November 13, 2010

“No Church” = “No Bible”

[First posted in May of 2006, with a new comment today.]

“Know the Church” = “Know the Bible”

In the Middle Ages, people rarely owned a Bible because all books were exorbitantly expensive and few persons could even read. A monk needed approximately ten months to copy a Bible by hand. The cost would have been about $5,000 then— $200,000 today"

The printing press was not invented until A.D. 1440.

In the first four centuries after the birth of Christ, there was no “Bible”. Not until after A.D. 390 did the Church decide to discern what writings deserved to be called “The Revealed Word of God” and to list officially those writings as “The Bible”. Jesus himself told the apostle Peter, “What you bind on earth shall be bound in heaven.” Thus the apostolic Church has that binding authority to determine what the Word of God is.

However, years before the Church defined what was in "The Bible" and what was not, the Church first officially defined its faith by way of the “Creed” formula of Nicea, A.D. 325, and refined it at Constantinople, A.D. 381. Without the faith of the Church as the rule and guide, the Bible did not come into being.

As that Creed puts it: Credo … et Unam, Sanctam, Catholicam et Apostolicam Ecclesiam— “and I believe the One, Holy, Catholic and Apostolic Church.”

Without the Church’s faith as the rule and guide, one cannot have an authentic Christian understanding of the Bible.

Therefore: the Catechism of the Catholic Church! It expresses the faith and teaching of the Church, and forms us to have an authentic Christian understanding of the Bible.

What has happened to Christianity ever since the printing press and the common availability of the Bible? Protestantism splintering, splintering, splintering and still splintering! Splintering over how to understand the Bible APART FROM the One, Holy, Catholic and Apostolic Church!

Then you eventually end up with rejection of the Bible itself.

- Episcopalianism's OFFICIAL rejection of Biblical sexual morality (e.g., gay "bishop" Gene Robinson);
- Episcopalian "bishops" (e.g., Spong) rejecting the Biblical affirmation of Christ's death as atonement for sin and rejecting his bodily resurrection.

If you do without the teaching (i.e., catechizing) Church, you will eventually do without the Bible itself.

The "Bible Only" approach opens the way to a "Dump the Bible" approach.

- - -

There is an online article entitled “To Tell You the Whole Truth about the Church and the Holy Bible: How the Bible Was Written”.
Click HERE for it.


Blogger Sister Mary Hasta said...

Could you pick on someone other than the Episcopalians? There's Methodists, Presbyterians, Lutherans, and they've all got homosexual pastors. Hey, wait, there's gay Catholics, too! Dear God, what is this world coming to?

12:01 PM  
Blogger Father Stephanos, O.S.B. said...

It is only the Episcipalians who try to look ritually ("Pharisaically) like Catholics. The Methodists, Presbyterians and Lutherans don't do it like the Episcopalians do.

(Since your blogger profile indicates you are not really a "Sister", why give the empty ritual impression?)

The official Catholic teaching alone stands with nature.

The body does not lie, though it is sometimes ill.

The body does not lie, and neither does the environment.

To defy the body is the same as defying the environment. If we denigrate the environment, it will suffer, and we will damage ourselves spiritually and physically. We will wound ourselves "holistically".

It may be an extreme challenge for us to make choices that will respect the environment. It may be economically painful. It may require conversion. It may for the time being "feel like it rubs us the wrong way." Nonetheless, our own honesty in facing the truth of the environment is the only truly spiritual way.

The environment does not lie. The body does not lie.

Sperm are looking for eggs, not for another man's body.

Eggs are waiting for sperm, not another woman's body.

The body does not lie.

As difficult as it may be for some to accept, homosexuality defies the spirit, the body, the environment.

12:12 PM  
Blogger dilexitprior said...

To put it quite simply, as a wise person once pointed out to me, there is no such thing as homosexuality or heterosexuality. All there is is sexuality. Man and woman created for intimate communion. As Fr. Stephanos pointed out, our bodies don't lie. Obviously there is much to be said about the theological and philosophical anthropology of the human person, yet even looking strictly at what our external senses preceive it is obvious that there is no alternate combination other than the union of man and woman.

2:43 PM  
Blogger Fr Tim Finigan said...

Very good point about the unavailability of printed books, Father. This is also relevant to the modern preoccupation with participating in the Liturgy by reading the text. Another point in this regard would be that microphones have not been around for 95% of the Church's history. So liturgical participation cannot be about following and hearing every word.

3:40 PM  
Blogger Olivia said...

Fr. Stephanos, more than the post, I love your comment. You have hit the nail right on the head... and with accuracy, well done!

"Know the Church" = "Know the Bible"


"Ignorance of Scripture" = "Ignorance of Christ" -- St. Jerome

2:41 AM  
Blogger Roseanne Sullivan said...

Love your meandering! You say very well these truths that many have forgotten or never knew. Bless you.

6:58 AM  

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