Sola Scriptura or Not?
by Brother Petros Theodoros Presbeftes
One of the significant points of division was spawned by the
doctrine of Sola Scriptura, first espoused by Martin Luther in the 16th Century
A.D. Sola Scriptura is the doctrine that Scripture is the Church's only
infallible rule for deciding issues of faith and practices that involve
doctrines of Christ Jesus. Let us prayerfully examine this proclamation.
Sola Scriptura was a concept born from a desire of Luther's to
correct the Roman Catholic Church by appeal to the uniqueness of the Bible's
authority, and to reject Christian tradition as a source of original authority
alongside the Bible or in addition to the Bible. Many today would agree
with this doctrine as being Divinely inspired, but is it a doctrine that can be
Holy Scripture itself recounts to us in the Book of Acts that
there was a dispute among the Apostles over an important doctrine regarding
salvation and whether or not circumcision was required of the Gentiles in order
to successfully achieve salvation of the soul. This was a very important
matter. In fact, it was a matter that could, if left unresolved, cause a
division in the Church. As we recount this article, please remember that
there are over 300 plus divisions in the "Church" because of our failure to
resolve certain other important disputes regarding other issues of doctrine in
the same way that the Apostles had resolved the issue regarding circumcision-uncircumcision.
Sola Scriptura Poses a Significant Difficulty
The innovative 16th century doctrine of Sola Scriptura presents to us a
significant difficulty that represents a bar to its application by Christians.
Holy Scripture tells us that the Church is ruled by Jesus Christ through the
operation of the Holy Spirit of God by the Love of God the Father. As
such, the Church is not governed by a man or woman, nor of men or women, since
all have sinned and fall short of the Glory of God. When the dispute arose
regarding circumcision, the Apostles called together a council that thoroughly
discussed the matter in the open through prayer and fasting. The Chairman
of the meeting was the Holy Spirit of God. The Chairman saw fit to guide
the Apostles into truth and to settle the division by unanimous affirmation of
the decision. Without this council, there would have been ill will,
divisions, discord, and further evils in the Church. The Holy Spirit, Who
is alive today, and for evermore, stands ready to guide us today, as He did in
prior Church-wide councils to resolution of other disputes that divide us over
interpretation of the Holy Scripture.
The Truths contained in Holy Scripture are oftentimes clouded over by our
own personal evil passions. These evil passions blind us to the Truth as
we politicize our own personal positions regarding the Truth. In order to
avoid this problem, the Holy Spirit dispels the cloud of personal interpretation
of Holy Scripture by settling disputes by the mechanism of a Church-wide
What of Holy Oral Tradition?
We study very carefully the doctrines and truths and teachings of Jesus
Christ our Lord in Holy Scripture, but we oftentimes miss out on the Holy
Stories, not written down, but transmitted by Holy Oral Tradition.
"Now there are also many other things that Jesus did. Were every one of them to
be written, I suppose that the world itself could not contain the books that
would be written." (Gospel of John Chapter 21, Verse 25) Are not these
other things worthy of our study in order to perfect our Love in Christ Jesus?
Does Holy Scripture contain all of Divine Revelation? The answer is a
The Sources of Divine Revelation
Divine Revelation comes to us in several reliable forms: Holy Scripture,
Holy Tradition, the Decisions of the Church-wide Councils, and Prophecy.
Taken together, they must all be in Harmony with each other and from one to the
other. The reason for that test of one accord is to insure that there is a
unity of the Faith as deposited by Jesus Christ and given to us by Holy Spirit
through the Love Mechanism of God the Father. The Holy Universal Church is
One by the Iconic Image of the Holy Trinity, Who is One in Essence and Undivided
- Three Persons in One God Head, and One God Head in Three Persons. Only
through this universal unanimous conscience that permeates the One, Holy,
Universal, and Apostolic Community of Christ Jesus may we trust the Doctrine
infallibly. Thus, the decisions of the Church-wide councils are infallible
because they dispel division and bring us back into peace. This is so, in
order to guard us against division and discord which raise the passions to other
evil works. If there is a dispute among you, brothers and sisters, resolve
The Doctrine of Sola Scriptura disrespects the Holy Spirit of God
The doctrine of Sola Scriptura disrespects the Holy Spirit of God, because
the doctrine denies the power of the Holy Spirit to be a Living Force in the
Church's Affairs. It also denies consequently the Sources of Divine
Revelation by giving an unequal treatment to the legitimate sources outside of
Holy Scripture. There is also a hypocrisy in certain denominations where
not only Holy Scripture, but the "personal" purported Divine Revelation of the
"holy spirit of god" is given equal authority to that of Holy Scripture.
Have we replaced one Pope with yet another sinful "pope"? As said before,
personal interpretation of Divine Revelation is not a trustworthy source of the
Truth. Satan uses this mechanism to sow seeds of discord among the members
of the Body of Christ.
Protestant Leaders Should Take Notice
While the Roman Catholic Church has abused the office of Church-wide
Infallibility, the Protestants have utterly ignored Church-wide Infallibility.
The One, Holy, Universal, and Apostolic Body of Christ has unfailingly taught
that Divine Revelation comes from Holy Scripture and Holy Tradition as expressed
through the Church-wide councils under the direction of the Holy Spirit of God.
The Gates of Hades cannot come against a Body that is without discord, cannot
come against an Undivided Body, because the Body is of the Christ. Glory
to Thee, Lord, Glory to Thee. Amen.
May the Grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Love of the Father, and the
Communion of the Good and Life-Creating Holy Spirit of God be with you all.