Let’s start by unfolding what the two sides say about themselves. Speaking on the Roman faith, The Faith of Our Fathers by James Cardinal Gibbons, Archbishop of Baltimore, Forty Seventh Edition 112th printing, states; “That God Never intended the Bible to be the Christian’s rule of faith, independently of the living authority of the church.” (p. 67) The idea is enlarged claiming, “that the Old and the New Dispensation the people were to be guided by a living authority, and not by their private interpretation of the scriptures.” (Gibbons p. 70) Continuing with the same idea when speaking to members of their own denomination it is proclaimed,
“Children of the Catholic Church, give thanks to God that you are members of that Communion . . . That you are preserved from all errors in faith, and from all illusion in the practice of virtue. You are happily strangers to those interior conflicts . . . and to that frightful uncertainty which distracts the souls of those whose private judgment is their only guide.” (p. 63)
Did you catch what is being said here? Catholic leaders are saying that the people cannot think for themselves they need a guide or interpreter of the word of God. Even saying that it is frightful to have private judgment as your guide. Since the authorities of the denomination believe the church is infallible they can do no wrong or fall to error. This to me is frightful. Man can err and the church obviously has, understanding the history of the reformation brings forth those errors. If this were not enough the scriptures, the Holy Word of God is stripped of its authority for it is declared by this papal leader, “every part of the Bible is far from possessing intrinsic evidence of inspiration.” (Gibbons p. 71) This ideology is expounded on even further by pronouncing that,
“the Scriptures alone do not contain all the truths which a Christian is bound to believe . . . The scriptures alone cannot be a sufficient guide and rule of faith because they cannot, at any time, be within the reach of every inquirer; because they are not of themselves clear and intelligible even in matters of the highest importance, and because they do not contain all the truths necessary for salvation.” (p. 77)
When you lay out the previous blog with this one you see a church claiming infallibility who is the interpreter of scripture and by the way, not all scripture is inspired and believing in the word isn’t enough to save you. This goes against the very foundation of God, our free will and to think for ourselves is a gift from the Most High. This same ideology is what pushed the persecution and dark ages during the papal rule. If you were caught thinking for yourself and going contrary to the church you were tortured or killed. Another author ties the past history with the last day events of this earth, the link being the desire to stamp out man’s ability to think for themselves.
“The persecutions of Protestants by Romanism, by which the religion of Jesus Christ was almost annihilated, will be more than rivaled when Protestantism and popery are combined. The darkest pages of history will be opened in that great day when it will be too late for wrongs to be righted. Registered in the book are crimes that have been committed because of religious differences. We are not ignorant of the history. Europe was shaken as though with an earthquake, when a church, lifted up in pride and vanity, haughty and tyrannical, devoted to condemnation and death all who dared to think for themselves, and who ventured to take the Bible as the foundation of their faith. Our own land is to become a battlefield on which is to be carried on the struggle for religious liberty to worship God according to the dictates of our own conscience. Then can we not discern the work of the enemy in keeping men asleep who ought to be awake, whose influence shall not be neutral but wholly and entirely on the Lord's side? Shall men cry peace and safety now, when sudden destruction is coming upon the world, when God's wrath shall be poured out? “ Manuscript Releases Vol. 16, No. 1216 - Experience Following the 1888 Minneapolis Conference; The Danger of Legalism; Emphasizing Religious Liberty, E. White p. 239- 240
One of the conflicts with Satan is the control of your mind. This wily foe wants to control each one of us. What is our safe guard? Is it to follow a supposed infallible man who does not hold the scriptures as his guide? If that is the case then you will be tossed to and fro by every wind of doctrine and be deceived. What is our safe guard? It is the Word of God. Only the word of God is infallible and does not lie or deceive. The “Word” is the very representation of Christ. (John 1:1, 14; Revelation 19:13) When the papal church says the Word is not enough for salvation then it is ultimately being said that Christ is not enough to save. Since God cannot lie the word does not lie. (Titus 1:2, 2 Peter 1:19) The Bible declared that there would be faithful followers who would trust in the word so much that they would be willing to die for it. (Revelation 6:9) We see this to be true in history during the time of pagan Rome and then papal Rome where Christians were persecuted and killed for their belief and faith in the Word. Satan wanted to stamp out the word of God but to no avail. God preserved His word so that it would be a light to consume the darkness. (Psalms 12:6)
It is argued that prophets and disciples are examples of a church needing a guide or leader to interpret the scriptures. This is only twisting the word of God for the Lord said that it is His desire, “That all the Lord’s people were prophets and that the Lord would put his spirit upon them!” (Numbers 11:20) God would love to speak to everyone but it is only a few that take time out for Him and devote their life to Him. The Bible says, “Work out your own salvation with fear and trembling”. (Philippians 2:12) This is an individual work, it is not work that someone can do for you. The Bible says that “prophecy came not in old time by the will of man: but holy men of God spake as they were moved by the Holy Ghost.” (2 Peter 1:21) We are also told that, “All scripture is given by inspiration of God.” (2 Timothy 3:16) The writers of the Bible were not to be infallible guides to the church but to continue to point to the Word of God. Moses pointing to the commandments written by the finger of God and to the ceremonial laws and commands and with every prophet after they began to point back to the previous writings. The disciples of Christ did the same thing, a lot of their writings are expounding on the old. You simply cannot understand the book of Revelation unless you understand the Old Testament. The lack of contradiction in the scriptures and cohesiveness over thousands of years only proves its divine authority. As the story unfolds through the remainder of this month you will see the power of the Word of God through prophecy. It is prophecy that reveals to a faithless world that you can have faith in the Word of God and it will do what it says it will do.