Saturday, April 15, 2017

Refuting Yusef Al Tahir On Sola Scriptura

  • Defining The Issues:
         -The designated purpose of this article is to deliver a refutation to a Roman Catholic refutation of Sola Scriptura. In the YouTube video shown below, a man named Yusef Al Tahir repeatedly makes terrible accusations against upholders of the biblical doctrine of Sola Scriptura and uses John 5:39-40 as his "proof-text" to support his position of Sola Ecclesia. Do his arguments hold any water against the traditional Protestant position of the Bible, or is Al Tahir simply attacking a straw-man to build his case for accepting the Church of Rome as the final court of authority in all doctrinal matters? My point here is that this man who has a genuine concern for the salvation of souls is terribly misguided about what the "Bible-Only Theory" actually means. Absolutely no disrespect is intended by this post. Alright, shall we begin?

  • The Video That This Article Intends To Refute:

  • The fundamental flaw behind Yusef's argument against the principle of Sola Scriptura is that he provides a totally wrong definition of what it means. This is his presentation of the doctrine: "Just read the Bible...and you'll know God...Search the Scriptures for yourself...Don't believe the Catholic Church...Don't believe ANY church..."  So what do we Fundamentalists really mean when we say "Sola Scriptura"? 
  • Quite simply, the doctrine of Sola Scriptura means that the Bible alone is the ultimate standard of authority for the Christian church. It does not mean the "only authority of the church", which is simply a straw man of what the Reformers originally taught. Other authorities in the church exist today. A handful of examples would include, but are not limited to, godly leaders of the church, lexicons, Bible commentaries, dictionaries, and Hebrew/Greek concordances. But Scripture is the only infallible rule of faith for the church. Thus, other authorities in the church are permissible, as long as they stand in complete conformity to the written Word of God. We who adhere to Sola Scriptura do not believe that leaders are untrustworthy or that no outside authorities exist in the church, for the Scriptures themselves tell us to heed to authoritative figures who stand in accordance to God's divine will (Hebrews 13:7). We neither teach that every portion of the Bible is completely easy to understand nor do we believe that people can interpret the Bible any way that they desire. There is a correct interpretation of Scripture, but we don't need an infallible interpreter of the Scriptures in order to obtain doctrinal truth. 
  • If the Roman Catholics claim to have any sort of revelation that is not found within the pages of the Bible, then, by definition, the onus is on them to conclusively identify the specific oral traditions presented at hand. Then, they need to prove beyond any shadow of doubt that those "Traditions" are indeed inspired and apostolic in origin. They cannot even come up with any inspired phrases said by Jesus Christ or the apostles, that are not recorded in Scripture! Neither can they give us an inspired table of contents identifying which oral traditions are inspired. What an unreliable "rule of faith" the Church of Rome operates on.
  • He alludes to the Protestant divisions argument by using the Jehovah's Witnesses as an example of the alleged "dangers of private interpretation of Scripture". However, most Pseudo-Christian groups don't even believe in the principle of Sola Scriptura, which means that they developed extremely heretical doctrines independently of interpreting Scripture (apparitions, etc.). Furthermore, it is important to note that the Jehovah's Witnesses belief in biblical authority is practically IDENTICAL to that of Roman Catholics. All the false teachers deny the ultimate authority and sufficiency of the Holy Scriptures. So it is up to Yusef Al Tahir to prove that his denomination is not a cult! How does Yusef know that the Pope is infallible? How does he know that the Catholic Church's interpretation of Scripture is inspired, anyway?
  • In summary, religious division forms as a result of misapplying the principle of Sola Scriptura. If misinterpretations of Scripture automatically prove that Scripture is too difficult to understand, then it must also mean that the Magisterium cannot be considered a reliable rule of faith because of the good possibility of people misinterpreting such statements. In both scenarios, our fallibility eventually has to meet the infallibility. This guy needs to understand that ALL CHURCH GROUPS HAVE RELIGIOUS DIVISIONS, REGARDLESS OF WHO THEY ARE. We are all fallible human beings. Period. So stop employing this hypocritical double-standard!
  • Throughout the You Tube film, Yusef Al Tahir lays that charge that we Fundamentalists worship our Bibles. In other words, he claims that we turn the Bible into an idol by denying the role of the Holy Spirit. Al Tahir further elaborates on his previous thoughts by claiming that we worship the pages of the Bible. On the contrary, we never see Protestants praying to the Bible or bowing before statues of the Bible, as we see Catholics doing before depictions of saints. Furthermore, submitting to an ultimate source of authority is completely different than worshiping it. Otherwise, the same charge can be laid equally against Roman Catholics, since they also submit to an ultimate source of authority. We must all submit to something.
  • No genuine Christian denies the absolute importance of the Holy Spirit for the continual survival of the Christian Church. However, we must test the spirits to see whether they are from God (Acts 17:11-12; 1 John 4:1-4). If the Bible is an insufficient rule of faith, then how can we judge whether a message is inspired or whether the Holy Spirit is truly dwelling in our presence? Scripture contains the direct words of God. It is God-breathed. Of course, the Holy Spirit dwells within the inspired pages of the Bible. In fact, He was the One who moved the inspired prophets and apostles to write. And yes, we have more than sufficient reason to embrace the claims of the Bible. The Church of Rome, on the other hand, is not a trustworthy source of authority because it repeatedly contradicts the Bible.
  • Since the two Vatican Councils, the Church of Rome has embraced the salvation of Protestants. In other words, they now believe that non-Catholic "Christians" can be saved. But how could that be possible, if Sola Scriptura is idolatry, and God condemns all unrepentant idolaters to hell (i.e. 1 Corinthians 6:9-10; Ephesians 5:19-21; Revelation 21:8)?       
  • I do not know why Yusef tries to depict Sola Scriptura as a form of idolatry and then tries to link it as a double standard with the Roman Catholics who DO INDEED commit lots of idolatry. In reality, this person was simply comparing apples to oranges. Perhaps he was on some sort of a guilt trip or was experiencing an internal mental break down? But that's not any of my business. Since the purpose of this article is not to address Catholic issues such as venerating saints or images, I will not be mentioning anything here. But if people are interested in seeing my refutations of Catholic apologetics on these crucial topics, then all that they have to do is browse through the articles found on this blog. If Yusef wants to challenge me on these issues, then these are different topics for a different day in the future.
  •  He makes the claim that the Catholic Church gave us the Bible, but that claim is simply not true. Read these articles: 
  • In the video shown above, Yusef attempted to liken biblical Fundamentalists unto the Scribes and Pharisees of the Law. But it is the Roman Catholics who hold a separate body of man-made "oral traditions" up to the authority of the written Word of God. THEY are the ones who refuse to follow the example of the Lord Jesus Christ (Matthew 15; Mark 7). 
  • I need to address one more claim made by Yusef Al Tahir. He used John 5:39-40 as his proof-text against Sola Scriptura. However, the verse that he cited has nothing to do with the authority of Scripture. It is not telling us that we should not turn to Scripture when confronted with false doctrine. The Lord Jesus Christ was simply rebuking the unbelieving Jews for rejecting Him as the Messiah, not for reading the Scriptures. Although they diligently studied the Old Testament Scriptures, they did not recognize Jesus as the Savior of mankind from spiritual death because their hearts were turned against Him. The Jewish people had a hateful bias toward Jesus Christ. They were not being faithful to the voice of Scripture, which proclaims salvation through the risen Christ (Acts 4:10-12). The Scriptures lead a prayerful person to the Savior (2 Timothy 3:15-17).