[size=3]I have a friend that is Fundamentalist and she wrote the following and I don’t know how to answer her because I have never heard of the early fathers contradicting one another. I would appreciate any and all help.[/size]
**t[size=4]How do you handle contradictions in church tradition by its many church fathers? (For example, Some Church fathers accepted the immaculate conception of Mary, while others did not.) In an earlier email, you said that God prevents His chosen teachers from preaching anything that is untrue. Shouldn’t there be a recognized standard of truth whereby to measure all teachings, one that is as unchangeable and infallible as God Himself? [/size]
And, since there are documented contradictions in the traditions of Rome, doesn’t that argue against traditions’ infallibility?
I believe that the Roman Catholic exaltation of tradition violates the intent and spirit of these verses:
“…not to exceed what is written, so that no one of you will become arrogant in behalf of one against the other.” I Cor. 4:6
“Every word of God is tested; He is a shield to those who take refuge in Him. Do not add to His words or He will reprove you, and you will be proved a liar.” Prov. 30:5-6
I am not arguing against all tradition; I am just saying that since the Scriptures are “God-breathed”, more weight should be given to them when there is a discrepancy in tradition vs. tradition, or tradition vs. scripture. After all, Scripture has God as its author, man is tradition’s author. If the “repository of truth” rests within man’s tradition, why would it ever disagree or not be proved true by God’s stated truth in the Scriptures? I agree that the Scriptures do not address every single issue; but what about the issues that it does address?
Seems to me that there should be an “outside” source to prove that the Church holds the repository of truth, more than the Church just saying that about itself. Otherwise, where is the proof? For example, I can say that I my shirt is white. I can prove it by laying an accepted colorwheel against my shirt. If I have no accepted standard showing the color white, can I really prove my shirt is white to someone who has never seen the color white before?*