Infallibility and the Source of Authority


#1

Greetings!

I was thinking about this today, and I am looking for some opinions and comments on the following questions;

Do you think the infallibility that guided the authors of the books of the Bible is the same that guides the Church? Is it the guidance of the Holy Spirit in one case, or the other, or neither, or both?


#2

The Holy Spirit guided the authors of Sacred Scripture and guides the Magisterium of the Church.

Timothy 3:16 says: “All scripture is inspired by God…”

Acts 1:16 says: [size=2]“Brethren, the scripture had to be fulfilled, which the Holy Spirit spoke beforehand by the mouth of David…”[/size]

In John 16:13, Jesus says: “When the Spirit of truth comes, he will guide you into all the truth…”
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[size=2]In Acts 15, the apostles and presbyters (bishops) of the Church met in council in Jerusalem to decide the issue of whether Gentile converts needed to be circumcised or not. When issuing their decree, they wrote: “For it has seemed good to the Holy Spirit and to us…” (Acts 15:28)
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#3

Do you think the infallibility that guided the authors of the books of the Bible is the same that guides the Church?

Yes, it is the Holy Spirit that guided the authors and also guides the Church.

Is it the guidance of the Holy Spirit in one case, or the other, or neither, or both?

It is the Holy Spirit. It is also the Holy Spirit that guided the Church in the Canonization of Scripture. Without the Holy Spirit guiding the Church, there would be no way of identifying which books belong in the bible.

Additionally, it is the Holy Spirit that guides the Church in properly interpreting what is contained in the bible.

Peace,

MilesJesu


#4

It is the same Holy Spirit, but not in the Same Way!!!

The guidance of the bible authors was to further reveal the Word and the Will of God. All Revelation ended with the death of the last apostle. If the author of a bible book didn’t know what to write, God put the words into his pen, so to speak.

The guidance of the Church is to prevent the teaching of a falsehood. If the Church Magesterium does not fully comprehend an issue, such as the Trinity, it remains silent. This is the guidance given by the Holy Spirit.

NotWorthy


#5

Dear Angelo - You raise a great point! I am a convert from the Evangelical church, and our seperated brethern (the Protestants) have no trouble believing that Matthew, Mark, Luke, John, Paul, Peter, James and Jude were infallible (thru the power of the Holy Spirit) while they were writing the New Testament - but they shake their heads in horror at the thought of the Holy Spirit using men throughout the ages to infallibly interpret what was infallibly written. That doesn’t really make sense!! Why would God use men to infallibly write the New testament, but then leave us to our own devices to interpret the Scriptures. Praise God for our Holy Father and the teaching Magisterium of the Church. God Bless, Kate


#6

Thank you all for your responses!

It did, and does, seem to me that it would be both counter intuitive and just plain silly for God to provide humanity with infallible guidance during the writing of His Word, but not during the application and interpretation of it. Both are equally susceptible to error.

Many of Evangelicals are very bright people and passionate about their faith. I wonder what they would say to this? In my experience, very few of them argue for a literal translation, and so interpretation must be a part of the transmission of the Word. Their own pastors engage in that interpreation every day, in their churches and on the radio.

Do they despise the Chuch’s authority because they see it as an institution, and not the Body of Christ perhaps?


#7

[quote=5SmoothStones]Greetings!

I was thinking about this today, and I am looking for some opinions and comments on the following questions;

Do you think the infallibility that guided the authors of the books of the Bible is the same that guides the Church? Is it the guidance of the Holy Spirit in one case, or the other, or neither, or both?
[/quote]

Of course, the same spirit of infallibility that utilized the holy authors of the Bible also continues to guide the Church and her earthly pastor (Vicar of Christ or Pope). It also guides the Bishops in Ecumenical council making them infallible when they speak as a whole in unity with the Pope.

:blessyou:


#8

5SmoothStones:

Do they despise the Chuch’s authority because they see it as an institution, and not the Body of Christ perhaps?

Well, the simple answer would be “yes.” However, I don’t think it’s quite so simple. Evangelicals, as a general rule, believe that the Catholic Church steadily fell into error over time, until by the time the Reformation came around, it was so far gone, the only thing a true Christian could do was leave the Church. Well, obviously you Catholics don’t believe this, and the more I learn, the less I am convinced of it myself, but that attitude is there.

Look at it this way. People tend to trust what they know. Most of you grew up in the Catholic Church and were taught Catholic Doctrine from birth. You have, in a sense, been raised by the Church, as if it was your mother. You trust the Church the same way you would trust a loving, kind and faithful mom. For Evangelicals, the Catholic Church is like someone else’s mom. She might be nice and everything, but the Evangelical doesn’t know her. So, I guess what I’m trying to say is the reason Evangelicals don’t accept the authority of the Catholic Church is not because they’re stupid. It’s because they haven’t been given any reason to believe in something they have not yet learned to trust.

Studies of the teachings of the early Church fathers are, admittedly, quite rare among Evangelicals. As such, with only the Bible as a basis for belief, Evangelicals do not see any justification for such beliefs as the Immaculate Conception, Transubstantiation, Papal Infallibility, the Assumption and other Catholic beliefs. Now, Catholics usually point to Bible passages to support their views, but I think it’s fair to say that the opinions of the early Church fathers are given significant weight when determining what a passage means. The Catholic meaning is not one a person is usually going to come up with on their own. Anyway, just trying to help explain how the “other side” thinks. God Bless! :slight_smile:


#9

[quote=The Iambic Pen]5SmoothStones:
Well, the simple answer would be “yes.” However, I don’t think it’s quite so simple. Evangelicals, as a general rule, believe that the Catholic Church steadily fell into error over time, until by the time the Reformation came around, it was so far gone, the only thing a true Christian could do was leave the Church. Well, obviously you Catholics don’t believe this, and the more I learn, the less I am convinced of it myself, but that attitude is there.

Look at it this way. People tend to trust what they know. Most of you grew up in the Catholic Church and were taught Catholic Doctrine from birth. You have, in a sense, been raised by the Church, as if it was your mother. You trust the Church the same way you would trust a loving, kind and faithful mom. For Evangelicals, the Catholic Church is like someone else’s mom. She might be nice and everything, but the Evangelical doesn’t know her. So, I guess what I’m trying to say is the reason Evangelicals don’t accept the authority of the Catholic Church is not because they’re stupid. It’s because they haven’t been given any reason to believe in something they have not yet learned to trust.

Studies of the teachings of the early Church fathers are, admittedly, quite rare among Evangelicals. As such, with only the Bible as a basis for belief, Evangelicals do not see any justification for such beliefs as the Immaculate Conception, Transubstantiation, Papal Infallibility, the Assumption and other Catholic beliefs. Now, Catholics usually point to Bible passages to support their views, but I think it’s fair to say that the opinions of the early Church fathers are given significant weight when determining what a passage means. The Catholic meaning is not one a person is usually going to come up with on their own. Anyway, just trying to help explain how the “other side” thinks. God Bless! :slight_smile:
[/quote]

This is probably the best explanation of why Protestants don’t recognize the authority of the Catholic Church that I’ve heard in a long time!! The first paragraph about the Church falling into error, I think is a bunch of hooey, though!

On the 2nd paragraph, if someone introduced you to their mother, why would you not want to get to know her? Especially if she had something worthwhile to say? You have to at least get to know someone before you can begin to trust her. Yet, Protestants won’t even give “our Mother” a chance! That’s the part I don’t understand!
With all the evidence, biblical, history, early church fathers, etc. that points to the Catholic Church, why would someone just ignore at least looking into the possiblity that there just might be something there?! Why would you just turn your back on someone who just introduced you to their mother - that would be rude, don’t you think? I guess I just won’t ever understand.(sigh)

Great anology, though!


#10

[quote=The Iambic Pen]Look at it this way. People tend to trust what they know. Most of you grew up in the Catholic Church and were taught Catholic Doctrine from birth. . . . . I guess what I’m trying to say is the reason Evangelicals don’t accept the authority of the Catholic Church is not because they’re stupid. It’s because they haven’t been given any reason to believe in something they have not yet learned to trust.
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Pen – you have a great way of putting things in perspective. But on these forums, my guess is that we are way topheavy with Converts. Many, many of us here grew up quite aggressively hating the Catholic Church – or to put it in Archbishop Fulton Sheen’s words, “what [we] mistakenly believe[d] to be the Catholic Church.” I plead guilty.


#11

[quote=DianJo]This is probably the best explanation of why Protestants don’t recognize the authority of the Catholic Church that I’ve heard in a long time!! The first paragraph about the Church falling into error, I think is a bunch of hooey, though!
[/quote]

You have not heard of abuses of indulgences and the priest Tetzel?


#12

[quote=kaycee]You have not heard of abuses of indulgences and the priest Tetzel?
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Yes, we’ve heard of it. And Jesus predicted it:

The kingdom of heaven may be likened to a man who sowed good seed in his field. While everyone was asleep his enemy came and sowed weeds all through the wheat, and then went off. When the crop grew and bore fruit, the weeds appeared as well. The slaves of the householder came to him and said, ‘Master, did you not sow good seed in your field? Where have the weeds come from?’ He answered, ‘An enemy has done this.’ His slaves said to him, ‘Do you want us to go and pull them up?’. He replied, 'No, if you pull up the weeds you might uproot the wheat along with them. Let them grow together until harvest; then at harvest time I will say to the harvesters, "First collect the weeds and tie them in bundles for burning; but gather the wheat into my barn."

Notice He didn’t say get rid of the field and go sow in a different field. Those in the Church that abuse the privelage will have dues, but the Church remains Holy!

Amen!

NotWorthy


#13

[quote=kaycee]You have not heard of abuses of indulgences and the priest Tetzel?
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kaycee,

Perhaps “error” was too general. How about “teaching error in a binding sense”? I believe that was the intent of the poster…

May God bless you richly,
RyanL


#14

[quote=5SmoothStones]Greetings!

I was thinking about this today, and I am looking for some opinions and comments on the following questions;

Do you think the infallibility that guided the authors of the books of the Bible is the same that guides the Church? Is it the guidance of the Holy Spirit in one case, or the other, or neither, or both?
[/quote]

I think the Holy Spirit guides the Church, insofar as the Church is the entire mystical Body of Christ.

Alan


#15

[quote=DianJo]This is probably the best explanation of why Protestants don’t recognize the authority of the Catholic Church that I’ve heard in a long time!! The first paragraph about the Church falling into error, I think is a bunch of hooey, though!

On the 2nd paragraph, if someone introduced you to their mother, why would you not want to get to know her? Especially if she had something worthwhile to say? You have to at least get to know someone before you can begin to trust her. Yet, Protestants won’t even give “our Mother” a chance! That’s the part I don’t understand!
With all the evidence, biblical, history, early church fathers, etc. that points to the Catholic Church, why would someone just ignore at least looking into the possiblity that there just might be something there?! Why would you just turn your back on someone who just introduced you to their mother - that would be rude, don’t you think? I guess I just won’t ever understand.(sigh)

Great anology, though!
[/quote]

Most protestant catechisms call the Holy Father the “anti-Christ.” As the foundation of their stated beliefs is a grave mistrust of Rome. I converted to the Catholic Church from the Evangelical church almost 5 years ago. I met often w/ elders and the pastor to discuss the truths I had learned abbout the Catholic Church. They were never able to disprove what I found, but tried to poke general holes in Catholicism by referring to Bible verses they thought were in contradiction w/ the Catholic Church (which I still find very ironic, since Catholics wrote the Bible!!!)

Anyway, after I converted, even though I had been very active in all sorts of ministries (sang in the worship band, helped with the high school ministry, helped w/ VBS) they practically threw me out of their church. I wasn’t an official member, or they would have. The only reason I maintained any type of a relationship w/ that church was because my husband, who is still a protestant, wanted us to continue attending there as a family w/ our 4 small children. After I converted, they no longer would allow me to do do any form of ministry. I was not allowed to change a diaper in the nursery - I could not assist in any way in the Sunday school my own children attended - they would not even allow me to assist w/ a craft or serve snacks!!! I guess they thought my mere presence might pollute the young, reformed souls.

Granted, my example might not be the norm - but that is my experience, and that’s what I know of the Evangelical church. We’ve since moved to a different state and every mainline protestant and non-denominational church we visited welcomed my assistance w/ any ministry, but it’s my experience that many people in the Evangelical church either think Catholics are in a cult, have never been properly exposed to the Gospel and therefore are not on the “narrow road,” or are heretics in grave error who are bound for hell. They would think that even if the “other person’s mother” looked nice, that she was probably a horrible person when no one was looking - there’s a fear of Catholicism in the Evangelical church that sometimes defies logic.

So I continually praise God for leading me to the Church Christ founded on the Rock - a Church led by infallibility, rather than by a vote of people’s opinions - because our opinions (even when we think the Bible backs us up) can be very wrong. What an unbelievable gift we have in the infallible teachings of the Church.

Anyone who wants to pray for my husband and four kids, I’d sure appreciate it - I go to Mass myself, then we go to church as a family at the protestant church. . . it has been my fervent prayer that we will someday be united in the Catholic Church. Kate


#16

Kate, How wonderful that you are home! - even if is without the rest of your family. I feel for you.

My family is split, too. My husband and his twin boys (my step-sons) are Baptist and me and my son are Catholic! Just recently (last 2 weeks), my mother-in-law passed away and my father-in-law will be coming to live with us (my husband’s family is Baptist, too). So many people from our Catholic Church have offered to help Mr. Bill through this time. They want me to bring him to some healing masses and they have said that they would welcome him in any volunteer work he might be interested in (just to help keep him busy)! I don’t know if he’ll take them up on his offer. Maybe he can go with me sometimes - I’m always doing something there. Maybe some of it will rub off! This seems to be the very opposite of what you had the misfortune of experiencing.

Pray, say your rosary, that by your example, you can lead the others in your family home too! That’s what I do.


#17

Dear Diann - Thanks for your kind words Kate


#18

[quote=kaycee]You have not heard of abuses of indulgences and the priest Tetzel?
[/quote]

I very well know the issue of indulgence and the priest Tetzel. I’m not saying that if there were abuses they should not have been corrected. There were many things in the Church at that time that needed reforming but there inlies the problem - Luther and his cohorts did not reform - they attacked! They ended up splitting Christ’s Chruch into so many fragments that it’s a crying shame!

The fact is, the Church never formally taught what was being spread by the priest at the time. Maybe it was a misunderstanding on his part, maybe the people minunderstood what he was saying - that happens a lot, even to this day, but the Church never taught it. The “abuse” needed to be stopped and explained. In fact it was - The Church (I believe it was at Trent), that because of the misundstanding over the donations for the building of St. Peters, monetary donations would no longer be accepted for building projects or anything else where induglences were offered back to the people. No money can be accepted where indulgences are concerned.

There were many within the Church during many times of the Church’s history that managed to make reforms without fracturing the Church. St. Benedict, St.Catherine of Sienna come immediately to mind. There were many within the Church that helped to make needed reforms.

My problem with Luther is how he went about handling the issue and how he let escalate. He even said it was not his intention to cause the divisions that resulted from his prideful actions. So yes, I am aware of indulgences and the priest Tetzel. Let’s just hope you understand Indulgences and their actual purpose.

Sorry, Luther is WAY OFF TOPIC.


#19

My problem with Luther is how he went about handling the issue and how he let escalate. He even said it was not his intention to cause the divisions that resulted from his prideful actions. So yes, I am aware of indulgences and the priest Tetzel. Let’s just hope you understand Indulgences and their actual purpose.

Sorry, Luther is WAY OFF TOPIC.

The Gospel of grace was being perverted! Luther was lucky they did not burn him at the stake! Was he to deny His Lord to keep unity?


#20

[quote=DianJo]I There were many things in the Church at that time that needed reforming but there inlies the problem - Luther and his cohorts did not reform - they attacked!
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The saints are the best reformers in the Church.


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