Catholic vs. Protestant - 2017-12-22 - Jerry White

Author Recorded Friday December 22nd, 2017

There are 31 episodes in the Versus:Protestant series.

I met Jerry on Facebook, through my friend and recent guest, Thoth. Jerry lives in Taiwan with his wife and their 14-year-old twin boys. He describes himself as a non-Denominational Christian, but has some Calvinist leanings. I forgot to ask him about free will. Next time, perhaps. • Support the CVS Podcast: • Be a guest on a livestream:

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These YouTube transcripts are generated automatically and are therefore unformatted and replete with errors.
hello my name is Jerry white and you're listening to Catholic versus Protestant tell the listeners a little bit about yourself if you would who you are what you believe and how you came to believe it sure okay I'm originally from Houston Texas and in 2012 my wife and I moved to Taiwan has talent called Shinju about 400,000 people here and we came here to spend time with her family and and bring our sons here so they could we have twin boys they're about 14 now we brought him here so they could learn the culture and the language and basically spend some time with their Taiwanese side of the family and as far as my own basically I grew up in a family that normally attended a Southern Baptist Church in the Houston area and towards my later years I was in high school my dad began to go to a somewhat nondenominational church with reformed in Calvinist leanings and I saw I'd have to say I was somewhat influenced by that but it wasn't until I was already married and I was age 24 I think I was already married for about three years my wife and I were married at 21 when I was 21 and when I was about 24 I kind of came under conviction of the things that I was supposedly believing and and I just began to take it more seriously so in from my perspective I would say that God took hold of my life I just remember one night I was I was beginning to be more curious about what or who God was I had this sense that he was existing but I didn't really know with any sense of confidence why I was calling myself a Christian so I I remember one night after my wife and my brother-in-law they were already asleep I just kind of a sitting in the living room to our house and looking out the window and just sort of thinking you know God if you're whatever you are or whoever you are I don't want to forge my own ideas upon you and I sort of had I think it was an honest prayer that's what I would say it was simple and I just said I wanted to know him and then I would say about a year past from that moment as I can calculate it and around 1998 he just took hold of my life because I started to become more in victim sinned but it wasn't like something people would consider outlandish I was just more convicted about a general hostility towards God in terms of my actions and the way I live and that's kind of when that I think in that particularly if I can nail a date or a time it was back in about September of 1998 that my life began to take on a new hunger for knowing God in Christ and what's your prayer life been like since that time has it improved well the closer I thought I was getting to God the more I felt I was able to see my reluctance to obey this is the way God shows us who we are without him is to bring us to the forefront of our of our sinful nature and you know I spend a lot of time studying trying to study the Scriptures reading through it and and taking it very seriously and I still do I still take the suit the Bible seriously but I've discovered in the last twenty years or whatever it's been since I became more serious about my faith that the Bible itself is kind of like a starting place I'm learning that the Word of God is more than just the print on the page and I think it a lot of Christians may get stuck into that sort of place where they just when they're reading the Bible everything is about cross referencing scriptures at least in evangelical circles they and the Reformed background they tend to be very meticulous about showing scripture and trying to find proof text to prove their point to answer your question I just see myself more and more getting closer to the concept of the word is more than just a scripture it's it's actually an internal experience I mean the word begins to dwell within us the word being Christ himself the scriptures that we have with the New Testament the Old Testament they bring forth the truth that is not fully alive in any other religion most just about every faith that I can see in a religious institution it's it's building your own ladder and taking yourself up to God whereas I think the Christian faith is more about God being the one who has not only built the ladder but has given you the the ability to even start climbing that ladder I take things from a perspective of grace and mercy salvation and redemption these things are the work of God and pretty much whether it's Judaism or the Islamic faith or whatever they all have one thing in common and that is to do as many things as you can to be accepted by God and I I don't see things that way whether the Bible says it or not that's my basic view of how to be accepted with God is through Christ along to his great work of the cross and salvation what would it take for you to abandon Jesus Christ do you have deal-breakers and if so what what might they be yeah something like finding alien life form on the moons of Saturn or something like that and maybe say if there was some sort of archaeological finding like I guess they prove that they had through DNA they found the bones of Christ or something I don't know I don't think that that would shake my faith at least those two examples I can't think of anything else what do you have in mind my church is a little bit different from your Protestantism in as much as we have both Sacred Scripture and sacred tradition and they work together so if the church were to contradict itself dogmatically I would know that Christ was either a lunatic a liar or a mere legend if the dogma of the church somehow I know you probably say it doesn't but if it somehow went against aspects that were written in the scriptures if that could be shown somehow does the Catholic Church say that the dog lines up exactly with the scriptures and I guess that would also include apocryphal texts and things like that at the end is that is that the stand of the Catholic Church that yeah the Catholic position is that the Holy Scriptures are inherent meaning that there's no error and sacred tradition cannot contradict Holy Scripture they both spring from one in the same source which is Jesus Christ and so of course there can't be any contradiction there and there can't be any contradiction anywhere in the universe there can't be any contradiction for example between faith and reason science is a good thing and and natural theology and all these things hang together because God is the author of truth and truth cannot contradict truth yeah well I also agree with this and I think it's important to find value in the scientific discoveries my church teaches that there are seven sacraments how many sacraments do you think there are I would say that the Protestant church would traditionally teach that there's simply baptism and communion or the Lord's Supper but I guess I don't know if I don't know if we Luther might have held two other sacraments beyond those two he believed in the real presence of Jesus Christ's body blood soul and divinity in the Eucharist transubstantiation all right yeah he began to stray obviously quite substantially what is your view of Luther I I don't know I'm thinking about it now I I have I have a more open view in terms of fellowshipping with people whether they're Catholic or whatever I'm open to that but I guess from my reformed side of me or the whole view from the Reformation I guess I was pleased with the concept of him confronting some of the issues that were going on with the the church at large at that time with the indulgences and things like that but I you know I I'm not uh entertained by what the Puritans said or what Luther said or Calvin or any of that anymore I think those things have left their mark on my faith in some sense but I I don't hold to them in any sort of dogmatic way quite bluntly why are you not Catholic why do you choose to remain outside of the Roman Catholic Church which I believe is the fullness of Christian truth I just I don't really feel like I need to be part of any particular denomination I know the Catholic Church would say that it is the universal Church from the beginning and and it wouldn't consider self a denomination that's what everything else the parts that broke away would be but I don't care much about the rituals I don't have any real allegiance to anything but the knowledge of Christ would you offer any resistance to Jesus Christ if he spoke to you unambiguously and told you that his church that he founded on the rock of Peter is the one true church and he wants you to eat his flesh and drink his blood so that you can have eternal life and that he wants you to go to the sacrament of confession to get your sins forgiven and so on and so forth if Jesus Christ communicated that to you and you didn't think it was a demon would you resist that calling or would you go wholeheartedly without any regrets oh I'm pretty sure I would I would go with it wholeheartedly but I would at the same time in terms I'll just use one example the the point about the eating his flesh and drinking his blood which for me it's not a matter or talk it's just a matter of a something that was written in the book of John unless you drink the blood of the son man eat his flesh you have no part of the kingdom of God or something like that obviously I don't think that that's meaning physically his blood and his flesh I I think it's a simple live it's something much larger but I'll just say you know to answer your question bluntly in general I've never experienced any vision or anything like that some people say they have and I I won't deny them that but if he did indeed somehow appear to me in some substantial way and I was convinced that that was him and he told me something like that only what I couldn't deny Christ and what he's asking me to do I think that when we read in the scriptures things that are about prophecy and things about the end times most of these things are focusing more on revealing things that are on the other side so whereas some people look at these things in terms of a linear timeline fashion I look at it in terms of temporal things that reveal things beyond the veil meaning eternal things so we can't see the eternal with our eyes but God established an entire history of Israel he orchestrated the whole thing even the cross of Christ and even things that were surrounding right after Christ's death and resurrection even its birth all these things are pointing to something that were beyond the veil to teach us in other words the kingdom of God has always existed it's not something that started when Jesus was on the earth but our eyes are blind to it by Nature and so God has given us this wonderful revelation including that book of Revelation which basically means the apocalypse it means that taking off of the cover these things are given to us to take the cover off and let us see things that we can't see with our physical eyes that's why we hear something like we look not to the things that are seen but to the things that are unseen and I just I'm saying that because it goes along with the same lines as something like unless you eat the son of man's flesh and drink his blood that is showing that something that's beyond the veil that must be protecting of my faith why did he not correct those that he lost that day and he lost many disciples that day because of the heard saying that you have to eat his flesh and drink his blood and the words that they use are so graphic and they get more graphic and he says it's six or seven times so what do you say with that Jesus said in another instance to them that to you who has been given to know the mysteries of the kingdom of God but to them it is not and that's when he was speaking a parable to them regarding the sower and the seed I believe so I mean that would be my answer whether he's using more graphic language or not the the emphasis is still on the aspect of the spiritual partaking of Christ I think he's just using more graphic language to drive the point home and the truth is that many times when Christ said things it would it would drive people away and people were fickle in some sense some people at one moment they would celebrate whatever he said and then the next moment they would turn and run away so I would just say that God has through Christ and he admits it that he's given things for his people to know and then that case it was immediately his disciples and for others it becomes something like a concept and maybe they did maybe the reason they ran away Biz because they were only understanding it in a disgusting vile way that they just couldn't imagine that this is why do I have to eat his flesh it's the same thing with Nicodemus right I mean he said to him let you're born again and then of course Nicodemus misunderstood that he used to how can man be born again does he go back into his mother's womb how he's the exact same sort of concept but Jesus corrected them there yeah he did correct that's a good point I guess I don't have an answer to that particular question why didn't he go and correct them I don't know but my main response would be that II make the difference between the sheep and the goat I know that's a hard thing to say it's just the kind of language that was using by him himself and the Scriptures Jail so if you look at the early church from the first century second century 3rd century 4th century 5th century all the way up to Luther and including Luther they all believe in the real presence of Jesus Christ in the Eucharist all Christians did but have you looked at the early church fathers in their writings and how passionately they speak in defense of the real presence of Jesus Christ in the Eucharist I know that the Jews and some people I don't know if it was the Roman Empire or the Jews or somebody at that time early on they persecuted Christians because they said that they were literally eating Jesus's blood and I I just haven't read those people that you're talking about I can only take your word for it right now that that's the case and it is and I I don't know why are you reluctant to accept the marryin dogmas in particular well I believe that Mary was given an honorable position to bring this god man into the world but I don't think that God has called us to speak to her in prayers I think the Catholic Church calls it they refer to do not worship but as veneration is that a better way to say it yeah hyperventilation I mean it does say that she's blessed and and I know that that was the announcement to her at that point but I I just don't see that I have to go to the saint or go to Mary or anybody else and ask them to speak to God on my behalf so if I offer to pray for you and your loved ones you would say no but you're here on earth and I can communicate with you I can't communicate with Mary now Jesus I know is not on earth but that's the one purse the one that we have been given as a mediator you don't remember the scene in Revelation where the Saints are constantly presenting the incense of Prayer before the throne right but I think that this book is trying to reveal something to us about the gospel not so much about the Saints interceding our behalf when I just want to mention to you that when I converted to God from atheism the most powerful compulsion that I felt was to liturgy public worship of God and as soon as I saw a mass for the first time as an adult I knew immediately that I want in I want to participate in the mass so this is a very subjective experience that I had a very mystical experience this is the way God worked on me he didn't work on you that particular way but it is possible that if you sit down in front of Jesus Christ's body blood soul and divinity really actually and truly present there in what looks like bread I think there would be Grace's there I don't feel like it's that physical thing that is the necessity that makes it all happen is he still in a physical body form that we can touch I know that after he raised rose from the dead that he invited Thomas to touch him and I'm sure the other disciples nitrogen but in terms of what happened to them in the Ascension and beyond that I I don't know I don't I don't have a view one way or the other the thing is that you and I are both body and soul we're both physical and spiritual and we will remain so at death our soul will be separated from our body temporarily but they will be reunited forever in heaven or in hell I'm not sure about that speaking of heaven in hell do you believe in the Last Judgement and in heaven hell and purgatory I do believe in a separation between the righteous and the wicked I believe definitely that the those who are faith and those who are endured to the end they will be saved they will be rewarded and I believe those who live in a way that disregards God or has no interest in God or has no interest in the kingdom of God how can they I don't think it's physical fire forever but the bible does mention the darkness to torment forever those sorts of things in the book of Jude so I do think that yeah there's going to be a separation of some sort whether they are consumed and that's the end of their lives or if they're going to go on in some eternal and I can't really say but I do believe there will be a rewards and Punishment are you open to the possibility that everyone eventually gets purified and ends up with God happy forever in heaven no no good well I don't let me let me not give such a direct answer I I guess my mind could be changed on that sure but I at this point I don't see purgatory or anything like that as being a correct development that eventually brings everybody to God yeah that's not what my church teaches my church teaches at purgatory is a purification for those who are on their way to heaven but that not everyone makes it to heaven not everyone makes it even to purgatory some people go to hell it's for me it's more black and white though I can't be the one who can see all of that and I don't try to say who's safe and who's not but I ultimately believe in a separation and the judgment for the righteous and the wicked what do you think about having you talk a little bit about it what you expect and do you think that you are guaranteed to go there or that you're likely to go there can you talk a little bit about heaven I believe I believe the faith that I have is an authentic thing I didn't create it so I can't really take it away I believe that God is once holding on to me and for that very fact I will yeah I guess go to heaven whatever exactly that means I don't know but I'll be in fellowship with him for eternity I think that there's an aspect in which God comes to dwell with us even while we're walking in these temporal bodies on earth and in a sense I've got eternal life right now and therefore it's not something that can be ripped out of me or torn away from me it's now I'm a stray but I believe as you know God is a faithful father that will you know correct and bring his people back and not just correct but maybe bring them through certain aspects of the fire to to purify and cleanse them even on this earth so so I believe eternal life is not something that begins the moment that you breathe your last breath on earth but but something that is people partake of starting in this life and then it just kind of with their bodies collapse and they go on to be with be with the Lord and we don't need these physical bodies to inhibit us anymore it's the thing of the mind more or less body is just a tool to get us through this life to serve him on dessert and minister to other people can you talk a little bit about your favorite Saints a lot of people say that Paul is a the epitome of what the Christian life should be like I say that I would say that I'm more in the camp with those people who think that they can associate they can relate to Peter his flawed character it's more readily it's more ready presented to us in the scripture it's very hard for us to find where Paul's flaws are that he seems almost flawless in many regards but but to me Peter is a man that you know that he seems a lot like me wishy-washy and I see how I live sometimes and I say you know I'm like at that time where he asked him to casts the Nets out into the water and and then the next thing he didn't really believe that they were gonna catch anything and then the next thing we know they got this big load of fish coming out of the water and he he turns to Christ and says get away from me I'm a I'm a sinful man I mean that's sometimes that's how I feel in my relationship with God not not every moment of the day but just I don't deserve to have this mercy of you being in my life and I think Paul also experienced that as well we don't see his flaws as much but have you ever noticed in the scripture you know one point Paul is saying that he's the least of all the Apostles and then later on he says he the least of All Saints and then he ends with in the book of Timothy a letter to the Timothy he he says that he's the chief of sinners that's an interesting progression because to me the closer we get to God throughout the course of our lives we don't see ourselves as more holy we see ourselves as humbled and broken and I think that's a kind of good thing in a way because it puts us in a place where we we can see who God is and be in awe of his mercy towards us as opposed to thinking you know we're super Saints or something like that so the other thing that I was thinking about was not just people in the Bible but I have respect for for Saints throughout the church way before there's any Reformation or anything I have respect or st. Thomas Aquinas and Augustine or Anselm the life of the church is much faster it's much more encompassing it's not just a matter of a few of the people who were listed in the the Bible that's just us maybe a starting point but there are lots of other people have done great things in the name of Christ and of course I would say God has done great things through them so well that's exciting my own conversion to God was helped greatly by st. Anselm in his ontological argument it was sort of like a Zen : that I chewed on for eight years I really loved his prayers and meditations if you ever have a chance to read them if you haven't already his prayers and meditations are very touching very humbling st. Augustine was probably my top favorite and I quote him the most in my interactions with people and he's the most quoted saint in the Catechism of the Catholic Church actually by far and I recommend one book that you might like I write poetry and really lot of poetry and I I've been working on metre and and just working on developing my skills in writing the verse and meter you know the traditional forms of meter that would you would traditionally see throughout the history of poetry in English and and it's kind of interesting because in the process I have found myself surrounded by a host of living poets today ironically a lot of them are Catholic fairly devoted to Catholic Church and one of them is a professor up at Villanova his name is James Matthew Wilson and he's been a great help to me and he has a book called division of the soul it's quite challenging I think in many regards but but it's basically focusing on the concept of beauty and how that's touched on by the concept of being so anyway I think you might find that interesting if nothing else so for sure I do want to get your opinion about the 10 commandments what role do they play in your examination of conscience okay the Ten Commandments are important because they represent something of what God's truth is and then his holiness but I don't sit down and do a checklist to see if I'm following those 10 commandments because I believe you that that is was written on stone and then it was committed to Paris or whatever and then finally to paper that we have today I think that as I told you earlier the law of God is something this has to be written on the heart of man so you have to take it beyond just what those ten lines mean there has to be something deeper and one don't murder someone I say there's obviously a lot more to that Jesus made that very clear when he was talking to people you know that you know you can you can hate someone in your heart and that's a sort of murder that's how I look at the Ten Commandments I don't I don't try to go down a checklist and see if I followed them all and in that regard I don't go through a checklist of anything in the Bible and say am i doing that Ryder but I have enough confidence that that the word was written and committed to a book if you want to say it that way so that we can go deeper you know and have those things applied to our hearts I know God has already done that through Christ in my own heart so I turned to him and asked him to open my mind these things in and changed me internally that's that's the only way I can really explain it at the end of my shows I always ask my guests to just speak directly to the audience so what would you say to anyone that might be out there listening though I would say don't seek after religion we want to know the truth I think those people in life want to know the truth and so you know if you're out there and you're disillusioned by things in your life whether it's religion or maybe you got hurt in a church you're going to or just things in your family life or work or whatever my advice is to simply call out I mean if there's no other way to communicate to something outside of us then to use the facilities that we have which is our words that we have so you know God can hear and we don't have to even know what God is exactly who he is I think he will answer that call as he did for me if you're just honest and straightforward just say I want to know the truths and then leave it at that it may be months it may be weeks it may be years but eventually God will answer that call if it's something that's deep from within and heartfelt if you like it will view if you think it's you've got some questions me and I'll tell all you got to do is ask all you got to do is ask all you got to do is