The Legacy Of The One Legged Stool...

The Deposit of Faith of the Catholic Church consists of Holy Scripture, Sacred Tradition, and the Magisterium in conjunction with our holy Father the Pope. You can equate it to a three legged stool, with each leg having its own specific function. This three legged stool is also firmly implanted on the solid rock of the Catholic Church. See Matt 16:18, John 1:42, Eph 2:20, 1Pet 2:4-8

A three legged stool has strength, is sturdy, stable, steadfast and stalwart. That is all well and good. However, what happens when you cut off one leg? The stool becomes unstable and falls over.

During the Protestant reformation, the reformers separated themselves from one of those three legs of stability. They rejected the Pope and the Magisterium, the teaching authority of the Catholic Church. They purposely chopped off one leg of the stool, and by doing so, they lost all authority. They lost the arbitrator of disputes between opposing viewpoints regarding faith and morals.
See Ex 18:13-26 for an important typological precedent, and Matt 18:15-18.
They cut themselves off from the Foundation and the Pillar of Truth which is the Catholic Church. See 1Tim 3:15.
They also made for themselves an unstable stool, one which was shaky and was easily subject to tipping over and shattering.

Since the reformers lost all authority, to whom, or to what, could they turn to fill the void? They turned to the only resource they had, the Holy Bible, a product of the Catholic Church by the way. (See "Is The Catholic Church The Mother Of The Bible Or The Daughter" for the factual details)
In so doing, they declared that the Bible was the sole source of authority, and they proceeded to fabricate a false man made tradition called "Sola Scriptura", or "Bible Alone", in order to promulgate it.
See "The Origin of Sola Scriptura" for an historical treatise on this subject.

Now, throughout Scripture, there is scattered yet a second leg of the Catholic Deposit of Faith to which the reformers could not lay claim. It is Holy Tradition, Apostolic Tradition, GOD's Traditions for which the Church was commanded to keep, and which she had already protected and preserved, for almost 1500 years by the time of the reformation.
See Psa 44:1, Isa 40:8, ***Isa 59:21, ***John 15:20, Acts 20:35, 1 Cor 2:13, ***1Cor 11:2,
Phil 2:16, ***Phil 4:9, ***2 Thess 2:15.
***2Tim 1:13-14, ***2Tim 2:2, ***2Tim 3:14,
***2Tim 4:3, and 1Pet 1:25.

It is only man-made traditions which are condemned by Holy Scripture.
See ***Matt 15:2-9, ***Mark 7:3-13, ***1Cor 2:13, ***Col 2:8, ***1Tim 1:4, and ***Tit 1:14

Non-Catholics fail to realize that the Bible is nothing more than Tradition written down. For the first three hundred years of Christianity, there was no New Testament as we know it now. Jesus did not found a book. He founded a teaching Church.

Reformers were forced to cut off yet a second leg from their stool. Now they had only one wobbly leg left to balance on, and balance they did not do for very long at all, not even for one year.

Since the Authority of the Magisterium for Bible interpretation was no longer available, the reformers made a fateful decision that would result in a disaster that grew so fast that they could no longer control it. They had decided that everyone could go his own way in Bible interpretation. This was yet another man made tradition forbidden by Holy Scripture.
See ***Acts 8:26-40, ***2Pet 1:19-21, and ***2Pet 3:16.

The one legged stool fell to the ground and shattered into many pieces. Individual interpretation of Holy Scripture immediately resulted in squabbles and splits in Protestantism which continue to this very day. In 1521, the same year that Martin Luther split from the Catholic Church, Thomas Munser split from Luther. By 1600 there were over 200 splits. By 1900, there were over 1000. Now in 2006, there are over 38,000 splits in the Body of Christ. The splits are continuing to this very day with an estimated 3-5 new splits every week. In addition, all of the major Protestant sects are splitting within themselves. All of this madness was caused by the man-made false doctrines of Sola Scriptura and individual interpretation of Holy Scripture, both of which were started by the reformers.
Martin Luther lamented when he saw the damage that individual interpretation of Scripture had done to his Protestant movement. See several quotes from him regarding his distress over the Protestant splits in "The Origin of Sola Scriptura".

The stool of Protestantism is a shambles. It has shattered into thousands of pieces, and there is no one in Protestantism who has the authority to put the pieces together again. A stool needs three legs to stand tall. It cannot stand on one for long. As soon as the winds of change rise, it will topple over and shatter as did this one.

The Bible clearly says to keep the traditions of GOD and the Apostles, and to condemn the keeping of man-made traditions, as shown above. Isn't it strange that Protestantism condemns keeping and preserving all traditions by the Catholic Church, while at the same time, they in turn, follow two man-made traditions of their own making?

"And other sheep I have that are not of this fold. Them also I must bring, and they shall hear My voice, and there shall be ONE FOLD and ONE SHEPHERD."
John 10:16
See also, Isa 40:11, and 1Pet 2:25

Where is the ONE FOLD and the ONE SHEPHERD in Protestantism?
"Has Christ been divided up?" 1Cor 1:13

Written by Bob Stanley, January 5, 2000
Updated December 29, 2006

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