PART 1: CHRISTIANITY AND THE BIBLE
It is strange, but true, as we all know, that Protestants continue to insist upon assuming that Christianity is based upon the Bible, meaning the New Testament Bible, despite evidence to the contrary. This basic Protestant false assumption was emphasized recently at the 11th Annual Methodist Conference (Troy, N. Y.), made up of representatives of churches in Vermont, Mass., and upper New York State, attended by Bishop Oxnam and other Methodist celebrities. Dr. Roy L. Smith said to the delegates that:
"Christianity is a religion built around a Book---the Bible." If this be so, pray tell us Mr. Methodist Minister, from whence Church, the Catholic Church. "Ye search the Scriptures," said Our Lord to the Pharisees, who scrupulously perused them, yet failed to see therein the Christ, Who stood before them. The same may be said of you, Mr. Minister, and others of the Protestant cloth; Ye search the Scriptures yet see not therein the priestly Church commissioned to teach, preach, define, and to govern in matters of faith and morals; that was to have an unbroken, organic existence from the First Pentecost Day (as had the Catholic Church, and the Catholic Church only), and was so to continue until time is no more.
Lack of A.B.C. historic knowledge must be the cause of failure to know that the Church came first, and then came the Bible as the product of the Church. History records the fact that there was no agreement in Christendom as to which religious writings used in the churches were inspired, until the selection was made by the Catholic Church bishops in the Council of Laodicea (367 A.D.), which writings were finally adopted as the Canon of Sacred Scripture in the Catholic Church of Carthage (397 A.D.), after it was confirmed by the pope. That was 1347 years before the Methodist sect came into existence. The Catholic Church made the Bible: It was the Catholic Church that named the inspired writings The Bible: And it is only by the infallible declaration of the Catholic Church that man has any surety whatsoever for believing that the writings in the Bible are inspired writings; hence that the Bible is the Word of God. Christianity is a religion built around the Church Christ established.
The Bible evidences the fact that Church is the Catholic Church.
PART 2: THE CHURCH AND THE BIBLE
The Christian Century
Sir: My attention was directed to the "Low Blows at High Anglicans" article in your publication a few weeks ago, from the pen of Charles R. Andrews, pastor of the Oak Lawn, R. I. Baptist Church. The misconceptions therein of the Church of my adoption, the Catholic Church, in relation to the New Testament; and the successors of St. Peter as supreme heads of the Church Christ established, prompted me to submit the following statement for publication in your interesting paper.
As far as the High Church Anglicans dealt with therein are concerned, all I have to say is that they seem to be afflicted with a peculiar mental slant. It keeps them from realizing as did John Henry Newman, G. K. Chesterton, and a multitude of other highly intelligent Anglicans, the illogicalness of defending things Catholic, while belonging to an Elizabethan Parliament (instead of a Christ) Established Church in which they are merely tolerated, as is Bishop Barnes, who denies the Divinity of Christ; and the Dean of Canterbury, who furthers the cause of
Communism. The denial in the article that the New Testament is the "product of the church" dubbing the claim a confident misapplication of historic fact," is simply amazing, coming as it does from a writer who assumes to be a preacher of simon-pure Christianity. "Of course," says he "the New Testament was written by men ... but that was due to a prior event, the coming of Christ." Surely the priority of Christ did not change the fact that the New Testament is the product of the Church Christ established.
If the Reverend gentleman were blest with some of the terminological exactitude characteristic of the Catholic Church, he would not declare that "the New Testament was written (note written) by men." No one wrote the New Testament, which is a compilation made by the Council of Carthage (397 A. D.) of inspired writings, formed into a canon of Sacred Scripture.
Strange reasoning is it to claim, as did the Oak Lawn Baptist Church pastor, that the books in the New Testament were selected "because of their apostolicity," therefore they "were in their own right the canon." One must hold historic knowledge in abeyance, or be ignorant of it, to make such a declaration, considering that dozens of "apostolic writings," many of them used in churches, were rejected by the Council of Carthage, because they were considered not to have been inspired by God. Among these rejected books were four that were written by apostles, viz, the Gospels of St. Bartholomew and St. Thomas; the Acts of St. Andrew, and the Epistle of St. Barnabas. What was this selection of books other than the formation of a canon of 27 Divinely inspired writings, to form the New Testament?
The Council of Carthage, that gave the New Testament to the world, was a Catholic Church Council assembled by Bishop Aurelius of the See of Carthage. It was attended by 43 Catholic Church bishops. This council, recognizing the supreme authority of the occupant of the Chair of Peter, Pope St. Siricius, voted to "let the Church beyond the sea (Rome) be consulted before confirming the canon." And St. Augustine of Hippo, one of the Bishops in the Council of Carthage, said what Catholics say today, "I would not believe the Gospels unless moved thereto by the authority of the Church" (Contra Epistolam Fundamentalem). The New Testament is the product of the Catholic Church. This was recognized by the bitter anti-Catholic. Martin Luther, father of Protestantism, who said in his commentary of St. John (chap. xiv): "We are compelled to concede to the papists that they have the Word of God: that we received it from them, and that without them we should have had no knowledge of it at all." The Catholic Church not only made the Christian Bible; she is also the only existing divinely commissioned interpreter of its contents.
After recognizing that "Peter is the rock on which Christ built His Church"; that he (Peter) "held the keys," which signify supreme authority, one of the blows hurled at the Catholic Church, in the "Low Blows at High Anglicans" article, is that "there is quite definitely no word of succession or someone else taking over the functions for him."
Readers of the Christian Century were offensively told that "Romanism overlooked this point, and passes the rockhood and the keys to others, each of whom becomes in turn vicar of Christ and all the rest of it."
This anti-succession declaration is incredible, being at variance with historic fact; which shows that Christ commissioned His Church, which had Peter as its supreme authority, to continue until the end of the world with Christ therein; which implied continuance of a Peter, a shepherd to feed the lambs and sheep of Christ. One must simply permit history to fade into fable, or lack the knowledge of it, to draw the conclusion noted in the above paragraph. For instance, one must disregard the declaration of St. Clement of Rome to come to the writer's anti-Catholic Church conclusion. St. Clement said: "The apostles made these appointments and arranged a succession, when they had fallen asleep, and other tried men should carry on the ministry" (chap. 4, Letter to the Corthinians). This must have included a successor to St. Peter, for St. Clement was such; having been the 4th Pope, who reigned during the first century as Vicar of Christ. And St. Augustine said during the 4th century, that among the "many considerations that detain me in the bosom of the Catholic Church ... is the succession of Bishops from the Chair of Peter himself, to whom our Lord after His resurrection entrusted the feeding of His flock, down to the present Bishop ... " (Contra. Epis, Manichoei fundament.)
True is it, as Pastor Charles R. Andrews said, "If Peter was made the rock on which the Church was built, and if the Apostles are succeeded (as they were) ... then also the successors of Peter must have their due, and Rome should be our immediate destination," as it should be, and would be, if the will of Christ as understood by the foremost theologians and historians were followed by Protestants.