several rooms for Bible classes, but there is no kitchen, no banquet hall, no gymnasium, or party room.”[4] Some details…

I ask the voters to consider these fallacies when deciding who makes the better argument and also the non-source material for issues WFTL uses to distract from the actual debate.

Debating Personal Interpretations

WFTL finally talks about two of the six items on his list. To prove his point, he makes use of his own interpretation of scripture. In this section, I will demonstrate that each point can be refuted with other interpretations of the scripture and the distinct lack of information that WFTL has to add within the same scripture to come up with his conclusion.

Instruments


WFTL’s interpretation of Eph 5:19 is erroneous. He says it means that instruments are prohibited but if they are, then so is singing. Observe the conjunction and “singing and making melody in your heart.” If singing is to take place in the heart, then there should be no singing. However, Paul could be poetic in the use of the term, “in your heart” to mean sing and play music with passion. How does WFTL know his interpretation of scripture is true? Additionally, there is no chapter or verse that says, “God wanted no instruments to have the congregation praising him in spirit and in truth.” No matter how tightly he presses this phrase to the New Testament verse in his argument, it doesn’t become scripture. This is the problem of Sola Scriptura, if WFTL is going to prove his point from scripture alone, he needs to stop ad-libbing and use scripture alone.

Baptism


First, notice that the criteria 2. Baptism by Accountable Believers. was not defended in the last period. WFTL did not produce a bible verse to that effect. Yes, he did show that Christ commanded that it be done but not who could and could not perform it. Instead, he shifts gears to the method of baptism which is not part criteria 2. I will point out again that there is no bible verse to indicate explicit instruction in how exactly to perform a baptism. WFTL proves my point for me. The scripture he gave only speaks about when people are baptized and people being told to be baptized but not how people are supposed to be baptized. The scriptures lack those descriptions and definitions. The closest he comes is Matt. 3:16 says, “when he was baptized, went up straightway out of the water” But Jesus could have walked into the Jordan and knelt in the water, had water poured over him. Obviously one does not have to be completely immersed in a body of water to be in water or be immersed before they can leave the water.

Don't get me wrong, I agree that immersion is a valid way to baptize but scripture does not say it is the only way to baptize. In fact, in all the text listed, the word immerse in any form is not found in them. WFTL just assumes that is what is meant but how does he know he is right with the lack of both explicit verbiage on how to baptize and imagery? Indeed, he has to add those meanings and images to scripture to come up with his purely subjective conclusion.


Summery

To give it some structure, let's see where is WFTL on his list to prove his church is the same as the one in the New Testament?

1. Apostolic Origin: WFTL cites Acts 2 and says that this is where his church got to prove antiquity, I have asked for historical documentation proving a connection between the leadership of the churches of Christ to an apostle. I have shown that this evidence was commonly asked of bishops as early as the second and third century and that the Catholic Church can produce evidence for an apostolic origin in the line of succession.

2. Baptism: WFTL failed to produce a verse saying one must be baptized by believers of accountability. Knowing he can’t do this, he shifts to the method of baptism which is not part of this criteria he named in round 2.

3. Church Pattern: WFTL failed to demonstrate how his church today has the same apostolic witness to Christ as mentioned in 1 John. Simply saying you do is an assertion without evidence. One example of inconsistency in pattern is that the CoC forbids what Saint Paul does in asking others to pray for him because, according to the CoC, Paul should only pray to Jesus and not pray to others to pray for him.

4. Lord's Supper? : WFTL may celebrate the Lord’s Supper but he employed plagiarism to make his case. Perhaps he sees the weakness of his argument and decided to steal someone else’s.


5. Tithing? : WFTL fails to demonstrate how the CoC tithes as early church does in 1Cor:16:2. It seems more like an afterthought in this debate.

6. Acapella Only! : WFTL fails to demonstrate his interpretation of Eph 5:19 is the only interpretation and takes for granted grammar and original Greek to assert the use of instruments are forbidden and claims, “God wanted no instruments to have the congregation praising him in spirit and in truth.” Again, words not found in the New Testament.

Conclusion

WFTL lists criteria for the one true church but the New Testament does not have a formal list. The New Testament says many things about Christ’s Church and it would be nothing for someone to pluck out qualifiers. When he sees the weakness of his case, I have demonstrated that WFTL adds words and/or meaning to the scripture that clearly aren’t in the context of the verses themselves. On top of all this, I’m starting to lose count of the logical fallacies. We have Proof by Assertion, now Repeating Assertion, Strawman, Equivocation, 2 Red Herrings, and the tiresome Shifting the Burden of Proof. The coup de grâce comes when WFTL no longer makes arguments for himself and steals them from the “Truth For The World” website.

Since he is so fond of them, I have made a short list of what WFTL needs to accomplish to prove his proposition.

1. Tell us how he knows this list is the criteria for the church. Meaning he must:
a. Demonstrate how he is interpreting the bible correctly over other interpretations of scripture.
b. Show how the first and second century Christians used this list in practice to determine which churches were part of the one true church established by Christ.
c. Demonstrate that there are no more or no less requirements besides this list.

2. Demonstrate a unique union between his church leadership and the apostles by providing some kind of historical documentation that shows Alexander Campbell or someone in the CoC is linked to an apostle as the Early Church demanded of their leader.



[1] http://tinyurl.com...
[2] http://tinyurl.com...
[3] http://tinyurl.com...
[4] http://tinyurl.com...

Debate Round No. 3
WFTL

Pro

My opponent states I plagiarized some of the information I used, although I do humbly admit and apologize I did forget to add the site, which was a church of Christ site. http://truthfortheworld.org.......

My opponent used one of the two sites which I used in the above argument which were inaccurate sites, that being, https://youtu.be.......... and http://www.lavistachurchofchrist.org.......... .

I gave him the correct sites in the comment area a day in advance for him to use before he made his argument, instead he used one of them knowing it was an incorrect site which had no basis on this argument.

Here is the proof I corrected my mistake for his benefit in the hope he would have all the facts before making his argument,

(Quote. Posted by WFTL 1 day ago

WFTL
I apologize for my sites not working WalkingTarget. I will add this to my next argument to correct it, but I posted them here just in case you like to look at them before making your argument, In Christian love. end of quote.)

http://www.lavistachurchofchrist.org......

https://www.youtube.com......

===================================================================================================
Regarding baptism my opponent interjects his own ideas on how baptism other than immersion "could be done" by stating Jesus could've knelt and had water poured over him , but cannot back it up with, book, chapter and verse, again, he gives nothing more than his assumption , which he uses throughout his arguments..

I have already proven in my above argument that baptism represented the death, burial and resurrection of Jesus Christ, now I ask my opponent how he can prove by pouring water over someone's head as being the same as immersion when there is no scripture that backs it up, I submit, he can't. God knows what he wants, which is obviously proven by scripture, and it's not pouring water over one's head.

My opponent states I said that you had to be baptized by a believer, which I never said. If he had paid attention to what was being said he would've known that I mentioned one has to be of an age of accountability, meaning understanding why one needs to be baptized for, and what it does for the person being baptized.

This is what my opponent accused me of saying, and I quote, (: WFTL failed to produce a verse saying one must be baptized by believers of accountability. Knowing he can"t do this, he shifts to the method of baptism which is not part of this criteria he named in round 2.) end of quote, again false accusations towards me in an hope to make his premise seem more credible, but he fails miserably in attempting to do so.

It's clear he doesn't comprehend basic scripture because this is where he made his mistake in not understanding what was being said, as it says nothing about one needing to be a believer to baptize, as it's simply stating one must believe and be baptized as the conjunction of "and is" must be used to validate one being saved. Mark 16:16King James Version (KJV)

16 He that believeth "and is" baptized shall be saved; but he that believeth not shall be damned.

Again my opponent simply fails to be attentive on what's being said.

===================================================================================================
Paul was referring to all the churches of Christ that I listed above that were mentioned in the bible, not one specific congregation, as the verse is clear, and again my opponent simply states his own personal opinion for us to believe without offering any verifiable proof from scripture.

Romans 16:16King James Version (KJV)

16 Salute one another with an holy kiss. The churches of Christ salute you. { Plural }.

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Regarding the use of not using instruments in worship my opponent makes a grave error by stating,and I quote,( if they are, then so is singing. Observe the conjunction and "singing and making melody in your heart." If singing is to take place in the heart, then there should be no singing.) end of quote.

The New Testament mentions singing everywhere, but not " one " time does it mention the use of instruments in worship, and why would it if Jesus already gave us commands to sing, like Ephesians 5;19 and Colossians 3;16. Would you expect Jesus simply to state no instruments allowed after he gives commands to sing only, and the fact there's not one time instruments are mentioned to be used in worship in the New Testament, in which my opponent seems not to understand, that we are to go according to the New Testament pattern of worship. Once again he gives no proof by book, chapter and verse to back up anything he says.

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Once again, my opponent makes false accusations stating the churches of Christ, and I quote, ( One example of inconsistency in pattern is that the CoC forbids what Saint Paul does in asking others to pray for him because, according to the CoC, Paul should only pray to Jesus and not pray to others to pray for him. ) end of quote.

I ask my opponent to prove this with book, chapter and verse, and not merely give us his opinion again without backing it up. We are to pray for one another in the name of Jesus, who is our intercessor. John 14:6,

Jesus said to him, "I am the way, and the truth, and the life; no one comes to the Father but through Me.

Over and over again in Scripture we read, "In my name," "In Jesus' name," or "In his name." The devils were powerless because of his name (Luke 10:17). The demons were cast out in his name (Mark 16:17-18). Healing occurred in his name (Acts 3:6, 3:16, 4:10). Salvation comes in his name (Acts 4:12, Rom. 10:13).

We are to baptize in his name (Matt. 28:19). We are justified in his name (1 Cor. 6:11). Everything we do and say is done in his name (Col. 3:17). But, it is praying in Jesus' name that I want to bring to the forefront. Jesus has invited, urged, and commanded us to pray in his name and has promised incredible results.

John 14:13-14 and John 16:23-24 are some of the most powerful verses in all of scripture related to prayer. In fact, when most of us pray we conclude with the phrase, "in Jesus' name."
http://www.lifeway.com...
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http://www.lifeway.com...
The Old Covenant made with Israel which required paying a tithe has been abrogated. God prophesied that He would make a new covenant with them (Jeremiah 31:31-34). Christ fulfilled the law and took it out of the way, nailing it to the cross (Galatians 4:4-5; Colossians 2:14). Christ is the mediator of the New Covenant, which is a better covenant with better promises (Hebrews 8:6-13; cf. Malachi 3:10-11 with II Corinthians 9:6-8).

Christians have been delivered from the law of the Old Testament (Romans 7:4-7; Galatians 3:24-26; 4:4-5, 9). To seek justification in worshiping God by the law is to insult the Spirit of grace, and thus be severed from Christ (Galatians 5:1-3; Hebrews 10:29).
Christ has set us free from the yoke of the law. God has given His children freedom to decide what they will give to him, as He has said nothing about Christians paying a tithe in the New Testament, but says, "Each one should give as he has purposes in his heart."

If He wants us to pay tithe today, He would have given the order through one of His apostles, just as He did through Moses in the Old Testament and He did through Paul, concerning collection for the saints, in the New Testament. Anyone tithing today despises the death of Christ on the cross "to redeem those who were under the law" (Galatians 4:4, 5; Hebrews 9:15-17). Anyone who collects tithes today does so without biblical authority and so disrespects the authority of Christ.

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http://www.lavistachurchofchrist.org..., This isn't a copy and paste below, I simply give this to my opponent to assist him in understanding more in detail, if he chooses to use it.

We are to follow the example that the Apostles left for us to follow, which is contained in the bible.

No man could meet the requirements of being an Apostle as this verse proves beyond a doubt,

There was no break in the succession of Apostles as the one that replaced Judas was an eyewitness from the beginning, and that was the requirement that one have to have to be an Apostle as stated by Acts 1;12-21-26, ,21 Therefore it is necessary to choose one of the men who have been with us the whole time the Lord Jesus was living 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."

23 So they nominated two men: Joseph called Barsabbas (also known as Justus) and Matthias. 24 Then they prayed, "Lord, you know everyone"s heart. Show us which of these two you have chosen 25 to take over this apostolic ministry, which Judas left to go where he belongs." 26 Then they cast lots, and the lot fell to Matthias; so he was added to the eleven apostles.

No Pope ever met the qualifications of being an successor, as the Pope was not an eyewitness nor did he receive the Holy Spirit given to the Apostles to raise the dead, to prophesize or anything else, and the fact that Matthias was with them from the beginning proves there was no break in the Apostle succession.
===================================================================================================

I thank my opponent for debating me.

I pray that what I have given as proof will change my opponent and all others to the true church, that being the churches of Christ, Romans 16;16.

SOURCES: KJV.
WalkingTarget

Con

Debate Etiquette

Plagiarism

I thank WFTL for the concession regarding his plagiarism.

Invalid Sources

1. I stopped looking at the comments section when I expressed irritation with the peanut gallery. If anyone cares, you will find my two comments to the effect and none after. So no, I didn’t know.

2. I am not responsible for the Affirmative’s errors. Perhaps if he wasn’t so hasty in posting this would be a non-issue.

3. Again, the sources were references to his invalid Red Herring argument.

Debating Personal Interpretations


Instruments

WFTL concedes that Jesus never condemns the use of instruments during worship but says we shouldn’t expect him to because he commands us to sing only. For a man using the New Testament alone, it is funny that he doesn’t produce a bible verse to show Jesus commanding everyone to sing only in worship. There isn’t one. Funnier still, his logic reveal two Sola Scriptura Double Standards[1] (SSDS) and it is a two for one. I'll demonstrate.

1. WFTL would like to say that since the use of instruments in worship is not mentioned in the New Testament, therefore; they are forbidden in worship but according to his source [2], using contraception is not mentioned in the New Testament, therefore; it is acceptable. To prove my point, all one has to do is follow the number and scroll down to the section on acceptable forms of contraception that have no biblical backing.

So which is it? If it is not in scripture then it is forbidden, or if it is not in scripture then it is acceptable?

2. WFTL said he would use the New Testament as his only source. Using instruments in worship is not in the Testament. Therefore, he is using something not in in the New Testament as his source but his opinion as to why it is not in the New Testament.


Baptism

WFTL says I falsely accuse him of saying, “one must be baptized by believers of accountability.” But that is exactly what he said as I now cite WFTL as he says in round 2, “Baptism by believers of accountability.” Not of, by believers of accountability.

It is no wonder he has such difficulty interpreting scripture, he can’t even interpret his own criteria. Whether it is out of haste in posting or his terrible communication skills, I am only responsible for debating the criteria he presented, I'm not a mind reader.

With regards to immersion, we used the same verses and came up with different conclusions that are not found in scripture. So between the two of us, whose interpretation is correct? This has been my challenge to WFTL throughout this entire debate. WFTL is correct that I cannot submit a scripture for the imagery of Jesus kneeling in water but neither can he provided scripture saying Jesus was completely under water when he was baptized in the Jordan. The mode of baptism is never given in scripture.

He gives Mark 16:16 as his example so I will do the same, “He that believeth and is baptized shall be saved; but he that believeth not shall be damned.”

I have no problem with “and is.” I have a problem with the words that aren’t in the text at all . Must be another demonstration that if it is not found in scripture, God really wants us to do it. (SSDS)

Paul Referring to the Churches of Christ?

This is starting to get sad. I have already shown from the original Greek the meaning of the Greek word ekklēsia that shows Paul is speaking for all of the church in greeting to the individuals in Romans. It looks like we have another case where we cannot tell who has the right interpretation. I will take this a step further.

Romans 16:16[3]

KJV : The churches of Christ salute you.

NIV : All the churches of Christ send greetings.

NLT : All the churches of Christ send you their greetings.

ESV : All the churches of Christ greet you.

WEB: The assemblies of Christ greet you.

Of this small sampling of bibles, only the KJV has “The Churches of Christ” and only there can WFTL assert the naming of the church. All others, however; are closer to the definition I have provided for the word ekklēsia and demonstrate Paul is talking about the people in the church as opposed to using the name of the church. How can WFTL be sure if his interpretation is true if it is possible the KJV is inaccurate in Romans 16:16? There is certainly no way he can know from the bible because nowhere in scripture does it say one translation is better than another. This could still fall in his line of reasoning though. Not in the New Testament so the KJV must be the right translation. (SSDS)

Paul Breaks Form

My opponent wants some bible verses that demonstrate Paul asked the Ephesians to pray for him. That’s fair. I forgot to edit my summery after I discovered I was refuting plagiarized work so I will give more than just Ephesians.

Eph. 6:18–20: Praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, and watching thereunto with all perseverance and supplication for all saints; And for me, that utterance may be given unto me, that I may open my mouth boldly, to make known the mystery of the gospel, For which I am an ambassador in bonds: that therein I may speak boldly, as I ought to speak.

Rom. 15:30: …strive together with me in your prayers to God for me.

Col. 4:3: Withal praying also for us, that God would open unto us a door of utterance, to speak the mystery of Christ, for which I am also in bonds.

1 Thess. 5:25: Brethren, pray for us.

2 Thess. 3:1: Finally, brethren, pray for us, that the word of the Lord may have free course, and be glorified, even as it is with you.

In all instances, Paul is not praying to Jesus but to brethren in the local churches. Recall, I demonstrated the verb pray is the action to ask humbly and that is what Paul does in these five verses. Does this mean that Paul is bypassing Jesus? Shouldn’t he take those prayers straight to Christ, the one mediator, alone? Certainly not because WFTL is right, God wants us to pray for each other but it is also very helpful, when praying for each other, that we also pray to each other to know the intentions others need praying for.

Back and Forth on the Fifth

So the True Church of Christ doesn’t Tithe? Then why is criteria 5 based off 1 Corinthians 16:2? It would really help if you actually labeled it but let’s have another look.

Now concerning the collection for the saints, as I have given order to the churches of Galatia, even so do ye. Upon the first day of the week let every one of you lay by him in store, as God hath prospered him, that there be no gatherings when I come.

If Tithing is bad thing, why does Paul say, concerning the collection, do what I told the Galatians to do and on Sunday let everyone set aside what they can afford as God let them prosper and not to wait until Paul comes?Apparently, Paul likes to break CoC New Testament interpretation. [4]

My Church Is Not On Trial

Seriously, if you wanted to debate the papacy you should have said so in your proposition. Enough said. I will address what he prefaced his perpetuation of the Red Herring with “We are to follow the example that the Apostles left for us to follow, which is contained in the bible.”

WFTL can you substantiate that claim with a bible verse? No, you cannot. Just another case of believing something to be true because it is not in scripture. (SSDS)

Closing

WFTL’s list looks like a bowl of scrambled eggs but let's be fair, it looked like that before I gave rebuttal. Let's see where we are at.

1. Apostolic Origin: WFTL offers nothing but the assertion that they had the New Testament. My friend, the early church didn’t have a New Testament for three centuries. It was canonized in the late fourth century and early fifth century by the Catholic Church. Until then no one knew which early Christian writings were scripture so you can thank, the council of Rome 382AD, the council of Hippo 393AD Pope Damasus, and Pope Innocent for clearing that up. [5]

2. It took him three rounds to figure out what he wanted it to be but ironically, he demands of me what he himself cannot provide, explicit instructions on the mode of baptism. (SSDS)

3. WFTL says we must follow the example of apostles in the New Testament but the New Testament does not self-authenticate. No inspired table of contents.(SSDS)

4. What happened to #4?

5. Tithing to the church is forbidden and the proof text is a verse about how to tithe to your local church! What? (SSDS)

6. Jesus never gave a command in the New Testament to sing only or play instruments during worship. Not in scripture, Jesus must have commanded it! Not in scripture, Instruments are forbidden! (SSDS)


Well I’m Dizzy.

The crux of this debate boils down to the Affirmative’s inability to demonstrate how he knows his interpretation of the New Testament correct. To prove the validity of his mess of a list, I asked him to demonstrate how he knows his list is the criteria for the one true church by telling us how he knows his interpretation of the list is correct, show us historically where the early church used his same criteria, and demonstrate that there are no more or less criteria. I also asked him where his leaders got their authority pass the test like the actual early Christians. WFTL didn’t acknowledge any of it but the fact remains that the early church did not go by the New Testament because they didn’t have it. It was still in development until the late 4th century at the earliest. I give WFTL credit, he went everywhere to distract from the weakness of his argument and all he really says is I’m in error. How does he know he is not in error himself? I submit that he cannot with Sola Scriptura as there is no inspired glossary.

I thank WFTL for this debate. He is a noble man by virtue of his service to our country and I hope we meet again.

God Bless.

[1] http://tinyurl.com...

[2] http://tinyurl.com...

[3] http://tinyurl.com...

[4] http://tinyurl.com...

[5] http://tinyurl.com...

Debate Round No. 4
37 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 10 records.
Posted by WFTL 5 days ago
WFTL
Ok gabriel.ungacta, I'll post a debate against the LDS today sometime.
Posted by WFTL 5 days ago
WFTL
Looking forward to debating you chrislee125, just let me know when you're ready, In Christian love.
Posted by chrislee125 5 days ago
chrislee125
I'd be happy to debate you WFTL. I'm a Latter Day Saint and it would be interesting to see what we could argue. Although, right now is not a good time for me to debate because of school and I have other debates pending. Maybe we can discuss a debate topic and in a couple months or so we can debate.
Posted by gabriel.ungacta 5 days ago
gabriel.ungacta
No, I wont debate, I'm not Mormon. But I do want to see that debate though.
Posted by WFTL 5 days ago
WFTL
Sure I'd be happy to debate the LDS gabriel.ungacta . I'll start on it in a little while. If you wish to debate me on this by using resources to refute what I will be presenting on this debate, then by all means have at it my friend.
Posted by gabriel.ungacta 5 days ago
gabriel.ungacta
Hey WTFL, can you start a debate between the Church of Christ (you) and Latter Day-Saints? I wont debate because I am not either but I want to see this debate.
Posted by chrislee125 1 week ago
chrislee125
Reason for decision:

1. Who do I agree with? WFTL, I found that I agree with most of your church doctrine as it is similar and even exactly alike to my church's doctrine (Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints). But even though I agreed with most of your church doctrine, I had to give the vote to WalkingTarget. WalkingTarget used concrete evidence to support his claims. For example, he used Greek interpretations, samples from other bibles, and scriptures to support his claim against the sub-topic "Churches of Christ". WFTL, however, used only one out of context scripture to support his claim for "Churches of Christ". Therefore, because this same case reoccurred often in many of the subtopics, I had to agree with and vote for WalkingTarget.

Also, WFTL had a plethora of eye-sores in his debate. He is accountable for multiple fallacies and even plagiarism. These crimes shouldn't go unnoticed. Therefore, these crimes contribute to WFTL's loss of my vote.

2. Who had better conduct? Both of the debaters were kind of at each others throats throughout the debate. I could see WalkingTarget was getting frustrated with WFTL's multiple eye-sores, which also led to WFTL's lack of conduct. The fallacies WFTL committed were, in my opinion, contributors to the downfall of his conduct. Therefore, no vote is given.

3. Spelling and Grammar: Both had great spelling and grammar.

4. Who made more convincing arguments? My vote goes to WalkingTarget. Like I said, He used more concrete evidence to support his claims, making them more convincing. But WFTL used less effective evidence, which led to my disagreement.

5. Who had more reliable sources? Both had reliable sources.

Winner of majority vote: WalkingTarget.
Posted by WFTL 2 weeks ago
WFTL
SpaceDandy, read your bible and you will come to see what church I'm speaking of.
Posted by WFTL 2 weeks ago
WFTL
SpaceDandy, read your bible and you will come to see what church I'm speaking of.
Posted by SpaceDandy 2 weeks ago
SpaceDandy
WFTL, is the Iglesia Ni Cristo the chruch youre reffering to?
2 votes have been placed for this debate. Showing 1 through 2 records.
Vote Placed by dsjpk5 1 week ago
dsjpk5
WFTLWalkingTargetTied
Agreed with before the debate:--Vote Checkmark0 points
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Total points awarded:04 
Reasons for voting decision: Pro has admitted engaging in plagiarism. Because of this poor conduct, I award conduct to Con. Also, since Pro plagiarized, Con was the only one who's arguments were 100% original. Because of this, I award arguments to Con.
Vote Placed by chrislee125 1 week ago
chrislee125
WFTLWalkingTargetTied
Agreed with before the debate:-Vote Checkmark-0 points
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Total points awarded:03 
Reasons for voting decision: Reason for decision is in the comments section due to the amount of space needed to cover all of the information presented in this debate.