This is from another thread, the discussion was getting way off topic.
Originally Posted by New_Life
There is no question that Jesus is the founder of Christianity and that the apostles carried the gospel message to the world. They were known as “Christians” (Acts 11:26). I agree that the final authority on matters of faith and practice are not found in Luther or Calvin, and I would also include here the Pope. Final authority rests on God and his Word. So whenever these men disagree with Scripture, I disagree with them.
The problem is, it is not for us to decide what disagrees with Scriptures and which does not. Luther and Calvin’s reformation has other motifs more political and more focused on the Church’s running than her doctrines.
Leaving the question of Peter and the rock aside for a moment, I agree that God will perfect and finish the work he has begun in his redeemed people (i.e. glorification; Phil. 1:6; Heb. 12:2). If you are referring to the Roman Catholic church, you should know as well as I, that the Roman Catholic church is not perfect (a quick look at the news and Church History will quickly dispel that notion). Protestantism is not perfect either, for that matter.
We must disctinct the sanctity and holiness of the Holy Mother Church to the sinfulness of her chlildren and her clergy. As a Church she is holy and stands on a rock which the Lord promised “the gates of Hell shall not prevail.” In that matter, she is perfect in guarding the Holy Faith and the fullness of Truth revealed by God through the Holy Ghost.
If you are using the term “Catholic” to mean “Roman Catholic,” I disagree. You won’t find Roman Catholic doctrines such as purgatory, the bodily assumption of Mary, Mary’s immaculate conception, papal infallibility, the office of the Pope as the supreme head of all Christians, etc., in Scripture.
That’s because Sacred Scripture comes from the Church, not the other way around. The Church holds the authority to teach all peoples, given the Holy Ghost who leads her into all Truth. The authority, passed down in an unbroken line of apostolic succession, is found the Sacred Magisterium.
The Sacred Magisterium draws its teachings from Sacred Tradition and Sacred Scripture (which is a separated form of Tradition).
If the above cannot be accepted, the discussion can go nowhere, I’m afraid.
I use the term “Reformed” in front of the word Protestant to emphasize that I hold to the central teachings of the Reformers (The 5 solas) as opposed to many so called protestants today who do not.
So you practice devotions to Mary and the saints? Luther did.
I do know what church Jesus was talking about - those that are truly born again by grace alone through faith alone in Jesus Christ alone, for the glory of God alone, and who live and strive for Christ-likeness. There was no “Roman Catholic Church” in Jesus day, nor in the days of the apostles. There was a “Christian” church, comprised of Jesus’ sheep. The gates of hell haven’t prevailed because even now there are true believers in Jesus. Institutions fail. The Roman Catholic Church has committed horrible acts in the name of God, just as many protestants have. It’s not the visible church that is Jesus’, but the invisible church all over the world.
Of course there was one “Christian” Church, no one dissented until the Luther, Calvin et al and the Anglicans did. That Chrustian Church was Catholic in teaching and doctrines. Read the writings of the early Church Fathers, and you can be surprised how “Catholic” they sound.
“Institutions fail,” huh? Hmm… I wouldn’t call an instituion that’s 2000-years old – one that’s seen the rise and falls of empires, kingdoms, nations, one that’s much much older than its dissenters, one’s that is now the oldest living one on earth – “failing” now, would I?
At any rate, the term is “Catholic” not “Roman Catholic” because we also have “Coptic” Catholic, “Byzantine Catholic” and others of different rites united under one Bishop of Rome, Successor of the Fisherman.