Sunday, May 20, 2012

A full commentary on the recent Lujack debates

Recently, Deepertruthblog engaged George Lujack in a series of 10 debates as listed below. All the debates were handled by John Benko except the two in Blue that were handled by Donald Hartley
  1. The Trinity (Friday, March 16th, 2012)
  2. Mary's "other children" (Friday, March 23rd, 2012)
  3. The Sabbath day debate (Friday, March 30th, 2012)
  4. The Immaculate conception (Thursday, April 5th 2012)
  5. Sola Scriptura (Thursday, April 19th, 2012)
  6. Sola Fide (Friday, April 20th, 2012)
  7. Alleged Idolatry (Thursday, April 26th, 2012)
  8. Peter is the Rock (Friday, May 4th, 2012)
  9. Papal Infallibility (Friday, May 11th, 2012)
  10. The Eucharist (Friday, May 18th, 2012)
We included the links to each of the 10 debates because we are quite confident that even the most minimally objective person will see that DTB clearly had the better of it. If debates are scored from a pool of 100 points, our side won each debate, by at least a 60-40 split on both style and substance, and at least 7 of them would have to be scored in our favor by at least 80-20, if not better.

Before going through each individual debate, some over arching observations need to be made about what an effective debater is and why George did not ever come close to being one in any of these 10 debates.

 Substance vs Style:
George started each debate at a profound material disadvantage because, in each debate, he was simply and undeniably wrong. He was never able to overcome this disadvantage and effectively counter the arguments presented. He was going up against Scripture and 2000 years of Orthodox history. However, it was still possible for us to lose a debate, or even all 10 of them because the best of substance alone is ineffective unless it is presented in a cogent and digestible manner. In this case, the Catholic advantage on material can be almost totally muted by the complexity of some of these doctrines.

Our position on all 10 of these doctrines is the truth. However, every single one of them is open to misunderstanding if he is more effective at enunciating his position than I am at enunciating mine. Debates are not about the opponents, per se, but about the audience's perception of who presented their arguments more effectively. Many Catholics actually lose debates with non-Catholics because they fail to see and understand this. The danger of talking over the heads of the audience is very real when the Catholic is talking in complicated Theological constructs while his opponent is using effective sound bytes that frame and color the arguments in a way favorable to his side.

A perfect example of this is the propensity of non-Catholics to isolate a particular verse of Scripture out of context and quote that verse as his total argument.

Why do you Catholics call a priest 'father' when Jesus clearly tells us to 'call no man father' in Matthew 23:9?
This can actually be a very effective argument if it is not countered. Of course, it can be countered by examining the context in which it appears.

 1 Then Jesus spoke to the multitudes and to his disciples,   
2 Saying: The scribes and the Pharisees have sitten on the chair of Moses.   
3 All things therefore whatsoever they shall say to you, observe and do: but according to their works do ye not; for they say, and do not.   
4 For they bind heavy and insupportable burdens, and lay them on men's shoulders;
 but with a finger of their own they will not move them.   
5 And all their works they do for to be seen of men. For they make their phylacteries broad, and enlarge their fringes.   
6 And they love the first places at feasts, and the first chairs in the synagogues,  
7 And salutations in the market place, and to be called by men, Rabbi.   
8 But be not you called Rabbi. For one is your master; and all you are brethren.   
9 And call none your father upon earth; for one is your father, who is in heaven.   
10 Neither be ye called masters; for one is you master, Christ.   
11 He that is the greatest among you shall be your servant.
12 And whosoever shall exalt himself shall be humbled: and he that shall humble himself shall be exalted.
Here, Jesus addresses three titles, not just one. He talks about calling or being called teacher, master and father in the same context as taking the first seat in the synagogue. Is no one ever to be called teacher? Not even your grade school teacher? Is no one to be called master? Not even a master electrician? Is the first pew at church to always be left empty? Is no one to be called father, even your earthly biological father?

Obviously, this kind of interpretation fails to deal with the true meaning of the passage, which is false exaltation, putting someone on the same level as God.

As for the use of the term 'father', specifically for an earthly religious figure, it occurs more than 150 times in Scripture. Three examples. God, from Heaven tells Moses He is "the God of your fathers" (Exodus 3:15). Jesus calls Abraham our father (John 8:56) and Paul tells us that he became our father through the gospel (1 Corinthians 4:15)

So, this type of argument can be fully countered, if in isolation. However, many anti-catholics are very shrewd in knowing that the counter arguments must be developed. It may take 5 or even 10 minutes to respond to an assertion that takes 5 or 10 seconds to make. Knowing this, anti-catholics will often attempt the parade of horribles (or scatter gun) tactic where they simply unload 10-20 or more assertions at once with the intention of running out the clock by forcing the Catholic to stay on defense for the entire debate.

Here is an example. It matters not that I refute all 18 assertions because, by that time the accuser had already ran away.

Many a Catholic has lost a debate by not being able to counter this tactic. It is usually used in tandem with the piling on tactic (where many adversaries attack you at once) and/or the filibuster tactic (where the opponent tries to talk over you every time you attempt an answer)

George (and a few of his friends) attempted to employ all three of these devices but were ineffective. Anti-Catholics hate debating in a structured, rules enforced environment because they know they cannot win on merit. Their only opportunity to win is with tactics.

Whenever George attempted to use the parade of horribles technique, he muted his own effectiveness because of the sheer rabidness and irrationality of his arguments combined with the staggering number of contradictions. An effective scatter gun litany is one in which 15 or 20 charges might be leveled, with each one sounding reasonable, cogent and plausible. In that case, each argument that the Catholic cannot answer, due to time constraints, is intended to earn points by the impression that the Catholic cannot counter the point meritoriously.

George consistently destroyed his own use of this tactic by making the most absurd and indefensible statements and contradicting himself too many times to number. In the end, he actually strengthened our arguments by making them seem calm, reasoned and rational, contrasted against his wild-eyed, uncontrollable meandering rants that, more often than not, were well adrift of the subject matter.

While the Catholics made our arguments in terms of quoting and exegeting Scripture, pointing to factually documented positions of the early church and appealing to history, linguistics and logic, George followed a consistent pattern of drifting from assertion to assertion, back-peddling, refusing to engage, and launching into the most bizarre name calling and accusation. In a short succession of debates, George referred to Catholics as Goddess worshipers, demon worshipers, Babylonian sun god worshipers, and even Vampires. These types of assertions reduced his own credibility to zero.

Coupled with using false charges and constantly misrepresenting Catholic doctrine, he made our job immensely easier because we were able to stay predominantly on offense. Any objective audience member would not expect, for a second, that we would respond to the assertion that we are demon worshiping vampires.

That George failed to comprehend the monumental level to which he played right into our hands is actually breath-taking. His almost complete inability to counter any of our arguments cogently allowed us to consistently press our advantage and, even the 2 or 3 times where we stumbled early, make up ground quickly and effectively.

George realized very early that he was no match for us in terms of material (even admitting as much in one debate), so he attempted to knock us off our game by constantly amping up the frequency and vileness of his personal attacks and assertions, all to no effect, except to make himself look ever more irrational and desperate.

 In short, by being able to put almost no effective pressure on us, we were able to put relentless pressure on him, forcing him into gaffe after gaffe after gaffe.

Some of these gaffes are the stuff of legend.

In the Trinity debate, George admitted that he believes in two Gods, thus proving himself to be a polytheist in direct opposition to Deuteronomy 6:4 and other such verses.

In the debate on Mary's 'other children', George claimed that Jesus clearly had other brothers then assassinated his own assertion with the loopy claim that Jesus had no biological mother! Obviously this directly counters Romans 1:3 that says Jesus was descended from David, according to the flesh or Galatians 4:4 which says that He was born of woman. In fact, 2 John 1:7 calls anyone who denies the true fleshly humanity of Jesus Christ, an Anti-Christ.

Relying on a curious and abhorrent interpretation of a verse that doesn't even refer to Jesus but to Melchizedek, George actually paints himself into a corner beyond making himself an anti-Christ. For if Jesus has neither a biological father nor mother,as George proclaimed, how on earth could He have brothers?

This is just one classic example of George being hoisted by his own petard. He did this countless times.

In the debate on the Sabbath day, George pointed out an Old Testament reference to a man stoned for picking up sticks on a Sabbath (Numbers 15:32-35) before later stating that He believes that we are still fully under all the aspects of the Mosaic law. You see where I am going with this?

Not only does this clearly counter Romans 6:14-15 that says we are no longer under the Mosaic law, and Colossians 2:16-17 that says that the festivals, new-moons and sabbaths were merely shadows of a later revealed reality, it makes you wonder how many people have been stoned in George's churchfor picking up sticks.

In the debate on the Immaculate Conception, George really stepped in it by suggesting that 'Full of Grace' was a reinterpretation of Kecharitomene in Luke 1:28. When confronted with the fact that the KJV in 1611 was the very first Bible not to translate grace in this verse, even though it translated the root charitoo as grace 96% of the time, he responded that the KJV was the one to be followed because it was translated from Greek and not Latin.

So, let me see if I follow this. The KJV, that was written nearly 16 centuries after Christ died is the original version, while all the versions that existed in the 1200 years prior are re-translations. Included among them are the protestant and proto-protestant Bibles of Wycliffe, Tyndale and Luther. Further, Chaire meams Hail everywhere except Luke 1:28 and charitoo means grace everywhere but Luke1:28. Finally, the Latin Vulgate, the very first Bible, was translated into Latin from Latin, not Greek.

This is the kind of self contradictory idiocy that had George looking much more like a babbling, petulant  adolescent than a serious debater.

Ahh, but there is so much more.It just kept getting better.

In the debate on Sola Scriptura, George could not answer how we have a list of canonized books outside of Church authority. However, his real gaffe was when he was asked to explain how we can know that Matthew's Gospel was written by Matthew, when no where in it, does it say so. He actually answered that he was sure that Matthew must have included a cover letter.

Yes. I am sure he did. Further, his gospel was laser printed on silk laced paper, in color with graphs and a spreadsheet, collated and bound in genuine leather with gold filigree.

Sheesh, what an asinine response.

In the alleged idolatry debate, George claimed he could prove that Catholics not only worship Mary as a goddess, but do so willingly! So George is not merely claiming that he can prove that Marian devotion is material worship, but that he can prove the intellectual and spiritual assent of another person. Only a lunatic would make such a claim.

Obviously, all he ended up proving is that he is out of his mind. George could not even make a cogent argument supporting the first contention, much less the second. His whole contention was that prayer always equals worship, a contention that blew up in his face when the very dictionary definition that he cited gave 4  definitions of prayer that did not concern worship. To put it bluntly, George was humiliated in this debate.

Not to be outdone in his prior lunacy, George revised his position in the next debate. In the debate on the Primacy of Peter, George admitted up front that he had no clue what the Greek Petros Kai Epi Tautee te Petra meant in Matthew 16, countering only that Catholics now worship demons instead of goddesses and all manner of other off topic bile. He even had the temerity to claim that Revelation 9:20 could only refer to the Catholic church because the Jews or Israel had never committed idolatry. Has he ever read the Bible? What about Exodus 32?
7 And the Lord spoke to Moses, saying: Go, get thee down: thy people, which thou hast brought out of the land of  Egypt, hath sinned. 
8 They have quickly strayed from the way which thou didst shew them: and they have made to themselves  a molten calf, and have adored it, and sacrificing victims to it, have said: These are thy gods, O Israel,  that have brought thee out of the land of Egypt. 
Using this same pin-head logic, George claimed that the Catholic church is the whore of babylon even though the scriptures clearly prove that it is Jerusalem
Revelation 17:18 And the woman which thou sawest, is the great city, which hath kingdom over the kings of the earth.
Revelation 18:24 And in her was found the blood of prophets and of saints, and of all that were slain upon the earth.
Matthew 23:37 Jerusalem, Jerusalem, thou that killest the prophets, and stonest them that are sent unto thee, how often would I have gathered together thy children, as the hen doth gather her chickens under her wings, and thou wouldest not?
Luke 13:33 Nevertheless I must walk to day and to morrow, and the day following, because it cannot be that a prophet perish, out of Jerusalem
When you have a man so entranced in Satan's spell that even the plain words of scripture cannot disuade him, what can you say to him. Woe to you George.

In the debate on Papal Infallibility, George actually claimed that God could not give a man the ability to be infallible in certain circumstances without being infallible in all circumstances. Thus, such a person would have to be a god. By this idiotic logic, the men who wrote the 27 books of the New Testament were all gods. Ironic isn't it? George maintains that infallibility is impossible while, to press his case, he cites the infallible scriptures written by those same men?

Not surprisingly, George used slanderous quotes in this debate that he later had to admit he could not substantiate. So, while George falsely claims that we make Peter and his successors gods, he actually does so himself by the logical consequence of his own arguments that the Scriptures, written by Peter, are infallible while saying that only a god can be infrallible.

Wow, Can you imagine what being inside George's head must be like?

Finally, in the debate on the Eucharist, George claimed that the Jews understandably misunderstood Jesus words in John 6. George maintains, in the face of the clear evidence in John 6, 1 Corinthians 10 and 1 Corinthians 11, that the Eucharist was never meant to be taken as the literal flesh and blood of Christ.

Scripture obviously counters that.

John 6:54 Then Jesus said to them: Amen, amen I say unto you: Except you eat the flesh of the Son of man, and drink his blood, you shall not have life in you. 
55 He that eateth my flesh, and drinketh my blood, hath everlasting life: and I will raise him up in the  last day.  56 For my flesh is meat indeed: and my blood is drink indeed.

1 Corinthians 11:26 For as often as you shall eat this bread, and drink the chalice, you shall shew the death of the Lord, until he come. 
27 Therefore whosoever shall eat this bread, or drink the chalice of the Lord unworthily, shall be guilty of the body and of the blood of the Lord. 
28 But let a man prove himself: and so let him eat of that bread, and drink of the chalice.  29 For he that eateth and drinketh unworthily, eateth and drinketh judgment to himself, not discerning the body of the Lord.
So, George, who has already testified against himself as a polytheist and an anti-christ and a bearer of false witness, now testifies that has no spiritual life within him. That would be enough except for the next petard by which he has hoisted himself. You see, George claimed that he understands why the Jews (mistakenly by his account) interpreted Jesus words as literal. Yet, Catholics who make the same (allegedly mistaken) interpretation, according to George, only do so because they want to follow Ishtar and a Babylonian Priesthood and worship the sun god, in the form of a wafer. Evel Knieval couldn't make that leap.

Many (Catholics and non-catholics) have pointed out to us that although we clearly went 10-0 in these debates, we really shouldn't celebrate too much because we were debating someone who was not only completely incapable of a cogent argument, but a lunatic and no Christian, by any sense of the word.

I must concede that they have a point.

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