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.
If one considers just Founding Fathers then There were no Baptists among the Founding Fathers --> there were
Furthermore, there were 3 Catholics and
The religious freedom fought for was also religious freedom for Catholics from Protestant England, hence the Catholic volunteers and support from Catholic Irishmen, Frenchmen and Poles.
So please don't say that Catholics were not involved in the creation of this nation -- this nation which got it's independence from a Protestant nation after all....
Ha ha! good one NKP_Vet! And excellent responses, CatholicTim and CTrent —> however, he’s not going to bother to read them... some folks are happy in their world of “dem caflicks are rong”
Now if you consider Deists as Protestants, do you also consider Unitarians, Jehovah's Witnesses and Mormons as "Protestants"?
They were Catholics/Orthodox. Most mainline non-Catholic groups hold by the councils, yes (except the ECUSA and ELCA and PCUSA sort of course), but Pentecostals, Baptists etc -- not exactly (of course this depends on WHICH Pentecostls, which Baptists etc.)
for us Catholics there is the ONE mediator between God and man -- Jesus Christ. you, me, etc. who mediate to Christ do so through Him, the Bridge between God and Man.
Vicar comes from John 21: 16-17 "Feed my lambs... feed my sheep". A Vicar from Latin vicarious is the deputy, an agent for a superior. The Holy spirit is not a deputy or "inferior" hence is not a Vicar
For Catholics, our High Priest is Jesus Christ and He is present at every mass as High priest and sacrifice.
The pope is not called holy because of his own merit, far, far from it -- just as we are God's "holy people" because of God, not because of us, so too the pope is given God's grace
We Catholics believe that the Lord speaks infallibly through the Prophets and on occasion the Holy spirit speaks infallibly through the bishop of Rome -- on occasion and it is the Holy Spirit acting.
“Back at you. I used to feel the way you did until the Holy Spirit moved me. “
The Holy Spirit didn’t move you away from the gospel.
Show one time that the mother of the king was the queen if she hadnt been queen prior to his birth. The mother of the king is queen only by virtue of having been the wife of the king who was the father of the current king. The RCC teachings about Mary are the result of injecting meaning into scripture.
>>Everything the Church teaches about Mary isnt about Mary but rather about Jesus and Gods plan for our salvation and sanctification.<<
Lets take the prayer of Prayer of Pope Pius XII to see what Catholics teach and what scripture says.
Ill use just the bolded excerpts from the prayer.
we cast ourselves into your arms
1 Peter 5:7 Casting all your care upon him; for he careth for you. (When did we need to replace God with Mary?)
confident of finding in your most loving heart appeasement of our ardent desires, and a safe harbor from the tempests which beset us on every side.
Hebrews 4:15-16 For we do not have a High Priest who cannot sympathize with our weaknesses, but was in all points tempted as we are, yet without sin. Let us therefore come boldly to the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy and find grace to help in time of need. (once again Catholics replacing Christ with Mary)
O crystal fountain of faith
Romans 12:3 according as God hath dealt to every man the measure of faith. or "a measure of faith." (but Mary is the fountain of faith for Catholics)
Lily of all holiness
1 Samuel 2:2 There is none holy as the LORD: for there is none beside thee: neither is there any rock like our God. (for Catholics however, all holiness is given to Mary)
Conqueress of evil and death
Hosea 13:14 I will ransom them from the power of the grave; I will redeem them from death: O death, I will be thy plagues; O grave, I will be thy destruction: repentance shall be hid from mine eyes. (but Catholics claim it was Mary who conquered death)
Convert the wicked
John 16:7 Nevertheless I tell you the truth; It is expedient for you that I go away: for if I go not away, the Comforter will not come unto you; but if I depart, I will send him unto you. 8 And when he is come, he will reprove the world of sin, and of righteousness, and of judgment: 9 Of sin, because they believe not on me; (Catholics have even replaced the Holy Spirit with Mary)
Canon means nothing. They had Scripture, and it was called Scripture, at the time of the apostles. Paul's writings were called Scripture by Peter and there was the entire OT.
There are plenty of other doctrines that the Catholic church adheres to that are not any more explicitly spelled out in Scripture than sola Scriptura so that argument against it is not a valid one. It cannot be applied in a case by case basis. If a doctrine like the Trinity can be established by proof texts, so can sola Scriptura.
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.
The Catholic church is not unified in doctrine. There are significant differences of opinion between the Orthodox and the Roman rite. Not to mention the number of other Catholic rites which exist.
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.
Might doesn't make right.
It's a meaningless argument to make a claim of being right on.
Anyone who accepts Jesus and believes in The Trinity is not the enemy to another Christian, in my opinion.
Anyone does that IS a Christian.
We must be united in purpose, not necessarily denominational affiliation.
Actually, I have answered it and my answer is fully supported by references to the orthodox Church Fathers going back to the 2nd century. Your position is well “your position” or one based on an interpretation that Pastor Bubba Bob Jones made at the First Fundie Church of somewhere.
Revelation 12 does point to Mary as from a literal interpretation perpsective, she was the won who gave birth to Christ. The Catholic Church along with the Eastern Orthodox Church have always used the 4 sense of Scripture method [Literal, Allegorical, with is then divided into the spiritual, moral and anagogical sense of scripture] and Typology, OT points to the NT and NT unlocks the Old [following St. Augustine].
So as the Navare Catholic Commentary notes, The Woman is depicted by features that can apply to Israel, the Blessed Virgin and the CHurch. The passage becomes more clearer and more meaningful in light of Revelation as a whole. For example, ST. Luke, in his account of the annunication, sees Mary as representing the faithful remant of Isael; the angel salutes here with the greeting given Zephaniah 3:14-15 to the daughter of Zion. So here this an allegorical connection to Mary supported by the text.
The Navare Commentary goes on to say that a direct reference to Mary is also supported as she as a Mother, shares the pain of Calvary [Luke 2:35] and who was also prophesied in Isiah 7:14 as a sign [cf. Mt 1:22-23]. St Paul in Galatians 4:26 sees in a woman Sarah, an allegorical reference to the Church our mother.
Another reference to Mary being the Woman is described in the Ignatius Catholic Commentary on this passage, Revelation 12:1-6 describes a woman wearing a Crown indicating a Queen Mother who bears a royal male child; thus a Queen Mother of a Davidic Kingdom reestablished by Christ, who is from the line of David and the Eternal King of Glory [cf 1 Kings 2:19-20; Jer 13:18].
Finally, you bait and switch alot in your post. The issue was Assumption of Mary, not the issue of Veneration which is to show Honor towards something or some person.
Moses died and was buried by God.
Just because Elijah and Enoch were taken up without dying, does not mean that one can (excuse the use of the best word available) assume that it happened to Mary just because Scripture does not explicitly state that she died.
That kind of reasoning, that since Scripture doesn't say something did not happen means we can presume that it did, leaves the door wide open to all kinds of error. We could claim that Peter owned a skateboard park since Scripture doesn't say he didn't.
>>Why leave us hanging?<<
Because it was enough.
"ALL SCRIPTURE is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for DOCTRINE, for REPROOF, for CORRECTION, for INSTRUCTION IN RIGHTEOUSNESS: That the man of GOd may be PERFECT, THOROUGHLY FURNISHED unto all good works." 2 Tim. 3:16-17.
But the anointing which ye have received of him abideth in you, and ye need not that any man teach you: but as the same anointing teacheth you of all things, and is truth, and is no lie, and even as it hath taught you, ye shall abide in him. - I John 2:27
>>You, sir, are full of conjecture, but cannot admit it.<<
What have I said that is conjecture?
Assumption as in assume.
There is not one iota of Scripture to support it, but rather speculation and extrapolation.
Zephaniah 3: 14-15 is talking about Israel during and after the Tribulation. No reference to Mary can be inferred. The church did not replace Israel.
Galatians 4:26 is once again not about Mary.
The tortured injection of meaning into scripture by the RCC is painful to observe. Allegory carried to an extreme is dangerous and the RCC certainly does that. >> Another reference to Mary being the Woman is described in the Ignatius Catholic Commentary on this passage, Revelation 12:1-6 describes a woman wearing a Crown indicating a Queen Mother who bears a royal male child; thus a Queen Mother of a Davidic Kingdom reestablished by Christ, who is from the line of David and the Eternal King of Glory [cf 1 Kings 2:19-20; Jer 13:18].<<
Revelation 12 in no way can be referencing Mary unless she is to come down to earth again to be tortured. Giving double meaning doesnt work.
>> Finally, you bait and switch alot in your post. The issue was Assumption of Mary, not the issue of Veneration which is to show Honor towards something or some person.<<
It all ties together. All adoration and honor belong to Christ.
I said that Catholics derive their teaching from Scripture, not only from Scripture. The fact that there are some teachings that flow from an Apostolic Tradition outside of Scripture does not negate the fact that the great majority of Catholic teaching is derived from Scripture. Some here often imply that Catholic teaching has no connection with Scripture when what we are really disputing it the interpretation of Scripture.
Maybe you could show us any positive comments from scripture about a vicar or substitute of Christ.
"Substitute" of Christ is a clever but misleading translation of Vicarius Christi. No Catholic believes that the pope is a substitute for Christ. Vicarius (vicar) is the office of a subordinate who exercises the authority in behalf and in the name of his superior. As to the Scriptural basis for the office of the Vicar of Christ:
Jesus said to [Simon Peter] in reply, Blessed are you, Simon son of Jonah. For flesh and blood* has not revealed this to you, but my heavenly Father. And so I say to you, you are Peter, and upon this rock I will build my church, and the gates of the netherworld shall not prevail against it. I will give you the keys to the kingdom of heaven. Whatever you bind on earth shall be bound in heaven; and whatever you loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven.The mention of the "keys to the kingdom of heaven" is a reference to Isaiah:
Thus says the Lord, the GOD of hosts: Up, go to that official, Shebna, master of the palace, What have you here? Whom have you here, that you have hewn for yourself a tomb here, Hewing a tomb on high, carving a resting place in the rock? The LORD shall hurl you down headlong, mortal man! He shall grip you firmly, And roll you up and toss you like a ball into a broad land. There you will die, there with the chariots you glory in, you disgrace to your masters house! I will thrust you from your office and pull you down from your station.The keys are the symbol of the office of Master of the Palace, i.e. the one who exercises the royal authority on behalf and in the name of the king. The name we give to this office is not important. It could be translated by various terms: prime minister, chancellor, vizier, delegate, viceroy, etc. It ancient Rome the equivalent term was vicarius (vicar). Thus the Petrine office of Vicar of Christ is indeed found in Scripture.
On that day I will summon my servant Eliakim, son of Hilkiah; I will clothe him with your robe, gird him with your sash, confer on him your authority. He shall be a father to the inhabitants of Jerusalem, and to the house of Judah. I will place the key of the House of David on his shoulder; what he opens, no one will shut, what he shuts, no one will open. I will fix him as a peg in a firm place, a seat of honor for his ancestral house; On him shall hang all the glory of his ancestral house: descendants and offspring, all the little dishes, from bowls to jugs.
Now I do not want to be sidetracked by discussion of whether this is the correct interpretation of Scripture. I would like to keep the discussion limited to the topic of this thread: Church infallibility. I am sure that you would take exception to this interpretation of Scripture but note that we would be debating the interpretation of Scripture not whether one is following Scripture versus anti-Scriptural human traditions. You can argue that Catholics are wrong in their understanding but it must be admitted that Catholics honestly believe that the concept of the pope as the Vicar of Christ is derived from Scripture.
Depends entirely on where in Switzerland the name’s pronounced. (But the Britannica, Eleventh Edition, says Chauvin.)
I think I cleary stated Galatians was an allegorical reference to the Church. Catholic Tradition as well as the Orthodox see in Sacred Scripture much more theological depth than American Fundies who think they invented Christianity! The meaning of the word Allegory and spiritual sense of scripture seems to have not been taught to you or you just don’t understand it.
I think my post pointed that in Revelation 12, the constant Patristic Tradition, the ones who canonized the Bible, defended Christological and Trinitarian orthodoxy from every heretical notion, are the same ones who saw the Ark of the Covenant as a prefigurement of Mary and thus the interpretation of Mary as the ark of the covenant and the woman in Heaven is entirely supported by Sacred Scripture an the constant and consistent interpretation of the Early Church, the opinion of Cynicalbear and other FR American Fundies, not withstanding.
The opinion of Cynicalbear
How about we look at what Peter had said just previous to that verse.
Matthew 16: 15 He saith unto them, But whom say ye that I am?
16 And Simon Peter answered and said, Thou art the Christ, the Son of the living God. 17 And Jesus answered and said unto him, Blessed art thou, Simon Barjona: for flesh and blood hath not revealed it unto thee, but my Father which is in heaven.
18 And I say also unto thee, That thou art Peter, and upon this rock I will build my church; and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it.
Jesus was referring back to Peters attestation the Jesus was the Christ, the Son of the living God. Now lets look at who that Rock is.
Deut. 32:4 He is the Rock, his work is perfect: for all his ways are judgment: a God of truth and without iniquity, just and right is he.
2 Sam. 22:2 And he said, The LORD is my rock, and my fortress, and my deliverer; 3 The God of my rock; in him will I trust: he is my shield, and the horn of my salvation, my high tower, and my refuge, my saviour; thou savest me from violence.
Psalm 18:31, "And who is a rock, except our God."
Isaiah 44:8, "Is there any God besides Me, or is there any other Rock? I know of none."
Rom. 9:33, "Behold, I lay in Zion a stone of stumbling and a rock of offense, and he who believes in Him will not be disappointed."
1 Cor. 3:11, "For no man can lay a foundation other than the one which is laid, which is Jesus Christ,"
1 Cor. 10:4, "and all drank the same spiritual drink, for they were drinking from a spiritual rock (petras) which followed them; and the rock (petra) was Christ."
1 Pet. 2:8, speaking of Jesus says that he is "A stone of stumbling and a rock (petra) of offense"; for they stumble because they are disobedient to the word, and to this doom they were also appointed."
1 Peter 2:4 To whom coming, as unto a living stone, disallowed indeed of men, but chosen of God, and precious, 5 Ye also, as lively stones, are built up a spiritual house, an holy priesthood, to offer up spiritual sacrifices, acceptable to God by Jesus Christ. 6 Wherefore also it is contained in the scripture, Behold, I lay in Sion a chief corner stone, elect, precious: and he that believeth on him shall not be confounded. 7 Unto you therefore which believe he is precious: but unto them which be disobedient, the stone which the builders disallowed, the same is made the head of the corner, 8 And a stone of stumbling, and a rock of offence, even to them which stumble at the word, being disobedient: whereunto also they were appointed.
As God has stated. He is the Rock and He knows of not other.
>> I would like to keep the discussion limited to the topic of this thread: Church infallibility.<<
All right. Then how about we look at who has Christ in them.
» John 17:23: Christ Himself prays to His Father: "I in them, and You in Me; that they may be made perfect in one."
» Romans 8:10: Paul tells us, "If Christ is in you, the body is dead because of sin."
» Galatians 2:20: Paul speaks of himself and all true Christians: "I have been crucified with Christ; it is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me."
» Ephesians 3:17-18: Referring to the "inner man," Paul mentions that he prays "that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith."
» I John 3:24: John writes: "Now he who keeps His commandments abides in Him, and He in him. And by this we know that He abides in us, by the Spirit which He has given us."
Romans 8:9 But ye are not in the flesh, but in the Spirit, if so be that the Spirit of God dwell in you. Now if any man have not the Spirit of Christ, he is none of his.
Galatians 3:27 For as many of you as have been baptized into Christ have put on Christ.
2 Corinthians 1:22 Who hath also sealed us, and given the earnest of the Spirit in our hearts.
John 7:38 He that believeth on me, as the scripture hath said, out of his belly shall flow rivers of living water. 39 (But this spake he of the Spirit, which they that believe on him should receive: for the Holy Ghost was not yet given; because that Jesus was not yet glorified.)
John 14:17 Even the Spirit of truth; whom the world cannot receive, because it seeth him not, neither knoweth him: but ye know him; for he dwelleth with you, and shall be in you.
Acts 15:8 And God, who knows the heart, bore witness by granting them the holy Spirit just as he did us. 9 He made no distinction between us and them, for by faith he purified their hearts.
Yet the RCC would have you believe that only the magesterium has the ability to be led by the Spirit of God.
The Pharisees in Jesus day said many of the same we have the history and traditions. We also know how Christ viewed them.
Ok, whatever that means, I am not a pharisee, I am a Catholic and the folks that I am quoting are orthodox Church Fathers who defended the true faith against every heretical notion [Gnostics, Modalist, Montanist, Adoptionist, Subordinationist, Arians, Nestorians, Monophsites, etc, etc, etc]. These Same Church Fathers are the ones who helped shape the NT Canon and are the same ones whose scriptural commentaries I am referring to and citing. If these Men were correct in their Christological and Trinitarian writings, and they are, then I would conjecture their writings regarding the Holy Mother of God are also correct compared to your posts.
This is only your interpretation of Scripture, one that I find laughable. Speaking in Aramaic Jesus would have said "You are Kepha (rock), and on this kepha (rock) " The supposed dichotomy between Petros and petra is supported neither by the context nor by philology.
But again, let us not get sidetracked by a discussion of which is the correct interpretation. You have one interpretation and I have another. Both claim to be based on Scripture. Without an divinely established authority to which we can appeal we are left with nothing but private opinion. Nor will it do to appeal to the Bible; that is where we started and is the source of our disagreement.
If we look at the history of the Church we will find that it always claimed the authority do rule on disputes of theology. Indeed it was this authority which ruled on what is the true canon of Scripture in the first place.
I envy your quick recall of FACTS! I did mention Maryland, and certainly don’t claim that the U. S. was an exclusively protestant creation.
You remind me of others: add Baron Von Steuben (honored in Ohio) to the Revolution’s Catholics and convert (St.) Elizabeth Bailey Seton as the founder of the country’s first free (and Catholic) schools.
It occurs to me, too, that “America” (i.e., the entire western hemisphere) itself is named for a Catholic and the USA capital’s name is shared by a Catholic. And, of course, the fact that the founders had somewhere to “found” rests exclusively on the discoveries of Catholic or preReformation Christian explorers. This extends the argument a bit but it certainly ought to carry some weight.
Absolutely correct and it is Satan keeping you away from it in the Catholic Church.
Argeue all you want the truth is that the Catholic Church is the pillar and foundation of Truth and is the Church that Jesus built upon Peter the rock.
With out proof this is at best conjecture.
Go back and read the original post.
Docility (on Catholic dogma and infallibility)
Beginning Catholic: Infallibility: Keeping the Faith [Ecumenical]
Papal Infallibility [Ecumenical]
Peter & Succession (Understanding the Church Today)
Pope: may all Christians recognize true meaning of Peters primacy
THE PRIMACY OF THE SUCCESSOR OF PETER IN THE MYSTERY OF THE CHURCH
Pope St. Leo the Great and the Petrine Primacy
The Epiphany of the Roman Primacy
THE PRIMACY OF THE SUCCESSOR OF PETER IN THE MYSTERY OF THE CHURCH [Ratzinger]
Dr. Michael Horton has hit it out of the park again! Horton is a treasure, for sure. Thanks for posting this article, Gamecock..
You thought wrong. Heres the Scripture:
But as for you, continue in what you have learned and have become convinced of, because you know those from whom you learned it, and how from infancy you have known the holy Scriptures, which are able to make you wise for salvation through faith in Christ Jesus. 2 Tim 3:14-15
Now lets look at context and reality:
1. This was written to Timothy
2. Timothy was born in 17 AD
Therefore, the Scripture Paul is referring to is The Old Testament
The apostles never assumed or taught that the one Church established by Christ would later be replaced by a book.
I was pretty sure you would not be able to stay out of this fight.
I know that we have a hand full of Catholic, America haters here who are determined to rewrite American history and the Protestant creation of the greatest nation that has ever existed but I don’t see wasting time with them today.
Learning about those America haters was one of the great shocks to me when I started reading FR, I had never known that the element existed, at least not among the minority of Catholics who are not full fledged liberals.
Jimmy Swaggart made me Catholic.
“Tim Staples was your typical enthusiastic Protestant, on fire for his faithuntil he met the “wrong” Marine: a Catholic man who was both willing and able to defend his faith.
How did Tim Staples, an extremely anti-Catholic man, get started on the path to Rome?
What happened to cause the little boy who wanted to be a preacher just like Billy Graham to grow up and become a well-known Catholic apologetics speaker instead?
How did the man Tim set out to “save” end up saving him?
How can a Protestant Bible school be the place where the gift of Catholic faith is forged? Let Tim tell you his story . . .
How could a man who was bound and determined to prove the Catholic Church wrong ever be persuaded otherwise?
Why was Tim defending the Catholic Church during his time at Jimmy Swaggart Bible College? Find out how this school expedited the process of Tim becoming Catholic!
Why did Tim feel so alone on the cusp of becoming a Catholic? The heart-breaking decision Tim had to make while on the verge of conversion
Listen to Tim Staples as he tells you the incredible story of his conversionit’s a story you won’t soon forget.
5 So Moses the servant of the Lord died there in the land of Moab, according to the word of the Lord. 6 And He buried him in a valley in the land of Moab, opposite Beth Peor; but no one knows his grave to this day.
And there you have it.
Oh it will do for me.
Psalm 18:31, "And who is a rock, except our God."
Isaiah 44:8, "Is there any God besides Me, or is there any other Rock? I know of none."
Rom. 9:33, "Behold, I lay in Zion a stone of stumbling and a rock of offense, and he who believes in Him will not be disappointed."
1 Cor. 3:11, "For no man can lay a foundation other than the one which is laid, which is Jesus Christ,"
God said it, I believe it, that settles it.
>> Indeed it was this authority which ruled on what is the true canon of Scripture in the first place.<<
That is so old, tired and weak. God can use anyone for His purposes. Just because God uses a person or an organization means nothing as it relates to being true to Him. I would point to Judas, or any of the nations who came against Israel. Its even stated in Revelation that God will put a hook in their jaw to bring them against Israel. Even if the RCC did codify what was already considered scripture long before there was an RCC it surely doesnt mean they are true to His teachings.
Christ didnt establish an earthly organization as the RCC would have you believe nor has He been replaced with a book. He is still the only head of the body and has no vicar on earth. He lives within each and every true believer and directs their way as He sees the needs and abilities of each.
Exactly, there you have it. And why are you bringing other people into the thread? You can’t discuss theology on your own?
There are many who have fallen away from faith in Christ alone and put their faith in carnal man. Christ warned of following false Christs or those who claim to be vicar of Christ. Christ didnt put anyone in between Himself and His body of believers. Satan snairs many away who don’t put their faith in Him alone.
I thought that surely you would want others to see the basis of your beliefs.
So tell me did all those people (Catholics) who professed Christ as the savior during the first 1,500 years after his death, go to hell? You know all those folks that were persecuted, fed to lions and slaughtered only because of their believe in Him? And have they continued to go to hell in the past 600 years? Inquiring minds want to know.
The basis of my beliefs are supported by the orthodox Writers of Christendon down thru the centuries. as such, it is the faith of the ancients. I think the issue is more of the basis of your beliefs which are the theology developed by CynicalBear. You believe in the theology of Cynicalbear and I will put my beliefs in continuity with St. Ignatius of Antioch, St. Justin Martyre, St. Irenaus of Lyons, St. Athanasiaus, St. Augustine, St. Ambrose of Milan, St. Jerome, the orthodox Church Fathers who met at the Council of Nicea in 325 AD, Constantinopile 381 AD, Ephesus 431 AD, Chalcedon 451 AD, etc, etc. with is entirely in continuity with Sacred Scripture and orthodox Apostolic Tradition.
The beliefs of Cynicalbear are well, the beliefs based on the theology of Cynicalbear.
As for the other posters you linked, I am well aware of them as they are part of the fundie cohort here that are similar to you with their theology according to them. If there is a time and place that I choose to discuss theology with them, I think I should be the one to make that decision.
Your question that I responded to was an open ended question and I responded to said question. Your answers are cleary the answers from your own perspective and can’t be shown to held in consensus with anyone other than similar minded FR Fundie Protestants found here.
I can play that game too:
You are Kepha (Rock), and upon this kepha (rock) I will build my church.God said it, I believe it, that settles it.
I can also add other Catholic teaching from the Bible:
[Jesus said:] Not everyone who says to me, Lord, Lord, will enter the kingdom of heaven, but only the one who does the will of my Father in heaven.God said it, I believe it, that settles it.
[jesus said:] "If you wish to enter into life, keep the commandments."
While they were eating, Jesus took bread, said the blessing, broke it, and giving it to his disciples said, Take and eat; this is my body. Then he took a cup, gave thanks, and gave it to them, saying, Drink from it, all of you, l for this is my blood of the covenant, which will be shed on behalf of many for the forgiveness of sins.
[Jesus] said to them again, Peace be with you. As the Father has sent me, so I send you. And when he had said this, he breathed on them and said to them, Receive the holy Spirit. Whose sins you forgive are forgiven them, and whose sins you retain are retained.
Therefore, brothers, stand firm and hold fast to the traditions that you were taught, either by an oral statement or by a letter of ours.
(2 Thes 2:15)
So also faith of itself, if it does not have works, is dead.
Just because God uses a person or an organization means nothing as it relates to being true to Him.
Except that the office of apostles established by Jesus was to continue after the death of the original twelve:
During those days Peter stood up in the midst of the brothers (there was a group of about one hundred and twenty persons in the one place). He said, My brothers, the scripture had to be fulfilled which the holy Spirit spoke beforehand through the mouth of David, concerning Judas, who was the guide for those who arrested Jesus. He was numbered among us and was allotted a share in this ministry. He bought a parcel of land with the wages of his iniquity, and falling headlong, he burst open in the middle, and all his insides spilled out. This became known to everyone who lived in Jerusalem, so that the parcel of land was called in their language Akeldama, that is, Field of Blood. For it is written in the Book of Psalms:And it is the Church, lead by the apostles and later bishops, which is the pillar and foundation of truth:Let his encampment become desolate,And:
and may no one dwell in it.May another take his office.Therefore, it is necessary that one of the men who accompanied us the whole time the Lord Jesus came and went among us, beginning from the baptism of John until the day on which he was taken up from us, become with us a witness to his resurrection. So they proposed two, Joseph called Barsabbas, who was also known as Justus, and Matthias. Then they prayed, You, Lord, who know the hearts of all, show which one of these two you have chosen to take the place in this apostolic ministry from which Judas turned away to go to his own place. Then they gave lots to them, and the lot fell upon Matthias, and he was counted with the eleven apostles.
Do not neglect the gift you have, which was conferred on you through the prophetic word with the imposition of hands of the presbyterate.
(2 Tim 4:14)
For this reason I left you in Crete so that you might set right what remains to be done and appoint presbyters in every town, as I directed you.
But if I should be delayed, you should know how to behave in the household of God, which is the church of the living God, the pillar and foundation of truth.God said it, I believe it, that settles it.
(1 Tim 3:15)
A preposterous question by anyones standards. Anyone who confesses Christ as their only hope and doesnt go off into what they need to add to His sacrifice is saved. Those who rely on Christ alone are saved. Begin to claim that an individual must somehow merit salvation is professing that Christs sacrifice was not sufficient.
Rom. 11:6, "But if it is by grace, it is no longer on the basis of works, otherwise grace is no longer grace."
>> You know all those folks that were persecuted, fed to lions and slaughtered only because of their believe in Him?<<
Depends, where they professing faith in the church or faith in Christ alone. Only God knows.
>> And have they continued to go to hell in the past 600 years?<<
Not if they professed a faith in Christ alone. Putting faith in the church is nothing but idol worship.
What is really going on: God said, I interpretated it, my interpretation settles it.
I put my faith in Christ not in any mortal man.
>>The beliefs of Cynicalbear are well, the beliefs based on the theology of Cynicalbear.<<
Beliefs based solely on scripture and not some faith in mortal men. If the RCC believes that the church fathers wrote the infallible word of God they should include those writings in their scripture. Well, it actually looks like they do treat them as they do scriptur. Never mind.
>>If there is a time and place that I choose to discuss theology with them, I think I should be the one to make that decision.<<
No one asked you to or suggested you should.
>>Your question that I responded to was an open ended question and I responded to said question.<<
No, this started from my post #17 which wasnt to you but was specifically asked of someone else. Now you cry simply because I included others? LOL
You can not have faith without works nor can you have true works without faith. Read the epistle of James, especially chapter 2.
You can not have faith without works nor can you have true works without faith. Read the epistle of James, especially chapter 2.
This explains why there is over 250 Protestant Churches in the US.
The apostles never assumed or taught that Scripture inspired by God would later be replaced by a *church*. When they were spreading the gospel, they were using Scripture, showing them out of Scripture.
Even Jesus did that on the road to Emmaus.
Luke 24:27 And beginning with Moses and all the Prophets, he interpreted to them in all the Scriptures the things concerning himself.
Galatians 3:24 So the law was put in charge to lead us to Christ that we might be justified by faith.
The only purpose of the Law was to lead us to Christ, to show us that we needed Him. It was never intended to save anyone.
I'll let Jesus answer that one.
Then said they unto him, What shall we do, that we might work the works of God? Jesus answered and said unto them, This is the work of God, that ye believe on him whom he hath sent. John 6:28-29