But how would this conform with the passage where Jesus tells us to take our disputes "to the church"? And if someone refuses to listen to the church, we should treat him as a "publican"? Why would He not send Christians to "the Church" to settle disputes if, in some sense, it were not the Truth? After all, he could have told us to take our disagreements to Scripture.
Do you mean to imply the Church is the "one and only" way to settle disputes?
15 "If your brother sins against you, go and tell him his fault, between you and him alone. If he listens to you, you have gained your brother.
16 But if he does not listen, take one or two others along with you, that every word may be confirmed by the evidence of two or three witnesses.
17 If he refuses to listen to them, tell it to the church; and if he refuses to listen even to the church, let him be to you as a Gentile and a tax collector.
18 Truly, I say to you, whatever you bind on earth shall be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven.
19 Again I say to you, if two of you agree on earth about anything they ask, it will be done for them by my Father in heaven.
20 For where two or three are gathered in my name, there am I in the midst of them."
Yes, the Church is important but it is not the one and only authority.
BTW Jesus, speaking to all the disciples, gave each of them the power to "bind" and "loose".
If the dispute was sent to the Church who would hear the argument?
1 Timothy 3:
1 The saying is sure: If any one aspires to the office of bishop, he desires a noble task.
2 Now a bishop must be above reproach, the husband of one wife, temperate, sensible, dignified, hospitable, an apt teacher,
3 no drunkard, not violent but gentle, not quarrelsome, and no lover of money.
4 He must manage his own household well, keeping his children submissive and respectful in every way;
There would be nobody in Church qualified to hear our dispute.
To: OLD REGGIE
The passage means that a bishop cannot have more than one wife. It doesn't mean that a bishop must be married.
Whether or not priests marry has always been a matter of Church discipline, not dogma. And there are married priests in the Latin rite today, mostly converts from Anglicanism. In the eastern Catholic church priests are allowed to marry or, if they enter the priesthood single, they must remain single. Latin rite bishops are single, in imitation of the Apostles. I think the same holds true for bishops in the eastern rites.
If Jesus tells us to take our disagreements to the church, he must be talking about a visible, discernable church. Otherwise He'd be speaking nonsense. A gathering of two or more people in Jesus' name does not constitute the church. Even the passage doesn't imply that.
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