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8.04.2005    |    False Doctrines
We are told that evangelicals and Catholics share much common ground. For example, the worthy Evangelicals and Catholics Together initiative. True enough, but there is (at least) one thing that will forever separate us. And that is the implicit Catholic rejection of sola scriptura. At least that aspect of sola scriptura that requires us to measure all church doctrine against the inerrent word of God as provided in the Bible.

To wit, Catholic dependence on "tradition", sometimes rendered "Tradition", capital "T", so as to set aside the really, really important man-made inventions. Whether or not they contradict Scripture, or simply can not be derived therefrom. "Tradition" is often code for, "hey, we know this isn't in Scripture, but we, the Magesterium, think it's just as important." Case in point, and perhaps one of the worst aspects of Catholic practice that is in grave error, is the declaration, in December 1854 by Pius IX, that Mary, the mother of Jesus,
"in the first instance of her conception, by a singular privilege and grace granted by God, in view of the merits of Jesus Christ, the Saviour of the human race, was preserved exempt from all stain of original sin."
Otherwise known as the Doctrine of the Immaculate Conception, often confused with the Virgin Birth. Mary is conceived and born, but without the stain of original sin. So much for Genesis 6:5, 8:21, or, for that matter, Romans 3:23.

The Catholic Church comes right out, in this article on the doctrine, and admits the truth, that "No direct or categorical and stringent proof of the dogma [of Immaculate Conception] can be brought forward from Scripture." Translation: "take our word for it; we're the Pope; we're infalliable in matters of faith." Or, more grossly, "nevermind Scriptural integrity."

This is not to be hateful to my Catholic brothers and sisters. In a hostile world, what we share, Christ, is much more important than where we differ. But we are also called to bring our errant brothers and sisters to a better understanding of our faith. All I would ask is that a Christian test any and all beliefs, doctrines, dogmas, creeds, any statement of faith, against the one true measure: Scripture.

And reject that which can not be supported by God's Word.

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Anonymous Anonymous said...

Very brave man you are! I wrote one, innocuous post like this, and I was branded anti-Catholic and de-linked by numerous Catholic bloggers. You notice that Protestants don't whine about Catholics and others being "anti-Protestant." We'd neither eat, sleep, nor anything else if we did. :)

--La Shawn

6:02 PM, August 04, 2005  
Blogger Jack Rich said...

Hey, I'm John (Jack) Rich, not Jack Chick.

We've got to witness to Catholics, in love, if they're ever going to shed their superstitions.

8:38 PM, August 04, 2005  
Blogger Telika said...

excellent post. I have posted something like this on my blog. We are all need to sit back and think about where religion comes from. Is it God's word? Or is it man's? There are so many religions that take one scripture and twist and change it or just create something totally out of the blue!

1:13 PM, August 06, 2005  

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About this site and the author

Welcome. My name is John Luke Rich, (very) struggling Christian. The focus here is Christianity in its many varieties, its fussing and feuding, how it impacts our lives and our society, with detours to consider it with other faiths (or lack thereof).

Call this blog my way of evangelizing on the internet.

Putting it differently, we're only here on this earth a short time. It's the rest of eternity that we should be most concerned about. Call it the care and feeding of our souls.

I was born Jewish, and born again in Christ Jesus over thirty years ago. First as a Roman Catholic; now a Calvinist by persuasion and a Baptist by denomination. But I'm hardly a poster boy for doctrinal rigidity.

I believe that Scripture is the rock on which all Christian churches must stand -- or sink if they are not so grounded. I believe that we are saved by faith, but hardly in a vacuum. That faith is a gift from God, through no agency on our part -- although we sometimes turn a deaf ear and choose to ignore God's knocking on the door.

To be Christian is to evangelize. Those who think it not their part to evangelize perhaps haven't truly understood what our Lord told us in Matthew 28. We must preach the Gospel as best we are able. Using words if necessary.

Though my faith waxes and wanes, it never seems to go away. Sometimes I wish it would, to give me some peace of mind. But then, Jesus never said that walking with Him was going to be easy...

Final note: I also blog as Jack Rich on cultural, political and other things over at Wrong Side of the Tracks

Thanks for stopping by.