A Look at the Infallibility of a Church and Its Leaders
Infallibility! What does it mean? And can an individual possess this "gift?" Can a Church possess this gift as well? This is taken from an article from the answer page defending these beliefs. It says, "It is necessary to explain exactly what infallibility is not. Infallibility is not the absence of sin. Nor is it a charism that belongs only to the pope. Indeed, infallibility also belongs to the body of bishops as a whole, when, in doctrinal unity with the pope, they solemnly teach a doctrine as true. We have this from Jesus himself, who promised the apostles and their successors the bishops, the magisterium of the Church: "He who hears you hears me" (Luke 10:16), and "Whatever you bind on earth shall be bound in heaven" (Matt. 18:18)."
They continue trying to explain infallibility as a fact when Vatican II said, "Although the individual bishops do not enjoy the prerogative of infallibility, they can nevertheless proclaim Christ’s doctrine infallibly" This is only in the area of while teaching authentically on a matter of faith or morals as we see in Galatians Chapter 2 where Peter was rebuked sternly by Paul for his actions, not his teachings much less was he solemnly defining a matter of faith or morals. They continue their case, telling us "God is truth and he would not lead his flock into error, much less allow heaven to be bound by it. With this in mind, Christ prayed that Peter’s faith would not fail (Luke 22:32), built the Church upon him (Matt 16), and ordered him to tend and feed Christ’s sheep (John 21:15-17). For men to be saved, they must know what is to be believed. They must have a perfectly steady rock to build upon and to trust as the source of solemn Christian teaching. And that’s why papal infallibility exists. Since Christ said the gates of hell would not prevail against his Church (Matt. 16:18b), this means that his Church can never pass out of existence. But if the Church ever apostasized by teaching heresy, then it would cease to exist; because it would cease to be Jesus’ Church. Thus the Church cannot teach heresy, meaning that anything it solemnly defines for the faithful to believe is true. This same reality is reflected in the Apostle Paul’s statement that the Church is "the pillar and foundation of the truth." (1 Tim. 3:15).
Yes, they do try hard to convince people of their church being the Church that Christ started. However the truth is found in Scripture itself as Paul warned Timothy about "This know also, that in the last days perilous times shall come.... (there will be those of whom are) ever learning, and never able to come to the knowledge of the truth.... But evil men and seducers shall wax worse and worse, deceiving, and being deceived." (2 Timothy 3:1,7, and 13) Jesus also warn us, "For there shall arise false Christs, and false prophets, and shall shew great signs and wonders; insomuch that, if it were possible, they shall deceive the very elect." (Matthew 24:24) Paul said that "the mystery of iniquity doth already work..." (2 Thessalonians 2:3) when he wrote this nearly 2000 years ago. How much more should we be like the Bereans who Paul commended for their having, "received the word with all readiness of mind, and searched the scriptures daily, whether those things were so." (Acts 17:11)
Seeing the importance of knowing Scriptures, let us compare what we've been told with the Word of God to see if infallibility is truthful as that Church claims it to be.
First of all, notice that it has been nearly 2000 years ago since Jesus and the apostles were here, and if Paul warned of deceptions then, we don't have to imagine how many opportunities Satan had to plant "wolves in sheep's clothing" since then. The paragraph above that began this article is filled with slants, twists and half truths to sound as if their Church was and is Christ's church. Jesus did tell the apostles that "those who heard them, would hear Him." But that is because He knew that they would preach as He taught them whereas He wasn't referring to a Magisterium of any church, especially one that teaches so erroneously as we'll soon see. As far as the binding and loosening that was likewise given to whomever knew God's ways, we must not think that God would follow a human's decision or declaration.
As far as Vatican II saying about infallibility (above) it is just an example of one patting themselves on their back as if that meant something! They then went to Galatians 2 to try to convince us of Peter never having taught wrongly, but it's highly doubtful that he never said much during that time, nor would Paul have gotten so upset! However, they do tell us the truth next about God being truth and never leading His flock into error, but they place this in a manner as to suggest their denomination as to be the Church that Jesus started. And this type of practice continues with the quotes about Peter as well. Luke 22:32 shows that Jesus knew Peter would fail (two verses later) but that Peter would be restored as a leader, not THE leader. (see Acts 15) Also, in Matthew 16, we see it was after Peter declares that Jesus was the Christ, the Son of the living God. It is upon that fact, about Jesus being the Christ, that Jesus would build HIS church, not Peter. Scriptures show that Jesus is THE Rock, again not Peter. Peter's name means "a little stone."
While they correctly told of John quoting (vs. 21:15-17) that Jesus told Peter to "feed my sheep," they didn't show how Jesus told Peter to mind his own business in verse 22 shortly after this. And, once again, we see in Matthew 16:18 that how smoothly they place this in the middle of the truths of Scriptures, the deception by stating "that is why we have papal infallibility."
The truth is that men must know what they are to believe in to be saved, the solid "rock" upon what to build their faith upon is Jesus, and the gates of Hell will not prevail against His Church. It is also truthful in saying that Jesus's church is the "Pillar and foundation of truth" as Paul tells us in 1 Timothy 3:15, providing that what is said and taught matches the words of the Bible. Despite all their efforts, they fail miserably, beginning with the explanation to justify infallibility simply because it isn't Biblical and neither are many of their otherteachings and traditions. Infallibility is simply based upon the circular reasoning that tells us that the Church is lead by a infallible Pope, who is infallible because he belongs to the Church. All one needs to do is to check out the Bible, like the Bereans did (see Acts 17:11,) when searching for the truth. The Word of God is truth (John 17:17), given once for all (Jude 3) and to prevent error, we should know Scriptures. (Matthew 22:29) Once we have the Word, we can rest in Christ using His word as, "...the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God," (Ephesians 6:17) to guide us and to set us free of any deceptions.