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Tuesday, July 1, 2008

Personal Prophet

Candy's latest post is an elaboration on her views of prophesy and speaking in tongues. It doesn't directly relate to Catholicism in any way that I can see, nor is it something on which I have a strong opinion. But I read through Candy's post, and then I read through a translation of the Pope's Sunday homily, on the Feast of Saints Peter and Paul, and they seemed such a sharp contrast, that I wanted to share some of my thoughts.

I read the Bible through several times before I had any type of real Doctrinal Teaching. That is a blessing, because that means I was able to read the Bible several times on my own, without anyone else's interpretations getting in the way. The first several to dozen times through the Bible, I used text only, or reference Bibles,- no study Bibles.

I cannot claim to have read the Bible dozens of times, but I have noticed that it speaks over and over of the wisdom of the aged and learned, of the importance of being open to instruction.

Proverbs 1:7: The fear of the LORD is the beginning of knowledge: but fools despise wisdom and instruction.

Proverbs 3:5: Trust in the LORD with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding.

Job 12:12: With the ancient is wisdom; and in length of days understanding.

2 Peter 3:16: As also in all his epistles, speaking in them of these things; in which are some things hard to be understood, which they that are unlearned and unstable wrest, as they do also the other scriptures, unto their own destruction.

Acts 8: 30-31: And Philip ran thither to him, and heard him read the prophet Esaias, and said, Understandest thou what thou readest? And he said, How can I, except some man should guide me? And he desired Philip that he would come up and sit with him.

Titus 2:3-5: The aged women likewise, that they be in behaviour as becometh holiness, not false accusers, not given to much wine, teachers of good things; That they may teach the young women to be sober, to love their husbands, to love their children, To be discreet, chaste, keepers at home, good, obedient to their own husbands, that the word of God be not blasphemed.

The last one isn't strictly on topic, but I notice that it speaks of the older women instructing the younger, not the young women instructing everyone else.

Some people have been taught that we can no longer have the gift of prophecy, because "we are not to add to the Word of God." Certainly we are not to add to the Word of God. However, prophesying is not adding to the Bible, but confirming it. All true prophecy will always line up with the Bible

This seems to me, to be a good defense of Tradition, if we replace the word "prophecy" with "Tradition." Let's try it:

Some people have been taught that we can no longer have the gift of Tradition, because "we are not to add to the Word of God." Certainly we are not to add to the Word of God. However, Tradition is not adding to the Bible, but confirming it. All true Tradition will always line up with the Bible.

See? Sounds good to me.

1 Corinthians 12 tells us that each Christian is a different part of the Body of Christ, with different gifts of the Holy Spirit.

Where I think Candy's view is so very different from the Catholic view is her supreme view of the individual. It is up to her alone to correctly interpret Scripture, and her view is equal, or greater, than that of those who might be more learned in the subject. She clearly feels that learning can be a disadvantage when it comes to Scripture. But I'm not sure this fits in with ALL of 1 Corinthians 12.

14For the body is not one member, but many.

15If the foot shall say, Because I am not the hand, I am not of the body; is it therefore not of the body?

16And if the ear shall say, Because I am not the eye, I am not of the body; is it therefore not of the body?

17If the whole body were an eye, where were the hearing? If the whole were hearing, where were the smelling?

18But now hath God set the members every one of them in the body, as it hath pleased him.

19And if they were all one member, where were the body?

20But now are they many members, yet but one body.

21And the eye cannot say unto the hand, I have no need of thee: nor again the head to the feet, I have no need of you.

22Nay, much more those members of the body, which seem to be more feeble, are necessary:

23And those members of the body, which we think to be less honourable, upon these we bestow more abundant honour; and our uncomely parts have more abundant comeliness.

24For our comely parts have no need: but God hath tempered the body together, having given more abundant honour to that part which lacked.

25That there should be no schism in the body; but that the members should have the same care one for another.

26And whether one member suffer, all the members suffer with it; or one member be honoured, all the members rejoice with it.

27Now ye are the body of Christ, and members in particular.

28And God hath set some in the church, first apostles, secondarily prophets, thirdly teachers, after that miracles, then gifts of healings, helps, governments, diversities of tongues.

Rather than the importance of the individual, Paul emphasizes the unity of the body, that they all depend on each other. Jesus created a Church, and Paul indicates that it does have a hierarchy. So it isn't every man does his own thing independent of each other, and somehow, they are all collectively the body of Christ.

As I mentioned before, after I read Candy's post, I read the homily from the Pope. I immediately noticed how he seemed to stress unity and the Body of Christ as much as Candy stressed the individual.

Here are the excepts that stood out to me. At this Mass, the Pope bestowed the pallium on some Archbishops. For those of you reading along who aren't Catholic, you can find information on this topic here. It is a custom rich in Biblical symbolism.

But the pallium which you will receive ‘from’ the tomb of Peter has yet another significance, inseparably connected with the first. To understand this, a sentence from the First Letter of Peter may help us. In his exhortation to priests to pasture their flock in the correct way, he calls himself a synpresbĂ˝teros – co-priest (5,1). This formulation implicitly contains the principle of apostolic succession: the Pastors who follow are Pastors like him; together with him, they belong to the common ministry of the pastors of the Church of Jesus Christ, a ministry that continues in them.

But the prefix ‘con-’ has two other meanings. It also expresses the reality that we indicate today by the word ‘collegiality’ among bishops. We are all ‘con-presbiteri’. No one is a Pastor by himself. We are in the succession of the Apostles thanks only to being in communion with the college in which the College of Apostles finds its continuation. The communion - the ‘we’ - of Pastors is part of being a Pastor, because there is only one flock, the one Church of Christ.

It speaks to us of the one, holy, catholic, apostolic Church, and of course, in linking us to Christ, it also tells us that the Church is holy, and that our work is in the service of this holiness. . .


“Peter”, the pope explained, “. . . left the leadership of the Christian-Jewish Church to James the Less, in order to dedicate himself to his true mission: to his ministry for the unity of the one Church of God formed from Jews and pagans. St Paul’s desire to go to Rome emphasises - as we have seen - among the characteristics of the Church, above all the word ‘catholic’. St Peter’s journey to Rome, as representative of the peoples of the world, falls above all under the word ‘one’: his task was that of creating the unity of the catholica, of the Church made up of Jews and pagans, of the Church of all peoples.

And this is the permanent mission of Peter: to make it so that the Church never be identified with a single nation, with a single culture or a single state. That it always be the Church of all. That it unite humanity beyond all boundaries, and, in the midst of the divisions of this world, make present the peace of God, the reconciling power of his love”.




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14 comments:

Tracy said...

Excellent!!

Elena said...

I wonder what goes through Candy's mind when she reads some of the verses you pointed out Kelly?

Barbara C. said...

I was recently talking to someone who is planning to RCIA in the fall. They were talking about feeling like a weight had been lifted by submitting to the authority of the Church. In the course of our discussion, we thought about how it is almost as if some Protestants are trying to constantly reinvent the wheel on their own. I got to thinking about how hard it must be to discern the right thing when you have to fight objective logic with subjective desires. It's hard enough doing the right thing sometimes when you have it spelled out to you.

And I have often thought that the reason Protestantism has thrived so much in the U.S. is because it ties in so much with the ideas of American Independence and the birth of our country as a break from the traditional form of government, divine monarchy.

All In A Day's Work said...

I truly appreciate this blog. I am not a Catholic. I have attended IFB churches since I was 5 years old. I have been taught all the things about the Catholic Church that Candy puts up on her blog. I never really studied any of it out. I just figured that if the Pastor said it, it must be true since he's the man of God. Hmmm.. sounds awful familiar to the argument that we've used about Catholics only listening to their priests and not searching anything out for themselves, eh? =)

I'm learning a great deal on this blog. I'm not sure that I agree on some things, but I have a completely different view of the Catholic Faith now and realize that "all Catholics" aren't probably on their way to hell.

I especially like this post and agree about the body being more important that individuality in the church. The verse in II Peter 3:16 is an awesome. I've marked it in my Bible. =)

Have a great evening.

Amanda said...

I'm not sure why, but when she started talking about prophesy and how it was real, the first thing that popped into my mind was Fatima. I'm certain she would say that it was either made up or the work of the devil (since Mary promoted the rosary in the apparitions, and, as we all know, the rosary is "unbiblical"). This lead me to ponder: how could/can she believe that God would send a message to her via a stranger, but not that God would allow Mary to appear and speak to children? I, for one, find her "prophesies" to be far more questionable than the appearance of the Blessed Virgin.

Probably rambling and irrelevant, but just some thoughts I was having.

Elena said...

I was telling my husband about this and he said it reminded him of the little boy down the street. James is a nice kid and he has lots of playmates. But sometimes the kids get very mad at him because he will change the rules in the middle of the game, and the rule change always benefit him. It's exasperating!

Robin said...

I am a believer that God is Elohim - He the God and Master of everything. He can choose to use whatever channel He wants to convey a message to His followers. That being said, it is not something to be taken lightly. It concerns me greatly whenever anyone puts themselves into the position of 'the one' that is being used of God, the interpreter of His will, etc - especially if it is not true. I am not saying that Candy has not received prophesies and I am not saying that she has. I do know that if this is not true, she is walking on very dangerous ground. Our Father - who is all knowing, all loving, full of grace, and perfect - cannot abide dishonesty in His name.

Kelly, your use of Scripture is correct. Being imperfect humans, we cannot possibly have all the answers and all the talents required for furthering the Kingdom of God. It takes all 'Body' parts working together, building up the weaker parts and imparting grace, knowledge and help to those who require it. We should never tear or beat down a part of the Body - especially those who are trying to grow and mature. Also, we should pay special attention - always with discernment, of course - to our senior members. They lived through much more than us and have studied more than us. I have gained so much by listening and just being with some of our oldest ladies in church. They have contributed greatly to my walk as a Christ follower.

Kelly said...

I wonder what goes through Candy's mind when she reads some of the verses you pointed out Kelly?

Well, she has said several times before that she has received the gift of interpretation from the Holy Spirit. She says when she writes about Scripture, it isn't her personal interpretation, but what the Holy Spirit has revealed to her. Therefore, I would guess these verses don't apply to her, because she has wisdom from the Holy Spirit.

In that case, I would then say that she errs in telling other people to not use study guides, listen to others, etc., when studying Scripture. If she has that individual gift, then she wouldn't know that everyone who reads her blog has the same gift.

all in a day's work, thanks for stopping by, and the positive feedback! You know, our goal here isn't to convert everyone to Catholicism, but to just help people understand what we REALLY believe.

Kelly said...

PS-I apologize in advance if I sound a little stilted for the next day or two. I just finished up this 1000 page Norwegian saga set in the Middle Ages. I keep having to fight the urge to say things like "Fain would I be for another slice of pizza, fair child of mine."

I've been dreaming about Norway all week, too.

just said...

ALL the comments for all the recent posts over there have completely disappeared. Huh.

I find that I don't feel so panicky about not being sola scriptura anymore, when I can relax and accept the authority and protection of the magisterium.

I recently had an acquaintance give me a "word from the Lord" that was quite shaming and frustrating, and assumed that I had not heard prayerfully from God on that particular issue. And the "prophet" would only tell me to take it up with God, that she was just the messenger.

Amusingly, the next day, I received an email from a Catholic friend wanting to encourage me in the situation, and she said exactly the opposite. I wish I could share it publicly, because it was sort of a pun, and we laughed that the prophet must have heard from God but gotten her wires crossed.

I really don't like it when people decide that what they "heard" overrides what I have been working on for ages with God and a spiritual director and twice-monthly confession!

Oops. That turned into a rant, didn't it?

Mostly I just wanted to say that I will take the magisterium over Joe on the street any time!

Kelly said...

I am a believer that God is Elohim - He the God and Master of everything. He can choose to use whatever channel He wants to convey a message to His followers. That being said, it is not something to be taken lightly. It concerns me greatly whenever anyone puts themselves into the position of 'the one' that is being used of God, the interpreter of His will, etc - especially if it is not true.

Robin, I think this is very similar to how I feel. I think that prophesy and other spiritual gifts were used to build up the apostolic church. I don't feel that they died out entirely, but that they are, perhaps, less common that some claim that they are.

I think that if Candy received a prophesy that concerned her, and it was private, then it would be best to not mention it at all on her blog, rather than bringing it up periodically.

Suzanne said...

Well, she has said several times before that she has received the gift of interpretation from the Holy Spirit. She says when she writes about Scripture, it isn't her personal interpretation, but what the Holy Spirit has revealed to her.

Hi Kelly:-) I wanted to address this a bit . I believe Candy refers to this Scripture when she discusses that we are all given the ability to interpret the Word: "All Scripture is given by instruction of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness." 2 Timothy 3:16

Now Timothy is warning about the coming Apostasy and how one confronts it. If you read the whole chapter in context you will see he is speaking of continuing in the things we have learned from the Scriptures. Verse 15 says, " and that from childhood you have known the Holy Scriptures, which are able to make you wise for salvation through faith which is in Jesus Christ."

Now whether your Bible translation says "given by instruction of God" or given by inspiration of God", it literally means "breathed out by God", or "God breathed". Now sometimes God told the Bible writers the exact words to say, (e.g., Jer 1:9) but more often He used their minds , vocabularies, and experiences to produce His own perfect infallible inerrant Word. It's important to remember that inspiration applies only to the original autographs of Scripture, not the Bible writers; there are no inspired Sripture writers, only inspired Scripture. Clear as
mud:-)? So identified is God with His Word that when Scripture speaks , God speaks. Scripture is called the oracles of God (Rom.3:2, 1Peter 4:11) and cannot be altered (John 10:35'Matt. 5:17, 18; LUke 16:17; Rev. 22:18, 19). I don't believe this Scripture is directly telling us that we are given inspiration by the HS but that the Scriptures were. Make sense?

All this said I believe when we venture into phrophesy we need to be careful. I first was exposed to it and the gift of tongues as a Catholic during the Charismatic movement. Then when I left the RCC I went to a Foursquare church. Candy did not publish my comment on the Foursquare--for whatever reasons who knows. But I will say that at the Foursquare I saw these gifts used wrongly. My first exposure to the gift of phrophesy came when a patient of mine in my Alzheimer's clinic was allowed to get up continually at church and give "words". Now, because of patient confidentiality I couldn't say a word to the pastor but I watched this woman (who was not in her right mind) give these prophesies to people and they ate them up. Sad. I also watched the gift of tongues used or now the catch phrase is prayer languages, and they were used with no interpretation whatsoever. The Word is pretty clear you need an interpreter. Now not too much longer I watched a movement called "laughing in the spirit" come and then when I got out of dodge is when "barking in the spirit" was practiced. The pastor had left to help Jack Hayford in CA and left Dan Chesney in charge. I watched grown men and the new pastor bark on the altar. And people didn't denounce this right away! This pastor is on the internet and if I ever saw him coming to a church I would alert people because of the possible damage these kind of "pastors" can do.

So can God send a vision or someone to send us a Word, yes, I do believe that. And I don't doubt Fatima or what those people have seen or a number of other holy places but I do say we need to always be very careful when someone uses tongues or phrophesizes over us. Very careful.
The Foursquare are Pentecostals and the IFB take a more literal approach to Scripture. WHile I am not IFB I really feel the Pentecostals have strayed from correct interpretation on a number of things.

I am surprised Candy is pointing people to the Foursquare, whether she realizes it or not she has influence.

Perhaps once she realizes the false doctrine there she will address posts to that instead of just about Catholic church.

Thanks for letting me sound off Kelly--I am still getting to that other note:-) Take care!

Kelly said...

I said: She says when she writes about Scripture, it isn't her personal interpretation, but what the Holy Spirit has revealed to her.

Suzanne said: Hi Kelly:-) I wanted to address this a bit . I believe Candy refers to this Scripture when she discusses that we are all given the ability to interpret the Word

I'm familiar with that verse, though I've normally seen it used to point to the inerrancy and authority of Scripture. I also understand that many believe that any baptized Christian has the ability to interpret Scripture with the aid of the Holy Spirit.

However, I have seen Candy use it in the context that "many churches/people interpret these verses to mean thus, but they are wrong, and I know I am right because I have this special gift."

But, the two or three times she has said this, she has gone back and deleted it later, so I can't give you an exact quote. One particular time I remember is when she was discussing Bible translations, and warmly praised the Dake. She said that she shared this gift with him.

I am surprised Candy is pointing people to the Foursquare, whether she realizes it or not she has influence.

Perhaps once she realizes the false doctrine there she will address posts to that instead of just about Catholic church.


She said that she had attended a Foursquare church previously, but as she has just now realized her IFB church doesn't believe in gifts of the spirit, then I guess she could have attended and been unaware of other false doctrines.

I'd sure be happy if she wrote about another group for a change, but she mentioned that one church they attended were Campbellites, and even though several people asked her what was heretical about them, she never wrote about it.

Thanks for chiming in, Suzanne. Take your time on the e-mail. :)

Suzanne said...

Kelly:I'm familiar with that verse, though I've normally seen it used to point to the inerrancy and authority of Scripture. I also understand that many believe that any baptized Christian has the ability to interpret Scripture with the aid of the Holy Spirit.

Suzanne:Yes, Kelly exactly my point. It is used out of context alot.

Kelly:However, I have seen Candy use it in the context that "many churches/people interpret these verses to mean thus, but they are wrong, and I know I am right because I have this special gift."

Suzanne:Yup:-)

Kelly: But, the two or three times she has said this, she has gone back and deleted it later, so I can't give you an exact quote. One particular time I remember is when she was discussing Bible translations, and warmly praised the Dake. She said that she shared this gift with him.

Suzanne: Yes, I know what you mean. Bible translations is a tricky subject. There are a couple of camps on the KJV only and we know which one she is in:-)