[quote=dnewbern]I recently had a lively conversation with a charismatic fundamentalist. I’m a cradle Catholic who has recently fallen in love again with the Faith. I live in the deep South, so debates with fundamentalists happen often.
The fundamentalist said Catholicism was wrongly steeped in “tradition” and “rituals”. I’ve heard that many times over the years.However, the fundamentalist zeroed in on Jesus’s condemnation of the scribes and pharisees, when, I think in Matthew’s Gospel, Jesus condemned the “traditions” of the scribes and pharisees. My fundamentalist friend went on to say that he doesn’t need all that “tradition” of the Catholic Church. He said Jesus condemned tradition, plain and simple, and, besides, all he needed was the Bible and Jesus…he has a stright line to Jesus, without the “tradition”.
I told him that Jesus was not condemning “tradition” itself when he admonished the scribes and pharisees—he was condemning their practice of tradition at the sacrifice of being obedient to the commandments. I also said that Jesus did *not *condemn tithing and fasting when talking to the Pharisees----just the way the Pharisees were practicing tithing and fasting.
I added that Saint Paul in the epistles, on at least two occasions, strongly urged Christian communities to “hold fast to tradition”. I asked my friend: “Why would Saint Paul, on a least two occasions in Sacred Scripture, advocate tradition, if Jesus had condemned it??” My friend said that “oh, well, that’s just two scriptures from Paul–tradition is condemned throughout the Bible, especially when Jesus condemned the scribes and Pharisees”.
What other points can I make in favor of Sacred Tradition…Saint Paul’s words should be sufficient. Please advise.
Bible alone theory is not what the Bible teaches. The Bible teaches us and shows us that the Church came before the Bible. After all, what books did Jesus write? None! Jesus deliberately chose NOT to write. Instead He chose to establish a Church to teach in His name!
The Catholic Church believes that both the Bible and Church are both necessary and one cannot exist without the other. Here are some questions non-Catholics must consider…
(1) The Bible was not put under one cover until 397 AD at the Council of Carthage. It took a monk 10 months to hand copy the Bible. Prior to the Bible being put under one cover, who was the authority figure for the early church? Remember, the Bible did not exist as we know it today. There is NO denying the fact that authority was the church–not the Bible.
(2) How did the early Christians each own a Bible if the printing press wasn’t developed until the 1500’s? Even after the printing press was developed how many Christian could afford to own a Bible?
(3) Why does JESUS state the final authority is the church in Matthew 18:15-17?
(4) Where in the Bible does it state that the “Bible” is the only authority for Christians?
(5) How did the majority of the people who were uneducated read the Bible prior to 1500 and even to this day?
(6) What is the pillar and foundation of truth (1 Tim 3:15)?
(7) What books of the Bible did Jesus write?
(8) Where in the Bible does Jesus command the Apostles to write?
(9) How do you know that your interpretation of the Bible is correct?
(10) How did the Bible know what books to include under its cover?
The only logical conclusion is that the Bible as our only guide is unbiblical!! The Church came first!!
The apostles did not read from the New Testament, which was yet to be written, instead they taught by “word of mouth” and by tradition, as shown in the following verses:
(2 Thes. 2-15) - ***Therefore, brethren, stand fast, and hold the traditions which ye have been taught, whether by word, or our epistle. ***
**(2 Tim. 2-2) - *****And the things that thou hast heard of me among many witnesses, the same commit thou to faithful men, who shall be able to teach others also. ***
Hope this helps!