Crossed The Tiber

An Evangelical Converts to Catholicism

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Location: Pennsylvania, United States

I was born into the Catholic faith. At 14, I was "born again" and found Jesus personally but lost His Church. After thirty years as an evangelical protestant, I have come full circle to find that He has been there all the time, in the One, Holy, Catholic and Apostolic Church. I wish others to find the beauty and truth of the Catholic faith as I have found.

Wednesday, June 21, 2006

The Need for One Holy Catholic and Apostolic Church

As Catholics, we often speak about the theological and historical reasons supporting our belief that Christ founded a Church (not churches) and why His authority to bind, loose, etc was passed on to His human successors, with Peter being the first apostle to act vicariously for Christ. Jesus spoke of unity and prayed specifically just before he suffered and died that "they would be as one." The recent headlines about the Anglican and Presbyterian Churches starting to divide over moral issues is very illustrative of the need for a binding authority as Jesus intended . There is no clear authority in these churches to decide on issues of faith and morals and they are both on the verge of splitting (again). This pattern continues to repeat itself since the 16th century when men decided that they could use their own interpretation of Scripture to become their own authority to arbitrate issues of faith and morals.

Donald Baird, an anglican pastor from Sacramento, California,... is worried about Tuesday's vote undermining church unity:

"We used to act as one church," he said. "Now we'll have 11,000 churches ... chaos," he said.

"The ripple effects have been strong enough, I wouldn't be surprised if there isn't some division," David Gortner, director of the Center for Anglican Learning and Leadership at the Church Divinity School of the Pacific in California, told AFP.

"We cannot survive as a communion of churches without some common convictions about what it is to live and to make decisions as the Body of Christ,"

"When people break that common bond, and that's what has happened, there is no easy way for Churches to know how to respond to that."

"The Anglican Church is not like the Roman Catholic Church where it has a body that makes binding decisions," he said.

"It's times like this that make me wish I was Catholic. Of course, there are plenty of conservative protestant denominations... but the mainline churches used to be conservative, too. What I wouldn't give sometimes for the rock of the Catholic magisterium." Gabe from an Episcopal Blog

I would not be suprised if we won't see more and more people "crossing the Tiber" in the coming months as the need for Matthew 16:19 authority becomes ever more apparent to them.
Let's pray for these communities of Christians as they go through these difficult times.


Blogger Mixter said...

The Bible is also very specific about not eating shrimp. It's an abomination, remember?


June 21, 2006 8:18 PM  
Blogger Tiber Jumper said...

Good, I never liked them anyway! But God showed Peter in the book of Acts on the rooftop with his cosmic LCD projector, that all foods (previously thought non-Kosher) were ok for him to eat. Eating shrimp and issues of faith and morality IMHO, are two very different issues. However, my point in the original post is that there is a need for one church to make binding decisions on faith and morals. With every church and every sub sect of every church making up their own rules as they go along, things get a lot more complicated as we are seeing played out in OHIO.

June 21, 2006 8:47 PM  
Blogger St. Jimbob of the Apokalypse said...

TJ, it's interesting that both sides (maybe all three sides) are saying that they're led by the "Spirit". Well, which ones are right, how can we tell if someone is preaching with the authority of the Holy Spirit, and not just the zeitgeist du jour? Sacred Scripture! The inspired word of God! If one's delusions cannot stand against scripture, then scripture must be minimalised, rationalised, and derogated so that the new lie can be proclaimed without contest.

There's a nice bit on Petrine Primacy over at Cosmos-Liturgy-Sex,

Thanks for dropping by my cell.

June 21, 2006 10:51 PM  
Blogger talksmart said...

Blog hopping via blogger search engine and was led to your catchy blog name :-) Great posts you have here--very informative.


June 21, 2006 10:59 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Christians do not fall under the laws of the Holiness Code (where it mentions shrimp)...Christ was the end of that law (he fulfilled the Law) and in Christ, you are offered Grace.

"Since the Lord Jesus Christ fulfills the Law by His person and work, believers are under a new law; the obligation to walk by the Spirit of Life through faith (Rom. 8:2-4).

"If we are led by the Spirit, then we are not under the Law" (Gal. 5:18).

Some laws, tho, are NOT merely Mosaic Laws but apply to ALL. Sexual relations (designated strictly to one man married to one woman, who have taken holy vows) is one law that is still in affect,

June 22, 2006 1:32 AM  
Blogger jazzolog said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

June 22, 2006 6:37 AM  
Blogger jazzolog said...

Good morning, and thank you for saying hello at jazzoLOG, my blog at New Civilization Network but also mirrored here, if that would be more convenient. In your comment there, above, and in this post, you refer to the intention of Christ for a binding authority upon disciples. If you mean the Will of God, I understand you...and welcome further dialogue as to how we find out what That is.

Our Episcopal Convention has concluded, and the joint resolution passed yesterday in response to criticism of us by the rest of the Anglican Communion should give indication of how important continuing dialogue is to us, rather than "splitting (again)." In fact in supporting the resolution, Presiding Bishop Frank Griswold made the following comment which may interest you since it is about conversion:

"When I became your Presiding Bishop eight and a half years ago, I called the church to the costly discipline of conversation. At that time I pointed out that the word conversation and the word conversion come from the same Latin root. I said that to enter into conversation deeply, and with an undefended heart, opened the way to conversion. By conversion I did not mean one point of view capitulating to another – but rather a new way of seeing one another and recognizing Christ in one another. The conversion of which I spoke had less to do with a change of mind and more to do with a change of heart."

Perhaps some aspect of Crossed The Tiber offers the opportunity for such conversation. Thank you Tiber Jumper, it is good to meet you.

June 22, 2006 8:09 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Please. The Roman Catholic church has just as many issues as the rest except she's just good at managing them. I'd much rather be faithful to Christ than to any "Church." After all, isn't where Christ's voice is heard that the church is? And where is Christ's voice? Bishops? Traditions? Hmm. Seems that the earliest Fathers were pretty clear that the teachings of Christ went from the apostles to the Scriptures (cf. Irenaeus).

June 23, 2006 12:34 AM  
Blogger Tiber Jumper said...

Actually, one of the early fathers, Ignatius said "where the Bishop is present, there is the Catholic Church"
So whether we like it or not, this Church Christ started with a heirarchy of bishops, Sacred Tradition etc. It was entrusted with the keys to the kingdom. Fallible men,who speak infallibly when it comes to faith and morals. Since there was quite a lag time from the teachings of Christ to the canonized New Testament Scriptures, what did the Christians do for truth and orthodoxy for almost 400 years? they relied on Sacred Tradition passed on from the apostles to their disciples. Paul told Timothy to heed the tradition whether written or oral.
Finally, how do we know when Christ is speaking to us? We can only trust the church to tell us what is "kosher", not our own feelings . many folks have been very sincere about what they believed, and were sincerely wrong. (Arius for example)We believe in the Trinity now because a Church, not a book, in the fourth century annunciated the truth of the triune God and defeated the many heresies floating around at the time, which still float around now! Christ said he would build his church (not plural) on Peter and the gates of hell would not preveail. He didn't say, I will give you a book and 1400 years later the plans for a printing press to distribute my truth widely throughout the world in this book. Jesus didn't say "Yeah kids, some of the scripture is hard to understand, but you are on your own and all Scripture is open to private interpretation. Just pick and choose till you come up with some doctrines that you feel comfortable with and I'll bless it"
The Church is the pillar and foundation of all truth(1 Tim 3 15), not my interpretation or your interpretation of the Bible.

June 23, 2006 12:54 AM  
Anonymous Theo said...

Anonymous said...
Please. The Roman Catholic church has just as many issues as the rest except she's just good at managing them. I'd much rather be faithful to Christ than to any "Church." After all, isn't where Christ's voice is heard that the church is? And where is Christ's voice? Bishops? Traditions? Hmm. Seems that the earliest Fathers were pretty clear that the teachings of Christ went from the apostles to the Scriptures (cf. Irenaeus).

Saint Paul said...
"I have been told . . . that there is quarrelling among you . . . that each of you is saying: 'I am for Paul,' or 'I am for Apollos,' or 'I follow Cephas' or 'I Christ'." (1 Cor. 1:11-12)

Please look closely at 1 Corinthians--not just this passage, but the entire epistle.

Note that Paul treats each of the factional "camps" equally. Paul himself ferverently champions his own teaching--he claims Apostolic authority--yet he condems each faction, including those who apparently assert something like, "I'd much rather be faithful to Christ than to [insert name here]."

Yet, within the same epislte whereby he continually encourages the Corinthians to hold on to the orthodox teaching they received from *Paul* by letter and spoken word, he also stresses his personal folly (3:21). And of course, "We preach Christ, and Christ crucified."

Some of the same dynamics of first-century Christian fellowship still operate today.

As from the very begining of the Church, Apostolic authority must settle doctrinal (teaching) disagreements among believers. Though all are indeed part of the Church (where two or more are gathered..." and all are are "servants of Christ" (11:13); Scripture insists that they should recognize apostolic authority--even though those who hold that authority are subject to human folly.



June 23, 2006 10:56 AM  

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