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Mga kapatid ko sa Iglesia Katolika,

Kumusta na kayo? Na-miss ninyo ba ang weblog na ito?  Ipagpaumanhin ninyo po ang napakatagal kong pagliban sa paglalagay ng mga bagong paskil.  Lubha lamang na naging abala ang inyong lingkod sa mga personal na bagay nitong nakaraang mga buwan.  Idagdag pa natin ang pagiging abala ko rin sa pagtatanggol sa mga doktrina ng Iglesia Katolika sa pampublikong forum sa Pinoyexchange.com

Sa aking muling pagbabalik sa weblog na ito, hayaan ninyong talakayin ko ang isyu na madalas na ibinabato sa atin ng mga hindi Katoliko, ang isyu ng SOLA SCRIPTURA  o ang paggamit ng BIBLIA LAMANG  sa mga bagay na ukol sa pananampalatayang Kristiyano.

Ilang beses na ba kayong naging bahagi sa ganitong klase ng usapan:

Di Katoliko:  Naga-antanda ka ba ng krus?

Katoliko: Oo…bakit?

Di Katoliko:  Nasa bibliya ba iyan?

Katoliko: ….uh….

Di Katoliko:  May mga rebulto ka ba sa bahay mo?

Katoliko: Oo naman!

Di Katoliko: Nasusulat ba sa bibliya iyan?

Katoliko: ….uh….

Di Katoliko: Iyang mga aral ng Katoliko, di nasusulat sa bibliya kaya puro panlilinlang iyan!

Katoliko: …uh…..

Sa palagay ko naman ay nababatid ninyo na ang patutunguhan ng mga usaping kagaya ng nasa itaas.  Nakalulungkot ngunit sa akin man ay nangyari ang ganyang pagkakataon noong lubha pang kakaunti ang pagkakaunawa ko sa mga aral ng ating pananampalatayang Katoliko.  At pihadong napakaraming mga katoliko na ang naging biktima ng ganyang klaseng mga usapin.

Ang tanong ko ngayon ay ito, nasusulat ba sa biblia ang SOLA SCRIPTURA o “ang biblia lamang ang dapat na maging batayan ng pananampalatayang Kristiyano?”

Ang sagot, HINDI.

Walang mababasa kahit saan sa biblia tungkol sa aral na ito ng mga hindi katoliko.  Pagbali-baligtarin mo man ang biblia, wala kang mababasa na “ang biblia lamang ang dapat na maging tanging batayan ng pananampalatayang Kristiyano.”  Subukan mong tanungin ang mga hindi katolikong mangangaral ukol diyan at paiikut-ikutin kayo sa kanilang mga kasagutan.   Isang sitas ang lagi nilang ginagamit na sagot.

“Ang lahat ng mga kasulatan na kinasihan ng Dios ay mapapakinabangan din naman sa pagtuturo, sa pagsansala, sa pagsaway, sa ikatututo na nasa katuwiran:”  2 Kay Timoteo 3:16 Tagalog: Ang Dating Biblia (1905)

Nasusulat sa sitas sa itaas na ang kasulatan ay kapaki-pakinabang sa pagtuturo ng ukol sa katwiran NGUNIT walang binabanggit diyan na ang nasusulat lamang ang dapat na gamitin sa mga bagay na ukol sa pananampalataya.  At kung ating pakalilimiin, ano ba ang bumubuo sa mga binabanggit na “kasulatan” ayon kay San Pablo apostol?  Nung panahon ng pagsulat ni Pablo kay Timoteo, ang kinikilala lamang na bahagi ng kasulatan ay ang Torah o ang mga aklat ng lumang tipan.  Nagulat ba kayo?  Oo, iyan ang totoo at iyan ang isang bagay na hindi kayang pasinungalingan ng mga hindi katoliko.

Kung pagbabasehan natin ang ipinangangaral ng mga hindi katoliko, lumalabas na hindi kasama sa kasulatan ang kabuuan ng bagong tipan.  Bakit kamo? Ito ay sa kadahilanang na noong isinusulat ni Pablo ang kanyang mga liham, wala pa ni isang aklat ng bagong tipan.

 

Ngayon, kung hindi nasusulat na tanging biblia lamang ang dapat na maging basehan ng pananampalatayang Kristiyano, ano ang dapat nating sundin? Basahin natin ang nasusulat:

 

“Aming inuutos nga sa inyo, mga kapatid, sa pangalan ng ating Panginoong Jesucristo, na kayo’y magsihiwalay sa bawa’t kapatid na lumalakad ng walang kaayusan, at hindi ayon sa aral na tinanggap nila sa amin.” 2 Mga Taga-Tesalonica 3:6 Tagalog: Ang Dating Biblia (1905)

 

Malinaw ang nasusulat mga kapatid.  May mga aral na direktang ibinigay ng mga Apostol sa mga unang kristiyano.  Nasusulat ba ang lahat ng mga aral na ito?  Basahin ulit natin.

 

“Kaya nga, mga kapatid, kayo’y mangagpakatibay, at inyong panghawakan ang mga aral na sa inyo’y itinuro, maging sa pamamagitan ng salita, o ng aming sulat.” 2 Mga Taga-Tesalonica 2:15 Tagalog: Ang Dating Biblia (1905)

 

Samakatuwid mga Kapatid, malinaw na ipinangaral ni Apostol Pablo na ang mga aral na dapat nating panghawakan ay hindi lamang yaong mga naisulat kundi pati na rin yaong mga ipinangaral sa pamamagitan ng pagsasalita.  Iyan ang tinatawag nating mga “Oral Apostolic Traditions”  o yaong mga bagay na isinalin sa atin mula pa sa mga Apostol at mga unang Kristiyano.  Hindi iyan kayang pasinungalingan ng mga hindi katoliko.  At sino ang nagturo sa atin ukol sa mga aral na sinalita ng mga Apostol at ng mga unang Kristiyano?  Ang Iglesia mismo sapagkat nasusulat ang mga bagay na ito:

 

“Nguni’t kung ako’y magluwat ng mahabang panahon, ay upang maalaman mo kung paano ang dapat sa mga tao na ugaliin nila sa bahay ng Dios, na siyang iglesia ng Dios na buhay, at haligi at suhay ng katotohanan.  1 Kay Timoteo 3:15 Tagalog: Ang Dating Biblia (1905)

 

Kita ninyo na mga kapatid kong Katoliko?  Lubhang napakalinaw ayon mismo sa biblia na ang Iglesia ng Diyos na buhay ang haligi at suhay ng katotohanan.  At itinuro sa atin ng Iglesia mula pa noong una na mayroong mga tinatawag na “Oral Apostolic Traditions” katulad ng paggamit ng tanda ng krus, pagkakaroon ng mga imaheng representasyon ng Diyos at iba pa.  Kung itinuro mismo ni Apostol Pablo na ang Iglesia ang nagtataglay ng katotohanan, sino tayo para baliin ang mga aral nito?

 

Kaya sa susunod mga kapatid na mayroong magtatanong sa inyo ng “kung nasusulat ba sa biblia ang mga ginagawa nating mga katoliko”, isa lang ang isasagot ninyo.  Tanungin ninyo sila kung “nasusulat ba sa biblia na dapat ay nasusulat lahat ng gagawin ng isang Kristiyano bilang tunay na mananampalataya” at sabihin ninyong hanggat hindi nila nailalabas ang sitas bilang sagot sa tanong ninyo ay wala silang karapatang tanungin kayo nga gayun.

 

Pagpalain nawa tayong lahat ng Diyos!

Narito na ang pinakahihintay nating desisyon ng hurado ng diskusyong ito.

 

Notes:

- both parties agree that apostasy means “to fall away from the truth or defection from the truth”

- both parties agree that apostasies happened, although complete apostasy is in question

- the distinction between complete and total has not been sufficiently expounded and justified by the affirmative. it is this moderator’s ruling that the two can be used interchangeably, following common usage.

- total/complete apostasy can only be achieved if either “all” the members turn away from the truth or if the supreme leader totally departed from the truth by renouncing the basic doctrines that they used to believe.

- a good amount of evidence was given in support of the view that the catholic church was an apostate church. evidence of apostasy for the eastern orthodox church who, along with the roman catholic church, traces its lineage from the first century church, has not been sufficiently provided. it is therefore doubtful whether all the members of the first century church apostatized, and whether both supreme rulers totally departed from their basic doctrines.

Ruling: 
It is by the principle of sufficient reason that this moderator rules that the proposition “The 1st Century Church was completely apostatized” has not been sufficiently supported. The debate is concluded in favor of the negative.

 

ANG HATOL: Idineklarang panalo sa debateng ito ang kinatawan ng SIMBAHANG KATOLIKO.

 

additional footnote from the Peanut Gallery as to why the Judge has ruled in favour of the Negative’s (Catholic) position:

it was a very close decision though, had the Affirmative been able to justify the “total/complete” dichotomy or the Negative failed to show the fact that the Orthodox also has direct lineage to the first century church, the affirmative would have won.

Narito ang ika-pitong bahagi ng diskusyon sa pagitan ng Katoliko at Iglesia ni Cristo sa pamamagitan ng http://www.pinoyexchange.com

Muli,   hinihingi ko na po ang paumanhin ninyo sapagkat di ko po ito isasalin sa wikang Filipino ang kabuuan ng debate.

 

Rejoinder/Conclusion by the Negative (Catholic)

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As we reach the penultimate part of this discussion, please allow me to offer my deepest and sincere thanks to everyone who had taken an active participation in this debate whether through this thread or via the peanut gallery. You have all been instrumental in keeping this debate lively and interesting. Special thanks goes to Ateo and Ischaramoochie who had been patient in dealing with all the objections that were raised on both sides of the fence.And now, to my conclusion. 

My RoTer friends, I believe by now you have already seen how empty, deceiving and irrelevant the points that my dear counterpart have raised throughout this debate were. Arguments that up until his rejoinder were basicallyincoherent and lacking in logic at the very least. We could feel the desperate tone of his conclusion in trying to appeal the futility of his position. Let’s review the points he raised during the entirety of this debate.

Was, Completely and Totally:

The affirmative’s position from the beginning was basically centered on semantics and not on logic. If everyone could remember it right, he eloquently argued in his first constructive that “completely” doesn’t mean “totally” to which my subsequent post was able to effectively refute using the common standards of the English vocabulary. No matter how hard the Affirmative tries to twist the definition of those two words, he can’t and wasn’t able to extract one independently of the other.

Seeing that the “completely doesn’t mean totally” argument he raised was flawed, my counterpart shifted gears by completely abandoning the initial semantics argument that he raised and strangely appealed to “verb tenses” in his conclusion. Clearly, the Affirmative has run out of logical arguments that he tries so hard to argue based on semantics alone.

Unfortunately, it’s too late for that.

Whether the proposition was “The first century church WAS completely apostatized” or “The first century church completely apostatized”, it all boils down to the same thing. That the bible itself doesn’t teach, support nor prophesied about a total or complete apostasy. As a matter of fact, I am of the firm belief that I was able to prove to everyone that the bible itself, from the Old Testament to the New Testament shows that a total or complete apostasy will never ever happen.

Post hoc ergo propter hoc

The affirmative, in assuming that a “complete apostasy” took place simply because of verses talking about a “great apostasy”, was being fallacious. The verses from the bible that I’ve presented clearly contradicted the Affirmative’s position by proving the following points:

- That the Church which was built by Jesus can’t be overcome by the gates of hell
- That the Prophet Daniel prophesied that the Kingdom to be established by God cannot be destroyed 
- That Jesus promised the in-dwelling of the Paraclete to His Church forever
- That the Apostle Paul confirmed that the Church will be with Jesus forever

The Affirmative, in his succeeding posts, failed to refute any of the above arguments directly and has been content in advancing another fallacy by focusing on the “non-existent” pre-conditions of the guaranteed presented.

Argumentum ad ignorantiam

The Affirmative vehemently argued that there were “conditions” that came with the “Jesus Christ guarantee” that I’ve presented in my first constructive. The problem with his point was that, no one outside of the INC circle agrees with the said position.

By arguing that the said “conditions” were present, the Affirmative assumed that it was true simply because no one has proven it false yet the biblical exegesis I’ve presented in my argument clearly refutes that somehow strange position.

Red Herring

The Affirmative, in his haste to try and salvage a losing position, resorted to raising multiple, again, not just one but multiple irrelevant facts concerning the proposition just to try and sway the discussion into a different direction. These were very much evident with the questions he raised during cross-examinations which, thanks to the fair assessment of our moderator-judges, were corrected appropriately after an objective appeal.

Let me list them down.

- focused on the interpretation of Daniel 7:14 rather than the prophesy that God would build a kingdom that can’t be destroyed
- probed into the Rock of Matthew which is clearly not connected to the proposition
- the question on the 5 kingdoms of the Book of Daniel was clearly and unmistakably irrelevant to the proposition
- the semantics issue on the words “kepha, petros and petra” was clearly out of scope

It seems to me that the Affirmative has already run out of relevant points to raise to affirm the proposition that’s why he came up with such completely irrelevant points.

Clasping on Straws

As the pressure of the negating arguments mount during the debate, the Affirmative slipped and tried to bounce back by clasping on straws which, obviously, was a big failure. Let me enumerate them.

- He argued that by failing to record the exact birth date of Jesus, my argument was wrong that all significant events in the Church’s history had been accounted for. Yet everybody knows that Jesus was born ahead of the foundation of the Church thus, Jesus’ natal day isn’t covered by the Church’s history
- That the 4th kingdom in the book of Daniel is the Catholic Church although it’s pretty clear that we are not trying to prove which kingdoms were being prophesied by Daniel
- That I have abandoned the Pope in my rebuttals yet the last time I checked, the proposition wasn’t about the Pope nor was it anywhere near it
- That I erred when I admitted that the “Great Apostasy” happened though I never, not even once in the whole debate, equated the “great apostasy” to a “complete apostasy”

The Affirmative’s lack of relevant arguments led to him creating a caricatured version of my primary points to which he happily struck continuously until his rejoinder. A sad fate that summarizes his dismal failure to affirm his position.

Dicto simpliciter

The Affirmative’s continuing insistence that the Orthodox Church submitted itself to the Primacy of Pope is anArgumentum ad nauseam. He was also guilty of stereotyping the Orthodox when he wrote the following

Quote Originally Posted by Menorrah
However, he forgot that both were under the authority of the Pope as their leader or head. Whatever the head said, people follow. If the brain has cancer, the whole body is affected. He can’t say that the forearm is still good. It just won’t function well if the brain is damaged. Thus, when the church leadership was apostatized, the church was led astray completely.

The Affirmative, in his insistence, may have forgotten the fact that the EAST and WEST schism was actually rooted primarily on the rejection of the Orthodox Church to be under the primacy of the Pope in Rome.

To quote Fr. Patrick Keyes, he said that “The Great Schism, or divide between the East and West happened in 1054, when Pope Leo IX and Eastern Patriarch Michael I excommunicated each other. The primary cause was a dispute over papal authority. The Eastern churches denied that the pope had any unique authority over them.

A crucial blunder on the side of the Affirmative which he tried to recover in the latter part of the debate without any success.

Non Sequitur

My Counterpart also raised the issue about The Church giving in to the “Greek Spirits”. In fact, he even quoted the New Advent’s article about it but he intentionally left this part

“It is on this connection that modern rationalists have brought all their learning and research to bear in the effort to show that the whole later intellectual system of Christianity is something more or less alien to its original conception.”

Clearly, my counterpart, in trying to assert his point, left off an important part when he tried to show that The Catholic Encyclopedia conceded that the Greek Spirit was unionized with The Church. Further reading would reveal how The Church refuted this.

“Abandoning the Apostolic Age, Harnack, in his “History of Dogma”, ascribes the hellenization of Christianity to the apologists of the second century (1st German edit., p. 253). This contention can best be refuted by showing that the essential doctrines of Christianity are contained already in the New Testament Scriptures, while giving, at the same time, their due force to the traditions of corporate Christianity.

Petitio principia

No matter how the Affirmative plays around with semantics, the fact is up to this point, my counterpart hasn’t clearly and convincingly shown any compelling evidence that the First Century Church was completely apostatized.

The Affirmative argued that the “Jesus guarantee” was voided yet he wasn’t able to prove beyond doubt that there were indeed conditions tied to those guarantees. He also insisted that The Church apostatized by the virtue of the Pope yet he failed to substantiate his claim that the Orthodox submitted to the Papal Primacy.

My counterpart’s conclusion begs the question “did the Church completely apostatized or did it not”?

The answer is very simple my friends.

If The Church did apostatized, then Jesus, Paul and Daniel were all wrong when all of them wrote and taught that The Church and Kingdom of God can never be destroyed.

The Bible, from the Old Testament to the New Testament, had painted a vivid picture of a powerful, indestructible and lasting Church of God.

This can never ever be denied.

To him be glory in the church, and in Christ Jesus unto all generations, world without end. Amen.” Ephesians 3:21

God bless us all!

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Moderator’s Closing Remarks:

All is done except for the judging

The conclusions of both parties have been posted. And whatever side of the issue you are, there are undeniable facts about this debate; which are:a. That our debaters are knowledgeable and competent. They defended their positions well and make their supporters proud of them. 

b. They are gentlemanly debaters and wholeheartedly accepted the rulings made by the mods. They are even more gentlemanly and charming to us in the PMs. Contrary to what some people might think, making the rulings was not a burden to me; it was actually a privilege to add value to the debate. That leads to the third point.

c. Debates are an effective way to advocate one’s position. Unlike in normal threads, one cannot run away from an ongoing debate; and the questions are very pertinent and the answers very relevant. The constructives are so well made that I won’t be surprised if some saved them for future reference. I urge all of us therefore to learn the skills of debate and do it. We are all advocates of our beliefs, we should know how to defend them. Try to debate at least once — it is like virginity, it is only difficult in the first time.

d. The debaters are having fun and want more. And the rest of us enjoyed it too.

Let me quote the first part of Equis’ sincere words posted in the gallery:

Quote Originally Posted by EquisView Post
The debate is a good one. These are good debaters and deserve an applaud.*clap clap clap*

Narito ang ika-anim na bahagi ng diskusyon sa pagitan ng Katoliko at Iglesia ni Cristo sa pamamagitan ng http://www.pinoyexchange.com

Muli,   hinihingi ko na po ang paumanhin ninyo sapagkat di ko po ito isasalin sa wikang Filipino ang kabuuan ng debate.

 

Moderator’s Finals Remarks

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If this were boxing, we have finally reached our final round. This has been a exciting and informative debate. Because the next post is termed as “Rejoinder/Conclusion,” it brings us to a possible question of what would be allowed there. Well, we have to follow the format. A rejoinder is certainly allowed; and a rejoinder is simply a rebuttal. So, if our debaters want more rebutting, they may use the last post for that.In can also be used as a conclusion. In that case, we would expect a more comprehensive summation of what happened. Think of it as a punch-by-punch review of a Pacquiao boxing fight but the review is written by Pacquaio’s camp — clearly detailed and thrilling but with slant in favor of their camp. That’s fine because by reading between the two versions of how the debate went, we get to see the true composite picture. So, guys and gals, if you have missed the debate until now, you may catch up by reading the last two posts. Good luck to the debaters and more fun and learning to the readers! 

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Affirmative’s Rejoinder/Conclusion (Iglesia ni Cristo)

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The negative has been beating a straw-man since the beginning. The topic is “The first century church WAS completely apostatized” and NOT, “The first century church completely apostatized”. The church wasn’t the active doer of the action. Somebody led the church to apostasy. My proposition is that Satan though the Pope led the church to complete apostasy. By definition, it is agreed that APOSTASY is falling away or abandonment of true faith. Also as used in LXX and in other OT renditions, Apostasy means rebellion against God ( Joshua 22:22), disobedience against the commandment of God (Jer. 2:19), and following other gods (Judges 2:19). Also, the bible portrays apostasy as adultery (Ezekiel 16) and a prostitution (Isa. 1:21).The negative’s argument is also lacking in substance and proofs. He has no thesis. Instead, he formulated hypotheses without laying down facts and evidences. Here are his hypotheses and my counter-arguments: 

Hypothesis: Apostasy applies only to individuals and not to groups.

Facts/Evidences: None
Counter-argument: He said the “The Church is the institution that would guide its members “and is “one body… [where] everyone is member of one another”; thus, “cannot be separated”. The church, as an institution and one body, acts as an individual; whatever the brain said, the body will follow. As an institution, the church was led to apostasy. Blind is leading the blind. This is the Principle of Authority.
Hypothesis: The Jesus Christ guarantee.
Facts/Evidences: None
Counter-argument: We have been defining apostasy but the “gates of Hades” never came up as definition. The guarantee is conditional. The “gates of Hades” is not apostasy. It’s too late for the negative. The “gates of Hades” is about death in the Lake of Fire (Rev. 20:14). The church is protected from it.
Hypothesis: Without specific date, complete apostasy didn’t happen.
Facts/Evidences: His own opinion
Counter-argument: Jesus’s birthday is without specific date; therefore, Jesus wasn’t born? The burnt house is burnt even though the exact time the fire ended isn’t known.
Hypothesis: Eastern Orthodox Church didn’t submit to Pope.
Facts/Evidences: His own opinion
Counter-argument: The Catholic Encyclopedia said “…before the schism… the Roman See was already the Apostolic See par excellence, not only in the West but also in the East.” And “The authoritative acts of the popes,… are styled acts of the Holy or Apostolic See.”.
Hypothesis: A kingdom that will never be destroyed
Facts/Evidences: None.
Counter-argument: The negative failed to connect the kingdom to first century church.
The fourth kingdom, divided kingdom, is the Catholic Church, a divided church. The fourth king is the Pope who spoke against God and the verse said “The holy people will be delivered into his hands for a time, times and half a time.”
The kingdom that will never be destroyed will come AFTER the completion of “time, times and half a time” which is the period of apostasy. “Time, times and half a time” is a symbol for about half the time of the total dispensation of Christian period.The negative has no cohesive thesis. He didn’t stand-up for the Catholic Church and did not prove that it is still the same church as the first century church. He didn’t do that. He just tried to negate my thesis and did not raise his own. This is the reason why his presentation is lacking and he failed miserably.Moreover, the negative in trying to win a debate has abandoned his Pope. He did not try to rebut the argument that the Pope is the man of lawlessness. He also did not rebut the argument that the Catholic Church is the Babylon, the prostitute. In fact, he raised the point that the Eastern Orthodox Church might be the remnant of the true Church. That is, he said arguing without accepting. Again, he was negating and not raising a thesis. It was proven that the Pope had control over the East and West before schism as Catholic Encyclopedia stated. 

The negative agreed that there was apostasy of great magnitude in the church. But he forgot that he also argued that the “Jesus Christ guarantee” is unconditional. If unconditional, then the guarantee must be in effect no matter what this great magnitude or number of people did. They are supposedly part of the body and thus, any unconditional guarantee must trickle down to them. Yet, this great number of people apostatized, he said. His argument simply doesn’t make sense.

By making those two arguments, the negative was implying that the apostasy wasn’t complete – that there were remnants – either the Eastern Orthodox Church or those few people left. However, he forgot that both were under the authority of the Pope as their leader or head. Whatever the head said, people follow. If the brain has cancer, the whole body is affected. He can’t say that the forearm is still good. It just won’t function well if the brain is damaged. Thus, when the church leadership was apostatized, the church was led astray completely. 

The negative blundered on the question: who is the rock upon the church is built? First, he tried to avoid the question. Next, he said the rock was the Catholic Church; luckily for him, the moderator allowed him the completely change his position to Peter. His position in this matter is shaky and unstable. He probably has doubt in his faith. Who is Peter? For the Catholics, he is the first Pope. For Christ, who does Peter symbolize?Satan led the apostasy of the ChurchThe Lord said the Peter: “Get behind me, Satan. You are a stumbling block to me…”. Right from the very beginning, the Lord knows that Satan, the stumbling block, is symbolized by Peter, the skandalon stone. Peter is not the “Petra” or “Shu’a” where the church was built upon. Peter is “Petros” or “Kepha”, the small stone that causes one to stumble. The negative introduced the “pebble” or “lithos” in trying to point out a smaller stone. Peter is bigger than a pebble; big enough to cause “skandalizo” or “falling away”. The Lord predicted: “You will all fall away (Skandalizo)”. That very night, Peter denied the Lord three times. After the Lord died, Peter went back to fishing; abandoning his calling to feed the sheep [with fish?]. Peter did not understand his calling. Even Paul got mad at him. He said Peter is to be blamed (Gal. 2:11). Peter used “Babylon” as a symbol for the church. Babylon is the symbol for the apostate church in Rev. 17-18. 

The Church committed adultery with Paganism and Roman Emperors

The Apostles warned that after their departure or death; savage wolves will not spare the flock (Acts 20:29), which is the church (v28). Thus, the history of apostasy began. From 2nd century to 3rd century, the doctrines of the devil had been slowly creeping into the church. The fourth century was the climatic period of apostasy. Greek spirits prevailed over the church. The church committed adultery with the Roman Emperor and forgot about the true God. Trinity was introduced. Papacy gained more power. Papacy had control of both East and West.

The Jesus Christ guarantee was voided

The first century church was completely apostatized. As an institution, it was led to believe in philosophies of man – Greek Spirits e.g. Platonic Trinity. Doctrines of demons were introduced. The gospel was altered. Christ’s guarantee was voided.

The Pope, the man of lawlessness and Catholic Church, the prostitute

The negative, in taking a chance to recover, introduced the kingdom that will never be destroyed. He failed to link this kingdom to the first century church. He can’t because this kingdom will be built by God AFTER apostasy. The fourth kingdom, the apostate kingdom, will come first. In Daniel 7:24-25:

After them another king will arise, different from the earlier ones; he will subdue three kings. He will speak against the Most High and oppress his holy people and try to change the set times and the laws. The holy people will be delivered into his hands for a time, times and half a time.

For time, times and half a time, the holy people of God have been under the spell of Satan, through the Pope [man of lawlessness, fourth king, spoke against Most High] and under the Catholic Church [Prostitute of Babylon, the fourth kingdom, kingdom divided].

Time, times and half a time is a long period of time. It is half of the total dispensation of the Christian period which was divided into seven seals, which can subject of future discussion.

************

God was exhorting all of those who have been deceived

To all Catholics: Come out of her, my people! – Rev. 18:4 

To the Protestants: Escape, you who live in Daughter of Babylon—Zech 2:7

I came out of her. But where should we go? Christ never left us alone. He had “other sheep”, a third group from a far place and a far time - The Church of Christ – the placeholder for those who will live in the everlasting kingdom that will never be destroyed.

May the Lord God bless us all!

Narito ang ikalimang bahagi ng diskusyon sa pagitan ng Katoliko at Iglesia ni Cristo sa pamamagitan ng http://www.pinoyexchange.com

Muli,   hinihingi ko na po ang paumanhin ninyo sapagkat di ko po ito isasalin sa wikang Filipino ang kabuuan ng debate.

2nd Negative Constructive (Catholic)

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The “Total Apostasy” teaching was first advanced by the Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Based on their doctrine, the First Century Church that was established by Jesus suffered a “total apostasy”. Though nobody was able to pinpoint to an exact date on when this supposed to be damning event happened, they do insist that it must have happened.

This teaching was also adopted by the INC when it was founded in 1914. Nobody could explain the similarity of their “total apostasy” doctrine with that of the LDS but they share the exact same pitfalls. That it’s not important when it exactly happened BUT that it definitely happened thus the need for the restoration of the apostatized Church.

The “Exact Date” Argument

Apologists from both the LDS and the INC always brush of the question about the “exact date” of the “total apostasy”. For them, it’s immaterial and insignificant. But is this accurate?

All the significant events in the history of the Church had been well-documented, not just by Christians but by non-Christian historians alike. One perfect example was the account of Cornelius Tacitus’ “Nero’s Persecution of the Christians” and Eusebius’ “Ecclesiastical History”. It’s absurd to accept something as serious as the allegations of a Total Apostasy if no one could attest to the veracity of the date when each and every member of the Church renounced its faith.

Makes sense, right? Apparently not to them.

Going back to the arguments I raised in my first constructive, for The Church to totally apostatized, each and every member should renounce his/her faith. It’s preposterous to say that there are no written recordings of such given that every important edict in the history of the Catholic Church has been recorded.

If the writings doesn’t have it, be it theological or historical, it means it didn’t happen. Plain and simple.

The Rock and Stone dilemma

The Affirmative, in his second constructive and succeeding answer to the Q&A pointed out the following:

Kepha, as most people who studied the biblical languages, means “stone”. And those who really studied the Aramaic language deeply, they will discover that there is an Aramaic word for bedrock or strong rock: shu’a.

Please allow me to point out that the Affirmative had the above meaning wrong. Kefa in ancient Aramaic, take note, inAncient Aramaic and not any other Aramaic versions, means “rock” while on the other hand, a pebble or little stone is called “evna”.

Jesus didn’t use “Evna” to refer to Peter. Same as with Paul and John who both referred to Peter as “Cephas”. This basically strengthens the argument that Jesus meant Peter to be a Rock and not as a pebble or a little stone as what most anti-Petrine arguments would like us to believe.

As to why Kefa was used instead of Shu’a, I believe that plain grammatical rule would dictate that there’s no compelling reason for Jesus to use another word for it. For one, Jesus didn’t say “and on this bed rock (shu’a) I will built my church….”, right?

The Bible Goes Against a Complete Apostasy

In my first constructive, I’ve laid out verses from the NT that unarguably shows us the “Jesus Guarantee” that was given to His Church. Unfortunately, the Affirmative tried to refute the said guarantees by assuming that it came with “imaginary” pre-conditions. Conditions that according to him, if not met, would forfeit the said guarantees.

What I find amusing with the Affirmative’s argument was that the condition to which he is pointing seems lost in the equation. See, the guarantee was delivered in Matthew 16:18 while the condition the Affirmative is insisting could be found 4 chapters after! How could have they possibly linked those two verses separated by 4 chapters while ignoring some of the other verses like “If any man will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow me.”?

What makes that “condition” argument more absurd was that they picked up a verse four chapters away while ignoring the verse “If any man will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow me.” which is just five verses away?

Besides, isn’t it that Gamaliel, a high priest said the following when the apostles were being persecuted?

“And now, therefore, I say to you, refrain from these men, and let them alone; for if this council or this work be of men, it will come to nought; But if it be of God, you cannot overthrow it, lest perhaps you be found even to fight against God. And they consented to him.” (Acts 5:28-29)

You see my friend, if it be of God, NO ONE can overthrow it. This is probably the most compelling verse that would affirm the guarantee of Jesus that “and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it.”

The Orthodox Equation

I believe that everyone knows that the Catholic Church is divided into two: EAST and WEST.

The EAST which is also known as the Catholic Orthodox Church doesn’t submit into the Petrine Supremacy doctrine that the WEST or the Roman Catholic Church adheres to, right? Given this obvious fact, I believe that there’s no compelling need to further show any evidences that the Affirmative’s argument in his second constructive is entirely wrong.

The Affirmative preaches that the apostatized church was led by the “man of lawlessness” mentioned in 2 Thessalonians 2:3-11 to whom he alluded to as being the Pope. He even expounded on it by saying these

“an act of one man becomes an act of the church. The apostasy of one man becomes the apostasy of the church.

What the Affirmative readily ignored was the fact that not everyone in the Catholic Church, namely the EAST, submits to the Pope. Assuming now without accepting that the Pope was indeed the man of lawlessness that would lead the Church to a complete apostasy, then where will you put the EASTERN Church then?

The Affirmative admitted under interpellation that the “Catholic Church WAS the First Century Church”. If the Catholic Church was the First Century Church and assuming without accepting that the Roman Catholic faction indeed apostatized, then it would leave us with the ORTHODOX Church as the remnants of the First Century Church! This effectively negates the proposition since the alleged prophecy in 2 Thessalonians 2:3-11 only talks about the Church who fell away because of the man of lawlessness.

I don’t think it can be any clearer than that.

One Body, One Church

The Affirmative has admitted under cross that the Church indeed has one body. And the bible fully supports this.

And he is the head of the body, the church, who is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead; that in all things he may hold the primacy:”Colossians 1:18

Jesus heads the body which is the Church. Will this church ever be destroyed or torn? Let’s ask the bible.

“And he gave him power, and glory, and a kingdom: and all peoples, tribes and tongues shall serve him: his power is an everlasting power that shall not be taken away: and his kingdom that shall not be destroyed.Daniel 7:14

See, the Bible itself belies all arguments that the Church would be completely destroyed and that it would need restoration. Yes, as I’ve said, the Church will experience the great falling away or a great apostasy BUT it won’t ever experience a total and complete apostasy.

“But in the days of those kingdoms the God of heaven will set up a kingdom that shall never be destroyed, and his kingdom shall not be delivered up to another people, and it shall break in pieces, and shall consume all these kingdoms, and itself shall stand for ever.”Daniel 2:44

The One Body of Church that is headed by Christ won’t ever be destroyed. The prophet Daniel prophesied it and Jesus guaranteed it. What else are you looking for?

The Affirmative’s claim that the Church had three parts and that the first and second parts were cut off while the third part came to existence 2000 years later is completely wrong.

You see, if we talk about the same body, then all of its parts should exist at the same time. You can’t have a body without a head, a hand, a leg, etc. By claiming that the third part of the same body only came to being 2000 years after,the Affirmative is accusing God’s church of being imperfect with missing parts. Unfortunately, the Bible says otherwise.

“For as in one body we have many members, but all the members have not the same office: So we being many, are one body in Christ, and every one members one of another.Romans 12:4-5

See my friends, Christ’s body cannot be separated from each other. Everyone may not have the same office BUT everyone is a member of one another. This means that they cannot be separated from each other NO MATTER WHAT.

“There is neither Jew nor Greek: there is neither bond nor free: there is neither male nor female. For you are all one in Christ Jesus. And if you be Christ’s, then are you the seed of Abraham, heirs according to the promise.Galatians 3:28-29

What was that promise?

“And I will make of thee a great nation, and I will bless thee, and magnify thy name, and thou shalt be blessed.Genesis 12:2

God made that promise to Abraham and Jesus gave the same promise to His Church.

Amen and God bless!

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The Affirmative’s (Iglesia ni Cristo) Clarification on the rules

I would like to ask our dear Moderators if I feel that my opponent’s second negative constructive is extremely weak and does not really address the opposition to the topic, can I forgo of the cross-examination and proceed directly to closing?

Thank you and God bless.

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Moderator’s ruling

@Affirmative,

Re your question, no, you could not forgo the customary cross-exam. The format/agenda is part of the rules. It has to be followed. This part of the debate gives the Negative “air-time” — you have 500 words for questions but he will have 1,600 words for answers — thus it would disadvantage him if we cut short this part. If you really don’t have any questions, tell him so in your post #13; but we will still give him the full 1,600 words to use for his arguments.

WARNING

There is also another point. Your most recent post stated, “my opponent’s second negative constructive is extremely weak…” You criticized your opponent’s argument in a post that is not part of the agenda (format). You should have PMed it to me if you wanted me to answer your question. The valid way to criticize your opponent’s argument is during a normal post. Let this be a gentle warning.

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Cross-Examination of Negative by Affirmative

————————————————————————————————————————————————– Since I was not allowed to proceed directly to closing, I will ask five questions and interpolate some verses used:

1. On “The Jesus Christ guarantee”, was the guarantee for the 100% members of the church or was the guarantee for just a portion/part of the church?

2. You said “I believe that everyone knows that the Catholic Church is divided into two: EAST and WEST.”, according to your position in this debate, is the Eastern Orthodox Church part of Christ’s body? Yes or No.

3. On your exact date argument, you said “All the significant events in the history of the Church had been well-documented, not just by Christians but by non-Christian historians alike.”, my question: was Christ’s birthday a significant event? Yes or No. If yes, does it have an exact date recorded? 

4. You quoted Daniel 2:44, which said “…shall consume all these kingdoms” referring to the first four kingdoms in BABYLON’S King Nebuchadnezzar’s Dream. In the dream’s interpretation, before God set up a kingdom that will never be destroyed, a fourth kingdom that is a divided kingdom will arise. Verse 41: Just as you saw that the feet and toes were partly of baked clay and partly of iron, so this will be a divided kingdom;

What is this fourth kingdom that is a divided kingdom that will arise before God set up a kingdom that will never be destroyed?

5. You quoted Daniel 7:14, which was also part of the King of Babylon’s Dream. Let’s study its context. In Daniel’s interpretation of the dream in verses 15-28, before the kingdom that shall not be destroyed was established, there will arise a fourth beast or fourth king, which is said in verse 25 “He will speak against the Most High and oppress his holy people and try to change the set times and the laws. The holy people will be delivered into his hands for a time, times and half a time.”

My question: Who is the fourth beast or king who will arise before the kingdom that shall not be destroyed is established?

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The Negative’s Objections and the Moderator’s Ruling

The Negative PMed the mods to object to two questions as irrelevant. Let me quote him directly:

I have the following objections on the Affirmative’s cross questions

Questions #4 and #5 are not relevant to the argument raised in my last constructive. The verse used from Daniel (2:44) was shown to prove that God promises that the kingdom he would be building will not be destroyed regardless of the other kingdoms that came before or after it. My constructive was defending the argument that “God’s kingdom can’t be destroyed” while the cross-questions were centering on which kingdoms will be destroyed. Two different and distinct things altogether.

Thanks!

Ruling

This is a difficult objection to rule on. On one hand the questions, in a general sense, are very relevant. Those passages of Daniel refer to a series of kings/kingdoms. The Negative is saying that there is that last kingdom that will never be destroyed (the First Century Church). But the Affirmative, in his question, is implying that it is that other kingdom, the fourth one, that was destroyed, which is the subject Church.

In that sense the questions are therefore very relevant because we need clarity between the two conflicting claims.

On other hand, the Negative’s objection is understandable. He was referring only to that last kingdom that will not be destroyed. So, why was he placed unfairly in the spot to identify that other kingdom that he was not even referring to? He did not claim to know the identities of all those earlier kingdoms; all he was claiming is that that last kingdom is the subject Church.

While the issue is relevant, the Affirmative needs to make the questions fair to the Negative, perhaps by focusing on that last kingdom or perhaps asking about the fourth kingdom but not about its identity. If the Affirmative wants to assert that that fourth kingdom is the subject Church, he may do so in the Rejoinder.

Ruling

I rule that questions about these kingdoms are very relevant, BUT the Affirmative needs to fine-tune his Q4 and Q5 to make them more focused on the Negative’s argument.

The Affirmative has 5 days from the time of this post to post the revised questions. He may re-post only the two questions objected to or he may re-post all five questions together so it would be easier to read.

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Cross examination of the negative by affirmative (Modified)

1. On “The Jesus Christ guarantee”, was the guarantee for the 100% members of the church or was the guarantee for just a portion/part of the church?

2. You said “I believe that everyone knows that the Catholic Church is divided into two: EAST and WEST.”, according to your position in this debate, is the Eastern Orthodox Church part of Christ’s body? Yes or No.

3. On your exact date argument, you said “All the significant events in the history of the Church had been well-documented, not just by Christians but by non-Christian historians alike.”, my question: was Christ’s birthday a significant event? Yes or No. If yes, does it have an exact date recorded? 

4. You quoted Daniel 2:44, which said “and it shall break in pieces, and shall consume all these kingdoms” referring to the first four kingdoms in BABYLON’S King Nebuchadnezzar’s Dream. In the dream’s interpretation, before God set up a kingdom that will never be destroyed, a fourth kingdom that is a divided kingdom will arise.
My question: what are those kingdoms that will be broken into pieces and be consumed by the kingdom that will never be destroyed?

5. You quoted Daniel 7:14, which was also part of the King of Babylon’s Dream. Afterwards, Daniel interpreted the dream. My question: To get the context of what you quoted, what was Daniel’s interpretation of the entire dream?

Narito ang ikaapat bahagi ng diskusyon sa pagitan ng Katoliko at Iglesia ni Cristo sa pamamagitan ng http://www.pinoyexchange.com

Muli,   hinihingi ko na po ang paumanhin ninyo sapagkat di ko po ito isasalin sa wikang Filipino ang kabuuan ng debate.

Second Affirmative Constructive (Iglesia ni Cristo)


After the cross-examination, the negative agreed with the affirmative’s biblical definition of apostasy and he also agreed that it happened already. Totnak said “biblical apostasy is only applicable to individuals, albeit large number of individuals, but not to the whole church”. Thus, the contention now is whether the first century church was completely apostatized or not. Somebody must cause the first century church to apostatize so let’s continue our study on who led the first century church into apostasy completely?Principle of AuthorityPeople follow a person of authority. When the authority says “go”, the followers go (Matthew 8:9). Under this principle, a man of authority can lead people out to darkness; thus, Jesus said “children of the kingdom shall be cast out into outer darkness: there shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth (v12).”Man of Lawlessness – the apostate man

The man of lawlessness, as per 2 Thess. 2:3-11, is a man of authority. He exalted himself up in the temple of God (the church) and even called himself God. The coming of the lawless one was in accordance with how Satan works. He used all sorts of displays of power through signs and wonders that served the lie, and all the ways that wickedness deceived those who are perishing. He was called the Son of Perdition, which means an apostate man or a man who fell away from faith (John 17:12). According to Dr. Joseph Benson’s Commentary, Volume 2, pp. 409, “this was to be a great apostasy, by way of eminence, the general, the grand departure of the whole visible church into idolatrous worship….”

Who is the man of lawlessness? According to Guiness’ Romanism and Reformation, 1891, pp. 25 and 26, as he quoted Boniface VIII, “the pope is of so great dignity and excellence, that he is not merely a man, but as if God and the vicar of God. The pope alone is called most holy, divine monarch, and supreme emperor and kings of kings….whatever the pope does seems to proceed from the mouth of God. The pope is as God on Earth”. 

In “The Catholic Encyclopedia” by Herrmann, The Pope is the “final authoritative in the Universal Church (pp. 308) and also has coercive power (pp. 447).

Thus, an act of one man becomes an act of the church. The apostasy of one man becomes the apostasy of the church. But where is the apostate church?

Babylon, the Prostitute – the apostate church

The Negative was so happy to report that Pasugo said “Iglesia Katolika na sa pasimula’y siyang Iglesia ni Cristo” (the Catholic Church was at first the Church of Christ). This is the same as saying “The Prostitute was at first a Virgin”. The Prostitute, the Great Babylon becomes “… a dwelling for demons and a haunt for every impure spirit…” (Rev. 18:2). In parallel notes by Apostle Paul, he described it as giving “attention to deceitful spirits and doctrine of demons (1 Tim. 4:1 NASB). The doctrines of demons are forbidding to marry and to abstain from meat (verse 3 Douay-Rheims). The Catholic Church forbids priests to marry (Gibbons, The Faith of our Fathers, pp. 401) and command Catholics to abstain from meat on Fridays (Handbook of Catholic Faith, pp. 424).

Thus, the Catholic Church is the Babylon, the Prostitute. The Catholic Church is the apostate church.

Was it at first a Virgin? Those who are deceived and in the Babylon are former people of God as Revelation 18:4 said “Come out of her, my people”. The people of God are called pure virgin (2 Cor. 11:2) which also referred to as the church.

Thus, the Prostitute was at first a virgin.

Skandalizo — how it all started?

Again, let’s go back to first century when Jesus said “You will all fall away” (Mark 14:28). “Fall away” is Skandalizo in transliterated Greek (Strong: 4624 a stumbling block where one may cause to trip, to cause to fall away, to be offended). When I said it was the beginning of apostasy, it doesn’t mean that the apostles were apostates as some suggest. It is similar to Mark 4:16-17 “… like seed sown on rocky places, hear the word and at once receive it with joy. But since they have no root, they last only a short time. When trouble or persecution comes because of the word, they quickly fall away (Skandalizo).

There are two kinds of rock – wise man’s rock (Matt. 7:24), which is a strong rock and a stumbling blocks of rocks (Mark 14:16-17), which are smaller stones where one may trip. Cephas (Aramaic) or Petros (Greek) is a small stone or rolling stone (Hoffman, “Cartaphilus, the Wandering Jew” pp. 395).

Let’s then study Matthew 16:18. How many types of rocks are mentioned there?

I also say to you that you are Petros (a small stone, rock), and upon this petra (large rock, bed rock) I will build My church; and the gates of Hades will not overpower it.

When Christ built his church, he mentioned the two kinds of rocks. Peter (Cephas) means small rock or stone which causesSkandalizo. Christ knew it already that when he built the church, the stumbling block was just by its side. Was Peter really the stumbling block? Let’s ask Jesus himself, in succeeding verse he said:

But He turned and said to Peter, ”Get behind Me, Satan ! You are a stumbling block (Skandalon, Strong: 4625) to Me; for you are not setting your mind on God’s interests, but man’s.” Matthew 16:23 NASB

On the same chapter as the “falling away (Skandalizo), Peter denied Christ three times (Mark 14:68-72). He went back to fishing after Christ death(John 21:3) and did not understand Christ (John 21:15-17). Peter also wrote this “The church that is in Babylon…(1 Pet. 5:13).

Babylon, remember? That’s how it all began.

The King of Babylon – the cause of it all

In Isaiah 14:3, 12-14, in reference to the King of Babylon who said “You said in your heart, “I will ascend to the heavens; I will raise my throne above the stars of God; I will sit enthroned on the mount of assembly, on the utmost heights of Mount Zaphon. I will ascend above the tops of the clouds; I will make myself like the Most High.” This is in parallel to the works of the man of lawlessness which is in accordance to how Satan works.
According to the New Advent (http://www.newadvent.org/cathen/04764a.htm0 ), “… St. Thomas … teaches … that Satan sinned by desiring to be “as God”, according to the passage in the prophet (Isaiah 14)…”

Satan led the church into complete apostasy. He used the Papacy as his deceiving tool to fool people into believing that the church where they belong is still the true church. It’s not anymore. “Come out of her, my people”- Rev. 18:4

The Daughters of Babylon – the offsprings

The Protestant groups were the daughters of Babylon. They grew out of Catholicism. Thus, also the bible said: “Come, Zion! Escape, you who live in Daughter of Babylon!” Zech 2:7

What happened to “The Jesus Christ guarantee”? 

Jesus guaranteed that the gates of Hades will not overcome the church. I agree. As a matter of fact, Hades will be thrown into the Lake of Fire (Rev. 20:14) while the Church of Christ will be saved (Rev. 20:6).

Matthew 28:20 is conditional. It says “…observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you…” John 14:16 is also conditional. Let’s read verse 15 “If you love me, keep my commands.” In both cases, the condition is keeping the commandments.

In my first constructive, the first century church was led into apostasy with the introduction of philosophies of men (Greek Spirits) or traditions whereas Jesus warned “Why you break my commands for the sake of your tradition?” This is the same as the words of Jesus to Peter “not setting your mind on God’s interests, but man’s.” The Catholic Church admitted that it introduced philosophies of men such as Philo’s and Plato’s into the doctrines. By middle of fourth century, the Greek Spirit prevailed. It included the Trinitarian doctrine which wasn’t taught by any apostle.

Thus, the condition wasn’t met.

If the church was built upon a strong rock, why was it completely apostatized? 

Let’s not forget, we are discussing only about the first century Church of Christ. It was completely apostatized. Christ, knowing that there was a stumbling block along its side, reserved a third group when he said “I have other sheep, not of this fold…(John 10:16)”. Christ ‘other sheep don’t belong to the first century fold. The first century fold included first, the Jews and second, the Gentiles (Rom. 9:24). What happened to the first century fold – the two groups out of the three (2/3rd)? In the same prophecy where Christ said “you will ALL fall away” and quoted Zech. 13:7, let’s continue reading to verse 8:

“It will come about in all the land,” Declares the LORD, “That two parts in it will be cut off and perish; But the third will be left in it.”

The first century fold was cut-off and perished. The first century church completely apostatized. It became the dwelling for demons and haunt for impure spirit. It became the Catholic Church, the apostate church and her daughters, the Protestant groups.

“Come out of her, my people! …Escape, you who live in the daughter of Babylon.”

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Cross-Examination of the Affirmative by the Negative (Catholic)


Question #1:The Affirmative had posted in his 2nd Constructive the following:“I also say to you that you are Petros (a small stone, rock), and upon this petra (large rock, bed rock) I will build My church; and the gates of Hades will not overpower it.”The Affirmative made use of the Greek words “Petros” and “petra” on the above post. However, he also mentioned the following:Cephas (Aramaic) or Petros (Greek) is a small stone or rolling stone

My question now would be, what does the word “kepha” mean in Ancient Aramaic?

Question #2:

The Affirmative also had the following:

“It will come about in all the land,” Declares the LORD, “That two parts in it will be cut off and perish; But the third will be left in it.”

My question now is, were all the three parts of the Church of God that Christ built belonging to the same single body?

Question #3:

The Affirmative said the following:

Matthew 28:20 is conditional. It says “…observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you…”

My counterpart is guilty of ripping off the said verse from the bible since the full text of Matthew 28:20 shows the following:

Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and behold I am with you all days, even to the consummation of the world.

My question now would be, using the rules on standard English grammar, what’s the purpose of having a punctuation mark in between two different sentences or phrases?

Question #4:

The Affirmative also posted the following:

Thus, the Catholic Church is the Babylon, the Prostitute. The Catholic Church is the apostate church.

My question now would be, can the Affirmative please declare it as a statement of fact that he undoubtedly believes that the Catholic Church is indeed the First Century Church? For if not, then it means that the Affirmative doesn’t believe his own arguments.

Question #5:

The Affirmative’s Second Constructive effectively claims that the Catholic Church was indeed the Church of the First Century.

My question now would be, assuming without accepting that the Catholic Church under the Pope, which is of course the Roman Catholic Church, apostatized, how then do we consider the Orthodox Catholics who also came from the same First Century Church? I am assuming that the Orthodox Church doesn’t belong to the Affirmative’s apostatized church claim sincethe Orthodox didn’t submit itself under the Pope’s authority.

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 Affirmative Replies


Question #1:
My question now would be, what does the word “kepha” mean in Ancient Aramaic? 
In Pilch’s Cultural Dictionary of the Bible, pp. 94, it mentioned that word play or pun was an important aspect of Aramaic speaking culture. It cited Matthew 16:18 as one of the examples. Funny it may seem, the book mentioned Peter’s nickname in Aramaic as Kepha and translated it in English as “Rocky”. I remember the boxer’s movie whenever I heard this name.Kepha, as most people who studied the biblical languages, means “stone”. And those who really studied the Aramaic language deeply, they will discover that there is an Aramaic word for bedrock or strong rock: shu’a. Although the book of Matthew was originally written in Hebrew, it was translated to Greek nevertheless. The difference was not lost in translation; thus, the words “Petros” and “Petra” were applied.It is intuitive to use Aramaic to solve this word-play problem since Jesus spoke Aramaic. However, in Cargounis’ “Peter and the Rock”, Chapter 3 discusses the difficulty of solving the word-play between Petros and Petra using Aramaic evidences. It said the evidences “…show(s) fluidity in its semantic field over a sufficiently long period of time, tending in the latter part of that period to assume the meaning of stone” (referring to Kepha). It also said “it must be admitted that the Aramaic evidence is ambiguous and it can no way solve the problem at hand”.Thus, the negative’s plan to use Aramaic to counter my argument already failed. 

What’s the best evidence so far? In the same book, Chapter 4, this was stated after gathering all data from different Syriac manuscripts: “These facts support the conclusion reach earlier that Kepha means “stone” rather than “rock” and it corresponds to “Petros”. Also, “in the case of Palestinian version,…Kepha has a sense of Stone rather than Rock.”

In English, these two words are used interchangeably and some people can’t even distinguish the difference. In common knowledge, a stone is small, hardened material while rocks are big boulder or large stone. It’s the same with Petros (small stone) and Petra (Rock). It’s the same with Kepha (stone) and Shu’a (Rock).

Question #2:
“It will come about in all the land,” Declares the LORD, “That two parts in it will be cut off and perish; But the third will be left in it.”
My question now is, were all the three parts of the Church of God that Christ built belonging to the same single body?

All three parts, namely the first century Church of Christ – Jews (first part) and Gentiles (second part), and the Church of Christ (Iglesia ni Cristo) today (third part) are all part of one same body in different periods of time. Thus, the two parts that were cut-off and perished were the first century Christians. It is important to note the word “cut-off” denotes discontinuation in terms of time as being cut-off from the third.

For this debate, my proposition is about the 2/3rd, the first century church, was completely apostatized. The verse said they were cut-off and perished. They were the Jews and Gentiles (Romans 9:24). In Donaldson’s “Paul and the gentiles”, p.8, it said “…the [first century] church comprised of the elect of both Jews and Gentiles.”
Now, people are saying all non-Jews were Gentiles. That’s not exactly right. The Gentiles, as officially defined in Scaevola’s Roman Constitution, with reference to the time, were those who were born of the same name (family), born of freemen, none of ancestors had been slave, and no capitis dimunitio. In ancient Roman interpretation, these people belong to subdivisions of three tribes. (Smiths, “Dictionary of Greek and Roman Antiquities”, p. 449).

Thus, it doesn’t include people of modern times for our blood has been mixed already with slaves and freemen and we don’t particularly came from the Gentes of three tribes.

Question #3:
Matthew 28:20 is conditional. It says “…observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you…”
My counterpart is guilty of ripping off the said verse from the bible since the full text of Matthew 28:20 shows the following:
Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and behold I am with you all days, even to the consummation of the world.
My question now would be, using the rules on standard English grammar, what’s the purpose of having a punctuation mark in between two different sentences or phrases?

You used Douay-Rheims version in this question. Unfortunately for you Totnak, the punctuation used here is COLON. Colon is used to introduce a further explanation or a list. In the verse quoted, it is to introduce further explanation. Therefore, the two sentences are related to each other and thus, the second sentence is an explanation of the first. In direct explanation, teaching them to observe all things whatsoever Jesus have commanded them is very important to make the promise of Jesus staying with them even to the consummation of the world happen.

Thanks for asking a question using the version with the right punctuation.

http://www.gcsu.edu/writingcenter/colonrules.htm

Question #4:
Thus, the Catholic Church is the Babylon, the Prostitute. The Catholic Church is the apostate church.
My question now would be, can the Affirmative please declare it as a statement of fact that he undoubtedly believes that the Catholic Church is indeed the First Century Church? For if not, then it means that the Affirmative doesn’t believe his own arguments.

I already stated it in my second affirmative. I don’t believe that the Catholic Church is indeed the First Century Church in terms of doctrinal comparison. I, however, believe that the Catholic Church was at first the Church of Christ. Take note of the words “at first”, it signifies that it was but not anymore. In the sentence “The prostitute was at first a virgin”. It means the prostitute was a virgin but not anymore.

You can also substitute the words “at first” with the words “in the beginning” and therefore, historically I believe that the Catholic Church has a link (historically) to the first century church. However, the link was broken because of doctrinal inconsistencies such as the Platonic Trinity which wasn’t taught by the first century church.
What does a Catholic authority say about it? In Religion: Doctrine and Practice, by Rev. Francis Cassily, pp. 442-443 and p. 444

“5. Did Jesus Christ establish a Church? Yes, from all history, both secular and profane, as well as from the bible considered as a human document, we learn that Jesus Christ established a Church, which from the earliest times has been called after him the Christian Church or the Church of Christ… This Church, founded and organized by Jesus Christ and preached by the apostles, is the Church of Christ,… It is the only true Church and the one which God orders all men to join. ”

The apostate church changed the name. As a matter of fact, even up to 1870, they were arguing about the name. In Discourses on the Apsotle’s Creed, Rev. Clement Crock, p. 191

“In 1870, at the Vatican Council, the name ‘Roman Catholic Church’ was proposed, but it was rejected. The bishops assembled unanimously decided upon this official name: ‘The Holy Catholic Apostolic Roman Church’” 

I believe in my argument. You are just having a hard time understanding it. 

Question #5:
My question now would be, assuming without accepting that the Catholic Church under the Pope, which is of course the Roman Catholic Church, apostatized, how then do we consider the Orthodox Catholics who also came from the same First Century Church? I am assuming that the Orthodox Church doesn’t belong to the Affirmative’s apostatized church claim since the Orthodox didn’t submit itself under the Pope’s authority.

Your assumption is wrong. Even during my first affirmative constructive, I already introduced the “Greek Spirits” as a factor of apostasy. In your cross-examination, I gave the Platonic Trinity as an example of “Greek Spirits”. Here’s part of my answer in your Q4 during the 1st cross-examination:

One of the Hellenistic or Greek Spirit philosophes is the Trinity. Thus, “Most defenders and opposers of this doctrine in modern times agree in maintaining that the doctrine of the Trinity is delivered and inculcated in the writings of Plato” (ibid pp. 167). The doctrine of the Trinity is a proof that Greek Spirits won over the doctrine and history attest that it won over the church as well. Most churches today, including the Eastern and Roman Catholic Churches espouse this Platonic Trinity.

In fourth century, more than 700 years before the schism, both Eastern and Western Catholic Church prohibit their clergy to marry [Council of Elvira (305 A.D.) and Council of Carthage (390 A.D.)]. Also, both Eastern Orthodox and Western Catholic Churches practice prohibition of eating meat on certain days (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Eastern…Church#Fasting).

The Schism between East and West happened in 1054 A.D. This is more than 700 years since the Council of Nicaea. Before then, the Pope’s authority was being enforced in the West and being accessed in the East. Before the Schism, they try to settle doctrinal issues together and they meet together. The Pope was the head of the council of Bishops of the Eastern and Western Catholics.

Let me quote these from the Catholic Encyclopedia:

“But before heresy, schism, and barbarian invasions had done their work, as early as the fourth century, the Roman Seewas already the Apostolic See par excellence, not only in the West but also in the East.”

“The authoritative acts of the popes, inasmuch as they are the exercise of their Apostolical power, are styled acts of the Holy or Apostolic See.”

http://www.newadvent.org/cathen/01640c.htm

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This mod will rule on the objections raised by the Negative on the Affirmative’s Item 11. Affirmative Replies.Let me quote each objection (in italics) and rule on it (bold).WORD COUNTThe Negative pointed out that word count total based on www.wordcounttool.com is 1,631 words while MS-Word had it at 1,606. Both showing clear violations of the word limit which is 1,600 words.I claim the prerogative of indicating my preferred counter — MS Word 2007. Using it, the count is 1,609, thus in excess of the limit. This is the second violation by the Affirmative of this rule; and, while the excess is a mere 9 words, it is still a violation of one indicator that can be objectively measured. It does not bother me personally, but there is a complaint so I need to point it out.

DIRECTNESS 

The Negative objected that the Negative didn’t answer questions #2 and #4 directly as required by the rules.

RULINGS

A2. I rule that the answer given by the Affirmative is direct enough, thus is acceptable. I consider the first sentence of the Affirmative’s answer as a direct answer to the question.

A4. I rule that this question was not answered directly. I have difficulty understanding if the Affirmative is saying “yes” or “no” to the Negative’s question. Using qualifications like “in terms of doctrinal comparison” and “at first” did not help in the clarity but instead muddled it. While I understand the Affirmative’s need to assert quickly that the Catholic Church is a “prostitute”, there is time for that later in the post. The first part should first clearly state a “yes” or a “no”. Also, the Affirmative should use the term “First Century Church” when he answers, not “Church of Christ”, because the question was about the earlier phrase not about the latter. He may any terms later in the post, but the first part should be clear.

I therefore rule that the Affirmative will have to re-post his A4 — answer to question 4. 

RELEVANCE

The Negative objected to the Affirmative’s answers to some of the questions. Let me quote him directly (italicized below):

the Affirmative violated Rule #2 by raising something that is not a part of his 2nd Affirmative Constructive. They are as follows:

On Question #1, the Affirmative clearly came up with a different argument than what was raised in his immediate constructive preceding the cross when he talked about the wordplay dilemma on the use of Petros, Petra and Kephas.

On Question #2, the Affirmative raised the issue about the Jews and Gentiles which wasn’t a part of his immediate constructive preceding the cross.

On Question # 5, the Affirmative used an argument that is entirely irrelevant to the question on hand. By appealing to the arguments of his first constructive, the Affirmative is directly contradicting his second constructive in which he undeniably pointed to the apostatized Supreme Leader of the Church that led to the Apostasy of the 1st Century Church

RULING

Now on the issue, I rule that all of the Affirmative’s answers objected to by the Negative shall be accepted, without me commenting on the relevance/irrelevance of those answers. 

That ruling above may sound confusing so let me explain how I am using the Relevance Rule. This rule is primarily used to test the questions, not the answers. The questions should be relevant to the preceding constructive as we need focused questions and not out-of-nowhere or whimsy questions.

But the answers are typically not tested for relevance, but for directness. The common problem with answers is that they are not direct enough when facing a difficult question. So moderators should watch for directness. But Relevance is not a problem that should be ruled by the Moderator. The burden of proving irrelevance should remain with the opposing debater.

In this particular case, if the Affirmative’s answers are indeed irrelevant and contradictory to his constructed position, then that should weaken his position and it is something that the Negative should attack on during his rebuttal. It is important to remember that I am not saying that the Affirmative’s answer is RELEVANT or NOT. It is a burden that the Negative should have in his rebuttal.

Therefore, I reserve my own view on the relevance of the Affirmative’s answers as part of the judging process at the end.

SUMMARY

To summarize, the Affirmative needs to post an acceptable A4, or answer to question 4. He is given 320 words and 5-day deadline from the time of this post.

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Affirmative’s modified reply for Question #4
Answer to question number 4: No. The Catholic Church IS NOT the first century church. Take note of the linking verb in present tense. My position is clear: The Catholic Church is the apostatized church. Thus, in form and doctrines, the Catholic Church is not the first century church. At first it WAS, but after apostasy, it IS not anymore.Please be mindful of the tenses used because it is important in this debate.

Narito ang ikatlong bahagi ng diskusyon sa pagitan ng Katoliko at Iglesia ni Cristo sa pamamagitan ng http://www.pinoyexchange.com

Muli,   hinihingi ko na po ang paumanhin ninyo sapagkat di ko po ito isasalin sa wikang Filipino ang kabuuan ng debate.

First Negative Constructive (Catholic)


Apostasy, Schism and Heresy

I would like to start my Negative by outlining the three sins of faith as defined by the Catechism of the Catholic Church (CCC 2089). They are as follows:

Heresy is the obstinate post-baptismal denial of one or more of the doctrines of revealed religion.

Schism is the refusal of submission to the Roman Pontiff or of communion with the members of the Church subject to him.

Apostasy is the total repudiation of the Christian faith.

I believe that there’s a need to clearly distinguish the above sins of faith because from what I’ve seen so far, it seems to me that my counterpart is confusing apostasy with either heresy or schism.

Now that we have a clear and concise understanding of the three distinct sins of faith, I would like everyone to focus on the issue of Apostasy and how we would see that eventhough major apostasies happened, there wasn’t and won’t be a complete apostasy ever.

The Jesus Christ Guarantee

Those who says that a complete or total apostasy has happened is clearly in error when you countercheck their claims against the Bible. Why? Because the Bible clearly shows that Jesus Himself provided an iron clad guarantee for the Church that He personally built.

“And I say to thee: That thou art Peter; and upon this rock I will build my church, and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it.”Matthew 16:18

“Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and behold I am with you all days, even to the consummation of the world.” Matthew 28:20

“And I will ask the Father, and he shall give you another Paraclete, that he may abide with you forever.” John 14:16

The above three passages clearly and unarguably tells us that no other than Jesus Himself guaranteed that He and the Paraclete would be with His Church forever!

See my friends? What promise could be greater to ensure the survival of Christ’s church than one that has been packed, sealed and delivered by Jesus Christ Himself? Even the Apostle Paul himself echoed this very same guarantee.

“To him be glory in the church, and in Christ Jesus unto all generations, world without end. Amen.” Ephesians 3:21

Those who claim that a complete or total apostasy happened are clearly going against the above guarantees. Even more,believing in the complete or total apostasy of the Church is accusing Jesus and the Apostle Paul of being liars.

The Dictionary definition of Apostasy

Now, people might argue “Ok, your definition may be right using the bible but it can’t be correct if we are going to use other references.” Hmmm, great point. But wait, let’s ask Mr. Dictionary to know what he thinks.

The Freedictionary.com defines Apostasy as the abandonment or renunciation of one’s religion or morals. Merriam-Webster.com defines it as renunciation of a religious faith while the Macmillandictionary.com says that Apostasy is a refusal to accept religious or political beliefs anymore.

Ok, let me now challenge you my friends. Using the above definitions from some of the most common on-line dictionaries, what common factor do you see regarding Apostasy? Think hard and think deep. Got it? Are you kidding me? You still can’t find it? Ok, here it is.

Apostasy, as defined by dictionaries, refers to “one’s abandonment, renunciation or rejection of religious morals, faith and beliefs”. Key word? “One”.

You see, apostasy as defined by common man, applies only to individuals and not to groups, much more to an established Church. This is actually the pitfall of those who preaches about the complete apostasy. They willingly apply an individual term to the whole Church yet they fail to cite even a single biblical verse that would support their claims that the whole Church totally and completely apostatized.

Absurd isn’t it?

Does the Bible agree with the Dictionary?

I know, I know. All of you would probably ask me, “What the hell are you talking about? Does the bible agree with the dictionary with regards to your individual apostasy argument?”

Sure it does. Let me show you.

“For it is impossible for those who were once illuminated, have tasted also the heavenly gift, and were made partakers of the Holy Ghost, Have moreover tasted the good word of God, and the powers of the world to come, And are fallen away: to be renewed again to penance, crucifying again to themselves the Son of God, and making him a mockery.” Hebrews 6:4-6

“I know that, after my departure, ravening wolves will enter in among you, not sparing the flock. And of your own selves shall arise men speaking perverse things, to draw away disciples after them.” Acts 20:29-30

Using the passages above, we could clearly see that the falling away a.k.a. apostasy prophecy would happen individually.Large scores of individual apostates but still, it’s individually and not totally or completely as what most complete apostasy proponents are claiming.

Why is this important? Simple. Using the above arguments, we could clearly see that the biblical apostasy is only applicable to individuals, albeit large number of individuals, but not to the whole church. Because for the whole Church to apostatize,it would need that all members of the Church to individually renounce, reject and abandon the religious faith. Clearly, this hasn’t happened and will never happen ever.

Has the Church experienced an apostasy already?

The answer is a clear YES.

It would be naïve for any Catholic to claim that the Church hasn’t seen its share of apostates. Think of the Mormons, the Jehova’s Witnesses and yes, The INC. All of these pseudo-Christian religions pretends to propagate Christian teachings yet they are one in denying the divinity of Christ which is the core of the Christian faith.

How about the Islamic renaissance? Many would agree that we are now seeing the biggest number of apostates leaving the Christian faith in favor of Islam. That in itself is a great apostasy.

We could also include the rise of Atheism in the West, the Chinese persecution in the East and the slowly creeping Christian liberalists amongst our midst. If we are to count, I believe that the Church has already suffered millions of apostates worldwide either due to scandals or outright faith renunciation.

But does this all constitute a complete apostasy? Clearly, No. For we still have surviving faithfuls that has held on to the original teachings of the apostles that was handed down either through oral or written traditions.

Completely DOES NOT MEAN Totally?

In his first affirmative, my counterpart has eloquently argued that completely doesn’t necessarily mean totally. He even went on to quote Brown and Berria who wrote “Yet every word is itself, and not another”. Unfortunately, eloquence alone is not enough to refute the fact that the accepted definition of completely includes, without a doubt, a total completion.

I would have to commend my counterpart’s persistence in claiming the contrary but clearly, he can’t cite any factual and accepted vocabulary reference that would show any distinct difference between “completely and totally”. This of course could only mean one thing. That no matter how he denies it, he can’t completely and independently extract one from the other.

1+1=2 and 2×1=2 are two distinct equations yet they provide the exact same answer. Same goes for completely and totally.Two distinctly beautiful words yet they profess the exact same meaning.

Mark 14:27 wasn’t referring to an apostasy

Was Jesus prophesying about an apostasy in Mark 14:27? My counterpart said yes. But clearly, commentaries on the said passage says otherwise.

“Christ permitted his disciples to fall, that they might learn not to trust in themselves. To strengthen his prediction, he adduces the testimony of Zacharias the prophet, (xiii. 7.) I will strike the shepherd, and the sheep shall be dispersed.” Theophylact of Ohrid

“But the Lord foretells to His disciples what is about to happen to them, that when they have gone through it, they may not despair of salvation, but work out their repentance, and be freed.” St. Bede

“The Lord was about to foretell the denial of Peter and the flight of the Twelve, but he began by appealing to the prophecy here quoted from Zech. 13:7.” Coffman

Clearly, the above three bible commentators differs with my counterpart on how to properly interpret Mark 14:27. And I do agree with St. Bede, Theophylact and Coffman.

Mark 14:27 wasn’t a prophecy about a distant future falling away. It was a foretelling of what will happen to the twelve apostles upon the arrest and crucifixion of Jesus. Nothing more, nothing less. For one, Jesus hasn’t established His church yet when the said prophecy was foretold so how could it possible refer to the apostasy of a non-existent church then?

Questions, questions, questions

As I end my first negative constructive, I would like to ask the following to those who claims that a complete apostasy has already happened.

Where in the bible does it spoke of a complete apostasy?
When in history did the complete apostasy happened?
Why do you believe in the Bible at all knowing fully well that your Bible was handed down by a supposed “apostate”church?

Simple questions that needs simple answers. If you can’t provide any, then it could only mean one simple thing.

That all of you are simply wrong.

Thanks and God bless!

Cross-Examination of the Negative (Catholic) by the Affirmative (Iglesia Ni Cristo)


1. You got the definition of Apostasy using many various sources from Catechism of the Catholic Church (CCC 2089) to an Online Dictionaries. Also, you cited some biblical passages which pertain to individual evidences of the upcoming apostasy. However, you failed to use the biblical definition of Apostasy as you conveniently ignored the two passages in Greek NT where Apostasy is explicitly used. My question: In the spirit of common understanding, can you please describe the evolution of the definition of Apostasy from biblical text/period up to the present by showing how and why each significant period of time varies or not vary in their understanding of the word?

2. I presume that you studied the verses you used in the “The Jesus Christ guarantee” and understand the conditions set-forth for the guarantee to be effective. You said “The above three passages clearly and unarguably tells us that no other than Jesus Himself guaranteed that He and the Paraclete would be with His Church forever!”. My question is: Can you describe the biblical conditions set-forth for “The Jesus Christ guarantee”?

3. You also used Matthew 16:18. Can you please describe the rock upon which the church was built/founded in terms of who, what, and how powerful that rock was?

4. You said” … we could clearly see that the biblical apostasy is only applicable to individuals, albeit large number of individuals, but not to the whole church. Because for the whole Church to apostatize, it would need that all members of the Church to individually renounce, reject and abandon the religious faith. Clearly, this hasn’t happened and will never happen ever.” My question: If a church or group of people follows an individual as their supreme leader, then the supreme leader apostatized and the church or group still followed him, will you now consider the church or group to have been apostatized or not? Please explain your answer. 

5. You said “Mark 14:27 wasn’t referring to an apostasy” and then, you cited St. Bede, Theophylact and Coffman with regards to Mark 14:27. I read the link you provided. They were silent about apostasy but discussed the event the happened that night. You concluded and sounded as if they categorically denied that Mark 14:27 was about apostasy. That’s argumentum e silentio (argument from silence). You asked me about “you will ALL fall away” and my answer was “That night was the beginning of the slow process and it continued even after ascension. The three persons you quoted support half of my answer. In the spirit of understanding, my question is this: can a person apostatize without falling away (either by heresy or schism or any other way) first? Please explain your answer.

Ruling by Moderator


The Negative questioned the relevance of Questions 1, 2, 3 of the Affirmative and asked for the moderator’s ruling.

As moderator, it is important to examine the questions asked in the Q&A. The most important factor is relevance. The question must emanate from and limited only to within the constructive post of the opponent. It must seek to clarify but not go beyond what is not covered by the constructive. Also, it should not be argumentative or rhetorical as this part is not yet the Rebuttal.

My rulings are below:

Question 1: Although The Negative did not mention the evolution of the definition of “apostasy”, I would allow this question because I can sense that the issue of definition is crucial in this debate.

Question 2: I will NOT allow this question as is. The Affirmative needs to reformulate or change it. The Negative did not mention any pre-conditions to the Jesus Christ guarantee. If that is a point that the Affirmative wants the audience to know, he needs to raise that in his upcoming constructive.

Question 3: I would allow the question about the “Rock” of Mt. 16:18 because The Negativementioned it anyway. However, in order to connect to the issue of Apostasy, the Affirmativeneeds to clarify a bit where he is coming from. Why is this question relevant to Apostasy? That part is not very clear to me.

So, to proceed, I request that the Affirmative repost his entire set of questions (the entire post) but with Question 2 changed. He also keeps Question 3 but add a brief context to the question (within the word limit).

Thank you!

Cross-Examination of Negative by Affirmative – revised as requested


1. You got the definition of Apostasy using many various sources from Catechism of the Catholic Church (CCC 2089) to an Online Dictionaries. Also, you cited some biblical passages which pertain to individual evidences of the upcoming apostasy. However, you failed to use the biblical definition of Apostasy as you conveniently ignored the two passages in Greek NT where Apostasy is explicitly used. My question: In the spirit of common understanding, can you please describe the evolution of the definition of Apostasy from biblical text/period up to the present by showing how and why each significant period of time varies or not vary in their understanding of the word?

2. About “The Jesus Christ guarantee”. You argue that those three verses guarantee that there will be no apostasy. My question is: To be effective, are there conditional or unconditional “Jesus Christ guarantees”? Please explain your answer.

3. You also used Matthew 16:18 to say the 1st century church won’t be apostatized. The verse mentions about the “rock” upon which the church was built. The history of the first century church is hinged on this “rock”; and how it is related to the leadership of the church. If the leadership of the church apostatized and so also the church. My question: Can you please describe the rock upon which the church was built/founded in terms of who, what, and how powerful that rock was?

4. You said” … we could clearly see that the biblical apostasy is only applicable to individuals, albeit large number of individuals, but not to the whole church. Because for the whole Church to apostatize, it would need that all members of the Church to individually renounce, reject and abandon the religious faith. Clearly, this hasn’t happened and will never happen ever.” My question: If a church or group of people follows an individual as their supreme leader, then the supreme leader apostatized and the church or group still followed him, will you now consider the church or group to have been apostatized or not? Please explain your answer. 

5. You said “Mark 14:27 wasn’t referring to an apostasy” and then, you cited St. Bede, Theophylact and Coffman with regards to Mark 14:27. I read the link you provided. They were silent about apostasy but discussed the event the happened that night. You concluded and sounded as if they categorically denied that Mark 14:27 was about apostasy. That’s argumentum e silentio (argument from silence). You asked me about “you will ALL fall away” and my answer was “That night was the beginning of the slow process and it continued even after ascension. The three persons you quoted support half of my answer. In the spirit of understanding, my question is this: can a person apostatize without falling away (either by heresy or schism or any other way) first? Please explain your answer.

Negative (Catholic) Replies 


On Question#1, the Greek NT recorded the following verses containing the word “apostasia”

“μή τις ὑμᾶς ἐξαπατήσῃ κατὰ μηδένα τρόπον. ὅτι ἐὰν μὴ ἔλθῃ ἡ ἀποστασία πρῶτον καὶ ἀποκαλυφθῇ ὁ ἄνθρωπος τῆς ἀνομίας, ὁ υἱὸς τῆς ἀπωλείας,” ΠΡΟΣ ΘΕΣΣΑΛΟΝΙΚΕΙΣ Β΄ 2:3

“κατηχήθησαν δὲ περὶ σοῦ ὅτι ἀποστασίαν διδάσκεις ἀπὸ Μωϋσέως τοὺς κατὰ τὰ ἔθνη πάντας Ἰουδαίους λέγων μὴ περιτέμνειν αὐτοὺς τὰ τέκνα μηδὲ τοῖς ἔθεσιν περιπατεῖν.” ΠΡΑΞΕΙΣ 21:21

“βλέπετε, ἀδελφοί, μήποτε ἔσται ἔν τινι ὑμῶν καρδία πονηρὰ ἀπιστίας ἐν τῷ ἀποστῆναι ἀπὸ θεοῦ ζῶντος,” ΠΡΟΣ ΕΒΡΑΙΟΥΣ 3:12


The first 2 passages used Apostasia as a NOUN while the Regardless of its usage, the word still carries with it a single meaning. That is to fall away from the truth or defection from the truth. And this is basically what the GREEK meaning of the word is. The Greek term Apostasia is defined as a falling away, defection, withdrawal, or turning from what one has formerly turned to.

I don’t see any contradiction in that with the previously mentioned definitions of Apostasy using the dictionary or the CCC. Can you?

On Question #2, please see my answers below:

Matthew 16:18 doesn’t carry any pre-conditions since it was done by Jesus to reward Peter about his confession that Jesus is indeed the Son of the Living God. Same goes for Matthew 18:20 as the verse was showing us a specific instruction and guidance from Jesus to the Apostles prior to His ascension.

John 14:16 also doesn’t offer pre-conditions for the coming of the Paraclete outside of course for the departure of Jesus to be with the Father.

Ephesians 3:21 also doesn’t talk about any pre-condition since it was a final salutation from Paul to the Christian Church in Ephesian. Paul’s final salutation affirms what we all believe that Jesus will be with His church unto all generations.

The protection of the Church that was guaranteed by Jesus doesn’t come with any conditions. It was a promise that nothing can overcome His Church where the Holy Spirit dwell forever.

On Question #3, let me post here an excerpt in Filipino that was published by the “Ang Pasugo on its April 1966 edition, page 46.

“Ang totoo hanggang sa kasalukuyan ay patuloy na ginagawa ni Satanas ang pagpapasok ng mga maling aral sa Iglesia Katolika na sa pasimula’y siyang Iglesia ni Cristo. Sadyang matalino at tuso ang diablo. Hindi niya ginawang biglaan ang pagtalikod sa Iglesiang itinayo ni Cristo noong unang siglo.”

I believe it’s pretty clear that even the Iglesia ni Cristo itself accepts and understands that the Church that Christ built on the Rock in Matthew 16:18 is the Catholic Church. But in the spirit of clarity, let me expound on my answer.

The “Rock” referred to by Jesus on Matthew 16:18 was Peter. And this could not be any clearer based on the following:

“And he brought him to Jesus. And Jesus looking upon him, said: Thou art Simon the son of Jona: thou shalt be called Cephas, which is interpreted Peter. John 1:42 Douay-Rheims Bible

John himself used the word “Cephas” specifically to refer to Simon Bar Jona. Any other verse? Read on.

“But when Cephas was come to Antioch, I withstood him to the face, because he was to be blamed.” Galatians 2:11 Douay-Rheims Bible

Paul, like John, referred to Peter as “Cephas”. The scriptural evidence is so clear that going against it is tantamount to rejecting the bible altogether.

Remember, Jesus changed Simon’s name to “Cephas”. In ancient jewish culture, changing of names is not just an act anyone can do. In ancient jewish traditions, a change of name is a change in status, be it literally or figuratively. And Simon bar Jonah was renamed Cephas because of the confession Peter has given.

Now, what title has been given to Cephas a.k.a. Peter? Read on.

“When therefore they had dined, Jesus saith to Simon Peter: Simon son of John, lovest thou me more than these? He saith to him: Yea, Lord, thou knowest that I love thee. He saith to him: Feed my lambs. He saith to him again: Simon, son of John, lovest thou me? He saith to him: Yea, Lord, thou knowest that I love thee. He saith to him: Feed my lambs. He said to him the third time: Simon, son of John, lovest thou me? Peter was grieved, because he had said to him the third time: Lovest thou me? And he said to him: Lord, thou knowest all things: thou knowest that I love thee. He said to him: Feed my sheep. Amen, amen I say to thee, when thou wast younger, thou didst gird thyself, and didst walk where thou wouldst. But when thou shalt be old, thou shalt stretch forth thy hands, and another shall gird thee, and lead thee whither thou wouldst not. And this he said, signifying by what death he should glorify God. And when he had said this, he saith to him: Follow me.” John 21:15-19 Douay-Rheims Bible

The above verses clearly show the task that was given to Peter by Jesus. To feed the sheep of Christ here on earth. If Jesus didn’t intend to make Peter as “The Rock” to which God’s church will be built, then why ask Peter to feed His sheep?Jesus could have asked John, who is the beloved disciple, or Paul, who is the apostle to the gentiles. But no. God’s church should stand on solid grounds. A rock to which the gates of hell can’t prevail until the end of time. And that rock was and is Cephas.

The INC itself agrees explicitly that the Catholic Church is/was the Church founded by Christ in the first century thus, I don’t see any further points to expound on.

On Question #4, the answer should be quite simple. Unless their Supreme Leader totally departed from the truth by renouncing the basic doctrines that they used to believe, it can’t be considered an Apostasy.

Given that Apostasy is the individual act of falling away from the truth, only a collective action of individuals to renounce what they previously believed as true would tantamount to an apostasy. But then again, it should and must involve the collective action of ALL THE MEMBERS of the church following the Supreme Leader.

Also, it can’t happen if the Church is guided by the Spirit of truth. Remember, Jesus Himself promised that the Paraclete would teach the Church all things and will remind them everything that Jesus taught them everytime.

“But the Paraclete, the Holy Ghost, whom the Father will send in my name, he will teach you all things, and bring all things to your mind, whatsoever I shall have said to you. John 14:26

On your Question #5, it’s outright deceptive to say that St. Bede, Theopylact and Coffman didn’t deny that Mark 14:27 wasn’t referring to an apostasy. The fact that they categorically and spefically wrote that the said verse was referring to what would happen ONLY to the 12 Apostles at that time period is proof enough that it wasn’t speaking about a distant future apostasy. To say that they were silent about it is totally wrong since all three commentators shared the same analysis of the verse and it doesn’t include an apostasy in the distant-future.

Also, a person can apostatize straight away without being heretic. This was proven by Joseph Smith who became an apostate without being a heretic first. Same can be applied to Islamic converts who didn’t preach heresies before falling away from the true faith of the Church.

Turning away from the truth isn’t a process that needs to be gradual. It can happen the instant a Christian throws away everything he knows and believes about Jesus and His church and turn to other beliefs like paganism, Zoroastrianism, Buddhism, Atheism or Islam.

Thank you and God bless.


…to be continued

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