The Catholic Church Continues to Abandon Biblical Truth
By Jason Carlson
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The British Newspaper, The Times, reported an alarming story on October 5th. The story was titled, "Catholic Church no longer swears by truth of the Bible".[i] The story reports that as part of the 40th anniversary celebrations of Dei Verbum, the Second Vatican Council document which explains the role of Scripture in God's revelation, the hierarchy of the Roman Catholic Church has published a new document titled The Gift of Scripture that instructs parishioners to be aware that certain parts of the Bible are not actually historically true.
According to The Times, Cardinal Cormac Murphy-O'Connor and Cardinal Keith O'Brien, the two most senior Catholics of Great Britain wrote the forward to the document. They say that those who study Scripture should not expect to find "total accuracy" in the Bible. The Cardinals also state, "We should not expect to find in Scripture full scientific accuracy or complete historical precision." As an example of this position, The Gift of Scripture tells believers that the first 11 chapters of Genesis should not be considered "historical", but at best they may contain "historical traces". This document makes it clear that the Catholic Church's position on Genesis 1-11 is that these chapters provide religious teaching, but they should not be described as historical records. The document states, "We should not expect total accuracy from the Bible in other, secular matters."
With the publishing of this document, the Catholic Church has continued in their long tradition of abandoning biblical truth. It was in 1547 AD at the Council of Trent that the Catholic Church replaced biblical authority with the man-made traditions of the Church[ii], thereby denying many central biblical teachings like Ephesians 2:8-9[iii] and Hebrews 10:10 & 14[iv]. Now the Catholic Church has continued in its practice of denying biblical truth by adding this teaching that "We should not expect to find in Scripture full scientific accuracy or complete historical precision."
I can imagine that much of the motivation for taking this position comes from a desire to remain relevant to those who've bought into the popular, but false idea of billions of years of evolution. However, this is a sadly misguided strategy. First of all, it is sad because there is simply no need to try to accommodate the creation account of Genesis to the flawed man-made theory of evolution. There's simply no solid evidence for macroevolution, whether you add God to the equation or not. Secondly, it is misguided because the Catholic Church is creating a precedent whereby anytime popular opinion goes against Scriptural teaching, the Church may simply cave in to the pressure. I don't think I need to elaborate any further on the dangers of where this could lead.
The Catholic Church is making a tremendous mistake in allowing popular opinion to dictate their view of what is and is not historical and true in Scripture. Could this be evidence of the end-times apostasy that Paul warned us about? In 2 Timothy 4:3-4, Paul said, "For the time will come when men will not put up with sound doctrine. Instead, to suit their own desires, they will gather around them a great number of teachers to say what their itching ears want to hear. They will turn their ears away from the truth and turn aside to myths." Is this not what the Catholic Church has done here? They aren't even trying to be subtle in their error; they've come out in this new document and openly stated that the Bible cannot be trusted as fully accurate and historical.
I can't help but think that the Catholic Church has strayed a long way from the bold and uncompromising biblical prophets of old but then again, maybe the prophets of old don't live up to the Catholic Church's standards of "complete historical precision".
[ii] The official Catholic position is that Church tradition was elevated to equal status with biblical revelation. However, placing man-made traditions on an equal footing with God's word is essentially the same thing as replacing biblical authority with man-made traditions. For as we've seen throughout history, whenever Scripture doesn't agree with the Church's current perspective on a given issue, the Church simply has the luxury of ignoring the biblical teaching by citing their own man-made traditions.
[iii] "For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God, not of works, lest anyone should boast." (Ephesians 2:8-9)
[iv] "By that will we have been sanctified through the offering of the body of Jesus Christ once for all For by one offering He has perfected forever those who are being sanctified." (Hebrews 10:10, 14)
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