Devoted to the Propagation and Defense of New Testament Christianity
May 8, 1952

"All Right ... Let Us Judge Catholics By The Bible!"

R. Ervin Driskill, Columbus, Georgia

The foregoing is a review of a Knight of Columbus article, with the above title, mailed me from Middletown, Ohio. Statements in quotation marks are those contained in the article. "Many sincere people regard the Bible as the sole authority for Christian belief." "Although everything contained in the Bible is true, (thanks, R.E.D.) yet the Bible is not the sole source of all truth. For example, we know that Christ established His church . . . that the church existed long before the Bible was completed .. . that millions lived and died in the Saviors truth without ever having seen the Bible." QUESTIONS for Catholics to answer: (1) Was this TRUTH, by which people died, before the Bible was completed, different to the TRUTH now contained in the Bible? (2) What TRUTH did those (who died before the Bible was completed) have that we do not have in the Bible today? I challenge Catholics to name ONE THING people were to believe and do (to become a Christian then) that is not necessary today. I further challenge them to name ONE THING Christians were to believe and do that is not also furnished us in the completed Bible today. By these other truths (?) not mentioned in the Bible, (which they talk about) they mean the various Roman Catholic dogmas and practices. I will affirm there is not ONE doctrine of the Roman Catholic Church (that is peculiar to them) that is not condemned by the Bible. TRUTH does not conflict but if the Bible is TRUE (as their article admits) then, their various practices and doctrines are false. Let them publicly affirm their doctrines and practices (not mentioned in the Bible) are consistent with TRUTH (the completed Bible) and we'll prove to the contrary.

Yes, the church existed before the Bible was completed but that does not militate, against the truths of the Bible being the sole and complete authority of those who lived between the beginning of the church and the end or completion of revelation. They simply had these TRUTHS as they were delivered orally, whereas we have them as a written record. Catholics either know this and are DISHONEST or, they are just plain IGNORANT and, in either case their position is not envious.

"But we are willing to set aside these historical truths for the moment and judge Catholic beliefs and practices by the Bible. Take first, for instance, the fact that the Bible does not mention the Mass or purgatory by name (thank you, R.E.D.). Well, neither does it mention the word Bible by name." I, personally, would be willing to never use the word Bible again, (I can use "the oracles of God"; "the Word of the Lord"; "the scriptures" and many other scriptural phrases found in the book) to pacify Catholics, but are they willing never to use the words Mass and purgatory? No! they must either use these terms or coin some other unscriptural terms to identify their unscriptural doctrine of Mass and purgatory. There is nothing (in the Bible) against the scriptures being called (Bible) because the word means "BOOK OF BOOKS" and God's word is just that, but there is MUCH in the scriptures to nullify the ideas of Mass and purgatory and when they are ready to affirm them we're ready to deny them.

"Furthermore nowhere within its covers is it stated what are the writings which contain the inspired Word of God. The only authority you have for this is the word of the Catholic Church, which preserved and collected the scriptural writings and put them between the covers of a book." We believe the books of the Bible are the best proof of their inspiration and, even Catholics speak of them as such so, there is no need to argue this point. If they want to take the position the Bible is uninspired we have men who will debate that too, but the evidence is all on the side of inspiration and Paul said... 2 Tim. 3:16,17; 1 Cor. 2:10-13; Eph. 3:3,4, they were inspired and that he spoke by the Holy Spirit. So, the Bible does affirm inspiration. That we must depend on the Catholic Church for any evidence of inspiration, of the Bible, is an unmitigated falsehood. The manuscripts, (Sinaitic and Alexandrian) from which OUR book is translated, have never even been in the hands of the Catholic Church. They claim to have decided on the canon of the scriptures at the Council of Hippo in 390 A.D. but, the Sinaitic dates back to 350 A.D. (according to scholars). This manuscript existed 40 years before Hippo and is a copy, of a copy, so the Bible (as we have it) existed before the Council of Hippo..

"The word 'Sacrament,' meaning a sacred rite, is not used anywhere in the Bible (thanks gain, R.E.D.). But Holy scripture does make clear the sacredness of such Catholic rites as Baptism (baptism is not a rite, neither is it Catholic) Confirmation, (nowhere taught in the Bible, R.E.D.) the Eucharist, (not taught in the Bible, R.E.D.) Matrimony, (this is taught in the Bible but it is not Roman Catholic either, R.E.D.) Penance, (not in the Bible, R.E.D.) the Last Anointing, and Holy Orders, the latter rite being the deputizing of the successors to the Apostles (not in the Bible, R.E.D.)." As is to be expected, of Catholics, no scriptures are cited for the Catholic "rites"; it is purely an assertion and nothing more yet, the article was going to judge "Catholic beliefs and practices by the Bible." Marriage and baptism were a part of God's word long before there was a Romish Church.

"The Sacraments were in possession of the Church and in daily use before a single line of the New Testament was written. People were being received into the Church by baptism long before there was a New Testament. They were receiving Confirmation, were being married according to Christ's teaching, and praying over and anointing the dangerously sick." But not one scripture is given and yet, they were going to "judge Catholic beliefs and practices by the Bible." True, people were being received into the church by baptism long before there was a New Testament, but the point to yet prove is that it was the Romish Church. There is no such idea, in the Bible, as Confirmation; I demand the verse since it was to be proved by the Bible. That early Christians were praying for and anointing the sick (James 5:16) is admitted but it was not even remotely akin to the Romish practice.

"Christ definitely did establish His Church. He did deputize His Apostles, and their successors, to continue His teaching. He did promise that His Church would endure forever, and could not fall into error. But He never did say: "All My teaching shall be in a book." Yes, He did establish His church but there is not ONE resemblance of it and the Roman Church. He did not deputize any successors to the apostles; if he did give the passage — let us "judge this Catholic doctrine by the Bible." He did not promise His church could not fall into error (read the letters to the seven churches of Asia, in Revelation). No, He never said, "all My teaching shall be in a book" but he did say, "My word shall never pass away" and the book contains a record of His word and the words of His apostles who said, "And my speech and my preaching were not in persuasive words of wisdom, but in demonstration of the Spirit and of power: that your faith should not stand in the wisdom of men (which would include Catholic traditions) but in the power of God." And again, "But unto us God revealed them through the Spirit; ... Which things also we speak, not in words which man's wisdom teacheth, but which the Spirit teacheth"; (1 Cor. 2:4,5, 10,13).