Thursday, November 20, 2008

Not Because of Sola Scriptura

This ultra-traditional (not a technical term) sect of Catholicism is effectively its own denomination (link). They would claim, I believe, to be "Catholic" and they claim that the real pope is locked up in a Vatican dungeon, so they cannot really be called Sedavacantists.

The folks out there who have been trying to wield the "Sola Scriptura causes disunity" claim have trouble dealing with this kind of data. Rationally, though, if cultic groups of this sort can crop up without any reference to Sola Scriptura, why besides blatant exercise of the post hoc ergo propter hoc fallacy would one blame the large number of denominations on Sola Scriptura? To put it a different way, don't groups like this demonstrate that people tend to form their own groups regardless of Sola Scriptura?

-TurretinFan

14 comments:

Ben Douglass said...

Mental instability is a source of division, apart from any question of the relative perspicuity of various rules of faith.

Let's compare rational people sincerely committed to rule of faith A, and rational people sincerely committed to rule of faith B.

Turretinfan said...

It's hard to attribute the views of a city of 8000 (or even only 2000) to "mental instability."

Having talked to a number of sedavacantist traditionalist (call them what you will) folks, I don't think they have a mental illness. Granted I didn't talk to this particular cult group.

On the other hand, the usual numbers that are bandied about regarding the number of denominations out there counts every whacko cult.

Yes, though, I agree that if we wanted to do a clinical study, we'd want calm, rational, ordinary people on both sides.

-TurretinFan

Dozie said...

The problem is a mental problem - of a different sort - the inability to understand what it means to be Catholic. Talking to a 1st grader one could say: Luther was Catholic at one time but later followed his own ways; so also, any one who is not in communion with the bishop of Rome, regardless of what he calls himself, is not Catholic. Therefore, the group being described is Protestant.

Turretinfan said...

Dozie:

On what basis do you judge these people? How do you know you are right and they are wrong? Or do you?

-TurretinFan

Anonymous said...

So because sola scriptura is not the only thing that can cause disunity, therefore sola scriptura is off the hook? Shall we call that the two wrongs make a right fallacy?

Turretinfan said...

Anonymous,

No.

You wrote: "So because sola scriptura is not the only thing that can cause disunity, therefore sola scriptura is off the hook? Shall we call that the two wrongs make a right fallacy?"

Your question assumes what you need to prove. The fallacy you are engaging in, therefore, is the "complex question" fallacy.

First prove that Sola Scriptura causes disunity. Some people try to wave around the number of "denominations" as though it were a res ipsa loquitur. The number of denominations, however, does not speak for itself.

There are many things that can lead to increased or decreased organizational unity. Ben Douglass has suggested mental instability.

Scripture has an answer too.

-TurretinFan

natamllc said...

Well,

I would offer the stabilizing Scripture that brings soundness of mind so that there is no mental instability:::>

KJV:

2Ti 1:7 For God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind.

ESV:

2Ti 1:7 for God gave us a spirit not of fear but of power and love and self-control.

The mental instability is when men focus their minds on figuring God out instead of receiving the Gift of God, Jesus Christ, who gives us a sound mind!

Lucian said...

First prove that Sola Scriptura causes disunity.

Haven't 500 yrs of Protestant history proven that already? Or do You want MORE? -- If so, then when is it *ever* going to be enough??

res ipsa loquitur

Thou hast said it! (i.e., Amen to that, brother!).

Scripture has an answer too.

Yes, I know: everyone else who does not subscribe to Your particular teaching(s) does that because he is pure evil, a sinner, and predestined to hell from all eternity. -- all the Baptists, Adventists, Pentecostals, Amish, Charismatics, Lutherans, Jehova's Witness, Mennonites, etc. are doomed to eternal damnation, being all two-faced liars, blinded in their hearts, etc. :-)

Ben Douglass said...

Having talked to a number of sedavacantist traditionalist (call them what you will) folks, I don't think they have a mental illness.

I don't think all sedevacantists are crazy either. Gerry Matatics, John Lane, and Fr. Cekada all seem to be quite in possession of their faculties to me. Nevertheless, if the article you link to is at all accurate, this group in Mexico is nuts. There's a big difference between a run-of-the-mill sedevacantist and a member of an apocalyptic cult who thinks Kennedy is a saint, Paul VI is locked in a Vatican dungeon, and God is revealing construction plans to him.

It's hard to attribute the views of a city of 8000 (or even only 2000) to "mental instability."

Certain individuals might be tolerably sane (perhaps being brought in by husband or parents), but nevertheless the animating spirit behind the whole enterprise is insanity.

On the other hand, the usual numbers that are bandied about regarding the number of denominations out there counts every whacko cult.

Granted. So let's purify the 30,000 denomination number of cults and artificial multiplication. There's still going to be a few thousand Protestant denominations left.

Anonymous said...

"There are many things that can lead to increased or decreased organizational unity."

The major one of which is doctrine. If sola scripturalists argue about doctrines that catholics don't, then the proposition is established. This is clearly true. Since St Vincent of Lerins it has been true.

Turretinfan said...

Anonymous wrote: "The major one of which is doctrine. If sola scripturalists argue about doctrines that catholics don't, then the proposition is established. This is clearly true. Since St Vincent of Lerins it has been true."

This is simply a claim - not backed up by the historical data, not backed up by the Scriptural data, and contradicted by the anecdotal evidence of this post.

The selection of Vincent of Lerins is odd. Aside from his rather unusual (among the fathers) views on the rule of faith, there's not any particular reason to select his age as the age in which divisions started.

-TurretinFan

Turretinfan said...

Dear Ben,

The largest animating force would seem to be a reaction to the apparent deviation of Vatican 2 from tradition.

-TurretinFan

Ben Douglass said...

The largest animating force would seem to be a reaction to the apparent deviation of Vatican 2 from tradition.

This group accepts the papacy of Paul VI (they seem to think he's still Pope, in fact). If so, it would seem that they accept Vatican II, as Paul VI promulgated Vatican II.

Turretinfan said...

Lucian,

I wrote: "First prove that Sola Scriptura causes disunity."

You responded: "Haven't 500 yrs of Protestant history proven that already? Or do You want MORE? -- If so, then when is it *ever* going to be enough??"

I'm not sure if you don't see the lack of logic in your own comment, or not. But if you do not, perhaps we should ask what the 1000 or so years of Byzantine/Roman disunity is the result of? Is it also attributable to Sola Scriptura? If not, why assume that Protestant disunity has Sola Scriptura as its cause?

I wrote: "Scripture has an answer too."

You answered: "Yes, I know: everyone else who does not subscribe to Your particular teaching(s) does that because he is pure evil, a sinner, and predestined to hell from all eternity. -- all the Baptists, Adventists, Pentecostals, Amish, Charismatics, Lutherans, Jehova's Witness, Mennonites, etc. are doomed to eternal damnation, being all two-faced liars, blinded in their hearts, etc. :-)"

That is obviously not my position, or I wouldn't refer to Baptists as my brothers in Christ (which, of course, I do). Beware of cariacutres, Lucian. Also, consider in yourself what it was of what I said, to which you responded. I pointed to Scripture, but you pointed to (what you thought was) me.

-TurretinFan