Sunday, December 26, 2010

Historical basis for Rome's claim to authority, Pt. 2

If Protestants agree with the R. Catholic church on somethings, why don't they recognize her supreme authority in others things, instead of relying upon their own finite discernment?

The Divine inspiration of Scripture is affirmed by both of us, and which is affirmed to be assuredly infallible, but which appeals to human understanding for assurance, (1Jn. 5:13) and affirms being like a noble Berean to determine how know that he/she is listening to this nebulous "Living Voice of the Holy Ghost." and to which God provides other attestation which complements, not contradicts it.

But this means we affirm the core essentials we both concur on, as being truths revealed by the Holy Ghost to the Church, being well substantiated by the Scriptures, while contending against those who deny them, which is typically the result of effectively exalting the authority of mortal men and or an office above the Scriptures. And thus we also contend against those teaching of Rome that also commit the error of the Pharisees. Mk. 7:6-13)

While God Himself reasons with men in seeking to convince them (Is. 1:18; Acts 17:2) this does allow for disagreement, and thus the appeal to an AIM, implicit trust in which results in unity. But this is not how unity was achieved in the Bible, nor is unity by itself a goal of the Godly, as division is actually necessary because of truth, and is better than unity in error.

Instead, unity is the result of God affirming His truth to those who hear and obey it, and thus the most essential unity is that of the "unity of the Spirit," (Eph. 4:3) resulting from faith in the truth which the established and infallible Scriptures teach. And Rome's AIM is not one of them, but is a substitute.

In addition, your charge that we endlessly criticize what is "revealed" until we satisfy our intellect can just a easily be leveled at RC apologists, beginning its rejection of the supremacy of only objective source which is assuredly infallible. It also ignore the rich history of evangelical literature, from Matthew Henry's complete commentary to the thousands of hymns penned by Fanny Crosby, to which i know of nothing comparable in scope and depth.

As regards differences, it should also be understand that evangelicals typically experienced a dramatic transformation due to faith in the the gospel of grace preached from the Scriptures, after having been in churches where it was not really preached nor the Bible was emphasized. Due to that and their resultant Scripture and relationship-centered faith they are alarmed at doctrines which lack Scriptural warrant and militate against it (such as praying to departed saints) and which much depend upon tradition and the infallible magisterium.
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If you believe the gospel what don't you believe the historical claims of the Roman Catholic church?

...your premise is that since Rome gave us the Bible and its gospel, then we are bound to believe her interpretation of history However, this assertion is fallacious on different levels, but the short version is that Rome's basis for her formulaic (scope and content-based) assuredly infallible magisterium (AIM), -by which she declares her interpretation of history, tradition and Scripture to be infallible - is herself, while the only assuredly infallible objective authority are the Scriptures, which reproves her. We are no more bound to implicitly accept whatever Rome declare must be, than the Lord and disciples had to accept binding teachings of the Jewish magisterium, but should be like the noble Berean and examine it in the light of the assuredly infallible word. And my next to last post to you dealt with the interpretative necessity both Roman Catholics and Protestants must deal with.

Extended:

1. Historical lineage does not make one an authentic Jew, spiritually speaking, as certain Jews presumed it did, (Mt. 3:9; Jn. 8:39,44; and their office required it), or a true Christian or church. Rather it is manifest Scriptural faith and its fruits which does. (Rm. 2:28,29; Heb. 6:9; 1Thes. 1:4) As God could have raised up from stones children to Abraham, so he can build His church using stones which realize their destitute helpless condition, unable to escape Hell or merit heaven by their work, but have essential Abrahamic faith in the Lord Jesus to save them by His blood and righteousness. (Acts 8:36-39; 1Pet. 2:5,6)

2. Even if Rome could lay claim to being the same church of the 4th century, with her infallible doctrines actually having unanimous consent of the fathers as she alleges they do, this would not make her an assuredly infallible interpreter of Scripture. For unlike the church at Rome, the law was explicitly stated to have been committed to the Jews, (Rm. 3:2; 9:4) and yet they were manifestly not assuredly infallible in faith and morals. (Mk. 7:6-13; Rm. 10:2,3)

3. The reproof of Jesus of the Jewish magisterium while it yet sat in Moses seat, (Mt. 23:2) by Scripture, and His own statements as to the basis for His authority (see 5729) not only disallows the premise that historical lineage and stewardship of Scripture and the faith confers an AIM (assuredly infallible magisterium), but it evidences Scripture being the supreme transcendent assuredly infallible objective authority, which Scripture affirms it is. (2Tim. 3:16)

4. The Holy Spirit commends lovers of truth who examined the teaching of the very apostles by the Scriptures to ascertain their veracity, (Acts 17:11) and to which Jesus and the apostles and preachers abundantly appealed to, (Mt. 22; Lk. 24:27,44; Acts 17:2; 18:28; 28:23, etc.) as well as miracles and their testimony. (2Cor. 6:1-10; 12:1-12; Rm. 15:19, etc.)

5. The authenticity of Rome's AIM is based upon her own declaration that she is assuredly infallible, whenever she speaks in accordance with her infallibly declared (content and scope-based) formula.

6. While the teaching magisterium was crucial in the O.T. and now still is (and those who hold to SS affirm it is), the faith was not preserved due to an AIM, and writings were correctly recognized as being Scripture without one. As regards the former, God raised up prophets who reproved the magisterium as needed, and a remnant of faithful was preserved, while the authenticity of a prophet was not necessarily established by formal succession, but by conformity to that which was written, and Divine attestation, with speaking falsely in the name of the Lord being a capital offense. (Dt. 18:20; Jer. 20:1-6; 28:1-17)

As concerns Scripture, the Divinely inspired writings were essentially progressively recognized as such due to their qualities and effects, and attestation by men who had the same because of faith in them. Making official lists is valid, but such are not responsible for the authority for Scriptural writings, nor for their enduring popularity.

7. Even if formal historical linkage via an unbroken succession of magistrates were an essential basis for the magisterial office, unlike under the Old Testament, then Rome has fallen short, as its line includes immoral, impenitent Popes (including before they were enthroned) who would not qualify as Christians and church members, let alone bishops, and thus spiritually such did not belong to any church, but would be excluded or cast out of a valid N.T. church. (1Cor. 5:11-13)

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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.