Monday, July 26, 2010


Apostolic Succession

By Ramone - February 26, 2010

Great painting! I hope you don't mind that I used it to illustrate my latest blog post ( Thank you!
Well, 'Irene', this is a little awkward. Generally I hope that people will ask for permission to use a painting before posting it, not only for my sake as the artist but also for your sake... because it might not mean what you think it means.

This painting I made called "Apostolic Succession" is actually a picture of Christ laying His hands on those who are apostles in His sight, who are not necessarily recognized by institutional churches. The title "Apostolic Succession" is an ironic title, because it is not who men commend that counts but who the Lord commends. True "apostolic succession" comes straight from the hand of the Lord, not from any church institution. His hand laying on people is not a matter of title but a matter of substance, just as you wrote in your "about the author" comment:

"If my words are convincing or edifying, then they ought to be so regardless of who I am and if not, then no amount of credentials, life experiences, standing or authority ought to convince you otherwise."

In the same way, it is not the "credentials" of an institution or their supposed 'apostolic succession' that witness of the hand of the Lord, but instead it is the substance of what is being said. And that substance is Christ, who blesses, anoints and commissions those whom He wills regardless of the institutions of men (including the Catholic institution).
Hi Ramone, first of all apologies for using your painting without obtaining your permission first. I have now replaced it with another image. Also, thanks for writing to me - I really appreciate it!

As for the other points you make - I fully agree that what matters is substance and that this substance is Jesus. Without him nothing else matters. I didn't mean to suggest any exclusivity either in this post - my aim was instead to present my understanding of Lumen Gentium (the Vatican II document I am now reading, in an attempt to read and try to understand them all). In fact, when you say that Jesus "blesses, anoints and commissions those whom He wills regardless of the institutions of men," I am also in complete agreement with you and, in fact, even in the previous chapter of Lumen Gentium it says as much: "He gives to all men life and breath and all things, and as Saviour wills that all men be saved." (see my previous post here, if you like:

Thank you again for your comment and apologies for not having waited to receive permission to use your painting.

Your fellow Christian.

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