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Discussion in 'Free-For-All Archives' started by Jude, Dec 6, 2002.
Checking Christian's ultimate source of authority
Who voted Jesus as final authority? And why?
I put other because you never allowed for the possibility of a mixture of the above. You also made no mention of Father or Holy Spirit.
I did, for one. Reasons: It should not be 'the church' because the church is subject to-- therefore, has less authority than-- Christ Himself (Ephesians 5:24). And if you believe 'scripture,' scripture does not give 'all authority' to itself, but to Christ (Matthew 28:18). And if all authority is His, that also rules out 'other.' Finally, 'conscience' is no authority at all.
Matthew 28:18 should be sufficient, but the process of elimination also works to answer this.
I did not. God (the Father) is the final authority. Jesus even said that his power comes from the Father.
I also had to put "other".
God is the final authority.
I couldn't pick "Jesus" as the answer, because you can't split the Trinity like that.
Jesus is submissive to the Father because that is God's choice.
I say this without understanding the unique nature of the Trinity, but knowing that Jesus is truly and fully God (as are the Father and the Holy Spirit).
[ December 07, 2002, 06:47 AM: Message edited by: trying2understand ]
[ December 07, 2002, 06:46 AM: Message edited by: trying2understand ]
ChristianCynic wrote, "It should not be 'the church' because the church is subject to-- therefore, has less authority than-- Christ Himself (Ephesians 5:24). And if you believe 'scripture,' scripture does not give 'all authority' to itself, but to Christ (Matthew 28:18). And if all authority is His, that also rules out 'other.'"
Notice the false dichotomy ChristianCynic places between Christ and any creation.
Of course, all authority on heaven and earth was given to the Son by the Father, and the Son gave his same authority to men on earth. Men actually share in the authority of the God-Man, which does not allow for the nominalism that CC wishes to impose upon the Christian deposit of revelation.
Luke 10:16, "He who hears you hears me, and he who rejects you rejects me, and he who rejects me rejects him who sent me."
When we ask, "Who is your final authority?", we're asking a practical question that requires an existential answer. The answer, "God is my final authority!" is not sufficient because the Christian mission requires a practical, visible, mutual authority guided as it is by the Holy Spirit to effect unity in discipline, faith, morality, and body - not at odds with the Triune God, but in joint mission with Him, as His servant.
We know from the Biblical record how authority works within the Christian dispensation.
All authority on heaven and earth is given to the Son, and so the Son commissions the Apostles whom he formed as their rabbi:
And Jesus came and said to them, "All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, to the close of the age." (Matthew 28:18-20)
Practically speaking, when I wish to resolve an issue regarding my Christian faith, I go to the authority established by Jesus, which is our final authority - not because it has replaced or supercedes Christ, but because it is the very mouthpiece of Christ.
And so I answered with "the Church", which Saint Paul calls "the pillar and bulwark of truth" (1 Tim 3:15).
[ December 07, 2002, 11:17 AM: Message edited by: Carson Weber ]
Of course, if the answer is 'the Church' (and I suspect Carson you are right)then the question is "Which Church is the right one, THE source of authority? Is it, as you believe, the Roman Catholic Church? How about the Orthodox churches? And what of the Anglicans, or the Protestant churches? I believe, that many of our Baptist brothers here give their own church more 'authority' than they realize or wish to admit. The whole issue of authority is a very important one. And it is one that divides the Christian world.
Everything we know about Christ is found in Scripture. Everything we know about God is found through Christ. Therefore Scripture is our final authority, unless you are getting special revelation from another source.
You have 2,000 years of Church history, of great theologians and doctors of the Church that you casually toss aside in saying that. You may be comfortable in doing that, but I am not. Some of God's Word is hard to understand, and it's taken countless historians, debates, discussions, prayer, and discernment to sometimes get the full meaning of God was trying to tell us through his prophets and writers. God's Word IS sufficient, assuming one is reading it properly. That reader is the Church.
If you have to have someone tell you how to read it properly, then it is not sufficient. These two statments that you used in one paragraph contradict themselves.
The only reason it would take that much work and effort to understand the scriptures is if you are trying to read into it a doctrine that isn't there.
Though I did choose scripture as my answer, I had a difficult time doing so. I think the answers were not clear. Of course God is the final authority, and Jesus was given that authority, but how do we know what Jesus says? The only way we know is through what the scriptures tell us. So scripture is the final authority for us in understanding what Jesus had to tell us. However, it is the Jesus we read about in scripture that was given all authority. Either one could make sense.
I find alot of the writings of the "theologions" and "doctors of the church" alot harder to understand than the Scriptures. The authority and perpisuity of the Scriptures is something that was taught by the fathers anyway. Here are a couple of quotes.
Cyril of Jerusalem:
Have thou ever in thy mind this seal , which for the present has been lightly touched in my discourse, by way of summary, but shall be stated, should the Lord permit, to the best of my power with the proof from the Scriptures.For concerning the divine and holy mysteries of the Faith, not even a casual statement must be delivered without the Holy Scriptures; nor must we be drawn aside by mere plausibility and artifices of speech. Even to me, who tell thee these things, give not absolute credence, unless thou receive the proof of the things which I announce from the Divine Scriptures. For this salvation which we believe depends not on ingenious reasoning , but on demonstration of the Holy Scriptures.
When, however, they are confuted from the Scriptures, they turn round and accuse these same Scriptures, as if they were not correct, nor of authority, and [assert] that they are ambiguous, and that the truth cannot be extracted from them by those who are ignorant of tradition. For [they allege] that the truth was not delivered by means of written documents, but vivâ voce: wherefore also Paul declared, "But we speak wisdom among those that are perfect, but not the wisdom of this world." And this wisdom each one of them alleges to be the fiction of his own inventing, forsooth; so that, according to their idea, the truth properly resides at one time in Valentinus, at another in Marcion, at another in Cerinthus, then afterwards in Basilides, or has even been indifferently in any other opponent, who could speak nothing pertaining to salvation. For every one of these men, being altogether of a perverse disposition, depraving the system of truth, is not ashamed to preach himself.
The concept of this poll is too Albert Einsteinian. There is not necessarily a "Holy
Grail" of the absolute final authority. The smallest partical of REAL matter in the Universe might well be a Proton which is made up of THREE Qwarks. TRINITY might actually be the final authority.
To have a survey that makes no acknowledgement that it is possible to have a MIXURE of final authority rather then an ABSOLUTE is denighing people the vote.
To me having Jesus, Father, Holy Spirit appearing to me in a vision, having my conscience saying he is right, the Church saying the vision is right, The bible saying the vision is right is probably stronger then any individual element in your list and thus has a great claim to finality.
You've spun the poll to get the result you wanted.
If you had asked what is more authoritative:
1) A personal interpretation of the bible
2) A personal interpretation of the bible backed up Church teachings, visions of Jesus, The Father, Holy Spirit and your own conscience
I think most people would say a combination is more powerful then an individualistic interpretation.
Lets go back to the beginning.
The earliest EVIDENCE of Christianity in the UK is not Jesus, it is not the Church, is not conscience, is not the bible it is the OUR FATHER prayer in AD175:
[ December 07, 2002, 04:39 PM: Message edited by: Netcurtains3 ]
That's stupid. The Son has ALL authority, which He does not have if He gave the "same authority" [ALL] to a bunch of chaps on earth.
Men actually share in the authority of the God-Man, which does not allow for the nominalism that CC wishes to impose upon the Christian deposit of revelation. All we need is bigger pile of SunMyung Moons and David Koreshes who make such a claim.
[qb]When we ask, "Who is your final authority?", we're asking a practical question that requires an existential answer.
You wrote, "That's stupid. The Son has ALL authority, which He does not have if He gave the 'same authority' to a bunch of chaps on earth."
I challenge you to rethink the prevalent nominalism that you impose upon the Biblical record.
Jesus himself told his disciples, "He who hears you hears me, and he who rejects you rejects me, and he who rejects me rejects him who sent me." (Luke 10:16)
Jesus designates human representatives who share in his authority. Of course, Jesus holds the keys of authority; that is not the subject of dispute (Cf. Rev 1:18).
The question at hand is whether Jesus allows for men to share in his authority (Mt 16:16-19; 18:18; John 20:21-23).
When we're asked "what or who is your final authority", as Christians, we remain sensual creatures, and we require an existential authority which may arbitrate matters with an authoritative hand. The Bible teaches that this is the position of the Church (Cf. Mt 18).
The question is.. will you allow the Bible to designate your final authority?
[ December 09, 2002, 08:51 AM: Message edited by: Carson Weber ]
I say this-that for many on this board, the final authority is not Scripture, but rather the commentaries/books that they have on their shelves. And so, when posed with a doctrinal/moral question, the ultimate source of authority is not the Bible per se, but rather, "what does R.C. Sproul/J.I. Packer/Charles Stanley say?", what does my Ryrie Study Bible/NIV Study Bible/Scofield Reference Bible have to say about THAT?" It seems to me that the what is needed is to re-discover what the term 'catholic' really means...
"The word 'catholic' was coined by Aristotle as a scientific term. It means “in accord with the whole.” The term was first used to refer to the church about 112 AD by St. Ignatius of Antioch. A “catholic” church has certain identifying characteristics that differentiate it from a heretical or schismatic church. It subscribes to the “catholic faith.” Similarly a “catholic” person is not one who holds membership in a certain church, but one who holds to the “catholic faith.”
The accepted test of catholicity was set down by St. Vincent of Lerins about 430 AD. It defines the “catholic faith” as “that which has been believed everywhere, always, and by all.” Thus we have a threefold test of catholicity: universality, antiquity, and consensus. A belief, to be part of the “catholic faith” must be common to all parts of Christendom (both East and West), must date back to Apostolic times, and must be accepted by the vast majority of Christians. These principles exclude from the “catholic faith” any innovations added by specific denominations, or in later centuries, or without the wholehearted support of the faithful (the “sensus fidelium”)."
That was an excellent exposition of the Vincentian canon. I'm in complete agreement with everything that you wrote.
I challenge you to rethink the prevailant nominalism that you impose upon the Biblical record.
Ain't no imposition of anything here, ###### Cars**.
Of course, Jesus holds the keys of authority; that is not the subject of dispute
No kiddin'? Man, that's sharp.
[ December 09, 2002, 05:58 AM: Message edited by: ChristianCynic ]