The Authority of the Catholic Church
Who's Guiding Whom?
Howbeit when he, the Spirit of truth, is come, he will guide you into all truth: for he shall not speak of himself; but whatsoever he shall hear, that shall he speak: and he will shew you things to come. (John 16:13)
This is a favored passage used by Roman Catholic apologists in their efforts to convince others that their church is without error.
I am astonished that people can even consider using this verse to validate the teaching authority the Catholic Church has arrogated to herself. Where does the Lord mention that the Holy Spirit will come to guide only the Magisterium to all truth? This is another of those RCC teachings that did not originate with God, but was created within the dark chambers of that benighted cult.
I do not understand the process whereby the RCC concludes that God the Holy Spirit provides special insights and guidance only to members of the august body known as the Magisterium of the Roman Catholic church, while withholding that guidance from the hoi poloi of Christendom. For the purposes of this post, my use of the term "Magisterium" subsumes those parallel particularly-anointed assemblies in other religious communions. This peculiar arrogance of church hierarchies to proclaim that only they are able to accurately interpret God's Word to the masses seems not to conform to the Scriptural teaching concerning His role in the lives of believers.
In John 7:37-39, Christ speaks of the life-giving power of the Holy Spirit that will be imparted to all who believe on Him. No mention there of baptism, nor is there a mention of limiting that power to the benefit of only those within a particular assembly. In fact, it should be borne in mind that there was NO Christian church when Jesus made this statement.
In John 14:16,17, Messiah promises that the Father will send the Holy Spirit to indwell those who believe. Again, He makes no mention that only those who believe and are members of a Magisterium are to be hosts for the indwelling Spirit.
In the course of sharing Passover with His disciples, Jesus told them of the teaching ministry of the Holy Spirit. He ate this meal with His closest followers, promising them that the Holy Spirit would teach them "all things" (John 14:26). But there is no indication that the Spirit, Whom we already have been informed would indwell all believers, would restrict His teaching to just those present with Jesus at the Seder.
The Roman Catholic Church knows this to be true, or at least the guy who wrote paragraph 91 of the official Catechism did:
91. "All the faithful share in understanding and handing on revealed truth. They have received the anointing of the Holy Spirit, who instructs them[Cf. 1Jn 2:20, 27 .] and guides them into all truth.[Cf. .Jn 16:13 .]" (Catechism of the Catholic Church, Doubleday:New York, © 1994 United States Catholic Conference, Inc. – Libreria Editrice Vaticana, p. 33)
Please read again these clear and truthful words, declared as trustworthy by Pope John Paul II: "They have received the anointing of the Holy Spirit, who instructs them and guides them into all truth." If this is true, and even John Paul II says it is, then why does Rome so steadfastly declare that the Magisterium alone has a special ability to interpret to the masses what God really meant to say in the Scriptures?
100. "The task of interpreting the Word of God authentically has been entrusted solely to the Magisterium of the Church, that is, to the Pope and to the bishops in communion with him." (Catechism of the Catholic Church, Doubleday:New York, © 1994 United States Catholic Conference, Inc. – Libreria Editrice Vaticana, pp. 37-38)
Is the message here that, while it is true that the Holy Spirit instructs believers and guides them "into all truth," He guides the members of the Magisterium into more or better truth?
The membership of the Magisterium is comprised of men, fallible men. How is it that Catholic faithful can be seduced into rejecting the idea that fallible men can, with the guidance of the Holy Spirit, discover God's truth in the Scriptures, yet blindly accept that other fallible men can? A clear example of the blind leading the blind.
Again, I cannot comprehend the reasoning that leads some to argue that ordinary believers, indwelled with the Holy Spirit, are unable to properly understand the Word of God, while turning to other ordinary men for their interpretation of Scripture. Like the Pharisees, I reckon, they believe that only an elite few are empowered to fully understand what God has revealed to us in His Word.
Do you not wonder how many Pharisees are walking the streets of Heaven?
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