Thursday 27th November 2014

Home » Our Catholic Faith » Currently Reading:

Debunking The Sola Scripture Myth

February 8, 2014 Our Catholic Faith No Comments

By RAYMOND DE SOUZA, KM

Part 1

“I am convinced by the Scriptures!” shouted Martin Luther, as he unleashed his revolution against the Church of Rome. A great many people followed him to make a new church, officially based upon the Scriptures alone, with neither Popes nor councils. But people did not read the fine print in Luther’s revolt: “I am convinced by the Scriptures . . . as I interpret them.”
Officially, Sacred Scripture was to be open to all Christians and consequently no teaching Magisterium was necessary or even allowed: Each and every Christian became able to read the sacred text and interpret it correctly. The Holy Spirit would make sure of that, we’re told. No Popes, councils, or bishops are needed to teach you the truth to be believed. For many, it did sound interesting in the beginning, but what was the result?
Calvin disagreed with Luther, and Zwingli disagreed with both. And the splitting and sub-splitting went on. Every Dick, Tom, and Harry came up with a different interpretation of this or that Bible teaching. Since then, thousands of different denominations appeared, holding different views on every other aspect of Jesus’ teachings.
For example: People calling themselves Christians believe infant Baptism is not valid — Bible in hand. Others say it is — also quoting the same Book. Some believe that only Baptism of immersion is valid. Others disagree. Some say that Jesus is in the Eucharist figuratively only; some say He is there by means of impanation, others say of companation; others say that we should receive the Eucharist — whatever the meaning they may give to it — while others consider it optional or altogether unnecessary.
Some say that matrimony is indissoluble; others say it is soluble and remarriage is allowed, while others don’t mind being polygamous.
Some say that the Devil it is a real spirit; others say it is a figurative way of describing our evil tendencies, while others say it is a myth. Some say that there is a Trinity of persons in God; others say the Trinity is a pagan concept, while others are not too sure. Some say that the human soul has a spiritual nature distinct from the body, while others say that it does not.
Some say that we are created by God, while others say we evolved from apes; others say that both apes and men evolved from another species, while others say that we are stardust, coming from outer space.
Some say that Jesus Christ is divine; others say he was a human person inspired by God to do good things, while others squeeze something in between and say that he was divine but was not aware of it . . . as if God could forget who He is.
Some believe in predestination; others deny it. Some believe in an eternal Hell; others don’t. Some believe souls are judged immediately after death, others say only at the Final Judgment, others say we should not be judgmental.
Some say that only Christianity has the fullness of the truth — whatever their denomination may be — while others say that one can be saved in any religion, Christian or non-Christian — except Roman Catholicism, of course.
For some, priesthood is reserved to men only, but for others women should be priests and bishops too, even the head of the church.
Some Christians say abortion is murder; others say it is murder only after three weeks, others say after six weeks, others say 10 weeks, others say 20, others say till birth — others defend partial-birth abortion! And do not forget those who defend the killing of children born with serious health defects.
Euthanasia: For some it is murder; for others it is an act of mercy and for others a human right. Homosexuality: For some it is a perversion of nature that cries out to God for vengeance; for others a consequence of a genetic dysfunction; and for others an alternative way to express one’s sexuality.
For some, homosexuality is incompatible with Christianity and for others priests of any “Christian church” can be practicing homosexuals. We should not be judgmental.
Should I go on? Is it not evident that the individual interpretation of Scripture has brought about a cacophony of beliefs and moral choices? If a member of a given Christian congregation does not agree with his pastor’s interpretation of a certain Bible verse, he walks out and forms his own little church, and Christ is expected to accept it. In the end the World Council of Churches comes up as a kind of parliament of religions, or a supermarket of religions, where members can pick and choose from Jesus’ teachings what they like and leave behind what they don’t like. . . .
What has this chaotic situation got to do with Jesus Christ? He who said to let your words be yes, yes; no, no? He who does not gathers together with me, scatters abroad? He who is not with me, is against me: He who breaks one commandment violates the whole law? That not all those who say, Lord, Lord, shall enter the Kingdom of Heaven, but those who do the will of my father who is in Heaven shall enter the Kingdom of Heaven?
Christianity is not self-made according to one’s individual choices or preferences, but by obedience to the will of the Father, as we say in the Lord’s Prayer — thy will be done. We do not say my will be done!
But after martin Luther’s revolution, every Tom, Dick, and Harriet picks up a Bible and becomes a pope, or a popess — and an infallible one at that, of course, since everyone can interpret Scripture without error. The Holy Spirit is supposed to guide everyone in his Bible reading, regardless of the multiple contradictions.
Do you know what I call this? I call it popery. Yes, that’s what real popery is, when you see petty popes popping up like popcorn in plenty of popular parodied preachers’ pulpits.
What happened to the unity in one Lord, one faith, one Baptism (Eph. 4:5) in the one Church of Christ, which is the ground and foundation of the truth (1 Tim. 3:15)?
Sola Scriptura is not Christianity: It is a recipe for a relativism!
Luther himself admitted that his revolution has produced a doctrinal chaos, but he was much too proud to admit he had been wrong.
“There are as many sects and beliefs as there are heads. This fellow will have nothing to do with Baptism; another denies the Sacrament [Eucharist]. A third believes that there is another world between this and the Last Day. Some teach that Christ is not God; some say this, some say that. There is no rustic [peasant] so rude [simple, ignorant] but that, if he dreams or fancies anything it must be a whisper of the Holy Spirit, and he himself a prophet” (Grisar, Luther IV, pp. 386-407; Weimar, XVIII, 547, De Wett, III, 61).

Religious Indifference

In his masterpiece Le Christianisme et les Temps Presents, published in 1907, the then eminent French apologist Msgr. Bougoud quoted a letter from Luther to Zwingli, in which he wrote: “If the world lasts longer, it will be necessary to receive once again the decrees of the Councils in order to preserve the unity of the faith against the many interpretations of Scripture that abound these days” (quoted in vol. IV [7], p. 289, Editions Poussielgue, Paris).
But this cacophony has serious consequences: When everything becomes relative to the individual interpretation, to the individual choice or preference; when truth and error, good and evil, order and disorder depend entirely upon the individual personal interpretation, preference or whim, what is the result? Religious indifference.
Sola Scriptura made Christianity become meaningless as an objective message. The sentence in the Lord’s prayer, “Thy will be done” became “My will be done.”
It is no longer Christianity; it is religious relativism. It is just biblical make-believe.
Next article: Sola Scriptura is unscriptural.

+    +    +

(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:

Chaput: It Isn’t Possible To Be Pro-life And Simultaneously Forget The Cries Of The Poor

Interview with the Archbishop of Philadelphia who is preparing to receive the Pope for the World Meeting of Families in September 2015: defending the unborn child is a vital part of the social doctrine of the Church. We need to…Continue Reading

Homosexual Activist Organization in New York Receives Catholic Grant

Washington, DC—The Lepanto Institute issued a report exposing the activities of an organization which received a $35,000 grant from the Catholic Campaign for Human Development (CCHD).  According to the report, the Northwest Bronx Community & Clergy Coalition (NWBCCC) launched its…Continue Reading

Cardinal Burke: Church teaching on sexuality must be clarified, and only Pope Francis can do it

In an interview with Ireland’s state broadcaster, RTE, one of the Catholic hierarchy’s most outspoken defenders of life and family and the Church’s sexual moral teachings again indicated Pope Francis needs to “clarify” that divorced and remarried Catholics, and active…Continue Reading

Pope Appoints New Bishop For Gary, USA

(Vatican Radio) The Holy Father has named an Auxiliary Bishop of Milwaukee, Donald J. Hying as the new Bishop of Gary, USA. He succeeds Bishop Dale J. Melczek, whose resignation Pope Francis accepted upon having the age limit. On Monday…Continue Reading

TOP CATHOLIC BISHOPS AIDE ON EXECUTIVE AMNESTY: OBAMA’S ‘LAST CHANCE TO MAKE GOOD ON PROMISE’

In a statement last Friday in the New York Times, the top aide on immigration for the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) said that executive amnesty is President Barack Obama’s “last chance to make good on his promise…Continue Reading

Catholics Want To Learn More About Their Faith, Bishops Report

BALTIMORE – For three and a half years, members of several U.S. bishops’ committees have been trying to pinpoint what Catholics in the pew are thinking and why they accept or reject church teachings. To this end, they have conducted…Continue Reading

Vatican cardinal: Catholic charity ‘is not only giving food … but giving God’

The Vatican cardinal who oversees the Church’s charitable initiatives has emphasized again that Catholic charities cannot be satisfied with meeting the material needs of those they serve. “Charity is very linked with the proclamation of the Gospel, and doing charity…Continue Reading

Prof at Catholic university tries to justify same-sex ‘marriage’ acceptance from Scripture

Professor Gerald Schlabach of the University of St. Thomas in Minnesota recently published a piece for The Christian Century utilizing the writing of St. Paul to create an argument legitimizing acceptance of same-sex marriage. In light of Schlabach’s article, The Cardinal Newman Society…Continue Reading

Pro-Life Group: “We Will Not Obey the Obamacare HHS Mandate, Not Today, Not Ever”

The pro-life group Priests for Life was one of the earliest organizations to file a lawsuit against the Obama administration over its HHS mandate. The mandate compels religious groups to pay for birth control drugs and drugs like ella that…Continue Reading

Court Says Obama Admin Can Force Pro-Life Group to Obey Pro-Abortion HHS Mandate

The pro-life group Priests for Life was one of the earliest organizations to file a lawsuit against the Obama administration over its HHS mandate. The mandate compels religious groups to pay for birth control drugs and drugs like ella that…Continue Reading

Where Are Our Young People Going?

During the 10:30 Mass in my parish a couple of Sundays ago 32 boys and girls stood in front of the altar, faced the congregation, and formally affirmed their desire to be confirmed. It was part of the preparation for…Continue Reading

US Bishops Elect New Secretary, Discuss Health Care Ethics Guide

Baltimore, Md., Nov 11, 2014 / 08:22 pm (CNA/EWTN News).- The U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops voted Tuesday on several committee leadership positions, also considering several liturgical proposals and moving forward with a New York canonization cause. At their fall…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 . . .

Pope At Santa Marta: Depression And Hope

2014-11-27 Vatican Radio   (Vatican Radio) Reality can be ugly, but despite the suffering, corruption and indifference in today’s world as Christians we must hold our heads high in hope said Pope Francis at Mass Thursday morning in Casa Santa Marta. Basing his reflections on the Readings of the Day, Pope Francis spoke of the fate of the two cities…Continue Reading

Pope Francis: Europe is like a poplar tree that needs nourishment

(Vatican Radio)  Pope Francis on Tuesday told European leaders that the development of today’s societies and their peaceful coexistence require constant reflection on the tenets that form the basis of Europe: human rights, democracy and the rule of law.  Like a tree, Europe also needs care and nourishment for healthy growth.  In a wide-ranging speech to the Council of Europe…Continue Reading

Pope Urges A “lonely” “Self-absorbed” Europe To Recover Its Soul

pope671

(Vatican Radio) Pope Francis called on a “haggard” and “lonely” Europe to recover its role as a world protagonist, its identity as a defender of the transcendent dignity of man, the poor, the migrant, the persecuted, the old and the young, to recover its soul: Christianity. Emer McCarthy reports: In a lengthy address– the first of two on his one…Continue Reading

Pope at Santa Marta: Everything For The Lord And Others

pope669

(Vatican Radio) When the Church is humble and poor, then “it is faithful” to Christ, giving all it has for the Lord and others, leaving nothing for itself said Pope Francis at morning Mass in  Casa Santa Marta Monday. Pope Francis based his reflections on the Gospel of the Day which recounts the episode of the poor widow who gives…Continue Reading

Laws Of Association And Their Contravention

By JUDE P. DOUGHERTY Contra Thomas Hobbes and his fictional state of nature, it is the family that is nature’s first form of association, for only within the family can human life survive. It is within the context of the family that the infant is nourished and for years provided with his basic needs, food,…Continue Reading

Are City Folks Less Christian?

By JAMES K. FITZPATRICK Are the people who live in America’s cities less Christ-like than those who live in small towns and rural areas? Michael Rossmann, a Jesuit scholastic (a member of the order, not yet ordained a priest), does not say that, not in so many words. But he comes close. Rossmann is now…Continue Reading

Giving Thanks

By DONALD DeMARCO The word “thanks” is etymologically rooted in the word “thought.” With this in mind, G.K. Chesterton could say: “I would maintain that thanks are the highest form of thought, and that gratitude is happiness doubled by wonder.” Chesterton had a genius for expressing expansive ideas in a concise way. Many of his…Continue Reading

Changing Their Tune

By PHILLIP DEAN (Editor’s Note: Music has always been especially important to Phillip Dean. Gifted as a singer and musician, the high school sophomore leads a Wednesday night youth band at his Rock Hill, S.C., church. And, though he completes his academic coursework online from home, he played for the last four years in the…Continue Reading

Culture Of Life 101 . . . “The Birth Control Pill: Unintended Consequences”

By BRIAN CLOWES Part 2 (Editor’s Note: Brian Clowes has been director of research and training at Human Life International since 1995. For a CD containing hundreds of patient information pamphlets showing that the most common methods of birth control are abortifacient in their actions, e-mail him at bclowes@hli.org.) + + + We have seen…Continue Reading

Advertisement

Our Catholic Faith (Section B of print edition)

Preparing A Way

By FR ROBERT ALTIER Second Sunday Of Advent (YR B) Readings: Isaiah 40:1-5, 9-11 2 Peter 3:8-14 Mark 1:1-8 In the first reading today God speaks to Isaiah telling him to give comfort to His people. This message comes at the end of a long period of suffering for the people of Israel during which their sins were expiated. Now…Continue Reading

Pope Francis’ Address At Colloquium . . . Complementary Is At The Root Of Marriage And Family

VATICAN CITY (ZENIT) — Here is the translation of Pope Francis’ address in the Vatican at the opening of the “Colloquium on the Complementarity of Man and Woman,” November 17-19. In his talk, the Holy Father stated: “Children have a right to grow up in a family with a father and a mother capable of creating a suitable environment for…Continue Reading

A Leaven In The World . . . Some Bishops Are Beginning To Find Their Voice

By FR. KEVIN M. CUSICK In recent weeks the Pope hosted the “Humanum” conference in Rome. In his remarks of welcome he clearly reiterated his commitment to the right of children to have both a mother and a father while stating that marriages and families cannot be redefined by or subject to manipulation by ideologies. (See p. 4B of this…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

Reading And Interpreting Scripture

By DON FIER We ended last week’s installment by launching into a discussion on a question of critical importance: “How is Sacred Scripture to be read and interpreted?” The significance and the relevance of this question become apparent if one examines findings outlined in the 2012 “Status of Global Mission” report, a publication of the International Bulletin of Missionary Research…Continue Reading

Cast A Gauntlet – Sola Scriptura: Part 1

Catholic Heroes . . . St. Catherine Labouré

By CAROLE BRESLIN A miracle is a sensibly perceptible effect, surpassing the powers of visible nature, produced by God to witness to some truth or to testify to someone’s sanctity. During His life on earth, Jesus performed many miracles. Miracles did not end with Christ’s Ascension into Heaven. They have continued to be performed throughout the history of the Church.…Continue Reading

Catholic Heroes… St. Cecilia

By CAROLE BRESLIN The Catholic Church has thousands of saints. For the last two millennia, people of great holiness, exemplifying heroic virtue, have been honored as saints, members of the Church Triumphant in Heaven giving honor and glory to God. Some have been formally declared saints by the Church, while others have been so honored from the beginnings of the…Continue Reading

A Powerful Weapon: 15 Quotes on the Holy Rosary

We live in evil times. I hardly need elaborate the multitude of crises that fill the globe. Sadly, many are being swept away by this flood of evil and are succumbing to an overwhelming anxiety and discouragement. But no matter how tempting it is, we must not shrink back. We must pray and fast with a living faith and a firm confidence—and there is no better way to…Continue Reading

12 Ways to Become a Committed Catholic Man

There is a Catholic “man-crisis.” Large numbers of men who were baptized Catholic have left the Church and the majority of those who remain are “Casual Catholic Men”, men who do not know the Catholic faith and don’t practice it. This large-scale failure of Catholic men to commit themselves to Jesus Christ and His Church has contributed to the accelerating…Continue Reading