Issue Date: November/December 2008
When Bible believers discuss the "Word of God" they assume everyone agrees they are referring to the Bible. But if you are talking to a Roman Catholic, he is probably thinking of more than that.
In October a Synod of Bishops was called to discuss "The Word of God in the Life and Mission of the Church." Guidelines for discussion contain this statement: "Both [the Bible and Tradition] are channels of communication of the Word of God. Therefore, the Word of God finds its completeness of meaning and grace in experiencing both, 'one inside the other.` In this way, both can be called, and indeed are, the "Word of God."
This may seem like so much doublespeak, but it essentially expands the definition of the "Word of God" to include the Roman Catholic Tradition. Therefore, when we speak of the "Word of God" to a Roman Catholic, he is not thinking just the Bible, but also the Tradition or "Magisterium." It is this official Tradition that encrusts the Bible with all the ritual, superstition and priestcraft so contradictory to Scripture.
So, when you use the Bible to witness to a Roman Catholic, he does not see it as God`s complete word for him. In fact, he has been taught that he cannot even understand the Bible unless it is interpreted by Roman Catholic "Tradition."
The guidelines for the Synod go on to confirm this: "...the faithful have the responsibility to listen to [the Bible] and meditate on it; but to explain it is the responsibility only of those who by right of sacred ordination have the task of teaching or those who have been entrusted with the exercise of this ministry." While the layman may "listen to and meditate on [the Bible]," only the pope and his priests are allowed to "explain" it.
This is no different from the Jehovah`s Witness who is told he is not capable of understanding the Bible, but must rely on the Watchtower Society to interpret and "explain" it.
In Matthew 15, Jesus told the Pharisees, "...ye have made the commandment of God of none effect by your tradition." Can the pope avoid the same condemnation when the Bible says Jesus is the only mediator but Vatican "Tradition" says pray to the Virgin Mary goddess? Or the Bible says God is Spirit to be worshiped "in spirit and truth" but the pope says worship a wafer god, instead? Or, the Bible says the Holy Spirit will guide us to truth but the pope says the "church" and its "Tradition" must "explain" what is truth?
How this spiritual bondage plays out is graphically illustrated by a young lady who this writer attempted to witness to. When encouraged to study the Bible, she responded, "No, if I read the Bible it will raise questions that I do not understand. If I have a problem, I go to my priest and he solves it for me."
With Jehovah`s Witnesses, soul winners have discovered that the best approach is to plant seeds of doubt about the Watchtower Society. A similar approach with Roman Catholics can be effective. Chick Publications has tracts and books that equip you to do this. Paperback books Understanding Roman Catholicism and Answers to my Catholic Friends point out the unbiblical teachings of the Traditions, or Magisterium. Babylon Religion and The Two Babylons detail the pagan origins of the unscriptural Traditions. Tracts include Why is Mary Crying?, Last Rites, The Death Cookie and Are Roman Catholics Christians?
The precious Roman Catholics are trusting this prostitute "church" to get them to heaven. They need to know that Jesus said to "come out of her...that ye be not partakers of her sins." Rev. 18:4.