As a Protestant how can I take the Catholic Church seriously when the majority of Catholics don't believe in what the Church teaches?


#1

As a Protestant how can I take the Catholic Church seriously when the majority of Catholics don’t believe in what the Church teaches? Why are theses Catholics allowed to remain in the Church? I’ll tell you why… it’s because the Catholic Church is really made up of numerous churches… not just one. You are no different from the 30,000 Protestant denominations that you claim we have. Contrast this with various Protestants who differ in their beliefs and break alway to form new churches. In other words Protestants are more honest in their beliefs and don’t try to hide under a veneer of unity. Also when Protestant churches break up it usually separates the tares from the wheat so to a certain extent it is a purification process.


#2

Nancie:

I believe St. Augustine’s words apply to Protestants and Catholics alike:

In essentials, unity. In non-essentials, liberty. In all things, love.

Don’t you agree?


#3

Nancy,

I tend to agree with Socrates above, but let me ask you this: How can you take much of what the Bible says seriously? It started with Adam & Eve attempting to hide their feelings from God. Does this imply that God shouldn’t be taken seriously? No, of course not.

1st of all, stating most catholics don’t adhere to Church teachings is like saying most of humanity doesn’t adhere to God and you argue that because the followers don’t agree than that invalidates the teaching… It just doesn’t make any logical sense.

It’s almost like saying, don’t bother teaching your kids to look both ways before crossing the road if they choose to do what they want.

Secondly, you make the claim that “most” catholics don’t believe what the Church teaches. Is this fact or is it a media-hype with an ulterior motive?

Thirdly, as to your claim that protestants are more honest about their beliefs? Ummm…weren’t the religious caste of Israel also “honest” about their beliefs when Jesus was preaching? Jesus accepted the most vile of society and warned condemnation on the self-righteous.

The whole story of the Gospels is that human beings are incapable of heaven on their own, but need God, Jesus and the Holy Spirit (i.e. Teachings…) regardless of our individual acceptance of them.

It is our individual responsiblity to follow and it is not the culmination of contradictory beliefs that invalidates the teaching.

Just my thoughts…

SG


#4

Yet scripture tells us to leave the weeds and wheat together until the day of harvest.

Seems like the reason the Catholic Church “allows” them to remain is because we follow what scripture says:)

:bible1: Matthew 13:25-30
25] but while men were sleeping, his enemy came and sowed weeds among the wheat, and went away.
26] So when the plants came up and bore grain, then the weeds appeared also.
27] And the servants of the householder came and said to him, Sir, did you not sow good seed in your field? How then has it weeds?' **28**] He said to them,An enemy has done this.’ The servants said to him, Then do you want us to go and gather them?' **29**] But he said,No; lest in gathering the weeds you root up the wheat along with them.
30] Let both grow together until the harvest; and at harvest time I will tell the reapers, Gather the weeds first and bind them in bundles to be burned, but gather the wheat into my barn.’"

One church with weeds and wheat growing together as scripture tells us to.


#5

Let me see if I understand you correctly. The Catholic Church cannot be the Church of Jesus Christ and its teaching cannot be true because you know Catholics who do not accept the teaching. Is that what you are trying to say?

As for taking the Church seriously, it sounds like you already do since you frame the question as you have. The difference between 30,000 denominations and the Catholic Church is that the Catholic Church actually HAS a body of doctrine and discipline so that even if I, as an individual, try to teach something else, the official position of the Church does not change. We do not establish our validity according to personal preference or majority vote.

As MariaG says: “wheat and tares.” Also consider that not throwing people out allows for Paul’s admonition in the epistle to the Romans that God is patient and forbearing, and that his kindness is meant to lead people to repentance.


#6

Hi Nancie,


#7

And yet if I said “What does the Catholic Church teach”, you would know what church I’m talking about and where to go to find their teachings. If I said what do protestants teach, you would look at me dumbfounded. Even if you said, we’ll narrow it down a little to the baptist church. You would still have to call each and every one on each street corner to see what they teach. Also, when the elders of that church die and new elders take over the teachings also change as time goes on.


#8

I disagree that the “majority of Catholics don’t believe what the Church teaches”. This is an unsubstantiated claim.

Christ wants **all **to come to Salvation. Those who are sinners are not outside the Kingdom. They are given the opportunity to repent and seek reconciliation. The Church has formal juridical processes to deal with those who publically teach in error.

The Church remains unified in Doctrine, despite your erroneous understanding of unity and of doctrine.

Your manner is offensive and your words uncharitable. You’ve set yourself up as judge and jury over other Christians. That’s unbiblical. You don’t get to decide who the sheep and goats or the wheat and the tares are, Christ does. The Bible says the wheat and the tares grow *together *unti the end of time. And, it is Christ who will separate them-- not you.

I’m happy to shake the dust off my sandals in your case, as in previous threads you have shown you are not interested in discussion but only in throwing unsubstantiated claims out without discourse.


#9

Substantive proof Nancie? Though the other answers you have received are good, they allow you a rash generalization that I will not.

Have you polled all Catholics? If not then your allegation is unsubstantiated biased propaganda, isn’t it…

Why are theses Catholics allowed to remain in the Church? I’ll tell you why… it’s because the Catholic Church is really made up of numerous churches… not just one.

Bunk. You wish. The problem for you is that though some may doubt or even dissent (and I have no reason to accept your rash generalization of “the majority of Catholics”!) that does not change the reality of the one authority of the Church, nor in any way indict the truth of what the Church teaches.

You are no different from the 30,000 Protestant denominations that you claim we have. Contrast this with various Protestants who differ in their beliefs and break alway to form new churches. In other words Protestants are more honest in their beliefs and don’t try to hide under a veneer of unity. Also when Protestant churches break up it usually separates the tares from the wheat so to a certain extent it is a purification process.

Again…this is prejudiced rhetorical bunkum. Having been a member of a couple of different n-C churches, one of which did indeed open its own church because a particular family wanted control. Later as a deacon, I discovered just how corrupt and messed up their practices and thinking was and my family and I left.

If there was a separation of the wheat and tares…which is in fact the task of the Lord Himself and not any of us here on Earth, then I have not seen it. You mistakenly assert that such divisions are spiritual in nature when in fact that is not the case. This is just another rash generalization on your part.

More honest? How can my Catholic brothers and sisters and I take you and the myriad n-C churches seriously when there is no authority, and no unity, even in essentials, which despite your rosy portrayal really does not exist, and I think you know that.

How can a protestant take the Church seriously? The same way they have for the last 500 years…recognizing that they have departed from the original New Testament Church and formed new “churches” based upon the fundamental doctrinal errors of Sola Scriptura and Sola Fide.

When you resolve the errors that you have based your beliefs upon, then perhaps you can recognize the truths that you have denied for so long.
Pax tecum,


#10

Don’t take yourself too seriously.:smiley:


#11

Eph.4

1] I therefore, the prisoner of the Lord, beseech you that ye walk worthy of the vocation wherewith ye are called,
2] With all lowliness and meekness, with longsuffering, forbearing one another in love;
3] Endeavouring to keep the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace.
4] There is one body, and one Spirit, even as ye are called in one hope of your calling;
5] One Lord, one faith, one baptism,
6] One God and Father of all, who is above all, and through all, and in you all.


#12

OK. Let’s contrast Catholics who hold disparate opinions with Protestants who hold disparate opinions and who break away to form new churches.

There’s your difference. (I’m surprised you didn’t catch it.)

Protestants break away to form different churches.


#13

You being Protestant, how can you take Protestantism seriously with so much confusion and conflict?


#14

Sooner or later one has to wrangle with the fact there is such thing as Church teaching out there in the real world that can be consulted and various claims checked by it. As long as this is true, the multiple-Catholic demoninations argument is a turkey and indicates a position running out of wiggle room.


#15

Also when Protestant churches break up it usually separates the tares from the wheat so to a certain extent it is a purification process.

[quote]

Interesting statement! Who pray tell decides who are the tares and who are the wheat? I guess that is easily solved. The tares are the ones who disagree with one’s own personal belief and interpretation of Scripture. Makes life so easy because that way one can never be wrong.

[/quote]


#16

As a Protestant how can I take the Catholic Church seriously when the majority of Catholics don’t believe in what the Church teaches?

. . . .

for one thing, neither you nor I is in a position to make a declarative statement about what professed Catholics do or do not believe as individuals or aggregate. I would not dream of characterizing you, your co-religionists, or anyone who professes this or that denomination, so in courtesy refrain from doing so about other groups.

Protestants are more honest in their beliefs and don’t try to hide under a veneer of unity. Also when Protestant churches break up it usually separates the tares from the wheat so to a certain extent it is a purification process

.
Jesus did not tell us to periodically purify the Church by separating chaff from the wheat, he counselled unity above all things and that was his plea on the night before he died. You are quite right in your implication that those who break with Catholic belief and practice are themselves disrupting that unity, whatever their motives. We differ on judging the benefits of those disruptions.


#17

If you trust the teaching of Jesus regardless of who or how many follow Him–why would you trust or not trust the truth of the Catholic Church–regardless of who does or not follow them?

The number of followers or who those followers are does not certify the truth of the teachings or whether they should be trusted.

When are people ever going to understand that Truth Just Is–It isn’t what you want to believe–It Just Is!


#18

Nancie, I think you forget how many of us are converts from Prostetantism.

I state unequivocally that the vast majority of Protestants do not know what their particular denomination’s doctrine is aside from a handful of poorly-understood platitudes.

I attended a christening at a Methodist church recently where the acting pastor (who had yet to attend seminary) questioned in the sermon whether he was even Methodist himself, and admitted to attending a Lutheran service recently (i.e. while an acting Methodist pastor) considering conversion until he decided the Lutheran service was “too boring”.

With this type of clerical anarchy all-too-common among the doctrinal chaos that is modern Protestantism, how could it be otherwise?

You are holding the Catholic Church, one billion strong and global, to a standard of uniformity no Protestant church today meets.


#19

How could you possibly know this? And, what criteria do you use in determining which of the people involved in a given church split are wheat and which are tares?

And, what does this gospel passage say about who will do the separating of the wheat and tares? Hint: it ain’t Protesant church leaders and their decisions to split!


#20

Looks like the OP has gone into hiding as she has no response and no defence!


DISCLAIMER: The views and opinions expressed in these forums do not necessarily reflect those of Catholic Answers. For official apologetics resources please visit www.catholic.com.