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Discussion in 'Church History' started by Scott Bushey, Apr 15, 2019.
To be more accurate, when in time, did Rome cease being a biblical church?
If I HAD to draw a hard line, I would say the Council of Trent was Rome's formal apostasy.
But the truth is, even then I think Trent did nothing but make legal that which was already factual. I suppose one could make an argument for the 4th Lateran Council (1215) because of Transubstantiation, or even some other point.
When do you have enough grains of sand for a pile?
When is a rotten apple all rotten and no longer an apple?
We can point to lots of things in the history of the Church of Rome after her schism from the Orthodox Patriarchs in the East that indicate she was in formal apostacy. The answer the Church of Rome gave to Jan Hus, & John Wycliffe at the Council of Constance in 1415, marked a serious turning point.
Trent is the red line for me. That is when the RCC condemned the gospel and the truth.
I think we have to acknowledge that it is difficult to answer this question precisely. While I could accept the claim that Trent was the point when Rome officially became false according to its confession, at the same time, we also have to acknowledge that there will still elements of the true church within Rome even after Trent, such as the Jansenists in France.
I think John Calvin said that some of the particular churches affiliated with Rome were still true churches. I am not sure if that is still true today, though there may still be some true believers within Rome. Either way, they should leave and join the Reformed church.
When did the papacy begin, or more precisely, when did the Bishop of Rome arrogate to himself the position within the church described in 2 Thessalonians 2? I would probably make that the relevant point, as the existence of the papacy marks out the Church of Rome as the system of Antichrist. Of course the papacy developed incrementally so it is a hard question to answer.
All we can be sure of of is that it occurred when the true Head of the Church, Jesus Christ, came and removed their candlestick out of its place (Rev. 2:5).
It must be our constant prayer that, by the grace of the Holy Spirit, we and our churches be kept pure and faithful until the Day of Jesus Christ.
When did the Church of Rome ever officially teach and hold to the true Gospel?
Are you under the impression that the Church of Rome has been apostate for the entirely of its existence?
From as long as it acknowledged the papacy and Sacramental grace, whenever that happened historically.
I think the issue is just a bit more complicated than that.
Agreed. One aspect of the complicated nature of it relates to the fact that individual churches in an apostate denomination may (at least for a time) not themselves be guilty of apostasy. I have known individual churches that were apart of apostate mainline denominations that were still faithful in many respects. That isn't to say they were really healthy or entirely unaffected by the errors of their denomination or that they didn't need to leave the denomination. Only that the Word was still being preached, the ordinances were still being faithfully administered, and the members still living lives consistent with their profession. Could not this have been true for a great many Catholic churches in Europe in the time leading up to its apostasy and perhaps for some years after? Calvin said, “Wherever we see the Word of God purely preached and heard, there a church of God exists, even if it swarms with many faults.”
In Revelation 2 and 3, we find our Lord judging individual local churches. That isn't to suggest he doesn't judge larger ecclesiastical bodies, but that local churches stand in their own right before the Lord. So I believe that has to be apart of our thinking as well.
“The successor of Peter is the Vicar of Christ: he has been established as a mediator between God and man, below God but beyond man; less than God but more than man; who shall judge all and be judged by no one” - Pope Innocent III (1198-1216)
“I am caesar; I am emperor.”
“It is altogether necessary for every human being to be subject to the Roman pontiff”
- Pope Boniface VIII (1294-1303)
Statements like this don’t sit well with me.
I agree that there were pockets of faithful in the Catholic Church throughout history (love Blaise Pascal), but I think there were substantial compromises of the faith prior to (and clearly stated at) Trent and Constance. Crusades, Lay Investiture controversy, interdict, and the events surrounding the creation of the HRE all have an unfortunate past.
The Jansenists still taught transubstantiation and sacerdotalism. They were only returning to orthodoxy on the doctrines of original sin and predestination, making their theology quite in-line with that of Thomas Aquinas - still quite heterodox. There were quite a few polemics between the reformed and the Jansenists.
Yes, I am aware of that point. I am not saying that the Jansenists were Reformed, just that they were not non-Christians.
Just out of curiosity, why do you believe we should draw the line at Augustinianism/Pelagianism and not at Sola Fide/Sacerdotalism?
I don't think it is easy to draw the line. Hence my original point.
True, but those held positions would have meant teaching another gospel, so when did Rome officially teach those 2 points?
The Lord still today saves out His own people from among Apostate Rome, but whenever that Church started to hold to saved by Sacramental salvation proper is when to me went Apostate.
Sacramental salvation and transubstantiation are co-essential, no?
Both are heresies of the Church of Rome.