Question about authority

All Protestants believe that God (using fallible leaders), spoke authoritatively, through His written Word. Why is it so hard to believe, or accept the fact that God spoke, and continues to speak, authoritatively (using fallible leaders) via His Church, the same church that protected, preserved, and actively produced Sacred Scripture?

It’s hard to believe because every religious fanatic out there seems to believe God is speaking to them personally, and they use this radicalism to justify all kinds of violence, hate and terror, or on a smaller scale, “just” discrimination and intolerance.

Because Church teachings conflict with what they believe to be the message of Scripture.

ICXC NIKA

“Many Protestants”, yes. “Most Protestants”, possibly. “All Protestants”, no.

Protestant belief in the Bible ranges from “This particular version and this one alone is the Absolute Truth of God’s Holy Word and everything in it is literally true” to “The Bible is a compilation of what our undereducated forebears believed, and is not to be taken seriously by sophisticated, modern Christians”. It is possible to find that entire range in a single parish.

The most commonly asserted (but quite possibly not the most commonly believed) position is described here, and you might note how emphatically it separates the authority of the Bible from the authority of the Church.

Why is it so hard to believe, or accept the fact that God spoke, and continues to speak, authoritatively (using fallible leaders) via His Church, the same church that protected, preserved, and actively produced Sacred Scripture?

Quite possibly because the text is a message of fixed content, and is therefore a stable source, as reliable tomorrow as it was yesterday. The same cannot be said of any mortal or collection of mortals, since we change over time.

In other words, where Catholics (traditionally) idealize the Church, Protestants (stereotypically) idealize the Bible.

So God (using fallible leaders), spoke authoritatively, through His written Word and since this text is a message of fixed content, (and is therefore a stable source, as reliable tomorrow as it was yesterday), it can be trusted. What about the idea that God continues to speak authoritatively via His Church, giving way to a message of fixed content, doctrinally speaking, (i.e. Jesus’ church is therefore a stable source, as reliable tomorrow as it was yesterday, which is certainly scriptural?

If so, then we need to add that to the bible?

Add to the bible…Haha…

:hmmm: Last I checked, Jesus’ church was, and still is the pillar and foundation of truth; through the church, the manifold wisdom of God should be made known; that the Holy Spirit was in fact sent to Jesus’ church to guide His church into all truth (not some truth) until the end of time? We don’t need to add anything; it’s all in there brother.:thumbsup: Sure wish I could find, within the pages of scripture, these types of statements vis-a-vis authority?

it’s already in the Bible.

1 Timothy 3:15

if the Church is the pillar and foundation of truth then it can’t teach error.

Sometimes I wonder why certain folks always ignore that passage. :shrug:

It’s a little hard to ignore when people are constantly blasting you with it.

But go back and examine the picture that is presented. A foundation and a pillar have a particular function. A job that they do . Their reason for being is to hold something up. Other wise we have no need for them. So the churches function then is to hold up the truth. Why? So that the world can see it. Truth is not a church, it is a person-Jesus.

Not an excuse to lord it over others.

And yet I am always ignored when I mention it, at least until you. Thanks for responding brother; it’s refreshing.

BTW, I know of no churches that lord it over others.

You are right: Jesus is truth, and His church is the pillar and foundation of truth, entrusted with the mission of imparting truth to the world, successfully I might add, because God is the One preserving said truth within His church. We need the visible pillar and foundation of truth, given to the world by Jesus, which is Jesus’ Church i.e. we need the earthly pillar and foundation of Jesus Christ, for this is the means by which Jesus teaches the world; at least I do. :thumbsup::amen:

You’re welcome Joe,
But I hope you understand my side too. Its a matter of emphasis. Jesus said “if I be lifted up…” not “if my church be lifted up”. I know this is a fine point, but when we speak out, does the world see more of us and our tradition, or the love of Jesus himself. The truth is All about how much Jesus loves the world.

Let me add that I am not saying that we should not be seen. Jesus said that the world will see us by how much we “love the brethren”.

pride.

Actions sometimes speak louder than words.

Proper interpretation and understanding.

Christ is lifted up daily at mass and God adds to the Church those who are being saved. The Church is the body of Christ, His visible presents in the world, the pillar and ground of truth as scripture tells us. ** “The world”** may see but will always make excuses to not believe.

So do you see Mormans and JW’s both of which one can see how much they love the brethren, as part of the church?

Yeah, so don’t let them do a better job than we do. But, you see although they claim to be Christian, they don’t reach out in the name of Jesus. They will talk about Jehovah instead, and the Mormans are really deep in their own man-made traditions.

eazyduzit ]You’re welcome Joe,
But I hope you understand my side too. Its a matter of emphasis. Jesus said “if I be lifted up…” not “if my church be lifted up”. I know this is a fine point, but when we speak out, does the world see more of us and our tradition, or the love of Jesus himself. The truth is All about how much Jesus loves the world.

I know - Jesus said “if I be lifted up…” not “if my church be lifted up”. I can’t find that passage either. LOL. :DWell, the thread was designed to address authority, but I don’t mind discussing other things. :thumbsup:

Let me add that I am not saying that we should not be seen. Jesus said that the world will see us by how much we “love the brethren”.

:amen:

The communicated message is not the intended message, but the receivedcontinues to speak is not giving a fixed message unless s/he is speaking merely to endlessly repeat the words already given, in which case speaking is probably pointless. As soon as the speaker utters new words, that is new linguistic data for the audience, and so the received message changes, even if the speaker is trying to use the new words to communicate the old meaning (because words are a thoroughly inefficient signal medium). If I say, “Your lift is here,” and then, “You need to go now,” I might well have only one, unified idea in my head, but you have heard two distinct messages. Genesis does not say what Exodus says, nor what Leviticus says, etc; the message develops over the course of the canon.

However, by fixing the entire scope of the message to the canon alone, sola scriptura Protestants “freeze” it, making it a single, definite data set. They can then mine it for patterns and subtleties while acting upon the assurance that it cannot ever change: their interpretations can, but they can rest in the assurance that the text remains fixed.

Replacing that with “God speaking through the Church” is, from their perspective, tantamount to replacing a single voice with a cacophany. Catholicism believes that there is a single underlying voice in correct Catholic teaching, but “correct” is defined there with reference to a historical consensus, and so even to start to identify that voice requires a complete knowledge of the whole history of Catholic theology (q.v. the disagreements within Catholicism about the sum total of what has been pronounced ex cathedra). Since Catholics continue to speak, that consensus continues to develop, making the problem of identifying coherence yet more problematic.

In essence, you are asking them to believe in more than they already do (adding your Church to their Bible - and imagine how you would respond to a Muslim who told you that you needed to use Islamic theology to understand your Bible), while they shall also be understanding less (because the volume of data which they shall need to process is greater). That works in Catholicism because the responsibility for the knowledge is (via that extra belief) displaced onto the Church, but Protestantism is a much more individualised ideological system, and it is difficult for independently-minded people to surrender that independence.

In short, you are asking them to do something tremendously radical (i.e. expensive in terms of energy), and you would need to convince them that it is hugely profitable if you are going to have any hope of persuading them.

Mystophilus

The communicated message is not the intended message, but the receivedOK. So, unless the message is documented aka “fixed” (scripture that is) said message cannot be retained in it original form, ergo your next statement. Well, then that means that those early Catholic Church councils that defined dogma e.g. the Trinity, could be wrong, and Arius and the Mormons could be right. :shrug:

[quote]However, by fixing the entire scope of the message to the canon alone, sola scriptura Protestants “freeze” it, making it a single, definite data set. They can then mine it for patterns and subtleties while acting upon the assurance that it cannot ever change: their interpretations can, but they can rest in the assurance that the text remains fixed.

OK. However, scripture was not “fixed” for hundreds of years after the apostles walked the earth. What did those early Christians rely on: scripture as we know it today (codified and bound) or the Church?

Replacing that with “God speaking through the Church” is, from their perspective, tantamount to replacing a single voice with a cacophony.

:hmmm:All churches, including the CC, in terms of leadership, are viewed as a cacophony, necessitating the exclusive trust in scripture alone? OK. How would they interpret John 16:13 and John 14:16, as it relates to either the church or each baptised person, as he or she is guided by God?

I suppose, based on that, the Holy Spirit as per scripture is not guiding Jesus’ church into all truth i.e. the trustworthiness of God speaking through Jesus’ Church is not to be trusted. OK.

Catholicism believes that there is a single underlying voice in correct Catholic teaching, but “correct” is defined there with reference to a historical consensus, and so even to start to identify that voice requires a complete knowledge of the whole history of Catholic theology (q.v. the disagreements within Catholicism about the sum total of what has been pronounced ex cathedra).

So you (or they) are suggesting that not only has God failed to guide Jesus’ Church into all truth - God also failed in another way, due to the fact that doctrinal disagreements within the Catholic Church abound? Every Catholic must defer to the Magisterium vis-a-vis doctrinal matters.

Since Catholics continue to speak, that consensus continues to develop, making the problem of identifying coherence yet more problematic.

They would have to provide proof and the only way to do so is for them to defer to sacred scripture, interpret it for themselves, and compare their interpretation/understanding to the CC’s interpretation/understanding, resulting in beliefs contrary to the Catholic church, but as you mentioned - that won’t work because, although the text can be trusted, the interpretation cannot. :thumbsup:

In essence, you are asking them to believe in more than they already do (adding your Church to their Bible…

I would never ask them to add the CC to their bible. What about the leaders in their church preaching and teaching? After all, all churches subscribe to certain beliefs that must be adhered to - right or wrong i.e. if the bible is the only thing to be trusted, then why the need for church leaders?

  • and imagine how you would respond to a Muslim who told you that you needed to use Islamic theology to understand your Bible), while they shall also be understanding less (because the volume of data which they shall need to process is greater). That works in Catholicism because the responsibility for the knowledge is (via that extra belief) displaced onto the Church, but Protestantism is a much more individualised ideological system, and it is difficult for independently-minded people to surrender that independence.

So, to capsulize: we have a bible that can be trusted, but no way to discern the truths therein, due to the fact that interpretations cannot be trusted due to change, as per you opening statement: “They can then mine it for patterns and subtleties while acting upon the assurance that it cannot ever change: their interpretations can, but they can rest in the assurance that the text remains fixed.”

In short, you are asking them to do something tremendously radical (i.e. expensive in terms of energy), and you would need to convince them that it is hugely profitable if you are going to have any hope of persuading them.

Nah. I am asking them to do as scripture says vis-a-vis Jesus’ church, trusting that the Holy Spirit is guiding Jesus’ church into all truth, and it’s there job to locate what they believe to be, Jesus’ church; that’s it. The bible as the Christians sole rule of faith is unbiblical, so why should they accept/embrace it?:shrug::confused:
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