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Alan Barron asserts (April AD2000) that 'no one church is better than the other ... and that includes the Catholic Church.'
However, the divine Christ gave His authority to Peter with four promises: 'You are Peter and on this rock I will build My Church'; 'The gates of hell will not prevail against it'; 'I will give you the keys of the Kingdom of heaven'; and 'Whatever you bind on earth will be bound in heaven' (Mt 16:18-19); and, in Mt 18:18, to the Twelve also.
He gave Peter alone supreme authority: 'Strengthen your brethren' (Lk 22:32) and 'Feed My sheep' (Jn 21:17).
St Paul maintains that the Church is 'the pillar and ground of the truth' (1Tim 3:16) and 'through the Church the manifold wisdom of God might now be made known to the principalities and powers in the heavenly places (Eph 3:10).
St Paul exhorts: 'Preach the word. Be urgent in season, out of season; reprove, entreat, rebuke with all patience and teaching. For there will come a time when far from being content with sound teaching, people are avid for the latest novelty and collect themselves a whole series of teachers according to their own tastes' (2Tim 4:3); and, 'That we should no longer be children, tossed to and fro and carried about by every wind of doctrine, by the trickery of men, in the cunning craftiness by which they lie in wait to deceive' (Eph 4:14).
St John writes: 'We belong to God, and anyone who knows God listens to us, while anyone who does not belong to God refuses to hear us. This is how we know the spirit of truth and the spirit of deceit' (1Jn 4:6 ).
Jesus commanded: 'All authority has been given to me in heaven and on earth. Go therefore and make disciples of all nations ... teaching them to observe all things that I have commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age' (Mt 28:18-20).
Thus His teaching is known fully only through His Church - one, holy, catholic and apostolic, her Scriptures, her Tradition, and her doctrinal authority from Christ. To disagree with Christ's teaching is inevitably to be in discord with Him and His followers - 'there will be one flock and one shepherd' (Jn 10:16).
She cooperates with all who will cooperate with Him.
PETER D. HOWARD
Reprinted from AD2000 Vol 22 No 4 (May 2009), p. 16
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