critique of Protestantism part one: faith alone is enough for salvation and Sola Scriptura

Protestant Christianity differs significantly from Orthodox Christianity and from Catholicism.  There are aspects of Protestant Christianity not found in these other, older branches of Christendom.

 

 

As to the Paulist teaching that Christians are saved, sanctified or justified by faith alone, consider Christ’s public ministry.  Read the Gospels.  Christ was not a lone hermit or sage living in a remote cave or deep in the forest or on a distant mountain top.  No, He was out among the people.  He performed many miracles and did many loving, charitable works in His time on Earth.  Think on this.

As Protestants look to Scripture, let me suggest you read the following verses from the letter of James, and think on them.

Read James, Chapter One, verses 22 – 23.  Read James, Chapter Two, verses 14 through 26.

 

 

As for Sola Scriptura, sole reliance on the Bible, let me ask the reader to ponder: was the Bible intended to be the sole source of answers or guidance for Christians?  If so, is there a need for Christian churches (and literally the thousands of denominations that we see today)?

One may rightly wonder if there could have been a Protestant “Reformation” without the invention some decades earlier of the printing press in Europe.  The Bible would not have been widely available for the relatively few literate individuals of the time to read.

One of the problems I have with (at least some, if not many) Protestants is how they will cherry pick verses from the Bible and even take these out of context to justify their actions.  Alternatively, there are times when Protestants will tell me that certain acts are not expressly forbidden in Scripture and thus they are not troubled by these acts.  This is terribly disturbing when it comes to the life issues.  So, the Bible does not explicitly and specifically condemn abortifacient methods of birth control – thus, these devices (such as the IUD) and regimens are morally licit?  I think not.

What seems not to cross the minds of some Protestants is that we can be expected to use our God-given reasoning ability to seek the truth and come to moral conclusions.  (It is important here to avoid mental sloth.)  The 5th Commandment condemns murder (it does not say “thou shalt not kill” as that would forbid acts of individual self-defense, societal self-defense in capital punishment for capital murderers, and just wars of national self-defense).  If you accept that human life begins at conception (also known as fertilization), then intentional acts to “terminate” that innocent human life do constitute acts of murder.

It is hardly surprising that the Bible would be silent on many things.  Confusion and doubt would have arisen among the people in earlier times if the Bible spoke of things not to be invented for millennia.  The higher ethical principles taught in the Christian Bible can be used to deduce the morality of our actions in the modern world.  The Bible, nor any verses in it, should not be used to rationalize or justify sinful, immoral actions and behavior.

moral of this essay

Protestants be careful to make sure you live morally.  Faith without moral living and without loving actions is not enough for salvation.  Look to the Bible for guidance, yes, but do not twist the verses in the Bible to suit your own desires or deceive yourself into thinking that what you want is certainly permissible simply because the Bible does not explicitly condemn it.  Look to the spirit of the law in addition to the letter of the law.

copyright 2017 – larrysmusings.com

11 thoughts on “critique of Protestantism part one: faith alone is enough for salvation and Sola Scriptura

  1. Pingback: critique of Protestantism part one: faith alone is enough for salvation and Sola Scriptura | larrysmusings – rudolfblog

  2. Great post. The same applies to the issue of usury. It was the “protest”-ants who justified it, when usury, charging interest on a loan (that is, interest itself, not just excessive interest) is against the spirit of the Law of God, that is, to love.

    Protestants will typically point out that the catholic church became corrupt and caught up with man-made traditions. That is true. But many non-catholic denominations, including the Anglicans and Protestant and also Evangelical denominations have fallen into such error.

    I just think of this this way: the Catholic church used to be holy, but it became apostate. This can happen to any other church too, whether it be catholic, methodist, baptist or evangelical.

      • I humbly suggest that I believe it fell into man-made traditions, including belief in papal perfection, and marian worship.

        Having said that, I believe there are true born-again Christians who attend catholic churches.

        Just wondering, are you a catholic?

      • Marian worship is not correct. Catholics revere and honor Mary, Jesus’ mother. They do not “worship” Mary.

        There are some “manmade” rules propagated by the Catholic Church that are indeed problematical. The Church took an authoritarian, legalistic approach over the centuries and there have been abuses of its authority. What can we expect from institutions run by men, mere mortals? When we look at Protestantism, we see thousands of denominations that do not speak with one voice and are all over the board on moral issues. I guess “believers” can shop around, as many do, for what suits them and to hell with any moral absolutes along the way.

        Born again, eh? Does that mean that some Christians actually get around to living their faith instead of merely giving lip service to it?

  3. Why can’t people of faith just simply state why they believe what they believe? If you truly have faith in what you believe there would be no need to attack other faiths or other versions of your own faith. If you explain what you believe and others can see that it is true then they will come to believe as you do. This only turns people away.

      • That is making the assumtion that what you follow is the original. At the time of Christs death there were many different Christian sects with vary different ideas of who and what Christ was and what his relationship to god was. These different sects and their texts were hunted down by the Roman Catholic church and destroyed. If it wasnt for this we would have even more different Christian denominations today. The point here is that “original” is just a matter of opinion.

      • “The point here is that “original” is just a matter of opinion”

        Or, perhaps it is a matter of more rigorous historical research. There exists a similar dilemma for Buddhists. There were stories or parables (Jataka) attributed to the Buddha that only came into circulation centuries after his death.

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