sola Scriptura

I’ve found that the longer I go without reading at least a bit of scripture, the further I drift from fulfilling life. I’ve just started using some online commentaries to help me try to understand verses that confuse me a bit. This has been very helpful, yet, also very frustrating. It does seem like any verse can be used to support multiple positions. But, then I realize that there is a constant, identifiable thread of truth when the bible is looked at as a whole and not in dissected, distorted parts.

My family is bi-denominational. As a family we alternate weekly attendance to a Catholic church (my wife) and a Presbyterian church (me). She does so very much because it is familiar to her and is tradition while I, though I admit this view could be considered slanted, attend hoping to really come closer to God’s will for my life. She doesn’t seem to have any real rationale for following the Catholic template, but, refuses to let go.

This family dynamic provides a lot of opportunities for me to raise questions, though. By referring to a couple of online commentaries, reading the scripture in different translations, e-mailing my wife’s priest and my pastor, I have resolved my confusion about Matthew 16 when (as the Catholic interpretation implies) Christ named Peter the leader of the church and established the beginning of what Catholics would come to refer to as apostolic succession. Basically, there is no evidence in scripture that Peter was ever the high leader of the original church. Under the concept of ‘sola Scriptura’ (scripture alone), if its not in the scripture, it is not valid. Therefore, the concept of apostolic succession is not valid.

Once you peel back the legitimacy of the foundation of Catholic doctrine (a perverted series of traditions established by fallible men and not “holy fathers” or “popes”), the real power of Martin Luther’s break and the superiority of scripture over religious bureaucracy is evident.

5 thoughts on “sola Scriptura

  1. There is great tradition steeped in the Catholic church. As in every other “denomination”. I know there are also politics involved in the history of the Catholic evolution and that must be taken into consideration.

    I am tempted to just throw it all out and start over sometimes. Leave out the politics and get back to the roots of the religion.

    Hhmm….now we’re into orthodoxy.

    Such a great post and I would love to hear more.

  2. Once you peel back the legitimacy of the foundation of Catholic doctrine (a perverted series of traditions established by fallible men and not “holy fathers” or “popes”), the real power of Martin Luther’s break and the superiority of scripture over religious bureaucracy is evident.
    Mark, that is not at all an educated remark. I suppose this is not the place to get into the absolute illegality of the “reformation” but I think all Protestants should rethink the legitimacy of the Reformation. I did when I was Presbyterian. It is scary, but God is good and gives grace for the journey.
    You also mention that if it is not in Scripture it is not valid. But that very statement is not found in Scripture is it? So how is it valid enough for you to use as a guiding principle in your religious life?
    Please, if you will, read a review I wrote of a great article written in the 19th century by a convert to Catholicism from Presbyterianism. (I hope I did the html code right for that link!!) If you would then read the article I think it would help clear up a few things for you. Hey, if truth is what you really seek, then you won’t be afraid to read this guy. But be prepared, an open mind to the truth can be a scary and blessed thing!

  3. Your assessment of “an educated remark,” is relative. If you really look at the history of the Catholic church (e.g., the traditions of paying to have your sins forgiven, the killing of heretics, etc.) its pretty hard to place a lot of confidence in the traditions carried on by the church that aren’t based in scripture. Papal rule is a perversion of the redemptive message of Christ.

  4. I am not sure it is relative. But listen, mud slinging is silly. Your fathers of the Reformation killed catholics too. A numbers game will not get us anywhere. I do think that if you ascribe certain actions to the Church as part of the Infallible Magisterium that are NOT that then it shows a certain degree of a lack of education in the matter. If your comments and opinions are based on false information, then I think I can rightly say that your remark was uneducated.
    For example:
    Since the world is flat, it would be dangerous to sail very far from land.
    My information about the world is false which then leads me to false conclusions. I am telling that you don’t know what you are talking about. I am on the “inside” as it were. You don’t know what you are talking about.
    If I were going to try and convince you to leave Protestantism, I would NOT go about it this way- as you are with Catholicism:
    Protestants believe in total depravity which means that we are worse than dog poo and that even as Christians we can’t do anything good and that God does not transform us and make us a new creation, but Christ’s righteousness just covers us and that we go into heaven as this gob of poop that stinks but Christ covers us and God can barely stand to have us in his sight, but for the sake of his son he tolerates us… barely.
    Now I think that if I told you that you would laugh at me (rightly) and tell me to think again about what you believed. Now, if I really had a mind to truth, I would find out what you really thought about things and then try and guide you through it from my new understanding of your REAL beliefs, not made up ones… like “Catholics worship Mary.” That is a sure fire sign that the person talking is out to lunch intellectually and is an embarrassment to their religious tradition.
    Think about it for a while. Your soul depends on it…

  5. I just spent a few minutes typing in response to your last response, but, had to stop and take a different course. What has the whole focus of this discussion been? The traditions of men – Catholic and otherwise. Lets look at the way Christ lived for a moment. The overall focus of Christ’s time on earth was on serving, feeding, and teaching. Jesus gave to us victory that we can not earn by any manner of religious ritual, theological debate, or mudslinging.

    “And they brought unto Him also infants, that He would touch them: but when His disciples was it, they rebuked them. But Jesus called them unto Him, and said, Suffer little children to come unto me, and forbid them not: for of such is the kingdom of God. Verily I say unto you, Whosoever shall not receive the kingdom of God as a little child shall in no wise enter therein.” Luke 18:15-17

    Our souls depends on Christ alone.

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