On sola scriptura

Another funny thing about Protestants is the inconsistencies around sola scriptura itself. It isn't even scriptural; Paul wrote in a couple places about the observance of tradition handed on from apostles: apostolic tradition.4 5 And churches don't really follow sola scriptura. They set up their own traditions, based on their understanding of scripture. Or, they profess sola scriptura and try to imitate the earliest Christians. And yet, they can't even get that right. For example, there is a 'full-gospel' church in Boulder which does its best to be like the Acts church, while maintaining sola scriptura and that faith alone saves. Here's how it works out: No infant baptism, because baptism is just a profession of faith. Instead, everyone gathers around the newborn and prays for him, commending him to God. As close to infant baptism as you can get, without taking the logical plunge. The eucharist is celebrated, maybe once every eight weeks, and everyone takes it as a chance to remember the passion. The bread and grape juice are symbols, and we use them because that's what Jesus used. Oh wait, Jesus used wine. Oh wait, the earliest Christians celebrated the eucharist every Sunday,6 not one Sunday in eight.

"Acts prayer cloths" are used; the church prayers over bits of cloth, and people can take them home and put them under their pillow for healing or whatever it is they want. This is based on Acts 19:11-12 "And God did extraordinary miracles by the hands of Paul, so that handkerchiefs or aprons were carried away from his body to the sick, and diseases left them and the evil spirits came out of them." Now sacraments are just symbols; they're superstitions--but we're gonna pray over bits of fabric and put 'em under our pillows.

That's where sola scriptura gets you.

^4 2 Thess 2:15 "So then, brethren, stand firm and hold to the traditions which you were taught by us, either by word of mouth or by letter."
^5 2 Tim 2:2 "and what you have heard from me before many witnesses entrust to faithful men who will be able to teach others also."
^6Didache 14, in Staniforth, Maxwell, ed. Early Christian Writings. (Penguin Books: London, 1987), 197.

No comments:

Post a Comment