Unbiblical Denominations (vs. Lucas Banzoli)

Unbiblical Denominations (vs. Lucas Banzoli) June 9, 2022

Lucas Banzoli is a very active Protestant evangelical apologist in Brazil, who writes quite a bit in opposition to the Catholic Church and Catholic doctrine. He has a Master’s degree in theology, a degree and postgraduate work in history, a license in letters, and is a history teacher, author of 25 books, as well as blogmaster for six blogs. He’s also active on YouTube.

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The words of Lucas Banzoli will be in blue. I used Google Translate to transfer his Portugese text into English.

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This is a reply to Lucas’ article,“Catecismo católico refuta a apologética católica” [Catholic Catechism Refutes Catholic Apologetics] (12-18-15).

Lucas cites the Catechism: #818:

“However, one cannot charge with the sin of the separation those who at present are born into these communities [that resulted from such separation] and in them are brought up in the faith of Christ, and the Catholic Church accepts them with respect and affection as brothers. . . . All who have been justified by faith in Baptism are incorporated into Christ; they therefore have a right to be called Christians, and with good reason are accepted as brothers in the Lord by the children of the Catholic Church.”

The main argument of Catholic apologetics, and sometimes the only one, is that of the “Protestant division”, about which I have written dozens of articles that can be checked in this tag. Apologetic papists argue that all evangelicals are today under the “sin of division” either because they come from “Luther’s division” or because they are divided among themselves. . . . [T]his ridiculous argument is [refuted in] the Catholic Catechism itself, . . . 

As can be seen, for the Catholic Catechism, those who caused the rupture (in Luther’s case, in their view) have sinned, but those who today are born in communities arising from these ruptures have no sin of division. That is, the Catholic apologist who accuses believers today of incurring the sin of division is going against the determination of their own standard of faith. And that includes 99% of Brazilian Catholic apologists, who do not even know their own catechism, or who deliberately ignore it.

This is a correct point about something rather elementary in discussions of ecumenism and denominationalism, and I’m actually glad to see Lucas make it, because truth is truth. Whoever made the argument that Lucas describes above was wrong, and needs to study the Catechism and recent ecumenical documents. But #818 in the Catechism doesn’t refute Catholic apologetics per se (which is what his title falsely asserts), because a properly informed Catholic apologist would never make an argument contrary to #818 in the first place.

But noting this doesn’t get Protestants totally off the hook with regard to the scandal of denominationalism, as I will shortly demonstrate.

If we evangelicals have no sin of division, then let them find another, more decent argument to accuse us.

I’m more than happy to do so, presently! The sin of schism is only one aspect of denominationalism, and it applies only to those who chose to reject and forsake the Catholic Church in the 16th century. But it doesn’t follow that divisions, sects, and denominationalism thereby become wonderful, defensible, biblical things. This is my eleventh reply now to Lucas and he hasn’t written a single word yet in reply. Nevertheless, exposing his errors is a good thing, whether or not he is willing or capable of defending his own views.

The disease and anti-Protestant fanaticism of Catholic apologists are so blatant that they manage to put them against the Catholic Catechism itself, because only in this way can they keep their speech of hate and intolerance towards evangelicals standing.

As I said, whichever apologists (actual or in name only) who claimed this were wrong. Lucas didn’t document any. I’ve never seen (in 31 years of doing Catholic apologists) an actual credentialed, published, professional apologist writing in English, make this claim. Perhaps Lucas would document this, if he ever gets off his butt and musters up the courage to ever reply to me? I’m not denying that it exists, but I do deny that it represents mainstream Catholic apologetics. Nor does an attitude of hatred.

Now I shall devote the rest of this article to providing the biblical view of the wrongness and never-intended tragedy of endless denominationalism. Protestants today are not responsible for the sin of schism, but they are responsible for understanding the biblical teaching on the Church and to do their best in accepting it and applying it in their own lives.

In John 17:22 Jesus prays to the Father that the disciples would be “one, as we are one.” And in John 17:23, He desires that they (and us) be “completely one” (NRSV). KJV, NKJV: “perfect in one.” RSV, NEB, REB: “perfectly one.” NIV: “complete unity.” NASB: “perfected in unity.” Now, it is pretty difficult to maintain that this entails no doctrinal agreement (and “perfect” agreement at that). And, reflecting on John 17:22, I don’t think the Father and the Son differ on how one is saved, on the true nature of the Eucharist or the Church, etc. So how can Protestants claim this “perfect” oneness, “as we [the Holy Trinity] are one”? Or even any remote approximation?

The Apostle Paul commands: “mark them which cause divisions and offenses contrary to the doctrine ye have learned; and avoid them.” (Rom 16:17). In 1 Corinthians 1:10, he desires “no divisions,” and that Christians should be “perfectly joined together “in the same mind.” No one can say this is simply a “warm fuzzy” love and mutual recognition. Paul goes on to condemn mere “contentions” in 1:11, and asks in 1:13: “Is Christ divided?”

In 1 Corinthians 3:3, Paul says that whatever group has “strife and divisions” are “carnal, and walk as men.” In 1 Corinthians 11:18-19 he seems to equate “divisions” and “heresies.” He calls for “no schism” in 1 Corinthians 12:25, etc., etc. (cf. Rom 13:13; 2 Cor 12:20; Phil 2:2; Titus 3:9; Jas 3:16; 1 Tim 6:3-5; 2 Pet 2:1). Romans 16:17 mentions doctrine (didache). Galatians 5:20 condemns “strife, seditions, heresies”. Etc., etc.

H. Richard Niebuhr (Lutheran) stated that:

Denominationalism . . . represents the accommodation of Christianity to the caste-system of human society. (The Social Sources of Denominationalism, New York: Meridian Books, 1929, 6, 21)

Donald Bloesch (evangelical Protestant) observed:

There will never be real evangelical unity, let alone Christian unity, until there is an awakening to the reality of the oneness and catholicity of the church. (The Future of Evangelical Christianity, Garden City, New York: Doubleday, 1983, 56-57, 65)

And Carl F. H. Henry (a leading evangelical scholar) laments:

By failing to transcend their isolation and independency, evangelical Christians have virtually forfeited a golden opportunity to shape the religious outlook of the 20th century. (Carl Henry At His Best, Portland: Multnomah Press, 1989, 66)

Nevertheless, even the generally brilliant and insightful scholar and apologist Norman Geisler repeats the cliche which is the common Protestant response to these considerations:

Orthodox Protestants differ largely over secondary issues, not primary (fundamental) doctrines, . . . Protestants seem to do about as well as Catholics on unanimity of essential doctrines. (Roman Catholics and Evangelicals, Grand Rapids, Michigan Baker Book House, 1995, 193)

This is special pleading, in my humble opinion, but to get into why that is would require another long paper (which I have written). Besides the factual whopper, who’s to decide what an “orthodox” Protestant is? Geisler? Where does he get his authority? And who’s to decide what qualifies as a “secondary issue”? (oh, so much I could say here, but for time and space . . .).

The mutual anathemas started immediately with the “Reformers.” Martin Luther said Zwingli was “damned” (because he denied the Real Presence in the Eucharist) and John Calvin called Luther “half-papist” and an “idolater” (because he believed in the Real Presence in the Eucharist). I have a whole list of such tragic examples of Protestant “brotherhood.” Luther absolutely detested sectarianism and lamented, “There are as many sects as there are heads.” His successor, Philip Melanchthon, was a great deal more upset about it than Luther was, as we know from many agonized cries from the depths of  his soul.

Yet both neglected to see how Luther’s rule of faith, sola Scriptura, and the principle of private judgment, are literally what brought it all about. After all, if Luther could dissent against the entire 1500-year history of the Catholic Church, on what basis could he deny that anyone could dissent from him? And denominationalism has proceeded thusly ever since: perfectly consistent with the foundational principles of Protestantism, and never able to be solved within that system.

There is no “unity” in Protestantism in the biblical sense. I grant that there is (very broadly speaking) a “mere Christianity” type of unity, but why should anyone accept or settle for this “lowest common denominator” unity? I want all the truth and nothing but the truth. Why should any Christian tolerate error (which we know from logical necessity is rampant within Protestantism), when all lies come from the father of lies, Satan?

At least the so-called “Reformers” believed strongly enough in each of their sects to anathematize the “dissidents” outside of them. Today Protestants wink at differences and pretend that there is a unity in “essentials.” And as a result many of us (including myself, in 1990) have moved from Protestantism to Catholicism and have found at long last a peace and a consistent view of the Church and the rule of faith that isn’t viciously self-defeating.

Here are more Bible verses (RSV) about sectarianism, division, and denominationalism:

Matthew 12:25 . . . Every kingdom divided against itself is laid waste, and no city or house divided against itself will stand

John 10:16 . . . So there shall be one flock, one shepherd.

Acts 4:32 Now the company of those who believed were of one heart and soul, . . .

Romans 2:8 but for those who are factious and do not obey the truth, but obey wickedness, there will be wrath and fury.

2 Corinthians 12:20 For I fear that perhaps I may come and find you not what I wish, and that you may find me not what you wish; that perhaps there may be quarreling, jealousy, anger, selfishness, slander, gossip, conceit, and disorder.

Galatians 5:19-20 Now the works of the flesh are plain: fornication, impurity, licentiousness, idolatry, sorcery, enmity, strife, jealousy, anger, selfishness, dissension, party spirit,

Ephesians 4:1-5 I therefore, a prisoner for the Lord, beg you to lead a life worthy of the calling to which you have been called, with all lowliness and meekness, with patience, forbearing one another in love, eager to maintain the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace. There is one body and one Spirit, just as you were called to the one hope that belongs to your call, one Lord, one faith, one baptism,

Philippians 1:27 Only let your manner of life be worthy of the gospel of Christ, so that whether I come and see you or am absent, I may hear of you that you stand firm in one spirit, with one mind striving side by side for the faith of the gospel,

Philippians 2:2 complete my joy by being of the same mind, having the same love, being in full accord and of one mind.

1 Timothy 6:3-5 If any one teaches otherwise and does not agree with the sound words of our Lord Jesus Christ and the teaching which accords with godliness, he is puffed up with conceit, he knows nothing; he has a morbid craving for controversy and for disputes about words, which produce envy, dissension, slander, base suspicions, and wrangling among men who are depraved in mind and bereft of the truth, imagining that godliness is a means of gain. (cf. 2 Tim 2:23)

Titus 3:9-11 But avoid stupid controversies, genealogies, dissensions, and quarrels over the law, for they are unprofitable and futile. As for a man who is factious, after admonishing him once or twice, have nothing more to do with him, knowing that such a person is perverted and sinful; he is self-condemned. (cf. Jas 3:16)

2 Peter 2:1-2 But false prophets also arose among the people, just as there will be false teachers among you, who will secretly bring in destructive heresies, even denying the Master who bought them, bringing upon themselves swift destruction. And many will follow their licentiousness, and because of them the way of truth will be reviled.

I wrote about this problem in my book, The Catholic Verses: 95 Bible Passages That Confound Protestants (2004) [also now available in Portugese]:

Again, we see the very strong biblical and Pauline emphasis on Christian doctrinal unity, yet the Catholic Church is criticized for teaching the same thing (and, naturally, locating the focus for this unity within its own Tradition). It is extremely difficult to rationalize away all of these passages and act as if they did not deal a crushing blow to Protestantism, insofar as it is clearly divided and hopelessly multiplying into further sects.

In my opinion, this is one of the most compelling and unanswerable disproofs of Protestantism as a system to be found in the Bible. But Protestants have no choice. They feel that Protestantism must be bolstered up as an alternative to Catholicism, no matter how many serious contradictions with Scripture exist within it. So they continue to try and explain away these Bible passages.

This is why the Catholic Magisterium, apostolic succession, the papacy, binding ecumenical councils, and the notion of an unbroken, continuous apostolic Tradition preserved uniquely by the Holy Spirit in an actual concrete institution are necessary.

As a remarkable example of this losing, futile battle with Scripture in the area of doctrinal and ecclesiastical oneness, I submit the argument of a Calvinist apologist whom I engaged in a “live chat” debate one night on the Internet. I first asked him, “On what basis — by what criterion — does a person discover truth within the Protestant system, seeing that all parties in that system appeal to the Bible, yet cannot agree on a host of issues?”

In particular, I wondered, why I should believe his view of baptism (Presbyterian: infant, non-regenerative), over against that of Martin Luther (infant, regenerative) and the Baptist position (adult, non-regenerative)?

He said that one should not “consult people but the Bible.” He later fleshed out a second response: the Bible teaches that disagreements are to be expected, thus they pose no difficulty for the doctrinal disunity within Protestantism.

My Protestant friend cited Romans 14 in support of his contention that doctrinal diversity on so-called “secondary issues” was permissible, according to the Bible. I knew a little bit about what was in Romans 14, so I asked him to tell me what particular doctrines were discussed in that chapter which would allow him to conclude that doctrinal division was acceptable.

He cited only the disagreement over the Sabbath, or the day of worship. I replied that this was irrelevant to our discussion since Protestants and Catholics agree on a Sunday Sabbath, and that pretty much the only dissenters are Seventh-Day Adventists. He could give me no other doctrine discussed in Romans 14, though he continued to refer to the chapter as a justification for Protestantism’s relativism-in-practice in many doctrines (what he described as allowable and fully expected “diversity”).

There is a good reason why no more examples from Romans 14 were given: the chapter deals only with quite “undoctrinal” matters, such as what we should eat or not eat (14:2-3, 14-17), and esteeming one day above another (14:5). That is all that is there!

Yet this professional Calvinist apologist appealed to this passage in defense of his notion that doctrinal issues like baptism and the Eucharist are entirely matters of individual discretion, admitting of diverse viewpoints, and that no one should be troubled by the fact that Protestants cannot agree among themselves. This is not only a weak biblical argument; it is expressly contrary to the passages above.

The exceedingly serious problem of denominationalism exists in Protestantism and always will, for it cannot be overcome by any Protestant internal principles, no matter how nuanced or sophisticated or in line with “Reformation heritage.” Protestantism cannot settle its internal differences; each branch or sect can only (ultimately arbitrarily) assert its own authority.

Thus, Calvin asserts his own authority, Luther his, Zwingli and Menno Simons (Mennonites) and George Fox (Quakers) and William Booth (Salvation Army) theirs. Many independent Protestants today claim to be subject to no leaders or traditions, yet inevitably follow their own traditions. Protestants have no way of resolving these “denominational dichotomies.” They will continue to split, and each party or faction will justify its split based on appeals to the one Bible.

To put it in very practical terms: how does the man on the street, who has to choose between competing factions, determine truth under Protestant assumptions? He has to choose whether Calvin or Luther is right (then go on to choose among the competing Lutheran or Calvinist camps. Why should Calvin have any more authority than Luther had? Each simply claimed it for himself (as anointed from on high) and demanded allegiance.

In the final analysis, the Protestant is forced to appeal to one of two equally insufficient and unsatisfactory solutions:

A) Claim that his own brand of Protestantism is the true one to be believed above all others. This was, of course, the standard approach taken by virtually all the early Protestant factions (thus they rather comically and ironically anathematized and damned each other).

B) Pretend that doctrines on which Protestants disagree (almost always doctrines other than those on which they agree even with Catholics and Orthodox) are “secondary” and not important enough to fight over. I often describe this as a de facto doctrinal relativism, and it is the usual course taken today. . . .

“Solutions” A and B are equally unbiblical, unhistorical, and illogical. Calvin’s position is also ultimately incoherent and clashes with his doctrine of the invisible Church (examined earlier). The problems cannot be resolved. Catholics can at least offer internally coherent and consistent answers and solutions to these vexing problems of authority, whereas the Protestant system always inevitably breaks down at some point. (ch. 2, pp. 25-29)

If the above weren’t more than enough to massively prove the unbiblical and anti-biblical nature of denominationalism, there are dozens of verses proclaiming that there is but one “truth” and one “faith” and one “doctrine” and one “teaching.” I compiled these  in my book, Bible Proofs for Catholic Truths (2009). That mostly used the KJV for copyright reasons, but here I will continue to provide RSV:

“The Truth”

Romans 2:8 but for those who are factious and do not obey the truth, but obey wickedness, there will be wrath and fury.

1 Corinthians 2:13 And we impart this in words not taught by human wisdom but taught by the Spirit, interpreting spiritual truths to those who possess the Spirit.

2 Corinthians 4:2 We have renounced disgraceful, underhanded ways; we refuse to practice cunning or to tamper with God’s word, but by the open statement of the truth we would commend ourselves to every man’s conscience in the sight of God.

2 Corinthians 11:10 . . . the truth of Christ is in me . . .

2 Corinthians 13:8  For we cannot do anything against the truth, but only for the truth.

Galatians 5:7 You were running well; who hindered you from obeying the truth?

Ephesians 1:13 In him you also, who have heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation, and have believed in him, were sealed with the promised Holy Spirit, (cf. 6:14)

Colossians 1:5 because of the hope laid up for you in heaven. Of this you have heard before in the word of the truth, the gospel

2 Thessalonians 2:10-13  and with all wicked deception for those who are to perish, because they refused to love the truth and so be saved. Therefore God sends upon them a strong delusion, to make them believe what is false, so that all may be condemned who did not believe the truth but had pleasure in unrighteousness.  But we are bound to give thanks to God always for you, brethren beloved by the Lord, because God chose you from the beginning to be saved, through sanctification by the Spirit and belief in the truth.

1 Timothy 2:4 who desires all men to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth.

1 Timothy 3:15 if I am delayed, you may know how one ought to behave in the household of God, which is the church of the living God, the pillar and bulwark of the truth.

1 Timothy 4:3    . . . those who believe and know the truth.

2 Timothy 1:13-14 Follow the pattern of the sound words which you have heard from me . . . guard the truth which has been entrusted to you by the Holy Spirit who dwells within us. 

2 Timothy 2:18 who have swerved from the truth by holding that the resurrection is past already. . . .

2 Timothy 2:25 . . . God may perhaps grant that they will repent and come to know the truth,

2 Timothy 3:7-8 who will listen to anybody and can never arrive at a knowledge of the truth. As Jannes and Jambres opposed Moses, so these men also oppose the truth, men of corrupt mind and counterfeit faith;

2 Timothy 4:4 and will turn away from listening to the truth and wander into myths.

Titus 1:1 Paul, a servant of God and an apostle of Jesus Christ, to further the faith of God’s elect and their knowledge of the truth which accords with godliness, (cf. 1:14)

Hebrews 10:26 For if we sin deliberately after receiving the knowledge of the truth, there no longer remains a sacrifice for sins,

James 5:19 My brethren, if any one among you wanders from the truth and some one brings him back,

1 Peter 1:22 Having purified your souls by your obedience to the truth for a sincere love of the brethren, love one another earnestly from the heart.

2 Peter 1:12 Therefore I intend always to remind you of these things, though you know them and are established in the truth that you have.

1 John 1:6 If we say we have fellowship with him while we walk in darkness, we lie and do not live according to the truth;

1 John 2:21 I write to you, not because you do not know the truth, but because you know it, and know that no lie is of the truth.

1 John 3:19 By this we shall know that we are of the truth, and reassure our hearts before him

1 John 4:6 We are of God. Whoever knows God listens to us, and he who is not of God does not listen to us. By this we know the spirit of truth and the spirit of error.

1 John 5:7 And the Spirit is the witness, because the Spirit is the truth.

2 John 1:1-4 The elder to the elect lady and her children, whom I love in the truth, and not only I but also all who know the truth, because of the truth which abides in us and will be with us for ever: Grace, mercy, and peace will be with us, from God the Father and from Jesus Christ the Father’s Son, in truth and love. I rejoiced greatly to find some of your children following the truth, just as we have been commanded by the Father.

3 John 1:1,3-4 The elder to the beloved Ga’ius, whom I love in the truth. . . . indeed you do follow the truth. No greater joy can I have than this, to hear that my children follow the truth.

3 John 1:8,12 . . . that we may be fellow workers in the truth. . . . Deme’trius has testimony from every one, and from the truth itself; I testify to him too, and you know my testimony is true.

“The Faith”

Acts 6:7 And the word of God increased; and the number of the disciples multiplied greatly in Jerusalem, and a great many of the priests were obedient to the faith.

Acts 13:8 But El’ymas the magician (for that is the meaning of his name) withstood them, seeking to turn away the proconsul from the faith.

Acts 14:22 strengthening the souls of the disciples, exhorting them to continue in the faith, and saying that through many tribulations we must enter the kingdom of God.

Acts 16:5 So the churches were strengthened in the faith, and they increased in numbers daily.

Galatians 1:23 they only heard it said, “He who once persecuted us is now preaching the faith he once tried to destroy.”

Ephesians 4:13 until we all attain to the unity of the faith and of the knowledge of the Son of God, to mature manhood, to the measure of the stature of the fulness of Christ;

Philippians 1:25,27 Convinced of this, I know that I shall remain and continue with you all, for your progress and joy in the faith, . . . Only let your manner of life be worthy of the gospel of Christ, so that whether I come and see you or am absent, I may hear of you that you stand firm in one spirit, with one mind striving side by side for the faith of the gospel,

Colossians 1:23 provided that you continue in the faith, stable and steadfast, not shifting from the hope of the gospel which you heard, which has been preached to every creature under heaven, and of which I, Paul, became a minister.

Colossians 2:7 rooted and built up in him and established in the faith, just as you were taught, abounding in thanksgiving.

1 Timothy 1:2 To Timothy, my true child in the faith: . . .

1 Timothy 3:9,13 they must hold the mystery of the faith with a clear conscience. . . . for those who serve well as deacons gain a good standing for themselves and also great confidence in the faith which is in Christ Jesus.

1 Timothy 4:1 Now the Spirit expressly says that in later times some will depart from the faith by giving heed to deceitful spirits and doctrines of demons,

1 Timothy 4:6 If you put these instructions before the brethren, you will be a good minister of Christ Jesus, nourished on the words of the faith and of the good doctrine which you have followed.

1 Timothy 5:8 If any one does not provide for his relatives, and especially for his own family, he has disowned the faith and is worse than an unbeliever.

1 Timothy 6:10,12 For the love of money is the root of all evils; it is through this craving that some have wandered away from the faith and pierced their hearts with many pangs. . . . Fight the good fight of the faith; take hold of the eternal life to which you were called when you made the good confession in the presence of many witnesses.

1 Timothy 6:21 for by professing it some have missed the mark as regards the faith. Grace be with you.

2 Timothy 4:7 I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith.

Titus 1:1 Paul, a servant of God and an apostle of Jesus Christ, to further the faith of God’s elect and their knowledge of the truth which accords with godliness,

Titus 1:13 . . . Therefore rebuke them sharply, that they may be sound in the faith,

Titus 3:15 . . . Greet those who love us in the faith. Grace be with you all.

James 2:1 My brethren, show no partiality as you hold the faith of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Lord of glory.

Jude 3 . . . contend for the faith which was once for all delivered to the saints.

Revelation 14:12 Here is a call for the endurance of the saints, those who keep the commandments of God and the faith of Jesus.

“The Doctrine”

Romans 16:17 . . . take note of those who create dissensions and difficulties, in opposition to the doctrine which you have been taught; avoid them.

1 Timothy 4:6 If you put these instructions before the brethren, you will be a good minister of Christ Jesus, nourished on the words of the faith and of the good doctrine which you have followed.

Titus 2:10  nor to pilfer, but to show entire and true fidelity, so that in everything they may adorn the doctrine of God our Savior.

2 John 1:9 Any one who goes ahead and does not abide in the doctrine of Christ does not have God; he who abides in the doctrine has both the Father and the Son. (cf. also, “the Way”: Acts 9:2; 22:4; 24:14, 22)

The “Teaching”

Acts 2:41-42 So those who received his word were baptized, and there were added that day about three thousand souls. And they devoted themselves to the apostles’ teaching and fellowship, to the breaking of bread and the prayers.

Romans 6:17 But thanks be to God, that you who were once slaves of sin have become obedient from the heart to the standard of teaching to which you were committed,

1 Timothy 4:16 Take heed to yourself and to your teaching; hold to that, for by so doing you will save both yourself and your hearers.

1 Timothy 6:1 Let all who are under the yoke of slavery regard their masters as worthy of all honor, so that the name of God and the teaching may not be defamed.

That’s an awful lot of biblical oneness and unity: expressly contrary to the very notion of a denomination or the rationale used to bolster it up, whereby supposed “secondary” doctrines don’t matter, so that they can be left up to individuals and sects to decide, so that in turn, massive contradiction and therefore, necessarily, massive amounts of error are sanctioned as perfectly fine and dandy: all utterly contrary to the teaching and entire tenor and spirit of the New Testament.

I never feel more sorry for Protestants (my esteemed brothers and sisters in Christ), than when they have to try to prove (or pretend or assume, or “live with the notion” as it were) that denominationalism is actually harmonious with the New Testament. There’s simply nothing that can be said. It’s a lost cause if there ever was one. Imagine formally debating it: “Resolved: Denominationalism is Entirely Consistent with Biblical Teaching”! It would be like arguing in favor of the idea that water isn’t wet, or that eating beef is completely consistent with a vegan diet.

I’m sure this “thorn in the flesh” gives many Protestants great pause, and even agony (as with the admirably conscientious but utterly blind-as-to-cause Luther and Melanchthon). But they feel that there is nothing they can do to resolve it (which is absolutely true within Protestantism), and that the only available solution (becoming Catholic or even Orthodox) is out of the question.

I’m here to try to persuade folks that becoming a Catholic is the most “biblical” thing they can ever do! The Catholic Church (human sins and all, just as all collections of Christians have sin) is the pearl of great price that many good and decent Protestants have been looking for their whole lives, never realizing that it was right in front of them all along, in all its battered, besmirched but unvanquishable and divinely protected glory.

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Photo credit: [Max PixelCC0 public domain]

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Summary: Brazilian Protestant apologist Lucas Banzoli throws out a “gotcha!” potshot against Catholic apologists re denominationalism, but entirely misses the larger NT point.

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