"Official Interpreter" Needed?
A review of an article written by a Catholic; published in a booklet sent me by the Knights of Columbus, titled:
"Why The Bible Needs An Authoritative Interpreter"
This paper deals with the Catholic article by paragraph:
PARAGRAPH I: "The Bible is a difficult book to understand." This statement is true, and though I do not pretend to know all it teaches; what God wants us to do to become His children (Christians—I Peter 4:16 (not Catholics) is plain. It is found in the great commission in Matt. 28:18-20; Mk. 16:15, 16; Lk. 24:37. Teach the gospel, believe it, repent of sins, and baptism (a burial—Col. 2:12; Rom. 6:3, 4 and not sprinkling as practiced by Roman Catholics since 1311 at the Council of Ravenna, Italy) for remission of sins—Acts 2:38. Further, what God wants His children to do in worship to Him—John 4:24; Acts 2:42; Eph. 5:19 is plain. It is: teach His word; sing (not sing and play instrumental music as practiced by Roman Catholics since 670 A.D. when Pope Vatalian introduced it for the first time into Christian worship so-called); give as prospered—I Cor. 16:2 (not by selling indulgences, by operating gaming devices, etc. as you do); prayer to God through Christ—I Tim. 2:5; I John 1:2 and (not through Mary and various other saints, so-called, as do Catholics); the Lord's supper, both the bread and wine, or fruit of the vine—I Cor. 11:23-29 (not the priest the wine and the members the bread). Moreover, what God wants His children to do in living the Christian life is plain. If men can read they can learn these things and they do not need the "educated priests" (educated in Catholic theology but ignorant of God's word) to tell them what to do. It is presumptuous for the Catholic church to claim they are the sole interpreter of the word of God. God can speak as plainly as you can, and plainer; why can't men understand what God speaks in the Bible, as well as they can understand what the Catholic church speaks? Everyone knows that in the Catholic church no one is expected to UNDERSTAND; they are to accept it without question or be guilty of heresy. If the Bible is God's word the Catholic church contradicts the teaching of the Bible throughout. You do not believe the Bible and here is definite proof you do not; it is impossible to believe the Bible and the Catholic church at the same time. In the great commission the apostles were to teach all nations, baptize them into the name of the sacred three then, teach them (all the baptized) to follow what they (the apostles) had done. This is God's way of propagating the truth for all time.
PARAGRAPH II: This paragraph points out the difference between Catholics and Protestants attitude toward the Bible. Quote: "fifteen hundred years after the establishment of the Christian church, I Tim. 3:15, the Reformers rejected the authority of the living church which had come down through the centuries. They substituted the authority of the Bible as each reader interprets it for himself." I would not defend Protestantism any quicker than I would Catholicism. The church of Christ is not Protestant in the ordinary sense. We protest against both Protestantism and Catholicism. We are also catholic (universal) but not ROMAN Catholic. This is a contradiction of terms. So, we are both catholic and protestant but not according to modern parlance. The "living church," sir, depends upon the "living word" for its existence—Lk. 8:11; I Pet. 1:23. The "living word" existed before the "living church" because without the word being preached there could be no church produced... God's word was preached, orally, before there was a church and the preaching of the word or sowing of the seed produced Christians which make up the church. This is another case wherein you err in your claim the church produced the word; the very opposite is true and that is why all your claims are false about the Catholic church giving us the Bible. The Catholic church is the apostate church of—I Tim. 4:1-5; II Thess. 2:3-12. Further, let me remind you that there is no "authority" belonging to the church. "All authority" belongs to Christ himself—Matt. 28:18. The church has no authority, she simply listens to Christ as he is revealed in the word. The New Testament church is not a democracy but a kingdom; Christ is King, having ALL authority. This is where the Catholics err again. In a kingdom the king makes all laws and executes them; the people have nothing to do but submit and be blessed or reject and suffer the consequences. Again, I say, you err in speaking of the "authority of the church;" she had none. You have so much to say about Protestants viewing the Bible differently. You certainly are not ignorant of the fact that he Catholics do the same. There is as great a difference among Catholics as there is among any one single Protestant group.
PARAGRAPH III states: "For Catholics, the church is, and always has been, "the pillar and ground of the truth"... in it and through it, He speaks authoritatively and unerringly to man kind"... "Like its Divine Founder, the church speaks, "as one having authority"... Matt. 7:29." You are good at making statements but poor in supporting them with inspired truth. The truth is that when the truth was in inspired men, and preached by them, it produced the church but when God completed his revelation and it was put in writing; the church was henceforward to act as the "pillar and ground" that is, God would depend on the church to up-hold (and that is the meaning of the passage) or propagate the truth. The truth now rests upon the church only in the sense that God looks to the church and not to the government, some lodge or organization, to preach it. The truth NOW depends upon the church for the continuance of its preaching. If the church doesn't do it no one else will. This is the only sense in which the truth rests upon the church or "the church is the 'pillar and ground of the truth'." But, the church also rests upon the truth, since the truth produces the church. When Paul established the church in Corinth, he did so by "laying the foundation" (preaching the truth)—I Cor. 3:10; 15:1. Thus, the truth is also the foundation (upon which the church depends for its existence). I Tim. 3:15 therefore, does not help the Catholics cause, concerning the church originally giving us the truth. It does not teach that the church gave us the truth but the TRUTH gave us the church. Everyone knows the truth existed, before the church. To begin with, had the Catholics given us the Bible you would certainly read of the Roman Catholic Church and many other things peculiar to you, not found in the Bible. But, here again you err: Christ does not speak "unerringly through the church." The church is made up of men; fallible men. Christ speaks to us through His word, the New Testament. The New Testament is Unerring; the church does not believe it? If it is the truth, it never changes for truth never changes. But, the fact Catholics have changed it (or endeavored to) shows you do not regard it as truth.
The New Testament affirms its inspiration. Do you on page 3, of your booklet, you have printed: "Men pass away, but the truth of the Lord remains forever"... Thomas A. Kempis. Why, sir! are you constantly changing it then ? ? ? You should blush with shame, claiming to have equal authority with the Son of God. You, sir, have no authority; you, nor any other man or group of men.