How can a denomination be sure that their beliefs is the one that's correct?


#1

Since some verses in the Bible aren’t to be taken literally, every denomination has their own interpretation of them. Now, how can one (in this case the catholic church) be sure that what they believe is the right one. (I’m currently not a part of a certain denomination)


#2

I am a convert, and the thing that did it for me was Catholicism’s historical authenticity and the fact that I cannot accept, as a matter of intellectual honesty, that Christ lived 2,000 years ago and Protestantism began something like 500 years ago. I thought that was the silliest thing I had ever heard in my life when I was old enough to understand it. I can remember myself thinking how dishonest Protestantism was. I was quite amused attending a class at my Baptist church on “church” history, in which we briefly studied Augustine and then skipped something like a thousand years plus, straight into the sixteenth century. Now that I think of it, much of my readily accepted belief in the Catholic Church rested on my presumption that the Church of God would indeed have a readily visible outward structure and form.

That is my conversion story in compressed form. I am not some Protestant hater, but I did feel anger at what I perceived as lies; that later cooled down when I realized that the vast majority of Protestants are simply ignorant of the Truth and thus cannot be labeled “formal heretics,” as such, at which time I simply started to feel sorry for them.

In a very similar albeit slightly different vein, I discounted Mormonism almost immediately. And I have far more respect for Orthodoxy as a movement, and the “line” here between it and Catholicism is considerably more ambiguous, but the historical authenticity thing did it for me here, as well, although I do not purport to be an expert on Orthodoxy.

Ubi Petrus, ibi ecclesia, I suppose.


#3

Yeah, pretty much. That and Papal Infallibility. Once you prove that, you're pretty much set.


#4

I think the thing we need to remember above all else, is that the Holy Spirit is the one who leads us. He is the one who gives us understanding, and therefore He [God] is the one who verifies our beliefs.
Thus far, I am still affiliated with the Protestant church. These past couple of years, I’ve been slowly trying to Spiritually decipher my true inclinations. I’ve been fascinated with the Catholic church, albeit - like you, I’m trying to discern certain things. In saying that, I understand where you are coming from.
There is only one true church. I believe, if anything - some of us (maybe myself included) have lost our place… I hope to find mine soon.

a Christian with no identity is a painful and awkward place to be.
I want to be HIS, and HIS [Christ’s] alone.
(this sheep is wandering, and she hopes her shepherd will soon find her and lead her back to green pastures.)


#5

The Catholic Church is not a denomination. Ever since the most ancient times, Christianity as a whole professed: “We believe in the Church, which is One, Holy, Catholic, and Apostolic”.

We follow a Sacred Tradition that is two thousand years old, and any other denomination has their own interpretation that is based on the Sacred Tradition, modified and deprived of many teachings. As you learn the treasures of the faith, preserved unblemished by the most ancient yet ever young Church, you yourself will understand and find what your soul looks for. It must necessarily be so (Jn 10:27, Lk 10:16):

My sheep hear My voice, and I know them, and they follow Me …] Whoever listens to you listens to me; whoever rejects you rejects me.

And yes, you are part of whatever community you belong to, even if they call themselves a “non-denominational” community, unless you have discovered Christ on your own, in which case I think you are an inquirer and I know that you have a great blessing, for Christ has spoken a timeless truth (Jn 6:44):

No man can come to me, except the Father, who has sent me, draw him

There are centuries of writings on what we call the Magisterium (or teaching authority) of the Catholic Church. I encourage you to find out more. There are also centuries of private revelations and supernatural works performed by holy men who followed Christ very closely and with heroic faith, which we are not bound to believe under pain of sin, but which nevertheless show the continued and persistent presence of the Lord and a constant guidance of the Holy Spirit in the Catholic Church.

Another fundamental issue is that the Catholic Church teaches that many elements of sanctification can be found in Christian communities not in full communion with Her. Also, the Catholic Church recognizes in other religions that search, among shadows and images, for the God who is unknown yet near, and considers all goodness and truth found in these religions as “a preparation for the Gospel and given by him who enlightens all men that they may at length have life.”

The Sacred Tradition, firmly rooted in the Sacred Scriptures, teaches that just as there is one bread, there is one body, the Church, of which all the baptized are members, and whose Head is Christ.

We profess that this Church constituted and organized in the world as a society, subsists in the Catholic Church, which is governed by the successor of Peter and by the Bishops in communion with him, although many elements of sanctification and of truth are found outside of its visible structure.

Fully incorporated into the society of the Church are those who, possessing the Spirit of Christ, accept all the means of salvation given to the Church together with her entire organization, and who - by the bonds constituted by the profession of faith, the sacraments, ecclesiastical government, and communion - are joined in the visible structure of the Church of Christ.

The Church knows that she is joined in many ways to the baptized who are honored by the name of Christian, but do not profess the Catholic faith in its entirety or have not preserved unity or communion under the successor of Peter. Those who believe in Christ and have been properly baptized are put in a certain, although imperfect, communion with the Catholic Church.

I exhort you once more to learn about the Sacred Tradition in its fullness, beginning perhaps with the Compendium of the Catechism of the Catholic Church, a brief overview of the unchanged teachings of Christianity, which may later be expanded with the reading of the Catechism.

It is spoken with words that will never pass: seek and you shall find. May these words come to be once more in your life, as they have in mine and in the life of many, and as they will every day, until the end of time.


#6

Here’s my 2 cents worth from a Mormon perspective…

Mortals can have the correctness of divine truth confirmed to them via communication from the Holy Ghost. 1 Corinthians 12:3 (KJV) states: Wherefore I give you to understand, that no man speaking by the Spirit of God calleth Jesus accursed: and that no man can say that Jesus is the Lord, but by the Holy Ghost.

When Peter declared to Jesus that he knew that Jesus was the son of God, Jesus responded in Matthew 16:17 (KJV): Blessed art thou, Simon Bar-jona: for flesh and blood hath not revealed it unto thee, but my Father which is in heaven.

James 1:5,6 (KJV) similarly state: If any of you lack wisdom, let him ask of God, that giveth to all men liberally, and upbraideth not; and it shall be given him.
But let him ask in faith, nothing wavering. For he that wavereth is like a wave of the sea driven with the wind and tossed.

That’s another verse counseling us to get a confirmation of the truth directly from a divine source, and also admonishes us to act on the knowledge we receive (i.e., “ask in faith, nothing waivering”),

Chuirch attendance, studying scripture, and keeping commandments are vital in anyone’s spiritual quest, but having your beliefs confirmed via the Holy Ghost is required according to the Bible to know the certainty of spiritual truths (like which denomination is correct, and whether Jesus is the Christ)…

I hope this helps.


#7

What does it mean when this Holy Ghost confirms the divine truth of the Catholic rather than the divine truth of the Mormon?

I believe there are people here who have an undeniable witness from the Holy Ghost that the Catholic faith is the one true faith.


#8

What do you make of those intellectuals, such as Bart Ehrman or Walter Bauer, whose research has brought to light historical and archaeological evidence that casts serious doubt on the veracity of any authentic Christianity?

How can one know whose historian has the real truth? Is the oldest story the right one? The newest? The most popular? Must we put our faith in the mind of man? Who settles the arguments?


#9

What are we to make of the even more ancient texts descended from the Indus River Valley civilization, and the many millenia of supernatural phenomena that have accompanied every other religious faith? What of those churches that also claim to demonstrate the presence of the Lord and the guidance of the Holy Spirit?

Why should we believe any of these claims?

Numerous religions persisted for thousands of years and eventually went extinct. Why wouldn’t the same hold true for every religion in existence today?


#10

Quite a peculiar set of questions, indeed. People have been seeking God throughout the ages, amidst shadows, in imperfect ways. However, for reasons that are not known to us, God, while inscribing His divine will in all humans, has chosen to reveal Himself fully to the Hebrew people. At the coming of Christ - the one living evidence that our religion contains the fullness of God’s revelation - both Hebrews and “gentiles” (that is, others who followed different doctrines) were allowed to join the Church, and they were called Christians because they followed Christ.

It is by studying the message of Christ, the “good news”, and comparing it to any other religion, that we see why we have the fullness of the divine revelation, even if we set aside all supernatural and mystical experiences.

It is a truth that cannot be broken, that “no man has ever spoken like this man”, and that “he did everything right”.

I invite you to learn more about our Sacred Tradition. While I know everyone, including atheists, can give you a similar invitation, I know one thing: a wise man who lived many centuries ago said something that makes perfect sense to me, that is:

if their purpose or activity is of human origin, it will fail. But if it is from God, you will not be able to stop these men; you will only find yourselves fighting against God.

The man was addressing those who wanted to stop a bunch of poor fishermen from spreading the news that the rabbi that Pilate had just crucified had actually resurrected from the dead and that He was the Christ, the son of God. They could not stop them, in fact the man who wanted to stop them the most, ended becoming their most fervent disciple. These poor illiterate fishermen made many disciples and their Good News spread throughout the earth, changing its history and reshaping humanity forever.


#11

The CC was borne and built on rock…on Peter as the Lord said in Matt 16…and not borne of the disobedience.

for this is what the bible says of disobedience…1sam 15…22 But Samuel replied:

“Does the Lord delight in burnt offerings and sacrifices
as much as in obeying the Lord?
To obey is better than sacrifice,
and to heed is better than the fat of rams.
23 For rebellion is like the sin of divination,
and arrogance like the evil of idolatry.
Because you have rejected the word of the Lord,
he has rejected you as king.”

And how can you know who tells the truth from Christ…this verse says so…1 John 4:6

6 We are from God, and whoever knows God listens to us; but whoever is not from God does not listen to us. This is how we recognize the Spirit[a] of truth and the spirit of falsehood.


#12

Listens to who? Nowhere in the Bible did it mention a certain church, nor did it state anything that could prove a church to be the ‘‘Only True Church’’. Jesus said he will build his church on solid truth, He did not mention any specific tradition, names, or any similarity that could identify that church.

Therefore, in the end, no one can still be sure whether what they believe is the one that’s ‘‘Just’’, am I right?


#13

Im in the same situation as yourself. Very hard place to be in. Lets keep searching.

“Ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you.”

“and you will know the truth, and the truth will make you free.”


#14

#15

Mmmm true, seek, and you will find. But I guess no one in this world who believes that there is a God would be wanting to go to hell right? That includes Muslims, Christians, etc. I’m pretty sure they also seek. But then again, no one can truly be sure which is right and which is wrong since we weren’t there when it all happened, and as I have said, there are verses that are not to be taken literally, so everyone could make their own interpretation. Let’s just wait 'till the end comes and see who truly is ‘‘the one who got it right’’. Let’s just hold on to what we currently believe. :slight_smile:

Nah, I’m not really trying to start an argument and 'am not planning to do so for the time being since I’m currently confused @_@. I’m simply stating my opinion like everyone else. :slight_smile:
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#16

Disagree my friend. If I truly seek CHRIST with all my heart, I believe I will find him and he will place me in His true visible church (if there is one). He said it, not me. If I don’t have faith than I have nothing.


#17

May God help us search for the truth then. :slight_smile:


#18

I also think that finding the truth is not limited to this life. Some people will NEVER know the truth on earth no matter how hard the seek but I don't thing God holds there ignorance against them. I know you're going to disagree but thats what think and if its not the case than Augustine's "Massa Damnata" is true and the reality is that you and me have high probability of hell. And that is not the Christ I see in scripture and know through prayer.


#19

Indeed.


#20

Most of the Protestant denominations will actually admit that they are not sure; their interpretation is one of many, and according to them, nobody can know what the true interpretation of the Bible. The only ones that “know” thy have it correct tend to be hateful groups that say everybody is going to Hell except for them.

I believe Catholocism is the right one because they are the ones that assembled the Bible. Catholocism is the only one that is a continuation of the Church that the Apostles made.


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