Catholic Versus Protestant Church Attitudes on Repentance


#1

A “Protestant Evangelical” from another thread posted the comments below, comparing their view of Catholic church versus Protestant church attitudes on repentance. This was a bit off topic of the thread so I am starting a new one. What are your thoughts, in this regards? Do you agree or disagree and why?

“…protestant churches demand more repentance and a change of life than do Catholics, and they practice excommunications where there is a practice of sin and unrighteousness.”

“Tell me, how do Catholics avoid antinomianism when they do not even stress the necessity of repentance in their homilies”

“or investigate the lives of people, to excommunicate when necessary??”

For reference, I now know what antinomianism is, per the Catholic Encyclopedia

“The heretical doctrine that Christians are exempt from the obligations of moral law.”


#2

[quote="Porknpie, post:1, topic:301189"]
A "Protestant Evangelical" from another thread posted the comments below, comparing their view of Catholic church versus Protestant church attitudes on repentance. This was a bit off topic of the thread so I am starting a new one. What are your thoughts, in this regards? Do you agree or disagree and why?

For reference, I now know what antinomianism is, per the Catholic Encyclopedia

"The heretical doctrine that Christians are exempt from the obligations of moral law."

[/quote]

I'd say that both statements are gross over-generalizations. What in the world is the basis for saying that the Catholic church doesn't emphasize repentance?

I can think of some fundamentalist congregations that are more totalizing and thus demand more conformity in congregational behavior. And they also tend to be smaller, and so behavior is easier to regulate. Such congregations also tend to have a plethora of rules (no smoking, drinking, gambling, etc.) which Catholics would not have--so perhaps your dialog partner is reading that as a lack of repentance on the Catholic side, but I'm not sure.


#3

[quote="Dave_Noonan, post:2, topic:301189"]
I'd say that both statements are gross over-generalizations. What in the world is the basis for saying that the Catholic church doesn't emphasize repentance?

I can think of some fundamentalist congregations that are more totalizing and thus demand more conformity in congregational behavior. And they also tend to be smaller, and so behavior is easier to regulate. Such congregations also tend to have a plethora of rules (no smoking, drinking, gambling, etc.) which Catholics would not have--so perhaps your dialog partner is reading that as a lack of repentance on the Catholic side, but I'm not sure.

[/quote]

I would agree that its a gross overstatement.

Jon


#4

Catholics are fascinated with Protestant religions and vice versa.


#5

People are often blinded by the shiny skins of Protestant churches. I agree that many Protestants are doing good works. Still, Protestantism is evil and heretical by its nature, since in its core there are the doctrines of "faith alone", "Christ alone" and human's complete freedom from moral responsibility. Remember what Martin Luther, notoriously known for his desperate hatred to work-involved salvation, said:

"Be a sinner and sin on bravely, but have stronger faith and rejoice in Christ, who is the victor of sin, death, and the world. Do not for a moment imagine that this life is the abiding place of justice: sin must be committed. To you it ought to be sufficient that you acknowledge the Lamb that takes away the sins of the world, the sin cannot tear you away from him, even though you commit adultery a hundred times a day and commit as many murders."


#6

[quote="poptown, post:5, topic:301189"]

...
Remember what Martin Luther, notoriously known for his desperate hatred to work-involved salvation, said:
...
"..., even though you commit adultery a hundred times a day ...."
...

[/quote]

This guy Luther, looks to have had very wild dreams... :)


#7

[quote="Dave_Noonan, post:2, topic:301189"]
I'd say that both statements are gross over-generalizations. What in the world is the basis for saying that the Catholic church doesn't emphasize repentance?

I can think of some fundamentalist congregations that are more totalizing and thus demand more conformity in congregational behavior. And they also tend to be smaller, and so behavior is easier to regulate. Such congregations also tend to have a plethora of rules (no smoking, drinking, gambling, etc.) which Catholics would not have--so perhaps your dialog partner is reading that as a lack of repentance on the Catholic side, but I'm not sure.

[/quote]

I agree with all of this.


#8

[quote="poptown, post:5, topic:301189"]
Still, Protestantism is evil and heretical by its nature, since in its core there are the doctrines of ...... human's complete freedom from moral responsibility.

[/quote]

Huh?


#9

The Catholic Church has always taught the necessity of repentance. This is easily documented in her teachings throughout history and up to our current day.

The difference here is that while the particular poster may belong to a community that stresses the importance of repentance better than some (or even many) Catholic parishes - that is merely the experience of his particular community. There is no single Protestant teaching on the necessity of repentance - it varies from community to community and no community has any authority to tell another that they are wrong.

In the Catholic Church when the necessity of repentance is not taught, that is clearly the fault of the Bishop in that diocese. Anyone can point to the clear teachings of the Catholic church and demonstrate that the practices in that diocese are wrong.


#10

I think part of the disconnect is that our dear Lord gave his church sacraments and one of them is reconciliation it has been part of the church fom the beginning. We also know we excommunicate ourselves when we commit grave sins, we don't get letters from the Bishop or the Vatican.


#11

=poptown;9870609]People are often blinded by the shiny skins of Protestant churches. I agree that many Protestants are doing good works. Still, Protestantism is evil and heretical by its nature

CCC 818 - 819

818 "However, one cannot charge with the sin of the separation those who at present are born into these communities [that resulted from such separation] and in them are brought up in the faith of Christ, and the Catholic Church accepts them with respect and affection as brothers . . . . All who have been justified by faith in Baptism are incorporated into Christ; they therefore have a right to be called Christians,** and with good reason are accepted as brothers in the Lord by the children of the Catholic Church**."272

819 "Furthermore, many elements of sanctification and of truth"273 are found outside the visible confines of the Catholic Church: "the written Word of God; the life of grace; faith, hope, and charity, with the other interior gifts of the Holy Spirit, as well as visible elements."274 Christ's Spirit uses these Churches and ecclesial communities as means of salvation, whose power derives from the fullness of grace and truth that Christ has entrusted to the Catholic Church. All these blessings come from Christ and lead to him,275 and are in themselves calls to "Catholic unity."276

since in its core there are the doctrines of "faith alone", "Christ alone" and human's complete freedom from moral responsibility.

Source, please. I've left a link to the Book of Concord, the Lutheran confessions. Where in it does it say that we have complete freedom from moral responsibility?
bookofconcord.org/

Remember what Martin Luther, notoriously known for his desperate hatred to work-involved salvation, said:

"Be a sinner and sin on bravely, but have stronger faith and rejoice in Christ, who is the victor of sin, death, and the world. Do not for a moment imagine that this life is the abiding place of justice: sin must be committed. To you it ought to be sufficient that you acknowledge the Lamb that takes away the sins of the world, the sin cannot tear you away from him, even though you commit adultery a hundred times a day and commit as many murders."

So, please, by all means, explain your understanding of the source, context, and meaning of Luther's words here.

Jon


#12

[quote="AbideWithMe, post:8, topic:301189"]
Huh?

[/quote]

Catholics have a different view of salvation then protestants. Protestants or some Protestants believe that once you are saved you are always saved and Catholics fundamentally refute this. The post you replied to used strong language that you probably won't hear by most Catholics because there are a lot of wonderful Christians who love Jesus but reject Him and his Church and attacking those who reject the Church Jesus established won't bring these wonderful people to Him. The poster wasn't wrong, it is true but it isn't an easy subject to bring unity of Christ's people. We have a mass where Jesus is the center of our woriship not man. We have the supper of the Lamb that is spoken about in the book of Revelation, the holy, holy, holy is sung like in Revelation we say Lamb of God you take away the sins of the world then the priest will raise the host and says this is the Lamb of God. Jesus is really present and we get the GIFT to have Him dwelling in us. We recieve Jesus's body blood soul and divinity that is why anyone who would reject this or draw people away from Jesus is a heritic and we have to pray for them to come into the full truth.

Praise to you Lord Jesus Christ King of endless glory!!!!!! (we also sing this to)

God bless you my brother or sister in Christ come home to the Lord of Lords, the King of Kings the Prince of Peace come home to Jesus


#13

[quote="KP3243, post:12, topic:301189"]
Catholics have a different view of salvation then protestants. Protestants or some Protestants believe that once you are saved you are always saved and Catholics fundamentally refute this. The post you replied to used strong language that you probably won't hear by most Catholics because there are a lot of wonderful Christians who love Jesus but reject Him and his Church and attacking those who reject the Church Jesus established won't bring these wonderful people to Him. The poster wasn't wrong, it is true but it isn't an easy subject to bring unity of Christ's people. We have a mass where Jesus is the center of our woriship not man. We have the supper of the Lamb that is spoken about in the book of Revelation, the holy, holy, holy is sung like in Revelation we say Lamb of God you take away the sins of the world then the priest will raise the host and says this is the Lamb of God. Jesus is really present and we get the GIFT to have Him dwelling in us. We recieve Jesus's body blood soul and divinity that is why anyone who would reject this or draw people away from Jesus is a heritic and we have to pray for them to come into the full truth.

Praise to you Lord Jesus Christ King of endless glory!!!!!! (we also sing this to)

God bless you my brother or sister in Christ come home to the Lord of Lords, the King of Kings the Prince of Peace come home to Jesus

[/quote]

Hi there K3243--- That was a nice post from you.

My "huh?" to Poptown's post was specifically about his/her statement that Protestants teach we have "complete freedom from moral responsibility". That isn't a Protestant teaching. I'm hoping Poptown will explain why he/she thinks it is.


#14

[quote="KP3243, post:12, topic:301189"]
The poster wasn't wrong,

[/quote]

I'm pretty sure that calling Protestantism "evil" is wrong, by modern Catholic teaching.


#15

[quote="poptown, post:5, topic:301189"]

"Be a sinner and sin on bravely, but have stronger faith and rejoice in Christ, who is the victor of sin, death, and the world. Do not for a moment imagine that this life is the abiding place of justice: sin must be committed. To you it ought to be sufficient that you acknowledge the Lamb that takes away the sins of the world, the sin cannot tear you away from him, even though you commit adultery a hundred times a day and commit as many murders."

[/quote]

Poptown---

It might be helpful to explore to a few things here---

--First as a general concept, let's look at the idea of hyperbole and its uses.

--Then, can we find out who was the intended recipient of this writing?

--What is the context of this quote?

You know, as I read some apparently scandalous earlier writings from Catholics, I try to apply in fairness the literary device/audience/context considerations myself, before being scandalized. Let's do that here to Luther, if you're interested.


#16

All -

One focus of the original poster was on "excommuncations"...that protestant churches did so more regularly than Catholic Churches. He also claims that protestants "investigate" the lives of people in the church (my words: to assess whether they are living unrepentant lives with serious sin). Given that he describes himself as "Evangelical", I am wondering is there a link between being "Evangelical", excommunication(s) and investigating the lives of people? I am not aware of a link but admit I don't know a lot of Evangelicals. I know and understand that this does not reflect mainstream protestantism. My response was show me a church where everyone is righteous and I will gladly attend. ;)

"...protestant churches demand more repentance and a change of life than do Catholics, and they practice excommunications where there is a practice of sin and unrighteousness."

"Tell me, how do Catholics avoid antinomianism when they do not even stress the necessity of repentance in their homilies"

"or investigate the lives of people, to excommunicate when necessary??"

Thank you,

Pork(me) nPie(my sweet wife)


#17

[quote="Porknpie, post:16, topic:301189"]
All -

One focus of the original poster was on "excommuncations"...that protestant churches did so more regularly than Catholic Churches. He also claims that protestants "investigate" the lives of people in the church (my words: to assess whether they are living unrepentant lives with serious sin). Given that he describes himself as "Evangelical", I am wondering is there a link between being "Evangelical", excommunication(s) and investigating the lives of people? I am not aware of a link but admit I don't know a lot of Evangelicals. I know and understand that this does not reflect mainstream protestantism. My response was show me a church where everyone is righteous and I will gladly attend. ;)

Thank you,

Pork(me) nPie(my sweet wife)

[/quote]

I'm glad you explained your user name...I had been thinking of a pretty gross image of a plate of pork and pie together. Maybe that's because a town near me---Hamburg, PA ---had a hamburger festival not too long ago; one of the multitude of varieties of hamburgers on offer from local restaurants was called "The Luther"----a cheeseburger on a glazed donut. Ugh! (Where's a vomiting emoticon when you need one?)

Hmm...While I think it's true that people in moderate-sized Evangelical churches tend to know each quite well, I haven't ever seen anyone be "investigated". Although if someone complains about a person in a teaching position, that might be looked into.

I don't know... maybe in churches that are closer to fundamentalist on the Liberal/Evangelical/Fundamentalist spectrum, things might be different.


#18

[quote="AbideWithMe, post:15, topic:301189"]
Poptown---
It might be helpful to explore to a few things here---
--First as a general concept, let's look at the idea of hyperbole and its uses.
--Then, can we find out who was the intended recipient of this writing?
--What is the context of this quote?
You know, as I read some apparently scandalous earlier writings from Catholics, I try to apply in fairness the literary device/audience/context considerations myself, before being scandalized. Let's do that here to Luther, if you're interested.

[/quote]

No problem. This is from Luther to Melanchthon (another German reformer) Letter no. 99. The full text is here: iclnet.org/pub/resources/text/wittenberg/luther/letsinsbe.txt though its paragraphs seem not to be interrelated. The full paragraph we are concerning here is:

If you are a preacher of mercy, do not preach an imaginary but the true mercy. If the mercy is true, you must therefore bear the true, not an imaginary sin. God does not save those who are only imaginary sinners Be a sinner, and let your sins be strong, but let your trust in Christ be stronger, and rejoice in Christ who is the victor over sin, death, and the world. We will commit sins while we are here, for this life is not a place where justice resides. We, however, says Peter (2. Peter 3:13) are looking forward to a new heaven and a new earth where justice will reign. It suffices that through God's glory we have recognized the Lamb who takes away the sin of the world. No sin can separate us from Him, even if we were to kill or commit adultery thousands of times each day. Do you think such an exalted Lamb paid merely a small price with a meager sacrifice for our sins? Pray hard for you are quite a sinner.

Basically, Luther's argument is: since human cannot be perfect and has to commit sins by nature, why bother even trying not to sin? Shouldn't Christ set us completely free from all responsibility? If we had even a little bit of responsibility for our salvation, wouldn't that be an insult to Christ since it is Christ who has offered an ultimate sacrifice for our sins? If we ought not to sin in even the smallest degree in order to receive salvation, wouldn't it mean that our sins are not real and God's mercy is imaginary? Similar ideas can also be observed in his another work at the same period, On the Bondage of the Will. As we can see, Luther simply confused two concepts: Christ's Commandments on morality and love, and the concept of so-called perfectness from sinning.


#19

[quote="Porknpie, post:1, topic:301189"]
A "Protestant Evangelical" from another thread posted the comments below, comparing their view of Catholic church versus Protestant church attitudes on repentance. This was a bit off topic of the thread so I am starting a new one. What are your thoughts, in this regards? Do you agree or disagree and why?

For reference, I now know what antinomianism is, per the Catholic Encyclopedia

"The heretical doctrine that Christians are exempt from the obligations of moral law."

[/quote]

The original post does not represent mainline Protestant thought on the issue of repentance and the Catholic church. I have never heard or read anything like it before.


#20

[quote="poptown, post:5, topic:301189"]
People are often blinded by the shiny skins of Protestant churches. I agree that many Protestants are doing good works. Still, Protestantism is evil and heretical by its nature, since in its core there are the doctrines of "faith alone", "Christ alone" and human's complete freedom from moral responsibility. Remember what Martin Luther, notoriously known for his desperate hatred to work-involved salvation, said:

"Be a sinner and sin on bravely, but have stronger faith and rejoice in Christ, who is the victor of sin, death, and the world. Do not for a moment imagine that this life is the abiding place of justice: sin must be committed. To you it ought to be sufficient that you acknowledge the Lamb that takes away the sins of the world, the sin cannot tear you away from him, even though you commit adultery a hundred times a day and commit as many murders."

[/quote]

That quote of Luther comes from his letter to To Philip Melanchthon, Wartburg, August 1, 1521 regarding Karlstadt’s theses of June 21 and July 19, Luther develops his ideas on clerical and monastic celibacy, on communion “in both kinds,” on the private mass, and on the dynamics of faith.

If you are a preacher of grace, then preach a true and not a fictitious grace; if grace is true, you must bear a true and not a fictitious sin. God does not save people who are only fictitious31 sinners. Be a sinner and sin32 boldly,33 but believe and34 rejoice in Christ even more boldly, for he is victorious over sin, death, and the world. As long as we are here [in this world]35 we have to sin. This life is not the dwelling place of righteousness,36 but, as Peter says,37 we look for new heavens and a new earth in which righteousness38 dwells. It is enough that by39 the riches of God’s glory we have come to know the Lamb that takes away the sin of the world.40 No sin will separate us from the Lamb, even though we commit fornication and murder a thousand times a day. Do you think that the purchase price that was paid for the redemption of our sins41 by so great a Lamb is too small? Pray boldly—you too are a mighty sinner.42
August 1, 1521

Luther, Martin: Pelikan, Jaroslav Jan (Hrsg.) ; Oswald, Hilton C. (Hrsg.) ; Lehmann, Helmut T. (Hrsg.): Luther's Works, Vol. 48 : Letters I. Philadelphia : Fortress Press, 1999, c1963 (Luther's Works 48), S. 48:281-283


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