Goya – Court of the Inquisition
In several posts to this board I have described some of the ways Catholic spokesmen and apologists play at word games in their efforts to defend or promote Catholicism. Taken at face value, their arguments generally appear to be sound and biblical, as do so many of the doctrines of their apostate church. Upon closer examination, however, it soon becomes apparent that they have learned well the teachings of their master, the father of lies.
In an early incarnation of the PTG Message Board that Catholic apologists frequently visited, a person who described himself as a “Bible Christian” provided examples of Catholic word play for us to examine. This fellow, whom I shall call “BX", responded to these words that I had posted:
In his response to this, BX carved out a single phrase, to which he then presented an argument that was not germane to the phrase when read in context. (My words in black; his in brown)
Notice the how BX failed to respond to the statement he had taken out of context from my earlier post. If you will return to my words quoted above, you will see that I had pointed out that, in their many recent apologies, Catholic spokesmen had freely acknowledged that some in their church had done wrong. I had added that I could not recall having seen one of these acknowledge that the Catholic Church had ever done wrong.
In his attempt to refute my out-of-context words, BX responded with a non sequitur informing that the Catholic Catechism teaches that her members are sinful. The sinfulness of Catholic faithful was not at issue here. I had addressed the alleged perfection of the Catholic Church, not the state of holiness of her membership. BX provided an example of the way some Catholic apologists work by responding to a question or charge that was never made, thereby shifting the focus of readers away from the issue at hand.
To support his statement, BX quoted from the Catechism. Interestingly, while the quoted words indeed confirmed what had not been at issue—that members of the Catholic Church are sinners—they also confirmed my contention that Mama Church is separate from the men and women who are her members. I submit that the words I have italicized appear to support a claim that the Catholic Church is perfect.
In the italicized sentence, notice how the hierarchical entity that is the Catholic Church clearly establishes the distinction between herself and her membership. Though quite a number of her priests and bishops have recently been shown to be anything but holy, in this instance, they are not to be considered as “the Church.” For those whose memories date far enough back, it is just like that little disclaimer at the end of the Mission Impossible assignment tapes: “If you are caught, the agency will disavow any knowledge,” or something like that.
How about those words, “at once holy and always in need of purification?” Mother Church is holy, but everyone in it is in need of spiritual cleansing. Same game. Same players. Same rules. Does the world "holy"Should we understand that to be holy is to be perfect? Here's how one dictionary defines the word:
I believe that evangelicals have no difficulty accepting these definitions. However, I would argue that, given their allegiance to the many unbliblical dogmas that define Roman Catholicism, it is doubtoful that many, if any, of those who are gathered under the banner of the Roman Catholic Church might be rightly described as being holy.
BX moved on to dispute another statement of mine taken out of context:
This is what I had written in response to BX's assertion that the Catholic Church claims to teach Christ's truth infallibly. (For convenience, I have underlined the appropriate section):
Notice how BX blithely ignored the points I was making; that the Catholic Church has declared herself to teach infallibly in matters of faith and morals and that she uses her own version of Tradition (capital “T”) to support many of her false doctrines. Instead, apparently relying on readers to not scroll up to see what I really had written, he posted another non sequitur, making an argument for the usefulness of Tradition (capital “T”) in countering heresies.
I had questioned a statement BX had made that the Catholic Church confers “the life of the Trinity validly by way of sacramentum”
“Eternal begetting.” Interesting turn of phrase. In John's Gospel in the KJV, we see the Logos referred to as the “the only begotten of the Father” (1:14); “only begotten Son (1:18; 3:16, 18). Then, in John's first Epistle, he again uses the title “only begotten Son” (4:9). In the Greek, the word translated as “only begotten is transliterated monogenes.
Let us look at the English translation of monogenes; “only begotten.” Readers who managed to stay awake in freshman English will recognize begotten as the past participle (passive) of the verb beget. And what is the significance of a past participle? It refers to completed action. My Miriam-Webster Collegiate Dictionary defines past participle in these terms:
Bottom of Form
How interesting that “basic Trinitarian theology”–Catholic version, naturally—as expounded by BX is not a completed action. Quite the contrary, in fact, for BX informed about an eternal ongoing process; “the eternal begetting of the Son by the eternal Father who eternally pours forth his life into the Son.” How very much like another ongoing process so dear to Catholicism: the so-called bloodless Eucharistic sacrifice in which Catholic Jesus-as-cookie is offered up millions of times daily on Catholic altars around the world.
BX moved on to address my comment concerning his use of the Latin word sacramentum in his statement: “the life of the Trinity validly by way of sacramentum” What I had written was:
The rules of this board were quite explicit. It did not exist to provide a forum for spreading or defending Catholicism. Such rules should make it apparent to any surfer that the host of the board did not welcome Catholics who would use it to promote or defend Catholicism, no matter how subtly. BX never identified himself as Catholic and, frankly, his screen name suggested to me that he was a Bible-believing Christian, which, I suppose, was the intention. That suggestion was soon given the lie by his referring another visitor to a Catholic ministry and by his recommendation that he read about Saint Joseph, whom BX described as “the model father for us as Christian men.” Clicking on the provided URL whisked me away to John Paul II's Apostolic Exhortation Redemptoris Custos (Guardian of the Redeemer). He followed those recommendations with a syrupy bit of “theology” from Saint Lawrence of Brindisi.
Here's how BX dealt with my comments concerning his use of the term sacramentum:
His opening was rather straightforward, but then BX elected to return to his tactic of responding to statements or questions that had not been presented.
Did you notice that BX responded to a statement I had not made. My statement referred to the antecedent sacramentum, a Latin term, not the English term sacrament. As I have shown above, such switcheroos are not uncommon when dealing with Catholic apologists.
I suspect that BX tossed in the term Fundamentalist as a pejorative. Anyone familiar with my work should be aware that I am no fan of Karl Keating's Catholic Answers website. I do acknowledge, however, that on occasion it can be a useful resource for those of us who put Catholic doctrine and practice under the microscope. In this instance, I found the site's discussion of Fundamentalism to be an honest look at Fundamentalism down through the centuries since the resurrection of Christ. The article gives a clear indication of at least one of the reasons Catholic apologists tend to dislike those whom the call—often mistakenly—“Fundamentalists:”
I then made a statement concerning BX's choice of a screen name:
In his response, BX did a little tap dance in which he developed a bogus argument to the effect that he is a Bible Christian and that the very Bible itself was produced by his Christianity.
In that BX had 'neglected' to apprise the board of his Catholic affiliation, it appeared to me that he was flying under false colors; coming in as a Bible Christian and surely knowing what connotation that label has for non-Catholics, yet there to promote and defend Catholicism. From that position, I presented a bit of speculative information for the benefit of others reading the board:
BX did pick up on my challenge that he help me to discover the biblical sources of a couple of Catholic dogmas.
How did BX respond? He ducked and covered.
Thus ended the exchange between a promoter and defender of Catholicism and myself.
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