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 trusted?

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 council.

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 resounding, NO!

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 it quickly.

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.