Sunday, May 5, 2019

1 Timothy 2:5 ("One Mediator Between God And Man") And Roman Catholic Apologetics

  • Discussion:
          -Following is a rebuttal to Roman Catholic speaker Sonja Corbitt's article titled Is Jesus the Only Mediator?, which is an attempt to defend Roman Catholic Mariology and the priesthood in light of 1 Timothy 2:5. This critique begins with a citation from the author:

          "Indeed. Did Jesus carry you in his womb? And after your conception, gestation, and birth, what then? Have you not been fed, clothed, educated, loved, provided for, and protected by someone who is not Jesus unto this day?"

          This rhetoric is only designed to sidestep the real issue at hand. The question that remains is how the Apostle Paul could consistently affirm Jesus Christ to be our "one mediator" when there is supposedly a bunch of other lesser mediators. The author does not provide a clear cut explanation as to how this can be. In that same text, Paul says that there is "one God." Based on the reasoning of the author, should we deduce the existence of mini gods?

          "Does everything you know about Christ come from Christ himself? Did Jesus baptize you? Did Jesus teach you to read or read the Scriptures to you? Did Jesus hand-write your Bible, gather its writings, or physically protect the Deposit of Faith for 2000 plus years until you could receive it from his literal mouth?"

          This deluge of criticism utterly misses the point of what it means for Jesus Christ to be the mediator between God and man. Christ came to reconcile sinners to a holy God. Only He, being sinless and divine, would qualify to enable our redemption through His atonement sacrifice. We are to place our trust in Christ alone. He handles our prayers before God. Christ alone is our intercessor before God.

          "You are prayed for by other people. You are taught the Word of God by a person. And people even forgive one another! All the time if they’re obedient to Jesus, “forgive us our trespasses as we forgive those who trespass against us."

          When we pray on behalf of other Christians, we are not praying to them or through them. Prayer is done through Christ alone. The New Testament establishes Him as being the mediator between God and man without any reference to saints and angels (Hebrews 9:13-15; Hebrews 12:24).

          There is a mountainous distinction between the forgiveness of sin committed between offended parties and the forgiveness before God made available through the Cross. It is also fallacious to conflate being a Bible teacher with being a mediator of His grace. Petitioning God in prayer nowhere amounts to functioning as a channel of God's mercy or applying the benefits of Christ's atonement to other people.

          "Catholic confession and forgiveness through a priest follows the same pattern. The Pharisees also made the “God is the only mediator” claim against Jesus in this very matter: “No man can forgive sins, but God only” (Luke 5:21).

          The point that Jesus Christ makes in Luke 5 is that He is God in the flesh. As such, He would indeed have the authority to pardon our iniquity. Also, there is an element of irony that is worthy of consideration here. Even the Scribes and Pharisees of the Law were not arrogant enough to think that they had the ability to forgive the sins of God's people. Yet, the Roman Catholic priesthood has without guilt or embarrassment took upon itself precisely that role!

          Some may interject the argument that God alone forgives sin through a priest. But that premise is self-defeating. Our common sense indicates to us that in such a scenario, there would still be an additional party involved in Jesus Christ's mediatorship. Believers are to approach God for the forgiveness of sin directly through Christ. We do not need to consult sinful men in order to access the grace provided through the Cross (Hebrews 4:14-16). We are to approach Jesus Christ directly for the forgiveness of any and all sins.

2 comments:

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  2. The idolatry of Mary is one to the things that sets the RCC outside of orthodox Christianity.

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