Christianity after the 1500s


#1

How can someone be part of a religion that started in the 1500’s and after? In fact, how can anyone be part of a religion in which a “prophet” started?

This question is to all Christians, especially Mormons, SDAs, JWs, Scientologists, Children of God, and those who belong to religions that begun after a self proclaimed “prophet” or after Jesus founded the Catholic Church.

I don’t get how people can believe in what a certain person says and just because he says God sent him (other than Jesus himself). I mean, like Russell and the JWs. Out of nowhere he decided to study the bible and begun his own sect, now known as the JWs.

Please explain your beliefs. I am curious and ignorant of most religions other than SDAs, Mormons and JWs.


#2

This seems to imply that Catholics aren’t Christians :eek:


#3

I didn’t mean to make seem that way. That is why I said to all Christians who come from a denomination that begun after the Church was split (after the 1500s)…


#4

It’s only a problem if you assume that being right is more important than doing right.


#5

Well, most Protestants wouldn’t say that our religion started in the 1500s. Speaking for myself in particular and for Anglicans and other moderate Protestants in general, we don’t think the Reformation marked the start of a new religion. It simply introduced some tweaks into the same religion that Jesus founded. The tweaks may have been good or bad or (as I believe) some of both, but they didn’t amount to a new religion.

Edwin


#6

I’m right because I say that what I believe is right, because I call “right” that right which is right to me, and since if it’s not right it’ll be obviously not right to me, and it wouldn’t be right to believe that right could possibly be defined as right in any other way.

So,… I can use ANY excuse I want that I consider right for choosing the right way to be religiously right…!

All reasons reduce to that.

The question is whether one uses “I” in the above, or “God”, that is the real question.

You either believe that God is real and has Spoken, or that the “I” is His replacement and does all the speaking.

Mahalo ke Akua…!
E pili mau na pomaikai iaoe. Aloha nui.


#7

The same religion that Jesus founded has the Successor of Peter as its Supreme Pontiff. You don’t break away from the Vicar of Christ, and separate from the body and say that you are the Catholic Church.


#8

You mean a prophet like Abraham? One who “out of nowhere” began worshipping a new God and starting a new religion because he says God told him to do so?


#9

Of course, the phrase “Supreme Pontiff” does not occur in the New Testament or in the early Church. That doesn’t prove that it’s wrong, but you can’t simply start out with the assumption that the office of Supreme Pontiff is the one thing that counts in establishing continuity with historic Christianity.

Is it worse to have no Papacy or an overgrown Papacy? I think the former, so I think you guys are better off than we are. But in no way can it be reasonably claimed that your form of Christianity is identical in all respects to that of the early Church. Remember the acorn and the oak!

Edwin


#10

You suggest we have an “overgrown Papacy”? I’m not seeing it as overgrown at all, and I doubt many other Catholics, at least in this neighborhood, are. In what ways do you consider the Papacy overgrown?

Besides, you go on to say it can’t be “reasonably claimed” that Catholicism “is identical in all respects” to that of the early Church. Certainly there has been an evolution in the organization to accomodate growth, and the various new things that have come along especially in human technologies. But, it seems to me that the core doctrines are identical, and in fact the Catholic Church has always looked back to the early Church for understanding as it has elaborated doctrine and practice for the moderizing world. Wouldn’t it be expected that that Papacy would grow? But isn’t “overgrown” an exaggeration?


#11

Like I said before like Smith for the Mormons and Russell for the JWs who came out of nowhere…


#12

Ditto that :thumbsup:


#13

Abraham’s sudden revelation of God, provided by God, was an entirely different FORM of God than the gods that had been worshipped.

Abe didn’t start a new religion. He simply accepted that which needed doing, as revealed by God, which we now call his “religion”.

Unlike these “goofs” who invent their own religions as conscious constructions for their own purposes, Abe was simply following instructions.

Now,… you’ll say Abe was simply “insane” in some manner for “following God’s instructions”,… but in doing so you claim yourself as an atheist, even if you have “many gods”, because to invalidate, on the face of it, Abe’s revelation is to invalidate all revelation.

…And since Abe’s God, being defined as THE ONE God, “trumps” all gods, Abe’s God is either THE God, or there are no gods.

In other words, there is either ONE God, or no gods (including God), and any religion based on a God who is not Abe’s God is truly “coming out of nowhere” and inventing a manipulation.

But,… you’re not going believe that, or even understand that, because it’s “illogical” to you, which makes me utterly unintelligible to those who don’t agree that God invalidates gods, and that God exists a priori.

Anyway,… have a great day…! :slight_smile:

Mahalo ke Akua…!
E pili mau na pomaikai iaoe. Aloha nui.


#14

One of the most obvious examples would be papal appointment of bishops, which completely contradicts historic Catholic polity. Generally speaking the micromanaging of liturgical and practical matters by the Vatican bureaucracy works against the orthodox understanding of Catholicity as communion (no, I don’t just mean Eastern Orthodox–I mean what you find in the early Church and in the best Catholic theologians today, such as the current Pope).

Besides, you go on to say it can’t be “reasonably claimed” that Catholicism “is identical in all respects” to that of the early Church. Certainly there has been an evolution in the organization to accomodate growth, and the various new things that have come along especially in human technologies. But, it seems to me that the core doctrines are identical,

Is the Immaculate Conception a core doctrine? Because it was clearly not taught explicitly in the early Church (you can claim that just about anything was implicitly there). For that matter, the doctrine of original sin wasn’t really developed until Augustine (and that was a prerequisite for the IC).

No church today is identical in all respects with the NT church, and that includes in dogma. That doesn’t mean that the modern dogmas contradict the NT–simply that they weren’t developed yet.

Wouldn’t it be expected that that Papacy would grow? But isn’t “overgrown” an exaggeration?

It’s not an exaggeration. It’s a judgment call, based on an ecclesiology of communion.

In Christ,

Edwin


#15

Was this response meant for me? I don’t know if you know but I am Catholic and DO believe in GOD, and believe Abraham was TOLD by the ONE TRUE GOD to be a prophet.

The other “prophets” like Smith and Russell either had a hallucination or just wanted to make up their own religion.


#16

Mormons, JW’s, and Scientologists are not Christians.


#17

I know they aren’t but they believe and claim they are.


#18

Agreed, that I do not accept as a valid starting point that a) the God of Abraham is necessarily any different in substance from all other Gods despite His claims or b) that the revelation of Abraham is intrinisically superior to and should be judged by criteria different than any other religious revelation. Without those base assumptions, you are right, I am not going to “believe that.”:slight_smile:

This is well-plowed ground between Keikiolu and me, yessian, and was directed squarely at me. Don’t worry, your rep as a Christian is safe. :slight_smile:


#19

I don’t see it as “micromanaging” at all. Bishops have a tremendous amount of discretion in the running of their dioceses, and it appears that the Popes have refrained from interfering except in the most extreme cases of malpractice. Look at the Lefevre case, where the archbishop was allowed to do “his thing” for many years before finally being excommunicated, and then only for consecrating more bishops in disobedience of the Pope’s instructions. As for liturgical “micromanagement” I think you’ll find that most serious Catholics would like to see MORE intervention by the Popes in what has become, in the wake of Vatican II, a liturgical free-for-all. Thank God, we seem to be seeing the end of this period, and we have two strong successive Popes to thank for it.

Is the Immaculate Conception a core doctrine? Because it was clearly not taught explicitly in the early Church (you can claim that just about anything was implicitly there). For that matter, the doctrine of original sin wasn’t really developed until Augustine (and that was a prerequisite for the IC).

No church today is identical in all respects with the NT church, and that includes in dogma. That doesn’t mean that the modern dogmas contradict the NT–simply that they weren’t developed yet.

Looks like you’ve answered your own question at the end of what I quoted above. Just because something wasn’t well-defined in early periods doesn’t mean it wasn’t a fact of life. The dogma of Immaculate Conception is contained in Scripture, though not clearly. Mary’s conception was immaculately free of original sin then, at the very moment of it; it didn’t need a Pope to declare it so. The declaration was welcomed by the Church-at-large, which is a strong sign that it was believed by most.

It’s not an exaggeration. It’s a judgment call, based on an ecclesiology of communion.

Then it is an opinion, and we all have them. The fact that a Protestant would think the Papacy “overgrown” isn’t surprising. Some Protestants have much stronger opinions about the Papacy and other Catholic things than this. I think you said it best when you said that we Catholics are better off than the Protestants because of our strong Papacy, and I certainly agree with that. Just look around world Christianity, and find another leader who speaks with the same authority as our Popes. If Christianity has any hope at all of speaking to the world (and it does), it will need a strong Pope doing so.


#20

If you start with the assumption that the Pope is the CEO and the bishops are his delegates, then sure. But I don’t think that’s how the Fathers saw it. It never would have occurred to them. The Pope didn’t give bishops discretion in running their dioceses. The dioceses were just there and the bishops were their leaders, and when a crisis broke out that couldn’t be solved locally people looked to Rome to speak for the Church as a whole.

that the Popes have refrained from interfering except in the most extreme cases of malpractice.

Look at the whole “motu proprio” business. It shouldn’t be any of the Pope’s business what liturgy is celebrated in a local diocese as long as it’s not heretical.

As for liturgical “micromanagement” I think you’ll find that most serious Catholics would like to see MORE intervention by the Popes in what has become, in the wake of Vatican II, a liturgical free-for-all. Thank God, we seem to be seeing the end of this period, and we have two strong successive Popes to thank for it.

This makes my point. (You are of course defining “serious Catholics” as those who think like you.) As I see it, the problem is not a liturgical free-for-all, but a boring conformity to a liturgy imposed by a bureaucratic committee. (Never m
ings should be resolved on a local level. This isn’t a matter of taste, but of ecclesiological principle. By expecting the Vatican to rush in and save you, you keep contributing to the atrophy of the local church.

Looks like you’ve answered your own question at the end of what I quoted above.
Just because something wasn’t well-defined in early periods doesn’t mean it wasn’t a fact of life.

Yes, it does. It may be contained implicitly in what is already believed. But if people haven’t thought about it yet, it’s not a fact of life.

The dogma of Immaculate Conception is contained in Scripture, though not clearly.

That’s not the point. I’m not arguing that the doctrine is false or illegitimate, only that the body of beliefs professed by early Christians was not identical to the body of beliefs professed by modern Catholics (or any other kind of Christian, though the Orthodox probably come closest on the whole).

Mary’s conception was immaculately free of original sin then, at the very moment of it; it didn’t need a Pope to declare it so.

That’s not the point.

The declaration was welcomed by the Church-at-large, which is a strong sign that it was believed by most.

Of course it was by 1854. Again, I’m not talking about that. I know that Popes don’t just get up one morning and define things because they feel like it! I’m talking about 100 or 200 or even 300, not 1800!

I think you said it best when you said that we Catholics are better off than the Protestants because of our strong Papacy, and I certainly agree with that. Just look around world Christianity, and find another leader who speaks with the same authority as our Popes. If Christianity has any hope at all of speaking to the world (and it does), it will need a strong Pope doing so.

No, I don’t think the monarchical centralization of recent centuries is necessary. Tempting, yes. I understand why Gregory VII started down that road. But the fact that something is helpful doesn’t make it right.

Pope Benedict is moving in the right direction, while still taking strong stands. It can be done. The Church did it for a thousand years.

Edwin


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