OK, I’ve read some really, really odd stuff lately on Catholic web boards, but I just set a new record. Or, I guess, I should say john6jmj over at Planet Envoy did. See, Angelz had enough of the Sippo stuff…Sippo’s bombastic, ad hominem filled invectives, his double-standards, his “I’m all brave and you are a chicken” thing, and when you get Angel mad, well, he gets out his pencil and a sheet of drawing paper! Bad move, Art, bad move. And now (drumroll please):     For those who did not do well in Art Appreciation Class, there’s always a message in Angelz’ cartoons. This one isn’t overly subtle. Hopefully it is clear. Congratulations, Art, you’ve joined an elite group.
   
So, back to the point: I was thinking about putting together a few choice snippets of classic Sippoisms when I opened my browser and it automatically put in the last thread at Planet Envoy I had been looking at, so I just followed that. And it didn’t take me long to encounter john6jmj’s note from a few days ago. I provide it here not for shock value (though it is shocking) but because it is so incredibly illustrative of something we have seen operational in all of the interaction we see with the Rutland debate and with the other issues that have arisen since that time. Post-modernism has deeply infected Roman Catholicism, even amongst those adherents who practice their religion. One thing is for sure: the idea of a Christian worldview, the centrality of the gospel, the Lordship of Christ, and all the assorted issues that are related thereto, simply do not impact the thinking and reasoning illustrated by the vast majority of those who post on these web-boards. Emotionalism, double-standards, and a complete lack of understanding of why anyone would, for example, act in such a fashion as to avoid associations that would force him to compromise the gospel, are illustrated in full color on a daily basis by good, practicing Catholics, and I simply see no one correcting them from their own side. As long as they are promoting Mother Church in some fashion, any form of argumentation is acceptable.

In the clips we provided from the Rutland debate (here and here) you hear my cross-examining Rutland on the text of John 6, and in the second, he asking me about the definition of a Christian. In the first, Rutland in essence refused to touch the text of Scripture, going so far as to allege we really can’t know what the text is saying. I would assume he would probably say that is what the Magisterium is for (though, interestingly, he probably would not use that approach with Matthew 16 or any of the other favorite passages of the Papacy). In any case, one would not believe Bill Rutland to hold a particularly high view of Scripture or exegesis given his comments at that point. Now, of course, I think he had simply been coached and instructed to avoid, at all costs, interaction with me on the text of Scripture, especially the original languages. And so, he did. But he did not do a good job of covering that over (I refused to allow him to do so). Now, for a person captive to the Word of God, it is offensive to hear someone manhandling that Word in the service of falsehood. Of course, my being offended is not an apologetic argument, nor do I regularly raise my being offended in the course of debates (unlike the majority of those on Catholic web-boards, it seems). But that does not change the fact that for someone who honors God, honors His Word, honors His truth, it is offensive to see that truth being subjugated to a man-made system, and, when asked to directly deal with it, it is offensive to see someone refusing to do so while, at the same time, claiming fidelity to it! So, for those who like me hold the Word in high esteem and believe faithfulness to its message is central, the clips were very instructive. They showed one person pressing the message of the text directly, and answering from that text when asked; and one person doing all in his power to avoid the conclusions of the close examination of that text as well.

But that isn’t what john6jmj saw. No, he saw something else. Was he concerned that Rutland refused to let language be language? Was he concerned at Rutland’s refusal to engage the text of Scripture? No, of course not. Only one thing did he see in those clips: how mean James White is. How arrogant he is (see the post-modernism? Pressing truth, demanding consistency = arrogance to the postmodernist)! Here, see for yourself:

Hi,
I had an unsettling experiencer last night. I down loaded a portion of the debate with Bill Rutland from Whites web site. I looked at it and was left in shock. It reminded me of the portion of the beheading that I saw on national television. This was a spiritual beheading. I have never seen such disreguard for Jesus in my life. Go and see the video for yourself. Someone else posted here talking about how he saw Bill as holy. I’m sorry I couldn’t find that post, but that person was moved by the Holy Spirit.

I am sorry that I tryed to stimulate a debate between White and Dr. Sippo.

Dr. don’t EVER debate white. We must stay true to our baptisimal vows. Reject evil.

In am going to say the same to the other apologist I know. I happen to know most of the apologist that are mentioned here.

EVERYTHING that has been said about White in this thread by Dr. Sippo and Whites sister, Patty, is true. I saw it with my own eyes. It was a disgusting display of arrogance.

To debate White is to give stage to the devil!

John

Not quite what you saw in those clips? Ask yourself why. And then ask yourself an equally important question: if the roles were reversed, would this person have likened it to a spiritual beheading, or would we have the Crusades all over again, “Lob off his head, if that is what Mother Church decrees!”? The roles of starting presuppositions, one’s entire world-view, in acting as a filter through which one sees such encounters, is plainly illustrated in this amazing entry from john6jmj.
   
Finally, let’s ponder what we’ve seen of late. The debate went very well. It was clear, uncluttered, and conclusive. Responses from RC’s? Well, some have just thrown Rutland under the bus, marginalizing him, saying I was just looking for an easy target. Others have attempted to keep others from even viewing the debate by every kind of personal attack upon me (such as the above) or by referring to debates from a dozen years or more ago. Others insist there should not be debates at all. I confess I view that with some level of satisfaction, in light of the fact that Catholic Answers, led by Karl Keating, Patrick Madrid, Mark Brumley, and in those days, Gerry Matatics, had not only been cornering and debating local pastors in debates, but even had published a tract that encouraged folks to set up debates with pastors who began preaching “anti-Catholic” sentiments. I don’t think they publish that tract anymore, to be honest, and our standing firm for our faith in the face of Rome’s claims has been a major reason why they have moved from such an offensive mode to a far more defensive one, and for that I am thankful.
   
Once again, I would invite john6jmj to give us a call on the DL tonight (877-753-3341). Accusing someone of the things he has is serious stuff: if he’s right, truth would demand I be exposed for what I am. If he’s wrong, truth would demand he withdraw his accusations. I’ll be here, Lord willing, at 7pm EDT.

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