authority


#1

I can understand needing the Church as the spiritual authority of our faith via the guidance of the bible, sacred Tradition, and the magesterium. I understand the Church is guided by the Holy Spirit, is the Pillar and Foundation of Truth, and the gates of Hell will never prevail against it. It is this authority which aids in my understand of the one, true, Catholic Faith.

However, if I was to argue from another perspective, I would say that there wasn’t ONE church prior to Christ’s birth. I would say that there wasn’t a need for a spiritual authority prior to Christ’s birth, so there isn’t a need for a spiritual authority now (ie: the idea that all believers, regardless of denomination, makes up Christ’s invisible Church),

Please help me to understand how mankind was able to follow our Lord without spiritual authority prior to Christ’s establishment of His Church on earth.


#2

I would have to disagree with that. As best I can tell (being only nominally intelligent, and not Jewish) the Jewish faith is all about authority. Jesus tells the people, in regard to the Pharisees, that they are to “do as they say” while declaring them hypocrites in the exact same thought. Even in Old Testament times, and during the time of Jesus life here on earth, it seems to me very clear that “authority” has always been central to God’s plan of Salvation.


#3

There was a Spiritual authority. Certainly the pharisees claimed this role. However, there is a more important person who did: God. “He has spoken through the prophets.” From Abraham to Elijah to Jeremiah to Isaiah, in pre-Christ times God spoke authoritatively through the prophets.


#4

And if i could expound on this…where as before God spoke directly through the prophets and through public Revelation, after the death of the last Apostle, public Revelation was “closed off” and God spoke through His Church by inspiration of the Holy Spirit, which is the fulfillment and culmination of the history of His Revelation.


#5

[quote=nasdravie]However, if I was to argue from another perspective, I would say that there wasn’t ONE church prior to Christ’s birth. I would say that there wasn’t a need for a spiritual authority prior to Christ’s birth, so there isn’t a need for a spiritual authority now (ie: the idea that all believers, regardless of denomination, makes up Christ’s invisible Church),

Please help me to understand how mankind was able to follow our Lord without spiritual authority prior to Christ’s establishment of His Church on earth.
[/quote]

No spiritual authority? Have you read the old testament?

  1. God gave man and woman authority over creation.
  2. God gave parents natural authority over their children.
  3. God sent the prophets who spoke with his spirit.
  4. God set up the priesthood, in the old testament when others wanted to be preists who had not the authority to do so the ground opened up and they were consumed.

Some particular examples include’ Moses’ struggle to keep his people from sin, God vested him with partiuclar authority.

God set up a priesthood he vested with particular authority.

God even set up in the temple for the cheif priest of the temple to speak with infalliblity in certain instances.

If you need me to I can cite verses for all of these, but that will take more time.


#6

[quote=nasdravie]I can understand needing the Church as the spiritual authority of our faith via the guidance of the bible, sacred Tradition, and the magesterium. I understand the Church is guided by the Holy Spirit, is the Pillar and Foundation of Truth, and the gates of Hell will never prevail against it. It is this authority which aids in my understand of the one, true, Catholic Faith.

However, if I was to argue from another perspective, I would say that there wasn’t ONE church prior to Christ’s birth. I would say that there wasn’t a need for a spiritual authority prior to Christ’s birth, so there isn’t a need for a spiritual authority now (ie: the idea that all believers, regardless of denomination, makes up Christ’s invisible Church),

Please help me to understand how mankind was able to follow our Lord without spiritual authority prior to Christ’s establishment of His Church on earth.
[/quote]

Further we see the priests, scribes and pharisees exercising authority in trials, not only leading to Jesus’ crucifixion, but also Paul. They tried to have Paul put on trial, only his status as a Roman citizen saved him from their execution.

To follow that up Paul urges Christians to not use the normal legal system for disputes.

1 Cor 6:3
Do you not know that we will judge angels? Then why not everyday matters?

He urges them to not let problems between brothers be decided by unbelievers. That is authority, the Church should decide disputes, not the civil authorities.

The ultimate exercising of authority was explained by Jesus Himself.

John 20:22-23
And when he had said this, he breathed on them and said to them, “Receive the holy Spirit. Whose sins you forgive are forgiven them, and whose sins you retain are retained.”

Now the Jews of the time believed only God could forgive sins.

Mark 2:7
"Why does this man speak that way? He is blaspheming. Who but God alone can forgive sins?"

Jesus responded that He did indeed have **authority **on Earth to forgive sins, and commanded the paralytic to arise and walk.


#7

Jesus wills that there be only one united true visible Church, so the whole world will believe that He is the Son of God. Such a Church will have true authority and respect. See John 17:21. :thumbsup:


#8

Thank you all.

I’m not trying to argue with anyone, and I’m not that smart…so nobody get upset. I’m just trying to understand.

My point is that now we can look to the Catholic Church for absolute Truth as guided by the Holy Spirit when we are faced with scriptures which are difficult to understand, etc… . Where did people of the Old Testament go for understanding of the absolute Truth of God’s revelation?

For example:

What if 2 prophets disagreed with each other as to God’s will? Would that even be possible? Were prophets infallible? How would you know they were a true prophet?

What if 2 priests or Pharisees disagreed with each other.

What if 2 separate communities passed on Sacred Tradition incorrectly? Was Sacred Tradition infallible?

The confirming of what constituted divinely inspired Old Testament scripture prior to Christ’s Church didn’t happen until after the new covenant. What if people were being read from heretic works?

There are probably easy answers to these…but I’d appreciate your help in resolving them for me. :slight_smile:

Thanks!


#9

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