Monday, October 6, 2008

Question 3 from Negative

Question 3 Where is your church and its confession in the world before the 16th century?

by Matthew Bellisario

There is a glaring reality staring you in the face which you fail to acknowledge. Your beliefs and opinions regarding Sacred Scripture are found in no church in existence before the the 16th century. Let me be more specific. You made these claims among others in your opening statement,

“We have sixty-six books of Scripture.

We reject as authoritative the Apocrypha – those additional books and parts that are not inspired, but which have sometimes been called Deuterocanonical. They are of historical interest – and they are of grammatical interest, since they are ancient books written in Greek. Nevertheless, since they are not inspired, they do not have any more authority than any other human writings.

The Bible is a complete document. It is sufficient. It contains everything that we need to know for faith and life in general, in order to glorify God and in order to be saved. Nevertheless, the illumination of the Holy Spirit – who persuades us of the truth of inspiration of Scripture – is necessary for anyone to obtain a saving knowledge of God, even from Scripture. It is complete – but it is not exhaustive.

Not all of the teachings of Scripture are equally clear, but the things necessary to be known for salvation are clearly taught, so that even uneducated people can understand them.”

There are more teachings that I can list, but I will use these for my question. There is no church in existence before the 16th century that ever made these false claims. In fact whether the church be Syrian, Maronite, Syro-Malankara, Coptic, Ethiopic, Byzantine, Chaldean, Syro-Malabar or Armenian, they all reject your 66 book Canon and they all reject Sola Scriptura. Everyone of these different churches claim and can historically trace their existence back to the apostles themselves. They all attest to Sacred Scripture within Sacred Tradition. All of these Rites exist within the Catholic Church and in the Eastern Orthodox, and hail from all over the world, established by different apostles, yet they all hold to the Catholic teaching of Sacred Tradition.

We have all of these ancient churches which attest to Sacred Tradition in their Liturgies, as well as in their church writings and councils. If your claim of Sola Scriptura is true, we should see these claims made somewhere among the ancient churches as well. My question is, where is your Westminster confession equivalent, proving Sola Scriptura among any ancient church group before the 16th century, and where is the your equivalent Liturgy of the Eucharist proving these beliefs in practice. Please do not quote Church Fathers individually, since all of the Church Fathers belonged to one of the above groups and all celebrated one of their ancient Liturgies. Show us where there is a whole church group professing your Westminster faith in some documented form in some ancient church before the 16th century.

No comments: