The One True Church

MichaelMcF
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The One True Church

[This thought was inspired by another thread in which I was told that Catholic dogma clouds the issue of original sin and other core tenants of the Christian Faith]

I was raised a Roman Catholic.  I don't believe in the capital letters but we'll keep them here for the time being.  I attended Sacred Heart Primary School and attended Our Lady's High School.  I'd stopped believing in god in between the two institutions and fully embraced a logical atheism halfway through the latter.  However I never stopped attending classes on religious education.  They were compulsory.

So that's the background out the way.

Through all my upbringing I was told that the religious family tree went something like this: Judaism - Catholicism - Protestant Catholicism (imagine how many protestants I know that don't like being told they're protestant catholics by definition) - Protestant Christianity if we want to split hairs - Many, Many, Many protestant faiths.  Correct me if I'm wrong.  Please do; I'm not ashamed to admit or correct ignorance.

Now I've been told on this board and in other places that Catholic Dogma(TM) clouds this issue when it comes to debating the bible and the inerrant word of god.  How is this so?  On what authority can a protestant individual say that the catholics got it wrong?  I understand the baulking at the wealth of the church etc. but why does this take away from the core tenants of the religion from which the protestant churches sprung?  Furthermore, if protestants now have the authority to cast aside the Catholic view of things what's to stop someone rightfully casting aside their view on the faith?

What is it that makes the protestant faith (whatever denomination) and the KJ Bible the inerrant Word of God (TM)?  How can we ever identify the one true church if none of you can agree on what makes your faith correct?

 

M

 

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Cadalyst
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Good questions. First of all

Good questions. First of all the it is true that there are many, many, many, many denominations BUT there is some thing called the "essential doctrines" and once we Christians (protestants) can agree on these despite the other non-essentials like speaking in tongues, sabbath, baptism etc.... no problem

Now when a denominations actually start saying, that some of these non-essential doctrines are essential for one's salvation such as seventh day adventist with the sabbath day we must question if they are Christian?

The essential doctrines that Christians agree on is that
Jesus is the son of God and God (tri-unity of God)
repent and put our trust in Christ
We are saved  ONLY by God's grace thru faith and it is not work riteousness in other words you cannot work nor earn your way to heaven.

Once you follow those you are a Christian plain and simple regardless of your denomination. Jehovah Witnesses and Mormans are not Christians, they do not follow the essential doctrines therefore they are deemed cults.

I am a fundalmentalist Christian, I study scripture using scripture. I find this helps me get thru the muddle and nonsence you see on TV or on the pulpit, it is God's word and should be defended because its truth, and the Roman Catholic's teachings are quite different from what I read and study in the bible.

Many things are made up by the Catholic church, call it "traditions"
calling the pope "Holy Father"??
Baptism of infants
papal infallibility
Pope a vicar of Christ
worship or veneration of Mary
immaculate conception
the praying to dead men (saints)
Purgatory
saved by faith plus works and the list goes on.............

To sum up the major difference between Catholicism and Protestantism is the issue of the sufficiency and authority of Scripture. Protestants believe that the Bible alone is the sole source of God’s special revelation to mankind, and as such it teaches us all that is necessary for our salvation from sin. Protestants view the Bible as the standard by which all Christian behavior must be measured. This belief is commonly referred to as “Sola Scriptura” and is one of the “Five Solas” (sola being Latin for "alone".

Catholics on the other hand reject the doctrine of “Sola Scriptura” and do not believe that the Bible alone is sufficient. They believe that both the Bible and sacred Roman Catholic tradition are equally binding upon the Christian Essentially the Roman Catholic Church’s denial of “Sola Scriptura” and their insistence that both the Bible and their “Sacred Tradition” are equal in authority undermines the sufficiency, authority and completeness of the Bible.

 

 


MichaelMcF
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Cadalyst wrote:BUT there is

Cadalyst wrote:

BUT there is some thing called the "essential doctrines" and once we Christians (protestants) can agree on these despite the other non-essentials like speaking in tongues, sabbath, baptism etc.... no problem

Now when a denominations actually start saying, that some of these non-essential doctrines are essential for ones salvation such as seventh day Adventist with the sabbath day we must question if they are Christian?

The essential doctrines that Christians agree on is that
Jesus is the son of God and God (tri-unity of God)
repent and put our trust in Christ
We are saved  ONLY by God's grace thru faith and it is not work righteousness in other words you cannot work nor earn your way to heaven.

.....

 

Hey Cadalyst,

Thanks for your response to my questions.  I thought I might never receive one Smiling

 

BUT... I understand the difference between the Christian and the catholic faiths in respect to tradition and dogma etc.  My question is this:

 

Why should I accept the protestant dogma of the (inerrant) word of god over the catholic belief which  camef irst?

 

M

 

Forget Jesus, the stars died so that you could be here
- Lawrence Krauss


thingy
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The chicken.

The chicken.


totus_tuus
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Cadalyst wrote:Catholics on

Cadalyst wrote:
Catholics on the other hand reject the doctrine of “Sola Scriptura” and do not believe that the Bible alone is sufficient. They believe that both the Bible and sacred Roman Catholic tradition are equally binding upon the Christian Essentially the Roman Catholic Church’s denial of “Sola Scriptura” and their insistence that both the Bible and their “Sacred Tradition” are equal in authority undermines the sufficiency, authority and completeness of the Bible.

Hope ypu don't mnd me butting in, but I gotta ask...Where does Scripture itself claim to be the sole rule of faith? 

"With its enduring appeal to the search for truth, philosophy has the great responsibility of forming thought and culture; and now it must strive resolutely to recover its original vocation." Pope John Paul II


HisWillness
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thingy wrote:The chicken....

thingy wrote:

The chicken.

... ftw.


pauljohntheskeptic
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MichaelMcF wrote: BUT... I

MichaelMcF wrote:

 

BUT... I understand the difference between the Christian and the catholic faiths in respect to tradition and dogma etc.  My question is this: 

Why should I accept the protestant dogma of the (inerrant) word of god over the catholic belief which  camef irst?

 

You shouldn't.

Protestantism is derived from Catholicism.

Catholicism is derived from the 1st and 2nd century Jesus cults and Pauline mysticism.

The Jesus cults are derived from Messianic Judaism.

Judaism is derived from multiple pagan sources in Babylon, Persia, Palestine and Egypt.

They all are derived from nomadic shepherds who witnessed thunder and lightning and maybe even an earthquake and volcanic activity in northern Arabia southern Jordan and were scared shitless and began to pray to the sky.

____________________________________________________________
"I guess it's time to ask if you live under high voltage power transmission lines which have been shown to cause stimulation of the fantasy centers of the brain due to electromagnetic waves?" - Me

"God is omnipotent, omniscient, omnibenevolent, - it says so right here on the label. If you have a mind capable of believing all three of these divine attributes simultaneously, I have a wonderful bargain for you. No checks please. Cash and in small bills." - Robert A Heinlein.


MichaelMcF
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thingy wrote:The chicken.Win

thingy wrote:

The chicken.

Win Smiling

 

johnpaultheskeptic wrote:

You shouldn't.

Protestantism is derived from Catholicism.

Catholicism is derived from the 1st and 2nd century Jesus cults and Pauline mysticism.

The Jesus cults are derived from Messianic Judaism.

Judaism is derived from multiple pagan sources in Babylon, Persia, Palestine and Egypt.

They all are derived from nomadic shepherds who witnessed thunder and lightning and maybe even an earthquake and volcanic activity in northern Arabia southern Jordan and were scared shitless and began to pray to the sky.

 

Yeah, i know this.  I'm looking for a theist (preferably of a modern protestant faith) to explain to me how they can claim Catholic dogma clouds understanding of their religion, when the catholic dogma came first.

 

M

Forget Jesus, the stars died so that you could be here
- Lawrence Krauss


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Actually, Catholic dogma did

Actually, Catholic dogma did not exist in the early church. It wasn't until after Constantine's rule in Rome that catholisism started to take shape. Pagans who were sometimes forced to be "converted", never truly did so . As result of these half-hearted conversions,  many pagan practices were brought into the church over time. Such as idolatry, icons, elaborate architecture, pilgrimages, and the veneration of saints. Some church members started to live in isolation as monks at that time, and infant baptism was also introduced as a way of washing away original sin. Through the next few centuries, many internal theological disagreements occured, the western church in Rome established itself as the authority, and the bishop of Rome started calling himself Pope. Eventually, all of the discord caused the Great Schism in 1054.

So, to say the catholic dogma came first is simply inaccurate. A study of the history of the church is necessary to see that in fact the original Church much more closely mirrors the precepts found in the Bible, and the Protestant church.


Conor Wilson
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Only one thing you're missing, Andy7...

...*Protestantism* didn't get its start until the 1500's.  (I'm counting from the posting of the 95 Theses; I suppose you could argue another century or so earlier, if you go back to Jan Huss.)  So...even with the Catholic Church starting in the era of Constantine. it is still much, much older than any form of Protestant Christianity.

 

Conor


Jormungander
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As an ex-Protestant here is

As an ex-Protestant here is how I understood it: The Catholic Church makes up whatever it wants. If the things it makes up aren't biblical then they do not care. For instance: the Catholic Church made up the existence of purgatory and then in February, 2006 says it no longer exists. Most Protestant churches see Catholic tenants as being contrived and man-made doctrines. You asked what authority the Protestants question the Catholics, but I think the Protestants would say that the Catholics hold no authority to make up doctrine like the Church does. I don't understand the KJV comment. Some, just some, Protestants hold the KJV as the ultimate and inspired word of god. I have never met one of these people and back when I was a Protestant, neither I nor my church nor any Protestant I ever met though the KJV was so special. It is a great poetic translation, but we all know it is not accurate. So I suppose my answer to your inquiry is that Protestants consider Catholic Dogma to be a bunch of bs and see no authority in the Church to make up doctrines in the first place.

Of course now I see that all churches like to make up bs; or at the very least cherry-pick only biblical versus that agree with their religious and political positions.

"You say that it is your custom to burn widows. Very well. We also have a custom: when men burn a woman alive, we tie a rope around their necks and we hang them. Build your funeral pyre; beside it, my carpenters will build a gallows. You may follow your custom. And then we will follow ours."
British General Charles Napier while in India


totus_tuus
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You've confused the doctrine

You've confused the doctrine of Purgatory with the theological construct of Limbo, I think.  The Catechism of the Catholic Church has this to say about Purgatory:

1030 All who die in God's grace and friendship, but still imperfectly purified, are indeed assured of their eternal salvation; but after death they undergo purification, so as to achieve the holiness necessary to enter the joy of heaven.

1031 The Church gives the name Purgatory to this final purification of the elect, which is entirely different from the punishment of the damned.606 The Church formulated her doctrine of faith on Purgatory especially at the Councils of Florence and Trent. The tradition of the Church, by reference to certain texts of Scripture, speaks of a cleansing fire:607

 

As for certain lesser faults, we must believe that, before the Final Judgment, there is a purifying fire. He who is truth says that whoever utters blasphemy against the Holy Spirit will be pardoned neither in this age nor in the age to come. From this sentence we understand that certain offenses can be forgiven in this age, but certain others in the age to come.608

1032 This teaching is also based on the practice of prayer for the dead, already mentioned in Sacred Scripture: "Therefore [Judas Maccabeus] made atonement for the dead, that they might be delivered from their sin."609 From the beginning the Church has honored the memory of the dead and offered prayers in suffrage for them, above all the Eucharistic sacrifice, so that, thus purified, they may attain the beatific vision of God.610 The Church also commends almsgiving, indulgences, and works of penance undertaken on behalf of the dead:

 

Let us help and commemorate them. If Job's sons were purified by their father's sacrifice, why would we doubt that our offerings for the dead bring them some consolation? Let us not hesitate to help those who have died and to offer our prayers for them.611

"Limbo", on the other hand, was a theological construct designed to deal with the souls of unbaptized infants.  Limbo was never doctrinally defined by the Church.  This concept was recently rejected by the Church, since, again according to the Catechism, she holds that:

1261 As regards children who have died without Baptism, the Church can only entrust them to the mercy of God, as she does in her funeral rites for them. Indeed, the great mercy of God who desires that all men should be saved, and Jesus' tenderness toward children which caused him to say: "Let the children come to me, do not hinder them," allow us to hope that there is a way of salvation for children who have died without Baptism. All the more urgent is the Church's call not to prevent little children coming to Christ through the gift of holy Baptism.

 

"With its enduring appeal to the search for truth, philosophy has the great responsibility of forming thought and culture; and now it must strive resolutely to recover its original vocation." Pope John Paul II


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Another thing to consider

Back to the OP, I have one more thing you should probably take into consideration.  I grew up a United Methodist in the South, so our view of catholicism was not as hostile towards it as other denominations (the UMC still says the Nicene creed at most services, at least they did when I attended about 10 years ago).  The thing to remember is that depending on the denomination there may be no over-all governing body.  For example, in a church of christ the direction of the church in decided at the church level by the elders at that time.  This allows for some incredibly wonky beliefs to take hold, and it ensures variation among the churches.  No two CoC's will hold all of the exact same beliefs because of this.  Baptists have more of a governing body, but it is also a relatively recent body and as such most of their tenants of faith are slightly more modern (they allow more female participation that CoC's, and are actually quite proud of their bands and other modern accoutrements).  Essentially it boils down to this, depending on the denomination the doctrines may have little or no extra-biblical basis.  There is currently a big movement in the south towards "bible based" churchs that only go by the literal bible, no interpretation allowed. 

I don't know if that helped but that's the little bit that I can contribute.

No Gods, Know Peace.


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NinjaTux wrote:

"There is currently a big movement in the south towards "bible based" churchs that only go by the literal bible, no interpretation allowed. "

 

My $0.02: I wonder how long it'll take someone to realize that "no interpretation allowed" is a punchline, not a procedure?

 

Conor


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There is nothing funnier

There is nothing funnier than some crazy back country church that starts cherry picking verses.  I know of one that took the verse saying that women should be quiet in church (as in they were talking too much) to mean they should not be talking at all.  In the entire building.  You could drive by before and after they held their services and there would always be a large group of women standing outside the front door.

No Gods, Know Peace.


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Jormungander wrote:As an

Jormungander wrote:

As an ex-Protestant here is how I understood it: The Catholic Church makes up whatever it wants. If the things it makes up aren't biblical then they do not care. For instance: the Catholic Church made up the existence of purgatory and then in February, 2006 says it no longer exists.

Technically they have Ecumenical Councils at the Vatican which make certain decrees... the justification here is that apparently these 'truths' were revealed through god.