The last post, dealing with the Nephilim of Genesis 6, ended up touching on both the creation story and on modern doctrines versus the early traditions of the church.
So, while we’re transitioning towards tradition, let’s discuss Roman Catholicism.
I got a newsletter for the Christian history section of Christianity Today that included this article on Pope Benedict XIV. It begins:
By decree on this day June 13, 1757, Pope Benedict XIV said the nations could have the Bible in their own tongues.
So, what do you reckon happened? The pope got a sudden revelation that after 1700 years God had changed his mind, and now it was okay for Catholics to read the Bible in their own language?
Of course not. What happened is that the Roman Catholic Church was finally losing to the Protestants badly enough that it had to give up some of its more egregious errors and offenses against humanity and against the teachings of the faith once for all delivered to the saints. (Quite similar to when the Latter Day Saints had a sudden revelation in the 1970’s that God had removed the curse from blacks, and now African-Americans could be priests.)
Let’s not forget that not only did the Roman Catholic Church burn people for giving the Scriptures to common people (e.g., John Huss, but there were many others). They even dug up John Wycliffe’s bones to burn them posthumously 12 years after he died.
Nothing against individual Roman Catholics. They’re the ones that I pray will be delivered from bondage to the magisterium and hierarchy of the Roman Catholic Church (which is neither Scriptural nor an apostolic tradition).
But let’s face it. To suggest that an organization which has burned people to death for translating the Scriptures is the one, true commissioned church of Jesus is just nonsense.
Yes, they’ve utterly disqualified themselves forever over just that one centuries-long bit of tyranny. But don’t worry, if you need more before you join me in rejecting them, you can study a little medieval history and grow far more disgusted with the magisterium and hierarchy of the Roman Catholic Church.
The Real Church
In Scripture, and in the earliest church fathers, the churches–it was usually plural in the 2nd century fathers, not singular–consisted of all the Christians in a local area, committed together as one family, sharing each other’s lives, that interacted in a network without any hierarchy above the local church.
That’s Biblical and traditional ecclesiology—if the tradition you’re concerned about is apostolic tradition.
If that’s offensive, too bad. They shouldn’t have murdered thousands or millions of people for trying to serve God and (of all things!) for giving out the Scriptures (free of charge!) to the common people.
Oh, wait. Let’s not forget what that hierarchy and magisterium did to the Muslims during the crusades.
No sense pretending. We might as well face what we have to face.
I don’t know what you’re looking for. I’m looking for that wonderful love and unity that marked the church in Acts 2:42-47. I believe God offers it, and the place it is found is in the local church, among Christians who have been taught to follow Christ according to the Scriptures and by the Spirit.