Where Does the Church Get Her Authority?


Where does the Church get her authority to decide who can take communion?

Jesus gave the Apostles His authority to Rule:

Luke 9:1 When Jesus had called the Twelve together, he gave them power and authority to drive out ALL demons and to cure diseases, 2 and he sent them out to preach the kingdom of God and to heal the sick.

Luke 10:19I have given you authority to trample on snakes and scorpions and to overcome ALL the power of the enemy; nothing will harm you.

Mt. 16:17 Jesus replied, “Blessed are you, Simon son of Jonah, for this was not revealed to you by man, but by my Father in heaven. 18And I tell you that you are Peter, and on this rock I will build my church, and the gates of Hades will not overcome it. 19 I will give you the keys of the kingdom of heaven; whatever you bind on earth will be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth will be loosed in heaven.”

Matthew 18:17-18 “If he refuses to listen to them, tell it to the church; and if he refuses to listen even to the church, let him be to you as a Gentile and a tax collector. 18″Truly I say to you, whatever you bind on earth shall have been bound in heaven; and whatever you loose on earth shall have been loosed in heaven.

Binding and loosing as used in the last two passages is a Hebrew idiom that means “The power to rule”. So Jesus gave His Church via the Apostles and later the Bishops to rule the Church with authority in Jesus’ absence. The keys of the Kingdom indicates the authority to act and make decisions in the name of the King. Just like a Prime Minister.

Luke 10:16 “The one who listens to you listens to Me, and the one who rejects you rejects Me; and he who rejects Me rejects the One who sent Me.”

1 Timothy 3:15 but in case I am delayed, I write so that you will know how one ought to conduct himself in the household of God, which is the church of the living God, the pillar and support of the truth.

John 20:21 So Jesus said to them again, “Peace be with you; as the Father has sent Me, I also send you.”

Can’t get anymore clear than that.

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2 Responses

  1. I’ll ask here:

    How would you reply to the following question:

    Concerning those popes who obtained their office 1) by simony, 2) by the manipulation of prostitutes, or 3) by force… were they legitimate and lawful holders of that office? And if so, why

    As a convert I’m not up on Church history and would like to reply charitably to a fallen away Catholic who asks.

    The challenge is to apostolic succession and validity of the papal chair.

    Thanks…

    • Dear James, They were popes. It doesn’t really matter how they got the Chair of Peter (think about what Peter did) once a man was established as the recognized Pope, God bestowed on him infallibility in his teaching to the Church. God will not contradict the free will He has given to man, even when it comes to the choosing of the pope.

      A bad pope would be prevented by God from teaching error. A good pope would also be prevented from teaching error. This is all infallibility is. A good pope might write books and teach well. And in all this, infallibility is at work to prevent error on faith and morals from being taught to the whole Church.

      Take a look at my post Evil Popes

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