[Note] I write more for Protestant Church of Christ (CofC) members who love the Bible and Christianity, so *most* of its ministers will not enjoy this perfectly indicative example of their jealousy and pride.
CofC preacher Eugene Adkins “introduced” himself to me a couple years ago when several CofC preachers found, fought, and left irrational comments on my original Comparative Religion website (which has morphed into this blog); Adkins knows how fruitful this apostolate has been. Having learned who some of those characters are, I browse their “words of wisdom” on their own blogs to keep more informed about the CofC niche and how its leaders perpetually attack the Catholic Church. (For that, I’m a “troll”.) Several of them actually think my name is “Pax” because I’ve signed off with the word “pax” (which means “peace”) within my few correspondences. It’s their sort of ignorant antagonism that provides entertainment for writers / apologists like me who help others understand the Faith—writers who use scriptural and historical reasoning, writers who prefer context over proof-text, writers who pursue truth over career, Catholics.
Adkins presents himself how most CofC preachers present themselves and illustrates how people in the religion business, as a result of their jealousy and pride, in fact showcase their own glaring contrast with the Church Christ built. As a blogger, he unfortunately fairly represents the normative CofC online presence; he attacks the Catholic Church and refuses to allow nonconforming comments (facts) to post. He is, however, absolutely willing to email insults to me full of typical name-calling, arrogance, and insults to my readers. (“immature, 10 years old, egotistic, childlike,” etc.) Even the most “teddy bear” “rainbow bridge” Catholic apologists are often called “mean-spirited” or “rude” by people employed within the religious world. It’s been happening for two thousand years. The observer who is interested in truth, however, can easily detect which party is able to make sound arguments and which party can only attack the messenger.
If the CofC were the Church, it’s bizarre that its leaders are so obsessed with the Catholic Church. Students with actual theological curiosity and a desire for truth are turned away from such irrational behavior, and they discover that the fact the CofC needs the Catholic Church to even exist proves that the CofC cannot be the first Church! (That often requires logic and reading.) Intellectual pursuit is not important to them; self-preservation is what jealous men who hate the Pope (their competition) are interested in. Such Protestants never tire of giving their more-discerning followers reasons to consider the real Church of Christ, which is Catholic, which is historical, which actually wrote the New Testament and created the Bible. And the Scriptures that Adkins and other self-made men-o-god pretend to love reveal what they only can: a Catholic Church through and through!
And more than ever believers were added to the Lord, multitudes both of men and women, so that they even carried out the sick into the streets, and laid them on beds and pallets, that as Peter came by at least his shadow might fall on some of them. The people also gathered from the towns around Jerusalem, bringing the sick and those afflicted with unclean spirits, and they were all healed. But the high priest rose up and all who were with him, that is, the party of the Sad’ducees, and filled with jealousy they arrested the apostles and put them in the common prison.
-Acts 5:14-18, emphasis added
The affection that people of good will have for the Pope began during St. Peter’s ministry; the pattern never ceased. The passage portrays a Catholic culture—a Church that is able to show respect for the Petrine Ministry (cf. John 21:17)—for the King’s Prime Minister, and it reveals that where the Vicar of Christ is there might also be healing.
My experience with CofC ministers is deep, and I know their mindset very well. Their jealousy of the Catholic Church’s visible ministry is a constant and telling leak that reveals their insecurity—reveals what they fear. Nearly every initial protest that CofC ministers / elders present has to do with the Church’s leadership (normally by insisting on modern and irrational interpretations of Matthew 23:9 or 1 Timothy 3:2) because their own sociological / ecclesial position is what they love with all their hearts. They “hit first” at what they hate first: real, legitimate, Christ-created authority. They want it to disappear, they want it to be hidden in a prison, they want it for themselves; the ends justify the means, and they want the visible Church… dead. I think they know that their self-made and self-propping “Apostasy” theory is a farce, so they, in their own jealous ways, try to create one in this era.
And since this is a post about the CofC leaders’ jealousy and pride, note how Adkins ignores the fifth chapter of Acts, yet quotes the tenth chapter in a way that, to equally ignorant people of ill will, somehow illustrates idolatry and rebuke-worthy behavior by all of those stooopid Catholics who recognize a sort of Christianity that is actually older than plastic.
In Acts 10, Cornelius fell down and “worshiped” St. Peter. St. Peter said, “Stand up; I myself am also a man”. Neither the text nor reason equates “bowing” with “worship”, but Adkins forces the link because he roams the earth searching for a biblical argument against the Catholic Church; he can only fail, and his zeal for the house of Adkins finds allowance for slandering billions of Catholics, past and present.
People bow for different reasons. In popular Catholic imagery, most people bow towards the Eucharist, which the Pope holds or is near. (Fundamentalists most often assume people are bowing before the Pope and not Christ because they rarely crack a book or care about learning anything about the Church.) Some people bow to worship. Some people bow as a sign of respect. I’ve been bowing to fellow Karate enthusiasts for decades, but I’ve never worshipped them! And if I were worshiping them, I’m pretty sure I would have been rebuked! Reality: the fact that some people bow as an act of worship, or as an act of respect, or sometimes both (which is probably what occurred in Acts 10) is not important for those who hate reality; painting all “bowing” as “idolatry”—manipulating the text to mean what it clearly does not state—is the sort of dishonest behavior that jealous preachers often engage in so they can beat others down to lift themselves up.
Jesus built His Church on St. Peter. The Apostles assigned successors with authority (another subject Adkins has cowardly run from in the past). Those men are our pastors, and the Pope is our Christ-ordained successor of St. Peter. If you’re a CofC member and this is news to you, then it is news only because you’ve accepted what jealous preachers want you to believe. You can do better than that! Read this blog, read my books (I make no money from this apostolate), read any books written by actual Catholics and not people who hate the Church from the start. Become a student! The historical, true, and legitimate churches of Christ greet you!
• "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