There has for many years been an argument among Christians as to which takes precedence in determining what is orthodox Christian belief: Holy Scripture, The Holy Spirit, or the Ancient Teachings of the Church.
Catholics generally hold that all THREE sources must agree in an individual's understanding before that person can be pretty sure his belief is correct.
Protestants are divided, some saying that Scripture is the paramount authority and some that the Holy Spirit is paramount. Protestants also generally depend much more on the individual as his own authority rather than accepting the authority of the Church's expression of the Ancient Teachings.
Here, now, is an article which uses the Quakers to point out how using only one source for authority can cause a person or group to drift from orthodoxy
. The Quakers, and many other Protestants, emphasize beliefs as revealed by the Holy Spirit to the individual over Scripture and the Teachings.
In any case, in Protestantism, the individual is the judge of orthodoxy and correctness of belief. This, however, opens the person, and the group of which he is a member, to belief errors caused by his own ideas and interpretations, or by listening to a spirit who claims to be the Holy Spirit but isn't. That danger is lessened somewhat if a denomination teaches reliance on BOTH Scripture and the Holy Spirit equally. Among Catholics, the authority of the Church and its dependence on all THREE sources of authority provide additional protection to the individual.
Any comments on how best to avoid drifting away unknowingly from God's Word?
In faith, Dave
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A blind person asked St. Anthony: "Can there be anything worse than
losing your eye sight?" He replied: "Yes, losing your vision!"