To Pope or Not to Pope?

HornsWin

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OK @HornsWin I will let you take the opening salvo. ;)
A quote:
  • “I am firmly convinced that the Reformation of the sixteenth century was as near as any mortal thing can come to unmixed evil. Even the parts of it that might appear plausible and enlightened from a purely secular standpoint have turned out rotten and reactionary, also from a purely secular standpoint. By substituting the Bible for the sacrament, it created a pedantic caste of those who could read, superstitiously identified with those who could think. By destroying the monks, it took social work from the poor philanthropists who chose to deny themselves, and gave it to the rich philanthropists who chose to assert themselves. By preaching individualism while preserving inequality, it produced modern capitalism. It destroyed the only league of nations that ever had a chance. It produced the worst wars of nations that ever existed. It produced the most efficient form of Protestantism, which is Prussia. And it is producing the worst part of paganism, which is slavery.”
This comes from G.K. Chesterton, one of the most widely admired Catholic thinkers of the 20th c. or since. Interestingly, this quote comes from several years before his conversion, when he was still an Anglican.

Protestants tend to think that Catholicism cannot be true because it doesn't hold the Bible as the sole rule of faith, because it holds in equal primacy the traditions of the Church which, according to Protestants, are man-made and lacking in Biblical grounding. Nothing could be further from the truth. The Bible in the form held as supreme by Protestants was assembled by the Catholic Church. To uphold it as unfailingly true and good is to affirm that at least once, and at the most critical juncture, the Catholic Church was perfectly in line with the Spirit, and was able to carry out his will perfectly. Were it not for the early Church councils, the Bible as we know it might not exist. All that would be left for instruction would be that which was used before the compilation of the scriptures - the teaching that comes from tradition.

The scriptures are quite explicit - tradition is the pillar of truth. For the first several hundred years of the Christian faith, the scriptures were divided, scattered, and confused in their authority. How, then, was one to come to faith? By a teaching authority, which was the Church. One with that central teaching authority was the Church held together in the face of so many heresies inspired by those who interpreted the scriptures differently. The Bible was only compiled as a means of centralizing the source of the Church's teachings. When the scriptures refer to the scriptures, they do not refer to themselves. They refer to the holy writ that came before - scrolls that were taught, rather than shared.

The Church is founded on the Bible, and the Bible is the governing document of the Church. They are not in conflict with one another but co-exist peacefully.

As for extra-biblical teachings, e.g., the Church Fathers, Doctors, saints, etc., one takes on faith that these men and women are speaking the truth. But they take this on faith because they believe the source that has told them their words are true - the Church, founded on the Scriptures. It's all a circle, but there is no conflict in it. This is why when crap like what is happening in the Church right now is so damaging because it calls into question their ultimate spiritual authority.

Now, your reponse.
 
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scout3dave

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It is most certainly true that ML has 95 feces he wants to fling on your door.
 
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jamesrh

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Protestants have a wide variety of opinions on the Catholic Church, but the thoughtful ones and the drivers behind the Reformation were not that traditions were all man made and inappropriate, but that much too much of what had been added to the church was politically and secularly rather than spiritually driven. Mariology, veneration of saints and relics, overreliance on priests rather than a personal relationship with Christ, a bloated and highly politicized hierarchy leading to a single person that is supposed to be God's voice on earth. That person being chosen via a highly politicized process. A person who is in effect a high priest when Christ is now to be the only High Priest and mediator. Many other excesses which have since been tempered or trimmed such as selling indulgences, etc.

The Bible and tradition should be in harmony, but in the case of the Catholic Church that doesn't seem to be the case, hence the Reformation. When you say the Bible was complied by the Catholic Church. That church bares very little resemblance to the RCC in existence today. That is like saying that the current government of Italy should take credit for something done by the Roman Empire.

Regarding the Chesterton quote as much as I admire him, I think he is wrong here. It didn't substitute the Bible for the sacrament, it gave access to the Bible allowing the individual to take some ownership of his relationship to God. Regarding philanthropy, that wasn't the primary work of the monks. It was something that they did but it wasn't their primary focus on the whole. And the fact is that philanthropy isn't to be the work of a class, it is to be the work of all Christians. While no economic model is perfect, capitalism provides the highest good for the greatest number of people in its sphere. No economic model is meant to provide spiritual fulfilment, that is the sphere of the church. During the primacy of the Catholic Church there were plenty of wars between Catholic nations. The reason the 20th century wars were so devastating was technology not Protestantism. Finally while it wasn't exactly slavery, serfdom during the feudal ages was only one small step removed and effected a much higher percentage of the population.

I will do a different post on the pope issue specifically.
 

bHero

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Protestantism wins then.

Also, y'all are fighting 500-year old battles. The world has moved on.
https://www.theguardian.com/world/2017/oct/31/catholic-and-protestant-leaders-unite-mark-start-reformation-archbishop-canterbury-service

"The archbishop of Canterbury, Justin Welby, presented a text by the Anglican communion affirming a joint declaration by the Roman Catholic church and global Protestant bodies, described as “a sign of healing after 500 years of division”."

Protestants and Catholics ended the Reformation last year. Thanks Francis. :mad:

#updatetherapturecountdown
 

40A

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Protestants have a wide variety of opinions on the Catholic Church, but the thoughtful ones and the drivers behind the Reformation were not that traditions were all man made and inappropriate, but that much too much of what had been added to the church was politically and secularly rather than spiritually driven. Mariology, veneration of saints and relics, overreliance on priests rather than a personal relationship with Christ, a bloated and highly politicized hierarchy leading to a single person that is supposed to be God's voice on earth. That person being chosen via a highly politicized process. A person who is in effect a high priest when Christ is now to be the only High Priest and mediator. Many other excesses which have since been tempered or trimmed such as selling indulgences, etc.

The Bible and tradition should be in harmony, but in the case of the Catholic Church that doesn't seem to be the case, hence the Reformation. When you say the Bible was complied by the Catholic Church. That church bares very little resemblance to the RCC in existence today. That is like saying that the current government of Italy should take credit for something done by the Roman Empire.

Regarding the Chesterton quote as much as I admire him, I think he is wrong here. It didn't substitute the Bible for the sacrament, it gave access to the Bible allowing the individual to take some ownership of his relationship to God. Regarding philanthropy, that wasn't the primary work of the monks. It was something that they did but it wasn't their primary focus on the whole. And the fact is that philanthropy isn't to be the work of a class, it is to be the work of all Christians. While no economic model is perfect, capitalism provides the highest good for the greatest number of people in its sphere. No economic model is meant to provide spiritual fulfilment, that is the sphere of the church. During the primacy of the Catholic Church there were plenty of wars between Catholic nations. The reason the 20th century wars were so devastating was technology not Protestantism. Finally while it wasn't exactly slavery, serfdom during the feudal ages was only one small step removed and effected a much higher percentage of the population.

I will do a different post on the pope issue specifically.
This is more or less what I would say and I will add more about this idea that the Bible wouldn't be what it was if the Catholic Church hadn't been around, if I have the time.

I'll also add to what you said about Chesterton is that he was a Distributionist which is a weird form of Communism before Communism was a thing.
 
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bHero

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http://w2.vatican.va/content/francesco/en/speeches/2014/may/documents/papa-francesco_20140525_terra-santa-dichiarazione-congiunta.html
http://w2.vatican.va/content/francesco/en/speeches/2016/june/documents/papa-francesco_20160626_armenia-dichiarazione-congiunta.html

@HornsWin & @jamesrh

The World Communion of Reformed Churches–an association of liberal Calvinists–has signed on to the Joint Declaration on Justification, an accord between the Roman Catholic Church and liberal Lutherans.

The World Methodist Council has also agreed with the document.
The Anglican Communion is expected to do so in a later meeting.

"The ceremony took place in Wittenberg, where in 1517 Martin Luther unveiled the 95 Theses that launched the Reformation and with it centuries of dispute about whether eternal salvation comes from faith alone — the position of the new Protestant movement — or if it also requires good works on Earth as Catholics argued."

The Joint Declaration effectively closes the centuries-old “faith versus works” debate by merging the Lutheran and Catholic views on salvation rather than setting them against each other.

“By grace alone, in faith in Christ’s saving work and not because of any merit on our part,” its key passage said, “we are accepted by God and receive the Holy Spirit, who renews our hearts while equipping us and calling us to good works.”

"A statement by the Vatican’s Pontifical Council for Promoting Christian Unity said the Wittenberg signing ceremony “must be seen as another important milestone on the journey towards the full visible unity of Christians; not yet the end of the road but a significant stage on the way.”

Do you guys realize that you are both probably on the same team again?
(half-sarcasm, the more Francis turns charismatic, the more likely this becomes)

#1WorldReligion
 

bHero

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For the outsiders, here's the quick rundown:

Protestants believe the RCC (formed in Rome) corrupted the early church (formed in Jerusalem), so they founded their own church (formed in Germany).

Protestants don't believe in the use of statues, artifacts or pictures, Catholics do, but only for inspiration.

Both believe in the virgin birth (for now, Frank is already sowing seeds of doubt there), both believe in the second coming, both believe Jesus died on the cross and rose again, both worship in a "church," both believe in the trinity and the fall.

Catholics believe that God can be prayed to through Mary, Protestants don't.
Catholics will say they formed their church in 315AD, Protestants will say 33AD.
Catholics believe they can pray to the saints for intercession, Protestants believe that all believers are Saints, and the only intercessor is Jesus.

Protestants believe in the bible alone, Catholics believe in the Prerogative of the Church to follow the Holy Spirit and Word of God.
Protestants believe in the bible alone for law, and that we are to test the teaching and words of others. Catholics believe in the Bible and Catechisms, as amended or added to by the Pope.

Catholics view Protestants as without a true church, because they don't believe in the true Eucharist and their priests and bishops were not ordained by a valid bishop. Protestants view the Catholic Church as corrupted through the establishment of Papal Infallibility, Protestantism believe God reveals himself through prayer and scripture, not tradition, and they believe they are returning to the church as it was originally established.

Catholics believe Catholicism is the only true religion, and all others are false. Protestants view any religion that confirms that Jesus died for our sins, and that believing in him and confessing it makes one saved, not works, and there are no other Gods before Him, any religions that confirms this is valid, if they deny it they are false.

There are also some differences in the books of the Bible. Oh, and both religions think @Duke Silver is an apostate, but not quite a reprobate.
 

jamesrh

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http://w2.vatican.va/content/francesco/en/speeches/2014/may/documents/papa-francesco_20140525_terra-santa-dichiarazione-congiunta.html
http://w2.vatican.va/content/francesco/en/speeches/2016/june/documents/papa-francesco_20160626_armenia-dichiarazione-congiunta.html

@HornsWin & @jamesrh

The World Communion of Reformed Churches–an association of liberal Calvinists–has signed on to the Joint Declaration on Justification, an accord between the Roman Catholic Church and liberal Lutherans.

The World Methodist Council has also agreed with the document.
The Anglican Communion is expected to do so in a later meeting.

"The ceremony took place in Wittenberg, where in 1517 Martin Luther unveiled the 95 Theses that launched the Reformation and with it centuries of dispute about whether eternal salvation comes from faith alone — the position of the new Protestant movement — or if it also requires good works on Earth as Catholics argued."

The Joint Declaration effectively closes the centuries-old “faith versus works” debate by merging the Lutheran and Catholic views on salvation rather than setting them against each other.

“By grace alone, in faith in Christ’s saving work and not because of any merit on our part,” its key passage said, “we are accepted by God and receive the Holy Spirit, who renews our hearts while equipping us and calling us to good works.”

"A statement by the Vatican’s Pontifical Council for Promoting Christian Unity said the Wittenberg signing ceremony “must be seen as another important milestone on the journey towards the full visible unity of Christians; not yet the end of the road but a significant stage on the way.”

Do you guys realize that you are both probably on the same team again?
(half-sarcasm, the more Francis turns charismatic, the more likely this becomes)

#1WorldReligion
Who's getting the shirts?
 
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40A

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For the outsiders, here's the quick rundown:

Protestants believe the RCC (formed in Rome) corrupted the early church (formed in Jerusalem), so they founded their own church (formed in Germany).

Protestants don't believe in the use of statues, artifacts or pictures, Catholics do, but only for inspiration.

Both believe in the virgin birth (for now, Frank is already sowing seeds of doubt there), both believe in the second coming, both believe Jesus died on the cross and rose again, both worship in a "church," both believe in the trinity and the fall.

Catholics believe that God can be prayed to through Mary, Protestants don't.
Catholics will say they formed their church in 315AD, Protestants will say 33AD.
Catholics believe they can pray to the saints for intercession, Protestants believe that all believers are Saints, and the only intercessor is Jesus.

Protestants believe in the bible alone, Catholics believe in the Prerogative of the Church to follow the Holy Spirit and Word of God.
Protestants believe in the bible alone for law, and that we are to test the teaching and words of others. Catholics believe in the Bible and Catechisms, as amended or added to by the Pope.

Catholics view Protestants as without a true church, because they don't believe in the true Eucharist and their priests and bishops were not ordained by a valid bishop. Protestants view the Catholic Church as corrupted through the establishment of Papal Infallibility, Protestantism believe God reveals himself through prayer and scripture, not tradition, and they believe they are returning to the church as it was originally established.

Catholics believe Catholicism is the only true religion, and all others are false. Protestants view any religion that confirms that Jesus died for our sins, and that believing in him and confessing it makes one saved, not works, and there are no other Gods before Him, any religions that confirms this is valid, if they deny it they are false.

There are also some differences in the books of the Bible. Oh, and both religions think @Duke Silver is an apostate, but not quite a reprobate.
The two bolded are my biggest beef with the Catholic Church, as nowhere in the scripture are these things supported.

I also have beef with the Papal system and the various Pope's being referred to as Holy Father and likening themselves to Christ on earth.

It's tough for me to get into the milieu when I can't get past those issues.
 

bHero

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The two bolded are my biggest beef with the Catholic Church, as nowhere in the scripture are these things supported.

I also have beef with the Papal system and the various Pope's being referred to as Holy Father and likening themselves to Christ on earth.

It's tough for me to get into the milieu when I can't get past those issues.
Yeah, me too. I have a friend who's a bit extreme and calls it necromancy.
 
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jamesrh

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BTW - I'd describe myself as a Reformed Evangelical Pentecostal Protestant Baptist with Catholic sympathies.

So I'll probably bash and support both sides in this argument.
One of the things that I say very often is that I think that the tension between Abba Father and God of the Universe swings to much one way or the other in Catholic and Evangelical. Too much GOD/awe/fear in Catholic, too much Abba, hug Him in Evangelical. The tension needs to be more even.
 

40A

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http://w2.vatican.va/content/francesco/en/speeches/2014/may/documents/papa-francesco_20140525_terra-santa-dichiarazione-congiunta.html
http://w2.vatican.va/content/francesco/en/speeches/2016/june/documents/papa-francesco_20160626_armenia-dichiarazione-congiunta.html

@HornsWin & @jamesrh

The World Communion of Reformed Churches–an association of liberal Calvinists–has signed on to the Joint Declaration on Justification, an accord between the Roman Catholic Church and liberal Lutherans.

The World Methodist Council has also agreed with the document.
The Anglican Communion is expected to do so in a later meeting.

"The ceremony took place in Wittenberg, where in 1517 Martin Luther unveiled the 95 Theses that launched the Reformation and with it centuries of dispute about whether eternal salvation comes from faith alone — the position of the new Protestant movement — or if it also requires good works on Earth as Catholics argued."

The Joint Declaration effectively closes the centuries-old “faith versus works” debate by merging the Lutheran and Catholic views on salvation rather than setting them against each other.

“By grace alone, in faith in Christ’s saving work and not because of any merit on our part,” its key passage said, “we are accepted by God and receive the Holy Spirit, who renews our hearts while equipping us and calling us to good works.”

"A statement by the Vatican’s Pontifical Council for Promoting Christian Unity said the Wittenberg signing ceremony “must be seen as another important milestone on the journey towards the full visible unity of Christians; not yet the end of the road but a significant stage on the way.”

Do you guys realize that you are both probably on the same team again?
(half-sarcasm, the more Francis turns charismatic, the more likely this becomes)

#1WorldReligion
LOL @ "liberal Calvinist"
 

Shane3

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No pope for me. One thing that puzzles me about Catholics is they often seem uncomfortable referring to themselves as Christians.
 

HornsWin

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Protestantism wins then.

Also, y'all are fighting 500-year old battles. The world has moved on.
Evidently, the world has not moved on. The battle was never won either way.
hence the Reformation.
The Reformation was needed. The schism was not, nor was that ever the intention. It was only after Luther was allowed to stew over his frustrations for a few years that the schism came about. This seems as good a place as any to point out and remind that there is the Church - the mystical body of Christ on earth - and the Church - the governing body. Luther's complaints were with the governing body far and away more so than with the mystical body. He was himself, after all, a Catholic priest.
When you say the Bible was complied by the Catholic Church. That church bares very little resemblance to the RCC in existence today.
Can you provide some examples of how the ancient Church and the modern Catholic Church differ, or some examples of how modern Protestantism resembles the ancient church more closely than the Catholic Church does? I must attach the caveat that you may only use the Bible as support, as all other sources are extra-biblical and, therefore, are considered part of the Magisterium.
It didn't substitute the Bible for the sacrament, it gave access to the Bible allowing the individual to take some ownership of his relationship to God.
Protestantism holds a very anti-sacramental view, which is to say a very materialist view, of the faith. Sacraments are visible rites seen as signs of God's grace to all those who receive them with the proper dispensation. The Eucharist is the most obvious one, but each of the seven sacraments may only be administered by priests, because the priests, like the Pope himself, can trace their divine lineage back to Christ himself. And it was Christ himself who instituted each of the seven sacraments. Protestants, however, ignore all of this under the guise of the priesthood of the believer. But as you point out with regards to the Pope...
A person who is in effect a high priest when Christ is now to be the only High Priest and mediator.
If everyone is a priest, then no one is a priest, but it seems exceedinly unlike the God who brings order to chaos to leave his children to such spiritual anarchy. That would be like the founders deciding not to institute any form of government after defeating the british. The battle is won so figure it out yourselves? I doubt that. In scripture we see the structure of the Church coming into view. Everyone acknowledged Peter, even as Paul was also an authority. Every local Church had an ecclesial structure, but no church was independent. Each of them acknowledges the hierarchy. We know this, in part, by the fact that Peter called councils and everyone showed up. This also shows us that councils are, or at some point were, held to be absolute. Bear in mind, these councils mentioned in scripture were, at the time, non-biblical since the Bible had not yet been conceived. Why, then, would that change? Why would councils, an exercise of the hierarchy, suddenly become inauthoritative? That would seem to indicate that it was a decision of man to stop adhereing to the hierarchy, since it was the hierarchy that had once been acknowledge by the whole of the Church as being authoritative.

The Chesterton quote I used in part because a good quote is a good way to start a thing like this off.
 

HornsWin

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This is more or less what I would say and I will add more about this idea that the Bible wouldn't be what it was if the Catholic Church hadn't been around, if I have the time.

I'll also add to what you said about Chesterton is that he was a Distributionist which is a weird form of Communism before Communism was a thing.
Let's start another thread on distributism. I like it, but this is not the place for it.
 

HornsWin

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For the outsiders, here's the quick rundown:

Protestants believe the RCC (formed in Rome) corrupted the early church (formed in Jerusalem), so they founded their own church (formed in Germany).

Protestants don't believe in the use of statues, artifacts or pictures, Catholics do, but only for inspiration.

Both believe in the virgin birth (for now, Frank is already sowing seeds of doubt there), both believe in the second coming, both believe Jesus died on the cross and rose again, both worship in a "church," both believe in the trinity and the fall.

Catholics believe that God can be prayed to through Mary, Protestants don't.
Catholics will say they formed their church in 315AD, Protestants will say 33AD.
Catholics believe they can pray to the saints for intercession, Protestants believe that all believers are Saints, and the only intercessor is Jesus.

Protestants believe in the bible alone, Catholics believe in the Prerogative of the Church to follow the Holy Spirit and Word of God.
Protestants believe in the bible alone for law, and that we are to test the teaching and words of others. Catholics believe in the Bible and Catechisms, as amended or added to by the Pope.

Catholics view Protestants as without a true church, because they don't believe in the true Eucharist and their priests and bishops were not ordained by a valid bishop. Protestants view the Catholic Church as corrupted through the establishment of Papal Infallibility, Protestantism believe God reveals himself through prayer and scripture, not tradition, and they believe they are returning to the church as it was originally established.

Catholics believe Catholicism is the only true religion, and all others are false. Protestants view any religion that confirms that Jesus died for our sins, and that believing in him and confessing it makes one saved, not works, and there are no other Gods before Him, any religions that confirms this is valid, if they deny it they are false.

There are also some differences in the books of the Bible. Oh, and both religions think @Duke Silver is an apostate, but not quite a reprobate.
A few rejoinders.
  • The Roman Catholic Church formed in Rome, correct, only after it migrated there from Jerusalem. Peter, the Apostle Peter, once in Jerusalem, made his way to Rome. Paul, the Apostle Paul, was a Roman citizen. He wrote a rather famous letter to the Church in Rome. It sounds almost as if you're trying to suggest that the Church at Rome was illegitimate. But them, what would that mean for all the other Churches scattered across the ancient world? The Church at Rome was the Church in Jerusalem.
  • I am already seeing some heavy doubt coming from pretty mainstream branches of Protestantism that are beginning to outright deny the virgin birth and the immaculate conception. They would say to St. Michael the Archangel, "Sorry, but you're mistaken. Mary was not full of grace." Which is, according to 2000 years of Church teaching, blasphemy.
  • Catholics believe that the saints and angels in heaven, being now in the presence of God, can be powerful advocates for our prayer needs. This is no different from asking a friend to pray for you, except we are asking friends who are in the immediate presence of Almighty God.
  • Catholics say they formed their Church in 33AD. Christ founded the Church on Peter, our first Pope.
  • Protestants believe in the Bible alone, which is a non-Biblical idea. It is not found anywhere in scripture that the scripture alone is sufficient.
  • Catholics believe in the Bible and Catechesis, not amended or added to by the Pope, but rather clarified (development of doctrine).
  • 99% of Protestants completely misunderstand Papal Infallibility, which leads to all manner of other misunderstandings. This is a pivotal point.
  • Catholics believe, as Protestants do, that God reveals himself through prayer and scripture (for 400 years, the scriptures were part of the tradition since they had not yet been compiled into the Bible, which is what we now refer to as the scriptures). Catholics believe that if something is true when looked at through the lens of scripture, then it is God sent. Test everything, yes. Test everything. If it stands the test of the scriptures, which is the foundation of the Church, then it must be true.
  • Catholics do not believe that only Catholicism is true. They believe that the teachings of the Church are the fullest expression of God's truth. Unlike Protestant's general view of Catholics' salvation (despite the belief that we are not to judge such things), Catholics believe that most Protestant denominations are still valid on the corest of issues, even if they disagree on other very important issues (saints, Mary, etc.)
  • Catholics believe that works are not salvific, but that works are an indicator of the trueness of falseness of one's faith.
  • Protestants removed seven books from the Bible which, according to scriptures, is a sin.
 

HornsWin

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The two bolded are my biggest beef with the Catholic Church, as nowhere in the scripture are these things supported.

I also have beef with the Papal system and the various Pope's being referred to as Holy Father and likening themselves to Christ on earth.

It's tough for me to get into the milieu when I can't get past those issues.
Fair enough. To your first point, no, praying to Mary is not found in the Bible but, at the risk of sounding glib, neither are any of the solas, particularly for our purposes here sola scriptura. The Trinity is also not founded in the scriptures, but it is a core belief among Catholics and Protestants alike. In fact, it is a Catholic idea.

There is actually scriptural support for praying for the intercession of the saints. In fact, if you believe that someone goes to heaven once they have died, then you also believe in saints. Sainthood is not a unique condition, but more of a qualifier. It is a formal proclamation that this person, the Church is confident in saying, is right now in heaven and thus in the presence of the Lord. Of course, this calls into question the reality of purgatory, which I know is a whole other can of worms.
 

HornsWin

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No kidding. It's really just a normal viewpoint for a non-denominational congregant. There are just too many ways the churches try and slice things up.
Yeah, let's talk about that for a moment. Isn't non-denominational just a way to hedge one's bets? That sounds snide, but I mean it truly. Even when I attended non-denom churches I never liked being non-denom? Why not commit to something for sure? If you can't find something you agree enough with or believe enough in, then doesn't that indicate something?
 

HornsWin

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One of the things that I say very often is that I think that the tension between Abba Father and God of the Universe swings to much one way or the other in Catholic and Evangelical. Too much GOD/awe/fear in Catholic, too much Abba, hug Him in Evangelical. The tension needs to be more even.
Surprise! I take issue with this, but it may just be a wording thing. You say Catholics have "too much God/awe/fear"... is it possible, as a Christian, to be too in awe of God?
 

HornsWin

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No pope for me. One thing that puzzles me about Catholics is they often seem uncomfortable referring to themselves as Christians.
Because we refer to ourselves as Catholics? Couldn't the same be said of Baptists, Lutherans, Presbyterians, or in bHero case, "Reformed Evangelical Pentecostal Protestant Baptist with Catholic sympathies"?
 

HornsWin

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By the way, bHero and jamesrh I have lots of notes to offer for all the scriptural background you might want for any point of Catholic belief you think is non-biblical. Let me know what you want and I can give it to you.
 

bHero

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Yeah, let's talk about that for a moment. Isn't non-denominational just a way to hedge one's bets? That sounds snide, but I mean it truly. Even when I attended non-denom churches I never liked being non-denom? Why not commit to something for sure? If you can't find something you agree enough with or believe enough in, then doesn't that indicate something?
This is an odd argument.

Christians are called to come under the authority of the Church, not a denomination. I'm currently a member, and held accountable, by Gateway Church in Southlake, Texas.

I'm not sure how not being part of a denomination show a lack of commitment, additionally how being part of a non denomination church means I don't agree or believe enough in something to commit to, nor do I understand what you are implying it indicates about me personally when I don't sign up to a denominational church.
 
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rope4747

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A few rejoinders.
  • The Roman Catholic Church formed in Rome, correct, only after it migrated there from Jerusalem. Peter, the Apostle Peter, once in Jerusalem, made his way to Rome. Paul, the Apostle Paul, was a Roman citizen. He wrote a rather famous letter to the Church in Rome. It sounds almost as if you're trying to suggest that the Church at Rome was illegitimate. But them, what would that mean for all the other Churches scattered across the ancient world? The Church at Rome was the Church in Jerusalem.
  • I am already seeing some heavy doubt coming from pretty mainstream branches of Protestantism that are beginning to outright deny the virgin birth and the immaculate conception. They would say to St. Michael the Archangel, "Sorry, but you're mistaken. Mary was not full of grace." Which is, according to 2000 years of Church teaching, blasphemy.
  • Catholics believe that the saints and angels in heaven, being now in the presence of God, can be powerful advocates for our prayer needs. This is no different from asking a friend to pray for you, except we are asking friends who are in the immediate presence of Almighty God.
  • Catholics say they formed their Church in 33AD. Christ founded the Church on Peter, our first Pope.
  • Protestants believe in the Bible alone, which is a non-Biblical idea. It is not found anywhere in scripture that the scripture alone is sufficient.
  • Catholics believe in the Bible and Catechesis, not amended or added to by the Pope, but rather clarified (development of doctrine).
  • 99% of Protestants completely misunderstand Papal Infallibility, which leads to all manner of other misunderstandings. This is a pivotal point.
  • Catholics believe, as Protestants do, that God reveals himself through prayer and scripture (for 400 years, the scriptures were part of the tradition since they had not yet been compiled into the Bible, which is what we now refer to as the scriptures). Catholics believe that if something is true when looked at through the lens of scripture, then it is God sent. Test everything, yes. Test everything. If it stands the test of the scriptures, which is the foundation of the Church, then it must be true.
  • Catholics do not believe that only Catholicism is true. They believe that the teachings of the Church are the fullest expression of God's truth. Unlike Protestant's general view of Catholics' salvation (despite the belief that we are not to judge such things), Catholics believe that most Protestant denominations are still valid on the corest of issues, even if they disagree on other very important issues (saints, Mary, etc.)
  • Catholics believe that works are not salvific, but that works are an indicator of the trueness of falseness of one's faith.
  • Protestants removed seven books from the Bible which, according to scriptures, is a sin.
You’re into Catholicism like I used to be into U2 and REM.
 

SAhornfan

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This is an odd argument.

Christians are called to come under the authority of the Church, not a denomination. I'm currently a member, and held accountable, by Gateway Church in Southlake, Texas.

I'm not sure how not being part of a denomination show a lack of commitment, additionally how being part of a non denomination church means I don't agree or believe enough in something to commit to, nor do I understand what you are implying it indicates about me personally when I don't sign up to a denominational church.
Does it matter to God how and where you worship God? I know it matters to the churches because that's their livelihood.
 
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HornsWin

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This is an odd argument.

Christians are called to come under the authority of the Church, not a denomination. I'm currently a member, and held accountable, by Gateway Church in Southlake, Texas.

I'm not sure how not being part of a denomination show a lack of commitment, additionally how being part of a non denomination church means I don't agree or believe enough in something to commit to, nor do I understand what you are implying it indicates about me personally when I don't sign up to a denominational church.
First, I'm not implying it indicates anything about you personally. Don't misunderstand me on that.

As for the rest, a denomination represents a certain set of beliefs as opposed to another set of beliefs. Being non-denominational, it seems to me, suggests that either you do not possess a set of beliefs by which you're convicted enough to commit fully to them, or that you possess beliefs which you are willing to bend on. Given that there are tens of thousands of Protestant denominations, I would think that clarification or a firmness of belief would be an important thing. A baptist wouldn't consider himself a lutheran, because there are significant enough doctrinal differences to keep one from seeing himself as the same as the other.

What do non-denominalists believe? I could be misunderstanding, but from my time in that world, not an inconsequential span of time, I saw a lot of picking and choosing of thological/doctrinal adherence. The basis was always founded on an emotional base, but picking and choosing what one believes doesn't really work. Jesus laid out the program (which the Church brought to the people) and Christians may accept it or reject it. Picking and choosing what one likes, based not on authoritative interpretation but rather on individual interpretation, is curious basis for faith.
 
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bHero

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First, I'm not implying it indicates anything about you personally. Don't misunderstand me on that.

As for the rest, a denomination represents a certain set of beliefs as opposed to another set of beliefs. Being non-denominational, it seems to me, suggests that either you do not possess a set of beliefs by which you're convicted enough to commit fully to them, or that you possess beliefs which you are willing to bend on. Given that there are tens of thousands of Protestant denominations, I would think that clarification or a firmness of belief would be an important thing. A baptist wouldn't consider himself a lutheran, because there are significant enough doctrinal differences to keep one from seeing himself as the same as the other.

What do non-denominalists believe?


Do you think it's possible that I have a set of beliefs that I'm committed to, that may not be fully represented by 1 denomination?

Do you think it's possible that I have a set of beliefs that I'm committed to, that may be fully represented by many denominations?

Do you think it's possible that I have a set of beliefs that I'm committed to, that may be full represented by a non-denominational church?

Do you think it's possible that people only join churches with perfect alignment with the church's beliefs, and that no congregant has any malleability in their beliefs?

Every one of these questions have answers that nullify the false dichotomy that you've presented above.
 

rope4747

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First, I'm not implying it indicates anything about you personally. Don't misunderstand me on that.

As for the rest, a denomination represents a certain set of beliefs as opposed to another set of beliefs. Being non-denominational, it seems to me, suggests that either you do not possess a set of beliefs by which you're convicted enough to commit fully to them, or that you possess beliefs which you are willing to bend on. Given that there are tens of thousands of Protestant denominations, I would think that clarification or a firmness of belief would be an important thing. A baptist wouldn't consider himself a lutheran, because there are significant enough doctrinal differences to keep one from seeing himself as the same as the other.

What do non-denominalists believe? I could be misunderstanding, but from my time in that world, not an inconsequential span of time, I saw a lot of picking and choosing of thological/doctrinal adherence. The basis was always founded on an emotional base, but picking and choosing what one believes doesn't really work. Jesus laid out the program (which the Church brought to the people) and Christians may accept it or reject it. Picking and choosing what one likes, based not on authoritative interpretation but rather on individual interpretation, is curious basis for faith.
If there are really tens of thousands of denominations, that would be a huge clue to me that denominations are meaningless.
 

HornsWin

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Do you think it's possible that I have a set of beliefs that I'm committed to, that may not be fully represented by 1 denomination?

Do you think it's possible that I have a set of beliefs that I'm committed to, that may be fully represented by many denominations?

Do you think it's possible that I have a set of beliefs that I'm committed to, that may be full represented by a non-denominational church?

Do you think it's possible that people only join churches with perfect alignment with the church's beliefs, and that no congregant has any malleability in their beliefs?

Every one of these questions have answers that nullify the false dichotomy that you've presented above.
In order:
Yes, yes, yes, yes.

I see I did a poor and possibly offensive job in explaining my thoughts. You're committed to Jesus, and that is great. I have nothing against non-denoms. What I find offensive is the philosophy behind being non-denom. If a man has several wives because he has not found one who checks each of his boxes, he is a polygamist, but a man who takes a little from here and a little from there spiritually is upheld as totally valid. This is one knock against my fellow millennials, that they are "spiritual, but not religious." They are "nones" - they don't take any particular religion because they take the parts they like of each - the ethics of Christ, the zen-ness of Budda, etc. I read not long ago, I think from Fr. Barron, that a big reason for this there is a fear of rejection or of being wrong. Commitment comes with risk, but everywhere else in life commitment is a key component of success. Why wouldn't this be the case in matters of religion as well?

I also notice that you didn't answer what non-denominationalists believe.

But we're getting off topic here. Let's get back to parsing out Catholicism.
 

bHero

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@HornsWin - you're getting adversarial in the debate, and that's fine, but I don't see you the same as I would an atheist on these topics. In some ways I hold you to a higher standard of decorum, so I'm not going to play semantics to win points.

With that, you'll have to be patient as I respond to some of your points. And to reiterate, I believe a lot of catholics are saved, I just am not a fan of the modern church.

Now, first on the books, without getting too much in the weeds, the Church has changed the bible numerous times throughout the ages. A few examples:

Irenaeus, Tertullian, Athenagoras, and Clement of Alexandria all considered the Book of Enoch Scripture and preached it as such.

The Epistle of Barnabus was actually in the Codex Sinaiticus, Codex Claromontanus and Codex Hierosolymitanus, and it also considered the book of Enoch Scripture.

Yet, both books have been removed from the Catholic Bible.

This is not to mention the rest of the apocrypha, which most was removed by 1885.

I get leaving out the pseudepigrapha, but for centuries the church has slowly been removing many things from the Bible.

I think the protestants have 66 books, the Catholics have 73 and the Ethiopians still have 80 or 81.

None of these have all the books in the earliest collections.

And we haven't even scratched the surface of stuff being added. 1 James 5:7-8 is a very famous example of something being added this was on no early documents.

This is another rabbit hole.
 
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jamesrh

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Surprise! I take issue with this, but it may just be a wording thing. You say Catholics have "too much God/awe/fear"... is it possible, as a Christian, to be too in awe of God?
Definitely a wording thing on my part. It is not an issue of amount of awe, it is an issue of % of awe to % of interacting/viewing God as Abba. Evangelicals as a group have the balance screwed up in the opposite direction.
 
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Toadvine

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Just wanted to pop in and say the Council of Nicea was sketchy and a bit of a political reaction to the success of the The arianists in North Africa, with their relatively simple perspective on the Christian faith. So the Trinity piece seems a little dubious...