Smorgasbord Christians


Smorgasbord Christians are as bad as Cafeteria Catholics.

The Bible is taken by all serious Christians as a whole, not dissected into the parts we like and don’t like (and therefore can disregard). Moreover, all of it is equally to be revered as the inspired Word of God; the Letters of the New Testament carry no less weight than the four Gospels.

One thing that gets OLD is how Catholics are always being told by non-Cs to read the Bible and forget how the Church interprets it. To me, this is ridiculous as Jesus clearly established a Church which He gave the Apostles authority to loose and to bind.

Acts 20:28 Take heed to yourselves, and to the whole flock, wherein the Holy Ghost hath placed you bishops, to rule the church of God, which he hath purchased with his own blood.


I sometimes think that the biggest mistake in the development of the Bible was the development of the Chapter and Verse system. It seems a wonderful devise for biblical Scholars, but has been so totally abused…:shrug:

When did they show up anyway?






I like the way we have it at Mass, with linking the OT, a NT Epistle and a Gospel reading, not to mention the Psalm. It gives a more balanced overview and helps us to see how it is all part of a whole.

In encouraging us not to neglect reading the Old Testament as well as the New, Vatican Council states that “God, the inspirer and author of both testaments, wisely arranged that the New Testament be hidden in the Old, and the Old be made manifest (clear) in the New…The books of the Old Testament …show their full meaning in the New Testament … and shed light on it and explain it.”

Decree on Divi****ne Revelation, Section 16

The Church’s Three Guidelines for Reading Scripture by Mark Shea

  1. Be especially attentive “to the content and unity of the whole Scripture”; (It’s not a “Golden Treasury of Quotes” - it’s a single organism rather than as a collection of separate books, just as you think of a goldfish as a single thing and not as a collection of organs that happens to be fish-shaped. )

  2. Read the Scripture within “the living tradition of the whole Church”; (Goldfish do not live in a vacuum. Neither does Scripture. Many people have the notion that the only way to get at what Scripture “really” means is by “peeling away Tradition”. This is exactly like thinking you will get to know your goldfish better by peeling away all that interfering water and holding your fish in your hand. What you will find very soon is that your fish is dead.) and,

  3. Be attentive to the analogy of faith (The Church has a genius for cloaking commonsense ideas in difficult jargon such as “the analogy of faith”. Continuing our discussion from above, perhaps the best way to explain that “analogy of faith” means is to describe it as the “goldfish bowl of doctrine”. Fish gotta swim and to do that, something has to hold the water. For the Church, doctrine does this. In other words, the “analogy of faith” refers to those doctrinal statements that summarize and symbolize what we believe. ).

For those who would like the full text from Mark Shea, see here


I agree. It is very very convenient, but if not for it, people would be forced to take everything or at least more of everything in the Bible in context instead of in isolation. It’s harder to isolate a few sentences that are right in the middle of a paragraph, which in turn is in the middle of a page, and so on, with no markers to set them apart.


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