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Some of Rome's Apologists Reveal Their True Feelings 

 

Note:  Updated 3/01/02
 

After the posting of an article written in response to the conversion of James White's sister to Roman Catholicism, a flood of e-mails came into the ministry.  Many were very thankful for the information, and greatly encouraged by the stand for truth the article represented.  They were encouraged to redouble their faithfulness in praying for, and witnessing to, their Roman Catholic friends and relatives.
     But most other e-mails were simply hate-filled.  And while we have grown accustomed to the fairly regular drum-beat of "nastigrams" from various religious groups, the posting of this particular article brought out a whole new level of hatred.
     In the article noted above we reproduced an e-mail from Stephen Ray, Roman Catholic apologist and author of such books as Crossing the Tiber and Upon This Rock.  The reader is invited to read his comments and ponder the attitudes displayed therein.  Most importantly, contrast this unsolicited blast with the attitudes portrayed by Mr. Ray in his writings. 
     Within a day or two of the posting of that article, Dr. Art Sippo posted his thoughts to Steve Ray's message board.  We have many years' worth of documentation, in writing and on tape, of Dr. Sippo's harangues.  Our experiences with him began in the debate on justification in Toledo, Ohio in 1991, where Dr. Sippo demonstrated a complete inability (or unwillingness) to behave in a respectful, proper manner.  And nothing has changed in eleven years.  Of course, one thing is always constant: Dr. Sippo will insult you in one paragraph, and then complain about how mean and unloving you are in the next.  We reproduce his post below.
     Then, the day after Mrs. Bonds' appearance on The Journey Home, Mr. Mark Shea, author of By What Authority? weighed in on Gregory Krehbiel's discussion board.  Few of the "nastigrams" from Roman Catholic apologists speak more to the intense hatred and emotionalism of these men than this one does.  We would like to provide more of the thread from Khrebiel's board, but he deleted it, and this was all he managed to save.  We truly appreciate the Christian brothers who demonstrated the utter irrationality of Shea's blast, but, sadly, must report that Shea, though apologizing for the thread, did not apologize for what he said.  The interested reader would find a great deal of consistency between Shea's behavior in 2002 and that in 1997 (click here).

Update as of 3/01/02:

     It seems Rome's apologists are intent upon continuing to provide more and more evidence of their utter desperation as well as their complete willingness to attack the person rather than the issue.  This morning Scott Windsor posted an accusation of plagiarism against me on his website.  He noted that in the apologetics index on our website my name was listed as the author of three articles by Dave Brown, a former volunteer who had been involved with Alpha and Omega Ministries a number of years ago.  As a result Mr. Windsor impugned  and libeled my character and accused me of actually claiming these articles as my own!
     The only element of truth in the accusation is that my name is listed on the apologetics index that was added to our site late last year.  What Mr. Windsor did not mention (because, of course, he posted his attack without even contacting us) is as follows:  1) The articles were recent additions, scanned and proofed off of old masters of "information sheets" that we made up back in the 1980s.  2)  They were scanned by a volunteer who has only known about our ministry for about two years, and hence had never heard of Dave Brown.  3)  If the volunteer did not see any other name listed, he assumed James White had written it, and listed it as such.  4)  Rich Pierce, who oversaw this volunteer's work, was unaware that any of the articles he chose to be scanned and added to the site were written by anyone other than James White.  5)  I was not asked about any of this, and since I have never liked the index itself (and have asked that it be changed or eliminated), I was unaware of even the addition of the new articles, let alone any authorship listing issues.
     As any semi-unbiased person can quickly see, to impugn a man's entire character when you did not have the honesty and temerity to even inquire about the situation  is utterly reprehensible. As a result of this simple mistake, and the desperation to find anything to use as a weapon shown by Mr. Windsor, we have removed all articles on the Watchtower from the website that bear Mr. Brown's name.  I am surely learning more and more about the meaning of Matthew 5:11-12!
     We should add that Mr. Windsor, upon being faced with some of this information, pulled the article from the "featured" article position, and Mr. Brown has apologized for assuming I was personally claiming authorship of his material.  Unfortunately, Mr. Windsor has demanded that I apologize for the incident (despite the fact that he knows I had nothing to do with it in the first place). Sadly, Mr. Windsor has chosen to post another article that, while carefully worded, continues this utterly amazing demonstration. One thing I learned long ago: once someone makes this kind of accusation, it does not matter if it is retracted or corrected. Those who are desperate for some kind of response (outside of actually dealing with the truth) will repeat it ad nauseum.  est autem Deus verax.

**********
     Why post the following material?  Because people should know how men like Dr. Sippo, Steve Ray, and Mark Shea behave in personal contact (not just as they appear before an audience or in a published work).  They often lead the chorus in attacking the character of Christian ministers and apologists, and the truth needs to be known.

Posted by Art Sippo (artsippo) on February 11, 2002 at 13:24:08:

In Reply to: Dr. White responds to his sister and Steve Ray posted by Frank Ramirez (Pope St Pe on February 09, 2002 at:


Dear James,

I have had the pleasure of corresponding with your sister over the last 2 years and have welcomed her as my own sister in the Lord.

She is an intelligent, sensitive, and articulate woman who shows not a hint of the emotionalism or lack of reasoning faculties of which you accuse her. In fact she and I share one gift from God that surprised me when she first told me about it: a deep and profound sense of God's special presence in the reserved Eucharist in the tabernacle.

Many of us in the Catholic apologetic community knew of her conversion, but out of respect for her wishes, we did not publicize it. Out of respect for you and your family, James, she had asked that her identity be kept secret. She did not want you in particular to be humilitated in public. In speaking with her, though, it became apparent that she was no ordinary convert.

Patty is quite articulate and her witness to Christ shines through the things she writes. Your family is blessed with a surfeit of literary talent, James. Many of us encouraged her to write about the faith and what it means to her. She chose to tell her conversion story as a help to others. She now assists new converts in coming into the Catholic Church. She has a sweet and loving personality which makes her an ideal travelling companion for other pilgrims "on the way."

In the process of doing so, she ran afoul of you. Unlike Patty, you are not bound by scruples, mercy, or respect for the dignity of others. Many people such as myself have been victimized by your arrogance, condescension, and cruelty. You do not care whom you insult or embarrass. This is one sign to a true follower of Jesus of your real status, James. Our Lord and Savior told us that the world would know we were his disciples by the love we would have for one another (John 13:35). He did not say that we would be known by following the opinion of some apostate theologians as if they were the "truth."

Patty is a child of her Father in Heaven and a sibling to Christ in a way that I believe you are not. I can see the piety in her and the conversion of heart. She is a kindred spirit to us Catholics who is obviously moved by the Gospel of God's love for men. From you, all we have ever gotten is insults and lies. Nolo contendere.

Your fear of "emotionalism" is really, I believe, a fear of the Gospel itself, for it is "foolishness to the Greeks and a stumbling block to the Jews." You want "truth" based on schoalrship and so you affect phony degrees to make your opinions more plausible. This is a Theological Pelagianism which is typical for Protestants. You deny that "good works" can in any way assist one to gain access to heaven, but you think that "good studies" can earn one access to absolute religious truth. You strain at a gnat but swallow a camel.

In your harping on the notion of "truth" as the ground of the Christian religion, you betray your elitist and gnostic prejudices. St. Paul replies best to your error:

1Cr 1:18 For the word of the cross is folly to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God.
1Cr 1:19 For it is written, "I will destroy the wisdom of the wise, and the cleverness of the clever I will thwart."
1Cr 1:20 Where is the wise man? Where is the scribe? Where is the debater of this age? Has not God made foolish the wisdom of the world?
1Cr 1:21 For since, in the wisdom of God, the world did not know God through wisdom, it pleased God through the folly of what we preach to save those who believe.
1Cr 1:22 For Jews demand signs and Greeks seek wisdom,
1Cr 1:23 but we preach Christ crucified, a stumbling block to Jews and folly to Gentiles,
1Cr 1:24 but to those who are called, both Jews and Greeks, Christ the power of God and the wisdom of God.
1Cr 1:25 For the foolishness of God is wiser than men, and the weakness of God is stronger than men.
1Cr 1:26 For consider your call, brethren; not many of you were wise according to worldly standards, not many were powerful, not many were of noble birth;
1Cr 1:27 but God chose what is foolish in the world to shame the wise, God chose what is weak in the world to shame the strong,
1Cr 1:28 God chose what is low and despised in the world, even things that are not, to bring to nothing things that are,
1Cr 1:29 so that no human being might boast in the presence of God.
1Cr 1:30 He is the source of your life in Christ Jesus, whom God made our wisdom, our righteousness and sanctification and redemption;
1Cr 1:31 therefore, as it is written, "Let him who boasts, boast of the Lord."

1Cr 12:1 Now concerning spiritual [gifts], brethren, I would not have you ignorant...
1Cr 12:31 But covet earnestly the best gifts: and yet I will show you a more excellent way.
1Cr 13:1 If I speak in the tongues of men and of angels, but have not love, I am a noisy gong or a clanging cymbal.
1Cr 13:2 And if I have prophetic powers, and understand all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have all faith, so as to remove mountains, but have not love, I am nothing.
1Cr 13:3 If I give away all I have, and if I deliver my body to be burned, but have not love, I gain nothing.
1Cr 13:4 Love is patient and kind; love is not jealous or boastful;
1Cr 13:5 it is not arrogant or rude. Love does not insist on its own way; it is not irritable or resentful;
1Cr 13:6 it does not rejoice at wrong, but rejoices in the right.
1Cr 13:7 Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.
1Cr 13:8 Love never ends; as for prophecies, they will pass away; as for tongues, they will cease; as for knowledge, it will pass away.
1Cr 13:9 For our knowledge is imperfect and our prophecy is imperfect;
1Cr 13:10 but when the perfect comes, the imperfect will pass away.
1Cr 13:11 When I was a child, I spoke like a child, I thought like a child, I reasoned like a child; when I became a man, I gave up childish ways.
1Cr 13:12 For now we see in a mirror dimly, but then face to face. Now I know in part; then I shall understand fully, even as I have been fully understood.
1Cr 13:13 So faith, hope, love abide, these three; but the greatest of these is love."


St.Paul exalted love above faith and in fact taught that a man with faith who lacked love was "nothing." It was precisely a faith "unformed by charity" which was what the Protestant deformers -- especially Luther -- meant by their heresy of Faith Alone. In doing so they ran afoul of St, James 2:24, but more importantly, they also contradicted St. Paul:

Rom 13:8 Owe no one anything, except to love one another; for he who loves his neighbor has fulfilled the law.
Rom 13:9 The commandments, "You shall not commit adultery, You shall not kill, You shall not steal, You shall not covet," and any other commandment, are summed up in this sentence, "You shall love your neighbor as yourself."
Rom 13:10 Love does no wrong to a neighbor; therefore love is the fulfilling of the law.

You play the typical Protestant game of equivocating on the word of God when it suits your systematic theological prejudices, for your allegiance to the Bible is a sham. What you really seek are out-of-context proof texts for heretical and unbiblical notions.

On the other hand, we Catholics take what Our Lord and Savior said seriously. With regard to the Real Presence of Christ in the Eucharist, we follow the teaching of Jesus, not the skepticism of apostate men from 15 Centuries later:

Jhn 6:47 Truly, truly, I say to you, he who believes has eternal life.
Jhn 6:48 I am the bread of life.
Jhn 6:49 Your fathers ate the manna in the wilderness, and they died.
Jhn 6:50 This is the bread which comes down from heaven, that a man may eat of it and not die.
Jhn 6:51 I am the living bread which came down from heaven; if any one eats of this bread, he will live for ever; and the bread which I shall give for the life of the world is my flesh."
Jhn 6:52 The Jews then disputed among themselves, saying, "How can this man give us his flesh to eat?"
Jhn 6:53 So Jesus said to them, "Truly, truly, I say to you, unless you eat the flesh of the Son of man and drink his blood, you have no life in you;
Jhn 6:54 he who eats my flesh and drinks my blood has eternal life, and I will raise him up at the last day.
Jhn 6:55 For my flesh is food indeed, and my blood is drink indeed.
Jhn 6:56 He who eats my flesh and drinks my blood abides in me, and I in him.
Jhn 6:57 As the living Father sent me, and I live because of the Father, so he who eats me will live because of me.
Jhn 6:58 This is the bread which came down from heaven, not such as the fathers ate and died; he who eats this bread will live for ever."

Furthermore, in doing so we share the faith of the early Church:

St. Ignatius of Antioch, EPISTLE TO THE SMYRAEANS (@107 AD)

Chapter 7: "They [i.e., 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. Those, therefore, who speak against this gift of God, incur death in the midst of their disputes. But it were better for them to treat it with respect, that they also might rise again. It is fitting, therefore, that ye should keep aloof from such persons, and not to speak of them either in private or in public, but to give heed to the prophets, and above all, to the Gospel, in which the passion[of Christ] has been revealed to us, and the resurrection has been fully proved. But avoid all divisions, as the beginning of evils."


This is one of the earliest statements of the Church Fathers on this matter but it sums up Catholic belief rather succintly. It is only one in a line of thousands of similar testimonies written by Historic (i.e., Catholic and Orthodox) Christians from the 1st Centruy onwards. It clearly opposes virtually everything that you stand for, James. Your man-made religion -- descended as it is from a mixture of 16th Century apostasy and skepticism -- presents a dissenting voice that has no foundation in either Scripture or Tradition. When you deny the Real Presence and the sacrifical nature of the Eucharist, you do so by DENYING the faith of the early Church, not "reforming" it.

The Calvinoid 'god' you worship capriciously created some men to be eternally (and irrevocably) damned and other men to be undeservedly "saved" for no greater purpose than his own self aggrandisement. He is a selfish monster lacking in any love or concern for the plight of men. You and your co-religionists worship him not because of his goodness or moral authority, but because of his sovereign power. Basically, your 'god' is the biggest bully on the block and you want to be on his side so you can cheer him on while he picks on others who are helpless to be anything other than what he allows them to be. This is the portrait of an abusive and sadistic pagan demiurge, not the God and Father of Our Lord Jesus Christ. Your advocacy of this horrible religion helps to explain the way you treat people.
I have debated the issues with you many times, James, and I fear that it is you who have failed to respond convincingly on contested matters of faith. You seem to think that merely stating your personal opinion while misrepresenting the views of your opponents (and abusing them) is sufficient refutation. It is not.

I have refuted your errors using the Scriptures alone in the past as other Catholic apologists have. Yet you continue to perpetuate lies such as the claim that the Church of teh Council of Nicea did not believe in baptismal regeneration, the Real SUBSTANTIAL Presence of Christ in the Eucharistic species, the Sacrifical nature of the Mass, purgation after death, the imposition (and pardon) of penances for post-baptismal sin, the Spiritual Motherhood of Mary, or Papal Primacy. Indeed, the terminology of later ages was not present in the 4th Century, but the concepts were in nascent form. Meanwhile what is conspicuously ABSENT is any notion of Sola Fide, Sola Scriptura, double predestination, total depravity, or other distinctive Protestant errors. Frankly, you know this, but you have tried to misrepresent the facts in order to present a false picture of Christian history that is more to your liking.

You compound your dishonesty by pretending to have earned graduate degrees when in fact you have no such degrees from any accredited institution of higher learning. Frankly, you have not done the work that earns you the right to use any academic title. But as Oscar Wilde put it, "Hypocrisy is the compliment that vice pays to virtue." You want a legitimacy for your views that you think an ersatz doctorate will give you.

Those of us who have graduate degrees know how hard you have to work to earn them and how broad your knowledge base must be. The nonsense you proclaim to be "truth" would not be tolerated in any institution of higher learning where graduate students are expected to know their chosen field.

Frankly, your published work is amateurish, selective, and -- in places -- deliberately deceptive. Unfortunately, it is presented in a style that can lead simple people astray. For this reason it is necessary to refute your lies with extensive documentation. This is not an easy task and takes quite a bit of exposition.

For this reason protecting people from your erros is a full time job and it takes the strength and faith of the Catholic Community to do so. No man is an island, James, and neither faith nor the faithful are ever alone. As the Niceo-Constantinopolitan Creed begins, "WE believe" as a unitied worldwide Church and as a single family. As a Catholic, I do not profess my own opinion. I profess the faith of the Church along with my brothers and sisters in Christ.

Refuting your errors is a necessary apostolate because of the souls you are leading astray and making them more distant from Christ. The ancient Church has preserved its faith and subsists in the Catholic Apostolic and Roman Church. The several thousand Protestant splinter groups that have arisen over the last 490 years represent a continuum of degeneration and pandemonium all in opposition not only to the witness of the contemporary Catholic Church, but also to the faith "which was delivered unto the saints."

It very sad that after you are abusive to those folks who have the temerity to disagree with you, you are then surprised and hurt that they do not like or respect you. The merely formal nature of "righteousness" in your religion makes it impossible for you to have any meaningful or constructive introspection. You are already "saved" and so you have no need of personal repentence or reform. For you, being a Protestant means never having to say you are sorry.

Well, I think I speak for all Catholic apologists when I say that I am sorry for any unjust or inappropriate words I have ever said to you. It is not our intention to offend, but it is our intention to tell the truth in love. I have said some harsh things to you in the past in order to convict you of your sins and errors. I do not repent of telling you the truth. I do repent of any unjust offense I may have caused you in trying to do so. You are very easy to dislike James, but for Christ's sake I love you as an errant brother. I ask your pardon for any such offenses and sincerely continue to pray for your conversion.

I call on you once again to reflect on what has happened between you and people of other faiths. Can you honestly say that you have always acted kindly towards them? If you cannot, then I abjure you in Christ's name to repent of your behavior and seek forgiveness from those you have hurt.

Patty has found her way home to us, James. As I have told you on numerous occasions, you too are called to repent and believe the Gospel as well. Faith in Luther and Calvin cannot save you. You must have faith in Christ and in the Church HE founded, not the parodies that trace their origins to the opinions of mere men. The time is getting short. You must decide. Please come home. We are waiting for you.

Art Sippo MD, MPH

Below we produce the material provided by Gregory Krehbiel after he deleted this thread from his board.  Only the first page of posts was saved: all my replies were deleted and lost.  Mark Shea's posting name is "chezami."  His starting subject title was "It makes my flesh creep." 

 Greg's Discussion Board
    > God talk
        > It makes my flesh creep
    

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It makes my flesh creep chezami
I am not, I hope, the only one who thinks that James White is redefining pathology and bad taste with this weird, cold screed against his own sister, calling her "Mrs.
Bonds" and, alternating between boasts about his debating prowess and his various stuff on sale, while throwing in everything but a claim that she needs to be sedated in order to "win" yet another "debate".

The truly pathetic thing here is that I am perfectly confident James feels he has, once again, triumphed and that he has no idea how unutterably creepy and appalling the essay makes him look. There's a disturbing quality of psychological disintegration about it that invites both pity (for a man so invested in his ego that he is compelled to call his own sister "Mrs. Bonds") and revulsion (for a man so invested in his ego that he is compelled to call his own sister "Mrs. Bonds").

The only thing more pathetic is that, in my experience, I know of no devotee or acolyte of James who is willing to challenge the growing menace to his psychological and spiritual well-being that is now being made evident by such behavior. Defences to the death of his "integrity" ("Why, he hates even his sister, just as Lord said to do!")? You bet. There will be tons of this stuff from his fans and co-combatants. Anything rather than admit that there's a real problem here. Why, an *argument* could be lost if it's admitted there's a problem. But a serious effort of taking James to the side and saying, "This is waaaay over the top". I highly doubt it. And it's a pity since *only* James' friends can do this. The man will not, of course, listen to his traditional critics.

I hope I'm wrong. I hope *somebody* has the integrity to dare to suggest to the Great Man that he is way out of line and acting pitiably and appallingly. But I doubt it. And that, in the final analysis, is what I think is going to doom the sort of "ministries" that James typifies. There's remarkably little room for self-policing when you see yourself as a tiny elite engaged in a battle against Evil.

Mark

 

Registered User
2/12/02 10:49:23 am
63.36.217.239
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Let's have some perspective here Jon Curry
I think when you think about the situation a little more, White's attitude is quite reasonable. Think about this Mark, and let me know if you think what I'm about to say is way off. I'm curious if you recognize some things about RC apologists and James White. RC apologists live and breathe James White. It is all many of them think about. Seriously. I've had many conversations with RC apologists, and I have such difficulty getting them to even interact with me. All they can think about is James White. They say in response to my argument "Here is something that I sent to James what that he NEVER RESPONDED TO" or "James White disagrees with you on this point." Many times I've had to simply say, look, I just checked my letterhead, and my name is not James White. Why don't you respond to me?

So James White is a man that is always between the crosshairs of every RC apologist. And here is another fact. Many of these apologists (and I would say the vast majority) spend WAY too much time criticizing James White the man, rather than the arguments. I've been criticized personally only a few times, and it of course ticks me off pretty badly. James White gets this EVERY DAY. So even if it were the case that he responded poorly, he certainly should be granted some grace. Mark, your own work is some of the worst in terms of the personal attacks. All one need do is look at your own opening statement here. I don't even need to list the words. How many times did you use the word "pathetic" anyway?

So now these very RC apologists that spend way too much time ignoring arguments and criticizing White personally are going to continue with the fallacious reasoning by using his own sister as if this was in any way relevant to the Protestant/RC discussion. This would be infuriating to me.

Now that RC's are using White's sister in this way, White thinks it is important to emphasize that they are not close, that she refuses to even discuss the issues with him, and that she is in no way informed about the issues. One way to convey this is to refer to her as "Mrs. Bonds." Now, I happen to have a great relationship with all six of my siblings. If any of them were to convert I would still refer to them by their first name. But the fact is, White is not and has not been close to his sister for some time. I'm sure this is not the way he would like it to be. I'm sure he would love to be close to her. But it would be wrong to speak of her as if they were close when in fact they are not. White probably thinks that referring to her in that way would give that false impression. This is his business. I might go ahead and refer to my sister by her first name even if I weren't close to her, but if I didn't I don't think it would be unreasonable, nor would it "redefine pathology."

You know, even on this discussion board I've found myself defending James White a lot. It's not that he is my hero. I think he's great, but I'm certainly not an "acolyte." But I just get so sick of seeing people go after him with such irrelevancies. Do you have a substantive criticism? I'm sure you do. Post it and let's have a productive discussion. Why don't we all just assume that Protestants are all "desperate, pathological, angry, anti-Catholics"? We'll just assume it and you can leave it unstated. Because even if I'm anti-Catholic, angry, and weird, this doesn't make me wrong. Even if my sister converted I'm not wrong. Let's assume that the only reason I'm a Christian is because I need a father figure, and I'm prejudiced because of my upbringing, and I'd probably be a Hindu if I was born in India. I have a pro-supernatural bias, etc, etc, etc. I'll grant all of that. What would that have to do with whether my arguments were sound or not?

 

Registered User
2/12/02 12:08:20 pm
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And your screed does the same to mines ... Romans45

Quote:



I am not, I hope, the only one who thinks that James White is redefining pathology and bad taste with this weird, cold screed against his own sister, calling her "Mrs.
Bonds" and, alternating between boasts about his debating prowess and his various stuff on sale, while throwing in everything but a claim that she needs to be sedated in order to "win" yet another "debate".



I know you are not the only one, but I don’t agree with you or your present screed against what you call a screed. As far as you comments about stuff on sale and debates you know this is typical when apologists are writing articles. The often reference previous articles or debates so that the readers can get more information on a point they are trying to make.

Quote:



The truly pathetic thing here is that I am perfectly confident James feels he has, once again, triumphed and that he has no idea how unutterably creepy and appalling the essay makes him look.



There is nothing in the article that comes close to Catholics talking about getting information on other family members of Protestant apologist? Where is your outcry? Would Patty Bonds even be known if it was not for the fact that James White is her brother? What is so unique or interesting about her story that she gets to have personal meetings with Steve Ray, personal correspondence with Scott Hahn and family, appear on EWTN, and I’m sure others that I have not heard of? Is it just because James White is her brother? This seems to contradict the NT teaching on favoritism don’t ya think?

Quote:



There's a disturbing quality of psychological disintegration about it that invites both pity (for a man so invested in his ego that he is compelled to call his own sister "Mrs. Bonds" and revulsion (for a man so invested in his ego that he is compelled to call his own sister "Mrs. Bonds" .



So is your complaint primarily over the fact that he called his sister “Mrs. Bonds”? And based on that you make all those psychoanalysis about Dr. White’s ego and intent?

Quote:



The only thing more pathetic is that, in my experience, I know of no devotee or acolyte of James who is willing to challenge the growing menace to his psychological and spiritual well-being that is now being made evident by such behavior.



You are doing nothing but pontificating and grandstanding. Please provide some substance to your charges if you want anyone to take you serious. I sense that you have an axe to grind.

Quote:



Defences to the death of his "integrity" ("Why, he hates even his sister, just as Lord said to do!" ?



Where does he say he hates his sister? Dr. White makes the following comment:

So it seems to me that you use a thoroughly worldly definition of love and hatred: the Bible tells us that we are to love God supremely. That means true spirituality does not compromise on His truth, His glory, His holiness, His revelation in His Word. It takes precedence over all human relationships, including familial ones. And when a member of one’s family engages in behavior that is directly condemned in Scripture (in this case, open and knowing apostasy) one is faced with a choice: honor God, or compromise and place relationship before one’s service to Christ. The early Christians knew this situation well. And you condemn me as hateful for following the biblical path. What does that tell you, Mr. Ray?

Do you disagree with his statements? If so show where is biblical out of line, otherwise you are just whistling into the wind with your rhetoric about hate.

Quote:



You bet. There will be tons of this stuff from his fans and co-combatants. Anything rather than admit that there's a real problem here.



Nice. Silence the other side before they speak so when they speak you can triumphantly say, “I told you so.”, right?

Quote:



Why, an *argument* could be lost if it's admitted there's a problem. But a serious effort of taking James to the side and saying, "This is waaaay over the top". I highly doubt it. And it's a pity since *only* James' friends can do this. The man will not, of course, listen to his traditional critics.



Mr Shea you have not prove a thing. All you are doing is giving you extremely biased opinion and you want everyone to accept it as if it the unbiased Gospel truth.

Quote:



I hope I'm wrong. I hope *somebody* has the integrity to dare to suggest to the Great Man that he is way out of line and acting pitiably and appallingly.



Actually, I hope you would heed your own suggestion. Furthermore, you should correct you cohorts who were plotting about getting information on the family members of others. Finally, you should probably make sure apologetic is based on something else besides your dislike for Dr. White.

Quote:



But I doubt it. And that, in the final analysis, is what I think is going to doom the sort of "ministries" that James typifies. There's remarkably little room for self-policing when you see yourself as a tiny elite engaged in a battle against Evil.



Someone used a phrase that comes to mind about your entire post, “purple flourish”.

Romans45

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(Ambrosiaster 366-384 on Romans 4:5) :
How then can the Jews think that they have been justified by the works of the law in the same way as Abraham, when they see that Abraham was not justified by the works of the law but by faith alone? Therefore there is no need of the law when the ungodly is justified before God by faith alone.

 

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2/12/02 12:12:36 pm
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It's unfortunate that anybody is using this woman... moronikos
to further their agenda.

I might deem it poor taste, but I don't see the point of another James White thread. I've seen base motives imputed to him and noble motives imputed to him. Neither of these is appropriate since we can't read his mind--and I don't want to. We should leave it alone.

 

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2/12/02 12:22:38 pm
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This is the one point I'm inclined to agree with chezami
The other posts above are just excuse-making for James grotesque essay.

Apropos your point, I don't know the woman from Eve, and am not familiar with her history. My impression, however, is that she has not been Catholic very long and I think she should be given her anonymity, not used as a counter in some game against James. My urging to Catholics would be to resist mightily the temptation to turn her into some sort of exhibit.

However, none of this seems to me to really mitigate James' atrocious behavior here. I should not be terribly surprised if, when I called my brother "Mr. Shea", my brother got the distinct impression that my "Christian love" for him was simply a grotesque self-delusion. The fact that James' devotees and acolytes cannot bring themselves to squarely face that and tell James so is, as I say, the death knell for any serious self-criticism or internal policing in that rarified sector of Christian world. Among their own, folks like James have de facto powers of infallibility and even impeccability that the Pope can only dream of.

Well, gotta get back to publicly screaming for Cardinal Law to resign in my impregnable Fortress Church that brooks no room for ordinary people to criticize their leaders.  

Mark

Edited by: chezami at: 2/12/02 12:48:45 pm

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2/12/02 12:40:57 pm
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George Stephanapoulous call your office chezami
I'm sorry, but this whole apologia for James' revolting treatment of his own sister reminds me of the sort of stuff from the Clinton White House. "Don't talk about his personal behavior. The only thing that matters is his ideas."

FWIW, I've had one go-around with James on bit.listserv.catholic in March 1997 (if you are a real glutton for punishment, you can still find the whole exchange on Google). I'm aware of his ideas. It was the same old presuppositional schtick. How, apart from Sacred Tradition and the authority of the Church, do you know what Scripture is?

Two weeks of dancing, followed by the basic "It's a presuppositional thing and you wouldn't understand" line. As I pointed out here yesterday, I think this is lame. So I've dealt with James' "ideas".

I quite agree that there are Catholic apologists who seem to live and breathe for arguments with James. I think this is a foolish waste of time and is, much as it is with James, a way of doing therapy on some sort of imperiled sense of manhood. I wish they would stop. Those rare occasions when I have discussed James or his "ideas" publicly have been to my mind, threefold. First, when he decided to come after me on bit.listserv.catholic. Second, when he came up in a conversation with Tim Enloe back on Steve Ray's board a year or so ago and I gave my honest opinion of what sort of person I take James to be and third, today, when I was appalled and disgusted by his egocentric and cold treatment of his own sister.

If you go to my website, you will find that I have no essays on James, no "challenges", no essays, rebuttals, articles about and basically no interest in James. And the collection in "Sheavings" is, believe me, a very thorough representation of my past work. It's true that Tim has formed the notion (no doubt caused by his tendency to roll me into the Catholic Apologist Borg Collective) that I am constantly attacking James. But the reality is I seldom interact with him--and for a very simple reason: I frankly dislike James as much as he dislikes me and I think that too much exposure to each other is probably bad for our souls.

Defensive whines about how much criticism he gets are just that: defensive whines. In this case, the simple fact is the criticism is just and those who love him and can speak to him (as distinct from those idolize and do not dare criticize the Great Man) should do their Christian duty and, for his sake, rebuke his egregious treatment of his sister. Since he will certainly not listen to me or any other Catholic, it is up to those who claim to care about him to shoulder the burden. You can make excuses for him all day, but the reality is that he's wronged his sister and made a public spectacle of himself in the process.

Mark

 

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2/12/02 1:13:17 pm
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Does this "make your flesh creep" as well? Cyclonus2185
Is it "Christian love" to attack your opponents via their family members? I'm curious if you are as outraged by the alleged interested in investigating the family members of Eric Svendsen and William Webster (in addition to James White) in order to attack them as you are about the use of "Mrs. Bonds" instead of Pat?

 

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2/12/02 1:34:40 pm
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Since you questioned Cyclonus2185
"How, apart from Sacred Tradition and the authority of the Church, do you know what Scripture is?"
I thought I would ask:
1.) How, apart from the authority of the Church do you know what Sacred Tradition is?
and
2.) How, apart from the authority of the Scriptures do you know that the Church is authoritative?

 

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2/12/02 1:39:15 pm
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How would they have known that the Church is authoritative? The Squalid Wanderer
Before the writing of the New Testament? I suppose they believed the Apostles.

 

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2/12/02 1:41:34 pm
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O.K. let me rephrase... Cyclonus2185
How do YOU know that the Church is authoritative apart from the Scriptures?

Edited by: Cyclonus2185 at: 2/12/02 1:48:37 pm

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2/12/02 1:45:06 pm
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Excuses, excuses chezami
Contrarian that I am, I've told Steve Ray's board my problems with thrusting a new convert into the limelight. I am indeed wary of it and agree with Moronikos that Catholics should be wary of the temptation to "use" Patty Bonds. Why?

Pretty much from watching the example of people who (as you do in this protracted bit of tergiversation) attempt overlook the debilitating effects of complete lack of accountability and to say "Our guy is never wrong, can't be wrong, and if you say he is then you must be opposed at all costs".

Is it *really* so hard to simply face the fact that James' inexcusable screed against his sister displays James' pathologies at their ugliest and least justifiable? Is it really so hard to contemplate finding *any* fault with the Great Man or challenging that? Fortress Catholics on the Catholic Convert might well be ticked at me for rocking the boat of "Yay! Patty Bonds is ours!" Too bad. It needs to be said anyway. But is there *anybody* in James sphere who can say, "James, your weird, cold, self-serving and creepy essay against your sister was out of line?" So far, I see no evidence of that.

Is there nobody close to him who can hold him accountable for his actions? Is it really as bad as that?

Mark

 

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2/12/02 1:45:08 pm
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More pathological excuse making chezami
Is it "Christian love" to attack your opponents via their family members?

With the exception of Art Sippo's letter (which I thought was out of line) I've seen nobody "attacking James". I've seen various people support Patty Bonds (from what little I know, I've not been involved in any conversations with her and only knew vaguely that James' sister had converted).

:I'm curious if you are as outraged by the alleged interested in investigating the family members of Eric Svendsen and William Webster (in addition to James White) in order to attack them as you are about the use of "Mrs. Bonds" instead of Pat?

I've heard nothing to this effect. If you have some documentation that somebody out there is "investigating family members of Svendsen or webster in order to attack them" I'd appreciate seeing it. Obviously, that would be wrong. But in White's case, I've seen little evidence of that. Only an unseemly interest in focusing the light of public attention on her conversion (which I dislike).

Now, returning from vague and unsubstaniated charged calculated to divert attention from the subject, I ask you: do *you* have the testicular fortitude to challenge the Great Man on his atrocious behavior to his sister or does he indeed pretty much live in the vacuum of moral responsibility that sycophants too often create for their idols?

Mark

 

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2/12/02 1:53:43 pm
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Re: More pathological excuse making Cyclonus2185
From the post on James White's website that you have been refering to:

Quote:


I note in the following e-mail the personal attacks and insults that were posted at me: but what is not mentioned in the e-mail was the discussion of how they might be able to contact other family members of other leading apologists. Eric Svendsen's name was mentioned, and his wife in particular; I believe Bill Webster was mentioned as well.



Now, of course, it could be argued that the interest in their family members wasn't to use them against Svendsen and Webster, but to compliment them on the successful ministries of both, but I doubt it. Nonetheless, I said alleged in my post. I do not know for sure if this is true. My question was more of a hypothetical to you.

To answer your question: If James White refered to his sister directly (i.e. in a face-to-face, telephone, or email conversation) as Mrs. Bonds, I would say that he would be wrong in doing so, but to refer to her in a webpage for mass viewing, whose point is to explain that her proximity to him has no relevance to the truth of his arguments, as Mrs. Bonds is not "pathological" although I probably would not do it.

 

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2/12/02 2:07:00 pm
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Not "know": believe chezami
The Church is, recall, an article of faith: "We *believe* in one, holy, catholic, and apostolic Church"

Just as no other article of supernatural revelation can be proven from reason, so this can't be. However, all arguments against it can be rebutted.

If you want the full story, my best suggestion (since I haven't got round to publishing it yet) is to get the story of my conversion ("How I Got this Way") in the _Making Senses Out of Scripture_ set of tapes I made for St. Joseph Communications.

I don't have time to go into it all here, but the basic story is not that this thing or that thing points me to the Church, but that virtually everything does.

"AHA! So *you* make the judgment about the Church being authoritative! HA! Private judgment! Triumph!"

Yes. Quite. I do make that judgement. As John Paul himself says, the task of the Church is to propose the faith in its integrity. The task of the human person is to make a judgement about the truth of that Faith. I (who else is going to do it for me?) judge the Faith to be that which Christ handed to the apostles. Otherwise, I would not be Catholic. When I make that judgement I am also trusting the Church to have the authority Christ gave it to, among other things, know which of its books are inspired and authoritative, based on its tradition and praxis. This frees me from the pretzel logic of the Presuppositionalist who has to say to somebody who want to know why certain books are inspired, "Shut up! You're talking like Satan. I don't have to dignify your devil-inspired question with an answer."

But could we perhaps move this particular discussion to a different thread and not get distracted from the subject at hand: namely, James' atrocious essay the apparent inability of his acolytes an devotees to muster the gumption to challenge this or any other egregious behavior by their Heroes.

Mark

 

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2/12/02 2:08:01 pm
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I take the scriptures like I take ALL of history FIRST electron1  
How do YOU know that the Church is authoritative apart from the Scriptures?


I first read the scriptures ONLY as historical books. They are NOT yet "Scriptures". I read all other books as historical books as well. So I take ALL writtings of the early Church equally. From this(all of this ONLY looked at as history) I conclude,

1. Jesus made statements that implied his Church was infallible(I will be with you always, I will guide you into ALL truth, Gates of hades shall not prevail, he who hears you hears me, if he refuses to listen even to the Church etc..)

2. Jesus is who he claims to be(rose from the dead)

3. The early Church ALSO clearly saw the PHYSICAL Church as infallible(Them being so close to Jesus, it makes my understanding of Jesus even more probable as true)
-----

From here I conclude that this Church is infallible. Only two groups today fit the category as infallible Churches(trace there roots to the Apostoles) Catholic and Orthodox. Both of these groups now point back in history and tell me that only a certain number of the historical books are inspired. The others are only infallible collectively(else I would not have been able to conclude the Church is infallible )

So again, how do I know the Scriptures are inspired? The Church tells me so. How do I know the Church is infallible? Jesus and the early Church(ONLY seen as history) verifies this.  

"My position is that atheism is false for several reasons: It is philosophically absurd, scientifically erroneous, morally bankrupt, socially destructive, aesthetically impotent, and humanly degrading." --Robert Morey in a debate with an atheist

Edited by: electron1   at: 2/12/02 4:52:15 pm

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2/12/02 2:08:40 pm
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Re: Let's have some perspective here Tim Enloe
Jon, all I can say to this, is AMEN. It is obvious that the "sister of James White" connection is only relevant because a certain faction of ultra conservative RC epologists are eager to discredit Dr. White in any way they can. I'm sure Mr. Shea remembers a particular post of his to the Catholic Message Board that I remind him of whenever he gets into this little self-righteous mode of his--a post where he used the most vicious, unChristian like language imaginable against Dr. White, basically calling him every name under the sun and making the most outlandish accusations about his mental and emotional processes that I have EVER seen anyone say about anyone on the Internet. Yet this same Mr. Shea doesn't waste any opportunities to portray himself as the very spirit of lovingkindness and reasonable dialogue, complaining constantly about the rhetoric of others against him. There's a word for this sort of thing, and it begins with "h". And no, I won't apologize for that remark or retract it. These ultra conservative RC epologists simply MUST be made to see the constancy with which they substitute insults for arguments, the deep, deep irrelevance of their shameless personal attacks on people who don't share their views. I truly believe it's one of those "If you can't stop the message, stop the messenger" things.

Perspective is indeed very much needed here. Whatever complaints one has about Dr. White's descriptions of his sister, there is really only one issue of apologetic importance here: By her own admissions, Patty Bonds does not know the issues involved in RC / Protestant disagreements, and she is only being held up by these ultra-conservative epologists *because* she is the sister of the Great Thorn in Their Flesh, the Evil, Anti-Catholic Pseudo-Doctor James White. This is nothing more than one more personal attack, and it is utterly reprehensible for that reason.

To state it baldly: The significance of the conversion of Patty Bonds to Romanism is precisely ZERO. Like most of these converts, she was just one more ungrounded wanderer on the sea of ecclesiastical possibilities. She did not and does not understand the issues. One wonders how many "ordinary", "no-name" converts suddenly find themselves with Scott Hahn's private number, having lunch with Steve Ray, receiving glowing letters of defense from Art Sippo, and so on. It will be interesting to see if any of the "big name" RC apologists choose to take the high ground here and not even mention the affair--or perhaps if they do, mention it only to chide their colleagues for making useless polemic hay out of it.

Tim

 

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2/12/02 2:10:18 pm
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Re: George Stephanapoulous call your office Jon Curry
Didn't I just ask you to assume whatever you want about my character and leave it unstated? Fine. I'm a Clinton apologist. Am I wrong?

My point regarding those that focus on White and those that bash his character was not so much to make excuses for his behavior, but to provide background as to why he would want to make sure that everyone knew that he was not close to his sister. The very people that do all of the insulting and personal attacks are the very ones that are using his sister as a tool to get their digs in. Their digs would be all the more deeper if they can convince people that she became an RC in spite of a close relationship with James White. With this background, I think his attitude is very reasonable, though like I said, I don't know that I would take the same approach. Pathological? I don't think so.

I didn't suggest that you have offered nothing by way of interaction with White. My whole point is it is only interaction that I am interested in. I am less interested in the personal stuff. Except I think it is important to point out that it is often substituted for meaningful discussion. Especially with regards to James White as I hope even you would agree. He's outnumbered. And we both know that a lot of apologists on both sides of the fence are unreasonable. What this means is that White is the focus of a lot of unreasonable RC apologists and hence he is the focus of a lot of bad argumentation. This whole Mrs Bonds thing is another example of it.

 

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2/12/02 2:13:04 pm
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Re: Not "know": believe Cyclonus2185
"But could we perhaps move this particular discussion to a different thread and not get distracted from the subject at hand"

Absolutely. Perhaps you could post a very short summary of your conversion to get the ball rolling.

 

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2/12/02 2:18:31 pm
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Re: More pathological excuse making chezami
Now, of course, it could be argued that the interest in their family members wasn't to use them against Svendsen and Webster, but to compliment them on the successful ministries of both, but I doubt it. Nonetheless, I said alleged in my post. I do not know for sure if this is true. My question was more of a hypothetical to you.

And, of course, the answer is no, it would be dead wrong for those guys in the chat room to do this. That's a no-brainer. And the reason this excuses James grotesque essay against his sister is...?

:To answer your question: If James White refered to his sister directly (i.e. in a face-to-face, telephone, or email conversation) as Mrs. Bonds, I would say that he would be wrong in doing so, but to refer to her in a webpage for mass viewing, whose point is to explain that her proximity to him has no relevance to the truth of his arguments, as Mrs. Bonds is not "pathological" although I probably would not do it.

Yep. The man seems to have nobody around him who will challenge a thing he does. With friends like you, he will not need enemies, Cyclonus. Such deference and obsequious defensiveness of his worst and most self-destructive impulses will harm him far more than a million emails from stupid Catholics in a chat room.

Mark

 

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2/12/02 2:18:54 pm
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Re: Let's have some perspective here chezami
Jon, all I can say to this, is AMEN. It is obvious that the "sister of James White" connection is only relevant because a certain faction of ultra conservative RC epologists are eager to discredit Dr. White in any way they can.

Of course it *could* also be that Catholics, being remarkable like human beings, have mixed motives and that some of them take an interest in Patty because she's a convert in a particularly tough spot. But that would, of course, humanized Catholics and not suit your argument at all. No. It must be simply and solely that Catholics are interested in her only to attack James.

: I'm sure Mr. Shea remembers a particular post of his to the Catholic Message Board that I remind him of whenever he gets into this little self-righteous mode of his--a post where he used the most vicious, unChristian like language imaginable against Dr. White, basically calling him every name under the sun and making the most outlandish accusations about his mental and emotional processes that I have EVER seen anyone say about anyone on the Internet.

Boy! You must not get out on the web much! It's true that I gave my honest assessment of James. I said as much to Jon. I don't pretend to like the man.

: Yet this same Mr. Shea doesn't waste any opportunities to portray himself as the very spirit of lovingkindness and reasonable dialogue, complaining constantly about the rhetoric of others against him. There's a word for this sort of thing, and it begins with "h".

Oh brother. Tim, this reminds me of nothing so much as those wonderful old movies with the town biddies who say, "As a Christian woman, I won't speak ill of others, but that awful new woman in town is rich with a capital B!" As I said, I gave my honest assessment of James' character in that post. I have not spent much time interacting with or talking about James and his acolytes and devotees since. I do, in general, try to conduct my conversations without the ranting hysteria that so often seems to affect you, and I know that ticks you off. But what do you prefer? That *everything* I write be like that long ago post about James? At least then I wouldn't be a hypocrite, right?

:And no, I won't apologize for that remark or retract it. These ultra conservative RC epologists simply MUST be made to see the constancy with which they substitute insults for arguments,

HAHAHAHAHA!!!!!! As a lazy-minded, hypocritical, etc. I will have to closely study your rhetorical strategies in this regard. Keep that eagle eye out for violations of the niceties, Tim.

: the deep, deep irrelevance of their shameless personal attacks on people who don't share their views. I truly believe it's one of those "If you can't stop the message, stop the messenger" things.

Tim, as I've already pointed out, I virtually never interact with James and I think it's dumb for Catholics to do so. He's written vast oceans of his gaseous prose with no peep from me. I don't think his "message" is particularly interesting or important and I don't think it's worth "stopping" or bothering with. I feel the same way about Webster and Svendsen. You guys write about my work, I don't write about yours for a simple reason: its boring and irrelevant to the lives of everybody but a few popinjays on the internet.

:Perspective is indeed very much needed here. Whatever complaints one has about Dr. White's descriptions of his sister, there is really only one issue of apologetic importance here: By her own admissions, Patty Bonds does not know the issues involved in RC / Protestant disagreements, and she is only being held up by these ultra-conservative epologists *because* she is the sister of the Great Thorn in Their Flesh, the Evil, Anti-Catholic Pseudo-Doctor James White. This is nothing more than one more personal attack, and it is utterly reprehensible for that reason.

As I told moronikos, I quite agree that Catholics should not be taking a new Catholic and making a big deal of her. My one qualification on this (since I don't know Patty Bonds and I don't know the substance of what she's got to say) is that it's *possible* she simply an interesting and articulate convert. My tendency is to doubt this, but I suspend judgement there till I've heard her speak. There is the possibility that she shares her brother's obvious verbal talents and is just a plain interesting guest for some show like "Journey Home". But, as I say, I am skeptical.

However, none of that justifies James atrocious treatment of her. And your loud and protracted scream of avoidance of that fact does not speak well of you.

:To state it baldly: The significance of the conversion of Patty Bonds to Romanism is precisely ZERO.

Ah! Then it's even more mysterious that James seems to think otherwise. Admittedly James can generate ASCII by the ton with the slightest provocation, but one does get the impression he thinks her conversion means a bit more than zero.

One wonders how many "ordinary", "no-name" converts suddenly find themselves with Scott Hahn's private number,

probably the same way I got it in 1993, by using this cool thing called "directory assistance". You may not know this but Scott and Kimberly have mid-wifed a huge number of totally unknown people into the Church.

: having lunch with Steve Ray,

Send an email? Make a phone call? These people do not live in Trump Tower.

: receiving glowing letters of defense from Art Sippo,

How many people need them? Again, email is not that hard to use. (By the way, I dislike Art's letter.)

: and so on. It will be interesting to see if any of the "big name" RC apologists choose to take the high ground here and not even mention the affair--or perhaps if they do, mention it only to chide their colleagues for making useless polemic hay out of it.

I've already written a letter of concern about it to Steve's board. Do *you*--does any of James's acolytes and devotees--have the gumption to even *slightly* criticize his embarrassing and creepy abuse of his sister? Has James ever been criticized by his sycophants for anything he's ever said or done? I'm beginning to wonder.

Mark

 

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2/12/02 2:46:26 pm
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I already did chezami
The short summary is in the post to which you responded.

Mark

 

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2/12/02 2:48:39 pm
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