huh?


#1

My brother in law and I are having a little disagreement about
authority. It boils down to the fact that he denies that Christ
founded a visible church and gave it His authority.

Now can any one of you great Catholic apologists out there tell me why he highlighted these sections of Scripture. I’m not sure the message he’s trying to send. Can anyone tell me what it is he’s focusing on so that I can better answer. Obviously he thinks that they are ‘proof texts’ for something. I’m just not sure what.

Thanks. Here they are:

Phil 3:8-14 Yea doubtless, and I count all things but loss for the excellency of the knowledge of Christ Jesus my Lord: for whom I have suffered the loss of all things, and do count them but dung, that I may win Christ,
9 And be found in him, not having mine own righteousness, which is of the law, but that which is through the faith of Christ
, the righteousness which is of God by faith:

13 Brethren, I count not myself to have apprehended: but this one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind, and reaching forth unto those things which are before

14 I** press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus.**

Col 1:13-17
13 Who hath delivered us from the power of darkness, and
hath translated us into the kingdom of his dear Son: 14 In whom we have redemption through his blood, even the forgiveness of sins:
15 Who is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of every creature:
16 For by him were all things created, that are in heaven, and that are in earth, visible and invisible, whether they be thrones, or dominions, or principalities, or powers: all things were created by him, and for him:
17 And he is before all things, and by him all things consist.
(KJV)

Phil 2:9-11 Wherefore God also hath highly exalted him, and given him a name which is above every name:
10 That at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of things in heaven, and things in earth, and things under the earth;
11 And that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord
, to the glory of God the Father.


#2

Tell him you agree with all those passages 100 percent but would like to know how they relate to Church authority.


#3

Jesus selected 12 and gave them keys of authority, they selected successors, deacons, and priests. They exercised a visible authority that was documented in Acts and that authority is the Catholic Church from those earliest days till now. He wants to believe that the Catholic Church is wrong so he grasps at any illogical argument that he supposes supports his case.

Your brother in law is misinformed and must spend some time in the library reading books from impartial history scholars then catholic scholars. It seems to me if you can convince him to even start looking then he’ll be catholic before you know it. Seek and they shall find.

God Bless


#4

Well, I’ll give it my best shot, at least my opinion of what I think he is generally driving at.

I’m assuming the bold is a repeat of his emphasis?

This seems to be a basic appeal to faith alone, rejecting any notion of “works” as required to get to heaven – particularly any works as prescribed by the Church. Of course, this type of proof texting ignores one major detail – our Lord specifically talked about the need to do works as well as believe, for it is by our works that we show the truth of our faith. Not all those who call “Lord, Lord” will enter the kingdom, but only those who do the work of the Lord… I would remind him that Paul is not Christ. (Well, maybe not… Protestants tend not to like it when you accuse them of ignoring Jesus’ words in favor of Paul’s…)

It is also significant that he left out the next three verses in favor of going straight to 13 (or did you edit it?)

The next three verses (RSV translation) are:

10 that I may know him and the power of his resurrection, and may share his sufferings, becoming like him in his death,
11 that if possible I may attain the resurrection from the dead.
12 Not that I have already obtained this or am already perfect; but I press on to make it my own, because Christ Jesus has made me his own.

These are significant – note the words “if possible” and “I press on to make it my own.” These verses, taken into context with the others, may in fact point to the fact that this is a continous process of conversion to Christ – not a once saved, always saved viewpoint.

13 Brethren, I count not myself to have apprehended: but this one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind, and reaching forth unto those things which are before
14 I** press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus.**

I gather that he’s in some way saying that the Church “died” with Peter and the death of the apostles – a common Protestant accusation. Once they died (or at least, all the Biblical writers died) all authority died with them. As such, we are left with the Book and are now to be directed by the Spirit alone, who will tell us how we should interpret the Bible.

Note that the next verses say:

15 Let those of us who are mature be thus minded; and if in anything you are otherwise minded, God will reveal that also to you.
16 Only let us hold true to what we have attained

Notice that on its own, verse 15 might seem to agree with the “Bible alone” interpretation – but verse 16 would seem to say that we should maintain what has been taught before (ie, the Church’s authority and traditions).

In a nutshell, this whole thing shows that A) proof texting runs into problems, probably far more than I have listed here as I am not a Biblical scholar and only read around the pertinant passages. B) It is dangerous to take Paul’s word alone in contradiction (or at least without acknowledgement) of what Our Lord Himself said in the Gospels. Inspired as the epistles of Paul are, we cannot read them alone or as being greater than Jesus Himself!

(continued…)


#5

Col 1:13-17
13 Who hath delivered us from the power of darkness, and
**hath translated us into the kingdom of his dear Son: **
14 In whom we have redemption through his blood, even the forgiveness of sins:
15 Who is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of every creature:
16 For by him were all things created, that are in heaven, and that are in earth, visible and invisible, whether they be thrones, or dominions, or principalities, or powers: all things were created by him, and for him:
17 And he is before all things, and by him all things consist.

Again, he seems to be arguing that it is “me and Jesus,” that the Church has no role to play in salvation, but that Jesus is all anyone needs. However, nowhere here does this specific text deny the Church – it says exactly what the Church has always said about Jesus Christ, who is the Head of the Church.

I fail to see how this proves anything for him, and in fact, later in Colossians (RSV), Paul says:

21 And you, who once were estranged and hostile in mind, doing evil deeds,
22 he has now reconciled in his body of flesh by his death, in order to present you holy and blameless and irreproachable before him,
23 provided that you continue in the faith, stable and steadfast, not shifting from the hope of the gospel which you heard, which has been preached to every creature under heaven, and of which I, Paul, became a minister.

Note verse 23… provided that you continue in the faith. Continue, as you have been taught. What had been taught to Paul? The Gospel message orally (by tradition) through the Church! The Gospel that Paul heard was not from some Book, it was from the Church, from Peter and the apostles, and the others whom they laid hands on as described in the Acts of the Apostles. This also shows that there is an “if” attached to salvation – salvation can be lost, which is why Catholics believe that we have been saved, are being saved, and hope to be saved.

Phil 2:9-11 Wherefore God also hath highly exalted him, and given him a name which is above every name:
10 That at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of things in heaven, and things in earth, and things under the earth;
11 And that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.

Again, he is saying that Jesus alone is our God (uh, yes…we agree there) and trying to say that because of that, the Church cannot have authority. However, where does he get that idea from? Why is it an either/or proposition? If God is omnipotent and omni-everything else, why must Protestants always say Jesus or Church, faith *or *works, etc… why would the fact of the Church being granted authority by Jesus Christ, its head, threaten the authority of God?

The Catholic Church agrees with all of these verses. The Church does not agree with his belief that because of all these verses it follows that there cannot be an authoritative Church – to the Catholic understanding, this is not an either/or proposition, but a both/and one… they are not mutually exclusive.

Hmmm… :hmmm:

+veritas+


#6

Thanks for the responses. Especially that of ‘veritas’. That’s exactly what I was looking for. A play-by-play. I knew he was
trying to say some things in there that were against the Church…I just couldn’t pinpoint it as well as you. Thanks so much! I hope that you don’t mind, but I edited and used your information in response to his letter.

Please pray for me this very Saturday. We are having a Christmas family get together…and my brother-in-law (who I am having this ‘disagreement with’.)…is going to be there. Frankly, I’m scared. It’s easier to do apologetics in e-mails, than do verbal arguments. And he’s quite well-versed. The other part of the family are very uninformed Catholics (most of them not even attending Catholic churches, and/or only doing so because they were raised Catholic and are very nominal cafeteria types). So we have some secularized family, and the born-again Evangelical couple. And then there’s me. I not only have to argue and defend Catholicism from Evangelicals, but from poor Catholics as well.
I hope and pray that the conversation doesn’t lead into religion; and, if it does, that my brother-in-law (Paul) can refrain from stating or insinuating anything anti-Catholic :mad: …because I feel an obligation to defend the Church.

Please pray that, if I DO have to defend the Church, that the Holy Spirit will guide me and protect me. :thumbsup:

Perhaps my worry is for nothing, and it will all go smoothly. :rolleyes:

Oh, and get this…guess what I got him as a Christmas gift (before this discussion broke out)? A copy of ‘The Everlasting Man’ by G.K. Chesterton. Yeesh! I’m a bit scared of his reaction. I hope its a friendly one.

Anyhow, thanks again for the information, veritas! That’s exactly what I wanted! You did an excellent job, in my opinion.


#7

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