Wednesday, January 27, 2010

POLL regarding Scripture & our interpretation of it...

Does the Holy Spirit direct, guide, and teach ALL PEOPLE how to read and comprehend the bible for themselves, so they can interpret it without any fear of error?

Or is there one, single, final Authority, graced by the Holy Spirit, established by Christ on earth, to instruct the faithful in all manner of living, regarding faith and morals, in undertansding the Word of God, to instruct all people, all Christians, in the living and working out of our salvation?

  1. YES - The Holy Spirit speaks to every individual, guiding them without error, as Luther taught. In other words, we get to interpret scripture (for ourselves) and the truth we believe in and agree with, is the Holy Spirit's leading us.
  2. NO - There is One, Final Authority, graced by the widsom of the Holy Spirit, given to us by our Lord. He sits on the Chair of Peter, with the final word on matters of faith and morals. Jesus left us His "Vicar" the Pope, an imperfect human being, with faults but graced by God, to "tend and instruct the whole flock." He gave us a Church, built on Peter, with apostolic succession, 7 Sacraments through which the grace of God does flow, and a Magisterium to instruct and teach the faithful by answering questions and interpreting Scripture for us, when a dispute might errupt, as in the early Church. The Vicar of Christ is our Shepherd, who leads the faithful, all Christians, to The Shepherd, the Lord Jesus Christ, seated at the Right Hand of God.


Garret said...

Hi there,
I found you from the Journey to Rome blog. Thanks for having me, please visit my blog as well and drop a comment!

With preposition one, the Holy Spirit does not guide ALL People- that is an unbiblical notion which I reject on biblical grounds.
Second, what do you mean without error- a perfect and clear understanding such as the Lordship of Jesus Christ cannot be mistaken from the Scriptures, but other issues, such as the efficacy/symbolic nature of baptism are less clear from the Scriptures, allowing disagreements to emerge. However, THAT we are to be baptised as believers is undeniably clear in Scripture and can be known without error. So it depends on what you mean.

I will leave your comments in section 2 largely untouched for now, as there are historically problematic issues (for instance the primacy of the Bishop of Rome over other Bishops in the early church is an untenable historical claim. It simply is NOT fact in spite of modern RC claims to the contrary) and the habit of modern RCs to read history anacronistically- (i.e. the claim 'we have always believed X', then it is demonstrated that even some popes believed Y, not X, yet somehow 'we have always believed X' is still unblinkingly held forth as true)
God bless you, and I speak my mind in the love of Christ,

Joyful Catholic said...

Hi Garret, welcome. Thank you for your comment. I guess we'll have to "agree to disagree" however. Please visit again, though.

Joyful Catholic said...

What I meant by "all people" was simply, according to most Evangelica/Protestant understanding,the way I heard if for most of my life, was "The Holy Spirit led us here, or the Holy Spirit led us there." The Holy Spirit won't contradict himself, however, so I believe most people follow their emtions, feelings their own agendas and preferences when it comes to the "church hopping" mentality so sadly prevalent today. If you'll notice Dion's comments on his spiritual journey that I've posted, well, he's either wrong and or lying and a misguided nutjob, not being led by the Holy Spirit as am I, or we're speaking the Truth. It can't be both. God bless as you seek Him. Either the Catholic Church is the Church Jesus built, or it's not. There's no middle ground, but I KNOW Jesus built His Church, not churches...not fellowhips, not 35,000 different denominations. The CC is the ONLY Church He built. All the rest are built by men/women now,and their own 'tradtions' which is not what Jesus prayed for in John 17. Reading John 6 as a Catholic now, is most illuminating! How do you interpret "THIS IS MY BODY?" Does it depend on what the meaning of "is" is? Peter was always mentioned first, giving him some 'authority' over the other bishops.That's a fact. As I said earlier, we'll just have to disagree, but in all Truth, only one of us is correct. Not that I'm "right" all the time, but about this, there is NO doubt. One Church, built on Peter, standing for over 2000 years. NO OTHER INSTITUTION has that claim on this planet. It's HIS CHURCH. The gates of Hell will never prevail against Her. If it went off the rails, then Jesus was a liar. It didn't and it never will. It can't...the Holy Spirit guides her and protects her, just like Jesus promised. Again, thanks Garrett. God bless.

Garret said...

Hi Joyful Catholic,
If I could choose an article for you to look at from my side, it is called the 33,000 denominations myth, it is an appeal for honesty in that subject, sent by AOMin to the folks at Catholic Answers Live.
Please give it a read,
God bless you!

Joyful Catholic said...

Garrett, with all due respect what else would you call all the denoms that exist? You're telling me it's a myth? That is incredible! You don't agree with the doctrines of another fellowship down the street and they don't agree with what you teach entirely. That's the whole sad truth. All the different denoms are because of people following "Apollo" and "this guy" and "that guy" and the world just laughs. That is NOT unity that Jesus prayed for in John 17. No way. No how. Speaking of John: What is your "self-interpretation" of JOHN 6? Did you know that within 60 years of Martin Luther's tragic 95 heretical thesis, there were over 100 interpretations of these 4 words: THIS IS MY BODY. Now,Garrett, do you believe Jesus? Do you take His statement, His WORD literally? If the Eucharist is merely a symbol, then why did Jesus not clarify that to those who left him because it was too hard a saying? He never said, "I'm only kidding. This isn't really my body" "I meant it's a symbol you guys, come on back" No. He said "THIS IS MY BODY" and those who EAT OF MY FLESH AND DRINK OF MY BLOOD HAVE LIFE WITHIN THEM. I receive Jesus daily as my "Lord and Savior" at Mass. That's God's way, not man's. I will remain JOYFUL as long as I "remain in His Grace." If I fall away, by unrepentant sin, then I run the risk of losing my "life" my "salvation." My salvation doesn't hinge on a "sinner's prayer" i made in 1974. It hinges on my faithfulness, and my obedience to Christ. If you love Me, you will KEEP MY COMMANDMENTS. Why the heck give us commandments if we can't ever lose our salvation? Why the heck give us commandments at all? Was it just to make us feel guilty? No. It is for our good and so we can 'work out our salvation IN FEAR AND TREMBLING. Those words need to be taken literally too, not ignored as so many do in ALL denoms and even sadly His Church that He built on Peter. God bless, but I must get to Mass and pray for our family/friends/country/president. I'll pray for you, too, as you continue to 'grow in Jesus' and I pray as the Holy Spirit leads you "into all/complete/fullness of Truth. It's not a "myth" there are a whole lotta "churches" out there, to which does one go to settle a dispute? Yours? Or the Methodist? Yours or the Baptist? Yours or the Assembly of God? Yours or the Seventh Day Adventists? Yours or the Lutheran? Yours or the 4 Square Gospel? Yours or the Presbyterian? Yours or Emmanuel Fellowship? Yours or Church of Christ? Yours or the Episcopal? Yours or the Berean? Yours or Trinity Interdenominational? Yours or Church of God of Prophecy? Do you see where this ends up? I would hope you would,and I will hope you will put aside your prejudice against the Catholic Church and dig into history. To go deep into history is to cease to be Protestant. - John Henry Cardinal Newman (The Develpment of Doctrine written before he entered the Catholic Church) God bless.

Garret said...

Hi Joyful-
Thanks for your comments, I take them seriously- now, lets see if we can have a conversation, or if you are merely going to throw objections at me, which will not have answers as far as you are concerned.
First- did you read the article, or look at the title and scoff. It demonstrates that the source used for the 33,000 denominations is misused, the real number is far far lower. It is dishonest to use that number, which number includes over 200 Catholic denominations.

Your salvation does not hinge on your works, it hinges on Christ period. Ephesians 2:8-10 "For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this not from yourselves, it is the gift of God— not by works, so that no one can boast. For we are God's workmanship, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.
Can you provide an infallible interpretation of those verses, now that you are in an 'infallible' church? Or will you privately interpret those words as you see them? I am obedient and I do works, I sin, and I ask forgiveness too.
You should know that as a historical fact, the church fathers differed on the interpretation of the John 6 passage, and many other passages as well. Your church body allows for theological differences on many views, such as the various views on free will- Thomist, Molinist, and Augustinian. So why can't an 'infallible' church settle its body on theological issues?
and God bless,

Joyful Catholic said...

Hi Garrett,

It is dishonest of you to say Catholics 'work for their salvation.' We don't. Never have. The point is, Garrett, whether 33,000 or 100 or 3 we are not ONE as Jesus prayed for to the Father in John 17.

I confess :) I did not read the article. I'm not obsessed by the number of denoms so why waste precious time? Also, the Catholic Church has NO denominations. It is NOT a denomination of man, but is "pre-denominational" being founded by Christ. It is the Mother of All Mega Churches, as my husband likes to say, it is so large that it needs parishes.

The Catholic Church is not infallible,I'm sorry if I wasn't clear. Only the Pope is, WHEN and ONLY when he speaks on matters of faith/morals) The Church was made up of sinners from the "get go" Judas, Peter's denial, all "dissing" Jesus at his crucifixion. When the Pope speaks on those matters, she IS infallible,for she is guided by the same Holy Spirit Jesus sent to watch over her and protect her from the "Gates of Hell."

Re: penance. Sorry I wasn't clear again. It may or may not be given at confession. The forgiveness is already given us by the priest - in persona Christi. We were really all saved when Jesus died on the cross, but yet we are told to "confess our sins, one to another" Penance is given to help us 'settle in our souls' and to experience that true peace of Christ even more fully by a collaborative effort. Mom's are completely capable of making the cake (of forgiveness)w/ no help, but they let their children contribute to feel the JOY of being a participant in the process. Does that help?

Of course we can't 'earn our salvation' by our good works, but we are not saved by "faith alone" either. James 2:24

We are told to "work out our salvation with fear and trembling" That's severe. It also makes no sense if we're never in danger of losing our salvation after being "saved."

SO where do we go to 'settle our dispute(s)? Your church? Or the One Jesus built? Which church of the "far less" than 33,000 will settle this debate? Only ONE Garrett. The Bible interpreted by you or me alone is why the bible cannot be and is NOT the final authority.

I suggest you get the Catechism of the CC and ask God, in faith, with an open, docile heart to show you the Truth of the CC.

Also, Mike Aquilina has more information on the early Fathers of the Church.

I won't belabor this any longer. You are the one who's not desiring a conversation, but only tossing out verses to "prove me wrong." Not gonna do that. The Church is who and what she claims, or she is not. "Where Peter is, there is the Church." The better, safest place to be for us all, aspiring to sainthood, is IN HIS CHURCH. To be apart from it is a much 'harder' and more perilous Godspeed.

TRUEly yours - Joyful CATHOLIC.

Joyful Catholic said...