Sunday, December 26, 2010

Historical basis for Rome's claim to authority, Pt. 1

I continue to be amazed at the attempts by RCAs to both suppose that a historical linkage would establish a church as a or the one true one - as if God could not raise up sons of Abraham from stones (Mt. 3:9) - rather than demonstrable Scriptural faith. And then the church it attempts to link itself to did not even have Peter as its pastor, who is not even mentioned at all, while its teachings are contrary to the present Roman church, chapter by chapter.

As for the 3 proof texts, Rom 1:8: "First, I thank my God through Jesus Christ for you all, that your faith is spoken of throughout the whole world,"
that is not surprising, due to its strategic location (all roads lead to..) with perhaps 800,000 people, nor is its propagation unique, for

1Thes. 1:8: “For from you sounded out the word of the Lord not only in Macedonia and Achaia, but also in every place your faith to God-ward is spread abroad; so that we need not to speak any thing

As for Rm. 15:14 and being "full of goodness, filled with all knowledge, able also to admonish one another,"

That they were full of goodness is true, thank God, yet the election of Thessalonians was affirmed by Paul, who said “work of faith, and labour of love, and patience of hope,” (1Thes. 1:3) and that “your faith groweth exceedingly, and the charity of every one of you all toward each other aboundeth,” (2Thes. 1:3) and they and the church in Philadelphia had tested, enduring faith. (Rev. 3:10)

As for all knowledge, Paul also affirmed even the problematic Corinthians, who were said to “abound in every thing, in faith, and utterance, and knowledge, and in all diligence, and in your love to us," (2Cor. 8:7) “That in every thing ye are enriched by him, in all utterance, and in all knowledge.” “So that ye come behind in no gift.” (1Cor. 1:5,7a)

As for being able also to admonish one another, the text does not say admonish other churches, while the Thessalonians and Colossians were called to do admonish the brethren, (1Thes. 5:14; Col. 3:16)

And if we are to make Rome the ruling church due to such words, then Titus must have been the first pope, as he was charged, “These things speak, and exhort, and rebuke with all authority. Let no man despise thee.” (Titus 2:15)

As for Rom 16:16: “Salute one another with an holy kiss. The churches of Christ salute you.” What the text does not says is “the churches of Christ submit to you,” and if “salute” (KJV) means submit then they were to do so to a women, (Rm. 16:6) while what it (aspazomai) means is “welcome” or “greet,” and its use here does not show a recognition of preeminence.

While this does not minimize the virtues of this church, “To all that be in Rome, beloved of God, called saints,” (Rm. 1:7) likely meeting in various assemblies, (Rm. 16:5) it does not lend itself to the idea of a centralized command and control from Rome, under a supreme Caesarian-papacy, reigning fro a papal palace, with its autocratic assuredly infallible magisterium. And what Paul after presenting the gospel which Rome contradicts with its gospel of works-merit, and preeminence based upon ecclesiastical papal progeny, the manifestly God-ordained (contra Rome) apostle warns to “mark them which cause divisions and offences contrary to the doctrine which ye have learned; and avoid them, “ who, among other things, “by good words and fair speeches deceive the hearts of the simple. (Romans 16:17,18) And which indicts Rome, as while “the simple believeth every word: but the prudent man looketh well to his going,” (Proverbs 14:15) by searching the Scriptures with heart to know and obey truth (Acts 17:11) the Biblically perverse practices and presumptions of an impenitent Rome are made manifest, as well as any we have.
First, the idea that the promise is a succession of churches with their base in the same geographical location as this church is absurd according to the Book of Romans itself as well as other texts! This is not the Old Covenant but the new, and it is not physical or formal lineage that establishes one as a true man of God nor a body as the one true church (OTC), but Abrahamic-type faith in the apostolic gospel of grace. And which is not one that makes works meritorious for salvation, as per Rome, but is a righteousness imputed by faith.

The error of Rome corresponds to that of the Pharisees, who presumed that physical lineage and formal rituals established authenticity. (Jn. 8:39) However both the Baptist and the Lord Jesus reproved this as presumption, as does the apostle Paul:

"But when he saw many of the Pharisees and Sadducees come to his baptism, he said unto them, O generation of vipers, who hath warned you to flee from the wrath to come? {8} Bring forth therefore fruits meet for repentance: {9} And think not to say within yourselves, We have Abraham to our father: for I say unto you, that God is able of these stones to raise up children unto Abraham. " (Matthew 3:7-9; cf. Jn. 8:44; Rm. 2;28.29)

The church exists and endures by faith, and its conformity must be with that which is written most essentially that being the gospel of grace, with its attestation from God, is the basis for the claim to authenticity, by a person of God or a church. And if God can raise up from stones sons of Abraham, He can do the like to build his Church of the born again.

Thus if you want to lay claim to being of the Biblical church of Roman, especially by using Scripture, claiming some sort of physical or ecclesiastical lineage will not do it, and instead your church must demonstrate it conforms to the Scriptures (and Paul directs the Romans there: Rm. 1:2; 3:4,10; 4:3,17,23; 8:36; 9:13,17,33; 10:11,15; 11:2,8,26; 12:19; 14:11; 15:3,4,9,15,21, 16:26,27; etc.),

But instead what Rome's infallible claim to be the infallible OTC is effectively based upon is her own claim to be assuredly infallible. Argue against that if you want.

2. You quote me Rm. 16:20 as if never read it, and if what i stated is irrelevant, while by “comparing spiritual things with spiritual” we see that besides geography having nothing to do with what constitutes the OTC, there is nothing in the commendations or promises afforded Rome that would make her the head of all other churches, and the fact that none of them are told to look to Rome as such is one reason why your most resort to your extrapolation extreme ecclesiastical eisegesis.

I showed similar commendations before (see here), as invoking the book of Romans seems to be lasted papal polemic for purchase, but the promise of Rm. 16:20 is not unique to the Roman believers, rather Paul is simply telling them as believers the promise which is given to all true believers, that ultimately by obedient faith, “in all these things we are more than conquerors through him that loved us,” (Romans 8:37) and thus, “I write unto you, fathers, because ye have known him that is from the beginning. I write unto you, young men, because ye have overcome the wicked one.” (1 John 2:13a) And, "Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you. " (James 4:7)

And this is an Old Testament promise given to all believers. Thus it is applies to Protestants as well, whom Rome considers saved.

But unto you that fear my name shall the Sun of righteousness arise with healing in his wings; and ye shall go forth, and grow up as calves of the stall. And ye shall tread down the wicked; for they shall be ashes under the soles of your feet in the day that I shall do this, saith the LORD of hosts. (Malachi 4:2-3)

In the end, your attempted exegesis by wresting and stretching Scripture is simply a negative testimony for Rome, which would make any Berean type souls turn away from her.
Rom 16:20 must include the Roman Church, for it is that Church which it was written to [and uniquely promises that the devil will be crushed under their feet.]

Of course it includes the Roman church [but you make them the unique recipients of it]. The issue is that it is a promise to all who continue in the faith, else the other texts would be a lie.

This unique statement is found only once in the NT. No other local church receives such a particular and explicit promise as this.

As we shall see, both the particular aspect as well as the hermeneutic is a problem.

I have already showed you that the historical argument in invalid, while argument here rests upon Rome in particular being given this promise. However, the word for "your" (G2257) as in "your feet" is the exact same word as "our" right below it, as in "The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you. Amen." And the "you" at the end is different.

This word is used 4 other times in the N.T. all translated rightly as "ours" in the Roman Catholic DRB as well as the KJV (which two Bible are almost always in concurrence).

In contrast, the word translated "you" (G5216) occurs 360 times in the KJV as "you" or "your" (incld. Rm. 1:8).

Moreover, the word for "shall" is not in the Greek in 16:20, and "bruse" just measn "broken," "bruise, etc. (AndG1161 theG3588 GodG2316 of peaceG1515 shall bruiseG4937 SatanG4567) Thus the DRB renders this a prayer, "And the God of peace crush Satan under your feet speedily."

I do not know what the liberal (as critical Catholics complain) NAB says, but that is irrelevant.

Perhaps a reason can be found to use "shall" and "your" rather than "our," but this would still not be a promise only to these believers.

Furthermore, i am sure this has not been infallibly defined, but is a product of your FHR (Fallible Human Reasoning), and as such, would serve to justify Rome's interpretation of 1Pt. 1:20, although she misinterprets that herself.

But if you want to use your hermeneutic to exalt one church as head due to a possible statement of questionable uniqueness, there is another one the Lord showed me which we can only imagine how you might react to if it was in the letter to the Romans.

Turning to the letter to the Ephesians, cp. 3, we see that.

19 "ye are no more strangers and foreigners, but fellowcitizens with the saints, and of the household of God;

20 And are built upon the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Jesus Christ himself being the chief corner stone;

21: In whom all the building fitly framed together groweth unto an holy temple in the Lord: 22 In whom ye also are builded together for an habitation of God through the Spirit.

The "ye" in v. 19 is not there, but it is in v. 22, and thus this could be construed to mean this unique pertained to the Ephesian church, which was built upon the foundation of the apostles and prophets, a weighty phrase indeed. However, as with Rm. 16:20, it is not unique, but pertains to all who believe on the Lord Jesus unto His coming.

May we all do so, by and in His grace, and to His glory

The issue is how the church that was the subject of Paul's address in Rome is construed to be the predecessor to one under what was to be a Perpetuated Petrine Papacy. It is hardly conceivable that this church was begun by Peter, and even less that Peter was in Rome, as Paul would have not needed to address it, and is unlikely to have built on another man's foundation, much less neglect to even mention Peter anywhere in it, esp. amidst the multitude of his salutations in cp. 16.

And of course, in no other epistles is there any reminder to remember or pray for Peter, or obey him, as would be expected if he were reigning over the church as its supreme head after the manner which Rome has him.

I do see Peter being the leader among brethren of the apostles and initially of the early church, and exercising a general pastoral office, but as one living no better than they (the tannner's house was near the sea for a reason), and not being looked to as a supreme CEO or demi-god that his supposed successors became. Nor do i do see formal provision made for papal predecessors, or even for any of the original apostles save for Judas (unlike James), which was necessary to maintain the 12 foundational apostles, (Eph. 2:20; Rv. 21:14) though some, including Luther, may somewhat functionally operate as such, or as prophets.

And being married (Mt. 8:14; 1Cor. 9:5) and evidently poor, (Acts 3:6) is more fitting for a evangelical preacher:)

In addition, Romans is hardly the most fitting book to use as a foundation for a religion that infallibly taught that saved believers are accounted to have "truly merited eternal life" by those very works which have been done in God. And that eternal life is both a gift as well as reward to their good works and merits.” (Trent, Chapter XVI; The Sixth Session Decree on justification, 1547)

And that the one justified by the good works that he performs by the grace of God merits the attainment of eternal life itself. (Trent, Canons Concerning Justification, Canon 32)

If Rome had a predecessor it spiritually would be the church of the Galatians.

However, the fundamental error of Michael and Rome here is that of presuming that historical linkage, real or contrived, constitutes the basis for legitimacy and authority, which is does not, although up thru the 12 apostles this was a necessary attribute.

But while Jews thought this gave them legitimacy as Jews, both the Baptist and the Lord set them straight. (Mt. 3:9; Jn. 8:44) An God can yet raised up stones to build His church.

What Paul taught the Romans was that it is not historical linkage back to Abraham that constitutes legitimacy, but Abrahamic type faith in the gospel of grace, (Rm. 2:28,29) as it by such that the church has its members and endures, while those who were born after the flesh persecutes them who are born after the Spirit. (Gal. 4:29) And which is Rome's legacy, despite claims of her self-proclaimed infallible magisterium.

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I will try to respond to comments within one or two days after I see a response, however, this has not been where I usually engage in dialogue.
Please try to be reasonable, willing to examine things prayerfully and objectively, and refrain from "rants" and profane language, especially regarding God and the Christan faith. The latter type are subject to removal on this Christian blog, but I do try to help people no matter who they are. May all know the grace of God in truth.