Friday, August 12, 2011

Apostolic Authority

From 5 Catholic Teachings That Make Sense to Atheists

5. Apostolic Authority

One of the biggest atheist pet peeves I encounter—and one that I shared when I was an atheist—is the way much of modern Christianity interprets the Bible. It was baffling to see Christians go back and forth about how to interpret some section of the Bible, each person convinced that his own interpretation was the correct one, despite the fact that there were as many other different interpretations as there were people in the group. It fed into the stereotype that religion is a tool that people use to manipulate others when I’d see Christians come up with their own personal spin on what the Bible said, then tell everyone else that they had to conform that that view. Years later, when I was beginning to explore Christianity, I almost gave up on the religion altogether because I couldn’t even figure out what its doctrines were. I couldn’t fathom which church I should go to when there were thousands of different denominations, each claiming to be based on the Bible. Then someone told me that Jesus founded a Church that he guides to this day, and that this one God-guided Church has final authority on matters of doctrine. Finally, I saw a system that made sense.