Don’t Drink the Water – Unless You Know Where to Drink

What would you do if someone asked you to dip your hand into the Mississippi River in New Orleans and take a big drink? Would you do it? Not only would you not drink the water, you would probably think the person who asked you to drink it was crazy or just plain mean. In a spiritual sense, this is exactly what Catholic theologians are asking people to do.

In the Catholic Church, Scripture and Sacred Tradition go hand in hand. The Catholic Church teaches that both Scripture and Tradition are of apostolic origin and, therefore, equal in authority. To make their case, Catholic theologians and apologists will direct folks to a time in church history when there were no written doctrines or accounts of Christ’s life and teachings, only oral testimony, i.e., tradition. The logic derived from this is that since oral tradition was authoritative in the ancient church, and the written apostolic source (the New Testament) cannot possibly contain all that the apostles taught, it stands to reason that oral tradition remain authoritative for Christians.

The problem is they never get specific about the traditions. What exactly did the apostles teach orally that we cannot glean from Scripture? Did they teach that Mary, the mother of Jesus, remained a virgin her entire life, or that the blessed bread of communion transubstantiates into the glorified body of Christ when blessed by a priest? These and a host of other so-called “Sacred Traditions” of the Catholic Church are the spiritual equivalent of what makes the Mississippi River undrinkable.

Hundreds of years of developing doctrines have flowed into the once pure stream of Christian truth poisoning it and leaving it non potable. But like a river, the pollution of false doctrine only occurs downstream from its source. And having the ability to return to the source and drink the pure doctrine found there, enables us to know what the doctrine should look like. So it is for us to recognize from the word of God, our source of pure doctrine, what is truth and what is not truth, thus permitting us to filter out the impurities of false doctrine in our own time.

14 Responses to Don’t Drink the Water – Unless You Know Where to Drink

  1. David of MI says:

    The thing about is, is that it matters not only when the doctrine is first wrote about, but also when it surfaced. They are both important. From what I understand, the earliest New Testament manuscript dates back to about 125AD and is the P52 fragment (John 18:31-33 front, 18:37,38 back). All of these fragments/manuscripts show credibility to the fact that Christians held them dear in the first century. However, when you look at the Marian doctrines/dogmas, the ideas never really exist until maybe the 4th century at the earliest, and it is further developed from there. These ideas/doctrines/dogmas are completely foreign to what the disciples knew in the first century. So, really when it comes down to it, the Roman Catholic Church is not convincing at all when it comes to “proving” certain things such as perpetual virginity, etc.

    David, another thing you should note is that just because Evangelicals don’t hold Mary in such a high place as the Roman Catholic Church, it doesn’t mean that we don’t believe that she isn’t important. She was the best witness of Jesus after He ascended into Heaven because she was with Him even at His birth. We do not believe however that she should be regarded as the “mother of God” because even Roman Catholic theologians acknowledge that Mary didn’t give Jesus His divinity, He already had it.

    I believe it was Constantine V who put it this way:

    (I’m paraphrasing here)

    Say I hold up a purse that has a great amount of money in it to show some people. I ask them what the value of that purse is, and they reply that it is worth a lot. Then I remove the money from the purse and ask, now what is the value? They reply that it has no value. Then this is the way that Constantine put it “So it is with the virgin Mary whom you adore without discrimination. While she bore Christ within her she had a value greater than all other women, but from the time that she gave Him birth she returned to the same level as other women and has nothing that is especially significant about her.”

    You see, we as Evangelicals hold Jesus as our “money” or better put, our Savior. There is no such thing as a co-redemtrix (nor is there a need for one). We put our ENTIRE faith on the once and for all sacrifice of our Lord. Nobody else participated in His sacrifice, only Jesus paid for us in full.

    Our faith is in Jesus Christ, because there is no other name under Heaven given to us that we must be saved. Jesus is our answer, and any doctrine that implies or states that anyone else can save us or even partially save us must be treated as false and heretical because it simply isn’t true.

    I hope that helps. God Bless you David.

  2. You can’t keep saying that the Protoevangelium of James supports what the apostles taught and expect it to be true. There is NO, let me repeat, NO evidence to support that claim.

    Regarding Mary; I know you possess a very high level of adoration towards her and I have not criticized you for that. I think Mary was extremely special; she had to be. I have nothing but admiration and respect for her memory and I believe that one day I will meet her. I feel the exact same way about the apostles, prophets, and many other historical figures from our faith’s past. I do not share your level admiration for Mary and I think you need to just accept that. No hard feelings, okay?

    When are Catholics going to stop giving to Mary what belongs to Christ? Jesus said the Scriptures testify of Him. (John 5:39)

  3. David says:

    125 AD is about the earliest when the Protoevangelium could have been written. David, I see some disagreement from some Fathers, but there’s more agreement. The Fathers did not just make stuff up. They got it from those that taught them.

    David, saying that Mary is the mother of God does not imply in any way that she gave him his divinity. Jesus had two natures, 100% man and 100% divine. But if we know that Jesus was God and Mary was his mother, then Mary was the mother of God. She was the tabernacle that contained the Word of God, the Bread of Life, the true High Priest. Mary was a creature.
    We don’t adore her in the same sense we adore God. The words in Latin say it best-latria is reserved fro God. Dulia is adoration of men = respect. What we give only Mary is called hyperdulia.

    And David, we don’t believe Mary can give us anything without the grace of her Son and our Father. I do understand that some people seem to overdo, but that’s really not what the Church teaches.

  4. David says:

    Repeat it all you want, Brian. I have no desire to try and convert you, but I do want you to be correct.

    Catholics do not give Mary what belongs to Christ. See my response to the other David.

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