There are some Christians out there who are “Bible alone” Christians. These Christians are Christians that believe in the Trinity and they believe in the Bible alone. They take a literal interpretation of the Bible and do not attend any Church service. There are certain Christians out there who believe in the Bible alone. Does any one know how much these “Bible alone,” Christians number?
And do these Bible alone Christians follow a certain leader or pastor or preacher? Like Benny Hinn, is Benny Hinn a Bible-alone Christian?
Any professed protestant denomination takes a “bible alone” approach except Episcopalians to some extent. Sola Scriptura=the bible only. Thankfully sacrad tradition in the Catholic Church has prevailed. What were Christians doing before (and after) the completion of the bible? Following the traditions of the church fathers.
It is hard to measure how many so called Bible alone Christians are out there do to the fact that they are not attending any sort of Church. Of course, there are whole Baptist style/independent churches out there that claim they believe in the “Bible Alone” and they vary from extreme type fundamentalists to independent Charismatic Churches. I have met and know a few such people that think there is no “true” church out there that match how they read and interpret the Bible and have “their own Church” in the house with their own family. I know one former co-worker who herself was sort of agnostic but married to someone who “believed in the Bible” yet did not attend any church yet because he did not find a true believing Church according to the way he read and understood the Bible. It really is sad and opens people like this up to all sorts of things and heresies out there that are floating around like the “i love Jesus but hate religion”. Thank-you Jesus for the Catholic Church and the protection it gives from “every wind of doctrine”.
On the Benny Hinn note, he is of the word of faith/prosperity healing always movement.
He had been involved in fraud and deceit. Stay away from him.
God bless you and Holy Mary Mother of God pray that we stay true to your Son and His Church!
Obviously if they believe “just me and my Bible” to the extent you are describing, they would find it impossible to meet together, spread their views, or “stand up and be counted” in any way. Most of us would find it nearly impossible to be sure they were clearly Christian, if they don’t have any assemblies (or baptism?) or any responsible teaching…of course we hope the grace of God works miracles in all hearts, no?
But I did grow up in a Baptist pastor’s family, and I can tell you that we believed that “The Bible is the sole rule of faith and practice for the Christian” and that the role of a church was to proclaim, evangelize, teach, etc. so as to inform the individual conscience–but that the whole teaching authority remained in the Book itself, and the liberty (and responsibility) of each individual believer was to personally come to understand and be convinced of each truth in the Bible.
Now, I still don’t think it’s bad to say that each person ought to learn the Bible thoroughly, or be called to our responsibility to assent to the truths we are taught, but I don’t think it works out very well when each of us bears whole and sole responsibility for that judgment–which is the unfortunate practical consequence of making the Bible the sole rule of faith and practice for each separated believer, rather than treating the Bible as the written core of the depositum fidei, wholly inseparable from and essential to the Tradition. In my new Catholic faith, I am permitted to modestly understand my limitations of competence, and resign to the Church’s Magisterium that measure of my responsibility of articulate and practical assent to the fulness of Revelation that I cannot yet manage, while knowing that the Magisterium, as a Teaching Office, will by the Spirit’s work lead me into all things. In God’s good time. Not in a series of wrenching crises (as many of us experienced our Fundamentalist/evangelical lives prior to coming Home).
Throughout Protestantism, where it is competently taught (see: conservative/evangelical churches), the belief that “the Bible is the sole rule of faith and practice” for the individual (or in some forms for the church) is an essential distinctive of the tradition(s). See monergism.com/directory/link_category/Five-Solas/ for a discussion of the five “only” or “alone” assertions which are comprised in the essence of “Reformed” teaching. Here’s a discussion of this principle in terms very like those I was taught: the-highway.com/Scripture_Hodge.html
So there are very few of the variety you describe. And Benny Hinn is … not a competent Protestant teacher, and not a believer in Sola Scriptura, as he believes he personally can make up personal prophecies whenever he feels “led” to do so, with his own made-up “apostolic” cred.
To Benny Hinn we could add a whole raft of televangelists to name a few Kenneth Copeland, Charles Capps, Ron Carpenter Jr. “Bishop” T D Jakes. They say that they are letting the “Spirit” move during their services but in reality they are simply getting people all worked up emotionally with rock style music, shouting, pounding the pulpit, more shouting “speaking in tongues” (did I mention shouting?):eek: Sort of like this fellow!
The impression that I’m getting is that Catholics seem to put more stock in Sacred Tradtion, and put Sacred Scripture aside (I’m guessing that’s Sola Ecclesia? Church alone?) There has to be a balance. To say that the Church is the only authority would seem to negate the Bible. The Bible came to be for a reason. It stands as part of a “Checks and Balance” if you will. Sacred Tradition and Sacred Scripture together, would make a more perfect balance. Scripture alone leads to all kinds of open interpratation,(Like the prosperity movement, and to a degree, cults) and Church alone leads to no free thought, and can lead to all kinds of desctuctive herasies.
The Catechism clearly teaches us (and St. Augustine and St. Thomas Aquinas, among many others, including the Apostles who wrote in Scripture and the Prophets they drew on) that we cannot possibly have “sola” anything that leaves out the Word of God written–the Scriptures–or the Word of God Incarnate–the Christ Himself, speaking in His Church’s reading of Scripture, present in His Church by the Eucharist, and the Head of the Body who speaks to us when our priests perform the sacraments and offer us absolution in His Person. If some Catholics have a habit of behaving as though Scripture is unimportant, that’s an unfortunate overreaction against the Protestant teaching that every individual’s reading of Scripture is the important theological authority.
The problem with “sola Scriptura,” ultimately, is not that it puts Scripture in such a high place. JUST THE OPPOSITE. The problem with “sola Scriptura” is that, in the end, it lapses into “only what I think.” The reader, rather than the God who breathed Scripture, ends up being the authority by which one teaching or interpretation is judged against another. Look at serious conversations among Protestants with important disagreements, and you will find an endless series of exegetical strategies for winning arguments ultimately of the form, “my reading is better than yours.”
I very seriously believe the Magisterium must not–that is, as long as it is the Magisterium, the Holy Spirit at work in the Church, Christ Heading the Church through His Apostles and their Successors, it cannot and will not–deviate from what God teaches through His Word, written and spoken. And as God will not reveal in writing what He contradicts in speaking, that means that when we read the Scriptures carefully and closely in submission to the Magisterium, we do so expecting that our mutual submission, along with all the other readers of Scripture in our communion, will lead us into all truth.
Not true at all. Sacred Tradition, Sacred Scripture and the Church are all on the same par. Problem is that many non-Catholics place more emphasis on the Bible over Tradition and the Church. You must remember a simple fact: The Bible is a result of the Church,not vice versa. Scripture is very clear Jesus founded His Church and the pillar of Truth lies with the Church.
yes Jesus founded his Church, but the OT was wrote before Jesus came to earth, and the NT was inspired writing by the first apostles , but yes we have to thank the early Church Fathers for preserving them and putting them in the Bible.
So in that sense there I don’t see anything wrong with full dependence on the Holy Scripture.
Also shouldn’t more emphasis be placed on Scripture than traditions or any one Church.
in verses Mk 7:18 and 13 Jesus warns about tradition and I do understand he is talking to the Pharisees, but as long as it doesn’t contradict the commands of God,
so shouldn’t Holy Scripture trump tradition or any Church teaching.
Jesus founded what church? The first church right? What was that church? The Catholic church is the answer. What were the apostles doing before the completion of the bible? Following traditions that Jesus instructed them to. If you had no tradition you wouldn’t have a bible. That is why tradition is equal to scripture.
Even more important , scripture tells us to follow and pass along not only the written word but what you have HEARD.
Catholic means universal so yes, universal Christian Church. the original apostles were dead before the Bible was put together. So unless someone forged the writings in the Bible (all books wrote before 100 ad) then it is the true inspired Word of God. So the Bible trumps all. No traditions trump the bible if they are not inline with the Bible and can not be backed up by the Bible.
A couple of points if I may. First, the Bible itself declares flatly that you are wrong. Read 1 Timothy 3:15. Also, the fact of the matter is, and you have essentially admitted this already: the very Canon of Scripture we call the Bible, what books and letters and writings were included and what weren’t, is itself a Tradition! It was decided by the Catholic Church what was inspired and necessary to have and what wasn’t. Some writings were not included that were nevertheless VERY highly regarded and are useful to Catholic scholars today. Look up the Gospel of Barnabus, the Proto-Evangelium of James, even some non-gnostic Christians had high regard for the Gospel of Thomas, Dan Brown’s ridiculous misreading of it in the Da Vinci Code notwithstanding. If only the authentic letters of Ignatius had been included as some had wanted in the Canon, we wouldn’t be having this discussion now because there’s no way to really wriggle around what he had to say about the Eucharist, the primacy of Peter, and the Church itself. In relying on the Bible you are explicitly relying on Catholic Tradition as to its authenticity and accuracy.
But secondly, and to me more interestingly, your posts seem to suggest you find Catholic traditions or beliefs expressly in conflict with Scripture. What are those, pray tell? Because I assure you, no official Catholic Tradition conflicts or contradicts Scripture. Some go farther than Scripture or describe things Scripture is silent on, but none say “x” where Scripture says “not x”.