Over on the Envoy boards, one of Patrick Madrid’s posts (which has been anchored firmly at the top for months) is an advertisement for his 1993 debate with James White on Sola Scriptura. Madrid says it is “a classic you won’t want to miss!” Madrid informs the Envoy folks,

“Over the years, we have received many e-mails, letters, and personal comments from folks, most of whom are Catholic, who found this debate helpful to their understanding of the problems with sola scriptura. I’ve also received over the years a significant number of grateful comments from former Protestants who, by their own admission, made the informed and prayerful decision to convert to the Catholic Church in some measure as a result of their having listened to this debate on sola scriptura with Jim White.”

   Patrick appears to be very proud of this debate:

“13 years of experience has shown that this debate is very effective at demonstrating to Protestants the utter vacuousness of sola scriptura. I think that this is why it’s so popular among Catholics. We typically receive an average of 2 or 3 orders a day for this debate (sometimes more), week in and week out, 365 days a year. And that says a lot about how Catholics who listen to it think it went.”

   Madrid’s Envoy forums goes by the motto, “speak your mind.” So, one would think posting one of Madrid’s points from this debate and voicing agreement with it would help inspire the Papal troops. Such though is not the case. I stopped over at Envoy Wednesday night and read the following post from “truthrules12”:

“Why keep deleting my post… I keep writing that I admire Madrid for saying, in his debate with James White, ‘those of you who aren’t catholic run the risk of going to hell…’ why delete this—it’s in the transcript!!!!! it’s the truth —what is the problem??????”

   I sat back rather stunned when I read this. I didn’t recall Madrid saying this. The transcript has been available (for free!) on aomin for years. Indeed, yes, Madrid did say this. The comment appears at the very end of the debate:

“In my final minute I want to say that I didn’t come here to win arguments, I came here to share the truth.I came here to invite you all to the fullness of the truth which is found in the Catholic Church.And I’d like to use the words of a famous Catholic apologist, Edmund Campion, who is a priest.He was formerly a Protestant, then he converted to the Catholic church.He wrote this letter and I hope you’ll give me a couple seconds over–if I go over 10 or 15 seconds.[Discussion about how much time is left.The moderator informs Mr. Madrid that 2 minutes are remaining.]I would like to use his words to make my own tonight because I know that many of you are not Catholic and I know that many of you run the risk of going to Hell if you do not accept the truth that Jesus Christ is offering to you.If you leave this room tonight and you suppress the doubt that may be in your heart about what Mr. White is saying tonight or the questioning that may be in your heart about whether or not the Catholic Church is the true church, you have to answer to God at some point.You don’t have to answer to me or Mr. White.I’m inviting you to consider, to study, to pray about the Catholic position.No, Mr. White, I don’t mean that in the Mormon sense of the word.I mean that in the Biblical sense of the word.”

   Well, “truthrules12” “spoke his mind” and had his post quickly deleted, repeatedly. He “spoke his mind” in agreement with a product Patrick Madrid promotes and sells, on a point Patrick made. I’d like to thank “truthrules12” for pointing this out (By the way, I am not this person, and recall, I was banned from Envoy for posting a link to an aomin article). I’m very tempted to purchase Madrid’s MP3 version of this debate to see if he edited this comment out. One Envoy contributor pointed out “…I believe the transcript from White’s site is MORE complete than the audio CD because there were a few noticeable gaps in the recording.… “
   In the past, I’ve had a hard time with Roman Catholics on Galatians 1:6-8. I’ve tried to get them to admit, from their perspective, that I, as a Protestant, should be viewed as eternally condemned because I don’t believe the gospel officially taught by the Roman Church. But, the answer I’ve repeatedly gotten is that I can only be eternally condemned if I know the Catholic Church is the true church and I still reject her. What sophistry!
   Here though, Madrid breaks with the pack: “I know that many of you are not Catholic and I know that many of you run the risk of going to Hell if you do not accept the truth that Jesus Christ is offering to you.” He returns to those glory years of long ago:

Pope Innocent III (December 18, 1208): “With our hearts we believe and with our lips we confess but one Church, not that of the heretics, but the Holy Roman Catholic and Apostolic Church, outside which we believe that no one is saved.
Pope Pius IX (December 9, 1854): “For, it must be held by faith that outside the Apostolic Roman Church, no one can be saved; that this is the only ark of salvation; that he who shall not have entered therein will perish in the flood.”
Pope Leo XIII (January 10, 1890): “He scatters and gathers not who gathers not with the Church and with Jesus Christ, and all who fight not jointly with Him and with the Church are in very truth contending against God.”
Pope Saint Pius X (March 12, 1904): “It is our duty to recall to everyone great and small, as the Holy Pontiff Gregory did in ages past, the absolute necessity which is ours, to have recourse to this Church to effect our eternal salvation.”
Pope Innocent III and Lateran Council IV: “One indeed is the universal Church of the faithful outside which no one at all is saved…”

   Well, Madrid’s words will be an interesting challenge to those who believe I am simply a seperated brother that doesn’t know Rome is the true church. If I were in the audience that night, it would’ve been I who heard Madrid’s plea to embrace the Roman Church or run the risk of going to Hell. The Catholic Catechism states,

“Those who, through no fault of their own, do not know the Gospel of Christ or his Church, but who nevertheless seek God with a sincere heart, and, moved by grace, try in their actions to do his will as they know it through the dictates of their conscience – those too may achieve eternal salvation.”

   This statement has been given to me by Catholics as proof positive I am not running the risk of going to Hell. Well, perhaps Mr. Madrid has a different interpretation of this statement. Since there isn’t an infallible interpretation given to the Catechism, it’s really up to whichever Catholic one is talking to at the moment to interpret it for you. Despite Madrid, the Catechism, or whichever Catholic one is talking to, one thing is certain and clear:

“I am amazed that you are so quickly deserting Him who called you by the grace of Christ, for a different gospel; which is really not another; only there are some who are disturbing you and want to distort the gospel of Christ. But even if we, or an angel from heaven, should preach to you a gospel contrary to what we have preached to you, he is to be accursed! “(Galatians 1:6-8)

   Many Catholics run the risk of going to Hell if they reject the Gospel or rely on their works. Paul states, “to the man who does not work but trusts God who justifies the wicked, his faith is credited as righteousness” (Romans 4:5). I challenge Roman Catholics to reread Galatians 1, and consider Paul’s warning.

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