f The Wittenberg Door: Why Do People Leave for Rome?

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Commenting on Christendom, culture, history, and other oddities of life from an historic Protestant perspective.

Friday, February 27, 2015

Why Do People Leave for Rome?

Except for one wedding and one funeral, I haven’t spent any non-tourist time in Roman Catholic churches. (The funeral was my grandmother’s and it was a horrible experience: when the priest went to place the wafer on my tongue, I drew back, and the Eucharist fell to the floor; the gasp from the crowd was palpable, and if the priest’s eyes could kill . . . .)

Both before and after becoming a believer there was never any “there” there for me with regards to Catholicism . The former because no church held interest for me, and the latter because I never found it theologically appealing, especially after becoming Reformed. So I’ve often wondered, “What’s with these people leaving Evangelicalism for Rome?”

At The Aquila Report, former Roman Catholic Dr. Christopher Faria, Teaching Elder at Westminster Presbyterian Fellowship in Falcon, CO, offers eight reasons why people make the exodus:

  1. It represents the religion of my youth

  2. It pulls on my legalism

  3. It draws on my idolatry

  4. It mesmerizes my eyes.

  5. It appeals to my lack of faith

  6. It teeters on the mystical

  7. It permits my autonomy

  8. It legitimizes my isolation

Click here for an explanation of each.

--The Catechizer

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6 Comments:

Blogger tonyro333 said...

Conform yourself to God = Become part of His Catholic family on earth under the guidance of His appointed apostolic stewards, the Pope & bishops.

Conform God to yourself = Myriads (10,000s) of Protestant denominations & individual churches; pick one suited to your own individual taste! Because it's all about you!! :)

8:48 AM  
Blogger The Catechizer and The Deacon said...

Tony, I’m prepared to be convinced that I should abandon Protestantism and come to Rome, but I’ll need some questions answered first. We can start with this: you and I both accept the Scriptures as an authority. But you say that I must accept additional authorities (i.e., tradition, councils, and the Papacy). What evidence do you offer for these additional authorities?

6:05 AM  
Blogger tonyro333 said...

C&D, my apologies for being tardy...

For starters, for the doctrine of 'sola Scriptura' to be regarded as biblical, shouldn't it appear explicitly somewhere in Scripture itself? And be careful with proof-texts like Proverbs 30:6--one could construe that to accuse Jesus & the early Church of 'adding'!

Then there's the obvious question of how the Apostles managed to preach the Gospel/Word from the time of Christ's Ascension (33AD) until the mid-40s when the first NT epistles were written, let alone the 4 gospels. Were they not making converts by *teaching*? And if so, how were they (mere men) authorized to teach in the name of Christ?

(Hint: 1Tim 3:15, unless you've got the ESV which improperly adds the indefinite article 'a' where it doesn't belong...)

7:32 PM  
Blogger The Catechizer and The Deacon said...

Tony, I wasn’t advocating Sola Scripture in our conversation. I started with where we had common ground, and that’s the Bible being an authority. You’ve bid be to “Become part of His Catholic family on earth under the guidance of His appointed apostolic stewards, the Pope & bishops.” So I’ll repeat my answer and question:

I’m prepared to be convinced that I should abandon Protestantism and come to Rome, but I’ll need some questions answered first. We can start with this: you and I both accept the Scriptures as an authority. But you say that I must accept additional authorities (i.e., tradition, councils, and the Papacy). What evidence do you offer for these additional authorities?

4:53 AM  
Blogger tonyro333 said...

Well, common sense tells us that until the NT Scriptures were written down, you had the Church evangelizing (making new converts) and discipling (teaching new converts) without any written record of Jesus' acts & deeds. The Church's testimony at that time consisted of only the spoken word of the Apostles and their miraculous works--i.e. Magisterium and Tradition. Did the Apostles not have authority directly from Christ to carry out these activities?

As for the papacy, Peter is clearly given a unique role among the Apostles. Think about after Peter's confession "You are the Christ..." why did Christ give him *keys* of all things?! Why not some new fishing gear? Keys in the ancient world=symbol of supreme authority, delegated by a king or emperor. Also, whose "foundation" did Paul out of deference not want to "build on" in Rome? (Romans 15:20)

8:55 PM  
Blogger The Catechizer and The Deacon said...

Hello, Tony. First, common sense doesn’t tell me that nobody wrote anything down except in the case of the inspired scriptures. I agree that little survived, but that doesn’t mean that nobody was making mention. The Apostles were traveling and teaching as you mentioned, and planting churches and involved in the commission of others to do the work (especially elders and deacons). But the example of these activities we see in scripture, and the records we have from the church fathers, do not equal the Roman Catholic Magisterium, which started 100s of years later; and this is the same for the traditions that are in dispute. To insert simply insert the magisterium and the disputed traditions is nothing but question begging.

The question begging continues with your assertion that Peter was unique among the Apostles. I don’t find that in scripture at all. You mention “the keys to the kingdom” of Mat 16. Context determines the meaning. In vrs 13 our Lord asks the Apostles who people say that He is. They give various, inaccurate responses. Peter speaks offers the right answer, that He is the Christ. Jesus responds that the Father revealed that to him, and that he was blessed because of the revelation: “Blessed are you, Simon [k]Barjona, because flesh and blood did not reveal this to you, but My Father who is in heaven.” Here we see that he is blessed because of the revelation from the Father, not because of who Peter was.

Jesus goes on to make the “upon this rock” comment. He does play off Peter’s name since it means rock (or I believe pebble is more accurate). But the “rock” given the context is the revelation that Jesus is the Christ, and that interpretation is confirmed by vrs 20: “Then He [p]warned the disciples that they should tell no one that He was [q]the Christ.” This passage is all about Jesus being the Christ, the savior. He’s certainly not taking a break from that theme to set up the complex doctrine of the papacy.

I must admit that I’m baffled that you think Rom 15:20 somehow supports the papacy. Clearly Paul is saying that he’s preaching the gospel where no one else is preaching (where someone had already laid the foundation). It’s like someone saying, “Bob is already preaching the gospel in San Antonio, so I’ll go to Austin where no one is preaching.” How you get the papacy out of that is beyond me.

11:21 AM  

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