Hey everybody, I’ve just got a quick question for you and I would really appreciate your responses.
So I was having a discussion with my dad today about certain church-related issues and the topic of authority came up. I mentioned that not everything Jesus did or said was recorded in scripture (JOHN 21:25). Things that Jesus said/did that is not recorded in scripture does not mean that they are irrelevant; what Jesus said is still true and was taught by the early apostles and church fathers even though it is not explicitly stated in scripture. (basically I was going against the idea of Sola Scriptura, or the idea that Scripture alone is adequate).
So if Sola Scriptura is false, there must be something besides the Bible…which is tradition. I said that these teachings of Jesus, passed down by tradition, are equally as important as what is stated in scripture. I said that these traditions and beliefs that the early apostles and early church fathers taught are still in place in the Catholic church today, and most doctrines have remained unchanged over the centuries. I also mentioned that councils (as seen in Acts 15, for example) were led by men who must have been guided divinely by the Holy Spirit to come do a decision. I explained this is how councils have worked over the centuries, that men are guided by the Holy Spirit to make church-related decisions.
BUT- here’s the problem:
Would the Holy Spirit misguide people, or fail to lead people to the truth? My dad (being a Protestant) thinks that the church has been “in error” from after Christ died to the Protestant Reformation. He says as his “defense” of this idea is that the Israelite’s “wandered on their own” for hundreds of years before God would step in again and help them out of their sin. But If Jesus established the church and everything, why would the Holy Spirit -not necessarily misguide, but step away or fail to intervene-in the church until the protestant reformation? Would not God want his church going in the right direction from the beginning?
My dad believes that only during/after the Reformation did the Holy Spirit ‘intervene’ and bring his people to the truth. But if this were true, it would be very questionable if Christians for the first 1500 years even made it to heaven! His idea does not makes sense to me, and I am unable to provide examples or evidence that the early church must have been what God wanted, considering it has always existed and continues to exist today.
Please help to provide me with some evidence and some help, I greatly appreciate your responses. Thank you very much.