A Call To Answer

I would like to thank Patrick of whysoseriousdotcom.wordpress.com for taking the time to read my post and give his refutation. Below is my response to his post. This is a bit lengthy.

In Patrick’s post, he says “The Catholic Church was the one, who, under the inspiration of the Holy Ghost, determined what books belonged in the canon, and which did not.” and “The Bible itself would not be in existence if not for the Catholic Church.”

God can use even pagan kings to safeguard His temple’s articles (2 Chronicles 36:7, Ezra 5:14-15, Ezra 6:5) and it is evident that the Catholic Church has played a major part in the compilation of the Bible. No one denies this. What is argued is, are Catholic extrabiblical teachings consistent with what Jesus Himself taught in Scripture?

Patrick says “These events were previously taught orally, before they were written. We are both lucky and thankful that Christ’s Apostles decided to write down His teachings, as Christ never commanded them to write any of it on paper.”

The teachings which we now have in the Bible encompassed the traditions that were spoken of (i.e. breaking of the bread in Luke 22:19, the whole of Titus 2, James 1:27 etc.) The Catholics have the Catechism which has dogma that negate what was “orally taught” by Jesus to the apostles. Some Catholics substantiate their position by stretching the meaning of John 21:25, “Now there are also many other things that Jesus did. Were every one of them to be written, I suppose that the world itself could not contain the books that would be written” to cover their bible-contradicting traditions which some even fall under superstition. I know this from experience. It varies depending on what part of the world you’re in. Some countries are more pious than others; some go as far as re-enacting the crucifixion of Jesus Christ by having someone play as Jesus Christ and be actually crucified during Lent as part of their “tradition.”

The apostle Paul advised the believers “not to go beyond what is written” in 1 Corinthians 4:6 and he went and consulted with the other apostles what he was preaching as recorded in Galatians 2:1-2, “Then after fourteen years, I went up again to Jerusalem, this time with Barnabas. I took Titus along also. 2 I went in response to a revelation and, meeting privately with those esteemed as leaders, I presented to them the gospel that I preach among the Gentiles. I wanted to be sure I was not running and had not been running my race in vain.”

Patrick says “Catholics believe that the Bible is the written form of God’s Word, and it is inerrant.”

A claim of biblical inerrancy is null and void especially when a person’s deed (bowing to idols most obviously and the deification of a created being, Mary) and merit-based salvation which Catholics cannot circumvent the seven sacraments contradict what was written, grace through faith in Ephesians 2:8-9, in effect reducing a Catholic’s claim to nothing more but a vain profession, which Catholics also fall into Jesus’ strong rebuke in Matthew 15:8-9, “‘These people honor Me with their lips, but their hearts are far from Me. 9They worship Me in vain; they teach as doctrine the precepts of men.’”

Patrick says “For Sola Scriptura to work, it would have to be found in the Bible.”

The word “Trinity” itself is not found in Scripture, yet Christians (those clearly not belonging to cults) unanimously agree that God is revealed in Scripture as triune in nature as evidenced in Jesus’ baptism (Matthew 3:16-17). We know the NT in Scripture came about from Christ’s teachings to the apostles and Jesus said that if we abide in His word, we are truly His disciples (John 8:31). Abiding by His recorded teachings/doctrine translates to Sola Scriptura – Scripture alone. Where else would you get Jesus Christ’s teachings but in Scriptures alone? Jesus quoted the Old Testament which affirms and confirms it and the New Testament is a record of Jesus’ teachings to His apostles.

Patrick says ““All scripture, inspired of God, is profitable to teach, to reprove, to correct, to instruct in justice, that the man of God may be perfect, furnished to every good work.” (2 Timothy 3:16-17) This verse does not say that Scripture is sufficient;

Since Patrick says “Catholics believe that the Bible is the written form of God’s Word, and it is inerrant,” what he proclaims to be inerrant also happens to be the complete revelation of God about Himself and His will. It has truths that apply from the beginning of all things all the way to the end. We are merely inhabitants in the middle of that timeline and to suggest Scripture is not sufficient in doctrine that shows us the way to live out what counts as righteousness in God’s eyes, not man, is plain assertion that one knows better than what God has revealed and in His sovereignty allowed to be recorded in Scripture. If Patrick stays true to his statement about Catholics holding to biblical inerrancy, then, if the word of God “endures forever” as stated in Isaiah 40:8, it is a clear implication of Scripture being MORE than sufficient to govern a professing believer’s way of life.

Patrick says “Essential to the doctrine of Sola Scriptura is the idea that the Holy Spirit will enlighten each believer as to the correct interpretation for a given Bible passage. This idea presupposes that each believer possesses a Bible or at least has access to a Bible.”

There are a lot of organizations and individuals giving out free bibles and it is freely accessible on the internet. One simply will have no excuse since even most hotel rooms have bibles in their drawers. God can convict someone by way of a bible verse that really pierces one’s heart or God can direct a person to hear someone who is preaching true to His word. Even those with the gift of teaching has to be scrutinized if what they are teaching aligns with scripture.

Patrick says “Christians did not need a Bible to know God’s Word, as they had His Word in the oral form of Tradition, and were taught by His Church, the Pillar of Truth.”

If this is true, can one truly know God and what He considers righteous apart from His revelation? The verses in Acts 17:29-30 states, “Therefore since we are God’s offspring, we should not think that the divine being is like gold or silver or stone—an image made by human design and skill. 30 In the past God overlooked such ignorance, but now he commands all people everywhere to repent.”

The passage mentions ignorance of what God considers as righteous. How can we know what is righteous to God? Through His Word alone, Scripture alone – Sola Scriptura. How do you think cults are formed? Because they have views apart from what God Himself revealed. If Patrick is referring to the Catholic Church as the “Pillar of Truth,” why then did it suppress the dissemination of His Word that it even burned people for merely translating it to English to be easily accessible to many?

Patrick says “And, if Sola Scriptura were true, wouldn’t all Christians who adhere to the doctrine be in agreement on Christian teaching? There are thousands of “Christian” denominations, all teaching different doctrines. Are they all correct?“

All Christians adhering to Sola Scriptura hold to the same basic doctrine but will inevitably still differ in views on non-salvific issues because of the fact that each believer vary in their maturity in Christ. Some live their lives resigned to the prompting of the Holy Spirit and some live a lifestyle conformed to the pattern of this world. Some try to live in the middle and reconcile both biblical teachings & worldly teachings and this is where ALL dissension stems from. The more a person gets acquainted with God’s Word, the more a person can easily detect whether a teaching is sound or deviates from what is written.

James 3:13-16 states, “13 Who is wise and understanding among you? Let them show it by their good life, by deeds done in the humility that comes from wisdom. 14 But if you harbor bitter envy and selfish ambition in your hearts, do not boast about it or deny the truth. 15 Such “wisdom” does not come down from heaven but is earthly, unspiritual, demonic. 16 For where you have envy and selfish ambition, there you find disorder and every evil practice.”

Verse 15 clearly tells us NOT ALL teaching comes from God and this includes Catholic dogma that nullify what Scripture already revealed. Verse 16 convicts the Catholic Church when they prohibited the circulation of Scripture for ulterior motives. Why do you think the Vatican happens to be its own sovereign nation, a city-state, the Roman Catholic Church empire? If the Catholic Church is the supposed one and true church, their city-statehood is a direct contradiction to what Jesus said in John 18:36 that His kingdom “is not of this world.”

Patrick says “The only God-given institution that is infallible and error-free is the Catholic Church, as founded by Christ Himself. Christ’s Church teaches that Sola Scriptura is a heretical, man-made tradition that leads one away from the Truth, not closer to it.”

Again I refer you to Jesus’ recorded words in John 8:31-32, “If you continue in My word, you are truly My disciples. 32Then you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.”

How does one holding to the recorded teachings of Jesus Christ in Scripture lead one away from the truth when Jesus Himself said that if one sticks to it, it will only set one free? If God told Moses and the prophets to write down His commandments and precepts, since God does not change, the logical conclusion would be that God’s intent for the New Testament to be recorded through the apostles would be consistent with His character. His Word is complete.

[Note: To anyone thinking of doing a counterpost, make sure to take a snapshot of the original post and highlighting specific quotes instead graphically. It will ensure that you are locking in the original post and easier to detect if significant changes were made.]