Milton Almeida wrote asking me to respond to the following questions. This was on the General Discussion Forum, under thhe title of "Thoughts on Suffering." The discussion, however, has progressed so afr a field from the issue of sufering, I thought it best to start a new thread. Here are the quetions.
1). allow me one question for clarification: Do you think that the use of images, (crucifix for example) one crossing himself (I will keep these two for now) is a change and a decision made, according to your words above "on the basis on scripture"? If yes, can you quote me the scriptures?1). Well, actually, more than one question: Do you know of any of the traditions of the church that was a decision that was NOT made "on the basis on scripture"? If yes, which are they in your opinion?Let us begin with quote #2,3). My question is actually to give an opportunity for you to make sure to all of us (not to me because I know you) that you don't support some so called "binding" decisions of the so called church, specifically some related to the Mediatrix, Advocatrix and Redemptrix (perhaps "dominatrix" ) and a few other papal decisions that became "binding" for that "other" organization, such as the NEED for the "eurcharist" and placing the ONLY hope of Salvation on the sacrament of the Eucharist.Yes, there are many traditions the church, churches and various denominations, as well as individuals have made that were not directly made on the basis of scripture. Such might be: the use of piano's, guitars, or drums used for worship, the protestant architectural structure of church based on the structure of a theater, with a stage, lectern, and audience, the color of the carpets, even the use of 5Solas.org as a forum for Christian discussion, fellowship and debate. The list goes on! I'm sure that's not exactly what you were shooting for. But it will serve as a small demonstration that all church's have some kind of tradition not based on scripture but which serves some practical (maybe some not so practical) purpose.Do you know of any of the traditions of the church that was a decision that was NOT made "on the basis on scripture"?
Seriously, though, if we are going to address some of the questions you have raised, I will need to limit the playing field. I cannot possibly answer or respond to eavery rabbit trail that comes up in discussion. Wildboar raised some good points, and I'm sure we'll eventually get back to those. But things have scattered too far afield for me to deal with. I will also need to limit the depth of discussion. Currently, we're in the process of moving (due to severe water damage of the home we were living in) and my computer is boxed up in storage (yes, I am suffering from withdrawls!); and my grandmother passed away a few days ago. Until, we are moved into a new home and I'm back online more routinely, I will have to limit my discussion to more brief responses.
So, I would propose, in answering your questions, to limit the discussion, for now, to the following subjects:
1. Tradition and its relationship to Scripture
2. Definition of catholicism by the which I identify myself as a Catholic (not Roman). Since, you have quoted part of the purpose of your questions was for,
[/QUOTE]My question is actually to give an opportunity for you to make sure to all of us (not to me because I know you) that you don't support some so called "binding" decisions of the so called church, specifically some related to the Mediatrix, Advocatrix and Redemptrix (perhaps "dominatrix" ) and a few other papal decisions that became "binding" for that "other" organization, such as the NEED for the "eurcharist" and placing the ONLY hope of Salvation on the sacrament of the Eucharist.
After we have completed this dicussion, we can move forward to other issues,
First, the issue of Christian Tradition.
The word tradition (Greek paradosis in the ecclesiastical sense; which is the only one in which it is used here; refers sometimes to the thing (doctrine, account, or custom) transmitted from one generation to another sometimes to the organ or mode of the transmission (kerigma ekklisiastikon, predicatio ecclesiastica). In the first sense it is an old tradition that Jesus Christ was born on 25 December, in the second sense tradition relates that on the road to Calvary a pious woman wiped the face of Jesus. In theological language, which in many circumstances has become current, there is still greater precision and this in countless directions. At first there was question only of traditions claiming a Divine origin, but subsequently there arose questions of oral as distinct from written tradition, in the sense that a given doctrine or institution is not directly dependent on Holy Scripture as its source but only on the oral teaching of Christ or the Apostles. Finally with regard to the organ of tradition it must be an official organ, a magisterium, or teaching authority.Tradition, "paradosis," is the handing on of belief's, practises, and customs, etc., from one generation to another. Paul refers to holding fast the traditions I have given you whether oral or written (scriptures). I must go on record here as stating that I do NOT believe in Sola Scriptura, although I do believe in Scripture FIRST and LAST! But I believe scripture must be interpreted through the historical lense in which it was written- the early Christians themselves. As GK Chesterton says,Now in this respect there are several points of controversy between Catholics and every body of Protestants. Is all revealed truth consigned to Holy Scripture? or can it, must it, be admitted that Christ gave to His Apostles to be transmitted to His Church, that the Apostles received either from the very lips of Jesus or from inspiration or Revelation, Divine instructions which they transmitted to the Church and which were not committed to the inspired writings? Must it be admitted that Christ instituted His Church as the official and authentic organ to transmit and explain in virtue of Divine authority the Revelation made to men? The Protestant principle is: The Bible and nothing but the Bible; the Bible, according to them, is the sole theological source; there are no revealed truths save the truths contained in the Bible; according to them the Bible is the sole rule of faith: by it and by it alone should all dogmatic questions be solved; it is the only binding authority. Catholics, on the other hand, hold that there may be, that there is in fact, and that there must of necessity be certain revealed truths apart from those contained in the Bible; they hold furthermore that Jesus Christ has established in fact, and that to adapt the means to the end He should have established, a living organ as much to transmit Scripture and written Revelation as to place revealed truth within reach of everyone always and everywhere. Such are in this respect the two main points of controversy between Catholics and so-called orthodox Protestants (as distinguished from liberal Protestants, who admit neither supernatural Revelation nor the authority of the Bible). The other differences are connected with these or follow from them, as also the differences between different Protestant sects--according as they are more or less faithful to the Protestant principle, they recede from or approach the Catholic position.
The early fathers, creeds, councils, etc., must at least be given a vote and brought in as a factor in our interpretation, not just our own opinions, some 2,000 years removed."Tradition means giving votes to the most obscure of all classes, our ancestors. It is the democracy of the dead. Tradition refuses to submit to that arrogant oligarchy who merely happen to be walking around." -Gilbert K. Chesterton
II. Definition of catholicism, first used by St. Ignatius, come from two greek words, Kata and Holos, meaning according to the whole, or according to the whole church. It refers to those things upon which the whole church was in agreement upon, such as the canonization of the scriptures, and the development of the doctrine of the trinity, etc.
Also, catholicm, as it is stated in the so called creed of Anthanasius, refers to catholic as being a belief in the Trinity,
Whoever wills to be in a state of salvation, before all things it is necessary that he hold the Catholic Faith, which except everyone shall have kept whole and undefiled without doubt he will perish eternally. Now the Catholic Faith is that we worship One God in Trinity and Trinity in Unity, neither confounding the Persons nor dividing the substance. For there is one Person of the Father, another of the Son, another of the Holy Spirit. But the Godhead of the Father, of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit, is One, the Glory equal, the Majesty coeternal. Such as the Father is, such is the Son, and such is the Holy Spirit; the Father uncreated, the Son uncreated, and the Holy Spirit uncreated; the father infinite, the Son infinite, and the Holy Spiritinfinite; the Father eternal, the Son eternal, and the Holy Spirit eternal. And yet not three eternals but one eternal, as also not three infinites, nor three uncreated, but one uncreated,and one infinite. So, likewise, the Father is almighty, the Son almighty, and the Holy Spirit almighty; and yet not three almighties but one almighty. So the Father is God, the Son God, and the Holy Spirit God; and yet not three Gods but one God. So the Father is Lord, the Son Lord, and the Holy Spirit Lord; and yet not three Lords but one Lord. For like s we are compelled by Christian truth to acknowledge every Person by Himself to be both God and Lord; so are we forbidden by the catholic religion to say, there be three Gods or three Lords. The Father is made of none, neither created nor begotten. The Son is of the Father alone, nod made nor created but begotten. The Holy Spirit is of the Father and the Son, not made nor created nor begotten but proceeding. So there is one Father not three Fathers, one Son not three Sons, and Holy Spirit not three Holy Spirits. And in this Trinity there is noting before or after, nothing greater or less, but the whole three Persons are coeternal together and coequal. So that in all things, as is aforesaid, the trinity in Unity and the Unity in Trinity is to be worshipped. He therefore who wills to be in a state of salvation, let him think thus of the Trinity. But it is necessary to eternal salvation that he also believe faithfully the Incarnation of our Lord Jesus Christ. The right faith therefore is that we believe and confess that our Lord Jesus Christ, the Son of God, is God and Man. He is God of the substance of the Father begotten before the worlds, and He is man of the substance of His mother born in the world; perfect God, perfect man subsisting of a reasoning soul and human flesh; equal to the Father as touching His Godhead, inferior to the Father as touching His Manhood. Who although He be God and Man yet He is not two but one Christ; one however not by conversion of the God Head in the flesh, but by taking of the Manhood in God; one altogether not by confusion of substance but by unity of Person. For as the reasoning soul and flesh is one man, so God and Man is one Christ. Who suffered for our salvation, descended into hell, rose again from the dead, ascended into heaven, sits at the right hand of the Father,from whence He shall come to judge the living and the dead. At whose coming all men shall rise again with their bodies and shall give account for their own works. And they that have done good shall go into life eternal, and they who indeed have done evil into eternal fire. This is the Catholic Faith, which except a man shall have believed faithfully and firmly he cannot be in a state of salvation. AMEN