There is some misconception in here. Yes, there are things that the Church teaches which are not spelled out in the Scripture. Some are clarifications of what the scripture does say, but does not say it systematically. The doctrine of Trinity, divinity of Christ, necessity of faith and good works for salvation, necessity of the sacraments of the Church, the mystical connection between Mary and the Church are such things.
Then there are things of which the Church has a historical memory but that naturally fell out of scope of the Scripture. These are the lives of the apostles and Mary, or later saints. There are gaps in that knowledge, but that which we do know is precious to us.
There are also things that the Church teaches based on her authority to "bind and loose" (Mt. 16:19, 18:18). These are manner of worship, holy days, fasts, religious orders, obligations of lay faithful, etc.
Finally, there are things that are popular expressions of faith, but are not taught as mandatory. Many Marian devotions, for example, are such spontaneous modes of veneration of our first saint. In fact, we would not have any canonized saints if there hadn't been such outpour of love for the holy men and women of the Church.
None of that should present any logical challenge to any believer in the scripture, once you realize that the scripture itself is a product of the Church, that recorded her most precious memories, often in a stenographic literal manner.
If the Church ever taught a contradiction with the scripture, that would be highly suspect. But that is not the case. The Church interprets the scripture -- the entirety of it, -- with reverence and precision. Other interpretations exist, but invariably thay can, at best, explain some parts of the scripture but never the whole. This is why rightly the authors accuse the Protestants of not grasping "the essential teaching of the Gospels".
Please feel free to ask me or any of us questions, publicly or privately.
Well much like your post indicates, the church places far more importance on Mary than I do or will. To me, Mary was a person. A holy enough person to be the vessel for God on earth, but a person nonetheless.
I do not and will not accept Mary as virginal after having birthed Jesus.
I feel that Mary has at least as much if not more import placed on her than even our Saviour by some Catholics, and they do not even seem to understand that that is either what they are doing, or it is at least what they appear to be doing.
Mary never died for my sins. She was a human person that lived and died just like every other human person except One, who rose from death.
Until this morning I staunchly refused to believe that there was scriptural evidence of purgatory, (thanks Salvation). While scripture does not use the word, I at least now can see the argument for such. It is at least as clear as “rapture,” a word which also does not appear in the Bible.
I believe that the Bible is God-breathed, inerrant and whole. It is perfect and as it is perfect it is understandable w/o the need of any interpretation.
As far as historical memory goes, I flat out reject it if it is not backed up by scripture.
“There are also things that the Church teaches based on her authority to “bind and loose” (Mt. 16:19, 18:18). These are manner of worship, holy days, fasts, religious orders, obligations of lay faithful, etc.”
I have no problem with any of that.
When it comes to Protestantism my biggest problems lay with some of my fellow “charismatics.” Speaking in tongues as they think they are doing is ridiculous. They believe that they can lay on hands and heal the sick but I’ve never seen it happen successfully. I might not dress up in a suit for services but I wear the best I have while some of my fellows I’ve seen enter the sanctuary in shorts and muscle shirts. And hats....i’ve seen grown men wear HATS into God’s house.
I might be a Protestant but I’m not sure that I am a “charismatic” either. I think this journey is going to have be a long one. I am going to have to figure out what things I believe and which I can reject outright, then which things I am ambivalent on. Using those beliefs as references, then try to find out which Christian religion I best fit into.
Then again, I am an imperfect man with an imperfect mind so that plan is probably making Jesus laugh uproariously.
I hope that nothing I’ve written here angers or upsets anyone reading it as that was not my intent.