Sunday, January 10, 2010

Some recent conversations in the blogosphere continue to show how being Roman Catholic boils down to "sola ecclesia". For Roman Catholics, once you put your faith in trust and Rome all else is true because Rome says so.

It is difficult at times for me to understand why the RC system would be attractive, but Hodge provides some good insight:

"Romanists teach that the Church, as an external, visible society, consisting of those who profess the Christian religion, united in communion of the same sacraments and subjection to lawful pastors, and especially to the Pope of Rome, is divinely appointed to be the infallible teacher of men in all things pertaining to faith and practice. It is qualified for this office by the plenary revelation of the truth in the written and unwritten word of God, and by the supernatural guidance of the Holy Spirit vouchsafed to the bishops as official successors of the Apostles, or, to the Pope as the successor of Peter in his supremacy over the whole Church, and as vicar of Christ on earth.

There is something simple and grand in this theory. It is wonderfully adapted to the tastes and wants of men. It relieves them of personal responsibility. Everything is decided for them. Their salvation is secured by merely submitting to be saved by an infallible, sin-pardoning, and grace-imparting Church. Many may be inclined to think that it would have been a great blessing had Christ left on earth a visible representative of himself clothed with his authority to teach and govern, and an order of men dispersed through the world endowed with the gifts of the original Apostles, — men everywhere accessible, to whom we could resort in all times of difficulty and doubt, and whose decisions could be safely received as the decisions of Christ himself. God’s thoughts, however, are not as our thoughts. We know that when Christ was on earth, men did not believe or obey Him. We know that when the Apostles were still living, and their authority was still confirmed by signs, and wonders, and divers miracles and gifts of the Holy Ghost, the Church was nevertheless distracted by heresies and schisms. If any in their sluggishness are disposed to think that a perpetual body of infallible teachers would be a blessing, all must admit that the assumption of infallibility by the ignorant, the erring, and the wicked must be an evil inconceivably great. The Romish theory if true might be a blessing; if false it must be an awful curse." Systematic Theology

2 comments:

beowulf2k8 said...

Marcion's canon came first. Catholics copies it and interpolated it.

Michael Gormley said...

When Paul preached to the Romans, did he do so with God's authority?