Proposed Ban on Sola Scriptura’s Top Offenders (a satire)

Proposed Ban on Sola Scriptura’s Top Offenders (a satire)

*Sola Scriptura: Latin for “Scripture alone;” the doctrine that the Bible alone is the Christian’s absolute and primary authority, containing all knowledge necessary for salvation and holiness.

So, what would it look like if there was such a thing as a fully consistent doctrine of Sola Scriptura? I would think that for starters there would need to be a quasi “watch dog” list of the doctrines top offenders, and in order for this list to be “absolutely authoritative,” it follows that it should come straight from Scripture “alone”. The following is a short list.

1. First on the watch list is none other than Paul the Apostle.

This sneaky first century Christian saint is an offender on three fronts: (1) He tells the Church of Colosse that they are to read the epistle from Laodicea, just as the Laodiceans were reading the epistle of Colossians (Col 4:16). Since the book of Laodicea is not in the New Testament it is obviously not authoritative and necessary for Christians. (2) Paul had the poor judgment to preach to the Athenians using full quotes from their own pagan texts (Acts 17). And finally, (3) Paul admonished the Corinthians to “keep the traditions” which he delivered to them (1 Cor 11:2), and to keep not only the written traditions, but those delivered by word (2 Thess 2:15). To make matters worse, he even refers to the Church as the “pillar and ground of the truth” (1 Tim 3:15). Knowing that the Scripture, and not the Church and her traditions, is the pillar and ground of truth, this “Apostle’s” teachings need to be banned (unfortunately that amounts to nearly two thirds of the New Testament).

2. Second on the watch list, the Apostle James.

There is a highly suspicious, extra Biblical quotation, which James refers to as “Scripture” which is not found among the Old Testament canon (James 4:5). Obviously James was ill informed as to what constitutes Scripture, thus his appeal should render his teaching as a whole suspect. To be safe, it would be best to just avoid him altogether.

3. Third on the watch list, the Apostle Peter.

One may balk at the mention of Peter on such a list, but the evidence against him warrants concern. Whether caught off guard, or perhaps writing while sleepy, St. Peter made the gross error of referring to all of Paul’s epistles as Scripture, yet not all of his epistles made it into our New Testament canon (2 Pet 3:15-16); for example: 1 Cor 5:9-10 and Col 4:16. If an epistle is not within today’s accepted canon it cannot be Scripture. In addition, Peter folds on his authority as a living epistle, so-to-speak, and takes part in a Church council in order to decide Christian doctrine (Acts 15), perhaps being deceived by the first two Apostles on the watch list. Whatever the case may be, Peter is hereby suspect.

4. Fourth on the watch list is a general grouping of all adherents and participants in Church Councils.

The reasoning here is simple: those who took part in the great Councils of the Church for the first nine centuries considered their rulings “Orthodox Christian doctrine” and believed these rulings to share the same level of divine authority as Scripture. Not only them, but all who followed them, and all those who continue to follow them, are in conflict with the Holy doctrine of Sola Scriptura and should, at the very least, be considered heterodox (of course, one needs an orthodoxy to have a heterodoxy, but the devil’s in the details). I am aware that this pertains to nearly all Christians for the first 1500+ years of the Church, but is it my fault that they were all hopelessly deceived?

5. I’m leery to add this one, but Jesus might need to be banned as well.

Let’s be honest, Jesus didn’t leave any writings, didn’t command His followers to write anything, but rather commanded them to simply go and preach the Gospel. In light of Sola Scriptura this is not just a little concerning, its scandalous. It calls into question our newly adopted doctrine of “Scripture only,” the very doctrine which allows us unlimited ammunition against the Church’s Tradition. Secondly, when Jesus did tell His hearers to “search the Scripture,” or even when He quoted from Scripture, He was not very careful to specify which collection of works He was referring to. As a result He and His Apostles routinely jumped from quoting the Greek Septuagint (which contains those pesky extra-Biblical Apocryphal works) and back again to the Hebrew texts, leaving the rest of us to scratch our heads in wonder over which books truly deserve Old Testament canonization: The Eastern Orthodox say this, the Roman Catholics that, and Protestants something else. If Jesus was fully committed to Sola Scriptura wouldn’t it follow that He would be serious enough to acknowledge which books were and were not Scripture?

So annoying!


16 thoughts on “Proposed Ban on Sola Scriptura’s Top Offenders (a satire)

  1. Dude you’re such a pest. Ha! Awesome. I would share this, but then my evangelical friends would disavow me. Maybe I could state that you’re a heretic first, and then post it?

  2. It is good that you identified this as satire. Some people would have taken you seriously and put together a council to determine who is properly “sola scriptura.”

  3. In point three, the last two sentences should read Peter not Paul. 🙂

    And reposted (with credit)!

  4. We probably won’t be hearing from any Sola Scriptura council anytime soon, rather their infinite number of autonomous popes will decide for themselves.

  5. Good points! It’s a sad satire, but very true in the same time.

    Protestantism started out of ignorance and, unfortunately, propagated that way. It seems that when you have a wrong belief, you start to interpret whatever information you get through the filter of that wrong belief. It seems to be more a matter of honesty or will, rather than mere information.

    God help them find the truth and us keep and understand it!

  6. Well, I’d say Protestantism started out of frustration, just as every new sect of Protestantism does. Luther and the gang had good reasons for leaving Rome, but they should have returned to the Church from which Rome fell rather than create 10,000 new failings.

  7. Luther had a quadralateral of truth. He did not consider Scriptures as the ONLY source of truth. Scripture is the final source of truth. Luthers other sources of truth include Tradition, reason one other (escapes me). I think we are quick to summarize the views of others inaccurately and then knock down their views. This of course is called a straw horse. Luther did not want to leave the Catholic Church. Not sure why Luther is mis-summarized or what the point is.

  8. Actually, it’s called a “strawman,” but the article pokes fun at Sola Scriptura adherents. If Luther doesn’t qualify then he doesn’t qualify. It’s weird to me that some people hold Luther as the quintessential standard of Protestantism, when it is obvious enough that Protestantism has been split 1000 ways to Tuesday.

  9. I hear ya eric. Its funny that most lutheran pastors with whom i dialogue and debate have NO source of truth…or hold consensus as a source of truth. Crazy! At least Cathoicism has a consistent source of truth. However i also find that most evangelical denominations also have the same sources of truth and similar statement of faith. Forgive the autofill screwups on my devices.

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