Monday, July 24, 2006

The Catholic Church Fulfills Scripture

I have written a little so far discussing why I believe the implications of the fulfillment of the certain Scriptures (by the Catholic Church) are significant. However, it’s not in the scope of my intentions to provide an exhaustive list of those Scriptures which I conclude fulfilled by the Catholic Church, I only focus on those highlights which I feel most important. (Although if you're interested in such a list, Dave Armstrong's book entitled "A Biblical Defense of Catholicism" may be a good place to start.

One thing I would like to say though, is that when Jesus’ disciples asked Him why He spoke in parables, He told them it was deliberately so that not everyone would hear, repent and then believe(1). Later, Jesus explained to the disciples that the Holy Spirit would come and make all things known to them(2). He even quotes Isaiah in saying:

They will all be taught by God(3).

This, to me is clearly evident with the tradition of the Catholic Church. The Holy Spirit did come to the Apostles. Through the Apostolic Succession, the Holy Church inherited that truth and perpetuates it to this day. With the illumination of that church, I am able to read passages like John 6 and understand. As a Protestant, I read a lot of Christ’s teachings and they never really registered because I was taught to reject a priori what the Catholic Church taught about various things. Well that’s fine as long as the Catholic Church is wrong. But what if they’re right? Now that I’m assuming they’re right, these passages make much more sense. Were it not for the teachings of the church, I wouldn’t understand transubstantiation and probably many other issues.

The above are of course the highlights. Still, some would disagree for sure. Protestants have tomes of rebuttals stored up for these Scriptures and explanations for why they have no real meaning. But as I've done in the past I do again... I refer back to Occam's Razor. (The simplest solution is usually the best). I believe these passages do have meaning. I believe that when Jesus said to Peter, "And I tell you that you are Peter, and on this rock I will build my church, and the gates of Hades will not overcome it. I will give you the keys of the kingdom of heaven; whatever you bind on earth will be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth will be loosed in heaven."(5) that He wasn't just speaking idle words. I believe He meant what He said.

Also, remember Christ told the apostles, "If you forgive anyone his sins, they are forgiven; if you do not forgive them, they are not forgiven."(4). What do you think He meant by this? If not for the fulfillment of this quote from Christ by the direct teaching of the Church, what meaning does it have?

Protestants have the luxury of skipping a large portion of Scripture with their sermons. The Catholic liturgy of the Word demands that the entire bible be read over the course of a few years. So normally you wont hear Protestants talk about these (and plenty of other) passages. In the rare case they do preach on such passages as John 6 or James 2, you will only hear a sermon on what the author of that passage is NOT saying. You will never hear a sermon on what that author IS saying. A good question to ask though is, ' if Jesus didnt mean that the Church would be built on the succession to Peter when Christ told Peter that he was the rock on which the Church would be built on, then what did He mean?' (Don't expect a real answer).

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