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Sunday, August 17, 2008

Sacred Tradition

  • St. Irenaeus(130-200 A.D.) wrote, "Read the Holy Scripture in the presence of a presbyter (priest) who has the apostolic tradition."
  • The apostolic tradition is the deposit of faith entrusted to the apostles by the Lord Jesus.
  • Sacred Tradition includes the Bible, the writings of the Church Fathers, the decisions of the Ecumenical Councils, the Creed, the liturgies and other worship services of the Church.
  • We need Sacred Tradition to safeguard the Truth of Christ.
  • G.K. Chesterton defined Sacred Tradition as follows: Tradition means giving votes to the most obscure of all classes, our ancestors. It is the democracy of the dead. Tradition refuses to submit to the small and arrogant oligarchy of those who happen to be wlking about.
  • We need the Apostolic Tradition in order to protect and better understand the Scriptures.
  • "If there is no immune system to resist heresy, there will soon be nothing but the teeming infestation of heresy [false teaching]," said Dr. Thomas Oden.
  • What is this protective "immune system"?
  • It is the Church with its Sacred Tradition.
  • Beware of anyone who says, "Sola Scriptura. The Bible alone."
  • The Bible does not stand alone.
  • Its proper setting is the Church which is its divinely appointed guardian and interpreter.
  • The original Apostolic Tradition, or deposit of faith, did not disappear through the ages.
  • It survives in the Orthodox Church which is a living, historical continuation of the early Church of the apostles, "the pillar and foundation of truth" (I Tim 3:15).
  • Sacred Tradition is grounded in the Truth that has been deposited in the Church by Jesus from the very beginning and has been preserved in the Church by the Holy Spirit through the uninterrupted apostolic succession of the episcopal ministry.
  • the best definition of Sacred Tradition is that it is the life of the Holy Spirit in the Church through the centuries since Pentecost, guiding the Church to all truth.
  • Truth is thus safeguarded through the abiding presence of the Holy Spirit in the Church,
  • the same Holy Spirit Who "spoke through the prophets" and gided the apostles, is still guiding the Church into a fuller understanding of Divine Truth from glory to glory.
  • This is the "immune system" which guards the truth from heresy.
  • If the Bible is read without the presence of "a presbyter who has the apostolic tradition," then some other person will step into the vacuum to create his own private "tradition" which will not be apostolic but the whim of one's fancy.
  • This is the reason there are so many different denominations, which call themselves "churches."
  • Each one of these denominations reads the Scriptures but without the "apostolic tradition" which guides one to the proper, divinely revealed understanding of the Bible.
  • Lacking the "apostolic tradition," these so-called "churches" established a personal, individual tradition of their own that is not in agreement with the original catholic tradition of the apostles.
  • For example, the Mormons believe that the correct interpretation of the Bible is to be found in the Book of Mormon, allegedly revealed by an angel to Joseph Smith.
  • The Book of Mormon replaces the Apostolic Tradition entrusted by Jesus to the apsotles.
  • Some time ago I saw a paid TV ad by the Mormons.
  • It showed two books: the Bible and the Book of Mormons.
  • Slowly the Bible was panned out, only the Book of Mormon remained. And the announcer said,
  • "What you really need to understand the Bible is the Book of Mormon. Write or call and we'll send you one today."
  • And what does the Book of Mormon teach? It teaches that the entire New Testament is false. It brings in an entirely new revelation of God's truth that is totally fictional and manmade.
  • Mary Baker Eddy, founder of the Christian Science Church, teaches that the true understanding of the Bible is to be found in her book the key to the understanding of Scriptures.
  • Her book replaces the entire Apostolic Tradition of the Church, distorting completely the truth of Christ.
  • The same happens with many of the Protestant denominations.
  • The original "Apostolic Tradition" is replaced by some individual's personal and private understanding of what the Bible teaches.
  • The result is that many of the core teachings of Jesus are misinterpreted or denied.
  • Thus, the truth of Christ is distorted.
  • Man-made traditions replace the divinely revealed "apostolic tradition," which abides in the Church and is none other than the presence of the Holy Spirit abiding in the Body of Christ, the Church, guiding it to all truth.
  • Thus, St. Irenaeus writes, "Read the Holy Scriptures, by all means, but always in the presence of a presbyter (who represents the Church) and has the apostolic tradition."
  • The Bible does not stand alone
  • It needs prayer.
  • It needs the presbyter and the bishop.
  • It needs the Church.
  • It needs the Apostolic Tradition.
  • If Sacred Tradition is the Holy SPirit continuing to abide in the Church and guiding it to al truth, then Sacred Tradition is the guarding and keeper of truth.
  • There are so called "Christian" churches today that deny the reality of Christ's Resurrection, condone abortion, doubt Jesus' miracles, question the divinity of Jesus, deny the Virgin Birth, and create liturgical blessings for same-sex unions.
  • This is a complete denial of the truth of the Bible and the Apostolic Tradition. [1] pages 70-75 by Anthony M. Coniaris





JNORM888

[1] pages 70-75 by Anthony M. Coniaris, in the book Whatever Happened to Truth?, Light & Life publishing 2001

2 comments:

RB said...

"And what does the Book of Mormon teach? It teaches that the entire New Testament is false. It brings in an entirely new revelation of God's truth that is totally fictional and manmade."

Where or how does the Book of Mormon teach that the New Testament is false? I have read it and it seems to parallel and support the Old and New Testaments.

Jnorm888 said...

If it supports the idea that Jesus won't stay with the Church he started, but left it only to start it up again with Joseph Smith some 18 hundred years later ... then it's false and goes against the New Testament.

If it supports the idea that the gates of Hades will prevale against the Church then it's false and goes against the New Testament.

If it supports the idea that after the death of Saint John the Church went Apostate/died only to be resurrected or restored in the 18 hundreds by Joseph Smith then it's false and goes against the New Testament.

I have the book of Mormon somewhere, but I haven't read through it yet. But you claimed to have read it, so if it supports these ideas, then it goes against what the New Testiment said.......not to mention other ideas.


I hope I didn't hurt your feelings by saying this. Please let me know if I was rude to you.








JNORM888

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