26 May, 2012

Discussion Of The Authority of the Bible and/or The Church

(Paul) “Several things you wrote are untrue, in a biblical sense, which is ironic in that you claim that the Roman church is the only true Bible church.”

(Cristoiglesia) Well then, let us see if you can indeed make a case for your accusation.

(Paul) “I would agree that the true Church is the pillar and foundation of the truth, but that Church dare not be considered the Roman Church which continues to reject the truth in many ways. “

(Cristoiglesia) Certainly the Church is the “pillar and foundation of the truth” just as the Bible states. I will ignore your unsubstantiated empty claim about the Church rejecting the truth. I do not believe that the Bible where this claim is made is false teaching. There is also substantiating evidence in Scripture that the Church is an enduring Church that will be free from apostasy until Christ comes again at the Parousia. The One, Holy, Catholic, apostolic Church is the only Church founded by Christ and the disciples and for 1500 years before the Protestant rebellion it was the only Christian Church. So are you claiming that there was no Church for these 1500 years? As for calling the Church Roman Catholic this is a pejorative name given to the Church by the Protestant rebels who could not endure the sound doctrine of the Church and chose to follow various false teachers that satisfied their itching ears. The true name of the Church is now and has always been the Catholic Church.

(Paul) “The true Church is at this time the Church that is visible to God alone, in that He alone knows the hearts of men.”

(Cristoiglesia) Such a statement only reveals your lack of knowledge of the history of the Church which has always been a visible as well as an invisible Church. We know where the visible Church is but only God knows the invisible Church. St. Ignatius of Antioch defined the Church as those that follow the bishop. He said in his letter to the Smyrnaeans, “Where the bishop is there is the Church”. St. Ignatius had the privilege of being the 3rd bishop of the bishopric of St. Peter and was the disciple of St. John and of St. Peter.  He was martyred in the Roman Coliseum by being eaten by beasts. In another letter he pleaded with those of the congregation of Rome not to interfere with his martyrdom.

(Paul) “You have used some clever words to describe the writing of Scripture [by implication they are untrue].“

(Cristoiglesia) I look forward to your refutation and the opportunity to refute your accusation.

(Paul) “The Old Testament was not written by anyone connected with Rome at all.”

(Cristoiglesia) Are you accusing me of making such a claim? I assure you that I have never made any claim resembling such a claim. You are aware that the congregation of the Church in Rome and the Roman government are two different entities entirely, are you not? I have never claimed that the Old Testament was written by Romans. Rome did not even exist when the Old Testament was written.

(Paul) “The Old Testament is inspired and was inspired off the pens of the writers. “

(Cristoiglesia) Correct, this is the teaching of the Catholic Church.

(Paul) “This is confirmed by Jesus Christ who quoted passages of the Old Testament with the introduction of "the Spirit said.." Logically, if the Words of the Old Testament can be directly attributed to the Holy Spirit they fell under the category of "God-breathed" [2 Tim 3.16,17] long before Rome held a council.”

(Cristoiglesia) Correct and I nor the Church has ever claimed differently.

(Paul) “The New Testament was written by catholic, not Roman Catholic, writers. “

(Cristoiglesia) We have already established that calling Catholics “Roman” Catholics is a pejorative name not applied to the Church until it was used by the Protestant rebels. Prior to that time Catholics Christians were known only as Catholics. So, yes it was the Church that wrote the New Testament and the Church was and is Catholic and has always been the Church founded by Christ. There was no other Christian than a Catholic Christian. Each of the writers of the New Testament were Catholic Christians.

(Paul) “So, I find it arrogant to claim "the book that we wrote part of," outrageously arrogant.”

(Cristoiglesia) Why do you find it arrogant since all biblical, patristic and historical evidence supports this fact?  

(Paul) “I am not surprised. I have found Roman Catholic leaders, in particular, to be quite arrogant in their claims and in their lives, often showing contempt for those over whom they have a stewardship.”

(Cristoiglesia) Really, but is this not just another empty claim without any substantiating evidence for support. I have , as a convert, found the opposite to be true and it is impossible for me to respond to empty claims.

(Paul) “I need to say that I appreciate the Roman Church canonizing and therefore confirming that the 66 books of Scripture are in fact "God-breathed... and capable of making the man who reads and applies them perfect for every good work" [my translation]. “

(Cristoiglesia) Actually the Church founded by Christ , the Catholic Church, Canonized the original 73 books of Scripture and NOT the truncated Protestant version. As for the out of context Scripture you paraphrase the Bible also completes this teaching by stating that the Bible is not for private interpretation. It clearly teaches that the Bible is to be understood in the community of the Church and not interpreted by individuals which would, of course, be the devils playground. An authoritative Word of God needs and demands an authoritative teacher which is the Church called the pillar and foundation of the truth.

(Paul) “It was good of the Roman Church to make this official confirmation of what was already an established fact. “

(Cristoiglesia) Really, by whom was this fact established? There was no complete agreement until the Canon was ratified at the end of the three African Synods that ratified the Canon of St. Damasus.

(Paul) “According to 2 Timothy 3.14-17, I can find all I need to practice every good work in the pages of Scripture. “

(Cristoiglesia) Yes, but every good work comes from God’s grace and it is His Church that is the conduit of God’s grace. As I said before the Bible teaches that it is to be understood in the Community of the Church who is the only authoritative teacher.

(Paul) “So, basically, I do not need to be concerned about the arrogant statements of those from the Roman Church [a church that has first paid pedophiles then paid off their victims... I mean honestly, doesn't that disgust you to some degree?].”

(Cristoiglesia) The truth from the Bible and the Church defies arrogance. [Now for your tangent from the topic…what disgusts me more is that Protestant sects do not take responsibility  and show charity for those children who are abused by their clergy and pay restitution to the victims and assist in their treatment following he abuse as does the Catholic Church. To claim that the Church paid abusers is an outrageous lie. What the Church is teaching by its actions is love charity and responsibility that is devoid among the Protestant sects who have an even greater problem that is ongoing because of people like you who point fingers at others but keep a blind eye to their own abusers.]

(Paul) “ In fact, in John 16.13 Jesus promises His disciples that His Spirit would guide them into all truth.”

(Cristoiglesia) Why are you ignoring who Jesus was speaking to here? He was speaking to his disciples who Jesus called the 12 foundation stones of the Church that through the centuries have been built upon by apostolic succession. The Protestants have rejected this leadership and thus the promise of Jesus of the truth from the foundation that He alone established.

(Paul) “That guidance obviously includes the direction to the true followers of Jesus as to which books written are in fact, God-breathed. “

(Cristoiglesia) I have no idea why anyone would make such an inference that is not indicated. Again I refer you to the instruction of Scripture that it is not for private instruction but is to be understood within the community of the Church. The visible Church consists of those who follow the bishops who are the successors of the charism of the apostles given directly by Jesus.

(Paul) “So with your background in Church history, perhaps you can help me see more clearly. What am I missing?”

(Cristoiglesia) The fundamental thing I think you are missing is that you do not understand and connect all the teaching on the Church. It would seem by your commentary that you have an eisegetical approach to Scripture instead of coming to the Bible to learn. Since I am posting this answer on my blog I would like to refer you to my writings on the Church, then to biblical hermeneutics and lastly to Sola Scriptura.

(Paul) “Thanks for your response.”

(Cristoiglesia) You are very welcome”.

God bless!

In Christ
Fr. Joseph