Tuesday, December 13, 2011

James White, a 100 Denominations or 100,000 What’s the Difference?

James White, a 100 Denominations or 100,000 What’s the Difference?
Matthew J. Bellisario. 2011

    I saw the arch-heretic “Reformed” Protestant James White complaining about Catholic apologists using the 33,000 denomination number again for the number of Protestant sects in existence since the “Reformation.” I wrote an article a couple of years ago addressing this issue and I came to the conclusion that there were well over 100 plus Protestant denominations with significant doctrinal beliefs, which came about as a result of their personal interpretation of the Sacred Scriptures. I believe that by Catholics using this inflated number of 33,000, they are only causing problems for future conversions, because this number is not truly accurate. We can see why this is the case when we look at James White’s latest video where he cries like a baby over Michael Voris using a number of 40,000 Protestant denominations. Can anyone wine and complain so much as this droning, blathering windbag? How one can stand to listen to his rant on this video is beyond me. However, I am sorry to say, I would never use such an inflated number, because quite frankly, it is not accurate. What this does is give White and those wining Protestant apologists like him an easy smokescreen. White loves to gloat about the unjustified inflated number that these Catholic apologists use today in their apologetic works to demonstrate the failure of Sola Scriptura. Yet, I find it ironic that White never addresses the justified number of 100 plus (Going by a wide variety of names) Protestant sects that I can prove do exist. It is a fact these 100 plus Protestant sects all disagree with each other on a huge number of significant doctrinal beliefs. These include, how they are saved, if they can lose their salvation, if they are strictly predestined for heaven or hell, how they understand the sacrament of Baptism, how they interpret and understand the Last Supper, and the list goes on and on. How does James White deal with this enormous failure of the heresy of Sola Scriptura, which has produced well over 100 Protestant sects? You guessed it, he does not address the issue. He would rather focus on the inflated number that these apologists keep using.

The fact is, whether or not there are 100, or 100,000 Protestant sects makes no real difference in the end. Did Our Lord come to make 100 churches all teaching different core doctrines? No, He established one Church, not 100, not 33,000, not 40,000, not 100,000. So all James White does in his latest video is throw huge smokescreen over his man made doctrine by attacking the gross exaggeration that unfortunately all too many Catholic apologists use today. He does this rather than addressing the real insurmountable problem the “Reformers” have, which is that Sola Scriptura has been a cause of doctrinal division, not doctrinal unity. Did the early Church believe in Sola Scriptura? No. Did any of the early Church Fathers teach it? No. Oh sure you will see the Protestant pop-apologists like White take the Fathers out of context when the Fathers speak highly of Sacred Scripture, but the Fathers never taught the heretical doctrine that James White and his pop-apologist buddies teach today, which is that Scripture alone is the sole rule of the Christian faith. Jesus didn’t teach it, the apostles didn’t teach it, the Church Fathers didn’t teach it, and the Sacred Scriptures never teach it. So even while White is justified in refuting the gross exaggeration (Not wining incessantly about it) of how many Protestant denominations many Catholics claim there are, it really doesn’t help his overall argument concerning Sola Scriptura. White never really addresses the division this man made doctrine has fostered over the past 500 plus years. I would love for once to see James White actually deal with the problem of this huge Protestant division that has been caused largely, but not solely by Sola Scriptura, rather than use the exaggerations of these Catholic apologists to hide behind like a coward. 100 or 100,000 denominations, does it really matter? I agree that this exaggeration is not justified and I call upon Catholic apologists like Michael Voris to quit using these inflated numbers so that White and those like him will have less to hide behind. In the end, division is division, and division is not of the Holy Spirit, and Sola Scriptura is not of the Holy Spirit. Jesus said, "That they all may be one, as thou, Father, in me, and I in thee; that they also may be one in us; that the world may believe that thou hast sent me." Who sent you Dr. White? Not Jesus, not the apostles and not Sacred Scripture. Deal with the fact that your man made doctrine is part of the cause of over 100 different Protestant sects, all claiming that they are the true Church and the true interpreters of Sacred Scripture. Deal with that rather than crying like a 5 year old for minutes on end about something that in principle doesn’t fix the pickle you are in.


Nick said...

I wish more Catholics were pointing this out. The 30,000 figure has been a disaster in so far as it's a fiction that's been repeated so often people think it's true, which at that point is no different than a Catholic fiction that Protestants spread. They are just as outraged at that as we are when we hear widespread misrepresentation.

And as you point out, the worst part of it is that it distracts from the real issue, while giving some Protestant objectors a sense of credibility for 'exposing' this 30,000 lie.

On the other hand, it is important to emphasize the massive disunity, and this doesn't have to be limited to doctrine. Many protestant stores should be counted as an individual denomination in so far as they're led by an individual doing his own thing who opened shop and doesn't feel institutionally united with other Protestants.

The better approach to be is to call Protestant "churches" something along the lines of 'stores', selling their own version of the Gospel. Is that somewhat offensive? Yes, but it serves to highlight the problem, which is that self-appointed pastors is a serious danger and falsehood.

scotju said...

While we should be concerned about the inflated number thing, we should also ask ourselves, why's JW really upset? I suspect it's not really Voris's misqouted statistic, but Voris himself that's got Jimmie's knickers in a twist. Voris has a way of causing certain people to go ballistic about a topic he's discussing. Witness the outrage caused by his Vortex on Amazing Grace last year. Mark Shea and David Armstrong went barking mad because Michael dared to suggest that a Protestant song really didn't belong in Catholic worship services. I suspect White's real problem with Michael Voris that he (Voris) is a effective communicator of the Catholic faith and his influence is growing, growing enough to cause the underwear problem. White, IMHO, probably sees himself as the Protestant Michael Voris, and I think, feels Voris is a threat to him and his brand of Protestantism. Yeah, I think Jimbo has been watching a lot of Vortex's and Mikey gored too many of his Prot sacred cows for his comfort. I have a hunch that Michael Voris will become a favorite whipping boy of James White in the next few months. heck, he might even replave Ergun Caner! LOL!

Anil Wang said...

Actually, there is a difference from historic denominations and modern denominations. Historically, denominations actually meant something. All Protestant denominations taught that they were right and every other denomination was going to hell. Communion was restricted to only members who subscribed to the creeds of the denomination.

In modern denominations, only elders actually have to believe the creeds of the denomination (assuming the denomination is creedal). Members only need to be Christian and commit to no actual doctrine other than the Trinity. It's quite common for people to switch denominations several times in their lifetime.

As a result, even if there were only 100 denominations, it would not matter. Each individual has his own doctrine, so there is likely well over 1 million flavours of Protestantism, and no Protestant or Protestant denomination has the authority to say that his flavour is correct and all the others are wrong.

Neil Parille said...

Mr. White is really out of control when it comes to Ergun Caner. That being said, it was funny to watch all of Caner's lies and see someone like Geisler defend them.

Voris is a little over the top as well. Whether protestant hymns should be used in Catholic services is an interesting topic. Getting all worked up over the rather imprecise theological language in AG was silly.

When former governor Carey of NY died I read that Battle Hymn of the Republic was played. This is a song glorifying (if not deifying war) written by a Unitarian, Julia Ward Howe.

RexKramer said...

I have always has problems with the 33,000 thing as it is just flat out dishonest. With respect to what Protestants personally believe, comon guys Catholic do the same thing so that is not the criteria to measure differing doctrine. Protestantism has evolved since it early times and let's be fair doesn't the Catholic Church hold to developing doctrine? What's good for the goose is good for the gander.

RexKramer said...

One last thing, James White is arrogant to say the least and yes I have caught him in alot of comments that are just flat out wrong, such as Honorius and his reformed view. But I have to say that the man really doesn't let anyone get away with anything and face it most apologists whether they are Catholic or Protestant are terrible. With the exception of Peter Kreeft, J.P. Moreland, William Lane Craig, Scott Hahn, Jimmy Akin, most of them are just plain bad.