Debating non-denominational christians

The most simple response to a non denominational Christian would be to quote
(2 Thessalonians 2:15) “Therefore, brethren, stand fast, and hold the traditions which ye have been taught, whether by word, or our epistle.”

I didn’t know this verse was referring to catholic traditions. I thought it was referring the Good News spread by letter and by person. Telling believers to hold against and stay true to the Holy Spirit. Right?


Both are true.

Both are true b/c staying true to the Holy Spirit is to stay true to the Catholic Church.

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If we had a Time Machine and were able to compare, side-by-side, the Catechism of the Roman Catholic Church as it exists today with “the traditions which ye have been taught” as referenced by 2 Thess. 2:15, I’d wager that less than 10% of what is in the CCC would be a recognizable match to those Thessalonian believers.

Maybe true, but the Church was born at Pentecost. And, it is still a pilgrim.

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“Therefore, brethren, stand fast, and hold the traditions which ye have been taught, whether by word, or our epistle”

I see one problem with quoting this verse: The traditions of one church is not necessarily the traditions of another. Quoting this verse will likely cause a person to stay Protestant (even though the Catholic traditions are older)

An attempt at humor, perhaps? Or is sarcasm your usual method of engagement with Episcopalians? No matter; you’ll get a second chance to treat me with respect:

Staying on topic, I doubt SSM or women priests were on anyone’s radar in mid- first-century Thessalonika’s Christian community. Not so sure about abortions . . .


Not if the context is explained.

What if we try do define what traditions were so important to hold on to?

Surely, the Eucharist would be at the top of the list along with Apostolic Succession, which makes Eucharist valid.

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True. I’m sorry. That was over the line.

Sure- I highly doubt that the Thessalonians would know all about Thomas Aquinas’ Summa or Pope John Paul II’s sermons and all of the church councils in between them.

But boiled down to their basic components, Catholic teaching would reflect what the Thessalonians were being taught- they were Catholic, anyways. They didn’t have all the technicals down at that time- we’re talking a 2,000 year difference between us and them, after all.

Well, ok, BUT there’s no need to push it up all the way to to Aquinas. When 2 Thessalonians was written by Paul, it was almost certainly without the benefit of at least three of and possibly all four of the canonical gospels – from which a fair chunk of CCC doctrine is taken. And even if Paul had some familiarity with a gospel, we cannot be confident that he taught what it taught to the Thessalonians. He had some views that were not shared by the Christians in Jerusalem (Peter among them).

I have a question. Non denom protestants just follow the bible and Jesus’s teachings to be saved. Where does it say that you have to recognize the pope, or participate in catholic traditions. If they don’t have to do it to be saved there is no point.

Where Jesus hands the “keys” to Peter. The “keys” represent delegation of authority, and that is backed up by the Old Testament.

Jesus could have stayed here on Earth to rule his Church, but God willed man’s participation in Jesus’s Church, so obviously, someone had to be left in charge.

So, that said, in order to follow the Bible, one follow’s the Pope and the one Church overseen by the Pope.

Therefore, Non Denom’s do not follow the Bible.

Abortion was explicitly condemned by the Didache (late first century), so yes it was on the early Church’s radar.
Women’s ordination was also, I’m sure, discussed at some point in some capacity. Various pagan temples had priestesses. And the early Church evidently had an office of deaconess (the exact nature of which is debated), so I’m sure the role of women was discussed.

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Less than 10%? Come on. Catholics fully acknowledge that there’s been development of doctrine, but I would say that far more than 10% of the current Catechism is explicit in Scripture.

But that’s not the question, my friend. We are talking about the state of the Faith as held by the Thessalonian Chriistian community around 50 A.D. 2 Thessalonians was one of the first NT items written, certainly before at least three, and probably all four, canonical gospels were written (or known to Paul); and before Acts; and before most of the other Pauline letters; and before all of the other letters; and before Hebrews; and before Revelation – so whatever in the current Catechism is “explicit in Scripture” must necessarily exclude virtually the entire NT. That’s around 80% of the Catechism right there!

Now, it is certainly possible that teachings which later made it into written form in the NT were part of “the traditions which ye have been taught” as referenced by 2 Thess. 2:15. But we don’t know that. What we DO know is that Paul, particularly in the early years of his ministry, was not fully on the same page with the Jerusalem church (including Peter); was not one of the disciples who followed Jesus around; and showed little interest in the details of Jesus’ actual teachings as recorded in the later gospels (because he was concerned with constructing a theology around Jesus’ death, not Jesus’ life).

I’ll stick with the 10% figure. Hey, there is no Time Machine, so we’ll never know!

We dont need a time machine as we can see this phenomenon unfolding in one chapter of the bible - Acts 15. Someone else will have to do the math on thw percentage of apostlest who did believe (and teach) you must be circumcised to become a Christian before this event in Acts. I would guess there were some in Thessalonica at the time who changed their perspective also.


Yeah, but 1 Thessalonians – the only textual indication we can point to in ascertaining which "traditions which ye have been taught” are referenced by 2 Thess. 2:15 – is silent on Jewish-Gentile relations. Come to think of it, 1 Thessalonians is silent on justification by faith, silent on a great many mainstays of Pauline theology as revealed in his later writings.

We should probably keep any discussion of the historicity of Acts 15 for another OP.

Acts 15 is not only about Jewish/Gentile relations. Its also about how the early church dealt with these relations. Its much more than the headlines.


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