09 June, 2009

Is the Bible the cause of the changing Gospel in Protestant Theology?

The Church is the "rock" of faith. For me that is what attracted me to Catholicism. You must understand that I had become extremely disillusioned with the constant changing of theological positions in my previous church. This, I believe, is typical of Protestant churches, in that, they are just more worldly, adapting to the changes in secular morality instead of holding firm to the teachings of Jesus and the apostles. A few examples would be ordination of women, homosexuals and embracing of new gospels such as the prosperity gospel which in my opinion is just secular motivational teaching under the guise of Christianity. As a minister of the Gospel these constant changes were very disturbing. Being a scholar, it is also very disturbing to see all of the eisegesis being practiced by so many Protestant denominations to support their changing doctrines. I put a great deal of blame in this on the irresponsible practice of Sola Scriptura.

The reason that the Catholic Church is right about theological issues, aside from the arguments of the Holy Spirit leading the Church and the strength and validity of apostolic succession, is the fact that the Church has endured for two-thousand years. There is an accumulation of scholarship that unfortunately many Protestant groups refuse to take advantage of, reject or ignore, throughout the history of the Church. For the Catholic or the scholar, most Protestant scholars included, it is not surprising that Protestants embrace so many thousands of versions of the truth. Many of these versions are far a field of the teachings of the Jesus and the apostles and represent false teaching at an exponentially increasing level.

The belief by Protestants that the Bible is "norma normans" is really not the problem or something that Catholics would disagree vehemently but would be in agreement with the Bible being "norman normata" instead, with the Church being the "norma normans". What Catholics disagree with most adamantly, which has been explained many times and in many different ways; with amazing scholarship and eloquence by so many people directed to the author, there is no consensus among Protestants as to hermeneutics to be applied to the theory of the Bible being "norma normans". As a result, it should not be surprising that Catholics disagree often with Protestant interpretations and even more often with scholarly exegesis. Until Protestants are more mature in their faith or abandon completely the Protestant experiment, that is imploding from its exponentially increasing schisms, there will be little reason for Catholics to agree with Protestant musings of "Sola Scriptura" or the Bible as "norma normans" as a guide to faith when there is no consensus among Protestants as to what either one of these theological positions may be defined. Catholics would say, "where is the Church" in the Protestant scheme of things?

Catholics have matured to the point that there is a consensus that all Sacred Tradition is to be considered as a guide to faith, practice and morals. Protestants are not there yet and I fear that they may never reach that understanding because of their lack of unity in authority and rejection of the historical teaching of the Church. It is as if the gospel in Protestant Churches is continually being created anew and that is the crux of the differences.

In Christ
Fr. Joseph

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