Salvation in the Body of Christ

In my previous post, we were discussing extra ecclesia nulla salum, or “Outside the Church there is no salvation.” which I understand to mean that outside the mystical body of Christ, there is no salvation. We also discussed the phrase “Muslims, who together with us adore the one true God” and my understanding that this doesn’t comment on the salvation of Muslims, just that they worship the God of Abraham.

Rhology last said:

I’m not at all sure that there is alot of room in RC dogma to make a distinction between invisible and visible church, so I’d suggest you take some looking before you leap over there.

So, one can worship the one true God but not be saved? How does that work?

Further, there are plenty of anathemas flung Protestants’ way, and then CCC calls us “separated brethren”. I don’t quite get it.

Here is my reply:

In “Discovering Saint Patrick“, by Thomas O’Loughlin, a theological historian, he notes that early Christians thought that extra ecclesia nulla salus referred to the mystical church and was interchangable with “body of Christ”. They even thought it stemmed from “Apart from me you can do nothing” (John 15:5). Biblically, we have “Now you are the body of Christ, and each one of you is a part of it” (1 Cor 12:27) to support the mystical church as the body of Christ.

Also from the Catechism, as you may have been reading at Beggars All, it explains the exception of those who are outside of knowledge of Christ or are mistaken in their understanding of how to follow God’s will may possibly be saved as a part of the body of Christ, despite that lack of knowledge. That includes Protestants and people on a remote isle in the South Pacific alike.

Here’s quotes from the Catechism to support this:

The mystical body of Christ includes: “‘At all times and in every race, anyone who fears God and does what is right has been acceptable to him.'” and “All men are called to this catholic unity of the People of God. . . . And to it, in different ways, belong or are ordered: the Catholic faithful, others who believe in Christ, and finally all mankind, called by God’s grace to salvation.” and “Those ‘who believe in Christ and have been properly baptized are put in a certain, although imperfect, communion with the Catholic Church.'”

The Catechism excludes from the body of Christ even insincere Catholics: “Even though incorporated into the Church, one who does not however persevere in charity is not saved. He remains indeed in the bosom of the Church, but ‘in body’ not ‘in heart.'”

It also reminds Christians that “Christ ‘is the head of the body, the Church.'”

This is all similar to the Protestant notions of the mystical body of Christ extending to all those Christ has saved through a living faith.

For your second point, ask yourself this: Can someone worship the true God, such as the person in church next to you on Sunday, but not worship Him sincerely, not turn his heart to God, and not repent and be saved? If my understanding of your views is right, then you already agree with the Catholic doctrine on this point, but don’t recognize the language.

Lastly, in the Catholic Encyclopedia it says “Anathema remains a major excommunication… implying exclusion from the society of the faithful.” Wouldn’t you say that you are not in communion with the Catholic Church when you agree with one of the anathema statements? Do you want to be, or why does this upset you?

Even the most extreme anathema measure “anathema maranatha” means to leave the person up to the judgement of God. It does not pronounce judgement on his soul, as we humans should not. Here’s an excerpt: “Maranatha has become a very solemn formula as anathema, by which the criminal is excommunicated, abandoned to the judgment of God, and rejected from the bosom of the Church until the coming of the Lord.”

Interestingly, I found this in the Catholic encyclopedia’s entry on anathema: “More than that, it is with this purpose in view that she[the Church] takes such rigorous measures[pronounces anathema] against him[a sinner], in order that by the mortification of his body his soul may be saved on the last day.” It’s somewhat remeniscent on your explanation of withholding forgiveness, isn’t it? By understanding the severity of our sin, we begin the walk toward repentance and salvation.

Being Catholic may not be the only way to salvation, as the catechism and historians alike confirm, but they believe it is the best way. Knowing the truth and walking in truth is a much better way to get where you’re going than to blunder through life like a blind man. Although those who earnestly seek God will find Him, it’s better to have a map.

Advertisements

26 Responses to Salvation in the Body of Christ

  1. tap says:

    Just read a couple of your post from 2008, was wondering were you were now, as far as believing, Mary as Ever Virgin? If you could make a post on that. Are you still contemplating conversion, or have you already made that decision? Keep up the blogging! i like reading conversion stories, you own story is bit by bit, but no less interesting. thanks!

  2. Rhology says:

    What this post is missing is any examination of “extra ecclesiam nulla salus” in its original context, quite a few hundreds of yrs ago. I’d encourage you to take a look at that and the severity and seriousness with which it was spoken, and by whom.

    Peace,
    Rhology

  3. Irenaeus says:

    The problem with examining what this or that Father said or what this or that meant at some point in time is that the Catholic Church believes that tradition is an organic thing that can evolve and develop in continuity. So, for example, it might seem that the contemporary Catholic church has something different going on with EENS than what, say, St Cyprian did, but to the Catholic mind, that doesn’t necessarily matter, because the magisterium has defined Catholic Tradition in such a way that Prots are Christians in imperfect communion with the Church by virtue of baptism, something for which early Christians may not have allowed with regard to other heretics.

  4. Rhology says:

    I’m pretty sure it was a Pope who first said EENS.

    “We declare, say, define, and pronounce that it is absolutely necessary for the salvation of every human creature to be subject to the Roman Pontiff.” (Pope Boniface VIII, Unam Sanctam, 1302.)

    Irenaeus, would it be legitimate to consider your comment as ad hoc, a posteriori maneuvering so as to avoid embarrassment? If not, why not?

  5. Stacey says:

    Rhology,

    Do you think that the conclusions I have come to from the Catechism in light of Vatican II’s Lumen Gentium are invalid because saints, Christians, and popes would seem to have believed otherwise in the past? Would you agree that what I have said about extra ecclesiam nulla salus is currently valid?

    As far as I can tell, Irenaeus is right, St. Cyprian’s writings in the third century first contained the phrase “Quia salus extra ecclesiam non est”.

    I know that Saint Augustine was a favorite of Martin Luther, as Luther was an Augustinian monk, possibly because he emphasized our dependence on the grace of God. That’s somewhat ironic, because Augustine says: “If any man be outside the Church he will be excluded from the number of sons, and will not have God for Father since he has not the Church for mother.” He also, at the Council of Cirta, confirmed “Whoever has separated himself from the Catholic Church, no matter how laudably he lives, will not have eternal life, but has earned the anger of God because of this one crime: that he abandoned his union with Christ.” (Epsitle 141)

    So yes, some Christians, saints, and even popes did profess to believe you had to be a member of the Catholic Church to be saved. For most of them, however, you were not even considered a Christian if you were not a member of the Catholic Church.

    I’m not sure exactly what you’re hoping to lead me to with your urgings to look into the history of this phrase, because I think what I have said is currently valid, and has not contradicted any dogma or canons of the Church previously, although it is different than what may have been commonly believed. If you know of any canons from the Fourth Lateran Council or the Council of Florence that directly contradict Vatican II, please enlighten me. As I have two little ones at home, one with strep throat and the other a miserable teether, I would greatly appreciate you coming out with your point. Time to research is hard to come by on my end, unless I know exactly what I’m looking for.

  6. Stacey says:

    tap,

    I do have some musings on Mary, and I may write up a post on her this weekend. I haven’t really gotten much further in making a decision, but Chris has encouraged me to take my time. I still kind of take the part of Catholicism in online discussions, though I badger my husband something awful at home sometimes.

  7. Rhology says:

    Stacey,

    The RCC claims to be the One True Church. Vatican 2 appeals to the “ancient and constant faith of the universal church” and stuff like that. Yet it’s clear that this is not the case, that there is no one faith even within your own communion. You’re saying in essence that everyone in the past who agreed with you is part of The Church® and everyone who disagreed was not part of The Church. You’re judging the past by the present, so you can blindly follow the authority to whom you’ve unwisely given your allegiance. Even men who agree with The Church® of TODAY on some things, you’re like “Yeah, they’re part of Sacred Tradition”. And then on points where they disagree with you TODAY, “well, he was just a private theologian here” or “well, this Pope wasn’t speaking ex cathedra”. How do you know he wasn’t speaking ex cathedra? Well, b/c he didn’t agree with the The Church of Today. Do you see how that’s viciously circular and anachronistic? It’s a dilemma that the RCC has painted themselves into.

    That is my point.
    RCC claims that it doesn’t change, that it follows the ancient and constant faith of the universal church. Yet many Popes and Church Fathers believed many different things.
    1) Thus, you look like you accuse Sola Scriptura of producing – fragments, denominations, disunity, confusion, anarchy.
    2) Worse, your claims about continuity with ancients is just false.

    Hopefully that helps you see where I’m coming from.

    Peace,
    Rhology

  8. Stacey says:

    Rhology,

    It’s naptime, so I can respond!

    You forget that I’m not Catholic. I have not given anyone my allegiance. I’m trying to understand what the Catholic Church actually says for itself rather than jumping to conclusions based on tabloid apologetics. So far, I like what she says.

    The RCC claims to be the One True Church… the “ancient and constant faith of the universal church”… Yet it’s clear that this is not the case. that there is no one faith even within your own communion.

    I’m not sure how you extrapolate that the Church’s theology is inconstant and its members have different faiths because people had different opinions about who was saved. You have given me a lot to consider though, and I’ve put “Salvation Outside the Church” and “Creative Fidelity” on my reading list because of these discussions. Any other suggestions from the non-Catholic camp?

    You’re saying in essence that everyone in the past who agreed with you is part of The Church and everyone who disagreed was not part of The Church. You’re judging the past by the present, so you can blindly follow the authority to whom you’ve unwisely given your allegiance. Even men who agree with The Church® of TODAY on some things, you’re like “Yeah, they’re part of Sacred Tradition”. And then on points where they disagree with you TODAY, “well, he was just a private theologian here” or “well, this Pope wasn’t speaking ex cathedra”. How do you know he wasn’t speaking ex cathedra? Well, b/c he didn’t agree with the The Church of Today.

    Huh? I don’t know what you’re talking about. When did I say people in the past who disagreed with me weren’t part of the church? Or how can I blindly follow an authority that I HAVE NOT given my allegiance to? And I don’t remember saying anything about people being a part of the Sacred Tradition or not. And I didn’t know what ex cathedra was until today. You can tell if something’s ex cathedra if it’s addressed to the whole church, btw. Are you confusing me with someone else and another discussion?

    RCC claims that it doesn’t change, that it follows the ancient and constant faith of the universal church. Yet many Popes and Church Fathers believed many different things.

    From what I can tell, the Roman Catholic Church doesn’t claim that it doesn’t change, it claims that it cannot change previous dogma. It doesn’t say they do everything or think the same as the ancient universal church, but that they are consistent with the ancient church and decended from it.

    I am, however, accusing sola scriptura of producing fragments, denominations, disunity, and confusion. Can you really deny that there are many different doctrinally separate denominations decending from sola scriptura and the Reformation? Then where did all these churches come from?

    I’m really not sure if your comment was meant for me or not, since I can’t see how it relates to the rest of our discussion.

  9. Rhology says:

    Fair enough, Stacey, you’re not RC. Every comment I’ve seen from you, however, is through-and-through RC, so please forgive me for jumping to conclusions.

    You don’t see how these two issues are inconsistent?
    One Pope issues an official bull saying that there is no salvation outside the Roman Catholic Church. OK?
    Another Pope and Council says that those who are unrepentantly outside the Church are brethren. Among them are Presbyterians whose creed calls the Pope an Antichrist. But they have salvation?

    If you’re looking for suggestions, I’d recommend you look into the irreconcilable differences between the “material sufficiency” crowd (currently in the majority among non-liberal RCs), the “partim-partim” crowd (the viewpoint of the Council of Trent) and the vast amount of liberals who remain in the RC communion, with respect to their views on Scripture.

    You said:
    When did I say people in the past who disagreed with me weren’t part of the church?

    No, not you personally! 🙂 I mean, the Church. Sorry, I worded that poorly.

    You can tell if something’s ex cathedra if it’s addressed to the whole church, btw.

    Oooh, there’s another suggestion. Ask a few knowledgeable priests how they can tell when a statement is ex cathedra or not. I’ve never heard a RC tell me, actually, that the sole qualification for ex cathedra is that it be addressed to the whole church. It’s more than that, but just what are the conditions, no one knows, it would appear. Or some people claim they know, and others claim they know but they don’t match.

    it claims that it cannot change previous dogma

    And Unam Sanctam is just that – previous dogma.

    I am, however, accusing sola scriptura of producing fragments, denominations, disunity, and confusion.

    Are you familiar with the phrase “Sola Ecclesia”? It’s the equivalent and competitor to Sola Scriptura. It’s the model of authority of: Scripture + Authoritative Interpreter

    The big problem is: Who else uses that model? Eastern Orthodoxy. Oriental Orthodoxy. Copts. Jehovah’s Witnesses. Mormons. Branch Davidians. Etc.
    Contrast that with the spread of churches that actually practice Sola Scriptura! Most Baptists, some Presbys, some Lutherans, most Assemblies of God, many charismatics, some Church of Christ, some Methodists, etc. The doctrinal variance is MUCH smaller on the Sola Scriptura side!

    You don’t like that comparison? OK, let’s compare churches to churches. How about the doctrinal variation found within RCC vs, say, Southern Baptist Convention. Or the Orthodox Presbyterians. Or Reformed Baptists.

    Once again, the RCC comes out on the losing side.
    I’m not saying this is a trump card for the Reformation side, but the thing is that this card is almost always played by the RC against Sola Scrip. And when the RC plays it, he is comparing apples to oranges – one and only one Sola Ecclesia church vs all churches that claim to practice Sola Scriptura. I simply insist that the playing field be fair. That’s fair, right?

    Let me also share this quote with you:

    Hilary of Poitiers (c 315-67): For there have risen many who have given to the plain words of Holy Writ some arbitrary interpretation of their own, instead of its true and only sense, and this in defiance of the clear meaning of words. Heresy lies in the sense assigned, not in the word written; the guilt is that of the expositor, not of the text. Is not truth indestructible? (NPNF2: Vol. IX, On the Trinity, Book II, §3)

    Peace,
    Rhology

  10. tap says:

    Here is rhology’s hero James White, essentially confessing that Sola Scriptura is Novel Idea:

    Read more on Scripture and Tradition Here:
    http://www.bringyou.to/apologetics/ATHAN.htm

    Here is the simplest challenge. If some alien was to appear, and say he wants to become a Christian. We hand him a Bible(setting aside canon issue).
    —Do you think he would be able to determine the doctrine of trinity on his own? Given the various verses that imply a Subordinate role for Christ. [e.g. “The Father is greater than I”, “Why callest thou me good? None is good but one, that is God.” etc…etc…there plenty of these]
    —The Hypostatic union?
    —What things do you think he will take away, with no influence whatsoever.?

  11. Irenaeus says:

    As far as I recall, Unam Sanctam was given in the context of political-ecclesial shenanigans in France. Context would be important here. And I trust that the faithful Catholics of VII and those responsible for the Catechism were well aware of Unam Sanctam. And in my judgment (FWIW), later Catholic teaching is in accord with the letter and spirit of US.

    (Believe me, my life would be so much easier if I would remain protestant — I’ve been looking for reasons not to convert, but can’t find any. I wish this were one.)

    “RCC claims that it doesn’t change, that it follows the ancient and constant faith of the universal church. Yet many Popes and Church Fathers believed many different things.”

    It’s important to understand that the RCC thinks of tradition as something organic, that develops, like an acorn becoming a tree, that flows, like a river. It’s about continuity with the past, not simple repristination. So what you’ve written about “change”, on its face, is incorrect.

    As far as Fathers believing different things, Catholics are well aware of that. (Some of us know half a dozen ancient languages and read them in the original Latin, Greek, Syriac, etc.) Precisely because theologians and Fathers sometimes disagree(d) with each other, a central authority — the pope working in conjunction with the bishops — is necessary. You get councils called when significant disagreement warrants it. And if a Father happened to be on the wrong side of an issue that was decided later, well, even the Fathers are human. Heck, a Pope can be wrong, and frequently wrong (I’ve my issues with John XXIII and Paul VI), but not when speaking ex cathedra.

    All that is to say, Catholicism is a lot more flexible than most outsiders seem to realize.

  12. Rhology says:

    tap,

    Your hypothetical leaves out a lot of things and includes a strawman of Sola Scriptura. I don’t know whom you’re arguing against, but it’s not my position.

    Irenaeus,

    Un. Sa. has a context, of course, but how does “absolutely necessary for the salvation of every human creature to be subject to the Roman Pontiff” become “not necessary for the salvation of every human creature to be subject to the Roman Pontiff”? I’d be interested in seeing how you accomplish that. And of course, what Pope actually addressed this issue, this seeming contradiction? If none has, how does your claim hold water that Popes can clear up confusion? If one has, was he speaking ex cathedra? How do you know?
    For that matter, how do you know when any Pope ever speaks ex cathedra? What are the rules? Are they ex cathedra defined? If not, doesn’t that leave plenty of room for confusion as well?

    a Pope can be wrong, and frequently wrong (I’ve my issues with John XXIII and Paul VI), but not when speaking ex cathedra.

    Did either of them speak ex cathedra? When? Where is the list?

    It’s important to understand that the RCC thinks of tradition as something organic, that develops, like an acorn becoming a tree, that flows, like a river.

    That’s not what RC councils say. At least one has explicitly claimed to be expressing “the ancient and constant faith of the universal church”.
    I would expect RCs to say that, however, since Christian tradition does not support the RC case very well at all.

  13. Irenaeus says:

    Well, Rhology, it seems you’re approaching history from a modernist-fundamentalist hermeneutic, and so I guess we’re just going to differ, but given my learning, I feel I’ve got as good a read on the Christian tradition as anyone. G’day.

  14. Irenaeus says:

    One final post, and it’s a link; I think I’d agree, by and large, with this guy’s take on Unam Sanctam and VII/the CCC. It’s solid, informed, and, in my opinion, a convincing solution to the (non)problem. Frankly, I think you’re reading the history poorly and the Catholic position uncharitably.

    And finally finally, if not Rome, where? If not the Pope, who? If not the Catholic Church, what? How can one — using one’s own wits, sanctified or not — figure out what the true church is? And if it be protested that it doesn’t matter what the true church really is (say, if one is OK with one being either a Presbyterian or a Lutheran or a Baptist), that one merely needs a relationship with Jesus, why not do that within Rome?

    It also seems to me that every single Protestant ecclesial body has apparent contradictions in its documents and constitutions. And again, if it be protested that denominational confessions and understandings do not matter, but that one should simply go by “Scripture alone”, one still has the problem of understanding Scripture consistently — and I doubt anyone would have the temerity to say he or she understands Scripture consistently.

    All that is to say, if Rome’s inconsistent (for the sake of argument), so too is everything and everyone else.

  15. Rhology says:

    Irenaeus,

    Anyone can label another’s hermeneutic and dismiss it out of hand. That’s no argument.

    And if you have such superior learning, one would think it’d be easy to answer the questions I’ve raised. Not even going to try?

    if not Rome, where?

    Churches that follow the Bible. My church is a good start.

    If not the Pope, who?

    For supreme bishop? No one, that’s not biblical.
    For infall interper? No one, that’s not biblical.
    For pastor? A biblically-qualified elder. Not that hard.

    How can one — using one’s own wits, sanctified or not — figure out what the true church is?

    Read the Bible. Jesus did. Jesus held men responsible for reading it and understanding it. I’ll go with Him before you.

    that one merely needs a relationship with Jesus, why not do that within Rome?

    B/c Rome is full of unbiblical doctrine.

    every single Protestant ecclesial body has apparent contradictions in its documents and constitutions

    And RCC has contradicting groups within herself. So what? Unity does not necessarily mean correctness.
    And it is commendable to separate oneself from those who persist in error.

    one still has the problem of understanding Scripture consistently — and I doubt anyone would have the temerity to say he or she understands Scripture consistently.

    What is the diff between that statement and this one?
    One still has the problem of understanding Magisterial statements consistently — and I doubt anyone would have the temerity to say he or she understands the Magisterium consistently.

    What a red herring! Let’s at least try to think biblically here.

    Peace,
    Rhology

  16. tap says:

    Rhology: “Churches that follow the Bible”

    Sorry Rhology, this is not going to work. The Christadelphians follow the bible. So do Arians, so did Paul of Samasota, so did Montanus. all follow the Bible, the only difference is interpretations. I’m afraid this criteria will not work.

    Question: So if i’m a Person wanting to become a christian, i buy a bible, should i follow any Church that adheres to the Bible? or what other criteria would i need to know which is the correct Church to join?

  17. Stacey says:

    Rhology,

    I appreciate your input and an opposing point of view when I’m discussing these rather complicated issues. However, I will ask you to please refrain from making blanket statements like “Rome is full of unbiblical doctrine.” or “Christian tradition does not support the RC case very well at all.” unless somehow it is on topic, and then I would ask you to back up what you say with references or quotes.

    Every comment I’ve seen from you, however, is through-and-through RC, so please forgive me for jumping to conclusions.

    I do seem to take that side often. It’s easy to do when Catholics get attacked unfairly so often. The goal of my blog is to try to help others overcome their misconceptions like I have. Even if they don’t believe Catholicism is the one true church, maybe they won’t hate it so much. So far, my posts have discussed the transitions I’ve made to the Catholic perspective. I do plan on discussing problems I still have accepting certain issues. The saints, Mary, mysticism, relics, the incorruptables, etc. put some kind of look on my face that makes Chris laugh and pull me away from that section of the bookstore.

    One Pope issues an official bull saying that there is no salvation outside the Roman Catholic Church.

    Not official. It wasn’t addressed to the universal church.

    I’ve never heard a RC tell me, actually, that the sole qualification for ex cathedra is that it be addressed to the whole church. It’s more than that, but just what are the conditions, no one knows, it would appear.

    You’re right, there’s a bit more to it. Here’s the requirements, which you can look up in the Catholic Encyclopedia or in Vatican II.

    Ex cathedra:
    “The conditions required for ex cathedra teaching are mentioned in the Vatican decree:

    1) The pontiff must teach in his public and official capacity as pastor and doctor of all Christians, not merely in his private capacity as a theologian, preacher or allocutionist, nor in his capacity as a temporal prince or as a mere ordinary of the Diocese of Rome. It must be clear that he speaks as spiritual head of the Church universal.
    2) Then it is only when, in this capacity, he teaches some doctrine of faith or morals that he is infallible (see below, IV).
    3) Further it must be sufficiently evident that he intends to teach with all the fullness and finality of his supreme Apostolic authority, in other words that he wishes to determine some point of doctrine in an absolutely final and irrevocable way, or to define it in the technical sense (see DEFINITION). These are well-recognized formulas by means of which the defining intention may be manifested.
    4) Finally for an ex cathedra decision it must be clear that the pope intends to bind the whole Church. To demand internal assent from all the faithful to his teaching under pain of incurring spiritual shipwreck (naufragium fidei) according to the expression used by Pius IX in defining the Immaculate Conception of the Blessed Virgin. Theoretically, this intention might be made sufficiently clear in a papal decision which is addressed only to a particular Church; but in present day conditions, when it is so easy to communicate with the most distant parts of the earth and to secure a literally universal promulgation of papal acts, the presumption is that unless the pope formally addresses the whole Church in the recognized official way, he does not intend his doctrinal teaching to be held by all the faithful as ex cathedra and infallible.

    And Unam Sanctam is just that – previous dogma.

    Not dogma.

    The big problem is: Who else uses that model? Eastern Orthodoxy. Oriental Orthodoxy. Copts. Jehovah’s Witnesses. Mormons. Branch Davidians. Etc.
    Contrast that with the spread of churches that actually practice Sola Scriptura! Most Baptists, some Presbys, some Lutherans, most Assemblies of God, many charismatics, some Church of Christ, some Methodists, etc. The doctrinal variance is MUCH smaller on the Sola Scriptura side!

    You’ve included non-Christian churches in sola ecclesia, of course there will be a wide doctrinal variance. Be fair. You’ve not even included the wide variety of Christian churches in sola scriptura. You’ve left out the red-headed step-children like charasmatic renewalists, revivalists, Word of Faith, non-denominationals, post-denominationals, etc. I’m curious what additional authority the rest of the lutherans, AoG, Presbyterians, etc. follow.

    Regardless, just because non-Christians and schismatics use an organizational model including an interprative authority, you can’t assume the model is bad. That’s bad logic. The effectiveness of the model depends on the authenticity of the authority. The difference is, the Bible clearly describes a heirarchy for the apostles to settle disagreements, the Catholic Church has a direct line of apostalic succession. It’s not like they just plucked an authority out of thin air, like other churches you group them with, or like you seem to imply.

    You don’t like that comparison? OK, let’s compare churches to churches. How about the doctrinal variation found within RCC vs, say, Southern Baptist Convention. Or the Orthodox Presbyterians. Or Reformed Baptists.

    It just seems like you’re approaching this from such a different perspective. On the Catholic side, they see Catholic versus all Protestants because most Protestant denominations have come from the Reformation or branched down from the Seperatists of the Anglican church. They all look alike. It’s not Catholic vs. Baptist. It’s Catholic vs. all y’all.

    For supreme bishop? No one, that’s not biblical.

    What, Peter wasn’t in the Bible?

    For infall interper? No one, that’s not biblical.

    Just because something is extra-Biblical (not in the Bible), doesn’t mean it’s contra-Biblical (unbiblical as you keep saying).

    For pastor? A biblically-qualified elder. Not that hard.

    I’ve seen that go wrong many, many times. Biblically qualified how? By the list in 1 Tim 3? By education? By a charasmatic preaching style? The only Biblical qualification that I can see that matters is ordination by the Holy Spirit.

    “How can one — using one’s own wits, sanctified or not — figure out what the true church is?”

    Read the Bible. Jesus did. Jesus held men responsible for reading it and understanding it. I’ll go with Him before you.

    This is a huge problem for many people, including me, Rhology. I wish you wouldn’t brush it off so easily. How is a new convert, Bible in hand and God loving, supposed to know where to go? I ended up at a church I liked, that didn’t seem to have crazy beliefs, and had a good preacher. Although it was good, I was free to pick and choose what I took home with me. All I found was a good paster, who I still respect, and the best he had to offer. But doesn’t God always want more than our best? He wants His best for us, and that’s not going to look like a preacher spending a week forming an hour long sermon on his latest understanding of a given Bible passage. It’s going to look like a lot of things we don’t understand without much pain and effort, things that help us even though we don’t know how, things that help others more effectively than any other organization on the planet, things that are attacked and hated from every single other way of life out there because it stands alone testifying the truth. That is what God’s best for us looks like, and so says Christ in the Bible.

  18. Stacey says:

    Irenaeus,

    As far as Fathers believing different things, Catholics are well aware of that… Precisely because theologians and Fathers sometimes disagree(d) with each other, a central authority — the pope working in conjunction with the bishops — is necessary. You get councils called when significant disagreement warrants it. And if a Father happened to be on the wrong side of an issue that was decided later, well, even the Fathers are human. Heck, a Pope can be wrong, and frequently wrong (I’ve my issues with John XXIII and Paul VI), but not when speaking ex cathedra.

    Did you notice Carrie’s latest post at Beggars All? She says: “the old Catholic argument against sola scriptura – that the existence of multiple Protestant denominations invalidates sola sciptura because God would not allow disagreement.” It seems she hasn’t heard Catholics saying an authority is a way to resolve dispute, not that disagreements will never arise.

  19. James says:

    Stacy,

    Just popped over from Irenaeus’ blog. Great answer to Rhology re ex cathedra. I think people don’t answer his questions because the way he asks sounds very disingenuous. How anyone can be so poorly informed regarding Catholicism is beyond me given the CCC. I mean, how can a faith that puts its beliefs into a mass-published and well-indexed book (available online too) still be accused of so many false things?

    Rhology: since this thread is a continuation of the previous one I though I would answer your final question from that thread here.

    How precisely does the Bible equip you to teach:
    -Papal infallibility
    -the Assumption of Mary
    -the Immaculate Conception?

    Too easy.

    Matthew 16:18-19 …upon this rock I will build my church; and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it. And I will give unto thee the keys of the kingdom of heaven: and whatsoever thou shalt bind on earth shall be bound in heaven: and whatsoever thou shalt loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven. gives actual words of Jesus giving to Peter doctrinal authority (binding and loosing) and the promise that His Church will not be led astray (gates of Hell prevailing). But then you should know that this is the first scripture Catholics turn to teach papal infallibility.

    Revelation 12 equips us with a vision of the Woman in Heaven which can be interpreted as Mary thus showing Mary in Heaven. The Scriptures that Paul was actually refereeing to (i.e. the Old Testament) also equips us with the previous precedents of Enoch and Elijah being taken up to Heaven bodily.

    Then for the IC there is Genesis 3:15 I will put enmity between thee and the woman, again the woman being Mary and the enmity showing that there was never a time when Mary was beholden to Satan (the essence of the IC dogma). Then we have Gabriel’s greeting in Luke 1:28 “Hail, full of grace, the Lord is with thee” which shows that Mary was already graced and walking with the Lord. Not to mention biblical metaphors such as the identification of Mary and the Church and the Church being without spot or blemish (see Ephesians 5:27).

    So you see mon frere, the Scriptures equip us with plenty to teach the dogmas of the Church. But then I don’t think you actually wanted an answer, now did you?

    James G

  20. James says:

    Aside – Rhology’s icon-thingy is the Chi-Rho with “Rhology” next to it which in my mind becomes Chi-Rho-rhology and the two rho’s being redundant becomes Chirhology which to my chemist’s mind becomes the theology of Chirality. Did anyone else get that or am I the only one?

    James G

  21. James says:

    Darn Blogger and it’s darn inability to properly accept links!

    Chirality can be found here:
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chirality_(chemistry)

  22. Rhology says:

    Hi all,

    Sorry I’ve not been able to get back here yet.

    tap said:
    The Christadelphians follow the bible.

    So the Bible teaches Christadelphian doctrine?
    Or do you mean that they CLAIM TO follow the Bible? And how does that reflect on the Bible?
    Didn’t you read the quote from Hilary of Poitiers I cited? Where exactly do you get off contradicting a view of an early church writer, a Doctor of the RCC?

    all follow the Bible, the only difference is interpretations

    And within RCC, Thomists and Molinists all follow the Magisterium. The only difference is interpretations.
    So how are you better off?

    So if i’m a Person wanting to become a christian, i buy a bible, should i follow any Church that adheres to the Bible? or what other criteria would i need to know which is the correct Church to join?

    Yes, you’d need to join a church that follows the Bible. There are surprisingly few.

    Stacey said:
    Even if they don’t believe Catholicism is the one true church, maybe they won’t hate it so much.

    I truly believe that RCC has forsaken the Gospel, and so it’s a false church, and I hate that. So hopefully that clarifies why I act the way I do.

    Not official. (Unam Sanctam) wasn’t addressed to the universal church…not dogma

    It says: “Furthermore, we declare, we proclaim, we define that it is absolutely necessary for salvation that every human creature be subject to the Roman Pontiff.”
    That’s not official?
    It says “every”, you know. It says “declare, proclaim, define, absolutely, necessary”. What is different between this and sthg else that you know is ex cathedra?

    The conditions required for ex cathedra

    Could you please put fwd 3 examples of ex cathedra statements?
    Does it matter that you can’t know them infallibly? If not, why not?

    You’ve included non-Christian churches in sola ecclesia, of course there will be a wide doctrinal variance. Be fair.

    I’m just the messenger. I’m comparing apples to apples. If you’re not comfortable with that, I’ll be happy to compare church with church, rather than authority structure to authority structure.
    Want to compare the internal unity of the Southern Baptist Convention with that of RCC? Do you really think RCC will come out far ahead?
    Of course it won’t. The point is that, in comparing apples to apples, RCC demonstrates no advantage of internal unity over its competition. So the point that RCs so often make is moot.

    You’ve left out the red-headed step-children like charasmatic renewalists, revivalists, Word of Faith, non-denominationals, post-denominationals,

    Do you know what Sola Scriptura means?
    WoF and extreme charismatics regularly put divine revelation that they receive personally on the same functional level as Scripture. That’s not Sola Scriptura (nor really Sola Ecclesia), but a different authority structure.

    I’m curious what additional authority the rest of the lutherans, AoG, Presbyterians, etc. follow.

    Again I wonder whether you know what Sola Scrip is. I’m not trying to be mean, but your understanding isn’t correct here. Conservative Presbys, Lutherans, AoG, etc are Sola Scrip. Some have creeds, yes, but they are subordinate to the Scr.

    The effectiveness of the model depends on the authenticity of the authority.

    So you say, but I was correcting the bad comparison. I don’t find any use for such comparisons, but when RCs bring them up, I respond in this way.

    the Catholic Church has a direct line of apostalic succession.

    Which is not taught in the NT. From Judas to Matthias is better described as a one-time change, a fulfillment of prophecy. 2 Tim 2:2 describes teaching to faithful MEN, plural, befitting better a group of elders/bishops/pastors than just one.
    Which ECF writings don’t support all that well. Was Peter the 1st Bishop of Rome? Or was it Linus? Or was it Peter and others?

    It’s not Catholic vs. Baptist. It’s Catholic vs. all y’all.

    I could just as easily say it’s actual holders-to of Sola Scrip vs. all y’all. It’s an arbitrary exercise, so I suggest that RCs give up on this point.

    What, Peter wasn’t in the Bible?

    Where is Peter as infallible Pope in the Bible? Or as Pope, period?

    Biblically qualified how? By the list in 1 Tim 3?

    And in Titus 2. That’s all I mean. Please don’t put words in my mouth. Not to be mean, but you haven’t demonstrated a sufficiently good understanding of my position to do that.

    It’s not like they just plucked an authority out of thin air, like other churches you group them with, or like you seem to imply.
    How is a new convert, Bible in hand and God loving, supposed to know where to go?

    But if I’m just a fallible individual, how can I choose between all these supposed infallible interpers? What criteria do I use?
    Again, I’m just responding to typical RC points. This is not a positive argument for my position.

    Pray to God for help and read the Bible. Find a church that follows the Bible. Examine said church by the Bible. I’m confident that anyone who is actually regenerate and who actually holds the Bible as topmost authority will find a good church (and it won’t be RCC). I commend the Holy Spirit’s guidance to you, Stacey. I can’t tell if you have much faith in Him, given this comment.

    It seems she hasn’t heard Catholics saying an authority is a way to resolve dispute, not that disagreements will never arise.

    So why hasn’t RCC resolved the many disputes within her walls? You keep saying it’s a way to help, but if it never uses said power or very rarely does, what good is it in the real world? It’s like an ace up your sleeve that you never play.

    james said:
    How anyone can be so poorly informed regarding Catholicism is beyond me given the CCC.

    1) Care to point out where I’m poorly informed?
    2) Is the CCC infallible? How do you know?

    Matt 16:18-19

    Where does it say that the church will be infallible in that psg?
    How do you know it’s not referring to the indestructibility of the church of God, rather than its infallibility?
    And is that your own private interpretation? If so, are you sure it’s right? How do you know?

    But then you should know that this is the first scripture Catholics turn to teach papal infallibility.

    Of course, but is that appeal justified?

    Revelation 12 equips us with a vision of the Woman in Heaven which can be interpreted as Mary thus showing Mary in Heaven.

    The earliest reference to Mary in Revelation 12 does not appear until the fourth century:

    “The modern Mariologists like to turn to [Revelation 12], seeing in it an allegory of the Virgin Mary. But whatever can be thought of their interpretation, it is a fact that none of the early interpreters before the end of the fourth century see the Virgin Mary in the woman of the Revelation. They all understand her to be the Church and so they continue to make most of their interpretations in the following centuries. Ticonius is the first to suggest the Marian interpretation” [Giovanni Miegge, The Virgin Mary (Philadelphia: The Westminster Press, 1955, pp.101-102)].

    The woman has multiple referents, according to Catholic Answers.
    Uh oh, now you’re in conflict with multiple RCs! Here’s a great opportunity for the Magisterium to step in and clean this mess up. Where has it done so? Was it infallible? How do you know?
    Please note – these are real questions of mine, not rhetorical. I really do want answers to these questions, but I’ve not yet received any.

    Then we have Gabriel’s greeting in Luke 1:28 “Hail, full of grace, the Lord is with thee” which shows that Mary was already graced and walking with the Lord.

    Let me commend these two articles to you. That word is used of the church in Ephesians 1. I guess the church of Ephesus was also immaculately conceived.
    The point is that you are committing eisegesis. RCC told you that you should believe that, and so you scour the BIble for support for it, no matter how weak.

    I’d like to point out that no one responded to my challenges from other comments, namely:
    -What is the diff between that statement and this one?
    -I’d recommend you look into the irreconcilable differences between the “material sufficiency” crowd (currently in the majority among non-liberal RCs), the “partim-partim” crowd (the viewpoint of the Council of Trent) and the vast amount of liberals who remain in the RC communion, with respect to their views on Scripture.
    -Ask a few knowledgeable priests how they can tell when a statement is ex cathedra or not. (I’d like to know what they say.)
    -Did either of them speak ex cathedra? When? Where is the list?

    Peace,
    Rhology

  23. tap says:

    Rhology said: Or do you mean that they CLAIM TO follow the Bible?

    –If you call it a claim. Yours is no more than a claim either. As a matter of fact they follow the bible much more literarily than you do. They absolutely follow the bible only. The only difference between you and the Christadelphians would be interpretation.
    You will then bring scriptures that in your mind prove trinity, they can also bring just as many scriptures, that prove subordinationism. If you have a non-christian, from a different country with no prior influence, having to choose between the 2 of you. There is no authority to tell him which one of you is right. As a matter of fact, if said foreigner decides to the ask the Jews who own the old testament, he will hear that God cannot be man and that the Jews have no concept of trinity. Why wouldn’t he be convinced to be a Christadelphian?

    –As for your quote about Hilary of Poitiers, its funny. You quote a Catholic biship, who particpated in a Catholic synod. A Bishop who most certain belived in the real presence, and the Sacraments. A Bishop who i ask to pray for me. A Catholic through and true. The quote from him then stands as a condemnation of all those who, after having been taught, have denied the plain mean of John 6 in the real presence of Christ in the Eucharist. The quote says nothing of the innovation called Sola Scriptura. Scripture have to be interpreted, that much is clear, he was refuting the arguments of Arians in that book. if there is a dispute, then there is an authority in the Catholic church to settle that dispute. St. Hilary’s successor still stand today, i mean the the current Bishop of Poitiers, will you now yield to the Catholic Faith?
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bishop_of_Poitiers

    —Rhology said: And within RCC, Thomists and Molinists all follow the Magisterium. The only difference is interpretations.
    So how are you better off?

    How am i not better off. There is a dispute between the Thomist, and molinist point of view we appeal to the authority of the Church, the church says, that the Faithful, can hold to either one of these views, so whats the beef? lol. In other words, belief in either one of these paradigms is not detrimental to salvation. Its quite interesting that you bring this up, because myself i am Thomist in the case of most people and a molinist in the case of the Great saints and apostles. Whichever on i believe i have the Church as a teacher. If the Church said to believe one and despise the other then i would follow the Church. Do you see that the Church is still the ultimately authority?

    however, there are those cases, were the Church teaches that you cannot hold a different view. I.e. Transubstantion, the sacraments, and various other Dogmas. You cannot hold a contrary view. On the one were there is seeming strife, the Church allows for both. So indeed how am i not better off?

  24. Stacey says:

    Rhology,

    No in depth theological replies from me right now 😉 But you’re right, I didn’t know what sola scriptura is. Now I don’t know how it’s possible.

  25. Rhology says:

    tap,

    I’ll respect Stacey’s withdrawal from blogging for a while, but I wanted to make sure you got an answer.

    Yours is no more than a claim either.

    So what is the resolution? Agnosticism? No! We examine the Scriptures to see whether it is so – Acts 17:11.

    As a matter of fact they follow the bible much more literarily than you do.

    1) Assertion, not argument.
    2) “More literarily” is a meaningless statement. I urge you to be more precise.

    The only difference between you and the Christadelphians would be interpretation.

    And what’s the difference between YOU and Christadelphians?
    The devil is in the details, you know.

    You will then bring scriptures that in your mind prove trinity, they can also bring just as many scriptures, that prove subordinationism.

    No, they can TWIST some Scr to make some think that the Bible supports subordinationism, but since the Trinity is true and since the Scr are God’s Word and God is a Trinity, there are no Scriptures that support subordinationism.
    Do you really think that the same thing can’t be said of Magisterial pronouncements? If not, why not?

    If you have a non-christian, from a different country with no prior influence, having to choose between the 2 of you.

    I didn’t realise that ignorant first-time observers were your standard for a test for truth. Why use that standard? Argue for it.

    There is no authority to tell him which one of you is right.

    So what will YOU say to the person who is considering the Coptic Church vs the RCC? What authority can you bring forward, since he’s trying to decide between authorities?
    What about between the LDS church and RCC?

    You quote a Catholic biship, who particpated in a Catholic synod.

    1) Which is a far cry from being a ROMAN Catholic bishop.
    2) And if he were a RC bishop, that would prove that you’re wrong, since he is a clergyman and you a mere anonymous Internet layman. I’ll go with what he said to reflect true RC dogma rather than you.

    A Bishop who most certain belived in the real presence, and the Sacraments.

    Assumption. Prove it. (Note that I’m not saying he DIDN’T, it’s just that I don’t accept your assumption w/o evidence.)

    have denied the plain mean of John 6 in the real presence of Christ in the Eucharist.

    You mean like in v 35 where Christ defines what it means to eat His flesh and drink His blood?
    35Jesus said to them, “I am the bread of life; he who comes to Me will not hunger, and he who believes in Me will never thirst.”
    So coming to Christ = eating. Believing = thirsting.

    The quote says nothing of the innovation called Sola Scriptura

    Never said it did. How many fallacies can you pack into one comment?

    Scripture have to be interpreted, that much is clear, he was refuting the arguments of Arians in that book

    Yes, and saying it was the fault of the READERS that the Scr was being misinterped. Directly responding to the point y’all made.

    There is a dispute between the Thomist, and molinist point of view we appeal to the authority of the Church, the church says, that the Faithful, can hold to either one of these views, so whats the beef?

    So what is the truth? How did the RCC help you know what the truth is? The infallible answer is “Dunno”?

    Peace,
    Rhology

  26. James says:

    Rhology,

    Didn’t want you to think I was ignoring you; Stacy said she was taking a break so I didn’t check back until now.

    1) Care to point out where I’m poorly informed?

    Well for one in regards to conditions for ex cathedra. In fact you seem to be rabid on the whole subject.

    2) Is the CCC infallible? How do you know?

    Never said it was; but the CCC is authorative and normative in regards to Catholic belief.

    How do you know it’s not referring to the indestructibility of the church of God, rather than its infallibility?
    And is that your own private interpretation? If so, are you sure it’s right? How do you know?

    Well, if the Church bound all Christians to believe something that was false then that would destroy the Church because she would be preaching another gospel then the one of our Lord. And of course it’s not my private interpretation. I’m Catholic and therefore too imbecilic to interpret the Bible myself; I cribbed it from the official Protocols of the Elders of Babylon Rome. And I know it’s correct because of the “burning in my bosom.”

    Of course, but is that appeal justified?

    You only asked for examples of where the Bible teaches XY&Z. You never said that those examples had to convince someone as intransigent as you. After all my argument may have “…weight with the faithful, but [it] avails nothing with the obstinate.”

    The earliest reference to Mary in Revelation 12 does not appear until the fourth century…

    Yes, the earliest written reference to the Woman of Rev 12 being Mary is from the 4th Century but that doesn’t make it an illegitimate interpretation. After all, if antiquity was the requirement, what would that do to all of your precious Protestant exegesis?

    The woman has multiple referents, according to Catholic Answers.
    Uh oh, now you’re in conflict with multiple RCs! Here’s a great opportunity for the Magisterium to step in and clean this mess up. Where has it done so? Was it infallible? How do you know?

    You really need to work on your sarcasm because that just didn’t make sense. And the Jimmy Akin article you linked to answered your own point. The Woman of Rev 12 can be interpreted as both Mary and the Church; there is no conflict because one legitimate interpretation does not exclude another legitimate interpretation.

    Symbolically there are many links between Mary and the Church: Jesus is the Bridegroom of the Church and the new Adam, Mary is the new Eve who is Adam’s bride; John 19:27: [Jesus to John who represents all Christians as “the beloved disciple”] Behold thy mother and as we know the Church is the Mother of all Christians (cf. St. Cyprian: “No one can have God as Father who does not have the Church as Mother.”). In fact the whole corpus of John is rich with this symbolism: John 1 and Genesis; Genesis 3 and “the woman” and Mary as “woman” at the beginning of John’s gospel (wedding in Cana) and at the cross; then the whole Rev 12 thing (again, written by St. John). But then, maybe typology is lost on you.

    That word is used of the church in Ephesians 1. I guess the church of Ephesus was also immaculately conceived.

    Are you referring to the word kecharitomene? Because it is not used in Ephesians 1:6 but the related word echaritosen is. Ephesians 1:6 εις επαινον δοξης της χαριτος αυτου ης εχαριτωσεν ημας εν τω ηγαπημενω To the praise of the glory of his grace, wherein he hath made us accepted in the beloved. Now I may just be an ignorant Catholic but the different tenses convey slightly different meanings, don’t they?

    The point is that you are committing eisegesis.

    Wow, someone learned a big word. “I say toe-may-toe and you say toe-mah-toe, I say exegesis and you say eisegesis…” That’s your point of view and by what authority should I believe it?

    RCC told you that you should believe that, and so you scour the BIble [sic] for support for it, no matter how weak.

    No, the Church said “This is the faith.” and I said “I believe it.” Then someone snottily said: “Oh yeah, where do you get that from the Bible?” and the Church responded with “Passages XY&Z support it and nowhere is it specifically contradicted.” To which I said, “When’s the next spaghetti dinner?”

    I would not believe in the Gospels were it not for the authority of the Catholic Church. – St. Auggie

    Well, that’s my response. To be honest, you don’t need to respond to me since I more than likely won’t be responding again. I only responded this time out of courtesy. Frankly I consider you a caricature (as I do any devotee of James White) and only posted initially on a sarcastic lark. It may not be charitable but it is the truth.

    James G

Leave a Reply

Please log in using one of these methods to post your comment:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: