Although no comments were posted about the first installment of this series, I’ll plunge on where angels fear to blog and share some more foolish misconceptions that have become attached to Christianity–in error. Picking up where the last left off, let’s go on in the Scripture vein.
4. Christians believe that the Bible is the only–or supreme–source of theological truth.
This is the position called sola scriptura, a Latin phrase meaning “only by Scripture.” It is also wrong. Christian teaching (or doctrine, a word that means, surprisingly enough, teaching) arises from the Church, which existed before the Bible, which wrote the Bible, and is the only body entitled to interpret the Bible. The Bible is the Church’s book, not something like Eddy’s or Hubbard’s scribblings. The next time you hear someone from one of the multiple denominations, sects, cults, or franchises purporting to explain Scripture, take it with a large grain of salt. While you’re at it, remind yourself what Saint Peter said: “First of all you must understand this, that no prophecy of scripture is a matter of one’s own interpretation” (2 Pt 1.20).
5. Baptism and Communion are just symbols.
I’d start looking around for lightning when I hear that kind of thinking. Far from being just symbols, Sacraments are real, objective actions of spiritual importance. Don’t think that Christianity downplays symbols and their importance, however. Symbols are powerful aspects of the way the human intellect was created to function. Nevertheless, Sacraments are a combination of two things: spiritual and physical, fused together. It’s no accident that human beings are the same, spiritual and physical fused together. We aren’t bodies that have souls, nor are we souls that have bodies–we are bodies-and-souls knit together by the Creator. The Sacraments are intended by the Almighty to work with us, on us, and in us, because the physical and spiritual work together.
So Baptism isn’t a symbol of rebirth, it is rebirth. Communion isn’t a symbol or sign of unity, it is the Body of Christ feeding the Body of Christ. Calling any Sacrament “just a symbol” is sacrilege of a very high order and offensive to God.
6. The “end times” are coming soon….
I’ve seen just about every chart and timeline predicting the Second Coming–and they’re all a load of codswallop. Jesus himself spoke of his return and said “no man knoweth” – even himself. For us to play games with Scripture and try to predict is a misuse of Scripture and our time. There hasn’t been a generation that didn’t think they knew when, and that’s simply not what Christians do with their time, intellect, and energy. The very concept of “end times” is a non-Christian idea. Feed the hungry, give to the poor, worship God–but don’t play guessing games by importing pagan ideas into Christianity.
Well, there are the second triplet of wrong ideas about Christianity. Your comments are welcome. In the meantime, if you find you’re hanging out with folks who hold these six errors—-well, isn’t it time you came to the Church and learned better?