You are hereCatholic Church no longer swears by truth of the Bible

Catholic Church no longer swears by truth of the Bible

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By EWMI - Posted on 05 October 2005

by Albert Persohn
"Similarly, they refute the apocalyptic prophecies of Revelation, the last book of the Christian Bible, in which the writer describes the work of the risen Jesus, the death of the Beast and the wedding feast of Christ the Lamb.""Similarly, they refute the apocalyptic prophecies of Revelation, the last book of the Christian Bible, in which the writer describes the work of the risen Jesus, the death of the Beast and the wedding feast of Christ the Lamb."The Times Online has in interesing article in it about a recent publication from the Catholic Church:

"THE hierarchy of the Roman Catholic Church has published a teaching document instructing the faithful that some parts of the Bible are not actually true.

The Catholic bishops of England, Wales and Scotland are warning their five million worshippers, as well as any others drawn to the study of scripture, that they should not expect “total accuracy” from the Bible.

“We should not expect to find in Scripture full scientific accuracy or complete historical precision,” they say in The Gift of Scripture.

The document is timely, coming as it does amid the rise of the religious Right, in particular in the US.

Some Christians want a literal interpretation of the story of creation, as told in Genesis, taught alongside Darwin’s theory of evolution in schools, believing “intelligent design” to be an equally plausible theory of how the world began.

But the first 11 chapters of Genesis, in which two different and at times conflicting stories of creation are told, are among those that this country’s Catholic bishops insist cannot be “historical”. At most, they say, they may contain “historical traces”.

The document shows how far the Catholic Church has come since the 17th century, when Galileo was condemned as a heretic for flouting a near-universal belief in the divine inspiration of the Bible by advocating the Copernican view of the solar system. Only a century ago, Pope Pius X condemned Modernist Catholic scholars who adapted historical-critical methods of analysing ancient literature to the Bible.

In the document, the bishops acknowledge their debt to biblical scholars. They say the Bible must be approached in the knowledge that it is “God’s word expressed in human language” and that proper acknowledgement should be given both to the word of God and its human dimensions.

They say the Church must offer the gospel in ways “appropriate to changing times, intelligible and attractive to our contemporaries”.

The Bible is true in passages relating to human salvation, they say, but continue: “We should not expect total accuracy from the Bible in other, secular matters.”

They go on to condemn fundamentalism for its “intransigent intolerance” and to warn of “significant dangers” involved in a fundamentalist approach.

“Such an approach is dangerous, for example, when people of one nation or group see in the Bible a mandate for their own superiority, and even consider themselves permitted by the Bible to use violence against others.”

Of the notorious anti-Jewish curse in Matthew 27:25, “His blood be on us and on our children”, a passage used to justify centuries of anti-Semitism, the bishops say these and other words must never be used again as a pretext to treat Jewish people with contempt. Describing this passage as an example of dramatic exaggeration, the bishops say they have had “tragic consequences” in encouraging hatred and persecution. “The attitudes and language of first-century quarrels between Jews and Jewish Christians should never again be emulated in relations between Jews and Christians.”

As examples of passages not to be taken literally, the bishops cite the early chapters of Genesis, comparing them with early creation legends from other cultures, especially from the ancient East. The bishops say it is clear that the primary purpose of these chapters was to provide religious teaching and that they could not be described as historical writing.

Similarly, they refute the apocalyptic prophecies of Revelation, the last book of the Christian Bible, in which the writer describes the work of the risen Jesus, the death of the Beast and the wedding feast of Christ the Lamb.

The bishops say: “Such symbolic language must be respected for what it is, and is not to be interpreted literally. We should not expect to discover in this book details about the end of the world, about how many will be saved and about when the end will come.”

In their foreword to the teaching document, the two most senior Catholics of the land, Cardinal Cormac Murphy-O’Connor, Archbishop of Westminster, and Cardinal Keith O’Brien, Archbishop of St Andrew’s and Edinburgh, explain its context.

They say people today are searching for what is worthwhile, what has real value, what can be trusted and what is really true.

The new teaching has been issued as part of the 40th anniversary celebrations of Dei Verbum, the Second Vatican Council document explaining the place of Scripture in revelation. In the past 40 years, Catholics have learnt more than ever before to cherish the Bible. “We have rediscovered the Bible as a precious treasure, both ancient and ever new.”

A Christian charity is sending a film about the Christmas story to every primary school in Britain after hearing of a young boy who asked his teacher why Mary and Joseph had named their baby after a swear word. The Breakout Trust raised £200,000 to make the 30-minute animated film, It’s a Boy. Steve Legg, head of the charity, said: “There are over 12 million children in the UK and only 756,000 of them go to church regularly.

That leaves a staggering number who are probably not receiving basic Christian teaching.”

BELIEVE IT OR NOT

UNTRUE

Genesis ii, 21-22

So the Lord God caused a deep sleep to fall upon the man, and while he slept he took one of his ribs and closed up its place with flesh; and the rib which the Lord God had taken from the man he made into a woman and brought her to the man

Genesis iii, 16

God said to the woman [after she was beguiled by the serpent]: “I will greatly multiply your pain in childbearing; in pain you shall bring forth children, yet your desire shall be for your husband, and he shall rule over you.”

Matthew xxvii, 25

The words of the crowd: “His blood be on us and on our children.”

Revelation xix,20

And the beast was captured, and with it the false prophet who in its presence had worked the signs by which he deceived those who had received the mark of the beast and those who worshipped its image. These two were thrown alive into the lake of fire that burns with brimstone.”

TRUE

Exodus iii, 14

God reveals himself to Moses as: “I am who I am.”

Leviticus xxvi,12

“I will be your God, and you shall be my people.”

Exodus xx,1-17

The Ten Commandments

Matthew v,7

The Sermon on the Mount

Mark viii,29

Peter declares Jesus to be the Christ

Luke i

The Virgin Birth

John xx,28

Proof of bodily resurrection

Parker's picture

That "Gift of Scripture" document from the Catholic bishops of England is their recent commentary on the Vatican II teaching, DEI VERBUM. People should go read Dei Verbum: Here is an excerpt:
SACRED SCRIPTURE, ITS INSPIRATION AND DIVINE INTERPRETATION

11. Those divinely revealed realities which are contained and presented in Sacred Scripture have been committed to writing under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit. For holy mother Church, relying on the belief of the Apostles (see John 20:31; 2 Tim. 3:16; 2 Peter 1:19-20, 3:15-16), holds that the books of both the Old and New Testaments in their entirety, with all their parts, are sacred and canonical because written under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit, they have God as their author and have been handed on as such to the Church herself.(1) In composing the sacred books, God chose men and while employed by Him (2) they made use of their powers and abilities, so that with Him acting in them and through them, (3) they, as true authors, consigned to writing everything and only those things which He wanted. (4)

Therefore, since everything asserted by the inspired authors or sacred writers must be held to be asserted by the Holy Spirit, it follows that the books of Scripture must be acknowledged as teaching solidly, faithfully and without error that truth which God wanted put into sacred writings (5) for the sake of salvation. Therefore "all Scripture is divinely inspired and has its use for teaching the truth and refuting error, for reformation of manners and discipline in right living, so that the man who belongs to God may be efficient and equipped for good work of every kind" (2 Tim. 3:16-17, Greek text).

12. However, since God speaks in Sacred Scripture through men in human fashion, (6) the interpreter of Sacred Scripture, in order to see clearly what God wanted to communicate to us, should carefully investigate what meaning the sacred writers really intended, and what God wanted to manifest by means of their words.

To search out the intention of the sacred writers, attention should be given, among other things, to "literary forms." For truth is set forth and expressed differently in texts which are variously historical, prophetic, poetic, or of other forms of discourse. The interpreter must investigate what meaning the sacred writer intended to express and actually expressed in particular circumstances by using contemporary literary forms in accordance with the situation of his own time and culture. (7) For the correct understanding of what the sacred author wanted to assert, due attention must be paid to the customary and characteristic styles of feeling, speaking and narrating which prevailed at the time of the sacred writer, and to the patterns men normally employed at that period in their everyday dealings with one another. (8)

But, since Holy Scripture must be read and interpreted in the sacred spirit in which it was written, (9) no less serious attention must be given to the content and unity of the whole of Scripture if the meaning of the sacred texts is to be correctly worked out. The living tradition of the whole Church must be taken into account along with the harmony which exists between elements of the faith. It is the task of exegetes to work according to these rules toward a better understanding and explanation of the meaning of Sacred Scripture, so that through preparatory study the judgment of the Church may mature. For all of what has been said about the way of interpreting Scripture is subject finally to the judgment of the Church, which carries out the divine commission and ministry of guarding and interpreting the word of God. (10)

13. In Sacred Scripture, therefore, while the truth and holiness of God always remains intact, the marvelous "condescension" of eternal wisdom is clearly shown, "that we may learn the gentle kindness of God, which words cannot express, and how far He has gone in adapting His language with thoughtful concern for our weak human nature." (11) For the words of God, expressed in human language, have been made like human discourse, just as the word of the eternal Father, when He took to Himself the flesh of human weakness, was in every way made like men.

excerpt source: http://www.vatican.va/archive/hist_councils/ii_vatican_council/documents...

It is always wise to read source documents and never trust newspaper reporters to accurately report what the Catholic Church teaches.

SuperSoulFighter's picture

The weakness of the Catholic position remains its obstinate refusal to relinquish authority for accurate interpretation of Scripture to the individual believer. I quote: "But, since Holy Scripture must be read and interpreted in the sacred spirit in which it was written, (9) no less serious attention must be given to the content and unity of the whole of Scripture if the meaning of the sacred texts is to be correctly worked out. The living tradition of the whole Church must be taken into account along with the harmony which exists between elements of the faith. It is the task of exegetes to work according to these rules toward a better understanding and explanation of the meaning of Sacred Scripture, so that through preparatory study the judgment of the Church may mature. For all of what has been said about the way of interpreting Scripture is subject finally to the judgment of the Church, which carries out the divine commission and ministry of guarding and interpreting the word of God. (10)"

These statements are blatantly false, Biblically speaking. Unfortunately, the RCC knows that maintaining control in this area ensures its own survival as an institution. It's a self-serving piece of dogma focussed exclusively on self-preservation. Disgusting!

Parker's picture

Well hello again, John. The ideas of "sola scriptura" and "private judgment" are both false. The "individual believer" wasn't even literate until modern times, and so the view that final interpretation of scripture was designed for the "individual believer" is absurd. If you can't read, you certainly can't read the bible.

Furthermore, the teachings of the true faith were passed on primarily through the oral tradition and preserved within a collective group that had a scribal leadership for scripture interpretation -- a sort of "judicial branch," if you will.

Your view on how doctrine should be formulated (i.e., each man is to create his own interpretations) leads to chaos, divisions, and endless contradictions among protestant individuals and groups. That position would be like democratizing a federal court case and asking each citizen to read the law for himself and arrive at a judgment. You'd have as many interpretations and judgments as you have people. That's total chaos--the precise interpretive chaos that plagues protestantism.

SuperSoulFighter's picture

Hello again, Parker! Your views, above, are predicated upon the idea that some form of institutionalized, hierarchical, ecclesiastical spiritual governing body is necessary to prevent Christians from descending into epistemological "anarchy".

The fact that the individual believer wasn't literate, originally, really has nothing to do with the provision God has made for modern man and His relationship to us within His Kingdom in these days. Yes, the original, primitive forms of communication necessitated a certain amount of reliance upon scribes and oral instruction. Those days, of course, are long, long gone - and I believe God foresaw OUR situation and developed His Kingdom to provide for a highly individualized inter-relationship between Himself and man.

YOUR idea of the ideal means of inter-relating with each other spiritually, under the governance of God's Kingdom, would be to have uniformity of belief and understanding in every area. That uniformity, of course, only exists within rigidly legislated structures such as the RCC (and, to an equal degree, the "false cults" such as JWs, Mormons, etc.). In fact, Parker, you do not trust GOD to administer and govern His People and Kingdom without intervention on the part of human intermediaries. God, in your thinking, is utterly incapable of running the show Himself. According to you, He needs the RCC hierarchy to keep His People from straying in their faith and preventing them from forfeiting their salvation and relationship with Him. Correct?

Unfortunately, your thinking has no real basis in the Word of God. And your RCC traditions, quite frankly, aren't worth the paper they're penned on.

Your outmoded, tyrannical, autocratic ecclesiastical structure should have been relegated to the historical landfill long ago. There is no liberty and freedom found in enjoyment and assimilation of the Truth found in the RCC, Parker. The Catholic Church really, fundamentally, has no real appreciation for - or delight in - the Truth. And you exemplify that mentality and attitude perfectly. You are true son of the Mother Church of the Rome. Whether you are truly a Son of God and citizen of His Kingdom, on the other hand, is very much an open question.

Parker's picture

McPherson:
Your views, above, are predicated upon the idea that some form of institutionalized, hierarchical, ecclesiastical spiritual governing body is necessary to prevent Christians from descending into epistemological "anarchy".

Parker:
Protestantism, which is based on sola scriptura and private judgment, is the epitome of epistemological and interpretive anarchy. There are as many interpretations as there are protestants. Sola scriptura has produced well over 20,000 warring protestant denominations, all of which claim to base their contradictory views upon the same single bible. As the old gospel blues song goes, "I want to tell you the natural facts, every man don’t understand the Bible alike...but that’s all, I tell you that’s all."

McPherson:
The fact that the individual believer wasn't literate, originally, really has nothing to do with the provision God has made for modern man and His relationship to us within His Kingdom in these days.

Parker:
God's intended provision concerning the transmission and preservation of His revealed truth was established in full in the first century. As we plainly see, the transmission and preservation of that truth had nothing at all to do with "relinquishing authority to the individual believer for accurate interpretation of Scripture." Nothing whatsoever. Few individual believers could read, and even today the majority of people on earth are illiterate. Therefore, the Catholic understanding concerning the transmission and preservation of God's truth is correct as stated in Dei Verbum--and your view is incorrect.

McPherson:
Yes, the original, primitive forms of communication necessitated a certain amount of reliance upon scribes and oral instruction. Those days, of course, are long, long gone - and I believe God foresaw OUR situation and developed His Kingdom to provide for a highly individualized inter-relationship between Himself and man.

Parker:
Your view, if true, means that God excluded from His Kingdom at least 17 centuries of humankind (due to illiteracy). It's unthinkable. Rather, God specifically developed His Kingdom for people back in the 1st, 2nd, 3rd, etc. centuries, and that Kingdom was (and always will be) designed *primarily* around the oral tradition (teachers and scribes who communicate the truth), not the written tradition of "Sola Scriptura."

McPherson:
YOUR idea of the ideal means of inter-relating with each other spiritually, under the governance of God's Kingdom, would be to have uniformity of belief and understanding in every area.

Parker:
Two contradictory views of a single passage or doctrine can't both be true. Moreover, among Sola Scriptura adherents, it is common to have literally hundreds of contradictory understandings of a single passage or doctrine. This is epistemological, interpretive chaos. Who can deny it?

McPherson:
In fact, Parker, you do not trust GOD to administer and govern His People and Kingdom without intervention on the part of human intermediaries.

Parker:
I trust that God would choose a communication medium that all mankind of all times could receive so as to follow and be saved. The oral communication medium is that medium.

McPherson:
According to you, He needs the RCC hierarchy to keep His People from straying in their faith and preventing them from forfeiting their salvation and relationship with Him. Correct?

Parker:
What God needs is a functioning communication medium that doesn't exclude men due to their mass illiteracy. The oral tradition is that medium.

McPherson:
Unfortunately, your thinking has no real basis in the Word of God.

Parker:
The "Word of God," by very definition, is that truth that Christ and the apostles taught, whether via the ORAL tradition or the written tradition: "So then, brethren, stand firm and hold to the traditions which you were taught, whether by word of mouth or by letter from us." (2 Thess 2:15)

McPherson:
Your outmoded, tyrannical, autocratic ecclesiastical structure should have been relegated to the historical landfill long ago.

Parker:
Had my viewpoint on the transmission and preservation of God's Truth been relegated to the historical landfill long ago, illiterate mankind would have had no knowledge of the Hebrew God -- until John McPherson was born, that is.

McPherson:
There is no liberty and freedom found in enjoyment and assimilation of the Truth found in the RCC, Parker.

Parker:
What "liberty and freedom" do you grant to those who, like you, swear allegiance to Sola Scriptura yet arrive at interpretations and beliefs utterly contrary to your own? None, I suspect. I rest my case.

SuperSoulFighter's picture

Parker:
Protestantism, which is based on sola scriptura and private judgment, is the epitome of epistemological and interpretive anarchy. There are as many interpretations as there are protestants. Sola scriptura has produced well over 20,000 warring protestant denominations, all of which claim to base their contradictory views upon the same single bible. As the old gospel blues song goes, "I want to tell you the natural facts, every man don’t understand the Bible alike...but that’s all, I tell you that’s all."

Hence my position opposed to institutionalized Churchianity as a whole - both Protestant AND Catholic. Good blues tune, by the way! Again - what is the specific problem with allowing people to individually interpret Scripture for themselves, allowing God Himself to gently, graciously, gradually educate and enlighten them to a more accurate understanding of His Word? You evidently find Him incapable of such direct involvement with His People.

Protestantism is a wreck because of its INSTITUTIONALIZED nature! As soon as man steps in and starts legislating that which is true and accurate and that which is false (interpretively speaking), false teachings and traditions quickly take over, and natural diversity becomes competitive lunacy. The reason for this is that God's perfect Will where His eternal Kingdom is concerned is that no mortal, human agency act as an intermediary on His behalf, or hold any position of authority over his peers, spiritually. Spiritual governance by one human being over another ended with the imperfect, corrupt, outmoded, eternally condemned Mosaic Covenant system.

Parker:
God's intended provision concerning the transmission and preservation of His revealed truth was established in full in the first century. As we plainly see, the transmission and preservation of that truth had nothing at all to do with "relinquishing authority to the individual believer for accurate interpretation of Scripture." Nothing whatsoever. Few individual believers could read, and even today the majority of people on earth are illiterate. Therefore, the Catholic understanding concerning the transmission and preservation of God's truth is correct as stated in Dei Verbum--and your view is incorrect.

We're supposed to just take your word for that, Parker? Your reasoning is flawless because it is sourced in Catholic dogma? God had absolutely nothing whatsoever to do with global literacy, modern publishing methods and the fact that the Bible is the most widely distributed and heavily published book in the world? According to you...First Century methods of communication were God's final, perfect means of expressing and transmitting His Truth to man. And in actual fact, the RCC aggressively RESISTED original attempts to translate the Bible (in its entirety) into the language of the laity, using early printing presses to mass-produce copies thereof. That's historical fact, Parker, however much you may not like it.

Parker:
Your view, if true, means that God excluded from His Kingdom at least 17 centuries of humankind (due to illiteracy). It's unthinkable. Rather, God specifically developed His Kingdom for people back in the 1st, 2nd, 3rd, etc. centuries, and that Kingdom was (and always will be) designed *primarily* around the oral tradition (teachers and scribes who communicate the truth), not the written tradition of "Sola Scriptura."

Nowhere have I stated that the illiterate were automatically excluded from the Kingdom and any possibility of understanding and assimilating God's Truth. Certainly, the illiterate are reliant upon someone else to READ to them. But that does not mean that they are equally reliant upon that individual to INTERPRET the Scriptures for them. You WISH God's ultimate, perfect will was for people to be reliant upon oral teaching and traditions. That is no more than your Catholic dogma and fantasy speaking.

Parker:
Two contradictory views of a single passage or doctrine can't both be true. Moreover, among Sola Scriptura adherents, it is common to have literally hundreds of contradictory understandings of a single passage or doctrine. This is epistemological, interpretive chaos. Who can deny it?

Anyone with a vital, real, personal, Covenant relationship with the God of the Bible can deny it, Parker. Perhaps you've never heard the analogy of the weaver and his tapestry. From the back side, it looks like a chaos of jumbled threads and colors. From HIS side, it is a masterpiece of visual imagery - a truly creative accomplishment. You are viewing God's Kingdom with strictly human eyes and a fallible, finite perspective. You are evidently incapable of adopting GOD'S perspective with the eyes of faith. You either lack the spiritual maturity to do so or you are, quite simply, unregenerate and lacking a New Covenant relationship with the God of the Bible.

Parker:
I trust that God would choose a communication medium that all mankind of all times could receive so as to follow and be saved. The oral communication medium is that medium.

Your resistance to the written word (and God's provision of the ability within the individual to interpret it for him/herself) speaks volumes concerning your arrogant desire to impose rigid, authoritarian interpretive guidelines upon God's People.

Parker:
What God needs is a functioning communication medium that doesn't exclude men due to their mass illiteracy. The oral tradition is that medium.

There's alot more literacy on this planet than you think, Parker. One of my personal friends (a Liberian) is presently in Liberia with his wife and kids using the Scriptures to teach people to read and write. My cousin and his family are involved in similar efforts in a remote mountain village in Mexico. Those are just a couple of the families and couples I'm aware of who are involved in such efforts in remote places. The outlying areas and disadvantaged peoples are rapidly becoming literate. Don't kid yourself. And as I said above, illiteracy necessitates that one be READ TO, without having an accompanying interpretation imposed upon them.

Parker:
The "Word of God," by very definition, is that truth that Christ and the apostles taught, whether via the ORAL tradition or the written tradition: "So then, brethren, stand firm and hold to the traditions which you were taught, whether by word of mouth or by letter from us." (2 Thess 2:15)

Did you, personally, receive any direct teaching from the mouths of these apotles, Parker? Wake up. The traditions referred to here were a necessary element in the spiritual development of these pre-AD 70 saints. They have no relationship to you or me, today, unless they were actually transcribed in the form of written Scripture.

Then came to Jesus scribes and Pharisees, which were of Jerusalem, saying, 2 Why do thy disciples transgress the tradition of the elders? for they wash not their hands when they eat bread. 3 But he answered and said unto them, Why do ye also transgress the commandment of God by your tradition? 4 For God commanded, saying, Honour thy father and mother: and, He that curseth father or mother, let him die the death. 5 But ye say, Whosoever shall say to his father or his mother, It is a gift, by whatsoever thou mightest be profited by me; 6 And honour not his father or his mother, he shall be free. Thus have ye made the commandment of God of none effect by your tradition. 7 Ye hypocrites, well did Esaias prophesy of you, saying, 8 This people draweth nigh unto me with their mouth, and honoureth me with their lips; but their heart is far from me. 9 But in vain they do worship me, teaching for doctrines the commandments of men. (Matt. 15:1-9, KJV)

5 Then the Pharisees and scribes asked him, Why walk not thy disciples according to the tradition of the elders, but eat bread with unwashen hands? 6 He answered and said unto them, Well hath Esaias prophesied of you hypocrites, as it is written, This people honoureth me with their lips, but their heart is far from me. 7 Howbeit in vain do they worship me, teaching for doctrines the commandments of men. 8 For laying aside the commandment of God, ye hold the tradition of men, as the washing of pots and cups: and many other such like things ye do. 9 And he said unto them, Full well ye reject the commandment of God, that ye may keep your own tradition... 13 Making the word of God of none effect through your tradition, which ye have delivered: and many such like things do ye.(Mark 7:5-13)

There are scary similarities between the tradition-loving Pharisees and the RCC clergy and hierarchies, Parker. Pay attention. Christ Jesus does NOT have the same love and appreciation for empty, human traditions that YOU evidently do. Note, also, that Christ took exceptoin with the teachings and practices of the TRANSMITTERS of His Word, Parker. The RCC stands in the very same position held by the Pharisees in Christ's day. And the same condemnation may very well apply to them.

Parker:
Had my viewpoint on the transmission and preservation of God's Truth been relegated to the historical landfill long ago, illiterate mankind would have had no knowledge of the Hebrew God -- until John McPherson was born, that is.

False. You place false limitations on God, knowing neither Him nor His power. God has actively ensured the preservation and transmission of His Word through one means or another (including modern printing presses and the Internet) throughout history. The fact that some of those entrusted with these tasks saw the opportunity to TAKE ADVANTAGE of their role and limit the understanding of others in accordance with their own, warped interpretations, is an indictment of those individuals - not God's ultimate provision of Truth for mankind's benefit as a whole (His People in particular).

Parker:
What "liberty and freedom" do you grant to those who, like you, swear allegiance to Sola Scriptura yet arrive at interpretations and beliefs utterly contrary to your own? None, I suspect. I rest my case.

You suspect wrong. I enjoy dialoguing with those holding to interpretations in conflict with my own, provided such a dialogue can be conducted respectfully and calmly. For the most part, this can be effectively accomplished in open forums like this one, and if we agree to disagree - so be it. The Truth is its own best defense. My own father-in-law (who is also a Full Preterist) and I do not see eye-to-eye on every item of doctrine, but we don't let it harm our friendship. We golf together regularly, and enjoy discussing a wide variety of issues. Our doctrinal, interpretive differences do not need to be a barrier between us. I give him the freedom to consider the Word of God privately from both his perspective and mine, and if he still chooses (for whatever reason) to reject my view, that is his prerogative and remains a decision, ultimately, between himself and God. I don't have the final word on each and every tidbit of Truth. I don't have the "corner" on Truth. I am still learning and growing, myself. But this much I DO know for an absolute, irrevocable, Scripturally-substantiated fact - your position and perspective are utterly contrary to the liberty and freedom God intended for His People to enjoy. Period. I rest my case.

Parker's picture

McPherson:
Again - what is the specific problem with allowing people to individually interpret Scripture for themselves, allowing God Himself to gently, graciously, gradually educate and enlighten them to a more accurate understanding of His Word?

Parker:
Sola Scriptura doesn't produce agreement. Instead, it produces disagreements. Sincere individuals study scripture using the Sola method and arrive at innumerable contradictory views, beliefs, and interpretations that cannot find any resolution. That happens every day in protestantism, which is why there are now 20,000+ denominations. And if God himself intended every man to sit around and study and debate scripture to arrive at the truth, he would have made all mankind literate. Instead, Jesus and the apostles taught the truth to the Church, and the church preserves and communicates orally that teaching.

McPherson:
Protestantism is a wreck because of its INSTITUTIONALIZED nature!

Parker:
Protestantism is a wreck because of Sola Scriptura. Ask 10 protestants what the truth is about any issue (using the sola scriptura method), and you'll get 20 different answers. And when those 10 protestants find it impossible to agree, they each start their own denomination/coalition. And when their own disciples don't agree with their founders' teachings, those disciples break away and start their own denominations/coalitions--each claiming to have the truth! That's the essence of protestantism. Fragmentation is the protestant way.

McPherson:
Spiritual governance by one human being over another ended with the imperfect, corrupt, outmoded, eternally condemned Mosaic Covenant system.

Parker:
Christ's church was never the "imperfect, corrupt, outmoded, eternally condemned Mosaic Covenant system." You do greatly err.

McPherson:
God had absolutely nothing whatsoever to do with global literacy, modern publishing methods and the fact that the Bible is the most widely distributed and heavily published book in the world?

Parker:
God's plan of redemption and Kingdom was fully complete and intact by the end of the first century. That Kingdom had nothing to do with book publishing, literacy, or any modern media. God's Kingdom was centered around oral communication and the Church. There were no bibles for the masses to read, and the masses couldn't read anyway. Hardly anyone could read.

McPherson:
According to you...First Century methods of communication were God's final, perfect means of expressing and transmitting His Truth to man.

Parker:
It is a fact that the first-century methods are the ones God established for the salvation of men. And book publishing, biblicism, and mass literacy had nothing at all to do with it. God's Kingdom is fully independent of mass literacy and the publishing industry. Individuals need not ever be able to read a single line of scripture for themselves to fully participate in God's Kingdom life. But they do need to hear it and obey, and that's the way God set it all up, and the Catholic Church has run that way ever since the first century.

McPherson:
You WISH God's ultimate, perfect will was for people to be reliant upon oral teaching and traditions. That is no more than your Catholic dogma and fantasy speaking.

Parker:
That's not fantasy, it's history.

McPherson:
You are viewing God's Kingdom with strictly human eyes and a fallible, finite perspective. You are evidently incapable of adopting GOD'S perspective with the eyes of faith. You either lack the spiritual maturity to do so or you are, quite simply, unregenerate and lacking a New Covenant relationship with the God of the Bible.

Parker:
Two protestants that insist on contradictory interpretations of the same doctrine or passage can't both be correct. At least one is in total error. If that's my failure to see with "spiritual eyes," then I'd hate to have your eyesight.

McPherson:
Your resistance to the written word (and God's provision of the ability within the individual to interpret it for him/herself) speaks volumes concerning your arrogant desire to impose rigid, authoritarian interpretive guidelines upon God's People.

Parker:
I have no resistance at all the written word. The Catholic Church was responsible for collecting, authenticating, and preserving the written word.

Parker:
The "Word of God," by very definition, is that truth that Christ and the apostles taught, whether via the ORAL tradition or the written tradition: "So then, brethren, stand firm and hold to the traditions which you were taught, whether by word of mouth or by letter from us." (2 Thess 2:15)

McPherson:
Did you, personally, receive any direct teaching from the mouths of these apotles, Parker? Wake up. The traditions referred to here were a necessary element in the spiritual development of these pre-AD 70 saints. They have no relationship to you or me, today, unless they were actually transcribed in the form of written Scripture.

Parker:
I received direct teaching from the Church founded by the apostles, and that teaching includes the scriptures. Did you get your copy of the bible directly from an apostle??? Of course not. You don't even know if your bible has any connection whatsoever to an apostle. You just trust the Catholic Church on this. For all you personally know, my Church made it all up, including the scriptures themselves.

McPherson:
There are scary similarities between the tradition-loving Pharisees and the RCC clergy and hierarchies, Parker. Pay attention. Christ Jesus does NOT have the same love and appreciation for empty, human traditions that YOU evidently do.

Parker:
Um..."So then, brethren, stand firm and hold to the traditions which you were taught, whether by word of mouth or by letter from us." (2 Thess 2:15)

"keep away from every brother who leads an unruly life and not according to the tradition which you received from us. (2 Thess 3:6)

McPherson
God has actively ensured the preservation and transmission of His Word through one means or another (including modern printing presses and the Internet) throughout history.

Parker:
Rather, God ensured the preservation and transmission of His Word through the oral tradition. Such was the case for centuries before modern printing presses or the Web.

McPherson:
You suspect wrong. I enjoy dialoguing with those holding to interpretations in conflict with my own, provided such a dialogue can be conducted respectfully and calmly.

Parker:
You may enjoy it, but that's irrelevant. Two people with contradictory views of the same doctrine or passage can't both be right. At least one is completely wrong, and perhaps both are wrong. And in protestantism, there is no way to resolve the dispute--and at that point, the truth, whatever it was, is hopelessly lost.

As for you and your father-in-law...whenever you have two contradictory views on a passage or doctrine, just remember that one of you is completely wrong (and perhaps both of you are wrong). And for sure, both of you will think you are completely right and that the other is in error. Now add thousands of other people with hundreds of other contradictory views on the same passage or doctrine, and you have protestantism. It's chaos, and whatever the truth may be, it is at that point hopelessly lost.

SuperSoulFighter's picture

Parker:
You may enjoy it, but that's irrelevant. Two people with contradictory views of the same doctrine or passage can't both be right. At least one is completely wrong, and perhaps both are wrong. And in protestantism, there is no way to resolve the dispute--and at that point, the truth, whatever it was, is hopelessly lost.

As for you and your father-in-law...whenever you have two contradictory views on a passage or doctrine, just remember that one of you is completely wrong (and perhaps both of you are wrong). And for sure, both of you will think you are completely right and that the other is in error. Now add thousands of other people with hundreds of other contradictory views on the same passage or doctrine, and you have protestantism. It's chaos, and whatever the truth may be, it is at that point hopelessly lost.

Your statements, above, highlight the utterly irreconcilable disparity between your views and mine, Parker. I hope all who think there is some means of reconciling Catholicism with modern Full Preterism will pay close attention to your statements. Your belief that various Christians holding opposing, contradictory beliefs on sundry points of doctrine will necessarily result in "the truth being hopelessly lost" is your Achilles' heel. Your presuppositions involve the essential role of a hierarchical clergy (as found in the RCC) preserving the Truth, when in reality, that is GOD'S job and HE will ensure that His Truth is both preserved AND understood accurately (ultimately), no matter how much confusion may arise in the minds and hearts of man from time to time.

The Truth will never be lost Parker. Never. The Truth is a living, vital Person and He has revealed Himself in written form to man. He will ensure that none of His Truth is ever lost. So don't get yourself in a dither. It's not YOUR job to play the part of the Great Preserver, nor is it the job/role of any clergy to make pronouncements authoritatively on God's behalf - particularly where the original meaning and application of His Word is concerned.

Disputed Truth is resolved by GOD ALONE - not by some man-made system of checks and balances, wherein people second-guess each other in order to determine, ultimately, what God had in mind in revealing Himself as He did to man. The Vatican and papacy have no God-ordained, apostolic right to govern the People of God as His "undershepherds" or "bishops" or anything else of that nature. The eternal Kingdom of heaven is SPIRITUAL, with no visible, institutionalized counterpart. No matter how vociferous your argument to the contrary, those Biblical facts remain established forever.

This site has been established to enable Christians (admittedly, mostly Protestants and ex-Protestants) to re-evaluate their beliefs and understanding of the Truth on the basis of the most accurate presuppositions (widely available to the laity) in centuries. We have the opportunity to re-establish the pure, unadulterated faith and understanding of God - His Mind, Will and Kingdom - that originally existed in the minds and hearts of His original, First Century Church. That Truth was distorted and corrupted by the RCC - but we are undoing the damage your beloved "church" has done since the Second Century. So get used to being opposed at every turn here and elsewhere. That's not going to change anytime soon - apart from a change of heart and thinking on your part.

Parker's picture

McPherson:
Your belief that various Christians holding opposing, contradictory beliefs on sundry points of doctrine will necessarily result in "the truth being hopelessly lost" is your Achilles' heel.

Parker:
It is not my Achilles' heel. It is sound logic. It is absurd of you to even suggest that two, three, four, or more contradictory interpretations of one doctrine or passage is a finding of truth. You are flat wrong on this, John. That is not finding truth, it is schizophrenia.

McPherson:
Your presuppositions involve the essential role of a hierarchical clergy

Parker:
These are not "presuppositions." The bible itself teaches the essential role of hierarchical leadership. The essential role of hierarchical leadership is is discussed cover to cover in scripture. The bible knows nothing about some book-based individualistic practice of the faith. That is a modern invention that is presupposes the printing press and mass manufacturing of books and study aids and such. Without mankind's ability to mass-produce copies of the Scriptures for individual Christians to interpret, the doctrine of sola scriptura could not have functioned. Christians in the days before the printing press had only limited access to the texts via the Scripture readings at Mass. Hand made copies of the scriptures were expensive and rare. These circumstances did not allow the average believer the lengthy, detailed access to Scripture that he needed to serve as his own theologian. Therefore, your whole premise is false. It is pure fantasy existing nowhere in real history.

McPherson:
HE will ensure that His Truth is both preserved AND understood accurately (ultimately), no matter how much confusion may arise in the minds and hearts of man from time to time.

Parker:
Confusion from "time to time"? What truths do protestants actually agree on? Any at all? Do protestants agree about what kind of faith saves, whether baptism is necessary, if one can lose salvation, whether the Real Presence true, if spiritual gifts and healing for today, is salvation predestined, whether God is a trinity, and countless other issues. And if protestants can't declare what is the truth on any of these issues, how can it be said that God has ensured that His Truth is both preserved and understood? You're not making any sense, John. You're incoherent.

McPherson:
The Truth is a living, vital Person and He has revealed Himself in written form to man.

Parker:
When two or more people come up with contradictory interpretations of the same passage or doctrine (each insisting to be right), the truth is lost. You're stuck with an irreconcilable stand-off, and no one knows who is right

McPherson:
nor is it the job/role of any clergy to make pronouncements authoritatively on God's behalf

Parker:
According to scripture, it is. (See: the bishopric.) Scripture knows nothing about individuals determining for themselves what is the truth. And individuals couldn't use scripture to find that "truth" anyway, for they couldn't read or study scripture, and the canon of letters wasn't a collected whole until long after the apostles' time.

McPherson:
Disputed Truth is resolved by GOD ALONE

Parker:
Really? Does God appear from heaven in your room whenever you and your father-in-law disagree about the truth? Does He set the two of you straight? Let me know how often that happens...I may want to call the psychiatric ward. And if God resolves the truth using Sola Scriptura, why can't protestants who swear by that tradition agree on hardly any question of doctrine?

McPherson:
The Vatican and papacy have no God-ordained, apostolic right to govern the People of God as His "undershepherds" or "bishops" or anything else of that nature.

Parker:
It is the only system known in scripture. It is God ordained. Scripture teaches no other system.

McPherson:
The eternal Kingdom of heaven is SPIRITUAL, with no visible, institutionalized counterpart.

Parker:
And we know this how? Because John McPherson declares it? Certainly, the only Kingdom known in holy scripture had a visible, institutionalized incarnation. Why should I abandon the biblical model and adopt your unscriptural fantasies about the Kingdom?

mazuur's picture

"Protestantism, which is based on sola scriptura and private judgment, is the epitome of epistemological and interpretive anarchy. There are as many interpretations as there are protestants. Sola scriptura has produced well over 20,000 warring protestant denominations, all of which claim to base their contradictory views upon the same single bible."

You're kidding right???

That fact that there is the Protestant church demonstrates the RCC has the same problems. Not too mention the divisions that still happen in the RCC today. What group does Mel Gipson belong to? Heck, you even have gay priest starting churches claiming they're still the Catholic Church. You have Priest marrying women and starting Churches. What about the Eastern Orthodox Church?

I'm sure you will then say, they are not part of the Catholic Church. They left or were kicked out by the Church, and went off and established their own Church. Well, how/why do you think we have different protestant churches? People left or were kicked out, and went and started their own Church. What the heck is the difference?

C'mon man, open your freakin' eyes.

Rich

-Rich

Parker's picture

Mazuur:
You're kidding right???

Parker:
No, I'm entirely serious. 20,000+ denominations that don't agree on what the bible teaches is organizational, doctrinal chaos. It's anarchy by any analysis.

Mazuur:
That fact that there is the Protestant church demonstrates the RCC has the same problems.

Parker:
There is no "protestant church," per se. Instead, there are 20,000+ non-Catholic bible religions that don't agree together on what the bible says. We may loosely call that a "protestant church" (singular), but in fact it is thousands of warring, divided factions that lack unity of doctrine, authority, fellowship, and organization (unlike the 1st century christians).

Mazuur:
What group does Mel Gipson belong to? Heck, you even have gay priest starting churches claiming they're still the Catholic Church.

Parker:
Those are protestants in progress. Look, Luther didn't become a "protestant" all at once. It takes a little time to break away from an organization. Also, no Catholic priests can "start churches" any more than some customer service rep can "start Microsoft." The organization simply doesn't work that way. There is a hierarchy of authority and chain of command in all solid organizations. You and I can't just go out and "start Microsoft" tomorrow. In the same way, no priest can just go out and start the catholic church tomorrow.

Mazuur:
What about the Eastern Orthodox Church?

Parker:
The Eastern Orthodox Church is the Eastern Catholic Church. We were separated by external regional conquests (the Moslems), not by doctrine or disputes. We share the same priesthood, we share the same sacraments, we share the same doctrines, we share the same saints and church fathers. Having said that, the EO is suffering some internal fragmentation due to political and national issues (I think there are now 11 EO groups divided by nationality), and it remains to be seen whether the EO will continue to fragment into oblivion like protestantism or will rejoin themselves to Rome to maintain unity. Obviously, I hope for unity, not more divisions. What did Jesus say about a house divided? The house of christianity can't really afford more division.

mazuur's picture

You need to sit and think/read through what you just stated. You just rationalized away the Catholic Church's problem of division throughtout the centuries. You are in a serious case of denial causing a serious case of blindness.

start here..."Those are protestants in progress."

Well, yeah. That is the whole point. They are individuals dividing away (creating yet another denomination coming out of the RCC) because of its "lack unity of doctrine, authority, fellowship, and organization".

"It takes a little time to break away from an organization"

What does time have to do with anything. The fact they break way from the RCC, is the RCC having division. This is as self evident at self evident gets.

"no Catholic priests can "start churches" any more than some customer service rep can "start Microsoft.""

If the priest leaves because he disagrees doctrinal (say gay issues) with the RCC, he can (and does) start a new Church. It may not be the RCC Church but none the less it is a new church being created from somebody coming out of (dividing away from) the RCC. That is no different than some guy leaving my church and starting another Church with a new name.

How is it that when somebody leaves a Protestant Church and creates a new Church is it division, yet, somebody from the RCC church does the exact same thing, and for some reason in your eyes, it isn't division? You are freaking me out!

Rich

-Rich

Parker's picture

Mazuur:
Well, yeah. That is the whole point. They are individuals dividing away (creating yet another denomination coming out of the RCC) because of its "lack unity of doctrine, authority, fellowship, and organization".

Parker:
If some sheep break away from the Church, they do not thereby start a legitimate new "church." There is only one church, and that is the one founded in real history by the apostles, led and united by the bishops ordained by the apostles (i.e., the Catholic Church). Should people peel away from that one historic church and start their own thing, they do not become "the church started by the apostles."

Rich, it's like Microsoft. If some workers at Microsoft leave the company and begin making software, they may not say they are the true Microsoft. Microsoft already exists and has an organizational structure and a historical place in history.

Mazuur:
The fact they break way from the RCC, is the RCC having division. This is as self evident at self evident gets.

Parker:
Again, if a few people leave Microsoft and do their own thing, they are not creating division within Microsoft. They have left Microsoft and are not "Microsoft."

Mazuur:
If the priest leaves because he disagrees doctrinal (say gay issues) with the RCC, he can (and does) start a new Church.

Parker:
No he does not. There is only one church that was founded in history by Jesus and the apostles. Again we turn to our Microsoft illustration. If someone doesn't like Microsoft and leaves, he or she does not found the "new true Microsoft." That organization has already been created and exists and cannot be replaced by any breakaway members. (BTW, the Catholic Church teaches that homosexual acts are grave sins and are "intrinsically disordered.")

Mazuur:
It may not be the RCC Church but none the less it is a new church being created from somebody coming out of (dividing away from) the RCC.

Parker:
It is not a new "church." Properly defined, the Church is that *one* organization created in history by the apostles and Christ to be perpetuated and kept intact throughout all time. By their work and design, that *one* church has one apostolic leadership (ordained bishopric), one faith (the apostolic doctrine), and one common multinational fellowship. It is one, it is historic, and it has a direct line of ordained bishops going all the way back to St. Peter and Jesus Christ. That is the Catholic Church. One may not just "start the church" in the year 2005, or at any time after the apostles' generation. It was already created and has never ceased to be. In your bible you can read about the Church at Rome. We have always been around since being founded under St. Peter's apostolic authority back in the first century.

God bless,

mazuur's picture

Hog wash! I know that isn't much of an arguement, but that is the point. I'm not going to argue all day about it. A couple of exchanges is probably already too much. You just keep putting you trust in Rome, and I will keep my trust in Christ.

Rich

-Rich

Parker's picture

Yes, Masuur, that isn't much of an argument. The fact is, you don't have one since the Church of Rome is the only church that exists today from the time of the apostles. It's plain history. The protestant denominations have no roots beyond a few centuries (at most), and their origins are with disgruntled Catholics who left the one apostolic church and did whatever was right in their own eyes (in matters of doctrine and interpretation, that is). The result of Sola Scriptura is 20,000+ warring factions that claim the bible as their sole authority yet can't agree on hardly anything it says. Fortunately, many protestant groups have been prevented from total doctrinal oblivion by uniting around the Catholic Church's Nicene Creed. That Catholic creed, whether followed loosely or strictly by protestants, is the doctrinal glue holding together modern christianity.

mazuur's picture

Hog wash. I didn't want to put up any more of an argument, not because you are even remotely correct, but because I don't want to sit and argue with you forever.

And it is 20,001+. You forget the Catholic Church is just yet another Church claming authority on the Scriptures. Some day your eyes just may be able to see that. If not, then the day you die I'm guessing you will.

Rich

-Rich

Parker's picture

Mazuur:
And it is 20,001+. You forget the Catholic Church is just yet another Church claming authority on the Scriptures.

Parker:
You are wrong, Mazuur. The Church of Rome was founded by St. Peter and the apostles 20 centuries ago. I know that's a hard fact for many protestants, but it is, nevertheless, the truth. We've never left. We're still here, intact. No protestant group can claim to have any connection to the apostles in real history.

mazuur's picture

"The Church of Rome was founded by St. Peter and the apostles 20 centuries ago".

You are so wrong. We have around the first 40 years of Church history recorded in Acts and the Epistles, and such an idea isn't even hinted at in Scripture, nor is it demonstrated. That is why even Catholic scholars admit you don't see the structure of the Catholic Church until centuries later. What you do see is it being developed over time.

"No protestant group can claim to have any connection to the apostles in real history."

Pleeeeease, the Protestant Church can. We can say that your Church become so involved in heresy that we were forced to separate you out from us to protect the true Church. Maintain a name doesn't make you the original.

You see the problem, which your Church just can't stand is this: 1) I can read, and 2) I have my own copy of the Scriptures. These two truths put together allows me to now test what some *man* tries to teach me.

I feel so sorry for the people of old who were at the mercy of what Popes and Priests were passing off on them and then requiring them to believe. But, that is probably why God moved in giving His word to all men. We are no longer at the mercy of corrupt evil men teaching heresy just to line their pockets.

Rich

-Rich

Parker's picture

Parker:
The Church of Rome was founded by St. Peter and the apostles 20 centuries ago".

Mazuur:
You are so wrong. We have around the first 40 years of Church history recorded in Acts and the Epistles, and such an idea isn't even hinted at in Scripture

Parker:
The Church of Rome wasn't founded by the apostles??? I'm not sure I know how to answer such ignorance. Open up your New Testament and look up Paul's letter to the Church of Rome.

Mazuur:
That is why even Catholic scholars admit you don't see the structure of the Catholic Church until centuries later.

Parker:
The structure of the Church is as follows: one company of ordained bishops led by St. Peter and his successors. That is straight out of holy scripture.

Parker:
"No protestant group can claim to have any connection to the apostles in real history."

Mazuur:
Pleeeeease, the Protestant Church can.

Parker:
Really? Show me one single protestant church that was founded by an apostle. You can't. But guess what? The Church of Rome was founded by St. Peter 20 centuries ago and still exists to this day.

Mazuur:
You see the problem, which your Church just can't stand is this: 1) I can read, and 2) I have my own copy of the Scriptures.

Parker:
What do you mean the Church can't stand the reading of scriptures? The Catholic Church determined which surviving letters were "scripture" and compiled the books together into what we call the "bible." You are ill informed. The only reason you know that the 27 books of the New Testament are authentic and from actual apostles is because the Catholic Church told humanity this long ago. The apostles themselves didn't show up at your door and hand you their writings, nor did they even create a "bible" or list of books. The only way you can trust that your bible has any connection to a single apostle is by taking the Catholic Church's word on it.

valensname's picture

I just read this trend today but wanted to comment:

Parker:
The Church of Rome was founded by St. Peter and the apostles 20 centuries ago".

Mazuur:
You are so wrong. We have around the first 40 years of Church history recorded in Acts and the Epistles, and such an idea isn't even hinted at in Scripture

Parker:
The Church of Rome wasn't founded by the apostles??? I'm not sure I know how to answer such ignorance. Open up your New Testament and look up Paul's letter to the Church of Rome.

Glenn: It is Paul's letter, not Peter's! There is no biblical evidence and scant or only traditional evidence that Peter ever was in Rome. The times of the first century Peter, a common Jew, not a Roman citizen, wouldn't have ever been taken to Rome as per RCC traditon.

Mazuur:
That is why even Catholic scholars admit you don't see the structure of the Catholic Church until centuries later.

Parker:
The structure of the Church is as follows: one company of ordained bishops led by St. Peter and his successors. That is straight out of holy scripture.

Glenn: Where in the world in scripture (even the RCC bible) is that found??????

valensname's picture

I just read this trend today but wanted to comment:

Parker:
The Church of Rome was founded by St. Peter and the apostles 20 centuries ago".

Mazuur:
You are so wrong. We have around the first 40 years of Church history recorded in Acts and the Epistles, and such an idea isn't even hinted at in Scripture

Parker:
The Church of Rome wasn't founded by the apostles??? I'm not sure I know how to answer such ignorance. Open up your New Testament and look up Paul's letter to the Church of Rome.

Glenn: It is Paul's letter, not Peter's! There is no biblical evidence and scant or only traditional evidence that Peter ever was in Rome. The times of the first century Peter, a common Jew, not a Roman citizen, wouldn't have ever been taken to Rome as per RCC traditon.

Mazuur:
That is why even Catholic scholars admit you don't see the structure of the Catholic Church until centuries later.

Parker:
The structure of the Church is as follows: one company of ordained bishops led by St. Peter and his successors. That is straight out of holy scripture.

Glenn: Where in the world in scripture (even the RCC bible) is that found??????

Parker's picture

Parker:
Open up your New Testament and look up Paul's letter to the Church of Rome.

Glenn:
It is Paul's letter, not Peter's!

Parker:
The Church of Rome was founded by Christ's apostles under St. Peter's leadership, Glenn. The Church at Rome has remained for 20 centuries now. That is a reality unique to the Catholic Church. BTW, Paul did not found the Church at Rome (though he later ministered there).

Glenn:
There is no biblical evidence and scant or only traditional evidence that Peter ever was in Rome.

Parker:
While it would be irrelevant if he did or didn't, the historic records of Peter's travels to Rome are copious and unanimous. Moreover, all the missionary work accomplished in the first century was under the authority of St. Peter, the appointed head of the apostles.

Parker:
The structure of the Church is as follows: one company of ordained bishops led by St. Peter and his successors. That is straight out of holy scripture.

Glenn:
Where in the world in scripture (even the RCC bible) is that found?

Parker:
St. Peter was the head of the apostles and the keyholder of the House of Israel by Christ's appointment. The apostles ordained the bishops to be the rulers of the Church. That created a single college of bishops under the authority of apostles led by St. Peter.

valensname's picture

Thank you for your comments.

Parker:
The Church of Rome was founded by Christ's apostles under St. Peter's leadership, Glenn. The Church at Rome has remained for 20 centuries now. That is a reality unique to the Catholic Church. BTW, Paul did not found the Church at Rome (though he later ministered there).

Glenn: I know which verse you are assuming meant that Peter was some "head" or incharge of the other apostles...I don't agree with that interpretation. (And there are books that argue that the RCC's view on these verses is incorrect). The only biblical evidence of some type of head leader in the NT church was James in Jerusalem. And the NT pattern is bishops in every church and a plurality as well. No example of any one person over a group. Christ is the head of the church.

Parker:
While it would be irrelevant if he did or didn't, the historic records of Peter's travels to Rome are copious and unanimous. Moreover, all the missionary work accomplished in the first century was under the authority of St. Peter, the appointed head of the apostles.

Parker:
St. Peter was the head of the apostles and the keyholder of the House of Israel by Christ's appointment. The apostles ordained the bishops to be the rulers of the Church. That created a single college of bishops under the authority of apostles led by St. Peter.

Glenn: Again I disagree that Peter was in any way above the other apostles. There is no biblical evidence for that. And Peter was the apostle to the Jews, not the Gentiles. Where is the biblical evidence Peter ever traveled outside of Palestine? I doubt that he ever left Palestine and I believe he was killed in Jerusalem and the reference to Babylon by Peter in his epistle is the same reference by John in Revelation - the harlot city - old covenant Jerusalem.

From reading the exchanges, it is my impression that you and others are placing their faith more in the institution of their church organization - (RCC, LDS, etc...) than in Christ.

Parker's picture

Glenn:
I know which verse you are assuming meant that Peter was some "head" or incharge of the other apostles...I don't agree with that interpretation.

Parker:
Jesus said, "Simon...you are rock and upon this rock I will build my Church. And I give to you the keys of the kingdom." (Matt 16:18-19). Glenn, Peter alone was given the keys (Mt 16:18-19) to be Prime Minister over the House of David. If you don't understand what that means, please study what it meant back in the days of the kings -- in particular, read the example of King Hezekiah and his Prime Minister (Isaiah 22:15-24). When King Jesus gave Peter the keys, it meant Peter was given rule over the King's government (Isa. 22:21), it meant he was "father" to the house of Judah/inhabitants of Jerusalem (Isa 22:21), it meant what he opened (authorized) no man could shut (Isa 22:22), it meant he was given a glorious throne (Isa 22:23), and it meant great glory was due him (Isa 22:24). St. Peter was King Jesus' prime minister of the restored monarchy of David by Christ's appointment (Mt 16:18-19). Simon was chief/prime of the apostles (Mt 10:2). Christ is the King, Peter was prime minister. When Paul was called to join himself to Christ's body, he "went up to Jerusalem to see Peter and abode with him fifteen days" (Gal 1:18).

Glenn:
And Peter was the apostle to the Jews, not the Gentiles. Where is the biblical evidence Peter ever traveled outside of Palestine?

Parker:
Jesus said Peter was to be a witness to the uttermost parts of the earth (Acts 1:8), God revealed to Peter the mission to the gentiles (Acts 10:9-16,28), Peter preached to the gentiles (Acts 10:44-11:18), Peter ministered to gentiles in Antioch (Gal 2:11-12), and Peter's letters were addressed to the elect around the gentile world (1 Peter 1:1). Furthermore, many of the Corinthian gentiles considered Peter their sole apostle (1 Cor 1:12). And again, Peter alone was given the keys of the Kingdom (Matt 16:18/Isa 22:21-23).

Glenn:
I doubt that he ever left Palestine

Parker:
I have just shown you otherwise in scripture. In addition, history's many sources are unanimous that Peter went to Rome. The historic sources are copious and unanimous on this point.

Glenn:
it is my impression that you and others are placing their faith more in the institution of their church

Parker:
The Church is the body of Jesus Christ (Eph 1:22-23), the household of God, and the pillar and ground of the truth (1 Tim 3:15).

valensname's picture

I stand corrected on Peter being mentioned going outside of Palestine.

I do not agree on your interpretation of Peter being the first Pope or that there was any one person over the apostles or biships. This didn't come about until the second century.

Where is all this documentation that Peter was in Rome etc...? Are any of it first century documents? I don't know of any.

Parker's picture

Glenn:
I do not agree on your interpretation of Peter being the first Pope or that there was any one person over the apostles or biships. This didn't come about until the second century.

Parker:
Matthew 16:18 was uttered in the first century, around AD 30. In that passage, Jesus gave to Simon (renamed "rock") his keys of rulership. As I showed you from Isaiah 22:15-24, this granting of the keys meant that the king conferred rule upon his prime minister to rule over the house of David. Such a minister was thus granted the King's government (Isa. 22:21), became "father" to the house of Judah/inhabitants of Jerusalem (Isa 22:21), had power of authorization for the people (Isa 22:22), received a throne (Isa 22:23), and was due great glory (Isa 22:24). Glenn, you can't just say you disagree. You have to show that I have erred in my exegesis. It is certain that Jesus named Peter his prime minister over the restored Davidic Kingdom. It takes place at Matthew 16:18-19.

Glenn:
Where is all this documentation that Peter was in Rome etc...? Are any of it first century documents? I don't know of any.

Parker:
To quote a very respected protestant scholar, F.F. Bruce: "That Peter as well as Paul was put to death at Rome under Nero is the unanimous testimony of Christian tradition so far as it touches this subject" ... That Peter and Paul were the most eminent of many Christians who suffered martyrdom in Rome under Nero is certain; that they were claimed as co-founders of the Roman church and that this, together with their martyrdom there, conferred great religious (as distinct from political) prestige on that church, is likewise certain...." -- NEW TESTAMENT HISTORY (Doubleday and Co, 1971) by F.F. Bruce, p. 403,410

The following quotes from early Christians like Ignatius, Eusebius, Jerome, Cyril, Augustine, Tertullian, Irenaeus, Clement and others should suffice for the many more that could be cited:

Ignatius of Antioch (addressing the Romans)
"Not as Peter and Paul did, do I command you [Romans]. They were apostles, and I am a convict" (Letter to the Romans 4:3 [A.D. 110]).

Note that Ignatius just said that Peter had commanded the Romans.

Dionysius of Corinth (addressing Pope Soter)
"You [Pope Soter] have also, by your very admonition, brought together the planting that was made by Peter and Paul at Rome and at Corinth; for both of them alike planted in our Corinth and taught us; and both alike, teaching similarly in Italy, suffered martyrdom at the same time" (Letter to Pope Soter [A.D. 170], in Eusebius, History of the Church 2:25:8).

Irenaeus
"Matthew also issued among the Hebrews a written Gospel in their own language, while Peter and Paul were evangelizing in Rome and laying the foundation of the Church" (Against Heresies, 3, 1:1 [A.D. 189]).

"But since it would be too long to enumerate in such a volume as this the succession of all the churches, we shall confound all those who, in whatever manner, whether through self-satisfaction or vainglory, or through blindness and wicked opinion, assemble other than where it is proper, by pointing out here the succession of the bishops of the greatest and most ancient church known to all, founded and organized at Rome by the two most glorious apostles, Peter and Paul, that church which has the tradition and the faith which comes down to us after having been announced to men by the apostles. With that church [of Rome], because of its superior origin, all the churches must agree, that is, all the faithful in the whole world, and it is in her that the faithful everywhere have maintained the apostolic tradition" (ibid., 3, 3, 2).

"The blessed apostles [Peter and Paul], having founded and built up the church [of Rome], they handed over the office of the episcopate to Linus. Paul makes mention of this Linus in the letter to Timothy [2 Tim. 4:21]. To him succeeded Anacletus, and after him, in the third place from the apostles, Clement was chosen for the episcopate. He had seen the blessed apostles and was acquainted with them. It might be said that he still heard the echoes of the preaching of the apostles and had their traditions before his eyes. And not only he, for there were many still remaining who had been instructed by the apostles. In the time of Clement, no small dissension having arisen among the brethren in Corinth, the church in Rome sent a very strong letter to the Corinthians, exhorting them to peace and renewing their faith. ... To this Clement, Evaristus succeeded . . . and now, in the twelfth place after the apostles, the lot of the episcopate [of Rome] has fallen to Eleutherius. In this order, and by the teaching of the apostles handed down in the Church, the preaching of the truth has come down to us" (ibid., 3, 3, 3).

Gaius
"It is recorded that Paul was beheaded in Rome itself, and Peter, likewise, was crucified, during the reign [of the Emperor Nero]. The account is confirmed by the names of Peter and Paul over the cemeteries there, which remain to the present time. And it is confirmed also by a stalwart man of the Church, Gaius by name, who lived in the time of Zephyrinus, bishop of Rome. This Gaius, in a written disputation with Proclus, the leader of the sect of Cataphrygians, says this of the places in which the remains of the aforementioned apostles were deposited: ‘I can point out the trophies of the apostles. For if you are willing to go to the Vatican or to the Ostian Way, you will find the trophies of those who founded this Church’" (Disputation with Proclus [A.D. 198] in Eusebius, Church History 2:25:5).

Clement of Alexandria
"The circumstances which occasioned . . . [the writing] of Mark were these: When Peter preached the Word publicly at Rome and declared the gospel by the Spirit, many who were present requested that Mark, who had been a long time his follower and who remembered his sayings, should write down what had been proclaimed" (Sketches [A.D. 200], in a fragment from Eusebius, History of the Church, 6, 14:1).

Tertullian
"But if you are near Italy, you have Rome, where authority is at hand for us too. What a happy church that is, on which the apostles poured out their whole doctrine with their blood; where Peter had a passion like that of the Lord, where Paul was crowned with the death of John [the Baptist, by being beheaded]" (Demurrer Against the Heretics 36 [A.D. 200]).

"[T]his is the way in which the apostolic churches transmit their lists: like the church of the Smyrneans, which records that Polycarp was placed there by John, like the church of the Romans, where Clement was ordained by Peter" (ibid., 32:2).

"Let us see what milk the Corinthians drained from Paul; against what standard the Galatians were measured for correction; what the Philippians, Thessalonians, and Ephesians read; what even the nearby Romans sound forth, to whom both Peter and Paul bequeathed the gospel and even sealed it with their blood" (Against Marcion 4, 5:1 [A.D. 210]).

The Little Labyrinth
"Victor . . . was the thirteenth bishop of Rome from Peter" (The Little Labyrinth [A.D. 211], in Eusebius, Church History 5:28:3).

The Poem Against the Marcionites
"In this chair in which he himself had sat, Peter in mighty Rome commanded Linus, the first elected, to sit down. After him, Cletus too accepted the flock of the fold. As his successor, Anacletus was elected by lot. Clement follows him, well-known to apostolic men. After him Evaristus ruled the flock without crime. Alexander, sixth in succession, commends the fold to Sixtus. After his illustrious times were completed, he passed it on to Telesphorus. He was excellent, a faithful martyr . . . " (Poem Against the Marcionites 276–284 [A.D. 267]).

Eusebius of Caesarea
"[In the second] year of the two hundredth and fifth Olympiad [A.D. 42]: The apostle Peter, after he has established the church in Antioch, is sent to Rome, where he remains as a bishop of that city, preaching the gospel for twenty-five years" (The Chronicle [A.D. 303]).

Peter of Alexandria
"Peter, the first chosen of the apostles, having been apprehended often and thrown into prison and treated with ignominy, at last was crucified in Rome" (Penance, canon 9 [A.D. 306]).

Lactantius
"When Nero was already reigning, Peter came to Rome, where, in virtue of the performance of certain miracles which he worked . . . he converted many to righteousness and established a firm and steadfast temple to God. When this fact was reported to Nero . . . he sprang to the task of tearing down the heavenly temple and of destroying righteousness. It was he that first persecuted the servants of God. Peter he fixed to a cross, and Paul he slew" (The Deaths of the Persecutors 2:5 [A.D. 318]).

Cyril of Jerusalem
"[Simon Magus] so deceived the city of Rome that Claudius erected a statue of him. . . .While the error was extending itself, Peter and Paul arrived, a noble pair and the rulers of the Church, and they set the error aright. . . . [T]hey launched the weapon of their like-mindedness in prayer against the Magus, and struck him down to earth. It was marvelous enough, and yet no marvel at all, for Peter was there—he that carries about the keys of heaven. And it was nothing to marvel at, for Paul was there—he that was caught up into the third heaven" (Catechetical Lectures 6:14 [A.D. 350]).

Optatus
"You cannot deny that you are aware that in the city of Rome the episcopal chair was given first to Peter; the chair in which Peter sat, the same who was head—that is why he is also called Cephas [‘Rock’]—of all the apostles; the one chair in which unity is maintained by all" (The Schism of the Donatists 2:2 [A.D. 367]).

Epiphanius of Salamis
"At Rome the first apostles and bishops were Peter and Paul, then Linus, then Cletus, then Clement, the contemporary of Peter and Paul" (Medicine Chest Against All Heresies 27:6 [A.D. 375]).

Jerome
"Simon Peter, the son of John, from the village of Bethsaida in the province of Galilee, brother of Andrew the apostle, and himself chief of the apostles, after having been bishop of the church of Antioch and having preached to the Dispersion . . . pushed on to Rome in the second year of Claudius to overthrow Simon Magus, and held the sacerdotal chair there for twenty-five years until the last, that is the fourteenth, year of Nero. At his hands he received the crown of martyrdom being nailed to the cross with his head towards the ground and his feet raised on high, asserting that he was unworthy to be crucified in the same manner as his Lord" (Lives of Illustrious Men 1 [A.D. 396]).

Augustine
"If all men throughout the world were such as you most vainly accuse them of having been, what has the chair of the Roman church done to you, in which Peter sat, and in which Anastasius sits today?" (Against the Letters of Petilani 2:118 [A.D. 402]).

valensname's picture

I have heard your arguements from the RCC before..You are taking the view that the "on this rock" in Matthew 16:18 that Jesus was referring to Peter when He is not. Jesus is referring to the fact that to Peter it was revealed that He was the Christ.

To quote scholars, which Bruce is merely quoting tradition or early church fathers who are uninspired and years and centuries removed from the 60's AD...holds no weight in my view of changing the clear inspired biblical record of no leadership that the RCC claims to have the blessing of God to have. Simply, Paul rebuked Peter...I though Peter was the head guy? And James seems to be more the pillar than Peter in Jerusalem. I do appreciate your effort in quoting early unispired church fathers but I prefer to stay within the inspired record.

As I said previously, Paul set up churches to have a plurality of biships and self leadership, not one church over another...the single biship idea/practice didn't surface till the second century...why change the way it was originally set up?

Sure he was given the keyes...and there are many interpretations on this besides the RCC one...but maybe He is referring to Peter's upcoming part in showing the Jews that the Gentiles have a part in Israel's spiritual things...just a thought.

Parker's picture

Glenn:
You are taking the view that the "on this rock" in Matthew 16:18 that Jesus was referring to Peter when He is not. Jesus is referring to the fact that to Peter it was revealed that He was the Christ.

Parker:
Jesus Christ renamed Simon "rock" (John 1:42), and "rock" wasn't a person's name at the time. No one in the ancient world had the name "rock" -- not one. Jesus said: "Simon, you are rock, and upon this rock I will build my Church. And I will give you the keys to the Kingdom..." There is no question that the king (Jesus) gave Peter his keys of authority over the monarchy of David. No questions whatsoever. You have no option but to accept scripture's plain teaching on this.

Glenn:
To quote scholars, which Bruce is merely quoting tradition or early church fathers who are uninspired and years and centuries removed

Parker:
While rejecting history is not wise, I'll play along. Let it be stated for the record that history is unanimous on Peter's travels to Rome. Scripture is clear that the Church of Rome was planted by the apostles. Let me say it another way: my Church was established by the apostles. Was yours? No. Is there more than one church? No.

Glenn:
the clear inspired biblical record of no leadership that the RCC claims to have the blessing of God to have.

Parker:
The RCC was established by real apostles. Was yours?

Glenn:
Simply, Paul rebuked Peter...I though Peter was the head guy?

Parker:
No one said the prime minister can't be rebuked, so the point is irrelevant. And you can't rebuke someone out of being the prime minister with the keys. Peter was the "prime/first" among The Twelve Apostles (Matt 10:2) and was given the keys of the Kingdom (Matt 16:18-19). And for sure, Paul was not one of The Twelve.

Glenn:
And James seems to be more the pillar than Peter in Jerusalem.

Parker:
Peter was keyholder over the whole kingdom (Matt 16:18-19). He alone received the king's keys to the Kingdom.

Glenn:
Paul set up churches to have a plurality of biships and self leadership, not one church over another

Parker:
Having multiple bishops didn't mean independence for each. Paul commanded absolute unity among them in teaching, fellowship, etc.. Anything else was schism of Christ's one body--"denominations" are nowhere allowed in scripture.

And the RCC is that Church mentioned in your bible that was founded by apostles -- and it still has bishops properly ordained by them, from them, and according to their command. Was your church founded by apostles 20 centuries ago, and do you have bishops with a direct line of authority going back to apostles? No. In other words, the RCC is apostolic and yours is not.

Glenn:
Sure he was given the keys...and there are many interpretations on this besides the RCC one

Parker:
The king's keys were the symbol of his rule over his kingdom. His grant of them to the prime minister makes the prime minister second in command over the Kingdom. Please Read Isaiah 22:15-24. Peter alone was given the keys.

God bless,
Parker

valensname's picture

We can go round and round but I'd like to make one point...you wrote, "You have no option but to accept scripture's plain teaching on this."

Based on your statement above, I ask you...how can you and the RCC go against clear Scripture and require your priests to not marry? Peter, your so called first pope, was married. Paul warned against those who forbid people to marry. The qualifications for biships clearly is that they be married and the husband of one wife. So how can the RCC forbid them (your priests, biships, cardinals and popes - which also have no NT example or authority for any church office)to marry?

I hope you don't respond the same way that those who seem to believe the Bible doesn't speak against homesexual behavior as being a sin?

What will you do with this plain teaching of Scipture about marriage?

Parker's picture

Glenn:
Based on your statement above, I ask you...how can you and the RCC go against clear Scripture and require your priests to not marry?

Parker:
First, not only did ministers not *have to* be married, Paul strongly discouraged marriage among ministers. The preference for celibate ministers urged in the New Testament teachings and exemplified by Paul and Jesus Christ has long been the Catholic model.

While the Catholic Church presently has a few hundred married priests (minister converts from Orthodox and Anglican rites), it prefers the "undistracted minister" ideal taught by St. Paul and exemplified by Paul and Jesus. While the Church could change this current preference, it would be stupid to do so. The usefulness, focus, and advantage gained by having dedicated, undistracted ministers to tend to God's flocks could never be equalled by part-timers who are forced to split time between the needs of their wives and children and the needs of God's flocks. Never. Most protestant ministers end up either (1) neglecting their own wives and kids due to the urgent importance of the ministry (2) neglecting the needs of God's flocks to nurture their their wives and kids or (3) burning out from working 80-hour weeks in an attempt to fulfill both callings (family and church).

Glenn:
Paul warned against those who forbid people to marry.

Parker:
Marriage is not forbidden in the Catholic Church. In fact, marriage is actually considered a sacrament--a much higher view of the union between a man and woman than is found anywhere else.

Also, St. Paul was talking about Gnostics of the first century that actually believed marriage and child-bearing were evil because they were material things. Gnostics taught that child-bearing was a great evil because it "trapped" pure spirits in evil material bodies. So the Gnostics prohibited marriage and child-bearing. Oddly, a number of the early protestant groups also followed in that heresy and opposed marriage and child-bearing.

As for homosexuality, the Catholic Church teaches it is a grave sin and is "intrinsically disordered."

Christ's blesssings,
Parker

valensname's picture

You ignored the qualifications of a bishop that it was required that they be married and the husband of one wife?

Parker's picture

There is no qualification that bishops be married. Rather, there is the qualification that they not be divorced and remarried (i.e., having only one wife). Jesus, the exemplary, head bishop (1 Peter 2:25), was *unmarried.* Paul, an intentionally-unmarried apostle, exhorted that everyone be unmarried like himself (1 Cor 7:7-8), even instructing Bishop Timothy in singlehood (read 2 Tim 2:4 along with 1 Cor 7:32-33). Revelation speaks of a class of dedicated "virgins...that follow the Lamb wherever he goes" (Rev 14:4), a clear tie in with Matt 19:12's praise for the eunuchs of the kingdom. The Catholic Church has simply chosen to make the "undistracted minister" model (1 Cor 7:32-33,35) its standard. It's not dogma, so it could be changed. And as I said before, the Catholic Church has over a hundred married priests, and they are fully legitimate.

valensname's picture

It has been great discussing things with you.

I do have one more thing to say about the RCC and other organizations like the LDS. From an outsider looking in, I wouldn't think anyone would want to be a part of an organization that seems bent on power and control of others. That's all I see the RCC is under the disguise of religion. It is no different than what the religious leaders of the Jews in NT times were doing. The RCC and others like LDS, in my opinion are trying to maintain old covenant ways of doing things through power/control/intimidation and through a leadership structure. I'd never want to be part of that type of organization.

And as a Christain that can read the Scriptures for myself, the RCC and others are not what I read about in the NT. No matter how you may argue what your interpration is or the RCC's, I can read it for myself and the NT church isn't what the history of the RCC was or is.

Oh, and if you take Paul's writings in Corinthians in context of when they were written, I'd say (and I know others on this site agree) the reason he advised people not to marry was because of the events and trials that were about to come on the Christians in the 60's AD. It would have been better not to marry if they already weren't. But since the consummation of all things and the we now live in the new heavens and earth, the age to come, etc...it is perfectly okay to marry and it is a requirement of biships, and as your own RCC priests (some of them anyway) they might not get pulled into homosexual behavior with children if they were married to a woman.

Peace,
Glenn

Parker's picture

Glenn:
It has been great discussing things with you.

Parker:
You too, Glenn. Please read the Nicene Creed. That's the core of all Catholic teaching. It's as "orthodox" as it gets.

Glenn:
I do have one more thing to say about the RCC and other organizations like the LDS. From an outsider looking in, I wouldn't think anyone would want to be a part of an organization that seems bent on power and control of others.

Parker:
Please don't take this the wrong way, Glenn, but nearly everything you have supposed about the historic Church thus far has been misinformed, misguided, or misunderstood. You simply don't know what you're talking about. You must pick up a used book or two from either the library or from Amazon.com. I recommend:

Catholicism and Fundamentalism: The Attack on "Romanism" by "Bible Christians" - by Karl Keating

Born Fundamentalist, Born Again Catholic - by David Currie

Surprised by Truth: 11 Converts Give the Biblical and Historical Reasons for Becoming Catholic - by Patrick Madrid

These books will answer all your questions and surprise you repeatedly. The Catholic Church to which you stand opposed exists only in your imagination. Your ignorance on the topic of Catholicism is unacceptable.

Also, Glenn, for 2000 years, the RCC has been the only Christianity. Protestantism/denominationalism is the "new kid on the block." Moreover, the fact that your denomination has no historic roots back to Jesus or the apostles is a serious problem for you. You can't claim to be the Church Jesus created back in the first century if your church didn't exist until the 1800s or later like the LDS and most other protestant sects.

Glenn:
The RCC...is trying to maintain old covenant ways of doing things through power/control/intimidation and through a leadership structure. I'd never want to be part of that type of organization.

Parker:
Then you wouldn't have liked the Church established by Jesus and the apostles. It had an authority structure and dogma. It had rulers (bishops) and flocks. It was one single organization and there was no tolerance of denominationalism (schism). It had sacraments. You wouldn't have been able to "read scripture for yourself," for you wouldn't have been literate at all anyway, and one hand-copied version of the scriptures would have cost you many thousands of dollars. No, you're right, Glenn: you wouldn't have wanted to be part of that organization. You wouldn't have been able to practice your individualistic "me-and-my-bible" christianity whatsoever.

Glenn:
Paul... advised people not to marry was because of the events and trials that were about to come on the Christians in the 60's AD.

Parker:
Paul's argument is that the married man must care for his wife and how to please her in things pertaining to this life (raising children, earning a living). This is his "vocation." The responsibilities related to raising God's church are full time, and most men can't juggle both ministry and caring for children and spouse. But a single man may focus on the Lord's ministries to the Church with singleness of vision and focus. Paul compared Bishop Timothy's work to that of a soldier, and you and I know that active-duty soldiers are often away from their wives and children for years at a time. Timothy was instructed not to get entangled with civilian life.

Glenn:
as your own RCC priests (some of them anyway) they might not get pulled into homosexual behavior with children if they were married to a woman.

Parker:
Homosexuals don't usually marry women, and we're trying to keep them out of ministry altogether. They can't seem to keep their vows of chastity, or perhaps they don't want to. By the way, homosexuals have attained leadership in many protestant denominations, so the problem is not merely a catholic one.

Christ's blessings to you,

valensname's picture

Parker:
Please don't take this the wrong way, Glenn, but nearly everything you have supposed about the historic Church thus far has been misinformed, misguided, or misunderstood. You simply don't know what you're talking about.

Glenn: You are correct in that I don’t have an exhaustive knowledge of the history of RCC. You mean all that Inquisitor stuff, killing people for not accepting The Church stance on things, excommunication, etc…However, my best friend since 2nd grade is RCC and I have other friends as well, so I’m not ignorant of the modern RCC. Again, men and women running around in religious costumes is to me just people trying to keep an Old Covenant Law way of having a religion. And again the RCC is not the church I read about in the Bible. I don't buy into the idea of apostolic authority being passed down or as some claim that God and Jesus visited them when they were teenagers thus they are/were apostles.

I’m also one of the preterists that hold the Taken to Heaven view at the consummation of all things in 70 AD so I believe the remaining faithful were taken to Heaven or raptured then, so can’t have direct apostle leadership carried on.

Parker:
Then you wouldn't have liked the Church established by Jesus and the apostles. It had an authority structure and dogma. It had rulers (bishops) and flocks. It was one single organization and there was no tolerance of denominationalism (schism). It had sacraments. You wouldn't have been able to "read scripture for yourself," for you wouldn't have been literate at all anyway, and one hand-copied version of the scriptures would have cost you many thousands of dollars. No, you're right, Glenn: you wouldn't have wanted to be part of that organization. You wouldn't have been able to practice your individualistic "me-and-my-bible" christianity whatsoever.

Glenn: I would have probably not be a literate one or one with money but I may have been one of the ones with the gift of interpretation or prophecy then with the outpouring of the Spirit.

Again what do you do with the requirement that bishops be married and good keepers at home or how could they shepherd the flock of God? I see no way around that plain language in Timothy.

I can’t seem to stop responding. Thanks for the
discussion.

Parker's picture

Glenn:
You are correct in that I don’t have an exhaustive knowledge of the history of RCC. You mean all that Inquisitor stuff, killing people for not accepting The Church stance on things, excommunication, etc…

Parker:
Okay, you have no idea what you are talking about. The Spanish Inquisition was, in short, the 15th century Spanish having to deal with the same Islamic threat America is dealing with today. Yes, the government was rooting out traitors and subversive threats. Yes those Moslem and Jewish seditionist and dissidents were deported and/or dealt with according to Spanish civil law. And, yes, the Popes of that time openly *opposed* the extreme measures King Ferdinand was using. But the Moslem threat was just as severe then as it is today, and Spain wasn't going to sit around and just be conquered.

Glenn:
I’m not ignorant of the modern RCC.

Parker:
I beg to differ.

Glenn:
Again, men and women running around in religious costumes is to me just people trying to keep an Old Covenant Law way of having a religion.

Parker:
Ugh. The priestly garments haven't change from ancient times. Instead, contemporary styles of dress changed over the years, and the Church simply maintained its form of dress from the ancient times. And the fact that the Church has maintained the forms of worship that were common to Christ and the Jews is a *good* thing, not bad.

Glenn:
And again the RCC is not the church I read about in the Bible.

Parker:
It is. The RCC is that Church of Rome that the apostles established in the first century. It never went away, and it has continued ordaining bishops in unbroken succession from St. Peter for 20 centuries now. Where was your denomination in the 60s, 160s, 660s, 1660s, 1860s? Where was any protestant denomination?

Glenn:
I’m also one of the preterists that hold the Taken to Heaven view at the consummation of all things in 70 AD so I believe the remaining faithful were taken to Heaven or raptured then

Parker:
That's an unbiblical, unhistorical fantasy.

Glenn:
I would have probably not be a literate one or one with money but I may have been one of the ones with the gift of interpretation or prophecy then with the outpouring of the Spirit.

Parker:
Perhaps. But you still would have had to accept the authority of men -- i.e., the ordained rulers of the Church (the Bishops and presbyters) and the apostles. You still would have been subject to their command, especially if you got off teaching your own thing that they didn't approve. You would not have been working out doctrine on your own with your bible handy. You would have been falling in line with what the Bishops said, or you would have been out of the church.

Glenn:
Again what do you do with the requirement that bishops be married and good keepers at home or how could they shepherd the flock of God?

Parker:
The requirement is not that Bishops *had to be married.* The requirement was that Bishops could only have had one wife (been married only once). They could not be married more than once, but they did not have to be married. Paul wanted everyone to be unmarried to serve the Lord (1 Cor 7:7-8; 32-35).

God bless,

ThomasS's picture

Amen! And Amen, again!

;)

rfwitt's picture

Parker are you implying that the Bishops never made the above statements or that the newspaper is lying about what the Bishops said? It is not unusual that certain bishops disent from "official Catholic" teaching. Therefore,it is the Bishops who are out of sync with church teaching. So anyone who desires can go and read the article and then ask themselves in light of the document you listed, is the dog wagging the tail or is the tail wagging the dog?
Richard.........
And I quote:
"11. Those divinely revealed realities which are contained and presented in Sacred Scripture have been committed to writing under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit. For holy mother Church, relying on the belief of the Apostles (see John 20:31; 2 Tim. 3:16; 2 Peter 1:19-20, 3:15-16), holds that the books of both the Old and New Testaments in their entirety, with all their parts, are sacred and canonical because written under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit, they have God as their author and have been handed on as such to the Church herself.(1) In composing the sacred books, God chose men and while employed by Him (2) they made use of their powers and abilities, so that with Him acting in them and through them, (3) they, as true authors, consigned to writing everything and only those things which He wanted. (4)

Therefore, since everything asserted by the inspired authors or sacred writers must be held to be asserted by the Holy Spirit, it follows that the books of Scripture must be acknowledged as teaching solidly, faithfully and without error that truth which God wanted put into sacred writings (5) for the sake of salvation. Therefore "all Scripture is divinely inspired and has its use for teaching the truth and refuting error, for reformation of manners and discipline in right living, so that the man who belongs to God may be efficient and equipped for good work of every kind" (2 Tim. 3:16-17, Greek text)."

Parker's picture

Rfwitt,

I am saying that neither the reporter of that article nor you have read the source documents. As a result, the article misrepresents both Vatican II's Dei Verbum and the "Gift of Scripture" commentary put out by the Catholic bishops in England. The Church's official teaching statement on the inspiration of scripture is Vatican II's Dei Verbum. I listed that link to Dei Verbum.

The author's statement that "the Catholic Church no longer swears by truth of the Bible" is a misleading smear and a deliberate misrepresentation. It's like the dispensationalists accusing preterists for not being "literalists."

rfwitt's picture

The bottom line, in your view Parker, is that the Bishops never made these statements and the newspaper totally fabricated them. Everyone in the Catholic church is in synch with what it teaches seems to be what your saying. By the way I’m familiar with the document you listed. Unfortunately, the fruit of the church (those who claim to be ‘good’ Catholics) seems to this Christian quite off the mark. For example, have you noticed that the Senators on the Judiciary committee who are most opposed to a conservative Christian view are either Catholic or Jewish. Some of them voted against a fellow Catholic because he’s pro-life. In the western nations (United States, Canada and western Europe) the Roman Catholic politicians along with secularist are leading the charge for abortion and same-sex marriage.
Parker you’re a fine Catholic apologists - but what’s needed by all Christians at this time is to seek to know the truth (Protestants and Catholics alike). I will list an excerpt from a Catholic writer who gives some good insight as to what is happening in the church. The remaining part can be found at the following link.

http://www.seattlecatholic.com/article_20040712.html

Seattle Catholic is not affiliated with the Archdiocese of Seattle
A Journal of Catholic News and Views12 Jul 2004
Using Catholicism To Destroy the Faith of Our Fathers
by Thomas A. Droleskey

Unlike the Protestant Revolutions of nearly half a millennium ago, those within the ranks of the true Church who have fomented a veritable revolution against the Deposit of Faith and the Immemorial Mass of Tradition have used the very levers of the Church and the sensus fidei of the Catholic people to destroy the Faith of our fathers. Clever and cunning people have thus used, for example, the natural bent of Catholics to trust their popes and bishops and priests and nuns and teachers in order to desensitize them to novelties that are alien to the truths contained in the Deposit of Faith and best protected and expressed in the Traditional Latin Mass.

As sheep of Christ's true Sheepfold, the Catholic Church, we should be able to rely on the sensus fidei in order to trust the shepherds appointed to watch over us as we walk along the rocky road that is meant to lead us to the narrow gate of Life. It is this natural trust of Christ's sheep in their shepherds that has made it possible for wolves in shepherds' clothing to get the people to embrace novelty by the use of their authority (as well as by the use of their own personal charm) and to miss altogether the subtle nuances of the errors that are presented so eloquently in sermons and in classrooms. The acceptance of subtle errors leads to the acceptance of full-scale, overt (and sometimes quite bold) heresies, such as the false assertion that the Gospels do not contain historically accurate accounts of the events they portray or that Jews are saved by the Mosaic Covenant because they wait "expectantly" for the Messiah. The Arians of yore were at least honest about what they believed; the Modernists mix truth with error, making it so very difficult for the average Catholic to know the truths of the Faith clearly and without ambiguity, no less attempt to scale the heights of personal sanctity.

The novelties and errors and heresies of the past forty to forty-five years have done more than confuse individual Catholics and reaffirm many souls in lives of unrepentant sin. The novelties and errors and heresies of the conciliar and postconciliar eras have divided families, alienated friends, profaned the worship of God in the context of the Mass, and embraced the worship of false gods and the doctrines of heretical and schismatic sects as containing elements of truth that might lead us all to a fuller knowledge of God if only we engaged in a sincere "dialogue." The success of these novelties and errors and heresies has been made possible in no small measure by the absolute and total corruption of every single aspect of Catholic education, starting from contemporary "pre-school" programs (replete with leftist brainwashing about environmentalism and feminism and mulitculturalism and "diversity," which is a code word for the acceptance of perversity) right on up the ladder through seminary and postgraduate programs. Entire books and book length monographs have been written on the use of Catholic educational institutions as vehicles to misuse the authority of the Church so as to misrepresent the teachings Our Lord entrusted to the Apostles and thus misshape entire generations of Catholics in the twisted images of Modernism.

…………………………….

Parker's picture

What I'm saying, Rfwitt, is that the Church's official teaching is Dei Verbum. And I'm also saying that the article's spin was a massive mischaracterization of a complex discussion over hermeneutics. Are dispensationalists right that preterists "no longer swear by the Bible" since preterists spiritualize many passages that dispys do not? Is that a fair characterization in your mind? I hope not. That's essentially what the article is doing.

Next, I'm not saying *all* Catholics follow the faith with fidelity. What I'm saying is that *faithful* Catholics follow the true faith with fidelity. The true Catholic faith is clearly spelled out and safeguarded by the Catechism, the councils, the Pope and the Magisterium. As the Church teaches, Catholics that ignore that faith do so at their own peril.

Next, the Senators you mentioned are *unfaithful* Catholics. Such liberal North American Catholics have some nerve, even deriding the Vatican and the Pope himself for being "fundamentalists." Can you imagine that? That's how out of line liberal Catholics are--and they really shouldn't call themselves "Catholic" if they are unwilling to accept the Catholic Faith. They think they are the Pope, and they act as if the Pope and the Magisterium are some misguided sheep stuck in a rut of defending 2000 years of traditional Catholic teaching. Look, liberal Catholics are dangerous. And truth be told, they are fully PROTESTANT in their flagrant rebellion against Rome's traditional teaching. The Cardinals, Pope, and others are issuing regular warnings to such liberals to cut it out or cease calling themselves Catholic. For example:

Vatican Cardinal: Catholic Voters Can Never Be Justified in Voting for Pro-Abortion Politicians
http://www.lifesite.net/ldn/2005/oct/05100602.html

And if you haven't noticed, Rfwitt, it is the Pope and the Cardinals who are leading the fight worldwide against gay marriage, gay clergy, and abortion. I am very proud of my Church and its traditional Christianity. Frankly, I believe it is faithful Catholics like Justices Thomas, Scalia, and Roberts, Pat Buchanan, Sean Hannity, William F. Buckley, William Bennett, Rick Santorum, Phyllis Schlafly, etc. etc. that are saving America and the faith of her fathers.

I am disgusted by nominal, baptized Catholics that have lapsed from the faith or never were properly educated in the Church's views. But that is not just a "Catholic" problem. Look at the astonishing liberal trends among the Baptists, Methodists, and Presbyterians.

rfwitt's picture

Parker you state:
"And truth be told, they are fully PROTESTANT in their flagrant rebellion against Rome's traditional teaching."

No, they're not fully anything, They're fully pagans in their views. It is an insult to believing Protestants to tar them with that brush. Protestant believers have a high regard for Gods word. By the way, most of the people who interface on this site are no doubt Protestant. Enough said Parker. Peace to you my brother in Christ.

Parker's picture

Parker you state:
"And truth be told, they are fully PROTESTANT in their flagrant rebellion against Rome's traditional teaching."

Rfwitt:
They're fully pagans in their views. It is an insult to believing Protestants to tar them with that brush.

Parker:
Catholics that don't follow the Church's teaching and authority are basically liberal protestants who have yet to admit it. Some are simply ignorant, others are truly protestants, believing falsely that the church and its doctrine are to be ruled by democracy and individualism.

Rfwitt:
Protestant believers have a high regard for Gods word.

Parker:
Which protestants? Methodists? Baptists? Presbyterians? Which Methodists? Which baptists? Which Presbyterians? There are 20,000 protestant denominations, and most of them are fragments of others due to endless schism and infighting over what scripture says. How can I even know whom you are talking about?

By the way, the Catholic Church considers protestants to be brothers and sisters in Christ. I love all the protestants here (though I have to defend my church from attacks here more than I'd like to have to). The problem is that when we talk about doctrine and authority, there really is no "protestant doctrine or authority" per se. If you say it's the methodists, then why don't the baptists acknowledge their doctrine or authority? If it's the presbyterians, then why don't the methodists and baptists acknowledge their doctrine or authority? And so on and so on. It's organizational and doctrinal chaos.

rfwitt's picture

Parker which is the official teaching of the Catholic church, is it that the New Covenant supercedes the Old or is it is that the church now believes that the Old covenant is still in force for the Jews. I am attaching an article that references where the church is heading regarding this issue. Before you give us the party line about what the “official” teaching of the church is you should understand that this document was on the USCCB website for a period of time. In addition, after it was issued nothing by any high ranking church official was ever said to proclaim the heresy of this “novel” teaching,. Cardinal Kasper the Vatican spokesman for inter-religious dialog told a mostly Jewish audience in Boston that since the church has only been at this for about forty years ( since Nostra Aetate was adopted at Vatican II) they should be patient (meaning as time goes on this will become the official teaching of the church). In a local Catholic parish newspaper an article proclaimed, “Church no longer believe in supercession” explaining that the Old Covenant has not been superceded by the New. It got the local Bishops blessing. By the way this teaching is also prevalent in liberal Protestant churches.

USCCB Repudiates De Fide Church Teaching on Conversion of the Jews
Vatican Response Awaited

by Christopher Ferrara, Esq.

Dr. Thomas Woods and I have just published a book entitled The Great Facade: Vatican II and the Regime of Novelty in the Roman Catholic Church. The book includes an overview of the astounding series of capitulations and about-faces in matters of Catholic doctrine by Catholic churchmen in the course of the post-Conciliar revolution. These de facto retreats from Church teaching-----never actually imposed upon the faithful in any binding way [hence our title The Great, Facade]----are at the heart of the worst crisis in Church history.

One of these retreats is the implicit repudiation of the Church's Divine commission to bring about the conversion of all nations, including the Jewish nation. But that repudiation is no longer merely implicit.
In recent remarks to a Jewish audience, the Vatican's Cardinal Walter Kasper, speaking as no less than President of the Pontifical Council for Religious Relations with the Jews, declared: "For us Christians today, the covenant with the Jewish people is a living heritage, a living reality. Therefore, the Church believes that Judaism, i.e., the faithful response of the Jewish people to God's irrevocable covenant, is salvific for them, because God is faithful to his [sic] promises." [1]

Following Kasper's very conspicuous lead, the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops [USCCB] has just issued [August 13, 2002] a document entitled Reflections On Covenant And Mission [RCM], published jointly by the USCCB's Ecumenical and Interreligious Affairs Committee and the National Council of Synagogues, the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops [USCCB], RCM expressly and unambiguously rejects any missionary effort to convert the Jews. RCM further declares that the New Covenant in Christ never superseded the Old Covenant with Israel, and that the Old Covenant remains salvific for the Jews. Here are the pertinent quotations:

"A deepening Catholic appreciation of the eternal covenant between God and the Jewish peopIe, together with a recognition of a divinely-given mission to Jews to witness to God's faithful love, lead to the conclusion that campaigns that target Jews for conversion to Christianity are no longer theologically acceptable in the Catholic Church.
"The post-Nostra Aetate [the Vatican II document on non-Christian religions] Catholic recognition of the permanence of the Jewish people's covenant relationship to God has led to a new positive regard for the post-biblical or rabbinic Jewish tradition that is unprecedented in Christian history.

"Specifically, the Catholic Church has come to recognize that its mission of preparing for the coming of the kingdom of God is one that is shared with the Jewish people, even if Jews do not conceive of this task christologically as the Church does.

"Nonetheless, the Church does perceive that the Jewish people's mission ad gentes ['to the nations'] continues. This is a mission that the Church also pursues in her own way according to her understanding of covenant. The command of the Resurrected Jesus in Matthew 28: 19 to make disciples "of all nations" [Greek = ethne, the cognate of the Hebrew = goyim; i.e., the nations other than Israel] means that the Church must bear witness in the world to the Good News of Christ so as to prepare the world for the fullness of the kingdom of God. However, this evangelizing task no longer includes the wish to absorb the Jewish faith into Christianity and so end the distinctive witness of Jews to God in human history. Thus, while the Catholic Church regards the saving act of Christ as central to the process of human salvation for all, it also acknowledges that Jews already dwell in a saving covenant with God.

"However, it [the Catholic Church] now recognizes that Jews are also called by God to prepare the world for God's kingdom. Their witness to the kingdom, which did not originate with the Church's experience of Christ crucified and raised, must not be curtailed by seeking the conversion of the Jewish people to Christianity. The distinctive Jewish witness must be sustained if Catholics and Jews are truly to be, as Pope John Paul II has envisioned, 'a blessing to one another'."

Certain neo-Catholic apologists are attempting to minimize RCM as a mere "working document" of a "subcommittee" of the USCCB, [See, CWNews.com report of August 13, 2002]. Not so. This writer spoke personally with Bill Ryan of the USCCB's Office of Communications. Ryan advised that RCM is a final document of the USCCB Ecumenical and Interreligious Affairs Committee. He further advised that "I haven't heard any bishop say that this statement does not reflect their views" and that he did not think it "departs in any way from the thinking of the bishops."
In fact, RCM was shepherded to completion by Cardinal Keeler, who told the press that it represents "a significant step forward in the dialogue between the Catholic Church and the Jewish community in this country . . . Here one can see, perhaps more clearly than ever before, an essential compatibility (!), along with equally significant (!) differences, between the Christian and Jewish understandings of God's call to both our peoples to witness to the Name of the One God to the world in harmony."
[Boston Globe, August 13, 2002]

In short, RCM is an open declaration of the North American hierarchy that the Jews have absolutely no obligation to become Christians, not even objectively speaking, and that the Church must no longer seek their conversion because the Old Covenant is still salvific for them. This, of course, is manifest heresy, even if one cannot judge the subjective adherence to this heresy by individual bishops.

It is a de fide teaching of the Catholic Church that, objectively speaking, the Jews are as obliged as all other men to follow Jesus Christ in His Church in order to find eternal salvation. As the Council of Florence infallibly declared:

"The Catholic Church firmly believes, professes, and proclaims that those not living within Her, not only pagans, but also Jews, heretics, and schismatics, cannot become participants in eternal life but will depart into everlasting fire which was prepared for the devil and his Angels [Mt. 25: 41], unless before the end of life the same have been added to the flock . . ." [Denzinger, 714]
It hardly requires a vast collection of proof texts to demonstrate that the Catholic Church was commissioned by Our Lord Himself to seek, first and foremost, the conversion of the Jews for their salvation. Our Lord Himself was a Jew and His Apostles were Jews. The Apostles are the very exemplars of Jewish conversion to Christ. Indeed, the Acts of the Apostles recounts how the first Pope preached the necessity of Jewish conversion to a vast crowd of devout Jews whom Peter presumed to be in good faith in their practice of the Jewish religion:
"Now there were devout Jews from every nation staying in Jerusalem . . . Peter stood up with the Eleven, raised his voice and proclaimed to them, 'You who are Jews, indeed all of you staying in Jerusalem. Let this be known to you and listen to my words . . . let the whole house of Israel know for certain that God has made both Lord and Christ, this Jesus Whom you have crucified.' Now when they heard this, they were cut to the heart, and they asked Peter and the other Apostles, 'What are we to do, my brothers?' Peter said to them, 'Repent and be Baptized, everyone of you, in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins; and you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit . . . Now I know brothers, that you acted out of ignorance, just as your leaders did . . . Repent therefore, and be converted, that your sins may be wiped away, and that the Lord may send you the Christ already appointed for you, Jesus, Whom Heaven must receive until the times of universal restoration of which God spoke through the mouth of His holy prophets from of old.' "
[Acts of the Apostles, 2: 5; 14: 36-38; 3: 17,19-2]
Peter, of course, was only teaching what Our Lord Himself had declared to the Jews over and over again, as for example: "For if you do not believe that I AM, you will die in your sins." [John 8: 23-25]
Until the disaster that was Vatican II, the Church prayed constantly for the conversion of the Jews. In the ancient traditional Good Friday liturgy that was suppressed after the Council, for example, the universal Church prayed as follows: "We pray for the perfidious Jews: that Our Lord and God may lift the covering off their hearts, so that they may acknowledge Jesus Christ Our Lord. Let us pray. Almighty, eternal God, Who does not reject the Jews in Your own mercy: hear our prayers which we offer for the blindness of this people, that acknowledging the truth of Your light which is Christ, they may be pulled out of their darkness. Through the same Christ Our Lord. Amen."

As for the supercession of the Old Covenant, the Church has always taught that this took place at the moment of Christ's death and the rending of the Temple Veil into the Holy of Holies, and it was confirmed by the destruction of the Temple in 70 A.D. In fulfillment of Our Lord's prophecy of the consequences for Jewish rejection of the Jewish Messiah: "Jerusalem, Jerusalem, thou that killest the prophets and stonest them that are sent unto thee, how often would I have gathered together thy children, as the hen doth gather her chickens under her under her wings, and thou wouldst not? Behold, your house shall be left to you, desolate." [Matt. 23: 37-38] Motivated by the sentence of Our Lord Himself, the Church never failed to recognize the passing of the Old Covenant, as for example in the Act of Consecration of the world to the Secret Heart of Jesus promulgated by Pope Pius XI a mere 37 years before Vatican II:

"Turn Thine eyes of mercy toward the children of that race, once Thy chosen people. Of old, they called down upon themselves the Blood of the Savior, may it now descend upon them a laver of redemption and life."

The USCCB concedes that its repudiation of Jewish conversion represents a departure from the constant pre-Vatican II teaching of the Church. Notice these telltale phrases from RCM:

Campaigns that target Jews for conversion to Christianity are no longer theologically acceptable in the Catholic Church . . . "
"A deepening Catholic appreciation . . . "
"The post-Nostra Aetate Catholic recognition . . ."
"a new positive regard . . . that is unprecedented in Christian history"
"the 'Catholic Church has come to recognize"
"this evangelizing task no longer includes the Wish to absorb the Jewish faith into Christianity"
"However, [the Catholic Church] now recognizes that Jews are also called by God to prepare the world for God's kingdom."

There is not the slightest effort to "reconcile" RCM With the contrary teaching of the Magisterium for 1,962 years. The post-Conciliar game of squaring the circle is not being played in this instance. Dispensing with that ruse, RCM declares that the Church has simply changed Her mind on the subject of Jewish conversion! Yet RCM fails to cite any Magisterial pronouncement, either during or after the Council, which actually supports its repudiation of the Divine commission as to the Jewish nation and its rejection of the Catholic doctrine of the supercession of the Old Covenant.
The reason for this failure of proof is obvious: the Magisterium cannot change its infallible teaching that since the institution of the New Covenant in Christ, the Catholic Church, which He purchased with His Blood, is the sole ark of salvation. And the religion of the Old Covenant cannot save anyone. Indeed the Magisterium teaches infallibly that no one can be saved by the practice of the Mosaic Law and religion. [2]

It would require an entire book to explore the disastrous theological implications of RCM. Yet in some ways, this development is actually very good news. It is good news because RCM's authors have staked their position on Vatican II's Nostra Aetate and various non-Magisterial remarks by Cardinal Ratzinger and Pope John Paul II himself-----statements whose ambiguity RCM exploits to the hilt. Thus, RCM only makes explicit theological conclusions which the Vatican itself, not excluding the Pope, has allowed to become the de facto [but quite unofficial] teaching of the Church in recent years. Now that the cat is out of the bag, it will no longer be possible for the Vatican to veil the question of Jewish conversion in ambiguity. Now the question must be answered: Does the Vatican still believe that the Church's Divine commission to make disciples of all nations for their salvation includes the Jews? Yes or no.

If the answer is yes, a massive blow will have been struck against the Great Facade of post-Conciliar novelty masquerading as the "new insights" of Vatican II. If the answer is no-----if the Vatican were, God forbid, to declare that the Church could reverse Her de fide teaching on a matter so fundamental as Her mission to the Jews-----then more Catholics than ever will be able to recognize that the current crisis in the Church is worse even than the Arian crisis, and they will be alerted to arm themselves against it.

And if there is no answer, or if the answer is evasive and leaves the errors of RCM intact, we can at least expect that the cause of restoring integral Catholic Tradition in the post-conciliar wasteland they dare to call a "renewal" will gain many more adherents. For if the Vatican does nothing to repair this scandal, it will no longer be possible for any informed Catholic of good will to avoid the conclusion that the current universal crisis in the Church has its first origin in the innumerable unprecedented acts and omissions of the Holy See since Vatican II. That growing awareness can only aid the work of dismantling the Great Facade to reveal once again the perennial and immutable faith of our fathers.

Footnotes
1. Address at the 17th meeting of the International Catholic-Jewish Liaison Committee, New York, May 1, 2001.
2. The infallible ecumenical Council of Florence in the papal bull, Cantate Domino, declared, "It [the Holy Catholic Church] firmly believes, professes, and teaches that the matter pertaining to the law of the Old Testament, of the Mosaic law, which are divided into ceremonies, sacred rites, sacrifices, and sacraments, because they were established to signify something in the future, although they were suited to the Divine worship at that time, after our Lord's coming had been signified by them, CEASED, and the Sacraments of the New Testament began; and that whoever, even after the passion, placed hope in these matters of the law and submitted himself to them as necessary for salvation, as if faith in Christ could not save without them, sinned mortally. Yet it does not deny that after the passion of Christ up to the promulgation of the Gospel they could have been observed until they were believed to be in no way necessary for salvation; but after the promulgation of the Gospel it asserts that they CANNOT BE OBSERVED without the loss of eternal salvation. All, therefore, who after that time observe circumcision and the Sabbath and the other requirements of the law, it declares alien to the Christian faith and not in the least fit to participate .in eternal salvation, unless someday they recover from these errors." (February 4, 1444, Florentine Calendar, Emphasis Added)

Reprinted from the September 2002 Issue of Catholic Family News.

ThomasS's picture

Tanks for this very interesting article! As one can see, there are apostate thinking all over. Liberals, modernists... Protestants! :)

Now, I think it is very important that we support the Vatican and conservative Protestants in defending traditional Christian teachings -- despite the danger of being accused of promoting anti-Semitism. Ok?

Best,

Thomas S.

ThomasS's picture

Parker,

You wrote:

>

Very well said!

:)

Thomas S.

SuperSoulFighter's picture

It looks to me like there's a significant amount of "chaos" within your beloved "church", Parker. You just lack the objectivity to be able to see it.

Parker's picture

McPherson, unlike in protestantism, the chaos in my church is not at the level of doctrine or authority or leadership. In fact, *by comparison to other organizations,* we might even say the Catholic Church has near unity in matters of doctrine and authority.

In contrast, nearly all the main protestant groups (baptist, methodist, presbyterian) have irreparable chaos at the highest levels of doctrine and leadership. You see endless fragmentation and severe hemorrhaging in those groups (which has been taking place for centuries now). The "Sola Scriptura" crowd can't agree on hardly anything the bible says, which is why there are now 20,000+ protestant denominations.

Any chaos that does exist in the Catholic Church has to do with liberal sheep that have no desire to follow the Church's teachings. Such troublemakers are, essentially, liberal protestants who want to claim to be "catholic."

rfwitt's picture

It really doesn't much matter what the officials of the Catholic Church say since most Catholics don't bother to read the scriptures any way. Most modern Catholics take their religion from the "zeitgeist" and not the Bible. Once the Catholic Church condemned modernism and liberalism today they are increasingly embracing it. They also issued documents a few years back that essentially claim the Jews do not need Christ since as members of the "first" covenant they already have the Father.
Richard.......

Parker's picture

Rfwitt,

Most faithful Catholics read the bible for devotional and study purposes, and they hear the Holy Scriptures read and taught each and every Mass.

Even so, it is more important that people to obey God's truth and cease sinning, whether they learn that via the oral tradition or the written tradition: "So then, brethren, stand firm and hold to the traditions which you were taught, whether by word of mouth or by letter from us." (2 Thess 2:15)

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