Rebutting a Catholic apologist, #6: “The Anointing Teaches Us”

Today, we continue our series responding to “Meeting the Protestant Challenge: How to Answer 50 Biblical Objections to Catholic Beliefs” (2019), written by Karlo Broussard. With this chapter, the Catholic apologist completes his six-part section on church hierarchy and authority by countering Protestants’ assertions that they have no need for the Catholic church’s Magisterium to guide them because “The Anointing Teaches Us.”

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Catholics claim that their “Magisterium,” the teaching office of their church comprised of the pope and his 5839 bishops, is divinely authorized and divinely guided. Catholic apologist, Broussard, claims that some Protestants cite 1 John 2:27 as a Scriptural confutation of the Magisterium:

“But the anointing that you received from him abides in you, and you have no need that anyone should teach you. But as his anointing teaches you about everything, and is true, and is no lie—just as it has taught you, abide in him.”

Broussard then presents several other Bible passages to prove that Jesus and the apostles, including John, certainly intended for teachers to guide the church doctrinally. He suggests that in the context of the entire passage of 1 John 2:18-27, John is using hyperbole in verse 27 to warn against heeding false teachers.

Broussard is once again presenting a straw man logical fallacy by implying Protestants reject any and all teaching authority within the church. Evangelical Protestants are fully aware of such Scripture passages as the following:

“And God has appointed in the church first apostles, second prophets, third teachers…” – 1 Corinthians 12:28

“And he gave the apostles, the prophets, the evangelists, the shepherds and teachers, to equip the saints for the work of ministry, for building up the body of Christ.” – Ephesians 4:11-12

The Holy Spirit calls individual men to lead and teach in the local church, using God’s Word, the Bible, as their sole authority.

Catholics claim that their allegedly divinely-guided Magisterium is absolutely necessary to preserve and protect doctrinal truth, but history, past and recent, reveals the absolute and undeniable fallaciousness of that claim:

  • Throughout the centuries, Catholic popes, in league with their bishops, regularly introduced “Sacred Traditions” into church teachings; traditions which supplanted Biblical truths. Instead of preserving and defending God’s Word, the Magisterium nullified God’s Word. “You nullify the word of God by your tradition that you have handed down. And you do many other similar things” – Mark 7:13.
  • Popes John Paul II, Benedict XVI, and Francis have all apologized for the policies and practices of previous popes and prelates including such things as the Inquisition, the Crusades, systematic anti-Semitism, forced baptisms, persecution of Protestants, etc. If it’s claimed that the Magisterium guides the church by divine inspiration, then why do the modern popes have to apologize for the edicts of popes and prelates of previous centuries?
  • Pope Francis is a pragmatic progressive who has introduced several doctrine-bending reforms since being elected in 2013. Many conservative Catholic leaders have advised their followers to ignore Francis’ novelties while the most audacious among them publicly proclaim the pope to be a heretic. Broussard dishonestly omits any mention of the current crisis within Catholicism regarding the controversial papacy of Francis in this chapter or the previous five concerning authority. It’s blatantly unscrupulous for Broussard to parade an idealized Magisterium before the reader when he is fully aware that Francis has thrown the church into a state of doctrinal “confusion” as conservative Catholics accuse him of doing.

Catholics look with askance at the patchwork quilt of evangelical Protestantism. They ask, how can truth be preserved and defended in such an uncentralized mishmash? Yet, it is precisely in and through the spiritual network of evangelical Protestant local churches, with all of their faults and problems, that the Holy Spirit has done His salvific, Gospel-spreading work, as those churches seek to follow God’s Word as their sole authority.

Next up: Traditions Nullify God’s Word

33 thoughts on “Rebutting a Catholic apologist, #6: “The Anointing Teaches Us”

  1. Can a “good” Muslim, who doesn’t accept Christ as savior, be saved?

    Let’s see what the magisterium of the middle ages say:

    Pope Boniface VIII , Unam Sanctam:………….This authority, however, (though it has been given to man and is exercised by man), is not human but rather divine, granted to Peter by a divine word and reaffirmed to him (Peter) and his successors by the One Whom Peter confessed, the Lord saying to Peter himself, “Whatsoever you shall bind on earth, shall be bound also in Heaven” etc., [Mt 16:19]. Therefore whoever resists this power thus ordained by God, resists the ordinance of God [Rom 13:2], unless he invent like Manicheus two beginnings, which is false and judged by us heretical, since according to the testimony of Moses, it is not in the beginnings but in the beginning that God created heaven and earth [Gen 1:1]. Furthermore, we declare, we proclaim, we define that it is absolutely necessary for salvation that every human creature be subject to the Roman Pontiff. Pope Boniface VIII , November 18, 1302, Unam Sanctam

    The Council of Florence (1441) Bull Cantata Domino: It firmly believes, professes, and proclaims that those not living within the Catholic Church, not only pagans, but also Jews and heretics and schismatics cannot become participants in eternal life, but will depart “into everlasting fire which was prepared for the devil and his angels” [Matt. 25:41], unless before the end of life the same have been added to the flock; and that the unity of the ecclesiastical body is so strong that only to those remaining in it are the sacraments of the Church of benefit for salvation, and do fastings, almsgiving, and other functions of piety and exercises of Christian service produce eternal reward, and that no one, whatever almsgiving he has practiced, even if he has shed blood for the name of Christ, can be saved, unless he has remained in the bosom and unity of the Catholic Church. See Henry Denzinger, Enchiridion Symbolorum, The Sources of Catholic Dogma, trans. Roy J. Deferrari, Thirtieth Ed. (Powers Lake: Marian House, published in 1954 by Herder & Co., Freiburg), #714, p. 230.

    Now let’s look at the magisterium of the 20th century:

    Pope Paul VI: 3. The Church regards with esteem also the Moslems. They adore the one God, living and subsisting in Himself; merciful and all- powerful, the Creator of heaven and earth,(5) who has spoken to men; they take pains to submit wholeheartedly to even His inscrutable decrees, just as Abraham, with whom the faith of Islam takes pleasure in linking itself, submitted to God. Though they do not acknowledge Jesus as God, they revere Him as a prophet. They also honor Mary, His virgin Mother; at times they even call on her with devotion. In addition, they await the day of judgment when God will render their deserts to all those who have been raised up from the dead. Finally, they value the moral life and worship God especially through prayer, almsgiving and fasting. DECLARATION ON THE RELATION OF THE CHURCH TO NON-CHRISTIAN RELIGIONS, NOSTRA AETATE, PROCLAIMED BY HIS HOLINESS POPE PAUL VI ON OCTOBER 28, 1965

    Vatican II: But the plan of salvation also includes those who acknowledge the Creator. In the first place amongst these there are the Moslems, these profess to hold the faith of Abraham, and together with us they adore the one, merciful God, mankind’s judge on the last day. Nor is God Himself remote from those who in shadows and images seek the unknown God, since he gives to all men life and breath and all things (cf. Acts 17:25–28), and since the Saviour wills all men to be saved (cf. 1 Tim. 2:4). Those who, who through no fault of their own, do not know the gospel of Christ or His Church, but who nevertheless seek God with a sincere heart, and, moved by grace, try in their actions to do his will as they know it through the dictates of their conscience—those too may achieve eternal salvation. Vatican Council II The Conciliar and Post Conciliar Documents, Austin Flannery, O.P., General Editor (Boston: St. Paul Editions, 1980), Dogmatic Constitution on the Church, Lumen Gentium II:16, p. 367.

    Hmmmmmm, whom to believe? 🙂

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  2. Is the Pope above an ecumenical council or an ecumenical above the Pope? Depending on which magisterium you ask:

    Council of Constance (1415), Haec Sancta: ….First it declares that, legitimately assembled in the holy Spirit, constituting a general council and representing the catholic church militant, it has power immediately from Christ; and that everyone of whatever state or dignity, even papal, is bound to obey it in those matters which pertain to the faith, the eradication of the said schism and the general reform of the said church of God in head and members.

    Next, it declares that anyone of whatever condition, state or dignity, even papal, who contumaciously refuses to obey the past or future mandates, statutes, ordinances or precepts of this sacred council or of any other legitimately assembled general council, regarding the aforesaid things or matters pertaining to them, shall be subjected to well-deserved penance, unless he repents, and shall be duly punished, even by having recourse, if necessary, to other supports of the law. SESSION 5 – 6 April 1415, Haec Sancta

    Vatican 1: So, then, if anyone says that the Roman pontiff has merely an office of supervision and guidance, and not the full and supreme power of jurisdiction over the whole church, and this not only in matters of faith and morals, but also in those which concern the discipline and government of the church dispersed throughout the whole world; or that he has only the principal part, but not the absolute fullness, of this supreme power; or that this power of his is not ordinary and immediate both over all and each of the churches and over all and each of the pastors and faithful: let him be anathema. Chapter 3, Number 9, SESSION 4 : 18 July 1870

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    1. Thanks for the good references. As I remember, the Council of Constance had to sort out who the “legitimate” pope was of the three who claimed the “chair of Peter” concurrently.

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      1. Which begs the question, how do Romanists know that the current Pope and all the Popes since Vatican 2 are not anti-popes? LOL

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      2. Yeah, in order to resolve the Great Western Schism, 1378 to 1417, the Council of Constance formally deposed all three claimants to the chair of Peter and installed Martin V. Debate over the formally recognized papal line of succession due to the confusion caused by the Great Western Schism continued right into the 20th century. Most Catholics aren’t aware of the embarrassing controversy and couldn’t be bothered.

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      3. Thanks for the link to Mike Gendron’s October newsletter. I need to check in at Mike’s website more often. Yup, these deluded Catholics will fight tooth and nail to defend their spiritual chains. I saw from his newsletter that Mike has a new book out, “Contending for the Gospel,” which I promptly ordered from Amazon.

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  3. Whom to believe? :p

    Pope Gregory the Great, Bishop of Rome (c. 540-603): Your most sweet Holiness has spoken much in your letter to me about the chair of Saint Peter, Prince of the apostles, saying that he himself now sits on it in the persons of his successors. And indeed I acknowledge myself to be unworthy, not only in the dignity of such as preside, but even in the number of such as stand. But I gladly accepted all that has been said, in that he has spoken to me about Peter’s chair who occupies Peter’s chair. And, though special honor to myself in no wise delights me, yet I greatly rejoiced because you, most holy ones, have given to yourselves what you have bestowed upon me. For who can be ignorant that holy Church has been made firm in the solidity of the Prince of the apostles, who derived his name from the firmness of his mind, so as to be called Petrus from petra. And to him it is said by the voice of the Truth, To thee I will give the keys of the kingdom of heaven (Matthew 16:19). And again it is said to him, And when thou art converted, strengthen thy brethren (22:32). And once more, Simon, son of Jonas, lovest thou Me? Feed my sheep (John 21:17). Wherefore though there are many apostles, yet with regard to the principality itself the See of the Prince of the apostles alone has grown strong in authority, which in three places [Rome, Alexandria, Antioch] is the See of one. For he himself exalted the See in which he deigned even to rest and end the present life [Rome]. He himself adorned the See to which he sent his disciple as evangelist [Alexandria]. He himself stablished the See in which, though he was to leave it, he sat for seven years [Antioch]. Since then it is the See of one, and one See, over which by Divine authority three bishops now preside, whatever good I hear of you, this I impute to myself. If you believe anything good of me, impute this to your merits, since we are one in Him Who says, That they all may be one, as Thou, Father, art in me, and I in thee that they also may be one in us (John 17:21). NPNF2: Vol. XII, Selected Epistles, Book 7, Epistle 40 – To Eulogius, bishop.

    Council of Chalcedon (451 AD), Canon 28: Following in all things the decisions of the holy Fathers, and acknowledging the canon, which has been just read, of the One Hundred and Fifty Bishops beloved-of-God (who assembled in the imperial city of Constantinople, which is New Rome, in the time of the Emperor Theodosius of happy memory), we also do enact and decree the same things concerning the privileges of the most holy Church of Constantinople, which is New Rome. For the Fathers rightly granted privileges to the throne of old Rome, because it was the royal city. And the One Hundred and Fifty most religious Bishops, actuated by the same consideration, gave equal privileges (ἴσα πρεσβεῖα) to the most holy throne of New Rome, justly judging that the city which is honoured with the Sovereignty and the Senate, and enjoys equal privileges with the old imperial Rome, should in ecclesiastical matters also be magnified as she is, and rank next after her; so that, in the Pontic, the Asian, and the Thracian dioceses, the metropolitans only and such bishops also of the Dioceses aforesaid as are among the barbarians, should be ordained by the aforesaid most holy throne of the most holy Church of Constantinople; every metropolitan of the aforesaid dioceses, together with the bishops of his province, ordaining his own provincial bishops, as has been declared by the divine canons; but that, as has been above said, the metropolitans of the aforesaid Dioceses should be ordained by the archbishop of Constantinople, after the proper elections have been held according to custom and have been reported to him. http://www.newadvent.org/fathers/3811.htm

    AGAINST

    Vatican 1: So, then, if anyone says that the Roman pontiff has merely an office of supervision and guidance, and not the full and supreme power of jurisdiction over the whole church, and this not only in matters of faith and morals, but also in those which concern the discipline and government of the church dispersed throughout the whole world; or that he has only the principal part, but not the absolute fullness, of this supreme power; or that this power of his is not ordinary and immediate both over all and each of the churches and over all and each of the pastors and faithful: let him be anathema. Chapter 3, Number 9, SESSION 4 : 18 July 1870

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    1. 👋🏻 We know that there are some churches that preach about an anointing EVERY Sunday! BTW, I finally got to listen to your “Biblical to Marry a Moabite?” sermon today and really appreciated the message! Excellent Biblical counsel to those in your church regarding yoking with unbelievers in marriage.

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      1. Aww thanks for the listen! Last night sermon audio had some difficulties and I couldn’t load things…by the way I’m glad that you got to talk to those companies in the job fair! Hoping and praying for a break

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      2. Thanks for the prayers, brother! Much appreciated! On a humorous note, after listening to many of your sermons I’ve been conditioned to anticipate that you’ll ask one of the congregants to read the Bible passage in their “big boy” voice. You let me down this last time! 😊

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  4. Good post. This is a strange proof text for Romanism as the anointing is described of believers in the church and not a hierarchy of leaders. See 1 John 2:20, 1 John 2:27 and 2 Corinthians 1:21. The believers are anointed but that does not mean they are all appointed (picked/selected) to be a church leader. So it’s a strange proof text

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    1. Broussard presents the initial passage of each chapter (in this case 1 John 2:27) not as a proof text for Romanism, but as Protestants’ proof text against Romanism, which he then attempts to debunk. Several times he’s distorted the Protestant position, which of course he then easily shoots down.

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      1. I can see where it can be confusing. In his book, Armstrong straight up defended the Catholic view on a topic. In contrast, Broussard starts off by presenting the Protestant rejoinder, attempts to rebut it, and then I refute his rebuttal.

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