Catholic and Protestant Beliefs


#1

I am wondering what we believe and why believe and how we believe certain things (both Catholics and Protestants alike) to get to a synopsis of where a bridge reconciling people of both beliefs can be built.

I am a protestant that admittedly comes across as Anti-Catholic at times and wants to change my attitude to love the people of the Church and know their beliefs…

This thread is NOT to try and convert anyone and is NOT to try and denounce anyone’s faith. I ask that anyone participate gives me the same respect.

Let us start at the beginning…

Adam and Eve…

Obviously, we know that Adam and Eve were created so that God could have companionship here…agree? In companionship they are also to glorify God as He is their creator. Can we assume that God wants this of all His children…to be in companionship and honor and worship Him? As descendants of humanity, I say yes.

Now we know that Adam and Eve both sinned after being deceived by the serpent…this caused a rift between God and mankind as all man was now to share in this evil called sin…

This means every man, woman and child are sinners by nature.

Does everyone agree so far?


#2

I agree.

I’m a protestant of 59 years studying to become Catholic. Long story. Anyway, I would suggest you get a copy of the Catholic Catechism–they are in paperback so you can get one for like $8. You may be surprised how much you agree with what you read. http://forums.catholic.com/images/icons/icon7.gif


#3

[quote=jpete79]I am wondering what we believe and why believe and how we believe certain things (both Catholics and Protestants alike) to get to a synopsis of where a bridge reconciling people of both beliefs can be built.

I am a protestant that admittedly comes across as Anti-Catholic at times and wants to change my attitude to love the people of the Church and know their beliefs…

This thread is NOT to try and convert anyone and is NOT to try and denounce anyone’s faith. I ask that anyone participate gives me the same respect.

Let us start at the beginning…

Adam and Eve…

Obviously, we know that Adam and Eve were created so that God could have companionship here…agree? In companionship they are also to glorify God as He is their creator. Can we assume that God wants this of all His children…to be in companionship and honor and worship Him? As descendants of humanity, I say yes.

Now we know that Adam and Eve both sinned after being deceived by the serpent…this caused a rift between God and mankind as all man was now to share in this evil called sin…

This means every man, woman and child are sinners by nature.

Does everyone agree so far?
[/quote]

Jpete, I am afraid to answer this. I don’t want you to think that I jump on everything you say. This might not be so much as a disagreement but a clarification.

Point 1: God made us because He loves us. He didn’t make us becuase He was lonely and needed companionship. For Him to be lonely would imply that God is not perfect without us. He was perfect before He created us and will be perfect for all eternity. But becuase He loves us He longs for us to love Him and be with Him for all eternity.

Point 2: God made Adam and Eve very good and in His image. This is our nature and it is very good and in His image. Unfortunately, the sin in the Garden resulted in all of the decendents of A&E to also be banished from the Garden into a world filled with sin. This removal from the Garden is such that we don’t have all the Graces necessary for us to avoid sin.

So the distinction is that we are very good and made in His image which makes our nature good. It is the loss of these Graces that diminish our capacity to avoid the sin in this world we have been banished too.


#4

its called original sin right?


#5

[quote=jpete79]I am wondering what we believe and why believe and how we believe certain things (both Catholics and Protestants alike) to get to a synopsis of where a bridge reconciling people of both beliefs can be built.
[/quote]

jpete79,

If you’re serious, there’s a book called the Handbook of Christian Apologetics by Peter Kreeft that you may be interested in. This book is written by a Catholic and from an ecumenical point of view (i.e., applicable to all Christians). It will point out the parts where we completely agree, and makes slight references to the points where we differ.

One thing is certain: there is much more which unites us than divides us.

John 17:21
That they all may be one; as thou, Father, art in me, and I in thee, that they also may be one in us: that the world may believe that thou hast sent me.

Yes, we should all be one.

God Bless,
RyanL


#6

Oh, and it would probably save you some time if you told us whether or not you agree with the Nicene Creed (link to a “reformed” site).

God Bless,
RyanL


#7

[quote=jpete79]I am wondering what we believe and why believe and how we believe certain things (both Catholics and Protestants alike) to get to a synopsis of where a bridge reconciling people of both beliefs can be built.

I am a protestant that admittedly comes across as Anti-Catholic at times and wants to change my attitude to love the people of the Church and know their beliefs…

This thread is NOT to try and convert anyone and is NOT to try and denounce anyone’s faith. I ask that anyone participate gives me the same respect.

Let us start at the beginning…

Adam and Eve…

Obviously, we know that Adam and Eve were created so that God could have companionship here…agree? In companionship they are also to glorify God as He is their creator. Can we assume that God wants this of all His children…to be in companionship and honor and worship Him? As descendants of humanity, I say yes.

Now we know that Adam and Eve both sinned after being deceived by the serpent…this caused a rift between God and mankind as all man was now to share in this evil called sin…

This means every man, woman and child are sinners by nature.

Does everyone agree so far?
[/quote]

I’m kind of curious…why do you come across anti-Catholic? Is there a particular reason?

I think it’s awesome that you want to change how you feel about Catholics…I guess before you can do that you have to tell us exactly how you feel first? I mean…it’s kinda silly to go verse by verse and chapter by chapter through the Bible to try to find similarities in our beliefs. It won’t really work you see? Catholics believe in so much more than just what was written down. Christ and the Apostles did tons of other things that aren’t written down. It’s going to be difficult to try to find common ground with just the Bible. I guess you can just ask where Protestants and Catholics agree on things in the Bible…but even that’s hard. Catholics (all of us) believe the same thing about the Bible and certain passages. Protestants don’t. It’s hard to build a bridge to millions and millions of different locations. Isn’t it? We can find common ground with YOU but not Protestants as a whole. See what I mean?

I’m glad you aren’t trying to convert us…I can’t speak for others, but for me I wouldn’t even consider conversion anyway. But that’s nice to know.

I don’t think it’s a good idea to just go verse by verse through the Bible and ask what we agree…this thread would get 6,000,000 pages long and would probably get tiring. My best suggestion to you is: if you want to learn the Catholic faith (even if it’s just for your edification) get a copy of the Catechism and a copy of a Catholic Bible (I like the NAB) and read through the footnotes. If you have particular questions, fire away. Any of us can try to help. I don’t know how much of a help I personally will be, but I might be of some. I enjoy defending my faith (even if it is not being attacked) because it makes me understand it more.

It’s funny, well not funny I guess…but the more I talk to protestants the more I dig into the Catholic Church’s history to find answers and the more things make sense and the easier it is to believe. It’s amazing!


#8

No. We are not sinners “by nature”. All creation is good, including our nature, including the nature of devils.

However, our free will can choose a lesser good and decide to make it more important than God, Who is the source of all good. By this selfish and foolish choice, we cause all sorts of harm to ourselves and others. But we can at any time during our life on earth change our choice (repent). Obviously, devils can no longer change; they remain in the malice of their will forever - but their nature is still good, otherwise it wouldn’t work or even exist.

hurst


#9

[quote=Orionthehunter]Jpete, I am afraid to answer this. I don’t want you to think that I jump on everything you say. This might not be so much as a disagreement but a clarification.

Point 1: God made us because He loves us. He didn’t make us becuase He was lonely and needed companionship. For Him to be lonely would imply that God is not perfect without us. He was perfect before He created us and will be perfect for all eternity. But becuase He loves us He longs for us to love Him and be with Him for all eternity.

Point 2: God made Adam and Eve very good and in His image. This is our nature and it is very good and in His image. Unfortunately, the sin in the Garden resulted in all of the decendents of A&E to also be banished from the Garden into a world filled with sin. This removal from the Garden is such that we don’t have all the Graces necessary for us to avoid sin.

So the distinction is that we are very good and made in His image which makes our nature good. It is the loss of these Graces that diminish our capacity to avoid the sin in this world we have been banished too.
[/quote]

First off, I don’t feel you are jumping on me for anything…

Now:
Point 1: I agree God was perfect before He made us. I agree that in no way did He need us but He desired companionship with us (would that be a better way of putting it)…

“But becuase He loves us He longs for us to love Him and be with Him for all eternity.”

That is the point I was making with it

Point 2: I agree with as well as I think my wording again may have been different but essentially was what I was getting at…

After commenting with what others wrote I will go into my next phase of thinking…


#10

First, trust me in that I will not go verse for verse…I am trying to just keep things simple (the discussion may or may not stay that way)…

Second, I grew up Catholic (but my family really wasn’t practicing Catholics)…I did receive the Sacraments (through Confirmation) but I didnt’ receive any of them for any reason other than family made me do it. It was not because of any desire to learn about God or any desire to learn about tradition…it was because I was forced to (as are most people in my area)…

When I was about 13 my mom, started to believe in other things. She got a Bible for herself and started attending a Church that my friend’s family goes to. She grew up Catholic and was very against many practices and how the Church went about the practices. The reason she continued to let me receive Sacraments was all for my dad’s good.

Now, my parents went through a tough period and while it was my dad who was considering divorce it was my mom who decided against it due to her newfound belief and counseling from a Christian against divorce (for Biblical purposes)…

After being Confirmed I no longer attended Church (I never had an interest to in the first place). During high-school I started attending my mom’s Church and their Youth Group with my friend. I learned about God, relationships, how He loves me, etc. I never made any commitments though I started to realize that it was more than just a me-Church relationship and said that I believe in something (though I didn’t act on those beliefs).

After high-school and college I got into plenty of trouble with both drinking and drugs (again I had a “belief” but never had a true faith). I had many issues going on that put me into a state of depression. After starting to go to Church again because there was a seed in my heart longing for something more; a void longing to be filled, I started to believe that God really does love me. I am a sinner before His throne, who should have no access to Him and yet, He gives me access through Jesus Christ. He showed me that and I began to establish a relationship with Him.

It was only after 9/11 and after a family friend committed suicide (his life was very much on the same path as mine just a year or two earlier) that I decided life was meant to be lived with a Godful purpose. Not just edifying my relationship with Him but living a life loving others just as God loves us. Again, whether talking to Muslims, Jews or atheists; my view is never to talk or live in light of attempting to convert them but to live my life in holiness so that they may see a difference in me; so the Spirit can act in them as it once did in me when I was living with a void in my heart.

With Catholics, I am even a little more different because they do believe in Christ. As far as being anti-Catholic, due to family experience, past Church events (although the Protestant Church is guilty of many bad things themselves) and just my boldness; I do come off anti-Catholic though not meaning to…


#11

[quote=hurst]No. We are not sinners “by nature”. All creation is good, including our nature, including the nature of devils.

However, our free will can choose a lesser good and decide to make it more important than God, Who is the source of all good. By this selfish and foolish choice, we cause all sorts of harm to ourselves and others. But we can at any time during our life on earth change our choice (repent). Obviously, devils can no longer change; they remain in the malice of their will forever - but their nature is still good, otherwise it wouldn’t work or even exist.

hurst
[/quote]

Fair enough…I can accept this answer as well as it was only a semantical error or two in my original post (like by Nature) or coming off like God would be lonely without us…


#12

[quote=jpete79]First off, I don’t feel you are jumping on me for anything…

Now:
Point 1: I agree God was perfect before He made us. I agree that in no way did He need us but He desired companionship with us (would that be a better way of putting it)…

“But becuase He loves us He longs for us to love Him and be with Him for all eternity.”

That is the point I was making with it

Point 2: I agree with as well as I think my wording again may have been different but essentially was what I was getting at…

After commenting with what others wrote I will go into my next phase of thinking…
[/quote]

OK,

So we agree that there is a barrier that stands between all man and God and that barrier is called sin. That barrier also is what keeps us from eternal life with God. Adam and Eve were meant to be with God forever. The only way that they would surely die would be to eat of the Tree of Knowledge…they turned their back and ate off of that tree.

Now would it be safe to assume that God still wants to be with us (and us with Him) forever as He did in the Garden? If this is the case how can we overcome the barrier to sin? God gives us a way to overcome that barrier through Jesus Christ, His own Son…

Are we still in agreement?


#13

I’ll refrain from using the “quote” option this time.

But one thing that concerns me (and this may take the discussion in a new direction) is this:

You obviously (or at least appear to) believe in Christ. You said that you try to live like him, offer the Word to people who ask and don’t try to convert, but just offer what you feel to be the Truth. Correct?

The reason that is a concern to me is because it’s hard for me, and please don’t take this as an attack on you personally (or try not to), to believe that you know the Truth. I think that you know part of it, but I think that a large part of it is missing in Protestant faiths.

I have to say that the first thing you might notice about me when I post to you and others is that I wouldn’t try to convert either. Like you, I simply want to offer the truth and am willing to attempt to justify the Truth to you using the few bridges we have between us. But understand we believe different things.

I’m curious if you believe in anything that the Catholic Church does that is not strictly written in the Bible? If so, where does that belief come from?


#14

[quote=jpete79]OK,

So we agree that there is a barrier that stands between all man and God and that barrier is called sin. That barrier also is what keeps us from eternal life with God. Adam and Eve were meant to be with God forever. The only way that they would surely die would be to eat of the Tree of Knowledge…they turned their back and ate off of that tree.

Now would it be safe to assume that God still wants to be with us (and us with Him) forever as He did in the Garden? If this is the case how can we overcome the barrier to sin? God gives us a way to overcome that barrier through Jesus Christ, His own Son…

Are we still in agreement?
[/quote]

I believe that Christ died to give us a path to God. My assumption is that you believe the same?


#15

[quote=jpete79]OK,

So we agree that there is a barrier that stands between all man and God and that barrier is called sin. That barrier also is what keeps us from eternal life with God. Adam and Eve were meant to be with God forever. The only way that they would surely die would be to eat of the Tree of Knowledge…they turned their back and ate off of that tree.

Now would it be safe to assume that God still wants to be with us (and us with Him) forever as He did in the Garden? If this is the case how can we overcome the barrier to sin? God gives us a way to overcome that barrier through Jesus Christ, His own Son…

Are we still in agreement?
[/quote]

Yes.

I want to back up to the original “misunderstanding” regardin A&E. I hope this helps you appreciate how the use of improper words can lead to “false teaching”. Similarly, taking Bible quotes out of context or without the proper understanding of the full context can lead to “false teaching.” The Magisterium is who guides us from taking things out of context or gives us the proper understanding of the full context. Without the clarity of the Magisterium, we are prone to make the types of mistakes that started this thread.


#16

[quote=zachattack05]I’ll refrain from using the “quote” option this time.

But one thing that concerns me (and this may take the discussion in a new direction) is this:

You obviously (or at least appear to) believe in Christ. You said that you try to live like him, offer the Word to people who ask and don’t try to convert, but just offer what you feel to be the Truth. Correct?

The reason that is a concern to me is because it’s hard for me, and please don’t take this as an attack on you personally (or try not to), to believe that you know the Truth. I think that you know part of it, but I think that a large part of it is missing in Protestant faiths.

I have to say that the first thing you might notice about me when I post to you and others is that I wouldn’t try to convert either. Like you, I simply want to offer the truth and am willing to attempt to justify the Truth to you using the few bridges we have between us. But understand we believe different things.

I’m curious if you believe in anything that the Catholic Church does that is not strictly written in the Bible? If so, where does that belief come from?
[/quote]

Zack:

I’m not taking it as an attack. You ask about what I feel to be those truths and I am typing them out here in the simplest forms in this post to start building bridges. I consider it the “bare essentials” of Christianity. If you want to talk about other beliefs that may be different, I’ll be happy to talk to you but use private messages so it doesn’t add 800 discussions on here (as my last post did)…

Thanks,
Jim


#17

[quote=Orionthehunter]Yes.

I want to back up to the original “misunderstanding” regardin A&E. I hope this helps you appreciate how the use of improper words can lead to “false teaching”. Similarly, taking Bible quotes out of context or without the proper understanding of the full context can lead to “false teaching.” The Magisterium is who guides us from taking things out of context or gives us the proper understanding of the full context. Without the clarity of the Magisterium, we are prone to make the types of mistakes that started this thread.
[/quote]

Orion:

I don’t want to talk about this idea right now…I want to establish the similar belief systems…I’m trying to remain on the same train of thought for the moment.


#18

[quote=zachattack05]I believe that Christ died to give us a path to God. My assumption is that you believe the same?
[/quote]

Zach:

First off, I think I misspelled your name earlier (if not I did this time) and I apologize.

That is exactly the next step I was going in was Christ died to give us a path to God. Now what does that path consist of…

Do you agree that we now have access to an eternity with God? Do you agree that the access will also rid us of sin (in eternity not yet)?

Now, how do we gain that access…the path is there but how do we get on the road? In other words, Christ gave us a path to Salvation…how do we switch the road from our old selves to our new selves?


#19

jpete,

Good job on slowing down the discussion. Great idea! I am on track with the A&E part. I think it is just a matter of language here and that we all ultimately agree on the issue of God, man and sin.

In fact, my opinion on most matters of disagreement between catholics and non-catholics is simply language. We all believe in Christ and most catholics seek Him on a personal as well as collective lev el through the church.

I also walked the road you were on, but was lead to the Church, vice you being lead away. I know God has His plan for all of us and we are where we are according to His will for our lives. So I also will not make any attempt at conversion of anyone. Not my job, it’s Gods. I have been in the mix of close family who have left the church for their own disagreements with the authority of the church, but as I said, God has His plan for us all, we should simply be instuments for Him.

I am wondering where we are going in this thread. Since many of us here are converts and have a fairly good grasp on what non-catholics believe, would it be only fair that you purchase a catechism and study up on the major points where you may find disagreement? Durring my conversion process, at one point I was ready to remove my wife and children from the church. Although she was a cradle catholic and not very educated about her faith (a whole other topic for us catholics), she said, “what does the church say?” This was in responce to my new found anti-catholic information. It is only fair for anyone making any disagreement, based upon what they “think” about the church, to find out for themselves. Agree?? We could go on for ever, back and forth on many issues.

God bless us all and grant us grace to love one another as Christ loves the Church!

Rich


#20

What you need, jpete, is a solid course in Church history in order to understanding how the differences between the Catholic Church (the origin of all Protestant churches) and other Christian bodies came about. I highly doubt you have had the Catholic side of things explained in their best light, am I right?

In very simple terms, the Catholic Church was founded by Christ during his lifetime on earth. Pentecost is considered the date from which the Church began to function as the Church and not merely as followers of Jesus.

During the Apostolic times the NT was written. It was not a cohesive whole, as we have it today, of course, but rather many writings passed around the churches (we’d say parishes) of the Christian world. In order to establish which writings were truly inspired, the Church look over ALL the writings of the first few centuries and came up with books we have today in the 4th century. Up until that time, the Church functioned fully without any set canon of the Bible because the oral teachings of the Apostles handed down to their successors, the bishops of the Church, were the basis of the Christian faith. This is called Sacred Tradition out of which we have the writings of the Early Church Fathers as well as the NT. So, the NT was the product of the Church and not the other way around.

In order to understand Catholic teaching you must first understand the history of the Church and why the Reformers of the 16th century broke from it to form their own communions. The Church was in need of reforms–serious ones, but Luther and others wouldn’t wait for them or encourage them, but rather decided to use the Bible alone for their base of what they would believe and what they wouldn’t. This was quite a new idea that hadn’t been a part of Church history for 16 hundred years. We Catholics believe they were wrong to toss out the Magisterium and the greater context of Sacred Tradition in order to use the Bible as it was never intended to be used–as a proof-text. By using the Bible that way anyone and everyone can decide what is true and what isn’t, and so it continues to this day with over 30,000 different denominations and sects of Christianity.


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