If you want to find the origins of some of the extra-biblical doctrines and practices of the Roman Catholic Church, you ought to check out the alleged writings of good ‘ole “Saint” Ignatius, Bishop of Antioch. Recent popes have emphasized the importance of the writings of St Ignatius. He is seen as a kind of bridge between the Apostles and the Roman Catholic church. The integrity therefore of this “bridge” ought to be carefully evaluated BEFORE you entrust your eternal soul to it. For that is what you are doing if you wholly trust the Roman Catholic church to lead you out of the wretchedness of sin and condemnation into the eternal glory that the true followers of Christ will inherit, according to the Scriptures.
It was Ignatius who glorified the bishops of the day and it is faith in his alleged words that forms the basis for the following ideas:
1. That Christ established something called the “Catholic” church. (Please note that the word Catholic is nowhere to be found in the New Testament).
2. That everything Christians do should be done “with the bishop” – that is, nothing is to be done “without the bishop”.
3. That everything the bishop approves of is approved by God.
4. The idea that the bread involved in “Communion” is the literal flesh of Christ which was sacrificed for our sins.
5. And other Roman Catholic ideas which may be referred to at a later time.
The wikipedia entry on Ignatius of Antioch reveals the following:
He (Ignatius) is also responsible for the first known use of the Greek word katholikos
(καθολικός), meaning “universal,” “complete” and “whole” to describe
the church, writing:
|Wherever the bishop appears,
there let the people be; as wherever Jesus Christ is, there is the
catholic Church. It is not lawful to baptize or give communion without
the consent of the bishop. On the other hand, whatever has his approval
is pleasing to God. Thus, whatever is done will be safe and valid. — Letter
to the Smyrnaeans 8, J.R. Willis translation.
Whether or not Ignatius the bishop of Antioch ever actually wrote any of the letters which bear his name, is highly doubtful. The earliest extant manuscripts are from the 10th century and these letters contain have apparently been revised many times throughout the next few hundred years. There really isn’t any solid proof that the person who wrote these letters was really the person who was the Bishop of Antioch.
Let us THINK for a moment about whether the quote we have above from “Ignatius” really could represent the mind of Christ. We have the self-serving idea that “Whatever has his (the bishop’s) approval is pleasing to God.” Could this really be the case?
Can any thinking person really swallow the idea that whatever any bishop of the Roman Catholic church approved of WAS PLEASING TO GOD?
Was every use of money approved by bishops “PLEASING TO GOD”?
Were the appointment and protection by bishops of Roman Catholic “priests” guilty of child molestation and paedophilia “PLEASING TO GOD”?
Was the marketing of relics and indulgences by the Church with full authority of the Popes and the Bishops of the Church “PLEASING” to The One who caused the Merchants and Buyers in the Temple to be driven out with FORCE”?
If you think all these things and more which were approved by :”bishops” of the Roman Catholic church were “PLEASING to GOD” then you need your head examined. I think it would be far safer to simply admit that “IGNATIUS” was WRONG. [I put “Ignatius” in quotes because I am by no means convinced that what is claimed to be the writings of this Bishop of Antioch” were in fact his writings at all. A careful examination of the fanciful story of his alleged trip to be martyred in Rome during which time he supposedly wrote these letters also casts doubt on the integrity of the whole IGNATIUS story.]
But if “IGNATIUS” is wrong on anything so important as this, then EVERYTHING HE SAYS IN “HIS LETTERS” is also suspect unless it can be demonstrated to be true by a higher authority, that is, by the Clear Teaching of the Bible itself.
Dear Roman Catholic people, do not put your trust in something as uncertain as the so-called ‘Epistles of Ignatius”. There is a Living Jesus Christ who reveals Himself to people today. Call out upon THAT ONE, and confess Him before Men. That would be a much safer path for you. He (Jesus) is the One Mediator between God and Man, who gave His life in order that your imperfect record be exchanged for His perfect record in the eyes of God, who justifies EVERYONE who has and maintains a Living Faith in Jesus Christ.