Shame On You!

Dr. White, After reading a few articles on your site about Catholicism, I have decided that your anti-Cahtolic bigotry has clouded your reasoning. You reject Church authority for the interpretation of scripture, yet on what basis do you determine what Scripture teaches? Your own? Like Luther, you have allowed your ego and bias to determine what scripture says, layering it with Protestant dogma that likewise has no basis in scripture and calling it Truth. Shame on you. Grace and Peace, David Roberts

Dear Mr. Roberts:
   Thank you for reading a few articles, Mr. Roberts. I’d invite you to read a few books, maybe view some of the three dozen debates we have done with your leading apologists. You might have a little better basis upon which to offer meaningful commentary.
   You refer to my “anti-Catholic bigotry.” Really? Possibly you could document this bigotry? I mean, bigotry is easily identified, isn’t it? It results in the kind of abuse of facts you see with someone like Steve Ray and a whole host of Catholic apologists who abuse the “33,000 denominations” number, right? It prompts men like Patrick Madrid to publish anonymous hit-pieces in response to perfectly fair and sound articles on the history of the Council of Nicea. That kind of thing. So…would you care to provide documentation, from these few articles you’ve read, of “anti-Catholic bigotry”? It is easy to make the accusation—it should be just as easy to document it, yes?
   You say I “reject Church authority.” If you mean Rome, yes, I do. Rome is not the church. The church existed long before a man in Rome decided to allow folks to call him the Vicar of Christ or the Holy Father. I know of no apostle of Jesus Christ, including Peter, who ever told me to look to the bishop of Rome as my final authority, either. The concept of the Papacy developed over time, Mr. Roberts, and it stands firmly opposed to the teaching of the Apostles of Jesus Christ regarding the nature and form of Christ’s Church.
   You further say I reject Rome’s authority for the interpretation of Scripture. Well, how ironic, since I recently noted the confusion of Rome’s defenders regarding just what the Roman Church has, in fact, infallibly defined as the meaning of any particular text of Scripture. Can you tell me, Mr. Roberts, what the infallible Roman interpretation of John 6:37 is? Romans 4:8? Galatians 2:16? Maybe you can point me to Rome’s official, infallible interpretation of the Granville Sharp Construction at Titus 2:13, possibly? I’d be very interested in seeing these infallible interpretations.
   You then ask how, having rejected Rome’s false claims to authority, I can determine what Scripture says. What an amazing question! Consider the implications of what you have asked. How could anyone know what Isaiah’s words meant until the middle of the second century when the first singular bishop of Rome came into existence? Are you seriously suggesting that for nine hundred and fifty years no one could figure out what Isaiah was saying? What an incredible claim!
   How do I know what Scripture says? It’s called exegesis Mr. Roberts. It’s called paying attention to context, authorial intent, grammar, syntax–all those kinds of things. That’s what I did in questioning Catholic apologist and scholar Fr. Peter Stravinskas:

   See how that works? Context, language—works real well! So you see, your entire question, which tries to locate some kind of “authority” in me (or in Luther, for that matter), completely misses the point. The authority is found in the text itself, not in me, or Luther, or anyone else. When Paul wrote to the Galatians, he intended them to understand his words. I don’t need a man in Rome to tell me what Paul meant, Paul did just fine, thank you very much!
   You then speak of layering the text with Protestant dogma. Of course, you don’t give examples, so it is impossible to refute non-documented charges. If you would provide something more than rhetorical flourishes, I would be happy to demonstrate that it is not my side presenting as dogmas beliefs that have not the slightest biblical foundation (shall we discuss purgatory, for example?).
   So you say, “Shame on you.” I invite you to provide some foundation for your accusations. I do a live, call-in webcast Tuesdays and Thursdays. The schedule is easily found on my website. Toll free phone number, too. You would be welcome to call and attempt to back up your assertions, Mr. Roberts.
James White