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Introduction to Personal Bible Study - Videos (2007)

4 short introductory video studies First recorded in 2007, posted to GodTube in 2010  These short videos were made nearly 14 years ago. ...

Saturday, February 12, 2022

A Quick Word on Sola Scriptura and Gainsayers

Why Sola Scriptura? Why the scriptures alone as our authority? How can we ignore things like tradition and practice and the thoughts of "holy" men? 

I taught the catechisms of "Sacred Tradition" and was schooled in it for 25 years. I don't think Sola Scriptura is anything but a way of stating succinctly a central spiritual truth. Paul is my Apostle, not Augustine or Aquinas or Cyprian... or whomever. We all stand alone, naked, before him with whom we have to do. We all must study to show ourselves approved unto God, rightly dividing the Word of Truth. 

We bring nothing in our hands that he wants. All of our works are comparatively filthy rags to God. In Christ alone can we show fruit. This is not fruit that puts God in our debt in any sense, but fruit that witnesses to his mercy, grace, and glory. Any other understanding robs Christ of his glory.

As Luther noted, the men deemed the arbiters of faith (in our case) often contradicted each other (and still do). As he said in his defense at Worms:

 "Let my errors be proven by scripture... unless you can convince me by scripture (and not by popes and councils who have often contradicted themselves), unless I am so convinced that I am wrong, my conscience is captive to the Word of God. To go against conscience is neither right nor safe. I can not and I will not recant. Here I stand. I can do no other. So help me God."

Luther was accused at his trial of opposing "established truths which have passed into usage, rite, and observance... things you are obligated to believe." That he did, and rightly so! The Roman Chch doesn't even uphold its own traditions. As with all doctrines of men, they ebb and flow with the tide of men's desires and follies and whims. Scripture is the only solid rock upon which to build.

Now, to those who want to look to things like "church fathers" and "traditions" and "long-held truths," I say, feel free to do so. You have a free will. You have a choice to make. I know what my choice is and I demand no one follow me. It matters not to me what choice others make.

The East-West Great Schism should be enough to show us the uselessness of trusting "authorities" (if the contradictions among popes and councils isn't sufficient evidence):

In 1054, Pope Leo IX sent an emissary, Cardinal Humbert, from Rome to Constantinople. The cardinal's visit with Patriarch Cerularios was meant to be a mission of conciliation. It became anything but. The cardinal excommunicated the patriarch who, in turn, excommunicated the cardinal. The main point of contention was the use of leavened bread during the celebration of Mass… While it is commonly accepted that the separation of Rome and Constantinople into two Christian Churches was the result of centuries of conflict, the event became known as the Great Schism of 1054. The schism, which reflected numerous long-standing tensions between the eastern and western Roman empire, may have been inevitable. The Church had remained united for centuries without solving several theological disputes. 

Excerpt from EWTN (Catholic Source) 

So, by their own admission, there were theological disputes for which there was neither agreement nor direction. What was the layman to do? He was subject to the whims of men. And over time, those whims would change.

This is why we call each individual to study to show himself approved unto God, rightly dividing the Word of Truth (2 Tim 2:15).