The Great Martin Luther

I am tremendously moved by this man's faith in the context within which he lived:
Luther then replied: Your Imperial Majesty and Your Lordships demand a simple answer. Here it is, plain and unvarnished. Unless I am convicted [convinced] of error by the testimony of Scripture or (since I put no trust in the unsupported authority of Pope or councils, since it is plain that they have often erred and often contradicted themselves) by manifest reasoning, I stand convicted [convinced] by the Scriptures to which I have appealed, and my conscience is taken captive by God's word, I cannot and will not recant anything, for to act against our conscience is neither safe for us, nor open to us.

On this I take my stand. I can do no other. God help me.
More about all that here: http://theologica.blogspot.com/2009/04/here-he-stood.html


Michael Gormley said...


The false doctrine of Sola Scriptura, first proclaimed by Martin Luther, created the 'everyone for himself' syndrome for Bible interpretation.

Each individual would claim, 'the Holy Spirit told me'.

This thinking flies into the face of what the Bible actually teaches, that individual interpretation of Scripture cannot be done. See Acts 8:27-39, and 2Peter 1:20, and 2Peter 3:16-18.

Belief in Sola Scriptura is the primary reason for the fact that there are over 28,000 splinters in Protestantism.

There can be only one truth, and yet each splinter claims, 'the Holy Spirit told me'.

Each claims the truth, yet each has differences with the others.
Truth is one; therefore all Churches should be united in the one truth.

Are we led to believe there over 28,000 Holy Spirits, each telling a protestant sect something different, or maybe one Holy Spirit giving a different truth to each?

The doctrine of Sola Scripture is clearly a false doctrine invented by mere men, and has no Scriptural basis whatsoever.

Anyone who believes in the false doctrine of Sola Scriptura, and rejects tradition, is taking away from the Word of GOD.

They are therefore in violation of all of the Bible verses which admonish, "Do not add to, or take away from, the Word of GOD." Deuteronomy 4:2, 11:32, 13:1, Psalms 12:7, 33:4, Psalms 50:16-17, Proverbs 5:7, 30:5-6, Jeremiah 23:36, Galatians 1:8, 1Peter 1:24-25, 2Peter 3:15-16, Revelation 22:18-20.

John Bugay said...

Michael Gormley -- I'm wondering if you can actually state, in official terms, just what "the doctrine of Sola Scriptura" actually says.

Michael Gormley said...

Dear John,
Think of the Bible as a giant jigsaw puzzle with thousands of interlocking pieces. Each piece is somewhere in the box but not necessarily touching the next piece to fit with it.

You have to assemble the puzzle piece by piece by examining each piece to see where it fits. One piece fits nicely in Genesis while the piece next to it might be in Deuteronomy.

Another fits in Isaiah, and its partner is in Matthew, and so on. It is a huge puzzle and it takes a long time to put it together.

Some people never manage to complete it as they find pieces missing here and there. They never get to see the whole picture that GOD has planned for us.

How do some pieces of Scripture end up missing?

1. They get thrown away.
For instance some say, "I cannot find the piece about Purgatory in my Bible that says pray for the dead."

It is because someone threw away the Bible book that described it, 2Maccabees.

Catholics have all those pieces since their Bible has always had all 73 of the inspired books.

2. They are ignored.
For instance, huge pieces of their puzzle are missing because they ignore such key pieces as, "So then, brethren, stand firm and hold the traditions that you have learned, whether by WORD or by letter of ours," 2Thess 2:15.

Look at all of the hundreds of pieces of tradition which are ignored here. Catholics have all those pieces.

3. They are misinterpreted.
For example, in other Churches it is every man for himself in Bible interpretation.

Baptists are not Methodists because of differences in Bible interpretation. Presbyterians are not Lutherans for the same reason, and so on.

Why else are there 39,000 splits in the body of Christ in Protestantism?

Catholics have all of these pieces also, as they are united in only one interpretation of the Bible.

This is given to us by the Pope in conjunction with the Magisterium, which consists of thousands of Bishops who have impeccable credentials, and all of which are guided by the Holy Spirit.

4. They are taken out of context.
For example, in other Churches they invariably take 2Tim 3:16-17 out of context to try and the false doctrine of Sola Scriptura, or the Bible only is sufficient.

Catholics do not take the verses out of context and for this particular example, when taken in context, these verses mean just the opposite of what the other Churches teach.

John Bugay said...

First of all, you have not yet actually produced the actual "doctrine of Sola Scriptura," which you then proclaim to be false. What actually is it that you say is "false"?

Your statement, Think of the Bible as a giant jigsaw puzzle with thousands of interlocking pieces. is not representative of what Sola Scriptura actually is. In fact, this statement betrays a very low view of the Scriptures.

If you look at how the people of God have related to the Scriptures, historically and covenantally, you would understand (a) that God reveals himself on occasions by acting in history, and (b) following these revelations, the Scriptures are written down as the interpretations of these acts.

In this way, God speaks and the Scriptures are the interpretation. For you to make the claim that the Scriptures are somehow a "jigsaw puzzle" is an affront to the ability of God to communicate his own word to his own people.

Your charges that there are "28,000" or "39,000" sects are merely a parroting of a very bad argument by some bad Catholic apologists who have been debunked over and over again:


At best it shows that you have not thought these issues through very carefully, and that you are just repeating tired old charges that have no basis in the truth.

There are actually millions of people in the "one true church," and God offers each of these individually the opportunity to "come boldly to the throne of grace" and approach him face to face. This is why in Revelation, each believer is given a new name.

If you want to talk about Scriptures in context, you should begin here and take note of how the official Roman church misuses a particular Scripture, historically, in support of its own usurped authority:


Michael Gormley said...

One example from ancient times of the Catholic Church officially deciding which books belong in the Bible, I'll quote the second part of the DECREE of Pope Damasus I (r. 366-384). The document was a decree of the Council of Rome which met under Damasus' presidency in AD 382.

The text of the DECREE as re the Scriptures was copied from page 406 of Volume 1 of THE FAITH OF THE EARLY FATHERS, edited/translated by William A. Jurgens (Collegevlle, The Liturgical Press: 1970).

"[2] It is likewise decreed: Now, indeed, we must treat of the divine Scriptures: what the universal Catholic Church accepts and what she must shun. The list of the Old Testament begins: Genesis, one book; Exodus, one book; Leviticus, one book; Numbers, one book; Deuteronomy, one book; Jesus Nave [Joshua], one book; of Judges, one book; Ruth, one book; of Kings, four books; Paralipomenon, two books; One Hundred and Fifty Psalms, one book; of Solomon, three books: Proverbs, one book; Ecclesiastes, one book; Canticle of Canticles; one book; likewise, Wisdom, one book; Ecclesiasticus [Sirach], one book. Likewise, the list of the Prophets: Isaias, one book; Jeremias [Baruch was often considered part of Jeremiah], one book, along with Cinoth, that is, his Lamentations; Ezechiel, one book; Daniel, one book; Osee, one book; Amos, one book; Micheas, one book; Joel, one book; Abdias, one book; Jonas, one book; Nahum, one book; Habacuc, one book; Sophonias, one book; Aggeus, one book; Zacharias, one book; Malachias, one book. Likewise, the list of histories: Job, one book; Tobias, one book; Esdras, two books; Esther, one book; Judith, one book; of Maccabees, two books.

"Likewise, the list of the Scriptures of the New and Eternal Testament, which the holy and Catholic Church receives: of the Gospels, one book according to Matthew, one book according to Mark, one book according to Luke, one book according to John. The Epistles of the Apostle Paul, fourteen in number: one to the Romans, two to the Corinthians, one to the Ephesians, two to the Thessalonians, one to the Galatians, one to the Philippians, one to the Colossians, two to Timothy, one to Titus, one to Philemon, one to the Hebrews. Likewise, one book of the Apocalypse of John. And the Acts of the Apostles, one book. Likewise, the canonical Epistles, seven in number: of the Apostle Peter, two Epistles; of the Apostle James, one Epistle; of the Apostle John, one Epistle; of the other John, a Presbyter, two Epistles; of the Apostle Jude the Zealot, one Epistle. Thus concludes the canon of the New Testament."

Alert readers should note how this list includes as fully canonical the Deuterocanonical books which the founders of Protestantism erroneously purged from their editions of the Bible after 1517.

Why should these books be rejected so late if Holy Church accepted and still accepts the Deuterocanonical books?

It's one of the many and unresolvable weaknesses of "sola scriptura" that the Protestants cannot determine which books belong in the Canon using that theory.

John Bugay said...

Michael Gormley -- the document you cited, as from Damasus, is also known as the Decree of Gelasius, but it's not written by him, either, but was probably composed by an anonymous source in the sixth century.

In truth, "the Roman Catholic Faith" was shaped by very many incidents such as this, in which a false or forged document is believed as genuine. The great Thomas Aquinas had two great sources for his philosophy, one being Aristotle, the other a fake, named Pseudo-Dionysius, whom he thought to be the convert from Acts 17, but who was, in reality, another fifth or sixth century writer.

Much of what is now Marian dogma also had its roots in forged or spurious documents. It truly is a sad situation.

Michael Gormley said...

Dear John,
Private interpretation of Scriptures can be exceedingly harmful to self and others. This has divided Christianity into hundreds if not tens of thousands of segments.

Too many individuals claim their position is right and are unwilling to freely discuss the position taken or to be submissive to moral authorities.

Holding to a personal position, or one of heretical source, places one's eternal soul in jeopardy.

Such people often become instruments that lead others to perdition.