Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Truth and Authority for Steve Finnell

Well, I suspect this was another "drive-by" posting from Mr. Finnell, but since he posted - I'll respond.  In fact, in just doing a quick Google search I see that Finnell posted this exact same article to about 20 other sites.  In short, he's trolling in an attempt to draw attention to his own blog and really has no intention of engaging discussion on all 20 or so blogs.  Since he's really not responding to the article on my blog, I'm responding to him in a separate article (and deleted the "comment" he posted elsewhere on this blog).
  
TRUTH AND AUTHORITY?  By Steve Finnell
Where should Christians look for God's authoritative truth? Should it be the Bible? Should it be the church of your choice or the church you belong to by chance?

Truth is found in God's Word, this is true! The Church is also found in God's Word! You should belong to THAT Church, which Jesus Christ Himself declared He would build - and not the "church" of some so-called "reformer" who started a "new church" (or someone else did) in his name and/or after his teachings.

The Bible was completed in 95 A.D. when the apostle John wrote Revelation. Who wrote the Bible? Was it God or was it the church?

The Scriptures were written by men as they were inspired by the Holy Ghost.  Interestingly, Finnell clearly states "when the (A)postle John wrote Revelation" - so he answered his own question, at least in part!  Men wrote the Scriptures as they were inspired by God to do so.  Who was the inspiration of Scripture?  God was, but those who "wrote" Scripture were men.  A better question would be who assembled all the separate books of Scripture into one book we call "The Bible?"  Keep in mind, nowhere in Scripture is there an "inspired table of contents," no, again it was men guided by the Holy Ghost who determined which books would be considered part of the canon and which books would be excluded from that canon.  For the first 300 years the canon was a bit in flux.  Yes, there were some books considered canonical in all lists, but this is not true for all books, even some of those which eventually were included were not part of some of the earlier canon lists.

John 14:24-26 He who does not love Me does not keep My words; and the word which you hear is not Mine, but the Father's who sent me. (THE WORDS JESUS SPOKE WERE FROM GOD THE FATHER) 25 "These things I have spoken to you while abiding with you. 26 But the Helper, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in My name, He will teach you all things, and bring to your remembrance all the I said to you.

Right!  The Holy Ghost would come to them - the Apostles, our first bishops, and guide them and teach them all things!  Just as important, Scripture tells us in Matthew 16:18-19 that one of these Apostles/Bishops was singled out with infallible authority.  In Matthew 16:18-19 Jesus is addressing St. Peter, and him alone, when He said to him, "whatsoever you shall bind on earth shall be bound in heaven and whatsoever you shall loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven."  No, unless you believe error can be bound or loosed in heaven, then this authority to bind or loose "whatsoever" St. Peter chooses is infallible authority!  Later, in Matthew 18:18 Jesus is addressing the whole council of bishops and grants to them, as a group, the same authority which He gave to St. Peter alone two chapters earlier.  Back to Matthew 16, it is also here where Jesus Christ, God Himself, declares and promises to build His Church (singular).  

Some of our Protestant challengers will even give us that St. Peter and the Apostles were given infallible authority - but that this authority died with them.  If that is true, then they did not fulfill Jesus' prophecy that even has He was sent, He too sent them.  At least part of what Jesus was sent to do was to choose the Apostles/Bishops so that when He left them, there would be someone left to govern His People, the Church.  So, when Jesus empowers our first bishops - they too are expected to likewise empower successive bishops.  It is in that succession of bishops, united to the Chair of Peter, that we find the One, Holy, Catholic and Apostolic Church.  ANYTHING ELSE is merely a schism from that One, True Church.

The words of Jesus were from God the Father and He said that The Father would send the apostles the Holy Spirit so they could remember all that He said. The words of the apostles were God's word, their words were Scripture, their words were the Bible.

There are at least a couple problems with this thought/statement.  First off, not even everything Jesus said is contained in Scripture!  St. John even attests to the fact that if everything Jesus said/taught was written down that the world itself could not contain all the volumes! (John 21:25)   Secondly, not everything the Apostles said was "God's Word!"  I'm sure that Peter may have said, many times even, "Let's camp here for the night," yet this is not and would not be considered "Scripture."  It's just plain silly to think that every word they spoke was "God's Word."  Likewise, even in infallible councils and infallible teachings in papal documents, not EVERYTHING in the council or EVERYTHING in the papal teaching is considered infallible, only specific declarations or definitions on faith or morals are considered so.  For example, in Munificentissimus Deus, where the Dogma of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary is defined, just one sentence in that document is considered infallible!  Here is that sentence from paragraph 44:
...that the Immaculate Mother of God, the ever Virgin Mary, having completed the course of her earthly life, was assumed body and soul into heavenly glory.
That's it!  While we do not discard the rest of the document, it is important to be aware and consider only that sentence to be what was defined infallibly.

In, John 14:24-26, Jesus was not talking to the Pope, John Calvin, Martin Luther, Billy Graham, Joesph Smith Jr, Mary Baker Eddy, cardinals, bishops, elders, so-called modern day apostles, preachers, pastors, nor any one claiming to speak for God. If the church or theses men as individuals, were speaking for God by new revelation, then, we would have added books to the Bible. There would the books of the Popes, the book of John Calvin, the book of Billy Graham, the books of elders, the books of churches, the book of Joesph Smith Jr. etc.

The fact of the matter is, all those books DO exist!  They are just not considered "Scripture!"  Why not?  Who determines "Scripture?"  The Protestant would likely speak out and say, "God determines Scripture!"  I would challenge them then, "Where does God Himself decree what is part of the Canon of Sacred Scripture and what is not?"  The ONLY place this actually DID happen is in councils of the Catholic Church!  Again, there is no "inspired table of contents" within the writings of Scripture!  

THE BIBLE IS THE AUTHORITY IN THE CHURCH. THE CHURCH HAS NOT BEEN GIVEN THE AUTHORITY TO CHANGE OR OVERRULE THE AUTHORITY OF THE BIBLE. THE CHURCH CANNOT ADD TO OR TAKE AWAY FROM SCRIPTURE!

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And again, I honestly ask Mr. Finnell, or any non-Catholic reading along, to tell us how the Bible came to be the books we have as a Bible today?  Why are the Epistles of Pope St. Clement included in nearly all the early canons, yet not part of the final canon?  Why are the epistles of Sts. Peter and James not included in some of the early canons, but are part of the final canon?  Upon what basis do non-Catholics even consider that which is Scripture to be Scripture?  Unless they concede that it was God through the Catholic Church, they truly have no answer to this.  
AMDG,
Scott Windsor<<<
A Truly Christian View



3 comments:

  1. Hi Scott! I stumbled upon your blog after doing a google search of Steve's name after he posted an off topic teaching on another website in an inappropriate place.
    I have to agree with you that he is indeed trolling in hopes of getting ppl to follow him on his blog, especially since after he rants aka posts his teaching, he actually "invites" us to follow him.
    Not only did this lead me to NOT want to follow him, but it made me check into him.
    I find what he is doing to be extremely dishonoring and does not in any way, shape or form represent the heart of the Father, and it doesn't represent Protestants either. This is an independent person with their individual thoughts.
    I am a Protestant and I of the same mind as you in regards to this post up to 99.9% of it (the only places I differ with you is where you say some Protestants would say this or challenge that, and though you do full well say "some", I believe most of us would not and feel it would have been better stated simply as "some people" or "some in opposition.")
    The Catholic church is our "Mama" so to speak. Everything we have, we have learned from her, and with that, must show her honor, love and respect, and whats more, do it with a happy heart!
    Thank you for your blog, it was wonderful to read!
    Love and Blessings in the name of Christ Jesus!

    ReplyDelete
  2. Hi Melissa,
    Thank you for the comments. You provide an interesting perspective and I welcome what you have to say. I hope this time of stumbling in here is not your last.
    May God bless you on your journey to Him.

    AMDG,
    Scott<<<

    ReplyDelete
  3. I found your blog after looking around- he's hit my blogs before, and a couple of days ago did the same at one of the photoblogs I follow. Yours is a much more reasoned, well thought take.

    Steve Finnell, on the other hand, is the sort of person who's a prime example of the self righteous, sanctimonious, hypocritical zealot that just drives people away from organized religion.

    ReplyDelete

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