Friday, May 11, 2012

*BEST OF DTB #183* Infallibility debate show notes

These show notes coincide with this blog talk radio debate.

Show notes update: First, in deference to the moderator's request, I had to dramatically alter both my opening and closing statements on the air. However, I leave them here in their entirety, still asserting their full appropriateness.

Second, the quotes George cites, alleging various Popes being gods are fraudulent quotes. Always insist on a direct-sourced click-able link as virtually every document of the Catholic church can be searched, going all the way back to the 4th century. This was clearly a move of desperation by George who was getting beaten like a bass drum.

Third, my statements on the Whore of Revelation need to actually be examined and not dismissed as George did. George knows actually dealing with these facts is impossible so he covers his eyes. These comments prove- beyond question- that the Whore of Babylon is the city of Jerusalem and he will not even attempt to counter this fact.

The Whore of Babylon in Revelation 17 and 18 is revealed quite clearly as Jerusalem.

In Revelation 17:18 and 11:8, she is called the Great City where Our Lord was crucified. That is Jerusalem. In 17:9, she is called the city on 7 mountains, the Greek word Oros. Of all the cities of antiquity, only Jerusalem fits this description. Rome is on 7 hills and Rome cannot be the whore anyway because Rome is the beast who attacks the whore.

Looking at Revelation 18:24, Matthew 23:37 and Luke 13:33, we see the one and only city who killed the Prophets- Jerusalem.

Finally, looking at Exodus 25-28, we see quite clearly that it is Jerusalem that is the city adorned with golden cups and precious stones and purple and scarlet yarn, the city that ruled over the religious world at the time of John's writing. There is zero evidence connecting the whore of Babylon with any entity other than the city of Jerusalem.
Fourth, that George squeals like a demon doused with holy water whenever confronted with the original Greek of the New Testament, is certainly understandable since it always exposes his positions for the heretical nonsense they are.

Here is the original Greek of Acts 9:31;

31: ai <3588> {THE} men <3303> {INDEED} oun <3767> {THEN} ekklhsiai <1577> {ASSEMBLIES} kaq <2596> {THROUGHOUT} olhV <3650> {WHOLE} thV <3588> {THE} ioudaiaV <2449> {OF JUDEA} kai <2532> {AND} galilaiaV <1056> {GALILEE} kai <2532> {AND} samareiaV <4540> {SAMARIA} eicon <2192> (5707) {HAD} eirhnhn <1515> {PEACE,} oikodomoumenai <3618> (5746) {BEING BUILT UP} kai <2532> {AND} poreuomenai <4198> (5740) {GOING ON} tw <3588> {IN THE} fobw <5401> {FEAR} tou <3588> {OF THE} kuriou <2962> {LORD,} kai <2532> {AND} th <3588> {IN THE} paraklhsei <3874> {COMFORT} tou <3588> {OF THE} agiou <40> {HOLY} pneumatoV <4151> {SPIRIT} eplhqunonto <4129> (5712) {WERE INCREASED.}

That Kath Olos is the origin of the English Catholic is undeniable. In fact, the sense of The whole and complete Church, throughout the earth is the very sense conferred by the term The Catholic Church.

It is actually a literal translation of this passage. Using virtually the same exact phrase, Ignatius of Antioch is quoted about 30 years later saying;

Wherever the bishop shall appear, there let the multitude[of the people] also be; even as, wherever Jesus Christ is, there is the Catholic Church.
When asked to give evidence of the Apostolic origin of his polytheistic, anti-christian cult, George studdered and stammered like the town drunk.

Fifth, the condemnation of Galileo had nothing to do with infallibility, nor did it have anything to do with his scientific claims (which most, though not all, were actually sympathetic to. Nor, as is commonly alleged, was Galileo tortured and killed for his claims.

In fact, in 1741, Pope Benedict XVI (the numerical predecessor of our current Pope) actually granted an Imprimatur to Galileo's claims. Here are some excerpts from The Galileo Affair by George Sim Johnston. His articles and essays have appeared in Harpers, The American Spectator, Commentary, The Wall Street Journal, Harvard Business Review, Crisis, and Catholic World Report. He is a recipient of the Journalism Award from the Catholic Press Association. His book, Did Darwin Get it Right?: Catholics and the Theory of Evolution is published by Our Sunday Visitor

What John Paul II wanted was a better understanding of the whole affair by both scientists and theologians. It has been said that while politicians think in terms of weeks and statesmen in years, the Pope thinks in centuries. The Holy Father was trying to heal the tragic split between faith and science which occurred in the 17th century and from which Western culture has not recovered. Following the guidelines of the Second Vatican Council, he wished to make clear that science has a legitimate freedom in its own sphere and that this freedom was unduly violated by Church authorities in the case of Galileo.
But at the same time — and here the secular media tuned out — the Holy Father pointed out that “the Galileo case has been a sort of 'myth,' in which the image fabricated out of the events was quite far removed from the reality. In this perspective, the Galileo case was the symbol of the Church's supposed rejection of scientific progress.” Galileo's run-in with the Church, according to the Pope, involved a “tragic mutual incomprehension” in which both sides were at fault. It was a conflict that ought never to have occurred, because faith and science, properly understood, can never be at odds.
Since the Galileo case is one of the historical bludgeons that are used to beat on the Church — the other two being the Crusades and the Spanish Inquisition — it is important that Catholics understand exactly what happened between the Church and that very great scientist. A close look at the facts puts to rout almost every aspect of the reigning Galileo legend.
The Victorian biologist Thomas Henry Huxley, who had no brief for Catholicism, once examined the case and concluded that “the Church had the best of it.” The most striking point about the whole affair is that until Galileo forced the issue into the realm of theology, the Church had been a willing ombudsman for the new astronomy. It had encouraged the work of Copernicus and sheltered Kepler against the persecutions of Calvinists. Problems only arose when the debate went beyond the mere question of celestial mechanics.

But Galileo was intent on ramming Copernicus down the throat of Christendom. The irony is that when he started his campaign, he enjoyed almost universal good will among the Catholic hierarchy. But he managed to alienate almost everybody with his caustic manner and aggressive tactics. His position gave the Church authorities no room to maneuver: they either had to accept Copernicanism as a fact (even though it had not been proved) and reinterpret Scripture accordingly; or they had to condemn it. He refused the reasonable third position which the Church offered him: that Copernicanism might be considered a hypothesis, one even superior to the Ptolemaic system, until further proof could be adduced.
Such proof, however, was not forthcoming. Galileo's belligerence probably had much to do with the fact that he knew there was no direct proof of heliocentrism. He could not even answer the strongest argument against it, which was advanced by Aristotle. If the earth did orbit the sun, the philosopher wrote, then stellar parallaxes would be observable in the sky. In other words, there would be a shift in the position of a star observed from the earth on one side of the sun, and then six months later from the other side. Galileo was not able with the best of his telescopes to discern the slightest stellar parallax. This was a valid scientific objection, and it was not answered until 1838, when Friedrich Bessel succeeded in determining the parallax of star 61 Cygni.
Galileo's other problem was that he insisted, despite the discoveries of Kepler, that the planets orbit the sun in perfect circles. The Jesuit astronomers could plainly see that this was untenable. Galileo nonetheless launched his campaign with a series of pamphlets and letters which were circulated all over Europe. Along the way, he picked fights with a number of Churchmen on peripheral issues which helped to stack the deck against him. And, despite the warnings of his friends in Rome, he insisted on moving the debate onto theological grounds.
There is no question that if the debate over heliocentrism had remained purely scientific, it would have been shrugged off by the Church authorities. But in 1614, Galileo felt that he had to answer the objection that the new science contradicted certain passages of Scripture. There was, for example, Joshua's command that the sun stand still. Why would Joshua do that if, as Galileo asserted, the sun didn't move at all? Then there were Psalms 92 (“He has made the world firm, not to be moved.”) and 103 (“You fixed the earth upon its foundation, not to be moved forever.”), not to mention the famous verse in Ecclesiastes. These are not obscure passages, and their literal sense would obviously have to be abandoned if the Copernican system were true.

The show notes for this debate are at Email us at with any comments or questions.

Last week while I was building an impenetrable case for the Catholic interpretation of Matthew Chapter 16, my opponent was yammering on about demon worship and totalitarian regimes and reinterpreting the curse on Jerusalem shown in the Book of Revelation. All of these wild-eyed claims were entertaining, to be sure, except for two things- No evidence of any kind, and nothing having to do with the subject being debated.

George admitted very early in that debate that he was not competent to debate the subject matter linguistically, so I guess he thought, why not go on a hysterical rant instead?

Expect a similar result tonight. I will be debating Infallibility. What George will be debating is anyone's guess.

Infallibility is a Biblical fact. Without it, the Judeo-Christian faith could not have hoped to survive for 6,000 years. All who defend Christianity will defend infallibility in one form or another. I will defend it in the manner that God prescribed, the manner that is recorded in Holy Scripture. If you find yourself still in disagreement, take it up with God, for it is He, not me, who you are arguing with.

George opens every debate by stating that what he expresses are his own opinions. I agree with him, they are only his opinions. I don't have time for opinions, not with my eternal soul at stake and those of others. Everyone listening tonight should take heed. If you cannot interpret your Bible infallibly, it is of no use to you  God's word is His word, your opinions do not impress God. Everything I state tonight will be fact, no opinions. God told us who to listen to, we have only to do it.

Briefly, the doctrine of Papal Infallibility states the following;
889 In order to preserve the Church in the purity of the faith handed on by the apostles, Christ who is the Truth willed to confer on her a share in his own infallibility. By a "supernatural sense of faith" the People of God, under the guidance of the Church's living Magisterium, "unfailingly adheres to this faith."417
For some reason, there are those who believe God is incapable of conferring some of His divine attributes on people.

Here are a few of the divine attributes that scripture tells us God shares with men.

  1. Immortality.
  2. Seeing into the future.
  3. Healing.
  4. Creation of Life.
  5. Miracles.
For God to protect His Holy instruction, by adding Infallibility to this, is certainly not difficult for God and almost all Christians will acknowledge it up to a point. All Christians acknowledge the Holy Scriptures to be Infallible. That is, that they are authoritively free from all doctrinal and moral error. It is this narrow definition of infallibility that I am defending tonight. If George tries to assert that I am ascribing divinity to the church, or sinlessness or omnipotence or omniscience, he is simply wasting his time and I will not be baited into participating in such foolishness. It is just as futile for him to claim I reject the inerrantcy of scripture. What I reject are the wild and outlandish interpretations of scripture from someone who is clueless about it's meaning. What good are fallible interpretations of infallible scriptures?

All Christians concede the Scriptures to be infallible but many insist that the Church- the men who gave us those Scriptures- cannot be. If history has proven anything, it is that that view is unworkable.

First, that the Catholic Church is the reason you even have a Bible today is a historical fact. The Catholic church gaves us the first complete Bible in the period 393 AD-419 AD through the councils of Hippo and Carthage. The first Bible was the Catholic Vulgate, the first english Bible was the Catholic Douai. These are facts and they are not disputed. In a recent debate, my opponent was forced to concede that he cannot provide any scriptural support for a canon of Scripture. For George to know that the Gospel of John is Scripture and that the Gospel of Thomas isn't, is something he owes to my church even if he is too stubborn to admit it. If you follow George's logic, you must believe that a church that worships goddesses and demons gave us an infallible canon of New Testament books. By George's own logic, He trusts his own salvation to goddess and demon worshippers. Talk about being hoisted by your own petard.

In the fourth chapter of Paul's 1st letter to the Corinthians, He instructs them not to go beyond what is written and some like to take this verse out of context as support for Sola Scriptura.

They should think twice.

In verse 15, Paul calls himself our spiritual father which, according to George's flawed interpretation, puts him at odds with Jesus in Matthew 23:9. In verse 16-17, Paul instructs them to follow himself, as he teaches by the authority of Jesus, everywhere, in every church, and to follow Timothy, who teaches by Paul's authority. Paul even goes so far as to threaten to come to them with a rod if they dare to puff themselves up in disobedience in verses 18-21.

What is Paul saying here? He is saying, yes, you have had many leaders, but unlike them, I am your spiritual father, speaking by the authority of Christ and so is Timothy who I have sent to you. If you don't want to obey us, maybe I will come to you with a rod and we will settle it that way.

Anyone doubting me can open up your own Bible to 1 Corinthians Chapter 4 and read for yourself. This chapter proves Paul's universal authority as Christ's minister and it proves apostolic succession. I dare George to make a substantive argument to counter this rather than just blasting hot air.

Now let's look at a history of Infallibility in Scripture.

  1. In Jeremiah 28:9, we are told that when a prophet predicts a thing will come to pass, it always does. Not 50% of the time, not 90% of the time, 100% of the time. This means that a prophet was infallible. He could not teach error, even once.
  2. Numbers 25:13 says the covenant of the Priesthood stands forever.
  3. Deuteronomy 17:12 prescribes death for anyone refusing to obey the authority of the Priest.
  4. Revelation 5:10 says the Priest reigns on earth.
  5. In Numbers 16, we see Dathan and his ilk who dared to presume they didn't have to listen to Moses, swallowed up by the earth.
  6. In Matthew 23, we see Jesus Himself tell the Apostles and the crowd that they had to obey every word of the scribes and pharisees who sat in the seat of Moses, so that authority was passed down by succession.
  7. In Matthew 16 and Matthew 18, Jesus specifically gives the apostles the authority to bind and loose on earth what He will bind and loose in heaven. We are told that that church is built on the rock- Kephas, that the powers of hell will not prevail against it and that it is the final authority in any dispute.
  8. In Luke 10:16, Jesus says He who hears you, hears me, he who rejects you, rejects Me and he who rejects me, rejects Him who sent me. Luke wrote these words more than 60 years after Jesus spoke them, so people were hearing Christ's words through the church a long time before they were reading them.
  9. In Acts 1, we see this church replace the the disciple hand selected by Jesus. In Acts 15, we see this church loose the requirement of circumcision set forth by God.
  10. In Acts 9:31, we see this church called Ecclesia Kath Olos, literally, the Catholic Church.
  11. In 1 Timothy 3:15, we see this church called the Pillar and Foundation of the truth.
  12. In 2 Thessalonians 2:15, Paul tells us that we must obey every teaching of the Church, be it oral or written.
  13. In 1 Peter, the first Pope tells us that not one scripture is a matter of personal interpretation.
To believe George, you must believe that Jesus either lied or somehow was not able to keep His promises. Further, you must believe that a church long lanquishing in apostasy, goddess and demon worship, a church that gave us the Bible then burned us alive for having it, a babylonian whore, was replaced at this high and glorious time by George, who, by his own words is a pontificator of his own opinions. Opinions that run counter to just about every historical and Biblical precept of what it means to be a Christian.

So, George, who denies such basic Christian precepts such as the Trinity has the temerity to accuse my church of wrongly interpreting Scripture?George's entire case against the Biblical case of infallibilty is circular and dependent on the premise that his interpretation of scripture, and his alone, is the correct one.

The problem with this is that nowhere does Scripture suggest such a thing. That Jesus created an infallible church is unarguable. That He promised it would forever endure and be the bulwark of all truth is just as secure. If that church does not exist today, there is no reason to believe any other took it's place. For George to credibly counter Catholicism's divine foundation requires something else to be placed in it's vacuum. Where did the Bible come from? Did it fall from the sky? Why did hell prevail against the first church? Did Jesus lie?

George doesn't even accept that protestantism reformed this church. George maintains, even if he won't say it, that he alone, with his King James Bible and his myopic stew of dispensationalism, adventism and messianic Judaism is the one true faith while every one else worships demons and goddesses and hobgoblins.

I am not claiming to know his heart, mind you, but I am simply taking his on the record statements to their logical conclusion.

It is not unreasonable for us to demand from George evidence that he holds this authority. Don't hold your breath.

In John 16, Jesus tells the disciples that He has more to speak to them. He tells them that He will send the Holy Spirit who will also speak to them. The Holy Spirit, Jesus promises will teach them all truth. That is all truth, not some truth or most truth. Jesus makes this promise to who He was speaking to. This book was written about 90 years after this conversation, so the Church had been following the Holy Spirit's guidance for decades before this gospel was penned. Nowhere in it do we see any hint that Jesus was talking to George or other inventors of doctrines like him.

I dare George to try and counter my evidence that Jesus conferred infallibility on a church and promised to sustain it, or, if He doesn't deny that, prove that his church and not mine is that historical church. This is where George will fold. Just watch him.

Argument: Only God is infallible! You are claiming the Pope is a god! 
Response: No, that would be Divinity, not infallibility! Are you calling your Bible a god, since you already call it 'infallible'? 
Quite interesting that an attribute you find perfectly reasonable to assign to a book, you find impossible to assign to a man. Paul wrote at least 13 Epistles that are in our canon of scripture. If Paul did not teach infallibly, how could He write infallibly? Are we to believe that the same god who guarded Paul's pen from error couldn't guard his mouth as well? I would like to see you support that one.

Argument: There have been a few wicked Popes, are you claiming the Pope can't sin?
Response: No, that would be Impeccability. No one claims the Pope is impeccable. In fact, if the Pope were impeccable, there would be no need for God to protect His Word with Infallibility. There were some wicked kings in Israel's history too, was God's will preserved then, as well?

Argument: The Pope is all-knowing? all-powerful?
Response: No, that is Omniscience and Omnipotence. Only God has those attributes. The Angel Gabriel speaks infallibly for God and no open is saying He is claiming Omniscience. Moses parted the Red Sea by God's power, no one is saying he is Omnipotent.

Argument: What about the case of Pope Honorius I? He was condemned by the sixth general council of the Catholic Church in 680 AD for teaching Monothelism. This proves he was not infallible because he taught a heresy later condemned by the church.
Response: Your argument would hold water if it were true that Pope Honorius I actually did teach Monothelism but the sixth council's condemnation was proved to be incorrect and was never ratified. A council pronouncement is not deemed infallible unless it is ratified by the Pope. When the Lateran council later ruled on the controversy, Pope Honorius I was exonerated because a deeper examination of his response showed that he actually didn't define anything but merely cautioned against using language in in the condemnation of one heresy (Monophysitism) that could be incorrectly interpreted as supporting another (Nestorianism).  Pope Honorius I can be rightfully blamed for not speaking out more forcefully against both heresies but that is hardly an argument against Infallibility.

Argument: Pope Liberius?
Response: (from the catholic encyclopedia)
Pope Liberius
Liberius, it is alleged, subscribed an Arian or Semi-Arian creed drawn up by the Council of Sirmium and anathematized St. Athanasius, the great champion of Nicaea, as a heretic. But even if this were an accurate statement of historical fact, it is a very inadequate statement. The all-important circumstance should be added that the pope so acted under pressure of a very cruel coercion, which at once deprives his action of any claim to be considered ex cathedra, and that he himself, as soon as he had recovered his liberty, made amends for the moral weakness he had been guilty of. This is a quite satisfactory answer to the objection, but it ought to be added that there is no evidence whatever that Liberius ever anathematized St. Athanasius expressly as a heretic, and that it remains a moot point which of three or four Sirmian creeds he subscribed, two of which contained no positive assertion of heretical doctrine and were defective merely for the negative reason that they failed to insist on the full definition of Nicaea.

Argument: Pope Vigilius? Galileo?

Responses: (also from catholic Encyclopedia) There is still less reason for trying to found an objection to papal infallibility on the wavering conduct of Pope Vigilius in connection with the controversy of the Three Chapters; and it is all the more needless to delay upon this instance as most modern opponents of the papal claims no longer appeal to it.
As to the Galileo affair, it is quite enough to point out the fact that the condemnation of the heliocentric theory was the work of a fallible tribunal. The pope cannot delegate the exercise of his infallible authority to the Roman Congregations, and whatever issues formally in the name of any of these, even when approved and confirmed in the ordinary official way by the pope, does not pretend to be ex cathedra and infallible. The pope, of course, can convert doctrinal decisions of the Holy Office, which are not in themselves infallible, into ex cathedra papal pronouncements, but in doing so he must comply with the conditions already explained — which neither Paul V nor Urban VIII did in the Galileo case.

Argument: What about wicked Popes?
Response: There were about 5 or 6 pretty wicked Popes. Obviously, George will claim more and make all kinds of ludicrous claims about millions dead but we don't have time to argue about all that. I will concede about 5 or 6 wicked Popes and that is enough to make your case.

6 wicked Popes equals about 2 1/4% of the total, a pretty good batting average in anyone's book.

This compares to 34 wicked Kings of Israel and Judah out of 42 and that is counting adulterer and murderer David among the good guys. That means 81% of the Kings did evil in the sight of the Lord or about 40 times the percentage of Catholic Popes.

Nevertheless, Jesus says in Matthew 23 that the Apostles and people must do everything that the Scribes and Pharisees required because of their authority by virtue of the seat of Moses. The conduct of the person has no effect on the authority of the office.

  1. Please explain how Paul is infallible when he writes but not when he speaks. Make this argument Scripturally.
  2. When Jesus says, in Luke 10:16, "He who hears you, hears me", who was he speaking to? Is it limited to the Apostles only or does it include their successors? Make this argument scripturally.
  3. Since you claim to rely on only Scripture, make a Scriptural argument that Ezra and Nehemiah belong in the canon but 1 & 2 Esdras, written by the same author, do not. 
  4. If we are to follow only the authority of Scripture, how can Paul say, in Romans 13   1 Let every soul be subject to higher powers: for there is no power but from God: and those that are, are ordained of God.  2 Therefore he that resisteth the power, resisteth the ordinance of God. And they that resist, purchase to themselves damnation.  
  5. In Matthew 23, the Apostles and people are told that they must obey every word of the Scribes and Pharisees because they sit in the chair of Moses. However, in Matthew 21:43, Jesus prophesied that that authority would be taken from them and given to another nation that would bear it's fruit. If that nation is not the catholic Church, who is it?

The show notes for this debate are at Email us at with any comments or questions.

Since George knew he was in trouble in these debates, he tried to score some cheap points with a couple of gratuitous, off topic parting shots last week. As is usually the case, he only wound up making himself look silly.

As if he didn't look bad enough claiming the Catholic Mary was a goddess, he decided to one-up his hysteria and say that she is a demon. Obviously, I won't even dignify this insanity with a response, lest I look as unstable as my opponent, but I will address two other accusations.

First, the Whore of Babylon in Revelation 17 and 18 is revealed quite clearly as Jerusalem.

In Revelation 17:18 and 11:8, she is called the Great City where Our Lord was crucified. That is Jerusalem. In 17:9, she is called the city on 7 mountains, the Greek word Oros. Of all the cities of antiquity, only Jerusalem fits this description. Rome is on 7 hills and Rome cannot be the whore anyway because Rome is the beast who attacks the whore.

Looking at Revelation 18:24, Matthew 23:37 and Luke 13:33, we see the one and only city who killed the Prophets- Jerusalem.

Finally, looking at Exodus 25-28, we see quite clearly that it is Jerusalem that is the city adorned with golden cups and precious stones and purple and scarlet yarn, the city that ruled over the religious world at the time of John's writing. There is zero evidence connecting the whore of Babylon with any entity other than the city of Jerusalem.

Secondly, George's contention that the Catholic church fulfills the end times entity that gives heed to doctrines of demons, forbidding marriage and demanding abstaintion from meat. George added the words clerical and temporary to make it fit his forced interpretation. That's a pretty wicked thing to add to God's word in order to make it fix your forced polemic.

The fact is that the Catholic Church raises marriage to the level of a Sacrament. No church on earth places a higher view on the sanctity of marriage. However, someone said that some will give up marriage for the sake of the Kingdom. Who was it? Who was it? Oh, that's right, it was Jesus Christ in Matthew 19:12. As for his contention that we demand an abstaintion from meat, denying that it is good and to be received with thanksgiving. Hogwash! I love meat and, believe me, I eat a lot of it. Occasionally, we as Christians are called to give up good things to eat for the purpose of spiritual exercise. It's called a fast, maybe you have heard of it. It is something that Jesus, Himself commands us to do on occasion.

As for those who actually did forbid marriage and the consumption of meat, the Albigensians and Manicheans were examples. George, once again, hoisted by his own petard.

George admits that every single argument he has made rests on his own opinions. Whether he deems those opinions Bible based or not is wholly irrelevant. In the end, George's own theology has exposed the dangers of the private interpretation of scripture more than I could ever have dreamed of.

These debates boil down to one simple matter. Jesus Christ came to earth and built a church. What form does Christ's church take? Is it a Church built on Rock, strong, stable, immovable or is it a church built on sand which Satan can sift through his fingers. Did He leave us a teaching church that speaks on His authority or did He drop a Bible on us and say "Here, you are on your own" ?

Non-Catholics talk about an invisible church with no form or earthly authority, united only by a profession of faith in Christ and the Bible. Yet they are a house divided on how to defend this invisible church and who does one defend it against? In the end, the only thing that unifies them is their rejection of authority.

Ephesians 4:5 tells us there is One Lord, One Faith, One Baptism. How would one even hope to find it with so many choices? George quotes the scriptures as saying the gate is narrow and implies that that means a denomination with few members. That hardly seems likely since, when Jesus said those words, large denominations were hardly a problem. Further, Jesus, Himself said the Christian faith would grow from a tiny mustard seed to a tree so huge birds would nest in it's branches (Matthew 13:31-32). No, when Jesus talked about the narrow gate and the rocky road, He was referring to the difficult walk that it is being a Christian.

So, if I were lost and had to set about the task of finding the true church, how would I do it? Where would I look? First, I would look for a church that can trace it's history back to the apostles, according to the model given in Matthew 16. I would look for what that first church believed and how it interpreted Scripture and find the church today that most closely matches it. If there were documents available from the writings of that early church, I would scour them.

Next, according to Christ's own words, I would find a church that the whole world hates. That's right, the Church that is universally reviled by not only other Christian denominations, but by Jews, by Muslims, by Atheists, Secularists, Homosexuals, feminists, communists, socialists and every other ists you can imagine.

Finally, I would heed the words of our savior in Matthew 10:25

It is enough for the disciple that he become like his teacher, for the slave that he become like his master. If they have called the master of the house Beelzebul, 12 how much more those of his household!

REBUTTAL To John Benko’s Opening Statement… In the beginning of our debates, on the topic of the Trinity, I stated what Scripture and Christ Himself declared, that the Father is greater than Jesus is - as recorded in John 14:28. John Benko responded by declaring that God is a co-equal Trinity, and that the Son is equal to the Father, because God is infinite. John rhetorically asked, “How do you limit infinity?” John dismissed Christ’s own words, declaring Jesus was speaking in His human nature, not His divine nature. Then, I further illustrated that Jesus declared that when He was in His heavenly divine nature, that He was still lesser than the Father, because Jesus said that He was sent (to earth) and He who sends (the Father) is greater than He who was sent (the Son) -John 13:16. John of course, could not respond to this as Jesus was obviously in heaven with the Father, in His divine nature, when He was sent to earth - indicating that the Father always was and always will be greater than His Son. Today the same John Benko is arguing that in the case of Catholic popes, they are infallible, but their infallibility is limited to when they make pronouncements or teach on faith and morals. Well John, as you once made this analogy, I now throw it right back at you. On the topic of papal infallibility, it’s like being pregnant John. You cannot be a little pregnant. You are either pregnant or you are not pregnant. You are either infallible or you are not infallible. You cannot be a little infallible. 

OPENING STATEMENT: Papal Infallibility May 11, 2012 by George Lujack What is papal infallibility? Infallibility is defined as: 1. The quality of being infallible; the inability to be wrong. 2. (in the Roman Catholic Church) The doctrine that the pope is incapable of error in pronouncing dogma. Papal infallibility is a doctrine of the Catholic Church that declares that, by action of the Holy Spirit the Catholic pope is preserved from even the possibility of error when in his official capacity and he solemnly declares a doctrinal teaching on faith or morals. This doctrine was declared in the first Vatican council of 1869-1870, although the tradition of infallibility goes back much further than that. According to Catholic theology, there are several tenants involved with their divine revelations: Scripture, tradition and their Magisterium (the teaching authority of the Catholic Church). Papal infallibility does not signify that the Pope is perfect or without sin. Specifically, statements made by a Catholic pope that are to be considered infallible are when the Catholic pope makes pronouncements as teacher of all Christendom by virtue of his supposed apostolic authority, and he defines that a doctrine concerning faith or morals must be held by all who are Christian. A doctrine proposed by a pope as his own opinion, not solemnly proclaimed as a doctrine of the Church, may be rejected as false, even if it is on a matter of faith and morals. The Catholic so-called “Holy See,” or the official Episcopal judicial administration in Rome, has given no complete list of papal statements considered to be infallible. Therefore, infallibility is whatever and whenever they say something is infallible and it gives the Catholic Church a good out. If and when the Catholic Church is proved wrong about something, they simply say that the position on a particular topic that they held was never an infallible position in the first place. John Paul II once remarked, "I am only infallible if I speak infallibly but I shall never do that, so I am not infallible." Pope Gregory VII, around 1087 wrote, “no one can judge the pope and that "the Roman church has never erred; nor will it err to all eternity, the Scripture bearing witness" Scripture declares the test of a true prophet as such… ISAIAH 8:20. To the law and to the testimony: if they speak not according to this word (the Torah), it is because there is no light in them. In 1455, Pope Nicholas V published a decree where he said about himself: “I have the authority of the King of Kings. I am all in all and above all. Wherefore if the things that I do be said not to be done of man, but of God, what can you make me but God? … Wherefore, no marvel if it be in my power to change time and times: to alter and abrogate laws, to dispense with all things, yea, with the precepts of Christ… The Pope has power to change times, to abrogate laws, and to dispense with all things, even the precepts of Christ. He can pronounce sentences and judgments in contradiction to the rights of nations, to the law of God and man... He can free himself from the commands of the apostles, he being their superior, and from the rules of the Old Testament.” (Decretal de Tranlatic Episcop. Cap., Ferraris’ Ecclesiastical Dictionary). Pope Gregory VII (1073-85) declared that "The Pope cannot make a mistake." Infallibility is an attribute of God and, as so often the Catholic Church does, they usurp a characteristic of God and bestow it upon themselves to empower themselves. God is infallible and His word in Scripture is also infallible. The word infallible appears only once in scripture, and it is used to describe Christ, not man. ACTS 1:3: He (Christ) also presented Himself ALIVE after His suffering by many INFALLIBLE proofs, being seen by them during forty days and speaking of the things pertaining to the kingdom of God. ISAIAH 42:8: I am the Lord, that is My name; and My glory I will not give to another… Yeshua the Messiah, Jesus the Christ will not share His glory with another, nor did He establish a papal office. Catholic popes are by no means infallible, nor are their official declarations on matters of faith and morals. Christians do have the right to question Catholic popes that declare infallibility on matters of faith and morals. We are commanded through Scripture to “test all things” in 1 Thessalonians 5:21. Catholic popes throughout the ages have failed this test of infallibility. John has brought up in previous debates that he believes that the Catholic Church has assumed the seat of Moses, as if this seat of Moses was a previous incarnation of papal authority of Judaism, that the high priests and Pharasees ruled from. The problem with this argument is that while their were king rulers of Israel, such as king David, it was those who instructed on the law that sat on the seat of Moses, not a one-person ruling entity. Jesus declared in Matthew 23:1-3, “The scribes and the Pharisees sit in Moses’ seat. Therefore, whatever they tell you to observe, that observe and do, but do not do according to their works.” Now how can this be? Why should the scribes and Pharisees be obeyed while in Moses’ seat, but not obeyed in their actions and deeds. When sitting in the seat of Moses, the scribes and Pharisees were only authorized to read the Torah, the Law of Moses. This is what Christ commanded to be obeyed. They did not have authority to issue decrees or come out with new pronouncements, rules and laws. When sitting in the seat of Moses, the scribes and Pharisees read the laws of Moses as recorded in the Torah, the first 5-books of Scripture. When the scribes and Pharisees were not sitting in the seat of Moses, their sense of power corrupted them and they began making rules and laws that were not commanded by Moses. This is what Catholic popes do; make rules and regulations apart from God’s word, in violation of what God commands - to not add to His words. Worse yet, they do not proclaim the Torah, the laws of Moses, but reject, alter and change these laws as they see fit.

CLOSING STATEMENT: THE ROMAN CATHOLIC CHURCH IS THE WHORE OF BABYLON We can know for sure that the whore it IS NOT Jerusalem. REVELATION 18:3: For all the nations have drunk of the wine of the wrath of her FORNICATION, the kings of the earth have committed FORNICATION with her, and the merchants of the earth have become rich through the abundance of her luxury.” REVELATION 18:9-10: The kings of the earth who committed FORNICATION and lived luxuriously with her will weep and lament for her, when they see the smoke of her burning, standing at a distance for fear of her torment, saying, ‘Alas, alas, that great city Babylon, that mighty city! For in one hour your judgment has come.’ Spiritual Babylon is the Roman Catholic Church. This spiritual power commits FORNICATION with the kings of the earth. Jerusalem, a city of the nation of Israel, CANNOT commit FORNICATION with the kings of the earth, as they are ALREADY MARRIED to the Lord. They are under a covenant with the Lord since the days of Moses. When the Jews turn their back on God, as they have done so, they can ONLY commit ADULTERY with the kings of the earth. This is the same of a single woman, who has sex outside-of-marriage, which is fornication. When a married woman engages in sex outside-of-marriage, this is ADULTERY. In the OT, there are numerous examples of Israel committing spiritual ADULTERY. The marriage of Christ and the church HAS NOT yet occurred. It will occur when Christ returns for His bride, the church. Therefore, it is the Roman Catholic Church through the Vatican, not Jerusalem, that commits fornication with the kings of the earth, as Jerusalem CANNOT commit fornication, but only adultery, with the kings of the earth. Catholic "defenders" have recognized this fact and have begun altering Bibles to say that the whore committed "sexual immorality" with the kings of the earth. Altering God's word will not alter Bible prophecy. The whore is spiritual Babylon, the Roman Catholic Church, and their city is the Vatican. # We have an infallible God whose word is always true and unchangeable. Catholic popes have proven themselves to be false prophets as they have fulfilled Scripture in Daniel 7:25, in that through their unauthorized earthly established office, they have intended to change God’s times and laws. Jesus declared that He would not give His glory to another (Isaiah 42:8). Yeshua the Messiah, Jesus the Christ is alive. Peter was not and never could be a successor to Christ. We have a High Priest that reigns forever (Hebrews 6:20) and certainly did not turn His position or authority over to any earthly office. Catholics would rather leave Christ hanging on the cross, as their graven image crucifixes illustrate, than declare He is risen, ALIVE and is our High Priest forever. They are obsessed with earthly power and an earthly office holder. There can be no doubt that the office holder known as the Catholic pope is the false prophet spoken of in the book of Revelation, who, working with the end time anti-Christ world political leader, will impose his authority upon the earth and cause all to receive a mark, so that no one can buy or sell without this mark (Revelation 13:16-18). 1 CORINTHIANS 15:50-53: Now this I say, brethren, that flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of God; nor does corruption inherit incorruption. Behold, I tell you a mystery: We shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed— in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trumpet. For the trumpet will sound, and the dead will be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed. For this corruptible must put on incorruption, and this mortal must put on immortality. From a proper reading and comprehension of 1 Corinthians, we can know that all flesh and blood persons, which would include all Catholic popes, are not infallible, but are corruptible. They have certainly displayed corruption throughout the age of the Catholic Church. It is not a man that we should look to as being incorruptible, but rather God. We can know God through His revealed word in the Scriptures. God promises that His saints, whether raptured or raised from the dead, will be made incorruptible in the twinkling of an eye. No pope or any man that has ever lived, besides Christ, should ever be considered “infallible.”

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