Friday 25th July 2014

Home » Our Catholic Faith » Currently Reading:

Debunking The Myth… Sola Scriptura Is Unscriptural

February 22, 2014 Our Catholic Faith No Comments

By RAYMOND DE SOUZA, KM

Part 3

Evidently, Jesus did not stay with the apostles and disciples for long after the Resurrection. He founded a Church, His Church. Now, did He found it as a visible Church, with authority to guide, teach, and sanctify the people? Or didn’t He? Either He did or He didn’t. It is one or the other.
And what is meant by a visible Church? Just a building upon a hill? Or a congregation sharing unity in one Lord, one faith, one Baptism (Eph. 4:5), under the same government, being taught the same truths, obeying the same Commandments, following the same moral laws, being sanctified by the same sacraments, in short, the one Church of God, the pillar and mainstay of the truth (1 Tim. 3:15)?
Or perhaps Jesus founded many churches, and left it up to us to decide which denomination we should belong to, regardless of its different creeds and practices, based upon our individual interpretation of the Bible?
The very concept of having “Christian denominations” holding different articles of faith and morals is thoroughly unbiblical and completely unknown to the early Christians. Unity in faith, morals, and government was the characteristic of the early Church, and no Christian ever believed in Sola Scriptura until Martin Luther came up with the novelty. A trifle too late, I’m afraid. Nearly 1,400 years after Pentecost.
If you were to ask any believer in Sola Scriptura this simple question, “What is the pillar and mainstay of the Truth for Christians in the New Testament,” what would they say?
“The Bible, of course!” will be the immediate reply. But unfortunately for them, the Bible does not say so. The Bible says that the pillar and mainstay of the Truth is the Church. You may blame St. Paul on this one:
“I write these things to you hoping to come to you shortly, but in order that you may know, if I am delayed, how to conduct yourself in the house of God, which is the Church of the Living God, the pillar and mainstay of the truth” (1 Tim. 3:15).
How, then, did Jesus build His Church: with a structure of authority, or without one? Did He give to His apostles authority over the flock, with one of them at the Head? Or did He simply ask the people to accept Him in their hearts as their personal Lord and Savior and gave them the Bible interpret as they understood it?
We can’t have it both ways. As ol’ Shakespeare would say, “To be or not to be, that is the question.” Either Jesus established an authority to guide, teach, and sanctify the people, or He didn’t. If He did not, no amount of Catholic belief in it will ever make it appear. Conversely, if He did, no amount of Protestant denial of it will ever make it disappear. Opinions and individual interpretations of Scripture do not change reality.
Let us hear Him: “If your brother sin against you, go and show him his fault, between you and him alone. If he listens to you, you have won your brother. But if he does not listen to you, take with you one or two more so that on the word of two or three witnesses every word may be confirmed. And if he refuses to hear them, appeal to the Church, but if he refuses even to hear the Church, let him be to you as the heathen and the publican” (Matt. 18:15-18).
So His Church has authority to judge disputes and exercise government.
Did He give to the apostles the mission to continue His preaching with His authority? Yes, He did: “He that hears you hears me; and he that despises you, despises me; and he that despises me, despises Him that sent me” (Luke 10:16).
Did He compare the apostles’ mission with His own? Yes, He did: “As the Father sends me, so I also send you” (John 20:21).
And where and to whom were they to speak in His and His Father’s name? “Go into the whole world and preach the Gospel to every creature. He who believes and is baptized shall be saved, but he who does not believe shall be condemned” (Mark 16:15-16).
How much authority did He give the apostles? “Amen I say to you, whatsoever you shall bind on earth, shall be bound in heaven; and whatsoever you shall loose on earth, shall be loosed in heaven” (Matt. 18:18).
And to Peter, whom He placed at the head of the Apostolic College, what extra authority did He give? “And I will give you [thee, singular] the keys of the kingdom of heaven. And whatsoever you shall bind on earth, shall be bound in heaven; and whatsoever you shall loose on earth, shall be loosed in heaven” (Matt. 16:19).
Did He promise Peter that his faith would not fail, because of His (Jesus’) prayer? Yes, He did: “Simon, Simon, behold that Satan has desired to have you [plural] that he might sift you like wheat. But I have prayed for thee [singular] that thy faith may not fail. And when thou hast converted [turned again] confirm thy brethren” (Luke 22:31-32). That’s the promise of papal infallibility, which we will look into in a future article.
Jesus gave to Peter the specific command to be the shepherd of His flock: “Feed my lambs, . . . feed my lambs . . . feed my sheep” (John 21:15-18).
To “feed one’s sheep” in Hebrew/Aramaic culture does not merely mean to give food to, but to lead into the pastures, to protect, to guide, to shepherd over — that was the mission of the Judges and later the kings of Judah, in the name of God, and this is precisely how Peter understood it, as he exhorted his fellow bishops:
“Now I exhort you the presbyters among you – I, your fellow presbyter . . . tend the flock of God which is among you, governing not under constraint, but willingly, according to God” (1 Peter 5:1-4).
Did Jesus promise to remain with His Church till the end of time? Yes, He did. “Behold, I am with you all days, even unto the consummation of the world” (Matt. 28:20). It was the last saying of our Lord as recorded in St. Matthew’s Gospel, and its very last verse as well.
Parting words have special meaning in any relationship. Jesus wanted to ensure that His very last promise — I am with you — would be a certitude that He would remain with His Church. This phrase is cited nearly 90 times in the Bible, always meaning a special divine assistance to ensure the fulfillment of the mission.
Conclusion: Jesus founded a Church to guide, teach, and sanctify the people in His own name, the sole authentic interpreter of the Bible. He did not give us the Bible for us to interpret as we think the Holy Spirit is guiding us, creating thousands of contradictory denominations. He did not suggest the formation of a Bible printing society.
Next article: True and false tradition.

+    +    +

(Raymond de Souza is director of the Evangelization and Apologetics Office of the Winona Diocese, Minn.; EWTN program host; regional coordinator for Portuguese-speaking countries for Human Life International [HLI], president of the Sacred Heart Institute and a member of the Sovereign, Military, and Hospitaller Order of the Knights of Malta. His web site is: www.RaymondeSouza.com.)

Share Button

Comment on this Article:

Marco Rubio To Take On Abortion and Gay Marriage in Catholic U Speech

Senator Marco Rubio (R., Fla.) plans to take on social and cultural issues in the latest installment of his policy speeches outlining a new conservative agenda. “Senator Rubio will discuss the values needed for economic success in the 21st century: values like…Continue Reading

USCCB Chairmen Respond To ‘Unprecedented and Extreme’ Executive Order

The executive order prohibits “gender identity” discrimination, a prohibition that is previously unknown at the federal level, and that is predicated on the false idea that “gender” is nothing more than a social construct or psychological reality that can be…Continue Reading

Dallas-Fort Worth Catholic leaders appeal for legal help in border crisis

Dallas Bishop Kevin Farrell (center) and Fort Worth Bishop Michael Olson on Monday asked for volunteers to assist with a “humanitarian crisis.” By DIANNE SOLÍS Staff Writer dsolís@dallasnews.com Published: 21 July 2014 10:32 PM Updated: 22 July 2014 12:21 AM Dallas Catholic…Continue Reading

Iraq Catholic leader says Islamic State worse than Genghis Khan

By Dominic Evans and Raheem Salman BAGHDAD (Reuters) – The head of Iraq’s largest church said on Sunday that Islamic State militants who drove Christians out of Mosul were worse than Mongol leader Genghis Khan and his grandson Hulagu who…Continue Reading

CHRISTIAN HOLOCAUST UNDERWAY IN IRAQ, USA AND WORLD LOOK ON

When U.S. troops invaded Iraq in 2003, there were at least 1.5 million Christians in Iraq. Over the last ten years, significantly in the last few months with the emergence of ISIS, that figure has dropped to about 400,000. In a…Continue Reading

Vancouver Catholic Schools Adopt Transgender Policy

James Keller, The Canadian Press Published Wednesday, July 16, 2014 7:20PM EDT Last Updated Thursday, July 17, 2014 7:24AM EDT VANCOUVER — Catholic schools in Vancouver have adopted a policy that could allow transgender students to use the pronouns, uniforms…Continue Reading

New Catholic Bishops Say Civil Disobedience OK If For Common Good

Newly appointed auxiliary bishops, two Catholic clergymen suggest Occupy Central could be just, while third weighs in on reform report St Two auxiliary bishops newly appointed by the Vatican have spoken out about the Occupy Central campaign, saying the church supports…Continue Reading

Skeptics And The Claims Of The Catholic Church Seventeen Reasons Scoffers Ought To Rethink Catholicism, If They Really Thought About It

July 11, 2014 05:09 EST By Thomas M. Doran In today’s world, isn’t it crazy to appeal to scoffers to consider Catholicism? Why would a rational modern man or woman in the 21st century be attracted to what the world and…Continue Reading

The Obama Administration’s Border-Crisis Plan B: Use the Catholic Church

The federal government reaches out to a California diocese to help shelter illegal immigrants in California. By Ryan Lovelace In order to avoid future clashes with the citizens of Murrieta, Calif., over attempts to transfer illegal immigrants there, the Obama administration has turned to…Continue Reading

A New Low For Liberals: Attacking Catholic Nuns Over Hobby Lobby

I’m a big fan of absurdity in politics. But even absurdity has its limits, and the National Organization for Women has surpassed it in the wake of the Supreme Court’s decision inBurwell v. Hobby Lobby. As part of its full-throated…Continue Reading

Louisiana court’s ruling that Catholic priest testify about confession criticized by Baton Rouge Diocese:

The Catholic Diocese of Baton Rouge has issued a statement decrying a decision by the Louisiana Supreme Court that could compel a local priest to testify in court about confessions he might have received. The alleged confessions, according to legal documents, were made to…Continue Reading

Out Of Nowhere A Network Emerged To Save Catholic Schools

By Martha Woodall, Inquirer Staff Writer POSTED: June 24, 2014   The fledgling Independence Mission Schools network of Catholic elementary schools is used to moving fast. It sprang into action two years ago to save 14 parish schools in low-income neighborhoods…Continue Reading

Untitled 5 Untitled 2

Attention Readers:

  Welcome to our new website. Readers who are familiar with The Wanderer know we have been providing Catholic news and orthodox commentary for over 145 years in our weekly print edition. Now we are introducing the online daily version of our print journal.


  Our daily version offers only some of what we publish weekly in print. To take advantage of everything The Wanderer publishes, we encourage you to subscribe to our flagship weekly print edition, which is mailed every Friday or, if you want to view it in its entirety online, you can subscribe to the E-edition, which is a replica of the print edition.
 
  Our daily edition includes: a selection of material from recent issues of our print edition, news stories updated daily from renowned news sources, access to archives from The Wanderer from the past 10 years, available at a minimum charge (this will be expanded as time goes on). Also: regularly updated features where we go back in time and highlight various columns and news items covered in The Wanderer over the past 145 years. And: a comments section in which your remarks are encouraged, both good and bad, including suggestions.

 
  We encourage you to become a daily visitor to our site. If you appreciate our site, tell your friends. As Catholics we must band together to rediscover our faith and share it with the world if we are to effectively counter a society whose moral culture seems to have no boundaries and a government whose rapidly extending reach threatens to extinguish the rights of people of faith to practice their religion (witness the HHS mandate). Now more than ever, vehicles like The Wanderer are needed for clarification and guidance on the issues of the day.

Catholic, conservative, orthodox, and loyal to the Magisterium have been this journal’s hallmarks for five generations. God willing, our message will continue well into this century and beyond.

Joseph Matt
President, The Wanderer Printing Co.

Untitled 1

'From our friends at The Foundry'


Today . . .

Bishops: Obama’s Executive Order on Discrimination ‘Implements Discrimination’

Washington, D.C., July 23, 2014 (Zenit.org) The bishop-Chairmen of two USCCB Committees responded with concern to President Obama’s July 21 executive order to prohibit federal government contractors from what the Administration deems “sexual orientation” and “gender identity” discrimination and to forbid “gender identity” discrimination in the employment of federal employees. The problems the bishops identify in the order relate both…Continue Reading

Anglican Women Bishops — An Obstacle To Unity?

By FR. DWIGHT LONGENECKER (Editor’s Note: Fr. Dwight Longenecker is an American who has spent most of his life living and working in England. He studied theology at Oxford University. He was eventually ordained as an Anglican priest and served as a curate, a school chaplain in Cambridge, and a country parson on the Isle…Continue Reading

Homosexuality And The Future Of Marriage

By JOHN F. KIPPLEY (Editor’s Note: John F. Kippley is the author of Sex and the Marriage Covenant: A Basis for Morality and other books and articles. With his wife Sheila, he is a coauthor of Natural Family Planning: The Complete Approach. The commentary below is reprinted with permission from his blog at johnkippley.com. All…Continue Reading

Culture Of Life 101 . . . “Profile: Girls Scouts Of America”

By BRIAN CLOWES (Editor’s Note: Brian Clowes has been director of research and training at Human Life International since 1995. For an electronic copy of this article with footnotes, e-mail him at bclowes@hli.org.) +    +    + We’ve all had little girls in uniform appear on our porches selling Girl Scout cookies (with watchful mothers standing…Continue Reading

Chilling

By ANDREW P. NAPOLITANO “Chilling” is the word lawyers use to describe governmental behavior that does not directly interfere with constitutionally protected freedoms, but rather tends to deter folks from exercising them. Classic examples of “chilling” occurred in the 1970s, when FBI agents and U.S. Army soldiers, in business suits with badges displayed or in…Continue Reading

Do They Think We’re Stupid?. . . It’s Worse Than That

By JAMES K. FITZPATRICK It has become routine to hear conservative talk radio hosts, such as Mark Levin and Rush Limbaugh, as well as many commentators on Fox News, react to public comments by the Obama administration and its supporters with an exasperated, “Do they think we’re stupid?” I have in mind Obama supporters’ contentions…Continue Reading

Advertisement

Our Catholic Faith (Section B of print edition)

Catholic Replies

Q. Jesus says that we are to learn from Him, He who is meek and humble of heart. But Jesus was not always meek and humble of heart. He talked back to the Scribes and Pharisees, He drove the moneychangers out of the Temple, He talked back to the Sanhedrin, He wasn’t bashful about claiming to be the Son of…Continue Reading

Jesus Walks Through Trials With Us

By FR. ROBERT ALTIER Eighteenth Sunday In Ordinary Time (YR A) Readings: Isaiah 55:1-3 Romans 8:35, 37-39 Matt. 14:13-21 In the second reading today St. Paul asks the question of what can separate us from the love of Christ. He then gives a few examples of what people might think will separate us from God; anguish, distress, persecution, famine, nakedness,…Continue Reading

Anglophone Conference On Sexual Abuse . . . “The Entire Church Is Called To Put Right What Has Happened”

By MOST REV. DIARMUID MARTIN ROME (ZENIT) — Below is the full text of an address given by Archbishop Diarmuid Martin of Dublin on the issue of clerical sex abuse. The address was given July 7 at the Anglophone Conference, which took place at the Pontifical Irish College in Rome. The Anglophone Conference takes place annually and its purpose is to address relevant…Continue Reading

A Leaven In The World . . . Journalists, Atheists, And The Pope

By FR. KEVIN M. CUSICK The bureaucratic apologists are now in full scramble mode once again to interpret the Pope’s words as filtered to the whole world through the atheist journalist Eugenio Scalfari and printed in the paper he co-founded, La Repubblica. Yet again, we are informed, the Pope did not say what we are told he said. The fact…Continue Reading

Is The Rosary A Prayer Of “Vain Repetitions”?

By RAYMOND DE SOUZA, KM Part 3 The visit I received from two Jehovah’s Witnesses (JWs, for short) gave me the opportunity to demonstrate that repetitive prayer — especially the rosary — is entirely in line with Sacred Scripture. When they walked into my living room and did not miss the sight of my rosary on the mantelpiece, I knew…Continue Reading

Cast A Gauntlet – Sola Scriptura: Part 1

Catholic Heroes . . . St. Alphonsus Liguori

By CAROLE BRESLIN Part 1 Fr. John A. Hardon, SJ, having read the works of St. Alphonsus Liguori, took him as a mentor. It is not surprising, then, that Fr. Hardon taught his students, “If you are not encountering the cross, you are not doing God’s work.” Such were the lives of saints such as St. Teresa of Avila, St.…Continue Reading

Catholic Heroes… St. Benedict

By CAROLE BRESLIN Every month the Apostleship of Prayer publishes the intentions of the Holy Father: one for a universal intention and one for an evangelical intention. In June 2014, the evangelical intention was that Europe may rediscover its Christian roots through the witness of believers. The advent of Christian civilization coincided with the advent of Western civilization. The Benedictine…Continue Reading

What to Do If Your Boyfriend Wants You to Get an Abortion?

by Krisi Burton Brown | Washington, DC | LifeNews.com | 2/20/14 4:00 PM Washington, DC (LiveActionNews) — Note: This article is for any girl or woman who is feeling pressured into having an abortion. If you are a guy who is trying to find out how to stop an abortion, please see this article written for dads. 1.  Stand your…Continue Reading

It’s Time to Build Schools, from the Ground Up

February 13, 2014 by Anthony Esolen   It might have been worth repairing, if it had once been noble and beautiful, or at least conceived in an orderly way, for ordinary human purposes. But it wasn’t. It was constructed upon false principles. Its walls looked like those of a bad factory. It smelled like a warehouse. It could be terribly…Continue Reading

Why I am Pro-Life

February 4, 2014   Pro-Lifers   By Therese Recinella   Editor’s note. This tribute was posted on Therese Recinella’s Facebook account. She is graciously allowing us to reprint it in NRL News Today.   There are many things that I could say about my Dad, but what I want people to know is this: My parents faithfully raised 8 children…Continue Reading

Fathers . . . The Essential Role of the Father

Posted on February 10, 2014 by The Catholic Gentleman 13 Comments   Divorce rates skyrocketing; adultery rampant; non-married cohabitating couples; children abandoned by their fathers or mothers; “same-sex unions” adopting children and calling this the “modern family”; pornography invading homes, leading to powerful addictions and total alienation from other members of the family: all of this is a bird’s eye view…Continue Reading

How Much is One Billion Dollars?

This article appeared in the March 20, 1941 issue of The Wanderer. (Well, 70 years later we can add 15 trillion into the example.) Here’s a simple and homely illustration of what one billion dollars amounts to: Suppose we take an imaginary boy, aged 15 years, and assign to him the task of counting one billion dollars in one-dollar bills.…Continue Reading

Planned Parenthood

This article appeared in The Wanderer, April 3, 1941.  (WOW, Look what we have 70 years later.) A group which calls itself the National Committee for Planned Parenthood has begun a nationwide campaign to have the promotion of birth control included in State and national health programs. The committee—which, according to propaganda sheets reaching our desk has a branch in…Continue Reading

Questions of Non-Catholics . . . Answered by Father Richard Felix, O.S.B.

Reprinted from The Wanderer April 10, 1941 Why Does God allow us to be tempted? God allows us to be tempted so that we may prove our attachment to him and merit a higher place in heaven. Temptations are the lot of all men; they are the battle ground upon which heaven is won or lost. “The kingdom of heaven…Continue Reading