…con’t from the thread:
"Why do Protestants say Catholicism leads to hell? " for “myfavoritmartin” in particular.
If you think about that, it’s actually a bit of a logical inconsistency. I would venture to guess that your main issue with the Church comes down to authority.
The Koran states very plainly that it is the inspired Word of God. Do you believe the Koran is the inspired Word of God because the Koran says it is? You don’t, do you? If, in this post, I claimed that this post was the inspired Word of God, would you believe it? After all, the post says the post is the inspired Word of God. But, you wouldn’t believe that, would you? Of course not.
If you don’t believe my post is the inspired Word of God, even if it said it was; and you don’t believe the Koran is the inspired Word of God, even though it says it is, then why do you believe the Bible is the inspired Word of God simply because the Bible says so?
What I’m hoping to do here is make you realize that you are actually not relying just upon the Bible in your belief that the Bible is the Word of God, but also upon some authority other than the Bible itself. There has to be some authority, outside of the Bible, that confirms the Bible is what we think it is – the inspired, inerrant Word of God.
The Bible says that “all Scripture is God-breathed.” But, what is Scripture? How do we know, for example, that the Gospel of Mark is Scripture? The Bible never tells us that it is. The Gospel of Mark never says it is Scripture. It never says it is the inspired Word of God. So, how do we know it is? Yes, all Scripture is God-breathed, but how do we know what is and is not Scripture? Who told you? Who told me? How do you know who wrote Mark? The title, “The Gospel of Mark,” is not inspired Scripture – it was put in there by the publisher. So, who wrote Mark? If someone named Mark actually wrote the Gospel of Mark, then which Mark wrote Mark?
Now, you might say it doesn’t matter who wrote Mark. But it does. It actually matters a great deal. The Gospel of Mark is inspired Scripture, if and only if the writer of the Gospel of Mark was inspired by the Holy Spirit when he wrote it. But, if we don’t know which Mark wrote Mark, then how can we know that it is inspired Scripture? None of these questions are answered by the Bible itself. Which means, we got the answer to those questions from somewhere else…but where?
The question of where we got the Bible, is actually a central question to the Christian Faith. All Christians need to realize this. And, when all Christians do realize this, it will work towards greater unity amongst the various Christian faith traditions. The books of the New Testament were written separately over a period of anywhere from 40-60 years or so after the death of Jesus. They were written in different places, at different times, and sent to different people in different cities throughout the ancient Roman Empire. How did these different books and letters come to be regarded as Scripture? How did they find their way into what we now call the Bible? Who put the Bible together as we have it today? This is important because if we cannot trust the veracity of the folks who put together the Bible, then we cannot trust the veracity of the Bible itself. That’s why these questions are so important.