Sunday, August 24, 2008

Catholicism

I was watching the 3ABN channel on cable and it is sad that so much anti-catholic nonsense is on the air. 3ABN is a Seventh Day Adventist cable network. The shows almost always are concerned with the endtimes and distorting history and Catholic teaching. This is nothing new for Seventh Day Adventists. Their earliest history in the nineteenth century is full of the same nonsense. The problem with the Adventists is same as the problem with so many protestant denominations. They lack the authority to proclaim the truth. Truth is defined by their particular interpretation scripture. Truth in many denominations is arrived at by the consensus of their leadership, often by vote. What so many seem to forget is that before there was a new testament, there was the Church. It was the Church that gave us the new testament. The Church had and has the authority that is apostolic which preserves and presents the true faith established by Christ.

6 comments:

didymus said...

Question. If the catholic church gave us the bible, why then don't the teachings of the Catholic church match what the bible states. Maybe 3abn and those protestant churches that "have no authority" have a valid reason for asking those questions. Maybe more people should be finding out why!

didymus said...

Question. If the catholic church gave us the bible, why then don't the teachings of the Catholic church match what the bible states. Maybe 3abn and those protestant churches that "have no authority" have a valid reason for asking those questions. Maybe more people should be finding out why!

John Watt said...

didymus,

It is not "if" the Church gave us the bible. It was the church that decided which books would comprise the new testament canon. If you could cite a specific teaching of the Church that does not conform to the Bible, we could address that concern. I do not think such a teaching exists. I am sure you would disagree. An example of the problem of authority in protestant denominations is the teaching on baptism. Some teach the baptism of infants is right and proper while others teach the opposite. Both positions can not be correct. How is one to know?

didymus said...

John, Thanks for your reply. I have a number of subjects that I believe are a contradiction but to keep things simple I prefer to address only one at a time. Since you mention baptism I will start with that. My understanding of Catholic doctrine is that the church baptizes infants and has confirmation classes and such as the child gets older. Afterwards.
I don't find any teaching of that by the disciples or Jesus. I do find the following verses;
Matthew 28:19,20 Go ye therefore, and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them into the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit: How much teaching can a baby get?
Mark 16:16 He that believeth and is baptized shall be saved; but he that disbelieveth shall be condemned
Babies believe what?
Matthew 3:13-17 Jesus was an adult,
Acts 8:38 the eunuch was an adult.
Acts 2:38 Repent and be baptized, Can babies repent? I can go but I think you can see my argument. Notice also that in the baptisms cited they all went down into the water. There was no mention of being sprinkled from a bowl.
I do understand the argument about original sin but I don't see that baptism is the remedy for that. There is a ritual that the bible teaches and that is Dedication. I can find those verses for you if you like, but this is not baptism.
You ask how is one to know. Answer: the bible. I agree that there are even protestant churches that get this wrong or at least are confused. I do think that it is very important that we follow the teachings of Jesus as found in the scriptures and not how men think that they should act.

John Watt said...

To begin with none of the verses you cite say that infants are not to be baptized. That is your interpretation of the verses. Keeping in mind that before there was a bible there was the Church; it is important to have a knowledge of how the Church acted in the very begining. There is explicit testimony to this practice from the second century on, and is quite possible that, from the beginning of the apostolic preaching, when whole " households" received baptism, infants may also have been baptized.(Acts 16:15,33;18:8; 1 Cor 1:16). Origen, writing in the third century, expressly states the Church's tradition of baptizing infants came from the apostles. Even Luther and Calvin firmly taught the doctrine of infant baptism. To say that some protestant churchs get it wrong goes right to the heart of the question of authority. Who has the correct interpretation? You? Me? Luther? Calvin? The Lutherans, Baptists, Anglicans? Can all be right?

didymus said...

You are right about one thing. It IS church tradition that you are citing, not scripture. I don't follow the teaching of any man over the inspired word from God himself.Speculation of what MAY have happened does not set aside the clear teaching from the bible. The argument that you make can be used to trump ANY verses that the bible teaches by taking tradition over scripture. Those verses that I cited are not just MY interpreation. Those words speak clearly for themselves. All show that the persons being baptized clearly understood Why they were doing so. Baptism declares to God that you have made a conscious decision to follow him and obey HIM. It is not a ritual that someone else does for you without your participation. Baptism is symbolic of Christ's death , burial and resurection for you sins. Babies don't have any sins. The bible teaches that sin is the transgression of the law (God's).
I firmly believe that babies cannot sin as they don't have enough knowledge to know what sin is. Original sin has started the ball rolling as far as people having an inclination to commit sin. babies have done nothing that can be called a sin. The bible teaches that the wages of sin is death. I'm not about to pronounce that they are worthy of death for just being born. It's horrible enough that the world condones the killing of numerous unborn babies without declaring (by tradition) that they have sins already by default because of Adam and therefore worthy of death unless they are sprinkled..