Monday, June 04, 2012

Francis De Sales and his bad questions


Over at Called to Communion a writer added a quote from St. Francis De Sales, that might, I repeat might help anyone who doesn't "get it" to see what Mr. Stellman was up against. There is no way sola scriptura was going to solve his dilemma. Please look to his paradigm and go easy.

"If then the Church can err, O Calvin, O Luther, to whom shall I have recourse in my difficulties? To the Scripture, say they. But what shall I, poor man, do, for it is precisely about the Scripture that my difficulty lies. I am not in doubt whether I must believe the Scripture or not, for who knows not that it is the Word of Truth? What keeps me in anxiety is the understanding of this Scripture, is the conclusions to be drawn from it, which are innumerable and diverse and opposite on the same subject, and everybody takes his view, one this, another that, though out of all there is but one which is sound. Ah, who will give me to know the good among so many bad? Who will tell me the real verity through so many specious and masked vanities? Everybody would embark on the ship of the Holy Spirit; there is but one, and only that one shall reach the port, all the rest are on their way to shipwreck. Ah, Ah, what danger am I in of erring! All shout out their claims with equal assurance and thus deceive the greater part, for all boasts that theirs is the ship. Whoever says that our Master has not left us guides in so dangerous and difficult a way, says that he wishes us to perish. Whoever says that he has put us aboard at the mercy of wind and tide, without giving us a skilful pilot able to use properly his compass and chart, says that the Savior is wanting in foresight. Whoever says that this good father has sent us into this school of the Church, knowing that error was taught there, says that he intended to foster our vice and our ignorance. Who has ever heard of an academy in which everybody taught and nobody was a scholar? Such would be the Christian commonwealth if the Church can err. For if the Church herself err, who shall not err? And if each one in it err, or can err, to whom shall I betake myself for instruction? To Calvin? But why to him rather than to Luther, or Brentius, or Pacimontanus?"


But what shall I, poor man, do, for it is precisely about the Scripture that my difficulty lies.

Just wait until you discover that church councils have contradicted themselves, Popes other Popes, bishops other bishops...and the church hierarchy has over decades actively hid and sheltered pædophiles. Poor man indeed who refuses the counsel of Jesus Himself in Mark 7!


who will give me to know the good among so many bad?

Too bad de Sales was either too ignorant or too dishonest to ask the same question about church teachings.


Who will tell me the real verity through so many specious and masked vanities?

Nobody. This is a fake longing for an imaginary Final Authority besides what God has already put in place.
As James White likes to say: The infallible fuzzies.


Ah, Ah, what danger am I in of erring!

Which danger no Church can solve.


Whoever says that our Master has not left us guides in so dangerous and difficult a way

Strawman.


Whoever says that he has put us aboard at the mercy of wind and tide

Strawman.


without giving us a skilful pilot able to use properly his compass and chart, says that the Savior is wanting in foresight

If only the Savior had thought ahead enough to send the Holy Spirit to His church! Alas!


Such would be the Christian commonwealth if the Church can err.

Unsupported conclusion.


For if the Church herself err, who shall not err?

The Holy Spirit and the Scripture. That's easily answered.


And if each one in it err, or can err, to whom shall I betake myself for instruction? To Calvin? But why to him rather than to Luther, or Brentius, or Pacimontanus?

I was thinking more like Jesus, the apostles, the prophets.

8 comments:

Ryan said...

"I am not in doubt whether I must believe the Scripture or not, for who knows not that it is the Word of Truth?"

How does he know that? Why shouldn't this belief be doubted, especially given his other doubts?

It would be a convenience to him if Protestants just let him just draw the line there, and I suspect it's probably one he counted on to be granted because many Protestants also prefer to turn a blind eye to the same questions.

James Swan said...

I Think I would give them more credit for this stupid paragraph from DeSales if the almighty Roman Church actually infallibly interpreted the Bible. That is, if the Popes, under the power of the Holy Spirit actually did something meaningful over these past few centuries, then maybe the argument could be worth 10 cents rather than 2.

Sure look to the infallible church... but like, why? The rarely do anything infallible.

PeaceByJesus said...

What keeps me in anxiety is the understanding of this Scripture, is the conclusions to be drawn from it...everybody takes his view, one this, another that, though out of all there is but one which is sound."

And the same is true under sola ecclesia, but under which the most perverse aberrations are found. Rome has her pope and its Mary who is almost the 4th person of the Trinity, and Mormonism has the Living Prophet and a heavenly mother (buried teaching like papal sanctioned torture and likely use of castrati for choirs http://www.hektoeninternational.org/castrati.html)

And for a growing list of things Catholic churches can disagree on, see here

And as said therein, along with similar disagreement, SS type churches, contrary to what is all sppsd to happen, evidence a common consent to many core truths.

Whoever says that our Master has not left us guides in so dangerous and difficult a way,

Indeed. 2Tim. 3:16.

without giving us a skilful pilot able to use properly his compass and chart, says that the Savior is wanting in foresight.

Then they should report to the nearest synagogue, as somehow Scripture was written, recognized and cared for, and truth preserved and souls redeemed (looking to Christ), even without a perpetual, assuredly infallible magisterium.

But we follow an itinerant Preacher who did not have their sanction, who est. His claims on Scripture and the power of God, thus the church began and thus it endures by faith.

Who has ever heard of an academy in which everybody taught and nobody was a scholar? Such would be the Christian commonwealth if the Church can err.

One giant leap from scholarship to infallibility is actually contrary to scholarship, but as Rome has infallibly defined that she is infallible, whenever speaking in accordance with her infallibly defined formula, no one is allowed to argue with her denial of gravity.

Vince said...

How heart breaking it is....you speak of infallible doctrine, such as RC doctrine that worship is due to God alone, and yet a misleading accusation that having honor for a fellow Christian is somehow equivalent. The RC has already infallibly declared that Jesus is the Messiah, fully Godman, that human beings left to themselves are lost to eternal damnation, but thanks be God, who thru Christ Jesus has restored us to peace...I invite all of you to visually see a representation of Catholic doctrine for yourselves, it is the first thing you notice when walking into a Church, Jesus Christ nailed to a cross, and that according to the RCC is the only stairway to heaven. God love you all.

Rhology said...

You call bowing down, speaking inaudible prayers, lighting candles, and asking divine favor to a dead person is "showing honor to a fellow Christian"?

You RCs and your word games!

James Swan said...

My memory is failing me. Was it Vince, some months back whose comments became so obnoxious they had to be deleted?

Anyone recall?

Vince said...

Hi James,
Since I am in a position to answer you question, I figure I should. I am not 'that' Vince, whoever that was.


Rhology, I have no problem asking you to pray for me (actually I desire it greatly). If you were to leave here and go home to our Lord, you would be more alive (being truly ONE with Christ)then you are now.
God bless

Vince said...

Wait, I assumed you meant obnoxious = badgering, insulting, profane, etc... in which case, I am not "that" vince
best,
vince