Is Scripture Sufficient without the Church?

by Steve Ray on June 10, 2012

Lenny writes to Beau:

Hi Beau, you mention “that Scripture is sufficient to teach us.” There is a problem with your statement is this; it is not in the Bible.  Nowhere does it say that we should follow Scripture alone “Sola Scriptura” or that it is all sufficient.   Isn’t it interesting “Sola Scriptura” (Bible alone), which is believed to be Biblical by many people is not even in the Bible!

The moment someone believes “Bible alone,” they already believe a concept not found in the Bible.  And those who believe “Bible Alone” reject the authority of the Church, a concept found in the Bible.  “Bible alone” is one of three pillars of the Protestant Reformation.   The problem is that it is self-refuting, because the moment you believe it, you already believe something not in the Bible.  And so “Sola Scriptura” crumbles under its own weight.

Let me relate to you a story.  I was talking to a couple of people from the Milwaukee Church of Christ.  He pointed out to me a verse in 2nd Timothy.  “All scripture is inspired by God and is useful for teaching, for refutation, for correction, and for training in righteousness, so that one who belongs to God may be competent, equipped for every good work” (2nd Tm 3:16).  And so he said the Bible is it and I agreed the Bible is it.  So he said, let’s go on.  And I said fine, but before we do, I think we should also follow the Church.
 
He became a little irritated with me and he said, we just went through this and you agreed the Bible is it.  And so I asked him what he thought the pillar and foundation of truth was.  He said, the Bible!  I informed him, he was incorrect because the Bible says the Church is the pillar and foundation of truth; “You should know how to behave in the household of God, which is the CHURCH OF THE LIVING GOD, the pillar and foundation of truth.  
 
I wasn’t being disingenuous when I said the Bible is it.  I believe this totally so long as we believe it (the Bible) totally.  And the Bible tells us to listen to the Church so it must be included in order to follow the whole Bible.   This is the 2nd reason “Sola Scriptura” is wrong, it ignores all the passages that give the Church real authority.  
 
Again your statement “that Scripture is sufficient to teach us” is not Biblical.  However, had you included the Church in your statement it would have been correct.   The concept of “Sola Scriptura” is a Protestant understanding but it is rejected by many Protestants today because it is not Biblical.

By the way what church do you belong to?  Is it 7th day Baptist or Adventist or say Pentecostal?   Usually it’s like pulling teeth to get an Evangelical to say the name of their Church and where they are coming from.  I get the impression that they are embarrassed.  They make less than complimentary statements about the Catholic Church all the while they are reluctant to mention where they are coming from.  And I might add, there are Evangelicals who are not into the Catholic bashing business.  Some of them are my friends.

{ 45 comments… read them below or add one }

De Maria June 10, 2012 at 6:25 AM

One of the greatest arguments against Sola Scriptura was made by a pagan philosopher, long before the Protestant Reformation ever came along.
Socrates: Yes, Phaedrus, because I think writing has this strange feature, which makes it like painting. The offspring of painting stand there as if alive, but, if you ask them something, they preserve a quite solemn silence. Similarly with written words: you might think that they spoke as if they had some thought in their heads, but if you ever ask them about any of the things they say out of a desire to learn, they point to just one thing, the same each time. And when once it is written, every composition is trundled about everywhere in the same way, in the presence both of those who know about the subject and of those who have nothing to do with it, and it does not know how to address those it should address and not those it should not. When it is ill-treated and unjustly abused, it always needs its father to help it; for it is incapable of defending or helping itself.

Joel D'souza June 12, 2012 at 1:56 PM

STEVE RAY HERE. I AM ALLOWING OUR POST JOEL FOR EDUCATIONAL PURPOSES. I SEE YOU HAVE SWALLOWED THE HOOK ALONG WITH THE BAIT AND LINE :-) I SUGGEST YOU DO A LITTLE MORE HOMEWORK, MAYBE READING DAVE ARMSTRONG’S NEW BOOK “100 ARGUMENTS AGAINST SOLA SCRIPTURA” AND MAYBE MY BOOK “CROSSING THE TIBER.” I WISH I HAD TIME TO DISSECT YOUR POST WORD FOR WORD BUT JUST ARRIVED IN ISRAEL TO GUIDE A LARGE GROUP. ALSO JUST FINISHED A 17-PAGE REBUTTAL TO A PROTESTANT WHO CLAIMS SCRIPTURE TEACHES HOMOSEXUALITY. SO MUCH FOR SELF INTERPRETATION AND SOLA SCRIPTURA! YOUR COMMENT IS SO FULL OF UNFOUNDED PROTESTANT TRADITION THAT IT WOULD TAKE A MONTH OF SUNDAYS TO RESPOND TO ALL THE INACCURACIES. MAYBE SOMEONE LIKE DE MARIA WILL TAKE THE TIME TO EXPLAIN ALL OF THIS TO YOU.

JOEL WRITES:
Sola Scriptura (Scripture Alone) is the doctrine that the Holy Bible, being the Word of God, is the only infallible rule of faith and practice for Christians in the post-apostolic age.

The Bible is:
The rule (standard, guide) of faith – teaching us what we ought to believe and how to live for the glory of God.

The infallible rule – incapable of error, certain, not liable to mislead – because it is the Word of God.

The only infallible rule – it contains the whole counsel of God for His people. Christians value religious teachers, but they are fallible (liable to make mistakes). We also value tradition as long as it is consistent with the Scriptures.

Christians have full confidence in the Holy Scriptures because they are “given by inspiration” or “God-breathed” – the very Word proceeding from the mouth of God. What “The Scriptures say” and what “God says” are the same thing. That is what Jesus believed.

Jesus answered and said to them, “You are mistaken, not knowing the Scriptures nor the power of God. “For in the resurrection they neither marry nor are given in marriage, but are like angels of God in heaven. “But concerning the resurrection of the dead, have you not read what was spoken to you by God, saying, ‘I am the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob’? God is not the God of the dead, but of the living.” (Matthew 22:29-32).

What is read in the Scriptures is God speaking to us! Therefore the Scriptures are the infallible rule of faith since God can neither lie nor err. ‘The entirety of Your word is truth, And every one of Your righteous judgments endures forever’ (Psalm 119:160). The teaching of the Bible is free from error and we can have absolute confidence in it.

Moreover, sola Scriptura affirms that all that the Church and every Christian must believe for salvation and godliness is certainly found in the Holy Scriptures. The Bible is able to make us wise for salvation which is by faith in Christ Jesus (2 Timothy 3:15,16). The Bible is also useful for teaching and correction so that the man of God may be complete, thoroughly furnished for every good work. God’s revelation for His Church is fully contained in the Holy Bible and there is no important information missing that we should seek elsewhere.

Having indicated what sola Scriptura is, we must also discuss what it is not. Sola Scriptura is often misunderstood and misrepresented.

Sola Scriptura is not a claim that the Bible contains all knowledge. The Bible does not give exhaustive details on the history of redemption. John 21:25 says that not all that Jesus did is recorded in the book; all the books of the world would not be enough for that purpose. But the Bible does not have to be exhaustive to function as the sole rule of faith for the church. We need ‘enough’ knowledge not ‘exhaustive’ knowledge. Sometimes people argue for the need of tradition, saying that Bible does not record everything. Apparently they do not realize that tradition is not exhaustive either! Does tradition give us all possible information about the life of Christ, and all that He said, and all the apostles did and said? Of course not! In fact, we would respectfully challenge our Catholic friends to give us one statement that Jesus said that comes to us by tradition and not from the Holy Scripture.

Sola Scriptura is not a denial of the church’s authority to teach God’s revelation. The Church is ‘the pillar and foundation of the truth’ (I Timothy 3:15) because it upholds and teaches the Word of God. However the church cannot add doctrines of human origin or contradict the God-breathed Scriptures. The church’s authority is subordinate to the authority of the Bible. Moreover, the church is commissioned to preach the Word orally, and to transmit the Christian Gospel from one generation to the next. The most enthusiastic proponents of sola Scriptura do so eagerly and do their best to make sure that their preaching is consistent with the written Word of God.

Sola Scriptura is not a denial that historically God’s Word came in other ways other than the written form. Before writing down His message, God spoke through the apostles and prophets, and personally in Christ Jesus, His Son. During the same time the Holy Spirit moved holy men to write down His Word to be the permanent inspired record of His message for the post-apostolic age till the end. The apostles and prophets are the foundation of the church (Ephesians 2:20) and though they are absent, we can still build our lives on their teaching which is recorded infallibly in the Holy Scriptures.

Sola Scriptura does not imply that the Bible will always be interpreted correctly, or that there will not be differences and heresies among Christians. Jesus was clear enough in His teaching, yet His disciples often misunderstood Him. The apostles’ message was also perfectly intelligible, and yet all sorts of errors and heresies crept in the early church. Similarly, the Bible is not written in a mysterious and cryptic code that needs some infallible decoder to explain its hidden meaning. The Bible is addressed to the ordinary people of God and it can be understood. The problem lies not with the clarity of the Bible, but with people who often ignore the Bible or twist the its meaning because of laziness, ignorance and prejudice.

‘What is the infallible rule of faith?’ remains the a major dividing issue between Catholics and Protestants. And rightly so. We are building on different foundations.

Joel D'Souza June 13, 2012 at 1:25 AM

And the Bible tells us to listen to the Church so it must be included in order to follow the whole Bible. This is the 2nd reason “Sola Scriptura” is wrong, it ignores all the passages that give the Church real authority.

I see the above statement is contradictory what was published shown below:

(i) The First Vatican Council declared: The books the church holds to be sacred and canonical not because she subsequently approved them by her authority after they had been composed by unaided human skill, nor simply because they contain revelation without error, but because being written under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit, they have God as their author, and were as such committed to the church.

(ii) ‘Yet this Magisterium is not superior to the Word of God, but is its servant‘ (Catechism of the Catholic Church, #86). Can a servant give authority to his master? Of course not! Neither can the church give authority to the Word of her Lord.

How else can Rome justify her theological novelties, such as auricular confession, universal jurisdiction of the bishop of Rome, and the Marian dogmas of the Immaculate Conception and the Assumption? How can Rome legislate regulations such as celibacy and feasts of obligation without Biblical warrant unless it suppresses the ultimate authority of the Word of God?

The Sarge June 13, 2012 at 6:22 PM

Where does it say in the Bible that I have to show you where it says in the Bible?

De Maria June 15, 2012 at 9:20 PM

Hi, Joel, may we take these several things you’ve written, one at a time

JOEL WRITES:?Sola Scriptura (Scripture Alone) is the doctrine that the Holy Bible, being the Word of God, is the only infallible rule of faith and practice for Christians in the post-apostolic age.

That is interesting. Is this teaching, that the Bible is the only infallible rule of faith, explicitly in the Bible? If so, would you produce the chapter and verse please?

If not, if it is implied, upon which verses have you based your interpretation?

Because, concerning infallibility, I see where Scripture says that the Church is the Pillar of Truth (1 Tim 3:15) and that the Church teaches the Wisdom of God (Eph 3:10). So, I’d like to see your verses supporting Sola Scriptura and an explanation of how that can be so without contradicting these two verses which essentially say that the Church is infallible.

And then there are these which say that the Church is a “rule, standard or guide” of faith; hear the church (Matt 18:17); Obey/submit to your elders (Heb 13:17). Scripture sends us to our Church elders for instruction and to the Church for authority and discipline. So, how can Scripture be the sole rule?

Even the Scripture you produce, 2 Tim 3:15 says that the Bible is used to support instruction of the man of God. It doesn’t say, “Hand him a Bible and walk away. He’ll figure it out for himself.”

Sincerely,
De Maria

De Maria June 15, 2012 at 9:22 PM

Oops! I meant 2 Tim 3:16 in that last one.

De Maria June 16, 2012 at 9:30 PM

Hi Joel, I don’t mean to overwhelm you with messages. I’ll just take another bit of your message and compare it to Scripture.

The next part of your message reiterates your opening statement. You say:
The Bible is:
The rule (standard, guide) of faith – teaching us what we ought to believe and how to live for the glory of God.

Yet, Scripture says:
Hebrews 13:7
7 Remember them which have the rule over you, who have spoken unto you the word of God: whose faith follow, considering the end of their conversation.

Correct me if I’m wrong, but that says that our Priests or Elders in the faith are our teachers and guides in the faith. In fact, in the same chapter, St. Paul EXPLICITLY says that they have RULE over us.
Hebrews 13:17
King James Version (KJV)
17 Obey them that have the rule over you, and submit yourselves: for they watch for your souls, as they that must give account, that they may do it with joy, and not with grief: for that is unprofitable for you.

I’m not saying Scripture is not our rule. The Bible is saying that we have more than one rule. The Word of God is taught to us in Tradition, Scripture and by the Magisterium (i.e. the Teaching of the Church).

The infallible rule – incapable of error, certain, not liable to mislead – because it is the Word of God.

Yes. But Scripture teaches us that the Word of God is taught in Tradition and in the Preaching of our Elders AS WELL as in the Bible. Not in the Bible alone. See 2 Thess 2:15; 1 Thess 2:13; and the two verses above; Heb 13:7; 17. There are many more.

The only infallible rule – it contains the whole counsel of God for His people. Christians value religious teachers, but they are fallible (liable to make mistakes). We also value tradition as long as it is consistent with the Scriptures.

Here’s only one of your conundrums. The OT was canonized by the Catholic Church. And the New Testament was written by the Catholic Church. But you claim the Catholic Church is fallible. Therefore, you should be very concerned that the books you have in your Bible are not really inspired Canon. Because a fallible Church put them in the Bible.

But we don’t have that problem. Because we know that the Catholic Church is infallible. And we therefore, know that the New Testament was written infallibly and that the Books of the Bible were selected infallibly.

You have many other problems with that statement because Scripture ITSELF says that some portions are hard to understand (2 Peter 3:16).

Sincerely,

De Maria

De Maria June 16, 2012 at 9:39 PM

Joel, you said:
Christians have full confidence in the Holy Scriptures because they are “given by inspiration” or “God-breathed” – the very Word proceeding from the mouth of God.

Yes, Joel, but that is a metaphor. God didn’t really breathe out the Scriptures. God inspired men to preach and then to write about what they preached. Tradition came first and then Scripture was written to help pass on the Tradition (2 Peter 1:21).

What “The Scriptures say” and what “God says” are the same thing.

That is true. But throughout Scripture, God spoke through men.

That is what Jesus believed.

Jesus is God. Name one book of the Bible which Jesus wrote in His own hand. Point even to one verse. You can’t. Because Jesus established a Church (Matt 16:18) and directed that Church to teach everything He commanded. The Catholic Church teaches the Word of God (Eph 3:10) by word and epistle (2 Thess 2:15).

De Maria June 16, 2012 at 9:56 PM

Joel you also said:
Jesus answered and said to them, “You are mistaken, not knowing the Scriptures nor the power of God. “For in the resurrection they neither marry nor are given in marriage, but are like angels of God in heaven. “But concerning the resurrection of the dead, have you not read what was spoken to you by God, saying, ‘I am the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob’? God is not the God of the dead, but of the living.” (Matthew 22:29-32).

It is true that Jesus used the Scriptures in His Teachings. But it is not true that Jesus used the Scriptures alone. Jesus also said, “you have heard that it is said” (Matt 5:38). More importantly, the Scriptures note the following:
Mark 1:21-28
King James Version (KJV)
21 And they went into Capernaum; and straightway on the sabbath day he entered into the synagogue, and taught. 22 And they were astonished at his doctrine: for he taught them as one that had authority, and not as the scribes.

It is this authority which He passed down to the Church:
Matthew 28:18 And Jesus came and spake unto them, saying, All power is given unto me in heaven and in earth. 19 Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost:

What is read in the Scriptures is God speaking to us!

Through words which men of the Church wrote on a parchment. God speaking to us through the Church.

Therefore the Scriptures are the infallible rule of faith since God can neither lie nor err.

Certainly God is infallible. And certainly the Scriptures are infallible. But Scripture says that the Church is also infallible (1 Tim 3:15).

‘The entirety of Your word is truth, And every one of Your righteous judgments endures forever’ (Psalm 119:160). The teaching of the Bible is free from error and we can have absolute confidence in it.

We do. Especially because God ordained an infallible interpreter who, unlike you and the rest of the Protestant interpreters, does not err in the interpretation of the Word of God in Tradition or Scripture.

De Maria June 16, 2012 at 10:06 PM

Joel, you said:
Moreover, sola Scriptura affirms that all that the Church and every Christian must believe for salvation and godliness is certainly found in the Holy Scriptures.

Where?

The Bible is able to make us wise for salvation which is by faith in Christ Jesus (2 Timothy 3:15,16).

True. But that doesn’t say that the Church is not able to do the same thing. Actually, 2 Tim 3:16 says that the Bible will help the Church to teach, preach, correct and admonish. It doesn’t say, “give the man of God a Bible and let him figure it out.” It says, “profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness:” Who is reproving, correcting, and instructing?

In fact, the entire book of 2 Tim is about TEACHING. It’s not about reading the Bible. Read 2 Tim 1:8; 11. And 2 Tim 2:2. Then skip chapter 3 which we are discussing and go to 2 Tim 4:2.

The whole book is about teaching and preaching. St. Paul only mentions the Bible in passing saying that it is PROFITABLE not necessary, for the instruction of the man of God.

Think about it Joel. Jesus did not prepare the Apostles to write. He prepared them to preach. The Church, even your Church, continues to pass on the Word of God PRIMARILY by word of mouth. By Tradition.

The Bible is also useful for teaching and correction so that the man of God may be complete, thoroughly furnished for every good work. God’s revelation for His Church is fully contained in the Holy Bible and there is no important information missing that we should seek elsewhere.

De Maria June 16, 2012 at 10:12 PM

The Bible is also useful for teaching and correction so that the man of God may be complete, thoroughly furnished for every good work. God’s revelation for His Church is fully contained in the Holy Bible and there is no important information missing that we should seek elsewhere.

Show me where Scripture says that the Trinity is One God in three Divine Persons. You will find that definition EXPLICITLY in Tradition and only implied in Scripture.

Show me who wrote the Gospel of Mark, in Scripture. You’ll find that information in Tradition. Only implied in Scripture.

All the doctrines of Jesus Christ are found in explicit in Tradition and either explicit or implied in Scripture. Tradition ties up the loose ends. Without the Tradition of the Church, you get chaos. Proof of that is the condition of the Protestant faith right now.

De Maria June 17, 2012 at 7:19 AM

Having indicated what sola Scriptura is, we must also discuss what it is not. Sola Scriptura is often misunderstood and misrepresented.

With that, I agree. Most often, by those who espouse it.

Sola Scriptura is not a claim that the Bible contains all knowledge. The Bible does not give exhaustive details on the history of redemption. John 21:25 says that not all that Jesus did is recorded in the book; all the books of the world would not be enough for that purpose. But the Bible does not have to be exhaustive to function as the sole rule of faith for the church. We need ‘enough’ knowledge not ‘exhaustive’ knowledge. Sometimes people argue for the need of tradition, saying that Bible does not record everything. Apparently they do not realize that tradition is not exhaustive either! Does tradition give us all possible information about the life of Christ, and all that He said, and all the apostles did and said? Of course not! In fact, we would respectfully challenge our Catholic friends to give us one statement that Jesus said that comes to us by tradition and not from the Holy Scripture.

FIRST

The idea that the Bible contains all knowledge is still frequently claimed by Sola Scripturists. A quip which they frequently use is, “If it isn’t in the Bible, it isn’t true.”

You can confirm this by simply talking to any Sola Scripturist about Purgatory. The response will be, “That isn’t in Scripture?” When we say, “It is explained in 1 Cor 3:10-15″, they will deny it saying, “I don’t see the word “purgatory”.

So, if Sola Scripturists do not believe that all knowledge is contained in Scripture, they behave as though it is.

2nd. No Catholic has ever claimed that Tradition is exhaustive.

3rd. The Catholic Church teaches that all Christian doctrine can be found in Scripture explicit or implied.

4th. Here is the difference between Sola Scriptura and Catholic doctrine. Not one Catholic doctrine contradicts Scripture. But Sola Scriptura, does. Sola Scriptura even contradicts itself. Because, if what you need to believe is contained in Scripture, then Sola Scriptura should be in Scripture. But it isn’t.

De Maria June 17, 2012 at 10:14 AM

Joel, you said:
Sola Scriptura is not a denial that historically God’s Word came in other ways other than the written form. Before writing down His message, God spoke through the apostles and prophets, and personally in Christ Jesus, His Son. During the same time the Holy Spirit moved holy men to write down His Word to be the permanent inspired record of His message for the post-apostolic age till the end.

Whoa! You skipped right over the fact that Jesus FIRST established His Church (Matt 16:18) and you skipped the fact that the Church began the preaching and teaching which is commanded by Christ Jesus and which the Church commanded those whom she taught in her stead (Matt 28:19-20; 2 Tim 2:2). And that continues until today. The passing on of the Word of God by the Teaching or as we call it, the Magisterium of the Church. This was commanded by Christ and has never been rescinded.

The apostles and prophets are the foundation of the church (Ephesians 2:20) and though they are absent, we can still build our lives on their teaching which is recorded infallibly in the Holy Scriptures.

And which continues to be passed down by the Church in the Traditions of Jesus Christ.

De Maria June 17, 2012 at 10:28 AM

Joel you said:
Sola Scriptura does not imply that the Bible will always be interpreted correctly, or that there will not be differences and heresies among Christians. Jesus was clear enough in His teaching, yet His disciples often misunderstood Him. The apostles’ message was also perfectly intelligible, and yet all sorts of errors and heresies crept in the early church.

Let’s stop and ponder this for a moment.

When Jesus was walking this earth, those whom He taught could ask Him questions. When He ascended to the Father, He left His teaching authority with the Church, in the person of the Apostles (Matt 18:17-18; 28:20).

When the Apostles were walking this earth, those whom they taught could ask them questions.
And when they were still walking the earth, they were already establishing a hierarchy of Bishops which would continue with their teaching authority (2 Tim 2:2). And they expected us to submit to this authority (Heb 13:17).

There is no such thing as excepting heretical teaching and mixing it with true Christian teaching (Gal 1:8; Titus 3:10). And Scripture is clear that the Church is the Pillar of Truth (1 Tim 3:15).

Similarly, the Bible is not written in a mysterious and cryptic code that needs some infallible decoder to explain its hidden meaning. The Bible is addressed to the ordinary people of God and it can be understood.

By some, but not by all (2 Pet 3:16). The Bible is also clear that not everyone understands the Bible (Acts 8:30-31).

The problem lies not with the clarity of the Bible, but with people who often ignore the Bible or twist the its meaning because of laziness, ignorance and prejudice.

And that is where the Church steps in. In His great Wisdom, Christ established an infallible authority which could combat the lies and errors of these lazy, ignorant and prejudiced people who twist the meaning of Scripture.

‘What is the infallible rule of faith?’ remains the a major dividing issue between Catholics and Protestants. And rightly so. We are building on different foundations.

Joel D'souza June 17, 2012 at 3:32 PM

De Maria
That is interesting. Is this teaching, that the Bible is the only infallible rule of faith, explicitly in the Bible? If so, would you produce the chapter and verse please? If not, if it is implied, upon which verses have you based your interpretation?

The primary Catholic argument against sola scriptura is that the Bible does not explicitly teach sola scriptura. Catholics argue that the Bible nowhere states that it is the only authoritative guide for faith and practice. While this is true, they fail to recognize a crucially important issue. We know that the Bible is the Word of God. The Bible declares itself to be God-breathed, inerrant, and authoritative. We also know that God does not change His mind or contradict Himself. So, while the Bible itself may not explicitly argue for sola scriptura, it most definitely does not allow for traditions that contradict its message. Sola scriptura is not as much of an argument against tradition as it is an argument against unbiblical, extra-biblical and/or anti-biblical doctrines. The only way to know for sure what God expects of us is to stay true to what we know He has revealed—the Bible. We can know, beyond the shadow of any doubt, that Scripture is true, authoritative, and reliable. The same cannot be said of tradition.

The Word of God is the only authority for the Christian faith. Traditions are valid only when they are based on Scripture and are in full agreement with Scripture. Traditions that contradict the Bible are not of God and are not a valid aspect of the Christian faith. Sola scriptura is the only way to avoid subjectivity and keep personal opinion from taking priority over the teachings of the Bible. The essence of sola scriptura is basing your spiritual life on the Bible alone and rejecting any tradition or teaching that is not in full agreement with the Bible. 2 Timothy 2:15 declares, “Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.” God says “Study …” a direct explicit command.

Sola scriptura does not nullify the concept of church traditions. Rather, sola scriptura gives us a solid foundation on which to base church traditions. There are many practices, in both Catholic and Protestant churches, that are the result of traditions, not the explicit teaching of Scripture. It is good, and even necessary, for the church to have traditions. Traditions play an important role in clarifying and organizing Christian practice. At the same time, in order for these traditions to be valid, they must not be in disagreement with God’s Word. They must be based on the solid foundation of the teaching of Scripture. The problem with the Roman Catholic Church, and many other churches, is that they base traditions on traditions which are based on traditions which are based on traditions, often with the initial tradition not being in full harmony with the Scriptures. That is why Christians must always go back to sola scriptura, the authoritative Word of God, as the only solid basis for faith and practice.

On a practical matter, a frequent objection to the concept of sola scriptura is the fact that the canon of the Bible was not officially agreed upon for at least 250 years after the church was founded. Further, the Scriptures were not available to the masses for over 1500 years after the church was founded. How, then, were early Christians to use sola scriptura, when they did not even have the full Scriptures? And how were Christians who lived before the invention of the printing press supposed to base their faith and practice on Scripture alone if there was no way for them to have a complete copy of the Scriptures? This issue is further compounded by the very high rates of illiteracy throughout history. How does the concept of sola scriptura handle these issues?

The problem with this argument is that it essentially says that Scripture’s authority is based on its availability. This is not the case. Scripture’s authority is universal; because it is God’s Word, it is His authority. The fact that Scripture was not readily available, or that people could not read it, does not change the fact that Scripture is God’s Word. Further, rather than this being an argument against sola scriptura, it is actually an argument for what the church should have done, instead of what it did. The early church should have made producing copies of the Scriptures a high priority. While it was unrealistic for every Christian to possess a complete copy of the Bible, it was possible that every church could have some, most, or all of the Scriptures available to it. Early church leaders should have made studying the Scriptures their highest priority so they could accurately teach it. Even if the Scriptures could not be made available to the masses, at least church leaders could be well-trained in the Word of God. Instead of building traditions upon traditions and passing them on from generation to generation, the church should have copied the Scriptures and taught the Scriptures (2 Timothy 4:2).

Again, traditions are not the problem. Unbiblical traditions are the problem. The availability of the Scriptures throughout the centuries is not the determining factor. The Scriptures themselves are the determining factor. We now have the Scriptures readily available to us. Through the careful study of God’s Word, it is clear that many church traditions which have developed over the centuries are in fact contradictory to the Word of God. This is where sola scriptura applies. Traditions that are based on, and in agreement with, God’s Word can be maintained. Traditions that are not based on, and/or disagree with, God’s Word must be rejected. Sola scriptura points us back to what God has revealed to us in His Word. Sola scriptura ultimately points us back to the God who always speaks the truth, never contradicts Himself, and always proves Himself to be dependable.

Further, the basis of all truth is God’s Holy Word. Jesus affirms this in John 17:17.

De Maria June 18, 2012 at 3:37 PM

Hi Joel D’souza,

You said: June 17, 2012 at 3:32 PM
The primary Catholic argument against sola scriptura is that the Bible does not explicitly teach sola scriptura.

Without meaning disrespect, the primary Catholic argument is that sola scripture is not in Scripture at all. The secondary argument is that sola scriptura contradicts Scripture. And third, that sola scripture logically contradicts itself.

Catholics argue that the Bible nowhere states that it is the only authoritative guide for faith and practice. While this is true,

Thanks for that admission.

they fail to recognize a crucially important issue. We know that the Bible is the Word of God.

Catholic Teaching.

The Bible declares itself to be God-breathed, inerrant, and authoritative.

Still Catholic Teaching.

We also know that God does not change His mind or contradict Himself. So, while the Bible itself may not explicitly argue for sola scriptura, it most definitely does not allow for traditions that contradict its message.

Agreed. Absolutely true. And sola scriptura contradicts the Bible message. Because, the Bible says we have many guides for faith and practice. Three of which are inerrant and infallible. Tradition, Scripture and the Catholic Church which Jesus Christ established and within which He deposited His Truth.

Sola scriptura is not as much of an argument against tradition as it is an argument against unbiblical, extra-biblical and/or anti-biblical doctrines.

Since I can produce verses which contradict sola scriptura and you can’t produce any verse which supports sola scriptura, sola scriptura remains one of the anti-biblical doctrines.

The only way to know for sure what God expects of us is to stay true to what we know He has revealed—the Bible.

Jesus Christ established a Church and deposited His Word in that Church, by example and by word. He did not write one letter in Scripture. The Church (inspired of God) revealed the Bible.

We can know, beyond the shadow of any doubt, that Scripture is true, authoritative, and reliable.

We only know that because the Church told us. Without the Catholic Church, you wouldn’t even know which books are canonical.

The same cannot be said of tradition.

You don’t. But we do. The same Church which brought us the Scriptures infallibly, brings us the Traditions infallibly as well.

The Word of God is the only authority for the Christian faith.

That is correct. And the Word of God comes to us in Tradition, as well as Scripture.

Traditions are valid only when they are based on Scripture and are in full agreement with Scripture.

That is true. And INTERPRETATIONS of Scripture are only valid when they are in conformity to the Traditions of the Catholic Church.

Traditions that contradict the Bible are not of God and are not a valid aspect of the Christian faith.

Agreed. That invalidates the tradition of sola scripture.

Sola scriptura is the only way to avoid subjectivity and keep personal opinion from taking priority over the teachings of the Bible.

Quite the contrary. Sola scripture is a formula for subjectivity and personal interpretation of Scripture. Scripture can’t argue and Scripture can’t admonish heretics when they interpret it incorrectly. The Church can, however. And the Church has done so for 2 millennia.

The essence of sola scriptura is basing your spiritual life on the Bible alone and rejecting any tradition or teaching that is not in full agreement with the Bible.

If that were the case, you would eliminate sola scripture straightway, as it contradicts the Bible.

2 Timothy 2:15 declares, “Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.” God says “Study …” a direct explicit command.

Amen! But it doesn’t say, “Study the Scripture alone.” In point of fact, we can see that the Bible primarily teaches one to study the example and faith of the elders in our faith:

Hebrews 13:7
King James Version (KJV)
7 Remember them which have the rule over you, who have spoken unto you the word of God: whose faith follow, considering the end of their conversation.

Sola scriptura does not nullify the concept of church traditions. Rather, sola scriptura gives us a solid foundation on which to base church traditions. There are many practices, in both Catholic and Protestant churches, that are the result of traditions, not the explicit teaching of Scripture. It is good, and even necessary, for the church to have traditions. Traditions play an important role in clarifying and organizing Christian practice. At the same time, in order for these traditions to be valid, they must not be in disagreement with God’s Word.

All true and Catholic Teaching.

They must be based on the solid foundation of the teaching of Scripture. The problem with the Roman Catholic Church, and many other churches, is that they base traditions on traditions which are based on traditions which are based on traditions, often with the initial tradition not being in full harmony with the Scriptures.

Now, we have come to the point where the tire meets the road. Name one Catholic Tradition which is not in harmony with Scripture. Remember that you have not been able to produce any verse which teaches sola scripture. And I have produced several which contradict sola scripture. Now, please provide one Catholic Tradition which you claim contradicts Scripture and we shall examine the Scriptures to see if that is true.

That is why Christians must always go back to sola scriptura, the authoritative Word of God, as the only solid basis for faith and practice.

That is an illusion. Protestants go back to their personal interpretation of the Scripture. Not to the Scripture itself.

Whereas, the Catholic Church goes back to the authentic interpretation of the Scripture which is only found in the Traditions of Jesus Christ because they are the FOUNDATION of the Scripture. Jesus Christ established Tradition and the Catholic Church wrote the New Testament based upon that Tradition.

On a practical matter, a frequent objection to the concept of sola scriptura is the fact that the canon of the Bible was not officially agreed upon for at least 250 years after the church was founded. …. How does the concept of sola scriptura handle these issues?

The problem with this argument is that it essentially says that Scripture’s authority is based on its availability. This is not the case. Scripture’s authority is universal; because it is God’s Word, it is His authority. The fact that Scripture was not readily available, or that people could not read it, does not change the fact that Scripture is God’s Word.

That is a non sequitur. Scripture is God’s Word. But if one has no way of learning God’s Word, it is of no avail. That is the reason for the Great Commission.

Further, rather than this being an argument against sola scriptura, it is actually an argument for what the church should have done, instead of what it did.

Hm? The Church did precisely what Jesus instructed. Teach His Commands.

The early church should have made producing copies of the Scriptures a high priority.

They did.

While it was unrealistic for every Christian to possess a complete copy of the Bible, it was possible that every church could have some, most, or all of the Scriptures available to it.

I don’t know what to say to that, except to repeat what Scripture says:
Romans 10:14?How then shall they call on him in whom they have not believed? and how shall they believe in him of whom they have not heard? and how shall they hear without a preacher?

As far as I know, the Church had a very high priority on writing the Scriptures. But resources were not plentiful and very primitive. I also was of the impression that every Church had at least one set of Scriptures. That is the reason why Bibles were chained down in the Church. So people wouldn’t take them home to study and deprive the rest of the faithful of the Written Word of God.

Early church leaders should have made studying the Scriptures their highest priority so they could accurately teach it. Even if the Scriptures could not be made available to the masses, at least church leaders could be well-trained in the Word of God. Instead of building traditions upon traditions and passing them on from generation to generation, the church should have copied the Scriptures and taught the Scriptures (2 Timothy 4:2).

That verse says:
2 Preach the word; be instant in season, out of season; reprove, rebuke, exhort with all long suffering and doctrine.

Which argues against Sola Scriptura. Since Preaching the Word is the essence of passing down the Word of God by Tradition.

Again, traditions are not the problem. Unbiblical traditions are the problem.

Very good.

The availability of the Scriptures throughout the centuries is not the determining factor. The Scriptures themselves are the determining factor. We now have the Scriptures readily available to us. Through the careful study of God’s Word, it is clear that many church traditions which have developed over the centuries are in fact contradictory to the Word of God.

Ever since the Protestant Revolution. True.

This is where sola scriptura applies. Traditions that are based on, and in agreement with, God’s Word can be maintained.

Amen! Because they are in fact, God’s Word.

Traditions that are not based on, and/or disagree with, God’s Word must be rejected.

Double amen!

Sola scriptura points us back to what God has revealed to us in His Word. Sola scriptura ultimately points us back to the God who always speaks the truth, never contradicts Himself, and always proves Himself to be dependable.

Wrong. It points us back to the personal opinion of that person who has rejected the Church and the Teaching of the Apostles and decided to place himself in authority over the Word of God.

Further, the basis of all truth is God’s Holy Word. Jesus affirms this in John 17:17.

Amen! And Jesus Christ did not write one word of Scripture. He passed down Tradition and commanded the Church to pass down His Tradition.

Sincerely,
De Maria

Joel D'Souza June 20, 2012 at 5:52 AM

De Maria,

Traditions play an important role in clarifying and organizing Christian practice. At the same time, in order for these traditions to be valid, they must not be in disagreement with God’s Word.

All true and Catholic Teaching.>

QUESTION: What is the official teaching of RC Church on “Doctrine of Salvation” and is it in agreement with scripture?

QUESTION: What is the official teaching of RC Church as to what “Church” means and is it in agreement with scripture? Keeping in mind that “Church” and “Church Building” are distinct.

Joel D'Souza June 20, 2012 at 6:23 AM

De Maria,

Now, we have come to the point where the tire meets the road. Name one Catholic Tradition which is not in harmony with Scripture

(i) Marian Dogmas.
(ii) CCC teaches a different version of Ten Commandments not in agreement with Catholic or Non-Catholic Bibles.
(iii) Confession of sins to priests – a violation of 1 John 1:9. No support in New Testament confessing sins to a priest.
(iv) The RC Church teaches that Mary the mother of Jesus was conceived without the stain of original sin. However according to Augustine (Church Father) taught that Mary was a “sinner” and needed a saviour.
(v) The Catholic Church taught self-flagellation instead of grounding people on God’s truths. See http://www.miguelcandela.com/documentary/philippines/holy-week/.
(vi) The RC Church teaches that Jesus was a “victim”, however scripture teaches He went to the cross willingly in humble obedience to His Father (Philippians 2:8).
(vii) The alleged change of bread and wine into flesh and blood is not a miracle but a hoax because there is no change in appearance, substance and taste. True biblical miracles were real and observable.
(viii) Rome says the Mass is a bloodless sacrifice, but a sacrifice without blood cannot atone for sins (Leviticus 17:11; Hebrews 9:22).
(ix) When Jesus said we must eat His flesh and drink His blood, His words were spiritual and not to be taken literally (John. 6:63). He was using figurative language, as He often did (John 16:25). His disciples were familiar with the figurative phrase “eating and drinking” to describe the appropriation of divine blessings to one’s innermost being (Jeremiah 15:16; Isaiah 55:1-3).

Joel D'Souza June 20, 2012 at 6:28 AM

De Maria,

To get to heaven..
- Scripture is all “sufficient” and the only requirement.
- Traditions are not necessary.

Mark 8:36 For what shall it profit a man, if he shall gain the whole world, and lose his own soul?

Joel D'Souza June 20, 2012 at 6:42 AM

De Maria:

Hm? The Church did precisely what Jesus instructed. Teach His Commands.

(i) Like burning people at the stake for their faith in the Bible?
(ii) Like teaching that He ONLY is the way and mediator as per John14:6 and 1 Timothy 2:5?
(iii) And also 1 Timothy 2:3-4?

De Maria June 20, 2012 at 11:12 PM

Joel D’Souza June 20, 2012 at 6:23 AM
De Maria,

I said: Now, we have come to the point where the tire meets the road. Name one Catholic Tradition which is not in harmony with Scripture

You responded: (i) Marian Dogmas.

The Marian Dogmas are not EXPLICITLY in Scripture. But they don’t contradict Scripture like Sola Scriptura (2 Thess 2;15) and Sola Fide (James 2:24).

However, the Marian Dogmas are implied in Scripture.
Mary, Mother of God (Luke 1:43), Immaculate Conception (Douay version Luke 1:28, “Hail full of grace”based on the Greek original, “kecharitomene” which means “without sin”.)

Assumption of Mary (Rev 12:1); Mary Queen of Heaven (Rev 12:1); Mary, Our Mother (Rev 12:17).

(ii) CCC teaches a different version of Ten Commandments not in agreement with Catholic or Non-Catholic Bibles.

1st. It isn’t true. But if you think it is, you need to provide the proof.
2nd. The Catholic Bible trumps the CCC. So, if that were true, we would follow the Bible.

(iii) Confession of sins to priests – a violation of 1 John 1:9.

You have discarded the Traditions of Christ and therefore can’t understand that when St. John says, “9 If we confess our sins, …” He means, “confess to a priest”. That was the established TRADITION. A Tradition established by Jesus Christ (John 20:23).

No support in New Testament confessing sins to a priest.

Protestants repeatedly say that. “No support for this, no support for that.” But it isn’t true.
There may be no DIRECT or EXPLICIT support for some Catholic doctrines, but,
1. most Catholic doctrines are explicitly in Scripture.
2. some Catholic doctrines are implied in Scripture.
3. And all Catholic doctrines are “in line” with Scripture.
4. Whereas, Protestant doctrines which contradict Catholic Teaching, also contradict Scripture.

(iv) The RC Church teaches that Mary the mother of Jesus was conceived without the stain of original sin.

Correct.

However according to Augustine (Church Father) taught that Mary was a “sinner” and needed a savior.

If St. Augustine taught that, he was wrong. St. Augustine was a great man and is a great Saint. But he was not infallible. The Catholic Church is infallible.

(v) The Catholic Church taught self-flagellation instead of grounding people on God’s truths. See http://www.miguelcandela.com/documentary/philippines/holy-week/.

What does Scripture say?
1 Corinthians 9:27?But I keep under my body, and bring it into subjection: lest that by any means, when I have preached to others, I myself should be a castaway.

Romans 8:17?And if children, then heirs; heirs of God, and joint-heirs with Christ; if so be that we suffer with him, that we may be also glorified together.?

1 Peter 4:1?Forasmuch then as Christ hath suffered for us in the flesh, arm yourselves likewise with the same mind: for he that hath suffered in the flesh hath ceased from sin;

Tell me, what is the difference in the level self inflicted pain, between training to run a marathon or for mixed martial arts or some other atheltic event? I’ll tell you. One is culturally accepted and one no longer is. In today’s culture, a man can put himself through many rigors for human glory. But if a man puts himself through rigors for God’s glory, he is called crazy.

(vi) The RC Church teaches that Jesus was a “victim”, however scripture teaches He went to the cross willingly in humble obedience to His Father (Philippians 2:8).

The Catholic Church teaches that Jesus is Priest and victim. Priest because He is the High Priest. Victim because He is the Passover Sacrifice (1 Corinthians 5:7), the Lamb of God (John 1:36).

(vii) The alleged change of bread and wine into flesh and blood is not a miracle but a hoax because there is no change in appearance, substance and taste. True biblical miracles were real and observable.

The Catholic Church believes Christ who said:
John 6:51?I am the living bread which came down from heaven: if any man eat of this bread, he shall live for ever: and the bread that I will give is my flesh, which I will give for the life of the world.

?(viii) Rome says the Mass is a bloodless sacrifice, but a sacrifice without blood cannot atone for sins (Leviticus 17:11; Hebrews 9:22).

The Catholic Church teaches that the Eucharist is the Sacrifice of Calvary (CCC1367). Because Christ is our Passover. In order for the Passover Sacrifice to be consummated, the sacrificed lamb had to be eaten (Exodus 12). This is why Christ left us His Flesh in the guise of bread for the life of the world (John 6:51). Because His is the once for all sacrifice (Heb 10:10). In order for us to participate in the Sacrifice, we must consume the Passover Lamb of God (1 Cor 11:26).

?(ix) When Jesus said we must eat His flesh and drink His blood, His words were spiritual and not to be taken literally (John. 6:63).

That is a misunderstanding of that verse. Notice that Jesus says, “the” flesh avails nothing. That is because “the” flesh is a metaphor for sin(Rom 7:25). But throughout John 6, Jesus speaks of His Flesh and His Blood (John 6:51;53-57). And it is His Flesh which died on the Cross for our sins. Therefore, I don’t know who, except atheists and unbelievers, would believe that Christ flesh avails nothing.

He was using figurative language, as He often did (John 16:25). His disciples were familiar with the figurative phrase “eating and drinking” to describe the appropriation of divine blessings to one’s innermost being (Jeremiah 15:16; Isaiah 55:1-3).

Jesus spoke figuratively, in parables, to the multitudes (Matt 13). He explained His metaphors to the Apostles (Matt 13:11). But in this case, He challenged the Apostles if they would leave with the others (John 6:67).

Thanks for responding. I’ll address your other messages tomorrow, God willing.

Sincerely,

De Maria

Joel D'Souza June 21, 2012 at 5:59 AM

..Tell me, what is the difference in the level self inflicted pain, between training to run a marathon or for mixed martial arts or some other atheltic event? I’ll tell you. One is culturally accepted and one no longer is. In today’s culture, a man can put himself through many rigors for human glory. But if a man puts himself through rigors for God’s glory, he is called crazy.

Then why is the Catholic Church in the Phillipines impressing now upon the local filipinos to give up that old taboo of self flagelaltion that has held them in bondage to this day? Did Jesus say in the scriptures we must self-flagellate to atone for sins? In the New Testament persecution is described as something that we have to endure IF it comes our way AND NOT to stick our necks deliberately on the chopping block. Unless you are a hero who doesn’t mind showing off in public just like how Jesus described the pharisees and priests were show off’s in public eye – wanting self pithiness and public attention. I can’t believe you condone such practices. Christians who suffered persecution in the early church was a result of their faith in Christ and they only endured it. To endure the pain of persecution of one’s faith in Christ is not the same as deliberately indulging in self flagellation – the later is only what people proudly want to show to the world their acts of falsehoods but their love is actually far away from Christ. Please read the article carefully at the link provided.

Joel D'Souza June 21, 2012 at 6:11 AM

De Maria,

In continuation of self-flagellation…

You should be aware self-flagellation is “works-based” and such dastardly acts will surely send those persons to hell. On Judgement day before the Lord, they will hear the dreaded message – “Get away ye that work iniquity. I never knew you. Depart from me..” Mathew 7:21-23.

De Maria June 21, 2012 at 4:50 PM

Hi Joel D’Souza

You said:

To get to heaven..
- Scripture is all “sufficient” and the only requirement.

Provide the verse. Meantime, I this is what Scripture says:

Scripture says we need to keep the Traditions (2 Thess 2:15).
Scripture says we need to obey they who spoke to us the Word of God (Heb 13:7).

And Scripture says we need to listen to the Church (Matt 18:17).

- Traditions are not necessary.

Whether they are necessary or not, is not the question. SCRIPTURE commands us to hold the Traditions.
2 Thessalonians 2:15
King James Version (KJV)
15 Therefore, brethren, stand fast, and hold the traditions which ye have been taught, whether by word, or our epistle.

And one of those Traditions which Scripture tells us to hold to, is the Mass, the Christian Assembly:
Hebrews 10:25-31
King James Version (KJV)
25 Not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as the manner of some is; but exhorting one another: and so much the more, as ye see the day approaching. 26 For if we sin wilfully after that we have received the knowledge of the truth, there remaineth no more sacrifice for sins, 27 But a certain fearful looking for of judgment and fiery indignation, which shall devour the adversaries. 28 He that despised Moses’ law died without mercy under two or three witnesses:

29 Of how much sorer punishment, suppose ye, shall he be thought worthy, who hath trodden under foot the Son of God, and hath counted the blood of the covenant, wherewith he was sanctified, an unholy thing, and hath done despite unto the Spirit of grace?

30 For we know him that hath said, Vengeance belongeth unto me, I will recompense, saith the Lord. And again, The Lord shall judge his people. 31 It is a fearful thing to fall into the hands of the living God.

You don’t understand this verse because you deny that the Eucharist is the Body and Blood of Our Lord, Jesus Christ. But what this says is that those who call themselves Christian and neglect to celebrate the Mass, tread underfoot the Body of Christ and treat His Blood, which He sacrificed on the Cross, as something unholy. And have thus insulted the Holy Spirit. Do you know what that means?

Mark 8:36 For what shall it profit a man, if he shall gain the whole world, and lose his own soul?

That is a beautiful verse. We should all live by it.

Sincerely,

De Maria

De Maria June 21, 2012 at 4:59 PM

Hi Joel,

You also said:
(i) Like burning people at the stake for their faith in the Bible?

The Catholic Church has burned no one at the stake for any reason. Don’t believe the anti-Catholic hype.

(ii) Like teaching that He ONLY is the way and mediator as per John14:6 and 1 Timothy 2:5?

We believe that Jesus is the only way and the One Mediator. That is taught by the Church. But those concepts are misunderstood by Protestants and twisted unrecognizably.

Jesus is the only way. And we, all Christians guide people to Him. As Mary said at Cana, “Do as He tells you (John 2:5).” All of us are called to that task(1 Tim 4:16;James 5:19-20).

Jesus is the One Mediator of the New Covenant. As Moses was the one mediator of the Old. It is Jesus who established the New Covenant, in His Blood. But we are all called to intercede for each other (1 Tim 2:1) and thus to mediate for each between Jesus and man. Or do you deny the Great Commission? (Matt 28:19-20).

Sincerely,

De Maria

De Maria June 21, 2012 at 5:32 PM

Hi Joel D’Souza

First, I want to point out that in this response, you are sharing many opinions. But no Scripture whatsoever to support those opinions.

Then why is the Catholic Church in the Phillipines impressing now upon the local filipinos to give up that old taboo of self flagelaltion that has held them in bondage to this day?

Oh, wait! What are you complaining about? That the Church taught or did not teach flagellation? Truly the song is come true, we can’t win for losin’ (Matt 11:16-17).

Did Jesus say in the scriptures we must self-flagellate to atone for sins?

Does the Catholic Church say we MUST? Please provide the teaching.

Here is what the Scripture says however:
1 Peter 4:1?Forasmuch then as Christ hath suffered for us in the flesh, arm yourselves likewise with the same mind: for he that hath suffered in the flesh hath ceased from sin;

In the New Testament persecution is described as something that we have to endure IF it comes our way AND NOT to stick our necks deliberately on the chopping block.

Scripture and verse please. Meantime, here’s what Scripture says:
1 Corinthians 9:27
But I keep under my body, and bring it into subjection: lest that by any means, when I have preached to others, I myself should be a castaway.

Unless you are a hero who doesn’t mind showing off in public just like how Jesus described the pharisees and priests were show off’s in public eye – wanting self pithiness and public attention.

Do you pretend not to know how athletes train even today? Have you never trained for a sport? Were you ever in the military? Self inflicted pain is part of this culture.

I can’t believe you condone such practices.

I condone making sacrifices for our fellow man and for God:
1 Peter 2:5
Ye also, as lively stones, are built up a spiritual house, an holy priesthood, to offer up spiritual sacrifices, acceptable to God by Jesus Christ.

Catholic devotional practice is completely in line with Scripture Joel. And you are simply outraged at that which Scripture teaches.

Show me your outrage from Scripture Joel. All you are doing is posturing. You claim to believe in Scripture remember? That is what Scripture says and Catholic devotions are completely in line with Scripture.

Christians who suffered persecution in the early church was a result of their faith in Christ and they only endured it. To endure the pain of persecution of one’s faith in Christ is not the same as deliberately indulging in self flagellation – the later is only what people proudly want to show to the world their acts of falsehoods but their love is actually far away from Christ.

That was said like a true Pharisee Joel. Can you read those people’s hearts too?

Please read the article carefully at the link provided.

Joel, when you can provide substantiation for your outrage, I’ll read the article. Until then, self sacrifice for the Kingdom of God, is suggested in Scripture (Matthew 9:15;Matthew 10:42).

Sincerely,

De Maria

Joel D'Souza June 22, 2012 at 5:48 AM

De Maria

I condone making sacrifices for our fellow man and for God:
1 Peter 2:5 – Ye also, as lively stones, are built up a spiritual house, an holy priesthood, to offer up spiritual sacrifices, acceptable to God by Jesus Christ.

The quoted verse talks about “spiritual sacrifices” and NOT “self-inflicted physical sacrifices” – the later amounts to self righteousness God condemns as not acceptable “filthy rags” in Isaiah 64:6.

The Islam religion also teaches its adherents to self-flagellate. Talk about being brothers-in-arms.!!

Joel D'Souza June 22, 2012 at 6:19 AM

If St. Augustine taught that, he was wrong. St. Augustine was a great man and is a great Saint. But he was not infallible. The Catholic Church is infallible.

This means we can never rely on the church fathers for consistency and fully on church history. The safest and secure bet is to only stick to sola scriptura.

The Catholic Church teaches that Jesus is Priest and victim. Priest because He is the High Priest. Victim because He is the Passover Sacrifice (1 Corinthians 5:7), the Lamb of God (John 1:36).

About Jesus being a victim its meaning?
Scripture records Jesus as being in control. He came to be a sacrifice according to God’s sovereign plan. One might argue that Jesus was a victim of sinful men who acted against the law persecuting an innocent man. Even at this level God was in control.

Acts 2:23 Him, being delivered by the determinate counsel and foreknowledge of God, ye have taken, and by wicked hands have crucified and slain:

This is contrary to a victim taken by some religious group to make a human sacrifice. Or someone who is assaulted against their will.

After having Jesus flogged and declaring Him innocent Pilate was told he had no authority over Jesus. John 19:9-11.

This simple interaction shows that Jesus was not a victim. His answer to Pilate’s veiled offer of potential release was to put Pilate in his place. Jesus in essence took away what authority Pilate thought he had. Pilate had no bargaining chips to offer Jesus who did not look for a way out of the false imprisonment as a victim would.

Jesus most explicit statement of authority showing He is not a victim comes from the Gospel of John. John 10:17-18

As being a Passover sacrifice in 1 Corinthians 5:7 and lamb of God in John 1:36 that was to be a one time sacrifice as the lamb of God

De Maria June 23, 2012 at 5:03 AM

Hi Joel D’Souza,

This means we can never rely on the church fathers for consistency and fully on church history. The safest and secure bet is to only stick to sola scriptura.

What does Scripture say? Hear the Church-Matt 18:17; Church wisdom of God-Eph 3:10; Church-pillar of truth-1 Tim 3:15

About Jesus being a victim its meaning?

Christ is our Passover Sacrifice-1 Cor 5:7

Scripture records Jesus as being in control. He came to be a sacrifice according to God’s sovereign plan. One might argue that Jesus was a victim of sinful men who acted against the law persecuting an innocent man. Even at this level God was in control.

Did Jesus kill Himself? Or was He killed by others?

Acts 2:23 Him, being delivered by the determinate counsel and foreknowledge of God, ye have taken, and by wicked hands have crucified and slain:

This is contrary to a victim taken by some religious group to make a human sacrifice.

Have you not read in Scripture:
John 11:50
Nor consider that it is expedient for us, that one man should die for the people, and that the whole nation perish not.

The Church taught me that this verse was in Scripture. Obviously, you didn’t know that the Jews sacrificed one man, Jesus Christ, for the sake of the nation. In other words, they “sacrificed” Jesus.

Or someone who is assaulted against their will.

Sacrifice has nothing to do with the victim’s will. Again have you not read in Scripture:
Judges 11:34-36
King James Version (KJV)
34 And Jephthah came to Mizpeh unto his house, and, behold, his daughter came out to meet him with timbrels and with dances: and she was his only child; beside her he had neither son nor daughter.

35 And it came to pass, when he saw her, that he rent his clothes, and said, Alas, my daughter! thou hast brought me very low, and thou art one of them that trouble me: for I have opened my mouth unto the Lord, and I cannot go back.

36 And she said unto him, My father, if thou hast opened thy mouth unto the Lord, do to me according to that which hath proceeded out of thy mouth; forasmuch as the Lord hath taken vengeance for thee of thine enemies, even of the children of Ammon.

Jeptha’s daughter was not unwilling. Can you say she was not a victim?

After having Jesus flogged and declaring Him innocent Pilate was told he had no authority over Jesus. John 19:9-11.

This simple interaction shows that Jesus was not a victim. His answer to Pilate’s veiled offer of potential release was to put Pilate in his place. Jesus in essence took away what authority Pilate thought he had. Pilate had no bargaining chips to offer Jesus who did not look for a way out of the false imprisonment as a victim would.

That is the most obvious example of READING INTO Scripture I have ever seen in my life. Where does Scripture say any of that? I don’t see it. You are simply reading into it that which you think unwilling victims would do.

Jesus most explicit statement of authority showing He is not a victim comes from the Gospel of John. John 10:17-18

That just explains that Jesus was a willing victim.

As being a Passover sacrifice in 1 Corinthians 5:7 and lamb of God in John 1:36 that was to be a one time sacrifice as the lamb of God

The Passover Lamb must be consumed (Exodus 12:8-10); that is why Jesus gave us the Bread which is His Flesh for the life of the world (John 6:51). So that we might participate in His Sacrifice and be saved (John 6:54).

Joel D'Souza June 23, 2012 at 6:36 AM

De Maria

If St. Augustine taught that, he was wrong. St. Augustine was a great man and is a great Saint. But he was not infallible. The Catholic Church is infallible.

So if Augustine was wrong and not infallible, then he being part of the Catholic Church also makes the Catholic church not infallible. It just like the Ten Commandments, if one messes up on just one, the rest also gets messed up … Isn’t it?

Jeptha’s daughter was not unwilling. Can you say she was not a victim?
Please do simply uses bible verses to support the figment of your imagination. Jesus the son of God incarnate in the flesh was God’s sovereign plan of salvation. Don’t compare God with a mere mortal human being. Jesus was never a victim and this is false teaching of the Roman Catholic church to deny the deity of Christ. There is not a single verse in the New Testament that explicitly states that Jesus was a victim. If the Catholic church teaches that Jesus was a victim, then its because fallible men of the Magisterium decided it to be so. Therefore it can never be accepted as final interpretation to be in line with scripture. It simply is a false teaching.

Below are couple of questions I have raised since 20th June 2012 and you have NOT been able to provide an answer. You must be quick the draw..

QUESTION: What is the official teaching of RC Church on “Doctrine of Salvation” and is it in agreement with scripture?

QUESTION: What is the official teaching of RC Church as to what “Church” means and is it in agreement with scripture? Keeping in mind that “Church” and “Church Building” are distinct.

Joel, when you can provide substantiation for your outrage, I’ll read the article. Until then, self sacrifice for the Kingdom of God, is suggested in Scripture (Matthew 9:15;Matthew 10:42).
The quoted verses are not in agreement with Isaiah 64:6. So you are WRONG!! because God can never contradict himself.

Still if you insist by you own intuition that physical self-flagellation is what scripture teaches, then why don’t you set an example and joins those poor folks in the Philipines and self flagellate yourself. Then it will surely edify everyone who is reading this post.

Joel D'souza June 23, 2012 at 12:35 PM

De Maria:

The Passover Lamb must be consumed (Exodus 12:8-10); that is why Jesus gave us the Bread which is His Flesh for the life of the world (John 6:51). So that we might participate in His Sacrifice and be saved (John 6:54).

Did you know that the above verses you have quoted are in this present age surpassed by Ephesians 2:8-9? So whether you are a Jew or Gentile, in the present age you are saved by God’s Grace through “faith” and in Christ’s alone (John 14:6). This is Christian teaching and not a Catholic or Protestant teaching. After Jesus Ascension into heaven, Christian participation at the Lord’s supper table is in “remembrance” and the bread and wine used symbolically representing the body and blood of the Lord till he return the second time. This teaching is final and binding on all Christians (Jews and Gentiles) and is found in 1 Corinthians 11:23-29.

De Maria June 23, 2012 at 7:13 PM

Hi, Joel

You said:
Did you know that the above verses you have quoted are in this present age surpassed by Ephesians 2:8-9?

1. Joel, are you saying that some of the Bible is no longer valid? Are these the only verses which have been surpassed? Or are there others?

2. And whom should I ask about this state of affairs? Are you the only one who knows which verses have been surpassed? Does that mean that you are the authority over Scripture, knowing which Scriptures to cast out and which to retain?

3. Can you give us a list of all the Scriptures which have been surpassed?

So whether you are a Jew or Gentile, in the present age you are saved by God’s Grace through “faith” and in Christ’s alone (John 14:6). This is Christian teaching and not a Catholic or Protestant teaching. After Jesus Ascension into heaven, Christian participation at the Lord’s supper table is in “remembrance” and the bread and wine used symbolically representing the body and blood of the Lord till he return the second time. This teaching is final and binding on all Christians (Jews and Gentiles) and is found in 1 Corinthians 11:23-29.

1. This is your own personal teaching Joel. You have set aside that part of the Bible with which you disagree and made a new gospel in the tradition of men out of those verses which you retain in the Bible.

2. Go back to Ephesisans 2 and read all the way through 10. Here, I’ll help you:
Ephesians 2:8-10
King James Version (KJV)
8 For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God:

This is a Sacramental Teaching. It is in the Sacraments within which we approach Jesus Christ with the proper disposition of faith in His Power to change our lives.

9 Not of works, lest any man should boast.

In the Sacraments, we merely come to the table of Lord in faith and cry out His name. He does all the rest (Acts 22:16; Titus 3:5).

10 For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them.

This verse is a double entendre.
a. In the Sacraments, we are born again in Christ, unto good works.
b. But from the beginning, from the foundations of the world, God had fore ordained that we walk in His works, His Commandments. We were conceived and born to do the works of God.

Sincerely,

De Maria

Joel D'Souza June 28, 2012 at 6:37 AM

De Maria:

This verse is a double entendre.
a. In the Sacraments, we are born again in Christ, unto good works.
b. But from the beginning, from the foundations of the world, God had fore ordained that we walk in His works, His Commandments. We were conceived and born to do the works of God.

So now you can dress up like Mozart, lock yourself in the sacraments (an incubator) with bar-Jesus, and you then you will come out truly born again. :))

De Maria June 28, 2012 at 11:32 AM

Hi Joel,

So now you can dress up like Mozart, lock yourself in the sacraments (an incubator) with bar-Jesus, and you then you will come out truly born again. :))

Hm? I don’t really understand the Mozart and bar-Jesus stuff. Sorry.

But, essentially, the Gospel of Jesus Christ teaches that if we believe and are Baptized, we are saved (Mark 16:16) being born again in the washing of regeneration and renewal of the Spirit (Titus 3:5) calling on the name of the Lord (Act 22:16).

Sincerely,

De Maria

Joel D'souza June 28, 2012 at 1:35 PM

De Maria:

But, essentially, the Gospel of Jesus Christ teaches that if we believe and are Baptized, we are saved (Mark 16:16) being born again in the washing of regeneration and renewal of the Spirit (Titus 3:5) calling on the name of the Lord (Act 22:16).

Contradictions again!! You seem to be losing track of what you post, In one the post you said- “were are saved thtough keeping the Commandments and sacraments, now you say believe and be baptised (the later is correct) .. Can’t you make up your mind instead of just doing auricular confessions? And BTW – what does it mean to “Believe and Baptised{ Believe in what? And so if we Believe and are baptized we are saved – so the moral of the story is that – “WE DO NOT NEED THE SACRAMENTS OF THE CC -as it is NOT a requirement for salvation as YOU HAVE RIGHTLY ADMITTED IT. Please check yourself you are plagued with doctrinal errors!

De Maria June 29, 2012 at 2:19 PM

Hi Joel,

Contradictions again!!

No, Joel. You don’t understand the Scriptures because you have discarded the Traditions (2 Thess 2:15) upon which the Scriptures are based. Remember, Jesus didn’t write even a word of Scripture. He established a Church (Matt 16:18) and commissioned that Church to pass on His Commands (Matt 28:19-20).

You seem to be losing track of what you post,

I’ll try to explain it more carefully.

<i. In one the post you said- “were are saved thtough keeping the Commandments and sacraments, now you say believe and be baptised (the later is correct) ..

They are both correct Joel. We keep the Commandments and submit to the Sacraments because we believe. Can you not understand that concept?

We believe, therefore we obey. Read Hebrews 11. Here’s one portion of it (Heb 11:1-8).

It is because of our faith that we keep the Commandments and submit to the Sacraments. It is lack of faith to claim to have faith alone and deny the Commandments and the Sacraments.

Can’t you make up your mind instead of just doing auricular confessions?

I have made up my mind to obey the Word of God which instructs me to do auricular confessions. Have you not read in Scripture?

Hebrews 13:17
King James Version (KJV)
17 Obey them that have the rule over you, and submit yourselves: for they watch for your souls, as they that must give account, that they may do it with joy, and not with grief: for that is unprofitable for you.

If you kept the Traditions of Christ, you would recognize that as a description of that which we do in the confessional.

You said that we are ambassadors of Christ. You are correct. And the Rulers in our Church are ambassadors in a special way. As they are given the ministry of Reconciliation, also known as the Sacrament of Confession:

2 Corinthians 5:17-20
King James Version (KJV)
17 Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new. 18 And all things are of God, who hath reconciled us to himself by Jesus Christ, and hath given to us the ministry of reconciliation; 19 To wit, that God was in Christ, reconciling the world unto himself, not imputing their trespasses unto them; and hath committed unto us the word of reconciliation.
20 Now then we are ambassadors for Christ, as though God did beseech you by us: we pray you in Christ’s stead, be ye reconciled to God.

Do you not recognize there the Sacrament of Reconciliation?
The Priest, representing Christ and forgiving sins in His name.
The penitent being reconciled to God.

No, you don’t, because you have cast aside the Traditions of Jesus Christ.

And BTW – what does it mean to “Believe and Baptised{ Believe in what?

The question should be, “believe in who?” The answer is, “Christ.”

And so if we Believe and are baptized we are saved

That is what Christ said, yes.

– so the moral of the story is that – “WE DO NOT NEED THE SACRAMENTS OF THE CC -as it is NOT a requirement for salvation as YOU HAVE RIGHTLY ADMITTED IT.

Baptism is a Sacrament. But all the Sacraments are spiritual baptisms. We receive the Holy Spirit in every Sacrament and are washed in the grace of our Lord (Titus 3:5). It is the Work of God. We just approach the Throne in the proper disposition of faith.

Please check yourself you are plagued with doctrinal errors!

I do my best. As I said before, God is my judge (1 Cor 4:4). Without meaning you any disrespect, I welcome any Catholic who might correct me of error as regards Catholic doctrine. I am not infallible.

However, I don’t think you are qualified to correct me of any error as regards the Teachings of Jesus Christ, because you have discarded those Teachings and follow the errors of the Protestants.

Sincerely,

De Maria

Joel D'souza July 1, 2012 at 1:57 PM

The Priest, representing Christ and forgiving sins in His name.
All born again believers can approach boldly the throne of Grace for the forgiveness of sins – 1 John 1:9. So it isn’t necessary for intermediaries.

The question should be, “believe in who?” The answer is, “Christ.”
What have we to believe in Christ” What are the requirements we need to believe in Christ in order to get to heaven?

I do my best. As I said before, God is my judge (1 Cor 4:4).
Doing your best is “self-righteousness”. And is at best “filthy rags” in the sight of God – Isaiah 64:6. God will strictly judge you solely by his Word. He will not consider anything else as He magnifies (Stands for ) only his Word above his name. The truth is the Word of God and he sanctifies those who are only obedient to his Word as per John 17:17. That is why God loved the world that he gave his only begotten Son to save the lost (you and me) and believing on him through a “personal-relationship” with him, we are saved. We are not saved by following religious rituals, attending Church. etc. Grace is dispensed by the God to every individual on a personal level who come forward to sincerely accept his free gift offer of salvation by faith in Christ in believing the Gospel – Ephesians 2:8-9. Biblical salvation is by faith alone and any attempt to add “co-operating” works to the Gospel of Christ is perverting the Gospel. That is why St.Paul was smart and knew “ravening wolves” would pervert the Gospel of Christ, so he sharply rebuked the believers at Galatia – see Galatians 1:5-9. Also St.Paul in Galatians 1:13-15 admits that as a former pharisee and of the Jews religion how he persecuted the followers of Christ, but was “called out” solely by the Grace of God and not by becoming a member of some Church or religious ritual. Galatians 5:4 states that we are fallen from God’s grace is preach that the we are justified by the Law. There were those “judaizers” – the so called ravening wolves (Acts 20:29) that St.Paul was referring to. Thy did preach exactly the “true Gospel of Christ” but they also preached the necessity of being circumcised, keeping the Sabbath. etc. That is why St,Paul sharply rebuked the perversion of the Gospel of Christ. Why?? They were adding “works” to the pure Gospel of Christ – the so called circumcision, keeping the Sabbath etc. The pure Gospel of Christ has the power to “save” and it become powerless if we add “works to it”. The Gospel of Christ cannot be “polluted” by adding additional requirements tacked onto it. St. Paul himself being a Jew and a former hard-core pharisee condemned this practice of polluting the pure Gospel of Christ and this is the same doctrinal errors the Catholic church just like those Judaizers did. In fact there is a lot of similarity between the Catholic and Judaism religions.

Baptism is a Sacrament. But all the Sacraments are spiritual baptisms. We receive the Holy Spirit in every Sacrament and are washed in the grace of our Lord (Titus 3:5).
That is Catholic proprietary teaching and not in accordance with Biblical teaching. Biblical Baptism by immersion (only valid) is an outward sign to signify an inward re-generation. It is a public testimony that a person professes to make only after believing the Gospel of Christ. When we are immersed in water it signifies we are buried in death with Christ, and when we come out of the water it signifies we are raised to a new life in Christ in his Resurrection. The Holy Spirit of God does not come in sacraments or Eucharist but in-dwells in every Bible believer who places absolute trust or faith in Christ alone and the scriptures. Every Bible believer is re-generated by the Holy Ghost (Holy Spirit Baptism) by God Grace through faith alone in Christ.

De Maria July 1, 2012 at 6:55 PM

Joel D’souza July 1, 2012 at 1:57 PM
The Priest, representing Christ and forgiving sins in His name.
All born again believers can approach boldly the throne of Grace for the forgiveness of sins – 1 John 1:9.

1. You don’t understand that verse because you have discarded the Traditions which Scripture tells you to hold (2 Thess 2:15). But that verse describes the Sacrament of Confession.
2. The Spirit blows where it will (John 3:8). So it is true that faithful believers may approach the throne of Grace for the forgiveness of sins. However, not all are faithful believers (Matt 7:21). Many who claim to believe, fool themselves (James 1:22-23).
3. But those who obey God will be saved (Heb 5:9). And God wants you to submit to the Priest (Heb 13:17).

So it isn’t necessary for intermediaries.

Necessity is besides the point. God commands you to submit to and obey the Church (Matt 18:17). Either obey God’s word or pay the consequences.

The question should be, “believe in who?” The answer is, “Christ.”
What have we to believe in Christ” What are the requirements we need to believe in Christ in order to get to heaven?

John 14:21-23; Matt 25:31-45; Mark 16:16 Do you need more?

I do my best. As I said before, God is my judge (1 Cor 4:4).
Doing your best is “self-righteousness”. And is at best “filthy rags” in the sight of God – Isaiah 64:6.

You need to read Isaiah 64:6 in the proper context. God sees the works of the unfaithful as filthy rags. Look even one verse back, to Isaiah 64:5 and see that God meets those who work righteousness (Psalm 15:1-2).

God will strictly judge you solely by his Word. He will not consider anything else as He magnifies (Stands for ) only his Word above his name. The truth is the Word of God and he sanctifies those who are only obedient to his Word as per John 17:17.

How do you obey His Word by denying His Word? Jesus says, keep the Commandments (John 14:21-23). Jesus says feed the hungry, clothe the naked (Matt 25:31-45). How do you obey His Word by denying His Word?

That is why God loved the world that he gave his only begotten Son to save the lost (you and me) and believing on him through a “personal-relationship” with him, we are saved.

How do you believe in Him and then deny His Word? He said the “bread I will give is my flesh” (John 6:51). How do you believe in Him and deny His Word?

We are not saved by following religious rituals, attending Church. etc.

Scripture says that those who reject religious rituals “tread underfoot the Son of God” (Heb 10:25-31). And Christ said to do those rituals in remembrance of Him (1 Cor 11:24). What, do you not want to remember the One you claim to love? Is one hour a week too much to pay for the salvation which He wrought with His Blood?

Grace is dispensed by the God to every individual on a personal level who come forward to sincerely accept his free gift offer of salvation by faith in Christ in believing the Gospel – Ephesians 2:8-9.

Yeah. That doesn’t mean staying at home and watching the football game while saying to yourself, “I don’t need to go to Church”. It means proclaiming His death until He comes again (1 Cor 11:26).

Biblical salvation is by faith alone and any attempt to add “co-operating” works to the Gospel of Christ is perverting the Gospel.

You are perverting the Gospel when you claim that one can remain where he is and consider himself saved. For one thing, it is God who is judge. For another, you have previously admitted that faith which does not produce good works is a dead faith. Therefore, in your zeal to contradict the Word of God preached by the Catholic Church, you contradict even yourself.

That is why St.Paul was smart and knew “ravening wolves” would pervert the Gospel of Christ,

As you are now doing.

so he sharply rebuked the believers at Galatia – see Galatians 1:5-9. Also St.Paul in Galatians 1:13-15 admits that as a former pharisee and of the Jews religion how he persecuted the followers of Christ, but was “called out” solely by the Grace of God and not by becoming a member of some Church or religious ritual.

Back up to Acts 9. What do you think would have become of St. Paul if he had not “washed away his sins calling on the name of the Lord (Acts 9:18; Acts 22:16)”? Is that a ritual he underwent? Who commanded him to undergo that ritual? What would have happened if he had disobeyed the One who commanded him to undergo that ritual?

Galatians 5:4 states that we are fallen from God’s grace is preach that the we are justified by the Law.

Who told you to be justified by the law? Understand this, we are not justified by the law, but unless you keep the law, you will not be justified by God (Rom 2:13).

There were those “judaizers” – the so called ravening wolves (Acts 20:29) that St.Paul was referring to. Thy did preach exactly the “true Gospel of Christ” but they also preached the necessity of being circumcised, keeping the Sabbath. etc. That is why St,Paul sharply rebuked the perversion of the Gospel of Christ. Why?? They were adding “works” to the pure Gospel of Christ – the so called circumcision, keeping the Sabbath etc.

YOU are mistaken. They were confusing the works of the flesh with the works of love (Gal 5:6). Works of the flesh, such as “circumcision”, avail nothing. Only works of love are important for you salvation (Rom 13:10).

The pure Gospel of Christ has the power to “save” and it become powerless if we add “works to it”.

It becomes powerless if we do not add “love” to it (1 Cor 13:1-3).

The Gospel of Christ cannot be “polluted” by adding additional requirements tacked onto it. St. Paul himself being a Jew and a former hard-core pharisee condemned this practice of polluting the pure Gospel of Christ and this is the same doctrinal errors the Catholic church just like those Judaizers did. In fact there is a lot of similarity between the Catholic and Judaism religions.

On the contrary, it is the Protestants who dare to declare themselves righteous setting aside the righteous judgment of the Lord and putting themselves in His Place (1 Cor 4:4).

Baptism is a Sacrament. But all the Sacraments are spiritual baptisms. We receive the Holy Spirit in every Sacrament and are washed in the grace of our Lord (Titus 3:5).
That is Catholic proprietary teaching and not in accordance with Biblical teaching. Biblical Baptism by immersion (only valid) is an outward sign to signify an inward re-generation.

Actually, that which you said is almost correct, except for the immersion part. It is Catholic Teaching that the water is a symbol of the work of God which is happening when one is Baptized.

It is a public testimony that a person professes to make only after believing the Gospel of Christ. When we are immersed in water it signifies we are buried in death with Christ, and when we come out of the water it signifies we are raised to a new life in Christ in his Resurrection. The Holy Spirit of God does not come in sacraments or Eucharist but in-dwells in every Bible believer who places absolute trust or faith in Christ alone and the scriptures.

You sound very much like Naaman. He also denied that God could cure him through water. But, he learned that water is no obstacle to God. (2 Kings 5:11-15).

How can you claim to believe in the Gospel and deny that God can work through any element? John 9:11; John 2:9; Acts 5:15; Acts 19:12

How powerless is Christ in your opinion? We believe that Christ can work through all the elements and through all the Sacraments. You believe that He can work through none.

I don’t like your Gospel. Go tell it to someone else.

Every Bible believer is re-generated by the Holy Ghost (Holy Spirit Baptism) by God Grace through faith alone in Christ.

Every Bible believer claims he is. But Bible believers, like yourself, don’t even believe the Bible. They just claim to do so. If they believed the Bible, they would rejoice in their water Baptism. Because it is in water Baptism that you will receive the Baptism of the Holy Spirit (read more).

Sincerely,

De Maria

Joel D'souza July 2, 2012 at 8:44 AM

De Maria:
So it isn’t necessary for intermediaries.
Necessity is besides the point. God commands you to submit to and obey the Church (Matt 18:17). Either obey God’s word or pay the consequences..

1 John 1:9 is sufficient as he ever faithful to forgive. I am sinner that he has redeemed by his precious blood – and I don’t need to go through a fellow human-being who is a sinner like myself. Only God (Jesus) has the authority to forgive sins (Mark 2:7, Luke 5:21, John1:29). I submit to a local Bible believing Church whose structures are found clearly defined in the NT. It a local church to be headed by a Bishop as called a Pastor, with supporting Elders. This is a true Church established by Christ and not apostate Churches like the RCC that preach a “perverted” Babylonian false doctrines.

If they believed the Bible, they would rejoice in their water Baptism. Because it is in water Baptism that you will receive the Baptism of the Holy Spirit

This is a misconception and not supported in scripture. One is baptized by the Holy Spirit when the Gospel of Christ is preached and believed (Titus 3:4-7). All Bible believing Christians are filled with the in-dwelling Holy Spirit the moment they are convicted of their sins and place their entire trust alone in the finished works of Christ atonement of the Cross. We rejoice in water baptism only after believing the Gospel as public testimony. Water Baptism by immersion is the only valid means of Baptism in the NT and it is only for adults who believe the Gospel. Not for babies who have no yet arrived at the age of accountability. Still water baptism does not save, it is “believing” – John 6:40. Believe means to completely surrender and trust Christ as your savior and his finished works on the cross. Christ redemption on the cross is complete and finished fulfillment of the law (John 1:17) . John the Baptist came preaching the “baptism of repentance” for the remission of sins Mark 1:4-5. They (the Jews) were baptized in the River Jordan only after believing and confessing their sins. The Jews at that time and even up to this day require to believe with a “sign” and not by faith. So John the Baptist was a messenger of God sent to prepare Gods people – the Jews for the coming savior. Yet some rejected him as the Messiah. In the Gospels, John the Baptist preached and until Christ came and went to the cross, the Holy Spirit was not yet come as Christ did not yet ascend into heaven upto Acts 1:9. At that time in point during the Gospel accounts, God’s plan of Salvation was still “moving” among the Jews only (see Matthew 10:5-8) ) . The door of Salvation finally opened to non-jews only after Acts 10 when Cornelius was the first Gentile to be baptised in water in the name of the Lord (Acts 10:47-48), but only after the Holy Ghost fell upon them witness by St.Peter Acts 10:45. So we as Gentiles are first baptized the Holy Ghost through our faith in Christ alone and then we take the water baptism as a testimony of our obedience only to the Lord and no one else. Why?? because only God (Jesus) died for my sins to redeem me from the curse of sin and spiritual death. The Holy Spirit in-dwells in all bible believing Christians, are placed spiritually into the Body of Christ and made children of God. Bible believers then take water baptism not only as an outward testimony to show obedience but because it is an ordinace commanded by the Lord (Matthew 28:19-20). The scripture is clear, it is always after someone is saved the he/she must be baptized: Acts 2:41 – “Then they that gladly received his word were baptized: and the same day there were added unto them about three thousand souls.”

Take your Bible and read the accounts of baptism in the early church Acts 2:41, 8:12, 10:48, 16:33, 19:5, 1 Corinthians 1:14-15, Colosians 2:12. To know what exactly does baptism mean see Romans 6:4-5. Baptism does help in the least in getting saved. Salvation is nothing we do and all in what the Lord has done. The devil has used baptism as a confusion in false chruches. They try to make baptism have some saving merit. Like the need for baptizing babies or they will go to hell. Water has never been associated with with washing sins away in scripture. The only thing in the universe that has ever washed sins away is the blood of Christ. If Baptism was essential to salvation, people who get saved in a desert wouldn’t have a chance of Heaven. The thief Jesus saved on the cross couldn’t have been saved if that were the case. He couldn’t be baptized, he was nailed to the cross!.

The RCC church is horrbly messed up with its false baptism doctrine.

Joel D'souza July 2, 2012 at 9:10 AM

De Maria:
How powerless is Christ in your opinion? We believe that Christ can work through all the elements and through all the Sacraments. You believe that He can work through none.
I hope you are aware the Gospel of Christ is found at 1 Cotinthians 15:1-4. That is the simple Gospel of Christ that convicts a sinner of his need for a savior. The simple Gospel of Christ is the believing on the death, burial and resurrection of Christ. There is no sacrament or any elements involved here whatsoever. That’s the RC Church imagination. Can’t you understand what St.Paul says at 1 Corinthians 15:2 – “By which also ye are saved ..”?? We are saved by believing the Gospel of Christ. Further, see what St Paul says at Romans 1:16 – “For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ: for it is the power of God unto salvation to every one that believeth; to the Jew first, and also to the Greek.” Look at the Words “..power of God unto salvation”. The gospel of Christ thus becomes powerless when we add co-operating works of human efforts like self-flagellation, sacraments etc. That is why St.Paul sharply rebuked Galatians believers they were fooled in to believing another Gospel. The RC Church does the same error done by the Galatian Church in preaching a works based Gospel by adding that Catholics should abide by Church teachings of the sacraments as co-operating with finished work of Redemption of Christ (The Gospel). Therefore we cannot submit to church teaching that is contrary to what St,Paul if we are to call ourselves the one true Holy Catholic and Apostolic Church. The moment the church adds co-operating works to the Gospel of Christ, then it becomes another Gospel and they fore polluted with no power whatsoever to save a person. It does not retain as the Gospel of Christ. Hope you can understand.

De Maria July 2, 2012 at 9:05 PM

Hi Joel,

1 John 1:9 is sufficient as he ever faithful to forgive.

But 1 John 1:9 does not nullify or invalidate Matt 18:17 or Heb 13:17. You have to believe all of them. You are not permitted to pick and choose to believe this but not that.

I am sinner that he has redeemed by his precious blood – and I don’t need to go through a fellow human-being who is a sinner like myself.

Lol! Do we need the Scriptures anymore? We have Joel. Joel says he needs no fellow humans. Scripture says, (John 17:20; 1 Cor 11:1; 1 Tim 4:16; Heb 13:7; 17). Whom should we believe?

Only God (Jesus) has the authority to forgive sins (Mark 2:7, Luke 5:21, John1:29).

Jesus gave man the authority to forgive sins:
John 20:22-23
King James Version (KJV)
22 And when he had said this, he breathed on them, and saith unto them, Receive ye the Holy Ghost:
23 Whose soever sins ye remit, they are remitted unto them; and whose soever sins ye retain, they are retained.

I submit to a local Bible believing Church whose structures are found clearly defined in the NT. It a local church to be headed by a Bishop as called a Pastor, with supporting Elders. This is a true Church established by Christ and not apostate Churches like the RCC that preach a “perverted” Babylonian false doctrines.

Really? Can you trace the Bishops back to Christ as we can? Also, do you believe, submit and obey them because they account for your soul (Heb 13:17) as we do in the Confessional?

This is a misconception and not supported in scripture. One is baptized by the Holy Spirit when the Gospel of Christ is preached and believed (Titus 3:4-7).

Here is what that verse says:
Titus 3:4-7
King James Version (KJV)
4 But after that the kindness and love of God our Saviour toward man appeared, 5 Not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to his mercy he saved us, by the washing of regeneration, and renewing of the Holy Ghost; 6 Which he shed on us abundantly through Jesus Christ our Saviour; 7 That being justified by his grace, we should be made heirs according to the hope of eternal life.

Verse 5 describes precisely what happens in the Sacraments. But, here is what happens when the Gospel of Christ is preached and believed. Acts 2:37-41

37 Now when they heard this, they were pricked in their heart, and said unto Peter and to the rest of the apostles, Men and brethren, what shall we do? 38 Then Peter said unto them, Repent, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins, and ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost. 39 For the promise is unto you, and to your children, and to all that are afar off, even as many as the Lord our God shall call. 40 And with many other words did he testify and exhort, saying, Save yourselves from this untoward generation. 41 Then they that gladly received his word were baptized: and the same day there were added unto them about three thousand souls.

Acts 16:14 And a certain woman named Lydia, a seller of purple, of the city of Thyatira, which worshipped God, heard us: whose heart the Lord opened, that she attended unto the things which were spoken of Paul.
15 And when she was baptized, and her household, she besought us, saying, If ye have judged me to be faithful to the Lord, come into my house, and abide there. And she constrained us.

Acts 16:30 And brought them out, and said, Sirs, what must I do to be saved? 31 And they said, Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and thou shalt be saved, and thy house. 32 And they spake unto him the word of the Lord, and to all that were in his house. 33 And he took them the same hour of the night, and washed their stripes; and was baptized, he and all his, straightway.

Acts 18:8And Crispus, the chief ruler of the synagogue, believed on the Lord with all his house; and many of the Corinthians hearing believed, and were baptized.

THAT is what happens when people hear the Gospel! They are baptized.

All Bible believing Christians are filled with the in-dwelling Holy Spirit the moment they are convicted of their sins and place their entire trust alone in the finished works of Christ atonement of the Cross. We rejoice in water baptism only after believing the Gospel as public testimony. Water Baptism by immersion is the only valid means of Baptism in the NT and it is only for adults who believe the Gospel. Not for babies who have no yet arrived at the age of accountability.

Pray tell, what age is the age of accountability in Scripture? 6, 7, 8, 15, 16, 18? What?

Acts 2:37-39
King James Version (KJV)
37 Now when they heard this, they were pricked in their heart, and said unto Peter and to the rest of the apostles, Men and brethren, what shall we do? 38 Then Peter said unto them, Repent, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins, and ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost 39 For the promise is unto you, and to your children, and to all that are afar off, even as many as the Lord our God shall call.

Still water baptism does not save, it is “believing” – John 6:40. Believe means to completely surrender and trust Christ as your savior and his finished works on the cross. Christ redemption on the cross is complete and finished fulfillment of the law (John 1:17) . John the Baptist came preaching the “baptism of repentance” for the remission of sins Mark 1:4-5. They (the Jews) were baptized in the River Jordan only after believing and confessing their sins. The Jews at that time and even up to this day require to believe with a “sign” and not by faith. So John the Baptist was a messenger of God sent to prepare Gods people – the Jews for the coming savior. Yet some rejected him as the Messiah. In the Gospels, John the Baptist preached and until Christ came and went to the cross, the Holy Spirit was not yet come as Christ did not yet ascend into heaven upto Acts 1:9. At that time in point during the Gospel accounts, God’s plan of Salvation was still “moving” among the Jews only (see Matthew 10:5-8) ) . The door of Salvation finally opened to non-jews only after Acts 10 when Cornelius was the first Gentile to be baptised in water in the name of the Lord (Acts 10:47-48), but only after the Holy Ghost fell upon them witness by St.Peter Acts 10:45. So we as Gentiles are first baptized the Holy Ghost through our faith in Christ alone and then we take the water baptism as a testimony of our obedience only to the Lord and no one else. Why?? because only God (Jesus) died for my sins to redeem me from the curse of sin and spiritual death. The Holy Spirit in-dwells in all bible believing Christians, are placed spiritually into the Body of Christ and made children of God. Bible believers then take water baptism not only as an outward testimony to show obedience but because it is an ordinace commanded by the Lord (Matthew 28:19-20). The scripture is clear, it is always after someone is saved the he/she must be baptized: Acts 2:41 – “Then they that gladly received his word were baptized: and the same day there were added unto them about three thousand souls.”

You skip around and believe only what you want. Ignoring everything else. Scirpture says Mark 16:16; 1 Peter 3:21

Spin your way out of that.

Take your Bible and read the accounts of baptism in the early church Acts 2:41, 8:12, 10:48, 16:33, 19:5, 1 Corinthians 1:14-15, Colosians 2:12. To know what exactly does baptism mean see Romans 6:4-5. Baptism does help in the least in getting saved. Salvation is nothing we do and all in what the Lord has done. The devil has used baptism as a confusion in false chruches. They try to make baptism have some saving merit. Like the need for baptizing babies or they will go to hell. Water has never been associated with with washing sins away in scripture. The only thing in the universe that has ever washed sins away is the blood of Christ. If Baptism was essential to salvation, people who get saved in a desert wouldn’t have a chance of Heaven. The thief Jesus saved on the cross couldn’t have been saved if that were the case. He couldn’t be baptized, he was nailed to the cross!.

How old was he? Was he nailed to the cross from the day he was born? Read the Scripture:
Matt 3:5; John 4:1

If all Judea came to be baptized by John and Jesus baptized more than John, how is it unlikely that the Good Thief was baptized? Was he not from the land of Juda?

The RCC church is horrbly messed up with its false baptism doctrine.

It is you who are horribly messed up with your false doctrines of all kinds.

Sincerely,

De Maria

De Maria July 2, 2012 at 9:19 PM

Joel,

I hope you are aware the Gospel of Christ is found at 1 Cotinthians 15:1-4.

I hope you are aware that the Gospel of Christ begins with Matthew and ends with Revelations.

That is the simple Gospel of Christ that convicts a sinner of his need for a savior. The simple Gospel of Christ is the believing on the death, burial and resurrection of Christ. There is no sacrament or any elements involved here whatsoever.

Lol! What happened to the rest of the Bible? Should we throw everything else away?

That’s the RC Church imagination. Can’t you understand what St.Paul says at 1 Corinthians 15:2 – “By which also ye are saved ..”?? We are saved by believing the Gospel of Christ.

Yeah. Matt 25:31-45. Believe that.

Further, see what St Paul says at Romans 1:16 – “For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ: for it is the power of God unto salvation to every one that believeth; to the Jew first, and also to the Greek.”

Keep reading (Romans 2;1-13).

Look at the Words “..power of God unto salvation”. The gospel of Christ thus becomes powerless when we add co-operating works of human efforts like self-flagellation, sacraments etc. That is why St.Paul sharply rebuked Galatians believers they were fooled in to believing another Gospel.

And he would sharply rebuke you and the Protestants for believing another Gospel.

The RC Church does the same error done by the Galatian Church in preaching a works based Gospel by adding that Catholics should abide by Church teachings of the sacraments as co-operating with finished work of Redemption of Christ (The Gospel). Therefore we cannot submit to church teaching that is contrary to what St,Paul if we are to call ourselves the one true Holy Catholic and Apostolic Church. The moment the church adds co-operating works to the Gospel of Christ, then it becomes another Gospel and they fore polluted with no power whatsoever to save a person. It does not retain as the Gospel of Christ. Hope you can understand.

Here is what Scripture says:
Philippians 2:12
Wherefore, my beloved, as ye have always obeyed, not as in my presence only, but now much more in my absence, work out your own salvation with fear and trembling.

Hebrews 5:9
And being made perfect, he became the author of eternal salvation unto all them that obey him;

Romans 8
King James Version (KJV)
8 There is therefore now no condemnation to them which are in Christ Jesus, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit. 2 For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus hath made me free from the law of sin and death. 3 For what the law could not do, in that it was weak through the flesh, God sending his own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh, and for sin, condemned sin in the flesh: 4 That the righteousness of the law might be fulfilled in us, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit. 5 For they that are after the flesh do mind the things of the flesh; but they that are after the Spirit the things of the Spirit. 6 For to be carnally minded is death; but to be spiritually minded is life and peace. 7 Because the carnal mind is enmity against God: for it is not subject to the law of God, neither indeed can be. 8 So then they that are in the flesh cannot please God.

Revelation 22:12-15
King James Version (KJV)
12 And, behold, I come quickly; and my reward is with me, to give every man according as his work shall be.13 I am Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the end, the first and the last. 14 Blessed are they that do his commandments, that they may have right to the tree of life, and may enter in through the gates into the city.15 For without are dogs, and sorcerers, and whoremongers, and murderers, and idolaters, and whosoever loveth and maketh a lie.

You can go on believing all that dribble about not cooperating with God, all you want, to your own destruction. But you won’t take us with you. We will continue to obey and cooperate with the grace of God til our dying day.

Sincerely,

De Maria

Joel D'Souza July 3, 2012 at 3:18 AM

De Maria:

In reference to baptism and is it necessary fro salvation?
You skip around and believe only what you want. Ignoring everything else. Scirpture says Mark 16:16 … Spin your way out of that.

Mark 16:16 is another distorted verse use by false churches, which says: “He that believeth and is baptized shall be saved; but he that believeth not shall be damned.” To fully understand it, you must realize the following:

The Jews did not believe Jesus was God’s Son. When a Jew did get saved, he had thought it through well. Baptism soon, if not immediately, followed. Many times when a Jew got baptized his family disowned him. Sometimes, they even went so far as to bury an empty coffin, telling everyone that their loved one was dead as far as they were concerned. There were not many “secret disciples.” You’ll have to search hard in scripture to find someone who got saved and refused to be baptized. So, salvation and baptism were closely linked “in time.” If someone got saved, it was automatically assumed that they’d get baptized. The early church baptized daily, if not on the spot (See Acts 2:47.) This is the reason the words “believeth” and “baptized” are so closely linked in Mark 16:16. If baptism was essential to salvation, the last part of the verse would read, “…but he that believeth not or is not baptized shall be damned.” But that’s not the way it reads.

John 3:16 emphasizes believe (trust) and doesn’t mention baptism one time. False teaching always has loopholes in it.

Again, baptism is the first obedient step after you get saved. It has no part in getting you to heaven. If you get saved and are never baptized you will still go to heaven just as the Bible promises. But, the Christian who doesn’t get baptized will never have the blessings in their life because of their disobedience.

De Maria July 3, 2012 at 5:53 PM

Hi Joel,

You said:
Mark 16:16 is another distorted verse use by false churches, which says: “He that believeth and is baptized shall be saved; but he that believeth not shall be damned.” To fully understand it, you must realize the following:

The Jews did not believe Jesus was God’s Son. When a Jew did get saved, he had thought it through well. Baptism soon, if not immediately, followed.

Thank you Joel, for posting this. Let’s compare your words to the Scripture.
Mark 16:16, He that believes and is Baptized will be saved.

Note the order. First, believed, then baptized, then saved.

You have inverted the order saying:
When a Jew did get saved, he had thought it through well. Baptism soon, if not immediately, followed.

So, for you, its, believed, then saved then baptized.

This is showing that for you, Scripture is not important. You put your beliefs above what Scripture actually says.

Many times when a Jew got baptized his family disowned him. Sometimes, they even went so far as to bury an empty coffin, telling everyone that their loved one was dead as far as they were concerned.

Please provide the Scripture reference for these ideas. I’ve never seen that in Scripture.

There were not many “secret disciples.” You’ll have to search hard in scripture to find someone who got saved and refused to be baptized. So, salvation and baptism were closely linked “in time.” If someone got saved, it was automatically assumed that they’d get baptized.

You are still going by YOUR false understanding. But Scripture is clear that we are saved in Baptism (1 Peter 3:21).

The early church baptized daily, if not on the spot (See Acts 2:47.) This is the reason the words “believeth” and “baptized” are so closely linked in Mark 16:16. If baptism was essential to salvation, the last part of the verse would read, “…but he that believeth not or is not baptized shall be damned.” But that’s not the way it reads.

You aren’t understanding the words.
He that believeth and is baptized shall be saved; but he that believeth not shall be damned.

He that believes and is not baptized shall not be saved.
He that does not believe and is yet baptized, shall be damned (1 Corinthians 11:30).
He that does not does not believe at all, shall be damned.

John 3:16 emphasizes believe (trust) and doesn’t mention baptism one time.

True. It doesn’t mention baptism at all. So how do you read that baptism is unnecessary? Especially when other verses in Scripture command baptism?

Find me one verse in Scripture which says we don’t need to be baptized. If you can’t find it, then that is further proof that you are reading into Scripture, your presuppositions.

False teaching always has loopholes in it.

And we are finding many loopholes in your false teachings.

Again, baptism is the first obedient step after you get saved.

That is not what Scripture says. That is what you say. Even St. Cornelius, who had received the Holy Spirit, needed to be Baptized in order to be saved. If St. Cornelius had not been baptized, he would not have been born again, into the Body of Christ, he would not have been added to the Church and he would not have been saved (Acts 2:37-47).

It has no part in getting you to heaven. If you get saved and are never baptized you will still go to heaven just as the Bible promises. But, the Christian who doesn’t get baptized will never have the blessings in their life because of their disobedience.

That sounds like you just contradicted yourself. A Christian who doesn’t get his blessings is a Christian who is not saved (Matt 7:21).

Sincerely,

De Maria

PoorKnight February 5, 2014 at 2:32 PM

WOW! Hammer and tongs!!

De Maria, you’re my hero! Well, Jesus Christ is my hero… but here on earth: Tim Staples, Patrick Madrid, Steve Ray and De Maria!

I’m in a masters class for apologetics and I could not have done what you just did! Keep it up!

God Bless,
Poor Knight for Christ and His Church

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