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A Conversation : The Third Response - Mr. Walker - Part Two
This continues the previous response.

Finally, since you mention it a few times, I wish to talk about Apostolic Succession. In Isaiah 22, verses 20 and following, it talks about how one prime minister of the Kingdom of David is going to be removed in favor of another prime minister in the Kingdom of David . The succession is denoted by the passing on of the key of the house of David - which is the symbol of the authority of the house of David. In Matthew 16:17-19, Peter is given the keys of Kingdom of Heaven . Keys again denote authority, but the existence of the keys denote succession - there must always be a keyholder. In Acts 1, we see that Judas held an "office" in the ministry Christ. And Scripture even states, "His office let another take." If there is an office, there must be an officeholder. Nowhere does Scripture say the office no longer exists. In 2 Tim 2:2 we see four generations of apostolic succession - from Paul, to Timothy, to faithful men, to others. In the letters to Timothy and Titus we see those ordained by Paul, going out and ordaining others - apostolic succession.
Don’t stop there finish quoting Acts 1:21

21Therefore it is necessary to choose one of the men who have been with us the whole time the Lord Jesus went in and out among us, 22beginning from John's baptism to the time when Jesus was taken up from us. For one of these must become a witness with us of his resurrection.

A Pastor is not an Apostle and today, is certainly not a disciple that was with Jesus the whole time he was on earth, from John’s baptism to his resurrection. The choosing of Matthias was for him to be a witness to these events, because he saw them and was taught directly from Jesus.

The instructions to appoint elders and overseers were men set in place to uphold what these apostles taught. They did not have to be witnesses to these events, but only to believe them and teach them and hold to them.
You say that you are a so? Did someone ordain you? By what authority? Who ordained that person? And who ordained that person? How far back can you trace your line of ordination? As a pastor, from whence comes your authority? Do you have any authority? Did you start your own church, or were you hired by an existing church? If you were hired by an existing church, please tell me where in Scripture it tells us of one pastor being hired by the congregation to succeed another pastor? If you started your own church, by whose authority did you do so? And, if you leave that church, how will they replace you? By hiring another pastor? Again, where is the hiring of pastors mentioned in the Bible? There is much more biblical, and historical, evidence for the means of succession of leadership that is practiced in the Catholic Church, then there is for whatever means of succession of leadership practiced in your church.
I thought we covered this already. I was appointed. As per the instructions of Paul. This not an apostolic succession, but simply an elder or an overseer appointed to uphold the apostles teaching, not create new ones. My contention with the papacy is not that there would be a leadership of a church. As we have very clear instruction on how and who should be in this leadership. The office of a Pope is not mentioned here or anywhere, nor is there any succession given that would have the authority to change or add to the gospel that the apostles taught. So shouldn’t this question be directed at the Pope? At least there is a position of overseer created in scripture, we see what their job is and how to choose them. There is no mention of any office of Pope, nor idea what this position would do, or any way to choose a new one.
Now, there are a number of points that you made that I am not going to touch on here, as I've already gone on long enough, but I do wish to touch on one final point. When I challenged you to give me one example of where the Catholic Church has ever changed its doctrines, you stated the following: "How about the Roman Catholic church’s opinion of people who reject their teaching. Once labeled a heretic and killed, now called separated brothers and a desire that they return to the 'faith'."

That's the best you could come up with?! First of all, that is not a doctrinal matter. The Church has never taught, as a matter of doctrine, that all heretics should be killed. Second, you seem to have a very flawed sense of history. The Church has always sought to bring heretics back into the true faith. Third, there is historical context to the situations where some heretics were put to death that you seem to be ignorant of. I will not argue the rightness or wrongness of such deaths here, but I will repeat that this is not a matter of doctrine. If wrongs were committed, it was a matter of personal sin, not doctrine. Finally, the fact that the Church refers to fellow Christians as "separated brethren" is a matter of semantics. It is not a matter of doctrine. Anyone who believes in a heresy, is, by definition, a heretic. However, the Church chooses to use different language when speaking of such folks and clearly states her reasoning as to why this is so in the Catechism. It is not a doctrinal matter. I am free to refer to you as either a heretic or a separated brethren, or both.
Well again, the point was simply that over 2000 years, the Roman Catholic church has changed it’s teachings to one degree or another. It was not the severity of the doctrinal change, but that they have changed, to state there has not been any changes to any teaching in 2000 years is not true. There are many teachings that did not even become official doctrine of the church for many years, whether or not they were taught at some level. I don’t really want to go down this road, as it was merely a point that they have not always taught exactly the same thing. However since you would like some official teaching that has changed, how about the dogma of the Immaculate Conception, which wasn’t defined until Pope Pius IX in 1854. I know he did not create this concept in 1854, but until this time it was not Dogma and it was not universally taught. And is clear that this was not taught by many of the early leaders such as Augustine, Aquinas, and others or even by other Popes such as Gregory the Great or Innocent III. History shows us that this was not taught consistently through history and not even taught as dogma until 1854. So my point that the teaching of the Roman Catholic church has changed and does not represent the same exact teaching it has always had.

As for the Inquisition, it was devised and executed by the Popes of the Roman Catholic church. The “apostles” who are the “Vicar of Christ” and “Holy Fathers” for several centuries killed heretics to the church. So if someone rejected the church then and were “purified” that was the method taught or employed to return them to the faith. So has this not changed?
Again, I challenge you to find one matter of doctrine that the Church has changed in its 2000 year history. If you cannot do so, then, as a Christian, and particularly as a pastor, I adjure you to withdraw your false claims.
I hope I have made my point.
In Christ,

John Martignoni

Posted on Tue Nov 11, 2008 2:13 am by accesservant

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