Thursday, December 20, 2007
Thursday, November 01, 2007
Authority of the Church
Beginning with the Reformation, Protestants (and now also other churches) have advanced the principle of sola scriptura (Latin: by Scripture alone). Ironically, this notion is itself nowhere to be found in the Bible.
In order for it to be a valid proposition (i.e., that althings revealed by God that are necessary for salvation are readily found in Scripture alone, apart from and without the necessity of recourse to the authority of the Magisterium to authentically interpret Scripture, and apart from the Church’s authoritative, living Tradition), Sola Scriptura itself must be located in Scripure. But it is not.
On the contrary, Scripture nowhere claims to be the sole, sufficient rule of Faith for Christians (as most Protestants and Christians from other churches suppose). Instead, it affirms its own importance and authority as well as that of Sacred Traditon and the Magisterium of the Church.
* Matthew 16:18-19:
“On this rock I will build my Church, and the powers of death shall not prevail against it,. I will give you the keys of the kingdom of heaven, and whatever you bind on earth shall be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven.”
“He who hears you hears Me, and he who rejects you rejects Me, and he who rejects Me rejects Him who send Me.”
In addition to the New Testament passages that demonstrate that Scripture doesn’t teach sola scriptura, we find a warning to those who would ignore the teaching authority of the “priests” who are charged by God with the obligation to authentically interpret and transmit the Faith. In the Old Testament, the Lord endowed his priests with the authority to interpret his laws (religious, civil, and criminal: cf. Leviticus 20:1-27, 25:1-55) and issue binding decisions based on those interpretations.
“If in your own community there is a case at issue which proves too complicated for you to decide, in a matter of bloodshed or of civil rights or of personal injury, you shall then go up to the place which the LORD, your God, chooses, to the levitical priests or to the judge who is in office at that time. They shall study the case and then hand down to you their decision. According to this decision that they give you in the place which the LORD chooses, you shall act, being careful to do exactly as they direct. You shall carry out the directions they give you and the verdict they pronounce for you, without turning aside to the right or to the left from the decision they hand down to you. Any man who has the insolence to refuse to listen to the priest who officiates there in the ministry of the LORD, your God, or to the judge, shall die. Thus shall you purge the evil from your midst. And all the people, on hearing of it, shall fear, and never again be so insolent.”
Similarly, as the verses above demonstate, the Lord established the priestly Magisterium of His Church with various authority to teach (cf. Matthew 28:20), interpret Scripture (cf. Acts 2:14-36), bind and loose (Matthew 18:18: Acts 15:28-29), and otherwise excercise teaching authority in His Name (Luke 10:16).
“But these people revile what they do not understand and are destroyed by what they know by nature like irrational animals. Woe to them! They followed the way of Cain, abandoned themselves to Balaam's error for the sake of gain, and perished in the rebellion of Korah.”
The “rebellion of Korah”(Korah was e great grandson of Abraham) that Jude speaks of is described in Numbers 16:1-35. Korah and his cronies rebelled against the lawful authority of Moses and the priests.
1 Corinthians 11:2
“I praise you because you remember me in everything and hold fast to the traditions, just as I handed them on to you.”
1 Corinthians 10:8
“Let us not indulge in immorality as some of them did, and twenty-three thousand fell within a single day.”
1 Timothy 3:14-15
“I am writing you about these matters, although I hope to visit you soon. But if I should be delayed, you should know how to behave in the household of God, which is the church of the living God, the pillar and foundation of truth.”
1 Thessalonians 2:13
“And for this reason we too give thanks to God unceasingly, that,in receiving the word of God from hearing us, you received not a human word but, as it truly is, the word of God, which is now atwork in you who believe.”
2 Thessalonians 2:15
“Therefore, brothers, stand firm and hold fast to the traditions that you were taught, either by an oral statement or by a letter of ours.”
2 Peter 3:15-17
“Always be ready to give an explanation to anyone who asks you for a reason for your hope, but do it with gentleness and reverence, keeping your conscience clear, so that, when you are maligned, those who defame your good conduct in Christ may themselves be put to shame. For it is better to suffer for doing good, if that be the will of God, than for doing evil.”
2 Peter 1:20-21
“Know this first of all, that there is no prophecy of scripture that is a matter of personal interpretation, for no prophecy ever came through human will; but rather human beings moved by the holy Spirit spoke under the influence of God.”
2 Peter 2:1
“There were also false prophets among the people, just as there will be false teachers among you, who will introduce destructive heresies and even deny the Master who ransomed them, bringing swift destruction on themselves.”
Saturday, October 27, 2007
Fear seized them all and they glorified God, saying, "A great prophet has arisen among us!" and "God has visited His people!"
"Human beings," said T.S. Eliot, "cannot bear too much reality." I think of this whenever I hear people say, "It would have been cool to see Jesus raise somebody from the dead." Such people seem to be stone blind to the normal realities of the human condition. The widow's son did not lie down and die in order to titillate a curiosity seeker. His dead body was not just an anonymous cadaver for resurrection experiments. It was the body of somebody's child, somebody's friend, somebody's beloved, and his loss was a wrenching grief, not a chance for experimentation. When the resurrection occurred sensible people did not say, "Cool!" They reacted with fear bordering on terror. When death is conquered, we face the Ultimate Power in the universe and our response is rightly awe and fear, mixed with a sight of glory that is far beyond the vision of the curiosity-seeker.
Tuesday, October 23, 2007
But He said to them, "I must preach the good news of the kingdom of God to the other cities also for I was sent for this purpose."
"The sin of Service is the sin of Satan," said G.K. Chesterton. Taken by itself, this arresting statement sounds weird, but in context it makes sense. Chesterton is complaining about boosters and social gospel types who put a capital "S" on Service and make it the highest good. His complaint is well-founded when we realize this. For, of course, members of the Waffen SS had a strong devotion to Service, but it didn't exactly make them saints. Rather it unveiled the evil that comes of taking a secondary thing like the Fatherland and making it the primary thing like God. Lucifer did the same thing with Himself and, in the process, became Satan. Jesus served, but He always kept His perspective. Service was for one purpose: to preach the Good News of the Kingdom of God.
Friday, October 05, 2007
And he who had received the five talents came forward, bringing five talents more, saying, "Master, you delivered to me five talents here I have made five talents more." His master said to him, "Well done, good and faithful servant you have been faithful over a little, I will set you over much, enter into the joy of your master."
One of the curious linguistic coincidences in Scripture is that "talent" has a double meaning for us. In this passage, a "talent" refers to a unit of money worth more than 15 years of a laborer's wages. But, by a happy coincidence, it also evokes in the minds of English speakers the modern meaning of "special ability or gift." This is good, because it helps us see clearly what often mystifies modern readers about the conclusion of the parable of the talents. The moral is not that the King is absurdly generous toward diligent servants and unduly harsh toward timid people. It is rather what we all learned in tap dance class, gymnastics, or piano lessons: use it or lose it. Biblical talents are simply images of any grace God has given us.
We must exercise the muscle of grace or it will wither.
Thursday, October 04, 2007
"Then I saw a new heaven and a new earth for the first heaven and the first earth had passed away, and the sea was no more".
The "end of the world" will be, for the saved, like the "end of the pregnancy" for the newborn. It won't really be the end of anything except for the end of World Trade Center bombings, death, grief, anguish, and the thousand natural shocks flesh is heir to. Rather, it will be the beginning of everything. It will be the heaven and earth we have always longed for, of a world in which life is a continual struggle against our own worst inclinations, of a world in which we find it natural and easy to love, of a world in which God is readily known and loved in every beam of light and whiff of air around us. That world is already here in the foretaste that is the Eucharist. Someday it will be here in full.
When the Son of Man comes, let us be among those who welcome the Bridegroom.
O Lord, Come! Maranatha!
Wednesday, September 12, 2007
Saturday, June 23, 2007
I study a bit for the ITIL exam, do some research and surf on the web every now and then.
Still no job or somewhere were I can do an internship.
But the good thing is that my niece was excepted at the school she applied to. Prayer does help.
Today there is a soccer match between the Netherlands and the Serb Republik of the soccerteams under the age of 21.
That would be great.
Later I'll post in Dutch and Papiamento.
Na Papiamento: http://miidioma.blogspot.com
In het Nederlands: http://hollands.blogspot.com
Monday, June 11, 2007
But I have been very busy and my mind was set on other things.
But what's been happening lately with me is that I did an IT course, I passed for the exam. Now I'm looking for a job in ICT, but I am having some help in that. I'm in a reintegration programme so as to jumpstart my employment.
Last thing that happened was that I was selected to join a project but then rejected again by the company with whom I was applying.
To receive a rejection is not fun, but I didn't let this spoil my fun. I know there is something else for me somewhere.
I know also that God has a plan for me, so I'm waiting for that moment. In the mean time I don't want to sit and wait and do nothing. I have been doing that long enough. I wasn't sure then of what to do. But now things are clearer to me now.
So I'm expecting a phonecall that a position is found for me.
It's exiting of also not knowing exactly what is waiting for me but being a man of faith, I know that the Lord has it all under control.
At the moment I'm in a local Christian community and that is good for my soul, to receive incouragement and to help me grow spiritualy.
Faith is also helping me to face things of life that tend to drag me down, but I always get strenght to carry on.
His Grace is more than enough for me.
Since I live in Holland I'm also fluent in Dutch, but my thoughts are mostly in English and words in English seems to flow out of my hands.
I have been living about seven years in English speaking environment and I adopted English as the main language I communicate in. My prayerlive is also in English, my Bible is in English, I pray in English and I hear God speaking to me in English.
My Christian formation was also in English so that's why.
But living again in the Netherlands I have to communicate in Dutch and being Aruban I communicate also in Papiamento. (my official native language)
But I still don't feel comfortable reading literature in Papiamento, and I'm starting to do that in Dutch because of my studies.
So that's it a bit of my life now. I will post more in the days to come.
All the best!