Friday, 20 July 2007

Scripture against the Pope???

I may be a little late on this one, but there are still a few things that need to be said.

A recent article appeared in the CNN religious affairs column written by Roland S Martin, a some time contributor to CNN's in depth analysis of whatever. The article is a reply to the CDF's recent document pertaining to the doctrine on the Church. I must say for someone who was a catholic and has now seen the light, particularly through the light of Scripture, he has discovered surprisingly little.

Roland's first point is that the Bible was something hidden within the Catholic Church. Apparently he was hand-fed a diet of Catholicism that somehow didn't have much Bible, despite being a regular Mass attendee. I suppose the priest didn't read out the Old Testament, Psalm, New testament and Gospel every Sunday? Or perhaps he just whispered them?

Anyway the point being that he had to go to the protestants to read the Bible. Ok.

What happens to people like Roland and countless other protestants who walked out of the Church, is not that they found the Bible in these other denominations, rather they found that the Bible was the only thing they had left. Roland didn't leave the Church and find the Bible, he left the Church and found that the Bible was the only thing he took with him. And that's where the whole Protestant Bible thing falls apart- they have the Bible because they took it, not because they found it.

The fact that there is a Bible in the first place can only be because there is a Church. Christ and the Apostles began to do, preach and baptise well before any of it was written down. It was only after that the Church reflecting on who she was, the Bride of Christ, that she started to recognise herself in Scripture and began reading and mediating upon the Word of God as it was handed down from the authors until the present day. To separate Church and Scripture is like trying to tear the arms off a man- sure the man can still walk, but was that the way he was meant to live?

It's always been a mystery to me how the Protestants say they discovered the Bible- where on God's green earth did they dig it up? The Bible didn't fall from heaven but was written by the Church and for the Church. And just like the Church the Bible is not something we can make up for ourselves. There is a Bible only because there is a Church. And that as Roland so bluntly put it is why "the Pope made his decision to restate the primacy of the Catholic Church."

However unlike Roland's guess, the Pope's decision is not based on the Church 'owning' Christ, but rather on the fact that to Christ belongs the Church.

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