Five Questions For P (Roman Catholic)
You've cited passages like Matthew 16:18-19, Matthew 28:20, and Luke 10:16 as evidence that the Christian church has attributes such as infallibility and an unbroken succession of bishops with apostolic authority. But other passages of scripture say the same things or similar things about Israel (2 Chronicles 33:4, Isaiah 43:10, Jeremiah 31:35-37), individual Christians (Hebrews 13:5, 1 Peter 2:9, 1 John 2:27), and other entities. You claim that the keys of Matthew 16:19 represent papal authority, yet you don't see papal authority in other keys (Luke 11:52, Revelation 9:1, 20:1). When God says that Israel and individual Christians will never be destroyed, you reach one conclusion. When God says that the church will never be destroyed, you reach a different conclusion. Why the inconsistency?
The Catholic Church refers to the papacy being a clear doctrine of scripture that has always been held by the Christian church. It refers to all Christians of the first century viewing the Roman church as their only basis and foundation. The Council of Trent refers to doctrines like private confession to a priest and indulgences always being held and practiced by the Christian church. Pope Pius IX referred to the Immaculate Conception doctrine always being held by the Christian church, taught across the Christian world with the highest of authority. How do you reconcile such claims with the appeals to development of doctrine that you've made throughout this debate?
Pope Pius IX, in his decree Ineffabilis Deus, refers to the Immaculate Conception being "recorded in the Divine Scriptures". He says that the doctrine has "always" been held by the Christian church, and was taught "by the highest authority". He describes what the church allegedly has always believed on this subject. He doesn't refer to some seed that would later grow into the tree of the Immaculate Conception. Instead, he refers to the Immaculate Conception doctrine itself as always being held by the Christian church, taught with the highest authority across the Christian world. Would you please give us Biblical evidence for the concept that Mary was sinless from conception onward, including a response to the passages of scripture I cited in my opening remarks (and Mark 3:20-35)?
Pope Pius XII, in his decree Munificentissimus Deus, refers to the Assumption of Mary doctrine as "a matter of such great moment and of such importance". He says to people who oppose the doctrine, "let him know that he has fallen away completely from the divine and Catholic Faith". The Pope refers to the Assumption doctrine as "this truth which is based on the Sacred Writings, which is thoroughly rooted in the minds of the faithful, which has been approved in ecclesiastical worship from the most remote times". Would you please give us Biblical evidence for this doctrine "of such importance", one that is "based on the Sacred Writings", and has been approved "from the most remote times"?
David's last actions on earth were to break a promise and arrange for somebody to be murdered (1 Kings 2:1-10). But he knew he would be in Heaven the moment the next life began (Psalm 17:15). Paul knew he was imperfect (Philippians 3:12), but said he would go to be with the Lord if he died at that time (Philippians 1:23). Scripture repeatedly refers to all believers being at peace, having joy, going to be with the Lord, etc. whenever this life ends (Psalm 49:15, 73:24-25, Isaiah 57:1-2, Daniel 12:13, Matthew 25:34, Luke 16:22, Luke 23:42-43, John 14:2-3, 2 Corinthians 5:1-8, 1 Thessalonians 4:16-18, Revelation 7:14-17). Why is Purgatory never mentioned, but instead is repeatedly contradicted by references to every believer going to Heaven?
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