Scriptural Teaching vs Church Teaching

I was watching a question and answer video the other day, linked below, with HG Bishop Youseff, SUS and Bishop Angaelos. One of the questions asked about faith and if we needed the sacraments or just to believe in God as the Protestants do. Bishop Youseff stated that the sacraments are scriptural teachings not church teachings(not that we don't need church teachings but that it came straight from Christ). Can someone give more examples of scriptural teachings and some church teachings and just elaborate more on the topic? Thanks.

(starts around 20:00ish)


  • This is an artificial distinction. All our teachings come from Christ, and are handed down through the apostles to us. Whether they are recorded in the Bible or in another part of Church Tradition (notice I said *another* part! since the Bible is part of Tradition and not separate from or above it) is irrelevant.
  • I think the crucial question one has to ask is, which came first:  The Church or the Bible?

    Protestants are no "Church".  It is why it is so fragmented.  One person will disagree with another how the Bible is interpreted.  St. Peter teaches us, "the prophecy of scriptures if not of private interpretation" (2 Peter 1:20).  I didn't watch the video, but assuming from the question, I would say that this is a false dichotomy.  The Church is the one that gave us the Bible, not the other way around.  God did not sit someone down and dictate to this person word-for-word what to write.  The Bible is not a magic book.  The Church found it in her wisdom to collect the writings of the Apostles and put it together as the New Testament, and it is agreed upon by all in history as such.

    I assume His Grace Bishop Youssef did not say (or did not mean) "this is not a church teaching", but he said "this is not MERELY a church teaching".  In other words, just in case a Protestant is too stubborn to want to understand the importance of the Church, the sacraments is also a Biblical teaching, and therefore, yes, the sacraments are important.

    Protestants who say "you just need to believe in God" is like telling someone, "you just need to believe in water".  How can you "believe in water" if you don't drink it?  The Bible taught us to baptize in the name of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit, to be born of water and Spirit, to partake of His body and drink His blood, to obey the authority of the bishops, presbyters, and deacons, etc.  How dear friend, for instance, can you have a relationship with Christ and not take His body and blood as He commanded us?  I have a very bad opinion on those Protestants who do not believe in the necessity of the Eucharist or the real presence of Christ's body and blood.

    His Grace Bishop Youssef is probably nicer than I am to entice someone into Orthodox teaching.  I personally am unable to muster the patience on this issue, as it is very fundamental.  I asked a Pentecostal one time, "why is that you deprive yourself from partaking of the body and blood of Jesus Christ".  She stood speechless.  Do you know what St. James says about those who MERELY believe in God?  "Even the demons believe that--and tremble!" (James 2:19)

    So no, it's not enough to believe in God.  To believe in God is to do as Christ commanded, and that is to follow the Church's teachings, the Church which Christ has established through St. Peter and the rest of the Apostles.  The Bible is important too, as the primary source of teaching of the Church, not the Church itself.
  • @EskimoEpchois,

    I agree with that. I believe that if you start with "sola scripture" (sp?), you wind up reading about baptism, Holy Communion, Bishops, the laying of hands, etc. Absolutely.
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