"To you the only "false" doctrine is that which the Apostolic Church, which Christ gave us, taught from the beginning."
I don't find anywhere in the scriptures where Christ gave us an institution called "the Apostolic Church". What I do find is He called people out of their sin to follow Him and when He left to intercede for those who follow Him, the Father and Christ sent the Holy Spirit to teach, guide and empower each of His followers to be conformed into His image and do whatever He commanded. He gifted certain people to equip the called out ones to fulfill His commandments and He gave the qualifications of those who He had gifted but ultimately He left it up to the individual followers to search the scriptures as illumined by the Holy Spirit to see if what was being taught conformed to the scriptures, not creeds, traditions or the authority of any man. That is what Luther was basing his stand on, the perspicuity of the scriptures and the witness of the divine teacher, the Holy Spirit.
Amen. If I've learned anything from these years on this forum, it's that the Holy Spirit gets the short end of the stick a lot of the time.
Which unfortunately makes Christianity out to be more of a duality, than a Trinity.
But it is the perfect, unknowable, all-encompassing Trinity which separates true Christianity from every other belief in existence.
No wonder Trinitarian doctrine is being assailed on all sides. If that goes, we're left with Plato, Hegel and Martians.
Why is it that you Protestants refuse to acknowledge that God did not give us Scripture in hand, nor did He command us to write the Scripture, nor is everything that He taught written? The Scripture was not something truly canonized or static, or set in stone...or complete for that matter.
The creeds were formulated to clarify the Faith our Lord established against those who were confused about His divinity and His humanity. The councils met to discuss heresies, deviations from what the Lord taught his Apostles, not what every Joe and Sarah believed He taught.
There was no Christian Bible to tote around for a long time and the Church Fathers could not agree which of the 200 or so texts in existence were truly inspired. It took learned theologians almost 400 years to agree on the New Testament canon that you treat as something that was always there! Of those 200 plus, 29 were picked by men, I repeat by men.
Whether it was done with the aid of, or by, the Holy Spirit is a different story -- everyone claims to be guided by the Holy Spirit but somehow the sheer diversity in our misunderstandings and our interpretations tells me that this is not so.
And who was Luther but a man to pick his own? And who are the countless Bible-based denominations lead by preachers who claim to have the right interpretation and understanding of the faith but ordinary men who read and interpret as they see fit? They are all men (and women too nowadays).
"He gifted certain people to equip the called out ones to fulfill His commandments and He gave the qualifications of those who He had gifted but ultimately He left it up to the individual followers to search the scriptures as illumined by the Holy Spirit to see if what was being taught conformed to the scriptures, not creeds, traditions or the authority of any man."
Where do you Protestants get these ideas? In both the Epistles and Acts we read of the various communities of Christians which were planted around the Eastern Mediterranean. By the end of the first century, letters were passing around those communities, from one bishop to another. Among them were the letters of St. Ignatius of Antioch, the successor but one of +Peter at Antioch and a disciple and friend of the Apostle John, with whom he kept up quite a correspondence. +Ignatius, like his contempory St. Polycarp of Smyrna (another friend and disciple of +John)both taught that The Church was defined as a group of Christians,laity and priests and deacons, headed by a bishop (they actually use that word) in succession from an Apostle who stood in the assembly in "the place of Christ" and who the people are instructed to respect and obey in all things, gathered around the Holy Eucharist. +Ignatius even says that this describes the "Catholic Church".
I suppose one might respond, who is this Ignatius and maybe he was wrong. Well, since he was in close contact with +John, one would think +John would have straightened him out at some point if he was. But he didn't. +Ignatius' definition of The Church is denied everyday by Protestantism, yet it seems likely he knew more about what he was talking about than a group of Germans 1500 years later and their present day Western followers.