Defining Question on Sola Scriptura and Tradition?

The defining Question about sola scriptura and Tradition according to Ken Temple is “Has the Roman Catholic Church infallibly defined a single word of Jesus or an apostle, that is not found in Scripture?”  That question was posed to Fr. Mitch Pacwa during a debate on sola scriptura back in 1999.  Well, actually, the question is easy to answer.  Since the only words we have written from Jesus and the Apostles are found in Scripture - the Church has no need to infallibly declare them for she has already recognized Scripture as the infallible word of God.
Before I proceed, let me express the definition of sola scriptura as White & Co. define it.  I believe I have debated White enough times on this subject to accurately represent his definition, which is this:  Sola scriptura is the teaching/belief that the Scriptures Alone are the sole infallible authority for the Christian Church.
Posted on May 25, 2016 by Ken Temple at the 1:03:48 mark:
“Has the Roman Catholic Church infallibly defined a single word of Jesus or an apostle, that is not found in Scripture?”  Dr. James White to (Fr.) Mitch Pacwa
“I cannot think of any.”  (Fr.) Mitch Pacwa
This shows that everything the church needed for ministry was written down in the Scriptures.
sw: Well, no it doesn't show any such thing!  Has the Church defined any words of Jesus or the Apostles not found in Scripture?  No, and again, there is no need to for the Church already recognizes Scripture as the infallible word of God.  Contained within that question and answer there is nothing to state that "everything the church needed for ministry was written down in the Scriptures."  Mr. Temple is imputing words and thought to that question which simply are not there.
That is the clear implication of the verses below; and combined with the early church’s understanding of the rule of faith / apostolic tradition, when it is specifically spelled out, it indicates that everything needed was written down in the NT.
sw: As I have demonstrated above and will below - the conclusion of Temple and White is not supported by the evidence.
Jude 3 – the faith was once for all delivered to the saints
sw:  "The Faith" was, yes, but this does not say the Scriptures were (and they were not!).  Scripture was an on-going/living tradition up through Jesus and the Apostles.  Protestants agree with Catholics that the Canon of Sacred Scripture ends with the death of the last Apostle - but we need to remind the reader, not all the books of the New Testament, including two of the Gospels, were written by an Apostle!
John 17:7 – Jesus praying to the Father – “the words that You gave Me, I have given to them”
sw:  Let us ask Mr. Temple, how many of those words did Jesus Himself write down?  
John 14:26 – “when the Holy Spirit comes, He will teach you all things and bring to your remembrance everything I have told you”
sw:  And where does this say anything about "all things" being "written?"
John 16:12-13 – “I have many more things to tell you . . . when the Spirit comes He will lead you into all the truth.”
sw:  And again, where does this say any of that would be "writtne?"
2 Timothy 3:16-17 – All Scripture is God-breathed . . . in order that the man of God may be fully equipped for every good work.  Verse 15 is about the OT,  but then verse 16 expands it to include all Scripture, and so this includes by principle, both all OT and NT books, even those not written yet in 67 AD, when 2 Timothy was written.  
sw: I do not disagree with the statement that "all Scripture is God-breathed," but again, that does not say Scripture is the sole infallible authority for the Christian Church.
The fact that 1 Timothy 5:18 has both an OT quote and a NT quote shows that Paul understood this.
1 Timothy 5:18 – both quotes from the OT and NT (Luke 10:7; Matthew 10:10; 1 Corinthians 9:14)) are called Scripture.  Shows Paul understood those NT books written by that time as Scripture.
sw:  Again, just because St. Paul recognizes what is Scripture does not bring us to "Scripture is the sole infallible authority for the Christian Church."
2 Peter 3:16 – Peter considers all of Paul’s writings as “Scripture”
sw:  And again, same as the previous response - recognition of Scripture cannot be equivocated to a statement of sola scriptura.
1 Corinthians 4:6 – “do not go beyond what is written”.  This is Sola Scriptura in principle, even though all the NT Scriptures were not written yet. 1 Corinthians being written around 55 AD.
sw:  Out of context, that sounds like what some have labelled "solo scriptura" (bad Latin grammar) to mean Scripture is the ONLY source of teaching (which is NOT the definition of sola scriptura adhered to by White & Co.).  However, IN context St. Paul is telling them how to judge whether one has been truly given the Gift of Truth to pass on to others.  In judging them, do not go beyond that which is written.  He then explains WHY they should not go beyond that which is written when judging others - because "Then you will not be puffed up in being a follower of one of us over against the other."  This really has NOTHING to do with how or why Protestants adhere to sola scriptura.
2 Peter 1:3-4 – God has given us everything we need for life and godliness
sw:  Fine, but where does this verse say He gave us everything IN WRITING?
(the promises of His word and the Holy Spirit)  And Athanasius seems to be alluding to this by his statement, after listing the 27 NT books, “In these alone (Mono- Greek,  translated into Sola – Latin – alone, “Scripture alone”) is the teaching of godliness”.  That is Sola Scriptura in principle.  (Athanasius, Festal Letter 39, 367 AD)
sw: Well, again, that is not sola scriptura, not even in principle.  "The teaching of godliness" is not a statement that Scripture alone is the sole infallible rule of faith for the Christian Church.  Even if it were, a statement from St. Athanasius is not Scripture and thus to use this as an example would be a bit disingenuous in a debate attempting to prove sola scriptura from Scripture alone.

The Doctrine of the Blessed Trinity

Recently there was a debate between James White and Ustadh Adnan Rashid, or Adnan as he is referred to (the actual debate YouTube is found at the bottom of this article).  The title/theme/thesis of the debate was "The Doctrine of the Trinity, Man-Made or Divinely Stipulate?"  THAT and ONLY THAT question is the point of the debate.  Rationalizations and deductive reasoning for scriptural support of the Blessed Trinity are not acceptable material for THIS debate.  I believe that Adnan either established this thesis or agreed to debate this thesis because based upon this premise, Adnan has already won the debate.  It is my humble opinion, or not-so-humble, that it was foolish of James to accept this debate.  Keeping in mind, on the ACTUAL DOCTRINE/DOGMA James White agrees with the Catholic Church!  

Fundamentally, I believe the reason White engages this debate is because he is trying (and failing) to establish a sola scriptura position on the doctrine of the Blessed Trinity.  In the end, the objective reader is forced to conclude that this doctrine was not "divinely stipulated" by Scripture alone.  The Dogma of the Blessed Trinity, while scripturally sound, was not explicitly defined until late in the 4th century.  

Here is a discussion I have been having on Beggars All on this topic too:

1 – 8 of 8
Blogger Scott Windsor, Sr. said...
I watched the debate and found it very interesting. For the most part I do agree with White on the Trinity, but I must agree with Adnan, that James did not answer the challenge of the debate. The challenge was to present where Scripture stipulates the precise formula of the doctrine of the Trinity. While I agree with James, the teaching can be gleaned from Scripture - we must agree with Adnan - the formula is NOT explicitly stipulated in Scripture. The definition of the doctrine of the Trinity came from the Catholic Church, centuries after Scripture was written. I felt Adnan permitted the debate to be sidetracked by introducing and even challenging James to produce Early Church Fathers over the first 300 years of the Catholic Church's existence, but again - that was not the point of the debate and to spend so much time on that distraction was disappointing, to say the least.
2:29 PM, May 21, 2016
Blogger Ken said...
No one that I know of, has ever claimed that the precise formula for the doctrine of the Trinity in the Bible in one verse. (that is what the Muslims demand)

Rather, it is a proper theological development, based on sound exegesis, of putting all the verses on all the related issues of the Deity of Christ, the Deity of the Holy Spirit, the Oneness of God (Monotheism) and the interaction and relationship content between the 3 persons of the Trinity.

Protestants, Roman Catholics and the Eastern Orthodox have always agreed with this.

But, as I showed, in the Tertullian quotes, it is there in much earlier history in the Christian church than what Adnan was claiming.
3:59 PM, May 21, 2016
Blogger Scott Windsor, Sr. said...
Ken said:No one that I know of, has ever claimed that the precise formula for the doctrine of the Trinity in the Bible in one verse. (that is what the Muslims demand)

And, since THAT was the challenge of the debate James had two options, 1) Refuse to debate on that premise or 2) Concede the debate, as you just have. James lost that debate before it began precisely for the reason you cite above.

Ken continues:Rather, it is a proper theological development

And that was and remains Adnan's point.

Ken adds: Protestants, Roman Catholics and the Eastern Orthodox have always agreed with this.

I agree with you on this too - and if the word "proper" were removed, Adnan would too.
2:31 PM, May 22, 2016

Blogger Ken said...
James seems to see "divinely stipulated" there in Scripture based on three truths:
1. Verses on Monotheism
2. Verses on the Deity of Father, Son, and Holy Spirit
3. Verses on the Personal relationship verses between the Father and Son and Spirit.

Since those three truths are divinely stipulated in Scripture, James defended it.

But Adnan wants the exact formula in 2nd Century (Tertullian, Theolophilus of Antioch), 3rd (Origen, Cyprian) and 4th - 5th (Nicea, Athanasius, Augustine, Hillary, Jerome) century words all in one verse, back in 1st Century.
3:45 PM, May 22, 2016
Blogger Scott Windsor, Sr. said...
Hi Ken,
While I am sure James appreciates your support of him, he really did not answer to the subject/title of the debate nor Adnan's insistence that he had not.
1. Verses on Monotheism Those do not teach "Trinity." Virtually all non-trinitarian beliefs base their beliefs in Scripture too.

2. Verses on the Deity of the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit Again, these do not stipulate "Trinity."

3. Verses on the Personal relationship between the Father and the Son and the Spirit (addition "verses" removed from quote). Again, "relationship" does not "stipulate" the teaching of "Trinity."

The closest we come to said "stipulation" in Scripture comes from two references:

Matthew 28:19 - Go therefore into all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, the Son and the Holy Ghost.

1 John 5:7 - And there are three who give testimony in heaven, the Father, the Word, and the Holy Ghost. And these three are one.

The former, while close - does not "stipulate" the Trinity. It uses the trinitarian formula - but is not an explicit definition of the Blessed Trinity.

The latter, IS a GREAT example of scriptural stipulation of the doctrine of the Blessed Trinity - however - it is also (as I'm sure you're aware) known as the "Johannine Comma" - as it is not found in the oldest examples we have of the scriptural texts, implying it was a latter addition.

Do you have more?
4:43 PM, May 22, 2016

Blogger Ken said...
I would not use 1 John 5:7, for the reason you gave.

2 Cor. 13:14 is good one, close to Matthew 28:19
Matthew 3:13-17
Jesus the Son on earth
The voice of the Father from heaven
The Spirit coming down in the form of a dove.

Those 3 doctrines have to put together.
6:55 PM, May 22, 2016
Blogger Ken said...
by "those 3 doctrine have to be put together", I mean these 3 doctrines.

James seems to see "divinely stipulated" there in Scripture based on three truths:
1. Verses on Monotheism
2. Verses on the Deity of Father, Son, and Holy Spirit
3. Verses on the Personal relationship verses between the Father and Son and Spirit.
6:56 PM, May 22, 2016
Blogger Scott Windsor, Sr. said...
Ken said...
I would not use 1 John 5:7, for the reason you gave.

2 Cor. 13:14 is good one, close to Matthew 28:19
Matthew 3:13-17
Jesus the Son on earth
The voice of the Father from heaven
The Spirit coming down in the form of a dove.

Those 3 doctrines have to put together.

6:55 PM, May 22, 2016

sw: Let's see...

Matthew 28:19 New American Standard Bible (NASB)
19 Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit,

sw: Yes, the trinitarian formula for the Sacrament of Baptism is stated and the Holy Trinity can be deduced from this verse, but three divine persons in one God is not clearly "stipulated" here. The "name" being singular, yet three names, SEEMS to indicate the leaning toward the Trinity, however, as Adnan points out this too, like the Johannine Comma, is believed to be a later addition to the text of the Gospel of Matthew. I am not saying I agree with Adnan on that point - but the point is there. Where I would sympathize with Adnan is that the explicit teaching of the Trinity, One God in Three Divine Persons, is not "stipulated" in that passage. Implied, I give you - but not "stipulated," and THAT is the point of the debate - which James does not address and therefore Adnan wins.

2 Corinthians 13:14 New American Standard Bible (NASB)
14 The grace of the Lord Jesus Christ, and the love of God, and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit, be with you all.

sw: Again, merely using the Three Divine Persons in one sentence does not "stipulate" that those Three are One. This verse does not answer the challenge of the debate.

Matthew 3:13-17 New American Standard Bible (NASB)
The Baptism of Jesus
13 Then Jesus *arrived from Galilee at the Jordan coming to John, to be baptized by him. 14 But John tried to prevent Him, saying, “I have need to be baptized by You, and do You come to me?” 15 But Jesus answering said to him, “Permit it at this time; for in this way it is fitting for us to fulfill all righteousness.” Then he *permitted Him. 16 After being baptized, Jesus came up immediately from the water; and behold, the heavens were opened, and he saw the Spirit of God descending as a dove and lighting on Him, 17 and behold, a voice out of the heavens said, “This is My beloved Son, in whom I am well-pleased.”

sw: Again, though the presence of the Three Divine Persons is present in this singular event - there is nothing here "stipulating" that the Three are One. This verse does not answer the challenge of the debate.

sw: Ken says "those three doctrines have to be put together..." Taken separately OR together, the three passages do not "stipulate" the doctrine of the Holy Trinity. You have not answered the challenge of the debate, Adnan still wins.

Ken adds...

by "those 3 doctrine have to be put together", I mean these 3 doctrines.

James seems to see "divinely stipulated" there in Scripture based on three truths:
1. Verses on Monotheism
2. Verses on the Deity of Father, Son, and Holy Spirit
3. Verses on the Personal relationship verses between the Father and Son and Spirit.

6:56 PM, May 22, 2016

sw: Whether or not James "seems to see" this - is not the point of the debate. Finding IN Scripture where the doctrine of the Holy Trinity is clearly "stipulated" is the point. What James did and what you are doing here is the presentation of deductive reasoning for the doctrine of the Holy Trinity being scripturally BASED. Keep in mind, I AGREE with the doctrine of the Trinity and profess it! My point in responding here is only to show that Adnan is right - this "doctrine" is not "defined" or "stipulated" clearly until late in the 4th Century by the Catholic Church.
12:58 PM, May 28, 2016 

(End of quoted text from Beggars All)
This is why Ustadh Adnan Rashid "wins" this debate.  Adnan has not assailed the TRUTH of the Blessed Trinity in the least - but he has demonstrated another weakness in the sola scriptura debate.  Keep this fact in mind as you watch the debate.  One of the things I was disappointed in was that Adnan himself deviated from the theme/thesis of the debate in introducing arguments about the Early Church Fathers.  Whether or not they supported the doctrine of the Blessed Trinity is immaterial to this debate - and thus a distraction - which just gives James more room for distraction from the main point.

I believe James and his followers, like Ken above, truly believe James was able to "stipulate" the doctrine of the Trinity from Scripture - but I also believe the objective listener/watcher of that debate will agree with me - that James fails to do so because the premise of this debate is stacked against him.  Watch and listen, see if you agree with me.

"Ten Areas of Deadly Deception Among Catholics" Part I

One would think that anti-Catholic "Christian" groups would tire of the same old arguments. They repeat the same old nonsense so many times that they've convinced themselves they are right. They're not. Not only does an anti-Catholic polemic by EOMin not argue against the Catholic Faith (they argue their own false ideas of Catholicism), but they do not even argue properly with Scripture. That is the thing about the Catholic Faith, Scripture is studied and believed as a whole, not in snippets. The fact that these Christians feel they must constantly call out fellow Christians means that Satan is getting a stronghold in the body of Christ. It is sad and insane, but it goes on and on with the same tired arguments. Below are the unnamed author's 10 "Deadly Deceptions" (italics used in case the color cannot be seen) and my answers (while I will cite other sources, this is my writing):

He starts his article with "If you are acquainted with the teachings of the Roman Catholicism..." but makes it quite clear he is very little acquainted with the teachings of the Catholic Church. 

On with the "deadly deceptions" which are the "most dangerous false doctrines believed by millions of Catholics":

[1] Roman Catholics are dangerously taught that they were born again at infant baptism.
First of all, fundamentalist, Calvinist, evangelical, whatever-label, Christians use words differently than Catholics.  This is the first "fundamental" difference between Catholics and other Christians.

The expression "born again" is no exception. The unnamed author says, "The truth is, one gets Biblically born again only when he turns away from his sins and places his faith in the Lord Jesus to the point of dedication and commitment." Ironically, he gives no Biblical references for his claim.

When asked by Nicodemus about what He meant by being born again, Jesus said,
"Amen, amen, I say to you, no one can enter the kingdom of God without being born of water and Spirit.  What is born of flesh is flesh and what is born of spirit is spirit. Do not be amazed that I told you, 'You must be born from above.' The wind blows where it wills, and you can hear the sound it makes, but you do not know where it comes from or where it goes; so it is with everyone who is born of the Spirit."  (John 3:6-8, NAB)
Jesus says that we must have two births. This is what the Church teaches.  We are born of our mothers (born of flesh), then we are born into His Church (born of water and Spirit).  Peter said,
Repent and be baptized, every one of you, in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins; and you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit. (Acts 2:38, NAB)
It is quite easy to see that the early Church believed that baptism was how you received the Holy Spirit--the Spiritual birth.  This is what Jesus taught and what His apostles taught, that baptism was being "born again". Jesus said:

"As the Father has sent Me, so I send you."
And when He had said this, He breathed on them and said to them, 
"Receive the Holy Spirit. Whose sins you forgive are forgiven them, and whose sins you retain are retained."  (John 20:21b-22, NAB)
And He sent them out with a command:
"All power in heaven and on earth has been given to Me. Go, therefore, and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you.  And behold, I am with you always, until the end of the age." (Matthew 28:19-20, NAB)
Baptism and spiritual rebirth are one and the same. It was obviously important enough for Christ to command His disciples to baptize everyone they made disciples of Christ.  But, Christ also felt it important to include children as His followers:
Let the children come to me, and do not prevent them; for the kingdom of heaven belongs to such as these. (Matthew 19:14, NAB)
If the kingdom of heaven belongs to children, we need to include them in our Church family.  Paul, the hero of the Protestant, is the one who said that baptism replaced circumcision. Who was circumcised? 8 day old babies and converts to Judaism. Paul said:
"In Him you were also circumcised with a circumcision not administered by hand, by stripping off the carnal body, with the circumcision of Christ. You were buried with Him in baptism, through faith in the power of God, who raised Him from the dead."  (Colossians 2: 11,12, NAB)
Peter said:
"For the promise is made to you and to your children and to all those far off, whomever the Lord our God will call." (Acts 2:39)
 And, the Church baptized whole families:
 "After [Lydia] and her household had been baptized, she offered us an invitation." (Acts 16:15)
"...then [the jailor] and all his family were baptized at once. (Act 16:33)
(I baptized the household of Stephanos also...) (I Corinthians 1:16)
Admittedly, none of these passages specifically says that they baptized babies, but these passages certainly don't say that they only baptized "Bible believing adults" either. These passages say that they baptized whole families; that would mean children of all ages as well as adults.

However, not only is infant baptized implied in the Acts of the Apostles, but the evidence that the early church practiced infant baptism is overtly evident in the writings of the early church.

Baptize first the children, and if they can speak for themselves let them do so. Otherwise, let their parents or other relatives speak for them” (Hippolytus, The Apostolic Tradition 21:16 [A.D. 215]).
 “Every soul that is born into flesh is soiled by the filth of wickedness and sin. . . . In the Church, baptism is given for the remission of sins, and, according to the usage of the Church, baptism is given even to infants. If there were nothing in infants which required the remission of sins and nothing in them pertinent to forgiveness, the grace of baptism would seem superfluous” (Origen, Homilies on Leviticus 8:3 [A.D. 248]).
“The Church received from the apostles the tradition of giving baptism even to infants. The apostles, to whom were committed the secrets of the divine sacraments, knew there are in everyone innate strains of [original] sin, which must be washed away through water and the Spirit” (Origen, Commentaries on Romans 5:9 [A.D. 248]).
“As to what pertains to the case of infants: You [Fidus] said that they ought not to be baptized within the second or third day after their birth, that the old law of circumcision must be taken into consideration, and that you did not think that one should be baptized and sanctified within the eighth day after his birth. In our council it seemed to us far otherwise. No one agreed to the course which you thought should be taken. Rather, we all judge that the mercy and grace of God ought to be denied to no man born” (Cyprian of Carthage, Letters 64:2 [A.D. 253]).
“If, in the case of the worst sinners and those who formerly sinned much against God, when afterwards they believe, the remission of their sins is granted and no one is held back from baptism and grace, how much more, then, should an infant not be held back, who, having but recently been born, has done no sin, except that, born of the flesh according to Adam, he has contracted the contagion of that old death from his first being born. For this very reason does he [an infant] approach more easily to receive the remission of sins: because the sins forgiven him are not his own but those of another” (ibid., 64:5).
Do you have an infant child? Allow sin no opportunity; rather, let the infant be sanctified from childhood. From his most tender age let him be consecrated by the Spirit. Do you fear the seal [of baptism] because of the weakness of nature? Oh, what a pusillanimous mother and of how little faith!” (Gregory of Nazianz, Oration on Holy Baptism 40:7 [A.D. 388]).
“‘Well enough,’ some will say, ‘for those who ask for baptism, but what do you have to say about those who are still children, and aware neither of loss nor of grace? Shall we baptize them too?’ Certainly [I respond], if there is any pressing danger. Better that they be sanctified unaware, than that they depart unsealed and uninitiated” (ibid., 40:28)
“You see how many are the benefits of baptism, and some think its heavenly grace consists only in the remission of sins, but we have enumerated ten honors [it bestows]! For this reason we baptize even infants, though they are not defiled by [personal] sins, so that there may be given to them holiness, righteousness, adoption, inheritance, brotherhood with Christ, and that they may be his [Christ’s] members” (John Chrysostom, Baptismal Catecheses in Augustine, Against Julian 1:6:21 [A.D. 388]).
“What the universal Church holds, not as instituted [invented] by councils but as something always held, is most correctly believed to have been handed down by apostolic authority. Since others respond for children, so that the celebration of the sacrament may be complete for them, it is certainly availing to them for their consecration, because they themselves are not able to respond” (Augustine, On Baptism, Against the Donatists 4:24:31 [A.D. 400]).
The custom of Mother Church in baptizing infants is certainly not to be scorned, nor is it to be regarded in any way as superfluous, nor is it to be believed that its tradition is anything except apostolic” (Augustine, The Literal Interpretation of Genesis 10:23:39 [A.D. 408]).
“Cyprian was not issuing a new decree but was keeping to the most solid belief of the Church in order to correct some who thought that infants ought not be baptized before the eighth day after their birth. . . . He agreed with certain of his fellow bishops that a child is able to be duly baptized as soon as he is born” (Augustine, Letters 166:8:23 [A.D. 412]).
By this grace baptized infants too are ingrafted into his [Christ’s] body, infants who certainly are not yet able to imitate anyone. Christ, in whom all are made alive . . . gives also the most hidden grace of his Spirit to believers, grace which he secretly infuses even into infants. . . . It is an excellent thing that the Punic [North African] Christians call baptism salvation and the sacrament of Christ’s Body nothing else than life. Whence does this derive, except from an ancient and, as I suppose, apostolic tradition, by which the churches of Christ hold inherently that without baptism and participation at the table of the Lord it is impossible for any man to attain either to the kingdom of God or to salvation and life eternal? This is the witness of Scripture, too. . . . If anyone wonders why children born of the baptized should themselves be baptized, let him attend briefly to this. . . . The sacrament of baptism is most assuredly the sacrament of regeneration” (Augustine, Forgiveness and the Just Deserts of Sin, and the Baptism of Infants 1:9:10; 1:24:34; 2:27:43 [A.D. 412]).
And what does one do with this passage of the Bible when one doesn't believe that baptism has anything to do with salvation?  When only faith saves one? I posit that these do not have faith at all.
 "...while God patiently waited in the days of Noah during the building of the ark, in which a few persons, eight in all, were saved through water.  This prefigured baptism, which saves you now.  It is not a removal of dirt from the body but an appeal to God for a clear conscience through the resurrection of Jesus Christ,..." (I Peter 3:21)

It baffles me how many times I can see so-called Bible believing Christians ignore what is written in the Bible. When Scripture disagrees with their predetermined paradigm, they simply ignore it or skim over passages that don't support their conclusions.  When someone actually does address this passage in Peter's letter they try to explain it away. They say that Peter didn't actually mean saved; he didn't actually mean baptism saves you, despite the fact that Peter clearly states that "baptism saves you now."  Obviously, it is important; Christ was baptized. Noah and his family were actually saved by/through the flood.

The Church teaches what Christ and the Apostles preached and has done so for almost two thousand years.  The Catholic (universal) Church has bestowed baptism on anyone who became a follower of Christ and baptized infants in anticipation of that child growing up in the Faith and becoming a follower on their own (this is called Confirmation).

 [2] Roman Catholics dangerously think they receive Christ when they partake of the communion wafer.
This is another of the statements that is hard for me to understand coming from someone claiming to be a Christian.  Christ made clear reference to the Eucharist and His Body. The machinations that Protestants go through to deny the direct words of Jesus strike me as very odd indeed.

Let us start with John chapter six, where Christ's teaching on this matter are the most clear, and the passage that Protestants try to explain away the most. Just how many times does Jesus tell us that we must eat His flesh?
34p So they said to him, “Sir, give us this bread always.” 35* Jesus said to them, “I am the bread of life; whoever comes to me will never hunger, and whoever believes in me will never thirst.q 36But I told you that although you have seen [me], you do not believe.r 37Everything that the Father gives me will come to me, and I will not reject anyone who comes to me, 38because I came down from heaven not to do my own will but the will of the one who sent me.s 39And this is the will of the one who sent me, that I should not lose anything of what he gave me, but that I should raise it [on] the last day.t 40For this is the will of my Father, that everyone who sees the Son and believes in him may have eternal life, and I shall raise him [on] the last day.”u

47Amen, amen, I say to you, whoever believes has eternal life. 48I am the bread of life. 49Your ancestors ate the manna in the desert, but they died;z 50this is the bread that comes down from heaven so that one may eat it and not die. 51I am the living bread that came down from heaven; whoever eats this bread will live forever; and the bread that I will give is my flesh for the life of the world.a

53Jesus said to them, “Amen, amen, I say to you, unless you eat the flesh of the Son of Man and drink his blood, you do not have life within you. 54Whoever eats* my flesh and drinks my blood has eternal life, and I will raise him on the last day. 55For my flesh is true food, and my blood is true drink. 56Whoever eats my flesh and drinks my blood remains in me and I in him. 57Just as the living Father sent me and I have life because of the Father, so also the one who feeds on me will have life because of me.b 58This is the bread that came down from heaven. Unlike your ancestors who ate and still died, whoever eats this bread will live forever.” 
Just how many times can the Catholic Church, a Catholic author, or an individual Catholic explain that we, Catholic Christians, believe Jesus' words? That is the only answer we should have to give, whenever "partak[ing] of the communion wafer" is seen as something like a sin.  We believe what Jesus said. He said if we participate in the eating of His flesh we have life; if we don't it means death. It really is as simple as that.

The Sacrament of the Eucharist is no deception. It is the Catholic Church following Christ to His life in us and He promised us in John chapter six and many other chapters of the Gospels.

I would also like to address a couple of false statements under this "deception" made by the anonymous author of this diatribe:
"This false and deadly concept is the result of the bogus idea that the communion elements (bread and wine) have been transubstantiated by the priest into the literal body, blood, soul, and divinity of Jesus Christ."
First of all, this is not a "bogus idea". It was the belief of all Christians until the 16th century when certain men in the Church decided they knew better than Christ or the 1500 years of Christian writers, philosophers, theologians, and teachers.  Second, the priest does not transubstantiate the bread and wine. He calls on the Holy Spirit to do so, and then stands in Jesus Christ's stead and says exactly what Christ did, "This is My Body...This is My Blood." We take Jesus Christ at His Word.

"No one receives Christ in his mouth, then swallows him to be digested."
Every time I've heard this idiocy from a Protestant, it has made me laugh. Of course, we do not "digest" Christ. Just the opposite happens. When we consumed the consecrated Host, we become part of the mystical Body of Christ. He abides in us and we abide in Him (John 6:40).  It is a holy union with Life Itself.

   “This saying is hard, and who can hear it?” (Jn. 6:61).

Coming up: 

3) Roman Catholics wrongly think their church system was founded by Jesus on Peter the first pope.
4) Catholics think Mary is their life, sweetness and hope and proclaim her as such when they recite the rosary, which they say is the epitome of the whole gospel.
5) Catholics think if they die wearing the brown scapular they will not suffer the fires of hell.
6) Catholics think the sacraments are a means of them receiving grace needed for salvation.
7) Catholics confess their sins to a priest instead of to God.
8) Catholics who read and believe the Fatima Visions are dangerously thinking that Mary is our refuge and the way that will lead them to God. 

9) Many Catholics are just hoping to enter Purgatory and there get purged of their sins to afterwards go to Heaven.
10) Catholics have been lethally misinformed about how to show their love for the Lord Jesus.

The Most Holy Body and Blood of Christ

This Sunday we commemorate the Most Holy Body and Blood of Christ.  And for this occasion I thought I’d bring out another solid argument on the Real Presence of our Lord in the Eucharist.
In today’s second reading we find Paul reciting what he was told about Jesus’ words at the Last Supper but what you don’t hear is the explanation on why this is not a mere symbolic remembrance.  At the end of today’s reading, the very next verse and following we find Paul stating: 

Whoever, therefore, eats the bread or drinks the cup of the Lord in an unworthy manner will be guilty of profaning the body and blood of the Lord.  Let a man examine himself, and so eat of the bread and drink of the cup.  For anyone who eats and drinks without discerning the body eats and drinks judgment upon himself.  That is why many of you are weak and ill, and some have died.” (1 Cor 11:27-30)
The clue that precludes a mere symbolic understanding of the Eucharist is St. Paul’s usage of “guilty of blood,” which is a figure of speech connoting murder (Nm 35:27; Ez 35:6).  One incurs the “guilt of blood” only if the victim is present in person.  If someone fires a gun at a picture of the President of the United States, that person is not guilty of the President’s blood.  But if someone actually shoots the President, then that person is guilty of the President’s blood.

St. Paul says that we are guilty of Jesus’ blood if we partake of the Eucharist unworthily.  Therefore, we cannot conclude that St. Paul understood the Eucharist to be a mere symbol.  He must mean the Eucharist is Jesus present in person, with his body, blood, soul, and divinity.

And lastly, There are several other ways Jesus could have more clearly indicated that His words of institution (This is my body, this is my blood) was symbolism if He had wished to do so.  Aramaic [Jesus’ native language] has around three-dozen words that can mean ‘represents.’  That’s why Paul warns us that we are to discern the body (if we partake in an unworthy manner, then we are guilty of the blood of Christ.  Now, how can we ‘discern’ the body if it’s merely a symbol?  We can’t!  We are to discern the body in the Eucharist because the Eucharist IS the body.
God Bless
Adapted from a Catholic Answers Newsletter

Trinity Sunday

Today was Trinity Sunday and as appropriate, our sermon was on the Trinity.  The relationship of the Trinity as it relates to Father, Son and Holy Ghost - in a familial sense is impressive.


Starting with the Father, it is the Father who begat the Son.  The Son is not made, He is begotten before all worlds/ages - that is - this begatting is outside of time, He is (not was) eternally begotten.  If there is one way to describe the God the Father, it is actually one word - charity (or love).  God IS love.  The Father loves the Son.


The eternally begotten Son of the Father loves the Father too, for also being God, the Son IS love.  The Son shows His love for the Father in doing whatever the Father asks of Him.  No questions, no excuses - just love.


The Holy Ghost proceeds from the Father, through the Son.  Since the Father and the Son are both One, the Holy Ghost proceeds from the Son as well as the Father.  There is one love which comes from God and we receive that love through the Holy Ghost, for the Holy Ghost also being God, IS love.

The Holy Ghost is also the maternal - as in our mothers.  When it comes to the good and well-being of her children, every good mother would do everything in her power to keep her children safe.  The same is true of the Holy Ghost who will be there for the children of God and provide the means necessary for their salvation.


Well, God is love - we've already stated that.  How is that love expressed?  The love of the father for his children is shown in him being there, not just for their physical needs - but spiritual as well.  Matthew 7:9-10 and Luke 11:11 say it well.  It goes both ways too - if the son loves the father, he not only will DO what the father asks of him, he also won't just say things he thinks the father wants to hear for is that really love?


Just hover over these verses and/or click on them to read them:
Matthew 7:21
Luke 6:46
Romans 2:13

Feel free to add your thoughts to the comments section, or hey - if you're one of MY children and have more to share - call me!  I promise, if you ask for bread, I will not give you a stone.

Miracle of the Sun at Fatima

The Day The Sun Danced
The miracle at Fatima, Portugal, 1917.

Lucia, Francisco and Jacinta.
In 1917, the world was embroiled in World War I and three small, illiterate children witnessed first an apparition of an angel - and then of our Lady, who identified herself as the Immaculate Conception.  The first apparition of Our Lady was on May 13, 1917 - and she visited them on the 13th of each month for the next 6 months.   The matter drew a lot of curiosity seekers and pilgrims hoping to see something, or at least be there while "it" was happening.  Prior to the October visit Lucia told the bishop that "the Lady" would give a sign.  Well, word got out of this prophesied sign and on October 13, 1917 over 70,000 people showed up!  They were not disappointed!  

First off, it had been raining, heavily, all day up to the time of the apparition, then the sun came out.  Instantly the ground was dry.  Then the people looked at the sun, and they could do so without pain or hurting their eyes,  Suddenly the sun seemed to grow, or move closer to them and it "danced" in the sky.  It is reported that even previously non-believers fell to their knees and begged Our Lord forgiveness.

The photos below show the crowds of people at Fatima, the first two showing them looking at the Miracle of the Sun.

The following picture is of the site of the apparitions, but it is likely from some time after 1954.  The reason for dating it post 1954 is that basilica did not begin construction until 1928 and was completed in 1954.
The following video was a favorite of my children growing up, and still is to this day.  While you can watch it on YouTube, I encourage everyone to purchase it.  Click HERE for purchase.
Here's another video telling the story:

Identifying Ones Self

Fr Pacwa is Back

Fr. Mitch Pacwa has returned to EWTN after his recent heart attack...

The above is Fr. Pacwa's first live show after recovering,  His guest is Dr. Scott Hahn and they discuss the Apostles Creed.

The First and the Last

After some contemplation of last Sundays Mass Readings I felt the Holy Spirit guiding me to talk about the Divinity of Jesus.  This feeling came to me when I read the Scripture readings and fell on the passage of John describing the voice that said to him: “Behold, I am coming soon. I bring with me recompense I will give to each according to his deeds.  I am the Alpha and the Omega, the first and the last, the beginning ant the end.”
One sentence later we find out that Jesus is the one speaking here but I’ve already heard from those who do not believe Jesus to be God that the one speaking was God the Father and that Jesus began speaking later.  Context is pretty plain that it is indeed Jesus speaking about being the Alpha and the Omega, the first and the last but since this verse isn’t convincing for some, I thought I’d bring out some other verses that are a little clearer on this.
First, we know with certainty that the Lord God is the first and the last because the Old Testament explains this explicitly.  Isaiah 44, verse 6 tells us: “Thus says the Lord, the King of Israel and his Redeemer, the Lord of hosts: “I am the first and I am the last; besides me there is no god.”
God also describes Himself as the Alpha and Omega in the first chapter of Revelation when He says: “I am the Alpha and the Omega,” says the Lord God, who is and who was and who is to come, the Almighty.” (Rev 1:8)  So, it’s established that God is the Alpha and the Omega.  And earlier in Isaiah we see that God describes Himself as the first and the last.  The New Testament being written in Greek, the idea of ‘the first and the last’ is expressed using the first and last letters of the Greek alphabet, alpha and omega.
So, does Jesus call himself the first and the last to describe himself as God?  In fact, He does.  In the Book of Revelation the Apostle John writes: “When I saw him, I fell at his feet as though dead. Then he placed his right hand on me and said: “Do not be afraid. I am the First and the Last. I am the Living One; I was dead, and now look, I am alive for ever and ever! And I hold the keys of death and Hades.
Do you see it?  God is the First and the Last and here the one calling Himself the ‘First and the Last’ also says in the same breath that he once was dead but now is alive for ever and ever.  The only one that can claim this title is God, and yet Jesus is also the only one who can say that he once was dead but is alive once again.  Therefore since Jesus describes Himself by a title that only God can have tells us that Jesus, right here in Scripture, declares Himself to be God.
God Bless

What Catholics Believe - The Sign of the Cross

Why Do Catholics Make the Sign of the Cross?

First off, when we make the Sign of the Cross we also say, outloud or silently, "In the Name of the Father, the Son and the Holy Ghost."  It is a statement of our Faith, our creed, our belief in the One God in Blessed Trinity.  Note, we don't say "In the names ..." but "In the Name of...", why?  Because it is a small testimony of the Doctrine of the Trinity, while Three Divine Person - there is only One God.

The Catechism of the Catholic Church (hereafter "CCC") tells us:
232 Christians are baptized "in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit"53 Before receiving the sacrament, they respond to a three-part question when asked to confess the Father, the Son and the Spirit: "I do." "The faith of all Christians rests on the Trinity."54
233 Christians are baptized in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit: not in their names,55 for there is only one God, the almighty Father, his only Son and the Holy Spirit: the Most Holy Trinity.
53 Mt 28:19.
54 St. Caesarius of Arles, Sermo 9, Exp. symb.:CCL 103,47.
55 Cf. Profession of faith of Pope Vigilius I (552):DS 415.

The Sign of the Cross is a Sacramental

So, what is a sacramental?  Again, going back to the CCC:
1667 "Holy Mother Church has, moreover, instituted sacramentals. These are sacred signs which bear a resemblance to the sacraments. They signify effects, particularly of a spiritual nature, which are obtained through the intercession of the Church. By them men are disposed to receive the chief effect of the sacraments, and various occasions in life are rendered holy."173
The characteristics of sacramentals
1668 Sacramentals are instituted for the sanctification of certain ministries of the Church, certain states of life, a great variety of circumstances in Christian life, and the use of many things helpful to man. In accordance with bishops' pastoral decisions, they can also respond to the needs, culture, and special history of the Christian people of a particular region or time. They always include a prayer, often accompanied by a specific sign, such as the laying on of hands, the sign of the cross, or the sprinkling of holy water (which recalls Baptism).
1669 Sacramentals derive from the baptismal priesthood: every baptized person is called to be a "blessing," and to bless.174 Hence lay people may preside at certain blessings; the more a blessing concerns ecclesial and sacramental life, the more is its administration reserved to the ordained ministry (bishops, priests, or deacons).175
1670 Sacramentals do not confer the grace of the Holy Spirit in the way that the sacraments do, but by the Church's prayer, they prepare us to receive grace and dispose us to cooperate with it. "For well-disposed members of the faithful, the liturgy of the sacraments and sacramentals sanctifies almost every event of their lives with the divine grace which flows from the Paschal mystery of the Passion, Death, and Resurrection of Christ. From this source all sacraments and sacramentals draw their power. There is scarcely any proper use of material things which cannot be thus directed toward the sanctification of men and the praise of God."176
173 SC 60; Cf. CIC, can. 1166; CCEO, can. 867.
174 Cf. Gen 12:2; Lk 6:28; Rom 12:14; 1 Pet 3:9.
175 Cf. SC 79; CIC, can. 1168; De Ben 16,18.
176 SC 61.
177 Eph 1:3.
178 Cf. Mk 1:25-26; 3:15; 6:7, 13; 16:17.
So, sacramentals are things we do which enrich our Faith, which bring us closer to Jesus Christ and serve as reminders of our Creed and the Sacraments.  This is precisely where the Sign of the Cross fits in - it is a testimony to the Trinity and it brings remembrance of our Lord's suffering on the Cross which is also reflected in the Sacrament of the Eucharist.  The Sign of the Cross often is made to "bless one's self" but it is also used to bless others - such as when the priest does so at the end of the Mass - all those in attendance, even non-Catholics, receive a blessing - a small amount of grace.  Anyone who is doing what the Church intends can perform the sacramental of the Sign of the Cross.  While the almost automatic, Sign of the Cross is quite simple, it has meaning which is quite profound.

How do we make the Sign of the Cross?

Start by holding your fingers of your right hand like this:
In the Latin Rite:

The Eastern Rites are virtually the same, except that they go to the right shoulder first, then the left:

Feast of the Assumption

 The Feast of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary - another example of "not-so-ordinary" days! These are COUNTING days - and...