...is that disputes need to be settled definitively.
We all know that truths about anything, and God in particular, are
complicated, full of nuance, and generally not straightforward. Add to
that pre-conceived notions, ulterior motives, and the human desire to be
right and simple questions become quagmires of back-and-forth
Sadly, we see this all
too often in Christianity. In general it’s pretty easy to find Bible
verses that support or oppose a particular belief and most of the
“discussions” I’ve been a part of quickly start looking like kids on the
playground saying “my dad can beat up your dad”. Nothing is resolved
and outsiders looking on generally roll their eyes and walk away.
For example, Christ tells us that if we have a disagreement we should
take it to “the church” (Mt 18:17). Without the pope (representing the
ability to make decisions binding on all the faithful) then where does
that leave us? Without the pope we have to decide whose church to ask.
If yours sides with you then what do I care? If mine sides with you
then I’ll go down the street or start my own church. Without an
authority how do we stop the cycle of simply promoting our own ideas?
That we need an authoritative, earthly head to definitively settle
questions of faith and morals is yet another reason why Catholics have a