Isthe Church not the household of God (1 Timothy 3:15)—the house that Christ built? Is Christ not more powerful than Satan (cf. 1 John 4:4)? No one can enter a strong man’s house and plunder his goods (Mark 3:27), but Satan plundered your strong man’s house. The Catholic Church’s Strong Man guards His household. It is true that Satan can conquer individual Christians who choose to indulge in mortal sin, and who apostasize themselves from His household (cf. Romans 11:22, Galatians 5:4, 1 John 5:16,17); but Jesus promised the visible, identifiable, and authoritative Church that He would not leave her as an orphan (cf. John 16:16-18), but would be with her until the end of the world (Matthew 20:28 King James Version).
St. Francis de Sales begged the early Calvinists to answer the same questions that your community refuses to address:
When did it [the Church] cease to be what it had been?—at what time?—under what bishop?—by what means?—by what force?—by what steps did the strange religion take possession of the City and of the whole world?—what protest, what troubles, what lamentations did it evoke? How!—was everybody asleep throughout the whole world, while Rome, Rome I say, was forging new Sacraments, new Sacrifices, and new doctrines? Is there not to be found a single historian, either Geek or Latin, friend or stranger, to publish or leave behind some traces of his commentaries and memoirs on so great a matter?1
Can you not detect the importance of such questions? Is the urgency of answering them not obvious? Does your group’s silence not disturb you? Are you, unlike the Calvinists that St. Francis evangelized, able to provide any blurb from the annals of history that might sympathize with your theory? Do your vaults contain any scrap that might indicate a Christian who could be construed as a pre-Restorationist, “Bible-only”, creedless, self-ordained minister, and rightful self-interpreter of the Holy Book? Can you recall any memory of a time when a hero who pre-dates any ancient heresy was martyred for your cause, or a story of when your movement in general pre-dates any ancient heresy?
No. What you have is theory, and hope—hope that the Catholic Church is apostate—is a morphed product of fierce wolves who infiltrated your undetectable group, and they were so sly that they themselves were equally undetectable, and evaded the world for centuries until modern imaginations conjured new ways of doing religion. How ineffective and incompetent your ancients must have been—who apparently walked away from every fight, failed to write anything down, and allowed heresy to rule the Church into near annihilation.
If your proofs are so clear, if they show without doubt that the Church was plundered, then why is the Bible so unclear as to how the household of God would be rebuilt—restored by your communities? As a “Bible-only” Christian, can you provide a verse, however obscure, that indicates how the event would occur? Do the Scriptures indicate that men who abandon the apostolic tradition for “no creed but the Bible” might one day restore the Church? How do you know your group does not simply add to the apostate traditions—is not an additional clanging cymbal? How can you assume you have deciphered the code, cracked the pattern, and mastered the languages more than other sects who have found very different conclusions than yours? In other words, if your “Bible-only” community has in fact established a biblical foundation for your understanding of the Great or near-Great Apostasy, then it is also your community’s burden to provide a biblical foundation for its Restoration. It is always easier to destroy than to create, and it is easier for your group, an accuser of our brethren(Revelation 12:10), to hope that the Catholic Church is evil, than to prove its own credentials—it is especially difficult when the Protestant Church of Christ’s understanding of the Apostasy and the Restoration are clearly anti-Scriptural, ahistorical, and irrational—an unintelligent design.
• "Your website is a troll." "You son of Satan."
-Scott J. Shifferd, Dean Road Church of Christ
• "Pax [(he thinks "pax" means "Pat" and not "peace")] cannot do us no harm and that why he wont fly to Martinsville not unless we foot he bill [to debate me on my television show]. . . . Really now I just want you to man up and bring your false doctrine to the airwaves but You and me know that wont happen because all you can do is play book writer and site master. You take that book momey Buy a plane tickey then we post it all on youtube how about that?"
-Johnny Robertson, founder of Church of Christ WDTBS Television Show
• "You are not a model of ethicality."
-Neal Pollard, Bear Valley Church of Christ; instructor at Bear Valley Bible Institute
• "Patrick Vandapool you will pay for your crimes against God." "You and your Church are condemned, better accept the Gospel and leave your Church before you die in your sins. you are an alien sinner!" "Your brainwashed." "Your site is a propaganda site." Your not a true Christian." "Your a fool... . I never called you a fool."
-John Riddle; "well tranned priest of the Lord's Church"
• "Are you an unmarried man under 25? Your writing style and wisdom match such a profile."
-Steve Rudd, Hamilton Church of Christ; founder of CofC propaganda website bible.ca
• "You have to be the most immature person that I've ever "met" in WordPress, and that includes the atheists, by which in overwhelming numbers show more common courtesy and respect that you. Are you 10 years old? ...if that's what your readers enjoy then it says as much about them as it does you."
-Eugene Adkins, Keltonburg Church of Christ