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Catholics and the Bible: Is the Bible the Only Source of Christian Beliefs? Comments

Over the last 25 years I've had more debates than I can count with Christians of various denominations. These conversations varied as widely as the perspectives of the different people I debated, but nearly every one eventually included the question: "Where is that in the Bible?" Why "sola scriptura" falls short and misses the mark. Continue Reading

21 - 30 of 67 Comments

  1. JeanCatherine
    4 years ago

    Mike FP

    I understand what your saying but the Church does understand without Christ she does have imperfection. She knows this. What I said The Lord is 100 percent but His Bride is human. For lack of a better way to say it. Im not saying we must be blind to thinking at all but I am trusting of the teaching of the Church set down until I stand in Judgement before the Lord.

    I realize it says beware of false teachers but I also know that I cannot do this without our Lord Jesus Christ and He sent the Holy Spirit and I figure if I can get close to the Lord He will get it acrossed to me and all of us.

    I love our Church warts and all. I love her massive information about Jesus Christ. I wish we could have had the information that is implied about our Lord that isnt there but would have filled volumes. I love the teaching of Holy Father. I even love the dissendents in our Church because they challenge the rest of us to be humble and to teach if we can what is truth----the Lord.

    That is all Im trying to say. I follow your thinking and I understand but I have to trust that the church understands the possiblity or reality of a Purgatory for us as implied in 2Maccbees etc as mentioned above. I trust in the Lord wherever He is going to take me on this journey with love for all and hopefully love in my heart as He would have it.

    May our people come back to the church and may we someday be one. You keep on learning the faith and question and test false teaching if that is what you aim at here. That is what were supposed to do.

    Our Pope even human is Peter and I follow Peter to the Lord as long as he is not a false teacher.

    I am trying to say the same thing about the human issue but dont forget again we can do nothing without the Lord---that is the Supernatural part and I trust in Him with all my heart. I must look to what Mother Church teaches so I can find these truths in the living word as we all must. God Bless you to Mike FP and you are a brother and in my prayers and I hope I have elaborated better.

  2. JeanCatherine
    4 years ago

    Mike FP:

    Reasoning for Purgatory:

    Belief in Prayers for the Dead: 2Macabees 12:38-46

    Christ's words: Mt. 12:32

    Nothing defiled in Heaven Rv. 21:27

  3. Mike FP
    4 years ago

    JEAN CATHERINE: I am humbled by your humility. I think what may be causing concern on your part is my willingness to acknowledge imperfections in Holy Mother Church -- or should we say that part of the Church that can have imperfections, namely the human part. Similarly, I do find it objectionable to hear people make epistomologically impossible claims. Our ability to know things for sure doesn't go much beyond cogito ergo sum. That's how God made us. Our understanding of the world rests on faith much more than it does on knowledge. Concerning Purgatory, the arguments for its existence from scripture are very, very slim. It did not, in fact, become Church doctrine until the Middle Ages -- although it is apparently a tradition of longstanding. So what? I think the Church's assertion of Purgatory's existence is a wonderful thing, and a good example of why the Church does not limit the deposit of faith to only that which is written in scripture.

  4. Pete Brady
    4 years ago

    Mike FP: I really don't see that there is an argument here worth pursuing. You seem to enjoy, or prefer, intellectually engaging your faith. More power to you if it strengthens your faith, takes you to the truth. That's on the one hand. On the other, your questioning reminds me of all the early controversies and heresies in the Church revolving around the nature of the divinity/humanity of Jesus. While thought provoking for the theologians it disturbed and confused those who just simply wanted to believe; it was enough for them that Jesus was God and man. The how of it did not trouble them too greatly but as the controversies went on, it had the unintended effect of fostering a longing amongst those exposed to the various heresies for a simplicity of belief. They were ripe for something. And that something was Islam when it came along. "It" stripped away the mystery of the Trinity; one God was far easier to grasp. For myself I don't think that after my death, that God will ask at my particular judgment "tell Me, how much did you intellectually investigate your faith." I believe that God will look into my heart to find the answer to two things: the first; do I love God with all my heart, soul, and mind; and the second; did I love my neighbor as myself. I am certainly brought to that love by reading Scripture, the Catechism, Encyclicals, etc., but I also believe that if my faith rests only on my complete and thorough understanding of every aspect of teaching then I frustrate what could be as simple as Jesus' words after St. Thomas had seen his wounds: "Blessed are they who have not seen, and yet have believed" (Jn 20:29). I do not have to delve into every reason for the Marian doctrines. It is enough for me to know that Jesus was perfect, that he kept the Commandments, among which we are to "Honor our father and mother." It is enough that Jesus honors His Mother Mary and that I should do no less. The Church speaks; I believe it is guided by the Holy Spirit because Jesus said He would not leave us orphans and that He would send the Paraclete, the Holy Spirit, "to guide you in all truth" (Jn 16:13). Yes, it is "human minds" that are being guided but the comfort is that they are led to all truth. We know that truth results because Jesus promised that His Church would prevail against the gates of hell. It is enough for me. It was also enough, apparently, for St. Augustine who said in his Contra Epistolam Manichaei, "I would put no faith in the Gospels unless the authority of the Catholic Church directed me to do so."

  5. JeanCatherine
    4 years ago

    Mike FP

    Have you ever read Patrick Madrid's book "Where is that in the Bible?" Now that Ive read your previous comment to another I think I see what your talking about. Your talking about applying what Holy Father is trying to get acrossed faith and reason but you question what is taught arent you?

    You want to ask hard scary questions about what? I see where you take this but again where do you get your information that purgatory isnt in the Bible and other beliefs.

    You have read the Catechism of course?

    Thank you on occaision I am fast at thinking humbly speaking of course.

  6. JeanCatherine
    4 years ago

    Mike FP

    You seem to have a problem with the Catholic Church would you care to elaborate? Its in your tone here on Catholic News Online which Im discerning here.

    What is your point? If you ask me your questioning Salvation History which is in the making right now.

    Our Lord is 100 percent perfect but His Bride is not is that what were getting at here? Im well aware of that but I would like to think the Holy Spirit does help us get out of the mired down mud when it hits and guides us.

    Have you ever read about the prophesy by Don Bosco regarding the Pope steering the ship? Read it sometime. Maybe this can answer your questions as to what Im trying to get acrossed perhaps badly?

  7. Mike FP
    4 years ago

    JEAN CATHERINE: Not so fast, Jean Catherine. My point has to do with the manner in which the Church, including the Holy Father -- and even us lowly pew-dwellers -- discern the Holy Spirit's guidance. Do you think the Borgia popes did as good a job of this as Pope John Paul II, or John XXIII? St. Paul the Apostle clearly did not get every single thing right -- although I'm confident that he sincerely sought the Holy Spirit's guidance with every one of those "single things." I do not see how the idea that the Church -- composed in no small part of fallible humans -- doesn't get it 100% "right" 100% of the time contradicts the notion that the whole unruly rabble of us isn't nonetheless being herded along in the right direction by the Holy Spirit. But I suspect it is much more like herding cats, and maybe we haven't taken the shortest route between the navpoints.

  8. Mike FP
    4 years ago

    PETER BRADY: Hmm...careful how I answer this. I believe in the Lord's assurance that the truth will set us free. You might contrast this with the Ancient Greek view of truth (i.e. Oedipus saw the truth and subsequently tore his eyes out). In that context, I would certainly say that I do question the will and purpose of God -- and pretty much everything else -- confident that the Lord's assurance concerning truth will hold -- and that my faith will be made stronger by doing so. I would contrast this with faith I often see that seems to be based on fear -- fear of what might happen if you question too deeply. Consider: we believe in a God who is all loving, all forgiving. Apply your reason to that belief. You wind up in remarkable places. The entirely non-scriptural doctrine of Purgatory, for example. Or consider the troubling notion of eternal damnation. Reason tells me that, for our wills to be truly free, humans need to have the option of completely rejecting God. And it also
    leads me to the entirely orthodox belief -- check your Catholic Encyclopedia if you don't believe me -- that God creating a place of eternal damnation for those who might choose to dwell there in the life to come -- does not preclude the possibility that the same infinitely loving God might choose to give those unfortunate souls an option to reconsider. You won't find any of that in Scripture. But that's not really an excuse in my opinion. Put another way, I don't believe that reason and faith are merely compatible, I believe that reason can be a great aid in strengthening faith. But that often begins with asking hard, potentially scary questions.

  9. JeanCatherine
    4 years ago

    Mike FP

    So you dont trust in the Holy Spirit guiding the church? You dont think the Holy Spirit guides the Pope? You dont think the Holy Spirit is active in the Church?

    You think that the Holy Spirit has nothing to do with us at all?

  10. Pete Brady
    4 years ago

    Mike FP: From time to time I have been wont to respect the insightfulness of your comments. And I agree that reason and faith are compatible, that St. Thomas Aquinas did a better than admirable job in his "Summa" of marrying revealed truth in Scripture to the philosophical reasoning of Aristotle. But I got to ask you, based on your foregoing comments, if you think you are leading anyone to see the "faith" in your responses and not just a dalliance with provoking questions based on what looks like a head nod to "reason?" Cause, from where I sit, you appear to be questioning the will and purpose of God. And from our previous discourses I know that's not you.

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