Why is the Bible so complex when its message is so crucial?


#1

I was just thinking about the catechism's statements on baptism and how it is necessary for salvation. So necessary in fact that infants are given this sacrament to allow for their adoption into God's family as early as possible. However many evangelical Protestants don't see baptism as necessary for salvation but simply a sign of one's conversion. My question is: if it is so necessary why would it be debatable? I firmly believe that scripture is pretty clear on its necessity, which is just one of many reasons I'm converting. But many of my committed Christian friends don't believe this. This includes pastors and PhDs - not just your run of the mill pastor-said-it-so-I-believe-it Christians. If it is such a serious issue that involves the fate of a person's mortal soul, why don't the scriptures just come right out and say - if you don't get baptized you are going to hell so baptize infants as soon as you can, and don't ever let anyone tell you it's not necessary! Even as I'm writing this I am thinking of John 3 when Jesus basically says that, but other verses like Romans 10:9 just says "confess and believe" without mentioning baptism or good works for that matter. Also just to add to that it also says there in Romans 10 that anyone who calls on the name of The Lord will be saved, but Jesus says many will say "lord lord" and he will say depart I never knew you. You see sometimes it seems for every clear verse there is one to take away the clarity. If this is all so crucial why not be more clear?


#2

It's not debatable, that's the thing. There should be no confusion. Christ gave the world his Church so that they would be guided towards the Truth by the Holy Spirit.

Unfortunately, our species has a habit of thinking it knows better than God; and from that we get the various protestant groups who ignore the Truth in favor of their own interpretation. Unfortunately, most people adherent to protestant ideals won't listen to rational arguments, and instead rely on emotion-based misrepresentations of various scriptural passages to support their errant arguments.

I apologize if this sounds harsh, seeing as how you are converting. I'm tired, and in a bit of a bad mood >_> No offense was intended, it's just something I feel very strongly about.


#3

It speaks to the necessity of an infallible interpreter of the Bible :)
The Holy Spirit does well.
We can see the problem of private interpretation of the Bible.


#4

:thumbsup:

The Catechism states it even more emphatically…look at CCC 760

The Church- foreshadowed from the world’s beginning

**760 **Christians of the first centuries said, “**The world was created for the sake of the Church.”**153 God created the world for the sake of communion with his divine life, a communion brought about by the “convocation” of men in Christ, and this “convocation” is the Church. The Church is the goal of all things,154 and God permitted such painful upheavals as the angels’ fall and man’s sin only as occasions and means for displaying all the power of his arm and the whole measure of the love he wanted to give the world:

[INDENT]Just as** God’s will is creation and is called “the world,” **so **his intention is the salvation of men, and it is called “the Church.”**155

153** Pastor Hermae**, Vision 2,4,1:PG 2,899; cf.** Aristides**, Apol. 16,6; St. Justin, Apol. 2,7:PG 6,456; Tertullian, Apol. 31,3; 32,1:PL 1,508-509
.
154 Cf. St. Epiphanius, Panarion 1,1,5:PG 41,181C.

**155 **Clement of Alex., Pæd. 1,6,27:PG 8,281.

[/INDENT]

Pax Christi


#5

Jesus founded a Church and sent that Church out to proclaim the Gospel.

While reading the Sacred Scriptures is very very important --* not everyone could read (or can read today!) and yes some can misunderstand things or find somethings complex*.

Jesus did not send them out to hand out a book (even the Inspired Word of God) and say -- have them figure everything out to be saved.....

Jesus sent the out to proclaim him -- to propose to all true life in him.
And to teach all the nations....making disciples....

Even those who will never be able to read a word of the Bible or who are not able to understand all within its pages.

This the Church does to this day.

Faith comes through hearing.....

(While of course the Church is very keen on promoting the love and study of the Bible .....scborromeo.org/ccc/p1s1c2a3.htm ..... vatican.va/holy_father/benedict_xvi/apost_exhortations/documents/hf_ben-xvi_exh_20100930_verbum-domini_en.html)


#6

I think that the question to ask is…Why is it being debated NOW…After 2000 years.
Surely this was not a debate in the Early Church…the council of Jerusalem was not about when to baptize…The Ancient Churches, RC and EO, both Baptize infants…Luther - the founder of the Reformation - accepted infant baptism as do the Anglicans… So why is there a debate now?

The issue always comes back to authority. Once Scripture is stripped away from the authoritative Church all sorts of things begin to pop up.
And what is worse…Not only is it a matter of Scriptures being read independently of tradition and the whole history of teaching…but it is being read often times with a specific bias against that history and tradition. Often times this bias is unconscious but is evident in that many of more “independent” Christians (non-denominationals especially) simply assume that the Catholic Church got it wrong (whatever it was)…

OK - OK…The above is a bit of a rant and I apologize if I offend anyone…

But the bottom line is that the problem comes about because of that separation of the Holy Scripture from the Pillar and Foundation of Truth that is the 2000 year old Church.

As to the question of why the bible is so complex…There again it has to do with it’s purpose in being formed. It was never intended to be a text book. It is a reference text for the authoritative Church which compiled it and intended to assure a firm and common foundation for liturgical purposes.
It is for this reason that we have had catechisms over these many centuries…

Anyway - that’s my 2cents worth…

Peace
James


#7

[quote="Bookcat, post:5, topic:319777"]
Jesus founded a Church and sent that Church out to proclaim the Gospel.

While reading the Sacred Scriptures is very very important --* not everyone could read (or can read today!) and yes some can misunderstand things or find somethings complex*.

Jesus did not send them out to hand out a book (even the Inspired Word of God) and say -- have them figure everything out to be saved.....

Jesus sent the out to proclaim him -- to propose to all true life in him.
And to teach all the nations....making disciples....

Even those who will never be able to read a word of the Bible or who are not able to understand all within its pages.

This the Church does to this day.

Faith comes through hearing.....

(While of course the Church is very keen on promoting the love and study of the Bible .....scborromeo.org/ccc/p1s1c2a3.htm ..... vatican.va/holy_father/benedict_xvi/apost_exhortations/documents/hf_ben-xvi_exh_20100930_verbum-domini_en.html)

[/quote]

Unfortunately it was my experience at one Pentecostal "church" The pastor handed me a copy of 1 John and told me to figure it out for myself. When I told him after several readings of 1 John that I couldn't figure it out for myself I was treated as if I were a "retard" and told that other people didn't have a problem with it so why should I?:(


#8

That’s awful. That’s why I think it’s a good thing we have the Church to help us understand the scriptures. They were written in a very different world from today and it would be hard for us to just pick them up and understand everything.


#9

I’m going to draw a giant diagram


#10

I hope I can understand it once it is displayed!:hmmm:


#11

Many of these responses have spoken to one of the main reasons why I am converting. I'm 32 and for the past 15-16 years of my life I've been struggling with the bible trying to figure out a consistent hermeneutic. I have jumped from one idea to the next. Every time I picked up a book I would grab onto some new idea. God is giving me an incredible gift in the Catholic Church: the ability to breathe, soak in the beauty, and live my faith rather than spend my life figuring it out. To give into authority is freedom. I wish some of my Protestant friends would see it.

OP


#12

I am very happy to hear you say this ^^

Welcome home!!!


#13

A PhD doesn’t mean anything if you are taught things incorrectly to begin with. And while you may see the necessity, others only see what they are taught, or are taught fallacious arguments to reconcile what scripture clearly says to fit with their doctrine.


#14

"I give you praise, Father, Lord of heaven and earth, for although you have hidden these things from the wise and the learned you have revealed them to the childlike."

Hmmm! Maybe the're not that complex at all.:shrug:


#15

“PHD” can stand for post hole digger!:smiley:


#16

I’m currently in the same boat as you! My wife and I will be confirmed next Saturday! I love what you said about living your faith rather than spending your life figuring it out! I love this idea and this is going to become part of my way of explaining to others why I am making this transition. I appreciate your post! God bless!


#17

Hermen WHO?:hmmm:

BTW Welcome home guys!:smiley:


#18

That's great eyesopening I'm somewhat jealous - I will be starting RCIA with my wife in the fall to come in next Easter - so I have a year to go, but it will be worth it. God bless you on your journey!


#19

[quote="Almost_convert, post:18, topic:319777"]
That's great eyesopening I'm somewhat jealous - I will be starting RCIA with my wife in the fall to come in next Easter - so I have a year to go, but it will be worth it. God bless you on your journey!

[/quote]

Hey, congratulations! Welcome to the Church. :thumbsup:


#20

That does not surprise me because most protestants believe that they are the ultimate authority on what each Scripture verse means. So, there is basically no one authority on the meanings of the Scriptures in protestant circles except for themselves. That is why the Catholic Church alone has the authority to interpret the Scriptures. The Bible BELONGS to the Catholic Church. She shares it with the world. Protestants believe in “sola scriptura” that the only authority on Jesus’ teachings is the Bible. Well, my question then is: It is fact that the first written Bible didn’t see the light of day until at least 300 years after the last apostle died. If that is the case, how were the teachings of Jesus kept intact? Very simple: word of mouth=traditions. Even after the Catholic Church (St. Jerome) translated the texts of the various books of the Scriptures, a Bible would have been so expensive that only the richest would have been able to purchase a copy. The printing press didn’t appear on the scene for many centuries later. So again, the idea of sola scriptura falls apart. Ever wonder why there are over 250,000 Christian sects today (and that number is growing)? It is because when someone doesn’t agree with something that their church says, they leave and start their own church with their own interpretations of Scripture. There are sects today which even have their own “additions” to the Scriptures, such as the Book of Mormon and the Jehovah’s Witnesses which introduce bizarre ideas and beliefs.

No, Jesus gave His Church (not churches) all authority to interpret the Scriptures because He sent the Holy Spirit specifically to the Catholic Church to guide and protect it.


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