So when protestants say we refer to tradition


#1

So I was wondering when they say we refer to traditions what are they referring too? I haven’t found any of the church teachings unbiblical so what are they talking about?


#2

Sacred Tradition is something we practice. It is not unbiblical, but it is also not specifically mentioned in the Bible. So if you go along the Bible alone path which Protestants follow, you’re going to think that Catholics “add” things that are not needed for salvation. But the Bible itself mentions that we must practice things that were passed down from generations before which were not recorded, but orally transmitted.


#3

Often they are referring to “small t” traditions. Sometimes they are referring to things they think are Catholic Tradition, or even tradition, but are not.

A favorite verse about looking to the old ways - Tradition.

This is what the Lord says:
“Stand at the crossroads and look,
ask for the ancient paths,
ask where the good way is,
and walk in it,
and you will find rest for your souls."

Jeremiah 6:16


#4

Paul talks about this in 2 Thess 2:15 where he refers to what you were taught by both word or epistle. Clearly this is Tradition and Scripture. We have inherited two safeguards to help us guarantee the survival of the Church. It is Holy Tradition and the Scriptures. Neither on its own will do it. It is the same as it is in the government of the United States. There are four legs by which upholds the integrity of this great nation. Each of these legs, the Presidency, the Judicial, the Senate and the House of Representatives can safeguard the rest if one of these legs decides to go on their own. In the same manner the Church has two authorities, Tradition and Scripture to safeguard its truth. Of the two it seems the Tradition has one out many times when certain men throughout the history of the Church decided to use Scripture or twisted Scripture to meet with their own teachings only to have Tradition to correct it.


#5

St. Jonh told us that all the books in the world could not hold all that Christ did and taught. And during the early years of the Church the teachings of Christ and the Apostles were handed on by word of mouth, since there was little written down and little of what was written down was available to all of the Church. Indeed, even after " some " of Christ’s and words and those of the Apostles and disciples had been written down, these were not widely available. And even after the " Bible " had been compilied, not everything done and said by Christ and the Apostles had been written down.

Even after the Canons of the Bible had been formally accepted by the Council of Trent, not every thing done and said by Christ and the Apostles had been written down. Yet all these things were believed.

It is all these unwritten deeds and teachings that we understand as Tradition. And the Bible is nothing but the part of this Tradition that has actually been written down. And it is the Magisterium of the Church, through the guidance of the Holy Spirit, which calls to mind other deeds and teachings of Tradition so that the Church’s understanding of the Truth can be completed.

Linus2nd


#6

Sacred Tradition is revealed truth - truth revealed to us by God.

Lower case “t” tradition are the things we have done for a long time.

-Tim-


#7

The bible itself is a tradition, since it has been handed on to us. Bible alone is most certainly a tradition of men, since the Church did not promulgate it. This seems to be conveniently swept under the rug when tradition is spoken of.


#8

These are some examples I can think of to which they might be referring:
(Although you’ve already mentioned the biblical references for most of them)

Ash on our foreheads on Ash Wednesday (If I’m not mistaken, this practice mimics what the penitents did on Palm Sunday?)

Praying the Rosary / Hail Mary (The prayer is actually paraphrased from a specific biblical address “Hail Mary, full of grace”; Gospel of Luke, I believe)

Some other traditions we practice that they question might be:

Making the Sign of the Cross

Genuflecting

The lighting of offeratory candles

etc… . . I don’t know if these are biblically based as well, however as Linusthe2nd appropriately pointed out:

Quite honestly, I really don’t understand the reluctance of some to abhor anything that has not been explicitly written down. Sometimes it just seems like a stubborn and backhanded way of distancing oneself as much as possible from the Church in an effort to show they are somehow more “validly” Christian *(“Catholics are all about form, while we get down to the *substance *of the faith!”). *Not all Protestants revile tradition of course (certainly not the more established churches), but it seems the more fundamental members are the ones who don’t realize that tradition is not used in *place *of the Bible, and often supplements the written word with rituals that carry deep meaning.

One of my favorite, yet simple, traditions is the manual formation of the cross and verbal recitation before hearing the gospel during mass: “In my mind I believe; On my lips I confess; In my heart I keep the Holy Gospel”. The words alone are beautiful, but they also serve to prepare me mentally and spiritually for hearing the word of God.


#9

Just to give an example from a more Protestant perspective, consider Matt 13:54-56 (“And coming into his own country, he taught them in their synagogues, so that they wondered and said: How came this man by this wisdom and miracles? Is not this the carpenter’s son? Is not his mother called Mary, and his brethren James, and Joseph, and Simon, and Jude: And his sisters, are they not all with us? Whence therefore hath he all these things?” Mat 13:54-56 DRA). I don’t find anything anywhere in Scripture that would make me believe “brother” and “sister” means anything other than siblings, children of Joseph and Mary. Tradition (with a capital “T”) teaches that this is a Hebraism, similar to when Abraham told Lot, “We shouldn’t fight, for we are brothers”, yet we know Abraham was Lot’s uncle. Of course, we know that because Scripture tells us very clearly what their exact relationship was. However, while the Church “infallibly” tells us that this cannot possibly mean “siblings, children of Joseph and Mary”, it cannot tell us what the exact relationship is. I submit that no faithful Catholic can possibly even admit that it could mean siblings, not because of anything in Scripture, but because of the dogma of Mary’s perpetual virginity (after all, virgins don’t have children - apart from divine intervention or (in our modern day) extraordinary advanced medical procedures). If I follow the example Jesus gave in the case of the Corban rule (see Mark 7:1-13), I would compare the “Tradition” of the perpetual virginity with Scripture (as shown above) and find the “Tradition” to contradict the Scripture, thus making it (in my fallible opinion) a tradition of men.

I’m sure most will disagree with me and my opinion (which I readily admit is not infallible), but I offer this as an example of what Protestants think of in regard to the Catholic use of “Tradition”.


#10

This is a separate issue, but that very simplistic argument - based not on the ancient culture or the original Aramaic, but on today’s culture and English language - has been destroyed innumerable times here at CAF. Those who cling to it are either willfully ignorant and/or anti-Catholic bigots. Never any shortage of either in our “modern” world.


#11

[quote=po18guy] This is a separate issue, but that very simplistic argument - based not on the ancient culture or the original Aramaic, but on today’s culture and English language - has been destroyed innumerable times here at CAF. Those who cling to it are either willfully ignorant and/or anti-Catholic bigots. Never any shortage of either in our “modern” world.
[/quote]

I was giving an example of what Protestants mean when we talk of Catholic traditions. This was not intended to be a discussing of the perpetual virginity dogma (other than presenting it as an example, as I explained in my post), and I will not go off topic on this, or any other, dogma. I will say I am not surprised by the response (I might say it’s a typical anti-Protestant response, bearing in mind this is not the first time I’ve had this sort of accusation thrown at me).

So, what do you guys think - I gave an example to illustrate the Op’s question from a Protestant perspective, and for being accurate in my sources and citations, and trying to help the Op understand Protestant thinking a little better, I get this sort of response. Perhaps po18guy would tell us where we can find this Aramaic original (I thought the Greek version of Matthew was accepted as inspired, especially since there are no ancient Aramaic copies available, as far as I know). Why does he think I’m basing my opinion (and, as I stated in my post, this is my own, fallible, opinion) on today’s English language and culture? Is it because I cited from the DR instead of the Greek? Am I ignorant because I think “brother” and “sister” can actually mean siblings, or is it because I disagree with Catholic teaching? Am I a bigot because I no longer accept the authority of the Catholic Church? Was the ad hominem necessary? I am sure you believe my example has been answered many times, and I have no doubt you believe it’s been “destroyed innumerable times here at CAF”, but that isn’t even the topic (as I pointed out in my original post, this was an example). Admittedly, I do not believe it’s been destroyed, but that is another topic for another thread, so I see no need to go on about it.

Feel free to treat these questions as rhetorical, as they don’t really speak to the topic (just like your last post). I will, in turn, treat any further similar responses from you (and anyone else) as rhetorical.


#12

Cachonga, in your opinion, would you say the above example is representative of most Protestant denominations?

While the CC adheres most strongly to tradition, it’s been my personal observation that the fundamental (usually Baptist) /non-denominational churches are the ones who seem to eschew it the most. Almost as though the “newer” the church, the further it veers from any semblance of traditional observation.


#13

the bible is tradition also.

God bless Y’all


#14

Yep.started as oral tradition before the pen hit the paper.NT about 30 yrs between tradition and scripture. OT several hundred years, with a Hebraic canon that wasn’t fully formalized
Until around 1000ad.


#15

[quote=lerapt78] Cachonga, in your opinion, would you say the above example is representative of most Protestant denominations?
[/quote]

That’s a fair question. Just to give a little background about myself, things like this played a big part in my leaving the Catholic Church (I do believe in Sola Scriptura). I have found many Protestants that have no idea what the difference is between any denominations (other than what they might read in a Chick tract). Many belong to their denomination because that’s what they were raised in, and they are happy to continue the family tradition (I have found many Catholics like this as well). I have also noticed (largely from “Christian” tv) that many protestant pastors would rather keep their people comfortable in their sin (as long as they keep coming back and dropping money in the collection plate). Honestly, I couldn’t say if the “average” Protestant would even know (or care) what Catholics believe on any subject.

Having said that, I would add that I have come to understand and believe in Calvinism, and have joined a Reformed Baptist Church. I can say many of the people I go to church and fellowship with do believe the example I gave. So, my answer would be - most “Protestants” don’t have a clue what Catholics believe, but I do believe this would be representative of most Reformed Protestants.

I apologize for “ranting” a bit about the state of the Church (Catholic and Protestant), and I hope that answered your question!


#16

[quote="Cachonga, post:11, topic:323350"]
I was giving an example of what Protestants mean when we talk of Catholic traditions.

[/quote]

OK, but that will/has already derailed the conversation. We know that protestants think differently and use a different vocabulary. That is sufficient for this conversation.


#17

Another way of looking at Tradition is this.

Here is the scripture. How did the Apostles interpret those scriptures? This is part of Sacred Tradition.


#18

I was raised Baptist & as far as I can remember, they believed in free will. I know some Calvinsits - & went to a Calvinist Bible study with them - and I know they don’t believe in free will.

How do you reconcile the contradictory beliefs?


#19

[quote=Bonnie] I was raised Baptist & as far as I can remember, they believed in free will. I know some Calvinsits - & went to a Calvinist Bible study with them - and I know they don’t believe in free will.

How do you reconcile the contradictory beliefs?
[/quote]

Good question, but not on topic (I mentioned it to provide some background for my answer). The answer could be long (and will involve some interaction). I would be happy to answer in a PM if you’re interested. However, just to provide a “Reader’s Digest” response, the issue comes down to synergism (we freely cooperate with God) vs monergism (all things, including salvation, come from God, regardless of what men may want). I hope we can continue this discussion.


#20

Not that interested - just curious. Which side of the vs. do you fall on?


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