Question:About the authority of the church: Do you have a response to 1 Timothy 3:15 where the church of God is referred to as the pillar and ground of truth? Whereas the Bible is never referred to because it did not exist until the church put it together? How can you accept the product of the church's work, prayer, study and inspiration as the divine end all be all and the church itself as bunk?
"These things I write to you, though I hope to come to you shortly; but if I am delayed, I write so that you may know how you ought to conduct yourself in the house of God, which is the church of the living God, the pillar and ground of the truth" (I Timothy 3:15).
It is interesting that you claim the Bible is not mentioned in I Timothy 3:15, but Paul twice mentions his writing -- a writing that is a part of the Bible (II Peter 3:15-16). However, notice that Paul's definition of the church is that it is the pillar and ground of the truth. "Pillar" is from the Greek word stulos, which refers to a supporting post or pillar. "Ground" is from the Greek word hedraioma which refers to a foundation or ground of support. Paul does not say that the church is the truth or contains the truth. Paul says that the duty of the church is to support the truth (i.e. to hold it up for the world to see). The truth, according to Jesus, is in the word of God (not the church). "Sanctify them by Your truth. Your word is truth" (John 17:17).
As much as the Roman Catholic Church likes to boast that it put the Bible together, the fact remains that the New Testament existed as a result of God. The Roman Catholic Church only acknowledged what already existed, and that long before its council convened.
In addition, the Bible is not the product of the church, and especially not the Roman Catholic Church. The Bible existed over 500 years before the first man took on the title of "universal pope." The Bible solidly states that it is a product of God, not of man nor of the church. It is the Bible which defines the church and not the other way around.
"All Scripture is given by inspiration of God" (II Timothy 3:16).
"But I make known to you, brethren, that the gospel which was preached by me is not according to man. For I neither received it from man, nor was I taught it, but it came through the revelation of Jesus Christ" (Galatians 1:11-12).
Paul then proves that he did not learn the message from the leaders of the church in Jerusalem and proves his independence by pointing out that at one time he stood opposed to Peter because of Peter's hypocrisy in the matters of Gentile relationships.
"If indeed you have heard of the dispensation of the grace of God which was given to me for you, how that by revelation He made known to me the mystery (as I have briefly written already, by which, when you read, you may understand my knowledge in the mystery of Christ), which in other ages was not made known to the sons of men, as it has now been revealed by the Spirit to His holy apostles and prophets" (Ephesians 3:2-5).
"But God has revealed them to us through His Spirit. For the Spirit searches all things, yes, the deep things of God. For what man knows the things of a man except the spirit of the man which is in him? Even so no one knows the things of God except the Spirit of God. Now we have received, not the spirit of the world, but the Spirit who is from God, that we might know the things that have been freely given to us by God. These things we also speak, not in words which man's wisdom teaches but which the Holy Spirit teaches, comparing spiritual things with spiritual" (I Corinthians 2:10-13).
"And so we have the prophetic word confirmed, which you do well to heed as a light that shines in a dark place, until the day dawns and the morning star rises in your hearts; knowing this first, that no prophecy of Scripture is of any private interpretation, for prophecy never came by the will of man, but holy men of God spoke as they were moved by the Holy Spirit" (II Peter 1:19-21).
The problem with the Roman Catholic Church is that it does not support the truth (the word of God, the Bible). It supports its traditions. Where those traditions conflict with the Bible, it claims the right to modify the Bible's teaching (and thus is claiming the right to modify the truth).