Friday, July 28, 2017


It was fashionable in times past to bash the Catholics for such things as "chaining the Bible to the pulpit," or "forbidding the reading of Scripture." 

Fortunately, times have changed and such slander is mostly a thing of the past.

Bibles were indeed chained to the pulpits, but that was not done so that only the priest could offer interpretation of God's Word. They were chained because the book was so valuable.

Before the printing press, any book was laboriously printed by hand, letter for letter. If you know anything about the economics of making a product, then you realize that hand-crafted items take time. In today's economy, hand-made items can seldom be sold based on the time involved in making them. They would be more costly than most could afford—especially when "I can get the same thing mass-produced in China for a lot less."

However, the Church did forbid private ownership of the Bible as revealed in Vatican documents made public in January of 1998. (A single source can be found here, though there are many more.)

This happened at various times in history under different popes for various reasons. The most commonly known time was during the Protestant Reformation when the Catholic Church was trying to stem the tide of the revolt against its authority.

Much like President Donald Trump of today, Martin Luther used the language of the people to fight against the corruption he saw in the church of his day. This resulted in gaining a massive following that threatened the authoritative position of the Catholic Church and its pope and bishops.

The doctrine of "ex cathedra," though not officially defined until 1869, had existed in medieval theology and was the majority opinion at the time of the counter-reformation.

The social outcome of this teaching among Catholics is instructive for those in the evangelical-charismatic tradition of today.

The idea of papal infallibility eventually went beyond any declaration of his speaking "ex cathedra" to include everything the church taught. Coupled with the verse from Peter's Second Epistle—
"Knowing this first, that no prophecy of the scripture is of any private interpretation." (2Pe 1:20 KJV)—
it became almost unthinkable to believe anything other than what we were told by our priests and teachers.

Now, it seems as if almost the entire Charismatic Movement has moved into the same mentality—only believing what they are taught without any thought of "searching the scriptures." (Jn. 5:39; Acts 17:11) Not only that, but anyone who espouses something different is held suspect and ostracized. When a passage from the Bible is quoted, the push-back is often, "That's just your opinion."

I constantly hear "I read my Bible everyday," but I only see the results of same-speak in the lives of such. Whatever is read is apparently filtered through that which is taught and accepted by the masses who are following only certain teachers and teachings. (A list of "for instance(s)" would require a separate posting.)

Amazingly, references for defense of a position do not normally include a single verse of scripture. Rather, there is reference to a popular teacher or to personal opinion expressed as "I think," or "I feel."

The authority of God's Word is once again being disparaged and relegated to a place of minor importance for the multitudes through the example of many.

And so history repeats itself.

It has been 500 years since the Protestant Reformation. 

Is it now time to reform the protestants?


  1. Just a note to say - you said it perfectly!!!

    1. Thank you, Noella. This post seems to have struck a chord with some.

  2. may be well to widen "almost the entire Charismatic Movement", even to include many Christian sects and denominations 'believing what they are taught' without checking, examining or even a prayer to God regarding.

    1. True, for sure within my limited experience.


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