Skip to comments.Who’s in Charge Here? The Illusions of Church Infallibility
Posted on 06/13/2012 2:59:02 PM PDT by Gamecock
In my experience with those who wrestle with conversion to Roman Catholicismat least those who have professed faith in the gospel, the driving theological issue is authority. How can I be certain that what I believe is true? The gospel of free grace through the justification of sinners in Christ alone moves to the back seat. Instead of the horse, it becomes the cart. Adjustments are made in their understanding of the gospel after accepting Romes arguments against sola scriptura. I address these remarks to friends struggling with that issue.
Reformation Christians can agree with Augustine when he said that he would never have known the truth of Gods Word apart from the catholic church. As the minister of salvation, the church is the context and means through which we come to faith and are kept in the faith to the end. When Philip found an Ethiopian treasury secretary returning from Jerusalem reading Isaiah 53, he inquired, Do you understand what you are reading? How can I, the official replied, unless someone guides me? (Ac 8:30-31). Explaining the passage in the light of its fulfillment in Christ, Philip baptized the man who then went on his way rejoicing (v 39).
Philip did not have to be infallible; he only had to communicate with sufficient truth and clarity the infallible Word.
For many, this kind of certainty, based on a text, is not adequate. We have to knowreally knowthat what we believe is an infallible interpretation of an ultimate authority. The churches of the Reformation confess that even though some passages are more difficult to understand, the basic narratives, doctrines and commands of Scriptureespecially the message of Christ as that unfolds from Genesis to Revelationis so clearly evident that even the unlearned can grasp it.
For the Reformers, sola scriptura did not mean that the church and its official summaries of Scripture (creeds, confessions, catechisms, and decisions in wider assemblies) had no authority. Rather, it meant that their ministerial authority was dependent entirely on the magisterial authority of Scripture. Scripture is the master; the church is the minister.
The following theses summarize some of the issues that people should wrestle with before embracing a Roman Catholic perspective on authority.
1. The Reformers did not separate sola scriptura (by Scripture alone) from solo Christo (Christ alone), sola gratia (by grace alone), sola fide (through faith alone). As Herman Bavinck said, Faith in Scripture rises or falls with faith in Christ. Revealed from heaven, the gospel message itself (Christ as the central content of Scripture) is as much the basis for the Bibles authority as the fact that it comes from the Father through the inspiration of the Spirit. Jesus Christ, raised on the third day, certified his divine authority. Furthermore, he credited the Old Testament writings as scripture, equating the words of the prophets with the very word of God himself and commissioned his apostles to speak authoritatively in his name. Their words are his words; those who receive them also receive the Son and the Father. So Scripture is the authoritative Word of God because it comes from the unerring Father, concerning the Son, in the power of the Spirit. Neither the authority of the Bible nor that of the church can stand apart from the truth of Christ as he is clothed in his gospel.
2. Every covenant is contained in a canon (like a constitution). The biblical canon is the norm for the history of Gods saving purposes in Christ under the old and new covenants. The Old Testament canon closed with the end of the prophetic era, so that Jesus could mark a sharp division between Scripture and the traditions of the rabbis (Mk 7:8). The New Testament canon was closed at the end of the apostolic era, so that even during that era the Apostle Paul could warn the Corinthians against the super-apostles by urging, Do not go beyond what is written (1 Co 4:6). While the apostles were living, the churches were to maintain the traditions even as I delivered them to you (1 Co 11:2), either by our spoken word or by our letter (2 Th 2:15). There were indeed written and unwritten traditions in the apostolic church, but only those that eventually found their way by the Spirits guidance into the New Testament are now for us the apostolic canon. The apostles (extraordinary ministers) laid the foundation and after them workers (ordinary ministers) build on that foundation (1 Co 3:10). The apostles could appeal to their own eye-witness, direct, and immediate vocation given to them by Christ, while they instructed ordinary pastors (like Timothy) to deliver to others what they had received from the apostles. As Calvin noted, Rome and the Anabaptists were ironically similar in that they affirmed a continuing apostolic office. In this way, both in effect made Gods Word subordinate to the supposedly inspired prophets and teachers of today.
3. Just as the extraordinary office of prophets and apostles is qualitatively distinct from that of ordinary ministers, the constitution (Scripture) is qualitatively distinct from the Spirit-illumined but non-inspired courts (tradition) that interpret it. Thus, Scripture is magisterial in its authority, while the churchs tradition of interpretation is ministerial.
4. To accept these theses is to embrace sola scriptura, as the Reformation understood it.
5. This is precisely the view that we find in the church fathers. First, it is clear enough from their descriptions (e.g., the account in Eusebius) that the fathers did not create the canon but received and acknowledged it. (Even Peter acknowledged Pauls writings as Scripture in 2 Peter 3:16, even though Paul clearly says in Galatians that he did not receive his gospel from or seek first the approval of any of the apostles, since he received it directly from Christ.) The criteria they followed indicates this: To be recognized as Scripture, a purported book had to be well-attested as coming from the apostolic circle. Those texts that already had the widest and earliest acceptance in public worship were easily recognized by the time Athanasius drew up the first list of all 27 NT books in 367. Before this even, many of these books were being quoted as normative scripture by Clement of Rome, Origin, Irenaeus, Tertullian, and others. Of his list, Athanasius said that holy Scripture is of all things most sufficient for us (NPNF2, 4:23). Also in the 4th century Basil of Caesarea instructed, Believe those things which are written; the things which are not written, seek not It is a manifest defection from the faith, a proof of arrogance, either to reject anything of what is written, or to introduce anything that is not (On the Holy Spirit, NPNF2, 8:41). Second, although the fathers also acknowledge tradition as a ministerially authoritative interpreter, they consistently yield ultimate obedience to Scripture. For example, Augustine explains that the Nicene Creed is binding because it summarizes the clear teaching of Scripture (On the Nicene Creed: A Sermon to the Catechumens, 1).
6. Roman Catholic scholars acknowledge that the early Christian community in Rome was not unified under a single head. (Paul, for example, reminded Timothy of the gift he was given when the presbytery laid its hands on him in his ordination: 1 Tim 4:14). In fact, in the Roman Catholic-Anglican dialogue the Vatican acknowledged that the New Testament texts offer no sufficient basis for papal primacy and that they contain no explicit record of a transmission of Peters leadership (Authority in the Church II, ARCIC, para 2, 6). So one has to accept papal authority exclusively on the basis of subsequent (post-apostolic) claims of the Roman bishop, without scriptural warrant. There is no historical succession from Peter to the bishops of Rome. First, as Jerome observed in the 4th-century, Before attachment to persons in religion was begun at the instigation of the devil, the churches were governed by the common consultation of the elders, and Jerome goes so far as to suggest that the introduction of bishops as a separate order above the presbyters was more from custom than from the truth of an arrangement by the Lord (cited in the Second Helvetic Confession, Ch 18). Interestingly, even the current pope acknowledges that presbyter and episcipos were used interchangeably in the New Testament and in the earliest churches (Called to Communion, 122-123).
7. Ancient Christian leaders of the East gave special honor to the bishop of Rome, but considered any claim of one bishops supremacy to be an act of schism. Even in the West such a privilege was rejected by Gregory the Great in the sixth century. He expressed offense at being addressed by a bishop as universal pope: a word of proud address that I have forbidden .None of my predecessors ever wished to use this profane word ['universal'] .But I say it confidently, because whoever calls himself universal bishop or wishes to be so called, is in his self-exaltation Antichrists precursor, for in his swaggering he sets himself before the rest (Gregory I, Letters; tr. NPNF 2 ser.XII. i. 75-76; ii. 170, 171, 179, 166, 169, 222, 225).
8. Nevertheless, building on the claims of Roman bishops Leo I and Galsius in the 5th century, later bishops of Rome did claim precisely this proud address. Declaring themselves Christs replacement on earth, they claimed sovereignty (plenitude of power) over the world to govern the earthly and heavenly kingdoms. At the Council of Reims (1049) the Latin Church claimed for the pope the title pontifex universalisprecisely the title identified by Gregory as identifying one who in his self-exaltation [is] Antichrists precursor . Is Pope Gregory the Great correct, or are his successors?
9. Papal pretensions contributed to the Great Schism in 1054, when the churches of the East formally excommunicated the Church of Rome, and the pope reacted in kind.
10. The Avignon Papacy (1309-76) relocated the throne to France and was followed by the Western Schism (1378-1417), with three rival popes excommunicating each other and their sees. No less than the current Pope wrote, before his enthronement, For nearly half a century, the Church was split into two or three obediences that excommunicated one another, so that every Catholic lived under excommunication by one pope or another, and, in the last analysis, no one could say with certainty which of the contenders had right on his side. The Church no longer offered certainty of salvation; she had become questionable in her whole objective formthe true Church, the true pledge of salvation, had to be sought outside the institution (Principles of Catholic Theology, 196).
11. Medieval debates erupted over whether Scripture, popes or councils had the final say. Great theologians like Duns Scotus and Pierre DAilly favored sola scriptura. Papalists argued that councils had often erred and contradicted themselves, so you have to have a single voice to arbitrate the infallible truth. Conciliarists had no trouble pointing out historical examples of popes contradicting each other, leading various schisms, and not even troubling to keep their unbelief and reckless immorality private. Only at the Council of Trent was the papalist party officially affirmed in this dispute.
12. Papal claims were only strengthened in reaction to the Reformation, all the way to the promulgation of papal infallibility at the First Vatican Council in 1870. At that Council, Pope Pius IX could even respond to modern challenges to his authority by declaring, I am tradition.
13. Though inspired by God, Scripture cannot be sufficient. It is a dark, obscure, and mysterious book (rendered more so by Romes allegorizing exegesis). An infallible canon needs an infallible interpreter. This has been Romes argument. The insufficiency of Scripture rests on its lack of clarity. True it is that the Bible is a collection of texts spread across many centuries, brimming with a variety of histories, poetry, doctrines, apocalyptic, and laws. However, wherever it has been translated in the vernacular and disseminated widely, barely literate people have been able to understand its central message. Contrast this with the libraries full of decreetals and encyclicals, councilor decisions and counter-decisions, bulls and promulgations. Any student of church history recognizes that in this case the teacher is often far more obscure than the text. Its no wonder that Rome defines faith as fides implicita: taking the churchs word for it. For Rome, faith is not trust in Jesus Christ according to the gospel, but yielding assent and obedience unreservedly simply to everything the church teaches as necessary to salvation. There are many hazards associated with embracing an infallible text without an infallible interpreter. However, the alternative is not greater certainty and clarity about the subject matter, but a sacrifice of the intellect and an abandonment of ones personal responsibility for ones commitments to the decisions and acts of others.
14. Those of us who remain Reformed must examine the Scriptures and the relevant arguments before concluding that Romes claims are not justified and its teaching is at variance with crucial biblical doctrines. A Protestant friend in the midst of being swayed by Romes arguments exclaims, Thats exactly why I cant be a Protestant anymore. Without an infallible magisterium everyone believes whatever he chooses. At this point, its important to distinguish between a radical individualism (believing whatever one chooses) and a personal commitment in view of ones ultimate authority. My friend may be under the illusion that his or her decision is different from that, but its not. In the very act of making the decision to transfer ultimate authority from Scripture to the magisterium, he or she is weighing various biblical passages and theological arguments. The goal (shifting the burden of responsibility from oneself to the church) is contradicted by the method. At this point, one cannot simply surrender to a Reformed church or a Roman church; they must make a decision after careful personal study. Were both in the same shoes.
15. Most crucially, Romes ambitious claims are tested by its faithfulness to the gospel. If an apostle could pronounce his anathema on anyoneincluding himself or an angel from heavenwho taught a gospel different from the one he brought to them (Gal 1:8-9), then surely any minister or church body after the apostles is under that threat. First, Paul was not assuming that the true church is beyond the possibility of error. Second, he placed himself under the authority of that Word. Just read the condemnations from the Council of Trent below. Do they square with the clear and obvious teaching of Scripture? If they do not, then the choice to be made is between the infallible writings of the apostles and those after the apostles and since who claim to be the churchs infallible teachers.
As I have pointed out in previous posts, the frustration with the state of contemporary Protestantism is understandable. I feel it every day. Yet those who imagine that they will escape the struggle between the already and the not yet, the certainty of a promise and the certainty of possession, the infallibility of Gods Word and the fallibility of its appointed teachers, are bound to be disappointed wherever they land. As Calvin counseled on the matter, Scripture alone is sufficient; better to limp along this path than to dash with all speed outside it.
I believe in the Infallibility of the Roman Catholic Pope when speaking Ex Cathedra on matters of Faith and Morals.
Some thoughts on folks crossing the Tiber.
Yeah, I remember when he got crushed in a debate on sola scriptura in front of a Protestant audience at an Evangelical church. Even that church admitted Horton lost.
Here’s the debate: https://store.patrickmadrid.com/what-still-divides-us-debate-mp3/
Horton was so embarrassed about his loss that he only played the Protestant side of the audio on his radio show.
It’s incredible that Roman Catholics in this era actually believe that. Do you know any Christian history other than what you’ve learned from other Roman Catholics?
“As Calvin counseled on the matter, Scripture alone is sufficient; better to limp along this path than to dash with all speed outside it.”
Now there’s an authority! His most ardent adherents were the first and last American witch-burners (outside Islam, of course). No, that surely was never his his intention; and no, he wasn’t wrong on everything. Just a whole lot more than an already 1600-year old Roman church. And, just an aside, his name wasn’t actually Calvin; it was Chauvin. The OED doesn’t go into it; but the Puritains could have written the book on chauvinists long before Nicolas Chauvin was born. Just sayin’.
When were Americans burning witches?
That being so would lead to the conclusion that any doctrine, however long held and cherished, must be examined by the light of Scripture. Any teaching of truth would also have to agree with other Scriptural truths or it would be drifting away from that infallible standard.
And such doctrines or teachings would by necessity be understandable to the instructed. One could not be “sanctified by the truth” and at the same time believe falsehood.
“The gospel of free grace “
Grace isn’t free - it cost the Savior his life.
It is offered completely apart from works and based entirely upon Christ’s eternal life, laid down to pay for sin.
Should I have said ‘America-located Calvinists’?
I believe the Reformers quickly found a doctrine of literal sola scriptura insufficient. Hence their creeds, confessions and their authors and editors. The Reformed equivalent of tradition and Magisterium.
You mean some Brits hanging a few witches?
Yes, indeed, Brits and a few Dutch who arrived with them. But ‘American’ or even ‘America’ isn’t the operative word here. It was used simply to demonstrate how far off the beaten path (the western hemisphere, in the 17th century, for goodness’ sake) Calvinists had strayed in pursuit of what they believed Calvin taught (part of which was sola scriptura), answerable to no higher authority than their own obviously faulty understanding of the scriptures.
Protestants did create the greatest nation that man has ever created though, so when you point out imperfections like a British town hanging a few witches before the United States even existed, you don’t need to smear America.
The fallacy here is to assume that the Protestant doctrine of "faith alone" is true in the first place. Even without recourse to Catholic teaching I find the Protestant position ridiculous and contrary to the Scripture.
Another fallacy is that Catholics do not honestly derive their teaching from Scripture. Any familiarity with Catholic theology would show that this untrue. So when faced with a Catholic interpretation of Scripture and a Protestant one, each claiming to be derived from Scripture, how is one to know the truth? Without the charism of infallibility granted to the Church by Christ himself, we would be hopelessly left with conflicting interpretation that could never claim greater authority than the other.
Then would you please show us from scripture proof of the bodily assumption of Mary? Maybe you could show us any positive comments from scripture about a vicar or substitute of Christ.
Christians created this greatest of all nations. Protestants disagreed with each other every bit as much as they disagreed with Rome which may well be why religious freedom ranked so highly. But, as of this moment, it seems only the Roman Church is still interested in protecting that particular freedom.
Lastly, if you can read ‘smear[ing] America’ into anything I’ve written here or anywhere else, you really may need an interpreter for scripture.
If Rome infallibly defines that she is assuredly infallible whenever she speaks in accordance with her infallibly defined (scope and subject-based) criteria, which means that her decree that she is infallible, is infallible, then she is assuredly incontestable infallible, and all the argumentation in the world cannot impugn her autocratic declaration.
You should also know that being the stewards and interpreters of Holy Writ, and being the recipient its promises of Divine presence, guidance, and perpetuation and having historical decent means you have assuredly infallibility, just as Israel's leadership did. (Lv. 10:11; Dt. 4:31; 17:8-13; Is. 41:10, Ps. 89:33,34; cf. Mt. 23:2 etc.)
And that such is needed for writings to be established as Divine Scripture, and thus none were until the church of Rome came along, and who thus also provided an infallible, indisputable complete canon over 1400 years after the last book was written.
And that such affirmed magisterium disallows the authority of an Itinerant Preacher who has not their sanction, (Mk. 11:28-33) who established His claims upon Scripture and the power of God it testifies to, (Jn. 10: 37; 5:36,39; Mt. 22:29; Lk. 24:44, etc.) and from reproving those by Scripture who sit in the seat of Moses, (Mk. 7:3-16), much less God preserving faith and fulfilling promises by raising up men from without the official magisterium to take their place. For that would create division, and could allow the same to happen to them in order for Scriptural truth and the people of God to be preserved.
Moreover, you should know that Sola Scriptura cannot be found in Scripture, even though it is abundantly evidenced to have been the standard for obedience and testing and establishing truth claims, and thus evidences and provides for writings being established as Scripture based upon their Divine qualities and attestation (thus most of Scripture was established as such by the time of Christ), as well as (according to principle) recognizing an absence of any like unto ot cessation
Furthermore, you should also know that rather than establishment and assurance of truth claims coming from Scripture and the attestation it promised, (Acts 2:14:-36; 4:33; 5:12; 7:1-53; 13:16-41; 15:6-21;17:2,11; 18:28; 28:23; Rm. 15:19; 2Cor. 12:12, etc.) as that requires fallible human reasoning, such assurance can only come from the assuredly infallible magisterium, which has assuredly infallibly declared its teaching is protected from that infirmity.
Finally, you should know that since you have no assuredly infallible interpreter for your supreme authority (Scripture), then you have divisions, even if overall there is a core unity, while Catholics really have Unity, even though RCs lack an assuredly infallible interpreter for their supreme authority, resulting in confusion even as to how many infallible pronouncements there are, and the meaning of both infallible and non infallible teachings, and who show greater disunity in many basic practices and moral views than evangelical type churches. And that Catholicism has many formal and informal divisions, the difference being one of degrees, based upon their infallible interpretation of Tradition, Scripture and History. See also 355 of 361
and Disagreements under different models of supreme authorityl
Horrors! Not only are his followers ardent witch-burners (though obviously very poor ones, since no one in the United States ever successfully burned a witch), but they have time-travel technology and are keeping it from the rest of us!
And, just an aside, his name wasnt actually Calvin; it was Chauvin.
How dare anyone Anglicize his name? Burn him in effigy!
Protestant Christians created America.
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Yes, I have read a great deal of Early Church history, and I know that the Christian Church, or at least the majority of it has been hierarchical since the end of the first century with Clement and certainly by 50 years later with Justin Martyr. It is nonsense to suggest that Early Christians believed in sola scripture when they did not have much scripture to be solo about until the 4th Century. And yes, the very cannon that not only does not comment on solo scriptura was compiled by none other than the Roman Church in its councils. That same Roman Church recognized very early that when Christians interpret scripture without any authority then what you get is a “my interpretation is as good as yours” result. Also, one must recognize that the Roman Church is almost 2K years old and comprises 1/6 of humanity. You have to ask yourself, would our Lord allow 1/6 of humanity to pursue a falsehood in His name? Not likely.
However, this is a very old and tired argument and we must all be united against an evil (Godless humanism) that will destroy all Christians if we are not together. Anyone who accepts Jesus and believes in The Trinity is not the enemy to another Christian, in my opinion.
The fallacy here is to assume that the Protestant doctrine of "faith alone" is true in the first place.
Are you aware that this doctrine historically did not mean a faith that was alone, but that the kind of faith that is counted for righteousness (Rm. 4:1-5ff) is one that effects obedience towards its Object, the Lord Jesus? See http://peacebyjesus.witnesstoday.org/Reformation_faith_works.html And which faith-works justify one as having saving, complete faith?
Another fallacy is that Catholics do not honestly derive their teaching from Scripture. "Without the charism of infallibility granted to the Church by Christ himself, we would be hopelessly left with conflicting interpretation that could never claim greater authority than the other."
Questions for your consideration:
1. Are infallible decrees dependent upon the weight of Scriptural warrant for their veracity?
2. Upon what basis do you have assurance for the veracity of such a teaching as the Assumption of Mary?
3. If an assuredly infallible magisterium is necessary for the authority of truth claims, how were writings established as Scripture, and truth preserved, before there was an assuredly infallible magisterium of men?
4. Does being the magisterium with historical decent over the people of God, who were the instruments and stewards of Divine revelation, and recipient of Divine promises of presence and preservation, render them assured infallible?
5. Did you make an infallible decision to submit to the assuredly infallible magisterium of Rome?
6. Do you have assured infallibility to interpret the teachings of the assuredly infallible magisterium of Rome?
7. Can you tell me for sure how many infallible decrees there are in total?
8. How many texts of Scripture has Rome infallible defined?
9. Outside core essentials, if the Roman magisterium prevents different interpretations, why is it that Roman Catholics can and do disagree about many things, especially as to what Scripture texts mean?
10. Under the Catholic model of sola ecclesia, in which the Church is effectively the supreme authority (defining sources of Truth and their meaning), why is it that there are multiple divisions, even as to something so basic as papal infallibility, though they otherwise share a substantial unity?
11. How is it that SS-type evangelicals who are hopelessly left with conflicting interpretations, overall hold to core essentials, manifesting a common front against those who deny them (cults), and also testify to a substantial unity in moral views (in many things more than most Catholics), while enjoying a essential spiritual unity based upon a shared Scripture-base conversion and relationship with the Lord Jesus that transcends denominations, though they disagree about many things?
12. Why is it that under sola ecclesia, which model Rome shares with cults, and in which men, not Scripture, is really the supreme authority (as infallibly defining evidence as supporting their claim to be the the one true Church), you have the most critical salvific deviations?
The differenc4e between you and I is that I have no axe to grind based on bigotry, and I don't believe foxxes book of CR@P.
“You have to ask yourself, would our Lord allow 1/6 of humanity to pursue a falsehood in His name? Not likely.”
“Enter ye in at the strait gate: for wide is the gate, and broad is the way, that leadeth to destruction, and many there be which go in thereat: “ (Matthew 7:13)
“Many will say to me in that day, Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in thy name? and in thy name have cast out devils? and in thy name done many wonderful works? And then will I profess unto them, I never knew you: depart from me, ye that work iniquity. “ (Matthew 7:22-23)
“For many shall come in my name, saying, I am Christ; and shall deceive many. “ (Matthew 24:5)
“We hold upon this earth the place of God Almighty... Pope Leo XIII, in Praeclara Gratulationis Publica June 20, 1894
As for history, you must compete with the EOs, and scholars:
Cynical Bear: You asked a question so I am going to answer. I have not got into these same debates over and over again with you fundie Protestants but the tone of your statement and question sort of motivated me to jump in again. My post is somewhat long, but believe answers your question and clearly shows that The Catholic Church’s teaching on the Assumption is in line with Both Sacred Scripture and Sacred Tradition and supported by the teachings of the orthodox Early Church Fathers, who btw, defined the NT canon.
Is there direct statements saying “Mary was assumed into Heaven”? No, is the doctrine contradictory to Sacred Scripture? No. Is it consistent with Sacred Scripture and has as its foundation, a Christological Reference? The answer is absolutlely yes.
With respect to the Assumption,The OT calls Eve the Mother of the Living (Gen 3:20). However, we also know that threw Adam and her sin, death came to all her descendants. In the second century, Church Fathers began to see that the Eve-Mary parallel which suggests that Mary and a role in salvation history in relation to Christ, just has Eve had a role in the fall of the human race in relation to Adam. St. Justin Martyr in his dialogue with Trypho [circa 155 AD] is the first to actually propose the Doctrine of Mary as the New Eve. Fr. Luigi Lamberto in his work Mary and the Fathers of the Church, published by Ignatius Press notes that Justin wanted to show how the Lord had decided to accomplish the salvation of man by following the same procedure by which sin had been committed and caused the downfall of man (p. 47). He points out that the Eve-Mary parallel had its foundation in the Pauline doctrine of Christ as the second Adam (1 Cor 15: 21-22). St. Justin Martyr writes
The Son of God became man through a Virgin, so that the disobedience caused by the serpent might be destroyed in the same way it begun. For Eve, who was virgin and undefiled, gave birth to disobedience and death after listening to the serpents words. But the Virgin Mary conceived faith and joy; for what the Angel Gabriel brought her the glad tidings that the Holy Spirit would come upon her and the power of the Most High would overshadow her, so that the Holy One born of her would be the Son of God, she answered, Let it be done to me according to your word (Lk 1:38). Thus was born of her the Child about whom so many Scriptures speak, as we have shown. Through him, God crushed the serpent along with those angels and men who had become like the serpent. (Dialogue with Trypho 100)
St. Irenaeus of Lyons, the great defender of orthodoxy against the Gnostic Heretics of the 2nd century, further develops the idea of Mary as the New Eve, which again St. Justin Martyr began to develop in 155. Fr. Matero notes that St. Irenaeus first recapitulated salvation history in Christ by appealing back to St. Pauls Letter to the Romans 5: 12, where it states the whole human race fell into sin because of the man Adam, and then it was necessary that Gods son should become man and thus become the foundation of a new humanity. He then provides the following two quotes from Irenaeus, 1) that recapitulates Christ as the new Adam and 2) that recapitulates Mary as the new Eve.
(1) Irenaeus writes When the Son of God took flesh and became man; he recapitulated in himself the long history of men, procuring for us the reward of salvation, so that in Christ Jesus we might recover what we had lost in Adam, namely, the image and likeness of God. For since it was not possible for man, once wounded and broken by disobedience, to be refashioned and to obtain the victors palm, and since it was equally impossible for him to receive salvation, as he had fallen under the power of sin, the Son of God accomplished both of those tasks. He Gods Word, came down from the Father and became flesh; he abased himself even unto death and brought the economy of our salvation to its completion. (Against Heresies 3, 18)
(2) After recapitulating Christ as the new Adam, Irenaeus writes Even though Eve had Adam for a husband, she was still a virgin .By disobeying, she became the cause of death for herself and for the whole human race. In the same way, Mary, though she also had a husband, was still a virgin, and by obeying, she became the cause of salvation for herself and the whole human race The knot of Eves disobedience was untied by Marys obedience. What Eve bound through her unbelief, Mary loosened by faith. (Against Heresies 3: 22)
St. Irenaeus further writes and points out that only the Gnostic Heretics ignore Gods economy of salvation, in which Mary had a unique role in playing since she gave birth to Christ, the word made flesh. Irenaeus writes:
Eve was seduced by the word of the [fallen] angel and transgressed God s word, so that she fled from him. In the same way, [Mary] was evangelized by the word of an angel and obeyed Gods word, so that she carried him [within her]. And while the former was seduced into disobeying God, the latter was persuaded to obey God, so that the Virgin Mary became the advocate of the virgin Eve. And just has the human race was bound to death because of a virgin, so it was set free from death by a Virgin, since the disobedience of one virgin was counterbalanced by the Virgins obedience.
If then, the first-made mans sin was mended by the right conduct of the firstborn Son [of God], and if the serpents cunning was bested by the simplicity of the dove [Mary], and if the chains that held us bound to death have been broken, then the heretics are fools; they are ignorant of Gods economy, and they are unaware of his economy for [the salvation of man. (Against Heresies 5: 19)
Finally, St. Irenaeus develops the recapitulation theme to its fulfillment when he writes:
Adam had to be recapitulated in Christ, so that death might be swallowed up in immortality, and Eve [had to be recapitulated] in Mary, so that the Virgin, having become another virgins advocate, might destroy and abolish one virgins disobedience by the obedience of another virgin. (Proof of Apostolic Preaching 33)
In summary, there was a well developed doctrine of Marys unique role in salvation history way before the New Testament Canon was settled in the 4th century Church Councils at Hippo and Carthage, 393 and 397, respectively. The second century testimony of two of the greatest orthodox Church Fathers, Justin and Irenaeus support the position that Mary was chosen by God to be the means through which the word became flesh and made his dwelling among us (c.f. John 1:14).
The Catholic Church states “Mary, in whom the Lord Himself has just made his dwelling, is the daughter of Zion in person, the Ark of the Covenant, the place where the Glory of God dwells. She is the “dwelling of God...with men” [CCC #2676].
Now, where did the Catholic Church get this notion of Mary as the Ark of the Covenant, looking at the OT through the correct scriptural interpretation perspective of “Typology”, signs and events of the OT prefigure Christ and events in the NT. So, in Exodus 40: 34-35, the Ark is stated to be the dwelling place of God’s presence which prefigures the Angel Gabriel stating that the Holy Spirit would overshadow Mary and her Womb is the the place of the presence of God in the Flesh, i.e. Christ. [Luke 1:35].
Continuing this theological connection, the Ark contained the 10 Commandments, the Manna and Aaron’s rod that came back to life [Duet 10:3-5, Hebrews 9:4] which of course prefigures the Incarnation of Christ, the Word of God in the Flesh, the Bread of Life [See John Chapter 6] and the branch that would come back to life [Resurrection of Christ] [c.f. Luke 1:35]
The connection between the Ark travelling to the coountry of Jodah [2 Samuel 6:1-11] and Mark traveling to Hill Country of Juda to see Elizabeth [Luke 1:39], King David jumped for Joy when the Ark arrived [2 Samuel 6:1-11] prefigures John the Baptist leaping in the womb of Elizabeth [Luke 1:43] when Mary carrying Christ in her womb appeared, David shouts for Joy in the presence of the Ark, Elizabeth does the same [cf. 2 Sam 6:15; Luke 1:42], David asks how is it the Ark should come to me, Elizabeth asks a similar question “Why is it that the Mother of my Lord Should come to me? [cf 2 Sam 6:9, Luke 1:43], the Ark remains with David for three months, Mary with Elizabeth for 3 months [2 Sam 6:11; Luke 1:56]
Psalm 132:8 states “Arise Lord, come to your resting place, you and your majestic Ark” and Revelation 11:9 indicates that John sees the Ark in Heaven, which of course follows into Revelation 12 which speaks of a Woman in Heaven”
Now, there a consensus among the Early Church Fathers that clearly interpreted Mary as the Ark of the Covenant, consistent with the CCC statement above which is consistent with the Assumption of Mary. I have attached the links which cleary show Mary as the Ark and thus her Assumption into Mary, rather than contradicting Sacred Scripture, is entirely consistent with it.
In what way is the Assumption inconsistent with Scripture? Elijah apparently was so assumed, as was Enoch, and perhaps Moses. Burial sites were important even to the Jews, and no place has ever claimed to have the grave of Mary. That even though she was already very important to the early Church as the Virgin Mother of Jesus.
From The Prophecies of Marie Julie Jahenny....
“A horrific, supernatural Chastisement will befall the Earth from the very Hand of God, sparing neither the good nor the bad in order to purge the world of all the evil and inequity worked upon it, particularly by those who wreaked havoc on the Catholic Church.”
I have affirmation of this while attending Adoration and don’t know dates or time
I came into the Church kicking and fighting after 46 years as an Evangelical. However, once I got in I was amazed and embarrassed. Confession has allowed Christ to transform my life. The Eucharist has allowed me to truly worship God for the first time in my life.
Everything the Church teaches is reasonable. Mary was a human but given the grace to be a holy tabernacle for God incarnate. Why is it such a scandal to ask those in heaven to pray for us?
Apostolic authority is all over the place in the New Testament. Matthew 16, Matthew 18, Luke 10:16, Acts Chapter 1, Acts Chapter 15 reads like an Ecumenical council to me.
The Catholic Church is the Church that has kept the ancient tradition going back to the apostles. Come on in. The water is great.
I really didnt need to read any past that statement. In the second century? Seriously? If you read my question I asked about the bodily assumption of Mary with proof from scripture. You didnt do that. In the rest of your post you only attempt to show RCC justification for the veneration of Mary with scripture that doesnt support the contention. I realize that Catholics hold the church fathers on the same level as the apostles but no where in scripture is that supported.
As to the level of veneration of Mary there is no support in scripture. In Luke we are given Jesus statement as to the veneration of Mary.
Luke 11:27-28 27 And it came to pass, as he spake these things, a certain woman of the company lifted up her voice, and said unto him, Blessed is the womb that bare thee, and the paps which thou hast sucked. 28 But he said, Nay rather, (Greek Menounge: nay surely, nay rather) blessed are they that hear the word of God, and keep it.
The words spoken to Mary were no different then were spoken to Jael in Judges. In fact, Jael was called blessed above women. Mary was called blessed among women.
Luke 1:28 And the angel came in unto her, and said, Hail, thou that art highly favoured, the Lord is with thee: blessed art thou among women.
Judges 5:24 Blessed above women shall Jael the wife of Heber the Kenite be,
Those words were also spoken of Noah, Moses, and David.
The Catholic veneration of Mary is unscriptural and conjured up along the lines of pagan worship of the queen of heaven condemned by God. There is no co-redemtrix with Christ. The entire Mariology concept is blasphemy.
The RCC interpretation of the woman in Revelation is in error. The woman in Revelation 12 is Israel.
You havent answered the question I posted to prove from scripture the bodily assumption of Mary. Mary wasnt even mentioned in scripture after the ascension of Christ and as I showed from Luke Jesus wouldnt support the veneration of Mary.
This is a crucial rule of thumb for ANY self-proclaimed Christian church. If what they preach about the Gospel is not according to the clear words of Scripture, then everything else is suspect also. They may even have many of the other doctrines of the faith correct, but if they stray away from the gospel of salvation by grace through faith, then they are preaching an accursed gospel. Just as this article brings out, Paul placed HIMSELF under the same yardstick. That says to me that what Scripture says is the plan of salvation IS what God says it is and no one can pervert it and stay true.
That was a good article and I saved it to my Favorites. I expect the hounds will be howling over it soon. This may be another 1000+ thread for you! ;o)
LOL Can anyone claim infallibility like the RCC magesterium did? I think Mohamed, John Smith and some others have done it. I know that I will just stay with Christ in us and call it good. If Christ is in us than Im calling the guy with the pointy hat a charlatan and imposter.
Apparently you believe the Christians at those councils were what we call today Roman Catholics. I don’t.
So merely disagreeing with Catholics is bigotry? Talk about sophistry.
My problems with Catholicism are based first and foremost on my understanding of Scripture, not history and certainly not John Foxe’s Book of Martyrs. I believe that when I stand in the courts of heaven I must be clothed in Christ’s robe of perfect righteousness because I have no righteousness of my own to offer. I’m a sinner whose very best is filthy rags in the sight of God, so my best works can do nothing but damn my soul. I simply believe Scripture when it says, “For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: Not of works, lest any man should boast.”
I believe the Apostle Paul when he wrote, “Therefore by the deeds of the law there shall no flesh be justified in his sight: for by the law is the knowledge of sin.”
I believe there is one mediator, Jesus Christ and Jesus Christ alone. “For there is one God, and one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus.”
I believe there is only one vicar of Christ on earth, the Holy Spirit.
Christ is my high priest, not the sinful man sitting on the Roman throne.
I believe the universal catholic church is the bride of Christ and He is the head of His church.
There is one Holy Father and He’s God the Father, not the Bishop of Rome.
I believe only the Lord can speak or act infallibly.
I believe it’s utter blasphemy for any sinful son of Adam to take upon himself the names, duties, and characteristics of the three persons of the trinity.
I’ve got lots of other points of disagreement with Romanism besides their works righteousness and the papacy. I’ve got big problems with Mariology, Purgatory, Treasury of Merit, indulgences, transubstantiation, the mass, Roman idols and relics, the sacraments, etc. Unless the Lord changes your heart, we will never agree on history or theology, but I will pray for you.
The overwhelming majority were protestant, yes, but not exclusively. Even so, the only reason many of them came here in the first place was to escape the tyranny of other protestant religions, particularly in Britain. Charles Carroll, RC, signed the Declaration, but more importantly, his state, Maryland, under Catholic Lord Baltimore & family, because of the persecution of Catholics in Britain, became the first to grant complete religious freedom. Rhode Island followed suit two years later (when its founder fled puritanism in Massachusetts). And, despite the fact that they were influenced by Catholic and Protestant writers alike, the founders out-thought them all, producing a system that exceeded, exponentially, the sum of its parts.
Assumption and conjecture arent what Christ taught nor did the apostles. Christ Himself referred back to scripture to support what He taught as do I. Base your beliefs on conjecture and assumption if you will. Ill stay with scripture.
Your question about Mary is based on a false premise. The Bible itself makes no claim that all spiritual truth is limited to scripture. The authority of apostolic tradition and apostolic authority is all over the place in the New Testament.
Everything about Mary is reasonable if you take the time to actually study what the Church teaches rather than anti-Catholic sources. If Mary was given the grace to be the holy mother of God incarnate, it is reasonable she could have been taken like Enoch.
Hebrews 11:5 By faith Enoch was translated that he should not see death; and was not found, because God had translated him: for before his translation he had this testimony, that he pleased God. KJV
You would love being a Catholic.
Yeah America was pretty close to a 100% Protestant creation about as close as a thing could be to it.
Thats wrong on so many levels I wont even take up your time. The only reference is scripture to a vicar or stand in for Christ isnt anything I want to be associated with. The only references by God to a queen of heaven tells me that Catholicism is something I will only condemn and speak out against.
Your responses only highlight your ignorance of both scripture and what the Church teaches.
Jesus is the descendant and heir of King David. Mary is the mother of the King. The office of Queen Mother is all over the place in the Old Testament.
Everything the Church teaches about Mary isn’t about Mary but rather about Jesus and God’s plan for our salvation and sanctification.
A good analogy the Church uses is Jesus is like the sun and Mary is like the moon. Mary doesn’t generate any light on her own but only reflects (magnifies) the light of Christ.
Keep studying the Bible and the Holy Spirit will eventually open your eyes to the truth that Jesus established an authoritative Church on His apostles.
God bless you. I will pray for you tonight.
Jimmy Swaggart - Catholics are not Christians. They belong to a cult and nothing they do is biblical.
Caller - Does that mean that for the first 1,500 years after Christ, until the days of the Reformation, that all those people that you say were not Christian, went to hell?
Jimmy Swaggart - Francis, I think we’ve lost the telephone connection, can you go to the next caller.
I'm tired of this same old and tired argument about the Roman Church "giving" Christians the New Testament or that "Early Christians didn't have much Scripture to be solo about". In all the great deal of study of early church history, have you read anything like this:
We say that this immediate placing of the new books given the church under the seal of apostolic authority among the Scriptures already established as such, was inevitable. It is also historically evinced from the very beginning. Thus the apostle Peter, writing in A.D. 68, speaks of Pauls numerous letters not in contrast with the Scriptures, but as among the Scriptures and in contrast with the other Scriptures (II Pet. iii. 16) that is, of course, those of the Old Testament. In like manner the apostle Paul combines, as if it were the most natural thing in the world, the book of Deuteronomy and the Gospel of Luke under the common head of Scripture (I Tim. v. 18): For the Scripture saith, Thou shalt not muzzle the ox when he treadeth out the corn [Deut. xxv. 4]; and, The laborer is worthy of his hire (Luke x. 7). The line of such quotations is never broken in Christian literature. Polycarp (c. 12) in A.D. 115 unites the Psalms and Ephesians in exactly similar manner: In the sacred books, . . . as it is said in these Scriptures, Be ye angry and sin not, and Let not the sun go down upon your wrath. So, a few years later, the so-called second letter of Clement, after quoting Isaiah, adds (ii. 4): And another Scripture, however, says, I came not to call the righteous, but sinners quoting from Matthew, a book which Barnabas (circa 97-106 A.D.) had already adduced as Scripture. After this such quotations are common.
What needs emphasis at present about these facts is that they obviously are not evidences of a gradually-heightening estimate of the New Testament books, originally received on a lower level and just beginning to be tentatively accounted Scripture; they are conclusive evidences rather of the estimation of the New Testament books from the very beginning as Scripture, and of their attachment as Scripture to the other Scriptures already in hand. The early Christians did not, then, first form a rival canon of new books which came only gradually to be accounted as of equal divinity and authority with the old books; they received new book after new book from the apostolical circle, as equally Scripture with the old books, and added them one by one to the collection of old books as additional Scriptures, until at length the new books thus added were numerous enough to be looked upon as another section of the Scriptures.
The earliest name given to this new section of Scripture was framed on the model of the name by which what we know as the Old Testament was then known. Just as it was called The Law and the Prophets and the Psalms (or the Hagiographa), or more briefly The Law and the Prophets, or even more briefly still The Law; so the enlarged Bible was called The Law and the Prophets, with the Gospels and the Apostles (so Clement of Alexandria, Strom. vi. 11, 88; Tertullian, De Præs. Hær. 36), or most briefly The Law and the Gospel (so Claudius Apolinaris, Irenæus); while the new books apart were called The Gospel and the Apostles, or most briefly of all The Gospel. This earliest name for the new Bible, with all that it involves as to its relation to the old and briefer Bible, is traceable as far back as Ignatius (A.D. 115), who makes use of it repeatedly (e.g., ad Philad. 5; ad Smyrn. 7). In one passage he gives us a hint of the controversies which the enlarged Bible of the Christians aroused among the Judaizers (ad Philad. 6). When I heard some saying, he writes, Unless I find it in the Old [Books] I will not believe the Gospel, on my saying, It is written, they answered, That is the question. To me, however, Jesus Christ is the Old [Books]; his cross and death and resurrection, and the faith which is by him, the undefiled Old [Books] by which I wish, by your prayers, to be justified. The priests indeed are good, but the High Priest better, etc. Here Ignatius appeals to the Gospel as Scripture, and the Judaizers object, receiving from him the answer in effect which Augustine afterward formulated in the well-known saying that the New Testament lies hidden in the Old and the Old Testament is first made clear in the New. What we need now to observe, however, is that to Ignatius the New Testament was not a different book from the Old Testament, but part of the one body of Scripture with it; an accretion, so to speak, which had grown upon it.
This is the testimony of all the early witnesses even those which speak for the distinctively Jewish-Christian church. For example, that curious Jewish-Christian writing, The Testaments of the XII. Patriarchs (Benj. 11), tells us, under the cover of an ex post facto prophecy, that the work and word of Paul, i.e., confessedly the book of Acts and Pauls Epistles, shall be written in the Holy Books, i.e., as is understood by all, made a part of the existent Bible. So even in the Talmud, in a scene intended to ridicule a bishop of the first century, he is represented as finding Galatians by sinking himself deeper into the same Book which contained the Law of Moses (Babl. Shabbath, 116 a and b). The details cannot be entered into here. Let it suffice to say that, from the evidence of the fragments which alone have been preserved to us of the Christian writings of that very early time, it appears that from the beginning of the second century (and that is from the end of the apostolic age) a collection (Ignatius, II Clement) of New Books (Ignatius), called the Gospel and Apostles (Ignatius, Marcion), was already a part of the Oracles of God (Polycarp, Papias, II Clement), or Scriptures (I Tim., II Pet., Barn., Polycarp, II Clement), or the Holy Books or Bible (Testt. XII. Patt.).
The Canon of the New Testament was completed when the last authoritative book was given to any church by the apostles, and that was when John wrote the Apocalypse, about A.D. 98. Whether the church of Ephesus, however, had a completed Canon when it received the Apocalypse, or not, would depend on whether there was any epistle, say that of Jude, which had not yet reached it with authenticating proof of its apostolicity. There is room for historical investigation here. Certainly the whole Canon was not universally received by the churches till somewhat later. The Latin church of the second and third centuries did not quite know what to do with the Epistle to the Hebrews. The Syrian churches for some centuries may have lacked the lesser of the Catholic Epistles and Revelation. But from the time of Irenæus down, the church at large had the whole Canon as we now possess it. And though a section of the church may not yet have been satisfied of the apostolicity of a certain book or of certain books; and though afterwards doubts may have arisen in sections of the church as to the apostolicity of certain books (as e. g. of Revelation): yet in no case was it more than a respectable minority of the church which was slow in receiving, or which came afterward to doubt, the credentials of any of the books that then as now constituted the Canon of the New Testament accepted by the church at large. And in every case the principle on which a book was accepted, or doubts against it laid aside, was the historical tradition of apostolicity. (The Formation of the Canon of the New Testament)
In any study of history, a well-rounded one looks at many sources. I hope you will take the time to read this.
You are free to believe what is in the Scripture, but there is much that you believe that is not in Scripture, including what is Scripture. The Gospels tell us what happens up to the time of the Ascension into Heaven. Acts tells us something of the history of the early Church, but disappoint, because in the case of Peter et al, the native cuts away from him as if, the sincere reader will see, to take it up at a later time. Ditto what happens to Paul, after he comes to Rome. Why leave us hanging? Because Acts is a fragment. The author tells us what he knows, and that is far from being the whole story. The letters by Paul and others attributed to him, are occasional pieces, sermons, and in the case of Romans, something like a treatise. Revelation is an apocalypse, one of a kind, but Christian rather than Jewish as are several others of the time. All this writing is evidence, but evidence, as any lawyer can tell you, is putty in the hands of its interpreter. You, sir, are full of conjecture, but cannot admit it.
“his name wasnt actually Calvin; it was Chauvin.”
No. His name was Cauvin.
Thank you, I had never seen the prophecy given Marie Julie Jahenny.
“It is nonsense to suggest that Early Christians believed in sola scripture when they did not have much scripture to be solo about until the 4th Century” may hope to tout Catholic “ownership” of the Scriptures but at the completion of the Bible canon before the end of the first century there was nothing resembling the Catholic church in existence.
Your witness about finding Catholicism is perfect. If our
brothers and sisters could change on 3 major, the greatest
sources to God’s grace, they will make it through what is
Change, come to believe...
#1 - in the Eucharist
#2 - Confession to a Priest
#3 - Mary’s help, the Trinity has given her all graces to
dispense, pray, ask for her help. It’s Jesus and Me and
Mary too. More assistance to get to Heaven. Remember
Cana, Jesus wasn’t ready, He said it but Mary’s requests
Read this message to a Catholic Seer from Sydney Australia.
God wants us all to believe the same. It’s going to happen.
I am awake to pray the Chaplet of Divine Mercy...
~ ~ ~
June 12, 2012
Do not worry about the tomorrows.
I will put all in correct order as needed in time and space. This My child goes for you also regarding your future. My Plans are always perfect in every way as you well know. All differences will be accepted by all parties concerned in love and appreciation. Believe in Me that I know what is best for you and your family. I will take good care of them wherever they may be. I will never forget My little one. You will be fed to overflowing because of your sacrifices by these acts of kindness and love. Your rewards will be a hundredfold and more as you see all the results of your pleas to Me. You can’t imagine the results of these sacrifices you are making all for the love of Me. Hold on tight to your faith and belief on what you have been taught from the beginning of time. My Word, My Ways have not changed and will not change. New ideas and false teachings and prophecies are all the work of My adversary to confuse your mind. There is only one God Who reigns over the One, Holy, Catholic, (Universal) Church. Let ALL who disagree see My Light and be saved by your sacrifices and Masses. You know Truth when it is spoken in Truth by the one who believes in Truth. Come stay with Me.
You are wrong.
Ive got lots of other points of disagreement with Romanism besides their works righteousness and the papacy. Ive got big problems with Mariology, Purgatory, Treasury of Merit, indulgences, transubstantiation, the mass, Roman idols and relics, the sacraments, etc. Unless the Lord changes your heart, we will never agree on history or theology, but I will pray for you.
Back at you. I used to feel the way you did until the Holy Spirit moved me.
"The Assumption" not an assumption. Please stay protestant, it would be an embarrassment to have you as a Catholic