Interpretation: Were pre-canon Christians taught infallibly through oral tradition? & Do nominal RCs receive (or understand) f.o.t. infallbly thru RCC?


#1

Catholics say that b/c there was no widely-distributed Bible before the 4th century that the reliance was on oral tradition - that a ss standing results in the damnation of those early Christians b/c they didn’t have access to the Bible/ the authority/the fullness of truth.

This is silly. Even if we hold to a scripture/tradition/magesterium viewpoint there is the same problem b/c, just as there is no assurance that a particular, individual Bible interpretation is w/out error, likewise there is no assurance that a C priest/bishop/etc’s teaching about Cath. Tradition is w/out error. Furthermore, in order to know what the CC really teaches, one needs to do extensive research through canons and encyclicals and such and then try to interpret those…

A Cath. can err in interpreting the CC teaching just as a non-C can err in interpreting the Bible, just as a C pastor can err in relaying that info (as happens quite often. I’ve heard heretical, un-Catholic and even un-Christian teaching from priests – at Mass and in the confessional.). There is no difference between this and the early Christians having to rely on fallible men to relay the truths of the faith to them, whether they be oral, or written.

It seems to me, that holding to a Catholic position means that only the learned, high-positioned Catholic clergy have the f.o.t. that will give them what is sufficient for their salvation.

Also, we have always had authority with us: first through Jesus, then through Apostles, then through their writings. There is no gap. Regardless of someone having to relay that truth, the truth was there and I consider God merciful on those who may have received error in teaching b/c the info was not intermediated to them infallibly (not sure I said that right) – just as I would have to hope in the mercy of God upon those who receive false (Catholic or otherwise) teaching through heretical, or misinformed clergy.

Now, can we say the gates of hell prevail b/c some, or even most, are misinformed and taught error? In either case – whether the authority rested in the writings of the apostles (which were orally taught for 200-300 years) or in the tradition and magesterium of the overall CC – there was the possibility, and high probability, that error was being taught – just as it is today - at least for the laymen, which, btw, comprise the majority of the body of the church.

There is disagreement, at the parish level anyway, about many RC teachings. I know from experience that CC leaders don’t all interpret the teachings of the church the same way and don’t teach them all the same way. Now, I, and many other nominal Rcs feel ill-equipped, materially and intellectually, to fully understand all of the church’s writings on these various subjects.

So in the end, how is the nominal Catholic led to salvation through the fullness of truth/ the RCC? Does he have access to the numerous church declarations, dogmas and doctrines? Does he understand them? The CC is so big and the teachings so numerous and complicated and there is no assurance that those who explain it to the laymen will do so infallibly.

When it comes right down to it the nominal Christian is left a great measure to himself (and the H.S.) to determine how to follow Christ. This, I believe, is why many say the way to Christ is through our actions which prove our faith, and not what rituals we take part in or what the name of the church is. I think that part is fairly evident in the Bible (the moral part), and regardless of the fact that some Christians debate the basics of it it is clearly there for all who sincerely want to follow Christ.

I’m not advocating going to any ol church b/c it doesn’t matter, but I think the fruit of the church (the evidence of its faith) is basically more important than anything.

Your thoughts? (I know you won’t agree, but interested anyway)


#2

My thought is that this would be easier to read if fewer abbreviations were used.


#3

Sorry - I realize it was very unclear. I had copied it from my own notes and tried to squeeze too much into one post (and title). I’ve also tried to squeeze too many trains of thought into one without giving a clear explanation.

I’ve tried re-wording it a few times and still haven’t come out with anything easily-decipherable :o . I’ll keep working on it…


#4

**2 Timothy 3:16 All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness, 17 so that the man of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work. **


#5

Personally, I take offense at being called an “Xian.” The rest of your post is moot.


#6

**Acts 11:26 The disciples were called Christians **


#7

I can’t imagine why. For the sake of keeping the title shorter I abbreviated it best I could. I often abbreviate it that way in my own journaling, and as a Christian myself, can’t imagine why it would be offensive. Is it offensive simply b/c (because) you haven’t encountered it here before?

Anyway, sorry for whatever offense anyone may have found in it. Don’t understand, but sorry anyway.

Btw (meaning: “by the way”) - I am thoroughly convinced that trying to communicate and learn - interactively - via a message board such as this, is not the avenue for me, and kudos to anyone successful with it. It was simply a last-ditch effort on my part to gain some insight from a Catholic p.o.v. (meaning: “point of view”).

I will continue to trust the only thing I know how to trust (God’s Word, as revealed through His Apostles and Prophets; the original, Apostolic Tradition we are called to abide by) - and that with my human, fallible judgement.

I suspect the CC (that is: Catholic Church) expects only infallible, divine humans to be able to conclude what and where the “f.o.t.” (that is : fullness of truth) actually is.

Strangely, the responses thusfar are a perfect answer to my original question: we are all human, we all err, and in the end, we are all left to our own individual, fallible judgement. No church can ever be perfect as long as A) Fallible humanity governs it, and B) Fallible humanity has to interpret it. Catholics may believe that God governs it (the Roman, Catholic church, that is), but even with such a high claim there is no assurance that those within the church will infallibly interpret, understand, teach or live that infallible, fullness of truth - and that is what really matters. So, like I said, in the end, we are all left to ourselves and the indwelling H.S. (Holy Spirit)

I maintain that it is just as likely for a CHRISTian to err in his (am I going to receive criticism for using a male pronoun too?) individual interpretation of the Bible as he is to err in his individual interpretation of official, church teaching.

In the end, we’re all likely to embrace some truth, perhaps, some error as well…

Let’s seek to strip away our pride, prejudices, conditioning and “political correctness” so we will all accept the truth that Christ revealed and reveals (me included).

Thank you for solidifying my position against the authority of the Catholic Church. The route of our problems is our flawed, human condition. Until and unless we are willing to relinguish our pride, conditioning, prejudices, etc., none of us will understand the meaning of Christ and His teachings. This is the essential “disposition” I have often offered as a neccessary component to understanding Christ (that I have often been criticized for here…).

I will continue to seek to possess this disposition while you all argue about what and where the fullness of truth is (as if it matters when one lacks the proper disposition…)

Lord have mercy on us all…


#8

**John 15:13 But when he, the Spirit of truth, comes, he will guide you into all truth. He will not speak on his own; he will speak only what he hears, and he will tell you what is yet to come. 14 He will bring glory to me by taking from what is mine and making it known to you. 15 All that belongs to the Father is mine. That is why I said the Spirit will take from what is mine and make it known to you.
**


#9

I never dreamed a Christian would take the title of Christ out of Christian. You’re right, I had not seen “Xian” used at Catholic Answers before.
I have seen it used at other websites I visit, and it is almost always used by atheists in a demeaning and derogatory manner. I challenge those who have used it there, and I will challenge anyone who uses it here.
I ask that you show proper respect to our Savior by not “crossing out” his title as Messiah.


#10

For the same reason I don’t abbreviate “Chinese” by using “Chink”. It’s objectively offensive in spite of what the author intended and rationalizations of word history and speculations about others’ shortcomings won’t fly. It has nothing to do with being politically correct (which I’ll grant is a bad thing), but everything to do with treating your neighbor like human being.


#11

JoyToBeCatholic,

Wow, you put a ton out there. I can see your distress, and I admire your desire to seek the truth regardless of what paths it might lead you down. I am a companion of yours on this journey.

In so far as the “Church” is concerned I accept her authority as the one with the right “pedigree” shall we say. Regardless of the ups and downs of holiness in the Church, we can trace it back to the Christ through apostolic succession as well as writings and tradition.
I also accept the heirarchy and magesterium as good and necessary structures for the protection of the faith. No other Church has this kind of central authority and the result has been split after split after split. The Catholic Church, however, remains strong in her faith and traditions.

Having said that (and spending some time here at the boards) it is obvious that we,as plain catholics, cannot understand the intricacies of the faith. Just trying to read some of this stuff gives me a headache.
Mind you, I don’t dispute the good intentions of the Church, but most of us have not spent years studying theology, and philosophy. We are just trying to struggle through as best we can. - In this I hear you loud and clear.

All we can do is pray, and listen; be watchful and alert to the guidance of the Holy Spirit. I am a firm believer in the KIS principle (Keep It Simple). I try to walk in truth, and gentleness. I ask for God’s guidance and try to accept His will in my life. If that occasionally brings me into conflict with the Church, I fall back on a piece of scripture that sums it all up for me (but I rarely hear quoted)

Matthew 22; 36-40

“Teacher, which is the great commandment in the Law?”

And He said to him, “YOU SHALL LOVE THE LORD YOUR GOD WITH ALL YOUR HEART, AND WITH ALL YOUR SOUL, AND WITH ALL YOUR MIND.
This is the great and foremost commandment.
The second is like it, 'YOU SHALL LOVE YOUR NEIGHBOR AS YOURSELF.
***On these two commandments depend the whole Law and the Prophets.” ***

If all the law is based on these two commandments then, when in doubt, weigh your beliefs and actions against these.

Peace Fellow Traveller

James


#12

Of course not! The Church has always taught Infallibly from both Scripture and Sacred Tradition. Scripture as being whatever Scriptures were available at the time to them.


#13

Ok, thank you for clarifying why some found it offensive. It was not my intention to be offensive. I have not visited an atheist forum so I did not know this was considered “crossing out” Christ. X has often represented the cross for me as well, and although I wouldn’t want to replace the word Christian with Crosstian I myself have seen it as a suitable symbol to use in my own personal shorthand. Obviously my error was in quickly, and perhaps thoughtlessly, incorporating it into my post. I just never imagined it would be considered offensive.

For the same reason I don’t abbreviate “Chinese” by using “Chink”. It’s objectively offensive in spite of what the author intended and rationalizations of word history and speculations about others’ shortcomings won’t fly. It has nothing to do with being politically correct (which I’ll grant is a bad thing), but everything to do with treating your neighbor like human being.

Interesting. So now I’m accused of not treating my neighbor like a human being? :eek:

Wow, I appologized and yet still am receiving criticism, accusation and unforgiveness.

Btw - I disagree that the author’s intention “won’t fly”. Are you my judge??? It may not “fly” here, but I did appologize now that I understand the reason for the offense taken, and I trust my intention does “fly” with God.

Wow, you put a ton out there. I can see your distress, and I admire your desire to seek the truth regardless of what paths it might lead you down. I am a companion of yours on this journey…
If all the law is based on these two commandments then, when in doubt, weigh your beliefs and actions against these.

Peace Fellow Traveller

James

Thank you, James. It’s nice to see a response to my actual question. That is what I always fall back on; living the 2 commandments b/c I believe its our walk that is most important.
Bless You.

Now, like I said, the message board is not for me. Misunderstanding is all too common. I’m tired, not only of having to explain and re-explain myself, but also of having to watch others do so. I am not trying to offend anyone, but I don’t want to have to be scrupulous about everything I post either.

Bye, and God Bless!


#14

Interesting. So now I’m accused of not treating my neighbor like a human being? :eek:

Wow, I appologized and yet still am receiving criticism, accusation and unforgiveness.

Btw - I disagree that the author’s intention “won’t fly”. Are you my judge??? It may not “fly” here, but I did appologize now that I understand the reason for the offense taken, and I trust my intention does “fly” with God.

I missed your apology, so I apologize for that. So be it. I’ll drop the matter.


#15

Accepted, thank you.

Peace,


#16

Here is the Catholic answer, to be Catholic is an affirmation of God’s truth and submission to Him. To die to onself and to live for Christ. So yes and yes if they submit to Christ.

Catholicism is very simple and easy. Just put Jesus first and live for God not for yourself. Everything else is man based and self contradictory. Only Catholicism and it’s source, is God based

That answers it all, if you would like clarification just post the question and I can relate it to that answer.

In Christ
Scylla


#17

One quick note, I would mean nominal as those who do not know very much about the faith. As long as they are in submission to Christ then yes they would receive truth infallible through the RCC, no matter how simple their understanding of the faith is.

There are many nominal Catholics who are nominal in rejection of Christ, those would selectively understand and submit to what they desire to submit to as they prefer to sin without repentance, than to die to themselves in submission of Christ.

God Bless
Scylla


#18

“joy” has been questioning her faith for the past several years and what did some of you guys do? Jump down her throat for using’ XiaN’! Good job guys!:thumbsup: Christian charity lives! She’s in distress and you just added a bit more to her life- answering her question without being petulant would really have been the polite thing to do.:mad: God Bless you “Joy” -I’ll be praying for you. don’t let a few cranky folks turn you off catholicism. Christ is Born!! Alleluia!


#19

Undefined-perfect handle for you:D


#20

But I am sure every Christian, Catholic or otherwise, believes they are submitting to Christ (albeit not all truly die to self or bear their cross) whether through the Scriptures or through church teachings. Submission is not the problem (at least not for me - at least not that I am aware of). The problem is discerning what or where to be submissive. Catholics maintain that, for instance, if the early Christians didn’t have a mass-produced Bible, they could not have had access to everything essential for ones salvation (looking from a sola scriptura viewpoint). But I say that the problem is the same for the early Christians who - A) Didn’t have the plethora of official, Catholic documents from which to inform one’s conscience, and B) Had they had them at their disposal (as we do today) would they have understood/interpreted them correctly? Either way the problem rests with the individual. Catholics see this as proof for the need of an infallible, authoritative church, but I am saying that I can err just as easily in my evaluation of the church and its teachings as I can in my evaluation of how to interpret Scripture. Not only that, but as is often the case, the clergy at the parish level misinterpret official church teaching and lead many into error. In either case there is the problem of the fallibility of the individual. I can think of many, many reasons why I choose to put my faith in the Bible and the claim that the Catholic Church gave Scripture to us is not one of them. I can also think of many, many Scriptural and historical reasons why I do not believe the Catholic church to be the church Jesus spoke of establishing. Admittedly, I can also recall many good, historical proofs for the likelihood that the early, post-apostolic church was Catholic.

So, I have to make a choice here. It is not a question of will I submit, b/c I already know I will no matter what the choice ends up being. The bottom line though is that I need to CHOOSE to place my FAITH in one of these areas so that I will know HOW to submit to God.

I have a Bible - many in fact - from which to be nourished. I used to feel nourished by the CC through daily mass, liturgy of hours, frequent confession and private Catholic devotions (rosaries, chaplets, etc.), but my life no longer allows for this frequency of reception of the sacraments (I do still enjoy the lit. of hours for the most part). I find most if not all Catholic personal devotions to be unfruitful for me. I find many of them unnecessarily repetitious, superstitious, or to involve things I’m not fully in agreement with. But I feel very drawn to Scripture and this is where I feel I receive the most nourishment.

I can’t help but see Scripture entirely different from the Catholic church. God, the world, the church - all different. And what I find in Scripture makes sense to me. I also don’t find it coincidental that others share my Scriptural beliefs identically. I truly feel at home worshipping with them. I feel like an outsider in the Catholic church. I believe the church and most especially, nominal Catholics, have compromised Christian discipleship, cross-bearing, self-denial etc. for the wider road the rest of the world chooses to travel. Not saying all Catholics, but many - laypeople and clergy alike.

The bottom line for me is holiness of life because that is what is going to matter for me come the day I stand before God. I am not encouraged or edified by the Catholic church in this respect, and ironically, what I have received from my reading of the Catholic saints seems to point me away from the Catholic church and closer to what I believe Scripture to teach (and the church communitites that also teach it). From time to time my mind gets the best of me and I wonder if in leaving the Catholic church I have left greater means to attaining salvation, but a quickly as I return I find myself starving again.

Catholicism is very simple and easy. Just put Jesus first and live for God not for yourself. Everything else is man based and self contradictory. Only Catholicism and it’s source, is God based.

But I do believe I put Jesus first and live for Him alone and not me. And everything else (what I see taught by the Catholic church for instance) seems man-based and contradictory.

cont…


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