Lex Rex

verbum sat sapienti

Lex Rex

Tuesday, January 25, 2005

David & Legal Precedent (Early Church: Ignatius)

Zain makes some good points. I would point out that David, a man after God's own heart, essentially murdered a man to take his wife as his own! Hardly the exemplary life. The point being, it is difficult for me to point to any man in the Church, early or otherwise, as a guiding beacon of ecclesiastical history.

Another point Zain references is the copy machine example. BGM, in our own studies of the law and precedent, we see man getting involved in the process and it quickly and wrongly takes on the characteristics of social evolution. What a judge states "black" in 1940, a judge now states that the meaning of black is now white. This is created by a series of (as I recently heard it put) "thin grey lines" that ultimately morph into the unrecognizable. The point is, we indeed do need to look at the early church as practiced by the Jews to get a better glimpse of the original, no?

Ignatius exhorts us to unity, which is of course the whole meaning of the term Catholic. I can see with this exhortation the easy step to Bishop authority. But this makes me wonder when one in authority wanders astray, to whom do we owe our allegiance? What is the check and balance? I do view our Republic separate from our beliefs, but even the founders understood a healthy distrust for man.

On Bishop reverence, Ignatius has some troubling quotes:

"It is manifest, therefore, that we should look upon the bishop even as we would upon the Lord Himself....being under the guidance of the Comforter, in obedience to the bishop and the presbytery with an undivided mind."

We seem to be early on driven to the examination of scripture; where in the word is there support for such reverence and unqualified obedience? Wasn't it Paul who said he would obey God rather than man?