Tuesday, February 26, 2013

A great quote on judging sins

From Tertullian, c. 212 AD, with a great quote relevant still today. He was responding to those who--predecessors of Roman Catholic clergy--were taking the role of sitting in judgment over sins of others. It is directly relevant to the claims of the Catholic priesthood's rights to deliver confession, but relevant in a broader sense to all of us who would claim authority to judge the sins of another:

"You say, 'But the church has the power of forgiving sins.' This I acknowledge ... But now I ask you, 'From what source do you usurp this right of the church?' Is it because the Lord has said to Peter, 'Upon this rock I will build My church,' and 'to you I have given the keys of the heavenly kingdom?' Or 'Whatever you shall have bound or loosed in the earth shall be bound or loosed in the heavens'? From these, do you presume that the power of binding and lossing has derived to you--that is, to every church of Peter?

If so, what sort of man are you, subverting and wholly changing the manifest interaction of the Lord, conferring this on Peter personally?"

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