05 June, 2010

Continuing discussion with Ernie

(Ernie) "All I can say is any religion that has any other source of truth than the word of God alone is introducing false doctrines and teachings."

(Cristoiglesia) Thank you for further discussion. May these discussions be a blessing for all that read them.

You know, we agree on this. Where we do not agree is what is the Word of God. You believe it is limited to the written Word and I believe as the Bible teaches that the Word consists of the written and the oral teaching of the Church. No where will you find biblical support for Sola Scriptura. This is truly a example of doctrines of men that is warned against in Scriptures. St. Paul chastised the Thessalonian Church for just this kind of teaching. (2Thessalonians 2:15) The Church grew and prospered and remained true for 400 years depending only on the oral tradition. There was no Canon of Scripture until after the African Synods of Hippo and Carthage in the late fourth and early fifth centuries.

(Ernie) “Everything I believe is in the word of God, while much of the Catholic doctrines must come from another source, because they contradict what God's word says.”

(Cristoiglesia) You repeat this mantra as if you say it enough that it will become true. Yet, you cannot name and support a single doctrine of the Church that is contradictory to Scriptures. The source of Catholic doctrine is God’s Word delivered to the disciples who through apostolic succession remain the leaders and the authority for the Church by possessing the authority of and from Christ. This is something of which the Protestants are very jealous and is a key element in their protestations and rebellion against Christ and His Church.

(Ernie) “You might want to check what you believe against what the bible teaches; and it is clear to see that they are not compatible.”

(Cristoiglesia) If it was clear I am sure that you would give evidence of your claim. The reason that you do not is because not only is it not “clear” as you say but the evidence is nonexistent. All evidence including biblical, patristic and historical point to the fact that the Church is truly what the Bible says it is and that is that it is the “pillar and foundation of the truth”. After all look at the foundation that our Lord has built with Himself as the cornerstone and the high priest and the disciples as the 12 foundation stones. St. Peter being given the authority of the prime minister (Isaiah 22: 21-22) of the Church and holds the keys of the Church as a result. That is why when St. Ignatius within the first century of the Church defined the Church as being those who gather around the bishops who were appointed and ordained in apostolic succession. Without the bishop or bishops there is no Church.

(Ernie) It's funny that you sound like Satan, accusing me of not having a love for God's word, when I have been called to teach it.”

(Cristoiglesia) You certainly have not shown a reverence for the truth that the Scriptures proclaim in their entirety but instead reject those Scriptures that do not fit your prejudice and worldview to support your rejection of Christ’s Church and your love for your man-made sect and man-made doctrines. If you truly had a love for God’s Word you would not misuse it and twist it to support your eisegesis. Instead you would allow His Word to instruct you. Proof text methodology that you prefer without scholarship almost always results in error as you have given witness. Not only does it reveal that you have no hermeneutical training but also shows that you have no desire to learn the truth. One who truly loves God’s Word respects scholarship and trains himself for the spiritual warfare that we are called to fight. We are to be always ready to contend for the faith and to spread the Gospel. We are to be sent into the world with the truth of our Lord and not our worldly prejudices.

(Ernie) “You are not called to teach this word, because you have introduced what the Catholics believe contrary to what the bible teaches. Just check out the verses from our previous conversation, and then compare them to your beliefs. They will not match. What I said was right from the word of God, no other source, and it wasn't tradition of man.”

(Cristoiglesia) Until you can give at least one example of your claim we must dismiss it as just a lot of empty blustering. I do not teach anything that is contrary to Scriptures. If you truly believe that I do give examples and be ready to defend your accusations. Whether you use Sola Scriptura or the entirety of God’s Word instead there is no contradiction at all in the teaching of the Catholic Church and the Bible. Such a accusation calls Jesus a liar when He said that His Church would remain for all times free from apostasy when He said that the gates of hell will never prevail against His Church. You are trying to make a case that this is not true. You are tragically wrong.

(Ernie) “Yes, but the unity is in HIS CHURCH, not the Catholic church. They are 2 different entities altogether, because the Catholic church has other sources of truth than God's word, and God's Church does not. Only the word of God is true, and God says let every man be a liar.”

(Cristoiglesia) Yes, of course the unity Jesus spoke of in the Garden of Gethsemane was in His Church. He only founded one Church which is clearly the Catholic Church and not some man-made entity that would not appear for 1500 years later which was founded by Secular Humanist men in protest of Christ’s own Church. You seem to propose the unbiblical doctrine of Sola Scriptura as the mark of the true Church. The Bible, Patristic and historical evidence defy such a false premise. Again the Bible tells us that the fullness of God’s Word is not written but is contained in His Church. It is Jesus that is the Word and everything He taught to the disciples constitutes the truth.

(Ernie) “When you teach anything other than what the gospel teaches, you are teaching false doctrines, and are accursed. That is what Paul said, and I know he received his revelation from the Holy Spirit, while you have received the traditions of men.”

(Cristoiglesia) Again you cannot identify and support anything that the Church teaches that is contradictory to Scriptures so your accusations are totally hollow of veracity. Does not the Bible teach that it is the Church that is led by the Holy Spirit so clearly it is from the same source as the teaching of St. Paul. St. Paul got His teaching authority from the Church just as the Bible teaches.

(Ernie) “Jesus spoke against the traditions of men, which make the word of God of none effect ( see Mark 7:13 ).”

(Cristoiglesia) Did Jesus really speak against all traditions or was His statement about traditions condemning a specific source and kind. Certainly, He was speaking of the traditions of the Pharisees But how does that teaching apply to other traditions such as Sacred Traditions. Let us actually look at the Scriptures that apply to our discussion which are about Sacred Tradition.

St. Paul speaking of oral Tradition: (1Co 11:2 DRB) Now I praise you, brethren, that in all things you are mindful of me and keep my ordinances as I have delivered them to you.

This is St. Paul speaking about both oral and written Sacred Traditions. In his teaching notice he makes no distinction between the oral and the written Sacred Traditions. 2Th 2:15 DRB) (2:14) Therefore, brethren, stand fast: and hold the traditions, which you have learned, whether by word or by our epistle.

Here St. Paul is also speaking of both the written and the oral Traditions without distinction as to which is more authoritative (Phi 4:9 DRB) The things which you have both learned and received and heard and seen in me, these do ye: and the God of peace shall be with you.

Here St. Paul is teaching that we should not associate with people who deny the authority of Sacred Tradition (2Th 3:6 DRB) And we charge you, brethren, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that you withdraw yourselves from every brother walking disorderly and not according to the tradition which they have received of us.

Here St. Peter supports what St. Paul has been teaching about (1Pe 1:25 DRB) But the word of the Lord endureth for ever. And this is the word which by the gospel hath been preached unto you.

Here is what St. Irenaeus had to say:

St. Irenaeus of Lyons (c. 180 AD):

"So forceful are these arguments that no one should henceforth seek the truth from any other source since it would be simple to get it from the Church ....On this account are we bound to avoid them, but to make choice of the things pertaining to the Church with utmost diligence, and to lay hold of the tradition of truth ..For how should it be if the Apostles themselves had not left us writing? Would it be necessary [in that case] to follow the course of Tradition which they handed down to those whom they committed the Churches?" (Against the Heresies 3:4:1)

"Though none others know we the disposition of our salvation, than those through whom the Gospel came to us, first heralding it, then by the will of God delivering us the Scriptures, which were to be the foundation and pillar of our faith. ...But when the heretics use Scriptures, as if they were wrong and not authoritative, and variable, and the truth could not be extracted from them by those who were ignorant of tradition. And when we challenge them in turn with that tradition, which is from the apostles, which is guarded by the succession of presbyters in the churches, they oppose themselves to tradition, saying they are wiser, not only than those presbyters but even than the Apostles! The Tradition of the apostles manifested, on the contrary, in the whole world, is open in every church to all who seeks the truth ...And since it is a long matter in a work like this to enumerate these successions, we will confute them by pointing to the tradition of the greatest and most ancient and universally-known Church founded and constituted at Rome by the two most glorious Apostles, Peter and Paul, a tradition which she has had and a faith which she proclaims to all men from those apostles." (Against the Heresies 3:1-3)

"It comes to this, therefore, these men do not consent to either Scripture nor tradition." (Against the Heresies 3:2:2).

(Ernie) “If they accused Jesus of heresy, I am in very good company when I speak His word. This isn't my word, or my understanding, it is God's word, and revelation from the Holy Spirit.”

(Cristoiglesia) Here you go making another gross error. The Bible says that it is not for private interpretation:

2 Peter 1:20-21 (King James Version)
20Knowing this first, that no prophecy of the scripture is of any private interpretation.
21For the prophecy came not in old time by the will of man: but holy men of God spake as they were moved by the Holy Ghost.

The Bible says that the Holy Spirit guides the Church to all truth. It is the Church and not the individual that has the authority to teach. Again you twist Scriptures to support your prejudice but in doing so you have revealed the error of Sola Scriptura and the danger of this heresy where every man believes that he is the final authority on God’s word. Such is the confusion of Protestantism. This kind of approach to Scriptures reveals the error of Protestantism and the reason that their doctrines causes over 30,000 divisions in the Corpus Christi that increases exponentially. The author of division is Satan and not God as you seem to surmise.

(Ernie) “I realize the religious spirit is a very nasty spirit, and causes much deception in the Church. BTW, when I say Church, I do not mean the Catholic church, but the Church of God. 2 different groups, but only the true Church of God is acceptable.”

(Cristoiglesia) I disagree. Our discussion reveals that it is not a nasty spirit that divides us but instead that it is man’s pride that makes man believe that he can create a Church superior and with more veracity than the Church founded by Jesus and the disciples. It is mans pride that tells him that he has the authority to usurp the authority of Christ and His Church. It is the spirit of Secular Humanism that desires a church that serves man’s desires instead of a Church that serves God as does His own Church the Catholic Church. We are speaking of deception here but the deception is man-made or if you really want to know the truth it comes from Satan that exploits mans pride and uses man’s pride to deceive. The Catholic Church represents heaven on earth and the others calling themselves Christian represent man’s pride and Satan’s influence through man’s worldly desires. May our Lord have mercy on those choosing to be outside of His Church. God bless!

In Christ
Fr. Joseph


  1. Fr. Joseph, I have scanned through your blog and was wondering if there was any where specifically where I can read about your reasons for converting to Catholicism?

    Having read a few articles online about those who convert as Catholic Priests, a lot of them have stated that they thought the Protestant/ Anglican church had become too liberal. Was this the case for you?

  2. My conversion was a long process. the truth is that I am a very conservative Christian theologically and I did see the Protestant churches becoming more worldly and found that the Catholic Church had a consistency of teaching going back to the first century. I was actually persuaded by the Holy Spirit by the destroying my pride. You see, I was staunchly anti-Catholic and I believed I could prove the Church wrong and apostate. I labored diligently to do this but found instead on every issue and every doctrine that the Catholic Church taught the unadulterated truth. My strong faith influenced by this realization and the destruction of my pride provoked me to become Catholic. Here is what I wrote about my thoughts at the time of my process:


    Thank you very much for asking.

    God bless!

    Fr. Joseph