Why does God Allow Evil? Click here: /Apologeticshtml/Why Does God Allow Evil 0908.htm
Should Godís existence be proven? /Apologeticshtml/Should the Bible and God Be Proven Fideism vs WCG.htm
Does the Bible teach blind faith? Click here: /doctrinalhtml/Gospel of John Theory of Knowledge.htm
Claims of Catholic Tradition and Certain Doctrines Rebutted
How sound are Roman Catholicismís claims that they have a binding source of authority through tradition that may override anything the Bible says?† Two key basic points need to be made about Roman Catholicism's claims to have binding and authoritative tradition.† First, can any such claims made by this tradition be valid to the extent they contradict Scripture?† If the Bible says one thing, and Catholic tradition another, why should we follow the latter and ignore the former?† Can the decrees of men override the plain words of Scripture?† Now, a Catholic at this point might say that Scripture is so hard to figure out that we have to depend on experts to figure it out for us.† Now, I'm not one to deny this argument has substantial validity.† But should we blindly follow whatever such experts (in this case, the theologians, the bishops, the local parish priests, etc.) tell us to be the meaning of Scripture when they are making unreasonable interpretations that read their desired doctrines into God's word?† For example, the perpetual virginity of Christ's mother is a Catholic doctrine, as well as the claim that she was not only sinless when born, as against their doctrine of the original sin, but throughout her life she never sinned (this is the doctrine of the immaculate conception).† How well do such claims line up with Scripture, if we use Scripture to interpret itself, and historical/linguisitic materials to shed more light on what people really likely meant when using one word as opposed to another in ancient Hebrew, Aramaic, and Greek?†
Consider, for example, when the Gospels say Jesus had brothers in Matthew 13:55, can we seriously entertain the counter-arguments they were step-brothers, given that Mary was just mentioned before they were?† Can we honestly think they were some other woman's sons by Joseph?† Do we think the "brothers" in Luke 8:19-20 were only spiritual brothers when it must be physical brothers are contrasted with spiritual ones in this very text by Jesus Himself?† True, we can read anything into any text we want if we try hard enough, but we have to be morally responsible, and find what is reasonable and sensible after researching the topic if necessary first.† (Two good rules of Bible study are to check the context, which often clears up many problems, and to use Scriptures of greater clarity to interpret the ones of lesser clarity, and use the more clear ones to establish doctrine, not the obscure ones).
The second general principle to consider about Catholic claims is the raw self-assertion involved.† What I mean here is that when they say there is some kind of tradition one can trace back to the apostles, do the written records actually available prove this?† Don't different early Catholic writers (take especially Origen as an example, who taught some kind of reincarnation or transmigration of soul doctrine) teach different doctrines?† To use one example, what did the earliest Catholic writers teach about the Trinity and the nature of the Holy Spirit?† Justin Martyr, one of the earliest Catholic writers (he died in the second century A.D.), often referred to the Holy Spirit as if it were an force or something impersonal, not as a person.† One sees different ideas early on concerning Church government and the power of the overseers/bishops/elders, with Ignatius (a very early writer, who died as a martyr about 110 A.D.) asserting a belief in hierarchical control by the bishops/overseers, but other early writers seemed to know nothing about this.†
One prominent medieval Catholic philosopher/theologian, Peter of Abelard, wrote a (from my perspective) curious book called "Sic et Non," which means "Yes and No" in Latin.† What he did was line up quotes from various Catholic writers on various doctrines that contradicted each other.† So then, who's "inspired tradition" should we follow?† Now, presumably, a Catholic might say we let the teaching office/Majesterium and/or the Pope choose what tradition is binding when deciding what doctrines to teach.† But then the written materials available indicate it's a matter of carefully picking and choosing among conflicting ideas in many cases instead of there being some kind of unified, clearly consistent body of thought that has to "force" a given conclusion in many cases.† (You may find ordering J.N.D. Kelly's "Early Christian Doctrines" from Christian Book Distributors of interest in this regard, incidentally).† For example, arguably the greatest Catholic theologian and philosopher was Thomas Aquinas.† His philosophy, Thomism, which draws heavily upon the ancient Greek philosopher Aristotle, is the official philosophy of the Catholic Church.† But he denied the doctrine of the immaculate conception, at least for the Virgin Mary's birth.† (I think he may have said she still lived a sinless life, however, which puts her on the par with Jesus (see I Peter 2:22; John 8:46), which I find absurdly presumptuous).† True, the Pope (I believe) in 1870 made that particular doctrine an officially infallible teaching of the Church.† But it's obvious that not every Catholic writer agreed with that decision before it was made, even those deemed to have high doctrinal authority.
Worse, one can even find cases in which writers changed their minds, such as (say) when Augustine changed his mind on how to interpret that key Catholic text of Matt. 16:18 about who the rock was.† (Of course, there's something absurd about citing a Bible text to prove the Bible's text can be overridden by the decisions of men, i.e., allegedly inspired tradition).† So when someone says they have an inspired tradition that goes back to the apostles (much like the Jews' claim to have the oral law's provisions going back to Moses in many cases), the counter-argument would be to ask them to prove it based upon the written sources available from (say) the era before the Council of Nicea in 325 A.D.† The gradual development and elaboration of the Trinity doctrine, for example, proves that this simply isn't the case, however, as Kelly's book, cited above, shows.
It should be noted that even if the Jews hadn't totally settled issues at Jarmnia at possible meetings in 90 and 118 A.D.,
†this hardly proves much since the choice of books for the Old Testament was fundamentally a decision God inspired the Jews to make, including before the time Jesus was born, not Christians later down the road who couldn't even read Hebrew.† Josephus, the first century A.D. Jewish historian, makes an interesting statement in which he affirms there are 22 books in the Old Testament that are seen as binding in authority, and when realizes he combined certain ones together, etc., it comes out he believed in the same canon as Protestants do.† He believed also that nothing binding in authority had been writing for centuries before his time, going back to the reign of Artaxerxes, which ended 425 b.c.† (Malachi, the last Old Testament book, was written by c. 432 b.c.)† Although the Jews did debate some about certain books, as the Talmud records, such as Proverbs, Song of Songs, Ecclestiastes, and Esther in the second century, it's hard to see these doubts by some as being serious or general among the mass of Jews as a whole.† It should be noted that Jerome (cited above) very much opposed seeing the apocrypha as found in Catholic Bibles as having authority, but the opposing view of Augustine eventually won out at the much later Council of Trent, which was a sixteenth-century reaction against the arguments of Luther, Calvin, and other Protestants.
Now it should be admitted that there is at least some validity to the Catholic interpretations of II Tim. 3:14-17 and† even more to John 20:31 that you cited.† For example, I'm sure that Paul mainly meant the Old Testament when mentioning the "sacred writings" to Timothy since he noted he had known them since childhood in verse 15.† But that doesn't change the meaning of the text, since "Scripture" is whatever it became as inspired by God later, even after Paul's time.† For example, the Apostle John most likely wrote Revelation and his Gospel after Paul wrote this statement in v. 16, yet it still would be part of "All scripture" here since God inspired it, so it has authority.† For we shouldn't think saying, "This has authority because men chose it to have authority" rather than saying, "Men recognized this as having authority since it was inspired by God, therefore it has authority because God inspired it."
Also, we have to recognize that Jesus did not have kind things to say about tradition that contradicted Scripture.† It's important to realize the arguments of Jews and Catholics about their (respective) authoritative traditions are quite similar.† What did Jesus say about traditions that overrode the plain words of the Bible when replying to the Pharisees and Scribes:† "And why do you transgress the commandment of God for the sake of your tradition?† For God commanded, 'Honor your father and your mother,' and , 'He who speaks evil of father or mother, let him surely die.'† But you say, 'If any one tell his father or his mother, What you would have gained from me is given to God, he need not honor his father.'† So, for the sake of your tradition, you have made void the word of God." (Matt. 15:3-6; see also v. 9 and Mark 7:3-13).† Fundamentally, Catholicism makes the same error as the Pharisees did:† They think they have some kind of authoritative tradition that can be used to override the plain words of Scripture.† After all, in this case, do we need spiritual "experts" to figure out what the Bible means in the issue Jesus cited about having compassion on one's parents?† Since the experts can be wrong, we have a responsibility to figure out the Bible on our own, and at least check up on the experts (like the parish priest or the Pope) who claim to have special insight into figuring out the Bible's meaning.† For fundamentally, the Bible, meaning God's revelation though and by His spirit, has authority over the church rather than the church having authority over the Bible.
Now, let's examine briefly one of the arguments made for the doctrine of the immaculate conception, which maintains that the Virgin Mary was born without the stain of original sin on her.† Furthermore, it usually adds the claim that Mary never sinned during her entire life, thus making her as sinless as Jesus was.†† Letís look more specifically at the word used in Luke 1:28 to refer to Mary, which is "charitoo," or Strong's #5487.† In this verse she is called "O favored one" (RSV), using this word.† A different, but similar, word is used of Jesus in John 1:14 (Strong's #5485), "charitos," in the phrase "full of grace and of truth."† This word, a version of "charis," or "grace," as readily verified by the Englishman's Greek Concordance of the New Testament, is used repeatedly for all sorts of people besides Jesus, such as for Paul himself in I Cor. 15:10, or in his general discussions of soteriology (salvation theology) about everyone, such as in Romans 6:1, 14, 15, 17; 11:5, 6; Gal. 2:9, 21.† On the other hand, this word "charitoo," which is obviously related to "charis" and "charitos," is used in Eph. 1:6, but for everyone saved:† "to the priase of his glorious grace which he freely bestowed on us in the Beloved."† This basic language work exposes the Catholic argument about this word's unique significance as totally spurious.† It's an obvious case of eisegesis again, because "grace" does not mean the same as "sinlessness," just as "law" doesn't mean the same thing as "obedience."† The meaning of "sinlessness" shouldn't be read into the use of the wor in Luke 1:28 for the word simply doesn't mean that, or otherwise all Christians are equally "sinless" according to Eph. 1:6.† The Catholic source asserting that the word used of Jesus in John 1:14 was this word was simply wrong, for it's the same word used through the New Testament that means "grace," and it applies to all Christians, not just Jesus (or Mary, for that matter). This exercise shows that whatever Catholic source made these (elementary) claims about Greek should be used with caution on other matters, at least about the meaning of the Greek.
The Catholic interpretation
of Luke 1:28 about Mary is an excellent case of eisegesis, or someone reading a
desired meaning into a text. The NASB has here "Hail, favored
one" or (in the margin), "O woman richly blessed," which brings
into the question the Catholic translations as loading the dice to favor their
doctrine. (If there's ambiguity in the Greek here, then Catholics can't
be dogmatic about its meaning to favor this doctrine). There's nothing here
about Mary being sinless for the rest of her life afterward or beforehand.
Being full of grace at one point in time doesn't equal sinlessness, then,
before, or forever after. The two terms shouldn't be confused anyway.
For grace is about God's attitude towards sinners and forgiving them,
that He has given us unmerited pardon or unmerited favor. Being without
sin means not violating God's law (i.e., "sanctification") or having
our sins taken off us by our faith in Jesus' sacrifice (i.e.,
"justification"). The counter-examples that Catholics cite of
classes of people who are an exception don't work here, since (for example) the
senile when they were younger weren't senile, and thus mentally competent when
they sinned. Children, even before they receive confirmation, can know right
from wrong at a basic level. Consider in this context Augustine's illustration
about the universality of sin, which used as an example that a young child is
jealous of his younger brother or sister at his mother's breast. (For a
historical example, consider the nasty treatment Helen Keller admitted to
inflicting on her baby sister in one case before she was enlightened by being
taught about words by her teacher Anne Sullivan). True, one can dredge up
more extreme cases, such as babies dying at birth. But, even if I reject
the reasoning involved, why does the Catholic church practice infant baptism
(another non-Scriptural practice, by the way)? Isn't the main reason to
protect the baby from eternal punishment or at least Limbo if he should die
since he was born with the stain of Adam's sin on him? For all adults,
sin is universal. (By the way, compare Elisha with Mary: One could
make the case, given the much greater coverage Elisha receives compared to Mary
in the Bible, that Elisha lived an amazingly nearly sin-free life. It's
hard to find him wavering into sinfulness even once, so far as Scripture
records, unlike even Elijah, who so famously did so after Jezebel threatened
In this context, letís examine the pagan connection with many traditions used by Catholic and Protestant Christians to worship God.† This is incontestable, regardless of any defects that can be found in Alexander Hislop's or Ralph Woodrow's research.† Let's focus on the case of Christmas, arguably the biggest one of all on a popular level. The Christmas tree itself has undeniably pagan origins.† Although it was popularized in the English-speaking world in Victorian times especially by Albert, Victoria's husband, who was drawing upon his Germanic heritage in doing so, it goes back to Rome as well.† Pagan Rome liked using the fir.†
December 25 is a very problematic date for any celebration of Christ's birth.† The basic problem has been that it's unlikely that shepherds were out in the fields that late in the year even in Judea, nor would the Romans order a census to be held at such a time, because of the cold weather. (I know some efforts are made to duck the former argument here, but perhaps the way to really check on this would be to see if shepherds today camp out in the open in Judea in late December).† December 25 itself was the date for Mithra's birth, who was a god of light that the Roman legionaires often worshiped.† He was said to be born out of rock on that date.† The Roman Saturnalia, which can be compared to the Mardi Gras and Carnival for a reasonable modern comparison of what it was like, also occurred at this time.† It's no coincidence all this pagan celebrating is occurring around the date of the winter solstice, when the days are at their shortest and start to become longer again.† When else would the god of light be born but then, eh?†
According to the book,
"All About Christmas," by Maymie Krythe, as quoted by G.M. Bowers in
"Faith and Doctrines of the Early Church," the date for Christmas/the
birth of Christ in the third century had varied significantly in the
Church.† According to the early church
writer Chrysostom, Cyril of Jerusalem asked Julius I, the Pope at that time
(336 to 352 A.D.), to look into the issue of the exact timing.† In 350 A.D., he came up with the date of
December 25 as the most probable time.†
It's hard to escape the inference that all the pagan celebrations had an
influence on this choice of a date, since what Biblical information is
available indicates Jesus was born in autumn (as the writer of "The Battle
Hymn of the Republic," curiously enough, was aware of). True, the Bible
doesn't have an explicit statement saying, "Thou shalt not celebrate Christmas,
Easter, or Halloween." Yet also it doesn't have (say) a text
condemning the use of heroin or cocaine either, yet I believe all conservative
Christians would condemn drug abuse by (at some level) using the principle that
since the Bible condemns the drunkenness that results from alcohol, it also
would condemn getting high from drugs. So then, are there any texts that
say using pagan customs or learning about how others worshipped false gods in
order to do the same is wrong? These in principle would apply to holidays
that have all or most of their customs in pre-Christian paganism, such as
Christmas, Easter, and Halloween.
Consider for example this text (Deuteronomy 12:29-32): "When the Lord your God cuts off before you the nations which you are going in to dispossess, and you dispossess them and dwell in their land, beware that you are not ensnared to follow them, after they are destroyed before you, and that you do not inquire after their gods, saying, 'How do these nations serve their gods, that I also may do likewise?' You shall not behave thus toward the Lord your God, for every abominable act which the Lord hates they have done for their gods; for they even burn their sons and daughters in the fire to their gods. Whatever I command you, you shall be careful to do; you shall not add to nor take away from it."
Notice that Israel was warned to not inquire into the customs of the pagan nations they were about the conquer in Canaan as something they should do for themselves in order to worship their gods. Do we really think that these customs are sanitized by aiming them at the true God? There is a history here that we need to consider, even if the reality of worshipping the various pagan gods of Rome, Greece, or the ancient Germans/Nordics is long dead so we don't get the immediate association in our minds.
For instance, consider this analogy that has been used to explain this principle. Suppose a man got married to a woman who became his wife, but he left around their house in prominent locations framed pictures of one or more of his ex-girlfriends. How would the wife feel about these reminders of his former loves? Would she be convinced his devotion to her was full-hearted? Would such an explanation as, "When I look at them, I think of you instead now," be all that convincing? Notice that God didn't accept the worship of the Golden Calf as worship directed to Him despite Aaron proclaimed a "Feast to the Lord" (v. 5) would occur the next day (see Exodus 32:1-14).
Is using customs that used to be used to worship false gods something the true God really accepts when Scripture says the true God never compromises with paganism? For example, notice I Cor. 10:19-22: "What do I mean then? That a thing sacrificed to idols is anything, or that an idol is anything? No, but I say that the things which the Gentiles sacrifice, they sacrifice to demons, and not to God; and I do not want you to become sharers in demons. You cannot drink the cup of the Lord and the cups of demons; you cannot partake of the table of the Lord and the table of demons. Or do we provoke the Lord to jealousy?" Notice that "jealousy" concerns the demand for exclusive devotion, just as a wife would (or should) demand from her husband sexually. (See II Cor. 6:14-18 for more about Christians not compromising with paganism, that they should have no part with it). What the pagans did did not honor the true God, regardless of how much sincerity or faith they had. The same goes for the customs used at Easter and Christmas today. And, does anybody really believe when kids dress up as demons, ghosts, monsters, etc., and then go around extorting neighbors with the threatening words "Trick or treat," meaning, "I won't soap your windows or turn over your trash cans if you bribe me" (that's the historical origin of the phrase), that these Halloween customs somehow worships God? The case against Halloween is even more clear than the case against Easter and Christmas. Halloween is a holiday that honors the "god of this world"! (I Cor. 4:3-4). (Of course, it's a lie to tell kids Santa Claus left them gifts under the tree instead of their parents--another problem morally with the standard Christmas story, but here I digress).
Here is a general principle that's proclaimed before a description of an idol-making operation is made: "Do not learn the way of the nations, and do not be terrified by the sings of the heavens although the nations are terrified by them; for the customs of the peoples are delusion" (Jeremiah 10:2-3). We shouldn't be learning how the pagans of the past worshiped their Gods in order to do the same today ourselves. What's most curious is the ensuing description of a tree being trimmed by a "cutting tool" and decorated with silver and gold and being fastened down with nails sounds all too much like a Christmas tree! (See verses 3-4).
We need to consider how these pagan customs came into the Christian church. Basically what happened was that the Catholic Church in the late Roman Empire and afterwards decided to look the other way or even just adopt wholesale various pagan customs in order to try to "co-opt" the prevailing pagan customs. Hence, there's no record of celebrating Christmas before the fourth century A.D., some three centuries after the time of Christ. What was happening around December 25th each year back then? Well, we had the Saturnalia (a celebration much like Christmas, although also comparable to the Mardi Gras, Carnival, and other festivals of Misrule). We also had the story of the god of light, Mithras, being born from a rock on . . . December 25th! The pagan festivals celebrated around the time of the winter Solstice, when the days stopped getting shorter and started getting longer, has a lot more to do with Christmas than the birth of Jesus, which historically most likely occurred early in the fall, not late in December. But the Catholic Church, by compromising with the pagans especially from the fourth century onwards, after the Edict of Milan of the Emperor Constantine gave Christianity toleration, ended up partially paganizing itself.
One simply canít reliably
trace back to the apostlesí traditions that are apart from Scripture with the
ancient written evidence thatís available. Documentary evidence is needed
to justify such claims, such as for (say) the Holy Spirit's full Deity and
personality as taught by Justin Martyr, and it just isn't there. We're
faced with the issue that the earliest Catholic writers upheld doctrines that
official Catholic teaching would deny or deem not sufficiently developed.
I look at how little is known about the church's history from about 65
A.D. until about 150 A.D., and at the reality the switch over from a largely
Jewish to a largely gentile church that would have left the reliable
transmission of truth in question. (The Jews had a good system for
transmitting oral teaching from teacher to student, the system that created the
Babylon and Jerusalem Talmuds, but I challenge anyone to prove any group of
gentiles had a similarly reliable cultural practice in the ancient Roman
Empire). There's a raw leap of blind faith to think Catholic tradition
really has been so reliably transmitted through all the centuries when the
written documentation for many doctrines for this belief simply is lacking,
such as for a fully developed doctrine of the Trinity (such as proclaimed at
Constantinople in 381 A.D., for Nicea in 325 A.D. had nothing much to say
specifically about the Holy Spirit). There's simply something
self-contradictory about Catholicism citing the Bible, such as in Matthew
16:18-19, in order to deny the Bible. One can't logically build one's
doctrinal authority on that which one denies when it is (well) inconvenient to
one's doctrines that one supposedly got from reliable tradition.
Does official Catholic teaching about tradition maintains it is a developmental extra-Biblical revelation over the centuries?† Or is it rather a full repository of truth Jesus told the disciples in their years together in 27-31 A.D. (or after Pentecost in the years before they all died)? Does Catholic tradition amount to an extra-Biblical revelation that was ongoing for many centuries after Jesus' resurrection? Is it (effectively) a slow-motion version of the same process that, in a lightning-fast form, created "The Book of Mormon" or "Science and Health"?
The problem with citing I Cor. 15:22 and Romans 5:12 about Enoch and Elijah† for trying to find an exception to the word for "all" concerns when we think they were resurrected or not, or how to interpret "translation" as being about Enoch's body or being taken up into "heaven" as meaning only God's throne. I could make here the case that both died conventionally (in Elijah's case, later on), but that would take up a lot of space. I think the more practical approach is that for a doctrine that says Mary never sinned one needs a text saying she never sinned, just as exists explicitly concerning Jesus. Without such a text, we shouldn't create such a doctrine. It's all too obvious, looking at the history of paganism in Rome and later, that Catholic teaching about Mary picked up pagan aspects from other religions in the practical actions and beliefs of average people. Here Hislop's "Two Babylons" and (much easier to read) Ralph Woodrow's "Babylon Mystery Religion" come home to roost. All the pagan customs and beliefs Catholicism absorbed (especially) after 313 A.D. and the Edict of Milan are a "tradition" that it needs to shed.
A Catholic or conventional Protestant may wish to look at the essay on my Web site dealing with Protestant Rhetoric against the Sabbath. It deals with this terminology issue and how sloppy, overly broad theological reasoning against the Sabbath's continued observance by Christians is ineffective.† http://lionofjudah1.org/doctrinalhtml/Protestant%20Rhetoric%20vs%20Sabbath%20Refuted.htm The texts that have been cited that supposedly abolish the Sabbath are dealt with in my essay dealing with the New Covenant and the Worldwide Church of God's doctrinal change, which is also found here:† http://lionofjudah1.org/doctrinalhtml/Does%20the%20New%20Covenant%20Abolish%20the%20OT%20Law.htm† But, if you've been open-minded about exploring various Catholic claims, you might as well as see how a Christian Sabbatarian makes his case also.
Let's look at Cardinal Gibbons' actual statement in "Faith of Our Fathers" about the Sabbath and his reasoning before making it. Notice how he uses tradition not merely to supplement beliefs found in Scripture, but uses tradition to override Scripture when the two are contradictory: "A rule of Faith, or a competent guide to heaven, must be able to instruct in all the truths necessary for salvation. Now the Scriptures alone do not contain all the truths which a Christian is bound to believe, nor do they explicitly enjoin all the duties which he is obliged to practice. Not to mention other examples, is not every Christian obliged to sanctify Sunday, and to abstain on that day from unnecessary servile work? Is not the observance of this law among the most prominent of our sacred duties? But you may read the Bible from Genesis to Revelation, and you will not find a single line authorizing the sanctification of Sunday. The Scriptures enforce the religious observance of Saturday, a day which we never sanctify." Now, notice his reasoning: Tradition says Sunday, Scripture says Saturday, but we as Christians must obey Sunday. Clearly, the circle can't always be squared between the alleged revelation that tradition is and what Scripture teaches. He made his choice, but I'm making another. How can humans make a day holy God never made holy? (Notice, of course, the texts you cited that supposedly abolish Sabbath observance don't really line up with Catholic teaching since such an authority as Thomas Aquinas says the day was transferred, not abolished).
The problem with using Catholic saints or Mary as intercessors come from a foundational doctrine which concerns the state of the dead. The book by Uriah Smith, called "Here and Hereafter," which is on my Web site, is truly devastating against the teaching that the soul is conscious after death and is immortal. It refutes all the reasonings made for eternal torment in hell also. If you want to examine the case for people not being conscious after death, which means then neither the saints nor Mary are conscious of anyone on earth presently, some of the texts to look at are Eccl. 9:5,6,10; Psalms 6:5; 30:9; 88:10; 115:17; 146:4; Isaiah 38:18-19; 63:16; Job 3:11+; 14:12, 21; II Kings 22:20. Although some of these texts may be somewhat ambiguous, they still make a telling case overall. Notice that even David, a man after God's own heart, hadn't gone to heaven even after Jesus had, according to Peter in Acts 2:29, 34. Jesus said in John 3:13 He was the only man who had gone to heaven, at least at that time. If you want to consult a briefer writing than Uriah Smith's on this subject, you can check out my church's booklet at http://www.ucg.org/booklets/HL/. Obviously, if "the dead do not know anything," Mary and the saints don't know anything about what we're doing on earth under the sun right now.
In this brief survey, a number of Catholic and even Protestant doctrines have been questioned and denied.† Christians should look to the Bible as their ultimate source of authority, not church tradition of any kind, which canít be reliably verified, such as by ancient documents, despite all the claims to the contrary.
Eric V. Snow
Click here to access essays that defend Christianity: /apologetics.html
Click here to access essays that explain Christian teachings: /doctrinal.html
Click here to access notes for sermonettes: /sermonettes.html
Why does God Allow Evil? Click here: /Apologeticshtml/Why Does God Allow Evil 0908.htm
May Christians work on Saturdays? Click here: /doctrinalhtml/Protestant Rhetoric vs Sabbath Refuted.htm
Should Christians obey the Old Testament law? /doctrinalhtml/Does the New Covenant Abolish the OT Law.htm
Do you have an immortal soul? Click here: /doctrinalhtml/Here and Hereafter.htm
Does the ministry have authority? Click here: /doctrinalhtml/Is There an Ordained Ministry vs Edwards.html
Is the United States the Beast? Click here: /doctrinalhtml/Are We the Beast vs Collins.htm
Should you give 10% of your income to your church? Click here: /doctrinalhtml/Does the Argument from Silence Abolish the Old Testament Law of Tithing 0205 Mokarow rebuttal.htm
Is Jesus God? Click here: /doctrinalhtml/Is Jesus God.htm
Will there be a third resurrection? Click here: /doctrinalhtml/Will There Be a Third Resurrection.htm