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Scripture, Tradition, and Rome (Part 1)
http://www.sfpulpit.com/2007/05/14/scripture-tradition-and-the-roman-catholic-church-part-1/ ^ | May 14th, 2007 | John MacArthur

Posted on 07/28/2008 4:07:43 AM PDT by Gamecock

The tendency to venerate tradition is very strong in religion. The world is filled with religions that have been following set traditions for hundreds—even thousands—of years. Cultures come and go, but religious tradition shows an amazing continuity.

In fact, many ancient religions—including Druidism, Native American religions, and several of the oriental cults—eschewed written records of their faith, preferring to pass down their legends and rituals and dogmas via word-of-mouth. Such religions usually treat their body of traditions as a de facto authority equal to other religions’ sacred writings.

Teaching as Doctrines the Precepts of Men

Even among the world’s religions that revere sacred writings, however, tradition and scripture are often blended. This is true in Hinduism, for example, where the ancient Vedas are the Scriptures, and traditions handed down by gurus round out the faith of most followers. Tradition in effect becomes a lens through which the written word is interpreted. Tradition therefore stands as the highest of all authorities, because it renders the only authoritative interpretation of the sacred writings.

This tendency to view tradition as supreme authority is not unique to pagan religions. Traditional Judaism, for example, follows the Scripture-plus-tradition paradigm. The familiar books of the Old Testament alone are viewed as Scripture, but true orthodoxy is actually defined by a collection of ancient rabbinical traditions known as the Talmud. In effect, the traditions of the Talmud carry an authority equal to or greater than that of the inspired Scriptures.

This is no recent development within Judaism. The Jews of Jesus’ day also placed tradition on an equal footing with Scripture. Rather, in effect, they made tradition superior to Scripture, because Scripture was interpreted by tradition and therefore made subject to it.

Whenever tradition is elevated to such a high level of authority, it inevitably becomes detrimental to the authority of Scripture. Jesus made this very point when he confronted the Jewish leaders. He showed that in many cases their traditions actually nullified Scripture. He therefore rebuked them in the harshest terms:

“Rightly did Isaiah prophesy of you hypocrites, as it is written, ‘This people honors Me with their lips, but their heart is far away from Me. But in vain do they worship Me, teaching as doctrines the precepts of men.’ Neglecting the commandment of God, you hold to the tradition of men.” He was also saying to them, “You nicely set aside the commandment of God in order to keep your tradition. For Moses said, ‘Honor your father and your mother’; and, ‘He who speaks evil of father or mother, let him be put to death’; but you say, ‘If a man says to his father or his mother, anything of mine you might have been helped by is Corban (that is to say, given to God),’ you no longer permit him to do anything for his father or his mother; thus invalidating the word of God by your tradition which you have handed down; and you do many things such as that” (Mk. 7:6-13).

It was inexcusable that tradition would be elevated to the level of Scripture in Judaism, because when God gave the law to Moses, it was in written form for a reason: to make it permanent and inviolable. The Lord made very plain that the truth He was revealing was not to be tampered with, augmented, or diminished in any way. His Word was the final authority in all matters: ”You shall not add to the word which I am commanding you, nor take away from it, that you may keep the commandments of the Lord your God which I command you” (Deut. 4:2).

They were to observe His commandments assiduously, and neither supplement nor abrogate them by any other kind of “authority”: “Whatever I command you, you shall be careful to do; you shall not add to nor take away from it” (Deut. 12:32).

So the revealed Word of God, and nothing else, was the supreme and sole authority in Judaism. This alone was the standard of truth delivered to them by God Himself. Moses was instructed to write down the very words God gave him (Exod. 34:27), and that written record of God’s Word became the basis for God’s covenant with the nation (Exod. 24:4,7). The written Word was placed in the Ark of the Covenant (Deut. 31:9), symbolizing its supreme authority in the lives and the worship of the Jews forever. God even told Moses’ successor, Joshua:

Be strong and very courageous; be careful to do according to all the law which Moses My servant commanded you; do not turn from it to the right or to the left, so that you may have success wherever you go. This book of the law shall not depart from your mouth, but you shall meditate on it day and night, so that you may be careful to do according to all that is written in it (Josh. 1:7-8).

Of course, other books of inspired Scripture beside those written by Moses were later added to the Jewish canon—but this was a prerogative reserved by God alone. Sola Scriptura was therefore established in principle with the giving of the law. No tradition passed down by word of mouth, no rabbinical opinion, and no priestly innovation was to be accorded authority equal to the revealed Word of God as recorded in Scripture.

Solomon understood this principle: “Every word of God is tested; He is a shield to those who take refuge in Him. Do not add to His words lest He reprove you, and you be proved a liar” (Prov. 30:5-6).

The Scriptures therefore were to be the one standard by which everyone who claimed to speak for God was tested: “To the law and to the testimony: if they speak not according to this word, it is because there is no light in them” (Isa. 8:20, KJV).

In short, tradition had no legitimate place of authority in the worship of Jehovah.

Everything was to be tested by the Word of God as recorded in the Scriptures. That’s why Jesus’ rebuke to the scribes and Pharisees was so harsh. Their very faith in Rabbinical tradition was in and of itself a serious transgression of the covenant and commandments of God (cf. Matt. 15:3).

The Rise and Ruin of Catholic Tradition

Unfortunately, Christianity has often followed the same tragic road as paganism and Judaism in its tendency to elevate tradition to a position of authority equal to or greater than Scripture. The Catholic Church in particular has its own body of tradition that functions exactly like the Jewish Talmud: it is the standard by which Scripture is to be interpreted. In effect, tradition supplants the voice of Scripture itself.

How did this happen? The earliest Church Fathers placed a strong emphasis on the authority of Scripture over verbal tradition. Fierce debates raged in the early church over such crucial matters as the deity of Christ, His two natures, the Trinity, and the doctrine of original sin. Early church councils settled those questions by appealing to Scripture as the highest of all authorities. The councils themselves did not merely issue ex cathedra decrees, but they reasoned things out by Scripture and made their rulings accordingly. The authority was in the appeal to Scripture, not in the councils per se.

Unfortunately, the question of Scriptural authority itself was not always clearly delineated in the early church, and as the church grew in power and influence, church leaders began to assert an authority that had no basis in Scripture. The church as an institution became in many people’s eyes the fountain of authority and the arbiter on all matters of truth. Appeals began to be made more often to tradition than to Scripture. As a result, extrabiblical doctrines were canonized and a body of truth that found no support in Scripture began to be asserted as infallibly true.

Roman Catholic doctrine is shot through with legends and dogmas and superstitions that have no biblical basis whatsoever. The stations of the cross, the veneration of saints and angels, the Marian doctrines such as the Immaculate Conception, the Assumption, and the notion that Mary is co-mediatrix with Christ—none of those doctrines can be substantiated by Scripture. They are the product of Roman Catholic tradition.

Officially, the Catholic Church is very straightforward about her blending of Scripture and tradition. The Catechism of the Catholic Church (CCC) acknowledges that the Roman Catholic Church “does not derive her certainty about all revealed truths from the holy Scriptures alone. Both Scripture and Tradition must be accepted and honored with equal sentiments of devotion and reverence” (CCC 82, emphasis added).

Tradition, according to Roman Catholicism, is therefore as much “the Word of God” as Scripture. According to the Catechism, Tradition and Scripture “are bound closely together and communicate one with the other. For both of them, flowing out from the same divine well-spring, come together in some fashion to form one thing and move towards the same goal” (CCC 80). The “sacred deposit of faith”—this admixture of Scripture and tradition—was supposedly entrusted by the apostles to their successors (CCC 84), and “The task of giving an authentic interpretation of the Word of God, whether in its written form or in the form of Tradition, has been entrusted to the living, teaching office of the Church alone. . . . This means that the task of interpretation has been entrusted to the bishops in communion with the successor of Peter, the Bishop of Rome” (CCC 85).

The Catechism is quick to deny that this makes the Church’s teaching authority (called the magisterium) in any way superior to the Word of God itself (CCC 86). But it then goes on to warn the faithful that they must “read the Scripture within ‘the living tradition of the whole Church’” (CCC 113). The Catechism at this point quotes “a saying of the Fathers[:] Sacred Scripture is written principally in the Church’s heart rather than in documents and records, for the Church carries in her Tradition the living memorial of God’s Word” (CCC 113).

So in effect, tradition is not only made equal to Scripture; but it becomes the true Scripture, written not in documents, but mystically within the Church herself. And when the Church speaks, Her voice is heard as if it were the voice of God, giving the only true meaning to the words of the “documents and records.” Thus tradition utterly supplants and supersedes Scripture.


TOPICS: Catholic; General Discusssion; Mainline Protestant
KEYWORDS: catholic; tradtion
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To: guitarplayer1953

You must mean #67.


101 posted on 07/29/2008 9:07:42 PM PDT by Petronski (Scripture & Tradition must be accepted & honored w/equal sentiments of devotion & reverence. CCC 82)
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To: guitarplayer1953
...which is not even in the bible.

LOL

...the church deeming who is and who is not a saint....

ROFLMTO

102 posted on 07/29/2008 9:09:58 PM PDT by Petronski (Scripture & Tradition must be accepted & honored w/equal sentiments of devotion & reverence. CCC 82)
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To: Petronski

Yeah, it said alot about maturity and sincerity...not.


103 posted on 07/29/2008 9:12:29 PM PDT by tiki (True Christians will not deliberately slander or misrepresent others or their beliefs)
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To: guitarplayer1953
You made a statement that Christ said that Catholicism is divine...

Really?

104 posted on 07/29/2008 9:14:16 PM PDT by Petronski (Scripture & Tradition must be accepted & honored w/equal sentiments of devotion & reverence. CCC 82)
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To: Petronski

Please show me where it is written that a body of men will gather and determine who is a saint and who is not.

Paul wrote to the churches in different areas and addressed them as the saints of that church. That was before there ever was your precious traditions.

As a mater of fact Christ said that many will be goats who never knew Him.

Oh that must be the non Catholics according to your Pope. no salvation outside of the church dogma.

You may be laughing now but one day we all shall see.


105 posted on 07/29/2008 9:15:43 PM PDT by guitarplayer1953 (Christ crucified, unto the Jews a stumblingblock, and unto the Greeks foolishness)
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To: guitarplayer1953
Hey folks it all been a mistranslation it not Jesus but Bevus who is Christ just got the word sarcasm off
106 posted on 07/29/2008 9:21:27 PM PDT by guitarplayer1953 (Christ crucified, unto the Jews a stumblingblock, and unto the Greeks foolishness)
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To: guitarplayer1953
Please show me where it is written that a body of men will gather and determine who is a saint and who is not.

Why would I do that, since I do not believe it?

Paul wrote to the churches in different areas and addressed them as the saints of that church. That was before there ever was your precious traditions.

Nope.

As a mater of fact Christ said that many will be goats who never knew Him.

Are you attempting to use the Latin?

Oh that must be the non Catholics according to your Pope. no salvation outside of the church dogma.

See, now you're just making stuff up again, I think.

You may be laughing now but one day we all shall see.

I'm not laughing, but I can assure you, one day, we shall all see.

107 posted on 07/29/2008 9:23:52 PM PDT by Petronski (Scripture & Tradition must be accepted & honored w/equal sentiments of devotion & reverence. CCC 82)
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To: Petronski

Doncha just love the little “threats” —”You may be laughing now....”


108 posted on 07/29/2008 9:24:07 PM PDT by tiki (True Christians will not deliberately slander or misrepresent others or their beliefs)
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To: tiki

“Intended as” threats, anyway.


109 posted on 07/29/2008 9:25:36 PM PDT by Petronski (Scripture & Tradition must be accepted & honored w/equal sentiments of devotion & reverence. CCC 82)
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To: Petronski

Be not afraid.


110 posted on 07/29/2008 9:27:57 PM PDT by tiki (True Christians will not deliberately slander or misrepresent others or their beliefs)
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To: Petronski

who decides who is a saint?

as far as salvation acording to CCR
The following quotations from the Church Fathers give the straight story. They show that the early Church held the same position on this as the contemporary Church does—that is, while it is normatively necessary to be a Catholic to be saved (see CCC 846; Vatican II, Lumen Gentium 14), there are exceptions, and it is possible in some circumstances for people to be saved who have not been fully initiated into the Catholic Church (CCC 847

may be saved if not fully so if you are not even in the RRC then you are not saved not my words but the RRC


111 posted on 07/29/2008 9:30:02 PM PDT by guitarplayer1953 (Christ crucified, unto the Jews a stumblingblock, and unto the Greeks foolishness)
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To: guitarplayer1953
who decides who is a saint?

God.

Canonization is a process by which the Church investigates and declares that this person surely was a saint.

I know of no Church process or procedure by which she declares someone is NOT a Saint.

112 posted on 07/30/2008 6:39:25 AM PDT by Petronski (Scripture & Tradition must be accepted & honored w/equal sentiments of devotion & reverence. CCC 82)
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To: Petronski
Yes, that says it happened. Lah-dee-dah. Call Aunt Pity-pat.

Sure it happened.....and everyone I know agrees it was done with the knowledge of the Catholic Church. This was a historical event and the entire process had been sanctioned by Pope Leo. It was a "tradition" of the Church and like many of their traditions (past & present) it was insidious and evil.

Can you show me where the cash sale of indulgences was taught by the Catholic Church?

I just did, and anyone who would voluntarily associate themselves with an organization with such an evil background needs to examine their Christianity......cause it's in error!

113 posted on 07/30/2008 8:30:19 AM PDT by Diego1618
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To: Diego1618
I just did...

No, you did not.

114 posted on 07/30/2008 8:37:15 AM PDT by Petronski (Scripture & Tradition must be accepted & honored w/equal sentiments of devotion & reverence. CCC 82)
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To: Petronski
They rushed to remove Him from the cross before sundown, the Sabbath. That makes His death Friday.

Wrong....and since you evidently cannot show me your proof scripture I'll wait until one of your friends attempt it. This actually can become quite boring as I have shown many Romans.....(from scripture)....this grievous error on this forum on many occasions. It seems the influence of brainwashing from childhood is not easily overcome.

He arose again three days later. Sunday.

Wrong.....ditto!

Why have you ignored my question about “Simon Magus” as the first pope? Do you believe Simon Magus was Pope Peter I?

I had forgotten you had asked. Do you actually believe he wasn't?

115 posted on 07/30/2008 8:40:31 AM PDT by Diego1618
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To: Diego1618
I had forgotten you had asked. Do you actually believe he wasn't?

It is easy to believe he wasn't, because, well, he wasn't.

Simon Bar-Jonah, the Apostle, was made Pope †Peter I by Christ Himself.

116 posted on 07/30/2008 8:43:01 AM PDT by Petronski (Scripture & Tradition must be accepted & honored w/equal sentiments of devotion & reverence. CCC 82)
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To: Diego1618
It seems the influence of brainwashing from childhood is not easily overcome.

Maybe professional medical intervention would help you.

117 posted on 07/30/2008 8:48:30 AM PDT by Petronski (Scripture & Tradition must be accepted & honored w/equal sentiments of devotion & reverence. CCC 82)
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To: Petronski

In the Catholic Church (including the Eastern Catholic Churches)[1][2], the act of canonization is reserved to the Holy See and occurs at the conclusion of a long process requiring extensive proof that the person proposed for canonization lived, and died, in such an exemplary and holy way that he or she is worthy to be recognized as a saint.

Sound to me that the RCC decides who is worth


118 posted on 07/30/2008 1:08:14 PM PDT by guitarplayer1953 (Christ crucified, unto the Jews a stumblingblock, and unto the Greeks foolishness)
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To: guitarplayer1953
Sound to me that the RCC decides who is worth...

...who is worthy to be recognized as a saint, not who is a saint.

119 posted on 07/30/2008 1:15:42 PM PDT by Petronski (Scripture & Tradition must be accepted & honored w/equal sentiments of devotion & reverence. CCC 82)
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To: Gamecock

Very Good Gamecock. Very Good job! Can’t wait for the other parts.


120 posted on 07/30/2008 1:39:48 PM PDT by griffin
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To: Petronski
Simon Bar-Jonah, the Apostle, was made Pope †Peter I by Christ Himself.

This is absolute garbage and not worthy of any credibility whatsoever. No wonder your organization had to torture, maim and kill folks to get them to join your insidious crusade during the dark ages. Most intelligent folks throughout the ages could see right through this false doctrine and they suffered because of it.

121 posted on 07/30/2008 2:12:34 PM PDT by Diego1618
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To: Diego1618

Good grief.

Anger issues, eh?


122 posted on 07/30/2008 2:26:16 PM PDT by Petronski (Scripture & Tradition must be accepted & honored w/equal sentiments of devotion & reverence. CCC 82)
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To: Petronski

Are you recognized by the RCC as a saint? If not are you a saint?


123 posted on 07/30/2008 3:02:07 PM PDT by guitarplayer1953 (Christ crucified, unto the Jews a stumblingblock, and unto the Greeks foolishness)
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To: guitarplayer1953

No and no.


124 posted on 07/30/2008 3:06:21 PM PDT by Petronski (Scripture & Tradition must be accepted & honored w/equal sentiments of devotion & reverence. CCC 82)
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To: Petronski

1.So then there is no salvation outside of the RCC?
2. One can only be a saint if they are dead.
3 Were all the saints that were written to by Paul dead?


125 posted on 07/30/2008 3:18:55 PM PDT by guitarplayer1953 (Christ crucified, unto the Jews a stumblingblock, and unto the Greeks foolishness)
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To: guitarplayer1953

1. I doubt that means what you think it means.

2. Is that your claim?

3. No.


126 posted on 07/30/2008 3:24:00 PM PDT by Petronski (Scripture & Tradition must be accepted & honored w/equal sentiments of devotion & reverence. CCC 82)
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To: Petronski

According to your Rcc doctrine a saint is someone who is dead and has been acknowledged by the RCC.

According to your doctrine there is no salvation outside of the RCC.

Therefore there are no saints outside of the Rcc.

How did the living persons of the first century become saint if there was no RCC?


127 posted on 07/30/2008 3:30:48 PM PDT by guitarplayer1953 (Christ crucified, unto the Jews a stumblingblock, and unto the Greeks foolishness)
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To: guitarplayer1953
First sentence: wrong. Canonization occurs after death, but again, canonization does not make one a saint.

Second sentence: Again, I doubt that means what you think it means.

"Outside the Church there is no salvation"

846 How are we to understand this affirmation, often repeated by the Church Fathers?335 Re-formulated positively, it means that all salvation comes from Christ the Head through the Church which is his Body:
Basing itself on Scripture and Tradition, the Council teaches that the Church, a pilgrim now on earth, is necessary for salvation: the one Christ is the mediator and the way of salvation; he is present to us in his body which is the Church. He himself explicitly asserted the necessity of faith and Baptism, and thereby affirmed at the same time the necessity of the Church which men enter through Baptism as through a door. Hence they could not be saved who, knowing that the Catholic Church was founded as necessary by God through Christ, would refuse either to enter it or to remain in it.336
847 This affirmation is not aimed at those who, through no fault of their own, do not know Christ and his Church:
Those who, through no fault of their own, do not know the Gospel of Christ or his Church, but who nevertheless seek God with a sincere heart, and, moved by grace, try in their actions to do his will as they know it through the dictates of their conscience - those too may achieve eternal salvation.337
848 "Although in ways known to himself God can lead those who, through no fault of their own, are ignorant of the Gospel, to that faith without which it is impossible to please him, the Church still has the obligation and also the sacred right to evangelize all men."338
Third sentence: therefore wrong.

How did the living persons of the first century become saint if there was no RCC?

Wrong.

128 posted on 07/30/2008 3:45:13 PM PDT by Petronski (Scripture & Tradition must be accepted & honored w/equal sentiments of devotion & reverence. CCC 82)
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To: Petronski
It is all based upon through the church. I know about the RCC and am not a member so it is my fault I have no salvation outside of the RCC. Right?

There was no RCC in the first century. There was no Pope in the 1st century.
There was the body of Christ which was not the RCC.

129 posted on 07/30/2008 3:55:15 PM PDT by guitarplayer1953 (Christ crucified, unto the Jews a stumblingblock, and unto the Greeks foolishness)
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To: guitarplayer1953
There was no RCC in the first century? Who cares?

Meanwhile, the Catholic Church was founded by Christ, circa AD 32.

130 posted on 07/30/2008 4:03:01 PM PDT by Petronski (Scripture & Tradition must be accepted & honored w/equal sentiments of devotion & reverence. CCC 82)
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To: guitarplayer1953
There was no Pope in the 1st century.

There were five:

†Peter (32-67)
†Linus (67-76)
†Anacletus (Cletus) (76-88)
†Clement I (88-97)
†Evaristus (97-105)

131 posted on 07/30/2008 4:05:44 PM PDT by Petronski (Scripture & Tradition must be accepted & honored w/equal sentiments of devotion & reverence. CCC 82)
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To: Petronski
The church at Rome was so small that John did not even write a letter to it, it was so insignificant. Seems like he would of put it at the top of the list since it was the one and only true chuch.
132 posted on 07/30/2008 4:42:28 PM PDT by guitarplayer1953 (Christ crucified, unto the Jews a stumblingblock, and unto the Greeks foolishness)
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To: guitarplayer1953
The church at Rome was so small that John did not even write a letter to it,

First, the size of the church at Rome at that time is not especially relevant.

Secondly, Paul DID write a letter to the Romans, so again I ask you, so what?

133 posted on 07/30/2008 4:45:25 PM PDT by Petronski (Scripture & Tradition must be accepted & honored w/equal sentiments of devotion & reverence. CCC 82)
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To: Petronski
Jesus did not even acknowledge the Church at Rome through John and what did Paul say about the church was not a glowing report, they were carnal.
134 posted on 07/30/2008 5:08:18 PM PDT by guitarplayer1953 (Christ crucified, unto the Jews a stumblingblock, and unto the Greeks foolishness)
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To: guitarplayer1953
Jesus did not even acknowledge the Church at Rome through John and what did Paul say about the church was not a glowing report, they were carnal.

Completely irrelevant.

135 posted on 07/30/2008 5:09:47 PM PDT by Petronski (Scripture & Tradition must be accepted & honored w/equal sentiments of devotion & reverence. CCC 82)
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To: Petronski

Why is it irrelevant? Why is everything either a mis translation or irrelevant that does not line up with your traditions? You still have not answered if anyone outside of the RCC who willfully do not join the RCC is saved.


136 posted on 07/30/2008 5:49:49 PM PDT by guitarplayer1953 (Christ crucified, unto the Jews a stumblingblock, and unto the Greeks foolishness)
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To: guitarplayer1953
Why is it irrelevant?

The existence of the Catholic Church at that time is not dependent on the size or repute of the Church in Rome at that time.

You still have not answered if anyone outside of the RCC who willfully do not join the RCC is saved.

I have answered it.

137 posted on 07/30/2008 6:04:38 PM PDT by Petronski (Scripture & Tradition must be accepted & honored w/equal sentiments of devotion & reverence. CCC 82)
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To: Petronski
from Christ through His Church to His body.
So what church is His church?
If I am not in that church am I in His body?
Please show me in the bible where it says that salvation is through the Church.
138 posted on 07/30/2008 6:22:52 PM PDT by guitarplayer1953 (Christ crucified, unto the Jews a stumblingblock, and unto the Greeks foolishness)
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To: guitarplayer1953
Please show me in the bible where it says that salvation is through the Church.

Why would I do that?

139 posted on 07/30/2008 6:37:37 PM PDT by Petronski (Scripture & Tradition must be accepted & honored w/equal sentiments of devotion & reverence. CCC 82)
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To: Petronski

because that is what you said that salvation comes from Christ through His church to HIS BODY.
And my question still stands if I am not in the RCC am I in His body?


140 posted on 07/30/2008 6:49:27 PM PDT by guitarplayer1953 (Christ crucified, unto the Jews a stumblingblock, and unto the Greeks foolishness)
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To: guitarplayer1953
because that is what you said that salvation comes from Christ through His church to HIS BODY.

Got a link to that?

141 posted on 07/30/2008 6:55:42 PM PDT by Petronski (Scripture & Tradition must be accepted & honored w/equal sentiments of devotion & reverence. CCC 82)
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To: Petronski

post 128 by you
846 How are we to understand this affirmation, often repeated by the Church Fathers?335 Re-formulated positively, it means that all salvation comes from Christ the Head through the Church which is his Body:

Salvation from Christ through the RCC to His body, so If I am not in the Rcc I am not saved. Right that what it says and what you have said.


142 posted on 07/30/2008 7:37:11 PM PDT by guitarplayer1953 (Christ crucified, unto the Jews a stumblingblock, and unto the Greeks foolishness)
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To: guitarplayer1953

You really need to stop saying RCC. It’s confusing.


143 posted on 07/30/2008 7:38:35 PM PDT by Petronski (Scripture & Tradition must be accepted & honored w/equal sentiments of devotion & reverence. CCC 82)
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To: Petronski
Why is that? When ever you say church that is what you mean is it not the Roman Catholic Church RCC.
144 posted on 07/30/2008 7:41:31 PM PDT by guitarplayer1953 (Christ crucified, unto the Jews a stumblingblock, and unto the Greeks foolishness)
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To: Gamecock; John Leland 1789; Manfred the Wonder Dawg; wideawake; Quix; Salvation; rbmillerjr; ...

3. The blessed apostles, then, having founded and built up the Church, committed into the hands of Linus the office of the episcopate. Of this Linus, Paul makes mention in the Epistles to Timothy. To him succeeded Anacletus; and after him, in the third place from the apostles, Clement was allotted the bishopric. This man, as he had seen the blessed apostles, and had been conversant with them, might be said to have the preaching of the apostles still echoing [in his ears], and their traditions before his eyes. Nor was he alone [in this], for there were many still remaining who had received instructions from the apostles. In the time of this Clement, no small dissension having occurred among the brethren at Corinth, the Church in Rome despatched a most powerful letter to the Corinthians, exhorting them to peace, renewing their faith, and declaring the tradition which it had lately received from the apostles, proclaiming the one God, omnipotent, the Maker of heaven and earth, the Creator of man, who brought on the deluge, and called Abraham, who led the people from the land of Egypt, spoke with Moses, set forth the law, sent the prophets, and who has prepared fire for the devil and his angels. From this document, whosoever chooses to do so, may learn that He, the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, was preached by the Churches, and may also understand the apostolical tradition of the Church, since this Epistle is of older date than these men who are now propagating falsehood, and who conjure into existence another god beyond the Creator and the Maker of all existing things. To this Clement there succeeded Evaristus. Alexander followed Evaristus; then, sixth from the apostles, Sixtus was appointed; after him, Telephorus, who was gloriously martyred; then Hyginus; after him, Pius; then after him, Anicetus. Soter having succeeded Anicetus, Eleutherius does now, in the twelfth place from the apostles, hold the inheritance of the episcopate. In this order, and by this succession, the ecclesiastical tradition from the apostles, and the preaching of the truth, have come down to us. And this is most abundant proof that there is one and the same vivifying faith, which has been preserved in the Church from the apostles until now, and handed down in truth.

+Irenaeus, Against Heresies (3,3,3)

The bolded text above is the definition of Sacred Tradition.

John MacArthur mused, How did this happen? The earliest Church Fathers placed a strong emphasis on the authority of Scripture over verbal tradition. Fierce debates raged in the early church over such crucial matters as the deity of Christ, His two natures, the Trinity, and the doctrine of original sin. Early church councils settled those questions by appealing to Scripture as the highest of all authorities. The councils themselves did not merely issue ex cathedra decrees, but they reasoned things out by Scripture and made their rulings accordingly. The authority was in the appeal to Scripture, not in the councils per se.

Viewing what +Irenaeus stated about the subject of disputes:

1. Since therefore we have such proofs, it is not necessary to seek the truth among others which it is easy to obtain from the Church; since the apostles, like a rich man [depositing his money] in a bank, lodged in her hands most copiously all things pertaining to the truth: so that every man, whosoever will, can draw from her the water of life. Revelation 22:17 For she is the entrance to life; all others are thieves and robbers. On this account are we bound to avoid them, but to make choice of the thing pertaining to the Church with the utmost diligence, and to lay hold of the tradition of the truth. For how stands the case? Suppose there arise a dispute relative to some important question among us, should we not have recourse to the most ancient Churches with which the apostles held constant intercourse, and learn from them what is certain and clear in regard to the present question? For how should it be if the apostles themselves had not left us writings? Would it not be necessary, [in that case,] to follow the course of the tradition which they handed down to those to whom they did commit the Churches?

2. To which course many nations of those barbarians who believe in Christ do assent, having salvation written in their hearts by the Spirit, without paper or ink, and, carefully preserving the ancient tradition, believing in one God, the Creator of heaven and earth, and all things therein, by means of Christ Jesus, the Son of God; who, because of His surpassing love towards His creation, condescended to be born of the virgin, He Himself uniting man through Himself to God, and having suffered under Pontius Pilate, and rising again, and having been received up in splendour, shall come in glory, the Saviour of those who are saved, and the Judge of those who are judged, and sending into eternal fire those who transform the truth, and despise His Father and His advent. Those who, in the absence of written documents, have believed this faith, are barbarians, so far as regards our language; but as regards doctrine, manner, and tenor of life, they are, because of faith, very wise indeed; and they do please God, ordering their conversation in all righteousness, chastity, and wisdom. If any one were to preach to these men the inventions of the heretics, speaking to them in their own language, they would at once stop their ears, and flee as far off as possible, not enduring even to listen to the blasphemous address. Thus, by means of that ancient tradition of the apostles, they do not suffer their mind to conceive anything of the [doctrines suggested by the] portentous language of these teachers, among whom neither Church nor doctrine has ever been established.

Ibid, 3,4,1

As long as we are on +Irenaeus, we can see how the Gospel accounts were formed:

1. We have learned from none others the plan of our salvation, than from those through whom the Gospel has come down to us, which they did at one time proclaim in public, and, at a later period, by the will of God, handed down to us in the Scriptures, to be the ground and pillar of our faith. For it is unlawful to assert that they preached before they possessed perfect knowledge, as some do even venture to say, boasting themselves as improvers of the apostles. For, after our Lord rose from the dead, [the apostles] were invested with power from on high when the Holy Spirit came down [upon them], were filled from all [His gifts], and had perfect knowledge: they departed to the ends of the earth, preaching the glad tidings of the good things [sent] from God to us, and proclaiming the peace of heaven to men, who indeed do all equally and individually possess the Gospel of God. Matthew also issued a written Gospel among the Hebrews in their own dialect, while Peter and Paul were preaching at Rome, and laying the foundations of the Church. After their departure, Mark, the disciple and interpreter of Peter, did also hand down to us in writing what had been preached by Peter. Luke also, the companion of Paul, recorded in a book the Gospel preached by him. Afterwards, John, the disciple of the Lord, who also had leaned upon His breast, did himself publish a Gospel during his residence at Ephesus in Asia.

Ibid, 3,1,1

Heed the above carefully, it was written very, very early in the Church history...by one of the "Church Fathers" (I figure if John MacArthur can talk about Church Fathers, citing them as a rationale for "sola scriptura," I can cite them as well). Note it well: it says that +Matthew's account was originally written in Hebrew (Aramaic), not Greek. +John didn't write his account until after he took up residence in Ephesus, some decades after the Lord's ascension. +Mark summarized +Peter's teachings in his account, while +Luke summarized +Paul's teachings. In other words, two of the gospels were written second hand: writing down oral teachings.

Interestingly enough, the very last sentence that +John wrote in his gospel account was, But there are also many other things which Jesus did which, if they were written every one, the world itself. I think, would not be able to contain the books that should be written. So the apostle, himself, states that his gospel is not a complete account. In fact, +Paul commanded the Church in Thessalonica to stand fast: and hold the traditions, which you have learned, whether by word or by our epistle. Curious how both +Paul and +John would make those statements, particularly if the particular Churches were to consider the written Scriptures only.

+Irenaeus made extensive reference to Sacred Tradition. He also made reference to the authority of the bishops to interpret the Scriptures. And so on. You could also refer to +Ignatius, Tertullian, +Clement of Alexandria, +Origen, +Basil, +John Chrysostom, etc. Did they laud Scripture? Of course. Did they diminish Sacred Tradition? Break out some citations, John (MacArthur). I sure don't see evidence of that anywhere (unless you start to cite Marcion, Arius, etc.)

As I quoted above, MacArthur stated, Fierce debates raged in the early church over such crucial matters as the deity of Christ, His two natures, the Trinity, and the doctrine of original sin. Early church councils settled those questions by appealing to Scripture as the highest of all authorities.

I find that interesting, but without support. Eusebius' account of the First Council of Nicea (AD 325), stated,

As soon as the emperor had spoken these words in the Latin tongue, which another interpreted, he gave permission to those who presided in the council to deliver their opinions. On this some began to accuse their neighbors, who defended themselves, and recriminated in their turn. In this manner numberless assertions were put forth by each party, and a violent controversy arose at the very commencement. Notwithstanding this, the emperor gave patient audience to all alike, and received every proposition with steadfast attention, and by occasionally assisting the argument of each party in turn, he gradually disposed even the most vehement disputants to a reconciliation. At the same time, by the affability of his address to all, and his use of the Greek language, with which he was not altogether unacquainted, he appeared in a truly attractive and amiable light, persuading some, convincing others by his reasonings, praising those who spoke well, and urging all to unity of sentiment, until at last he succeeded in bringing them to one mind and judgment respecting every disputed question.

Note that there was no mention of what the content of their arguments were. Just that each one brought forward his discussion and that Constantine worked with them to arrive at a consensus.

Maybe MacArthur has a different account of the Council, but he didn't bother to cite his account, he just pushed out an assertion as if it were fact. Pity that most here bought it. He didn't specify which council he was talking about, so perhaps it was another one. Let's look.

How about the First Council of Constantinople:

Letter of the Synod to Theodosius:

To the most religious Emperor Theodosius, the Holy Synod of Bishops assembled in Constantinople out of different Provinces.

We begin our letter to your Piety with thanks to God, who has established the empire of your Piety for the common peace of the Churches and for the support of the true Faith. And, after rendering due thanks unto God, as in duty bound we lay before your Piety the things which have been done in the Holy Synod. When, then, we had assembled in Constantinople, according to the letter of your Piety, we first of all renewed our unity of heart each with the other, and then we pronounced some concise definitions, ratifying the Faith of the Nicene Fathers, and anathematizing the heresies which have sprung up, contrary thereto. Besides these things, we also framed certain Canons for the better ordering of the Churches, all which we have subjoined to this our letter. Wherefore we beseech your Piety that the decree of the Synod may be ratified, to the end that, as you have honoured the Church by your letter of citation, so you should set your seal to the conclusion of what has been decreed. May the Lord establish your empire in peace and righteousness, and prolong it from generation to generation; and may he add unto your earthly power the fruition of theheavenly kingdom also. May God by the prayers (e??a?? t?? ?????) of the Saints, show favour to the world, that you may be strong and eminent in all good things as an Emperor most truly pious and beloved of God.

Don't see that they cited that they used a Scriptural exegesis for their debate there. Well, maybe we can see it in the Canons.

Canon 1

The Faith of the Three Hundred and Eighteen Fathers assembled at Nice in Bithynia shall not be set aside, but shall remain firm. And every heresy shall be anathematized, particularly that of the Eunomians or [Anomæans, the Arians or] Eudoxians, and that of the Semi-Arians or Pneumatomachi, and that of the Sabellians, and that of the Marcellians, and that of the Photinians, and that of the Apollinarians.

They cited the authority of the previous council as their basis. Not Scripture (mind you, this does not mean that the Scriptures weren't used...but it was not the only example).

Canon 2

The bishops are not to go beyond their dioceses to churches lying outside of their bounds, nor bring confusion on the churches; but let the Bishop of Alexandria, according to the canons, alone administer the affairs of Egypt; and let the bishops of the East manage the East alone, the privileges of the Church in Antioch, which are mentioned in the canons of Nice, being preserved; and let the bishops of the Asian Diocese administer the Asian affairs only; and the Pontic bishops only Pontic matters; and the Thracian bishops only Thracian affairs. And let not bishops go beyond their dioceses for ordination or any other ecclesiastical ministrations, unless they be invited. And the aforesaid canon concerning dioceses being observed, it is evident that the synod of every province will administer the affairs of that particular province as was decreed at Nice. But the Churches of God in heathen nations must be governed according to the custom which has prevailed from the times of the Fathers.

Now as a Catholic, I think that this is a really good thing (and, in fact, that Canon is still a basis for how the Church governs herself). And, oh, by the way, please note the bolded text.

Canon 5

Those who from heresy turn to orthodoxy, and to the portion of those who are being saved, we receive according to the following method and custom: Arians, and Macedonians, and Sabbatians, and Novatians, who call themselves Cathari or Aristori, and Quarto-decimans or Tetradites, and Apollinarians, we receive, upon their giving a written renunciation [of their errors] and anathematize every heresy which is not in accordance with the Holy, Catholic, and Apostolic Church of God. Thereupon, they are first sealed or anointed with the holy oil upon the forehead, eyes, nostrils, mouth, and ears; and when we seal them, we say, The Seal of the gift of the Holy Ghost. But Eunomians, who are baptized with only one immersion, and Montanists, who are here called Phrygians, and Sabellians, who teach the identity of Father and Son, and do sundry other mischievous things, and [the partisans of] all other heresies— for there are many such here, particularly among those who come from the country of the Galatians:— all these, when they desire to turn to orthodoxy, we receive as heathen. On the first day we make them Christians; on the second, catechumens; on the third, we exorcise them by breathing thrice in their face and ears; and thus we instruct them and oblige them to spend some time in the Church, and to hear the Scriptures; and then we baptize them.

Again, as a Catholic, this is a very worthwhile mention, as it describes the Rites of Baptism and Confirmation pretty well. Particularly for adults. Now, MacArthur referred to early Church councils as an authority for his beliefs...how many Protestant denominations do the above for their baptismal rites?

Another Early Council was the Council of Ephesus (AD 431). Remember, MacArthur said, The councils themselves did not merely issue ex cathedra decrees, but they reasoned things out by Scripture and made their rulings accordingly.

Gamecock may have posted this for discussion; however, it appears that there may be some agreement between Gamecock and MacArthur.

John Leland said, Thanks. Good read indeed. It’s a keeper. (I assume that means that he agreed with the content, including the above statement)

Manfred the Wonder Dawg said, Most of MacArthur’s “smears” against the RCC could have come from a book written by an RC that was given to me: Karl Adams’ “The Roots of the Reformation”. A review is in the works. (It appears that Manfred agrees with MacArthur, in this case, as well)

Quix said, Looks like a good one. (Another person agreeing with MacArthur, I guess)

Griffin said, Very Good Gamecock. Very Good job! (More agreement with MacArthur?)

Let's see what the Council said (remember, they reasoned things out by Scripture and made their rulings accordingly)

And since the holy Virgin brought forth corporally God made one with flesh according to nature, for this reason we also call her Mother of God, not as if the nature of the Word had the beginning of its existence from the flesh.

Hmmm. Remember, according to MacArthur, they reasoned things out by Scripture and made their rulings accordingly.

Philip the presbyter and legate of the Apostolic See said: There is no doubt, and in fact it has been known in all ages, that the holy and most blessed Peter, prince (??a????) and head of the Apostles, pillar of the faith, and foundation (?eµ?????) of the Catholic Church, received the keys of the kingdom from our Lord Jesus Christ, the Saviour and Redeemer of the human race, and that to him was given the power of loosing and binding sins: who down even to today and forever both lives and judges in his successors. The holy and most blessed pope Cœlestine, according to due order, is his successor and holds his place, and us he sent to supply his place in this holy synod, which the most humane and Christian Emperors have commanded to assemble, bearing in mind and continually watching over the Catholic faith. For they both have kept and are now keeping intact the apostolic doctrine handed down to them from their most pious and humane grandfathers and fathers of holy memory down to the present time, etc.

Hmmm. Remember, according to MacArthur, they reasoned things out by Scripture and made their rulings accordingly.

Finally, let's look at one more early council, the Second Council of Nicea (AD 787). In reading this, remember that according to MacArthur, they reasoned things out by Scripture and made their rulings accordingly:

Anathema to those who spurn the teachings of the holy Fathers and the tradition of the Catholic Church, taking as a pretext and making their own the arguments of Arius, Nestorius, Eutyches, and Dioscorus, that unless we were evidently taught by the Old and New Testaments, we should not follow the teachings of the holy Fathers and of the holy Ecumenical Synods, and the tradition of the Catholic Church.

Please note what Arius, Nestorius, Eutyches, and Dioscorus used as their argument, the one anathematized:that unless we were evidently taught by the Old and New Testaments, we should not follow the teachings of the holy Fathers and of the holy Ecumenical Synods, and the tradition of the Catholic Church.

Remember MacArthur's words: they reasoned things out by Scripture and made their rulings accordingly.

Now, was MacArthur right or did he lie? If he was right, I will be more than happy to hear the apologies of any of you who are humble enough to admit the error in your ways. Otherwise, would any of you care to re-examine your opinion of his article?

Do I hear crickets in the background??

Please note, you can argue plus or minus tradition. But you all praised MacArthur's article, yet didn't even know what the heck it said (at least based on your praise). Why did you praise the article? Was it because it reaffirmed your earlier prejudices against the One, Holy, Catholic, and Apostolic Church? It surely wasn't because you did a critical reading and fact-checked the article. (EVERYBODY knows that Ephesus I was the Council where they canonized the dogma of Theotokos (Mary as the Ever Virgin Mother of God)! That one should be easy to recognize...but none of you twigged on it -- or maybe anti-Catholicism requires no factual basis, just vitriol.

145 posted on 07/30/2008 7:51:45 PM PDT by markomalley (Extra ecclesiam nulla salus)
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To: guitarplayer1953
When ever you say church that is what you mean is it not the Roman Catholic Church RCC.

Is that a question?

The Catholic Church is the Catholic Church.

146 posted on 07/30/2008 8:00:24 PM PDT by Petronski (Scripture & Tradition must be accepted & honored w/equal sentiments of devotion & reverence. CCC 82)
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To: Petronski
Is the Catholic Church the only Church of Jesus His body?
147 posted on 07/30/2008 8:20:06 PM PDT by guitarplayer1953 (Christ crucified, unto the Jews a stumblingblock, and unto the Greeks foolishness)
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To: guitarplayer1953

I do not understand the grammar.


148 posted on 07/30/2008 8:23:55 PM PDT by Petronski (Scripture & Tradition must be accepted & honored w/equal sentiments of devotion & reverence. CCC 82)
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To: Petronski
What church is the body of Christ? Is that plain enough for you? And please don't say His Church. IS IT:
1 The Baptists
2 The Church of God's
3.The Lutheran
4.The Catholic
149 posted on 07/30/2008 8:28:15 PM PDT by guitarplayer1953 (Christ crucified, unto the Jews a stumblingblock, and unto the Greeks foolishness)
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To: Gamecock
In short,
tradition
had
no
legitimate place
of authority
in the worship
of Jehovah.

INDEED!

150 posted on 07/30/2008 8:30:41 PM PDT by Quix (key QUOTES POLS 1900 ON #76 http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/news/2031425/posts?page=77#77)
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