The faithful in Christ know that apostolic teachings are important, as faith is believing in something yet unseen. Thus the intellect must know of the existence of the true Christ, His Messianic ministry, and His teachings before faith can work. The Twelve Apostles were told to go and baptize and teach to all nations (they were also told to go preach something else). In this regard Catholics conform their beliefs to the God’s Truth as taught by the Apostles. Truth is immutable, therefore if it is Truth for Peter, we can be assured it is Truth for us today, and it will be Truth for us tomorrow. This Truth cannot be destroyed regardless of how distorted it is presented. If you ever wanted to use the precepts of Solo Scriptura as the rule of faith in discerning truth in Scripture, you still need these eight individual principles to ‘measure’ or validate truth we need to look to Scripture, Tradition, the Catholic Church, Councils, the Fathers, the Pope, miracles, and natural reasoning. But this sounds like ‘Church.’
Private interpretations must conform to the doctrines of the Church, or better still, be reform. Those interpretations of the Magisterium of the Catholic Church have been jealously guarded by the Holy Spirit. Faithfull Christians of any stripe have an obligation to Christ to either ‘sign-up’ or like the rich man, walk away. Furthermore, there is an obligation “to strive so that the divine message of salvation may be known and accepted by all people throughout the world.” That is, we can’t hold our understanding, as it were, secrete. But, you shouldn’t expect to see ‘eye to eye’ there will be conflict or differences. When in good conscience I can’t conform, I remain silent until, as you say, I see the light. With prayer, perseverance and God’s good graces I will conform heart and mind to the Magisterium – that infallible teaching arm of Christ.
All of which is to say the Church forms our faith. But, where did ‘Church’ come from? Is it a body of likeminded JoeTs . Maybe it’s what in Scripture – Church is a body of bible reading and believing people? That is, Church is a subjective organization, haphazardly thrown together meant to ‘support’ my ideas and ideals of just what Christ is and what he means to me? But, I don’t need a ‘Church’ for that. I can get all the ‘T’s together and say ‘you believe in a way that supports my faith.’ In my household I’d add an ‘or else’ or two – they work pretty good for compliance. When the kids were small a switch worked – wouldn’t try it now though, I might be the one receiving stripes. That’s not faith for the ‘T’s or for me, and sure ain’t Church – because the authority resides in the ‘Big T’ – ME. I need some authority in which I can put my trust. If I get a chance I’ll try to explain that this should be a ‘guarded’ trust. Nevertheless, collecting all the T’s or T-like people and putting my soul in their hands makes me nervous. I’ve got to have something much better however.
In trusting my eternal soul to the Catholic Church, the Mystical Body of Christ, the Kingdom of God, I am trusting in God’s promise to Moses’ covenant Kingdom who established an eternal Seat of authority. I can reach back five or more millennia to test this authority. Now I’m getting somewhere - something to trust.
I’ve started off assuming there is an ‘authority,’ is this in fact the case? Where does this authority come from – yeah I know, God – but to whom and when was this transfer of authority made. What was Christ’s role in all this? Does this authority still exist, where’s the seat? Is, as a matter of fact ‘The Kingdom of God’ the seat of this authority; what happened to it? Your help exploring these questions would be appreciated; a lively debate is encouraged (of course, within the guidelines of our host).