Joe: The false teachers that Paul warned about may make the same claim of having a lineage back to the Apostles or even Peter, and yet, that has no weight whatsoever.
BFHU: Joe, you are not basing this in fact but purely conjecture.
Joe:Paul said (1 Timothy 4: 1-3; Acts 20: 28-31) that they are false teachers, even though they are bishops.
BFHU: The passages that you cite do not say that bishops are false teachers. Some bishops may be false teachers, in fact I know of one who aids and abets heresy, heterodoxy, and liturgical abuse. But the first passage doesn’t even mention bishops. Of course there will be false teachers. Jesus promised us that. But we trust Christ to keep the Church’s teaching free from error just as He promised. Individuals may err and teach error but the teaching of the faith is indefectible and these passages, I and all Catholics totally accept. We do not accept the way you seem to be interpreting them however. We do not accept you as an infallible teacher and interpreter of Scripture. Sorry.
Joe:: Being a properly ordained bishop in no way guarantees faithfulness.
BFHU: Correct. Same goes for priests, nuns and every Catholic. We do not and have never taught or believed, that the ordained or any other Catholics are guaranteed to be faithful.
Joe:In fact, it is guaranteed that bishops who did have a lineage back to the Apostles did go astray, did teach damnable heresies, and they did draw many after themselves (1 Timothy 4: 1-3; Acts 20: 28-31).
BFHU: The I Tim passages merely says “some” will abandon the Faith. It does not say anything about bishops let alone all bishops including the pope. I know that you have been taught to understand this passage this way, but it just does NOT say what you are trying to convince us it says. Joe, we do not believed that we will be save only if we have a perfect theology. We trust in God’s mercy. If priests or bishops have erred and taught error they will be accountable for it not the people who trusted them to be teaching them the truth. I do not in any way mean to diminish good theological education. Some have a keen interest and will study and read and seek to learn all they can. But many people are content to trust a teacher they trust. This is true in every religion.
Joe: That is why Paul said that if anyone, even he himself, or an angel from Heaven, were to preach anything different than that which had already been preached, they were to be accursed. Paul also said that we were to follow him AS HE FOLLOWED CHRIST. That means that if he is following Christ, we are to follow him. However, If he ceases to follow Christ, we are to cease from following him.
BFHU: I agree.But first one must realize that the leader is, in fact, NOT following Christ.
Joe:How do we know if our overseers are following Christ or not?
BFHU: Easy. If a deacon, priest, or bishop teaches anything contrary to the Faith it is obvious if one is well educated in the Catholic Faith. Even if one is not well educated, if there is a question, all one has to do is look it up in the Catechism. But if someone is clueless God will have mercy on them. We are judged by our hearts before God, not the knowledge in our head. The Catechism is an orderly presentation of what is to be believed; unlike the Bible, precious as it is, it is not an orderly presentation of the Faith. It is not a book of systematic theology. The teaching of the Bible must be ordered and interpreted by someone.
Joe: We test all things and hold fast that which may be proven good.
Joe: How do we test the doctrine of our overseers? We may compare all things to the Scriptures that are able to make us perfect and to thoroughly equip us unto every good work (2 Timothy 3: 16-17).
BFHU: Of course this is one way but it is dependent upon one having an infallible interpretation of Scripture. Do you have an infallible interpretation of Scripture, Joe? And as I have discussed before, this passage, again, just does not say that scripture is ALL WE NEED. It says All Scripture is Good…. That is NOT the same thing. But I know that this is how you have been taught to interpret this scripture. We do not because we know that there is so much more that never got written down ( I John 21:25) and Paul even exhorted us to cling to the Traditions he taught, BOTH ORAL AND WRITTEN. Protestants, unwittingly reject all that Paul taught orally and accept only what He wrote down.
Joe: If something contradicts the Scriptures, it cannot possibly be true.
BFHU:This is not an accurate statement. Scripture contradicts scripture if one takes it dead literally. The order of the universe as portrayed in Scripture contradicts Science. There is a website 101 Contradictions in the Bible . Some of these are not convincing but others seem to be legitimate on the face of it. So, this means that you and Sola Scriptura Protestants have a problem.
But then there is this site to the resuce. Cleared Up-101 Contradictions in the Bible
And here we go. If you looked at the site above, it is obvious, the Scriptures NEED to be interpreted and commented on. I have not read this site but it clearly shows that one needs MORE that Scripture alone. And how about the Protestant use of grape juice for communion when Jesus used wine. What about the contradiction between the Protestant view of Communion being symbolic (found nowhere in scripture) and Jesus saying, “This is my body. Eat This is my blood. Drink. and “You must eat my flesh and drink my blood to have eternal life.”???????
Joe: It is not possible that an unmarried man may be a bishop by God’s authority. It is not possible that a man can refuse to allow another man to be a bishop without swearing an oath of celibacy, seeing as how it is not lawful to refuse a man to marry (1 Timothy 4: 1-3), it is not possible for an unmarried man to be a bishop (1 Timothy 3: 1-2), and it is not lawful to swear an oath (Matthew 5: 33-37).
BFHU: That is merely your interpretation.
Joe:Paul said, “5 Who then is Paul, and who is Apollos, but ministers through whom you believed, as the Lord gave to each one? 6 I planted, Apollos watered, but God gave the increase. 7 So then NEITHER HE WHO PLANTS IS ANYTHING, NOR HE WHO WATERS, BUT GOD WHO GIVES THE INCREASE (1 Corinthians 3: 5-7). Earlier Paul included Peter in the same vain with Apollos and himself. They are mere servants! It is God who gives the increase! They are authorized to preach the Truth, which, if they do they receive blessing from God.
BFHU:: I completely agree. We can see here and in your other comments on this blog that you have an inaccurate understanding about what the Catholic Church actually believes and teaches. Some of your questions and the use of certain scriptures indicated that you think they will nail a Catholic to the wall.
Joe:The Roman Catholic Church has no authority. They are not the church of God! They had to revise their list of “Popes” because it was proven wrong. Therefore, there is no reason to believe that they do have a linage back to the Apostles. But even if they did, that would be meaningless also.
BFHU: These are merely your assertions. Anyone can say anything. You have no back up, no citing of authoritative sources for what you say here. Your interpretation of scripture is not authoritative for me. I have no reason to believe that you are infallible.
Joe: Peter is not the foundation of the church. Your interpretation of Matthew 16 may be a legitimate one if you look at that passage alone.
BFHU:: Well Thanks.
Joe: However, if you look at the Scriptures as a whole, it becomes evident that it is not possible that your interpretation is the meaning that God intended. The Scriptures do not allow that interpretation, because the Scriptures explicitly state that Jesus is the foundation of God’s building, and that no one may lay any other foundation. If we look at the context of Matthew 16 we see that there is one rock and one foundation. There is not room for another foundation. There is no room for Peter to be the foundation or the Rock that the church is founded upon in that context. In another context all of the Apostles are included as part of the foundation, but there Peter is made equal to the rest of the Apostles. God’s Word is also an integral part of the foundation, because Jesus and His word are one. If you reject Jesus’ word, you reject Him. Jesus said that a man who hears and obeys His words is like a wise man that dug deep and built his house on a rock. We know that the Bible is His Word. If we do not heed that which we know for sure is His word, He says we are like a fool who built his house on sand.
BFHU: Again we come down to the Either/Or Protestant culture of interpretation. Either Jesus is the foundation of the Church Or Jesus built the Church on Peter. We KNOW Jesus is THE Foundation. But He is the one who said, “Simon you are Rock and on this rock I will build My Church.” We are just taking Jesus literally
Joe: Lastly, when Jesus says that the gates of Hades shall not prevail against the church, he is not saying that men will not fall into apostasy.
Joe: That would be contradicting plain statements made by Paul and other of the Apostles (which would demonstrate that the Bible is not the Word of God). If we understand the Scriptures and the point of the gospel we can easily understand that Jesus is speaking about salvation. He is saying that those who He adds to His church and who remain faithful to the end, shall receive everlasting life.
BFHU: The Scripture just does not actually SAY that. You are interpreting it that way.
Joe:The gates of Hades has no power over us who are members of Christ’s church, as long as we choose to stay faithful. If we walk away from Him, we also walk away from His church, and we are lost. The gates of Hades will prevail against us in that case, because we are no longer Christ’s church.
BFHU: What you say is true for individuals but Jesus was talking about His Church which He was going to build on Peter. He wasn’t talking about salvation per se. And He certainly wasn’t talking about the salvation of individuals. He was referring to the CHURCH He was going to Build. He said,
Mt 16:18 And I tell you that you are Rock, and on this rock I will build my church, and the gates of Hades will not overcome it. 19I 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.”
If that Church that Jesus founded veered into apostasy as Protestants contend, then Jesus was not able to keep His promise.