Wednesday, March 7, 2018

The Roman Catholic Misuse Of 1 Timothy 3:15

  • Presenting The Scripture Passage Being Examined:
          -"These things I write to you, though I hope to come to you shortly; but if I am delayed, I write so that you may know how you ought to conduct yourself in the house of God, which is the church of the living God, the pillar and ground of the truth." (1 Timothy 3:14-15)
  • Allowing Roman Catholic Apologists To Explain Their Argumentation--In The Words Of Scripture Catholic:
          -"1 Tim. 3:15 – Paul says the apostolic Church (not Scripture) is the pillar and foundation of the truth. But for the Church to be the pinnacle and foundation of truth, she must be protected from teaching error, or infallible. She also must be the Catholic Church, whose teachings on faith and morals have not changed for 2,000 years. God loves us so much that He gave us a Church that infallibly teaches the truth so that we have the fullness of the means of salvation in His only begotten Son."
  • Why This Roman Catholic Apologetic For The So-Called Infallible Church Hierarchy Of Rome Is A Failure:
          -The first and foremost problem with this particular argument is that the context of 1 Timothy 3:15 has been completely ignored. Nowhere did the Apostle Paul say anything in this verse, or in context, about the office of pope, Vatican, or an episcopal council. This verse does not even formulate a distinction between the classes of clergy and laity. In fact, there is nothing about Paul's first epistle to Timothy that demands it to be read only to church leadership. So Roman Catholic apologists are engaging in eisegesis here.
          -There is absolutely no exclusion of congregational membership involved here ("household of God"). Has the entire Christian church therefore been endowed the gift of infallibility by the power of the Holy Spirit? This was written to Timothy who was is in the city of Ephesus, not Rome. Is Ephesus therefore the "pillar and ground of the truth?"
          -Notice that the Apostle Paul states that he is writing so that we may know how to conduct ourselves in the church. Furthermore, notice that he appeals to his own writing as the standard of authority. In other words, Paul is writing to Timothy (Scripture) so that he would know how to behave in the household of God. This epistle is to help us in remembering apostolic traditions. Scripture is what defines our conduct. Scripture is to function as the ultimate standard of authority, especially in light of the fact that the souls of the apostles have departed into the spiritual realm. The purpose of this letter was (and still is) to tell the church how to behave in his absence. The church ministers are therefore to be subjugated to scriptural authority. That is the purpose of Scripture is general (2 Corinthians 13:10; 2 Timothy 3:16-17). 1 Timothy 3:15 is actually supportive of Sola Scriptura.
          -It is highly fallacious to equate the church that supports and upholds the truth with the truth that it upholds. The "truth" that we have been commissioned to preach and defend is the gospel message, which is now contained within Scripture. God's Word is "truth" (John 14:14-17). Our Lord Jesus Christ is the truth. This title is not simply to be attributed to any random religious organization. God's church is simply the instrument by which the true gospel is supported, attested, defended, and proclaimed. We are called to be salt. We are called to be light. That is what it means for the church to be the pillar and ground of the truth. The church is the upholder, not the essence, of the gospel truth. The church is the custodian of the truth, not the source of truth itself. Ironically, Roman Catholic and Eastern Orthodox apologists resort to this text as a defense of their respective groups, yet at the same time maintain contradictory doctrine.

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