Article 6 of the 39 Articles of Religion on the “The sufficiency of Holy Scripture for our salvation” says,
Holy Scripture sets forth everything that is necessary for our salvation. Consequently, nobody should be required to believe as an article of the Christian faith, or to regard as necessary for salvation, anything that is not found in Scripture or that cannot be proved from Scripture…
Therefore, Scripture is to be our highest authority, not tradition, experience or reason.
We, in the Reformed Evangelical Anglican Church of South Africa, are not necessarily against tradition, experience or reason; they are simply not our highest authority.
We believe the Holy Scriptures of the Old and New Testaments to be the Word of God written and to contain all things necessary for salvation. The Bible is to be translated, read, preached, taught and obeyed in its plain and canonical sense.
REACH SA distinctives
Tradition can be good or bad.
Experiences can be pleasant, yet wrong; or tough, yet right.
Our reason is a God-given faculty to be used. Nevertheless, our reason is very subjective and often ruled by our presuppositions and biases.
This is why the motto of REACH-SA is “God’s Word above all things”.
Liberalism is the result of church groups using their own reasoning as their highest authority.
The Roman Catholic Church is ruled by tradition. What the church has taught down the centuries is seen as on par with, or even above, Scripture.
Charismatic and Pentecostal Churches tend to elevate experience as the great arbitrator between right and wrong.
Church groups that have the Bible as their highest authority are known as Evangelical.
Do we place the Bible above God?
No, of course not.
God has revealed himself through in the Bible. The Bible is our highest authority because what the Bible says God says.