An article was published in some of our daily papers last week under the above heading. This article is an advertisement of the Knights of Columbus; it is one in a series of Catholic propaganda. The purpose of the article is to belittle the Bible, and to keep people from thinking for themselves, and to set forth the Catholic Church as the infallible interpreter of the Scriptures.
The article begins thus: "People often indignantly demand that Catholics prove their teaching from the Bible." What is wrong with this? Not a thing; people ought to demand Bible proof for Catholic teaching, and for all other religious instructions. If Roman Catholics are going to pose as teachers of God's word, let them prove their teaching by the Bible, or let them shut up and quit posing. Catholics claim Peter to be their first Pope; (which claim is false) let them hear- what Peter says: "If anyone speaks, let it be as with words of God." (1 Pet. 4:11) Unless Catholics speak 'as with (by the use Of) words of God" let them be silent. A doctrine that cannot be upheld by using God's word is a false doctrine.
The Savior said, "And if anyone hear my words, and do not keep them, it is not I who judge him; for I have not come to judge the world, but to save the world. He who rejects me, and does not accept my words. has one to condemn him. The word that I have spoken will condemn him on the last day.' (John 12:47,48)
The words of Christ are to be accepted; they are to be kept, and we are to be judged by them. Surely they contain the right doctrine. Again "All Scripture is inspired by God and useful for teaching, for reproof, for correcting, for instructing in justice; that the man of God may perfect, equipped for every good work." (2 Tim. 3:16, 17) The Scripture is good "for teaching that the man of God may be perfect. equipped for every good work." What more docs man need? What can you add to this to make the man of God better? Any religious work not authorized by the Bible is not a good work. Yes, let Catholics prove their teaching by the Bible.
"But why do you call me, 'Lord, Lord,' and do not practice the things I say? Everyone who comes to me and hears my words, and acts upon them is like a man building a house, who dug deep and laid a foundation upon rock But he who has heard my words, and has not acted upon them is like a man who built his house upon the ground without a foundation it fell in, and great was the wreck of that house." (Lk. 6:46-49) There is no need of us calling Christ Lord, if we are not going to obey his word; if we obey him we can prove our teaching by the Bible. Paul warned the Corinthians against "transgressing what is written." (1 Cor. 4:6) Again. "If anyone thinks that he is a prophet or spiritual. let him recognize that the things I am writing to you are. the Lord's commandments. If anyone ignores this, he shall be ignored." (I Cor. 14:37. 38) We are commanded not to transgress, i.e., go beyond what is written; let not Catholics ignore this injunction—less the Lord shall ignore them when he comes for his bride.
"But even if we or an angel from heaven should preach a gospel to you other than that which we have preached to you, let him be anathema! As we have said before, so now I say again: if anyone preach a gospel to you other than that which you have received. let him be anathema!" (Gal. 1:8. 9) Paul did not preach the doctrine of the Catholic Church to the churches of Galatia, neither did the Galatians receive the teachings of the Catholics. If Paul preached Catholicism. and if the Galatians received it. then it should be easy for Catholics to prove their teaching and practice by the Bible. Since they cannot prove their teaching by the Bible—let them heed this warning less they be anathema! No other gospel is to be preached by man or angel; what was preached by the apostles and their co-workers is the final revelation.
"Anyone who advances and does not abide in the doctrine Of Christ, has not God; he who abides in the - doctrine, he has both the Father and the Son. If anyone comes to you and does not bring this doctrine, do not receive him into the house, or say to hm, Welcome. For he who says to him, Welcome, is sharer in his evil works." (2 John 9-11).
Anyone who advances beyond the doctrine of Christ is an evil worker. "Anyone" - this takes in Catholics, "who advances” - advocates Doctrinal Development, "and does not abide in the doctrine of Christ,” that is, in the Scriptures “has not God. He who abides in the doctrine," the New Testament “he has both the Father and the Son.”
"Beloved, while I was making every endeavor to write to you about our common salvation, I found it necessary to write to you, exhorting you to contend earnestly for the faith once for all delivered to the saints." (Jude 3) •'The faith" as used here, means a system of teaching, in other words. the gospel. What docs "once for all delivered" mean? "Once" means the same here a; it means in Hebrews 9:27, 28; "it is appointed unto men to die once . . . so also was Christ offered once to take away the sins of many." Men die once; Christ was offered once, not twice, and the gospel was delivered once. Paul says, once I was stoned. thrice I suffered shipwreck." (2 Cor. 11:25) Paul was stoned one'; time, not continuous; he “was shipwrecked”, three times. If we can understand this, we ought to be able to understand that "once for all delivered" means one time, and not a continuous revelation as the Catholics and so many others teach.
The article objects to the Bible as rule of faith, and raises this question: “But – are they right in calling the Bible, privately interpreted, the sole source for Christian teaching?” This question alludes to 2 Peter 1:20; but what docs this passage mean ? “This, then, you must understand first of all, that no prophecy of Scripture is made by private interpretation. For not by will of man was prophecy brought at any time, but men of God spoke as they were moved by the Holy Spirit." (2 Pet. 1:20, 21) Prophecy did not come at the impulse of the prophet; it was not his invention.
Private interpretation in the passage docs not mean the same as "privately interpreted" in the above question quoted from the newspaper. 2 Peter 1:20, has to do with revelation, and the question has to do with a private interpretation of that revelation. If Peter and the Knights of Columbus were writing of the same thing, it would be impossible for the Bible to be "privately interpreted," because Peter said, ''no prophecy is made by private interpretation . . not by the will of man was prophecy brought . but holy men of God spoke as they were moved by the Holy Spirit."
There are no people that I know anything about who are more guilty of "privately interpreting" the Bible than are the Catholics. Theirs is a private interpretation; the Pope hands to all Catholics his private interpretation, and they accept it. It is the interpretation of an individual, a single person speaking without authority from God. As far as the Catholic Church is concerned it may be official, but inasmuch as it has to do with the Bible it is private because God has not authorized him to bind his opinions on men. (All Scriptural quotations are the Challoner-Rheims Version, 1940 Revision) -Walter Henderson, "Pause-Ponder-Profit" - April, 1954