Someone came into channel asking about Ignatius this morning and in the process dropped the URL to another thread on the Catholic Answers Forums about yours truly, and once again I sit here in utter disbelief at the double standards that people will use without blinking an eye as long as it is in the service of Mother Church (and hardly anyone on those forums raises a voice in objection). The thread starts out with Michael Gazin pondering why nowhere on aomin.org do we simply promote what we believe, but only bash Catholics. I truly wonder what aomin.org he’s looking at? I guess his eyes don’t see the material on the Reformed faith, in defense of the Trinity, in defense of monotheism or Scriptural inspiration and inerrancy, etc. and etc.? Talk about selective reading. So, right at the start, we have “catholic.com just explains our beliefs—like there’s nothing there attacking sola scriptura or sola fide or anything like that—RC’s can do that and it is “positive” but if non-RC’s reply, they are attacking Rome! OK, major double-standard #1 logged.
But, of course, Michael can’t stop with just one really bad, hypocritical observation: he has to add,
After all…if James White converted to Catholicism….who would he debate? How would he earn a living?
Ah, there ya go…gotta get the ad hominem in as quickly as possible! Keep poisoning the well, keep up the brave effort to malign anyone who would disagree with you. And what works better than the “money” line! Does Michael have a clue about what he’s talking about? Of course not. Most debates provide no remuneration at all; those that do, it is split equally between the debaters. Where has Michael gone after all the Roman Catholic apologists who have received such huge amounts of money for doing debates? In reality, every Catholic Answers speaker asks far more than I have ever received for speaking anywhere. So, that makes this statement…yes, hypocritical, once again.
Now, surely all the fair-minded Catholics on the boards will immediately set things straight. OK, so I’m an optimist at heart. But my optimism dies quickly with the second post, which accepts and promotes the first one’s allegation of an “inferiority complex.” Wow, the humility here is overwhelming.
Next “Della” observes,
For some people all they have is their insane crusades against the Catholic Church. They are angry people, filled with bile to whom the ends (getting people out of the Catholic Church at all costs) justifies the means. It’s sad, really. I have very deep pity for this sort of mixed up person with such a paranoid view of life. No matter how much one tries to reason with them, they will not listen.
Anyone want to place a little wager on whether Della has ever read a single one of my books, or listened to a single one of my debates (including those against non-Roman Catholics)? I’m going to guess “no” on that one. She continues,
James White and others like him are doing the same thing. Here he was in all the glory and splendor of the art of the Renaissance while in Rome and all he could do was complain that it was just so much idolatry. How limited. How silly. Poor man!
Yes, what a poor man I am—I actually look at art from a consistent Christian worldview and apply my belief in the gospel to all of life! What a poor man I am indeed. Next, “DeFide” demonstrates that he (or she) knows nothing at all about me and Alpha and Omega Ministries:
There is a practical reason why anti-Catholic Protestants don’t emphasize their own beliefs: It would alienate all the other thousands of denominations of Protestants and their support would collapse.
Yep, that’s us alright! Always taking the easy road and never alienating anyone. I’d insert a .wav file of laughter here, if I could.
Next “Christy Beth” moves on to complain about Jack Chick. I wonder how many of these folks on this board have any clue how utterly unlike Jack Chick A&O is? And I wonder how many of them know Chick would identify me as a secret agent of the Vatican (he’s KJV Only)?
Next, scylla chimes in, and in the process, writes, “I have a lot of missionaries who come to ‘save me’ from Romanism.” Please note: Roman Catholics can refer to “Romanism” all they want. Scott Hahn has done a tape series called “Romanism in Romans,” for example. No one will blink an eye. But, if I use the term “Romanism,” Dave Armstrong will write a 24 page article about it. If you’ve followed this area at all for any length of time, you well know I speak the truth. Well anyway, scylla then adds, “Someone like James White has a lot to lose if he investigates Catholicism with a unbiased view. We should pray for him and the others for a more positive, prayerful look at the Church.” Unbiased? Like scylla has investigated my faith in this fashion? Or like anyone on this board has treated my faith, my ministry, my life? That kind of “unbiased fashion?” Let me tell you, there is no doubt I have treated Rome’s teachings with far more fairness than these folks treat me or those like me, that’s for certain.
Of course, it is not long till someone has to throw out my sister’s conversion story, and RyanL does so next. Then “challenger” raises the issue of Sungenis, which I find ironic in light of what will appear just a little bit later in the thread, for he observes “just because White and Sungenis go at it so much.” Keep that in mind for a moment, it will come back.
Next, Jimmy from Pittsburgh opines, “He does this because all his beliefs are based on what Catholicism is not. It is defined as opposed to Catholicism.” Again, anyone want to take bets on whether Jimmy has read any of my works, especially those that are not related to Catholicism? Probably not. And how many, I wonder, would even do so if offered the opportunity?
Next, “CatholicDude,” one participant we have seen before, wonders about my sister’s conversion. Here, CatholicDude, is what I wrote about it, including the letter I wrote to her before I even knew it was her. Nothing has changed since then as far as the important issues are concerned.
Scrolling down the thread (ever noticed how threads inevitably…unravel over time and wander off onto other topics?) I chuckled to see some discussion of “sensationalism” since what other term could be used to describe the use of my sister’s conversion story, given how little she knew of the actual issues? Anyway, eventually a Bob Sungenis fan shows up named Tim Prescott, who writes,
if only white would stop debating debates with people like Rutland or Michuta and debate he knows are against people he knows he can win against because they as highly trained in theology as others.
That’s the real reason he wont debate Sungenis, because he knows he has met his match in Sungenis. Sungenis strikes fear in the reformed camp, because they know that the traditional understanding of Catholicism when proclaimed under the anointing of the Holy Spirit can touch the hardest heart, has the Lord wills.
OH Mr.White we are all fed up with your pathetic excuses why you wont debate Sungenis anymore, stop making excuses.
Earth to Tim, earth to Tim! Who has debated Bob Sungenis more often than any other Protestant apologist? Can you name this mystery person? There you go! ME! If Sungenis is so awesome, so fear-inspiring, why have I debated him so often? Why did one of your own say earlier in this thread that aomin.org contains a great deal of interaction with…Bob Sungenis? Let me guess, Tim, you buy into the Jewish conspiracy theories and geocentrism as well, right? That would make sense.
The fact is, we announced quite some time ago that we were done with Mr. Sungenis after he shot his own credibility in the head over the Mr. X debacle, where he and his ministry rushed to print with the most absurd accusations ever put in print regarding William Webster, David King, Rich Pierce, Colin Smith, and others associated with A&O. It turned out Sungenis was utterly fooled by a very troubled kid who basically flipped out, but even a modicum of thought on Sungenis’ part would have revealed that the accusations were as phony as a three-dollar bill. But that didn’t stop him. Credibility flat-line. [See the relevant DL’s in mp3 from 4/29/03, 5/1/03, and 5/5/03.] Then there is the simple fact that Bob Sungenis has purposefully, knowingly charted a course right out of the mainstream of Catholic theology and apologetics. He has gone after Hahn, Keating, and any number of others, and in fact, some of the most spectacular fireworks I’ve ever seen have been between he and his former co-horts like Art Sippo. Some of those who used to tout him have called for a complete boycot of his work and website. So, the fact of the matter is, Sungenis no longer represents mainstream Catholicism, and doing further debates with someone who has made himself so odious in his own arena is not something we are interested in doing. Sungenis’ “apostolate” desperately needs that kind of activity to remain afloat. Well, let him find someone else to debate. I’ve done my stint, and anyone who thinks otherwise has to close their eyes very tightly to the record itself. Just do a Google search of aomin.org and “Sungenis” and see for yourself. Tim continues,
As for you Svendsen why dont you just accept that although Matatics was a bit of a space cadet on the dividing line when you spoke on the perputal virginity he more then answered your poor arguments and that’s why you were so quiet for the rest of the show and left white to do damage limitation by asking any irrelevant matter he could think of to cover up for your poor showing…..
James White and Eric Svendsen, stop putting of joining the true Church. Face it there is no home like Rome….
The Dividing Line referred to included Eric Svendsen and I talking to Gerry Matatics (November 18, 2003, downloaded from here. Listen for yourself. It was one of our most popular programs ever.
But, hey, the logic of pointing out that I’ve debated Sungenis more often than Karl Keating has debated me is lost on the folks on the forum, for Jedi Master links to one of the bullying debate rants on Sungenis’ website and adds, “White would rather debate nobodies from Catholic message boards.” Hmm, Sungenis, Matatics, Madrid, Pacwa, Stravinskas, Michuta and Rutland—are all “nobodies from Catholic message boards.” OK, that works for me. Hey, as a Jedi Master, is he dealing in absolutes there? 🙂
Now, this was as far as I read before beginning to write this article, but having gotten here, I kept going, and ran across “SEMPERREFORMANDA” who replied to the entire thread. It was very encouraging not only to have a friend on the board, but if you take a moment to compare his replies with what I wrote above, they are amazingly alike. Truth works like that. 🙂 This individual does a wonderful job exposing the double-standards in the accusations that were leveled, providing links to the Dividing Line archives, even at one point transcribing a whole section that shows how another participant had misrepresented my words. Many thanks, whoever Semper is!
Moving down the list I find Ryan L posting just yesterday and grossly misrepresenting me once again. He writes,
James White is an anti-Catholic. Period.
From his website, about quitting Operation Rescue (which protests abortion):
Quote:On the practical level, this meant that if I were to find myself in a jail cell with a Roman Catholic it was my duty and obligation to join hands with this person as a fellow believer in Christ, no questions asked. I could not address the issues that separated us. I could not contrast the finished work of Christ, and His free grace, with the Roman concept of the Mass as a propitiatory sacrifice, and the idea of merit.[This grossly misrepresents the actual teaching of the Church, BTW]
I could not, if convinced of its necessity, share the gospel of grace with this Roman Catholic, for this would amount to a “division in the ranks” so to speak, and would detract from the focus of the work. This reality quickly drove me from the organization, and helped me to see the very error that has now been enshrined in Evangelicals and Catholics Together.
He will not take ranks with Catholics to protest one of the greatest evils that plagues our country. He has, by his own declaration, willingly steps to the sidelines as Catholics fight the work of Satan. That fact alone shows that he is not with us, and to paraphrase Christ, “If you’re not with us, you’re against us.”
So, in Ryan L’s thinking, if I place the gospel at the center of my life and ministry, and refuse to compromise that gospel, even for the sake of political expediency, that makes me an “anti-Catholic.” Can you follow this kind of reasoning? It seems epidemic on this board. So, I should be inconsistent and ignore my own faith and the gospel itself? This is what I need to do to make Ryan happy? Sorry, Ryan, I have a higher standard. And finally, if you think I have stepped to the sidelines on the pro-life issue, you are grossly mistaken.
The fact that post-modernism has taken deep root amongst Roman Catholics is illustrated in the next post by Mickey, who wrote, “The truth according to whom? A reformed baptist will probably interpret JW’s words as truth, but many Catholics, Orthodox, and other protestants may not. It’s all perspective my friend.”
Ryan L comes back with some substantiation of his accusation that I misrepresented Rome in these words:
What Dr. White describes grossly misrepresents the Catholic (NOT JUST ROMAN – don’t forget the 200 million Orthodox!) position because the way it is phrased it presents a false dichotomy between the finished work of Christ and the eternal nature of His sacrifice, as well as another false dichotomy between free grace and the mass. The way it was phrased creates the image that Catholics somehow don’t believe that Christ did enough for us on the cross or that under a semi-Pelagian thought process we could merit God’s grace by our own right. This is complete bunk! This is a caricature of the Catholic position, and implies either a lack of understanding or a deliberate attempt to distort the truth. Either way, it’s dishonest.
Now, if I had never in my life bothered to interact with Rome’s claims about the Mass, he might have a point. However, has Ryan read The Fatal Flaw? The Roman Catholic Controvresy? Listened to the debates on the Mass with Pacwa or Sungenis, for example? If he had, he would know exactly what I was talking about, and why I said what I said. I misrepresented nothing. I fully know Rome claims the sacrifice is sufficient: the point is the internal contradiction in Rome’s beliefs, and what is more, I was expressing my own reasons for not continuing to work with Operation Rescue. Good grief, Ryan, how about a modicum of fairness?
At one point my statements regarding “conversion stories” were posted, and my statement that by nature they are often very shallow, no matter which direction they go. Almost as if trying to provide me with an example, we find J.W.B. writing,
If not for the Catholic Church I believe I would have been lost. I was once a Protestant as well, a Calvinist. I was actually very anti-Catholic too. My conversion was not “emotional” but very serious. I sternly looked into Catholicism to see if it was “Biblical.” It not only IS Biblical but HISTORICAL. You just CAN NOT say that about “reformed theology.” Catholics are ONE and those “Catholics” who differ in dogma’s with their own “opinons” are not TRUE Catholics. Catholicism is ONE UNIFIED FAITH, not thousands of disagreements with one another. That is what almost took me away from God or I would have become a lone ranger Christian. Praise the Lord for His TRUE Church, AMEN!!!!!!!!
Well, there you go! I’m convinced! See what I mean about conversion stories?
Finally, Church Militant, whose first name is Michael, just posted this morning,
I was an “ex-Catholic” for over 34 years and returned to the faith after digging into some of the trash that White and others allege and discovering that it’s all misinformation and misrepresentation.
I would just love to hear some documentation of this allegation, but, of course, none was offered. We could hope maybe Michael would give me a ring on the DL and share this insight with everyone else?
Well, this thread is on-going, and may well result in even more interesting statements in the next few days. But once again, one is amazed at the conclusions folks draw based upon pure ignorance (can you imagine making the kinds of statements these folks do about me about, say, Karl Keating, without even taking the time to read a single one of his books or listening to anything he’s ever said?) and, quite simply, prejudice. And to Ryan and CatholicDude and Mickey, Michael Gazin, and especially “Church Militant,” etc.: the Dividing Line airs again tomorrow evening, 7pm EDT, 877-753-3341, toll free. Let’s talk. 🙂