Crossed The Tiber

An Evangelical Converts to Catholicism

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Location: Pennsylvania, United States

I was born into the Catholic faith. At 14, I was "born again" and found Jesus personally but lost His Church. After thirty years as an evangelical protestant, I have come full circle to find that He has been there all the time, in the One, Holy, Catholic and Apostolic Church. I wish others to find the beauty and truth of the Catholic faith as I have found.

Sunday, September 18, 2011

How Sola Scriptura Has Lead to Pat Robertson's Moral Relativity

The secular as well as Christian press has had a field day over Pat Robertson's recent advice to divorce a spouse with end-stage Alzheimer's disease.  You may ask, "How is this related to sola scriptura, especially since sola scripturists adhere to and submit only to the authority of scripture and scripture is clear that Jesus doesn't allow divorce?"  Pat Robertson is disobeying the plain teaching of scripture regarding marriage by his recent statements you may argue, and therefore this has nothing to do with sola scriptura. But the seed of why Robertson could say such a thing was planted long ago. We are seeing the latent fruit of the reformers casting off the authority of the Church and sacred tradition which assists in the interpretation of scripture and the practice of faith.
   To be Protestant, by definition, you must protest something. It is in the genetic "DNA" of Protestantism to cast-off authority. The early reformers cast off the Catholic Church and each successive reformer cast off whatever group he was a part of but no longer agreed with and submitted to. Zwingli cast off from Luther because of his denial of Luther's sacramental beliefs. Within a few years of Luther's denial of the authority of the papacy, every man who could read scripture was becoming his own arbiter of faith and morals. "Every man has a pope in his belly" was Luther's comment. Luther himself, no longer under the authority of the Church, once counseled a man that it was permissible to marry his mistress and remained married to his wife.(AKA polygamy) So even still claiming to be under only the authority of the word of God, Luther began to deviate from scripture and sacred tradition which states that  marriage is for life to one person.  King Henry 8th was another rather obvious example of this casting off concept, or protesting if you will. Though initially a defender of the Catholic faith against Luther's reformation, he later decided he could become his own arbiter of faith and morals for his unique situation. On and on it went and still does.
   My premise is this: once you have removed yourself from any authority outside of your personal interpretation of scripture, you can slide even further and no longer even submit yourself to the authority of scripture itself (or your interpretation of it). Modern protestantism has abundant examples of re-writing faith and morality having cast off any vestige of "Sacred Tradition" or authority outside themselves.
Pat Robertson, having lived a lifetime with no guidelines to assist him other than his interpretation of the bible, has slid down this slippery slope of  "no authority." A slope that has been greased by the oil of moral relativism of our culture. He has essentially become his own pope.

Read an article by a Protestant seminary professor who argues that Protestants indeed need a pope for times such as these.


Blogger Just another suburban mom. said...

Wow! I read that article from the Protestant seminary professor. Is he still Protestant? If that wasn't a defense of the papacy and the Catholic Church, I don't know what is. It seemed like he was talking himself into Catholicism.

September 18, 2011 4:42 PM  
Blogger Russ Rentler, M.D. said...

I thought the same and googled his name and he is now a prof at Marquette University. Not Catholic yet.... but getting closer. Let's pray the Jesuits don't scare him away LOL!

September 18, 2011 4:49 PM  
Blogger George @ Convert Journal said...

Interesting connection between Robertson, sola scriptura and the papacy.

I agree with JASM that the linked paper sure looks Catholic! It is unusually knowledgeable of, and fair to, Catholicism for a Protestant. It is oddly named in that is not "a pope" he is speaking of but "the pope."

I think he clearly "gets" part of the papacy. He doesn't directly discuss Jesus charge to Peter, apostolic succession, the Holy Spirit, the Magisterium or infallibility. Perhaps he doesn't want to scare his Protestant readers too soon...

September 18, 2011 5:16 PM  
Blogger Magister Christianus said...

This is an amazing piece, all the more so for the nature of it's author. I am blown away by this and will add it to my growing file titled "The Case for Catholicism."

September 18, 2011 9:40 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Love the image!

September 19, 2011 11:23 AM  

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