By Pastor Bruce K. Oyen
First Baptist Church
Below are some quotes from a current and officially approved Roman Catholic book called “Rediscover Catholicism,” written by Matthew Kelly. This book is the “New & Expanded Second Edition,” and has a 2010 copyright. Moreover, the book has been granted the Imprimatur, which, the book says, “is a declaration that a book is considered to be free of doctrinal and moral error.” The quotes are from the section on the Bible, found in part three, which covers “The Seven Pillars Of Catholic Spirituality.” These quotes are given in order to make it clear that there is a great difference between Roman Catholicism and Bible-believing Protestants, evangelicals, and fundamentalists.
Kelly wrote: “With this clear and concise understanding of the history of the Scriptures in mind, the Protestant theory of sola scriptura, or ‘the Bible and the Bible alone,’ self-destructs into the most monumental case of well-argued nonsense in the history of humanity.” How nice of Kelly to say this about Bible-believing Protestantism! But his inflated view of Roman Catholicism forced him to attack Bible-believing Protestantism in this way.
Kelly wrote: “Christians of all denominations around the world owe an enormous debt to the Catholic Church. The Catholic Church, inspired and guided by the Holy Spirit, is responsible for the formulation, preservation, and integrity of the sacred Scriptures. For fifteen hundred years…………….the Catholic Church preserved the Scriptures from error, saved them from destruction and extinction, multiplied them in every language under the sun, and conveyed the truths they contained to people everywhere. Time and time again, people have tried to manipulate and corrupt these writings — and in some cases have succeeded—-but the Catholic Church has preserved a version that is complete and free from human tampering.” Kelly did not say what that version is. More importantly, Kelly ignored the fact that many of the teachings and practices of Roman Catholicism are not found in the Bible. It is “the Protestant theory of sola scriptura, or ‘the Bible and the Bible alone,’ ” which prohibits Protestants, evangelicals, and fundamentalists from accepting many teachings and practices of Roman Catholicism. Even if Roman Catholicism had, as Kelly claimed, “preserved the Scriptures from error,” it has seriously departed from the teachings of the Scriptures.
Kelly wrote: “Individual interpretation of the Bible is a very slippery path that leads people to great confusion, heartache and distress. The history of Christianity in the past five hundred years is proof enough of this point.” Kelly was, no doubt, referring to the 500 years since the Protestant reformation. This is another example of Roman Catholicism’s exclusive claim to “her sole right to interpret the meaning of the Scriptures throughout history.” (See below.) Roman Catholicism is afraid to allow the readers of the Bible to also interpret it, for it knows that to allow this would cause many Roman Catholics to question the many Roman Catholic teachings that are not found in God’s Book, the Bible.
Kelly wrote: “This is why the Catholic Church has, in her wisdom, so vigorously defended her sole right to interpret the meaning of the Scriptures throughout history. The living voice of the Catholic Church stands as a beacon for all men and women of good will, and announces the life and teachings of Jesus Christ with tradition in one hand and the Scriptures in another.” Here we see how differently, and, we must say, how erroneously, Roman Catholicism looks at the interpretation of the Bible. It does indeed, have “tradition in one hand and the Scriptures in another,” but Roman Catholic tradition frequently has more authority than the Scriptures. If the Scriptures were given their proper place in Roman Catholicism, it would have to abandon many its many false teachings and practices.
Kelly wrote: “Ultimately, interpreting the Scriptures comes down to a question of authority. It is perhaps no surprise that the greatest obstacle to Christian unity is also the question of authority. The greatest challenge that faces us, as Christians, in our quest for unity is to free so many from the blind subservience to a book and deliver them to a loving obedience to God alive and present in one, holy, catholic, and apostolic church.” Kelly does not say what “book” is referred to, but since the context is the Bible, I assume he referred to that “book.” If I am correct, what should Protestants, evangelicals, and fundamentalists make of his statement? It certainly is not one which takes a high view of God’s Book, the Bible, in spite of Roman Catholic claims to the contrary. Most Protestants, evangelicals, and fundamentalists do not believe in what Kelly calls “blind subservience to a book.” Rather, they believe in humble reverence for God’s Book, the Bible, and they read it for its infallible truth, its comfort, and its guidance. Furthermore, Protestant, evangelical, and fundamentalist churches believe their pastors are to major on preaching the truths of the Bible in the regular services of the churches, in contrast to using precious time observing unscriptural liturgies.
Now, having presented several quotes about the Bible and Roman Catholicism from an official Roman Catholic book, and having shared some thoughts on those quotes, let me make some concluding points: 1) The quotes prove that the Roman Catholic Church still disapproves of, and still condemns, Bible-believing Protestantism, evangelicalism and fundamentalism. 2) This book and many others like it, and information found on Roman Catholic websites, prove the Roman Catholic Church does not hide its views from the world. 3) Therefore, Bible-believing Protestants, evangelicals, and fundamentalists have no excuse for seeking unity with Roman Catholicism. They cannot say the facts were not readily available to them, unless they were in isolated locations or other unfortunate circumstances. 4) Therefore, with this information readily available to us, we must speak out against activities which promote unity with Roman Catholicism. Such activities would include local ministerial associations, and evangelistic endeavors, such as have been promoted in the past by Billy Graham, and are now continued by his son, Franklin Graham. In their crusades, Roman Catholics have been given roles of leadership, which makes them look like they believe what they, in fact, don’t believe. And, in these crusades Roman Catholics who claim to have received Jesus Christ as their Savior are not referred to Bible-believing churches for follow-up, but are referred back to the Roman Catholic church, from which they will be further indoctrinated in Roman Catholic false doctrines. 5) We must look at Roman Catholics as a mission field. They need us to lovingly seek to bring the true Gospel of Jesus Christ to them. 6) If you want to learn the true way of salvation, read the New Testament carefully. Concentrate on the Gospel of John and on the apostle Paul’s letters to the Romans and the Galatians. You can also click on this link to a good Gospel message that will tell you how to be saved at once : www.godssimpleplan.org/gsps-english.html.