A Question For Protestants regarding the Catholic Church...

So here’s the real question. If (for the sake of the argument) the Catholic Church is NOT the True Church:

  1. Which Protestant denomination is the True Church? Remember, the True Church is a physical church, not a spiritual fellowship of believers. James 5:14 pretty much says that the True Church is a real, physical church.

  2. Why would God allow the Catholic Church to be in error for 1500 years before correcting it? In the OT, God only allowed the Jews to be in error for a hundred years or so before sending Babylon/Assyria/Persia/etc… to ruin them and show them the Truth of God. Why would God allow the Catholic Church to be in error for 10x that amount of time?

The one, true, real physical church is St. James Baptist Church, Greensboro, NC. stjamesbaptistchurch.com/

So he can ruin them 10x as much.

Lemme guess, St. James Baptist Church is where you used to go before deciding to become Catholic. Welcome home!

Well, God didn’t exactly ruin the Catholic Church.

Nah I was just being facetious. This seemed to be one of those baiting threads so I decided to have a little fun with it. I come by way of the Episcopal Church. Glad to be home, thank you. :slight_smile:

I would be more concerned with what I say, think, write and do, than being a member of any specific “church”. It is written, that we will be judged by our every word/act/thought, etc. This judgement will be based on the Word of God, witnessed by Christ and The Holy Ghost, to see if our thoughts/words/actions in fact glorify God (The Word). He has no use for boasters, wolves in sheeps clothing, selfishness, hatred, betrayal, back-biters, etc., etc.

God loves those, that love Him, and His Word. He loves those that fear Him. He loves those, that do not take credit for the work that He has done, in order to save someone. He hates braggards. It is He, Himself, that has provided a ‘route’ for us, in order for us to receive salvation. Any who are the fortunate recipients of His gift of salvation, know that without God’s intervention in their lives, this gift would have been unattainable. It is the works of God, Himself, that allowed us (and directed us) to salvation. We are warned, that God respects no man, and despises ‘high-headedness’.

This forum is filled with high-headedness, none of which, glorifies God. :slight_smile:

Gabriel of 12;
Amen, as a Catholic I have all these things you claim to have and more this is not boasting it is giving God the glory for all He has done, and much much much more than you labeled here.

So? is your church the true church that worships the One triune God? how do you know this?
Because I have these blessings in my Catholic faith, just as you do, Do these blessings give me a license to go out and start up my own church to share what God has done in my life? Or do I search for the Church Jesus personally built upon Peter and his apostles? From his revealed Word?

Hello Grabriel of 12,
Just butting in…

I rather like Ephesians 4:11-16.
13 until we all reach unity in the faith and in the knowledge of the Son of God

I think Jesus bestowed a special blessing upon Peter in Matthew 16:18. However, I don’t believe the intent was to establish a power hierarchy and theocracy. So I take a broad view of what a church is. It’s us Christians unified in the knowledge of Jesus. It knows no denominational boundaries.

I over simplify by using WWJD. Would Jesus approve of how we worship and praise Him? Are we at risk of becoming too entrenched in doctrine such that we become Pharisees?

Share the blessings of your church and show people the wisdom and love. However, I would be careful in trying to squelch heresies by force. Remain meek and humble and allow Christ to reflect His truths through you.

Praise the RC church for its many wonderful ministries and scholarship! Thank you for this wonderful forum too. Amen.

-paul

“The most Holy Roman Church firmly believes, professes and preaches that **none of those existing outside the Catholic Church, not only pagans, but also Jews and heretics and schismatics, can have a share in life eternal; but that they will go into the eternal fire **which was prepared for the devil and his angels, unless before death they are joined with Her; and that so important is the unity of this ecclesiastical body that only those remaining within this unity can profit by the sacraments of the Church unto salvation, and they alone can receive an eternal recompense for their fasts, their almsgivings, their other works of Christian piety and the duties of a Christian soldier. No one, let his almsgiving be as great as it may, no one, even if he pour out his blood for the Name of Christ, can be saved, unless he remain within the bosom and the unity of the Catholic Church.”
(Pope Eugene IV, the Bull Cantate Domino, 1441.)

“We declare, say, define, and pronounce that it is absolutely necessary for the salvation of every human creature to be subject to the Roman Pontiff.”
(Pope Boniface VIII, the Bull Unam Sanctam, 1302.)

"There is but one universal Church of the faithful, outside which no one at all is saved.” (Pope Innocent III, Fourth Lateran Council, 1215)

I stumbled across this post in another thread. It made me sad to think that the divide between Christians was deeper than I thought. I will pray.

-paul

=TheWhoFreak;5371933]
2. Why would God allow the Catholic Church to be in error for 1500 years before correcting it? In the OT, God only allowed the Jews to be in error for a hundred years or so before sending Babylon/Assyria/Persia/etc… to ruin them and show them the Truth of God. Why would God allow the Catholic Church to be in error for 10x that amount of time?

First, I want to knock the strawman down. No one is claiming the Catholic Church had been in error for 1500 years (well, the Orthodox had claimed Rome to be in error for 500 years by the time Luther came along, but that’s another thread). Most of the errors the reformers complained about had been of a relatively recent development, except the ones we share with the East regarding the papacy.

So here’s the real question. If (for the sake of the argument) the Catholic Church is NOT the True Church:

  1. Which Protestant denomination is the True Church? Remember, the True Church is a physical church, not a spiritual fellowship of believers. James 5:14 pretty much says that the True Church is a real, physical church.

I believe there is one holy catholic and apostolic church, which is currently in schism and division. To the degree that the Bishop of Rome could be said to be first among equals among the patriarchs, it is possible to grant that a reunited church might just find its home there.

If, OTOH, the Catholic Church is the true church, does that not place greater responsibility on her and her members to work hard for reconciliation, in part by developing a loving, charitable relationship with “the separated brethren” and pursuing ecumenism? Just a thought.

Jon

Your response very blatantly tells me that you are in fact “high-headed”. Have a nice day. :slight_smile:

Amen, it is wonderful to see a Protestant who will call us Christian, let alone praise us for our efforts :thumbsup:

James 5:14 specifically mentions a church. It says to bring the sick before the church elders and have them pray over them. Now, if the True Church is just a spiritual fellowship of believers, it would be silly to go to each Christian and ask them to pray over a sick buddy. This illustrates 2 things.

  1. The Church is a real, physical place.
  2. The Church had power to anoint people and bestow God’s blessings upon them.

Paul, if the True Church is not one denomination, then how do we know what the True Church even is? Where in the Bible does it say that Christ’s Church will only be a spiritual fellowship of believers and not something more tangible? In 1 Timothy 3:15 it says that the Church is the pillar and bulwark of truth. This means that the Church would have to be a physical Church that had authority to teach, which brings me back to my first point. If the Catholic Church isn’t the True Church, what is?:confused:

I think church elders would have more experience in prayer and comforting - bring in the best when it’s serious. I don’t think it would silly to ask fellow Christians to pray for a sick buddy. I often see a call to prayer made to large number of believers.

This illustrates 2 things.

  1. The Church is a real, physical place.
  2. The Church had power to anoint people and bestow God’s blessings upon them.
  1. Ok, not fully convinced?
  2. Interesting that you use the word power. I think that is at the heart of the fallacy. Power, exerting control over others.

Paul, if the True Church is not one denomination, then how do we know what the True Church even is?
Where in the Bible does it say that Christ’s Church will only be a spiritual fellowship of believers and not something more tangible?
In 1 Timothy 3:15 it says that the Church is the pillar and bulwark of truth.
This means that the Church would have to be a physical Church that had authority to teach, which brings me back to my first point. If the Catholic Church isn’t the True Church, what is?:confused:

We do not need a hierarchy or power structure to have a church. We just need to be followers of God and let the Holy Spirit guide us.
Did Jesus yield to the Pharisees and established hierarchy or was his ministry more pastoral? I’m going with the Master on this one.

1Timothy 3:15 if I am delayed, you will know how people ought to conduct themselves in God’s household, which is the church of the living God, the pillar and foundation of the truth.
Yes, a church, my church, your church, any church should be God’s household and a pillar and foundation of truth.

As Christians we all have the authority to preach and minister.
Mark 16:15-18
Notice that it is not limited, but “will accompany those who believe”.

Eph. 1:19
All believers have access to His power.

I’m glad you posted this question. As I’ve come into contact with more Catholics, I’ve been seeking to understand this thought process.

God Bless You.

Then I will make it a chorus of 2. :slight_smile:

Jesus does not say we have the power to start our own churches. He says we have the power to perform miracles and such. He does not say we have the power to interpret Scripture, or exert authority over other believers. He reserves those authorities for his Church. A spiritual fellowship of believers alone cannot interpret scripture, because the fellowship is intangible and unorganized. A spiritual fellowship cannot exert authority over other believers because, as before, it is intangible. Only a physical church has this power. The True Church must be both spiritual and physical, so that the Faithful have something in which God’s power and authority are visible to the laymen. Which brings me, yet again, back to my first question.

I will add another question:

“Why do Protestants trust the Catholic Church with the definition of scripture, but not the interpretation?”

After all, we are the ones who compiled scripture in the first place. :thumbsup:

Thank you TheWhoFreak. We clearly disagree. I think this is at the heart of Protestantism - we empower and trust the lay person to do these things.
I will leave it to someone else to answer your first question.

God Bless You.

Even that “trust” is questionable. Protestants do not have all the same books in our canon. Also, there is a proliferation of translations which were done independently of the Catholic Church.

As far as interpretation, I am not so arrogant to think I get it right all the time, but with the help of the Holy Spirit, sometimes I am given wisdom and understanding. There are doctrines in the Catholic Church which I disagree with, and these disagreements stem from interpretation. Protestants trust that with the Holy Spirit, interpretation of scriptures can be done by the average lay person. This is Protestantism!

Your church has a treasure trove of historical documents. I am grateful that the Catholic Church has treated these things with such care. It would be fascinating to learn all the wonderful things kept in the Vatican. Thank you for preserving these things and occasionally making them available to non Catholics.

-paul

I’ll make it a chorus of 3. I have great respect for Catholicism.

As far as the original post - yet another Strawman erected at CAF. The Church wasn’t in error - the politicians and leaders in Saxony were the problem.

“I could while away the hours, conferrin’ with the flowers, consultin’ with the rain…”

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