I believe the Holy Spirit, Tradition, and Scripture all to be on equal grounds when it comes to authority in the Churches. The origins of the Scriptures and Tradition, when true Christian religion, are from the Apostles, who are the foundations of the Church itself. They being empowered by the Holy Spirit were able to do what they did and to give us directives from God and Jesus as His Apostles. To ignore tradition is to ignore the word of mouth aspect of the Apostles and therefore ignore Jesus’ directives to us. To ignore the Holy Spirit and His workings is to deny the very empowerment by which the Apostles were given to teach in the written Scriptures and their in person presented traditions. Denying the Holy Spirit and His movings as a continued authority also weakens all aspects of Christianity in our current day and sometimes implies that Christians forget that the Holy Spirit is still present Deity in the Churches. Scripture is good and is to be followed, but we can never forget where Scripture came from and by what force gives it authority in the Churches. The very canon that Christians hold to has been cradled on the back of faithful Christian tradition, so to exclude the others and affirm Scripture only is to weaken the Scriptures themselves in their very vitals. When we have all three Christianity becomes much clearer and we ourselves are availed the opportunity to be much more faithful. I hope those who read this will have a new found interest in this important subject and also look into giving more credence to tradition and the Holy Spirit.
Concerning Scripture alone (Sola Scriptura)
Should we use Scripture alone as an authority? The Bible is sufficient to teach truth and Christianity. However the Bible is not sufficient to teach all truth or everything about Christianity. The Scriptures are simply a snap shot of the Apostle’s directives in writing. Sola Scriptura fails in that it forgets the reason why the Scriptures matter and why they are authoritative. It also forgets that it is by the Spirit who is still active today that they find their inspiration. Scripture itself denies sola Scriptura because it recognizes Apostolic and Ecclesiastical authority. It also records that Apostolic tradition is not written only. This was recognized by early Christians. I myself use to hold to sola Scriptura, but for these reasons I no longer do.
The Church and the Christian Faith are Jesus’ and His directions are our priority. The Apostles are His representatives who were empowered, instructed, and reminded by the Holy Spirit concerning Jesus’ directives. Historically speaking we have the Christian faith once delivered from them in the form of the Christian Tradition and as a part of said tradition we have not only the practices delivered, but also a few writings from them as well. We see then an order to both the founding of our faith and to its continuation. The Power of Him who gave life to the original practices of our faith is still well at work in the world today, which is in accordance to the enthroned One who originally promised this.