Apostolic Succession Via Faithful Men

Rome’s doctrine of the infallibility of the pope stems not from the man who occupies the office, but the office itself. God so superintends that teaching office so that regardless of the man, he cannot pronounce error in matters of doctrine and morales (when speaking ex cathedra, and the other numerous qualifications.)

Yet, Paul told Timothy “what you heard from me…entrust to faithful men” (2Ti 2:2). If it were impossible for those in that office to err in those things, why would Paul tell Timothy this? Those who were in the line of Apostolic Succession would be “faithful” (in those things) because of the office, so why would Timothy have to find faithful men?

Also, a brief history of the papacy would reveal that the church did not entrust these things to faithful men, there were many rogues and reprobates in that line. So even if there were such a thing as apostolic succession, the church squandered that long ago. I’m sure the Eastern Church would disagree with that, they’d say that God preserved it through them. That’s another story. And another blog entry. Some other day. Along with the answer of how that works for Protestants. And Baptists.

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  • […] I posted this thought at the Derek Webb forum, but I liked the way it came out so I’ve edited it into a blog post. It builds on some previoius thoughts I’ve had. To do “apostolic succession” correctly, it would have to be done in accordance with the Apostle’s instructions. (I mean ‘correctly’ as in a fashion envisioned by the beginning of the chain.) Paul instructed Timothy to “entrust these things to faithful men who will be able to teach others also” (2Ti 2:2). The chain then could be broken by entrusting it to unfaithful men and those who couldn’t teach. The point is that the chain, while valid in so far as we see ordained people ordaining others, is not a perfect chain. […]

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