SPLIT: What is the church and its authority?

So many today have been mislead by a 16th century European invention. Where did the reformers get the bible? Who tested those 73 books (and so very many others) before winnowing the selection down to those that were solemnly declared to be inspired by God?

The Church. The one Church that Jesus founded (Matthew 16, Matthew 18). The Acts 15 Church. Not that is in the bible.

But, you disagree because you have been taught to reject the Acts 15 Church. The fault is not yours. Yu are here asking questions, which is excellent. The fault is upon those who taught you. They might not have read James 3.

matt 18 what?

We have the Bible, which we believe to be the inspired Word of God. However, Christ knew the Church would need leadership and provided for this need before he ascended.

We Catholics believe in addition to scripture, we have the “Magesterium” of the Church, for example, the basis of which is included in scripture.

Christ said that **ALL **authority in heaven and earth had been given to him. He, in turn, asked Peter (3 times) and him alone, to shepherd his sheep.

Christ said he was giving Peter the “keys to the kingdom” that what he held bound on earth would be held bound in heaven, that what he loosed on earth would be loosed in heaven. (Keys are the symbol of authority in this and another scripture passage).

Christ said Peter would be the “rock” on which he would build his Church, that the gates of hell would not prevail against it. Christ established his “Church”, not “churches” with Peter as the clear leader in Christ’s absence so that the Church would never be without leadership.

Peter had, what we call, “exclusivity”. His role was to be unique. Peter had just been given to make whatever decisions he needed to and his descendents, as well, who have authority transferred to them, in turn.

In addition, Christ turned to the apostles, gave them authority to forgive sins, something he did not give to the general public, just them.

Now, when Judas committed suicide, he was replaced by Matthew. When Peter was martyred, he was likewise replaced. This is what we would call in today’s terms, “offices”. The Catholic Church is the longest lasting formal institution in the world, and it was set up by Christ.

Now, since Christ, these leaders that he chose made decisions, which we believe may not be mentioned in the Bible but are just as binding. We believe Peter was our first leader, who we call “pope”.

Other churches have their own leaders, their own “popes”, but we don’t believe they have authority to bind or loose on earth, that only the leaders Christ chose and their descendents, legitimately elected have that right.

Christ sent them out, saying that whomever rejected them, rejected Christ and whomever rejected Christ rejected the Father who sent him.

We believe their decisions to be binding, and we listen to them as we listen to Christ. In fact, we believe to reject the “Magesterium” (which was set up by Christ), is to reject Christ. To reject Christ is to reject the one who sent him (God the Father).

Many others since, as foretold, came and have tried to split the Church into pieces. So far, they have succeeded splitting Christianity into something like 41,000 denominations.

With the Popes, they were under divine authority. By whose authority are all these others operating? Divine? I accept the original version as the legitimate one, not the ones springing up lately.

We accept not only the Bible but the word of those leaders who were set up by Christ, which are from the Catholic Church.

I believe the Catholic Church to be the only Church established by Christ and these new churches to be not inspired by God but by man. I believe them to be correct insofar as they are in communion with the Catholic Church.

The Church’s Magesterium has told us we are in “communion” with saints, and in additional to the biblical references I have already cited. We accept this.

However, anyone is free to reject the Church’s legitimate representatives, but again rejecting the Pope, Cardinals, Bishops and priests, and their decisions, is rejecting Christ.

I’ve heard that argument before and its nothing new to me. A Catholic will say that is why Jesus established the catholic church.

Then I’ll say no he did not. Then the catholic will say yes he did, look at these verses. Then I’ll take those same verses and say you misinterpreted them. Then it’ll go on back and forth and neither one of use will change our minds, but that’s fine I get enjoyment in the fact that we’re at least talking about God, when there are so many other things that we could talk about.

Most protestant glance over this part of the Bible, my apologies.

15 “If your brother or sister** sins,[c] go and point out their fault, just between the two of you. If they listen to you, you have won them over. 16 But if they will not listen, take one or two others along, so that ‘every matter may be established by the testimony of two or three witnesses.’[d] 17 If they still refuse to listen, tell it to the church; and if they refuse to listen even to the church, treat them as you would a pagan or a tax collector.

18 “Truly I tell you, whatever you bind on earth will be[e] bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth will be[f] loosed in heaven.

Matt 18:15-18

So what greater sin than heresy? And what church?**

And yet the Bible says the church is a living voice to settle such things.

Doesn’t the fact that different people could interpret the verses in such drastically different ways on such important issues bother you? We’re talking about salvation of souls here. The options are a) God instituted sola scriptura, and either didn’t realize or didn’t care that people living according to it would definitely end up believing things that jeopardize their salvation, or b) God didn’t institute sola scriptura.

That is, the mere fact that an honest back and forth fails to resolve the issue demonstrates that the system in faulty. A house built on sand, if you will. And I don’t particularly remember Jesus being all that complimentary about houses built on sand.

Well, the part about giving Peter the “keys to the kingdom”, in addition to being “the rock” on which he’d establish his Church, to bind and release, that what he says goes, to me, is pretty compelling.

Peter speaks for the apostles, is always listed first, but I guess, this doesn’t seem significant to non-Catholics. To me, all that seems very significant.

If we were to go to God for everything, didn’t need anybody else, why would the Church even be necessary to begin with? This Protestant argument seems to be an attempt to rid ourselves of the Church, to say all we need is the Bible and God, that no Church is needed.

Do you not get to talk about God much where you’re from tacdon? If so, I’m sorry.

How do you know we’re the ones misinterpreting? I don’t know about you, but the deeper I dig, the more I find the Catholic Church is the Rock even when I dig in places not necessarily Catholic. And since my father was Protestant most of my life, that was a lot of digging and disagreements to sift through.

So I call you a heretic and say you are not a Christian but a blasphemer, how do we settle it. It’s either true or false.

If you want to take it to the whole body of believers, fine. Send a questionnaire out to everyone.

1 billion Catholics
300 million Orthodox who agree with us

600 million Protestants of whom, half agree with us

The final tally is 1.6 billion Christians to 300 million. You lose.

Of course that is how you describe the church not how the Bible does.

The Bible says take your issue to the one church of Christ and the leadership will settle it, and if you don’t listen you Are cast from the body.

We could pick any sin really and it plays out the same

Relativism - your position

Or

Truth. - our position

The bible says take it to the church, which means whatever church your close to.

During that time it could of been the church that was in Jerusalem or one of the churches that Paul started.

Paul started preaching without the blessing of Peter.

If we are true to the bible verses you gave then we could go to my church and ask the pastor and the elders if they think I am sinning.

Why your church and not mine?

What happens if you disagree with the pastors of your church? (Hint this is how many denominations formed, by splitting due to disagreement with the pastors/elders)

Example:

Pastor A wants to baptize infants

Elders say it is wrong to do so…sinful even

Pastor A rejects them and follows scripture, in his opinion and the elders dismiss him (as a tax collector or heathen).

So he goes and starts his non denominational church which later grows into a denomination.

Earlier you said that the church was all believers, now it is just the church you attend

Make up your mind!

You’re trying to make the point that is why we need one church. The Catholic church in its 2000 years or so of existence hasn’t proven that Peter was the first pope.

Peter was a Jew. How many Jewish popes other than Peter has there been? If it was so important Peter would of wrote in a book who his successor was.

I never said it was just the church I attended. The church is all believers.

Where is that statement in the Bible?

Popes don’t choose their successors.

Nice try changing the subject.

Yes we need one church otherwise the church is just an extension of our personal opinion.

“If you are worshiping God who never disagrees with you, then you are likely worshipping an idealized version of yourself”

That is from protestant pastor Tim Keller

The idea that church is whatever you want it to be is contrary to scripture and tradition.

It seems you ignore verses that cause you problems, and explain away others. Do you really hold sola scriptura, or sola your opinion.

Ok, so how does the church of all believers tell us who is right and wrong, who has sinned and who hasn’t.

Wrong! Jesus never created this confusion where His followers couldn’t even agree on what Scripture to use and how to determine who is saved and how sin is contracted. No that is all man made.

You’re going back to that is why we need one church.

The Catholic church does not have the historical evidence to prove who Peter’s successor was. The Catholic church also can’t prove from scripture that Peter was the first pope. The catholic church also can not prove that Jesus built the church on Peter. They might give some verses, but those verses are misinterpreted.

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