Ecclesiasticus 4:28

"Fight to the death for truth, and the Lord God will war on your side."

Ora pro nobis,

Most Blessed Virgin Mary, St. Francis de Sales, St. Thomas Aquinas, and St. Dominic. Amen.

Saturday, June 30, 2007

Does Catholic Doctrine Contradict the Bible? (Pt 4)

In this final instalment of my response to's Overview of How Catholic Faith Contradicts the Bible (the original article is linked in the title of this post), we'll look at the topics of Original Sin, the Perspicuity of Scripture, an "everyday Catholic's" willingness to evangelise, and Tradition. And we'll examine author Steve Rudd's conclusion to this page, and see if it adds up. And if you've just joined us at the end of the journey, be sure to read parts 1, 2, and 3.

As always, when I quote Steve Rudd directly, his words will be blue.

13. Original sin is false doctrine

Steve Rudd, for a leader of a Christian church, and an apologist who attacks Catholics (and other Christians) for believing in the doctrine of "original sin" should, I would think, have at least some grasp of what it is that he is attacking. As it is, his doctrinal harpoon ends up being more of a doctrinal lampoon, when he states as a "Fact" that "Catholics say that infants inherit their parent's sin at conception and are therefore spiritually condemned and totally wicked."

Here, Steve Rudd is misrepresenting (hopefully simply because he misunderstands) the Catholic doctrine of Original Sin, saying that we believe that babies inherit their parents' sins. This is certainly not what Catholics believe about original sin!

On the contrary, Catholic Doctrine holds that, because of the Original Sin of Adam and Eve, they forfeited the state of Perfect Grace in which they were created. They did not lose this perfect state for themselves alone, but also for all their descendants. We are all therefore born into a state of slavery to sin. We are born without God's saving grace energising us, and are plagued with concupiscence, the tendency to commit sin. It is by reason of this Original Sin that we all need a Saviour, Jesus Christ, to give us the grace to be reconciled with God and freed from the slavery of sin.

Rudd asks, then, whether the doctrine of inherited original sin is found in the Bible, and, since he seems to have no grasp of what the doctrine of original sin is, he points us to Ezekiel 18:20 for his "answer":

"The person who sins will die. The son will not bear the punishment for the father’s iniquity, nor will the father bear the punishment for the son’s iniquity; the righteousness of the righteous will be upon himself, and the wickedness of the wicked will be upon himself."
YES, Original sin, as I've described it, certainly is found in the Bible. What Ezekiel 18 refers to is not Original Sin, but generational guilt. Two very different things. Generational Guilt teaches that if a man is a murderer, say, his son will bear judgement from God for his father's murders--which is what Rudd seems to think that Catholics believe when they talk about Original Sin. However, Original Sin as Catholics define it (not as Steve Rudd wishes Catholics defined it) is taught plainly in Romans 5:12-21:
Well then; it was through one man that sin came into the world, and through sin, death, and thus death has spread through the whole human race because everyone has sinned.... If death came to many through the sin of one man, how much greater an effect the grace of God has had, coming to so many and so plentifully as a free gift through the one man Jesus Christ! Again, there is no comparison between the gift and the offence of one man. One single offence brought condemnation, but now, after many offences, have come the free gift and so acquittal!...Just as by one man's disobedience many were made sinners, so by one man's obedience are many to be made upright (Romans 5:12, 15, 19, emphasis mine).

Steve Rudd's next question carries on in the same misunderstanding, when he asks whether Jesus said little children are better models of purity and conduct than adults, and sends us to Matthew 18:2-3 for the "answer":
"And He called a child to Himself and set him before them, and said, 'Truly I say to you, unless you are converted and become like children, you will not enter the kingdom of heaven.'"
YES. Does that mean that they don't need grace because they're free from sin? NO. Steve Rudd and are teetering dangerously close to Pelagian or semi-Pelagian heresy on this point! Perhaps if he really understood what was meant by the doctrine of Original Sin, Rudd would agree with it. In charity, let us hope so.

14. Every Christian can understand the Bible by merely reading it.

Here, at last, we come to an actual important difference between Catholicism and Protestantism--and yet even here, Rudd can't get his "Facts" straight when he says that "Catholics are taught that only the priests can understand the Bible and the common man in the pew cannot understand the Bible without the priests help."

This is actually, again, an inaccurate misrepresentation of Catholic teaching. It is true that the Bible cannot be fully nor easily understood by just anyone. There are a lot of historical facts that not everyone can take the time to research and understand, as well as subtleties of language that are not entirely clear for a person who hasn't studied Hebrew, Aramaic, or Greek. Add to that that the Bible was written in times and cultures far removed from our own, and it is the height of presumption and arrogance to think that one, on his own, could read and understand absolutely everything in the Bible.

While it is perhaps true that a great deal of the Bible is more or less clear, and can be understood, it is certainly not true of every aspect. Further, since the Reformation, the theory that anyone could read and understand the Bible has been put into practice--with rather disastrous results: various people have continued to interpret the Bible in various different ways, leading to various different conflicts, leading to myriad thousands of denominations! Protestantism is disunified precisely because of their belief in the sole authority and perspicuity of Scripture! And despite's organisation's claims to the contrary, all that they are contributing, all that they can contribute through their efforts, is the creation of one more denomination.

On this point of the alleged "perspicuity" of the Bible, Steve Rudd asks whether the scriptures say that when anyone reads the Bible, they can understand it for themselves. As his "answer", he shows us Ephesians 3:4:
"By referring to this, when you read you can understand my insight into the mystery of Christ"
NO, the Scriptures most certainly do not teach that they can be understood whenever anyone reads them! The text that Rudd chooses to quote here is ripped entirely out of context! In context, we see that the "Mystery of Christ" that St. Paul refers to is the reconciliation of the Jews with the Gentiles, and each with God, that he describes in Ephesians 2:11-22. We see this plainly from Ephesians 3:3--"He made known to me by a revelation the mystery I have just described briefly" (emphasis mine). St. Paul is not referring to the totality of Scripture, but to the passage immediately preceding the one that Rudd chose to quote from! As such, Ephesians 3:4 is completely irrelevant to the entire point that Rudd is trying to make. In trying to prove that anyone can interpret Scripture simply by reading it, Rudd actually demonstrates that he himself can't!

So what does Scripture say about whether it is easy to understand in its entirety?
At the same time, we must recognise that the interpretation of scriptural prophecy is never the matter for the individual. For no prophecy ever came from human initiative. When people spoke for God it was the Holy Spirit that moved them (2 Peter 1:20-21).

Think of our Lord's patience as your opportunity to be saved; our brother Paul, who is so dear to us, told you this when he wrote to you with the wisdom that he was given. He himself makes this point too in his letters as a whole wherever he touches on these things. In all his letters there are of course some passages which are hard to understand, and these are the ones that uneducated and unbalanced people distort, in the same way as they distort the rest of scripture--to their own destruction (2 Peter 3:15-16, emphases mine).
So how does the Bible tell us that we can avoid twisting and misinterpreting Scripture to our own destruction, so that we don't "los[e] the firm ground that you are standing on, carried away by the errors of unprincipled people" (2 Peter 3:17)?

St. Paul himself gives us the answer, and in the very book that Steve Rudd quotes above. In Ephesians 4:11-14, he writes:
And to some, his 'gift' was that they should be apostles; to some prophets; to some, evangelists; to some, pastors and teachers; to knit God's holy people together for the work of service to build up the Body of Christ, until we all reach unity in faith and knowledge of the Son of God and form the perfect Man, fully mature with the fullness of Christ himself.
Then we shall no longer be children, or tossed one way and another, and carried hither and thither by every new gust of teaching, at the mercy of all the tricks people play and their unscrupulousness in deliberate deception.
St. Paul tells us that God gave us not the Scriptures for that reason, but Apostles, Prophets, Evangelists, Pastors and Teachers. In short, God gave us the Church, which St. Paul again says, is "the pillar and foundation of the truth" (1 Timothy 3:15).

It's not that Catholicism teaches that only the priest can understand the Bible. Rather, the Church teaches that there is an absolute truth, contained in God's revelation, but that obviously, care must be taken to properly interpret, teach, and live out that Truth.

Since even today, not everyone can read or understand what they read, it is unreasonable to say that "everyone can read and interpret Scripture for themselves." This was particularly true before the invention of the Printing Press in the fifteenth century. Not everyone could even own a Bible, let alone read and understand it. The principles of Sola Scriptura and the Perspicuity of Scripture depend on certain social conditions that weren't available or possible until the Reformation itself--and in truth, still aren't fully realised today!

15. Catholics are unwilling to defend their faith

Steve Rudd seems to be claiming in this section that it is a "Fact" that when apparently any of the billion-odd Roman Catholics are challenged with the Bible to defend their faith, they are either unwilling or unable to defend what they believe and, never bothering to search out the "truth" for themselves, defer all challenges to their priest, who allegedly has all the answers; and moreover, that this alleged "Fact" is somehow a matter of Catholic Doctrine not lining up with the Bible, which, of course, is the overarching thesis of his 16 part attack on the Catholic faith.

Well, considering that I, a Catholic layman (not a priest) have taken the time to defend--from Scripture, Tradition, and Reason--the Catholic Faith as it has been characterised and caricatured at, I have effectively given the lie to this claim about Catholics. Besides, this criticism has more to do with the individual Catholic than with Catholic teaching. A Catholic who is unwilling or unable to defend the faith speaks about they themselves, rather than about the Church. And even then, it may honestly be that a particular Catholic doesn't have the intelligence or the education to know all that he or she needs to know to defend their faith adequately. Maybe they simply don't have the time or the resources available to learn. Maybe the most effective thing that they can do is simply live out the faith-filled life in honesty and simplicity and let their actions speak for them. Always being prepared to give an answer for the hope that you have does not necessarily mean that you can spout off theological treatises at the drop of a hat.

On the other hand, there are some who do enjoy studying theology and their faith, and truly can provide a solid defence of Catholic practice, history and theology. We are all part of One Body, and each member must use his particular gifts as best he can.

Despite the obvious logic of the above, Rudd nevertheless asks us whether a Christian should be able to defend what they believe from the Bible without the help of priests, a question which is neither grounded in logic nor reality. He then points us to the "answer" in 1 Peter 3:15:
"Sanctify Christ as Lord in your hearts, always being ready to make a defense to everyone who asks you to give an account for the hope that is in you, yet with gentleness and reverence"
YES, a person should take the time to at least learn the basics of their faith, so that they can give a defence if necessary. But that defence does not, as I said, have to be thorough and able to answer every objection. I'm sure not every person affiliated with the (non)denomination that represents could provide a solid defence of their faith, either, if I was to challenge it thoroughly. In fact, as I am writing this precisely to challenge at least's and Steve Rudd's views on Catholicism, if not their whole credal system, I have to wonder whether he, or anyone else at that site, would be able or willing to respond to my four-part reply? (Incidentally, since having written this response, I have met Steve Rudd personally--we ironically happen to live in the same city!--and I challenged him to respond to my articles on this site challenging Do you know what he said? He refused to debate me because I am not a priest! First he derides the Catholic Church because its laity won't defend the faith, but says a priest has to do it for them, and then, when a layman steps up, he turns them down because they aren't a priest!)

That not everyone is able, and some perhaps are unwilling, to give an adequate defence is precisely why there is a Church. That's why there are people gifted with a knack for theology and apologetics, and sites like this one. We aren't all called to do the same work the same way, and it is unfair to make out that the Catholic Church is defective or apostate simply because not every faithful Catholic can point you to chapter and verse to defend what they believe.

[Edit: One would think, if he was going to take the time to edit his article, Rudd might have acknowledged that this blog run by a Catholic layman, did in fact offer a cogent biblical argument against his accusations. But then, that would make him look bad, wouldn't it? Can't have that!]

16. Human tradition and man made doctrine is apostasy

As his last point of attack before launching into his rather redundant conclusion, Steve Rudd gives us the ridiculously misinformed and caricatured "Fact" that the Pope apparently teaches that he can change what is in the Bible if he wants!

Sorry, what?! Where, when, who has ever said that?! It has been the Catholic Church that put together and preserved the Bible for 2000 years, not changing a thing!

Rudd then asks, based on this ridiculous falsehood, whether Jesus said it was OK for man to change the word of God for man made Catholic doctrine, and cites Mark 7:7-9 for his "answer":
"'"But in vain do they worship Me, teaching as doctrines the precepts of men." Neglecting the commandment of God, you hold to the tradition of men.' He was also saying to them, 'You are experts at setting aside the commandment of God in order to keep your tradition.'"
There are so many things wrong with the above question, I hardly know where to begin.

First, based on what evidence does Rudd claim that Catholic Doctrine is "man made", considering I have dismantled his entire overview and showed it to be fraught with historical and biblical errors?

Second, while we're on the topic of "man made traditions," would someone please show me exactly where the Bible teaches Sola Scriptura.

Third, Jesus was condemning Pharisaical traditions in Mark 7, not all Tradition. In fact, the Bible itself calls Tradition good, if it comes from the proper source:
Another reason why we continually thank God for you is that as soon as you heard the word that we brought you as God's message, you welcomed it for what it really is, not the word of any human being, but God's word, a power that is working among you believers (1 Thessalonians 2:13).
So St. Paul's oral preaching was also "God's Word"! Since 1 Thessalonians is generally believed to be the first New Testament document that was written, oral preaching was the only source of God's New Testament Word at the time! Later, when Paul wrote back to the Thessalonians, he had this to say to them:
Stand firm, then, brothers, and keep the traditions that we taught you, whether by word of mouth or by letter (2 Thessalonians 2:15).
So Tradition is not always a bad thing! Paul's oral preaching, his traditions, were called God's Word, whether they were ever recorded as Scripture or not! This is Apostolic Tradition, and about it, St. Paul further says:
Pass on to reliable people what you have heard from me through many witnesses so that they in turn will be able to teach others (2 Timothy 2:2).
The Traditions of the Apostles were to be passed down through the generations, and they in fact were--sometimes as Scripture that was kept, preserved through persecutions, and canonised as the New Testament, but mostly it was through the teachings of the Bishops and the Early Church Fathers, who preserved the teachings of the Apostles, and wrote them down as they continued to proclaim and elaborate on the Faith. It is these traditions that Catholics refer to as Apostolic Tradition.

The Bible never opposes Apostolic Tradition, but rather, it itself is part of Apostolic Tradition. It is certainly the primary part, but it does not exist nor function apart from that Tradition, which acts as an interpretation of the things in Scripture, through the Holy Spirit's guidance of the Church, so that people don't twist the scriptures to their own destruction. That is the Bible's actual view of Tradition.

As a matter of fact, the doctrine of Sola Scriptura, the claim that the Bible is the sole rule of faith, over and above (or sometimes against) Tradition, is itself not found in Scripture! Therefore, logically, Sola Scriptura is itself a tradition of men.

Conclusion: How the Catholic church views the Bible

Below are the kinds of replies that Steve Rudd apparently expects from a Roman Catholic priest if you ask him about the contents of this Bible study. And he says you should expect them, too. Well, as a convert from Pentecostalism to Catholicism, I posed many of these same things to my priest (now Bishop Bergie of the Hamilton, ON diocese), and amazingly, I got very different answers from him. He was, in fact, quite patient and knowledgeable. Anyway, I will quote each of Mr. Rudd's alleged priestly answers, and regurgitate a brief summation of my response.

1. Yes I know Matthew 23:9, seems to condemn calling me "Father", but you are not able to understand the Bible like I do.

We already discussed the lack of literalness inherent in Matthew 23:9. If taken literally, the passage would condemn calling people "Mr." and "Mrs." since they're both forms of the word "Master". It would condemn calling ancestors and biological parents "Father" although the Bible itself does that. It would condemn calling anyone a teacher or a doctor, as well, even though the Bible again does that! It's not the words, it's the attitude.

2. Yes I know is appears like Jesus condemned the repetitive prayer of the Rosary beads in Matthew 6:7, but Mary appeared to St. Dominic in 1208 AD and revealed to him the Rosary Beads herself!

Actually, my priest taught us the whole history of the Rosary, not just the vision of St. Dominic for a brief overview of the origins and history of the Rosary, see here and here). But again, the Bible doesn't condemn all repitition. Just meaningless repitition and babbling in prayer. If the Rosary counts, then I would submit that the majority of contemporary Christian worship songs count, as well as many of the pious-sounding prayers of many church leaders. But Jesus specifically said that vain repitition is bad, "because they suppose they will be heard because of their many words." In the Rosary, it's not the words or the repetition of the prayers that make us sure we'll be heard, but simply the love and grace of Christ. The words just help us focus.

3. Yes Matthew 13:55-56 seems to indicate that Jesus had brothers and sisters, but these were the children of Joseph from a previous marriage or just cousins.

Yes, actually, as I demonstrated. John 19:26-27 makes that evident.

4. Yes, I agree that 1 Timothy 2:5 sounds like Jesus is the only mediator between god [sic] and man, but the Pope decided she was indeed also a mediator between God and man

In a sense, we are all mediators for each other, as 1 Timothy 2:1 explicitly tells us. Christ is our only Mediator of Salvation, which is specifically what 1 Timothy 2:5-6 tell us.

5. Yes Christ and Paul did command every Christian to drink of the communion cup in Matthew 26:26-28; 1 Corinthians 11:23-28. And Yes I know that two early popes condemned withholding the cup, (Pope Leo I [died 461 AD] and Pope Gelasius [died 496 Ad]; but in the 12th century the practice was begun, and formally approved by the Catholic Council of Constance in 1415 AD.

Again, since the earliest centuries, it was taught that Jesus is fully present in each single element, not divided between the two. And since the Catholic Church doesn't condemn drinking from the cup, there is no false teaching to accuse us of.

6. Yes I know that in the Bible (1 Corinthians 1:2; Ephesians 1:1; Philippians 1:1; Romans 1:7) every Christian was a saint and every saint was a Christian. Yes I agree, the Bible uses the word saint as interchangeably synonymous with being a Christian, but the Roman Catholic church has the power to change the Bible.

The Catholic Church neither has the power to change the Bible, nor did it actually change the Bible. It simply defined a particular term to refer to the dead in Christ (who are the only ones truly and perfectly holy--that is, saints). The Church, however, does not deny that in a broader sense, we are all also saints.

7. Yes I know that in the apostolic church (1 Peter 2:5,9; Revelation 1:6; 5:10), every Christian was a priest and the two terms are used interchangeably synonymous with being a Christian, but the Roman Catholic church decided that only leaders should be called priests.

This is not true! In the OT, every Israelite was a priest, but yet, they were not all Ordained Servants of the Temple. Similarly, the priestly structure of the New Testament has Jesus as our High Priest, and Ordained Priests who serve the Church, as well as the priesthood of the laity, mediating Christ to the world through our faith, hope, and love. And no, the Bible most definitely does not simply use the term "priest" and "Chrisian" interchangeably.

8. Yes I know that the Bible appears to teach that 1 Timothy 3:2-5 bishops must be married with believing children, but you can’t even understand the Bible anyway, why do you ask? Just trust me because only Catholic priests can understand the Bible.

This is just inane. Since the Bible advocates celibacy as a better way of serving God, we cannot understand 1 Timothy 3:2-5 as requiring bishops to be married. Rather, the guideline is that they can only be married once (if at all), rather than polygamous or divorced and remarried.

9. Yes I have read 1 Timothy 4:1-3, and is seems to condemn forbidding the marriage of Catholic priests, but the Pope decided that unmarried men are more holy than married men.

Actually, Jesus and Paul both lauded the celibate life as the better way to serve God! The Pope was just following their wisdom!

10. Yes I know that Mark 1:30; 1 Corinthians 9:5 say that Peter had a wife 23 years after Christ died on the cross (53 AD), but Pope Gregory VII decided in 1079 AD from that time onward, that church leaders cannot marry.

What's your point?

11. Yes I know that sitting through a Latin Mass service can be very boring for many Catholics in the pews. And yes I know that 1 Corinthians 14:19 condemns conducting a church service in a language the average member does not understand, but the Pope decided that Latin sounds real holy and has both historical and mystical qualities.

That's simply ridiculous. Latin was the spoken language of the time, well up through to the Renaissance. If you don't like Latin Mass today, go to an English one, or whatever language you happen to speak! (Did this site miss the last 40 years?!)

12. Yes I know the early church did not begin to celebrate Christmas until the 4th century. And yes I know that Galatians 4:10-11 condemns the keeping of such holy days not found in the Bible, but the church at Rome needed a way to convert the pagan worshippers of Mithra, the god of light... and it worked!

Actually, since Galatians 4:10-11 does not forbid the celebration of Christian holy days, and since Romans 14:5-6 permits it, and, in fact, condemns those who condemn people who observe certain holy days, it is that is hypocritically contradicting the Bible!

13. Yes I know that Acts 20:7 commands Christians to have weekly communion services and that the early church did not celebrate Easter as is done today, but having a yearly communion service was something later church leaders wanted to add to worship.

Are you kidding me?! Easter is most certainly not the only time that Catholics celebrate Communion! Just like the Early Church celebrated the Eucharist, not just weekly, but daily (Acts 2:46), so today, Catholic Churches offer Daily Mass! Sunday Masses in particular are a celebration of Christ's resurrection all year round!

14. Yes I know that the Roman Catholic church deleted the 2nd commandment (Exodus 20:4) in order to hid [sic] from the masses God’s condemnation of bowing down and kissing images of Mary and Peter, but Mary revealed herself to us in a vision.

What does Mary's appearing in a vision have to do with making statues? The "2nd Commandment" was never deleted. It is just counted as part of the First Commandment in our reckoning. Worshipping idols and other things than God is strictly prohibited in Catholicism--but that is not what our statues and pictures are, nor what we do to or with them!

15. Yes I know that Jesus was baptized by full immersion in the Jordan River (Matthew 3:16), and that sprinkling was not officially approved until 1311 AD, but it sure is more convenient.

Were you there? Did you see Jesus immersed in the water? Hmm.
Yes, it certainly is more convenient to pour water in baptism--and since that was the practice in the Church since the earliest times (though immersion was preferred), it is not wrong. Neither is it condemned in Scripture, but is even at times implied (cf. Acts 16:33).

16. Yes I know that babies have no faith and cannot repent, and are therefor not really valid candidates for baptism (Mark 16:16; Acts 8:36-37; Acts 2:38). But the Pope invented the idea of where the faith and repentance that the infant lacks, is exchanged for the faith and repentance of a "God Parent". Yes I know none of this is in the Bible, but the Pope is the "holy see" and he must know what he is doing!

Oy! The Pope is not the Holy See. That's the Diocese of Rome, over which the Pope presides.
Baptism is the New Testament equivalent to the Old Testament rite of Circumcision--in which the parents' faith stood in for their child's. So the Pope didn't invent the notion. It's a thoroughly biblical one.

17. Yes I know Ezekiel 18:20 proves the doctrine of total hereditary depravity (inherited original sin) contradicts the Bible, but you cannot understand the Bible anyway, only the priest can correctly interpret it.

Since Catholics do not believe in "total hereditary depravity" (talk to the Calvinists!), Ezekiel 18 does not contradict Catholic teaching! Original Sin does not mean that we are guilty of our father and mother's sins, but that we are all born outside of a state of grace, and trapped as slaves in a state of sin. Denying that truth not only contradicts Romans 5:12-21, but also opens the door to Pelagian ideas such as Man can save himself without the grace of Christ!

18. Yes I know that Matthew 18:2-3 teaches that children are better models of purity and conduct than adults, but the Pope teaches that infants are wicked defiled [sic] sinners condemned to hell until a Catholic priest baptizes them and removes the curse of original sin.

Since the Bible teaches that we are all sinners in need of salvation (including children), and that baptism washes away that sin (Titus 3:5, Acts 22:16), and that we are saved through baptism (1 Peter 3:21), not believing that is what actually contradicts the Bible!

19. Yes I know Ephesians 3:4 plainly seems to say that when you read the Bible by yourself, you can have the same insight that the apostle Paul had into spiritual things, but we Catholic priests cannot teach all our false doctrines that contradict the Bible unless we convince you that you can’t understand the Bible unless the priest helps you.

Yes, I'm sure that's exactly what a priest would say!
Ephesians 3:4 does not in fact teach that reading Scripture will give us the same insights that St. Paul had into the mystery of Christ, but rather, that reading what he wrote in Ephesians 2:11-22 will give us the same insights that he had into understanding Jewish-Gentile relations under the New Covenant. On the other hand 2 Peter 2:20-21 and 3:15-16 teach us that, in fact, we can't always interpret Scripture properly, and that many who try end up twisting it to their own and others' eternal destruction. That's why God gave us His Church, which is the pillar and foundation of truth (1 Timothy 3:15).

20. Yes I know that 1 Peter 3:15 teaches every Christian should be able to defend from the Bible what they believe, but isn’t that what us Roman Catholic priests are supposed to do? Do you want to put us out of job and rob us of all our power and control?

The role of the priest is primarily to administer the Sacraments given to us by Christ, as well as to train up Catholics in the way of truth and love, so that by knowing and living it out, they would be a witness. Whether the average Catholic can always give a detailed defence of their faith is not at issue. Rather, they should be able to defend the reason for their hope: namely, Jesus' salvation for them, purchased on the Cross! That's what St. Peter's talking about! And he says nothing at all about doing so "from the Bible".

21. Yes I know that human traditions that contradict the Bible are condemned in Mark 7:7-9, but all the doctrines that contradict the Bible which the Pope through [sic] up were revealed to him directly by Christ and therefore, although they contradict the Bible, they are divinely approved by Christ himself.

Actually, there are no traditions that contradict the Bible, when properly understood. Steve Rudd has tried and failed to provide a list of them, but I have shown how each can be supported by Scripture. A Tradition that can't be supported by Scripture, on the other hand, is's belief in Sola Scriptura. That's the real "tradition of men" here!

22. You really shouldn’t be reading the Bible anyway. And while we are talking about it, what else do you want me to teach you about what the Bible says?

Actually, the Catholic Church teaches that we should read our Bibles daily, recommending even half an hour of devout reading per day! It even says that doing so will obtain graces from God (The Dogmatic Constitution on Divine Revelation)! So much for that!

Steve Rudd concludes his diatribe agaist the Catholic Church by asking whether it is, in fact, the Church that we read about in the Bible, to which I respond, YES! Absolutely it is! And the more I read the Bible, the more I see the Roman Catholic Church!

(Category: The Church: Extra Ecclesiam Nulla Salus--The Church and other Christian denominations.
Soteriology: Salvation.
The Scriptures: Scriptural Authority.
The Church: The Authority of the Church and A Light to the Nations.)


Hidden One said...

Dear Steve Rudd:

Your arguments would make a lot more sense if you knew what you were talking about in regards to that which you are debatign against. Assuming you're right, you'd look much less foolish if you actually did research into what Catholics believe. Should you, however, be wrong, there are other advantages as well.

Hidden One.

Carlus Henry said...

Gregory Watson,

You did a superb job. Thanks to people like you, I am planning to join the Catholic Church this year.

Keep defending the faith...

God bless.

Anonymous said...

The above is very amazing and insightful. However, you seem to think that Joseph must have had children before Mary, but I don't believe that the Catholic Church teaches that! We believe that Jesus was simply giving Mary someone to look after her, as her son normally would have! And therefore, John and Jesus probably weren't actually closely related.

Gregory said...

Mr. Henry,
thank you for your kind words. It's comments such as these that keep me going with this blogging venture.

Thank you, too, for your compliments. I think perhaps I was a bit unclear regarding "Jesus' brothers" (covered in Part 1. From what I've read and researched in my own journey to Catholicism, the Church has not officially, doctrinally taught precisely who these men called Jesus' brothers are. Western Catholics tend to go with the cousin theory, while Eastern Catholics and Orthodox Christians often tend to lean to the step-brothers-sons-of-Joseph theory. I did try to demonstrate both views in my article, and assert that either view is more plausible and credible than the Protestant view that they were Mary's sons.

I myself personally lean to the cousin theory, but I thought that, in fairness, I would include both.

Further, I don't think I actually said that I believed that John the Apostle was closely related to Jesus. I certainly don't believe this. In fact, I would say that Jesus' act of giving His Mother into John's care from the cross specifically demonstrates that Mary didn't have any other children, since Jesus gave her into the care of someone who was not related to her. I apologise for that bit of confusion.

Thanks again for commenting, and I hope you return to and enjoy the site. Currently, I am 3/4 of the way through a series of meditations on the Mysteries of the Rosary (and will be starting the Glorious Mysteries tonight, God willing).

God bless,

Armando said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Armando said...

Good Stuff!
I went to a few times out of curiosity and I knew someone had the correct answers against the site.
God Bless You!

Gregory said...

Hey Armando! Welcome to the blog!

I'm glad my response to this one portion of's critique (criticism?) of Catholicism was helpful. Apparently it's been so for a few people. Eventually, I think I'll have to go back to and respond to their entire Catholic section in greater detail. I'm working on a few other blog projects in the meantime, but yeah.

Anyway, I hope you continue to stop by.
God bless