Skip to comments.How Do You Read? (Luke 10:26) [New Church, Open]
Posted on 11/15/2012 8:27:56 AM PST by DaveMSmith
The core topic is whether we are expected to understand Scripture or not, and how each of us is affected by the particular lens through which we view Scripture.
Last night before seeing this live stream, I went to Church to take Holy Supper to coincide with our Cathedral's last Sunday. It's an informal service and was very intimate to me, my wife, one other and Mother Betty. I explained to her that I was ready to launch my healing and teaching lay ministry and talked about offering our Path To Integrity journey program locally using Church facilities - they have the workbook for review. (Joy To The World is now playing on TV).
The story was about the first Episcopal Bishop of CT. The names William and Smith were mentioned. William is my father in law's name. Concord was mentioned... grapes. I was smiling the whole time (which I don't do often in Church). We took turns discussing how we related to the story. We took Communion and I received a prayer and Anointing for my path.
Ten minuted after I got home, Rev Rose began speaking on the stream... I had forgotten. I settled in and the Lord showed me such miracles, joys and delights! When 'let him hear!' was read, my cell phone rang and there was music playing on the other end! Then as soon I heard about sowing seed in good ground from the parable of the sower, my computer started playing Glenn Miller's AAF Band's radio intro - the Air Force theme - Off we go into the wild blue yonder - BY ITSELF! Never happened before. (My computer's name is Arcana) And the house phone started to ring the same second! Needless to say, this is a very important message for all of us here on the RF.
90 minute video enjoy!
Where Can We Find a Breath of Fresh Air?
The apostle Paul, who regularly endured hostility and persecution, had reason to be in the doldrums. His life as an evangelist was far from easy. So in the midst of lifes storms and unending obligations, how did Paul find an environment that was both life-giving and life-changing?
In a little-known passage, Paul described one friend in particular as one who refreshed him. His name was Onesiphorus, and he was one of those obscure, behind-the-scenes guys you may never have heard of. The Greek word Paul used to describe this friend literally means to put breath back in, to recover breath. Its as if Onesiphorus gave Paul emotional CPR, breathing encouragement and inspiration into his Christian brother.
Maybe you have a friend like that, someone who always manages to cheer you up and cheer you on, to offer support and friendship in tangible ways. Or youve sensed the difference between a place with fresh air and a place without it. Theres something, some quality in certain people and their attitudes, that can transform any environment into a magnetic, life-giving, enjoyable place to be.
At the office, its the difference between an environment where everyone watches the clock and one where the time flies by and everyone enjoys what they do and feels committed to working together as a team. In a life-giving home, you feel special, like you belong. The people seem genuine and down to earth, glad that youre there and eager to offer you their hospitality.
And when a church has this life-giving factor, you sense it within the first visit. You sing the same songs, read the same Bible as in any other church, but theres something different about the atmosphere of the place. The people enjoy serving one another. Theres a healthy sense of love and mutual admiration, a shared commitment to similar values, and an anchor of confident security in their faith. You want some of what they have!
When did you most recently notice a person or place that brought you a breath of fresh air? What were the circumstances? How did this person or location refresh you? If you long for your own Onesiphorous, begin to pay close attention to the source of any cool, refreshing breezes that are currently blowing in your life. Once you are able to recognize the intangible qualities that invigorate you, you will find it easier to pursue their sources.
From today's 14 day devotional taken from 14 Days Of Fresh Air - Good stuff.
I don't believe using His Word as a weapon is effective in spreading His Good News.
Scripture is a conversation between God and the reader’s soul. An unbeliever is not capable of understanding anything in scripture. God can, however, open a window to the nonbeliever’s soul through scripture. The light of scripture can penetrate the darkest soul.
Scripture is for the most part ‘plain language’ and easily understood.
In the places where allegory is presented, the explanation of that allegory is also plainly rendered, as is the reason why allegory was used.
Those that declare that scripture has hidden (occult) meanings that need to be delved, are the messengers of Satan.
Oh noes.....did He fill your gas tank too??? We are to rightly divide the word not play silly games....I sometimes wonder how God views comments such as ‘and my father-in-law’s name was William.
Too much of the church is spent on theatrics and too little in teaching what God would have us learn. have you studied the original languages? Have you studied the context and all there is to understand God’s word to his people? Because if you haven’t then the only thing you have to share is that human isunderstanding that we so often indulge in because we think it is what should be.
The Word of the Lord is infinite as God is. The video has other examples. Sorry, Satan was not in my life yesterday... other than a few posts here...
I have observed God working miracles of the heart, miracles of the courtroom, miracles of physical protection etc.
Any demon (or man for that matter) could mess with your cell phone....
Whatever this man was teaching needs to be help up against the Bible and the Bible alone. God's words do not need a "looking glass" to be read and understood by the honestly seeking. He gave us his Spirit for that.
Looks to me like he is channeling your material today
“Whatever this man was teaching needs to be help up against the Bible and the Bible alone. God’s words do not need a “looking glass” to be read and understood by the honestly seeking. He gave us his Spirit for that.”
Since he gave us the Spirit for that, why are there thousands of bible only churches, ALL SAYING THE SPIRIT is guiding them, yet they have many wildly divergent teachings on many essential christian doctrines?
Because the Spirit is leading many into a "deluding influence".
Thanks for the link. This Bible study video contains some excellent content.
"And account the long suffering of our Lord, salvation; as also our most dear brother Paul, according to the wisdom given him, hath written to you: As also in all his epistles, speaking in them of these things; in which are certain things hard to be understood, which the unlearned and unstable wrest, as they do also the other scriptures, to their own destruction."
2Peter 3: 15-16.
So the Holy Spirit is leading people into error? I see, an evil Holy Spirit and a good Holy Spirit sort of like the Gnostic heresy that there was an evil god in the Old Testament and a new good god in the New Testament. People who claim the Holy Spirit would lead people away from Christ are themselves listening to whatever spirit is hanging in a nearby tree, not to the Holy Spirit.
The Holy Spirit doesn't lead people into error. Anyone who thinks that's possible is in essence denying that the Holy Spirit is part of the Trinity and therefore by definition is not Christian.
you got that right rash....
ive not ever gotten a reasonable answer to my question....if the bible alone is all that is needed, and the holy spirit is guiding us in understanding the word of God...why so many divergent views on essential christian doctrine?
Or they know what the Scriptures teach.
"For the mystery of lawlessness is already at work; only He who now restrains will do so until He is taken out of the way. And then that lawless one will be revealed whom the Lord will slay with the breath of His mouth and bring to and end by the appearance of His coming; that is, the one who is coming is in accord with the activity of Satan, with all power and signs and false wonders, and with all the deception of wickedness for those who perish, because they did not receive the love of the truth so as to be saved. And for this reason GOD WILL SEND UPON THEM A DELUDING INFLUENCE SO THAT THEY MIGHT BELIEVE WHAT IS FALSE, in order that they all may be judged who did not believe the truth, but took pleasure in wickedness."
May want to put the remote down and dust off that Bible.
Bzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzt . Ahhhh, the judges are laughing their butts off so it's clear that bogus noise is totally and completely stupid.
No one in their right mind would ever equate the Holy Spirit with a "deluding influence" much less spew a bit of inane snark along with their perfect example of ignorance, misinterpretation, and absolute stupidity.
Don't worry, everyone walks away a winner when they play the "Ignorance Accompanied by Snark" game. After such a wonderful example of idiotic personal interpretation, that post wins this lovely portrait of Snarko the Idiot !!!!!!!
That crowd protests all Christian doctrine whether espoused by a Catholic or non-Catholic Christian. They prefer to attack Catholics because being anti-Catholic is the only thing all the Self Worshipers agree on and will participate in without arguing with one another. After being on the RF a while you notice that very few of the non-Catholic Christians ever participate in the anti-Catholic attacks and are themselves often attacked for daring to disagree with the flakes like the JW crowd or others.
As in the case of this thread, non-Catholic Christians are often told they're in error by people who deny the fundamentals Christian teaching. The reason for all those divergent views is that a significant percentage of the people who accept the doctrine of Scripture Alone will sooner or later follow Eve. In doing so, they will build their own religion that in reality boils down to the worship of their own, Most High and Holy Self. All the while, though, they'll still claim to be Christian.
The majority of those who are going astray by believing in Scripture Alone end up sticking to the same basic doctrines as the Catholic Church. While they may believe we're to live our lives as a Christian witness, the don't accept that we're required to live as a witness for Christ. Nor do they accept that the Church is a visible city on a hill which is an integral part of His plan to shepherd us along and through fellowship and worship dispense additional Graces to help us. There are more differences and more things that those who are non-Catholic Christians don't accept, but they at least understand that we are saved by Grace, through Faith which is itself a gift of Grace, in Jesus Christ who is our only Savior.
The group who protest everything deny the deity of Christ in one way or another but still claim to be Christian. They basically don't agree with anything in the Scripture that they can't twist to suit their own preconceptions. They're every bit as anti-Christ as those churches that claim to be Christian but teach that Scripture isn't inspired and Christ was just a wise man of some sort, but deny that He is God.
That's why you end up with the JW clique putting out their own Bible, the Mormon crowd adding their own additional "inspired" book, or the Adventists claiming that Ellen G White is as much a prophet as Daniel, and tens of thousands of groups each claiming they are the real Christians in spite of denying Christ.
You can't really expect an answer from such folks. They have slurs and slanders at the ready along with a pile of associated rote arguments. What doesn't fit into their prepared or memorized responses they ignore. They won't ever actually think through what anyone says to them. They'll ignore it or just focus on a portion of what others say as if the rest of what they say doesn't exist.
Did you look up the passage in your Bible? Do you own one? You may wish to do a fact check here before you embarass yourself.
Knowing what is withheld is knowing the Holy Spirit is withheld and furthermore the following verses make it clear that this will be a delusion according to the working of Satan.
I’m not the least bit embarrassed at reading an entire passage rather than accepting what one ignorant person chooses to pretend is the meaning of a single out of context verse.
So am I to understand you correctly, you are of the unlearned and unstable?
Have you wrested with the scriptures to your own destruction?
He is speaking of the non-elect, that wrest with God’s word.
Im not the least bit embarrassed at reading an entire passage rather than accepting what one ignorant person chooses to pretend is the meaning of a single out of context verse."
Is that your organization's answer also? I accept you do not think that the passage means that God will send a deluding influence, but you have claimed in one of your posts that you are not among those who spout "rote" answers, so please confirm to us that this is your organization's perspective. The RCC actually says, "And for this reason God will send upon them a deluding influence so that they might believe what is false,..." does not mean that it is God deluding the unbelievers?
Oh, only for the past sixteen hundred years according to preserved sermons with a rather lengthy written study of the Holy Spirit that explains those verses along with others a mere eight hundred plus years ago.
God sent the deluding influence. Do you not believe that the Holy Spirit sent that deluding influence? Wouldnt that be the Holy Spirit causing that person to fall for a deluding influence?
this is my point exactly, who amongst the ‘bible alone’ churches isnt being ‘deluded’ then???
who decided that church had it right and the other didnt?
that is my question.....this isnt supposed to be a crap shoot where folks all gamble on their own church’s so-called spirit-led view, and hope for the best.....
and no one will give a concrete answer.....
And yet in the Apostle Paul's description of the "Whole Armor of God" a Christian is to take up in spiritual warfare, the only offensive weapon is the Word of God. It is called the "Sword of the Spirit" (Ephesians 6:17). So it certainly must be effective in winning souls if we are commanded to use it that way. There are a lot of false religions, false gods, false prophets, false scriptures and false teachers out in the world - even more so than the first century A.D. How else is someone to know truth from error without an objective and authoritative source?
I appreciate your study on being a "refresher' for our brothers and sisters in Christ as we journey on this road together. I just found it out of place that you threw in that little sentence at the end of this post. I get it that God's word is there for us so that we can know truth from error, and we don't "clobber" someone over the head with the Bible to win them to Christ, but it most certainly IS the offensive weapon given to us to wage the battle for men's souls. It wouldn't be right to only have on defensive armor on a battlefield - that would make you a sitting duck, wouldn't it?
Amen to that! Some people tread dangerous spiritual ground when they count on seeing "signs" to confirm whether or not something, or someone, is true. It can be extremely difficult to pry that experience away from them when what it came with is shown to be error from Scripture.
The "signs and wonders" God gifted to the early disciples were to be utilized to confirm the Gospel they were preaching. But, just as what Moses experienced when he went before Pharaoh, some things can and WILL be copied and perverted by the wrong people. That's why we have the Bible today, to give us an objective authority by which to judge truth claims. Diligent and sincere seekers of truth will not be drawn into theatrics and magic acts.
No one doubts the essential value of the church which is to be the "ground and pillar of the truth". But the church is NOT the creator of the truth, God is and He gave us His divinely-inspired Scriptures, preserved all these thousands of years, for just that reason. The church is to teach what Scripture teaches and if they ignore it in an attempt to supersede God's word with man-made traditions, then they have perverted their authority and God will judge them.
As to your contention that so many non-Catholic Christian churches disagree sharply with each other on major doctrines of the Christian faith, I will answer that, as Dutchboy88 did, there are many denominations that have fallen away from the orthodox doctrines of the faith. There are many reasons why that happens, but blaming the Bible, and the dependence we are to have upon it, as the reason for that divergence is short sighted and wrong. Even in the first century there were heresies that departed from the faith and many of those same errors still exist today, they just pop up under different labels but the lie is still there. Even having a "universal" church so close to the original Apostles did not prevent the error from seeping in. That is the Devil's work - the sowing of the weeds among the wheat. When a church adheres to Scripture and continues to teach what it clearly does, they are right. When a church strays away from Scriptural teachings and goes down the path of "going along to get along", then they will be wrong and will bring judgment upon themselves. The same thing happens even in the so-called "orthodox" churches that claim antiquity. Many of their teachings have gone through a long stage of "development" and only vaguely resemble, or even don't at all, the early church they claim to still be.
So, again, your question about "Bible only" churches and who is and who isn't being deluded, the simple answer is that if they are true to Scripture AND the leading of the Holy Spirit, they will be in unity on the basic tenets of the Christian faith. When Scripture is not clear or where it is silent, then they will have liberty. In all things there should be charity. Jesus said the world will know we are His disciples by our love for one another.
well bb, i would think that you should actually read the church fathers and note what they say about the teaching authority of the church, and its sole authority to interpret scripture, not just cherry pick a vague statement as if that was all that has been said.
Christ gave us a teaching church, as you noted, is the pillar and foundation of truth, not a bible, in fact were it not for His church, there would be no bible, which has protected it over the centuries.
It is the authoritative teaching church, that Christ himself built on Peter, and his successors, the Sacred Tradition and the Word itself....LONG BEFORE ANY BIBLE WAS EVER PUT TOGETHER.....
the church fathers knew this then, and we know it now, it would seem it is YOU who chooses to deny the history that is so readily available for review and study.
“I should not believe the Gospel except as moved by the authority of the Catholic Church.”
Saint Augustine (354-430), Against the Letter of Mani, 5,6, 397 A.D..
“Let us note that the very tradition, teaching, and faith of the
Catholic Church from the beginning, which the Lord gave, was preached
by the Apostles, and was preserved by the Fathers On this was the Church founded;
and if anyone departs from this, he neither is nor any longer ought to be called a Christian.”
St. Athanasius, Letter to Serapion of Thmuis, 359 A.D..
“Although you have already subscribed to the letter I addressed to Arius and his fellows, exhorting them to renounce his impiety, and to submit themselves to the sound Catholic Faith, and have shewn your right-mindedness and agreement in the doctrines of the Catholic Church: ...”
Deposition of Arius by St Athanasius, 360 A.D.
“Let us not listen to those who deny that the Church of GOD is able to forgive all sins. They are wretched indeed, because they do not recognize in Peter the rock and they refuse to believe that the keys of the kingdom of heaven, lost from their own hands, have been given to the Church.” Christian Combat 31,33, 396 A.D. St Augustine.
“The Catholic Church is the work of Divine Providence, achieved through the prophecies of the prophets, through the Incarnation and the teaching of Christ, through the journeys of the Apostles, through the suffering, the crosses, the blood and the death of the martyrs, through the admirable lives of the saints. When, then, we see so much help on God’s part, so much progress and so much fruit, shall we hesitate to bury ourselves in the bosom of that Church? For starting from the Apostolic Chair down through successions of bishops, even unto the open confession of all mankind, it has possessed the crown of teaching authority.”
The Advantage of Believing, 391 A.D. St. Augstine.
NEED I GO ON?
We are to rightly divide the word not play silly games.
Many people will actually add or take away from Christs teaching because they read what Paul or even some one a hundred and fifty years ago said that seems to contradict it.
Many Church leaders try to be every thing to every one and and simply will not admit that there is any thing they do not know, so instead of simply saying i do not know they will come up with some silly explanation that may be far off from the truth.
However i will disagree on one thing and that is understanding the original language, i am a grade school drop out so it is unlikely that i would understand Greek or Hebrew.
And it is even more unlikely that i would believe what some college educated person who has done absolutely nothing except go to school had to tell me, simply because words and meanings can be twisted around too easily, and also misunderstood by people who have not walked the walk.
|And behold, a lawyer stood up to put him to the test, saying, "Teacher, what shall I do to inherit eternal life?"|
|26||He said to him, "What is written in the law? How do you read?"|
|27||And he answered, "You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your strength, and with all your mind; and your neighbor as yourself."|
|28||And he said to him, "You have answered right; do this, and you will live."|
|29||But he, desiring to justify himself, said to Jesus, "And who is my neighbor?"|
|30||Jesus replied, "A man was going down from Jerusalem to Jericho, and he fell among robbers, who stripped him and beat him, and departed, leaving him half dead.|
|31||Now by chance a priest was going down that road; and when he saw him he passed by on the other side.|
|32||So likewise a Levite, when he came to the place and saw him, passed by on the other side.|
|33||But a Samaritan, as he journeyed, came to where he was; and when he saw him, he had compassion,|
|34||and went to him and bound up his wounds, pouring on oil and wine; then he set him on his own beast and brought him to an inn, and took care of him.|
|35||And the next day he took out two denarii and gave them to the innkeeper, saying, `Take care of him; and whatever more you spend, I will repay you when I come back.'|
|36||Which of these three, do you think, proved neighbor to the man who fell among the robbers?"|
|37||He said, "The one who showed mercy on him." And Jesus said to him, "Go and do likewise."|
Let us note that the very tradition, teaching, and faith of the
Catholic Church from the beginning, which the Lord gave, was preached
by the Apostles, and was preserved by the Fathers On this was the Church founded;
Where does it say to hail Mary mother of God,or how many our fathers?
Where did the (not be respecters of persons )go? how did the hirelings come to be Gods servants?
How did the religious leaders become from what Jesus called them, white washed sepulchers to leaders in his Church, where did the cardinals come from?
What happened to the words Jesus said about preaching the word freely, how can some one call them selves a slave for God if they are getting rich or even living high on the hog from doing it?
raven, you are asking questions assuming that bible alone, sola scriptura is true.
you need to see that the early history, as recorded, even in the few (i can provide hundreds more on all aspects of the faith)quotes from these few church fathers, that there is the teaching church, sacred tradition, and the word of God, all combined to make a coherent whole.
Again, read the church fathers THEY WERE THERE, THEY WALKED AND TALKED WITH APOSTLES...when the foundation of the church was built on Peter.
Do you really think that Christ ascended back to heaven and dropped down a KJV with his words in red, saying ‘let the holy spirit guide you’.....HE BUILT AN AUTHORITATIVE CHURCH, with an orderly line of leaders, from Peter, and the first bishops, etc, thru their successors we see today.
raven, you are asking questions assuming that bible alone, sola scriptura is true.
Jesus said it is finished, the apostles started the Church of God for the purpose of preaching the Gospel of Jesus, and he told us the truth.
Many of the Church doctrines say that Jesus did not tell us the truth. but i will not go into them as if you take the word of the Church doctrine above some very understandable words of Jesus it would be useless.
I answered your question, your questions to me ASSUME that the bible alone is a true doctrine (not mentioned anywhere in the bible of course, but thats as may be), my answer was that the HISTORY of the church shows an authorative teaching church built upon peter by Christ himself, to continue through his successors.
This church, along with the Sacred Tradtion and the word of God, all form a cohesive whole.
History shows that. There was no bible for over four hundred years after Christ ascended into heaven.
The Holy Spirit led the catholic church to put the books that Christ wanted, into one volume.....
Who do you think was teaching the faith from the time of the ascension to the time the bible was put together????
Ask yourself, ‘hmmm, was i there two thousand years ago, or were there others there at the time who witnessed and taught the faith in the first few centuries....and wrote down the history’.....
If you choose not to investigate history, that is your loss.
Who do you think was teaching the faith from the time of the ascension to the time the bible was put together????
again, instead of doing the smart thing and checking history of the church, you decide to continue ignoring history as it doesnt suit your world view.
Peter, John, and Paul were all part of the catholic church, hello? are you getting this? Peter was the first in the long line of leaders of the church THAT CHRIST BUILT ON HIM.
John and Paul went out and taught, WHAT CHRIST HAD HANDED ON IN THE DEPOSIT OF FAITH TO THE APOSTLES AND THEIR SUCCESSORS, in the church.
The catholic church has been fighting heresies from day one, usually from folks who think they can interpret the word of God on their own.....
This is my last words on this, you may have the last word as I am sure you will ignore the historical writings of the church fathers.
If one does not bother to learn the original languages then you are dependent on someone else’s translation. That is dangerous. Moreover the fact that you would ignore someone’s education tells me all I need to know about you.
God did not give you a cpu He gave you a brain. it is to be used to the fullest possible extent that one can. You have no basis for any of the so called ‘opinions’ that you will ‘develop’. That is exactly how the LDS church came into being and the Jehovah’s Witnesses.....I don’t need someone writing sermons and preaching to me who has no knowledge or understanding of context and original language
If one does not bother to learn the original languages then you are dependent on someone elses translation. That is dangerous. Moreover the fact that you would ignore someones education tells me all I need to know about you.
I presume that you do not think you are the only one or one of a very few who are educated enough to speak another language, but you do realize that i would need a tutor.
So which one do you think i should get?
Some great educated one who believes in the tribulation before the rapture.
Some great educated man who believes in the rapture before the tribulation.
Some great educated man that believes in mid tribulation rapture.
Or a great educated man that does not believe in the rapture at all.
Should i get The man who is educated enough to know that Jesus actually sweat blood.
Or should i get the one who is education enough that he very well knows the difference between sweat and blood.
again, instead of doing the smart thing and checking history of the church, you decide to continue ignoring history as it doesnt suit your world view.
I don't want to put words in your mouth, CynicalBear, so please clarify something for me. Are you saying that the text is fairly straightforward about the One causing people to fall for the deluding influence is God? If so, then you and I are in agreement. That is precisely what the text is getting at. And it is at least a strong possibility that this is why all of the nutcase cults are running around claiming all sorts of goofy things, as the OP said.
But, the fact that God manages all of the beings in this universe, including the wicked waywardness of Satan and idiotic people claiming to be "Christians", is often considered almost heretical by those who do not know the Scriptures. But, God is in fact, God. And everything is subject to His unlimited sovereignty (even when the text says by means of the Holy Spirit. The Spirit, after all, is part of the Godhead.).
Rashputin may be right about Rome denying this. If he is, such a position is outlandish in the face of the text, itself. It would, however, then be just one more error Rome has promulgated.
I did not reproduce your entire post, but it would be worth anyone re-reading in its entirety. Your remarks were eloquent and kind. You probably are gifted in a "merciful" way to provide the gentle encouragements you did in this post. They also seem to me to be completely in accord with the Scriptures. That is, truthful. Thank you for your contributions.
Yep, looks like we agree Dutchboy88.
There is no doubt at all that the Holy Scriptures existed long before there even was a "catholic" church and that the additional books that were added to this body of sacred writings by the Apostles themselves proves to us that God certainly DID have a purpose for what is called the "Bible". Repeatedly in Scripture we find God reminding and rebuking believers to follow what He has said. God's word is to be a "lamp unto our feet and a light onto our path" so I hardly believe He would have relinquished this role to fallible, sinful, human men who do not have the ability, in and of themselves, to even know what is divinely-revealed much less THE truth.
If you think about it, if God intended a human institution to be the cornerstone and rock of our faith, then why even bother with inspired scripture? Those who insist that "their" church is the "true" church and whatever their leaders deem is of the faith (de fide) just is so, will withstand forcefully anything that might upset the applecart. Appeal is often made to those church fathers which Roman Catholicism and Orthodox churches look to who were mostly bishops writing during the first eight centuries of the Christian church, though some were laymen, and may include a few women. They are small potatoes compared to the actual Apostles and disciples who walked with Jesus and personally heard His teachings as well as being led by the Holy Spirit, himself, to write the words that comprise the New Testament.
So, who should we rely upon to tell us what is truth and what is man made tradition? How could we know what we are supposed to believe versus what has developed over centuries as various philosophies and cultural changes crept into the body of believers and influenced theological thought? Can we really believe God is unchanging and His truth is eternal or must we swallow what church "leaders" figured out after years of argument, discussion and compromise? I hold to the truth of Scripture because it doesn't change. It is not dependent upon human will or whims. It IS truth and truth is absolute, not relative, not conditional.
Of course, some will say we cannot know what the Bible means unless we have a magesterium there to explain it to us. But even people like our FRiend Ravenwolf can read the word and need not a degree in Theology or Biblical languages to grasp the truth God wants relayed. It takes a heart open to the leading of the Holy Spirit and a sincere desire to know the Lord. It takes faith, without which it is impossible to please God, and God WILL reward those who diligently seek Him. Understanding the deep truths of the Christian faith is a life-long endeavor but the basics - what must I do to be saved - is simple enough that a child can understand it. This child-like faith forms the foundation upon which a full and rich life following Christ builds.
Again, thank you for your kind words. God bless you as you journey on this narrow road to Life.
Let me exhort you towards charity.
Most “Bible Christians” are trying really, REALLY hard to follow Him and to be graced with the Holy Spirit.
Lacking the fullness of Truth, it does not matter how hard they try, of course, but most are following in the footsteps of their family or in some cases the first missionary who opened the scripture for them.
Remember Mark 9:38-41. If we all would pursue charity, we’d be better off.
Thanks, I have. Here are a few:
"For how can we adopt those things which we do not find in the holy Scriptures?" - Ambrose (On the Duties of the Clergy, 1:23:102)
"The Arians, then, say that Christ is unlike the Father; we deny it. Nay, indeed, we shrink in dread from the word. Nevertheless I would not that your sacred Majesty should trust to argument and our disputation. Let us enquire of the Scriptures, of apostles, of prophets, of Christ. In a word, let us enquire of the Father...So, indeed, following the guidance of the Scriptures, our fathers [at the Council of Nicaea] declared, holding, moreover, that impious doctrines should be included in the record of their decrees, in order that the unbelief of Arius should discover itself, and not, as it were, mask itself with dye or face-paint." - Ambrose (Exposition of the Christian Faith, 1:6:43, 1:18:119)
"In order to leave room for such profitable discussions of difficult questions, there is a distinct boundary line separating all productions subsequent to apostolic times from the authoritative canonical books of the Old and New Testaments. The authority of these books has come down to us from the apostles through the successions of bishops and the extension of the Church, and, from a position of lofty supremacy, claims the submission of every faithful and pious mind....In the innumerable books that have been written latterly we may sometimes find the same truth as in Scripture, but there is not the same authority. Scripture has a sacredness peculiar to itself." - Augustine (Reply to Faustus the Manichaean, 11:5)
"Every sickness of the soul hath in Scripture its proper remedy." - Augustine (Expositions on the Psalms, 37:2)
Clement of Alexandria
"But those who are ready to toil in the most excellent pursuits, will not desist from the search after truth, till they get the demonstration from the Scriptures themselves." - Clement of Alexandria (The Stromata, 7:16)
"Let nothing be innovated, says he, nothing maintained, except what has been handed down. Whence is that tradition? Whether does it descend from the authority of the Lord and of the Gospel, or does it come from the commands and the epistles of the apostles? For that those things which are written must be done, God witnesses and admonishes, saying to Joshua the son of Nun: 'The book of this law shall not depart out of thy mouth; but thou shalt meditate in it day and night, that thou mayest observe to do according to all that is written therein.' Also the Lord, sending His apostles, commands that the nations should be baptized, and taught to observe all things which He commanded. If, therefore, it is either prescribed in the Gospel, or contained in the epistles or Acts of the Apostles, that those who come from any heresy should not be baptized, but only hands laid upon them to repentance, let this divine and holy tradition be observed." - Cyprian (Letter 73:2)
Cyril of Jerusalem
"For concerning the divine and holy mysteries of the Faith, not even a casual statement must be delivered without the Holy Scriptures; nor must we be drawn aside by mere plausibility and artifices of speech. Even to me, who tell thee these things, give not absolute credence, unless thou receive the proof of the things which I announce from the Divine Scriptures. For this salvation which we believe depends not on ingenious reasoning, but on demonstration of the Holy Scriptures." - Cyril of Jerusalem (Catechetical Lectures, 4:17)
Dionysius of Alexandria
"Nor did we evade objections, but we endeavored as far as possible to hold to and confirm the things which lay before us, and if the reason given satisfied us, we were not ashamed to change our opinions and agree with others; but on the contrary, conscientiously and sincerely, and with hearts laid open before God, we accepted whatever was established by the proofs and teachings of the Holy Scriptures." - Dionysius of Alexandria (cited in the church history of Eusebius, 7:24)
Gregory of Nyssa
"we make the Holy Scriptures the rule and the measure of every tenet; we necessarily fix our eyes upon that, and approve that alone which may be made to harmonize with the intention of those writings...And to those who are expert only in the technical methods of proof a mere demonstration suffices to convince; but as for ourselves, we were agreed that there is something more trustworthy than any of these artificial conclusions, namely, that which the teachings of Holy Scripture point to: and so I deem that it is necessary to inquire, in addition to what has been said, whether this inspired teaching harmonizes with it all. And who, she replied, could deny that truth is to be found only in that upon which the seal of Scriptural testimony is set?" - Macrina and Gregory of Nyssa (On the Soul and the Resurrection)
Hilary of Poitiers
"Their treason involves us in the difficult and dangerous position of having to make a definite pronouncement, beyond the statements of Scripture, upon this grave and abstruse matter....We must proclaim, exactly as we shall find them in the words of Scripture, the majesty and functions of Father, Son and Holy Spirit, and so debar the heretics from robbing these Names of their connotation of Divine character, and compel them by means of these very Names to confine their use of terms to their proper meaning....I would not have you flatter the Son with praises of your own invention; it is well with you if you be satisfied with the written word." - Hilary of Poitiers (On the Trinity, 2:5, 3:23)
Roman Catholics tell us that scripture is insufficient, and they often refer to scripture being unclear. We're often told that Trinitarian doctrine, for example, either is unbiblical or is unclear in scripture. But Hippolytus, a church father of the second and third centuries, who lived in Rome, disagreed. In the process of refuting anti-Trinitarian heresies, he advocated sola scriptura and explained that scripture itself (not scripture *and* an infallible interpreter) is sufficient to refute these heresies:
"Some others are secretly introducing another doctrine, who have become disciples of one Noetus, who was a native of Smyrna, and lived not very long ago. This person was greatly puffed up and inflated with pride, being inspired by the conceit of a strange spirit. He alleged that Christ was the Father Himself, and that the Father Himself was born, and suffered, and died....But the case stands not thus; for the Scriptures do not set forth the matter in this manner....the Scriptures themselves confute their senselessness, and attest the truth...The Scriptures speak what is right; but Noetus is of a different mind from them. Yet, though Noetus does not understand the truth, the Scriptures are not at once to be repudiated....The proper way, therefore, to deal with the question is first of all to refute the interpretation put upon these passages [of scripture] by these men, and then to explain their real meaning....For whenever they wish to attempt anything underhand, they mutilate the Scriptures. But let him quote the passage as a whole, and he will discover the reason kept in view in writing it....if they choose to maintain that their dogma is ratified by this passage [of scripture], as if He owned Himself to be the Father, let them know that it is decidedly against them, and that they are confuted by this very word....Many other passages [of scripture], or rather all of them, attest the truth. A man, therefore, even though he will it not, is compelled to acknowledge God the Father Almighty, and Christ Jesus the Son of God, who, being God, became man, to whom also the Father made all things subject, Himself excepted, and the Holy Spirit; and that these, therefore, are three. But if he desires to learn how it is shown still that there is one God, let him know that His power is one....What, then, will this Noetus, who knows nothing of the truth, dare to say to these things? And now, as Noetus has been confuted, let us turn to the exhibition of the truth itself, that we may establish the truth, against which all these mighty heresies have arisen without being able to state anything to the purpose. There is, brethren, one God, the knowledge of whom we gain from the Holy Scriptures, and from no other source. For just as a man, if he wishes to be skilled in the wisdom of this world, will find himself unable to get at it in any other way than by mastering the dogmas of philosophers, so all of us who wish to practise piety will be unable to learn its practice from any other quarter than the oracles of God. Whatever things, then, the Holy Scriptures declare, at these let us took; and whatsoever things they teach, these let us learn; and as the Father wills our belief to be, let us believe; and as He wills the Son to be glorified, let us glorify Him; and as He wills the Holy Spirit to be bestowed, let us receive Him. Not according to our own will, nor according to our own mind, nor yet as using violently those things which are given by God, but even as He has chosen to teach them by the Holy Scriptures, so let us discern them." (Against the Heresy of One Noetus, 1-4, 7-9)
"They [heretics] gather their views from other sources than the Scriptures...We have learned from none others the plan of our salvation, than from those through whom the Gospel has come down to us, which they did at one time proclaim in public, and, at a later period, by the will of God, handed down to us in the Scriptures, to be the ground and pillar of our faith....It is within the power of all, therefore, in every Church, who may wish to see the truth, to contemplate clearly the tradition of the apostles manifested throughout the whole world; and we are in a position to reckon up those who were by the apostles instituted bishops in the Churches, and to demonstrate the succession of these men to our own times; those who neither taught nor knew of anything like what these heretics rave about. For if the apostles had known hidden mysteries, which they were in the habit of imparting to 'the perfect' apart and privily from the rest, they would have delivered them especially to those to whom they were also committing the Churches themselves. For they were desirous that these men should be very perfect and blameless in all things, whom also they were leaving behind as their successors, delivering up their own place of government to these men; which men, if they discharged their functions honestly, would be a great boon to the Church, but if they should fall away, the direst calamity....proofs of the things which are contained in the Scriptures cannot be shown except from the Scriptures themselves." - Irenaeus (Against Heresies, 1:8:1, 3:1:1, 3:3:1, 3:12:9)
"When, then, anything in my little work seems to you harsh, have regard not to my words, but to the Scripture, whence they are taken." - Jerome (Letter 48:20)
"I beg of you, my dear brother, to live among these books [scripture], to meditate upon them, to know nothing else, to seek nothing else." - Jerome (Letter 53:10)
"When Paula comes to be a little older and to increase like her Spouse in wisdom and stature and in favour with God and man, let her go with her parents to the temple of her true Father but let her not come out of the temple with them. Let them seek her upon the world's highway amid the crowds and the throng of their kinsfolk, and let them find her nowhere but in the shrine of the scriptures" - Jerome (Letter 107:7)
"And now, if I say this to you, although I have repeated it many times, I know that it is not absurd so to do. For it is a ridiculous thing to see the sun, and the moon, and the other stars, continually keeping the same course, and bringing round the different seasons; and to see the computer who may be asked how many are twice two, because he has frequently said that they are four, not ceasing to say again that they are four; and equally so other things, which are confidently admitted, to be continually mentioned and admitted in like manner; yet that he who founds his discourse on the prophetic Scriptures should leave them and abstain from constantly referring to the same Scriptures, because it is thought he can bring forth something better than Scripture. The passage, then, by which I proved that God reveals that there are both angels and hosts in heaven is this: 'Praise the Lord from the heavens: praise Him in the highest. Praise Him, all His angels: praise Him, all His hosts.'" (Dialogue with Trypho, 85)
A common Catholic response to such patristic passages is to argue that the church father in question was only referring to the importance of scripture, not its sufficiency. In other words, though Justin Martyr is correct that there's nothing better than scripture, he isn't denying that there can be other sources of *equal* authority, such as the traditions of Roman Catholicism.
But Justin criticizes those who would "leave" scripture, who wouldn't "constantly" look to it in their arguments. If we can't leave scripture, and we're to look to it constantly, what is that if not sola scriptura?
Another common Catholic response to such patristic passages is to claim that the church father was advocating the material sufficiency of scripture, but not its formal sufficiency. In other words, all doctrines can be derived from scripture, but we need the infallible Roman Catholic hierarchy to guide us, to tell us what is to be derived from the scriptures. But Justin doesn't say that. He doesn't refer to scripture being sufficient if accompanied by the interpretations of the Roman Catholic magisterium. Rather, he refers to scripture itself being sufficient. Just after his comments on the sufficiency of scripture, Justin goes on to quote a passage from the Psalms as proof for one of his arguments. Instead of quoting the Roman Catholic magisterium's interpretation of the Psalm, Justin tells us that the Psalm itself is the proof.
It doesn't seem, then, that Justin had material sufficiency in view. It seems that he was referring to the formal sufficiency of scripture. Even if he had been referring to material sufficiency, the popularity of material sufficiency in some Roman Catholic circles is of recent origin, and some Catholics still reject the concept.
If scripture is as insufficient, as unclear as Roman Catholics claim it is, one wonders why there wasn't some infallible interpreter of scripture in the Old Testament era, one to which both Justin Martyr and Trypho could have appealed in their disputes over the Messianic prophecies. Justin Martyr shows no knowledge of such an Old Testament infallible interpreter, nor does he show any knowledge of such an institution in this New Testament era.
"I shall yield to scripture alone." - Theodoret (Dialogues, 1)
The above quotes and commentary from http://peacebyjesus.witnesstoday.org/Ancients_on_Scripture.html#2
Jumping in here, are you saying than an infallible office was necessary for writings to be established as Scripture, and that being the steward of holy writ and having historical decent a such renders one to be so, and that all those who do not have sanction by them are renegades?
Also, what is the basis (Scripture, etc.) for your assurance that Rome is the one true church?
So there your argument is that there simply was no Bible until Rome provided an infallible canon (when) and thus Scripture could not have been the supreme transcendent standard for obedience and testing truth claims?
And yet part of the Vatican 1 oath requires vowing, “nor will I ever receive and interpret them [the Scriptures] except according to the unanimous consent of the fathers.” - http://mb-soft.com/believe/txs/firstvc.htm
And when the church is supreme (sola ecclesia) then you have no divisions, such as things as on papal infallibility and power, purgatory, etc. or Vatican Two?
And that under sola ecclesia the veracity of the claim to be one true church (OTC) rests upon the premise that the church is infallible, and thus it infallibly define itself as the infallible OTC?
And the laity do not need an interpreter of their interpreter (for one, how many infallible teaching are there), and substantial confusion or disagreement does not exist among faithful members (for one, does the imprimatur provide assurance of faithfulness)?
And that unity under sola ecclesia (which cults typically operate out of) is superior to being persuaded after the Berean manner? (Acts 17:11)