The Pope and Papacy

Discussion in 'Ecclesiology' started by Osage Bluestem, Nov 17, 2009.

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  1. Osage Bluestem

    Osage Bluestem Puritan Board Junior

    I was thinking about the pope because of a discussion we were having yesterday. With all of his theological learning and all of the time alloted him to study and come to a knowledge of the truth, how could he perform the duties of the pope with a good conscience? Could you imagine people bowing to you, kissing your ring, and calling you "Holy Father"? Does the man really believe that he is now infallible since he has taken that office? Do you really think he believes he is the successor of Peter and the Vicar of Christ on earth?

    How can he deal with "infallible statements" like this one in Pope Boniface VII's papal bull Unam Sanctum in 1302 biblically and not have a seared conscience?

    "Furthermore, we declare, we proclaim, we define that it is absolutely necessary for salvation that every human creature be subject to the Roman Pontiff."

    Link: CATHOLIC LIBRARY: Unam Sanctam (1302)

    Do you think that John Macarthur is accurate in his 9 part series on the pope and Papacy?


    It seems to me that there is a mystery about the papacy that almost excuses many of the ordained in the church of Rome, because of all of the years of tradition and indoctrination. But when one is actually elected to be the pope and is crowned how is he excused for carrying on the lie? Is it even possible for that man to believe Roman Catholic doctrine on the papacy when he experiences it firsthand and wakes up every morning knowing he is a man like all others?
  2. apaleífo̱

    apaleífo̱ Puritan Board Freshman

    I guess if you have a pretty sizable ego, you can convince yourself of just about anything. :2cents:
  3. Frank Brito.

    Frank Brito. Puritan Board Freshman

    A reprobate mind is a sad thing to behold...

    The reason why he convinces himself (or pretends to) is simple:

    "No one can come to Me unless the Father who sent Me draws him". (João 6.44)
  4. MMasztal

    MMasztal Puritan Board Sophomore

    You have to remember that the RCs not only use Scripture as a governing instrument, but also have a long history of papal infallibility and what might be called canon law or tradition each having near equal authority on their polity. In actuality, the "church" determines the content/meaning of Scripture and the current pope, having been brought up in the traditions of the RC church, surely accepts this teaching however erroneous.
  5. Osage Bluestem

    Osage Bluestem Puritan Board Junior

    Obviously the pope is a religious man. He has been brought up in the Roman Catholic Church, has been an ordained priest, and has been taught to the highelst level by the best available teachers in Roman Catholicism. He spent his life in the Church as a teacher.

    Do you think he should be considered a brother in Christ and a co-laborer for Him?
  6. johnbugay

    johnbugay Puritan Board Freshman

    MacArthur is spot-on correct about the pope and the papacy, in my opinion.
  7. MMasztal

    MMasztal Puritan Board Sophomore

    As a former Roman Catholic, altar boy, and parochial school educated, my answer would be no.

    The RC church has so far departed from orthodox Christianity as to, in my opinion, not be a part of Christianity.

    That being said, I believe there are true Chrsitians in the RC church who don't go along with all the papal nonsense and trust in Christ, but for many reasons don't have the strength to leave the RC church.
  8. Oecolampadius

    Oecolampadius Puritan Board Sophomore

    I don't know how I can consider someone who denies the Reformed Gospel formulation of 'justification by grace alone through faith alone in Christ alone' as my brother.

    In a Christianity Today article, Charles Colson, who was one of the authors of the ECT, stated the following:

    Colson was referring to the Pope's address on the doctrine of Justification and what he meant basically is that we, both Protestants and Catholics, should all recognize that we embrace the same Gospel since the Pope said so.

    I wholeheartedly DISAGREE. The ECT's "Gift of Salvation" hardly tackled the issue of Faith which was central to the issue of Justification during the Reformation. Since the Middle Ages, Roman Catholicism taught that true faith is formed by love. Luther disagreed with this definition for Faith which basically equates it with Love. In his Treatise on Good Works, Luther states:

    It is clear in Luther's statements that he opposes the concept in which faith comes or is "informed" by works, the chief of which is charity or Love. Inherent in the formulation of 'Justification by faith alone' is the concept of faith that "does not come from your works" and, furthermore, this faith can only come "from this same Word and from no other source."

    In the Pope's address that Colson was referring to, I believe the Pope affirmed the opposite of what Luther said by providing the same definition for Faith which the RC has promulgated since the Middle Ages by stating:

    I don't know how Colson missed this and I just wish it wasn't intentional, but doesn't he see how the Pope makes no distinction between justification and sanctification and confuses the two? I believe that the reason for this confusion is due to their commitment to their idea of a "formed" faith which is Love. The Pope adds:

    Take note that the Pope says, "We become just by entering into communion with Christ who is Love." He does not say that we are pronounced just by God on the basis of Christ's works. But, no, he says we become just and this just smacks of 'justification by sanctification.'
  9. Osage Bluestem

    Osage Bluestem Puritan Board Junior

    As far as salvation is concerned, Roman doctrine teaches that baptism saves the soul and washes away all sins up to the time of baptism. The baptized person is then in a state of grace. When that person commits mortal sin then he rejects Christ and falls from grace and if he would die at that moment he would go to hell. The person must confess his sins to a person with the sacrament of Holy Orders in order to have his sins forgiven (there is no other normal way). The person with Holy Orders stands in the place of Christ and hears the confession gives advice to keep the sinner from sinning and prescribes a pennance. Absolution is finally received after full completion of that pennance. Then the soul is back in a state of grace. At death only the fully sanctified will go to heaven and become "saints". All who die in a state of grace yet have not reached full sanctification in this life will go to purgatory to be fully purged of their iniquity. When they have been purified by suffering they will then be allowed into heaven fully sanctified.

    All of this is of course made possible by the sacrifice of Christ (which one participates in in the Mass) who they teach is best approached through praying to his mother to interceed with him for you and dedicating your soul to her as she has the power to have her son do whatever she wishes and she is generally easier to approach than him because she is fully human yet fully sanctified and loves her children more than can be measured, so she will make sure that Jesus lets you into heaven.

    The Pope, aware of all of the details of this and the teachings of scripture, maintains it as true. I don't understand how he could be a regenerate Christian and claim that the above doctrine is true in light of all that is available to him.
  10. Peairtach

    Peairtach Puritan Board Doctor

    Who knows what's in the Pope's head?

    We should just thank God we're not the Pope, and pray that God would have mercy on him and his cardinals, that somehow a movement for true reform would grow within Rome.
  11. Osage Bluestem

    Osage Bluestem Puritan Board Junior

    Is it accurate to say that the Roman Catholic Church is the Synagogue of Satan and that the Pope is the or a anti-Christ?
  12. JBaldwin

    JBaldwin Puritan Board Post-Graduate

    Back to the question, how could the pope perform his duties with a clear conscience? Based on what I know of the catholic church and those who I've known over the years who are deeply entrenched in catholicism, I believe a good number of them seared their consciences long before reaching higher levels in the church. This is especially true of those who I know who became roman catholics after leaving fundamentalism. Roman catholicism is a mystical, idolatrous religion that in very few ways actually reflects true christianity. It's appeal lies in it's ability to make a person feel good about their sin (because of confession and the mass), their use of Scriptures and, the whole life approach.
  13. Jack K

    Jack K Puritan Board Professor

    How can the pope believe, with a clear conscience, that he is infallible? An intriguing question, and one that deserves a response beyond mere Catholic bashing. I think JBaldwin's answer gives us a good start:

    Let me also suggest the pope might believe, like we do, that he is a sinner yet still used by God to accomplish God's purposes in the church. To a Catholic, this means he speaks with infallibility, not because he's so perfect but because God is perfect and speaks through him. I don't agree God speaks through the pope. I'm not defending this seriously mistaken doctrine. But I do think if I met the man I might be able to understand where he's coming from.
  14. dudley

    dudley Puritan Board Post-Graduate

    "The Roman Pontiff, when he speaks ex cathedra

    Michael Patton On his site "reclaiming the mind" wrote a piece this month entitled "Dear Pope, What's up with Genesis?"

    It is excellent!

    He summed it up well in his closing remarks:

    "The Pope does not know; the emperor has no clothes.
    This supposed deposit of faith and authority do not apply to the really hard issues that can be tested since this could expose the Pope as fallible. Rome does not want another Galileo incident where the Catholic Church gets a black-eye and then has to bend backward to cover it up. Understandable.

    To sum up my argument this Reformation day: I don’t believe in the infallibility of the Pope. Theologically speaking there is no historic or Biblical warrant for such a belief. Pragmatically speaking, it would be great. However, practically speaking, as we can see with regard to Genesis, the claim for Papal infallibility is sterile."

    I have shared with many I initially left the Roman catholic church in 2006 because of the current pope and my questions about the papacy.

    Michael also said:"But if this is the case, what is important enough to speak upon? The assumption of Mary? The immaculate conception of Mary? Eating meat on Friday? Those things need Papal intervention, but this issue doesn’t?"

    I often ask people "what happened to all those old prevatican II rc's who went to hell or purgatory,on the meat wrap? another Roman catholic fable-lol? Were they later released after serving time on the meat wrap?

    The Roman pope only used the 1870 dogma of papal infallibility on two issues, The assumption and the immaculate conception both which have no solid biblical proof. All other times the pope speaks he speaks with encyclical reference in other words ' a teaching for this time only.

    The correct definition of Papal infallibility (ex Cathedra), as defined by the First Vatican Council (1870), is:

    "The Roman Pontiff, when he speaks ex cathedra-that is, when in discharge of the office of pastor and teacher of all Christians, by virtue of his supreme apostolic authority, he defines a doctrine regarding Faith or Morals to be held by the universal Church, by the divine assistance promised to him in Blessed Peter, is possessed of that infallibility with which the divine Redeemer willed that His Church should be endowed in defining doctrine regarding Faith or Morals; and therefore such definitions are irreformable of themselves, and not in virtue of consent of the Church."

    Condensed, this means, a Papal infallible statement, when all conditions are met, has freedom from error in teaching the universal Church in matters of faith or morals.

    Regarding Roman catholic teaching on the Assumption and the Immaculate conception which are in fact the only two dogmas proclaimed by the roman pope to be infallible can be refuted biblically. There is some biblical references that refute scripturally what the pope declared infallibly as dogma in the 1950's.regarding the Assumption and the Immacualte Conception, again by the way the only time the pope spoke infallibly.

    I read the following from scripture that Jesus Christ plainly taught that Mary was on the same plane with all other Christians who would do the will of God.

    In Mark 3:31-35, we read:

    “There came then his brethren and his mother, and, standing without, sent unto him, calling him. And the multitude sat about him, and they said unto him, Behold, they mother and thy brethren without seek for thee. And he answered them, saying, Who is my mother, or my brethren? And he looked round about on them which sat about him, and said, Behold my mother and my brethren! For whosoever shall do the will of God, the same is my brother, and my sister, and mother.”

    Do not avoid the truth here on the authority of Jesus Christ, “Whosoever shall do the will of God, the same is my brother, and my sister, and mother.” And when one heard Jesus and cried out, “Blessed is the womb that bare thee, and the paps which thou hast sucked,” Jesus answered, “Yea rather, blessed are they that hear the word of God, and keep it” (Luke 11:27, 28). There is no hint in the Bible that New Testament Christians ever regarded Mary as more than another good woman. She had no authority among the apostles. No one was taught to pray to her, to do her homage, to adore her, or to partake of the unscriptural worship, which Catholics do, but call it by other names. Thus the Roman Church has brought a plague upon itself by adding the commandments of men and traditions of men to the commands of God.

    In faith alone and on the authority of scripture alone I do not any longer believe in papal infallibility nor the authrity of the Roman Catholic church. :amen:

    In Faith alone,
  15. johnbugay

    johnbugay Puritan Board Freshman

    I think that the pope DOES know that the emperor has no clothes. Indeed, Rome is in the midst of a highly embarrassing "Galileo" moment -- the historical studies of Peter in Rome over the last 50 years are actually forcing the papacy to backtrack; though this is still in progress, and they don't know where it will end.

    The theological studies of Oscar Cullman; the historical studies of D.W. O'Connor ("Peter in Rome"); the further historical studies of Peter Lampe; all of these have severely challenged the notions (a) that Peter was ever a "bishop" in Rome, (b) that there were ever even "bishops" at that time, (c) that Peter ever did anything other than teach there for a brief time, and possibly be killed there.

    The city of Rome was a large enough city that it was governed, probably through the year 175 ad, by a presbyterial-style network of elders. There is strong evidence that these "fought among themselves as to who was greatest." This tendency never ended, and finally, after the relocation of the capital in Constantinople, the fall of the political government in Rome in the fifth century, and eventually the fall of Constantinople, there was no one left to challenge these boastful claims.

    Rome is now backtracking. Whereas once the papacy was "immediately given" and "in all ages," the story now has become one of "development":

    There has never before been an admission of "development." It was always "immediately given."

    Note that the "papal succession" is something that is an extrapolation, an inference, that because there was a development of succession of bishops, that there is, too, a succession in the successor of the petrine ministry.

    A further step backward. Rome is important because of this succession which is an inference from the development of the office of bishop. This is as much historical legitimacy as they feel they can now legitimately claim.

    This is certainly a house built on sand.

    Note that this is an official church doctrine, promulgated from the highest level. See also this: Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger
  16. dudley

    dudley Puritan Board Post-Graduate

    To all 21st century Protestants

    John MacArthur’s piece on the papacy is as John Buygay said above is ..“right on” . I have only been a Protestant since 2006 and a Reformed Protestant only since 2007. I have been surprised at the many Protestants and even some cradle Reformed Protestants who have grown soft on the papacy and Roman Catholicism. I think they have forgotten what the Reformers said about both and some Reformed Protestants seem to have forgotten what both the Westminster Confession and the London Baptist Confession says about the papacy and the teachings of the Roman Catholic church. John Bugay was like me an ex roman catholic and many others on here are also ex roman Catholics and converts to Reformed Protestantism. I think sometimes we have a better understanding of the evils of Rome having at one time been subjected to her false Gospel and bondage.

    In the summer of 2007 the Vatican and Joseph Ratzinger the current pope issued a document which said that the Second Vatican Council’s opening to other faiths – including “ecclesial communities originating with the Reformation” – had recognized there were “many elements of sanctification and truth” in other Christian denominations, but had also emphasized that only Roman Catholicism was fully Christ’s Church. :oops:

    I began to see that nothing new was really said, but that document in my mind did clarify the way in which the Vatican and her many popes and her papacy has torn apart Christianity because of its lust for power. They remind us that in their view that to be a true church one has to accept the ludicrous idea that the Pope is in some special way the successor of the apostle Peter and the supreme earthly leader of the Church.

    I had already begun to understand that these claims cannot be justified, biblically, or historically, yet they had been used not only to divide Christians but to persecute them and put them to death.

    It was then that I openly stated and wrote to many that I renounce the errors and pretensions of Roman Catholicism and its false teachings and I further disclaim her bishop of Rome, the pope to be the successor of Peter and the head of Christ’s church. It was then I began to not only renounce the pope but Roman Catholicism entirely.

    I think all 21st century Protestants especially those of us who are Reformed and Evangelical need to renounce the papacy as an evil institution and reject roman Catholicism as a harlot of the evil one and a synagogue of Satan. Roman Catholicism is a false church that was corrupted by the influence of the Roman domination after Constantine and continued for 1200 years until the glorious Protestant reformation which restored the church to its uncorrupted foundation of the first 3 centuries; particularly The Reformed branch of Protestantism which we here on the PB profess as our Christian faith.

    Please remind others in your local congregations what the WCF and the LBC says of the pope and the papacy under the Visible church, especially those Protestants who have become soft on the papacy and Roman Catholicism.

    The WCF 6. There is no other head of the Church but the Lord Jesus Christ: nor can the Pope of Rome in any sense be head thereof; but is that Antichrist, that man of sin and son of perdition, that exalteth himself in the Church against Christ, and all that is called God.

    The LBC 4. The Lord Jesus Christ is the Head of the church, in whom, by the appointment of the Father, all power for the calling, institution, order or government of the church, is invested in a supreme and sovereign manner; neither can the Pope of Rome in any sense be head thereof, but is that antichrist, that man of sin, and son of perdition, that exalteth himself in the church against Christ, and all that is called God; whom the Lord shall destroy with the brightness of his coming.

    In faith alone,
    Last edited: Nov 20, 2009
  17. Andres

    Andres Puritan Board Doctor

  18. Peairtach

    Peairtach Puritan Board Doctor

    Well many of us would agree with the Confession that the Papacy is the Antichrist, the Man of Sin, the Son of Perdition.

    But see/search for the other threads on this, rather than starting yet another discussion on it. :rolleyes: :rolleyes: :rolleyes:
  19. Sweaty Deacon

    Sweaty Deacon Puritan Board Freshman

    Chapter 25 Westminster Confession of Faith, section 6

    VI. There is no other head of the Church but the Lord Jesus Christ.[13] Nor can the Pope of Rome, in any sense, be head thereof; but is that Antichrist, that man of sin, and son of perdition, that exalts himself, in the Church, against Christ and all that is called God.

    It would seem the Westminster Divines thought none too highly of the Pope back in 1646
  20. Andres

    Andres Puritan Board Doctor

    My understanding is that the PCA and OPC have adopted versions of the WCF that has amended Ch 25. I apologize if I am incorrect and I suppose I should know this as one who attends an OPC church. I am certain others could explain better and others have in this previous thread - Pope as Antichrist, Westminster, and 1689 2LBCF
  21. Quickened

    Quickened Puritan Board Senior

    Why not elaborate on your thoughts?
  22. Edward

    Edward Puritanboard Commissioner

    You are correct. There are some here that subscribe to the original text, but many of us subscribe to a modified version of that chapter.
  23. MMasztal

    MMasztal Puritan Board Sophomore

    I guess political correctness hit early the OPC/PCA and the ARP probably. :(
  24. Andres

    Andres Puritan Board Doctor

    Brian, please look at my previous post before this and more importantly read through the link I posted and I think that should cover my thoughts.
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