Want Some Answers ???
Thanks for the reply. You donít sound very happy at least not happy with me that is. You wrote,
>>my feeling [is] that you are not being totally honest and open with me with regard to some points I have raised. In particular regarding your faith and which church, if any, you belong to? I have assumed, from your lack of communication on this point that you do not belong to any church and 'study' Scripture as a topic of personal interest. I find that unless one is prepared to be completely honest in these matters, then there is little point continuing the discussion<<
The simple answer is, yes IĎm a Christian. Sorry if this wasnít clear in my last mail. I attend a small chapel not far from here. And for a number of years. As for my studies, it would be misleading to say I have no ďpersonal interestĒ. But I have been through a schooling system. This provided an education and an appreciation of Church history, Scripture and Tradition. But Iím not claiming to know everything. I could go on for pages describing what I believe and about me but I'm still not sure this is really important to you.
Quite frankly, I didnít think to say much about me as this appeared unimportant, compared to the topic before us. Also because I donít enjoy writing pages of boring information about myself as this detracts from our important communication. You write,
>>You are wrong and you are also wrong in the interpretation of the Scripture you claim to understand<<
Well I re-read the last mail I posted. Iím convinced your latest letter sidesteps all the matters raised. No where have you even attempted to address the matters raised. So I have enclosed a copy of the letter I posted. I urge you not to ignore it. I have highlighted the important areas that you might consider. You have said Iím wrong, so please show me where and why so I might learn. You wrote Ė
>>It is possible to discover the truth but only if you are totally open to the guiding influence of the Holy Spirit through the intercession of Mary the Mother of God<<
You claim to know the truth and Iím ready and willing to listen. Surely your idea of truth is not that I embrace all your literature without question? If something is true it can stand to be questioned, if it is not true it needs to be questioned. You write Ė
>>Despite my very clearly outlining the basis of my faith, and in fact that of all Catholics from the Pope down, that the Catholic Church holds to Three Pillars regarding Christian teaching and understanding; Tradition, Teaching Magisterium of the Church and Scripture, you choose to completely disregard these truths and begin anew that Scripture is he only source of revealed truth<<
Obviously the bases of your belief is from three sources - Tradition, Magisterium and Scripture. But if you reject the Bible we have no valid basis for ďcontinuing the discussingĒ of Christian truth. If thatís the case, Iím quite happy for you not to write again. Until we settle the question of what is our final authority we can never settle our differences.
But since we were talking about salvation originally, perhaps you could name one specific teaching of Christ dealing with the subject of salvation that is not recorded in Scripture. Whose church is organized correctly might be an interesting topic, but how a man can save his soul is vitally important. You see, the mention of ďtraditionĒ is a cop-out. It enables one to support many beliefs that have no warrant in Scripture. Itís true Christ could have said many wonderful things that we have no written record of. But would He have taught one way of salvation as recorded in the Bible and an entirely different way that was passed on by word of mouth? Of course not!
If the way of salvation can be found in the Bible, and that's all we're interested in at the moment, then perhaps we can leave tradition to one side and discuss it another time. Christ never used traditional teachings when disputing with His adversaries; He constantly quoted Scripture. Christians should also be able to debate without referring to tradition but rather by finding out exactly what the Word of God says on a particular subject. If the Bible gives a definitive ruling or teaching on a particular point, then that should suffice. After all, we can't have an infallible church contradicting an infallible Bible, can we?
In some ways, you are guilty of the very thing for which you condemn me. If you want to prove that Peter was the first pope, you run not to tradition but to Matthew 16:18. If you want to prove that priests have the power to forgive sins, you run not to tradition, but to Jn.20:23.
Re-read this letter I posted earlier this year. Study it, think and pray about it. And then reply using a Bible. Iím hoping you will be honest in your examination of Scripture. Salvation is so very important, perhaps you should rethink about closing correspondence. The Bible is the Word of God and it should be our guideline on truth. I will await with interest to read your analysis.