For those following my “conversion blog” at Year of Grace, I have added two new posts.
Daily Archives: March 29, 2008
Dr William Tighe asked in the combox to the last post:
Is this the same Bishop Bishoy that delivered that wonderful, and wonderfully explicit, denunciation of women’s “ordination” (WO) and the “blessing” of homosexual “partnerships” to the General Synod of the Anglican Church of Australia a few years ago?
I especially like the way Bishoy explains the use of Scripture and Tradition in ascertaining the Truth on this issue (and on any other):
The Holy Bible is the chief source of reference in our research. Within it we can locate the expression of Divine thought on this issue. “All Scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness, that the man of God may be complete, thoroughly equipped for every good work.” (2 Tim. 3:16, 17).
In searching for the truth, we could never depend upon our own wisdom. We must refer to the scriptures, remembering the Lord’s words in the Book of Proverbs, “My son, do not forget my law, [etc.]” (Prov. 3:1,5,7,13,17,18).
It is not our right to form teachings, legislations or orders in the church, that do not conform to the Holy Bible. Thus Saint Paul the Apostle recommended the Thessalonians saying, “Therefore, brethren, stand fast and hold the traditions which you were taught, whether by word or our epistle.” (2 Thes. 2:15).
Then he emphasizes the same concept and exhorted them saying, “But we command you, brethren, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that you withdraw from every brother who walks disorderly and not according to the tradition which he received from us.” (2 Thes. 3:6).
(Which goes a long way toward explaining Coptic history in relation to the rest of the Church over the last 1500 years…)
The second source of reference for our research is the ecclesiastic tradition. Especially the traditions of the early church, considering that it is received directly from its proper sources, (i.e. Jesus Christ and His disciples).
I like the language of Church doctrine “conforming with” the scriptures and using the Scriptures as our “chief source of reference”, while also acknowledging that there is a “second source of reference”, namely, “ecclesiastic tradition” which is received “directly from its proper sources”, namely, “Jesus Christ and his disciples”. Sums up the Catholic and Orthodox approach to Scripture and Tradition as well. I would suggest it is precisely failure to read the Holy Scriptures (the “chief reference”) in the light of this “second source of reference” that has enabled so many protestant communions to wander up (and away from) the garden path on this and many other issues.