Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Answer to SDA Video about Catholic Bishop's Confession

See yesterday's post.

Adventists have always misunderstood both Christian history and Catholic doctrine. They continue to re-circulate ancient quotes as if they are authoritative for Catholics and often without any understanding of what the Catholic writers even mean.

I would like to take the quotes read from this Seventh-day Adventist actor playing the part of a Catholic bishop and analyze them one by one.

Before we do, let's look at the transcript right before the beginning of this clip. SDA televangelist John Carter claims: 

46:06 And my friend who is here today is going to come and he's going to read Mr. Vincent Morton he's going to come and read from the official writings of the as they call it the holy Roman Catholic Church. Listen to this, these are the unadulterated statements from Popes and other Roman Catholic leaders.

This is patently false as you will see. None of the quotes that follow (which are on the clip) are "official" in the sense that they represent the understanding of the magisterium of the Catholic Church and Christian history. 

The Five Quotes in the Clip

Two quotes are by Catholic Redemptorist (that's what the CSSR is) Thomas Enright : 

48:03 I have repeatedly offered $1000 to anyone who can prove to me from the Bible alone that I am bound to keep Sunday holy. There is no such law in the Bible, it is a law of the holy Catholic Church alone. The Bible says remember the Sabbath day to keep it holy. The Catholic Church says no by my divine power I abolish the Sabbath day and command you to keep holy the first day of the week. And lo the entire civilized world bows down in a reverent obedience to the command of the holy Catholic Church. T. Enright C.S.S.R. in an electorate Harford Kansas,  February 18th, 1884. 
51:25 I have repeatedly offered one thousand dollars to anyone who will prove by the Bible alone that Sunday IS the day we are bound to keep, and no one has called for the money. It was the holy Catholic Church that changed the day of rest from Saturday, the seventh day, to Sunday, the first day of the week, T. Enright, C. S. S. R., in a lecture delivered in 1893.

(3ABN, Carter Report, The Priest's Confession, Part 2, Program transcript. Series code: CR, Program code: CR001105)

Note the similarities in the two quotes. The transcript gives very little information to track down the source. When I googled them, I discovered the quotes in anti-catholic sites but with differing sources. I tracked them down to the earliest SDA publication that I could find. The Signs of the Times, August 5, 1907, p. 489:

Papal Claims 
"...I will give $1000 to any man who will prove by the Bible alone that Sunday is the day we are bound to keep. . . . The observance of Sunday is "The Pope's will stands for reason. He can dispense solely a law of the Catholic Church. . . . The church changed the Sabbath to Sunday, and all the world bows down and worships upon that day, in silent obedience to the mandates of the Catholic Church."— "Father" Enright, of the College of Redemptorist Fathers, Kansas City, Mo., in Hartford (Mo.) Weekly Call, Feb. 22, 1884.

"The Catholic Church says, No! By my divine power I abolish the Sabbath day, and command you to keep holy the first day of the week. And, lo, the entire civilised world bows down in reverent obedience to the command of the holy Catholic Church !"—'Father" T. Enright, C.S.S.R., of Redemptorist College, Kansas City, Mo., in American Sentinel, June 1, 1893.
Please note the sources are different in the video and in Signs of the Times (Hartford, Mo. vs. Hartford, Ks). Even the wording has changed somewhat. Yet the Signs of the Times gives additional information that make it easier to verify the authenticity of the quote.

Therefore, after investigation we can dismiss the quotes because: 

  • There was no record of a Redemptorist named Thomas Enright at that time. (The Catholics keep records.) [NOTE: update--someone sent me a link of a obituary of a Redemptorist Timothy Enright that may the guy.]
  • The Signs of the Times second quote sources the American Sentinel which is problematic because the Philadelphia newspaper shut down in 1840.  

[* UPDATE: A man sent me a link with a scan of two letters where this man "Father Enright" challenged that he would pay anyone who could find a proof-text for Sunday. However, the scan of the letter never indicated that it was in a lecture. ("Lecture" must have been a typo) So, the guy may be a legitimate priest, we however are not sure about the context of the personal letter.]

Let's deal with the other three quotes as a group because they are all legitimate Catholic writers in legitimate Catholic periodicals. 

49:03 The Catholic Church for over one thousand years before the existence of a Protestant by virtue of her divine mission changed the day from Saturday to Sunday the Catholic Mirror, Sep. 23rd, 1893. 
49:22 Question, which is the Sabbath day? Answer, Saturday is the Sabbath day. Question, why do we observe Sunday instead of Saturday? Answer, we observe Sunday instead of Saturday, because the Catholic Church in the Council of Laodicea 336A.D. transferred the solemnity from Saturday to Sunday. Peter Giermann, Converts Catechism1910, page 50. 
50:01 Question, have you any other way of proving that the church has power to institute festivals of precept? Answer, has she not such power she could not have done that in which all modern religionists agree with her. She could not have substituted the observance of Sunday the first day of the week for the observance of Saturday the seventh day. The change for which there is no scriptural authority. Stephen Keenan, 'A Doctrinal Catechism' page 174, [1846]

These three publications, even with the nil obstat  or imprimatur in no way gives them the authority of the Catholic Church. It just means that there is no heresy that the bishop could find in the book. These labels are not infallible and never were thought to be. Catholic books with the thumbs up from bishops can and do have these "thumbs ups" removed. Samuele Bacchiocci's book was eventually stripped of its imprimatur. 

Think about this, a hundred years from now someone trying to prove the SDA church hates science and no members can believed in evolution may publish this quote to prove it:

"As long as you stick to the Bible (and Ellen White's books and articles) you will not go wrong. For those among us who have already decided--despite the Bible and Ellen White--on evolution, there are plenty of other churches for you. Ours isn't one." Cliff Goldstein, Adventist Review July 24, 2003

Cliff Goldstein is a bona fide leader of the SDA church. He is an employee of the General Conference and speaks for the church. The Adventist Review is a church publication, right?

Actually, Cliff is expressing his opinion, even in this church publication. Catholic priests can do that and do so all the time. The above quotes are just that. The quotes in the clip are from individual Catholics giving their opinions even in Catholic periodicals. But they cannot be used to prove Catholic doctrine. 

Let me explain just a bit more. The Sabbatarian Sabbath was really not an issue for a thousand years. Sixteenth-century puritans began arguing among each other about a Sunday Sabbath or a Saturday Sabbath. Even priests in America and Great Britain were drug into the argument without being educated, because frankly, sabbatarianism wasn't high on their priority list. 

So, if you truly want to know what the Catholics believe, don't go back any further than Pope John Paul II's encyclical, Dies Domini. He dealt thoroughly with this subject and this is the official,  (as John Carter said earlier) "unadulterated" Catholic doctrines. Use this to form your understanding about Catholic beliefs on the Sabbath.
Those quotes are simply not relevant to the subject. 

The bishop is fictional. 

The authority given these quotes is fictional. 

If you want truth... what Catholics really believe? To the current Catechism and Magisterium you go! Ask the Vatican!

Tuesday, June 25, 2013


(Note: This video is not being circulated by the SDA church, but some members.) 

You won't know it by watching, but this clip is from The Carter Report, a Seventh-day Adventists evangelistic outreach. There is nothing in the video clip that suggests it is a Seventh-day Adventist production. It is made to look as if a real Catholic bishop is standing in front of a secular audience at some type of international or press conference. All of it is fake folks! 

And the Catholic Bishop isn't a bishop at all. He's an actor

A few minutes ago I just talked on the phone to the Carter Report and they are claiming that someone cut a clip out of the service and without their permission is circulating it as if it is real. This isn't even a former bishop who converted to Adventism as some are wondering. This is an actor pretending to be a bishop misquoting Catholic sources. 

The Carter Report better be careful or they will end up being charged with fraud. On many levels. First they went to the trouble of purchasing or making bishop's vestments, then even wore the scholarly biretta, nice touch. Then they clip Catholic quotes and distort them repulsively. Catholic scholars have often implored the SDA church to quit falsifying their doctrines and history. Adventists still use these bogus quotes as if they have "exposed" a hidden agenda. 

The quotes are as concocted as the bishop.

This is a SDA evangelist Carter Report television SET! All you see and all you hear is for entertaining and indoctrination purposes. Learn the truth about Catholicism. This is a distortion.

Read the Catechism and specifically read Pope John Paul II's Dies Domini.

(UPDATE: Someone just wrote me and told me that the people who edited this from its original context are an independent group of SDAs. It's source may be 3ABN. We're still looking into it. However, even if John Carter clearly told his audience that it was an actor, and the transcript shows Mr. Carter said nothing, the visual adds authority to the misinformation. 

Monday, June 24, 2013

Irony Run Amok in SDA Conversations

I am sitting at a dinner table with some distant SDA family members or I run into an Adventist friend at the store and the following very polite  conversations takes place in somewhat similar words: 

SDA: You know I love you to death, Teresa, but I have occasionally popped onto your websites. I even started to read your book and, you know, I mean this as kindly as I can put it but.... you are kinda mean-spirited. It seems to me you are rather bitter to say and write the things you do about Adventists. You need to stop. Seriously. Move on and love Jesus.

Me: Well, I get that a lot from Adventist. I do understand how you could misunderstand my heart. I try very hard to never attack Adventists themselves. But I'm sure I let something I write pass without realizing that could be misunderstood. Please let me know if you see me criticizing an Adventist. I may point out disagreements we have or even exhort SDA pastors and leaders to be pro-life but I have never attacked an Adventist. 

SDA: You know what I mean, don't be tricky--you're a very bright girl. You speak against us as a church. 

Me: I point out that some of your doctrines are not biblical and in fact, I strongly believe they are heretical, but I talk against doctrines not Adventists. 

SDA: It is the same thing. You attack Adventism, you attack Adventists. That is disingenuous to try and separate the two like attacking one isn't attacking the other. Jesus wouldn't do that. You need to pray more and write less...just sayin'.

Me: Wait? You are confusing me. Taking the premise (which I strongly disagree with) but within your SDA worldview, if attacking someone's beliefs is attacking them, then we have a problem.  The SDA church has always said that they love Catholics and believe some of them to be genuine Christians and will be in heaven, but you then say the church structure is the Whore of Babylon. Aren't you doing to Catholics exactly what you are complaining I am doing to you? After all if you attack Catholicism you are attacking Catholics, right? What if I said to you, "You need to stop attacking Catholics. Seriously. Move on and love Jesus."

SDA: Teresa! You know how sweet Adventists are! All the good things we have done. No other church on earth does so much. Look at our school system, our healthcare system--it is the best in the world. Studies have shown we live the longest because of our healthy lifestyle. We are full of the most amazing people who ever lived. Desmond Doss! Adventists are known around the world and honored. 

We don't attack Catholics! No. Not at all. Catholics have a clear history of church corruption. That's just fact. They are the Whore of Babylon and the anti-christ, so it is not wrong for us to point that out. We aren't criticizing the people. 

Me: So you can criticize Catholicism which isn't criticizing Catholics (in your mind.) But me? If I say anything about SDA doctrines then I am attacking Adventists themselves?  

SDA: We love Catholics and want to help them understand the truth, we are not being mean-spirited like you are, Teresa. Look into your heart, you know the truth. Come back, sweetheart! We love you.

Me: Your church holds annual Revelation Seminars against the Catholic Church utterly distorting history and Catholic beliefs. Then you call her the Whore of Babylon whose leader is the anti-christ pope. That's okay for you to do to the Catholics but Catholics cannot ever point out that your doctrines --about them--are wrong? 

SDA: We are wanting to lovingly point them to God's truth.... Bible truth...about the Sabbath. No other church is as solidly based in the Bible as we are. Everything we teach is straight from scripture.

Me: You teach that Catholics and Apostate Protestantism will one day hunt you down and torture Adventists for keeping Sabbath and rule the world as the evil Whore of Babylon, right? You see that as scriptural and loving? You truly believe that is what Jesus meant when He said, "The world will know you are my disciples by your love one for another?"

SDA: Yes, we are loving you by lovingly pointing out truth. And who's distorting truth? Teresa, shame on you. You know we teach that until the close of probation we don't think the Catholics are the Whore of Babylon. 

Me: So, let me just get this straight. You can call my church the future Whore of Babylon and you are doing it in love. However, when I point out some SDA doctrines (especially those against the Catholic Church and Protestants) are a little crazy, unbiblical and historically inaccurate, I'm the bad guy? 

SDA: But here's the difference. Ellen White was a prophetess and she had visions from God. That makes what she said true. Therefore speaking truth is a good thing, not a bad thing. It is bad when you speak against truth. And since Catholics are going to come against us in the future and hunt us down and torture us for keeping Sabbath, it is not mean-spirited to warn you about it so that you will repent and leave the Whore of Babylon. 

Me: Oh, okay. So when you speak "truth" against the Catholics, you're doing God's work and when I defend Catholicism, I'm doing the Devil's work. You can attack and that's a holy, sacred attack for truth. But you cry foul and play the victim when someone simply defends themselves against your attack or even so much as tells you that your accusations are untrue.

I mean, think about it. That's the bully crying when someone tells him to quit beating up on a littler kid.

By this time, the conversation has turned tense even though everyone is still smiling and wanting to come across as Christians.

Me again: What I am understanding you to say is that you are the good guys for attacking Catholicism (and Apostate Protestantism) but Catholics and Protestants should be silent and allow your slander without retort because if we defend ourselves we are the bad guys, right? 

SDA: This is America. We have the right to speak truth. Teresa what I am actually hearing you say is that the Catholics want to silence us. (They shake their heads.) Just like the Catholics.... This is what I mean! Seriously, this conversation to me just reinforces that Ellen was a true prophet because what I am hearing coming out of your mouth is chaos and wanting power over what others say. Next step, the Inquisition and then Madame Guillotine. 

You need to calm down. I sense a lot of anger in you and that shows me that you don't really have Jesus in your heart. Think about this. (They pat my hand gently.) You wouldn't be getting so defensive if you had just remained SDA.

There is a short pause. 

SDA: So, how's your kids? Are you and Arthur still together?