Does it matter what denomination you are a part of?


#42

I’m not saying you are wrong here (I agree that faith has a personal aspect to it), but I am curious how you come to this conclusion, when over and over in the Bible faith seems to be in community and not taught to be just “me and Jesus”? I’m not seeing anywhere it teaching us to figure out what we believe and how to live out that belief, for ourselves, and Jesus will be OK with it.

You said it not me.

I can go into a long explanation about invincible ignorance but I know you have heard it explained before. However, the way you write here did get me thinking. So let’s be intellectually honest here.

On one side we have the Catholic Church (that doesn’t matter) who says Jesus said what He meant and meant what He said in John 6. They teach Jesus gave us the real presence in the Eucharist so that we can have a physical tangible means to know, with certainty, that we are abiding in Him.

On the other side we have a “denomination” (that doesn’t matter) that understands that it is just a remembrance and is not given to us to abide in Christ.

On the intellectual honesty side I don’t think it matters what a Catholic would tell a Christian I think the only thing that we should intellectually honestly ask ourselves is do we believe it matters to Christ? or do we believe Jesus will be OK with whatever we decided we are willing to believe about His teachings? I am not trying to argue real presence here but I am arguing whether or not what a denomination teaches matters to Jesus. When we face Jesus at the judgement do we intellectually honestly believe that He wants to hear well that’s what I was willing to believe but you gotta give me credit for living out that belief.

Once again not arguing real presence here. Just pointing out that 1 John isn’t the only teaching on how we abide in Christ. Do we want to abide in Christ they way He wants to abide in us or do we want to abide in Christ on our own terms and in our own ways.

God Bless


#43

You left out where I said

I never said that living a Christian life was “Jesus and me”. Christian community is of great importance to our spiritual health and growth as well as the spreading of the gospel and acts of love and kindness towards others. God created us to be in community and serve and support the community. However, our faith must be our own. And faith is a personal matter of the heart and soul and spirit.


#44

I think Christians either Catholic or non-Catholic want Christ to abide in us in the way that He really wants to abide with us. Obviously the terms and ways we have determined that Christ truly wants to abide in us, is what we practice.


#45

Yes this is the exact point that I am trying to get at here.

Did Jesus gives us a way that we could know for certain the way that He wants to truly abide in us? I say YES, which would mean “denomination” or which Church you belonged to does matter. This would be the only logical way to know what Jesus told the Apostles and was handed down for the past 2000 years.

Or did Jesus say that WE should determine how He should abide in us by what WE want to practice, basically on our terms. Some say Yes, which to me would equate to which Church we belong to doesn’t matter. We can do the research ourselves and decide what Jesus wants. Each person comes to their own conclusions and Jesus will comply.

That’s why I look at the Gospels and say OK now how did Jesus intend for me to receive His teachings. Did He want me to go it alone and hope that I get it right or did He leave me a teaching authority to make sure I got it right? I believe Jesus loves me to much to let me go it alone, He knows how easily we can deceive ourselves into believing what we want is what He wants.

God Bless


#46

Protestants don’t believe we go it alone. This is a common misconception propagated by Catholic apologists, but it is a fallacious argument because that’s not what we confess. If you read the Augsburg Confession for example, you will see that we refuted this argument 488 years ago. Rome hasn’t caught on yet.


#47

Absolutely Jesus left us with a way to know He abides with us. He said He is the vine and we are the branches. What a beautiful picture. His life flowing into ours, the branch receiving his nourishment brings fruit. The fruit of the Spirit which is explained in Scripture. If a man abides in Christ and Christ in him, he is a new creature, the old things have passed away and all things have become new. We are known by our fruit. …without trying to turn either Himself or ourselves into a tree.

It is very easy to be deceived with a teaching authority as well.


#48

I agree. I misunderstood your original statement. I apologize for that.


#49

OP: ask your friend where in the Gospels, Epistles, or anywhere in the Old Testament for that matter, is it EVER counseled that a group break away from the Body because the Body has failed in some way. To the contrary, the scriptures they’re likely to point to about false teachers can be shown to teach the opposite. The Apostles combatted heresy from the outset.
What convinced me that it mattered was reading the scriptures in light of Church History. If Christ promised that the gates of Hell would not prevail against His Church, and we see that this Church was always believed to be a visible body, it begs the question of where did this Church go. Once you get into Church History, you find that this Church has always existed, and that from day one it has been Catholic. Not protestant, not evangelical, not even Eastern Orthodox (as we know them today). It’s Catholic. When I saw this, I was left with no other option.


#50

Protestantism is very diverse and has shifted over the years.

Original Protestantism was not “Bible alone” in the sense of “me and my Bible” — but rather, “agree with me [Calvin, or Luther, etc.] or else be a heretic.”

P.S. I know plenty of Protestant Christians, usually with no denomination affiliation, who are fine to go “me and Jesus and my Bible alone.” No hard feelings towards them. They can be quite sincere and holy. But just as a Catholic apologist shouldn’t oversimplify, neither should the faithful Protestant.

We must admit that since the Reformation, you will find every belief and method — along with their alternatives. There is no real unity, except perhaps agreement that Jesus is central to the Christian faith.


#51

Absolutely Jesus left us with a way to know He abides with us.

He also left us the Eucharist, by which we know we “abide” in him:

  • Whoever eats my flesh and drinks my blood has eternal life, and I will raise them up at the last day. For my flesh is real food and my blood is real drink. Whoever eats my flesh and drinks my blood abides in me, and I in them. John 6:54-56

This is why the Church is important. It is only in context of the Church that we receive Christ in the Eucharist, which is the sacrament of the Church’s visible communion. Since the beginning (read Ignatius of Antioch, successor to Apostle Peter in Antioch in early 100s), Christian unity meant gathering around a single apostolic leader (i.e., bishop or presbyter-priest) who celebrated the Eucharist, which always meant the Real Presence of Christ and sacrificial offering.

It is very easy to be deceived with a teaching authority as well.

Definitely. Which is why we must discern Christ’s teaching authority, and not just any under the sun who claims teaching authority. For example, is the Mormon prophet or JW Watchtower society equivalent to any synod of Catholic or Orthodox bishops? I don’t think so, and I think anyone interested in history will discover this for themselves.

Jesus: “He who hears you hears me.” The Church bears Christ to the world. And the specific ministers appointed to teach, the bishops who succeed the Apostles, indeed carry on the Apostolic ministry of leading the faithful.


#52

Those are beautiful thoughts about real things. But it leaves the open question:
why did the Second Person of the Blessed Trinity, the Son of God, bother to come into human flesh, if we can fully know him by spiritual exercises and ideas?
By the power of God, all these ideas could have been communicated by infusion, or by a book. Or any other way that God willed it.

And yet Christ is incarnated fully into the human condition. Taking flesh, living, suffering, dying, touching people, walking, talking, and…forming a real community of real people, not just a spiritual camaraderie.
In fact even as he rises from the dead, it is with intact yet glorified human flesh.

That’s a whole lot of institutional physicality.


#53

I never made this claim. This is your common misconception. If you go back and read my post I was specifically address the exact words of Wannano’s post. He said…

He outright said that WE (which I take to mean the denomination in question) makes the determination of what Christ wants.

That was the point of my post if you would take the time to read it instead of jumping to the defensive and start bashing Catholic Apologists.

Why should I waste my time reading a document that was written 1500 years after Christ founded His Church if you won’t even answer the simple question that was the point of my entire post?..

I’m pretty sure we would both agree that Jesus didn’t give us the Augsburg Confession so that one is out. Any other thoughts?

of how about this one…

How did Jesus intend for us to receive His teachings?

God Bless


#54

I agree but how this entire conversation started was because Jesus also left us another way

John 6:56 He who eats my flesh and drinks my blood abides in me, and I in him.

That’s were the entire thread is geared. Is it either/or? or Is it both/and?

Do we get to choose how to abide in Jesus and tell him when and how to abide in us?

Yes but I know for certain that I can deceive myself. As for being deceived by a teaching authority the way I see it Jesus said HE will build HIS CHURCH. To me that means He is the one at the helm. Sure bad people might try to grab the wheel and try to steer the ship in the wrong direction, but in the end I have to take Jesus at His words that He built a Church that will never fail and will never deceive me on matters of faith and morals.

A teaching authority might try to deceive us but to say Christ’s Church can deceive us is like saying the Holy Spirit can fail. If this would happen then we are all lost.

God Bless


#55

Actually by the term “we” I had meant all Christians C or P.


#56

Well, you made the statement that Protestants believe there is no teaching authority or that it is just the Christian and his Bible apart from the community of faith. I merely pointed you to a document that refutes this canard. If you don’t want to read it, that’s fine. Its no skin off my back if you make a foolish claim that was refuted 488 years ago because you can’t be bothered to read what Protestants say for themselves.

But you can’t be bothered to read it, so you wouldn’t know if it is in accord with scripture or not?


#57

I know that’s why I put the words “which I take to mean the denomination in question” in parenthesis.

I apologize but I honestly do not know how to make it any clearer that I was not thinking you meant you run off to your closet with your Bible and make it up as you go along.

God Bless


#58

Because we (including you) are appealing to authenticity. And authentic Christianity always sources and ends in Christ. Who was Christ? The incarnate Son of God who walked the earth in the fullness of time, and established a community (before scripture was written). Do you think Christ established a community that was not durable?

You are trying to leap over that authentic person to documents that are not in continuity. And so why should a person leap to a discontinuity in a search for authenticity, when the source of it is not understood? Let’s establish who it is we are talking about first.

So, who is Christ, and how did the Scriptures come about.


#59

Please quote the post where I specifically said Protestants believe there is no teaching authority?

I would also like to add when I use the word authority I am using the term to mean authority to teach which was handed on through the Apostles. In my mind if it wasn’t handed down from Christ to His Apostles to their successors…

2 Timothy 2:2 and what you have heard from me before many witnesses entrust to faithful men who will be able to teach others also.

…then there is no authority to teach.

There is only so much time in the day. Plus I am sure you would agree that anyone can make scripture say what ever they want it to say. So what difference does it make if the people that wrote it never had the authority in the first place handed down to them to teach.

God Bless


#60

Everyone, Christianity is not a religion of the book. Christ came so that we might have life in Him, not a book. The book does not give us life, union with Christ gives us life. And union in Christ is by definition union with his whole Church.


#61

Exactly, which is why we appeal to the apostolic fathers, who wrote the NT and provided a faithful record of Christ’s ministry, as well as the meaning of his ministry in the gospels and epistles.

I think all communities made up of sinful man need to be brought to repentance and redemption by the Word of God, which came to us first and foremost in the person of Christ, and continues to come to us through the proclamation of his word, and through the Bible. That being said, the Bible is the faithful written transmission that norms the deposit of faith which tells us about Christ. So just as Christ used the written word to correct the unfaithful transmission of God’s word by the Pharisees, we continue to use the written word to test and evaluate the oral proclamation for faithfulness today. Why? Because the Church is subject to God, not the other way around.


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