We are told that evangelicals and Catholics share much common ground. For example, the worthy Evangelicals and Catholics Together initiative. True enough, but there is (at least) one thing that will forever separate us. And that is the implicit Catholic rejection of sola scriptura. At least that aspect of sola scriptura that requires us to measure all church doctrine against the inerrent word of God as provided in the Bible.
To wit, Catholic dependence on “tradition”, sometimes rendered “Tradition”, capital “T”, so as to set aside the really, really important man-made inventions. Whether or not they contradict Scripture, or simply can not be derived therefrom. “Tradition” is often code for, “hey, we know this isn’t in Scripture, but we, the Magesterium, think it’s just as important.” Case in point, and perhaps one of the worst aspects of Catholic practice that is in grave error, is the declaration, in December 1854 by Pius IX, that Mary, the mother of Jesus,
“in the first instance of her conception, by a singular privilege and grace granted by God, in view of the merits of Jesus Christ, the Saviour of the human race, was preserved exempt from all stain of original sin.”
Otherwise known as the Doctrine of the Immaculate Conception, often confused with the Virgin Birth. Mary is conceived and born, but without the stain of original sin. So much for Genesis 6:5, 8:21, or, for that matter, Romans 3:23.
The Catholic Church comes right out, in this article on the doctrine, and admits the truth, that “No direct or categorical and stringent proof of the dogma [of Immaculate Conception] can be brought forward from Scripture.” Translation: “take our word for it; we’re the Pope; we’re infalliable in matters of faith.” Or, more grossly, “nevermind Scriptural integrity.”
This is not to be hateful to my Catholic brothers and sisters. In a hostile world, what we share, Christ, is much more important than where we differ. But we are also called to bring our errant brothers and sisters to a better understanding of our faith. All I would ask is that a Christian test any and all beliefs, doctrines, dogmas, creeds, any statement of faith, against the one true measure: Scripture.
And reject that which can not be supported by God’s Word.
| technorati tag | Christianity|