A Non-Catholic Perspective


#1

I am amazed how misinformed people are, in my opinion, on what Luther stood for and the views Christian people have of the Pope outside of the Catholic Church.

Luther did not want to start his own church. He worked most of his adult life to show his church, the Catholic Church, where he felt they error on how they viewed and taught the Bible. He did not want people to use his name or follow him, he wanted people to read the bible themselves and make up their own minds. Yes, Luther was very passionate about his views, and voiced those views very strongly whether you agreed or not, but would you expect anything different. Just read this forum, people are very passionate on what they say and their opinions. The difference is you do not have the risk that someone will knock on you door and burn you at the stake for what you write. People pull small clips of Luther’s Works, that fill about 30 volumes, to say something negative about him, but if you have read his writings, you will see that a majority of the statements made about him are either false or taken out of content. Sound familiar; people have been using this tactic with the Bible to justify all sorts of evil things in the name of God. I feel Luther wrote certain things in a way that might have not been the best way of going about it, but he lived in a different time and place. If you really want to know, what Luther said, read Luther Works so you can find out the truth from the fiction.

Second, the main view about the Pope, in my circles, is that he is just a man that is a sinner just like the rest of us. He is no closer to God than any other man who is a Christian. We are all sinners, the Pope included, and to believe in a faith that has a cast system in Christ’s Church goes against the teachings of the Bible. I mean no disrespect and I am not trying to belittle the man’s works. There are many things to be proud of, but just like us, he is a sinner and needs God’s Grace and God’s promises just like us. Read all of Romans and I will quote Romans 3 10-12 as it is written:
There is no one just, not one,
There is no one who understands,
There is no one who seeks God.
All have gone astray; all alike are worthless;
There is not one who does good
[there is not] even one.
This is not taken out of context if you read Romans.
Then there is no need to pray to the Pope, Saints, Mary or anyone else. All have sinned, past and present, and fall short of the glory of God.


#2

Luther divided Christ’s Church by making his own Church. What authority did he had to separate? I think he was a very selfish man to break with Rome.

Luther did not want to start his own church. He worked most of his adult life to show his church, the Catholic Church, where he felt they error on how they viewed and taught the Bible. He did not want people to use his name or follow him, he wanted people to read the bible themselves and make up their own minds.

Luther who did not think the Epistle of James was as authentic as other Scripture, or that he put the 7 Deutrocanonical Text in his appendix and annotated his own notes.

He did encourage people to read but only his translation of the Bible.

Yes, Luther was very passionate about his views, and voiced those views very strongly whether you agreed or not, but would you expect anything different. Just read this forum, people are very passionate on what they say and their opinions. The difference is you do not have the risk that someone will knock on you door and burn you at the stake for what you write. People pull small clips of Luther’s Works, that fill about 30 volumes, to say something negative about him, but if you have read his writings, you will see that a majority of the statements made about him are either false or taken out of content. Sound familiar; people have been using this tactic with the Bible to justify all sorts of evil things in the name of God. I feel Luther wrote certain things in a way that might have not been the best way of going about it, but he lived in a different time and place. If you really want to know, what Luther said, read Luther Works so you can find out the truth from the fiction.

Luther was selfish man no more of a sinner than the next man, I say.

Second, the main view about the Pope, in my circles, is that he is just a man that is a sinner just like the rest of us. He is no closer to God than any other man who is a Christian. We are all sinners, the Pope included, and to believe in a faith that has a cast system in Christ’s Church goes against the teachings of the Bible. I mean no disrespect and I am not trying to belittle the man’s works. There are many things to be proud of, but just like us, he is a sinner and needs God’s Grace and God’s promises just like us. Read all of Romans and I will quote Romans 3 10-12 as it is written:
There is no one just, not one,
There is no one who understands,
There is no one who seeks God.
All have gone astray; all alike are worthless;
There is not one who does good
[there is not] even one.
This is not taken out of context if you read Romans.
Then there is no need to pray to the Pope, Saints, Mary or anyone else. All have sinned, past and present, and fall short of the glory of God.

Oh how many times have I seen Non-Catholic Christians quoted this passage from Romans 3:10-12.

No one hear prays to the Living Pope Benedict XVI. He does pray for his flock because he is the shepard of his Christ’s people.

The only difference with a Protestant and Catholic is this. There is no sense total community with the Entire Family of God in Protestantism. To them it is Only God.

In Catholicism, we see a total community in both corporal and spiritual realm.

How? We have the Communion of Saints. The Church in the eyes of a Catholic sees the Church as family of the saints on earth, that us aka Church Militant, Church Suffering (Purgatory, those who died in the grace of God but are not perfect and must be purge from their sins, and finally Church Triumphant, whose saints in heaven.

We can ask saints pray for us, the same way, we ask one another to pray for each other. We are surrounded by a Cloud of Witnesses, and we also see in the Book of Revelations that the angels offer the prayers of the saints to God. So why are angels offering prayers of the saints? Surely, these saints must be aware that they can hear our prayers.

I also like to point out. How we know saints can hear us. Jesus in his transfigured prayed first and them Elijah and Moses appeared. Okay, they would not have not come had not Jesus prayed.

Praying to saints does exclude God period. Catholic Church doctrine does not teach that saints can save. These saints in heaven have beeen santified by the Blood of the Lamb so they are closer to God than you.

Second, the Pope is a sinner. He is impeccable. He is only infallible when he teaches moral and faith. Nothing more.

You made your points but it is very clear you pretty don’t know much about Catholic Church doctrine.


#3

Manny I think you meant the Pope is not impeccable.


#4

Once again you quote Luther out of context
He never tried to establish a church he tried to bring the Catholic Church back to what he felt was the Bibles true teachings.
Yes he doubted James, but we are all doubt as sinners and fall short.
He translated the Bible so the people could read it themselves. Was it a perfect translation only God knows that.
You are correct in that you are right I never said that I knew all of Catholic doctrine, but I will disagree with the statement the Pope is infallible when he teaches moral and faith because he is a sinner


#5

Like many, he was used by those who had political agendas. Many of the royal families in Europe wanted to split from the Church so that they had more power. The Reformation gave them this opportunity.

There were many reformers in the Church over the centuries who were not burned at the stake. There has always been a mechanism in the Catholic Church for raising different opinions and for opening discussions. Martin Luther refused to follow the process.
There is no reason why the Catholic Church should change on a dime because one man raises some questions and decides that he is the only one who knows how to interpret the Bible and what the faith should be like. Such things take time and are open to peer discussions and reviews.
There are some things, for example his descriptions of what indulgences are and the Church’s doctrine on indulgences that were not true even in his day. He was a monk and a priest, he knew this. But that did not stop him from misrepresenting the Church’s doctrine in his 95 Thesis and other things. Any good intentions he had were over shadowed by the trouble caused by the misrepresentations that he insisted on.

I have not read all that he wrote. I agree with some of what he wrote and disagree with some of it. I do find that the things he wrote about Jews were despicable and horrific. I find it sort of amusing that you state that he could not speak his mind because of the inquisition… but then he was a stanch believer in burning all witches and Jews. So it seems that he only believed that those who agreed with him were entitled to freedoms of conscience???


#6

Amazing, then your circles agree with the doctrine of the Catholic Church.

I can assure you that the Pope is closer to God then I am. Pius would be a better word to use here. He is a much more spiritual person then I will ever be as he’s dedicated his life to the Church.

The Catholic Church does not have a cast system. A cast system implies that a person cannot achieve a level of priesthood that they strive to simply because of who they are or the cast into which they were born. Any man can become a priest as long as the do the work required. Any priest can strive to become a bishop. Bishops can strive to become Cardinals. Cardinals vote in the Pope. The Catholic Church has a structure that is required for an organization that has about 1.4 billion members, runs the largest network of Churches on earth, runs the largest education system on earth, and runs the largest social services organization on earth.
Please do tell me how we would accomplish this without a hierarchy?

Again the Catholic Church’s doctrine states that he is a man who sins just like the rest of us and hence needs God‘ Grace and premises like anyone else. I don’t know where you get the idea that we believe anything else.

Have you ever asked a friend to pray for you when you are a difficulty in your life? Do they do this? Are you friends sinners just like you, but you ask them to pray for you just the same?
Sometimes, when we pray, we will ask Mary or the Saints to also pray for us, just as you might ask your friends to do.
WE NEVER PRAY TO THE POPE. Where on earth do you get this idea from?


#7

Luther was not seeking to ‘bring the Catholic Church back to what he felt was the Bibles true teachings.’ Why? Because one cannot being anything ‘back’ to a state it has never been at. The Catholic Church’s doctrine comes from the teachings of the early church fathers. Apparently Luther was so impressed with himself that he thought he knew more than the early church fathers. Luther wanted to change the Church to reflect his personal view. The Church does not change on a dime for based the opinion of one man.

And you know that this translations was perfect how? Did God Himself tell you?

Didn’t God say that he would ensure that His message survived and was known? It is this that we speak of when we say that the Pope in infallible in matters of doctrine, faith and morals.
You are a sinner, do you believe that you are wrong in the things you believe? Tell us where you are wrong in your beliefs.


#8

Mannyfit75 did not quote Luther at all, so he obviously did not quote him out of context.


#9

This is a quote from The Apostles’ Creed that we use to confess our Faith
I believe in the Holy Spirit,
the holy Christian Church,
the communion of saints,
the forgiveness of sins,
the resurrection of the body,
and the life everlasting. Amen.
In my last replyI did not fully state Luther and the Church. Luther in a few of his writing was very forward that he did not want people to follow him, his goal was to have people read the Bible and see the truth. He translated the Bible from the Bible the Catholic Church at the time was using. Luther was a Catholic monk and was trained by the Catholic Church to teach the Bible. He had a very good working knowledge of the Bible the Catholic Church was using at the time. If you think we hold him up as a leader of our Church you are wrong, Christ is the head of the Church.


#10

It is very pointless to call me a sinner and say prove your belielfs because we our all sinners and the same could be said to you, the Pope, and Luther. Yes I’m a sinner and with the Grace of God and my belief in Jesus Christ and his gift of Salvation I to will have eternal life. I have read the Bible that the Catholic Chuch uses and the NIV and you know what, there in not a difference. It is how it is put into practice. God is infallible in the matters of Faith,Doctrine, and Morals not the Pope. So I do not have to prove my belielfs because God has already given us that promise of proof and it is called the Bible.
I will repeat Luther is a sinner and not all that he has done it right. We do not believe in Luther or any thing he says. We believe in the Bible and only the Bible not any Man.


#11

I never said Luther did not speal his mind. He did speak his mind sometime to his own demise and that was my point. You our right that the Church should not change on a dime. We all make mistakes in life and the letter about Jews was one of those no question about it!


#12

We are all given different gifts and we each use those God given gift to the good of our Lord. This does not make us closer to God.

I would have to say the any Church should not boast of its good works. All glory is to God in anything we do. Yes the Catholic Church has done good in this world but it is not your works but Gods work. Give the glory to who deserves it, you accomplish it because of GOD!


#13

The question is not pointless. You have said that the Pope is not right about the doctrine of the Catholic Church because he is a sinner. So this must mean that you also cannot be right about your beliefs since you too are a sinner. Or is there something that makes you sure that what you believe is right?

There most likely is a difference between the Bible that the Catholic Church uses and the one you use… the CC generally has more books then the Protestant bibles. Other then that you are right, the Catholic Church did a good job of deciding which books belong in the Bible didn’t it? This was of course due to God’s promise that the word would be protected. This promise has to include the promise that God will ensure that we have the correct interpretation of the word.
What really bothers me is that there are thousands of interpretations… no one sect of Christianity interprets scripture in the same way. And there are thousands of sects. I’ve put a lot of thought into this… how do I know what the correct interpretation is? The more I study the more I agree with the Catholic Church. I believe that God protects the doctrine of the Catholic Church. It has been pretty stable for about 2000 years. The doctrine of the thousands of Protestant sects is fairly new by comparison and they just do not agree anyway. I do not believe that God would allow the doctrine of the largest body of his followers to be wrong for over 1500 years until Martin Luther suddenly had a new thought. Makes no sense to me at all.

Catholics also believe in the Bible and not believe in any MAN… so I guess we have one more thing in common.
I am getting the impression that you think that Catholics ‘believe in’ and/or worship the Pope. We don’t. If you’ve been told this, then you have been told a untruth. He’s just a very learned theologian, our head priest. That’s all.


#14

I do not think you worship the Pope. Yes I have a Catholic Bible and again it is the same interpretation as the Bible I use in my Church. I agree that my Churches have splittered and have gone off the deep in. I belong to a WELS Lutheran Church which is, if not the most, conservative Lutheran Church you will find.
I feel my Church uses the Bible as its take on what doctrine should be and no the Pope. If the Pope only uses the Bible to set doctrine then you are correct one must be wrong and that will be left up to the person to decide. Here is what one of my Pastors wrote to the differences of the WELS Churchand Catholic. If any think is of error please correct me.

The two main differences are that Lutherans believe that only the "Bible is the ruling authority in the church. The Catholic church teaches that both the Bible and tradition as taught by the teaching authority of the church under the headship of the pope are authority in the church. Lutherans believe that the only source of forgiveness of sins is the grace of God which is received through faith alone. The Catholic church believes that salvation is through faith and works.

Other Catholic beliefs which we do not accept are the authority of the pope to make additional laws such as: no meat on Fridays, meat on Fridays, forbidding priests to marry, depriving innocent victims of divorce of communion if they remarry, etc. We also do not accept teachings that are not in the Bible such as purgatory, prayers to Mary and the saints etc.

We practice many of the things the Catholic church practices such as confirmation, ordination, confession of sins, etc, but we use them as good traditions, not as sacraments on the same level as the Lord’s Supper and baptism. Lutheran worship is similar to Catholic worship since, when the Lutherans were kicked out of the Catholic church, they kept the good traditions of the church and removed only the non-biblical ones.


#15

When I say that the pope is closer to God (speaking generically about all popes) what I mean is that the office of the pope (not the man himself) is used by God to ensure that His flock does not loose its way. We are promised by God that He will guide us. In the Catholic Church God uses the pope to for this purpose.
As for the individual men who are Popes. My earlier statement was made with the thought of Pope John Paul II and the current Pope Benedict. These two men are remarkable men of God. I have no doubt that they are closer to God then I am.
There were past popes, who on the other hand were not men of the same calber.
IN the same light… to try to explain more of what I mean… I have a neighbor, a Baptist, who is remarkable in her faith and in her actions. We are close friends. I have no doubt that she is closer to God then I will ever be.

Unbelievable. First you use the hierarchy of the Catholic Church to try to show that it is a false Church.
Then when I explain that we do not have a cast system and why we need the hierarchy, you twist things and basically accuse me of boasting and taking credit for God’s work. You are right that the Catholic Church is doing God’s work The Catholic Church has been doing this work for 2000 years, all funded by the contributions of its members, seldom asking for any reimbursement. We do it because we truly believe that this is what God wants us to do. We are blessed to be able to do it. We are blessed to have had Popes who have understood what God wanted from us and who knew how to make it happen.


#16

Luke 5
8 Which when Simon Peter saw, he fell down at Jesus’ knees, saying: Depart from me, for I am a sinful man, O Lord.

Peter was either Infallible in Faith or Morals or he was not. But in either case he was certainly a Sinful man.
If he was, then being a Sinful man had not a thing to do with that infallibility.

He was also given some pretty serious orders to FEED/Rule Christ’s sheep/lambs.
IF you are of God’s sheep or lambs then you must be ruled by Peter.
Now given that Peter wrote 2 brief Epistles (one of them can’t be proven with certainty) is in no way adequate for the entire instruction or ruling for the Faith to the sheep/lambs.
There must be something else to it.


#17

The cast system might have been the wrong way for me to express it, but it would take to long to explain it the way I meant it. So I will agree that the way you state it you are correct it is not a cast system. I did not twist your words one bit, but I can see the point you were trying to make with your statement.


#18

I think some history of Peter is a better answer than I can give.
God inspired Peter to write the Bible, the rest of Peter’s life, that we know about, was a struggle like any other man.

At the time of Jesus’ passion, Peter is very visible. He helped prepare the Passover Feast, objected when Jesus wanted to wash his feet, insisted he would never fall away from Jesus, and slept while Jesus prayed at Gethsemane. He defended Jesus with the sword and then became very weak and denied Jesus. Later he repented, witnessed Jesus’ sufferings, ran to the open tomb Easter morning, and was the first of the disciples to whom Jesus showed himself alive. At the Sea of Galilee, Jesus reinstated Peter and told him to feed his “lambs” and “sheep.” From the Gospel accounts we can gather that Peter was naturally impulsive, that is, he was often quick to speak and act without first carefully thinking. We can also see that at times he was very self-confident and bold, and at other times weak and cowardly. Peter’s total humanness comes through clearly in the Gospels. Jesus took this totally human man and made him into one of the “pillars” in His church, as we see in the first 12 chapters of Acts


#19

The above is only partially correct. Let’s see if I can explain
The Catholic Church believes that the doctrine of the Church is based on the Sacred Scriptures (the Bible) and the Sacred Traditions. These are taught to the flock based on the Living Magisterial (teaching authority). The Bible does support both the use of sacred traditions and the magisterial. (I don’t have time right now to collect all the verses that support these. I’ll try to get them over the next few days if no one else jumps in here.)
**The Bible: **The canonical list of sacred books, and their contents, accepted by the Catholic Church are those as contained in the old Latin Vulgate edition.
**Sacred Traditions: **There is a variety of sources for knowledge of Sacred Tradition, taught by the Church to be originally passed from the apostles in the form of oral tradition. Many of the writings of the early Church Fathers reflect teachings of Sacred Tradition, such as apostolic succession. These are not traditions that are made up by the Pope, they do not change over time. The bible does not claim to be everything that Jesus passed on to the apostles. The apostles taught their protégés many things. These were recorded by the Early Church Fathers (ECF). These documents are part of the sacred literature of the Catholic and Orthodox Churches.
**Magisterium: **The Sacred Magisterium consists of only all the infallible teachings of the Church. (Infallible meaning the ones that God promised He would protect.)
en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Magisterium#Sacred_Magisterium
en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Magisterium

The bible clearly states that both faith and works count… one more thing I’ll have to find the biblical support for.

I believe that in the Catholic Church the Priests have the authorities of the Rabbis. It might make sense that the Lutherans and other protestants lost this connection to Judaism, the basis of Christianity as the founders of Protestantism had no connection at all to Judaism… that link was lost.
This goes back to Sacred Traditions that stemmed from the Old Testament. Recall that Jesus was a Rabi are were many, if not all, of the apostles. So they of course continued being Rabbis. The no meat on Friday is a form of fast. “Fasting implying abstinence was ordained by law for the Day of Atonement (Leviticus 16:29 sq.). The ceremony incident to this feast was observed by the Jews on the fifth day before the feast of Tabernacles.” newadvent.org/cathen/01067a.htm


#20

This is a discipline. There is some biblical support for it. Can be discussed more in time.

If a person is an innocent victim of divorce they can get an annulment. There is definitely biblical support for no, or only very limited, divorce or annulment. Note that divorce is a civil action. Annulment is the religious way of taking care of it.

There is biblical support for all of this. Another topic for discussion.

Some of this is Biblical, the others are from Sacred Tradition. These are things that the Protestant Churches lost either by misinterpreting the Bible or by throwing out the Sacred Traditions. What that tells me is that the founders of the reformation believed that they knew more about what Jesus and the apostles taught then the Early Church Fathers did. Luther was known for being arrogant. That he thought he knew more about this then the ECF’s shows it.
I would have liked to give you the biblical support for the things you say that the Lutherans do not do because they believe they are non-biblical. It’s all there.

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This is a discipline. There is some biblical support for it. Can be discussed more in time.

If a person is an innocent victim of divorce they can get an annulment. There is definitely biblical support for no, or only very limited, divorce or annulment. Note that divorce is a civil action. Annulment is the religious way of taking care of it.

There is biblical support for all of this. Another topic for discussion.

Some of this is Biblical, the others are from Sacred Tradition. These are things that the Protestant Churches lost either by misinterpreting the Bible or by throwing out the Sacred Traditions. What that tells me is that the founders of the reformation believed that they knew more about what Jesus and the apostles taught then the Early Church Fathers did. Luther was known for being arrogant. That he thought he knew more about this then the ECF’s shows it.

I would have liked to give you the biblical support for the things you say that the Lutherans do not do because they believe they are non-biblical. It’s all there.

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