I am amused by some of my Christian acquaintances and friends. They spend time postulating and posing ideas in their minds as to what exactly is meant by some of the weightier things in Godâ€™s word. The church and the form it takes is one current fashion. I read recently that the church is â€œinvisible.â€ I have heard that it is not an organization, a corporation, an entity, or an institution.
The Catholic Rule of Faith,with its “unanimous consent of the Fathers” is stated to be held in solemnity. It first appeared under Pius IV at one of the many sessions of the various Councils of Trent. It also appears in more recent Papal Creeds: “Nor will I take and interpret it (the Sacred Scriptures) otherwise than according to the unanimous consent of the Fathers.” It might as well state that “I will not take and interpret the scriptures unless I possess the Sorcerer’s Stone” or some better fictional conjurers invention. It is after all the Roman Church that anointed everyone of these ancients known as “Church Fathers.” Too bad that, for the most part, they contradict one another and have nothing that might pass as unanimous consent on all except a single topic. So I plan to give credit where credit is due.
“Brethren, look into the Holy Scriptures, where are the true words of the Holy Ghost. You know there is nothing unjust or counterfeit in them.” (Clement from his letter to the Church at Corinth.)
“The blessed and renowned Paul… did with all exactness and soundness, teach the word of truth; and being gone from you did write an epistle to you, into which, if you look, you will be able to edify yourselves in the faith that has been delivered to you… I trust that you are well exercised in the Holy Scriptures, and that nothing is hid from you.” (Polycarp to the Philippian Church.)
“Ignorance of the scriptures is the cause of all evils.” “The knowledge of the Holy Bible is a powerful defense against sin: while an ignorance of them is a deep precipice, a profound gulf. It is a great betraying of salvation to know nothing of the Divine Law, it is this ignorance which has given birth to heresies.” (Chrysostom’s third sermon on Lazarus.)
Then the Romanists came up with this at the Council of Toulouse in Canon 14: “We prohibit the laity from having the books of the Old and New Testaments; unless it be, at most, that any one wishes to have, from devotion, a Psalter, a breviary for the divine offices, or the honor of the blessed Mary; but we forbid them, in the most express manner, to have the books translated into the vulgar tongue.”
And finally this from the same Council of Trent: “It belongs to the Church to judge of the true sense and interpretation of Scripture; and that no person shall dare to interpret it in matters relating to faith and manners, to any sense contrary to that which the Church has held, and does still hold; or contrary to the unanimous consent of the Fathers.”
You be the judge.
Whoever transgresses and does not abide in the doctrine of Christ does not have God. He who abides in the doctrine of Christ has both the Father and the Son. If anyone comes to you and does not bring this doctrine, do not receive him or invite him into your house nor greet him; for he who greets him shares in his evil deeds.
(2 John 9 -11)