The Three Angels' Messages
A Question of Authority:
What is the ultimate authority in religious matters? Is it Church tradition or is it the Scripture? When Jesus came to this earth, to what did He appeal as the final authority? Consistently He looked to the Sacred Word, the writings of the divinely inspired prophets as being the ultimate authority, and not the “tradition of the elders.” Matthew 15:2-6; Mark 7:1-13. For the Protestant, the answer should be easy. “Sola Scripture,” or “Scripture alone” was the slogan of the Reformation. “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.” II Timothy 3:16, 17. Paul commended the believers at Berea because they “searched the Scriptures daily to find out whether these things were so.” Acts 17:11.
The papacy presents a different picture. She claims that truth is derived from Scripture and “tradition,” or the pronouncements of the Church. But obviously “tradition” occupies the higher place between the two. Here are some quotations from Catholic sources on this subject.
“Sunday is our mark of authority….The Church is above the Bible, and this transference of Sabbath observance is proof of that fact.” Catholic Record, September 1, 1923.
“The pope has power to change times, to abrogate laws, and to dispense with all things, even the precepts of Christ.” Decretal de Translat, Episcop. Cap.
“Most Christians assume that Sunday is the biblically approved day of worship. The Catholic Church protests that it transferred Christian worship from the biblical Sabbath (Saturday) to Sunday, and that to try to argue that the change was made in the Bible is both dishonest and a denial of Catholic authority. If Protestantism wants to base its teachings only on the Bible, it should worship on Saturday.” Rome’s Challenge www.immaculateheart.com/maryonline. Dec 2003
“Perhaps the boldest thing, the most revolutionary change ever did, happened in the first century. The holy day, the Sabbath, was changed from Saturday to Sunday. The “Day of the Lord” was chosen, not from any direction noted in the Scriptures, but from the (Catholic) Church’s sense of its own power….People who think that the Scriptures should be the sole authority should logically become Seventh-day Adventists, and keep Saturday holy.” St. Catherine Church Sentinel, Algonac, Michigan, May 21, 1995.