Saint Thomas Aquinas

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

When Scripture Just Isn't Enough: We Need A Creed

Poking around the Protestant blog world can have its benefits. For example, here we have a clear example of why there is, in reality, no such practice as Sola Scriptura. Mr Swan gives us all a clear example that for him, Scripture just isn't enough. Sure he tries to philosophize his way to having a man-made creed, claiming that it is a subordinate authority to Scripture, yet, his reasoning falls far short of making any rational sense. Again, this demonstrates the problem with the man-mad Sola doctrines which are not contained anywhere in Scripture. Their man-made doctrines do not unite, and their personal authority trumps Scripture every time. So much for a subordinate authority to Scripture when mere men and their personal whims make themselves their own Pope. I fail to remember the passage of Sacred Scripture where it says that man should go forth and make their own creeds. The reason is, there isn't one. In fact, a creed worthy of belief would only be capable of being so had it been assembled by the direct authority of Christ through His Church. In other words, it is worthy of belief because it is part of the Church's ability to say it is worthy of belief.

For example, Christians since the first centuries were required to profess the Apostles Creed. The Creed was not looked at as some lesser authority, or subsidiarity of Scripture. Christ had given Christians an apostolic Church with His authority stamp on it to form a believable and authentic Creed. Likewise the Church would formulate it further with that same authority at her Ecumenical Councils. No group of men merely claiming to be believers of Christ or followers of the Scriptures have any authority to assemble their own Creed. If this is not one of the most arrogant acts of men, to go sit down and rewrite the Creed, then I don't know what is. If we read the Church Fathers, such as Saint Irenaeus for example, it is clear that they viewed the authority of the Church given by the apostles along with the Oral and Written Word of God, as being united in one authority, none being above one or the other, because they are all given by Christ Himself. The greatest fallacy ever created by the pretended "Reformers" of the 16th century was that there be some conflict of authority between the Church and Scripture.

He shall also judge those who give rise to schisms, who are destitute of the love of God, and who look to their own special advantage rather than to the unity of the Church; and who for trifling reasons, or any kind of reason which occurs to them, cut in pieces and divide the great and glorious body of Christ, and so far as in them lies, [positively] destroy it—men who prate of peace while they give rise to war, and do in truth strain out a gnat, but swallow a camel. (Matthew 23:24) For no reformation of so great importance can be effected by them, as will compensate for the mischief arising from their schism. He shall also judge all those who are beyond the pale of the truth, that is, who are outside the Church; but he himself shall be judged by no one. For to him all things are consistent: he has a full faith in one God Almighty, of whom are all things; and in the Son of God, Jesus Christ our Lord, by whom are all things, and in the dispensations connected with Him, by means of which the Son of God became man; and a firm belief in the Spirit of God, who furnishes us with a knowledge of the truth, and has set forth the dispensations of the Father and the Son, in virtue of which He dwells with every generation of men, according to the will of the Father.
 True knowledge is [that which consists in] the doctrine of the apostles, and the ancient constitution of the Church throughout all the world, and the distinctive manifestation of the body of Christ according to the successions of the bishops, by which they have handed down that Church which exists in every place, and has come even unto us, being guarded and preserved without any forging of Scriptures, by a very complete system of doctrine, and neither receiving addition nor [suffering] curtailment [in the truths which she believes]; and [it consists in] reading [the word of God] without falsification, and a lawful and diligent exposition in harmony with the Scriptures, both without danger and without blasphemy; and [above all, it consists in] the pre-eminent gift of love, 2 Corinthians 8:1; 1 Corinthians 13 which is more precious than knowledge, more glorious than prophecy, and which excels all the other gifts [of God].

(St. Irenaeus: Against Heresies Book IV, Chapter 33, 7-8)




3 comments:

EBW said...

This gift of truth and never-failing faith was therefore divinely conferred on Peter and his successors in this See so that they might discharge their exalted office for the salvation of all, and so that the whole flock of
Christ might be kept away by them from the poisonous food of error and be nourished with the sustenance of heavenly doctrine. Thus the tendency to schism is removed and the whole Church is preserved in unity, and, resting on its foundation, can stand firm against the gates of hell. - Vatican I

Why didn't it hold during the Western Schism ?

Eric

Matthew Bellisario said...

It did hold, hence the true faith is still being taught and those as Jesus told, who have ears to hear, are still being saved by the divine truths taught. If you have investigated the Western Schism you should know that it was a political event and not really over any specific doctrine. Yet, the Church prevailed. You see, it is clear that the Catholic Church still teaches a unified apostolic doctrine concerning Christ, salvation, grace, the sacraments, the Divine Liturgy, etc. The Protestant revolt never possessed such certainty, and still does not. In fact the many Protestant sects go further and further off the reservation every year.

EBW said...

Thanks for responding.

...Thus the tendency to schism is removed and the whole Church is preserved in unity...

-vs- the western schism itself

Reconciled ?

But this political event touched a critical point of the Papacy; It caused a schism between the chair of peter and the successor(s) of peter. Are Sedevacantists wrong ?