This article is written for those who were waiting to sink their proverbial "teeth" into any (such as myself) who assert that the Bible is the sole source of authority in matters of faith and eternal truth, and who have literally worn out the saints with arguments of every kind. I will not respond to those sophistries. I will rather use the issue as a platform from which to address what I see as a much larger issue.
I have been for some time desiring to put together some kind of help for Catholics who (when they really think about it) sense deep within themselves that their "religion" has failed them. It doesn't reach them. It's fine for meeting friends, and doing their "duty" to God, but, when push comes to shove, it just doesn't cut the mustard in reaching the loneliness and emptiness within. Without TV, parties, and other various forms of entertainment etc., life would be rather "plain vanilla". The heart, searching for the elusive "happiness" it craves, settles for peaceful coexistence with a disappointing substitute. Jesus' claim, "I am come that they might have life, and that they might have it more abundantly", has no compelling reality for them. Religion they have, but not what they long for. However, "raised" in the "Church" they sense that while it remains mysterious, it surely must be right.
We are all subject to prejudice - in other words, things we believe because, shoot, that's what we've always believed. We've got our minds made up because that's what we were taught. I know one wise old timer who, when showed a much better way to accomplish the task at hand said, "I don't care if it's
better or not; that's the way we've always done it, and that's the way we'll keep on doing it." We "pre-judge" without the facts. Prejudices are very stubborn things. Getting loose from them is tougher than pulling teeth from a rabid gorilla. Now the subject "sola scriptura" comes up.
Can we trust the Bible alone or must we lean on the tradition of the Church as well? Can a Christian (we will attempt to define
that word later) interpret the Bible himself, or must he rely on the magesterium of the church?
When Catholicism relegates to itself (as it does) the sole means of salvation (Sola Soterža), it practically "pre-wins" any "arguments" on subjects like "sola scriptura". We "Bible only" people can argue all day long, bringing up verse after verse proving our point
- and many have done so - only to marvel at the uncanny ways the Scripture itself can be "wrested" (2 Peter 3:16) to the destruction of the one "using" it. Call up your favorite search engine and check it all out. You will find all the arguments, all the verses, all the fanciful
"interpretation" of those verses. You will find Catholics taking the Bible and trying to prove that the Berean citizens rejected "sola scriptura" precisely because they "searched the scriptures". I will not argue that subject on the authority of someone who "uses" (but
doesn't really believe) my authority, (the Bible) but believes that in the end, his CHURCH is the "final authority. We are overstating nothing here. When pushed to a corner, the Catholic will put the Church first, scripture and tradition second. That is because in their belief the Church came
first. In other words, the Church generated Scripture, not vice versa. The "Bible only" Christian understands that the Scripture brought men to Christ, who then formed the Churches. The Bible believer who allows the Roman Catholic to take him to task in the Scriptures is playing the part of a fool,
for even if you should "score", the Catholic has been prejudiced against "sola scriptura" since he was a child (in most cases). When you have thoroughly "trounced" him with Scripture, he will simply retreat to the Church and her tradition. Arguing a single issue then, with the
Roman whore, is a losing proposition. You don't argue with a prostitute - you'll lose or else wind up in bed with her, which is exactly what is happening to "Protestant" Christianity (but that is another subject altogether!). What must be done is to show the whore for what she really is. Then any
honest (and sane!) man would run for his "life". He would avoid her like the bubonic plague. Aids and death might be awaiting him. Rather then arguing "sola scriptura" we will, without undo emotion, through documents, decrees, papal bulls, the Church fathers, and the edicts of the Church
councils, thoroughly expose the whole Church to honest minds for what she really is. Then you be the judge.
Are you familiar with the story of the four blind men who were called on to describe an elephant? One, feeling the trunk of the great animal, described it as a loathsome serpent. Another, feeling the tail described it as the branch of the willow tree. Another, feeling the ivory tusks declared the elephant
to be a monster with teeth that could chew up and swallow down the whole world, and finally one, feeling the massive leg of the animal, declared that it was the post upon which the earth itself was founded..
Thus it is with the massive entity called the Roman Catholic Church. If one only looks at the priesthood, or at the sacraments, or perhaps one is awed with the majesty of the cathedrals, or tradition or any other singular feature of this highly successful (and expensive!) prostitute, one will never see the
deception and blasphemy she foists upon unsuspecting people who just bought the package because the box was pretty or because when they were little, someone told
them - with all the sincerity of Santa Claus telling kids he comes down their collective chimneys on Christmas
eve - that this is the "right"
Church. Prejudice - pre-judging without looking at the facts..
SO, what is the real issue? Final Authority. It is not the Bible verses the Bible + tradition. It is the Words of God verses the Catholic Church. If the Church says one thing, and the Scriptures another, then we must ask,
"Which is the final source of authority?" When the subject is
looked at under the searing searchlight of Biblical truth and compared with the Biblical record, the dust settles, and the "sola scriptura" issue (as well as all the straw man issues the Catholic Church spews out) clears up like a Mississippi fog under a burning mid-morning sun.
The Catholic Church refuses to allow that God would command any Christian to interpret the Bible for himself, in spite of the verse which tells us to do so.
Study to show thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth. 2 Timothy 2:15
It insists that pronouncements of the Church "fathers" along with selected statements of various popes, constitute "sacred tradition" that, while never contradicting scripture, add to it in such a way as to give its "dark" sentences (Daniel 8:23) meaning to us poor mortals
who have simply made a shambles of trying to "interpret" it. The apostasy (falling away from truth spoken of in 2 Thessalonians chapter 2 - read it!) of our times certainly makes it seem that some sort of "magesterium" is needed to help us interpret Scripture. We live in a time typified in
the Bible by the book of Judges.
In those days there was no king in Israel: every man did that which was right in his own eyes. Judges 21:25
So in reality, the question is not "sola scriptura", (the Scriptures alone) but rather
Final Authority. If the Catholic Church is the sole dispenser of salvation; if she is infallible in the interpretation of Scripture, then tradition may take it's rightful place alongside the Bible as
authoritative. Why, because it (tradition) then derives its authority from the Church. If we believe that the Bible is the final authority, (predjudice? I trow not. We have taken the time [years!] to verify its truths, its unity, and power) then, the church herself is in subjection to the Scriptures, and
tradition has no standing whatsoever, rather it becomes "anti-Scripture" if I may coin a phrase here.
The doctrine of "sola scriptura"will not then be argued as a singular doctrine. We are commanded to STUDY Scripture with a humble attitude, and the HOLY GHOST will teach us.
If we read in the Scriptures:
But the anointing which ye have received of him abideth in you, and ye need not that any man teach you: but as the same anointing teacheth you of all things, and is truth, and is no lie, and even as it hath taught you, ye shall abide in him. 1 John 2:27
Then we should wonder why the Catholic Church at one time forbade Catholics to read the Bible, and now, while permitting it, frowns on anyone interpreting it using the brain God gave him. If, as the Scripture states, (and Catholics do not deny that the Scripture has authority)
So then every one of us shall give account of himself to God. Romans 14:12
How will one give account for his "study" if he has, all his life, relied on the interpretations given him by the Church?
Why do we need an infallible pope if the Scripture says:
Howbeit when he, the Spirit of truth, is come, he will guide you into all truth: for he shall not speak of himself; but whatsoever he shall hear, that shall he speak: and he will show you things to come. John 16:13
If the Catholic Church, as the infallible teacher of truth is correct, then we cannot possibly argue that Scripture is all we need. But if we are told to study, (and we are) and if we are told that the Spirit of Truth will guide us, (and HE will) and if the Scripture stands against the writings of the
Church fathers, and the Ex-Cathedra pronouncements of the popes, and the councils of popes and bishops that clearly contradict the Scripture, (and they do! - try the council of Trent for starters) then Catholicism is seen for what it really is. A clever deception; an imitation designed to deceive. (No
one ever came away from a prostitute really feeling better for the encounter - guilt is no respecter of persons).
When Paul wrote to the Galatian believers, he said: (read it carefully!)
As we said before, so say I now again, If any man preach any other gospel unto you than that ye have received, let him be accursed. Galatians 1:9
What Gospel did they receive? Let's get it straight from Paul's pen:
Moreover, brethren, I declare unto you the gospel which I preached unto you, which also ye have received, and wherein ye stand; By which also ye are saved, if ye keep in memory what I preached unto you, unless ye have believed in vain. For I delivered unto you first of all that which I also received,
how that Christ died for our sins according to the scriptures; And that he was buried, and that he rose again the third day according to the scriptures: 1Corinthians 15:1-4
And they said, Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and thou shalt be saved. Acts 16:31
Let's hear it from John:
He that hath the Son hath life; and he that hath not the Son of God hath not life. These things have I written unto you that believe on the name of the Son of God; that ye may know that ye have eternal life, and that ye may believe on the name of the Son of God. 1 John 5:12,13
For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life. John 3:16
This web site is dedicated to people who will open their hearts to God and
ask him for the truth; to those seekers who want God more than they desire physical life; to those who will take God up on his offer:
And ye shall seek me, and find me, when ye shall search for me with all your heart. Jeremiah 29:13
We will continue to add to the "Other Side Of Rome" page, (It will take time - please be patient!) posting example after example of the DIFFERENCE between real Bible salvation, and real Bible truth and the traditions and councils of the Roman Catholic Church. We will quote Catholic sources
to do so. We will shine the light of objective, empirical, demonstrable truth on the whole elephant. We do not need to argue single issues per se. When tradition is lined up with the Scripture, and it is seen that there is no way both can be true at the same time, only the person poisoned by his pride
(gotcha!) and prejudice will not be able to see clearly the deceptive, slick, monstrous entity known as the Roman Catholic Church for what she really is - the whore of Revelation chapter 17. We do not say these things to demean Catholics. We are not "anti-Catholic". We are against the
that enslaves the souls of men, and prepares them for a devil's hell.
Revelation 18:2 And he cried mightily with a strong voice, saying, Babylon the great is fallen, is fallen, and is become the habitation of devils, and the hold of every foul spirit, and a cage of every unclean and hateful bird.
Revelation 18:3 For all nations have drunk of the wine of the wrath of her fornication, and the kings of the earth have committed fornication with her, and the merchants of the earth are waxed rich through the abundance of her delicacies.
Revelation 18:4 And I heard another voice from heaven, saying, Come out of her, my people, that ye be not partakers of her sins, and that ye receive not of her plagues.
Revelation 18:5 For her sins have reached unto heaven, and God hath remembered her iniquities.
Revelation 18:6 Reward her even as she rewarded you, and double unto her double according to her works: in the cup which she hath filled fill to her double.
Revelation 18:7 How much she hath glorified herself, and lived deliciously, so much torment and sorrow give her: for she saith in her heart, I sit a queen, and am no widow, and shall see no sorrow.
Revelation 18:8 Therefore shall her plagues come in one day, death, and mourning, and famine; and she shall be utterly burned with fire: for strong is the Lord God who judgeth her.
I challenge any honest Roman Catholic to get a King James Bible and read the New Testament through once. As you read it, compare what you are reading with what you have been taught. If then you can remain a Catholic, we will move on to someone else. If you will not seek God
within the pages of His book then you will be ignorant of these verses:
I also will choose their delusions, and will bring their fears upon them; because when I called, none did answer; when I spake, they did not hear: but they did evil before mine eyes, and chose that in which I delighted not. Isaiah 66:4
And if the prophet be deceived when he hath spoken a thing, I the LORD have deceived that prophet, and I will stretch out my hand upon him, and will destroy him from the midst of my people Israel. Ezekiel 14:9
We will not argue "sola scriptura" on this web site. Our purpose is not to win an argument. Our purpose is to win souls. Solomon, without doubt wiser than any of us, said:
The fruit of the righteous is a tree of life; and he that winneth souls is wise. Proverbs 11:30
By the way - What is a Christian? Someone who has, contrary to all Catholic teaching, put his or her trust solely and completely in the shed blood of Jesus Christ - ALONE. Ephesians 2:8,9, Acts 16:31,32, Romans 10:9, Romans 10:4, Acts 15:11 etc. etc. etc. Don't go running off to James, until you have read the first 2 verses, and know who it is written to.