Pastors of all brands and stripes seem to be uneducated about Catholicism and what we believe as Catholics. Pastors, preachers, and influencers spread slander like its going out of style. They quote the Bible and speak so confidently, yet they don’t possess even a basic fundamental understanding of Catholicism.
This is true of anti-Catholic pastor Doug Bachelor who offers 9 reasons he believes Catholicism to be evil and unbiblical. In this article, we are going to demonstrate why he is incorrect about every one of them.
Doug Batchelor’s Myth #1
The first thing he mentions is the 95 Theses. According to Doug Batchelor, the 95 Theses clearly show the Protestant reformers left the Catholic Church because they truly believed that the teachings of the Catholic Church are wrong. This is fallacious. Luther started the reformation because there was corruption in the church. For instance, the 95 Theses mention indulgences specifically referring to the abuse of indulgences, because at this time Luther still believed in indulgences. He only was protesting their abuse and corruption in the church, but he still believed in the Pope and in most of Catholic teachings and structure as well.
As such, Doug Batchelor goes on to make the claim that the Catholic Church would not listen to reformers. They did mot want to give up their evil theology. This cause the so called reformers to leave and to divulge the truth of the Bible. How could the “reformers” possess the truth of the Bible when they couldn’t even agree among themselves as to what the truth was, even on basic tenets. They were never able to unify or reconcile their conclusions. They all disagreed on how to be saved, on what justification meant and even on what the word faith means. That the Protestants went back to the Bible and thus “got it”, whereas Catholics did not, is a very naïve notion. By the time Martin Luther died, there were over 200 new man-made religions that all went by the Bible alone and all still contradicted each other. Today there are thousands among thousands of Protestant groups that do the exact same thing
Doug Batchelor’s Myth #2
Doug Batchelor states that the Catholic Church teaches her faithful that they should bow down before statues while the Bible precisely states not to. He goes further to assert that bowing to a statue is not even an ancient tradition but only a medieval one. Really, Mr. Batchelor? Where, pray tell, does the Catholic Church, teach that her people should bow down before statutes? It has never happened. The Catholic church has always taught that statues are only symbolic representations of the people they represent, like drawing a picture of one’s family. It is not the actual family, but a picture that reminds the artist of the family members. In fact, the Catholic church has always condemned and forbidden praying to statues.
Batchelor proceeds to draw a similarity between pagan religions and Catholicism. The first example he mentions was Buddhism because Buddhists pray to a statue of Buddha, supposedly. This is such an unsound similarity because Buddhists do not believe in a personal God to begin with. Buddha specifically said that he is not a God and asked his followers not to pray to him. However, if we were to bring up pagan religions in general, like Hinduism, or maybe the ancient religions in the time of Israel, we know that they do bow to statues because they truly believe that the “gods” are located in the statues. This isn’t just a Christian opinion about Hinduism.
Hindus themselves state that they worship idols when explaining to others about their beliefs. “The idol is seen as a vehicle, a physical and tangible carrier of God. Idols are actually revered guests in the home, and the house residents engage in many rituals of washing, cleaning and serving food to the statues believing that the Gods come down and bless the food. A statue in Hinduism is a form and manifestation of the omnipotent Brahman. Brahman is not actually confined just to the idol. In fact, for Hindus any object is worthy of worship because it contains the divine energy.”
As we mentioned above, the Catholic church would never assert such a thing because we do not worship idols. Statues are a reminder of God’s presence. The Catholic church does not teach that God is manifest in the statue but that the statue is merely a symbolic representation of God or of heavenly things. For instance, the statues on the arc of the covenant were two grandiose statues of angels bowing down. These statues were a symbolic representation of how the angels bow before God and his holy presence, but never would we believe that the angels or God were in the statues. When we look at the angels and see them bowing down, it is a reminder for us that we need to bow before God as well, and all of heaven and earth bow before the presence of almighty God.
Doug Batchelor’s Myth #3
The next argument against Catholicism from Doug Batchelor is of course against Mary being sinless and being the church’s co-redemptrix.
First, Mr. Batchelor refers to Romans 3 stating that ALL have sinned, which includes Mary, while the Catholic church says that Mary is sinless. We can refer to Matthew 3. The text says that ALL of the world came out to see John the Baptist, ALL of Judea and ALL of Israel came out to see him and ALL were baptized. Now the word ALL does not mean every man and woman and child because they were not ALL baptized. We know for sure that the Pharisees refused to be baptized by John the Baptist. The Bible speaks in generalities, meaning ALL probably refers to a lot of people or the majority of people, but it allows for exceptions as well. And this is what we believe about Mary.
In fact, it is not unheard of that some humans are spared from sin. Babies do not have any personal sin. People who are mentally challenged do not have capability to sin. So technically they are sinless. For more explanation on the topic of the immaculate exception, you can refer to https://youtu.be/_nCHVwMIWfc
Doug Batchelor also argues that the Catholic Church makes Mary a co-mediator along with Christ for our salvation, while 1 Timothy 25 says that there was only one mediator. This is a huge misconception about what the catholic church teaches. It suffices to do some research about what the Catholic church really teaches or even refer briefly to the Catechism of the Catholic church to see that the word actually used about Mary is co-redemptrix and not co-mediator. It means a woman with the Redeemer. She is a woman with our redeemer, the one chosen by God to have a special role in bringing salvation into the world because salvation came into the world precisely through her. The word co-redemtrix does not even come close to meaning that she is at the same level with Jesus or co-mediating along with him in the same way. The Catholic church unambiguously teaches that Jesus is the unique mediator between us and God. However, anybody can actually be a smaller mediator in some way. For example, every time we pray for each other, we our putting ourselves between the person we are praying for and Jesus. Mary and the saints do the same thing as well. They pray for us to Jesus. Jesus, the perfect mediator, through his cross and resurrection, takes all of our prayers and brings them before the God the Father. For more on the meaning of co-redemptrix in Catholicism, https://youtu.be/eyx-K8qWOPI
Doug Batchelor’s Myth #4
Mr. Batchelor struggles with the Catholic teaching about saints being special Christians. He states that the bible teaches that we are all prophets, priests, and Kings and that we are all saints. Once again, the Catholic church does not, in any way, contradict what the bible says. However, the Church teaches that canonized saints are the ones in heaven. What this means is that we can know for a fact that this person is in heaven. Similarly, we also know that the Catholic church acknowledges that there are bishops, priests and deacons in ministerial positions because the Bible teaches authority of these offices; an authority that not all of us have, just because we are all generally priests. This ministerial authority is found all through the Old Testament although all were called to be Holy priests. Moreover, in John 20:21-23, Jesus sends out his apostles with this exact authority. Luke 10:16 states that he who rejects you rejects me. In other words, if we reject the authority of the apostles, we reject Christ. The scriptures here surely do not refer to rejecting just any one as apostle, Bishop, teacher, or priest.
Corinthians 12:28 and Ephesians 4 state it like this: Are all apostles, are all prophets, are all teachers, are all bishops and the answer to these rhetoric questions is NO. These offices are special offices with authority which passed through the laying on of hands. So yes, we are all priests, kings and prophets but not with this special authority. In the same manner, we can draw the rhetoric question: Are we all Saints? YES. The Catholic church teaches this but draws the distinction that there are special saints that we for sure know are in heaven through special revelation about their lives and works.
Doug Batchelor’s Myth #5
This takes us to the next Myth about the Catholic church to debunk in Mr. Batchelor’s preaching. He says that the Bible teaches in 1 John 5:13, that you can know you have eternal life, but here is what he totally missed in his interpretation of the word: The word to know in Greek does not mean absolute assurance because Paul uses it elsewhere. Paul says that I know I’m going to see you in the future, but in fact, he expresses other times that he is not sure if he is going to see them in the future. And in fact, he actually did not get back to see the people he hoped he might see. So to know is not to have absolute assurance. He is right about the Catholic church teaching that you cannot know absolutely that you have salvation. The Catholic church teaches that you can have assurance of your salvation if you are walking with Christ and you are in Christ and you are following him and being obedient to him. But no one can ever have absolute assurance of their salvation. No Christian in history believed in absolute assurance or eternal one. In fact, most Protestants do not believe in absolute eternal security. So this man is saying that apparently all of these other Protestants got it wrong and they apparently do not follow the Bible, even though they do? As it is a common problem in Protestantism, these pastors in the opposite camp just happen to interpret the bible different than him and choose different verses to guide their thinking.
For further explanation on this debate, https://youtu.be/yJbQfs3dte4. It is actually a great debate allowing to hear both sides, someone who presents eternal security and how we refute it since it is not only biblically incorrect, but historically as well.
Doug Batchelor’s Myth #6
The pastor exposes that the Catholic church changed the Sabbath as a Holy day of worship. This is not a heresy or a false teaching because the Bible tells the Jews to keep the Sabbath in the Old Testament, but it does not teach to keep the Sabbath in the New Testament. Now this might not be a problem if it did not tell us to keep the other commandments as well from the Old to the New but the New Testament specifically tells us to keep all 10 commandments except the observation of the Sabbath. Jesus told us not to kill, not to steal, not to murder to honor father and mother but the New Testament remains silent on the Sabbath issue. Jesus never told us to keep the Sabbath, nor or Paul. It is simply mentioned nowhere and by no one in the New Testament. So to hold the Sabbath as a day of worship is to hold the Old Testament without fulfilling it by the New. In fact, Mr. Batchelor is unaware that if he studies the Early Christians back to the time of the apostles, he will find that they used to worship on Sunday to celebrate the resurrection of our Lord Jesus Christ. One of the most outrageous fables made by protestants like Doug Batchelor is that the Catholic church changed the worship day at the time of Constantine. This is fully inaccurate and we show https://youtu.be/aMHL8BgFVKk quotes, going back to the apostle, stating that they all worshiped on Sunday.
Doug Batchelor’s Myth #7
Mr. Batchelor insists on the teaching that we should call no man father as the bible states while the Catholic church calls the religious men Father. You can watch https://youtu.be/NafXlRjkbdI on this topic. The Bible does not mean literally to call no man, father. This is a rabbinic hyperbole and these literary style is found a lot throughout Jesus’ speeches to make extreme points. Such as you must hate your family in order to follow me, or you must cut off your hand or your eyes if they cause you to sin. These hyperboles are not meant to be taken literally. In fact, we know that people used the word father from the beginning to the end of the bible. Even Paul said he was our father in the faith in 1 Corinthians 4:15 and in Romans 4. In the Old Testament, Abraham is called our spiritual father six times. And there are many other times that people are called father as well, even spiritual father. In fact, if we look at the passage Doug is referring to, we know that Jesus is not speaking literally here. He is speaking to the Pharisees who were usurping the place of God. He was calling out what they were doing, being blind guides who wanted everybody to praise them, and who did not lead people to God. They were empty tombs who were destined to hell.
Doug Batchelor’s Myth #8
In the next section of his video, Mr. Batchelor says the Bible states not to repeat prayers in vain and that the Catholic Church actually does this when saying the Lord’s prayer and the Hail Mary repetitively. This actually directly point to his lack of knowledge of the bible and maybe confirms the decision of the Catholic church in the Middle Ages to keep the Bible from being easily accessible and erroneously and lightly interpreted. People are simply not knowledgeable in biblical exegesis or hermeneutics, and they can, and are, twisting the Bible to their own destruction. In fact, in the book of Peter, it says that unstable and uneducated people would twist the word to their own destruction.
As a side note, this should move us at least to an alarm state because it is the Holy Bible we are talking about, which is the Holiest and Purest of the words because it is the word of God. And to interpret it lightly and irresponsibly is to desecrate it. In this case, this pastor is misusing the word and taking people away through false arguments. It is outrageous that a pastor responsible for souls can mislead them because he is simply not equipped enough to biblically lead them. Sadly, this is a single case that can easily be extended to include many Protestant churches leaders today.
The reality is that Jesus repeated the same prayer in the garden of Gethsemane in Matthew 26:42- 44, three times. Psalm 1:36 is a whole Psalm of repeating prayers. Moreover, it is interesting that Protestant themselves acknowledge that it is OK to repeat prayers as a simple Google search about repeating prayers would reveal from so many Protestants websites explanation. A lot for repetition is noticed in Protestant praise and worship, for instance, Let it rain, let it rain open the floodgates of heaven is repeated around 20 times. Then they go into the first verse and repeat repeat it 20 more times. All through the Bible, we see that repetitious prayer is good.
What Jesus condemned is “vain”. Repetition and babbling like the pagans. You can watch https://youtu.be/CBsq-9DdgHA about repeating prayers in vain but the bottom line is the Bible never condemns repetition. It condemns vain repetition.
Doug Batchelor’s Myth #9
Finally, Mr. Batchelor states that the Catholic church disrespects the bible teaching that only God can forgive sins. Actually, this is what the Catholic church has taught for 2000 years, but the Catholic church also teaches that Jesus gave us the ministry of sacrament of reconciliation. In John 20:21-23, Jesus gives his apostles, the authority to forgive sins in his name and in 1 Corinthians 5:17-22, Paul talks about the sacrament or the ministry of reconciliation, where he was appointed to reconcile people back to God. So not only are all of these teachings of the Catholic church biblical but they are also historical.
Then Doug Batchelor goes on to say that purgatory is not in the Bible, even though it is, prayers for the dead are not in the Bible, even though they are (2 Maccabees 12: 43-46). He says limbo is not in the Bible although he is not informed about the reality of our teachings. We never officially teach limbo. It has been a theological speculation, but the magisterium never taught the faithful that there is a limbo. So, there is obviously here total lack of research in his thoughts and statements. We have always extended a plead to all Protestant pastors, for the love of all that is good, for the love of God, for the love of truth, to be more intellectually and theologically responsible. We are not talking about all of them of course, but sadly many of them choose to attack Catholicism without being intellectually honest. The truth is that they owe it to God and God is going to judge on whether one, especially a church leader, is being responsible in forming their intellectual capacity about the faith.
This is a task that should daunting or impossible to take on or for these pastors. Not only there are thousand books on Catholicism, but many books against Catholicism are available as well. We have studied both sides. We have studied all of the arguments against Catholicism extensively. We have read all the top anti-Catholic books. We have watched anti-Catholic videos, but have they ever done the same in reverse? We are wondering if such pastors like Doug Batchelor, ever read a book like: Rome sweet home by Scott Hahn or Catholicism and fundamentalism by Carl Keating or Upon this rock by Steve Ray or Crossing the Tiber by Steve Ray which are all authentic Catholic books that are going to tell the reader what we truly believe. How about reading a main teaching reference for all Catholics such as the Catechism of the Catholic Church. It goes the same to carefully and lovingly advising the readers of this article. It is a responsibility to not settle for what others spread about Catholicism such as through protestant biblical quotes or biblical misquotes.
Catholicism is sadly misrepresented all the time and we want to urge you in this article to stop settling for less than the truth because you are not going to get anywhere. So, step up to your intellectual and spiritual responsibility and question and research what you heard about Catholicism. We are here for you, and we are always fighting for the truth and Jesus said, he who has eyes, let them see. He who has ears, let them hear.
Finally, witnessing someone up on a stage, teaching an audience or a congregation and lying to them and spreading myths and misconceptions that they themselves haven’t learned, proves the dire need for apologetics in each Catholic parish today.
This whole task of debunking Pastor Doug Batchelor’s myths about the Catholic Church, made me feel very sad. He could have been the next Catholic, leading souls to the fullness of truth, but is still, so far, lost by choosing not to seek deeper studying of the faith. The only way that this situation can be reversed, is through prayer so we ask our readers to join us in prayer for all protestant pastors who are still, through their own choice, turning away from the truth.