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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

31 - 40 of 67 Comments

  1. Mike FP
    3 years ago

    CHRISTIAN, I think your argument would be stronger if you limited it to the necessity of seeking God with a sincere heart and not presume to know what actions might flow from that. After all, what with one frame of mind might be murder, is the sacrifice of Abraham with another. No?

  2. Mike FP
    3 years ago

    JEAN CATHERINE: I'm referring to your comment about how the Holy Spirit guides the Church. That statement begs the question of how those who are guided figure out what the Holy Spirit is guiding them to do. You can say, well, the Holy Father -- or the Magisterium, etc. But the fact of the matter is that it ultimately boils human minds making decisions. This is so even in the case of the selection of Judas Iscariot's successor in Acts. The Apostles decided to draw lots. In other words -- to was sartrusian -- they had to make a decision -- even if that decision was to let the substance of a subsequent decision fall out of their hands.

  3. Christian
    3 years ago

    Mike FP, God created the box (no pun intended, meaning the confessional), and you are right that as Catholics we should and must avail ourselves of this sacrament in order for our mortal sins to be forgiven. That is what the Church teaches. And you know it is a very good thing to do on a regular basis. This sacrament offers grace to help us grow in holiness which is what Christ would like to accomplish in us. He wants us to be perfect as His Heavenly Father is perfect. We would be fools to neglect such an opportunity. Because we have this great gift among other great gifts it becomes our duty, our privilege and indeed it becomes a mandate to tell others about it. That is why we talk, why we witness, why we evangelize as our present Pope would have us do. The Cathechism of the Catholic Church states in # 847 that: "Those who, through no fault of their own, do not know the Gospel of Christ or His Church, but who nevertheless seek God with a sincere heart, and, moved by grace, try in their actions to do His will as they know it through the dictates of their conscience--those too may achieve salvation." It goes on to say though in #848 that even though this is possible that "the Church still has the obligation and also the sacred right to evangelize all men." That being said, based upon this passage from the Cathechism, it is possible for God to forgive outside the box. But not for Catholics, especially for those who know and practice their faith. You cannot claim ignorance, invincible or otherwise, once you have come to a knowledge of a truth. That is why for many of us we could never leave the Church and what it offers. For to leave her would be to reject Christ and turn our backs on Him and then we might become guilty of that unforgivenable sin against the Holy Spirit in deliberately refusing to accept God's mercy. (#1864 of the Cathechism.)

  4. JeanCatherine
    3 years ago

    Thank you Christian couldnt have said it better. Like I said Im looking forward to checking Patrick Madrid's "Where is that in the Bible?" which will help in my study of the bible and also my Catechism is a big help because it to sights where everything is taught in the Bible.

  5. JeanCatherine
    3 years ago

    Mike FP

    To be quite honest with you I have no idea what your talking about? Im not arguing with you either. I happen to like the fact that we have a Catechism which helps us discern the Bible and what it says regarding authority. Nothing wrong with that.


    JCRUZ

    When I can yes I study the scriptures. I also just gave you recommendations for help that is all regarding tradition and what we believe. Im not here to argue with you. I do believe some of the passages in the Bible are explained in Patrick Madrids book regarding what Jesus Christ set down from the beginning and gave to His Church.

  6. Christian
    3 years ago

    Jcruz, I have to write back to you. You will not find in the NT any references to Apostles and Bishops hearing confesion and giving out absolution. It is not explicit but it is implied by what has been written in John 20:22. (Thank you Peter Brady for providing the scipture reference; forgive my laziness in not looking it up myself). Just because something is not explicit in the Scriptures does not mean we should not believe it. The NT was written by Catholics, for Catholics. The words of Scripture reflect the living Tradition of what was happening in the early Christian communities and what continues to happen to the present day amongst Catholics and Orthodox Christians. Scriptures are not our only source of information. The Tradition and the Church precede our New Testament Scriptures. It is from these two sources that the NT was written, codified and canonized. If you want more information on what was happening in the early Christian communities and their practices you might want to look up the early Church Fathers and what they wrote on the subject of forgiveness of sins and the reception of the Eucharist. The latter, though, you can find ample proof of in Paul's writings to the different churches. On another note, I have to ask you a question. Do you think the Church is somehow mistaken in its practices having had them handed down from the Apostles, and that from the time of Martin Luther let's say God has finally heard His peoples' cry and revealed a more perfect truth which has resulted in the splintering of His body into more than 30,000+ denominations? His prayer in John's Gospel (John 17:21) that all may be one as He and the Father are One is not served by Luther and his testimony nor that of his collaborators and followers. The latter seems, by the fruits of what followed, to be the work of the deceiver. That is another reason why we need the Church. Jesus built only one Church. He built in on Peter (the pope), and promised that not even the gates of hell would prevail against her. (Matthew 16:18,19). In other words Jesus, who is not a liar, who cannot deceive nor be deceived, promised to preserve His Church in truth. It is unerring in its practices by virtue of His promises and His power to keep it so. He made no such promises to the "churches" that followed. Their foundations are built on shifting ground and can easily be tossed around this way and that with every new doctrine or whim that comes around in the name of the "Lord." They have no firm anchor to keep them firmly in the Truth. Jcruz, if you really want to know the truth, and I believe you do, you might want to go to ewtn.com and check out the different tabs on that site. It is a good place to start and I'm confident you'll find many more questions and answers there. You might also look up Catholicity.com and get free downloads on the free Catholic CD tab. Best wishes to you and we're praying for you.

  7. Mike FP
    3 years ago

    JCRUZ & JEAN CATHERINE, An element that seems to be getting short shrift in this discussion is the role of reason. The Church does acknowledge that reason can play a key role in shaping our faith. Take Jcruz's point about absolution. Reason, I think, would argue that his point is correct; it is not reasonable to believe that an all-loving, all-knowing God would create a situation where only those with access to priests and confessionals could receive absolution from sins. Which is why, I am reasonably sure -- without even having to look it up -- that the Church -- propagator of the the doctrine of invincible ignorance, after all -- does not claim that God absolves only the sins of people who receive the Roman Catholic sacrament of penance. That said, it is also not reasonable for those to whom this resource is available not to use it. Sound "reasonable" ? : )

  8. Jcruz
    3 years ago

    Pete Brady-- yes I believe Jesus is God and second person of the Trinity. I believe it not because the Catholic church says so but because the NT teaches it. All Christians have a responsibility to know the Scriptures and live by them. Only they are inspired-inerrant and the final authority. These very same Scriptures warn that we are not to be deceived because there will be false teachers that will come into the church and deceive many. The Scripture also says we are to test all things. This is vitally important to test the doctrines of any church and see if they line up with Scripture. When we do this with doctrines such doctrines as purgatory or the Marian doctrines we find these are not taught in Scripture and therefore not apostolic but the teachings of men.

    JeanCatherine-- have you read and studied the Scriptures yourself?

  9. JeanCatherine
    3 years ago

    Jcruz

    You ignore one piece of information in how things are decided: The Holy Spirit and how it guides the Church.

  10. JeanCatherine
    3 years ago

    Jcruz

    Pick up a copy of Patrick Madrid's "Where is that in the Bible?" Im getting a copy for myself to even though I have seen his program on EWTN.

    Its an excellent source. I believe he covers other things like tradition to in another book.

    Also I believe the Catechism is online and you might want to source this to for your answers.


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