In a discussion with a non -denom(church of christ) bible only pastor the other day on sola scriptura, I asked where the bible say it is sole and final source of Authority, and after some time of showing me verses that did not claim that, I asked What is the Pillar and Foundation of truth. He answered the bible and I said the bible says it is the church 1 Tim3:15 (of course I couldnt find it at the time)So,I am getting ready to reply to him and I wanted to share with you and maybe get some more info.
HERE IS THE LETTER
Hey,thank you for sending me this verse, you got me thinking so I decided to write a sermon on this for sunday.A correction I would make on my perspective is that I dont believe the scriptures are the pillar and support of truth.I,like you believe the church is the pillar and support.After all that is what Paul wrote.However remember what a support is, It upholds the truth,it is not the origin of truth or the truth itself.For example the church is not the truth,nor does the church originate the truth to man.But,the truth originates from god and is found in the scriptures.It was given to man through the apostles and the inspired writers.To make the church equal with the truth is to belive in a continual direct revelation from God to the Church.In the Catholic concept that would be acceptable because you believe that the Pope recieves direct revelation from God.I dont believe that at all !!!
Consider Jude 3
Strongly Consider Galatians1:6-9
An example of this departure from the truth which Paul writes about later to Timothy.He was predicting what was going to happen and as from history you know it did. (See1Tim4:1-3).
Now how can any church-Catholic or otherwise accept these teacings when Paul wrote that? Paul comes right out and says these teaching are fron Satan, not God.Yet some churches have accepted these views and claimed that it came fron God.The Catholic Church claims direct revelation to the Pope.In the past Popes have forbidden marriage to priests,nuns and divorced people.Scriptured never did any of that.Popes also claimed it was sinful to eat meat on fridays. Now I know that has been changed now, but its just another example of what Paul was talking about.Please understand I fully relize the Churches of christ have done things wrong as well.But the huge difference is between the Catholic Church and the Churches of Christ is that we regard scripture as the source of authority given by god through inspired men.But the Catholics give the weight of truth to the church.So whoever is the Pope has the authority to change whatever God tells him.Do Catholics believe that God was once offended by meat on friday and now hes not?The written word of God has remained the same since it was written.Now let me say this regarding my respect for the Catholic Churchbecause it has remained a very strong adherence to the truths on morality such as homosexuality,abortion and so on.So the Catholic Church has its sternghts and weaknesses and so do the Churches of Christ.but the clear difference is where we get our truth from.
A final question is if both the church and scriptures are equal in authority, then how can one explain when the two are in disagreement with one another?As a Ministr in this church,when I find this church teaching what is clearly wrong, I ask the church to change. What would happen in the Catholic Church?Wouldnt the response be something like the church cannot be wrong in its teachings,so no change is called for.
First ask him to show you where the scriptures are in disagreement with the church on the teachings concerning faith and morals, as these are the only thing the church declares to be infallible. Then you can approach that one concern so that he does not machine gun you with other topics without discussing the first point in full. Post his topic in this forum and ask for correct and loving ways to respond to them, then take what you like and use it.
Second, if the church were not equal in authority, then ask him where the canon(compellation) of inspired books of scripture came from. Ask where they are listed in scripture. they are not, it took the One Church to decide this by the power of the Holy Spirit working through the one church.
Also, ask him how the apostle Peter had the power to overturn circumcision if God declared it so in the OT. What power did peter have to do this? If the church has no power to declare what is and is not correct teaching, then how did Peter have any power to overturn this? Was he over turning God? No, he was speaking for God, as the earthly shepherd of His one church. Remember, Christ commanded Peter to feed His sheep and tend them three times, which makes Peter the earthly shepherd.
Thirdly, ask him what the early church did without the Bible for the first 382 years a.d.? The NT didn’t even begin to be written until the late 40s a.d. by Paul with Thessalonians. The entire collection of books claiming to be inspired were not collected until 197a.d. what did they use before then? Then the canon of both old and new were studied, prayed about and finally decided in 382a.d. some made the cut, some did not. The Church decided this. God utilized the One visible church to do this.
This same church brought forth the Truth to the world for the first 1521 years a.d. None other. Sure there were sects of gnostics and pagans, and they even wrote about the Church and opposed her, but the church as seen in Matthew 18:16-20 has the power to anathematize those who do not hear her. No other church has this power. Yes, the Church is the very foundation of the Truth with the apostles and Jesus Christ as the foundation, Jesus being the chief cornerstone of that foundation, and the church upholds Jesus and His teachings to the world and always has. Never will you see in scripture where the written scriptures are placed above the church in the NT. They used them to confirm who Jesus was as Messiah, but that is as far as it went. the Christians in scripture looked to the Church leaders(apostles) for the Truth when arguments and disagreeements arose, not the scriptures.
God knew very well what He was doing when he took that almsot 400 years to canonize scripture through His one Church. This time period made it very evident as to whom the authority was given. Christians looked at scripture through the lens of the apostles and their successors(the bishops) for the first 1500 years of Christianity. We are to hold to the doctrines of the apostles as scripture states, and we still do.
i hope this helps.
Peace to you, Justin
Off hand I would take him to task on the “direct revelation to the pope” remarks. Revelation closed with the death of the last apostle. To quote the catechism :no new public revelation is to be expected before the glorious manifestation of our Lord Jesus Christ. So, no,we do not believe that the pope receives direct revelation. We do believe that the pope is protected by the Holy Spirit against teaching doctrinal error. This is revealed in scripture, but he refuses to believe. Refer him to these verses. Infallibility is not the same thing as receiving new revelation. This article has some interesting points about the papacy and infallibility.
The pope forbidding non-marriage and the no meat on Fridays are disciplines. They are religious practices but not doctrine. So changing a discipline is no big deal. His remark about us thinking that God was once offended by meat on Friday but now He’s not is so far off target it’s hard to believe. It has nothing to do with God being offended. It is about offering up penance. And, by the way, Fridays are STILL penetential days. the ban on eating meat on Fridays was lifted (at least in the US)but only in lieu of another penance. (However, abstinence from meat is still a preferred penetential act). Anyway, there is a vast difference between discipline which aid us in conforming to Christ and dogma. Hopefully, he will understand.
ThanksJustintheMartyr and PrayerWarrior,
Those are great things to discuss with him.Now, I’m not the sharpest knife in the dwarer:whacky: but seeing how this subject is really about Authority. After reading his email a third time is he saying, that yes the Church is the pillar and foundation of truth and scriptures uphold that truth, but when he finds something in church teaching that he thinks is wrong he will ask the church to change. So would his position be
1)There is no such thing as an infallible church
2)There is no such thing as an Papal Infallibility
3)Is he relying on sola scriptura, when he says if he finds church teaching that is wrong,he will ask the church to change. Did he just make himself a Protestant Pope. Is this what is called circular reasoning. Any more replies would be appreciated.
It would be hard for anyone to guess where this person is coming from without actually talking to him.
After reading his email a third time is he saying, that yes the Church is the pillar and foundation
Which Church does he think is the pillar and bulwark of the truth? If the Church is the pillar and bulwark of the truth, are we wrong to listen to it with regards to matters of faith?
but when he finds something in church teaching that he thinks is wrong he will ask the church to change.
And who is he that has such authority? Who gave it to him? When and how?
Is he relying on sola scriptura…
Yes he would say that he is relying on Scripture Alone but in reality it is not scripture that he believes and trusts, but his interpretation of it. This quote from Augustine comes to mind:
If you believe what you like in the gospel, and reject what you don’t like, it is not the gospel you believe, but yourself.*
You are right I read the email 3 times before I think I got it.I have no idea what church he thinks is the pillar and bulwark of truth,he cant say his if its possibly teaching error:shrug: Sounds like solo-scriptura to me.
But,the truth originates from god and is found in the scriptures.It was given to man through the apostles and the inspired writers.To make the church equal with the truth is to belive in a continual direct revelation from God to the Church.In the Catholic concept that would be acceptable because you believe that the Pope recieves direct revelation from God.I dont believe that at all !!!
This pastor is brainwashed, and it is unlikely you will be able to deprogram him. Truth originates from God, but not all truth is contained in the scriptures, as the scriptures themselves say this.
John 21: 25 But there are also many other things which Jesus did; were every one of them to be written, I suppose that the world itself could not contain the books that would be written.
Acts 17:28 – Paul quotes the writings of the pagan poets when he taught at the Aeropagus. Thus, Paul appeals to sources outside of Scripture to teach about God.
1 Cor. 5:9 I wrote to you in my letter not to associate with immoral men;
 not at all meaning the immoral of this world, or the greedy and robbers, or idolaters, since then you would need to go out of the world.
 But rather I wrote to you not to associate with any one who bears the name of brother if he is guilty of immorality or greed, or is an idolater, reviler, drunkard, or robber – not even to eat with such a one.
This verse shows that a prior letter written to Corinth is equally authoritative but not part of the New Testament canon. Paul is again appealing to a source outside of Scripture to teach the Corinthians. This disproves Scripture alone.
The Catholic Church has NEVER claimed to be the sole possessor of truth, and no Catholic believes the Pope receives direct revelation from God. This pastor is heavily indoctrinated in anti-Catholic rhetoric, (brainwashed), has very little education, and accepts a Ku Klux Klan version of history.
IF you can demolish the falsehoods this pastor holds to be truth, he might be ready to read this:
By What Authority? A Challenge to Protestant Pastors
This pastor strikes me as the Jack Chick variety, who think they are exempt from the 8th Commandment, “Thou shalt not bear false witness against thy neighbor.”
Thanks for the info epostle.Your link to By What Authority kinda hits home, because it seems to me he doesnt believe the Church is guided by the Holy Spirit (infallible) or pastors. So how do they arrive at the truth?
They rely on human scholarship, lexicons, pagan Greek grammar, and the opinions of their predecessors. It’s all human effort, which amounts to Pelagianism. They believe the individual has the right to interpret the Bible for themselves, which means no Protestant can determine what is true. Division attests to this. They like the verse that says “the Holy Spirit will guide us into all truth…” but that does not mean individual believers acting apart from the Church. Individualism is a heresy and a pillar of sand for Protestantism in general.
Another big obstacle for such “pastors” is they have been fed a load of garbage concerning the history of the Church, especially the first 4 centuries, and especially how we got the bible. Did the Church “become corrupt” after the books of the Bible were compiled, or before? And will they ever give a date or council when this monumentous event occured that no one noticed until the 16th century??? No, they won’t, and this pastor will evade the question, just like every Protestant who thinks the Church “became corrupt”. Oh, it happened gradually, is the pat answer. OK, then what was the original teaching that was corrupt? Forget trying to get an answer, they haven’t got one, just empty rhetoric.
They have their own view of history and it doesn’t collaborate with anything in the accepted body of knowledge throughout the world. Another thing these ignorant pastors lack is any knowledge of the Early Church Fathers. This conspiracy of censurship comes from diploma mills who produce “pastors” who remain blind to the fact that none of the ECF were Protestants.
Here is an article about a Baptist “pastor” who claimed that Baptists were at the Council of Nicae.
[quote=bible only pastor] .After all that is what Paul wrote.However remember what a support is, It upholds the truth,it is not the origin of truth or the truth itself.For example the church is not the truth,nor does the church originate the truth to man.But,the truth originates from god and is found in the scriptures.It was given to man through the apostles and the inspired writers.
Jesus is the Source of all Truth. This truth He committed to the Apostles, who then committed to the Church. The Church reflected this truth (in part) in the scripture.
[quote=bible only pastor] To make the church equal with the truth is to belive in a continual direct revelation from God to the Church.In the Catholic concept that would be acceptable because you believe that the Pope recieves direct revelation from God.I dont believe that at all !!!
He receives revelation from God to the same extent that every other believer does. Do you deny that the Spirit of God speaks to you in your heart, and through Scripture?
[quote=bible only pastor] .
Now how can any church-Catholic or otherwise accept these teacings when Paul wrote that? Paul comes right out and says these teaching are fron Satan, not God.
Paul is talking about errors that were introduced. On the contrary, The Catholic Church teaches what was handed down by the Apostles.
[quote=bible only pastor] Yet some churches have accepted these views and claimed that it came fron God.The Catholic Church claims direct revelation to the Pope.
Can you please show where you find this claim? I think you are having a misunderstanding of the Catholic faith.
[quote=bible only pastor] In the past Popes have forbidden marriage to priests,nuns and divorced people.
The Church does not forbid marriage to any. On the contrary, if one wishes to become a eunuch for the Kingdom, the church will support them.
Jesus taught that divorce is a sin, and that if a divorced person remarries, it is adultery. The Church follows what He taught.
[quote=bible only pastor] Scriptured never did any of that.
You are right. Scripture reports that Jesus taught those things.
[quote=bible only pastor] Popes also claimed it was sinful to eat meat on fridays.
Please show where any pope ever said this.
[quote=bible only pastor] Now I know that has been changed now, but its just another example of what Paul was talking about.
This does not make sense. The writings about Paul make it clear that fasting was a regular as well as a special practice for him.
The Weight and Authority belongs to Jesus, who committed the Divine Deposit of Faith in Scripture, and to the Church.
[quote=bible only pastor] So whoever is the Pope has the authority to change whatever God tells him.
This is false. Please show where you got this idea. I think this is just antiCatholic propaganda.
[quote=bible only pastor] Do Catholics believe that God was once offended by meat on friday and now hes not?The written word of God has remained the same since it was written.
Why would any kind of spiritual discipline offend God? Jesus clearly taught that God is offended by people flaunting their fasting.
19 And Jesus said to them, "Can the wedding guests fast while the bridegroom is with them? As long as they have the bridegroom with them, they cannot fast. 20 The days will come, when the bridegroom is taken away from them, and then they will fast in that day.
Why would you find fault with Catholics for fasting? :shrug:
[quote=bible only pastor] Now let me say this regarding my respect for the Catholic Churchbecause it has remained a very strong adherence to the truths on morality such as homosexuality,abortion and so on.So the Catholic Church has its sternghts and weaknesses and so do the Churches of Christ.but the clear difference is where we get our truth from.
Catholics believe that Jesus is the Head of the Church.
[quote=bible only pastor] A final question is if both the church and scriptures are equal in authority, then how can one explain when the two are in disagreement with one another?As a Ministr in this church,when I find this church teaching what is clearly wrong, I ask the church to change. What would happen in the Catholic Church?Wouldnt the response be something like the church cannot be wrong in its teachings,so no change is called for.
Since both come from the same divine source, there are no contradictions. If it seems to you that there are, it is because you don’t understand one or the other.
Thanks All for the Responses,
This is probably the deepest debate I have ever gotten into about religion with anyone, this Pastor and I had a short talk on purgatory once and then we just kinda went our seperate ways.But searching scripture,reading all the responses and trying to use what little logic and reasoning i have,has really deepened my Faith. So I would like to share my responses,And i’ll try to be brief (Im longwinded:D )
HIM: Truth is found in Scriptures(sola and final authority)
ME: Truth is also found in the Church Matt16-18,28:20-John14:16,16:13
Me: And Tradition 2Thess:15, John21:25 and then asked for a list in scripture of inspired writings that would make up the New Testament.
Him:Pope recieves direct revelation from God
Me: I explained false statement, no nedd to address it.
Him: Difference in our Church and the Catholic Church is we regard Scripture as our authority and the Catholic Church regards the Church as theirs.
Me: Addressed it earlier,but Catholics regard Scripture as a primary source not the only source.Then I asked did the Church come out of the Bible or the Bible out of the Church?How did sola scriptura work in the early centuries?
HIM: If the Church and Scripture are equal in Authority,then how can one explain when they differ with one another?As a Minister in the Church, I would ask the Church to change,the Catholic Church would say,the Church cant be wrong therefore we wont change.
Me: The Catholic Church would do what the scriptures say in Matt18:15-18 they take it to the Church as the final Authority.Your Church would say we search scriptures with the elders and try to work it out, but you dont believe the Holy Spirit is guiding you in those matters, you dont believe the Church has the Authority, that leaves you with opinions left and leaves everyone else with one more denomination.You admitted the Church is the Pillar and Bulwark of Truth, Which Church is that Pillar and Bulwark?
p.s. I’m just a rookie trying to defend the Church, I hope and pray I didnt misrepresent
Excellent takes guanophore:thumbsup: