On Debating With Catholics

Having been born and raised in the Roman Catholic Cult, I have a pretty good idea of what it teaches and how it works. As I now see it, Romanism is not so much a religious system, as a power structure. Religion is the device used to exercise control over the masses, who in the system are no more important to the Catholic hierarchy than is motor oil to the owner of an automobile. The oil is necessary to the normal operation of a car's engine, but the motorist rarely, if ever, thinks about it until the engine loses power or begins to make odd noises. So it is with the great mass of Catholic laity and the priests and religious who operate them. As long as the money keeps coming in and the the hierarchy is viewed as being superior to ordinary people, all is fine. When something happens that negatively affects either the inflow of money or the exalted status of priests and religious, then we see a temporary outflowing of concern for the common herd.

Everything that the Roman Catholic Church does or teaches is, in the final analysis, designed to enhance the power of the "in-group" and increase the financial well-being of the Church.

Those who actually exercise power within the Church hierarchy are loath to surrender even the smallest portion of their power to dominate the hoi poloi. When some layman takes it upon himself to defend the teachings, practices and/or the very existence of Catholicism, it seems to me that in his own mind he considers himself somehow to have taken on the mantle of authority, albeit at a lesser level than the revered members of the hierarchy, to speak for Mother Church.

When provided a forum, such as abound on the Internet, a defender of Catholicism puts on the rusty armor of mindless allegiance, picks up the dull sword of arrogance and the battered shield of ignorance, and goes forth to do battle over issues of which he has little or no understanding. He does not have to understand. It is enough that he take a position founded upon his choice of any of the variant official interpretations of any Catholic issue and stand firm. His defense frequently distills down to a bare-knuckle assault the biblical doctrine of salvation by grace alone and/or the sufficiency of Scripture. Everything boils down to this: if the Bible is sufficient to furnish mankind with everything God requires us to know of Him and His salvific program, then there is no need for the priestly hierarchy. If the priests and religious are not necessary to salvation, then there is no need for the masses to submit to their supposed authority and power to save or condemn. The Catholic Church would wither and fade away into nothingness.

So the Catholic apologist or wannabe apologist, who likely as not believes that his eternal fate hinges on his remaining in good standing with his Church, will dig in his heels and defend to the death a doctrine or practice that he must accept as truth without ever having done as the Bereans and checked it out against the Scriptures. (Acts 17:10-12)

2089 Incredulity is the neglect of revealed truth or the willful refusal to assent to it. Heresy is the obstinate post-baptismal denial of some truth which must be believed with divine and catholic faith, or it is likewise an obstinate doubt concerning the same; apostasy is the total repudiation of the Christian faith; schism is the refusal of submission to the Roman Pontiff or of communion with the members of the Church subject to him. - Catechism of the Catholic Church, 2nd Ed., (C) 1994/1997 United States Catholic Conference, Inc.

Catholicism teaches on "invincible ignorance," which is an escape clause Catholicism provides to help the faithful avoid being hurled into the fiery lake. Yet it is the "invincible ignorance" of Catholics who do not or will not believe what Scripture teaches that fashions the chain of lies binding them to Rome and separating them from God's truth. Such people will not be moved off of their center, for to them there is no other safe place. They use emotionalism, mental agility or their useless armor to fend off any approach from the Christian who seeks only to share the Gospel with them and to help them break that chain of lies.

Invincible ignorance, whether of the law or of the fact, is always a valid excuse and excludes sin. The evident reason is that neither this state nor the act resulting therefrom is voluntary. It is undeniable that a man cannot be invincibly ignorant of the natural law, so far as its first principles are concerned, and the inferences easily drawn therefrom. This, however, according to the teaching of St. Thomas, is not true of those remoter conclusions, which are deducible only by a process of laborious and sometimes intricate reasoning. Of these a person may be invincibly ignorant. Even when the invincible ignorance is concomitant, it prevents the act which it accompanies from being regarded as sinful. The perverse temper of soul, which in this case is supposed, retains, of course, such malice as it had. - Joseph F. Delany, Ignorance, "The Catholic Encyclopedia," Volume VII. (1910), Robert Appleton Company. 2007 by Kevin Knight

Over the years that I have spent assaulting Fortress Rome, I have come to believe that there is no point in debating the defenders of Catholicism in their online fortresses, where they are surrounded and observed by other Catholics. These draw strength from their audience, from their own egos and from their own firmly held, though lightly understood, beliefs.

Think about it. Can you imagine that there is any argument, no matter how skillfully fashioned using logic and/or flawed interpretations of the Bible, that would induce you to turn aside from biblical Christianity and embrace the Romish whore? Then consider whether the Catholic who feels called to defend, however lamely, the doctrine and ways of his chosen cult will be induced by even your best efforts to tear off his BVM medalion and run to the arms of the Christ who saved us?

It is God's work to bring those He chooses out of the darkness and into the light of His grace. Certainly, Paul, Peter and a multitude of others over time have taken the Gospel to the ends of the earth, as we also are called to do. However, there is a great difference between sharing the Gospel and debating the validity of Scripture with a Catholic apologist. Look to the Great Commission. It is not a call to debate the comparative merits of Catholicism and Christianity. It is a call to evangelize -- to share the Good News.

Engaging in fruitless debate with Catholics is not sharing the Good News. It is affording the thralls of the Romish evil empire opportunities to proclaim their ungodly theosophy before an attentive audience and, in the process, to puff themselves up. That is why I no longer "debate" online. That is why I have chosen to devote my efforts to polemics, to pointing out the flaws in Catholic doctrine and practice. Even in that, I will usually limit myself to but two exchanges with a Catholic antagonist. Beyond that, there is little more than endless iterations of the same arguments.

I prefer to share the Gospel eyeball-to-eyeball, when I have an opportunity to observe the other's actions and responses and react to them. On those rare occasions when I pick up a gauntlet thrown down by a champion of Catholicism, I keep my guard up and focus on the single issue on the table. The good ones are devious and astute. Unless one is careful, he can be led off the initial subject and into a warren of confusing and conflicting ideas that ultimately may cause him to do or say something the Catholic antagonist might sieze upon to declare victory. In such cases, the Catholic walks around the arena thumping his chest while the befuddled Christian shakes his head and wonders what went wrong.

In closing, I caution those who feel called to debate or dispute with Catholic apologists that they must first become intimately familiar with the doctrines and practices of Catholicism. Warriors understand the importance of knowing how the enemy thinks and fights and the capabilities of his weaponry. This is true in the field of apologetics, which is a form of spiritual warfare. When you think that you know what your potential Catholilc opposition believes and hhow he works, then be sure that you are well-armed with knowledge and understanding of Scripture, for this must be the foundation of your arguments.

13 Wherefore take unto you the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand.
14 Stand therefore, having your loins girt about with truth, and having on the breastplate of righteousness;
15 And your feet shod with the preparation of the gospel of peace;
16 Above all, taking the shield of faith, wherewith ye shall be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked.
17 And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God:
18 Praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, and watching thereunto with all perseverance and supplication for all saints;
- Ephesians 6:13-18, KJV

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