BFHU: “Protestants must decide whether God has protected His Church (through the infallibility of the Pope and Bishops). If they decide He has not then they must believe that they, themselves are infallible.
Actually that has not been my experience nor is it my belief.
BFHU: I know that you would never proclaim yourself infallible. And neither would I have done this either. But,as a Protestant, I did think that I was led by the Holy Spirit to understand scripture correctly. I didn’t know why others who seemed devoted to Christ could come to a different conclusion.
Because I also knew that God is not a God of confusion, I knew that it wasn’t the Holy Spirit who led people to different conclusions, so my only option was to believe that those who differed must have some sort of problem, either secret sin, insincerity, rationalization or something…I was charitable, but I did not trust them. I only trusted myself. I could see but they were somewhat blinded. Unless….I was the one with the problem….but I didn’t really want to think about that.
I do believe that God has caused men during very specific periods in history and during very specific points in their lives to provide men with his teachings (generally accepted as Scripture). All other men, whether Rabbi’s before Christ or Pastor/Teachers (assuming legitimate gifting by the Spirit), have been so gifted to illuminate what has already been given to men, Scripturally.
BFHU: OK, so of course God can do this and has done it. Which do you think is most likely for God to do? Guide His Church through the leaders of His Church so that the TRUTH is protected from error or allow a confusion and multiplication of contradictory doctrines to flourish? Which one would Our Enemy prefer?
I know the argument for the Catholic church is that other extraneous writings are equal to Scripture but that places all of us on shakey ground.
BFHU: It is not so much that other writings are equal to scripture.But, there are writings and sermons written in the first four centuries, that show us how these earliest Christians did interpret scripture. And these interpretations are Catholic and not Protestant. That is why Protestants are NEVER encouraged to read the writings of the Early Church Fathers. These contain the teachings of the Faith that were left unwritten in the first few decades, from which scripture comes. I double dog dare you to read them. 🙂
The doctrine of Papal infallibility provides the Catholic church with a form of self-indulgent credibility when arguing this point but it is a dangerous stance.
BFHU: And, John, is the Protestant idea of individual interpretation not also a form of self-indulgence or pride? Is it not a dangerous stance? Especially when scripture says,
2 Peter 1:20 But know this first of all, that no prophecy of Scripture is a matter of one’s own interpretation
The point we are discussing is in fact to recognize or not to recognize the legitimacy of Salvation through Jesus Christ and the several Scriptures that declare desire that all be saved as in John 3:16. Defining a specific court of membership as a prerequisite to Salvation, misunderstands the precept and the Sovereign decrees of God in his relation to the individual. Again; Salvation begets, membership – not the other way around.
BFHU: The Catholic Church does not believe or teach that Salvation is by membership in the Catholic Church. Some have taught this but it is a heresy. God may save anyone He wants to save through the death of His Son. But all those who are saved are saved through Jesus Christ. And this salvation emanates from and is proclaimed and safeguarded by His Church.
All that Protestantism has in its possession, of Christian Faith, came to it through the Catholic Church who safeguarded it for 1500 years until Martin Luther and John Calvin etc. first became Cafeteria Catholics and then broke away and started their own churches.
When I listen to whomever is the Pastor of my specific church at the time, I recognize that God, through the Holy Spirit has placed him in that position. As such he has declared him to be gifted to teach Biblical truth to me.
BFHU: You are trusting but cannot KNOW.
Infallibility is a term that should never be attributed to men – regardless of their station.
BFHU: That is only your opinion. There is no scripture to support it. Infallibility merely means that God will protect his leader from teaching ERROR to the whole Church regardless of whether that Pope is a Saint or Evil or somewhere in between.
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