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.

Saturday, June 02, 2012

Bible Minus Authority = Bad Theology

Bible Authority = 200 interpretations of the Eucharist within 100 years of the reformation
Bible - Authority = rejection of sacramental grace
Bible - Authority = permissible divorce
Bible - Authority = contraception
Bible - Authority = novel doctrines
Bible - Authority = thousands and thousands of divergent Christian sects
Bible - Authority = redefinition of marriage
Bible - Authority = rejection of 2000 years of Christian history
Bible - Authority = snake handling, refusal of blood transfusions, refusing insulin etc leading to death

 Anyone else see why we need an infallible teaching authority to lead us in all truth? We need The Church built on Peter, not just the bible alone with our own personal interpretation. Do the math!

In the 5th century Saint Vincent of Lerins said this about using the bible alone as source of all truth, without Sacred Tradition (Authority):

"I have often then inquired earnestly and attentively of very many men eminent for sanctity and learning, how and by what sure and so to speak universal rule I may be able to distinguish the truth of Catholic faith from the falsehood of heretical pravity; and I have always, and in almost every instance, received an answer to this effect: That whether I or any one else should wish to detect the frauds and avoid the snares of heretics as they rise, and to continue sound and complete in the Catholic faith, we must, the Lord helping, fortify our own belief in two ways; first, by the authority of the Divine Law, and then, by the Tradition of the Catholic Church.

 But here some one perhaps will ask, Since the canon of Scripture is complete, and sufficient of itself for everything, and more than sufficient, what need is there to join with it the authority of the Church’s interpretation? For this reason,—because, owing to the depth of Holy Scripture, all do not accept it in one and the same sense, but one understands its words in one way, another in another; so that it seems to be capable of as many interpretations as there are interpreters. For Novatian expounds it one way, Sabellius another, Donatus another, Arius, Eunomius, Macedonius, another, Photinus, Apollinaris, Priscillian, another, Iovinian, Pelagius, Celestius, another, lastly, Nestorius another. Therefore, it is very necessary, on account of so great intricacies of such various error, that the rule for the right understanding of the prophets and apostles should be framed in accordance with the standard of Ecclesiastical and Catholic interpretation.


Blogger kkollwitz said...

I can't find it, but I recall a quote from back when the Reformation was young. "Everyone who can read now thinks he's the Pope," or words to that effect.

June 02, 2012 2:43 PM  
Blogger Russ Rentler, M.D. said...

"The plough-boy with scripture is mightier than the greatest Pope without." M Luther

June 02, 2012 3:07 PM  
Anonymous Lex Luther said...

I find you get most of these examples with the formual "Man's Authority - Biblical Authority"

June 02, 2012 9:51 PM  
Blogger Russ Rentler, M.D. said...

The bible itself still needs interpretation. When you have the bible as your only source , you can interpret it anyway you want to. Hence some say baptism is symbolic others say regenerative. Some say Jesus meant the Lord's table to be symbolic while Christendom for 1500 years interpreted John 6 to mean the Lord gives us his actual body and blood.
The elca branch go the Lutheran Church used their "biblical
Authority" to approve homosexuality. The anglicans use biblical authority to justify ordaining women and homosexuals. The Calvinists use their biblical authority to say man is totally depraved and God predestines men to hell. The Armenian 's use their biblical authority to say men has free will in choosing his eternal destiny. So whose "biblical authority" is the true authority? My experience as a Protestant was to assign biblical authority to whatever church, pastor or sect I was listening to at the time.
Many heretics over the past 2000 years have used their take on biblical authority to justify all manor of erroneous doctrines. Many Arians tried to prove Jesus isn't God using the books of the bible not yet canonized. It took the Nicean Council in 325 to set the record straight on Trinitarian belief. The bible needed authority outside itself. For 2000 years that authority has been the one holy Catholic and apostolic Church.

June 02, 2012 11:00 PM  
Blogger Russ Rentler, M.D. said...

"Almost every heresy that has disturbed the unity of the Church has been advocated by men who appealed to Scripture in confirmation of the doctrines they taught"
James Dodds Protestant theologian

June 02, 2012 11:05 PM  
Blogger Russ Rentler, M.D. said...

When Martin Luther accused Zwingli and others of heresy because they refused to believe in the real presence of Christ in the Eucharist, he used Sacred Tradition and the writings of the early church fathers and disciples of the apostles. Why? Because his opponents were also using the bible to argue against him. He had to appeal to an authority outside the bible, in this case the Sacred Tradition of the Catholic Church.

June 02, 2012 11:10 PM  
Blogger Russ Rentler, M.D. said...

Luther in arguing for his belief that the Eucharist indeed is the true body and blood: Who, but the devil, has granted such license of wresting the words of the holy Scripture? Who ever read in the Scriptures, that my body is the same as the sign of my body? or, that is is the same as it signifies? What language in the world ever spoke so? It is only then the devil, that imposes upon us by these fanatical men. Not one of the Fathers of the Church, though so numerous, ever spoke as the Sacramentarians: not one of them ever said, It is only bread and wine; or, the body and blood of Christ is not there present.

Surely, it is not credible, nor possible, since they often speak, and repeat their sentiments, that they should never (if they thought so) not so much as once, say, or let slip these words: It is bread only; or the body of Christ is not there, especially it being of great importance, that men should not be deceived. Certainly, in so many Fathers, and in so many writings, the negative might at least be found in one of them, had they thought the body and blood of Christ were not really present: but they are all of them unanimous.”

Regarding the Eucharist he also said: "For it is dangerous and dreadful to hear or believe anything against the unanimous testimony, faith, and doctrine of the entire holy Christian Church, as it has been held unanimously in all the world up to this year 1500."

June 02, 2012 11:18 PM  
Anonymous Lex Luther said...

I believe you can find many conflicts on the viewing of the Lord's Supper back to the early Fathers. I also don't know on what authority the Roman Church split from the Eastern Church? Biblical Authority? On what grounds? Its own authority? Then how is that different? If there is a single unified Catholic belief, how do you have groups like Catholics for Choice? As lfor your quote from Dodds, I believe he refers to those who establish a belief and then fish out a passage in the Bible to back it up. If the Bible is that hard to understand, then ANY writing is equal open to interpretation. Also much of the debate(a la Luther/Zwingli) opened up by the Reformation always existed, it was mostly suppressed prior to that time.

June 03, 2012 4:35 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Everybody popes.


June 03, 2012 5:09 PM  
Anonymous russ said...

Lex, you remind me of a calvinist who I banned from this blog because he refuses to stay on point and doesn't back up his comments with facts.His blind hatred for the Catholic faith disallows him to see logic. The fact that there are dissident Catholics doesn't have anything to do with this subject.The calvinist continued to bring this up totally missing the point! These dissident catholics will never change the Church's doctrine. Whenever a protestant decides to disagree with his pastor , he goes out and often starts his own church. The Catholic faith never changes dogma based on cultural norms or opinions and behavior of dissident Catholics. A rebellious catholic's behavior or opinion doesn't change the Truth of the faith. That would be like seeing an Armenian protestant and claim that all of protestant doctrines are faulty because he dissents from the teachings of john calvin, (who is their pope and magisterium, btw.) The Church has the authority of the Holy Spirit behind it. No other sect can claim that but the Catholic faith can be historically traced to Jesus and the apostles. It's just the facts.

Once again, read this lex, it's from the founder of your religion: "For it is dangerous and dreadful to hear or believe anything against the unanimous testimony, faith, and doctrine of the entire holy Christian Church, as it has been held unanimously in all the world up to this year 1500."

June 03, 2012 5:26 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Wonderful read! I have been very much wanting writings from early church fathers and saints. I can never seem to find them! God bless you and your wife!

June 04, 2012 11:06 PM  
Blogger Russ Rentler, M.D. said...

thanks so much Amanda, if you put a topic in the search box at the top of the blog out of 1900 or more posts you will probably find what you are looking for. If there is anything we can find for you or address, please let me know. I find the writings of the CHurch fathers are powerful tools in opening the hearts and minds of people of good will. When I first heard that the early Christians believed in the real presence vs symbolic view of the Eucharist, I was sold. I felt that I had been duped and that no one in 30 years had told me of the writings of the successors of the apostles.
God bless you too!

June 04, 2012 11:29 PM  

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