18 March, 2010

Disagreements with the Church discussed with Ernest S

(Ernest S) It is just plain dishonest of you to claim the authors were Catholic. That is absurd. They were Jews. You delude yourself. All you can see is Roman Catholic, Roman Catholic. They plainly were not Roman Catholic. You show a high degree of pride in yourself and in your church that blinds you and leads you to look extremely foolish.

(Cristoiglesia) Who is being dishonest in this discussion? The New Testament authors were followers of Jesus and the disciples and Catholic Christians. One could say that they were perfected Jews but certainly not that they followed the Mosaic laws of the Old Testament. They were not Jews of the Old Covenant but Jews of the New Covenant instituted by Jesus on the cross when He said “It is finished” meaning the Old Covenant and introducing the New Covenant by His completion of Passover by His drinking from the cup of consummation from the cross. Those at Pentecost were those who were baptized into the New Covenant into the familial relationship with Christ.

Let me straighten you out on the words “Roman Catholic”…… Roman Catholic is a pejorative term given to Catholics by the Protestants during the Protestant rebellion against Christ’s Church in the 16th century. Before that we were called just Catholic as was the name written to by the bishop of Antioch when he defined the Church as those who gather around the bishops. “Where the bishop is there is the Church”, (St. Ignatius 3rd bishop of Antioch in his letter to the Smyrnaeans in 107AD).

Catholic Christians do not object to the name and sometimes even embrace it as our own because it reminds us of the persecution we experienced under Roman rule and the ongoing persecution prophesied by our Savior, Jesus Christ said to us, “the world will hate you as it hated me”. Therefore, we are blessed to be called “Roman Catholic” and be reminded of His prophetic Words. It reminds us that we are His. We are not proud but humbled to be chosen as His as there are so many like yourself who deny His Church and fail to recognize it despite biblical evidence. Only pride could stop one from recognizing that the New Testament is about His Church.

(Ernest S) They were aware of the inspiration as Peter attests, As also in all his epistles, speaking in them of these things; in which are some things hard to be understood, which they that are unlearned and unstable wrest, as they do also the other scriptures, unto their own destruction – which you do. They knew of their Apostolic authority received directly from the Lord as hand picked eyewitnesses. You are plainly wrong, as Scripture shows.

(Cristoiglesia) There is no evidence that the Catholic Christians that wrote the New Testament knew that they were inspired except for St. John who speaks of that inspiration by saying that nothing can be added or taken away from His Apocalypse. With all due respect it is you that has given evidence of using eisegesis in interpreting Scriptures and appearing unlearned in our previous discussions. So, perhaps you should especially heed the advice the Scriptures give and be cognizant of what they say about the result of such practice. Another note is that not all of the writers of the New Testament were among the twelve disciples who were given apostolic authority from Christ. We cannot be sure that they were ordained into apostolic succession. Surely, if all were bishops they would possess this authority but they were probably not, at least at the time they wrote the Scriptures. Besides that authority of Scriptures was not yet recognized by the Church until the late fourth century when approved by Pope St. Damasus and the three African Synods. Jesus never picked anyone to write Scriptures nor did He give instructions for any writing.

(Ernest S) That authority cannot be handed to any other. That is absurd. Eyewitness authority cannot be passed on. That is self evident. We can only believe on their word. So then faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God. It is an obvious principle that delegated authority cannot be delegated or passed to another. It is known in law as delegates non potest delegare. If it were possible then anybody and everybody could receive it, quite in contradiction to the original grant and so the authority would amount to nothing. And that is what the authority of the Roman Catholic Church amounts to And that is what the authority of the Roman Catholic Church amounts to – nothing.

(Cristoiglesia) Of course Apostolic authority can be passed to others as we see happening in the book of Acts, first with Matthias and then with others. St. Mathias was one of the followers of Jesus but others came from those Jewish and gentile converts who were chosen by the disciples as disciples who were indeed those who heard the Word of God transmitted orally but not in a written form except for the Septuagint of course. The simple fact that we see the disciples delegating their authority and the fact that all of those receiving this authority from the disciples shows that “non potest delagare” does not apply. You are claiming “nemo dat quod non habet” but we see that authority being given by Jesus when He gave the 12 the authority to bind and to loose. Jesus clearly had the authority from the Father, passed it to the twelve who then continued this authority by passing it to their disciples. Your claim would only be considered valid if you can prove that Jesus had no authority to pass the authority on. He clearly did. Furthermore, it would seem very odd indeed for our Lord who promised an enduring Church and then to provide leadership for only one generation. He said His Church would endure until the Parousia and to do so an ongoing leadership is necessary for all times.

(Ernest S) God’s church is built upon the authority of the Apostles and Prophets, Christ Jesus being the cornerstone, and upon none other, as Scripture declares. Since the Apostles and Prophets are no longer in this world their authority comes to us only in their word in the Bible. We are to listen to the Apostles only, as John makes quite clear, We are of God: he that knoweth God heareth us; he that is not of God heareth not us.

(Cristoiglesia) No, the Scriptures tell us clearly that Jesus gave all authority on earth to His Church which are the 12 disciples and those they choose in apostolic succession. Using construction vernacular purposefully, we see Jesus building His Church in His teaching. He says that He is the cornerstone of the Church and says that the 12 disciples are the foundation stones. He started the Church with this foundation and it is clear that the Church would not just remain a foundation but that it would be built upon so that it would indeed endure and not fall into apostasy or depart from the truth. In the book of Acts we clearly see that foundation being built upon with the ordaining of successors and they being sent to preach the “Good News”. This foundation is not only built upon by the disciples through apostolic succession but grows through the universal priesthood as well through Baptism. The Gospel was declared almost universally by oral means for the first four centuries of the Church and not in written form. Certainly the original 12 did not live for 400 years and this makes your supposition quite untenable.

(Ernest S) Hereby know we the spirit of truth, and the spirit of error. The Roman Catholic Church do not listen to the Apostles but deny them by their dishonest and invalid claim of Apostolic succession which enables them to make up their own doctrines and introduce paganism and superstition, add to and contradict the inspired writings of the Apostles. Through the Apostles, God has given us a final authority which cannot be changed or overruled by men, as the Roman Catholic Church does.

(Cristoiglesia) The entire New Testament puts into question your claims which show the Church following the teaching of Jesus and the disciples. The Church does claim authority and the ongoing authority of the original Apostles. This is clearly in accordance with Scripture, historical and patristic evidence without contradiction. Yes, the Church does have the authority to form doctrines but the church does not have the authority to change the Word of God as you suggest and never has through the entire 2000 year history of the Church. The Church has never introduced paganism nor superstition. The Church does not overrule authority but represents the authority given by Jesus.

(Ernest S) No wonder the Roman Catholic Church banned the Bible for hundreds of years.

(Cristoiglesia) Never happened! Instead the Church has written, canonized and protected the Scriptures for 2000 years preserving the truth for all humanity.

(Ernest S) Since the Roman Catholic Church does not listen to nor submit itself to the Apostles, or to Scripture for that matter, it is of the spirit of error as the Apostle John says, We are of God: he that knoweth God heareth us; he that is not of God heareth not us. Hereby know we the spirit of truth, and the spirit of error. That spirit of error is the spirit of antichrist that the Apostle warns of.

(Cristoiglesia) You’re a priori assumere argument is false therefore your conclusion of the Church being the anti-Christ or in the spirit of the anti-Christ is false. But for the Christian who knows the Bible and the history of the Church we know that such a conclusion makes Jesus into a liar who said that the gates of hell will never prevail against the Church. To believe that the Church has instead fallen into apostasy makes Jesus a liar and a pretender as the Messiah. He is not.

(Ernest S) The Roman Catholic Church denies that The Roman Catholic Church denies that Christ indwells each individual believer and claims itself alone as the final arbiter.

(Cristoiglesia) No, the opposite is true, we teach that the Holy Spirit will guide all to the truth through the Church since it is the Church that Jesus gave all authority to including the teaching authority. As far as being “arbiter” it depends on how you define this word. We do not claim the authority to judge the hearts of men if this is your criticism. Only God has the authority to judge in this way.

(Ernest) It also foolishly claims the giving of the presence of Christ in its mass in a demonstrably false claim. How foolish is it to claim that, when true believers already have the presence of Christ indwelling? Then the Roman Catholic Church is false and puts itself in the place of Christ even claiming to distribute Christ. That is flatly antichrist.

(Cristoiglesia) We do not follow the commandment of Jesus to “eat His Body and to drink His Blood” foolishly but instead we do so obediently. I agree it is foolishness to the carnal mind as Jesus instructed it is to be discerned in the Spirit and not by our carnal senses.( see John Chapter 6) His miracle could only be proven demonstrably false had He chosen to change the appearance of the bread and the wine, but instead He made it a test of faith which conforms His miracle to the prophecy of it being a bloodless sacrifice unlike the sacrifice of the Old Covenant. His sacrifice is the sacrifice of the New Covenant instead where His Body and Blood remain under the appearance of bread and wine. The Eucharist is the truly real and substantial Body, Blood, Soul and Divinity of our Lord. Following the commandment of our Lord is not antichrist but the antithesis of the antichrist. St Paul said that to receive the Sacrament without discerning the Body and Blood of our Lord brings condemnation on oneself. Such could hardly be true if it was a symbolic representation being spoken of.

(Ernest S) The world listens to it and pays respect to it exactly as the Apostle says, They are of the world: therefore speak they of the world, and the world heareth them. Its converts, as you are, are of the world and you minister a worldly religion of man’s making, and that religion is opposed to the true knowledge of Christ and replaces Christ. Many religions use Christ’s name to try to obtain what is a spurious credibility and yours is no different.

(Cristoiglesia) The world listens to the Church and defiles it, the faithful listen to Christ’s Church and are humbly obedient. The Church can never be worldly but remains heavenly. It does not conform to the temptations of the world but remains separate from them. The Church contains the fullness of truth proclaimed by our Lord and represents Christ on earth. The Church is the opposite of a man-made church represented by the 30,000+ Protestant sects but remains the sole testimony and witness of the promise of an enduring Church made by Jesus to humanity. It is the Protestants like yourself who use Christ’s name to attack His Church and spread your doctrines of men from your man made sects. Protestants follow instead the spirit of confusion who spawns their exponentially increasing schisms. His Church, the Catholic Church, remains the rock of faith and truth.

(Ernest S) This is also proved by Christ’s words to Peter. Peter was not the first Pope - that is laughably absurd. He was a Jew and was given Apostleship to the Jews. The keys of the Kingdom of Heaven is the office of Apostle to the Jews. The Kingdom of Heaven, or Kingdom of Heaven on Earth, to give it its full title, was only offered to the Jews. They were offered the Kingdom of Heaven with Christ reigning as King from Jerusalem but they rejected Him, as He knew they would, and therefore the Kingdom of Heaven also, and they slew Him. The Kingdom of God has subsequently been The Kingdom of God has subsequently been offered to the Gentiles through the Apostle Paul and is a spiritual Kingdom ruled over by Christ from Heaven through the Spirit until the time He returns. The Roman Catholic Church knows nothing of this and is merely an outward organization of men and rules as men lording itself over men and is in complete opposition to the Kingdom of God.

(Cristoiglesia) Jesus is not the author of absurdity but of truth and He clearly gave the authority of prime minister to St. Peter fulfilling the prophecy of Isaiah. He does not just have authority of leadership over the Jews but of all men who will be drawn into the familial relationship with Christ through His Church. St. Peter is clearly given the authority as the leader of the shepherds and that lowest of all men as the servant of the servants of man. The leadership of the Church does not lord over others as you suggest but instead it is a servant class within the Church. We are the lowest of the low.

(Ernest S) Peter was given authority to assure forgiveness was available to the Jews who had slain God, the most heinous crime, for which they would understandably think there was no forgiveness, just as Joseph, thousands of years before had the authority to assure forgiveness to his brothers who would have slain him, but sold him, not caring whether he lived or died, and they callously deceived their father. That was Peter’s ministry, to confirm forgiveness was both possible and available and offered. He was ideally placed as an intimate and prominent disciple of Christ, to fulfill that role. He has no ministry to Gentiles.

(Cristoiglesia) Certainly your theory of the leadership of the Church is quite unorthodox and fanciful but has little basis in Scripture and certainly no basis in truth. The ministry of the Church is not exclusive nor has it ever been. The first converts were Jews and the then the Gentiles. The Church does not exclude any part of humanity and ministers to all.

(Ernest S) If the Roman Catholic Church cannot see that, which is a simple record of the Scriptures, and given to any by the Holy Spirit, then they do not have the Spirit of God and are wildly dishonest and deceitful and opposed to God. That surely ranks as blasphemy against the Spirit? At best they are very foolish men, otherwise they are wickedness itself.

(Cristoiglesia) So, if the Church does not believe as you that it is to reach out to Jews alone then we are not of the Spirit of God; is that your conclusion? You are correct that I do not see such a conclusion from Scriptures. I see the Scriptures telling the Church and revealing in practice the going forth into the world to preach the Gospel to all men and not to selected groups. The Bible tells us that the law is written on every man’s heart. Since this is what the Holy Spirit appeals to when bringing one to faith, for what purpose do the Gentiles have the law on their hearts if the Holy Spirit is not to draw them to faith? How is it blasphemy against the Holy Spirit if one does not agree with you? How is it deceitful, foolish, wicked and dishonest to not agree with your eisegesis?

(Ernest S)The gates of Hell cannot stand against the revelation of the Spirit which is what Christ observed about Peter, And Jesus answered and said The gates of Hell cannot stand against the revelation of the Spirit which is what Christ observed about Peter, 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. The Roman Catholic Church does not have the Spirit of God but even claims to be the only church. It is therefore the gates of Hell itself.

(Cristoiglesia) This is not a new argument but even when I was a Protestant I recognized that one must be able to do some mental gymnastics to come to such a conclusion as you. One has to ignore all grammatical rules and be very prejudiced for such eisegesis. The Church is the living testimony of Christ as St. Peter personifies. It is upon the rock of St. Peter as a foundation stone of the Church that it is built and not upon the foundation of sand that will go away and fall into apostasy.

(Ernest S) Christ leads the church by the Holy Spirit and has no need of man’s works. It is perfectly possible to separate Christ from the Roman Catholic Church, which I have just done.

(Cristoiglesia) No, you nor Satan himself will ever separate Christ from His Church. How can it be that leadership is not necessary when there are over 30,000+ different schisms in the Protestant Church which stand as testimony that man when left without leadership is incapable of unity? Jesus prayed in the Garden of Gethsemane that we all be one in His Church as He and the Father are one. How can anyone say that Protestantism personifies what Jesus was praying for with their tens of thousands of different sects, each with their own version of truth and heresy?

(Ernest S) How thankful I am that God has graciously given His word to deliver us from the wickedness of men and the wickedness of the Roman Catholic Church.

(Cristoiglesia) It appears that you cannot even recognize His Word and thus cannot discern wickedness from Godliness. If His Church is indeed wicked you just called our Lord a liar and a pretender as the messiah, for the Bible says that the Church is the “pillar and foundation of the truth”.

(Ernest S) Oh! And didn’t the Roman Catholic Church ban the Bible and savagely persecute and kill untold numbers of those who sought to live by the Bible? For hundreds of years? For the Son of man is not come to destroy men's lives, but to save them. Wherefore by their fruits ye shall know them.

(Cristoiglesia) No, this is only in your deceived imagination.

(Ernest S) Much more than that, He gives His Holy Spirit to lead us so that we do not need corrupt and wicked men who make merchandise out of us and manipulate us for their own ends. For all those things hath mine hand made, and all those things have been, saith the LORD: but to this man will I look, even to him that is poor and of a contrite spirit, and trembleth at my word. For thus saith the high and lofty One that inhabiteth eternity, whose name is Holy; I dwell in the high and hHow thankful I am that God has graciously given His word to deliver us from the wickedness of men and the wickedness of the Roman Catholic Church.

(Cristoiglesia) My goodness, what an impertinent rant you indulge yourself in. It is impossible for Christ’s Church to be wicked. Men may be wicked but the Church remains Godly after its founder.

(Ernest S) Much more than that, He gives His Holy Spirit to lead us so that we do not need corrupt and wicked men who make merchandise out of us and manipulate us for their own ends. For all those things hath mine hand made, and all those things have been, saith the LORD: but to this man will I look, even to him that is poor and of a contrite spirit, and trembleth at my word. For thus saith the high and lofty One that inhabiteth eternity, whose name is Holy; I dwell in the high and holy place, with him also that is of a contrite and humble spirit, to revive the spirit of the humble, and to revive the heart of the contrite ones. Ha! No Roman Catholic Church there!!!

(Cristoiglesia) The Bible tells us that the Holy Spirit leads the Church from error. If one does not recognize the Church in God’s Word then that person is ignoring the Holy Spirit and responding only to another spirit and to their carnality inflated by pride. What is more prideful….. to be obedient to His Church or to Protest His Church by attending man-made sects with man-made doctrines. The Bible prophesies that there will be those who cannot endure sound doctrine as you clearly say you cannot do and that they will gather around them false teachers that satisfy their itching ears as you have done. So who are the Scriptures most speaking of the obedient to His Church or the disobedient who believe that their man-made sect is superior to the Church founded by Jesus and built by the disciples?

(Ernest S) God mocks you and your pride. Thank God forever that He has delivered us from you. Of course, you call anything that does not worship your church, “Protestant.” How full of self and pride can you be? You need to repent, and seek Christ, even at this late stage. Regards, Ernest.

(Cristoiglesia) God mocks no one nor does He label His obedient faithful as prideful. Your thanks for being outside His Church does not belong to Christ but to Satan as Christ draws all to His Church but it is Satan who appeals to man’s pride to keep him outside of Christ’s Church by thinking that a man-made sect is superior to what Christ has founded. Any person not obedient to Christ’s Church is a Protestant as they are protesting what Christ has founded by rejecting His Church and choosing for themselves a church of their own creation.

I do repent of my sins regularly; perhaps you should take your own advice. God bless!

In Christ
Fr. Joseph

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