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'Roman Catholic' Allegations Answered
—  I R R E F U T A B L Y  —
Steve Ray, who runs a web site called 'Defenders of the Catholic Faith', created the following list of 38+ questioning-allegations (with assistance from David Palm),
to repudiate the views of those whom he calls 'Bible Christians', which he then uses in Catholic dominant areas
to oppose the work of Protestant/Evangelical missionaries, as follows –
1. Where did Jesus give instructions that the Christian faith should be based exclusively on a book?  
is not and never has been! Jesus gave the Holy Spirit to all Christian believers because no human mind is to be unconditionally trusted with the truth of God from any source; either of the pope, his cardinals, or his bishops of any century.
  2. Other than the specific command to John to pen the Revelation, where did Jesus tell His apostles to write anything down and compile it into an authoritative book?  
attention to the words of Jesus would help, where He said that – "When the Spirit of truth comes, He will guide you into all the truth, for He will not speak on His own authority, but whatever He hears [from the Father] He will speak, and He will declare to you the things that are to come" (John 16:13). The New Testament represents the teachings of these foundation apostles.
Revelation 21:14.
  3. Where in the New Testament do the apostles tell future generations that the Christian faith will be based solely on a book?  
cannot be based on a 'book', for it is based on a personal relationship with Jesus through the Holy Spirit, but God is consistent and His integrity means that what His Spirit says now never contradicts the Spirit inspired Holy Bible if it is understood in its own context.
  4. Some Protestants claim that Jesus condemned all oral tradition (e.g., Matt 15:3, 6; Mark 7:813). If so, why does He bind His listeners to oral tradition by telling them to obey the scribes and Pharisees when they “sit on Moses’ seat” (Matt 23:2)?  
He did not bind them to 'oral tradition! Even though Jesus repeatedly corrected the oral tradition of the Scribes and Pharisees ('it has been said, but I say...'), by which they made the written Word of God of no effect, He instructed His hearers to yet still respect the responsibility of their position ('seat') as the teachers of their people. Jesus did not justify rebellion.
  5. Some Protestants claim that St. Paul condemned all oral tradition (Col 2:8). If so, why does he tell the Thessalonians to “stand firm and hold to the traditions which you were taught, whether by word of mouth or by letter” (2 Thes 2:15) and praises the Corinthians because they “hold firmly to the traditions” (1 Cor 11:2)?
(And why does the Protestant NIV change the word “tradition” to “teaching”?)
Being honest with the Bible means understanding it in its own context, and Paul is simply referring to his own teaching given to the churches through the inspiration of the Holy Spirit, which is kept for us today in Holy Scripture as a standard to compare to anything any teacher claims to be an inspired understanding. (The 'word of mouth' and 'letter' are his teaching and his writing.) And God is consistent!
Concerning the NIV, the word is παράδοσις (paradosis) which may be translated as 'precept', 'transmission', or that which is 'handed over' – so both 'tradition' and 'teaching' are correct.
  6. If the authors of the New Testament believed in sola Scriptura, why did they sometimes draw on oral Tradition as authoritative and as God’s Word (Matt 2:23; 23:2; 1 Cor 10:4; 1 Pet 3:19; Jude 9, 14 15)?  
• Matt.2:23 – is not a tradition! It is a coded prophecy in the written Scripture where Nazareth is contained in the word 'Branch' (נצר) in the original language, so that the massacre of infants at Bethlehem would not be replicated at Nazareth.
• Matt.23:2 – is Christ reinforcing the teaching responsibility of the Scribes and Pharisees in spite of their blatant hypocrisy.
• 1 Cor.10:4 – is Paul showing how inspired Scripture in the Old Testament carries metaphorical as well as literal teaching. It has nothing to do with tradition!
• 1 Pet.3:19 – is a statement of the Apostle Peter of where Jesus was between His death and His resurrection and has nothing to do with tradition.
Because Jude gives us information about Moses' death and Enoch's prophesying, which had not been included in the Old Testament, does not mean that he picked it up from some tradition. Remember Christ's promise about the Holy Spirit as the Spirit of Truth! Jesus keeps His word!
  7. Where in the Bible is God’s Word restricted only to what is written down?  
is not restricted to Holy Scripture, for the gifts of the Holy Spirit in Christ's Church today include prophesying (speaking by immediate inspiration of the Holy Spirit), and God neither contradicts Himself nor does He leave us to be deceived by self-proclaimed 'prophets', which is why He said that if a prophet prophesies the others used in that gift of the Spirit must evaluate what is said (peer review, not hierarchical oversight such as the papacy). (1 Cor.14:29).
  8. How do we know who wrote the books that we call Matthew, Mark, Luke, John, Acts, Hebrews, and 1, 2, and 3 John?  
We do not know, except be human deduction from evidences within the text of each writing, for the authority of the New Testament is not based on its human authorship.
  9. On what authority, or on what principle, would we accept as Scripture books that we know were not written by one of the twelve apostles?  
Because the Apostle Paul was not one of the Twelve and he is the principle writer of our New Testament, for spiritual authority was never hierarchical from a special group of Twelve.
  10. Where in the Bible do we find an inspired and infallible list of books that should belong in the Bible? (e.g., Is the Bible’s Table of Contents inspired?)  
(This 'Table of Contents' comment descends into ridicule and is unworthy of argument, for a publisher's page-numbering of a Bible is obviously not part of the inspired text in its original language).
On the same basis as Ancient Israel recognised only 39 books as canonical, and no others; even though others such 1st and 2nd Maccabees were sometimes read in the synagogue service. No one knows who wrote the inspired books of Job, Ruth, etc., but Ancient Israel had no doubt about their inspired character, which is why we have them in our Bible today.
  11. How do we know, from the Bible alone, that the individual books of the New Testament are inspired, even when they make no claim to be inspired?  
The Apostle Peter makes it clear that, even though he was personally an eye-witness of Christ's ministry, his own report is not as trustworthy as the Holy Spirit inspired word of prophecy contained in Holy Scripture (2 Pet.1:16-21).
  12. How do we know, from the Bible alone, that the letters of St. Paul, who wrote to first century congregations and individuals, are meant to be read by us as Scripture 2000 years later?  
Because the principles of God are consistent, whatever the century, when the Bible is understood in its own context!
  13. Where does the Bible claim to be the sole authority for Christians in matters of faith and morals?  
It does not, for nothing less than the moral character of God, demonstrated in Jesus Himself, is the source of all authority. Conformity to this is alone authoritative. For that reason we are told that the love of God is poured into our hearts by the Holy Spirit given to us (Rom.5:5).
  14. Most of the books of the New Testament were written to address very specific problems in the early Church, and none of them are a systematic presentation of Christian faith and theology. On what biblical basis do Protestants think that everything that the apostles taught is captured in the New Testament writings?  
For the simple reason that they carry the essentials of the Faith which make it Christian. Anything more added later by any person or any papal edict is not an essential, or the first Christians could not have been Christians! God does not change and is consistent!
  15. If the books of the New Testament are “self-authenticating” through the ministry of the Holy Spirit to each individual, then why was there confusion in the early Church over which books were inspired, with some books being rejected by the majority?  
The confusion did not arise until the Church began to be seduced by the world's methods represented in Roman practice. Its confusion was symptomatic of its corruption.
  16. If the meaning of the Bible is so clear—so easily interpreted—and if the Holy Spirit leads every Christian to interpret it for themselves, then why are there over 33,000 Protestant denominations, and millions of individual Protestants, all interpreting the Bible differently?  
The Holy Spirit does not lead everyone called Christian! Even genuine Christians are warned not to 'grieve' the Holy Spirit! But, most denominations, including the Catholic church and its sister churches as much as any Protestant grouping of congregations, are simply products of history, for God's true people are only those born of His Spirit as Jesus described to Nicodemus (Jn.3:3-8), and not any organisational structure. Jesus died for people, and people only, not for doctrine or organisation of any kind.
  17. Who may authoritatively arbitrate between Christians who claim to be led by the Holy Spirit into mutually contradictory interpretations of the Bible?  
No one! For the only arbitration taught by Jesus was reconciliation in personal relationships (Matt.18:15-20), for that is the character of Christianity.
  18. Since each Protestant must admit that his or her interpretation is fallible, how can any Protestant in good conscience call anything heresy or bind another Christian to a particular belief?  
The existence of our New Testament is a testimony to the consistency of Christian understanding in the beginning when led by the Holy Spirit in terms of the character of God's love demonstrated in Jesus. The New Testament laid down a minimum standard of belief, but its application is by the character of Christ – love – and not by authorities burning heretics as history testifies to Catholic discernment and influence.
  19. Protestants usually claim that they all agree “on the important things.” Who is able to decide authoritatively what is important in the Christian faith and what is not?  
There is a consensus reflected in the New Testament, which is why the term 'Protestant' can be used as a group definition, although it reflects a very incomplete reformation in the restoration of Christianity to its original character.
  20. How did the early Church evangelise and overthrow the Roman Empire, survive and prosper almost 350 years, without knowing for sure which books belong in the canon of Scripture?  
It did not 'overthrow' the Roman Empire! The Church of Rome took over power when political Rome collapsed under barbarian invasions. No synod canonised Holy Scripture any more than any synod canonised Ancient Israel's Holy Scriptures!
  21. Who in the Church had the authority to determine which books belonged in the New Testament canon and to make this decision binding on all Christians? If nobody has this authority, then can I remove or add books to the canon on my own authority?  
Your behaviour reflects your inner condition. You can tear out as many pages as you wish but that changes nothing. There is no authority in any believer that can bind other believers. It is only the character of Christ which carries authority, and He laid down His life for those He loved.
  22. Why do Protestant scholars recognize the early Church councils at Hippo and Carthage as the first instances in which the New Testament canon was officially ratified, but ignore the fact that those same councils ratified the Old Testament canon used by the Catholic Church today but abandoned by Protestants at the Reformation?  
Some 'Protestant' scholars do not even believe that Jesus rose from the dead, but that has nothing to do with reality. Protestants in general believe in Christianity as founded in the first century by Jesus and those who heard Him, and later councils only reflect the opinion of that later time. In Protestantism 'scholars' are not popes who define the faith!
  23. Why do Protestants follow post apostolic Jewish decisions on the boundaries of the Old Testament canon, rather than the decision of the Church founded by Jesus Christ?  
They do not! The so-called 'post apostolic Jewish decisions' at Jamnia is a myth invented in 1871 AD by Heinrich Graetz to try and find an event when the third division (Ketubim) of the Hebrew Bible was decided, and has since been totally discredited. The Catholic inclusion of Apocryphal Jewish books in the canon is a byproduct of the Septuagint Greek Translation of the Old Testament which included books used in the synagogue but not regarded as authoritative. Ignorance of this at the time resulted in the extended Catholic canon.
  24. How were the bishops at Hippo and Carthage able to determine the correct canon of Scripture, in spite of the fact that they believed all the distinctively Catholic doctrines such as the apostolic succession of bishops, the sacrifice of the Mass, Christ’s Real Presence in the Eucharist, baptismal regeneration, etc?  
The bishops at Hippo and Carthage, or any other place, had no authority over anyone except to lead their own congregations!
  25. If Christianity is a “book religion,” how did it flourish during the first 1500 years of Church history when the vast majority of people were illiterate?  
Christianity is not a 'book religion' or a set of doctrines, or religious ritual! It is a living personal relationship with Jesus Christ, in which our communion with Him is attested intimately by the Holy Spirit in each individual.
  26. How could the Apostle Thomas establish the church in India that survives to this day (and is now in communion with the Catholic Church) without leaving them with one word of New Testament Scripture?  
Holy Scripture was always written in the language of the first recipient, which is why the whole New Testament was written in the international Greek of that time. If 'Thomas' became an evangelist to India, as some believe, there was no reason for him to set up language schools or translate Old Testament Scriptures when Christianity is based directly on a personal relationship to Jesus Christ, any more than that he needed to build church buildings in India.
  27. If sola Scriptura is so solid and biblically based, why has there never been a full treatise written in its defense since the phrase was coined in the Reformation?  
The rediscovery of the Bible by Reformation leaders in Catholic Europe, whatever phrases they may have invented, in no way sets the standard or defines the character of New Testament Christianity.
  28. If Jesus intended for Christianity to be exclusively a “religion of the book,” why did He wait 1400 years before showing somebody how to build a printing press?  
That does not deserve an answer! Jesus did not write one word of Holy Scripture, but He held His generation responsible for knowing and obeying Holy Scripture when He declared to them – "have you not read [in Holy Scripture] what God spoke to you!" (Matt.22:31), and He will also do so to this generation of so-called 'Christians'.
  29. If the early Church believed in sola Scriptura, why do the creeds of the early Church always say “we believe in the Holy Catholic Church,” and not “we believe in Holy Scripture”?  
"Catholic" means 'universal', has no relevance to Roman Christianity, and it is a declaration of the unity of all who belong to the Lord Jesus Christ world-wide!
  30. If the Bible is as clear as Martin Luther claimed, why was he the first one to interpret it the way he did and why was he frustrated at the end of his life that “there are now as many doctrines as there are heads”?  
Martin Luther was not the first, and he was certainly not a good example of Christianity, either in his anti-Semitism to burn synagogues (arising from his food-poisoning blamed on kosher food), or his utter intolerance of Bible-believing Christians such as Ulrich Zwingli. Centralising control of how people think is not Christian!
  31. The time interval between the Resurrection and the establishment of the New Testament canon in AD 382 is roughly the same as the interval between the arrival of the Mayflower in America and the present day. Therefore, since the early Christians had no defined New Testament for almost four hundred years, how did they practice sola Scriptura?  
If the last book of the New Testament was written by the Apostle John in the first century, why would it take a decision of some church synod three-hundred-years later to decided it was true? What do you think the Apostle Paul meant when he wrote – "For whatever was written in former days was written for our instruction, that through endurance and through the encouragement of the Scriptures we might have hope." (Rom 15:4). Is our New Testament then, which carries the full revelation of Jesus Christ, any less than this?
  32. If the Bible is the only foundation and basis of Christian truth, why does the Bible itself say that the Church is the pillar and foundation of truth (1 Tim. 3:15)?  
The Church of Jesus, not the Church of Rome, is the pillar and foundation of truth – for in it is demonstrated, if it be true, the character of God's revelation in Jesus Christ, even though their blood stains the history of Catholic Europe in their martyrdom! (Rev.12:11).
  33. Jesus said that the unity of Christians would be objective evidence to the world that He had been sent by God (John 17:20-23). How can the world see an invisible "unity" that exists only in the hearts of believers?  
The world was not meant to see a monolithic world-wide organisation! It was meant to see those to whom Jesus was speaking, His disciples, in their living personal relationships. Jesus said, and it is recorded for our instruction today, that – "By this all people will know that you are My disciples, if you have love for one another." (John 13:35). Love is not hidden in the heart. It is demonstrated in relationships!
OF CHURCH AUTHORITY: 34. If the unity of Christians was meant to convince the world that Jesus was sent by God, what does the ever-increasing fragmentation of Protestantism say to the world?  
The fragmentation of all church organisations, which were once useful vehicles to assist God's precious people in their life-witness for Him, but have now become spiritual museums of the past, must be allowed to fully collapse and be destroyed. They are rusting wrecks of past spiritual vehicles along the path of history and must not be allowed to restrict the newness of the life of Christ in His people as He restores them for His return to a Bride prepared for Her Groom. The true witness to the world has always and only been the character of Christ in His people!
The Filioque Clause
  35. Hebrews 13:17 says, "Obey your leaders and submit to their authority. They keep watch over you as men who must give an account. Obey them so that their work will be a joy, not a burden, for that would be of no advantage to you." What is the expiration date of this verse? When did it become okay not only to disobey the Church's leaders, but to rebel against them and set up rival churches?  
This letter to Jewish Christians refers to their local spiritual shepherds of God's flock, but is true for all believers everywhere. This will never expire, for the leaders (plural) are to be followed because, as even with Jesus Himself (Jn.10:27) the only shepherd of the whole flock, the 'sheep' recognise the voice of their local shepherd in that personal relationship and follow. They are not driven by threat of punishment or loss! This is a direct pastoral relationship which is only possible at the local level. Christian disobedience does not change this.
  36. The Koran explicitly claims divine inspiration, but the New Testament books do not. How do you know that the New Testament books are nevertheless inspired, but the Koran is not?  
A silly statement! The New Testament writings claim inspiration in many places, for example – "If anyone thinks that he is a prophet, or spiritual, he should acknowledge that the things I am writing to you are a command of the Lord. If anyone does not recognize this, he is not recognized [as a prophet]. (1 Cor.14:37-38).
  37. How does a Protestant know for sure what God thinks about moral issues such as abortion, masturbation, contraceptives, eugenics, euthanasia, etc.?  
Personal moral standards were never meant to legislated. God banned work on the Sabbath in Israel at a national level, but Jesus demonstrated that this was not an absolute when His own disciples picked grain on the Sabbath, and He then justified it by supporting David's violation of the restriction of the bread in the tabernacle to priests (Matt.12:3-4). True morality is the expression of God's character – love – and does not lie in the legislative authority of a centralized organisation of any kind.
  38. What is one to believe when one Protestant says infants should be baptized (e.g., Luther and Calvin) and another says it is wrong and unbiblical (e.g., Baptists and Evangelicals)?  
Understanding baptism, as belonging to believers only, arises from understanding the nature of the Christian Church. Therefore, progress in the one led to insight regarding the other. If the Christian Church is composed of believers only, then Christian baptism, as the symbolic entrance into that spiritual identity, applies only to believers. If Christian baptism applies to infants the same can be said of participation in the Eucharist, which confesses our participation in Christ's atonement and applies to all Christians. At least those who practice believer's baptism are being consistent, for its boundary line is faith and not age.
Where does the Bible say . . ?    
God created the world/universe out of nothing?
It does not need to, for if God created everything, then He created whatever pre-existed as well. So, of course He did!
salvation is attainable through faith alone?
The New Testament teaches that works express faith and that without works faith is dead (James 2:17). But, to ever think that doing good can earn mercy insults Christ's atonement and is a contradiction is terms for mercy means it is undeserved!
how we know that the revelation of Jesus Christ ended with the death of the last Apostle?
It did not end!
a list of the canonical books of the Old Testament?
It does not! See above.
a list of the canonical books of the New Testament?
It does not! See Above.
the doctrine of the Trinity, or even use the word “Trinity”?
God is only known through Jesus, and if so you would not have asked that question.
the name of the “beloved disciple”?
By deduction from the content of the Gospel called the Gospel of John in which the phrase occurs.
the names of the authors of the Gospel of Matthew, Mark, Luke, or John?
It does not!
who wrote the Book of Acts?
The author of Luke's Gospel. It tell us!
the Holy Spirit is one of the three Persons of the Trinity?
If you know God through Jesus you will find it in His Word at John 15:26.
Jesus Christ was both fully God and fully man from the moment of conception (e.g. how do we know His Divinity wasn't infused later in His life?) and/or tells us Jesus Christ is One Person with two complete natures, human and Divine and not some other combination of the two natures (i.e., one or both being less than complete)?
By understanding the Bible from the viewpoint of the people it was written to, and not as a document for theological debate!
that the church should, or someday would be divided into competing and disagreeing denominations?
God does not recognise denominations. He recognises only those sanctified by the death of Jesus, and therefore to them alone He gave His Spirit.
that Protestants can have an invisible unity when Jesus expected a visible unity to be seen by the world (see John 17)?
    Yes, visible is the practice of personal relationships, and not it a unity of organisation centred in some foreign country!
Jesus Christ is of the same substance of Divinity as God the Father?
There can only be one infinity and that is not too hard to understand, but the Bible did not need to say it, when it taught that Jesus created all things created, in John 1:3!
Theological definitions do not define Christianity.
Christianity is not confined to any organisation.
Christianity is a living relationship at a personal level with the Saviour of the world,
and this is demonstrated, as evidence-of-authenticity, by how we treat each other!
own claim to authority, and there can be no higher, was not based on His deity even though He was God-incarnate. Christ's claim to authority in confronting both the authority of the religious leaders of His time and Satan, was –
"It is written..." (Matthew 21:13);   "It is written..." (Luke 4:4,8; etc.);
and His faith in the authority of Holy Scripture (in its own context) was also the practice of the foundaation apostles (Ac.1:20; 23:5, etc.) who laid for us the historical foundation for our faith in the founding documents of Christianity – our New Testament.
These principles therefore must apply today, for God is consistent – and whoever does not know this, does not know God!
Remember then the holy Word of God which says to us ALL –  
  "I write these things to you about those who are trying to deceive you.
But the Anointing that you received from Him abides in you, and you have no need that anyone should teach you

[as an ultimate authority].
But as His Anointing teaches you about everything, and is true, and is no lie –
just as it has taught you, abide in Him."
1 John 2:26-27.

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