Sunday, November 24, 2013

Proof Texting


Last Tuesday, Bert played a trick on us, in Bible Sharing.  He threw a quote in our commentary from a Protestant source in speaking of today's Gospel, Luke 23:35-43, Jesus said, "Amen, I say to you, today you will be with me in Paradise" that this was proof of salvation by grace alone, and that there is no purgatory.  Catholics believe that you need both grace and good works, and that there is purgatory.

Bert said he did that just to see if we noticed.  We did and I thought of it, today, when I heard the Gospel.  I asked my pastor about it.

We in the Bible sharing group dismissed it because hanging beside Jesus was a special case.  Jesus being God can do what he wants.  But Father Brian added to my understanding.

He called picking scripture out as proof texting.  You prove your argument by selective scripture texts, without considering the rest of the Bible.   It would be nice and simple to say we are saved by grace alone.  But is it enough to say "I believe?"  Matthew 7:21, Matthew 15:18, but I'm not going to proof text, myself.  Take the Bible as a whole.  I don't see anywhere that Jesus asks, "Do you accept Jesus as Your Lord and Savior?

All Christians accepted both grace and good works until Martin Luther.  Then in order to prove his theology, Luther dropped seven books.  Guess why.

You got it.  These books didn't support his theology.  Once again, I thank God I'm Catholic and have the Church, Tradition, and Magisterium to rely on--2013 years and the gates of hell still haven't prevailed against it.