Tom: I know I am not going to convince you of anything because you have been blinded by the god of this world (2Corinthians 4:3-5), but I pray that you will seek God through His infalible (sic) Word, repent, and give your heart to the Lord Jesus the Christ.
Your church is an abomination to God (Revelation 17-18).
J. Salza: Tom, I choose to follow the Church that Jesus built upon the rock of St. Peter, to whom Jesus gave the keys to the kingdom of heaven and the authority to bind and loose (just like all the early Church fathers believed). This is the same Church who gave you the Bible.
Tom, Christianity is a religion of the Word of God, not the book. The Word of God has been given to us by both the written and unwritten traditions that Christ committed to the Church. Come home. Time is short.
Tom: To say Roman Catholicism gave us the Bible is ludicrous. First of all, the Old Testament was in existence well before Jesus was born of the virgin Mary and it in and of itself proves the New Testament to be God’s Word and Jesus to be God Almighty incarnate, the Messiah. Second, it is an undeniable fact that the Roman Catholic Institution murdered millions of Christians for following the God’s Word over their teachings. If Rome gave us the Bible, why would they murder people for believing it?
I have had a personal relationship with Jesus since being Born Again in June of 1989. Do you know Jesus personally? I do, I have no doubt that I will spend eternity with Him in heaven, because of who He is and what He has done for you and me. You must be Born-Again by the Word of God, just as Peter was and just as Peter said you MUST be.” Being born again, not of corruptible seed, but of incorruptible, by the word of God, which liveth and abideth forever. For all flesh is as grass, and all the glory of man as the flower of grass. The grass withereth, and the flower thereof falleth away: But the word of the Lord endureth forever. And this is the word which by the gospel is preached unto you.” (1Peter 1:23-25)
My friend, God said through the prophet Jeremiah, “Thus saith the LORD; Cursed be the man that trusteth in man, and maketh flesh his arm, and whose heart departeth from the LORD.” (Jeremiah 17:5)
Your faith is in an institution created by man and for man, to glorify man.
Jesus said, “And then will I profess unto them, I NEVER KNEW YOU: depart from me, ye that work iniquity.” (Matthew 7:23)
Again I ask you, do you know Jesus personally?
J. Salza: Tom, I know Jesus personally. He is my Lord and Savior and I walk with Him every minute of the day. In fact, I have a most intimate, covenant relationship with Him because I eat His flesh and drink His blood as He commands all New Testament Christians to do. This is the teaching of Jesus Christ and His Holy Catholic Church, for 2,000 years.
Jesus is indeed the rock, but He shares His rock status with Peter. That is why Jesus renamed Simon to Peter and said “upon this rock I will build my Church.” Jesus builds His Church upon the rock of Peter and the foundation of the other apostles. He shares His authority with those He puts in charge. Jesus gave Peter the keys to the kingdom of heaven and the authority to infallibly bind and loose. Jesus put Peter in charge to rule and guide over His flock until He returns in glory. Once again, this is the 2,000 year-old faith of the Church.
If you say it is ludicrous that the Church gave us the Bible, you obviously don’t know history. The Catholic Church determined the canon of Scripture at regional councils in Rome, Hippo and Carthage at the end of the fourth century. Before the Church’s determination, there was no consensus.
The Old Testament Scriptures existed before Christ, of course, but even the Jews debated about which ones were inspired and which ones were not. The Catholic Church determined which ones were inspired for the faithful. Even your Protestant King James Version had the deuterocanonical books in its first edition, but removed them later. If your Bible doesn’t have all 73 books, you don’t have a complete Bible.
You say that the OT prophecies of Christ “prove” that the NT is God’s Word. That is simply not true. There were many Scriptures that also spoke of Christ’s divinity in fulfillment of Jewish prophecies. In fact, there were 50 “gospels” floating around Judea during the first centuries. The Catholic Church made an infallible decision that only four of the gospels were divinely inspired. If you accept the NT canon, you accept an infallible decision of the Catholic Church.
The emotional and irrational claims that the Church murdered “millions of people” for believing in the Bible demonstrate a profound ignorance of history and a blatant bias against the Church. It was the Catholic Church who translated the Scriptures into common language, preserved the Scriptures against the attacks of infidels, transmitted the Scriptures throughout the ages, and made the Scriptures available to the public. Do you think the Bible just came down from heaven four centuries after Christ ascended into heaven to be our sole authority? You have a lot of studying to do.
Moreover, while the Catholic Church is full of sinners, so is the rest of the world. If you judge truth by whether someone sins or not, then you should throw out your Bible. After all, all its authors were sinners. Moses was a murderer. David was an adulterer and murderer. Yet you accept their writings as God’s Word. That shows just how duplicitous Protestants are in their thinking.
I was born again in the waters of baptism (Jn 3:5), which saved my soul (1 Peter 3:21; Titus 3:5) through the power of Jesus Christ my Savior and Lord. I know and love Jesus because I have accepted His Church and the fullness of His truth. I will pray that you get beyond your prejudice and begin studying what the early Church believed, not what your Protestant pastors 20 centuries removed believe.
Grace be with you.
Tom: Okay, I guess this conversation will go nowhere. You believe in another gospel (see Galations 1:8&9) and you are willingly ignorant, but that is to be expected, because the god of this world has blinded your eyes. I had hoped that we could reason together, but you worship the Roman Catholic Institution so deeply that you can see nothing else. To deny the Inquisitions is so naive that this can go no further.
You need to believe God at His Word, Jesus said, “Thy Word is Truth” John 17:17. Pray to the Lord Jesus alone to give you understanding of the Scriptures then Read Psalm 119. God will open your eyes if you ask Him and humble yourself before Him.
J. Salza: Tom, let’s step back for a minute and evaluate the premise of your whole position. You believe that the Bible is the only authority for the Christian. If you want to convince me of your position, then please tell me where in the Bible it says that the Bible is the only authority for the Christian.
And don’t provide me with verses that say “Scripture is inspired” or “Scripture says this or that.” I know that Scripture is inspired and that Scripture says this or that. You have to show me where the Bible says that the Bible is the ONLY authority for the Christian.
Tom: John, I can not convince you of anything, only God can open your eyes to the Truth. Jesus said, “Thy Word is Truth”. Truth is unchangeable.
You say you believe the Bible is inspired by God, but you do not believe that it is His infallible Word. That is an oxymoron. If the Bible really is God’s Word, as it claims to be and as Jesus said it was, then it is the Ultimate Authority, the Authority to which ALL other authority must submit. God has not changed, nor has His Word. To believe otherwise is to have faith in a changeable institution and makes you no different than all other religions.
Consider prayerfully these verses, “For I am the LORD, I change not; therefore ye sons of Jacob are not consumed. Even from the days of your fathers ye are gone away from mine ordinances, and have not kept them. Return unto me, and I will return unto you, saith the LORD of hosts. But ye said, Wherein shall we return?” (Malachi 3:6-7)
They had not kept God’s ordinances, those clearly written in Scripture, just as the institution you worship fails to keep God’s ordinances.
J. Salza: Tom, you are putting words in my mouth. I never said that “I don’t believe that the Bible is God’s infallible word.” Where did you get that? It appears that you have an agenda.
I asked you a simple question. Where does the Bible (God’s infallible Word) teach that the Bible is our only authority? This is your conclusion, but you have not provided any Scriptures to back it up.
In your words, where does the Bible say that it is the “Ultimate Authority, the Authority to which ALL other authority must submit”? I believe the Bible is God’s word, but where does it say that God chose to transmit His infallible word ONLY through the Bible?
Tom: John, I only desire that you come to the knowledge of the Truth. If you believe God’s Word is True then you are in direct opposition to hundreds of Scripture. I will only focus on one: The second commandemnt says, Thou shalt not make unto thee any graven image, or any likeness of any thing that is in heaven above, or that is in the earth beneath, or that is in the water under the earth: Thou shalt not bow down thyself to them, nor serve them: for I the LORD thy God am a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children unto the third and fourth generation of them that hate me; (Exodus 20:4-5)
God clearly teaches that those who make idols and worship them hate Him. Please explain this to me, because I grew up in the Roman Catholic Institution and I know they worship idols, as do the popes, including pope John II and the current.
Regarding your question to me about the Bible being the Ultimate Authority, if it is in fact God’s Word as you say you believe, how could it be anything but the Ultimate Authority? You only question the Authority of God’s Word, because you reject what it says. Psalm 138:2 says, “I will worship toward thy holy temple, and praise thy name for thy lovingkindness and for thy truth: for thou hast magnified thy word above all thy name.”
J. Salza: Tom, you obviously cannot answer my question. I asked you to provide me with the Scripture that says the Bible is our only authority. Instead, you give me quotes about not worshiping graven images. What is that about?
First, Catholics do not worship images. We worship God alone. We use images to raise our minds and hearts to God. Do you have a family? Do you have pictures of them? You may look at them and even kiss them, but I would never accuse you of worshiping the pictures. It is the same with images. They remind us of God and holy people. It is extremely poor of you to accuse Catholics of idolatry. Nothing could be further from the truth.
Now, I will ask you one more time: Please provide me with the Scripture that says the Bible is our only authority. Thank you.
Tom: John, why did I bring up the second commandment? Because, I want to stick to Scripture as my Lord Jesus did.
Photos can be idols too, if they are prayed to or candles are lit to them or they are trusted for safety. That is what I have seen in Catholicism, that is what I have seen the popes do, and it is absolute blasphemy. In Catholicism, idols are enshrined, paraded, worn as talismans, bowed to, buried for “luck”, prayed to, adored, venerated, exalted, and sought after for miracles. All are forms of worship.
As for “not answering your question”, maybe you missed that. Here is the answer: in Psalm 138:2, God puts His Word above His Name. Does that make it the Ultimate Authority? How about what the Lord Jesus said, “And ye have not his word abiding in you: for whom he hath sent, him ye believe not. Search the Scriptures; for in them ye think ye have eternal life: and they are they which testify of me. (John 5:38-39) He does not say go ask the priest, your mom, your dad, the neighbors, or the book of the traditions of the elders, which Jesus often reproved them for doing. He, the Lord Jesus, the Christ, and the Creator of the Universe says, SEARCH THE SCRIPTURES. All of Psalm 119 speaks of the Authority of God’s Word as well.
Jesus answered and said unto him, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, except a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God. (John 3:3) Please read Paul’s conversion, that is what it is to be born again or from above as Scripture clearly states.
John, prior to being born again, I was completely blind to God and the Scriptures, oh I believed in God, but it was not the God of the Bible and I was destined for hell. Now I know Him personally, ALL of my sins are forgiven and I know with absolute assurance that I will spend eternity with Him, because of what the Lord Jesus has done.
J. Salza: Tom, you do not understand the Catholic faith, nor do you understand the Scriptures.
First, Catholics do not worship these images. They are used only to facilitate our worship. You sound like the Manicheans of old, who viewed all matter as evil. We really have to laugh at such claims. Would you accuse the early Christians of idolatry for seeking to touch Paul’s handkerchiefs, or Peter’s shadow, for physical and spiritual cures? (see Acts 19:11-12; 5:15).
Second, none of the Scriptures you provided say that Scripture is the “ultimate authority.” They only prove the authority of Scripture. Unfortunately for you, Scripture actually says that it is NOT the only authority. Saint Paul, under the divine inspiration of God, commanded us to obey BOTH the written and unwritten tradition (2 Thess 2:15) that comes to us from the apostles. Tell me, Tom, what is the unwritten tradition?
Tom: John, I felt several letters ago that I should do as the Apostle Paul commanded; A man that is a heretic after the first and second admonition reject; Knowing that he that is such is subverted, and sinneth, being condemned of himself. (Tit 3:10-11)
You say one thing that is true, Roman Catholicism is a faith, but not Christianity; for it is a faith based on man. Jeremiah 17:5 declares Thus saith the LORD; Cursed be the man that trusteth in man, and maketh flesh his arm, and whose heart departeth from the LORD. (Jeremiah 17:5)
I will not respond any further, because you are subverted (Overthrown; overturned; entirely destroyed.)
J. Salza: Tom, if you are going to listen to the apostle Paul, then you should obey his command to follow the oral traditions of the Church as well (2 Thess 2:15). But you won’t do that, nor will you even investigate what they are, because you live in a world of private-judgment Christianity where your personal opinions are the final authority.
Tom, you know that the Bible doesn’t teach that it is the only authority, but your pride will not allow you to admit it. Pride is a dangerous vice. It convinces some people that they are really serving Jesus, when all the while they are denying Him, since you can’t have Jesus without the Church He established (the one the Bible says He built upon the rock of Peter, to whom He gave the keys to the kingdom and the authority to infallibly bind and loose; the one with bishops, priests and deacons; the same one that you ridicule in your ignorance).
Come back home. The time is short.