29 March, 2012

Part II Discussion with PeaceByJesus

(Cristoiglesia) I am still curious as to what you meant by the preceding statement. “works against” conversion out of a contrite heart?”

(PeaceByJesus)  Well, I am still curious as to what your basis is for assurance of truth, by what means (what sources and means do you appeal to), we can be sure of truth and that Rome is the OTC, and i am not getting a clear answer.

(Cristoiglesia) I thought I was very clear when I said the following:

It is Christ’s promises that provides the veracity for the Church. Matt. 10:20; Luke 12:12; Matt. 16:18; Luke 10:16; John 14:16; John 16:13 I would not pretend to be any more clear than Christ.

(PeaceByJesus) In addition, rather than placing your latest response to my post below it, you are placing it above, which will end up making it harder to chronologically follow.

(Cristoiglesia) I agree but I have no control as the posts are listed chronologically.

(PeacebyJesus)  As for “works against” conversion out of a contrite heart?” i am referring to institutionalized “Christian” religion, Catholic or Protestant, and which fosters confidence in the church and or one's own merit for salvation, and typically perfunctory professions and liberal views, which Catholics (such as Rome counts and buries as members) overall evidence. Note that what we believe and teach is not simply what we say, but what we effectually convey.

(Cristoiglesia) I agree…what we are conveying by our merciful actions is that we are called not to judge the hearts of our congregants as to their salvific worth. The Church does not presume to know who is saved and who is not. We pray that all are saved by God’s mercy and justice is not ours but the Lord’s. Again, I would pray that what we convey is a merciful non-judgmental Church who cannot pretend to know the state of one’s soul at death. Only God knows who is saved. Certainly we can be assured that no one is saved without the Church and while we know where the Church resides we do not profess to know where it is not.

(Cristoiglesia) The Catholic and Orthodox Church share the same apostolic authority from Christ so all congregations that share this authority of Christ are the true Church.

(PeaceByJesus) We are looking for the One True Church in particular, and while Rome can include them as part of the “Church,” and even baptized Protestants in general as part of the body of Christ, yet both RCs and EOs claims to be the OTC in particular. And assured papal infallibility or lack thereof, among other things, is part of that uniqueness, with both claiming Tradition is on their side, and with both holding to sola ecclesia.

► In the Nicene Creed of faith our Church is described as the "One, Holy Catholic and Apostolic Church": "One" because there can only be one true Church with one head Who is Christ... Each of these titles is limiting in some respects, since they define Christians belonging to particular historical or regional Churches of the Orthodox communion... After the seventh Ecumenical Council in AD 787, the basic unity of faith and ecclesiastical life between East and West began to disintegrate, due to a variety of theological, jurisdictional, cultural and political differences. This eventually led to the Great Schism between East and West of AD 1054. (http://www.goarch.org/archdiocese/)

(Cristoiglesia) I have already given to you the 1st century definition of the visible Church which is defined by the apostles and their chosen successors. The apostolic unity cannot compromised by our disagreements as it is ordained by Christ. This continues to unite us even with our theological, jurisdictional and political differences and we remain one true Church in schism.

 All authority was given to the apostles from Christ and at least some of that special authority is recorded in Scripture and is certainly attested to by the ante Nicene fathers.

There is no doubt that the apostles knew that their ministry would survive their death as it was needed to be a permanent living presence until the Parousia.

(Mat 28:20 DRB) Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you. And behold I am with you all days, even to the consummation of the world.

Knowing their responsibility in preserving the teaching of Christ they ordained successors giving them the gift of the Spirit with Episcopal consecration:

(Act 1:8 DRB) But you shall receive the power of the Holy Ghost coming upon you, and you shall be witnesses unto me in Jerusalem, and in all Judea, and Samaria, and even to the uttermost part of the earth.

(Act 2:4 DRB) And they were all filled with the Holy Ghost: and they began to speak with divers tongues, according as the Holy Ghost gave them to speak.

(Joh 20:22 DRB) When he had said this, he breathed on them; and he said to them: Receive ye the Holy Ghost.

(Joh 20:23 DRB) Whose sins you shall forgive, they are forgiven them: and whose sins you shall retain, they are retained.

(1Ti 4:14 DRB) Neglect not the grace that is in thee, which was given thee by prophecy, with imposition of the hands of the priesthood.

(2Ti 1:6 DRB) For which cause I admonish thee that thou stir up the grace of God which is in thee by the imposition of my hands.

(2Ti 1:7 DRB) For God hath not given us the spirit of fear: but of power and of love and of sobriety.

There is no doubt that “Apostolic Succession” is a historical fact. Scriptures, as well show clearly that Christ chose these apostles and commissioned them to establish and continue his work with his authority and they ordained successors. It is Apostolic Succession that is the link connecting the Church to Christ. It is the authority from Christ of the Episcopacy that brings so many knowledgeable people to return to the Catholic faith as I am a witness.

We see those who were ordained in apostolic succession fulfilling their ministry:

(Act 20:28 DRB) Take heed to yourselves and to the whole flock, wherein the Holy Ghost hath placed you bishops, to rule the Church of God which he hath purchased with his own blood.

(1Th 1:1 DRB) Paul and Sylvanus and Timothy to the church of the Thessalonians: in God the Father and in the Lord Jesus Christ.

(1Th 1:2 DRB) Grace be to you and peace. We give thanks to God always for you all: making a remembrance of you in our prayers without ceasing,

(1Th 1:3 DRB) Being mindful of the work of your faith and labour and charity: and of the enduring of the hope of our Lord Jesus Christ before God and our Father.

(1Th 1:4 DRB) Knowing, brethren, beloved of God, your election:

(1Th 1:5 DRB) For our gospel hath not been unto you in word only, but in power also: and in the Holy Ghost and in much fulness, as you know what manner of men we have been among you for your sakes.

(1Th 1:6 DRB) And you became followers of us and of the Lord: receiving the word in much tribulation, with joy of the Holy Ghost:

(1Th 1:7 DRB) So that you were made a pattern to all that believe in Macedonia and in Achaia.

1Th 1:8 DRB) For from you was spread abroad the word of the Lord not only in Macedonia and in Achaia but also in every place: your faith which is towards God, is gone forth, so that we need not to speak any thing.

(1Th 1:9 DRB) For they themselves relate of us, what manner of entering in we had unto you: and how you turned to God from idols to serve the living and true God.

(1Th 1:10 DRB) And to wait for his Son from heaven (whom he raised up from the dead), Jesus, who hath delivered us from the wrath to come.

(2Ti 1:6 DRB) For which cause I admonish thee that thou stir up the grace of God which is in thee by the imposition of my hands.

(Tit 1:5 DRB) For this cause I left thee in Crete: that thou shouldest set in order the things that are wanting and shouldest ordain priests in every city, as I also appointed thee:

(Tit 1:6 DRB) If any be without crime, the husband of one wife. having faithful children, not accused of riot or unruly.

(Tit 1:7 DRB) For a bishop must be without crime, as the steward of God: not proud, not subject to anger, nor given to wine, no striker, not greedy of filthy lucre:

(Tit 1:8 DRB) But given to hospitality, gentle, sober, just, holy, continent:

(Tit 1:9 DRB) Embracing that faithful word which is according to doctrine, that he may be able to exhort in sound doctrine and to convince the gainsayers.

(1Ti 4:14 DRB) Neglect not the grace that is in thee, which was given thee by prophecy, with imposition of the hands of the priesthood.

(2Ti 1:6 DRB) For which cause I admonish thee that thou stir up the grace of God which is in thee by the imposition of my hands.

St. Paul goes on to instruct St. Timothy as to who is a qualified candidate for ordination:

(1Ti 3:1 DRB) A faithful saying: If a man desire the office of a bishop, he desireth good work.

(1Ti 3:2 DRB) It behoveth therefore a bishop to be blameless, the husband of one wife, sober, prudent, of good behaviour, chaste, given to hospitality, a teacher,

(1Ti 3:3 DRB) Not given to wine, no striker, but modest, not quarrelsome, not covetous, but

(1Ti 3:4 DRB) One that ruleth well his own house, having his children in subjection with all chastity.

(1Ti 3:5 DRB) But if a man know not how to rule his own house, how shall he take care of the church of God?

(1Ti 3:6 DRB) Not a neophyte: lest, being puffed up with pride, he fall into the judgment of the devil.

(1Ti 3:7 DRB) Moreover, he must have a good testimony of them who are without: lest he fall into reproach and the snare of the devil.

(1Ti 5:22 DRB) Impose not hands lightly upon any man, neither be partaker of other men's sins. Keep thyself chaste.

We also find in the Scriptures that those in Apostolic Succession had particular and varied duties:

(1Co 12:27 DRB) Now you are the body of Christ and members of member.

(1Co 12:28 DRB) And God indeed hath set some in the church; first apostles, secondly prophets, thirdly doctors: after that miracles: then the graces of healings, helps, governments, kinds of tongues, interpretations of speeches.

(1Co 12:29 DRB) Are all apostles? Are all prophets? Are all doctors?

(Eph 4:11 DRB) And he gave some apostles, and some prophets, and other some evangelists, and other some pastors and doctors:

(Eph 4:12 DRB) For the perfecting of the saints, for the word of the ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ:

We are further reminded of the foundation of the Church:

(Eph 2:19 DRB) Now therefore you are no more strangers and foreigners: but you are fellow citizens with the saints and the domestics of God,

(Eph 2:20 DRB) Built upon the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Jesus Christ himself being the chief corner stone:

This is only some of the Scriptures speaking of apostolic succession and the duties, need and authority of the office.

(PeaceByJesus) Then there are those who attempt to join together all Christian religions into one faith. They would be horrified at the idea of a service with Hindus and Christians celebrating together, yet they do not bat an eyelash at the idea of Orthodox celebrating with Roman Catholics, who with no authority broke off from the Church close to a thousand years ago. (http://www.orthodox.net/articles/against-ecumenism.html)

(Cristoiglesia) It is Christ’s desire that we be one. If anyone says differently they are speaking outside of God’s will.

(PeaceByJesus) "The Orthodox Church opposes the Roman doctrines of universal papal jurisdiction, papal infallibility, purgatory, and the Immaculate Conception precisely because they are untraditional." — Clark Carlton, THE WAY: What Every Protestant Should Know About the Orthodox Church, 1997, p 135>

(Cristoiglesia) Yes the Orthodox would not agree as to the extent of the authority of the Pope or prime minister of the Church but they have always agreed that the Pope or Bishop of Rome is the first among equals. The East and the West define this differently as to jurisdiction. The East would agree that the Pope and the office he holds comes with a charism from Christ. Again, the disagreement may be the extent of that charism. On purgatory there is very little difference between the Eastern and the Western Church. The difference between the East and the West according to the Immaculate conception is that the Catholic Church believes in a priori state of the blessed mother of sinlessness while the Orthodox agree that she was without sin but believe that this state was imposed by her lack of sinful actions. This difference is based primarily on the lack of unity between the East and the West as to whether God works outside of time or within time. Is God within time or outside of this creation? I believe that both the Eastern and western Church would disagree with Clark Carlton as to these beliefs being untraditional.

(PeaceByJesus) “Both purgatory and indulgences are inter-corrolated theories, unwitnessed in the Bible or in the Ancient Church, and when they were enforced and applied they brought about evil practices at the expense of the prevailing Truths of the Church. If Almighty God in His merciful loving-kindness changes the dreadful situation of the sinner, it is unknown to the Church of Christ. The Church lived for fifteen hundred years without such a theory.” — http://www.goarch.org/ourfaith/ourfaith7076

(Cristoiglesia) Both the Eastern and the Western Church agrees that there have been evil abuses of the selling of indulgencies by some individuals. And, we would both agree that this has been witnessed but both also agree that it is necessary for one to be purified of even the dross of sin before entering into the presence of God. We call that process of purgation purgatory but it is not a place but instead a process of final purification for those entering heaven.

(Cristoiglesia) I am not sure what papal infallibility has to do with the current discussion.

(PeaceByJesus) You are not sure what Rome's papal infallibility has to do with who the OTC is ??? RCs are defending Rome as the One True Church® in particular. Can Rome be this OTC without it?

(Cristoiglesia) Whether the Pope is infallible or not has nothing to do with the veracity of the Church founded by Christ. Whether the Pope is fallible or not the Church is still the One, Holy, Catholic and Apostolic Church. As I have pointed out the Church has veracity because of Christ and not because of itself or anyone in it.

Let us look at the teaching of our Lord about His Church. Using construction vernacular He said that He was the King, High Priest, and Cornerstone of the Church. The beginning of a firm/solid/ foundation is always the cornerstone which holds together the elements of the construction.

He appointed St. Peter as the prime minister of the Church fulfilling the prophecy of Isaiah that the Messiah would ordain an enduring office of prime minister and that that prime minister would be given the keys to the kingdom. This is exactly what He did when appointing St. Peter. The keys represented his office and the authority of that office which was to have the power of the king in ministering to the kingdom and the authority to teach and proclaim the will of the king. (Isa 22:20-25)

The disciples are called the 12 foundation stones (Rev 21:14) of the Church continuing illustrating the permanence of what God is building through apostolic succession. It is not a foundation of sand that is temporary but is of an enduring nature to last until the Parousia and strong enough to withstand the tumultuous attacks of hell that would surely attempt to prevail against the Church using every method of attack from within and from without. Even the world would hate that which our Lord had built just as it hated Him. This enduring leadership is the foundation of a Church that can truly be called the "pillar and foundation of the truth" because that which Christ has ordained shall never pass away or be absorbed into the world but will for all time remain heavenly as the ark for humanity where all may be saved just as the ark of Noah was the type for the Church which must endure within the evil of the world to bring the faithful into the promised land of heaven.

Last of all; the Church stands as testimony to the veracity of Christ and His promises to humanity. The Church is the fulfillment of Scriptures in its enduring quality as well as it being that pillar or bulwark of truth in a world filled with lies, temptation and sins that will murder souls to Christ and decrease the harvest. Its unity in His will with faith and oneness of its mission to proclaim the Gospel after 2000 years is a miracle in itself but also it proclaims the divinity of our Lord where in His prophetic vision, competence of His leadership as the builder of His Church and His promises of His Church makes it truly a city on a hill that cannot be hid (Mat 5:14) frustrating its detractors and more truly the "gates of hell".

(Peace ByJesus) i want to know if historical decent makes the magisterium of Rome supreme in any conflict

(Cristoiglesia) No, it is Christ’s promises that provides the veracity for the Church. Matt. 10:20; Luke 12:12; Matt. 16:18; Luke 10:16; John 14:16; John 16:13

(PeaceByJesus) Again, Church as in Rome. So despite your invoking tradition and history, it is Scripture that establishes the veracity for the Church? I did not know you were an evangelical. But that is an interpretation of Scripture, to which there are alternatives. What makes that one right, and as providing assurance ?

(Cristoiglesia) It seems as if you are trying to make this into a circular argument when in fact, it is the Church existing priori to the Scripture about the Church. Again the veracity of the Church is from Christ. Scripture only records what Christ had already established.

(PeaceByJesus) And despite the competition on the basis of Tradition and history, would you say that having historical decent of magisterial office at least negates the authority of claims of those who lack it in any conflict?

(Cristoiglesia) The Church is the teaching authority for all Christians by the authority given to the Church by Christ.

(PeaceByJesus) By Church you mean the RCC. That is an often made claim, but repetition does not make it right.

(Cristoiglesia) No, I am speaking of the Catholic Church. Roman Catholic Church is a pejorative name given to the Church by the Church of England. What makes it right is the promises of Christ.

(Peace By Jesus) Are you claiming that Rome provided an infallible, indisputable canon that early?

 (Cristoiglesia) Certainly

(PeaceByJesus) False. According to weightier sources than you, Trent was the first infallible proclamation of the canon, and thus there was dispute among Roman Catholic scholars through the centuries right into Trent (and there is yet dispute whether the canon it affirmed was exactly the same as that of Carthage and Hippo).

(Cristoiglesia) No, there was no dispute of the Canon that brought about the proclamation of Canon at the Council of Trent. It was in response to the Protestant heretic’s attempts to change the Christian Canon.

(Cristoiglesia) The Church is the teaching authority as an infallible book needs an infallible teacher.

(PeaceByJesus) Again you mean the RCC, and upon that premise, an assuredly infallible magisterium must have existed before Rome in order for people to rightly understand Scripture. Can you tell me what that was?

(Cristoiglesia) No, the Church is called the Catholic Church and not the RCC. The Church existed prior to Scripture. It was the Church that produced the New Testament which is testimony of the Church and its relationship to Christ.

(PeaceByJesus) Moreover, by that logic, the church must have an assured infallible interpreter of itself, as what it teaches often requires some interpretation. Can you definitely even tell me how many infallible pronouncements there are in all?

(Cristoiglesia) That would be the Holy Spirit that was given to the Church and prevents the Church from teaching falsely.

The New Testament is the inspired Word of God and so is the Old Testament canonized by the Church thus there is no conflict of authority between the Bible and the Church.

(PeaceByJesus) That is only an assertion. But what means are you assured it is right?

(Cristoiglesia)  I have already told you that the Church is protected from teaching falsely by the Paraclete.

(PeaceByJesus) However, most of Scripture was established as such before there ever was a church in Rome, and truth was preserved without an assuredly infallible magisterium such as Rome claims.

(Cristoiglesia) No, the New Testament books were written concurrently with the establishment of the congregation of the Church in Rome. The Bible would not be canonized for several centuries.

(PeaceByJesus)“No;” so “most of Scripture” consists of the New Testament, and before the Church of Rome salvific truth was not preserved (or assuredly known)?

(Cristoiglesia) Scripture consists of the Old and the New Testaments. At the time of the formation of the Catholic Church there was no unified Canon of the Old Testament and the New Testament had not been written. Most of the teaching in the first three centuries was by oral tradition rather than by the written Sacred Tradition which had not yet been codified into the Christian Canon. So, sacred Tradition; according to salvific truth was taught by Oral Sacred Tradition preserved by apostolic succession. God bless!

In Christ
Fr. Joseph


  1. Part II Discussion with PeaceByJesus

    (PeaceByJesus) In addition, rather than placing your latest response to my post below it, you are placing it above, which will end up making it harder to chronologically follow.

    (Cristoiglesia) I agree but I have no control as the posts are listed chronologically.

    Chronologically would mean that your responses to me follow mine, not be at the top. Usually a thread means one post follows another on the same page, showing all consecutively. Anyway, I will respond your last response but due to the length and diverse issues i will try to respond per subject, and will post it here as a web page here, and which also pop up viewing for Scripture references, rather than making multiple 400 word posts on your blog.

  2. Thank you for great posting Fiat