How long should a faith carry the weight of their history?

I think every world faith has a time in their history where, as a collective, things did not go exactly as their faith now believes (or practices).

Just a few examples I can think of are
Catholics - The Inquistion
Mormons - Polygamy
Jehovah’s Witnesses - the years 1914, 1925, 1975
Seventh Day Adventist - October 22, 1844
Southern Baptist - slavery
Muslims - extremist terrorism

So with this is mind, I am wondering the following

  1. How long should a faith carry the baggage of their forefathers?

  2. Is it acceptable for those issues to be brought up when considering converting?

  3. Is it acceptable for those issues to be brought up when debating about the religion (even if the faith has renounced the contention)?

  4. Are there faiths which has successfully done this?

JWs and SDA might have the hardest time. This was part of the prophetic message that they were built upon. Once that is gone, the prophet should be called into question.

Personally, I am not ready to release Southern Baptists. I live in an area where it is the largest group. They can be a royal pain to deal with, so I like having this to knock them off of their high horse. Further, it was the main reason that they exist at all.

Mormons, in my opinion, are in a strange position. I have no trouble saying that there is no reason to hold polygamy against them (at least the ones who have dropped it). However, there is the fact that the ban on it came when they were told that they had to drop it to be in the United States. So, to me, the issue itself can be dropped, the means by which it ended is still open.

As to Catholics, I would say that the Church has done a lot of make-up on the issue. We are not the same people we were then.

Muslims can be forgiven the terrorism when it is stopped by them

You really need to study the Inquisition in detail.

Do a search here on CAF because the Inquisition has been discussed extensively. There is even a thread with nothing but references on both the Inquisition and the Crusades.

FYI, the Inquisition and the Crusades are actually related.

I think that the “baggage” of the faith should be kept always. I say this because without history, there’s nothing. We will not know where or how things came about. This all started when Adam and Eve fell in the Garden of Eden and so on…from there we see how Christianity came about. So I think, from the time of Adam and Eve until now should not be erased.

In my opinion, you should consider those issues because like I previously stated, those things let you know how that faith came about. Also, what it is truly about.

In some cases, I think it is okay to bring up some issues, but only if they are relevant. So it depends I guess.

As others have written, this is not something Catholics need to explain away in order to hold up their heads. A lot of misinformation was spread by the Black Legend and Foxe’s Book of Martyrs and other such works filled with inaccuracies intended to make the Church look as bad as possible. These works are not history–they are propoganda.

Also, the Church has not changed its doctrines concerning faith and morals–ever. We believe today what we’ve always believed. So, once again, this is a misconception that needs to be cleared up before significant discussions can be held about Catholic teachings.

Mormons - Polygamy
Jehovah’s Witnesses - the years 1914, 1925, 1975
Seventh Day Adventist - October 22, 1844
Southern Baptist - slavery
Muslims - extremist terrorism

So with this is mind, I am wondering the following

  1. How long should a faith carry the baggage of their forefathers?

They shouldn’t if you mean the individual failings and faults of its members. No one is perfect and never makes mistakes. However, what should be carried forever is what any religious group teaches. If it changes its teachings every time the wind blows it calls into question their validity.

  1. Is it acceptable for those issues to be brought up when considering converting?

If the religious group can’t explain or has to hide certain aspects of it’s teachings or former teachings that should be taken into consideration.

  1. Is it acceptable for those issues to be brought up when debating about the religion (even if the faith has renounced the contention)?

If by “renounced the contention” you mean given a satisfactory answer (satisfactory to any sensible person’s ability to understand) then no. If the group can’t give a satisfactory answer then, yes, it is acceptable to raise valid points regarding their teachings’ validity.

  1. Are there faiths which has successfully done this?

Once again, if we are talking about being able to give a satisfactory answer, then yes, the Catholic Church has and does–again and again it has and it does. The problem is people are still being misinformed, in each generation. It’s like trying to put out a wild fire with one bucket of water. And there are always those who will not accept the truth no matter how many times they are told it–that’s human nature, or rather fallen human nature getting in the way.

I’m not trying to argue the inquisition. I’m just using it as an example where the Catholic Church as said it is a dark time for the church. These are all examples. I’m sure there are other faiths with other moments.

But, if it wasn’t a “dark time for the church” it’s a moot point and shouldn’t be brought up, you see. :wink:

One of the reasons I became Orthodox was because the faith is very much in touch with its history. All religion is run by fallible man, even if it has guidence from God, and therefore all will commit errors in judgement. You can’t just say “Well this happened 500 years ago, so forget it”, everything must always be remembered, if only to avoid having it happen again.

As for how long something should be held against them? Are we not taught as Christians to forgive? Therefore nothing should be held against another in such manner. It happened, remember it, but do not hold it against anyone.

Of course the JW and 7th Day Adventist examples are completely different, as that is not something that their leadership did wrong, rather it shows their faith is based on false prophecy.

I’m not trying to pick a fight over the Inquisition. I picked it because Pope John II more or less apologized for it in his Tertio millennio adveniente and letter to Cardinal Roger Etchegaray. This is all based on the International Symposium on the Inquisition, organized in the Vatican from Oct. 29-31, 1998, by the Historical Theological Commission of the Committee for the Great Jubilee of the Year 2000.

I’m not making stuff up and I am not trying to stir up an Inquisition argument. I am saying there are things that world faiths have to change about themselves, or apologize for. or otherwise carry as historical baggage. I list a variety of faiths with similar baggage.

If the Pope apologized for it, then I’d say it is an acknowledgement that there is a blot.

I understand. :slight_smile: It’s the behavior of some Catholics he was apologizing for, though. The distinction needs to be made.

As to your other points, I responded above. :tiphat:

I’m not implying he is apologizing for turnscrews that priest applied. But it was important enough to him to make an apology. I’m viewing it as something similar to the Baptists & slavery. The Southern Baptist Convention never owned slaves, their members did.

As to your mentioned comments. I’ll have to address them tonight after the children go to bed.

I actually think Mormons can have a pass on this one because even though they dont actively practice it in this life now, they still believe in celestial marriage.

Even now, as widowers, a couple of the GA’s have married and been sealed to a second wife.

So they havent fully denounced or abandoned the dogma.

After you study the Inquisition, you find it was not so dark after all.

I don’t need to study the inquisition. It is not my history. I could care less about it. It was an example.

If you still have some pent-up anger, we could talk more about it.

After I studied the Inquisition and after I studied the lives of some of the prominent Catholics of the period, absolute happiness.

And so I encourage everyone to study the Inquisition and various saints’ lives. St. John of the Cross, for example. And Theresa of Avila. Start with Father Dubay’s book, “The Fire Within”.

We have some amazing saints from that time period.

These things all tie in. The Battle of Tours. The crossing from North Africa in AD 711. The expelling of the “Moors” and the voyage of Columbus in 1492. Even the sailings of the Chinese explorers and traders to northern Italy. It’s absolutely amazing.

It’s really enlightening to read the history of the time period.

Even the wars are interesting. There were a lot of little ones and a few big ones, but it wasn’t until Europe got integrated into giant nations from little principalities and city-states did we get actual world wars.

I got timed out while pulling some books so I could provide some references for you to consider.

But all these events are related and tied together.

The conquest of the Holy Land by the Muslims. The Crusades in response. The cutoff of land trade routes to China (which led to the epic Chinese sea voyages), which were lost to history until just recently. And now we know why rice grows in northern Italy! [Read books by Gavin Menzies.]

The important thing is not to take things in isolation. The Inquisition did not “just happen”. There were major, major events before, during and after.

The more you read and the more you learn, the more you want to read and the more you want to learn.

[There is an amazing set of television programs, with the name of something like “The Worlds Worst Jobs”. And the presenter shows how different jobs evolved and how awful they were. But it shows how those jobs fitted in with history and how those jobs were improved over the centuries to make them less onerous and less hazardous. This stuff all fits in together. So please do the reading. History isn’t just boring dates and obscure names and places.]

I also agree the stories of the Spanish Inquisition were largely embellished as propaganda. I think people on this thread are simply saying that if you want to use that as an example, then you really need to study it before knowing whether it actually was an example of what you are trying to use it for.

It’s not enough to use it and expect that everyone will agree to an incorrect view of the Spanish Inquisition for the purposes of your main question.

This is an interesting question. In pondering it, I realized that I’m lucky being an Orthodox Christian because we have no baggage of false prophecies or killing others. :thumbsup:

I would think that those religions that have made false prophecies should actually apologize to their congregations for proving to be a false religion by offering false prophecies and end their religion.

  1. For those religions who have raped and killed others and destroyed property and stole property of others, that they should publically, very publically, apologize specifically naming each offense to truly show repentence, then they should make amends by returning ALL stolen property, replacing ALL damaged property, the damage property that can not be repaired as well as for those who’ve been raped and killed - the offending Church should ask the injured Church what amount they would accept to satisfy that which can not be replaced. Once the amount chosen by the injured Church is given by the offending Church publically, very publically. Once all of this is done, then I believe that it should be over once and for all.

  2. Yes it is, unless all of the above in # 1 has been satisfied, because it shows the true nature of that offending Church. The nature of the Church should absolutely be called into question to considering converting as it shows whether or not it is indeed established by Christ and led by the Holy Spirit.

  3. Verbal renuciation hardly makes up for stolen items still in possession of the offending Church and it hardly makes up for lost innocence and lost lives - this must be made up in addition to, not just renuciation, but true repentence.

  4. Not to my knowledge.

On a side note, you mention the Southern Baptists involvement in Slavery - The Holy Spirit, through the New Testament Authors, would have taken the opportunity to state that Slavery is evil and sinful, if it was, rather than outline the proper Christian behaviors for both Slaves and Slave Masters. It is recorded in the lives of many of the early Christian Saints for centuries had Slaves &/or were Slaves.

The institution of slavery in the US, though, would not qaulify as proper of Christian.

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