Debate Summary: Are all churches required to be under the same human authority?​


Main Article: Are all churches required to be under the same human authority?

A Catholic Christian, Nithin Das, and a Protestant-raised Christian, Nathan George (founder of Answering Problems), debate about following the church. Nithin believed that all Christians must submit to the Catholic church to be saved (Matthew 16:18), while Nathan believes that all Christians must submit to Jesus directly to be saved (I Corinthians 1:12-13) and thinks of the Catholic church as one of many good churches (Matthew 9:17).

Previous Belief

Nithin wrote about his previous beliefs, “Though God can choose to save anyone he pleases including those who have never heard the Gospel or been baptized I believe, that the Catholic church is the most ideal belief system and Grace transferring system through which we can receive the ability to bring ourselves and others as close as possible to God in the earthly life.”

Main Arguments

They focused primarily on Mark 9:38-41. Nathan explained that the “one who does a mighty work” in Jesus’ name also was not following Jesus physically. The reason he wouldn’t “lose his reward” is because the man was following Jesus spiritually, even if he wasn’t following him by being in the same group. The same logic applies to Protestants, who don’t follow Jesus’ original church in attendance but are still one with Catholics because Protestants follow Jesus in spirit in other churches formed by the Holy Spirit.

New Belief

Nithin wrote about his current beliefs, “Though the Apostolic Church would have been the most ideal way for the non-following preacher (in Mark 9:38-41) to attain salvation for Himself and his community, I believe Jesus doesn’t force everyone to follow Him or be directly part of this Apostolic group in order to be saved for the following reasons: 1) God’s love is unconditional. God doesn’t compel or force anyone to accept His Love, know a certain Truth or follow a certain belief system to be saved but encourages us throughout our lives via other humans, Angels, Saints, miracles and The Holy Spirit. 2) Those who desire God will automatically want to worship Him in spirit and Truth. This is far more valuable than worshiping with empty rituals. And I believe this kind of worship journey will ultimately result in an aligning with or subsumption into the beliefs of the Catholic. Though I still believe that the Catholic Church is ideal, I think God thinks that it is critically important that people come to Him via an intimate relationship with Him and those whom He put in their lives. And that journey however messy will be transformed by God into a strength for all of Christendom to enjoy.”