Friday, October 03, 2008

History Proves RCC Divinity



Catholics love to argue for the the legitimacy of their church from history. Here is a classic, but older example.

"Why are Protestants so much prejudiced against the Catholic Church, and why is it so difficult to convert them? It is because from infancy the minds of their children have been impressed with a false view of the History of their Religion—a Religion that dates only from the beginning of the sixteenth century. Why should not Catholics with equal, and even greater, effect confirm our children in their attachment to the Church, by showing them how to trace her to the times of the Apostles, and even to the Creation of the world? Is it not, then, of the greatest importance to teach them, together with their catechism, the History of their Religion? History is a safeguard against internal doubts, and a bulwark against all external attacks. He who has, by this means, been fully strengthened in his conviction that the Catholic Church is from God, and that she is the Only True Church, cannot but love her and submit his intellect to her doctrine and his heart to her precepts, and thus remain all his lifetime faithful to her.

After this proof from History that the Catholic Religion is Divine, the Catechism proper commences, and teaches us that we must submit to its doctrine; namely, that we must, 1. Believe what the Church teaches; 2. That we must also practise, that is, do the will of God; and 3. That we can neither believe nor do the will of God without His grace, which we receive by means of the Sacraments and of Prayer."

A Full Catechism of the Catholic Religion from 1889


It is interesting that the proof of the Divinity of the Roman Catholic Church should be determined from history books rather than God's book. If I were to fall for the "older is truer" idea, I think I would convert to Judaism.

11 comments:

BillyHW said...

It is interesting that the proof of the Divinity of the Roman Catholic Church should be determined from history books rather than God's book.

God's book *is* a history book.

eklektos said...

You knew what was meant, so spare us trite responses.

Paul Hoffer said...

Hi Carrie, I found it interesting that you elevated a German parochial school catechism to full-fledged defense arguing the legitimacy of Catholicism from history.

Of course, you neglected to provide a proper context for the remarks you referenced from a translator's preface by leaving out the paragraph preceding your citation:

"This Catechism is founded on History ; not only on the History of the Old and New Testament, but on the History of Religion from the Creation of the world to the present time. It clearly shows how our Faith originated and spread, what blessings it produced, how it
confounded Infidelity and Heresy, and how it triumphed over all sorts of obstacles and persecutions in every age down to this day. It thus shows how the predictions of the Prophets, and more especially those of the Eternal Son of God, with regard to His Church, have been fulfilled
at all times ; thus clearly proving which one, among the many societies that now claim Christ for their Founder, is" in reality His true Church, holding and
professing the True and Divine Religion established by Him.

In presenting this view, the Catechism carries out the
advice of St. Augustine, who admonishes catechists 'to
give a brief account to the ignorant of the whole History
from the Creation to the present time of the Church, and to adduce the causes of the various events.'"

It does put your quote into perspective and shows the Catholic Church does rely upon "God's book" as history to prove its claims.

Any fair minded person would have to acknowledge that Jesus, Our Lord and Savior, did the same thing at Mt. 22:32 when he refuted the Sadducees by proving the resurrection by an appeal to history, "I am the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob." And what of the Acts of the Apostles which is nothing less than a historical treatise documenting the birth and growth of the Church.

When history is viewed for what it really is-a passing on from one generation to the next of the truth-the doctrines of apostolic succession, the belief in Sacred Tradition, the preservation of the writings of the Early Church Fathers, the veneration of saints and relics, our liturgies which basically have not changed since the time of the apostles all are a part of that history from which the Church can trace its beginnings. [Eklektos-you owe BillyHW an apology]

As for the claim of "divinity" we do not suggest that the Church is elevated to the status co-equal to God. We are merely acknowledging that the Church is God's instrument by which He effects His plan of salvation. As noted in Lumen Gentium 8:

"Christ, the one Mediator, established and continually sustains here on earth His holy Church, the community of faith, hope and charity, as an entity with visible delineation through which He communicated truth and grace to all. But, the society structured with hierarchical organs and the Mystical Body of Christ, are not to be considered as two realities, nor are the visible assembly and the spiritual community, nor the earthly Church and the Church enriched with heavenly things; rather they form one complex reality which coalesces from a divine and a human element. For this reason, by no weak analogy, it is compared to the mystery of the incarnate Word. As the assumed nature inseparably united to Him, serves the divine Word as a living organ of salvation, so, in a similar way, does the visible social structure of the Church serve the Spirit of Christ, who vivifies it, in the building up of the body. (Cf. Eph. 4:15-16)" I would also add 1 Cor. 12:12-31.

I realize that someone from your ecclesiastical community has a very stunted and mawkish definition of "Church" and thus you lack the tools to adequately comprehend what is written in that child's catechism, but rather than using it as a tool to attack something you don't understand, you perhaps might want to sit down and actually read it as an inquirer and in a prayerful attitude. You certainly would get more out of it than a "sound bite" for blog post.

God bless!

DH (DumbHusband) said...

Good post.
"The fact that an error is old does not make it right". Quote from "History is not Enough" by Ken Guindon. Looks like an interesting book, thanks for the tip James.

eklektos said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
eklektos said...

I realize that someone from your ecclesiastical community has a very stunted and mawkish definition of "Church"
Translation: you don't buy Romes never ending contradictions, lies, logical fallacies, and "traditions". Rome frequently makes the argument that their church is the "true" church because of its antiquity(read history), an argument heard from the EOC also. When challenged on historical grounds they cry foul. Ipsis dixit is not a theology.

Paul Hoffer said...

Hello Eklektos, I agree with you 100% that ipse dixit is not theology. Likewise, making a statement based on a quotation taken out of context is not theology. It is not even good argumentation. I have shown that Carrie's quotation was in fact taken out of context and the translator did in fact claim that the Church's history is taken from both the OT and NT as was suggested by BillyHW's sage comments. The only thing that was trite was your flippant dismissal of his argument without addressing the substance of his contention. You still owe him an apology.

Unfortunately, you compound your error by engaging in ipse dixit argumentation yourself by claiming, "Translation: you don't buy Rome's never ending contradictions, lies, logical fallacies, and `traditions'" without providing us with an example of your conclusory allegations. If the RC and EOC argue from antiquity, they do so because they both have Apostolic Succession and Apostolic Tradition.

You said, "When challenged on historical grounds they cry foul" Please adduce for us evidence of an occasion when you have made such a challenge on historical grounds to a RC or EOC apologist and they cried "foul". Then, I for one, might take your statements of self-expression a bit more seriously.

God bless!

eklektos said...

Well, we could use the example of the Pope who was an Arian heretic, who of course was not "infallible" because..well we say so. Perhaps some later Pope taken to be "infallible" will in the future said to be not speaking "infallibly" because our theology has changed. Or we could of course speak of the Marian Dogmas, which are not supported by scripture, the arguments for them are obviously invalid, but are "true" whether the arguments for them are or not. Or the fact that Trent says schismatics and heretics barring conversion are damned, but Vatican II says Islam worships the same God, which is nonsense. All of these errors are defended by nothing more than ipsis dixit, we're the infallible church and we say so.
The number of "just so" stories the RCC has produced couldn't be numbered. So this small sample proves sufficient to demonstrate the ipsis dixit nature of Romanism. Words have meaning, but in Rome words mean what we say.
And as I pointed out, and the article did too, Rome makes claims based on antiquity, and I've had that argument made to me many times. The article merely pointed this out, it was not meant to be a comprhensive overview of every argument put forth by Rome, nor every example of Roman historical claims. This goal was accomplished, it was a valid example, despite comments to the contrary.
One could also point out fact that Rome bases dogmatic assertions on false and heretical documents, which Roman scholars admit. And pulling out the "you have a low view of the church because you don't buy Rome's claims" is a valid observation. That this was being asserted is obvious from the snide little quote.
Further they do not have apostolic succesion or apostolic tradition, nor can the historically demonstrate that the do, they assert it. Ipsis Dixit. There is not a single word or any tradition being passed down from the apostles, not one! If you would care to provide such an example it would be instructive, as Roman scholarship admits they cannot give us any such quotes apart from what is contained in scripture. You have no idea what the apostles taught apart from...scripture.
So spare me the antiquity argument, the modern Roman church is based on ipsis dixit, period. All of the inovative heresies for which the Roman church in noted are later developments, hence the material sufficiency view and development hyothesis. The reality is the Roman church cannot trace any tradition back to the Apostles, apart from scripture. Historicity disproves Romes claims, yet they assert them on the basis of...ipsis dixit. This even includes the canon, which wasn't defined dogmatically by Rome till the 19th century, and differs from the historically accepted books of the canon.
As to "cry foul" it was implied by the post I responded to, in particular the griping about the source the article addressed. As I stated earlier it was obviously not the authors intent to address the entire realm of historical claims made by Rome, but to address a particular Roman text as an example, and was identified as an older example. You are the one who elevated it, not the author.
With that I tire of reinventing the wheel. Suffice it to say I have demonstrated that Rome makes claims based on antiquity, and that those claims are in fact false.
Make God grant those in bondage to the false gospel of Rome repentance and admitance to the true church, which is the body of Christ, spiritual, and a Kingdom of reality here and now. It is not a temporal earthly establishment such as Rome, but a spiritual reality in the life of the believer.

Paul Hoffer said...

Eklektos, Wow! Where to start?

I will pick two things that can be easily refuted in a comm box. Your other erroneous claims have given me enough fodder to keep me busy for the rest of the year. I will try to address each one of your claims on my own website.

You said, "Vatican II says Islam worships the same God, which is nonsense." Well there are a large number of magisterial pronouncements in Vatican II--16 to be precise. Only two of them even mention Islam. Lumen Gentium 16 merely states that Muslims claim that they have the faith of Abraham, meaning that they believe that they worship the same God we do. However, there is nothing there that says that the council fathers of Vatican II claim that they do. Ditto with Nostra Aetate 3 which states that "the Islamic faith is pleased to associate itself" with one God. Again, there is nothing there that says that we recognize their claim that they worship the same God we do.

That being said, the Catholic Church does not reject whatever truths maybe found in other religions as we see such things as gifts of the Holy Spirit to impel men to seek the fullness of faith that resides in the Catholic Church or as Eusebius of Caesaria stated, preparation to receive the Gospel message. [I am writing a series of posts on my own blog documenting and refuting the ever-anonymous Turretinfan on this very issue right now. You can access my efforts by clicking on my name and follow the link.]

By-the-bye, the language in Vatican II's pronouncements was designed to be postive and ecumenical and not condemnatory or full or anathemas.

Assuming, arguendo, that the Church did mean to state that. What is nonsensical about it? Do the Jews worship the same God we Christians do despite the fact their knowledge of the nature of God is defective in that they do not recognize Christ's deity? The Muslims claim the same thing. And did not St. Paul recognize that the "Unknown God" the Athenians, who were pantheists, worshipped our God and said so? (Acts 17:22-30.) Or was St. Paul lying there?

Frankly, given your neo-Docetic impulse to divorce God from history here, your notion of God is probably closer to a Muslim's understanding of God than mine.

As far as Marian beliefs go, I would be happy to discuss them with you provided you can first show me that there is a single church anywhere in the world throughout the last that has ever claimed, let alone prove, that it had first class relics of the BVMary in its possession.

God bless and thank you for your collection of erroneous Protestant notions I can write about.

Turretinfan said...

PH wrote: "[I am writing a series of posts on my own blog documenting and refuting the ever-anonymous Turretinfan on this very issue right now. You can access my efforts by clicking on my name and follow the link.]"

I have been watching that series (anonymously, of course). I hope there will be some kind of clear sign when the series to anonymous readers when the series is complete. Did I mention the irrelevant fact that I'm anonymous enough times in one paragraph?

Anonymously yours,

-TurretinFan

Paul Hoffer said...

Hello all, I do need to correct a portion of my remarks here as it has come to my attention that I misstated something that the Catholic Church does teach. I stated in connection with whether Muslims worship the same God as we Christians do:

"Lumen Gentium 16 merely states that Muslims claim that they have the faith of Abraham, meaning that they believe that they worship the same God we do. However, there is nothing there that says that the council fathers of Vatican II claim that they do.Ditto with Nostra Aetate 3 which states that "the Islamic faith is pleased to associate itself" with one God. Again, there is nothing there that says that we recognize their claim that they worship the same God we do."

While the first part of my statement about Lumen Gentium is accurate, my statement about Nostra Aetate is not accurate. The problem is that my handy-dandy translation of the document says something a bit different than what the official translation on the Vatican website reads:

"The Church regards with esteem also the Moslems. They adore the one God, living and subsisting in Himself; merciful and all- powerful, the Creator of heaven and earth, who has spoken to men; they take pains to submit wholeheartedly to even His inscrutable decrees, just as Abraham, with whom the faith of Islam takes pleasure in linking itself, submitted to God. Though they do not acknowledge Jesus as God, they revere Him as a prophet. They also honor Mary, His virgin Mother; at times they even call on her with devotion. In addition, they await the day of judgment when God will render their deserts to all those who have been raised up from the dead. Finally, they value the moral life and worship God especially through prayer, almsgiving and fasting." (NA 3)

Further, it would appear from checking material that I have photocopied for my research of the work I am doing, the statement I made after the "assuming arguendo" does appear to be the Catholic position concerning Muslims One writer wrote:

"[A]lthough Muslim worship, which includes a flat denial of Christ’s divinity, is not in itself fitting, God-pleasing, or salvific in character, the object of that defective worship—that is, the Being toward whom it is directed—is nevertheless the true God, imperfectly understood, as distinct from a disguised demon or a nonexistent figure of myth or legend."

I apologize for giving you all an erroneous impression about what the Catholic Church taught. I realize that might give you all some fodder here but my integrity is more important to me than saving some face.

I also understand that some Protestants believe that Muslims share a similar view although from reading an archived post here, it would appear that many here do not. I would be interested in seeing why Jews, and Arian types-- Mormons, JW's, and Oneness Pentacostals can be said to worship the same God that we do, yet Muslims do not, especially since they claim they do. The only thing I would ask is please do not use the name "Allah"-is-the-same-name-as-some-moon-god- argument as Eloah and Allah share the same Semitic roots and I have attended two different Arab Christian services-one Copt and the other a Lebanese Baptist service where they both used the word Allah to describe "God the Father." I would appreciate someone point in the direction of an article, etc that explains the basis for what you claim. Thank you!