A Reply to Protestant Apologist Jason Engwer


A Response to Jason Engwer's Challenge to opponents of Sola Scriptura

What is your rule of faith?

"I pose this question, then, to opponents of Sola Scriptura. What is your rule of faith, and how can you verify it and interpret it without facing the same difficulties that you criticize in association with Sola Scriptura?" -- Jason Engwer

I will start out answering this question with a question: why is your rule of faith the Bible? Since the Bible does not name its own canon then by what authority do you accept 39 books of the Old Testament and 27 books of the New Testament as inspired? Why do you accept the books of Jude, 3rd John, James, and Hebrews as inspired? And why do you reject the Epistles of Clement, the Epistle of Barnabas, the Shepherd of Hermas, and the Didache as inspired?

How do you know that 2 Timothy 3:16 includes the former but excludes the latter? And by what authority do you reject the books of Sirach (Ecclesiasticus) and Wisdom as inspired and yet accept the books of Esther and Ecclesiastes as inspired? As a former Assembly of God Evangelist for 12 years who worked also in an Interdenominational Environment I could not get solid answers to these questions because in order to do so, we (evangelicals) would have to violate the very pillar of our belief system, Sola Scriptura (I'm speaking in the past tense with respect to my former theological position). The truth is Evangelicals accept their 66-book canon as the inspired word of God by tradition, the very same thing they condemn.

Although I passionately believe the Bible (all 73 books) is the inspired word of God and I read and meditate on the Scriptures daily, it is no longer my final authority. The Bible cannot say to the Jehovah Witness, the Free Evangelical, the non-denominational church, and The United Pentecostal, "I rebuke you for interpreting me wrong, this is the correct interpretation..." My final authority for faith and Christian doctrine is the Catholic Church, which can say with infallibility, "you're interpreting the Scriptures wrong." Why do I believe this and how do I verify this? By the testimony of the Scriptures and the apostolic succession of the Catholic bishops and Fathers, the same bishops who tell us what the Scriptures are.

Now the whole canon of Scripture on which we say this judgment is to be exercised, is contained in the following books  -- Five books of Moses, that is, Genesis, Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers, Deuteronomy; one book of Joshua the son of Nun; one of Judges; one short book called Ruth, which seems rather to belong to the beginning of Kings; next, four books of Kings, and two of Chronicles -- these last not following one another, but running parallel, so to speak, and going over the same ground. The books now mentioned are history, which contains a connected narrative of the times, and follows the order of the events.

There are other books which seem to follow no regular order, and are connected neither with the order of the preceding books nor with one another, such as Job, and Tobias, and Esther, and Judith, and the two books of Maccabees, and the two of Ezra, which last look more like a sequel to the continuous regular history which terminates with the books of Kings and Chronicles. Next are the Prophets, in which there is one book of the Psalms of David; and three books of Solomon, viz., Proverbs, Song of Songs, and Ecclesiastes. For two books, one called Wisdom and the other Ecclesiasticus, are ascribed to Solomon from a certain resemblance of style, but the most likely opinion is that they were written by Jesus the son of Sirach. Still they are to be reckoned among the prophetical books, since they have attained recognition as being authoritative.

The remainder are the books which are strictly called the Prophets: twelve separate books of the prophets which are connected with one another, and having never been disjoined, are reckoned as one book; the names of these prophets are as follows -- Hosea, Joel, Amos, Obadiah, Jonah, Micah, Nahum, Habakkuk Zephaniah, Haggai, Zechariah, Malachi; then there are the four greater prophets, Isaiah, Jeremiah, Daniel, Ezekiel. The authority of the Old Testament is contained within the limits of these forty-four books.

That of the New Testament, again, is contained within the following -- Four books of the Gospel, according to Matthew, according to Mark, according to Luke, according to John; fourteen epistles of the Apostle Paul -- one to the Romans, two to the Corinthians, one to the Galatians, to the Ephesians, to the Philippians, two to the Thessalonians, one to the Colossians, two to Timothy, one to Titus, to Philemon, to the Hebrews: two of Peter; three of John; one of Jude; and one of James; one book of the Acts of the Apostles; and one of the Revelation of John.

(St Augustine, the Bishop of Hippo, On Christian Doctrine Book II chapter 8, The Canonical Books 393 AD)

In your challenge to my faith you asserted that the early Fathers defined the word "church" in many different ways. That is blatantly false! One of the major components in my conversion was the testimony of the Fathers and how they saw the Scriptures. Every one of them were in harmony in their understanding of what the Catholic Church was and all of them recognized the Church's authority. In fact, its authority was a visible, recognizable, identifiable Church authority. Everyone knew what and where the Catholic Church was: Rome was at the center of that Church. Had the Church been understood or interpreted differently people would have joined some "other Church." But there were no other Christian Churches. The concept of "denominations" only arose after the 16th century when the "Reformers" broke from the visible Church.

The Scriptures by themselves -- apart from any ecclesiastical body to infallibly interpret them -- are insufficient as a rule of faith. This fact is self evident by the multiple interpretations that come from the Scriptures by Sola Scriptura advocates. The very Pillars of the Reformation itself, Martin Luther and John Calvin drew from Sola Scriptura, the Real Presence of Christ in the Eucharist, infant baptism, and a prohibition of birth control to name just a few; however today, using the same Sola Scriptura principle nearly 500 years after the Reformation "evangelicals" reject infant baptism and the presence of Christ in the Eucharist, and birth control is perfectly acceptable.

In your challenge to my faith you stated that advocates of Sola Scriptura point out that multiple misinterpretations of the Scriptures is not a problem with the Scriptures themselves but with fallible teachers. This is the very heart of your theological system; to revert back to the Scriptures alone as a sole authority and rule of faith. To reason that there are "no infallible teachers" is to deny there indeed are infallible teachers. In a sense this is a type of circular reasoning as you are in effect saying, "because humanity is incapable of interpreting the Scriptures with infallibility, Sola Scriptura must prove Sola Scriptura." However, none of the Fathers of the Church ever believed that the Scriptures by themselves left in the hands of just anyone to interpret are the sole rule of faith. When the Scriptures say that the Church is the pillar and foundation of truth (1 Tim 3:15), then the Church upholds the Word of God with infallibility; the Bible rests on those very pillars of the Church and it is the Bible itself, which testifies to this!

Neither Jesus nor the Apostles ever mentioned writing a canon that would become the sole rule of faith. The Scriptures do not say; "Upon this rock I will build my Bible." The Scriptures say, "Upon this rock I will build my Church" (St Matthew 16:16-19). The Scriptures do not say, "His intent was that now, through the Bible, the manifold wisdom of God should be made known to the rulers and authorities in the heavenly realms, according to his eternal purpose which he accomplished in Christ Jesus our Lord." On the contrary, the Scriptures say, "His intent was that now, through the church, the manifold wisdom of God should be made known to the rulers and authorities in the heavenly realms, according to his eternal purpose which he accomplished in Christ Jesus our Lord" (Ephes 3:10-11). Neither does the Scriptures say, "if I am delayed, you will have the Bible to read in God's household, which is the book of the living God, the pillar and foundation of the truth." Under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit Saint Paul the Apostle clearly records, if I am delayed, you will know how people ought to conduct themselves in God's household, which is the church of the living God, the pillar and foundation of the truth" (1 Timothy 3:15 NIV).

In your challenge to my faith you asserted that certain Sola Scriptura advocates point out that those who oppose Sola Scriptura have disagreements among themselves within such groups as Anglicans, Eastern Orthodox, "Roman Catholics" and liberals within their organization.

This is a misleading argument; first of all, I believe the Catholic Church is the Church of the Bible and by Catholic I refer to both the Eastern and Western Fathers (and all believers) who then made up the Catholic Church. Normally in my apologetics I defend also the Orthodox Church because the Catholic Church recognizes their apostolicity and they are indeed organically Catholic. However, for reasons I will not explain in this essay, the Eastern Orthodox are in Schism from the West since doctrinal authority goes to those Bishops in union with the Bishop of Rome.

The Anglican Church, though it calls itself "catholic" does not have apostolic origins but indeed was born because the King of England wanted to marry his mistress and divorce his wife and the Pope would not allow it, so King Henry VIII rebelled and appointed his own Bishops. Therefore, the Anglicans do not trace or uphold in entirety the original deposit of faith handed down from the Apostles.

The original deposit of faith handed down from the Apostles cannot change and therefore liberal theologians within the Catholic Church cannot be used as an argument for a rule of faith since the very term "liberal" refers to changes in what is considered "conservative" and what is conservative is the original deposit of faith handed down by the Apostles and upheld by the Church which can never change that deposit. This is why the Church is the manifold wisdom of God (Ephes 3:10) and the pillar and foundation of truth (1 Tim 3:15) because it upholds the Word of God with 100% truth and accuracy by Divine Ordination from the Father who sent Jesus, to Jesus who ordained the Church upon the Apostles and which the Holy Spirit protects from doctrinal error and guides into all truth (John 14:16-17; 16:13).

Today the Church is God's Holy Prophet and it is the Church that gives us with infallibility God's Holy Word which like the nature of God is revealed in a triune way: The Holy Scriptures, Sacred Tradition, and the Magisterium of the Church.

Next, you make the argument in response to our position against Sola Scriptura that if disagreements in interpreting a rule of faith proves that the rule of faith is insufficient then there is no rule of faith. As I pointed out in the previous paragraphs, your citations for what are allegedly disagreements among Catholics is misleading and deceptive. Any objective examination of the Scriptures in conjunction with the ancient Fathers of the Church clearly demonstrates an incredible systematic consistency of Christian doctrine that cannot be reasonably interpreted as anything but a Catholic view of Divine Revelation. The Scriptures and the Faith of the ancient Fathers such as Ignatius, Polycarp, Clement, Eusebius, Adeus, Alexander, Ambrose, Augustine, Jerome, Athanasius, Cyprian, Cyril, Hippolytus and a host of others all testify either explicitly or implicitly with incredible harmony, that the Church Christ started was the Catholic Church, that Peter was the Rock and the linear succession of the Bishops of Rome starting with the Apostle Peter had primacy in the Church.

They clearly believed in Apostolic Succession, the Sacraments of the Church, the Real Presence of Christ in the Eucharist, being Born Again and saved through baptism, infant baptism, the perpetual virginity of Mary, the sinless state of Mary, the Communion of Saints, a final purging for the righteous in death before entering heaven (Purgatory), prayers for the dead, Sacred Tradition, and the supreme authority of the Church which is the foundation upon which the Bible's authority rests. Let us just sample some of their writings which are indicative of all:

They abstain from the Eucharist and from prayer, because they confess not the Eucharist to be the flesh of our Saviour Jesus Christ, which suffered for our sins, and which the Father, of His goodness, raised up again. Those, therefore, who speak against this gift of God, incur death...See that ye all follow the bishop, even as Jesus Christ does the Father, and the presbytery as ye would the apostles; and reverence the deacons, as being the institution of God. Let no man do anything connected with the Church without the bishop. Let that be deemed a proper Eucharist, which is [administered] either even as, wherever Jesus Christ is, there is the Catholic Church. (St Ignatius Bishop of Antioch, Epistle to the Smyraeans 107 AD)

But the pious confession of the believer is that, with a view to our salvation, and in order to connect the universe with unchangeableness, the Creator of all things incorporated with Himself a rational soul and a sensible body from the all-holy Mary, ever-virgin, by an undefiled conception, without conversion, and was made man in nature, but separate from wickedness: the same was perfect God, and the same was perfect man; the same was in nature at once perfect God and man...Since the Saviour of the world, with the purpose of saving the race of men, was born of the immaculate and virgin Mary, and in the form of the flesh trod the enemy trader foot, in the exercise of the power of His own proper divinity; in the same manner also will the accuser come forth from an impure woman upon the earth, but shall be born of a virgin spuriously. (St Hippolytus Bishop of Rome Extant Works and Fragments; Fragment VIII)

And besides the pious opinion concerning the Father and the Son, we confess to one Holy Spirit, as the divine Scriptures teach us; who hath inaugurated both the holy men of the Old Testament, and the divine teachers of that which is called the New. And besides, also, one only Catholic and Apostolic Church, which can never be destroyed, though all the world should seek to make war with it; but it is victorious over every most impious revolt of the heretics who rise up against it. (St Alexander Bishop of Alexandria 328 AD)

And that the writer was speaking of baptism is evident from the very words in which it is stated that it is impossible to renew unto repentance those who were fallen, inasmuch as we are renewed by means of the layer of baptism, whereby we are born again, as Paul says himself: "For we are buried with Him through baptism into death, that, like as Christ rose from the dead through the glory of the Father, so we, too, should walk in newness of life." And in another place: "Be ye renewed in the spirit of your mind, and put on the new man which is created after God." And elsewhere again: "Thy youth shall be renewed like the eagle," because the eagle after death is born again from its ashes, as we being dead in sin are through the Sacrament of Baptism born again to God, and created anew. So, then, here as elsewhere, he teaches one baptism. "One faith," he says, "one baptism." (St Ambrose Bishop of Milan Concerning Repentance Book 2 Chapter 2)

So Peter and Andrew prayed for the widow. Would that there were some one who could so quickly pray for us, or better still, they who prayed for the mother-in-law, Peter and Andrew his brother. Then they could pray for one related to them, now they are able to pray for us and for all. For you see that one bound by great sin is less fit to pray for herself, certainly less likely to obtain for herself. Let her then make use of others to pray for her to the physician. For the sick, unless the physician be called to them by the prayers of others, cannot pray for themselves. The flesh is weak, the soul is sick and hindered by the chains of sins, and cannot direct its feeble steps to the throne of that physician. The angels must be entreated for us, who have been to us as guards; the martyrs must be entreated, whose patronage we seem to claim for ourselves by the pledge as it were of their bodily remains. They can entreat for our sins, who, if they had any sins, washed them in their own blood; for they are the martyrs of God, our leaders, the beholders of our life and of our actions. Let us not be ashamed to take them as intercessors for our weakness, for they themselves knew the weaknesses of the body, even when they overcame. (St Ambrose Bishop of Milan Concerning Widows Chapter IX)

And in the gospel our Lord Jesus Christ spake with His own voice, saying, 'Except a man be born of water and of the Spirit, he cannot enter into the kingdom of God.' This is the Spirit which from the beginning 'moved upon the face of the waters.' For neither can the Spirit act without the water, nor the water without the Spirit. III, therefore, for themselves do some interpret, saying that by imposition of hands they receive the Holy Ghost, and are received into the Church, when it is manifest that they ought to be born again by both sacraments in the Catholic Church. For then indeed will they be able to become the sons of God, as the apostle says, 'Endeavoring to keep the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace. There is one body, and one Spirit, even as ye are called in one hope of your calling; one Lord, one faith, one baptism, one God.' All this the Catholic Church asserts. And again he says in the gospel, 'That which is born of the flesh is flesh, and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit; for the Spirit is God, and is born of God.' (St Augustine Bishop of Hippo On Baptism Against the Donatists)

For if the lineal succession of bishops is to be taken into account, with how much more certainty and benefit to the Church do we reckon back till we reach Peter himself, to whom, as bearing in a figure the whole Church, the Lord said: 'Upon this rock will I build my Church, and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it !' The successor of Peter was Linus, and his successors in unbroken continuity were these: -- Clement, Anacletus, Evaristus, Alexander, Sixtus, Telesphorus, Iginus, Anicetus, Pius, Soter, Eleutherius, Victor, Zephirinus, Calixtus, Urbanus, Pontianus, Antherus, Fabianus, Cornelius, Lucius, Stephanus, Xystus, Dionysius, Felix, Eutychianus, Gaius, Marcellinus, Marcellus, Eusebius, Miltiades, Sylvester, Marcus, Julius, Liberius, Damasus, and Siricius, whose successor is the present Bishop Anastasius. In this order of succession no Donatist bishop is found. (St Augustine Bishop of Hippo Letters, 400 AD)

IT IS NOT IMPOSSIBLE THAT SOME BELIEVERS MAY PASS THROUGH A PURGATORIAL FIRE IN THE FUTURE LIFE. And it is not impossible that something of the same kind may take place even after this life. It is a matter that may be inquired into, and either ascertained or left doubtful, whether some believers shall pass through a kind of purgatorial fire, and in proportion as they have loved with more or less devotion the goods that perish, be less or more quickly delivered from it. This cannot, however, be the case of any of those of whom it is said, that they "shall not inherit the kingdom of God," unless after suitable repentance their sins be forgiven them. When I say "suitable," I mean that they are not to be unfruitful in almsgiving; for Holy Scripture lays so much stress on this virtue, that our Lord tells us beforehand, that He will ascribe no merit to those on His right hand but that they abound in it, and no defect to those on His left hand but their want of it, when He shall say to the former, "Come, ye blessed of my Father, inherit the kingdom," and to the latter, "Depart from me, ye cursed, into everlasting fire." (St Augustine Bishop of Hippo The Enchiridion or On Faith, Hope and Love addressed to Laurentius Chapter 69)

And if any one seek for divine authority in this matter, though what is held by the whole Church, and that not as instituted by Councils, but as a matter of invariable custom, is rightly held to have been handed down by apostolical authority, still we can form a true conjecture of the value of the sacrament of baptism in the case of infants, from the parallel of circumcision, which was received by God's earlier people, and before receiving which Abraham was justified, as Cornelius also was enriched with the gift of the Holy Spirit before he was baptized. Yet the apostle says of Abraham himself, that "he received the sign of circumcision, a seal of the righteousness of the faith," having already believed in his heart, so that "it was counted unto him for righteousness." Why, therefore, was it commanded him that he should circumcise every male child in order on the eighth day, though it could not yet believe with the heart, that it should be counted unto it for righteousness, because the sacrament in itself was of great avail? And this was made manifest by the message of an angel in the case of Moses' son; for when he was carried by his mother, being yet uncircumcised, it was required, by manifest present peril, that he should be circumcised, and when this was done, the danger of death was removed. As therefore in Abraham the justification of faith came first, and circumcision was added afterwards as the seal of faith; so in Cornelius the spiritual sanctification came first in the gift of the Holy Spirit, and the sacrament of regeneration was added afterwards in the layer of baptism. And as in Isaac, who was circumcised on the eighth day after his birth, the seal of this righteousness of faith was given first, and afterwards, as he imitated the faith of his father, the righteousness itself followed as he grew up, of which the seal had been given before when he was an infant; so in infants, who are baptized, the sacrament of regeneration is given first, and if they maintain a Christian piety, conversion also in the heart will follow, of which the mysterious sign had gone before in the outward body. (St Augustine Bishop of Hippo On Baptism Against the Donatists chap 24, 32)

THE BIDDING PRAYER FOR THE FAITHFUL AFTER THE DIVINE OBLATION. XIII. Let us still further beseech God through His Christ, and let us beseech Him on account of the gift which is offered to the Lord God, that the good " Let us he mindful of the holy martyrs, that we may be thought worthy to be partakers of their trial. Let us pray for those that are departed in the faith. Let us pray for the good temperature of the air, and the perfect maturity of the fruits. Let us pray for those that are newly enlightened, that they may be strengthened in the faith, and all may be mutually comforted by one another. (The Constitution of the Holy Apostles, Book 8 Section 2)

AND SO ON....

They drew all these beliefs from the Scriptures themselves. When there were doctrinal disputes such as the canon of the Scriptures or the Immaculate Conception or Assumption of Mary it was the Church itself which infallibly settled the matter through Church Councils or the Bishop of Rome's infallible declaration on the matter when speaking "ex cathedra" (from the seat of Peter). This is exactly how God designed His Church and he promised through the Apostles that he would guide the Church by the Holy Spirit (John 16:13). Therefore the rule of faith and the final authority for Christian doctrine is the Church which upholds Divine Revelation with infallibility. No other method can or has worked until Jesus himself comes back to rule. In the meantime he gave us the Church with Peter at the helm to guide us on our earthly journey (John 21:15-19) and the Church gave us the Bible to draw our inspiration from and to help us grow spiritually along with the sacraments of the Church.

There were disagreements historically among a few Church Fathers; those disagreements were solved by Church Councils to which the Bishops of the Church submitted, accepted and upheld those rulings because they believed the answer came directly from the Holy Spirit which guides the Church into all truth. Even the disagreements during the first sixteen centuries of the Church were incredibly minor compared to the massive disagreement among today's Sola Scripturists. For instance, although Saint Jerome argued in favor of 39 books of the Old Testament, he submitted to Pope Damasus and the Councils of Carthage and Hippo that ruled on what was Scripture and recorded his retraction in writing, the matter was settled and the Church was the final authority. Here is what St Jerome wrote:

"What sin have I committed if I follow the judgment of the churches? But he who brings charges against me for relating [in my preface to the book of Daniel] the objections that the Hebrews are wont to raise against the story of Susannah [Dan. 13], the Song of the Three Children [Dan. 3:29-68, RSV-CE], and the story of Bel and the Dragon [Dan. 14], which are not found in the Hebrew volume, proves that he is just a foolish sycophant. I was not relating my own personal views, but rather the remarks that they are wont to make against us. If I did not reply to their views in my preface, in the interest of brevity, lest it seem that I was composing not a preface, but a book, I believe I added promptly the remark, for I said, ‘This is not the time to discuss such matters'" (Against Rufinus 11:33 [AD 401])

The reason why the Catholic Church has organizational unity is because that is what Jesus and His Apostles intended! St Paul called us to organizational unity (Eph 4:1-6) and Jesus himself commissioned Peter to take care of the sheep and to feed them (Matt 16:16-19; John 21:15-19) which clearly implies organizational unity (but not denominations). Even protestant denominations have organizational unity within their own sect; that is why they are denominations because they view the Scriptures in a traditional way (a new tradition) a way unique to that organization!

So to argue that the Bible is not an organization is really a moot point and brings us right back to the question of final authority. The very fact that you would challenge me on this issue demonstrates you claim your interpretation of the Scriptures more correct than the Catholic Church. Thus your final authority is not the Bible but your own denomination's interpretation of the Bible.

We can compare and contrast this with our own government. Our Supreme Law is the U.S. Constitution but can just anyone interpret it to grant justice? Can the accused interpret the constitution for himself to gain an aquittal? Absolutely not because the results would be no justice! Is the entire U.S. court system in such a disunity that they will not have a succession of higher courts to appeal to with respect to Law? We need a court system under the authority of the U.S. Supreme Court to make our final appeal and to correctly interpret and apply law to have Justice for all.

The very same is true for Divine Revelation; we have the Holy Scriptures and Sacred Tradition as Divine Revelation and the Magisterium of the Church to correctly interpret it. If we don't have these things a vacuum is created that must be filled and the results are thousands of Protestant denominations and sects that continue to splinter. Therefore, our point in contrasting the Catholic Church's unity with Protestant disunity is a very valid comparison and the incredible disunity Protestants have and the incredible Unity we Catholics have is simply self evident.

If you want more evidence for this then I will refer you to the Catechism of the Catholic Church and ask you to produce a Protestant Catechism demonstrating Protestant Unity on the Scriptures. If your answer is the Bible is your Catechism then I submit that is circular reasoning which says "Sola Scriptura proves Sola Scriptura."

Neither the Catholic Church nor the Orthodox churches are denominations, they are Catholic! Denominations and sects are the result of the Protestant "Reformation" and the Catholic Church predates any "Protestant church" by 1500 years. Denominations are in direct conflict with the Scriptures so to argue everyone has "organizational unity" simply by belonging to a new Protestant denomination or sect is not a valid comparison.

Finally, in your challenge to my theological position and faith, you concluded that Catholics have to rely on their own "fallible interpretation" of the Scriptures to conclude that the Catholic Church interprets the Bible infallibly. Once again, this is a misleading and deceptive argument: we believe in the Gospel and the authority of the Catholic Church because of two thousand years of ecclesiastical history and deeply embedded traditions and liturgy, the linear succession of the Catholic bishops and Church Fathers, their testimony, their unity of faith, the Holy Scriptures which they wrote about, canonized and gave us, and especially the linear succession of the Bishop of Rome.

All of these things trace back to the Apostles and to St. Peter himself who received his commission from the Lord Jesus Christ, who was sent by God the Father, who also sent the Holy Spirit to guide and direct the Church into all truth (St John 16:13). And Finally, I believe the Church is the final authority because she has endured the test of time and stands strong 2000 years later and continues to prosper despite the great persecution she receives from Protestants and heretics. God would never allow such an alleged evil organization to stand and prosper for so long unless that organization is Holy and Apostolic and protected and preserved from every unrighteous indignation in the history of humanity.

The Book of Acts records that the Pharisees brought Peter and the Apostles before the Sanhedrin to question and order them not to speak or preach in the name of Jesus. The Chief Apostle Saint Peter (Who would later become the Bishop of Rome and set up the Holy See) spoke boldly before the Sanhedrin and said: "We must obey God rather then men." The Pharisees became furious and wanted to put to death Peter and the Apostles but a man named Gamaliel, who was a teacher of the Law and well respected in the community, pointed out to the Sanhedrin that if what the Apostles had was of man then it would fail and die out but if it was truly of God then they would only be fighting against God.

That record in the book of Acts marks the first of many persecutions, trials, and attempts to destroy God's One Holy Catholic and Apostolic Church. However, Judaism, the Pharisees, and the Sanhedrin could not destroy the Catholic Church; the Gnostics and other Heretics could not destroy the Catholic Church; the Roman Empire not only could not destroy the Catholic Church but it fell to the Catholic Church! The Great Schism of 1054 could not destroy the Catholic Church; the Protestant Reformation could not destroy the Catholic Church; the mighty Soviet Union could not destroy the Catholic Church; "Born Again Christianity" and Protestants cannot destroy the Catholic Church. Pedophile and gay priests cannot destroy the Catholic Church; the United States and its court system cannot destroy the Catholic Church.

Why cannot the Catholic Church be destroyed and why has it not died out? Because the Catholic Church is of God and not man!

As we go backwards in Ecclesiastical history the Christian religion becomes more and more Catholic until we reach the turn of the 16th century just before the Reformation, the Church is purely Catholic for 1500 years! Let us look at it another way: The Church was in perfect harmony for 1500 years and then came the Protestant Reformation. In the book of Genesis it is recorded that there was One common language. The Tower of Babel was being built by men who wanted to be exalted above God and do things their way. But God confused their language so they could no longer work together. The same thing happened as a result of the Reformation: man wanted to come to God on his own terms, he no longer wanted to submit to the authority of the Bishops and the Church which God ordained for us as spiritual overseers (Heb 13:17). So God confused the Protestant religion so it continues to divide and compete against each other all in the name of Sola Scriptura.

To quote Evangelical apologist Josh McDowell, "the evidence demands a verdict" that the Church which Christ gave us is the final authority on faith, Christian doctrine, and morals.

Therefore, by faith and reason I defected from my previous erroneous Protestant position and returned Home from where I started (after 18 years of Evangelicalism/Fundamentalism) to God's One Holy Catholic and Apostolic Church for my own spiritual growth and hope of eternal life. With God's grace I will continue in faith and do the works the Lord has given me to do during my earthly journey.

To Him be the glory in the Church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, for ever and ever! Amen.

David Lamb (Super Saved Catholic Dave)

DavidMLamb@aol.com


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