It is ironic. So many people are so afraid to submit to the authority of the Pope, out of fear that he’ll teach heresy and lead them astray, even though Jesus Christ, Himself gave the authority to Peter and his successors. Yet, some Joe Shmoe off the streets named John Darby, a man with absolutely no divine authority to declare doctrines whatsoever, was able to lead thousands upon thousands of Christians astray with his false pre-tribulational rapture tradition of man. It was Martin Luther’s “Sola-Scriptura” tradition of man that paved the way for false teachers like John Darby. Martin Luther had no divine authority to teach what he did, yet thousands upon thousands of Christians are willing to reject 1,500 YEARS of solid, consistent, divinely authorized Church teachings, just to follow the personal interpretations that this one man had of the Bible. On top of that, he realized that his own interpretation of the salvation message conflicted with James, yet never thought to rethink his view of salvation, but would rather denounce James. In essence, to believe the doctrine of Sola-Scriptura, is to believe that one man in the 1500s was more inspired by God, than all Christians combined for the previous 1500 years, including the ones who wrote the New Testament.
Yet, you can research clearly that, despite some scandal in terms of what they practiced, there have been absolutely no cases of doctrinally declared heresy in the entire 2,000 year history of the Papacy. Why? God protects His Church. It needs to be understood that when the Pope speaks from the Chair of Peter on matters of faith and morals that are binding on the entire Church, he is protected by The Holy Spirit from teaching error. That same divine protection from heresy, however, does not extend to those who chose to separate from His Church, or who were born into separated churches. Jesus established a VISIBLE Church that is given all the protections found in Scripture, such as in Matthew 16:18. No such protection, however, is guaranteed to man-made self-styled churches that were founded in open rebellion to the ONLY Church that was established by Christ, Himself.
It goes beyond “twisting,” Scripture to claim that such promises are for the “invisible church,” since Scripture itself mentions no such thing as an “invisible church.” Many protestants believe that the “true church,” is made up of all who believe in Christ, regardless of denomination or whether Catholic or Protestant. It is a historical fact, however, that while the Bible only shows Jesus Christ establishing ONE Church, history attests that all other denominations were founded by people. Catholics are people who remain in the one and only Church that Jesus established, while Protestants are people who have rejected Christ’s established Church, yet have chosen to retain Christ. While through Baptism in the Name of the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit; Protestants have a unity, though an imperfect one, with the One Holy Catholic and Apostolic Church, they still, in the strictest sense of the word can not regard themselves as members of the “true church,” nor do they have the authority to redefine what it means to be in the “true church,” in such a manner that they can include themselves. This, however does NOT exclude them from the eternal salvation which comes through Christ, provided that they were born into a protestant denomination and did not knowingly chose open rebellion to the Truth that the Holy Spirit revealed to them.
In Proverbs 3:5, we are told to trust in the Lord with all our hearts and lean not on our own understanding. Sola-Scriptura is a flagrant violation of that teaching. Sola-Scriptura essentially says, “I’m going to undermine the authority that the Lord established, failing to trust in His ability to establish a Church, but instead lean on my own understanding of Scripture, or the understanding of someone else who failed to trust in the Lord, but leaned on his own understanding of Scripture.”
to be continued…