When I look East or to Rome, I am struck by certain things that I simply cannot see being grounded in the teaching of the Sacred Scriptures. I hope that this is not caricaturing, but what proponents of either side *sound* to me to be saying is:
1. The Church cannot err, but you can.
2. The Church teaches X.
3. Therefore X is the truth, regardless of whether YOU can see how it is taught by Scripture.
And thus the fallibility of the interpreter is set against the infallibility of the Holy Church. Both Rome and the East seem to me to speak this way.
Over against this, Krauth writes a stunning section in *The Conservative Reformation* that I think is worthy of consideration:
"In freely and heartily accepting the faith of our Church, as our own faith, and her Scriptural Confession of that faith, as our own Confession, we do not surrender for ourselves, any more than we take from others, the sacred and inalienable right of private judgment. It is not by giving up the right of private judgment, but by the prayerful exercise of it, not by relinquishing a just independent investigation, buy by thoroughly employing it, that we have reached that faith which we glory in confessing." (p. 169)
Which means that it simply will not do to "punt" to whatever is proclaimed in the name of the Church when God has given to each and every Christian the Sacred Scriptures to be "a lamp to our feet and a light to our path." To each of His children God commands: "Beware false prophets." To each member of the Church the Apostle gives the exhortation: "Test all things; hold fast what is good."
This cannot be done without each Christian asking: "Where in Scripture does this teaching arise?" To ask for the Scriptural grounding of a doctrine should never be taken as an affront, but should be the very delight of the Church, for it shows her children taken the quest for truth seriously and know that "many deceivers have gone out" and in the Word they have a foundation which will not be overthrown.
So my encouragement to any and every Christian is always to ask for where the Bible teaches X? This is no Reformation novelty, but the very advice of the greatest fathers of the Church themselves!
“Regarding the things I say, I should supply even the proofs, so I will not seem to rely on my own opinions, but rather, prove them with Scripture, so that the matter will remain certain and steadfast.” St. John Chrysostom (Homily 8 On Repentance and the Church, p. 118, vol. 96 TFOTC)
"We are not entitled to such license, I mean that of affirming what we please; we make the Holy Scriptures the rule and the measure of every tenet; we necessarily fix our eyes upon that, and approve that alone which may be made to harmonize with the intention of those writings." St. Gregory of Nyssa (On the Soul and the Resurrection NPNF II, V:439)
And as I've pointed to before, St. Cyril of Jerusalem, offering his words to the catechumens that they should not believe even him, if he fails to prove his point from the Sacred Scriptures:
"For concerning the divine and holy mysteries of the Faith, not even a casual statement must be delivered without the Holy Scriptures; nor must we be drawn aside by mere plausibility and artifices of speech. Even to me, who tell you these things, give not absolute credence, unless you receive the proof of the things which I announce from the Divine Scriptures. For this salvation which we believe depends not on ingenious reasoning, but on demonstration of the Holy Scriptures." St. Cyril of Jerusalem (Catechetical Lectures, IV:17, in NPNF, Volume VII, p. 23.)
The Fathers thus also invite the private judgment of weighing their witness with the infallible words of the Sacred Scriptures.