The Protestant “War on Hanukkah” Proves Catholicism More Plausible

Church of Christ readers,
This post’s title is a nod to America’s “culture wars” (which seem to become more of an outrageous outrage this time of year), not to any sort of malice.
Protestantism’s inattention to the Bible’s input about Hanukkah is an indication of which position is in fact more “biblical”. As a reminder, the Catholic Canon (the Bible’s “Table of Contents”) is different than the Protestant Canon; and the Catholic Rule is that both Sacred Tradition and Sacred Scripture are equally intended by God as divine revelation while the Protestant Rule is that of “sola Scriptura” – that the Protestant “Bible alone” is intended to provide all that is necessary for salvation and holy living. (I’ve included links to most of my posts about “Rule of Faith” at the end if you’d like to learn more.)
So what does Hanukkah have to do with anything? Continue reading
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Creed: Part #2, Application of the Creed and Current CofC Disunity Regarding Baptism

CofC Christians,
The Creed provides unity and identity. People who visit the Catholic Church of Christ do not need to read the minds of any Church leader to learn what the Church believes; the Creed is available to everyone. Members of the Church all confess – some more sincerely than others – to the same one Creed. The Creed is not Scripture; it is a confession of faith. (Remember, “creed” means “belief”.) Like the Creed, the Catechism of the Catholic Church is not Scripture; it is an explanation of the Creed, it is the Church’s exegesis (its interpretation) of the Scriptures. All Christians have a creed, whether it is written down or not. The Church has the responsibility to declare the gospel, to explain it, to make it accessible. Continue reading
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Creed: Part #1, “No Creed But the Bible” Proves Catholicism More Christian

CofC Christians,
Protestant Church of Christ Christians often profess pride in their lack of a creed, but they utilize a creed-like mantra as both a statement of belief and a disparaging commentary on Christians who do confess a creed. “No creed but the Bible”, however, does not communicate the self-affirming Restorationist wish for “biblical Christianity”; what it does is offer a proof of how, in itself, the Catholic Church is more plausible, more reasonable, more Christian. Continue reading
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Applying Reason to the Protestant Church of Christ’s Claim as “the Original Church”

Protestant Church of Christ readers,
Your foundational principle of sola Scriptura — your entire approach to religion — correlates to your group’s initial presence in history. A group (the Catholic Church of Christ) that existed before the Bible’s formation does not begin with a premise that denies the first eighteen centuries of its own existence, but your group (the Protestant Church of Christ) was born at a time when the labor of creating the Bible had already been performed, and it approaches religion by approaching an already-produced product (if your community were old, it must deny the first eighteen centuries of its existence!). As such, the Catholic Church is the Church of history, and any “Bible-only” Restoration group is not. Surely if your community existed before sola Scriptura was invented (the New Testament Scriptures did not exist at Pentecost when you believe your community was born) you would appeal to the original pattern, and approach Christianity by approaching the Church (as those at Pentecost had). But of course, your community is new, and your approach to Christianity is new as well.
If the Catholic Church is not the original Church (as you would argue), and if the Protestant Church of Christ is in fact the original Church, then why does each group’s approach to the Faith communicate the opposite? Would the ancient Church not approach the Faith in the same manner as it had at its beginning? And would a modern community not approach the Faith in the same manner as it had at its beginning?
If your group were in fact the nascent Church, then it would not approach a library of books as its only source of theological truth; it would have been intrinsically joined with the books’ writing, compilation, and decisions — the Church — that presuppose the New Testament Scriptures. Put differently, your group’s reluctance to examine history leads you to an unexamined and faulty principle that invalidates itself, and your group’s approach to Christianity, by itself, proves that your group is not the nascent Church.
The Catholic churches of Christ greet you!
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In Their Own Words: [Protestant] Church of Christ Christians’ Journeys Toward (and from) the Fullness of Christianity

A selection of posts from this apostolate:

Posted in apologetics, Catholic art, catholicism, churches of christ | Tagged , ,

Scott J. Shifferd: A “Straw Man” Meltdown

Scott J. Shifferd (Scott Shifferd Jr.) is a Protestant Church of Christ preacher at Dean Road Church of Christ. He introduced himself to me a few years ago online. I once tolerated irrational comments from CofC-ers on a previous humor website because those sorts of comments helped people see how CofC-ers normally operate – how they typically refuse to address actual topics, how they most often revert to machine gun protests. Shifferd was perfect for my purpose, but he continues to help thinking people become Catholic even today.
On his own blog, Shifferd recently attacked me as someone who “doesn’t understand the [Protestant] churches of Christ”, and that I am only capable of presenting “strawmen” [sic] arguments. (I would link to it, but he changes and deletes posts and comments; a link to his site will probably soon be meaningless.) Of course, he has never, and could never, provide a single example of my misunderstanding of the CofC; his tactic, again, is normative: his slander is meant to poison the well because he does not want his audience to entertain non-conforming positions (facts). He is afraid, and his job depends on an ignorant following. Continue reading
Posted in apologetics, canon, catholicism, churches of christ, Scott J. Shifferd | Tagged ,

How Does Mary Make Us More Christian?

A member of the Protestant Church of Christ that I’m in dialogue with asks:
“How does Mary make us *more* Christian? What is the purpose of Marian Devotion?”
Thank you! This is how I understand it: A greater love for Mary is the natural result of becoming more Christ-like. The inverse, I believe is true as well: demoting her to “just a good woman” is a result of not following Christ.
Of course, Mary makes it possible for us to be Christians; without her perfect faith the Church could not have been born.
But are men not better husbands when they come to love what their bride loves? Do people not love others more when they view them through the eyes of those who already love them? Is Jesus not our Brother, and would Mary not be our mother? Are we not better brothers when we love our mother together? Does obedience not cause understanding, and are we not meant to honor our mother? Do God’s people of every generation not call her blessed? In other words, Marian piety *is* a part of being Christian–she is not a barrier, a burden, or an aspect to weigh against our journey.
Mary allows us to see Jesus as God chose Him to be seen. God chose Mary to give Jesus flesh, and Mary’s perfect faith and cooperation is what made her become the deliverer of the Deliverer! She was the first Christian, she loved Him before anyone, she saw the face of our Lord more perfectly than any of us, she gazed into His eyes while she nursed Him, loved Him perfectly, and we Catholics want to love Him perfectly as well. And with Jesus as our Brother, we have the same mother who nurses us as we too gaze back into her eyes. We do that as St. John had, by taking her into our home. And it is St. John, the disciple whom Jesus gave His mother to (another proof that Jesus had no blood-brothers), who spent the most time with her, who probably loved her most, and was ultimately able to see her enthroned as Queen of Heaven (cf. Rev 12). We see her crowned in heaven, and a crown is the prize; she is the sign written in Revelation and in the stars that keeps us fixed on our journey.
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Posted in apologetics, mary, Uncategorized | Tagged ,