Response to John Barnett's, "What is the Catholic Church?"
Updated: Jul 22, 2022
I was asked to watch a video (link here) on YouTube by Discover the Book Ministries in which Pastor John Barnett talks about the Roman Catholic Church from his perspective. I thought I'd respond to his points. I was thinking about doing a summary of the points raised but instead I will go point by point that I picked up on what Pastor Barnett was saying about the Catholic Church and give a response to each point. You'll have to forgive me because I may miss some points that he raised and the structure of this blog post may be a bit disjointed and hard to read. However, I hope this will be a fairly comprehensive reply to all the points he made in his almost 3 hour video.
The video is broken up into 4 parts where he stopped and started different sessions that he edited into one video. With this in mind there will be points that are repeated and he goes into different areas of the Catholic Church in each part so I'll note when we get into a new part of the video. I will also refer to Pastor John Barnett as John or Pastor John for convenience and it isn't meant as any disrespect.
Point 1: Jesus taught that Maccabees was not a part of the Bible.
John here doesn't give any biblical reference to where and when Jesus said that Maccabees wasn't a part of the Bible. First, I'm assuming that when John says the Bible he is actually referring to the Septuagint which was the Old Testament used at the time of Jesus. There are a few problems with this idea. Firstly, the New Testament actually quotes Maccabees multiple times. 2 Maccabees 13:4 is actually the origin of the title King of Kings used by Paul and John. Paul teaches about the martyrdom of the mother and her sons from 2 Maccabees 7:1-42 in Hebrews 11:35. James quotes 1 Maccabees 2:52 in James 2:23. Jesus Himself, although not quoting Maccabees itself quoted the so-called 'Apocrypha' (really the deuterocanonal books) multiple times. Jesus directly quotes the Wisdom of Solomon in Matthew 12:42, He quotes Judith 16:17 in His description of Hell in Mark 9:48, He quotes Baruch 3:29 in John 3:13, etc.
Secondly, The Septuagint is the Old Testament that the Apostles and Jesus Himself would have used to read the scriptures. The Septuagint contains all of these books which most Protestants regard as Apocrypha. This is the Old Testament that the Early Church used.
Point 2: If something is not in the Bible it is against the Bible
John here expresses that if you can't find something in the Bible then it is inherently against the Bible. This has a lot of logical problems with it. First of all, there is nothing in the Bible that states that everything taught is in the Bible. In fact, the Apostle John in his gospel which was the last book written in the Bible said in John 21:25, "But there are also many other things which Jesus did; which, if they were written every one, the world itself, I think, would not be able to contain the books that should be written." This shows that not everything Jesus did (from which we can infer that he taught or said) is in the Bible. Paul himself says that we ought to follow his letters but also the oral traditions in 2 Thessalonians 2:15. The Bible gives license to believe in things outside of the Bible so long as they don't contradict the Bible. However, this doesn't mean that everything that isn't in the Bible is automatically against the Bible.
Point 3: The Bible teaches imputed righteousness/grace
Pastor John here made the clever metaphor of grace in the Catholic Church being like a man walking around with an IV bag attached to a needle in his arm. I find the metaphor pretty funny but otherwise unsubstantial. The idea of infused righteousness is actually better described as a spiritual cleansing. While the idea of imputed righteousness says that we are mounds of dung covered in snow, infused grace says that God's grace regenerates us (Titus 3:5), washes away sin (Acts 22:16), and makes us a new creation (2 Corinthians 5:17). This language certainly doesn't reflect the idea that God imputes his righteousness upon us as sinners and we don't change. No, the Bible reflects a language that espouses an infused change.
Point 4: The Church teaches salvation by works from the Council of Trent.
John here makes the point that the Roman Catholic Church is damnable because it teaches a salvation by works doctrine that has come from the Council of Trent. Firstly, I feel that John like many other Protestants don't really understand the Catholic position on faith and works. The Catholic Church teaches that Justification/Salvation is an on-going process. You are initially justified or saved, you are continually being justified and saved and you will be justified and saved. Our initial justification is not by works, it is an act of faith. However, our continual justification is an act of faith and works. I believe Protestants believe in something very similar when they say, "We are saved through faith alone, and from our faith comes good works." Catholics would actually agree with this, our initial salvation is by faith and not by works (Ephesians 2:5). However, our ongoing salvation is with both faith and works (Philippians 2:12), and our final salvation will be based off our faith and works (Romans 13:11). Pastor John claims that the Church is damnable because the Council of Trent teaches salvation by works. However, let's look at what it really says. "If any one saith, that man may be justified before God by his own works, whether done through the teaching of human nature, or that of the law, without the grace of God through Jesus Christ; let him be anathema." (Decree on Justification First Decree Canon 1) . I think this anathema may confuse Protestants who believe that Catholic believe in works based salvation. So, no, the Council of Trent doesn't believe in salvation by works.
So, what does it teach? "we are therefore said to be justified by faith, because faith is the beginning of human salvation, the foundation, and the root of all Justification; without which it is impossible to please God, and to come unto the fellowship of His sons: but we are therefore said to be justified freely, because that none of those things which precede justification-whether faith or works-merit the grace itself of justification. For, if it be a grace, it is not now by works, otherwise, as the same Apostle says, grace is no more grace."(Decree on Justification First Decree, Chapter 8, quoting Romans 11:6) As we can see, our initial salvation is by grace and not by works. If you wish to read the Decree on Justification by the Council of Trent, you can find it here.
Point 5: Roman Catholics aren't Christian because they don't believe in the Bible
John here answering a question by a member of the audience exclaimed that Catholics aren't Christian because they don't believe in the Bible. However, there are several errors with this thought. Firstly, Catholics very much do believe in the Bible. The First Vatican Council declares, "These books are held by the Church as sacred and canonical, not as having been composed by merely human labour and afterwards approved by her authority, nor merely because they contain revelation without error, but because, written under the inspiration of the Holy Ghost, they have God for their author, and have been transmitted to the Church as such." (Session 3, Chapter 2, no.7) Secondly, it was the Roman Catholic Church herself that formulated the canon of the Bible at the Council of Nicaea. Thirdly, you would have to infer that there were no Christians in the world from 600AD (when Pastor John thinks the Roman Catholic Church started) to 1054AD at the Great Schism. Do you really believe there were no Christians for over 400 years after Christ?
Point 6: John's church has acceptable man made traditions
Here John, while referring to his drawing, says that his church also has traditions that aren't in the Bible but that they are okay. I ask, how can you honestly distinguish your church's traditions with those of the Catholic Church? It seems hypocritical that John will condemn the Roman Catholic Church for our Sacred Tradition but see that his own man-made traditions were fine.
Point 7: "We've lost the definitiveness of doctrine"
At around 19:45 into the video John says these words. It's really fascinating that John recognises a major problem stemming from Protestantism yet doesn't realise it's source. That is the subjectivism of doctrine. Without a firm authority and a firm foundation doctrine becomes a personal person's opinion and in reality can become whatever you want it to be. However, doctrine needs to be established on a solid rock foundation (Matthew 16:18) or pillar of truth (1 Timothy 3:15).
Point 8: The Catholic Church described in the Bible.
John here exclaims that the Roman Catholic Church is not the Catholic Church described in the Bible. He goes on to say that he is catholic because catholic means universal. Well, let's look at what the Bible says when it talks about the church.
Firstly in Matthew 16:18-19 we see that Christ establishes His Church on the rock (Peter and his confession that Jesus is the Christ). Jesus gives Peter the keys to the Kingdom of heaven and whatever he bounds on earth will be bound in heaven and whatever he looses on earth will be loosed in heaven. Jesus also declares that the gates of Hades will not prevail against it.
Second, in Matthew 18:17-18, we see that Jesus says that the Church has the power to solve doctrinal disputes and to excommunicate.
Third, we see in Romans 16:1 that The Church has deacons.
Fourth, we see in 1 Corinthians 14:35 that the Church is Patriarchal.
Fifth, we see in Ephesians 1:22-23 that the church is the body of Christ and Jesus is the head.
Sixth, we see in 1 Timothy 3:1-5 that the Church has Bishops.
Lastly, we see in 1 Timothy 3:15 that the Church is the pillar and bulwark of the truth.
I just want to touch on Matthew 16:18-19 for a bit because there is a lot to unpack from this verse. We see that Jesus says, You are Peter and on this Rock I will build my Church. Now, Peter's name was originally Simon bar Jonah. Jesus actually changes Simon's name to Peter (Cephas) which means rock. We know that when God changes a person's name it is for a special reason. So, when Jesus said that verse he says, 'You are Cephas and on this Cephas I will build my Church.' Jesus refers to both Peter and his confession of Jesus being the Christ in this single verse. The next part then talks about the keys to the kingdom of heaven. This part is a reference to Isaiah 22:22 where it says, "And I will lay the key of the house of David upon his shoulder: and he shall open, and none shall shut: and he shall shut, and none shall open." This passage in Isaiah is talking about how in the old kingdoms of the Jews the King when we would leave his kingdom would give the second in command the keys to the kingdom as a sign of the second in command's authority. Binding and loosing is a Jewish phrase meaning to 'forbid by an indisputable authority and to permit by an indisputable authority.' (Encyclopaedia Biblica 1903, "Binding and Loosing") So, from these few verses we see that Peter was being appointed as Second in Command of Christ's Church with the power to bind and loose dogmas with indisputable authority. These points seem to be pointing towards the Roman Catholic Church and no other as the church described in the Bible.
Secondly, the term universal church is most fittingly used for the Roman Catholic Church since the Roman Catholic Church is the most diverse and universal church in the whole world.
Point 9: Roman Catholics deny Jesus died once and for all.
Here John isn't specific as to what he means by this. He does refer back to this saying for two different reasons. The first is this idea that Catholics believe that Jesus didn't forgive all of our sins on the cross. The second idea is that in the mass, Catholics re-sacrifice Jesus over and over again.
In regards to the first part. Catholics do believe that through Jesus's crucifixion that all our sins are forgiven. However, how does this come about? Protestants have different ideas of how we can accept this sacrifice of Jesus for the forgiveness of our sins. Some say that a mere 'Sinner's Prayer' can be enough to have your sins forgiven. However, this idea of a sinners prayer to accept the sacrifice of Christ for the forgiveness of sins isn't biblical. So, what is the biblical way?
We read this in Romans 6:3-11, "Do you not know that all of us who have been baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into his death? We were buried therefore with him by baptism into death, so that as Christ was raised from the dead by the glory of the Father, we too might walk in newness of life. For if we have been united with him in a death like his, we shall certainly be united with him in a resurrection like his. We know that our old self was crucified with him so that the sinful body might be destroyed, and we might no longer be enslaved to sin. For he who has died is freed from sin. But if we have died with Christ, we believe that we shall also live with him. For we know that Christ being raised from the dead will never die again; death no longer has dominion over him. The death he died he died to sin, once for all, but the life he lives he lives to God. So you also must consider yourselves dead to sin and alive to God in Christ Jesus."
We see that it is through baptism that we die to sin and live a new life in Christ. This idea that Baptism takes away sins is also said in Acts 22:16. So, yes, Catholics do believe that through Baptism all of our sins are forgiven. However, does this include the sins we commit after baptism? No. Catholics, do not believe that Christ's crucifixion extends the forgiveness of sins to sins committed after baptism. Why not? Because Jesus instituted a way to absolve sins committed after baptism in John 20:21-23. In this Jesus gives power to the Apostles to forgive or retain sins. In this we have confession. We see confession also in James 5:16 where He tells us to confess our sins to one another so that we may be healed. We see in the previous verse that James says that the prayer of confession forgives sin. If Christ died for the forgiveness of all of our sins past and future then why would He give the power to forgive sins? Seems like even Christ knew that people would sin after baptism and need healing and forgiveness.
In regards to the Sacrifice of the mass. This is just a misunderstanding of Pastor John. Catholics do not re-sacrifice Jesus every mass. Instead it is a re-presentation of the One Sacrifice of Christ. If anyone would like to read the Doctrine of the Mass from the Council of Trent you can find the Link here. There is a lot to say but the Council of Trent clearly defines that the sacrifice isn't a new sacrifice but a representation of the One Sacrifice of Christ. "He, therefore, our God and Lord, though He was about to offer Himself once on the altar of the cross unto God the Father, by means of his death, there to operate an eternal redemption; nevertheless, because that His priesthood was not to be extinguished by His death, in the last supper, on the night in which He was betrayed,--that He might leave, to His own beloved Spouse the Church, a visible sacrifice, such as the nature of man requires, whereby that bloody sacrifice, once to be accomplished on the cross, might be represented, and the memory thereof remain even unto the end of the world..." (Council of Trent Session 22 Chapter 1, emphasis my own).
Point 10: Infant Baptism in unbiblical
John here mentions the Lutherans and Reformers like Calvin and how they still practiced Infant Baptism and that it wasn't Biblical. John beats me to the mark by commenting that even other Protestants are wrong on Infant Baptism so that I can't use them as a means of explaining it. Smart move John. So, is infant baptism biblical?
Well, there's a few Bible verses we can look at. The first is Acts 2:38-39, "And Peter said to them, “Repent, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins; and you shall receive the gift of the Holy Spirit. For the promise is to you and to your children and to all that are far off, every one whom the Lord our God calls to him." From this verse we can see that Baptism is for children and for all whom God calls to him. So does God call babies to Him? Luke 18:15-16 seems to say so, "Now they were bringing even infants to him that he might touch them; and when the disciples saw it, they rebuked them. But Jesus called them to him, saying, “Let the children come to me, and do not hinder them; for to such belongs the kingdom of God." We see that this promise of baptism even extends to Infants. This seems sufficient enough but let us look at some other verses too.
Paul in Colossians 2:11-12 describes Baptism as the new circumcision. Well, it was mainly infants that were circumcised under the old law so why could they not be circumcised under the New Law, being the circumcision without hands, the circumcision of the heart, i.e. Baptism.
So, we see it in the Bible that baptism is a promise for all, including infants. We also see that just as infants were circumcised according to the old law so nothing is stopping them from being baptised into the new law.
Point 11: Roman Catholics believe that if you are baptised that "you are in"
John here was talking about the idea that Roman Catholics think that all you need to do to be saved is to be baptised. It's funny that in his criticism of this erroneous idea that it actually can be seen as a criticism of his own beliefs about how one only needs to be 'born again' and he is saved. However, the Catholic Church doesn't believe that all who are baptised will be saved. However, we do believe that in order to be saved one must be baptised.
"Baptism, which corresponds to this, now saves you, not as a removal of dirt from the body but as an appeal to God for a clear conscience, through the resurrection of Jesus Christ" (1 Peter 3:21)
Point 12: It was through Constantine's combination of Paganism and Early Christianity that gave birth to Romanism and the first Pope and Purgatory were invented in 593
It is true that the Early Church brought in Christian holidays to replace the old pagan holidays. I honestly can't see anything wrong with that. It would be like if you were having a party with lewd activities and I decided to have a party on the same day with wholesome activities to try and encourage people away from the lewd party. If there's something I've missed with this point let me know. In regards to the Papacy and Purgatory being invented in 593, the idea of praying for the dead was around a lot earlier than then. In the Acts of Paul and Thecla (year 190, an Apocryphal text) and the Martyrdom of Perpetua and Felicity (year 203), praying for the dead is mentioned. Tertullian talks about praying for the dead in his writing 'De Monogamia' (around year 208), Cyprian also talks about making sacrifices for the dead (around 249). We even have Monica the mother of Augustine of Hippo asking her son to pray for her soul in his masses. We also see Augustine mention a place of temporary punishment of fire after death for those who are saved in his book City of God (Book 21, Chapter 13 and Chapter 27) which was written between 413 and 427.
Origen earlier speaks clearly about Purgatory in his Biblical commentaries around the year 240 saying,"If a man departs this life with lighter faults, he is condemned to fire which burns away the lighter materials, and prepares the soul for the kingdom of God, where nothing defiled may enter." (Commentary on 1 Corinthians, XIII, col. 445, 448)
Clearly, we can see from the early Church that Purgatory was a widely held belief and that the Roman Catholic Church did not invent it in 593. So, what about the Popes?
John here claims that no one before 593 was ever called Pope. John doesn't talk about the Bishop of Rome and whether it played a significant role in the Early Church so I won't address it but if you want to learn more you can find a great article by Trent Horn here about it. However, he is wrong that no one was called pope before 593. Most bishops were called pope in the Early Church and especially so in the East. Damasus I was the first Bishop of Rome to be called Pope (Behind Closed Doors: A history of Papal Elections, Baumgartner 2003) and he served from 366-384.
Before I go onto the next part, you will realise that there are a lot less points in these next ones because I won't go over what I've already mentioned previously.
Point 13: Jesus did it all and there is nothing more
John here, as we talked about before, is referring to forgiving sin. However, if he truly did it all then why would he give the Apostles the power to forgive sins? (John 20:23)
Point 14: A tree that does not bear good fruit is cut down
John here is talking about the narrow and wide paths or the two ways in his presentation. On one point he speaks about the tree that does not bear good fruit is cut down. What does the Bible mean by good fruit? It's obviously talking about works. Our continual justification is dependent on good works stemming from faith. This is the Catholic view.
He later also says, "He who does the will of my father". Does the will, is referring to works. Again, our continual justification is based on works.
Point 15: Roman Catholics deny Divine Achievement
I honestly have no clue what John is talking about here. God did it all. Without God's grace we will all end up in Hell. This is a Catholic position.
I think these three Anathemas from the Council of Trent should help Pastor John understand that we certainly do not rely on our own achievements.
CANON I.-If any one saith, that man may be justified before God by his own works, whether done through the teaching of human nature, or that of the law, without the grace of God through Jesus Christ; let him be anathema.
CANON II.-If any one saith, that the grace of God, through Jesus Christ, is given only for this, that man may be able more easily to live justly, and to merit eternal life, as if, by free will without grace, he were able to do both, though hardly indeed and with difficulty; let him be anathema.
CANON III.-If any one saith, that without the prevenient inspiration of the Holy Ghost, and without his help, man can believe, hope, love, or be penitent as he ought, so as that the grace of Justification may be bestowed upon him; let him be anathema. (Decree on Justification)
Point 16: 'Born Again' and 'Regenerated'
John through out the video speaks about being born again and regenerated and it was only at this point of the video that I really picked it up. I don't really know what he means by Born again, it seems really vague. However the Bible certainly talks about being born again as being baptised. Romans 6:3-11 talks about baptism being born into the newness of life through the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ. Regenerated comes from Titus 3:5 which also refers to baptism. Born again refers to John 3:5 which also talks about Baptism.
Point 17: Purchasing Indulgences
Pastor John through out the video refers to purchasing indulgences. Which was never taught as doctrine in the Catholic Church. In fact it was an abuse of Indulgences which came from the idea that one may gives alms in exchange for an indulgence. Buying of Indulgences is the sin of simony and is condemned. Pope Pius V canceled all grants of indulgences involving any fees or other financial transactions in the Council of Trent. Purchasing Indulgences was never allowed, when it happened it was an abuse, and it is now forbidden to be granted indulgences for any exchange of money.
Point 18: The early Church was devoutly exclusive
John here, talking about Early Church history, said that one of the reasons why the early church was persecuted was because they were devoutly exclusive. He then laments about how this has changed and that churches are now too accepting and inclusive. I agree. It is a shame. It's great that the Catholic Church is still devoutly exclusive. People outside the Catholic Church are not permitted to receive our sacraments (unless one wants to start the Rite of Initiation and become baptised). The Catholic Church teaches that Outside the Church there is no Salvation (Papal Bull, Unam Sanctam). It seems that the mark of devout exclusivity has stayed with the Original Church.
Point 19: Roman Catholics put the Apocrypha into the Bible in 593
Here, John references a chart looking at how the Roman Catholic Church supposedly has drifted from the Original Church and the Bible. He says that one of the major drifts away was when the Catholic Church added the Apocrypha into the Bible in 593.
This is an outright lie. The Catholic Church has always maintained that the Deuterocanonical books have been a part of the official canon of the Bible since it's inception. The Council of Rome in 382 gave a canon of the Bible including the Deuterocanon, so did the Council of Hippo in 393 and the Council of Carthage in 397. Pope Innocent I also lists them as canonical in 405. So, why are they canon? because they were the Canon of the scriptures used by the Apostles in the Septuagint. So, when it came to creating the Bible, it was clear to the Church that these books read by the Apostles would make up the canon of the Old Testament. There was some debate about certain books but at least one of the deuterocanonical books was in all of the dissenter's lists for canon.
Point 20: Celibate Clergy
Here John says that Celibate Clergy isn't biblical and that because of that we have all the problems within the Church today. I'm not going to defend Celibate Clergy as a doctrinal position of the Church because it isn't. It just comes under the canon law for the internal workings of the Church and isn't defined as a dogma or a doctrine. It can be changed and there already exceptions to the rule with the Church itself where some Catholic priests are married. I will just defend the idea that Celibacy is a virtue.
Firstly, the Early church fought against a small heresy by Jovinian which taught that Virgins, married women, widows and remarried widows are all of equal merit in Christianity. The Church declared this a heresy and said that Virginity is preferable to Marriage. Augustine said, "Both solid reason and the authority of Holy Writ show that neither is marriage sinful, nor is it to be equaled to the good of virginal continence or even to that of widowhood." Jerome also discusses how Virginity is preferable to marriage in his book Contra Jovinianum. Augustine explicitly refers to celibacy as well, "the chastity of celibacy is better than the chastity of marriage" (De Bono Coniugali. 22)
Secondly, the Apostle Paul speaks on how virginity is preferable to marriage. We see in 1 Corinthians 7:32-35 this, "I want you to be free from anxieties. The unmarried man is anxious about the affairs of the Lord, how to please the Lord; but the married man is anxious about worldly affairs, how to please his wife, and his interests are divided. And the unmarried woman or virgin is anxious about the affairs of the Lord, how to be holy in body and spirit; but the married woman is anxious about worldly affairs, how to please her husband. I say this for your own benefit, not to lay any restraint upon you, but to promote good order and to secure your undivided devotion to the Lord."
We know that the spiritual things are greater than the material things because Jesus himself says, "For what shall it profit a man, if he shall gain the whole world, and lose his own soul?" (Mark 8:36) So we see that being anxious about the affairs of God is greater than the affairs of one's spouse. So, while Celibacy for priests explicitly isn't something we can find in the Bible, we can definitely see that Celibacy is a virtue and should be preferred to marriage.
Point 21: The Inquisition was about hunting down people with the Bible
Here John makes a remark suggesting that the Inquisition was about the persecution of people who held the Bible privately. This is complete nonsense. The Inquisition (also known as the Spanish Inquisition since there were many inquisitions of the time) was primarily concerning the investigation of Jews and Muslims who claimed to have converted to Catholicism but were still practicing their previous faiths. Other inquisitions were about fighting heresies such as the Catharism heresy or the Paulician heresy or the Manichaeism heresy. The Protestants were later targeted because they were heretical and not because they owned bibles.
Some Protestants claim that the Inquisition against the Catharists was about taking their bibles away. This was because the Catharists used a vernacular version of the Bible. However, this was not the case. The Catholic church fought against the heresy of Catharism because it was extremely dominant in southern France. The Catharists believe that there are two gods, that the material world itself (God's creation) was evil (so encouraged their members to commit suicide) and they also believed in Gnosticism. It was extremely dangerous and it is wrong to suggest that the Catholic Church targeted them just because they had Bibles.
Point 22: Transubstantiation only started with the doctrine of the Mass
John here claims that before the doctrine of the mass which he claims started in 1215, that there was no such thing as the idea of Transubstantiation. He also claims that the mass in the form we know it today started in 1215 too. There are a lot of problems with what he is saying here so let's break it down.
First, John is obviously talking about the fourth Lateran council with his year of 1215 where the term transubstantiate was first used in Church documents. However, the idea of bread and wine turning into the real Body and Blood of Christ has been around since the very Early Church. Ambrose wrote on the Real Presence of Christ's body and blood in the Eucharist in the year 387 (On the Mysteries, Chapter 9). The letter of Ignatius to the Romans in the year 106 says, "I desire the bread of God, the heavenly bread, the bread of life, which is the flesh of Jesus Christ, the Son of God, who became afterwards of the seed of David and Abraham; and I desire the drink of God, namely His blood, which is incorruptible love and eternal life." and he writes to the Christians in Smyrna, "they (heretics) abstain from the Eucharist and from prayer, because they confess not the Eucharist to be the flesh of our Saviour Jesus Christ, which suffered for our sins, and which the Father, of His goodness, raised up again." Justin Martyr in the year 150 says, "Not as common bread and common drink do we receive these; but in like manner as Jesus Christ our Savior, having been made flesh by the Word of God, had both flesh and blood for our salvation, so likewise have we been taught that the food which is blessed by the prayer of His word, and from which our blood and flesh by transmutation are nourished, is the flesh and blood of that Jesus who was made flesh." Tertullian in 200 AD, Cyprian in 200 AD, the Apostolic Constitutions in 380 AD, Augustine in 400 AD all say the same thing. The Bread is changed to the Flesh of Christ and the wine is changed into the Blood of Christ. This is not a new doctrine in 1215. This is a doctrine from the Early Church herself. The word Transubstantiation was used to describe what was already commonly believed for centuries.
Next, Pastor John claims that the Mass as we know it today started in 1215. He is wrong in so many different ways. Firstly, the mass as we know it today comes from 1969 from Pope Paul VI. The Tridentine Mass (the one commonly used before the second Vatican Council) comes from 1570. If Pastor John is talking about the Catholic Mass where bread and wine is turned into the Body and Blood of Jesus then we see this mass in the Early Church with the Gallican Rite, or the Antiochene Rite which were around in the 4th century. We can go back even further and see the method of Consecration for such masses in Paul's first letter to the Corinthians written between 52-55 AD where he says, "For I received from the Lord what I also delivered to you, that the Lord Jesus on the night when he was betrayed took bread, and when he had given thanks, he broke it, and said, “This is my body which is broken for you. Do this in remembrance of me.” In the same way also the cup, after supper, saying, “This cup is the new covenant in my blood. Do this, as often as you drink it, in remembrance of me.” For as often as you eat this bread and drink the cup, you proclaim the Lord’s death until he comes."
Point 23: Catholics put the Bible on the Index of Forbidden Books
John here claims that Catholics put the Bible on the Index of forbidden books which forbids anyone to read it unless they have express permission from a bishop. This is completely false and there is no evidence to back up his claim. One source I have found that says what Pastor John is claiming is the book Roman Catholicism by Loraine Boettner which claims that at the council of Valencia in 1229 the Bible was placed on the Index of Forbidden books.
Firstly, the Index of Forbidden books was established in 1559. So, no book could have been added at said council. Secondly, There was never a council at Valencia and especially in 1229 when the Moors (Muslims) were occupying it. There was a council in Toulouse in 1229 but it only addressed the Cartharist heresy which we spoke about earlier.
The Bible has never been placed on the Index of Forbidden books. This is just a Protestant lie. If Pastor John wants to be taken seriously, then it would be wise for him to do some homework so that he doesn't just say a complete fabrication.
In this Part, Pastor John actually starts to address how Paganism and Roman Catholicism are supposedly related. There are many more points to be brought up here. However, it should be noted that at times John merely makes points and doesn't explain them in detail like in previous parts. This could be because he is running out of time and wishes to make all of his points known so we won't criticise him in this part for not providing detailed explanations for each of the points he raised.
Point 24: True Christianity started with the last book of John and stopped at 313 AD where the Roman Catholic Church began
Here John claims that the Catholic church began in 313 at the time of Constantine legalising Christianity in Rome and that before this True Christianity was around. Well, if he wants to make the claim that before 313 was the Authentic Christianity then let's see what this Church taught.
The importance of Apostolic Tradition - Against the Heresies by Irenaeus 180 AD, Papias in 120 AD, Eusebius of Caesarea in 150 AD.
Real Presence in the Eucharist - Letter of Ignatius to the Romans 106 AD, Justin Martyr 150 AD, Tertullian in 200 AD, Cyprian in 200 AD.
Baptism necessary for Salvation - Hermas in The Shepherd 80 AD, Justin Martyr's First Apology 151 AD, Tertullian in 203 AD, Hippolytus in his Homilies 217 AD, Origen in Exhortation to the Martyrs in 235 AD, Cyprian of Carthage in His Letters in 253 AD.
The Mass - Justin Martyr in his First Apology 151 AD, The Didache 150 AD.
Bishops and Deacons - First letter of Paul to Timothy 59 AD
There are plenty of different things we can draw from the Early Church before 313 AD. There is no evidence of a change in the teachings of the Church before 313 AD and after it. However, it's safe to say that Pastor John disagrees with the 'authentic church before 313 AD' on all of these points. Honestly, if Pastor John thinks this Church is an Authentic expression of Christianity then I invite him to actually read the Early Church fathers and what they said. Otherwise, it seems that 313 is just a number and the church really never changed.
Point 25: The Roman Catholic Church Accepted Constantine.
Interesting fact is that Constantine is venerated in many churches as a saint. However, the Catholic Church doesn't recognise him as a saint.
Point 26: John's Interpretation of Revelation 17
In this part of the video John breaks up the history of 'the church' (meaning the church leading up to the Protestant Churches) and applies them to different churches mentioned in chapter 17 of the book of Revelation. I'm not going to offer an interpretation of Revelation 17 just because the nature of the book of Revelation is a very difficult book to confidently interpret accurately. I think it's unwise to speak definitively that a certain interpretation of the Book of Revelation is correct. This doesn't mean we scrap it all together but especially for trying to interpret prophesies it can be very problematic. So, I won't address his points. If that is his interpretation of Revelation 17 then so be it. I will only point out that Catholics and Protestants alike interpret the Whore of Babylon as possibly being Pagan Rome or Apostate Jerusalem. You can find this interpretation here.
Point 27: John rejects a meeting of Protestants with the Roman Catholic Church because they disagree on what salvation is
I agree here with John. Although, it's good to form a sense of community, it's unwise for Catholics to associate themselves so publicly with Protestants since we have quite large differences in beliefs.
Point 28: Satan is leading a global rebellion
John here exclaims that Satan is the author of rebellion and rebellions against God are from Satan himself. I actually agree with John but it seems he may want to look what the origins of the word Protestant. Protesting and leading a revolt against the Catholic Church seems like rebellion to me.
Point 29: God doesn't found religion
James makes it very clear that God founded a religion, "Those who consider themselves religious and yet do not keep a tight rein on their tongues deceive themselves, and their religion is worthless. Religion that God our Father accepts as pure and faultless is this: to look after orphans and widows in their distress and to keep oneself from being polluted by the world." (James 1:26-27)
Point 30: Valentines day is about the roman goddess Venus and her son Cupid.
No, Valentine's day is the feast day of St. Valentine who was a Catholic Priest who was imprisoned, tortured and martyred in order to illegally marry young couples.
Point 31: Queen of Heaven title for Mary reflects Old Testament passages.
Here John points out that in Jeremiah 44:17-19 and Ezekiel 8:13-14, 16 that the people were criticised for offering sacrifices to the 'queen of heaven'. He related this to the fact that Catholics refer to Mary as the Queen of Heaven. There are two points to make about these verses. Firstly these, "queens of heaven" were the false goddesses of Astarte and Ashtaroth. They are in no way related to Mary. Secondly, Jeremiah criticised the people because they were offering sacrifices to this queen which is an act of worship. In no way do Catholics offer sacrifices to or worship Mary as a goddess. Thirdly, just because some false religion has used the same title to refer to their fake gods as we use in our Christian faith doesn't mean we got it from them. There were plenty of religions which used the title 'Son of God' to refer to their fake deities. This doesn't mean that when we use it to refer to Christ that we stole the idea of them. So, why do Catholics refer to Mary as the Queen of heaven? It's pretty simple. If Jesus is the King of Heaven, and Mary is His mother. Then according to Jewish royal history, Mary would be the Queen mother. So, therefore Mary is the Queen mother of heaven. There is really nothing controversial about it. If you want a Bible verse to prove this we can look towards Revelation 12, "And there appeared a great wonder in heaven; a woman clothed with the sun, and the moon under her feet, and upon her head a crown of twelve stars: And she being with child cried, travailing in birth, and pained to be delivered... And she brought forth a man child, who was to rule all nations with a rod of iron: and her child was caught up unto God, and to his throne." As I said before, I'm not going to give a definitive interpretation of the Book of Revelation. However, we can see some similarities between this crowned woman from heaven in Revelation 12 and Mary.
Point 32: Our Lady of Guadalupe and Mary crushing the head of the serpent.
Here John criticises this apparition for depicting Mary crushing the head of the serpent. He says, correctly, that the serpent represents the Devil and Sin and only Jesus defeated Sin and the Devil on the Cross. Firstly, apparitions are not a part of Catholic doctrine or dogma. People within the Catholic church are free to reject apparitions. However, this symbolism of Mary crushing the serpent's head is fairly biblical. This symbol calls back to the Protevangelium of Genesis 3:15 where God says to Eve and the serpent, "I will put enmities between thee and the woman, and thy seed and her seed: she shall crush thy head, and thou shalt lie in wait for her heel." This idea of enmities between the woman and the serpent can also be seen in Revelation 12:17, "And the dragon was angry against the woman: and went to make war with the rest of her seed, who keep the commandments of God, and have the testimony of Jesus Christ." We mentioned in the previous point that the woman in Revelation 12 can be seen as Mary.
Point 33: Lent is just a continuation of the Pagan 40 day pagan fast.
Here John explains that in the Pagan world there was a popular 40 day fast. He claims that Catholics copied this for their time of Lent. I wonder if John would be so bold as to say that Jesus copied this Pagan fast for 40 days in the desert? Catholics do not fast for 40 days during Lent because the Pagans did it. We do it because Christ did it. (Matthew 4:1-11, Mark 1:12-13, Luke 4:1-13)
Point 34: The origins of The Pope's title Pontifex Maximus and his hat.
John here again claims that The Pope's adoption of the Title Pontifex Maximus and his hat are evidence that Roman Catholics have stuck to their pagan roots. The title Pontifex Maximus was used in the Roman Republic and subsequent Roman Empire to denote the Chief Priest in Ancient Rome. In 382, Ambrose, an Early Church Father, urged the Emperor Gratian to renounce the Title. However, later the Church adopted it because it was a correct title to use for the position of Pope as chief priest.
In regards to the Mitre (the Pope's hat). There really is no pagan history at all for it. It probably came from the Byzantine empire in the 10th Century used by court officials. Long after the fall of Paganism in Rome.
Point 35: The dispensing of graces through the sacraments is unbiblical
John mentions this in passing so there's nothing to say about it's context. However, we look at baptism as a perfect example of where he is wrong. Through Baptism we have our sins washed away as was mentioned previously. The forgiveness of sins is a grace and baptism is a sacrament which Christ commissioned his disciples to do. "Go and make disciples of all nations, baptising them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit." (Matthew 28:16-20)
Point 36: In the Catholic Church, you can live like the devil, die, and be prayed into heaven.
This statement by John seems to go in complete opposition to his previous statements about what he thinks that Catholic Church believes. He claimed earlier that Catholics believe in works based salvation, but now he seems to contradict that by saying that it doesn't matter about the works Catholic do because they can just get someone else to pray them into heaven. Obviously, this isn't the stance of the Catholic Church. If you die in Mortal Sin and are damned to Hell then no matter how much you pray, your great aunt isn't getting into heaven.
Point 37: Catholics accept Roman Paganism.
This is the culminating point that John tries to make from his previous points is that from the evidence we can see that Roman Catholicism is just a continuation of the Roman Paganism. However, John may want to read Augustine of Hippo's book City of God to realise just how much the Catholic Church (after he claims the RCC started) rejected Roman Paganism in the 5th Century. The Catholic church certainly didn't embrace Roman Paganism as John thinks it did. On the Contrary, the Catholic Church was openly fighting paganism.
I hope that this response was informative. I know that it is very long but there is a lot to respond to in a 3 hour video. If I missed anything please let me know and I will attempt to respond in my edits after this is first published. Thank you and God Bless.