Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Refutation of Walid Shoebat's “Them ‘Damned’ Catholics”

The following is an examination and refutation of Walid Shoebat's demonizing of Protestants and evangelicals in particular (more of Shoebat's specious sophistry is exposed here by the grace of God) while exalting Catholicism as the noble preservers of Christendom, yet in reality, like Islam, it exalts another authority above Scripture. For according to Rome, what Scripture consists of or means cannot be contrary to her, as she uniquely possesses assured veracity. And history testifies that to the degree this presumption to supremacy over Scripture occurs, then both the souls and the bodies of good men are in danger.

Due to Catholicism's false doctrine, moral declension and use the sword of men, it not only became as the gates of Hell for vast multitudes using the name of Christ, but it  also served to provide Islam with converts and to justify itself. In contrast, it is the vibrant faith of evangelicals that Islam and Catholicism sees as their greatest faith opponent.

Shoebat's modus operandi is to employ misrepresentations and specious arguments  while ignoring that evangelicals are the most conservative, pro-Israel, anti-Islam Christian group in the West (as if one could be a Christian otherwise). Yet Shoebat's target is evangelicals, and resorts to invoking liberal Protestants in attacking them for things Catholicism herself examples, while he offers no documentation for his imbalanced view of history. 

Of course, Shoebat himself is a speaker for hire against Islam, who claims to be a Palestinian Liberation Organization terrorist who firebombed an Israeli bank, and whom even the BBC, Fox News and CNN at one time presented as a "terrorist turned peacemaker," yet a subsequent CNN investigative effort found no evidence to support his claims of PLO affiliations or being an "ex-terrorist." 

His cousin, interviewed in the report, stated that he had never known Shoebat to have ties to any movement, and that his claims of being a former terrorist were "for his own personal reasons". According to CNN, their reporters in the United States, Israel and the Palestinian territories found no evidence to support Shoebat's claims and "neither Shoebat nor his business partner provided any proof of Shoebat's involvement in terrorism."
A 2008 Jerusalem Post article raised questions regarding the authenticity of Shoebat's account, and reported that Bank Leumi had no record of an attack on its Bethlehem branch between 1977 and 1979. In addition, Shoebat's uncle also denied that such an attack took place. Such an incident was also not reported by Israeli news outlets according to Omar Sacirbey's 2010 Washington Post article.
The Jerusalem Post article also reported a contradiction in Shoebat's response to the question whether word of the bombing made the news at the time. He replied, "I don't know. I didn't read the papers because I was in hiding for the next three days." However, according the same article, he had told Britain's Sunday Telegraph in 2004 that "I was terribly relieved when I heard on the news later that evening that no one had been hurt or killed by my bomb." During his telephone interview, Shoebat was unable to recall the date or time of year of the attack. He told the Sunday Telegraph in 2004 that he was pressured by teachers to adopt an extreme Islamic philosophy. His uncle, who still lives in Beit Sahour, said religion did not play a major role in Walid's education, which he described as ideologically mild, and that there was no attack on Bank Leumi.
A two-week term in an Israeli jail, another of Shoebat's claims, was also unsubstantiated, with Israel having no record he was ever jailed. Regarding CNN's inability to confirm his jail time, Shoebat wrote, “he was searching the wrong name.” The Jerusalem Post also stated that Shoebat has profited from his story that he was formerly a Muslim terrorist who has rejected Islam for Christianity. When the Post asked Shoebat whether the Walid Shoebat Foundation is a registered charity, he said that it was registered in Pennsylvania. The Pennsylvania Attorney General's Charitable Trusts and Organizations Section said it had no record of such a charity. When asked again, Shoebat claimed it was registered under a different name, but that he was not aware of the Foundation's registered name, nor any other details, which were known only to his manager. (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Walid_Shoebat)
Thus while Shoebat's own claims about himself may be true, they seem to be basically based simply on his word. These are not the days of a socially close and conscionable society (and with limited travel) in which a person's personal truth claims are easily verified by those who knew the person, but one in which fraud and misrepresentation can easily more often be the case, Ergun Caner (who likewise claimed to be a radical Muslim convert) being a clear example, and it is also an age in which multitudes believe unsubstantiated claims. 

It is mandated in Scripture that “in “the mouth of two or three witnesses shall every word be established.” (Mt. 18:16; 2Cor. 13:1) Thus the apostles and others gave witness of the words and deeds of the Lord Jesus, and Luke carefully complies his record from eyewitnesses, “That thou mightest know the certainty of those things, wherein thou hast been instructed.” (Luke 1:4)
While Shoebat has helped the case against Islam, his adulation of Catholicism and railing accusations against evangelicals, along with his own unsubstantiated claims, makes him akin to passionate Muslims who also engage in such in attacking true Christians.
Below is the text of Shoebat's railing accusations, with my response within [italicized brackets].

Them ‘Damned’ Catholics

Throughout the Church’s history, it has warred with Islam. Yet, it has nothing to offer us today. This is the typical answer I get when I discuss Christian history with many Evangelicals. They tell me that beyond the Bible, there is nothing else we need
[this is an absurd straw man, likely due to reading Roman Catholic propaganda: Sola Scriptura (SS) means Scripture alone is the sufficient and supreme authority for faith and morals as the wholly inspired word of God, but its sufficiency is not wholly formal (so that a soul can read Acts 10:36-43 for instance and understand how to be saved), but its sufficiency is significantly material, providing for such things as reason, teachers, etc. to aid in understanding, even recognition of a canon. If SS meant only the Bible can be used, than evangelicalism would not abound with study helps.]
So next time you have a fire in the house, read the Bible, don’t forget to pray while you forget dialing 911 and enjoy the smoke and fire billowing inside the house.
[As Shoebat's premise is false, so is his conclusion. Such misapprehension or misconstruance of SS casts doubt on either his education or honesty and credibility. Or both.]
I find it difficult to even ask questions: What was Christian history like, that withstood Islam’s evil and defeated it in Europe? Why and how did Christendom lose Egypt and Asia Minor to Islam?
[Because Islam fed off the dead carcass of Romanized institutionalized religion. As detailed at the supplementary section, the NT church underwent a progressive deformation, which, while not so extensive or comprehensive that souls could not find Christ amidst the accrued error and institutionalization, and present a form of Godliness and the visible church, but while it fought heresies it also perpetuated errors of tradition and to effectively elevate it and the teachings of the church magisterium above Scripture as the supreme authority, while (therefore) increasingly becoming like the empire it began in. Which helped to provide justification for the Islamic premise of reform, as well as its use of the sword of men.]
And what are we doing in our days to emulate or not emulate from that history?
[Seek to preach and practice NT evangelical Christianity, in critical contrast to the Catholic revision.]
The one million dollar question that no one can answer – although I will get many remarks from people damning me as a heretic – is this: Why did God choose Catholics to stop Islam in its tracks in all the major battles intended to destroy Christendom? Anyone who has the answer, please step forward.
[Because God can accomplish His means however it pleases Him consistent with His word. Thus God could preserve Truth and faith through a nation that at times went after idols and under leaders who killed prophets sent to them, and which largely would reject the Messiah sent to them. But the fatal error of the RC apologetic that Shoebat seems deceived by is that which imagines that being a historical instrument of God means that they must be followed in all its official judgments, and that its supremacy cannot be annulled. But as God often raised up “prophets, and wise men,” and scribes (Mt. 23:34) from without the magisterium to reprove it and preserve faith, thus the church began following such, even if itinerant preachers whom the magisterium rejected. And thus after much longsuffering the Lord raised up men to preserve faith and the body of Christ, and correct Rome in her arrogance, whom she characteristically went about to kill.
Moreover, since Rome chose to live by the sword, becoming a theocracy waging “war after the flesh,” (2Cor. 10:3) contrary to the NT church, then multitudes of her subjects died by the sword in religious holy wars, while killing multitude others due to mere theological dissent.
Wars against Islam by the civil government in defense of its country, or delivering a besieged people, and based on Biblical morality are not wrong, but such are not holy wars engaged in by the church raising armies, marching under the cross and giving “indulgences” for killing lost souls. And to gain territory that was lost as a judgment against the institutionalized form of Christianity it had become.]
What do most spirit-filled evangelicals know about the Battle of Lepanto, Battle of Tours, The Battle of Vienna, and The Battle of Malta?
[They should know that Catholicism was not that of spirit-filled evangelicals.]
Had the ‘damned’ Catholics not fought the Battle of Tours, all of Europe would have been Muslim today, like in Asia Minor. It would have been the end of Christianity, as we know it. Today, Turkey (Byzantium) is 99% Muslim and looks very likely to produce the Antichrist while Evangelicals still think that Antichrist and the Harlot is the Roman Catholic Church.
[Rather, had not Christianity become as Rome knows it, Christianity would not be so widely replaced by Islam, and God would raise up legitimate powers to defeat Islam. Meanwhile Shoebat ignores the sordid history of Rome, especially at the time of the Reformation and centuries before it (see at end), that supplied warrant for speculation that she was the Anti-Christ (alter-Christus), and even today Rome is an alter-Christus. Shoebat is wearing roman-colored glasses given to him by RC propagandists.]
Why is it so rare to find holy spirit-filled evangelicals that speak of such history, except paint it as Crusader, dark, warring and bloodthirsty? [If the shoe fits...] What difference then is there between the die-hard liberal and the spirit-filled evangelical? Both criticize this history. Even further, like many evangelicals and liberals, the Muslims also condemn this history.  
[Fallacious logic. Similarities in some things does not equality make. The shared condemnation here is due to differing reasons.] So why do we echo their interpretation as we damn the Catholic? [Because Rome is an aberrant church which used the sword of men to fight her battles, even against Bible believers, not just Islam.]
Why? Is it because of them ‘damned’ Catholics who defended Christendom and saved the Protestants from utter annihilation? Could it be perhaps the Catholics did something right, like fight them damned Muslims and thwart them from annihilating Christendom?  

[Rather, Catholicism herself would have gladly allowed Islam to annihilate Protestantism, which she herself sought to do, if politically pragmatic, while damning souls due to her largely lifeless aberrant form and gospel, which theologically was largely doing to the church what Islam physically did.]
In all these battles there were no Protestants coming to help save Europe and Protestant states refrained from helping or even lifting a finger. They were too busy doing Bible studies on how them ‘damned’ Catholics were the Antichrist.
[Amazing, since the the Battle of Tours was in October 732, and the Battle of Malta took place in 1283, both before the Reformation, in which Catholics also fought against Protestants, it hardly seems reasonable to expect the few Protestant countries would or could fight with Catholic counties in the sea Battle of Lepanto in 1571 or the Battle of Vienna in 1683. The Thirty Years' War itself was between 1618–1648.
And history, which Shoebat thinks evangelicals must ignore, teaches that the Sultan of the Ottoman Empire was known for his tolerance of the Christian and Jewish faiths within his dominions, whereas the King of Spain did not tolerate the Protestant faith. Various religious refugees, such as the Huguenots, some Anglicans, Quakers, Anabaptists or even Jesuits or Capuchins were able to find refuge at Istanbul and in the Ottoman Empire.
Overall, the military activism of the Ottoman Empire on the southern European front probably was the reason why Lutheranism was able to survive in spite of the opposition of Charles V and reach recognition at the Peace of Augsburg in September 1555 — https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Protestantism_and_Islam#Mutual_tolerance
The idolatry of increasingly institutionalized Romanized religion helped to justify the claims of Islam early on. Such things as kneeling before a statue and praising the entity it represented in the unseen world, and as having Divine powers and glory, and making offerings and beseeching such for Heavenly help, directly accessed by mental prayer, could hardly be explained as “hyper dulia” in Bible times or in the time of Muhammad. In the light of such, it seems understandable that at one point apparently Muhammad thought the Trinity consisted of God, Jesus and Mary: Surah 5:116 and 6:101 and 5:72-7). Such things, and the use of the sword of men by Catholicism, worked to blaspheme the name of Christ among the heathen.
Meanwhile, Protestants gained some respect, and strategic reliances of sorts against a common carnal foe. Just as Pope Callixtus III, 1455 asserted, “I vow to…extirpate the diabolical sect of the reprobate and faithless Mahomet [Islam] in the East,”104, so Rome sought to do to Protestantism. Whenever man presumes supremacy over Scripture,as both Islam and Catholicism does, both the souls and the bodies of men are in danger, as they have both exampled (and early Protestants had such to unlearn). Shoebat is silent about the Inquisitions and Catholic hindrance of literacy in Scripture, and is ignorant or in denial of how great a foe Rome was to Christianity in need of the Reformation, imperfect as it was.
Moreover, as an objective source states, “military victories like that [the Battle of Lepanto] remained rare. The Muslim threat was neutralized economically. As Europe grew in wealth and power, the once awesome and sophisticated Turks began to seem backward and pathetic—no longer worth a Crusade. The "Sick Man of Europe" limped along until the 20th century, when he finally expired, leaving behind the present mess of the modern Middle East.” — http://www.thearma.org/essays/Crusades.htm
And which prosperity is much the result of Protestantism, while a country founded by Protestants enabled multitudes of Catholics and others like Shoebat to dwell in safety due to the outworking and maturity of its decidedly Protestant ethos, while Catholicism in power punishes those without her and compels submission.]
Perhaps I need to exercise the typical American habit before speaking about such matters and prequalify my statements. I am not saying that all Protestants are evil, heavens no. Yet, every time I say the word “Catholic” and the whole church jumps up and down pin-pointing the leaven of the Catholics without even looking into the piles of dung worth of heretical books produced by so-called evangelicals.
[So his argument seems to rely on defining “evangelical” to include Joel Osteen or Paul Crouch as the norm, while Rome counts and treats Ted Kennedy RCs as members in life and in death, and being ignorant of the fact that the modern evangelical movement began as a reaction against denial of core Truths, being synonymous with fundamentalism which Rome denounces, and against such liberal revisionism as RC scholarship teaches in its own NAB notes.]
Is the rich Catholic history such an evil subject that the Bible warned us not to touch and even beat down on the Catholic wars with Islam?
[His hatred of Islam prevents him from seeing that Rome, which likewise subjects the Bible to herself, can do as Islam did, and has to varying degrees. And while he warred against Islam after the flesh, she likewise used the sword of men against theological dissidents, including conscientious Christians.]
Even during Nazism, there were many more of these ‘damned’ Catholics that chose to die in Hitler’s ovens than there were evangelicals and Protestants put together.
[Another specious argument, since there were far more Catholics in conquered countries like Poland than evangelicals and Protestants (percentage would be a valid comparison), while it was men of evangelical conscience who reluctantly sought to slay Hitler.]
Are these Catholics damned to hell despite making a choice to enter Hitler’s furnace?  
[He has only a bare assertion that these multitudes choose to be killed in Hitler’s furnace, rather than being unwilling participants in Hitlers racial extermination plan, which called for all Poles to be killed as well as Jews.]
Which of the two is more pleasing to God, the sodomite loving pastor or the Jew loving Catholic who died in the infernos of Hitler’s crematoria?
[More specious argumentation, that of another “false dilemma.” Sodomite-loving pastors do not represent the evangelicals Shoebat attacks, nor even the Protestant pastors at that time, while the unmentioned viable alternative is to be more like men of the Confessing church in Germany which resisted Hitler. Rome has a history to persecuting Jews, as do Protestants, while evangelicals are Israel's strongest religious ally, while Vatican much supports the Palestinians.]
So who will answer my questions? Will it be some unlearned, half-cocked, spikey-haired, tattooed, nose-pierced, ear ringed, mocking, useless, teenage brained heretic from The Free Grace Movement who will instantly obtain from his own authority to anathematize and excommunicate me since such homosexual sodomite sinners must be welcomed into the fold as Christians without repentance? Will such mutants be the future soldiers who will outdo the Knights of Saint John and fight to thwart the forces of darkness and the devil? What will they use to fight, the earrings of their noses and the spikes of their stupid looking hair? Or perhaps these are the very sons of the devil?
[More specious argumentation using false representations. It is not the The Free Grace Movement that attacks Catholics, but evangelicals whom Rome and liberal count as their greatest threat, while being more strongly opposed to Islam and and contending for Israel than Catholics.]
Must I denounce the Pope as a heretic while I remain silent on America’s pastor, this self-appointed son-of-the-devil-pope named Rick Warren who signs a treaty with Islam saying we “worship the same God”? Dare I say anything on that fattened whore who pussyfoots with homosexuality while he condemns the Crusaders in that very treaty?
[More sophistry: Again, it is not men like Warren or more liberal Protestants who attack Catholicism, but evangelicals who make up the most conservative religious group in America, outside of cults.]
Perhaps these things can aid in answering my question, which I’ve asked more than once and no one seems to have answered [like a thief who cannot find a police station]: During my two-decade walk in my Holy Spirit filled evangelical faith; Jesus said: “I will build my church and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it”. Well, in two thousand years, who was this church? Was the church lost from the time the authors of the New Testament departed until the time the holy Martin Luther showed up?
[More ignorance or dishonesty. Just like his strawman of SS that Shoebat claims evangelicals hold to, so it is hard to believe that in 20 years shoebat has not heart anyone answer this question, which is simple. Just as salvific faith and the Israel of God was preserved even though the magisterium of the stewards of Scripture (Mt. 23:2; Mk. 11:27-33; Rm. 3:2; 9:4) were in salvific error, so enough Truth was held by an aberrant Rome and Catholicism that contrite souls could see and find the Lord Jesus despite the trappings of the institutionalized church, which deformation was progressive (again, see below). Thus the church as the body of Christ — which alone is the One True Church since it alone is made of up only the regenerate — could continue, while its visible manifestation overall was and in need of reformation. At no time was the visible church wholly the body and bride of Christ.]
Hitler used Martin Luther’s demonic writ, On The Jews and Their Lies, to help him rid Europe of six million Jews.
[Shoebat ignores the more extensive record of the popes against the Jews, but Shoebat, having rejected one false faith that exalts itself above Scripture, defends another.
In The Popes Against the Jews : The Vatican's Role in the Rise of Modern Anti-Semitism, historian David Kertzer notes,
the legislation enacted in the 1930s by the Nazis in their Nuremberg Laws and by the Italian Fascists with their racial laws—which stripped the Jews of their rights as citizens—was modeled on measures that the [Roman Catholic] Church itself had enforced for as long as it was in a position to do so” (9).
More in part 5 of a series (1 , 2 , 3 , 4 , 5, 6 . ]
Evangelicals answer this dilemma by saying that the true Church was always there but it was persecuted by them ‘damned’ Catholics. Yet, such answers are impossible to prove. Perhaps some Jesus-style questions will help clarify this issue. So which Christian movement was it that them ‘damned’ Catholics persecuted? Was it the Montanists, Novationists, Donatists, Docetists, Cathars, Albigensians, Waldenses, Hussites, and the followers of Wycliff? Were these “The Church” that Jesus spoke about? Were these the true Bible-believing, evangelical-type, spirit-filled believers?
[All these groups were aberrant to varying degrees, at least based on the info we have, which sometimes is suspect, but as some true Christians are in Rome, so also in these groups. Note that even the church of the Laodiceans was still addressed as a church, a proper term Rome refuses Protestant churches as being unworthy of!]
There is no historian who will tell you that these movements even fit into the definition of evangelical “spirit-filled” model. Such movements, which the Catholics squashed (thank God), were radically non-Christian, heretical, and gnostic. Only the Waldenses and the Hussites were somewhat Christian but even these were closer to Catholicism than they were evangelical.
[But none of which examples define what a sound NT church is, and Catholicism is fundamentally contrary to it, as the basis for the veracity of its claims, including to be the One True Church®, is not the weight of Scriptural substantiation, but the very premise of her assured infallibility. For Rome has presumed to infallibly declare she is and will be perpetually infallible whenever she speaks in accordance with her infallibly defined (scope and subject-based) formula, which renders her declaration that she is infallible, to be infallible, as well as all else she accordingly declares. Shoebat seems to have been brainwashed by the RC propaganda at “Catholic Answers.” ]
How would a common Holy Spirit-filled evangelical even know what these movements are all about? After all, we only need the Bible and the hell with history, right? To ignore history is to also ignore the Bible.
[As Shoebats premise is wrong, that SS means we ignore history, so is his conclusion. Again.]
Even Martin Luther and the Protestant movement, which came up with the Westminster Confession of Faith (WCF) that is adhered to by protestant denominations, in fact, aided the Ottoman Muslims and provided them with tin to build canons to destroy catholic states because in their view, the Catholic Church was the Harlot of Babylon and the Antichrist.
[As for the expressed above, the most immediate foe Christianity in need of Reformation was Rome, and Protestantism gained some respect and established some mutually beneficial trade and strategic alliances with the Ottomans. And indeed Rome made herself worthy of being seen as the Harlot of Babylon and the, or a, Antichrist.
As Scripture states that the wicked are God's sword, (Ps. 17:13) Luther did see Islam as sent by God in judgment against apostate Christianity. Yet Martin Luther, in his 1528 pamphlet, On War against the Turk, calls for the Germans to resist the Ottoman invasion of Europe, as the catastrophic Siege of Vienna was lurking... On the one hand, Luther extensively criticized the principles of Islam; on the other hand, he also expressed tolerance for the Islamic faith: "Let the Turk believe and live as he will, just as one lets the papacy and other false Christians live." —Excerpt from On war against the Turk, 1529. — https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Protestantism_and_Islam#Mutual_tolerance
And in a sermon on 2 Timothy 1:3, Calvin explained: "The Turks at this day, can allege and say for themselves: ‘We serve God from our ancestors!’ … It is a good while ago since Mahomet gave them the cup of his devilish dreams to drink, and they got drunk with them. It is about a thousand years since those cursed hellhounds were made drunk with their follies … Let us be wise and discreet! … For otherwise, we shall be like the Turks and Heathen!" (Sermons on Timothy and Titus – John Calvin).
So important was this WCF that it was an essential doctrine of the faith and was non-negotiable. If the Trinity was essential, so was this belief regarding Catholics. Despite Islam’s overt denial of the Trinity, it was never even mentioned in the WCF while the Catholics who prevented the annihilation of Christendom, took precedence over Islam when it came to that document, despite Islam being the religion of Antichrist.

[Shoebat relies on one specious argument after another. The Westminster Confession of Faith was actually drawn up in 1646, 100 years after Luther died, and its focus is on Christian doctrine in contrast to Rome, and thus Hinduism etc. is not mentioned either. Likewise Islam is also not mentioned in Trent, which is far more extensive! Yet the 1643 Westminster Assembly’s "Larger Catechism" calls on Christians to “pray for the propagation of the gospel and kingdom of Christ to all nations; for the conversion of the Jews, the fulness of the Gentiles, the fall of Antichrist, and the hastening of the second coming of our Lord; for the deliverance of the distressed churches abroad from the tyranny of the antichristian faction, and from the cruel oppressions and blasphemies of the Turk.” (http://www.reformed.org/documents/wcf_standards/index.html)
Meanwhile, it was Catholicism that was much engaged in the progressive annihilation of Christendom through its doctrinal and moral deformation. Besides her foundational premise for assurance of Truth being contrary to how the church began, and teaching man is justified in conversion by his own holiness through baptism, and thus usually enters Heaven by gaining the same (through purgatory), and the many other things that set her in contrast to the NT church, the Catholic historian Paul Johnson described the existing social situation among the clergy at the time of the Reformation,:
Probably as many as half the men in orders had ‘wives’ and families. Behind all the New Learning and the theological debates, clerical celibacy was, in its own way, the biggest single issue at the Reformation. It was a great social problem and, other factors being equal, it tended to tip the balance in favour of reform. As a rule, the only hope for a child of a priest was to go into the Church himself, thus unwillingly or with no great enthusiasm, taking vows which he might subsequently regret: the evil tended to perpetuate itself.” (History of Christianity, pgs 269-270) More below]
Even Martin Luther himself came around on this issue to confess after reading the writing of the Catholic Riccaldo Di Montecroce in his wonderful work, Refutation of The Quran. As a result, Luther changed his views and even according to him Islam was the system of Antichrist, yet the WCF never even included it.
[The work of Montecroce was translated into German by Martin Luther in 1542 (4 years before his death) while Luther wrote in 1530, that “in our days, the hordes of the Turk, the pope, and others are great and powerful causes of offense,” and “How completely the Turk holds our Lord Jesus Christ and His Kingdom for a mere nothing, compared with himself and his Mohammed!” “The Turk...names the true God in His worship..Nevertheless, it is all sheer idolatry.” “So, in our days, the hordes of the Turk, the pope, and others are great and powerful causes of offence.” (http://www.godrules.net/library/luther/NEW1luther_f8.htm_
And in his Table Talks (informal teachings related by a student or students), “Antichrist is the pope and the Turk together; a beast full of life must have a body and soul; the spirit or soul of antichrist is the pope, his flesh or body the Turk.” “ As to the forms of religion under the pope and Turk, there is no difference but in a few ceremonies; the Turk observes the Mosaical, the pope the Christian ceremonies - both sophisticate and falsify them; for as the Turk corrupts the Mosaic bathings and washings, so the pope corrupts the sacrament of baptism and of the Lord’s supper. “ (http://www.reformed.org/documents/wcf_standards/index.html)
Yet Shoebat again demands the WCF includes Islam, but not Trent, which testifies to his desperation in trying to attack Protestantism and defend Catholicism which is more foundationally akin to Islam, with the pope effectively exalting himself above Scripture as Muhammad did, and revealing “truths” not found in Scripture, and amorphous oral “tradition” taking the place of Muhammad's visions.]
And lest I get into grace versus works theology… One thing is certain; Jesus gave the example about the good worker and the gung-ho church-goers of His day when He chose the Samaritan over the Pharisee who walked by the persecuted beaten naked man and did nothing, claiming he was doing the Lord’s business. If we take that example, the Samaritan in that time would be viewed as the way we view a Catholic; ‘he was all screwed up and got it all wrong’. The Samaritan didn’t even follow Sola Scriptura and his canon of Scripture was missing many books. He even believed such madness that the Temple was on mount Gerizim and not Jerusalem. Yet, Jesus honored the Samaritan over the Pharisee who got both the Bible and Temple correct – but helped not, the persecuted.
[As if Catholics manifested more commitment to both the gospel and helping the poor, apart from such government supported works as Catholic Charities, than evangelicals, which they do not. Yet believing that one is formally justified by his own holiness, via baptism, and that his good works merit him eternal life, sends one to eternal punishment, thus Rome has tragically become as the gates of Hell for her multitudes!]
When Jesus comes, He will throw in hell many ‘damned’ Catholics and them ‘damned’ Evangelicals for not helping persecuted un-damned Jews, un-damned Catholics and un-damned Evangelicals and other un-damned others (Matthew 25).
[After 20 years Shoebat's ignorance or blatant misrepresentation of evangelicalism while trumpeting Catholicism is inexcusable. The former of such were hunted by Rome in the past and in modern times they have been the most pro-Israel and anti-Islamic major Christian group in America, if not universally. Even among irregular attenders, 48 percent favored Israel over the Arabs, compared to only 28 and 31 percent of their mainline and white Catholic counterparts. Both mainline Protestant and Roman Catholic churches are seen to have adopted institutional stances that are often much more pro-Arab than those held by Jews and evangelicals. (http://www2.furman.edu/academics/politicalscience/meet-our-faculty/Documents/Guth-Papers/New%20Orleans%20Paper.pdf) Pope Benedict even XVI called for the establishment of an independent Palestinian homeland in the land God gave to Israel, and revoked the excommunication of an ultraconservative bishop who denied the Holocaust. http://www.nbcwashington.com/news/archive/Pope-Arrives-in-Israel.html]
Today, neither Catholic nor Protestant is doing much to save Christians slaughtered in Muslim countries. Name me the organization that rescues Christians today? There are NONE.
[Here Shoebat resorts to “moving the goalposts” by restricting “helping” to physically rescuing believers from persecution. Yet Barnabas Fund for one, delivered more than 5,000 Christians from Sudan by August 23, 2013, two months after Shoebat wrote this, and aimed to fly another 3,400 soon after. (CBN.com, August 23, 2013) Rescuechristians.org, which uses some material from Shoebat, also engages in delivering the persecuted.]
We try and our supporters are predominately Armenian, Copts and Assyrians. Where is America’s pastor? Where are the American Evangelicals and Catholics? Perhaps I should follow the Copt, Assyrian or even Armenian and dump this modernized homosexual-loving, Americanized version of Christianity.
[While Americans give only about 3% of their money to charity, but once again Shoebat resorts to the use of a irrational comparison and false dilemma, that of presenting only 2 possible conclusions when there are more. Being an evangelical is to not be part of the modernized homosexual-loving, Americanized version of Christianity, in which Catholics are overall more liberal than even the general public, in far contrast to evangelicals, which (2004) also gave four times as much money, per person, to churches as did all other church donors, while Catholics were the lowest at giving (see link above).
In addition, it is safe to say that it is evangelicals who are the most supportive of the persecuted church, and of Israel.]
While we accuse these ancient churches of holding to deuterocanonical books like The Wisdom of Solomon, which Evangelicals reject, in less than fifty words, sums up the entire purpose of the Incarnation of the Son of God and why God became man:
While all things were in quiet silence, and the night was in the midst of her swift course, Thine almighty Word leaped out of Heaven out of Thy royal throne, as a fierce man of war, into the midst of a land of destruction.” (Wisdom of Solomon, 18:14-15)
[If any apocryphal book could be considered Scripture it would be Wisdom, with its apparent Messianic prophecy (2:10-20) similar to what is written in Is 52:13-53:12 and Ps 22:8. However, it claims to be written by Solomon but the consensus is that it was not, but that was written around the 2nd to 1st century B.C. or even later.]

Who is this “Thine almighty Word”? Who was “The Word”? When will He leap from out of Heaven and out of “Thy Royal throne”? When will He be this “man of war”? Is this not a prophecy about Christ coming to battle in the end of days? Who is He battling with? The Catholics, who preserved the Bible – including The Wisdom of Solomon?
[Who is He battling with? The Catholics? Indirectly, as they hindered literacy in Scripture, requiring ecclesiastical permission for laymen to read it or publish it and overall keeping it out of the common tongue, and in some places at times outlawing laymen to read it.
They also presumed to add to Scripture books which remain obscure, that were the subject of debate down through the centuries and right into Trent.
Meanwhile the stewardship=infallible authority argument Shoebat must be appealing to would require the NT church to submit to the Jews, “because that unto them were committed the oracles of God, “Who are Israelites; to whom pertaineth the adoption, and the glory, and the covenants, and the giving of the law, and the service of God, and the promises; Whose are the fathers, and of whom as concerning the flesh Christ came, who is over all, God blessed for ever. Amen.” (Romans 3:2; 9:4-5)]
Has wisdom departed from earth that no man can point it out?
[Another example of Shoebat's perverse reasoning. Rejecting a book called “Wisdom of Solomon” because it was not by him does not mean wisdom has departed from earth, nor that Catholicism is to be looked to as Wisdom.]
Isn’t the Holy Spirit leading me to re-discover such prophecies struck out of the American evangelical Bibles?
[Along with many others who claim so? These were struck out of Bibles as Scripture proper long before Protestants did so, while not excluding them from being read, as Rome effectively did of the Bible for multitudes. ]
Is Polycarp who was the student of John unnecessary for study?
[Not really, as a student is not greater than his master, not necessarily teaching everything as he was taught, and this pious student was not an inspired writer of Scripture, which is what is determinative of doctrine. And from the relative little of the writings available of those Catholicism calls “church “fathers” (they were not fathers of the NT church) progressively deviated from Scripture.
John says nothing about Peter being an infallible exalted leader to whom all the church looked to as its supreme head in Rome, nor baptismal regeneration as per Catholicism, the Immaculate conception and her assumption, or perpetual Marian virginity, praying to departed saints, or NT pastors titled "priests.” And even the Eastern Orthodox reject papal infallibility, the Immaculate conception and other things.
In addition, the central idea that the Lord's supper is that of literally consuming Christ to gain spiritual and eternal life is contrary to what Scripture in its totality teaches, in which literally physically consuming anything never gives spiritual and eternal life, while only the figurative sense is what is consistent with Scripture.]
Was Irenaeus his student so unimportant?
[He is unimportant as far as being determinative of doctrine, for as he himself stated, "They gather their views from other sources than the Scriptures," referring to heretics, and upholds that "proofs of the things which are contained in the Scriptures cannot be shown except from the Scriptures themselves." (http://www.newadvent.org/fathers/0103312.htm) And that, "..the entire Scriptures, the prophets, and the Gospels, can be clearly, unambiguously, although all do not believe them."
And, “Nor does she [the church] perform anything by means of angelic invocations, or by incantations, or by any other wicked curious art; but, directing her prayers to the Lord, who made all things, in a pure, sincere, and straightforward spirit, and calling upon the name of our Lord Jesus Christ..(Against Heresies, 2:32:5, 4:18:60)
And he (and Tertullian) omit Christmas from their lists of feasts, while yet succumbing to erroneous traditions and interpretations as that of the Eucharistic endo-cannibalism, even that the “Eucharist is the flesh of our Savior.” (Letter to the Smyrnaeans) and exaltation of Mary “above that which is written,” (1Cor. 4:6) and much relied on the historical succession=veracity-of-tradition fallacy with its emphasis upon claims apostolic succession.
Regarding the latter, as John F. O'Grady, priest of the Diocese of Albany New York and professor of biblical theology at Barry University in Miami, and author of seventeen books, states, “The study of the New Testament demonstrates that the apostles, in fact, had no successors, nor did the twelve...The earliest fathers of the Church cited to support these views, Clement of Rome, Ignatius and Irenaeus, do not offer undisputed evidence and therefore their arguments cannot be used without some reservation.” pp. 119 ,125 ”
More on this at the end.]
Was the Coptic Church that was founded by Saint Mark of the Bible unimportant? Was it not Christ who built that Church in Egypt? Even when the Portuguese first entered India they found native Christians who, to their surprise, declared their apostolic succession to St. Thomas.
[Shoebat here is resorting to the typical premise that historical descent establishes authenticity, but the church actually began in dissent from those who sat in the seat of Moses over Israel, who were the historical instruments and stewards of Scripture, and inheritors of promises of Divine guidance, presence and perpetuation. (Lv. 10:11; Dt. 4:31; 17:8-13; Is. 41:10, Ps. 89:33,34) “Think not to say within yourselves, We have Abraham to our father: for I say unto you, that God is able of these stones to raise up children unto Abraham.” (Matthew 3:9)
And instead 1st century souls followed a holy man in the desert who ate insects who was not popular with the authorities, and itinerant Preacher whom the magisterium also rejected, and whom the Messiah reproved by Scripture as being supreme, (Mk. 7:2-16) and established His own Truth claims upon scriptural substantiation in word and in power, as did the early church as it began upon this basis. (Mt. 22:23-45; Lk. 24:27,44; Jn. 5:36,39; Acts 2:14-35; 4:33; 5:12; 15:6-21;17:2,11; 18:28; 28:23; Rm. 15:19; 2Cor. 12:12, etc.)]
For the fact is that it is abundantly evidenced that Scripture was the transcendent supreme standard for obedience and testing and establishing truth claims as the wholly Divinely inspired and assured, Word of God.
And which testifies (Lk. 24:27,44, etc.) to writings of God being recognized and established as being so (essentially due to their unique and enduring heavenly qualities and attestation), and thus they materially provide for a canon of Scripture (as well as for reason, the church, etc.)
When I first became Christian, I entered an Evangelical Church that taught me that in Daniel chapter II, the two legs were the Eastern and Western churches (Orthodox and Catholic) and that these were the spirit of Antichrist. Yet, I never believed them because I examined the Word of God and discovered that Bible prophecies were speaking of Islam. Was I not following the Bible or were these Evangelicals misinterpreting the Bible? It was the Evangelicals who also misinterpreted many things in the Bible.
[So saith Shoebat, while following the Bible as supreme is contrary to Catholicism, and which does not officially teach Shoebat's conclusion (primary RC commentaries seem to see the two legs as Ptolemies in Egypt and the Seleucids in Syria). Meanwhile, the standard evangelical view seems to be that the iron legs were the Roman Empire and the feet of iron and clay represent the new revitalized Roman empire that is to come. But it is argued that at its height the Roman Empire did not contain all the areas of the three previous empires, while the borders of all Islamic Caliphates (empires) when put together cover all the of regions occupied by the previous three kingdoms. — http://therightscoop.com/why-the-iron-legs-on-the-statue-in-daniel-2-cannot-be-the-roman-empire/
In addition, Jonathan Edwards, the first President of Princeton University, wrote in his "A History of the Work of Redemption." "The two great works of the devil which he … wrought against the Kingdom of Christ are … his Anti-Christian (Romish or Papal) and Mahometan (Muslim or Islamic) kingdoms … which have been, and still are, two kingdoms of great extent and strength. Both together swallow … up the Ancient Roman Empire; the (Papal) kingdom of Antichrist swallowing up the Western Empire, and Satan’s Mahometan kingdom the Eastern Empire … In the Book of Revelation (chapters 16 – 20) … it is in the destruction of these that the glorious victory of Christ at the introduction of the glorious times of the Church, will mainly consist…"
But in any case, as is typical of Shoebat, he invokes one negative example of an evangelical or Protestant church as characterizing the whole, in order to present an either-or choice in which evangelicalism must be rejected, while the fact is that his sole alternative choice, ultimately Catholicism, or his own enlightened eschatology, is not the only choice or the right one.
Catholicism itself is weak on the very thing Shoebat makes an issue, eschatology, and rejects the 1,000 year reign of the Lord Jesus as literal.]
I reject all doctrines that differ with the Bible but for centuries, Holy Protestants have pointed to several Popes as Antichrist, which have all turned out to be false. Is this not unholy slander? Did Jesus not warn about such damned slanderers?
[Again, if the shoe fits, wear it. What entity since the Roman Empire fit the description of the anti-Christ more than popes such as commanded civil authorities to torture suspected “heretics” and even possible witnesses to them, and for Catholic rules to exterminate the heretics — which was a profitable enterprise as the state got a portion of the property to be confiscated from convicted heretics, and if they did not comply then the pope would declare the ruler’s people absolved from their allegiance to him so an obedient Catholic ruler would replace him.
Sounds more like Islam than the the evangelicals he rails against.]
We trumpet: “my people perish for the lack of knowledge” when we, the ones who trumpet such verses are perishing. There is a difference between knowing the Bible and doing the Bible.
But there is also a difference between emotionally loving Jesus and doing what Jesus says. We preach something. Yet, we follow the opposite; we continue in lacking knowledge.
As a result, we see things from a certain prism we think is holy and is not.
[It is true that the church today come far short in apostolic purity, power, probity and passion, for which we need repentance and revival. Yet it is abundantly substantiated that evangelicals are yet the most conservative and committed Christian group, and even now in declension are more unified in core beliefs than those Rome counts and treats as members in life and in death. And the same shared contention for core Truths the resulted in the modern evangelical movement also brings them to oppose the inventions of Rome as well as Islam, and far more than Catholics, at least in the West.
And thus by attacking evangelicals and exalting Catholicism, which both distorts New Testament Christianity and provides more converts to others, Shoebat is actually aiding the very foreign enemy his ministry contends against! To favor Rome over evangelicals is to send more souls on the broad road of destruction which Islam travels on.]
Supplementary: The NT church was not one,
Being presided over by a pope whom the whole church looked to as its supreme infallible head in Rome, and was being taught that he was the "rock" of Mt. 16:18.
Or that even had a successor for the martyred apostle James (Acts 12:1,2) being chosen like Matthias was and after that manner (Acts 1, in order to keep the original number of apostles).
With a separate sacerdotal class of believers titled "priests ," as they uniquely changed bread into human flesh and dispensing it to the masses to receive life in them and eternal life (RCs keep quoting Jn. 6:53,54 to us).
With a hierarchical order of priests, bishops, Cardinals, etc., with ostentatious religious dress and titles, including "Most Reverend."
That required (with rare exceptions) clerical celibacy, which presumes all such have that gift.
With incognizant (usually) souls being formally justified by interior holiness via sprinkling of water in recognition of proxy faith, and (usually) ending up becoming good enough to enter Heaven in purgatory.
With a separate class of believers called “saints,
That was praying to the departed, or angels, and before images.
With apostles teaching Mary was born and kept sinless.
That conformed to this world in using papal sanctioned physical oppression torture, burning and death to deal with theological dissent.
Or that, having lost that power, treats even notorious manifestly impenitent public sinners as members in life and in death, in contrast to the NT means of disfellowship and spiritual discipline.
Whose members overall would come in near last in things such as evangelism, commitment, and personal Bible reading, the latter which it hindered for a long time, and later sanctions teaching millions such things as that OT miraculous stories are fables or folktales, etc.
That teaches that the deity Muslims worship (not as unknown) is the same as theirs.
That boasts of unity while discouraging objectively searching the Scriptures in order to ascertain the veracity of RC doctrine.
More can be said, but while i do not see any body of apostles today, esp in Catholicism, with the degree of power, purity, piety and performance like that of the early church, and that could effectually function as a universal magisterium, (which Rome is not even a form of), and although the church overall is in negative contrast with the early church, yet among churches that hold Scripture as supreme as the wholly inspired and basically literal word of God i see,
men ordained according to the Biblical requirements, (1Tim. 3:1-7)
with with simple titles of pastor as elders/bishops, that being one office, (Titus 1:5-7)
and clothed with humility as well the clothes of common men, (Mt. 23:5-12)
and taking part in the communal Lord's supper as the memorial that it is, showing the Lord's death till He comes, (1Cor. 11 ) and praying not to the departed or images,
and preaching the gospel of repentant faith in the Lord Jesus to save contrite damned + destitute sinners on His expense and credit, (Eph. 2:8,9) that being counted for righteousness, (Rm. 3 - 4:7ff)
which heart faith confesses the Lord Jesus, (Rm. 10:9,10) justifying them as souls having saving faith, (Heb. 6:9,10).
and thus baptizing them as believers who can fulfill the stated requirements of repentance and wholehearted faith, (Acts 2:38; 8:36,37)
and thus overall on the practical level they foster the most unified and committed group of born again believers in core Christian truths,
realizing a basic unity of the Spirit as a result of a common personal conversion of heart faith in Christ, and resultant Scripture-based relationship with Him, which transcends external tribalism,
thus being treated by both Rome and liberals alike as their greatest threat to their rule.
But who, as predicted in the latter days, have been and increasingly are a remnant. To God be the glory.
RC developments of the papacy, and the deformation of the church:
We can see the deformation from the NT church in substance early on, progressively taking on things which were not seen in the NT and in contrast to it. Even if such was done with seemingly right motive, but as with the Jewish magisterium, progressively thinking of itself above that which is written. (1Cor. 4:6)
Catholic Paul Johnson, author of over 40 books and a conservative popular historian, writes,
..the Church, operating on the principle of collective commonsense, was a haven for a very wide spectrum of opinion. In the West, diversity was disappearing fast; in the East, orthodoxy was becoming the largest single tradition by the early decades of the third century. The Church was now a great and numerous force in the empire, attracting men of wealth and high education, inevitably, then, there occurred a change of emphasis from purely practical development in response to need, to the deliberate thinking out of policy.
This expressed itself in two ways: the attempt to turn Christianity into a philosophical and political system, and the development of controlling devices to prevent this intellectualization of the faith from destroying it. The twin process began to operate in the early and middle decades of the third century, with Origen epitomizing the first element and Cyprian the second. If Paul brought to the first generation of Christians the useful skills of a trained theologian, Origen was the first great philosopher to rethink the new religion from first principles.
He [Origen] slept on the floor, ate no meat, drank no wine, had only one coat and no shoes. He almost certainly castrated himself,..
The effect of Origen’s work was to create a new science, biblical theology, whereby every sentence in the scriptures was systematically explored for hidden [much prone to metaphorical] meanings, different layers of meanings, allegory and so forth.....
Cyprian came from a wealthy family with a tradition of public service to the empire; within two years of his conversion he was made a bishop. He had to face the practical problems of persecution, survival and defence against attack. His solution was to gather together the developing threads of ecclesiastical order and authority and weave them into a tight system of absolute control...the confession of faith, even the Bible itself lost their meaning if used outside the Church.
Without the office of bishop there could be no Church: and without the Church, no salvation. The man who determined who was or was not a member of the Church and therefore eligible tor salvation was the bishop. He interpreted the scriptures in the light of the Church’s needs in any given situation; the only unambiguous instruction they contained being, to remain faithful to the Church and obey its rules.
With Cyprian, then, the freedom preached by Paul and based on the power of Christian truth was removed from the ordinary members of the Church, it was retained only by the bishops, through whom the Holy Spirit still worked, who were collectively delegated to represent the totality of Church members...With Bishop Cyprian, the analogy with secular government came to seem very close. But of course it lacked one element: the ‘emperor figure’ or supreme priest...
[Peter according to Cyprian was] the beneficiary of the famous ‘rock and keys’ text in Matthew. There is no evidence that Rome exploited this text to assert its primacy before about 250 - and then, interestingly enough, in conflict with the aggressive episcopalian Cyprian - but what is clear is that in the second half of the second century, and no doubt in response to Marcion’s Pauline heresy - the first heresy Rome itself had experienced - Paul was eliminated from any connection with the Rome episcopate and the office was firmly attached to Peter alone...
The Church survived, and steadily penetrated all ranks of society over a huge area, by avoiding or absorbing extremes, by compromise, by developing an urbane temperament and erecting secular-type structures to preserve its unity and conduct its business. There was in consequence a loss of spirituality or, as Paul would have put it, of freedom... - A History of Christianity, by Paul Johnson, pp. 51-61,63. transcribed using OCR software)
Next, consider the election of Pope Damasus 1, who is officially a Roman Catholic Church "saint."
On Pope Liberius's death September 24 A.D. 366, violent disorders broke out over the choice of a successor. A group who had remained consistently loyal to Liberius immediately elected his deacon Ursinus in the Julian basilica and had him consecrated Bishop, but the rival faction of Felix's adherence elected Damasus, who did not hesitate to consolidate his claim by hiring a gang of thugs, storming the Julian Basilica in carrying out a three-day massacre of the Ursinians.
On Sunday, October 1 his partisans seized the Lateran Basilica, and he was there consecrated. He then sought the help of the city prefect (the first occasion of a Pope in enlisting the civil power against his adversaries), and he promptly expelled Ursinus and his followers from Rome. Mob violence continued until October 26, when Damasus's men attacked the Liberian Basilica, where the Ursinians had sought refuge; the pagan historian Ammianus Marcellinus reports that they left 137 dead on the field. Damasus was now secure on his throne; but the bishops of Italy were shocked by the reports they received, and his moral authority was weakened for several years....
Damasus was indefatigable in promoting the Roman primacy, frequently referring to Rome as 'the apostolic see' and ruling that the test of a creed's orthodoxy was its endorsement by the Pope.... This [false claim to] succession gave him a unique [presumptuous claim to] judicial power to bind and loose, and the assurance of this infused all his rulings on church discipline....
In 378, he persuaded the government to recognize the holy see as a court of first instance and also of appeal for the Western episcopate... In tune with his ideas, Theodosius 1 (379-95) declared (February 27, 380) Christianity the state religion in that form from which the Romans had once [imagined they] received from St. Peter.. , This [false claim to] succession gave him a unique [presumptuous claim to] judicial power to bind and loose, and the assurance of this infused all his rulings on church discipline. -Kelly, J. N. D. (1989). The Oxford Dictionary of Popes. USA: Oxford University Press. pp. 32,34; http://www.amazon.com/Oxford-Dictionary-Popes-J-Kelly/dp/0192139649/ref=tmm_hrd_swatch_0?_encoding=UTF8&sr=&qid=#reader_0192139649
Self-consciously, the popes began to model their actions and their style as Christian leaders on the procedures of the Roman state”.  - Eamon Duffy ( (FBA, FSA, Pontifical Historical Commission, Professor of the History of Christianity at the University of Cambridge, and former President of Magdalene College), notes (“Saints and Sinners”, ©2001 edition)
Since the mid third century there had been a growing assimilation of Christian and secular culture. It is already in evidence long before Constantine with the art of the Christian burial sites round the city, the catacombs. With the imperial adoption of Christianity, this process accelerated. In Damasus’ Rome, wealthy Christians gave each other gifts in which Christian symbols went alongside images of Venus, nereids and sea-monsters, and representations of pagan-style wedding-processions. - Eamon Duffy , author of "10 Popes Who Shook the World," etc.
A secular work notes,
In 380 Christianity became the imperial state religion, a recognition granted it by the Emperor Theodosius. By the fifth century the secure position Christianity had achieved tended to supplement and increase imperial authority, as emperors, now resident in Constantinople, were supported by an increasingly institutionalized and powerful Christianity.
In the fourth century, as emperors became Christian, the bureaucracy served as both a support and a model for Christianity. The Christian emperors were no less divinely sanctioned theocrats then their pre- Christian predecessors, such as Diocletian (r. 284-305), but their sanction came from the Christian God. After 380, emperors ruled as "vicars of God" with religious authority equal to that of the Apostles. Caesaropapism, the absolute control of all aspects of society - religious as well as social, economic, and political - characterized the "Second Rome" for a millennium.” In the Balance: Themes in World History (Boston: McGraw-Hill, 1998), cp. 5, “Religion and State: Buddhism, Christianity, and Islam.”
Regarding the claims of Rome for her perpetuated Petrine papacy,
Catholic theologian and  Jesuit priest Francis Sullivan, in his work From Apostles to Bishops (New York: The Newman Press), examines possible mentions of “succession” from the first three centuries, and concludes from that study that “the episcopate [development of bishops] is a the fruit of a post New Testament development,” and cannot concur with those (interacting with Jones) who see little reason to doubt the notion that there was a single bishop in Rome through the middle of the second century:
Hence I stand with the majority of scholars who agree that one does not find evidence in the New Testament to support the theory that the apostles or their coworkers left [just] one person as “bishop” in charge of each local church... 
 
As the reader will recall, I have expressed agreement with the consensus of scholars that available evidence indicates that the church of Rome was led by a college of presbyters, rather than a single bishop, for at least several decades of the second century... 
 Hence I cannot agree with Jones's judgment that there seems little reason to doubt the presence of a bishop in Rome already in the first century. 
 “...the evidence both from the New Testament and from such writings as I Clement, the Letter of Polycarp to the Philippians and The Shepherd of Hennas favors the view that initially the presbyters in each church, as a college, possessed all the powers needed for effective ministry. This would mean that the apostles handed on what was transmissible of their mandate as an undifferentiated whole, in which the powers that would eventually be seen as episcopal were not yet distinguished from the rest. Hence, the development of the episcopate would have meant the differentiation of ministerial powers that had previously existed in an undifferentiated state and the consequent reservation to the bishop of certain of the powers previously held collegially by the presbyters. — Francis Sullivan, in his work From Apostles to Bishops , pp. 221,22,24Klaus Schatz [Jesuit Father theologian, professor of church history at the St. George’s Philosophical and Theological School in Frankfurt] in his work, “Papal Primacy ,” pp. 1-4 :
“New Testament scholars agree..., The further question whether there was any notion of an enduring office beyond Peter’s lifetime, if posed in purely historical terms, should probably be answered in the negative. 
That is, if we ask whether the historical Jesus, in commissioning Peter, expected him to have successors, or whether the authority of the Gospel of Matthew, writing after Peter’s death, was aware that Peter and his commission survived in the leaders of the Roman community who succeeded him, the answer in both cases is probably 'no.” 
“....that does not mean that the figure and the commission of the Peter of the New Testament did not encompass the possibility, if it is projected into a Church enduring for centuries and concerned in some way to to secure its ties to its apostolic origins and to Jesus himself. 
If we ask in addition whether the primitive church was aware, after Peter’s death, that his authority had passed to the next bishop of Rome, or in other words that the head of the community at Rome was now the successor of Peter, the Church’s rock and hence the subject of the promise in Matthew 16:18-19, the question, put in those terms, must certainly be given a negative answer.” (page 1-2) 
[Schatz goes on to express that he does not doubt Peter was martyred in Rome, and that Christians in the 2nd century were convinced that Vatican Hill had something to do with Peter's grave.]
"Nevertheless, concrete claims of a primacy over the whole church cannot be inferred from this conviction. If one had asked a Christian in the year 100, 200, or even 300 whether the bishop of Rome was the head of all Christians, or whether there was a supreme bishop over all the other bishops and having the last word in questions affecting the whole Church, he or she would certainly have said no." (page 3, top) 
[Lacking such support for the modern concept of the primacy of the church of Rome with its papal jurisdiction, Schatz concludes that, “Therefore we must set aside from the outset any question such as 'was there a primacy in our sense of the word at that time?” Schatz therefore goes on to seek support for that as a development.]
“We probably cannot say for certain that there was a bishop of Rome [in 95 AD]. It is likely that the Roman church was governed by a group of presbyters from whom there very quickly emerged a presider or ‘first among equals’ whose name was remembered and who was subsequently described as ‘bishop’ after the mid-second century.” (Schatz 4).
Schatiz additionally states,
Cyprian regarded every bishop as the successor of Peter, holder of the keys to the kingdom of heaven and possessor of the power to bind and loose. For him, Peter embodied the original unity of the Church and the episcopal office, but in principle these were also present in every bishop. For Cyprian, responsibility for the whole Church and the solidarity of all bishops could also, if necessary, be turned against Rome."Papal Primacy [Collegeville, Minnesota: The Liturgical Press, 1996], p. 20)
Roman Catholic scholar William La Due (taught canon law at St. Francis Seminary and the Catholic University of America) on Cyprian:
....those who see in The Unity of the Catholic Church, in the light of his entire episcopal life, an articulation of the Roman primacy - as we have come to know it, or even as it has evolved especially from the latter fourth century on - are reading a meaning into Cyprian which is not there." — The Chair of Saint Peter: A History of the Papacy [Maryknoll, New York: Orbis Books, 1999], p. 39
American Roman Catholic priest and Biblical scholar Raymond Brown (twice appointed to Pontifical Biblical Commission):
The claims of various sees to descend from particular members of the Twelve are highly dubious. It is interesting that the most serious of these is the claim of the bishops of Rome to descend from Peter, the one member of the Twelve who was almost a missionary apostle in the Pauline sense – a confirmation of our contention that whatever succession there was from apostleship to episcopate, it was primarily in reference to the Puauline tyupe of apostleship, not that of the Twelve.” (“Priest and Bishop, Biblical Reflections,” Nihil Obstat, Imprimatur, 1970, pg 72.) 
Raymond Brown [being criticized here], in “Priest and Bishop: Biblical Reflections,” could not prove on historical grounds, he said, that Christ instituted the priesthood or episcopacy as such; that those who presided at the Eucharist were really priests; that a separate priesthood began with Christ; that the early Christians looked upon the Eucharist as a sacrifice; that presbyter-bishops are traceable in any way to the Apostles; that Peter in his lifetime would be looked upon as the Bishop of Rome; that bishops were successors of the Apostles, even though Vatican II made the same claim.. (from, "A Wayward Turn in Biblical Theory" by Msr. George A. Kelly can be read on the internet at http://www.catholic.net/rcc/Periodicals/Dossier/Jan-Feb00/Article5.html)
Moving along,
The sixth century found Rome sunk too low by war and pestilence for many churches to be built; but at this time took place the transformation of ancient buildings into Christian shrines. Instead of despising the relics of paganism, the Roman priesthood prudently gathered to themselves all that could be adopted from the old world. Gregorovius remarks that the Christian religion had grown up side by side with the empire, which this new power was ready to replace when the Emperor withdrew to the East.
The Bishop of Rome assumed the position of Ponlifex Maximus, priest and temporal ruler in one, and the workings of this so-called spiritual kingdom, with bishops as senators, and priests as leaders of the army, followed on much the same lines as the empire. The analogy was more complete when monasteries were founded and provinces were won and governed by the Church. - Welbore St. Clair Baddeley, Lina Duff Gordon, “Rome and its story” p. 176
Then you had those times it seems so many FR RCs seem to long for.
in the 1180s, the Church began to panic at the spread of heresy, and thereafter it took the lead from the State, though it maintained the legal fiction that convicted and unrepentant heretics were merely 'deprived of the protection of the Church', which was (as they termed it) 'relaxed', the civil power then being free to burn them without committing mortal sin. Relaxation was accompanied by a formal plea for mercy; in fact this was meaningless, and the individual civil officer (sheriffs and so forth) had no choice but to burn, since otherwise he was denounced as a 'defender of heretics', and plunged into the perils of the system himself. — Paul Johnson, History of Christianity, © 1976 Athenium, p. 253
Canons of the Ecumenical Fourth Lateran Council, 1215:Secular authorities, whatever office they may hold, shall be admonished and induced and if necessary compelled by ecclesiastical censure, that as they wish to be esteemed and numbered among the faithful, so for the defense of the faith they ought publicly to take an oath that they will strive in good faith and to the best of their ability to exterminate in the territories subject to their jurisdiction all heretics pointed out by the Church; so that whenever anyone shall have assumed authority, whether spiritual or temporal, let him be bound to confirm this decree by oath.
But if a temporal ruler, after having been requested and admonished by the Church, should neglect to cleanse his territory of this heretical foulness, let him be excommunicated by the metropolitan and the other bishops of the province. If he refuses to make satisfaction within a year, let the matter be made known to the supreme pontiff, that he may declare the ruler’s vassals absolved from their allegiance and may offer the territory to be ruled lay Catholics, who on the extermination of the heretics may possess it without hindrance and preserve it in the purity of faith; the right, however, of the chief ruler is to be respected as long as he offers no obstacle in this matter and permits freedom of action. - http://www.fordham.edu/halsall/basis/lateran4.asp
Finally we come to the time of the Reformation, which prior history and what follows provides context for, which while far from perfect for sure, was necessary and set multitudes of captives free to know the Lord and greatly expand the kingdom of God thru the centuries, including thru America, and thus was a blessing for Catholics as well.
And not that the church has ceased before that, as it still professed the truths by which faith comes, (Rm. 10:17) but which souls had to see thru the trapping of institutionalized religion. Yet souls were yet save in it, as is the case today, with the one true church being the body of Christ, as was the case in Scripture, not just the church at Ephesus, and none looked to an infallible pope in Rome as its supreme exalted head.
But Rome increasingly ceased to be the viable visible manifestation of that body, as is the case today, and while not totally apostate, it overall has become as the gates of Hell for her multitudes, myself having been one of them, but later born again. Thanks be to God.
Cardinal Bellarmine: "Some years before the rise of the Lutheran and Calvinistic heresy, according to the testimony of those who were then alive, there was almost an entire abandonment of equity in ecclesiastical judgments; in morals, no discipline; in sacred literature, no erudition; in divine things, no reverence; religion was almost extinct. — Concio XXVIII. Opp. Vi. 296- Colon 1617, in “A History of the Articles of Religion,” by Charles Hardwick, Cp. 1, p. 10,
Erasmus, in his new edition of the “Enchiridion,” “What man of real piety does not perceive with sighs that this is far the most corrupt of all ages? When did iniquity abound with more licentiousness? When was charity so cold?” — “The Evolution of the English Bible: A Historical Sketch of the Successive,” p. 132 by Henry William Hamilton-Hoare
Probably as many as half the men in orders had ‘wives’ and families. Behind all the New Learning and the theological debates, clerical celibacy was, in its own way, the biggest single issue at the Reformation. It was a great social problem and, other factors being equal, it tended to tip the balance in favour of reform. As a rule, the only hope for a child of a priest was to go into the Church himself, thus unwillingly or with no great enthusiasm, taking vows which he might subsequently regret: the evil tended to perpetuate itself.” (Johnson, History of Christianity, pgs 269-270)
"For nearly half a century, the Church was split into two or three obediences that excommunicated one another, so that every Catholic lived under excommunication by one pope or another, and, in the last analysis, no one could say with certainty which of the contenders had right on his side. The Church no longer offered certainty of salvation; she had become questionable in her whole objective form--the true Church, the true pledge of salvation, had to be sought outside the institution.
It is against this background of a profoundly shaken ecclesial consciousness that we are to understand that Luther, in the conflict between his search for salvation and the tradition of the Church, ultimately came to experience the Church, not as the guarantor, but as the adversary of salvation. — Joseph Cardinal Ratzinger, head of the Sacred Congregation of the Doctrine of the Faith for the Church of Rome, “Principles of Catholic Theology,” trans. by Sister Mary Frances McCarthy, S.N.D. (San Francisco: Ignatius, 1989) p.196 ).
..."one pope (Gregory XII) had voluntarily abdicated; another (John XXIII) had been suspended and then deposed, but had submitted in canonical form; the third claimant (Benedict XIII) was cut off from the body of the Church, "a pope without a Church, a shepherd without a flock" (Hergenröther-Kirsch). It had come about that, whichever of the three claimants of the papacy was the legitimate successor of Peter, there reigned throughout the Church a universal uncertainty and an intolerable confusion, so that saints and scholars and upright souls were to be found in all three obediences. On the principle that a doubtful pope is no pope, the Apostolic See appeared really vacant, and under the circumstances could not possibly be otherwise filled than by the action of a general council." - http://www.newadvent.org/cathen/04288a.htm

12 comments:

  1. Walid Shoebat's demonizing of Protestants and evangelicals - yes if your a protestant, evangelical, charismatic, pentecostal don't think you'll be made welcome at his site.

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  2. Shoebat has had some illumination of prophecy. However, that success has gone to his head and he is now turned out to be a heretic. He has disowned his former partner Richardson. He has blackballed many Godly men of God. He has incited violence on his website. There is a group of us actively pursuing getting his website taken down because of hateful and violent and therefore, illegal content. Join us and send your comments to his ISP.

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  3. "There is a group of us actively pursuing getting his website taken down because of hateful and violent and therefore, illegal content. Join us and send your comments to his ISP." - God bless your group! I was reading Shoebat's site - it's a Fascist site. (And I am not a muslim despite my muslim-like nick.) He benefits from acts of violence made by muslims. I never believed him - it's easy to fraud with charity foundations. He claims - check my accounting - okey, I believe it, but need to check what is going on in Pakistan and other places where his "Rescue Christians" operates - I suspect he just imitates some activities there. " In the month of January our teams have been hard at work in Pakistan saving over one hundred families from slavery. " The slavery comes from poverty of those regions. Does Shoebat pays the victims to avoid going back to slavery? Need to check what happens with donated money. And what happens to the "rescued christians" after rescuing. It's my personal suspicions.
    Prophecies. Russia... He calls it Anti-Antichrist stronghold. He is false prophet and fraud. He is foolong people.
    Muslims in Russia feel happy and multiply. Russia votes in UN for Palestine statehood (while USA with its muslim agenda, as Shoebat accuses it, vote against it. Russia allies with Turkey as strategical commercial partner. Russian establishment says: Islam is religion of peace. When Obama says it - Shoebat's site outbursts with - Obama is Antichrist! But Putin is holy. (in fact Shoebat never tells his followers about muslims in Russia, making illusion it is pure christian country). Now Russia is turning into enemy of USA. Such sites like Shoebat are disarming Americans in front of real threat while focusing on some medievial idiots. That's my opinion.
    BTW. How to join the group? And what are the chances to take down the site in view of freedom of speech in USA?

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    1. Sorry to take so long to post your replies. I do not think trying to get his ISP to nuke his site is the answer, but for believers to expose Shoebat's specious view of Christian history and theology, and unsubstantiated claims.

      He gets readers since what he says about Islam is often true, but his own claims to being an ex terrorist are dubious, while by siding with Roman Catholicism, with her autocratic pope and exaltation of herself above Scripture, and thus her bloody persecution of Christians as well as those without for doctrinal dissent, then he is choosing another religion which has relied upon the sword of men to attain theological conformity.

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  4. The Roman empire split into western and eastern . Papal rome and the Ottoman Empire . We are seeing the rise of both
    Are used to follow his website, but he is a defender of Catholicism, I found it strange, I left a comment one time and I felt that he attacked me, I don't mind debate , in fact I welcome it . But somebody coming from Islam and being married to a Catholic, he has a huge blind spot

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  5. firstly, the fact that RC might have been willing to let Islam destroy Protestantism as the article says, ignores the fact that protestants were making friendly overtures to islam because of shared dislike of "idols" and of Rome.

    secondly, while the writer may see megachurch creeps as irrelevant to evangelicalism they are in fact taking it over. the false dichotomies false choices Shoebat throws are not false, if considered in light of the issue of ABC and whatever Rayb's variant was. affilitation is not the only issue. HOWEVER, what is being observed now with New Agey and masonic elements in the Vatican and the popes, is not RC created and runs new age, but new age has infiltrated and taken over RC. Sort of. however, RC is worth salvaging because it has Apostolic Succession, and the protestants don't.

    replacement theology has been part of Protestantism so while evangelicals support Israel, Protestantism as a whole is no more reliable for this than RC. The writer
    seems to think Protestantism = evangelicalism = whatever the writer thinks it is taking him/herself as the measure of all things correct and assuming everyone in his/her preferred segment is same as him/herself.

    Later on, the writer has to take the same tack Shoebat took in looking at personal behavior over affiliation, called a straw man, to answer his point that supposedly the gates of hell had overcome the church for 1500 years.

    Actually this gates of hell thing is not valid period. Gates are defensive. The church on the offense would not be withstandable by hell. Jesus asked in Luke if He would find faith on the earth when He comes back, and left it an open question.

    But the premise of rabid anti-Catholics is ridiculous anyway, that God would leave all in mortal sin intertwined with truth so that all would be tarnished for whatever
    length of time the rabid writers want to claim.

    It is also ridiculous, because the testimony of early church writers Ignatius died AD 107 that's AD ONE HUNDRED AND SEVEN, and Irenaeus and Justin Martyr some decades later, both taught by aged men who were old enough to have heard an Apostle preach and/or been taught by those who were taught by Apostles

    TESTIFY THAT THE EARLY CHURCH BELIEVED THAT THE BREAD AND WINE BECOME THE REAL BODY AND BLOOD OF CHRIST.

    that's the early church you think you are the recovery of which, but you aren't.

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    1. RC is worth salvaging because it has Apostolic Succession

      Sorry i missed any notification of your comment, but Rome's so-called apostolic successors fail of the qualifications and credentials of manifest Biblical apostles. (Acts 1:21,22; 1Cor. 9:1; Gal. 1:11,12; 2Co. 6:4-10)

      Like true children of Abraham, (Rm. 2:28,29) the validity true children of God and true churches does not rest upon physical or formal ecclesiastical descent, but upon having Bible Abrahamic-type faith, by which one becomes part of the church, (1Co. 12:13; cf. Eph. 1:13) and by which faith the church overcomes. (1Jn. 5)

      Both the Orthodox and R. Catholicism claim apostolic successors and to uniquely be the one true church, though they [www.peacebyjesus/EOvs.Rome.html] substantially disagree, but both stand in even more [www.peacebyjesus/deformation_of_new_testament_church.html#Table] substantial and contrast and critical conflict with the NT church of Scripture, esp. Rome.

      Evangelicalism itself does stand in contrast with the purity, power and passion of the NT church, and often with its lack of emphasis upon baptism, and on OSAS, and magisterial authority, but is not critically in conflict with it, and are the [www.peacebyjesus/RC-Stats_vs._Evang.html] most unified major class in core beliefs and commitment.

      replacement theology has been part of Protestantism so while evangelicals support Israel, Protestantism as a whole is no more reliable for this than RC.
      Equating Protestantism - the definition of which can be so wide that you could fly a Unitarian Scientologist Swedenborgian Mormonic 747 thru it - as being the same as evangelicals is not valid, and [www.pewforum.org/2011/06/22/global-survey-of-evangelical-protestant-leaders] survey data shows that 73% of evangelicals worldwide affirmed that God's covenant with Israel continues today (without explaining what that means), and a majority say the state of Israel is a fulfillment of biblical prophecy about the Second Coming of Jesus.

      Later on, the writer has to take the same tack Shoebat took in looking at personal behavior over affiliation, called a straw man, to answer his point that supposedly the gates of hell had overcome the church for 1500 years.


      Wrong. There is no "has to" or straw man here, for instead i simply expressed unbelief at Shoebat's ignorance here, and explained that "Just as salvific faith and the Israel of God was preserved even though the magisterium of the stewards of Scripture (Mt. 23:2; Mk. 11:27-33; Rm. 3:2; 9:4) were in salvific error, so enough Truth was held by an aberrant Rome and Catholicism that contrite souls could see and find the Lord Jesus despite the trappings of the institutionalized church..."

      Actually this gates of hell thing is not valid period. Gates are defensive. The church on the offense would not be withstandable by hell.

      They are defensive, resisting.overpowering the church from saving souls claimed by Hell, which all accountable souls are until saved, but i agree Mt. 16:18 most likely refers to Hell on the offensive in trying to overpower the church. In any case, it is a battle, though we now who wins the win, thanks be to God.

      Jesus asked in Luke if He would find faith on the earth when He comes back, and left it an open question.

      But in the light of all that He said we know the answer is that He will, if by a relative remnant.

      Part 1 of 2.

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    2. But the premise of rabid anti-Catholics is ridiculous anyway, that God would leave all in mortal sin intertwined with truth so that all would be tarnished for whatever length of time the rabid writers want to claim.

      That is what is a straw man, for i did not say that God would leave all in mortal sin, but instead that, as often in times past, God would have His remnant, and which not ridiculous at all, any more than a relative remnant being saved at the end.

      It is also ridiculous, because the testimony of early church writers Ignatius died AD 107 that's AD ONE HUNDRED AND SEVEN, and Irenaeus and Justin Martyr some decades later, both taught by aged men who were old enough to have heard an Apostle preach and/or been taught by those who were taught by Apostles

      The appeal to ECFs (so-called "early church fathers" - is a specious argument, for,

      1. Scripture is the only wholly inspired substantive body of Truth, and thus it is determinative of doctrine, not the uninspired writings of men (the integrity of some of which is more doubtful).

      2. Even if the integrity of such writings was consistently reliable and represented common belief, being close to the time of the apostles simply does not translate into the teachings therein being wholly consistent with those of the NT church. Whether they are or not is determined by examining the only wholly inspired substantive body of Truth.

      2. While Catholics invoke church fathers in support of Catholic distinctives, even they were not uniform in all such and so Catholics must often pick and chose, including Orthodox and Catholics in contending whose tradition is correct. However, as said, both stand in clear contrast to the NT church, esp. Rome. For the NT church did not manifestly teach perpetual ensured magisterial infallibility, which is unseen and unnecessary in the life of the church, nor did it have a separate class of believers distinctively called "saints" or [www.peacebyjesus/Bible/Titus_1.html#Titus] distinctively titled "priests," offering up "real" href="http://peacebyjesus.witnesstoday.org/The_Lord%27s_Supper.html">flesh and blood as a sacrifice for sin, which is to be literally consumed in order to obtain spiritual life. Nor is it Scripturally manifest in the life of the church as being the predominate practice around which all else revolves, the "source and summit of the Christian faith," "in which our redemption is accomplished," etc.

      Nor is the NT church manifest as looking to Peter as the first of a line of exalted infallible popes reigning over the church from Rome (which even Catholic scholarship provides [www.peacebyjesus/deformation_of_new_testament_church.html#Historical] testimony against), and praying to created beings in Heaven, and being formally justified by one's own sanctification/holiness, and thus enduring postmortem purifying torments in order to become good enough to enter Heaven, and saying rote prayers to obtain early release from it. Or requiring clerical celibacy as the norm, [www.peacebyjesus.com//deformation_of_new_testament_church.html] among other things.

      No wonder Catholics rely on amorphous "oral tradition," for under the premise of magisterial infallibility all sorts of fables can be channeled into binding doctrine, even claiming to "remember" an extraScriptural event which lacks even early historical testimony, and was [www.freerepublic.com/focus/religion/3258150/posts?page=66#66] opposed by RC scholars themselves the world over as being binding apostolic tradition.

      3. Thus, if anything is ridiculous, it is that the writings of so-called "church fathers" (they were not) are determinative of doctrine, and that Catholicism best represents NT Christianity.

      that's the early church you think you are the recovery of which, but you aren't.

      Rather it is the contrary, as instead Catholicism is largely invisible in the NT, and contrary to it.

      Delete


  6. again the writer has to cave to the supposed straw man argument to say that real Christians may have been among those groups the writer admits were heretical.

    this absurdity:

    "Was Irenaeus his student so unimportant?

    [He is unimportant as far as being determinative of doctrine, for as he himself stated, "They gather their views from other sources than the Scriptures," referring to heretics, and upholds that "proofs of the things which are contained in the Scriptures cannot be shown except from the Scriptures themselves." (http://www.newadvent.org/fathers/0103312.htm) And that, "..the entire Scriptures, the prophets, and the Gospels, can be clearly, unambiguously, although all do not believe them." "

    he is irrelevant as determining doctrine of the early church, because of things he said REGARDING THE HERETICS NOT HIMSELF OR THE CHURCHES? he even seems to preach a kind of sola scriptura in rejection he extrabiblical and flat out forged gospels of heretics "proofs of the things which are contained in the Scriptures cannot be shown except from the Scriptures themselves." !?

    the writer shows a corrupt mind that can't understand what is written. The writer says Luther eventually saw Turk AND pope as antichrist, ignoring that initially Luther and Calvin were friendly to islam.

    "What entity since the Roman Empire fit the description of the anti-Christ more than popes such as commanded civil authorities to torture suspected “heretics” and even possible witnesses to them, and for Catholic rules to exterminate the heretics"

    BIBLE BELIEVER YET IGNORANT OF WHAT REVELATION SAYS the antichrist is an INDIVIDUAL who will have himself and his image worshipped in return for which the worshipper gets to have his symbol, name or number tattooed on him AND WITHOUT THIS CANNOT LEGALLY ENGAGE IN TRADE OF ANY KIND.

    NO POPE HAS EVER EVEN TRIED THIS.

    that's just for starters. Babylon the harlot is also a great city or sprawling city state of some sort, that is a major consumer whose destruction causes mourning to the sellers. whether Babylon is America or Mecca, it sure ain't Rome.

    THE DETAILS ON THE SUPREMACY CLAIMS ARE FAIR ENOUGH. THAT IS A VALID PROBLEM AS IS IMMACULATE CONCEPTION OF MARY.

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  7. Here's a question why is there so much confusion in the western churches then? Satin is the master of confusion.

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  8. Thank you for this excellent article. I was on Walid Shoebat's website reading a blogpost, and I made some comments related to his very offensive tirade against evangelicals in the West, calling Martin Luther evil and equating me with being anti-Semitic because I felt his portrayal of Luther was unfair. I certainly don't condone Luther for his anti-Semitism toward the end of his life, but I can't call him evil.

    What surprised me was Walid's strong rebuff, so much so I have to question why? That kind of anger and passion against an evangelical Christian is baffling. So I did a google search to see if I was the only one who felt his criticism of Protestantism and evangelical Christians in particular was unjustified. This article matches exactly what I felt, as well as your analysis. I came to the conclusion, maybe once you are a "wild donkey," you are always a wild donkey -- referring to Ishmael.

    At any rate, I feel it's important to warn people to weigh Walid Shoebat's words carefully. While I think he has much to offer as far as understanding Islam, his ill-will toward evangelical Christians makes me wary of reading anything he writes and questioning again his honesty as a former "Palestinian terrorist." Very disappointing to learn how prejudiced he is towards people like me who are pro-Israel, evangelical, and seeking to learn the truth about Islam. Who can you trust on this very important topic?

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I will try to respond to comments within one or two days after I see a response, however, this has not been where I usually engage in dialogue.
Please try to be reasonable, willing to examine things prayerfully and objectively, and refrain from "rants" and profane language, especially regarding God and the Christan faith. The latter type are subject to removal on this Christian blog, but I do try to help people no matter who they are. May all know the grace of God in truth.