[Writing in Ubuntu Linux & Open Office today. Several problems are making the switch-over kind of difficult Hyperlinks are hard to use, etc. Still, it’s not XP or Vista]
18 I warn everyone who hears the words of the prophecy of this book: If anyone adds anything to them, God will add to him the plagues described in this book. 19And if anyone takes words away from this book of prophecy, God will take away from him his share in the tree of life and in the holy city, which are described in this book.
It is unfortunately becoming clearer why complaining to the Roman Catholics about the complete lack of Biblical authority for their claims seems to produce only the online equivalent of bemused condescension. They are correct in their judgment that I don’t understand their religion:
Papal infallibility – Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Papal supremacy – Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
It is a basic principle of Christian interpretation of God’s Word that it must originate solely by exegesis (ἐξηγεῖσθα, “drawing out”) from the valid testimony of contemporary witnesses to Jesus’ Life recognized as the New Testament Canon, and from the recognized Canon of the Old Testament.
Instead the Roman Catholics have determined that a fallible, mortal individual selected as Earthly monarch over their assembly may at his sole whim, apparently by adopting a certain format and demeanor (e.g.. ex cathedra ), write edicts which instantly attain a status among Catholics equal to Canonical Scripture.
[To get some idea of just how fallible, browse the List of Popes at http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Popes. If these intrigues were presented as a work of fantasy fiction, they would be critically panned as requiring too much suspension of disbelief. The Borgia era was only the most extreme example.]
Thus, they are able to speak of such preposterous fables as the Assumption and the Immaculate Conception of the entity they entitle “Mary” apparently without even blushing slightly, even though these notions are entirely contradictory to legitimate Scripture.
[The Wikipedia entry on “Infallibility” sums up the problem fairly concisely:
“Protestants generally reject the doctrine because they do not consider the development of dogmatic theology to be authoritative apart from Biblical exegesis….]
Jesus encountered a somewhat similar problem among the Jewish religious leaders (Matthew 15:3-9} and their “traditions”. The difference is that the Pharisees practiced a faith which at least contained a kernel of God’s Word, and bore some resemblance to His Will at times. Some of the Pharisees were able to recognize the Truth that Jesus represented, like Nicodemus and Paul, based in part on their background in the Law and the Prophets.
Roman Catholicism, on the contrary, is a completely different religion from Christianity, which merely takes on Christian names for its entities and proceedings to delude people who haven’t been paying attention. This is a horrendous tragedy affecting millions of people around the world, and it is entirely unnecessary.
How much simpler is it to just accept that God means what He says? Why not set aside all of this “secret handshake/decoder ring” religion (and old knuckles, and rebadged statuary, and seepages, and dribbles, and screen doors, and cave walls…), and commit yourselves in humility and repentance to become God’s children, to grow up to be like Jesus—obeying His Commands, believing His Words, living according to His Example, receiving the Instruction of His Holy Spirit, and speaking the Truth in Love?