30 October, 2009

Discussion with St. Alan servant of Jesus about the authority of the Church and the Scriptures

(St. Alan) That is a false teaching that only the catholic church can interpret Scriptures. The inspired Scriptures were written by God through Godly people by the Holy Spirit. The catholic church did not write them.

(Cristoiglesia) I guess you will have to provide at least one of the New Testament authors who was not a Catholic Christian to prove your theory. The fact is they were all Catholic Christians because there were no other Christians in the first century when they were written. Every word of the New Testament was written by Catholic Christians and the Church chose the inspired writings as Canon at the African Synods of Hippo and Carthage in the late fourth and early fifth centuries. Most reasonable people would accept the fact that the source of writing would be the best source to interpret the writing.

By the end of the first century the Church was formed around the bishop who represented the Church in apostolic succession. The great commission was well underway and had extended to the Gentiles as well as the Jews. In scriptures we see St. Paul in his epistles telling the Church to respect the Sacred Traditions handed to them coming from both written sources and oral ones. Even the written sources were delivered orally as transcripts were very rare and few people were literate. There was not widespread distribution of what we consider today to be inspired Scripture as decided at the African Synods by the Church in the late fourth and early fifth centuries. Throughout the first sixteen centuries of the Church there was never any question that the authority of truth rested in the Church as the “regula fidei” where all teaching was and is measured by Sacred Tradition not by the Bible alone, especially when interpreted outside of its source the Church. To orthodox Christians this would be considered ridiculous as well as arrogant considering the church never wrote the Bible to be a sole source of faith, morals and practice and one author even reminded those who would approach its use in such a way as to consider it the only source that it is incomplete as far as teaching and that Christ taught much more than what it contained. In fact, it warns that it contains only a small part of Christ’s teaching, but the faithful need not fear because the Church was sent the Holy Spirit that leads the Church to all truths.

Obviously, because there are those who have rejected orthodox Christianity some lack the fullness of truth that is contained in the Episcopal structure of Christ’s Church. They lack the fullness of worship by not having the corporeal Christ present in their worship. They lack the fullness of faith by not receiving His Body and Blood that the Bible and Sacred Tradition say is necessary for eternal life. The Church is led by men as the enduring Church and not by a book easily misinterpreted and its teaching turned into the traditions and doctrines of men by those through eisegesis use it to support their desires of the flesh very often exhibited by their hatred for the Church and hatred for the most sacred of gifts to humanity His Body and Blood of the Eucharist. These misinterpretations also cause them to have animosity for each other with the same source, the Bible being used to justify schisms which are usually not so much the result of theological disagreements so much as pridefulness and deceit which are no gifts of the Spirit but attributes of the flesh that inhibit our process of sanctification that leads to final salvation. Perhaps this is why Jesus said as a prophetic statement, that unless we eat of His Body and drink His blood we have no life in us. Perhaps this is why the Bible teaches that it is not enough to cry “Lord, Lord” as some of those who do will hear at their judgment that Christ never knew them and be thrown into the lake of fire.

Christ did not teach that we are to gather around a book of Scriptures to find the truth but that the truth is found in the Church that gathers around the bishop. God was not the author of division as has occurred with those who have abandoned the Church for their private interpretations of Scripture into tens of thousands of exponentially increasing schisms without end. God is a God of unity where He prayed His prayer before His arrest and crucifixion that we all be one. He is not a God that can only be found in the pages of a Book but who is found in His Church and where His corporeal presence is given to His Church as He promised so that we may endure to eternal life and His Church may endure until He comes again. It is His Church where the truth resides and it is the place where we find the ”bulwark and ground of the truth”, there is no other.

St. Alan) 2 Timothy 3:16,17 16All Scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness, 17that the man of God may be competent, equipped for every good work.

The interpretation of the inspired Scriptures is by Godly men with the Holy Spirit. Not by only one church. The Bible is not to be interpreted according to our own desires and prejudices which the catholic church has done for over a thousand years.

(Cristoiglesia) I have explained this to you before. Yes, the Catholic Church wrote those words and we truly believe them. But you will notice that those words are not an endorsement for Scripture alone. And, you must remember that Jesus gave all teaching authority to His Church and the writing and canonization of Scripture is done under the authority given by Christ to teach. The Scriptures were written by the Church to be used and understood in the community of the Church and not for private interpretation outside of the teaching authority given by Christ. Nowhere will you see in Scriptures that what is contained is the entirety or fullness of Christ’s teaching. In fact the Scriptures tell us that if all that Jesus taught was written down that all the books in the world could not contain His teaching. But, through the authority He left, His Church, the fullness of His teaching is promised

(St. Alan) The very fact that you claim the catholic church wrote the bible, the catholic church canonized them, and only the catholic church can interpret them says the catholic church is very close to becoming a cult!

I give the catholic church about another 50 years before it completely becomes a cult like the JW and Mormons.

(Cristoiglesia) I would remind you that the Jehovah Witnesses and the Mormons all came out of the Protestant movement and in particular the Millerite-Campbellite movement along with the Church of Christ, Disciples of Christ, Peoples Temple, Branch Davidians, Seventh Day Adventist and etc. One could certainly support the theory that the heretical doctrine of Sola Scriptura had a lot to do with the divisions and the heretical thought that each person is their own theologian and authority.

Jesus gave the authority to the Church which is represented by apostolic succession. In doing so He gave certain promises to humanity and to those of us who follow His teaching. He promised that His Church would endure for all times. He said that the gates of hell would never prevail against the Church, and He provided leadership that is preserved for all times with the fullness of truth. The Bible further states that the Church is “the pillar and foundation of the truth”. Jesus promised to be with His Church in both a spiritual way through the Holy Spirit and in a corporeal way through the Eucharist. These promises give confidence and guidance that the 2000 year old enduring Church is the only Church that fulfills His promises. So, either you acknowledge this fact or search to find another church that fits His promises. There is none. But some men out of their pride abandon and protest Christ’s Church by creating their own counterfeit to what Christ has created. They entice and seduce those that Christ prophesied would someday no longer be able to endure the sound doctrine in the Church and find their own teachers that satisfy their itching ears. Those are the Protestants like yourself. So, in conclusion, it is the Protestants that are responsible for the more than 30,000 schisms that have been produced by the heretical teaching of sola Scriptura and Sola Fide and all of the so called cults And not the Catholic Church who stands alone as the Ark for humanity and the shining city on the hill (Mat. 5:14).

God bless!

In Christ
Fr. Joseph

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