Wednesday, March 7, 2018

Is The Roman Catholic Church The Pillar And Ground Of The Truth (1 Timothy 3:15)?

          "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." (

          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. So Roman Catholic apologists are engaging in eisegesis here. There is no exclusion of congregational membership involved here (i.e. "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 (i.e. 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 apostles are deceased. The purpose of this letter was (and still is) to tell the church how to behave in Paul's absence. If anything at all, this passage actually supports Sola Scriptura.

          It is 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. The church of God is simply the instrument by which the true gospel is supported and proclaimed. The church is the upholder, not the essence, of 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.

No comments: