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Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Balancing Protestant Ignorance

With TV controls in hand, I was recently speed-flipping through the "Christian channels". My finger must have slipped, for I paused for a second on the James Robison show. There, something caught my ear. A guest on the show was talking about Apostle Peter. The guest was remarking on how Peter was, "out of sync, making a completely out-of-sync decision, totally out of God’s will", in leading the other disciples to cast lots to replace Judas Iscariot with a man named Mathais. "The guest's reasoning was the fact that, "We all know that God doesn't pick Apostles through a lottery system", and "You never hear his (Mathais) name again the rest of the Bible". So, how is it that a man (in this case, a "best selling author") in 2012, can cast such dispersion on the entire group of Spirit-breathed Apostles who were acting only days after the resurrection of Christ, and only days after Christ had commissioned them?

"19 Then, the same day at evening, being the first day of the week, when the doors were shut where the disciples were assembled,  for fear of the Jews, Jesus came and stood in the midst, and said to them, “Peace be with you.” 20 When He had said this, He showed them His hands and His side. Then the disciples were glad when they saw the Lord.
21 So Jesus said to them again, “Peace to you! As the Father has sent Me, I also send you.” 22 And when He had said this, He breathed on them, and said to them, “Receive the Holy Spirit. 23 If you forgive the sins of any, they are forgiven them; if you retain the sins of any, they are retained.” [John 20]

How can a man in 2012 make such an assertion? Sola Scriptura- the Protestant view, that if it isn't in the Bible, it didn't happen. Two phrases come to mind that might be of help in correcting such thinking: 

"To be deep in history, is to cease to be Protestant", 

 and , 

"Everything in the Bible is true, but not everything that is true is in the Bible."  

Sola Scriptura, or "Bible Worship", keeps the Protestant masses from viewing the 2000 years of church history. Another phrase comes to mind: 

"The Church gave us the Bible, the Bible didn't give us the Church." 

It is still astonishing that the protestant world so reveres the Bible as the only source of faith and practice, while ignoring the tradition that canonized it. They pay heed to the translated words of the text but ignore the fact that it was the orthodox Christian Church that gave them the scripture. They can trust that they have the right scriptures, but give no heed to the words of the spirit-breathed Bishops who determined what scriptures they would have. And thus the ignorance of the James Robison guest is displayed with his absolute obliviousness of Apostolic Succession.

It is true that Mathais is mentioned but once in the scripture and that without a biography. But, do we know who he was and how he lived his life? Yes, the original apostolic church knows and has always known. I fear doing the Robison guest's homework for him, or yours, but, I will direct you to one of many links that provide some of the  historic record of the Apostle Mathais, and I will post a short portion here: 

1. Apostle Matthias was born at Bethlehem of the Tribe of Judah. From his early childhood he studied the Law of God under the guidance of St Simeon the God-receiver.
2. When the Lord Jesus Christ revealed himself to the world, St Matthias believed in him as the Messiah, followed constantly after him and was numbered among the Seventy Apostles, whom the Lord "sent them two by two before His face" (Luke 10:1).
3. After the Ascension of the Savior, St Matthias was chosen by lot to replace Judas Iscariot as one of the Twelve Apostles (Acts 1:15-26). After the Descent of the Holy Spirit, the Apostle Matthias preached the Gospel at Jerusalem and in Judea together with the other Apostles (Acts 6:2, 8:14). 
4. From Jerusalem he went with the Apostles Peter and Andrew to Syrian Antioch, and was in the Cappadocian city of Tianum and Sinope. Here the Apostle Matthias was locked into prison, from which he was miraculously freed by St Andrew the First-Called.
5. The Apostle Matthias journeyed after this to Amasea, a city on the shore of the sea. During a three year journey of the Apostle Andrew, St Matthias was with him at Edessa and Sebaste. According to Church Tradition, he was preaching at Pontine Ethiopia (presently Western Georgia) and Macedonia. He was frequently subjected to deadly peril, but the Lord preserved him to preach the Gospel.
6. Once, pagans forced the saint to drink a poison potion. He drank it, and not only did he himself remain unharmed, but he also healed other prisoners who had been blinded by the potion. When St Matthias left the prison, the pagans searched for him in vain, for he had become invisible to them. Another time, when the pagans had become enraged intending to kill the Apostle, the earth opened up and engulfed them.
7. The Apostle Matthias returned to Judea and did not cease to enlighten his countrymen with the light of Christ's teachings. He worked great miracles in the Name of the Lord Jesus and he converted a great many to faith in Christ.
8. The Jewish High Priest Ananias hated Christ and earlier had commanded the Apostle James, Brother of the Lord, to be flung down from the heights of the Temple, and now he ordered that the Apostle Matthias be arrested and brought for judgment before the Sanhedrin at Jerusalem.
9. The impious Ananias uttered a speech in which he blasphemously slandered the Lord. Using the prophecies of the Old Testament, the Apostle Matthias demonstrated that Jesus Christ is the True God, the promised Messiah, the Son of God, Consubstantial and Coeternal with God the Father. After these words the Apostle Matthias was sentenced to death by the Sanhedrin and stoned.
10. When St Matthias was already dead, the Jews, to hide their malefaction, cut off his head as an enemy of Caesar. (According to several historians, the Apostle Matthias was crucified, and indicate that he instead died at Colchis.) The Apostle Matthias received the martyr's crown of glory in the year 63. 

I have two more phrases that might help Protestant pundits such as Robison's guest: 

"Separating Scripture and Tradition, is the height of academic ignorance", 

and finally, for the "best selling author", when all else fails,

"Google is your friend."

2 comments:

  1. All i can say is we all need to pray for those of ignorense and those who havent received the graces of wisdom and understanding which are only possible through the Eucharist and holy unction...all others need to seek conversion to understand the truth!

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  2. Well a lot of protesants with some exceptions study the new testament and them skipped all the way to to Martin Luther. Both Orthodox and Roman Catholic study church writings in-between and while both of course disagee they have a more balance perspective since the don't ignore what happen in christianity from 100 A.D. to 1510 A.D.

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