Roman Catholic Robert J Sledz' conversation with Matt Slick on Col. 2:14

by Matt Slick
2/23/2018

Robert J Sledz is a very pro-Roman Catholic who invited me to participate in a Facebook discussion group.  He ended up cussing at me and banning me.  Then, a few days later he started to contact me. He never apologized for telling me to get the "F***" out of this forum. 

He quickly challenged my ability to interpret Scripture. So I asked him to demonstrate how good he was interpreting Scripture since he would have to be able to interpret it properly to know if I was failing to do it properly.

The following conversation was in private and occured on 2/23/2018.  But, I asked him for permission to publish it.  He said I could. The text is copied and pasted from our chat room exactly into here in the order that it occurred.  I have underlined parts of the dialogue in order to identify those places where he changed his position upon cross-examination as well as contradicted the Roman Catholic Church. I pointed out that he did this because he examined Scripture thoroughly.  The conversation ended after that.

I put his text in brown and mine in green so that you can more easily read it.

 

Robert J Sledz: Just saying hi
Matt: Really? So, with your foul language and banishment and misrepresentation what I said now you come just to say hi?
Robert J Sledz: What else is there to say. You failed defending yourself
Matt: Dude... you guys were no match for the truth... You emploded and totally blew it. Your swearing was pitiful. You failed... You guys cannot hold up to God's word. You have a false church and a false gospel. 
Robert:Oh we know the truth. You just keep on thinking that. Btw, Koresh, Jim Jones all thought they knew the Word too.....
Matt: I'm sorry, but you're falsely equating me with murderers. I stick with scripture. But, it is obvious that you are loyal to your church. So, if you died right now, where would you go and why?
Robert: Interpretation. That's what I'm equating you with bad personal interpretation of scripture that can kill a,soul.
Matt:  really? Okay, then lets test you. Go to Col. 2:14 and interpret it. Look at the Greek if you can. Check out what it says. Let's see how you do.
Robert:Yea well, gimmie a moment.
Matt: χειρόγραφον cheirógraphon;
Robert: Yea, asnd I know how to look for Greek too
Matt: what is the cheirographon, when is it cancelled, who is it cancelled for....?
Robert: KATHOLES ECCLESIA means Catholic church in Acts 9:31. Hmmm?
Matt: Focus... Col. 2:14
Robert:When I'm not bust I'll focus.
Matt: Can i publish our discussion here? Its private...so, is that okay with you or not?
Robert: I can't
Matt: You can't what?
Robert: I'm busy at this second. Sure
Matt: Again, is it okay to publish our discussion here since it is private? I'll keep a text chat of all of it. Okay? Or not okay to publish this?
Robert: Publish what? We haven't said much
Matt: This conversation we are having here... So people can see what you do with Col. 2:14
Robert: If you want to debate something just say it. Then wait till I read it first
Matt: You said that my ability to interpret Scripture was faulty. So, I'm calling you on that and testing you with your ability to interpret Colossians 2:14.
Robert: Yes. You can publish this when I read it and give you an answer. 
Matt: No rush at all. Take your time. I have lots of other things to do in the meantime.
Robert: Paul is talking about the law here. Relationship with Christ is not a LEGALITY anymore. You often misplace the law with works of LOVE. Why don't you add me to this group and make it really fair.   Colossians 2:14, "having canceled out the certificate of debt consisting of decrees against us, which was hostile to us; and He has taken it out of the way, having nailed it to the cross." NIV
Matt: What do you mean by add you to this group?
Robert: Were having a chat here? We're always chatting. When are we not
Matt: For clarification. 1. What is canceled? 2. Who is it canceled for? 3. When is it canceled?
Robert: The old testament laws And they're not canceled but fulfilled. This is just a response of Paul's to the judauziers who became Christians. Remember Acts 15??? Sane issues. Should we admit or shouldnt we Same old same old. These were issues plaguing the early Christians since 33 ad
Matt: In the context of Col. 2:14, in THAT verse... 1. What is canceled? 2. Who is it canceled for? 3. When is it canceled?
Robert: Laws that the persons in THAT church community felt they needed to observe unto salvation. Those laws are not necessary to be enacted after Christ crucifixion. Note: in other passages Paul doesn't condemn circumcision. He simply says there is no more VALUE in it
Matt: So you're saying that the thing that was cancelled was Law. Okay, what law? Can you give me an example of what Laws were cancelled so I know what you mean by those Laws?
Robert: I don't know what law in particular Paul was addressing in that local town. Some specifics we can only get by reading ALL OF SCRIPTIRE not just 1 verse. That's why I deferred you to the purpose of the Jerusalem council.
Matt: Okay, so let me make sure I undestand you properly.  1. You are saying that the thing cancelled was a particular law in a particular local town.   2. But, you don't know what that law was.  Interesting.  3. So, was that particular law only canceled for those people in that town? 4. And, was only that law cancelled by Jesus on the cross?  5. In light of Paul saying in that verse that the thing cancelled was against "us", then was Paul in that city under that law?  6. In light of the context of v. 14, which includes v. 13, it says that "Christ forgave us all our sins, 14 having canceled the written code.."  So, how do you justify your interpretation of the thing canceled in light of Jesus forgiving us ALL our sins in v. 13?
Robert: Your splitting hairs now, Matt. Stop it. If you take the whole NT together it was The Law that was deemed no longer necessary to observe UNTO SALVATION because CHRIST PAID THE PRICE. Got it? Whether it was a washing law or circumsion or any number of laws from NUMBERS, that is what Colossians 2:14 was about. The LAW has no more effect on anybody. Jew or Greek. When you use it in conjunction with Acts 15, it makes more sense. Personally, I think you'd give Paul a heartburn. You know how many different laws exist in NUMBERS? Many.
Matt: Wait, are you now changing your interpretation? I thought you said that the thing canceled, (χειρόγραφον cheirógraphon) was the -as you said - "Laws that the persons in THAT church community felt they needed to observe unto salvation," and you said - a "particular [law] Paul was addressing in that local town." Now, you are saying that the thing canceled is "the Law that was deemed no longer necessary to observe UNTO SALVATION." So, which is it? I want to know so I can decide which direction to go.
Robert: Oh my Lord. It was "a" law that was observed in the OT that Paul was addressing. I have about as much knowledge which one specifically as you do. You're grasping at straws. It was an OT law. Unless you want to study laws, it doesn't matter which one it was. The point is it is now null and void due to Christ merits on the cross ALONG WITH ALL THE LAWS.
Matt: Okay, So now you're saying that what was canceled on the cross was all of the Old Testament laws that we had to keep in order to be right with God? Is that right?
Robert: You said it bud. And it's not just NOW I'm say8ng it. I was saying it throughout. Who referred you to Acts 15? Hmnmm. Go read it
Matt: So did Jesus cancel the Old Testament law for everybody who ever lived?
Robert: What do you mean by CANCEL? Paul didn't condemn people not to participate in those OT laws because he himself took part in one, the washing ritual. That was part of the OLD LAW TOO. He just said they're innefectual because of Christ.
Matt: Cancel: cancel: Greek "ἐξαλείφωb: (a figurative extension of meaning of ἐξαλείφωa ‘to wipe off, to wipe away,’ 47.18) to cause something to cease by obliterating any evidence." (Louw, Johannes P., and Eugene Albert Nida. Greek-English Lexicon of the New Testament: Based on Semantic Domains. New York: United Bible Societies, 1996.) Also, "ἐξαλείφω exaleíphō; fut. exaleípsō, from ek (1537), out of or off, and aleíphō (218), to smear or rub. To smear out, blot out, expunge, wipe off ointment." (Zodhiates, Spiros. The Complete Word Study Dictionary: New Testament. Chattanooga, TN: AMG Publishers, 2000.)
Robert: Did Paul violate his own teaching about the law by doing this? “Then Paul took the men, and the next day, purifying himself along with them, went into the temple giving notice of the completion of the days of purification, until the sacrifice was offered for each one of them.,” (Acts 21:26, NIV).  To your first point, the answer remains YES. The OT law is not necessary.
Matt: You can know what it means biblically. As you can see to cancel means to cause it to cease, to wipe it away, to obliterate it. So, in Col. 2:14 are you saying that the Old Testament law was canceled? If so, was it canceled for everyone who ever lived?
Robert: It was canceled for everyone, JEW, GREEK and GENTILE. I still think you're splitting hairs. We do not observe laws for a reason. Christ New Covenant. But you still haven't explained whether Paul condemned the use of laws or simply spoke out against the NECESSITY of them. Seeing he followed one himself.
Matt: Ok, so just to clarify. Two things. You are saying that Col. 2:14 is teaching that the OT Law, as a requirement for salvation, is canceled for everyone, Jew, Greek, Gentile... everyone. Correct? Of course, this means we do not have to keep any law in order to achieve or maintain salvation because that OT Law requirement is canceled, gone, not needed. Right?
Robert: ALL OT LAWS ARE NO LONGER NECESSARY TO FULFILL GOD'S COMMANDS Go ahead then. But you better not skip anything written here.
Matt: That you are saying the 10 Commandments, which are part of the OT Law, are not necessary for salvation. Okay, then I guess you disagree with your Roman Catholic Church. "The specific precepts of the natural law, because their observance, demanded by the creator, is necessary for salvation," (CCC 2036). "The Decalogue contains a privileged expression of the natural law. It is made known to us by divine revelation and by human reason," (CCC 2080).
Robert: That has absolutely nothing to do with the OLD LAW. Natural law is a philosophy. Lol
Matt: I'm very pleased to see that you changed your interpretation of Colossians 2:14 upon cross-examination from a single law in a particular city, to the OT Law. Good. And then I'm really pleased to see that when you examine the word of God carefully, you arrive at a conclusion that is contradictory to what your own Roman Catholic Church teaches about The necessity of keeping the 10 Commandments (Law), in order to be saved. I think that's really great.
Robert: Think what you want. You're still splitting hairs.
Matt:  What I think is your confused. First, you flip-flopped on your interpretation of Colossians 2:14. You then said that what was canceled was the requirement of the Old Testament law. I then quoted where your own church says keeping the law, as is reflected by the 10 Commandments, is necessary for salvation (CCC 2036, 2080). So, you're the one contradicting your own church. See what happens when you study Scripture? 
Robert: No. I'm not confused at all. I just don't make a mountain out if a mole hill as you do.

 




 

 
 

About The Author

Matt Slick is the President and Founder of the Christian Apologetics and Research Ministry.