(Please note that I am not implying that the Anti-Catholic bigots are all whining petulant children who cry for their mommy whenever the big bad Catholics fight back. Oh , NO! Many of them are semi-functional adults who have little or no need of Depends at this point in their lives except when the Pope comes to visit the United States. It is just that they have been left back in ACCREDITED schools so often that they just can't get that grammar school GED, and Kindergarten is such a big step for them. Hang in there guys. The Columbia School of Broadcasting and Bible Studies will grant you a doctorate in toilet training for the right price so you can fake it and sit at the grown-up table with pride. For those who cannot afford this there is always Mrs. Puff's Boating School. She is used to dealing with Students who just can't graduate.)
In any case a certain Protestant Controversialist of My Acquaintance -- call him Pcoma -- has started off the Summer emulating the Ministry of Truth from George Orwell's novel 1984 and pretending that he never held to a position that was in fact the backbone of one of his arguments about interpreting the NT. I do not want to embarrass the little nimrod by being too specific. After all there are LIBEL laws in this country and one must be careful just how nasty one wants to be in attacking a private person. Suffice to say, his denial that he ever held to this position makes Bill Clinton under oath look like George Washington.
Pcoma, ol' buddy, you need to get real. We were all there at the debate. We heard you. You not only mentioned this particular matter in several speeches which are on tape. You also put it in your books and on your website.
Ah, but after all, you have no interest in the truth. For you, the woile apologetics game is about egoism, bluster, and who is the better debater. All your efforts in attacking me on this issue boil down to you apologizing for yourself and your behavior. It has nothing to do with the Gospel or the truth of the Christian faith. That is your problem.
It is not all about you, Pcoma. This blog today is about being a disciple of Jesus Christ conformed to his image and being subject to his will for us. You made a mistake early in your career. You need to admit it, say that you regret the error, have since repented of it and moved on. That's all. That is what Jesus would do if he were in your shoes. (Of course Jesus would never have made a mistake about a matter of faith or morals so He actually would never have to do any of this so it is more accurate to say that this is what Jesus would want YOU to do.)
Apologetics is not a game. It is not a spectator sport where the apologist puffs himself up as the defender of the faith who never loses to any opponent. It is not about winning every debate.
It is as Pope St. Peter counseled us in his First Encyclical:
Finally, all of you, have unity of spirit, sympathy, love of the brethren, a tender heart and a humble mind.
Do not return evil for evil or reviling for reviling; but on the contrary bless, for to this you have been called, that you may obtain a blessing.
For "He that would love life and see good days, let him keep his tongue from evil and his lips from speaking guile;
let him turn away from evil and do right; let him seek peace and pursue it.
For the eyes of the Lord are upon the righteous, and his ears are open to their prayer. But the face of the Lord is against those that do evil."
Now who is there to harm you if you are zealous for what is right?
But even if you do suffer for righteousness' sake, you will be blessed. Have no fear of them, nor be troubled,
but in your hearts reverence Christ as Lord. Always be prepared to make a defense to any one who calls you to account for the hope that is in you, yet do it with gentleness and reverence;
and keep your conscience clear, so that, when you are abused, those who revile your good behavior in Christ may be put to shame.
For it is better to suffer for doing right, if that should be God's will, than for doing wrong.
Apologetics is supposed to be a witnessing to the truth of Christ against the objections of men, not a defense of our own egos.
It is possible for intelligent grown ups (yes, even those in Depends) to agree to disagree without all the rancor and posturing that we have been subjected to by you and your fellow Anti-Catholics. Whatever the case may be, Pcoma, you are not infallible by your own admission. You can make mistakes and it takes an honest man to admit when he has blundered.
I have admitted to my mistakes and apologized to you for any unfair slights I have said in the past. Have you ever done that? Have you ever apologized to me for trying to deceive me in our original debate? Or for your unsportsman-like insults at the end when you have clearly lost? Or for the lies you have told about me publicly for the last 2 decades? Or for your abominable sub-Christian conduct when we were trying to come up with a venue for a debate? Or your uncharitable snipes at Pope John Paul the Great as he lay dying. Do you ever examine your conscience, admit you are a sinner, repent and try to make amends? As far as I can tell the answer to all of these is "No!" and you are proud of it. You are a very poor advertisement for your religion.
Well, Pcoma, I am a disciple of Jesus who told us to let the dead bury their dead. I have better things to do than trade nitpicking insults with you. You know I am telling the truth. Everyone in the Catholic Apologetics movements knows it. And any Protestant with integrity who can read your books and website knows it. Your posturing is hypocritical and unnecessary. Jesus said it was the truth that would set us free, not our attempts at spin doctoring. Your actions are cynical that those of an atheist who believes in no moral limits on his behavior as long as you can do harm to those whom you hate.
To the general public I give a warning. Beware of men who come to you using their personal opinion about the Gospel as a club with which to beat people. Beware of men who place their own honor ahead of the honor due to God. Be leery of the fellow who wastes time and resources attacking individuals he hates without appreciating the points they are making. There are two sides to every story and if you cannot have sympathy for your opponent, you cannot validly criticize him.
Pcoma and his crowd are enamored with the antinomian opinions of the Protestant Deformers and with the idea that they don't have to do anything to be considered righteous by God.
As a Catholic I prefer the Biblical view:
Then what becomes of our boasting? It is excluded. On what principle? On the principle of works? No, but on the principle of faith.
For we hold that a man is justified by faith apart from works of law.
Or is God the God of Jews only? Is he not the God of Gentiles also? Yes, of Gentiles also,
since God is one; and he will justify the circumcised on the ground of their faith and the uncircumcised through their faith.
Do we then overthrow the law by this faith? By no means! On the contrary, we uphold the law.
What does it profit, my brethren, if a man says he has faith but has not works? Can his faith save him?
If a brother or sister is ill-clad and in lack of daily food,
and one of you says to them, "Go in peace, be warmed and filled," without giving them the things needed for the body, what does it profit?
So faith by itself, if it has no works, is dead.
But some one will say, "You have faith and I have works." Show me your faith apart from your works, and I by my works will show you my faith.
You believe that God is one; you do well. Even the demons believe--and shudder.
Do you want to be shown, you shallow man, that faith apart from works is barren?
Was not Abraham our father justified by works, when he offered his son Isaac upon the altar?
You see that faith was active along with his works, and faith was completed by works,
and the scripture was fulfilled which says, "Abraham believed God, and it was reckoned to him as righteousness"; and he was called the friend of God.
You see that a man is justified by works and not by faith alone.
What shall we say then? Are we to continue in sin that grace may abound?
By no means! How can we who died to sin still live in it?
Do you not know that all of us who have been baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into his death?
We were buried therefore with him by baptism into death, so that as Christ was raised from the dead by the glory of the Father, we too might walk in newness of life.
For if we have been united with him in a death like his, we shall certainly be united with him in a resurrection like his.
We know that our old self was crucified with him so that the sinful body might be destroyed, and we might no longer be enslaved to sin.
For he who has died is freed from sin.
But if we have died with Christ, we believe that we shall also live with him.
For we know that Christ being raised from the dead will never die again; death no longer has dominion over him.
The death he died he died to sin, once for all, but the life he lives he lives to God.
So you also must consider yourselves dead to sin and alive to God in Christ Jesus.
Let not sin therefore reign in your mortal bodies, to make you obey their passions.
Do not yield your members to sin as instruments of wickedness, but yield yourselves to God as men who have been brought from death to life, and your members to God as instruments of righteousness.
For sin will have no dominion over you, since you are not under law but under grace.
What then? Are we to sin because we are not under law but under grace? By no means!
Do you not know that if you yield yourselves to any one as obedient slaves, you are slaves of the one whom you obey, either of sin, which leads to death, or of obedience, which leads to righteousness?
But thanks be to God, that you who were once slaves of sin have become obedient from the heart to the standard of teaching to which you were committed,
and, having been set free from sin, have become slaves of righteousness.
I am speaking in human terms, because of your natural limitations. For just as you once yielded your members to impurity and to greater and greater iniquity, so now yield your members to righteousness for sanctification.
When you were slaves of sin, you were free in regard to righteousness.
But then what return did you get from the things of which you are now ashamed? The end of those things is death.
But now that you have been set free from sin and have become slaves of God, the return you get is sanctification and its end, eternal life.
For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.
This is the Gospel as we Catholics have received it from Sacred Scripture, Sacred Tradition, and the teachings of the Popes and Councils (especially Trent). We stand on this solidly founded word from God and condemn as contrary to scripture any attempt to reduce salvation to a mere naked faith and trust in God with no need for submission to His will in the works we choose to do.
This is the faith of the Catholic Church and what this blog is really about.