Doctrine Of The Catholic Church
Protestants refuse to accept the doctrines of the Catholic Church. Their insistence to clinging only to the Bible flies in the face of the very structure of the Faith as established by Jesus. Many instances can be found in the scripture where the Church provided guidance to local communities. In fact, all of the letters of Paul are just that, letters to communities telling them what to do and to provide encouragement. What would be the point of creating a Church that would die with the first generation of Christians?
“It is my judgment, therefore, that we ought to stop troubling the Gentiles who turn to God, but tell them by letter to avoid pollution from idols, unlawful marriage, the meat of strangled animals, and blood. For Moses, for generations now, has had those who proclaim him in every town, as he has been read in the synagogues every Sabbath. Then the apostles and presbyters, in agreement with the whole church, decided to choose representatives and to send them to Antioch with Paul and Barnabas. The ones chosen were Judas, who was called Barsabbas, and Silas, leaders among the brothers. This is the letter delivered by them: “The apostles and the presbyters, your brothers, to the brothers in Antioch, Syria, and Cilicia of Gentile origin: greetings. Since we have heard that some of our number (who went out) without any mandate from us have upset you with their teachings and disturbed your peace of mind, we have with one accord decided to choose representatives and to send them to you along with our beloved Barnabas and Paul, who have dedicated their lives to the name of our Lord Jesus Christ. So we are sending Judas and Silas who will also convey this same message by word of mouth: ‘It is the decision of the holy Spirit and of us not to place on you any burden beyond these necessities, namely, to abstain from meat sacrificed to idols, from blood, from meats of strangled animals, and from unlawful marriage. If you keep free of these, you will be doing what is right. Farewell.‘” Acts 15:19-29
Peter, as the first leader of the Church and the first Pope, decides on a course of action concerning the policy of the Church. He then, in agreement with the whole Church, sends a letter to the community informing them of the Church’s decision. The Church has, and always will, make know to Christians how we are to interpret the scripture and how we must act. It does not matter that you are not Catholic, you arte still “bound” by the decisions of the Church. Your refusal to be obedient does not negate the authority of the Church or relieve you of your responsibility. Catholics are very sensitive to Christians who are “separated” from the Church. We often pray for unity in the Church created by Christ.
“As they traveled from city to city, they handed on to the people for observance the decisions reached by the apostles and presbyters in Jerusalem.” Acts 16:5
Here the decisions of the Church are passed from city to city. They were not spreading the “written” word, they were spreading the living Faith. When Peter fled Jerusalem for Rome in about 45AD, the seat of the apostolic Church became the Roman Catholic Church. It is not Roman by nature per se, it is Roman because the Church moved there at a time in history when Rome was the center of the civilized world.
“And so I say to you, you are Peter, and upon this rock I will build my church, and the gates of the netherworld shall not prevail against it. I will give you the keys to the kingdom of heaven. Whatever you bind on earth shall be bound in heaven; and whatever you loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven.” Matthew 16:18-19
Jesus gave Peter, and thus His Church, the power and authority to make decisions on his behalf on earth. Jesus made it clear that whatever the Church “bound” on earth would be “bound” in heaven. This is a specific reference to the authority of the Church to establish doctrine. If Church and Doctrine are of no importance, then what is there to “bind”?