Posted On March 21, 2016

In Proposition 77, George Peters states:

“The doctrine of the Kingdom, as held by the early church, was finally almost exterminated under the teaching and power of the Papacy.”

I am not the most astute student of church history. With that said, it can rightly be submitted that a reason for the Reformation was to address in part the proposition Peters is making. Many biblical doctrines such as the doctrine of the Kingdom were under attack. Control of all taught doctrine under the watchful eye of the Papacy resulted in determining that whatever was taught was in keeping with the purposes of the church organization, regardless of whether it aligned properly with Scripture.

The most notable observation Peters presents in Proposition 77 is the following:

“Theology, under the constant surveillance of a church jealous of its delegated kingly authority, in its more systematic arrangements, was entirely controlled so as to favor the substituted Kingdom. We find, therefore, in all such works, running down through the scholastic age to the Reformation, a set apologetic defense of the Romish notions of the Kingdom. Starting with the idea – often taken for granted as a settled premise or inferred by far-fetched inferences – that the Romish Church is the predicted Kingdom of the Messiah, everything is made to bend to that theory. The utterances of later Fathers, the decrees of Councils, and the self-interested statements of Popes and Prelates, are appealed to with unbounded confidence, just as if, in so fundamental a matter, the fallible utterances of man were equal, if not superior, to Scripture itself; – and as many of these thus quoted had been canonized by the church they favored, their saintship corroborated, in the eyes of many, the claims and doctrines endorsed. To oppose such a swollen stream, guarded by thousands upon thousands of devoted adherents, was simply to risk reputation and life.”

The Roman Catholic Church rightly is within the bulls-eye if you will in this particular observation. I do wonder at times if evangelicalism in all its various denominations and theological traditions does not at times take a similar approach. While there is no Papal oversight within evangelicalism controlling doctrine, there are denominational pet peeves so to speak, various decrees and traditions that at times can be elevated to the place of Scripture. Moreover, the teachings of church leaders through the years can rise to a place of undue prominence where their statements and writings are referenced first rather than looking at what God has revealed in His Word. Many times I fear the same issues we rail against the Catholic Church for promoting are issues we can also be tempted to resort to and in many occasions we have resorted to such an approach. Great care must be taken to always remain faithful to God’s Word. The writings of man and decrees and traditions are often helpful, but they are not holy writ and should never be viewed as such, especially when it comes to a vital doctrine such as the Kingdom of God.

Related Posts

Four Traps to Avoid When You Suffer

Four Traps to Avoid When You Suffer

4 Traps to Avoid When You Suffer from Crossway on Vimeo. The 2 Kinds of Doubt As I thought about my own experience, I wanted to organize my thoughts and experience for others in these two categories of traps that every sufferer faces and the comfort that is offered to...

Dear Mormon—I Can’t Call You a Brother in Christ

Dear Mormon—I Can’t Call You a Brother in Christ

Recently I had lunch with a very kind and gracious man in our community. This man is a committed member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints. In short, my friend is a Mormon. He was respectful, gracious, and I enjoyed our conversation very much. However,...

Sinners in the Hands of a Loving God – Brian Zahnd (2017)

Sinners in the Hands of a Loving God – Brian Zahnd (2017)

COMMENDING JONATHAN EDWARDS I will never forget a very special evening with a small group of Christ-followers at the McLean home.  My good friend, Don suggested that we read Sinners in the Hands of an Angry God by Jonathan Edwards in one sitting – on our knees.  And...

Pastor, Are You Prepared to Shepherd Your Flock through Dementia?

Pastor, Are You Prepared to Shepherd Your Flock through Dementia?

A Common Challenge The tragedy of dementia is common and will become more so in the future. It is estimated that over 30% of the average church congregation will die with some form of dementia. That represents an enormous challenge in pastoral ministry. I would...

Weekly Dose of Apologetics – 16-22 Jul 2017

Weekly Dose of Apologetics – 16-22 Jul 2017

Apologetics Deb Welch – Difficult Passages Series: Judges 19 and The Gospel "We are all prone to wander and forget our True King and Redeemer. Our savior Jesus, who has written our names on his hands, has rescued us from the kingdom darkness described in Judges 19 and...

0 Comments

Share1
Reddit
Email
Buffer
Tweet