Most Christians Follow Traditions Not Listed in the Bible
Most Protestants say they believe in and rely on the Bible Alone or Sola Scriptura, which is not even in the Bible. However, all Protestant churches and pastors follow traditions.
SOME TRADITIONS PROTESTANTS FOLLOW ARE:
– They have traditional and often contradictory interpretations, telling followers what verses of the Bible are more important than others (The Bible itself does not say what verses are more important than other verses);
– Salvation by accepting Jesus as personal Lord and Savior or by praying a specific Sinners Prayer is a tradition (which may be a good first step for many people), but is not spelled out or required in the Bible;
-Bibles came from Catholic tradition since Jesus did not give a directive to prepare a Bible, and the apostles and early disciples never even knew there would ever be a Bible. For more than 300 years after the Resurrection of Jesus, there was no Bible. Having Bibles –and which books to include– came from Sacred Tradition and the Magisterium of the Catholic Church. There were dozens of inspired writings (or books) that may have been used in Christian liturgies (i.e. Catholic Masses), which could have been included in the Canon of Scripture. (The Bible Alone theory was not even possible for more than 300 years because the Bible did not exist.) The list of books were debated and approved by Councils of Catholic Bishops including the Council of Rome (382 A.D.), Council of Hippo (393 A.D.), and Council of Carthage (397 A.D.). Some Christian leaders removed 7 books from the Bible during the Protestant Reformation in the 1600s, because elements of these books disagreed with the newly devised teachings of the Reformers. As proof of this, there are no copies of Christian Bibles before the Reformation that did not have these 7 books in them (Tobit, Judith, Wisdom, Sirach (Ecclesiasticus), Baruch, and 1 and 2 Maccabees). You cannot remove books from the Bible and still have the fullness of truth. Some people say Catholics added these books but it is not so. They were always there starting in the 300s when the first Bibles were assembled and approved by councils of Catholic bishops. Copies of the Bibles exist from the 300s and other centuries up to the Reformation, and until now, and all these books have always been in the Catholic Bibles. It is a huge contradiction that most Protestants accept the other books of the New Testament as approved by the Tradition of the Catholic Church and Councils of Catholic bishops, but then say they live by the Bible Alone (Sola Scriptura) and not by Sacred Tradition. If it were not for the Catholic Church, there would be no Bible and no Christianity. (In the 300s, the persecution of Christianity ended and this is one reason the first Bibles were copied by hand primarily by monks in monasteries.)
– Observing the Lord’s Day with worship on Sundays (not Saturdays) is a tradition not specified in the Bible – Paul says: Stand firm and hold to the traditions which you were taught by us, either by word of mouth or by letter (2 Thess 2:15);
– Churches, church buildings, and pulpits are traditions, not required in the Bible;
– Starting new Christian denominations and independent churches are traditions not authorized anywhere in the Bible (The splintering of followers of Christ is a huge rebellion opposing the prayer of Jesus: that all may be one – Jn. 17:21)
– Reading the Bible at church services, giving sermons, and singing hymns are traditions, not required in the Bible;
– The dates of Christian feasts like Christmas, Good Friday, and Easter are traditions, not specified in the Bible;
– Marriages in church, marriage vows, and giving wedding rings are traditions, not required in the Bible;
– Most Protestants believe many teachings that came from Sacred Tradition and from the Magisterium of the Catholic Church like the Trinity, the Virgin birth, the Deity of Christ, the Canon of Scripture, which were debated and defined by councils of the Catholic Church, aided by Augustine, Jerome, Thomas Aquinas, and other saints;
– The Bible Alone theory is a tradition, not in the Bible. (This theory is based primarily on 2 Tim. 3:16-17 – All scripture is inspired by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness, that the man of God may be complete, equipped for every good work. – This does NOT say ONLY scripture – Also this verse applied only to the Old Testament since the Book of Timothy was written over 200 years before the Bible existed);
– The Bible actually says the Church is the pillar and bulwark of the truth (1 Tim. 3:15);
– The Faith Alone theory is a tradition –that Faith in Jesus Christ Alone saves people– is not in the Bible. James 2:24 says specifically you areNOT justified by faith alone – a man is justified by works and not by faith alone. (Faith without love and charity cannot save – it is nothing. (1Cor.13:2)
– To say you are justified by faith alone contradicts an explicit text of scripture (Js.2:24). The Bible actually says there are many other things people must do to be saved, a few of which are listed below.
What must Christians do to be saved? The Bible says there is not just one requirement to be saved, but there are many things that Christians must do to be saved. Some examples are:
– By believing in Jesus Christ (Jn 3:16 – whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life; and Acts 16:31 – Believe in the Lord Jesus, and you will be saved… )
– By grace (Acts 15:11 – But we believe that we shall be saved through the grace of the Lord Jesus; Eph 2:8 – For by grace you have been saved through faith; and this is not your own doing, it is the gift of God.)
– By keeping the Commandments (Mt. 19:17 – If you would enter life, keep the commandments.)
– By Baptism (Mt. 28:19 – Go…make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit; Jn 3:5 – unless one is born of water and Spirit, he cannot enter the kingdom of God; Mk. 16:16 – He who believes and is baptized will be saved; Jn. 4:1-2 – Jesus’s disciples baptized; Acts 8:18 – Paul regained his sight and was baptized; Acts 10:48 – Peter commanded Cornelius, his relatives, and friends to be baptized; Acts 22:16 – Ananias said to Paul: Rise and be baptized and wash away your sins; 1 Pet 3:21 – Baptism now saves you.)
– By hope (Rom 8:23-4 – we wait for adoption as sons, the redemption of our bodies. For in this hope we were saved. )
– By repentance (Acts 2:38 – Repent, and be baptized every one of you…; and 2 Pet 3:9 – The Lord is not slow about his promise…but is forbearing toward you… that all should reach repentance.)
– By doing works (motivated by grace) (Rom 2:6-7 – For he will render to every man according to his works: …he will give eternal life; Acts 10:4 – Cornelius was not yet saved but an angel came to him and praised his prayers and almsgiving; Js 2:21 – Was not Abraham our father justified by works, when he offered his son Isaac upon the altar?;Js.2:24 – You see that a man is justified by works and not by faith alone;Js. 2:26 – faith apart from works is dead.
– By doing works of mercy: (Mt. 25:31ff – When the Son of man comes in his glory… he will place the sheep at his right hand, but the goats at the left. And they will go away into eternal punishment, but the righteous into eternal life.)
– By doing the will of God (Mt. 7:21 – Not everyone saying to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter into the kingdom of the heavens, but the one doing the will of my Father….)
NOTE 1: Catholics know they are saved by grace (Eph 2:5–8), they are being saved (1Cor 1:8), they continue to hope they will be saved (1Cor 3:12–15), they are working out their salvation with fear and trembling (Phil 2:12), they must endure to the end to be saved (Mt 24:13), and with hopeful confidence they will share in the glory of God (Rom 5:2).
NOTE 2: Catholics know John 6:53-54 must be taken literally because Jesus says it four different ways – Jesus said… unless you eat the flesh of the Son of Man and drink his blood, you do not have life within you; he who eats my flesh and drinks my blood has eternal life, and I will raise him on the last day (see also Jn. 54-59). (This is the only time many of his disciples walked away from Him, never to return.) Paul wrote that those who eat the bread or drink the cup of the Lord in an unworthy manner are guilty of profaning the body and blood of the Lord: For any one who eats and drinks without discerning the body eats and drinks judgment upon himself. (1 Cor. 11: 29)
NOTE 3: Most Bible references are taken from Revised Standard Version (RSV) of the Bible because it is a popular Protestant Bible to help show the references are not just in the Catholic Bibles.
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