I Stepped In It!

I mistakenly asked a non-Catholic Christian to name any known "non-Catholic Christians after the death of the last Apostle and Martin Luther. A quick answer to that was John Wycliffe and Jan Hus. Boom!:blush: I had forgotten about these proto- Protestants. So now they believe they have made their point and that the CC was not the first Church.

Where do I go (& how) from here … besides under a rock?

How does the existence of non-Catholics after the death of the last Apostle (John the Evangelist) and Martin Luther imply that the Catholic Church was not the first Church? Is it because of the inclusion of the name Martin Luther?

Yes, I framed the question terribly wrong. Just wondering how to cover my tracks and still be able to ask an effective question. Their claim of course is a common one that the CC did not choose the contents of the Bible and that it wasn’t around until 400ad.

We have that Jesus Christ established the Church when Peter answered “You are the Messiah, the Son of the living God.” and then Jesus said: “Blessed are you, Simon son of Jonah. For flesh and blood has not revealed this to you, but my heavenly Father. And so I say to you, you are Peter, and upon this rock I will build my church, and the gates of the netherworld shall not prevail against it. I will give you the keys to the kingdom of heaven. Whatever you bind on earth shall be bound in heaven; and whatever you loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven.”

It was personal to Peter as the*** leader*** of the Apostles, which had already been established. See the subsequent authority with which Peter speaks in Acts 15:

Acts 15: 7 And when there had been much disputing, Peter, rising up, said to them: Men, brethren, you know, that in former days God made choice among us, that by my mouth the Gentiles should hear the word of the gospel, and believe…

28 For it hath seemed good to the Holy Ghost and to us, to lay no further burden upon you than these necessary things:
29 That you abstain from things sacrificed to idols, and from blood, and from things strangled, and from fornication; from which things keeping yourselves, you shall do well. Fare ye well.
30 They therefore being dismissed, went down to Antioch; and gathering together the multitude, delivered the epistle.

The terms non-Catholic or (proto)-Protestant can have varied meanings. Do you mean someone who 'protest’ed the church during the first 1500 years? Someone who practiced Christianity outside of the universal/‘catholic’ group of believers until the year 1054? Or someone with beliefs and doctrines that are similar to modern-day “Protestantism” as opposed to modern-day Roman Catholicism?

Forget about covering your tracks. For the moment, forget about asking effective questions. Swallow your pride and reconsider your approach. If you wish to bring non-Catholics closer to the Church, how do you think you can best accomplish that?

You don’t necessarily have to say you are wrong in order to say I am sorry to have offended you or hurt your feelings. Agree to disagree and let’s everybody get along.

I have no idea how you think you ‘stepped in it’, or how (s)he supposedly got you with his/her reply.

I mean, your question wasn’t the most effective, and perhaps not very well stated, but I hardly see how it–or the answer it evoked–would effect the Catholic position.

There have been hundreds of heresies since the beginning of the Church. Heretics, are those who adhere to heresies–they are ‘non-Catholic Christians’. They numbered probably in the thousands, if not well into the 10’s of thousands in the first 4 centuries of the Church alone (and heresies continued throughout the subsequent centuries, into today). Non-Catholic Christians may still very well be Christian. They believe in Jesus Christ; they believe in the Gospel; many believe in the trinity. All however, obstinately adhere to a heresy–an erroneous belief held of significant enough importance about an important enough matter, to cause one to be excluded from the Church. Part of the analysis, as suggested, includes ‘obstinance’–which also entails a public element. IOW, if you have your doubts, or believe in a heresy…it may not necessarily be fatal to your Catholicism, if you keep it to yourself. But if you go about overtly proclaiming it to others, in defiance and contradiction to the Church, you are be declared a heretic.

It does not necessarily follow that you are therefore not Christian.

Clearest example here, is Protestantism. Protestants used to be universally referred to as ‘heretics’. Today, we refer to Protestants as ‘separated brethren’, accoriding to various Church documents, including the Catechism. We thereby acknowledge their Christianity, and recognize them as brothers in Christ–but Protestantism itself, is still considered a heresy–or, perhaps more accurately, the fundamental pillars upon which Protestantism is founded, and rests–sola scriptura and sola fide–remain heresies, and obstinate adherence thereto, still renders one a heretic.

So I do not see how your question, or his/her answer, was particularly harmful, let alone fatal in any way. (Frankly, I didn’t even understand the question very well as you stated it, nor the answer–b/c I’m not really sure what Hus and Wycliffe was supposedly an answer to. What…2 heretics, after the age of the Apostles, but before Luther?).


Don’t be embarrassed when Protestants respond with “gotcha” answers like these. They happen all the time and are basically anti-intellectual tactics used to avoid really answering the important questions. Protestants love to dodge the inconvenient truths, so don’t worry when you face issues like these. Everyone knows the question you were asking was: Who in the early Church believed what Protestants believe? The answer is: Nobody, at least nobody who was orthodox.

The thing you’ve got to realize is that Protestants don’t really care about the Bible nor about Church history. All they care about is that the Catholic Church is wrong. I personally stick to the Bible alone when dealing with them, usually the book of Romans alone, because then I can finish the job pretty quickly and show it’s really about them not wanting to follow the Bible and not really about Catholicism. Check out the blog link in my signature if you want to become more effective in your apologetics.

The Muratorian canon, earlychristianwritings.co…uratoria n.html (written approx 180 a.d.) is considered the earliest canon of scripture. See within this article who’s authority that depended on. It’s the Catholic Church

Then came the*** final ***canon of 382 that pope Damasus I, decreed

rosarychurch.net/bible/rome_damasus.html . Count the books. It’s 73. The same canon OT and NT we have today. THEN the first bible was written after that decree.

As an aside, ** When you see an OT book name above that reads differently from what is expected, see the translation of that name here drbo.org/
For example “Osee” = Hosea

In both cases, it’s the authority of the Catholic Church that gave us the canon of scripture.

As far as tracing the Catholic Church to the beginning, “in writing”, properly referenced, here’s a condensed example, of the first 4 centuries. #[FONT=&quot]34
All the internal links within that link, are operational


Protestantism regardless of stripe and all it’s divisions, didn’t exist before Luther. E Orthodoxy in it’s affiliations, didn’t exist before 1049. Heretics and divisions from the Church have always been there. And they have always been condemned. The Catholic Church was established by Jesus and has been there from the beginning, (“in writing”, all properly referenced) . The first 400 years condensed for space #[FONT=&quot]34[/FONT]

Arguing that because there existed non-Catholic Christians during that time period, the Catholic Church was not the first Church is fallacious. It just does not follow. Be sure to point that out first. Ask the the question, “OK, there were Catholic Christians and non-Catholic Christians. Who was right in their beliefs?”, and then go from there.

Sounds like you got called out on your own clever argument.

People don’t come to the fullness of the faith because of clever arguments.

Show them the light of truth.

:slight_smile: Yeah, but it’s a temporary setback. The best answer is that they cannot provide anyone prior to the reformation who held the fundamental errors that they hold so dear because prior to the 3 you mention there was no Sola Scriptura, Sola Fide, OSAS, or anything like modern Protestantism.

One telling point is the lack of similarity to authentic Christian worship as laid out by St. Justin Martyr. You find a detailed description of it in my blog article…What Was Authentic Early Christian Worship Really Like?

You have to remember that they have no Christian history…or (in most cases) knowledge of it prior to the Reformation and cannot handle the historical facts.

It’s exactly as John Cardinal Newman said, “To be deep in history is to cease to be Protestant.”

Weren’t John Wycliffe and Jan Hus Catholics to begin with? And later became apostate?

They certainly weren’t descendants of a parallel church from down through the ages.

I don’t know that anyone denies that the Christians considered themselves to be 'c’atholic in the early centuries. Catholic means universal, and the church was universal in nature. Later after the east and west split it became known as the 'C’atholic Church. I don’t think that anybody claims that the Roman Catholic Church popped out of nowhere, but that they have drifted from the original teachings of the church that caused the reformers, particularly the radical reformers, to start new churches.

I think of some of the statements from the Council of Trent as compared to some of the teachings from the theologians from the first 500 years.

CANON I.-If any one denieth, that, in the sacrament of the most holy Eucharist, are contained truly, really, and substantially, the body and blood together with the soul and divinity of our Lord Jesus Christ, and consequently the whole Christ; but saith that He is only therein as in a sign, or in figure, or virtue; let him be anathema.”

“24. If the sentence is one of command, either forbidding a crime or vice, or enjoining an act of prudence or benevolence, it is not figurative. If, however, it seems to enjoin a crime or vice, or to forbid an act of prudence or benevolence, it is figurative. Unless you eat the flesh of the Son of man, says Christ, and drink His blood, you have no life in you. John 6:53 This seems to enjoin a crime or a vice;** it is therefore a figure**, enjoining that we should have a share [communicandem] in the sufferings of our Lord, and that we should retain a sweet and profitable memory [in memoria] of the fact that His flesh was wounded and crucified for us.” - Augustine, On Christian Doctrine, 3:16:24

“My friends, these realities are called sacraments because in them one thing is seen, while another is grasped. What is seen is a mere physical likeness; what is grasped bears spiritual fruit. So now, if you want to understand the body of Christ, listen to the Apostle Paul speaking to the faithful: “You are the body of Christ, member for member.” [1 Cor. 12.27] If you, therefore, are Christ’s body and members, it is your own mystery that is placed on the Lord’s table!” - Augustine, Sermom 272

"CANON III.–If any one saith, that the sacrifice of the mass is only a sacrifice of praise and of thanksgiving; or, that it is a [Page 159] bare commemoration of the sacrifice consummated on the cross, but not a propitiatory sacrifice; or, that it profits him only who receives; and that it ought not to be offered for the living and the dead for sins, pains, satisfactions, and other necessities; let him be anathema."

As compared to Justin Martyr’s Dialogue with Trypho (150-160AD):

“‘And the offering of fine flour, sirs,’ I said, ‘which was prescribed to be presented on behalf of those purified from leprosy, was a type of the bread of the Eucharist, the celebration of which our Lord Jesus Christ prescribed, in remembrance of the suffering which He endured on behalf of those who are purified in soul from all iniquity, in order that we may at the same time thank God for having created the world, with all things therein, for the sake of man, and for delivering us from the evil in which we were, and for utterly overthrowing principalities and powers by Him who suffered according to His will.’”
Chapter 41

"Now it is evident, that in this prophecy[allusion is made] to the bread which our Christ gave us to eat, in remembrance of His being made flesh for the sake of His believers, for whom also He suffered; and to the cup which He gave us to drink, in remembrance of His own blood, with giving of thanks.”
Chapter 70

“Now, that prayers and giving of thanks, when offered by worthy men, are the** only perfect and well-pleasing sacrifices to God**, I also admit. For such alone Christians have undertaken to offer, and in the remembrance effected by their solid and liquid food, whereby the suffering of the Son of God which He endured is** brought to mind**,”
Chapter 67

I wonder if the catholic Christians Justin Martyr and Augustine had access to a time machine and began to teach at the Council of Trent if they would have been excommunicated.

I wonder if Martin Luther would have taken his 95 theses to the Council of Nicea with a time machine if they would have excommunicated him. They probably wouldn’t have understood what an indulgence was and wouldn’t have understood penance because penance at that time was a very different process that could only be done once in a lifetime for certain sins they deemed mortal sins. I have to wonder if they would have supported or rejected the developments that took place over 1000 years later.


You would do well not to appeal to Augustine since he plainly tells us, “I would not believe in the Gospel myself if the authority of the Catholic Church did not influence me to do so.”
Against the letter of Mani, 5,6, 397 A.D.

[FONT=Georgia]And your Eucharistic argument fails miserably as well since the church has always taught the very same thing that St. Paul does in 1st Corinthians 11:23-30
[23] For I have received of the Lord that which also I delivered unto you, that the Lord Jesus, the same night in which he was betrayed, took bread. [24] And giving thanks, broke, and said: Take ye, and eat: this is my body, which shall be delivered for you: this do for the commemoration of me. [25] In like manner also the chalice, after he had supped, saying: This chalice is the new testament in my blood: this do ye, as often as you shall drink, for the commemoration of me.***[26]* For as often as you shall eat this bread, and drink the chalice, you shall shew the death of the Lord, until he come. [27] Therefore whosoever shall eat this bread, or drink the chalice of the Lord unworthily, shall be guilty of the body and of the blood of the Lord. [28] But let a man prove himself: and so let him eat of that bread, and drink of the chalice. [29] For he that eateth and drinketh unworthily, eateth and drinketh judgment to himself, not discerning the body of the Lord. [30] Therefore are there many infirm and weak among you, and many sleep.

If there is no real presence in the Eucharist, then how can St.Paul warn us not to take it unworthily lest we become guilty of the body and blood of the Lord? That “spiritualization” makes complete nonsense not only of the 6th chapter of John, but of 1st Corinthians 10:16-17 "*[FONT=Palatino Linotype]16 The chalice of benediction, which we bless, is it not the communion of the blood of Christ? And the bread, which we break, is it not the partaking of the body of the Lord? 17 For we, being many, are one bread, one body, all that partake of one bread."***

Now, how can one become guilty of the body and blood of the Lord if that body and blood of the Lord is not really there? Now if I make a symbol of a person and then I decide to do bad things to that symbol. I may indeed be guilty of abusing that symbol of the person, but am I guilty of his body and blood? Silly question…of course not! Why? Because that person is not really present in that symbol is it is he?

So not only does the early church assent to the clear teachings of the Word of God, but it appears clear that most modern n-Cs have departed from it. So then since scripture and history show that n-C doctrine on the Eucharist is unbiblical how can they in good conscience persist in those communities which maintain that error?

[/FONT][FONT=Georgia]In addition to these passages of the New Testament I would also like to add this very clear quote from St. Ignatius of Antioch, who was a close friend and disciple of St. John the evangelist , the bishop of Antioch and a martyr for the faith.
***[FONT=Palatino Linotype]

*** They abstain from the Eucharist and from prayer,(7) because they confess not the Eucharist to be the flesh of our Saviour Jesus Christ, which suffered for our sins, and which the Father, of His goodness, raised up again. Those, therefore, who speak against this gift of God, incur death(11) in the midst of their disputes. But it were better for them to treat it with respect,(13) that they also might rise again. It is fitting, therefore, that ye should keep aloof from such persons, and not to speak of(15) them either in private or in public, but to give heed to the prophets, and above all, to the Gospel, in which the passion[of Christ] has been revealed to us, and the resurrection has been fully proved.(16) But avoid all divisions, as the beginning of evils.*
The Epistle of Ignatius to the Smyrnaeans**

I’m disappointed.

You didn’t open up and read the internal links to #[FONT=&quot]34 :coffeeread: [/FONT]

Please open up the links inside #[FONT=&quot]34[/FONT]

That’s not history, but somebody’s justification for division. Guess what? It’s condemned in scripture. The Protestant revolt was condemned in the 16th century as division was condemned by the apostles. No difference.

That was all shown scripturally in #[FONT=&quot]34 . Please open the links

[/FONT]BTW, do you know who the book of Romans was written to? The Church of Rome. The same Church Pope Francis is over today 266th successor to Peter.

[FONT=&quot]Did Jesus put any limit[FONT=&quot]s on Peter as to where his authority is e[FONT=&quot]xercised in the world? Nope


You’re in the right place to ask these questions.:slight_smile:
That’s talking about the real presence of Jesus in the Eucharist. Would you like to see how far back that understanding goes in history?


*] The Real Presence

*] Christ in the Eucharist
for space and time, I’ll get to the rest of your post later

Augustine was a catholic Christian. My point is that a 5th century catholic is different from a 16th century Roman Catholic (and different that 21st century Roman Catholic). I also didn’t state that I agree with everything Augustine teaches, but just that some of his views are in disagreement with doctrines later created by catholic Christians.

Paul was correcting some problems that were occurring during their love feasts and communion services. The preceding verses: 1 Corinthians 11:17 “In the following directives I have no praise for you, for your meetings do more harm than good. 18 In the first place, I hear that when you come together as a church, there are divisions among you, and to some extent I believe it. 19 No doubt there have to be differences among you to show which of you have God’s approval. 20 So then, when you come together, it is not the Lord’s Supper you eat, 21** for when you are eating, some of you go ahead with your own private suppers. As a result, one person remains hungry and another gets drunk.** 22 Don’t you have homes to eat and drink in? Or do you despise the church of God by humiliating those who have nothing? What shall I say to you? Shall I praise you? Certainly not in this matter!”
The verses that come after the passage you shared show what is need to correct the problem: “31 But if we were more discerning with regard to ourselves, we would not come under such judgment. 32 Nevertheless, when we are judged in this way by the Lord, we are being disciplined so that we will not be finally condemned with the world.
33 So then, my brothers and sisters, when you gather to eat, you should all eat together. 34 Anyone who is hungry should eat something at home, so that when you meet together it may not result in judgment.”

I don’t know why the content of the Eucharistic elements would make a difference in their worthiness of receiving the sacrament representing the salvation work that Jesus performed on the cross. It is a privilege to participate in this service and they were disrespecting it.
Augustine’s Sermon 227 is similar to Sermon 272. david.heitzman.net/sermons227-229a.html It refers to this passage: “So they are great sacraments and signs, really serious and important sacraments. Do you want to know how their seriousness is impressed on us? The apostle says, Whoever eats the body of Christ or drinks the blood of the Lord unworthily is guilty of the body and blood of the Lord (1 Cor 11:27). What is receiving unworthily? Receiving with contempt, receiving with derision. Don’t let yourselves think that what you can see is of no account. What you can see passes away, but the invisible reality signified does not pass away, but remains. Look, it’s received, it’s eaten, it’s consumed. Is the body of Christ consumed, is the Church of Christ consumed, are the members of Christ consumed?†9 Perish the thought! Here they are being purified, there they will be crowned with the victor’s laurels. So what is signified will remain eternally, although the thing that signifies it seems to pass away. So receive the sacrament in such a way that you think about yourselves, that you retain unity in your hearts, that you always fix your hearts up above.

John 6:63 “The Spirit gives life; the flesh counts for nothing. The words I have spoken to you—they are full of the Spirit[a] and life.” This doesn’t sound like spiritualization nonsense to me. 1 Corinthians 10 is part of Augustine’s sermon 227 and 272. It is a really fascinating example he gave. He compares the members of the church to many grains and many grapes that form one loaf and one brew of wine.

They weren’t guilty of injuring the actual elements. It was how they were misusing the sacrament that they had the privilege to participate in because Jesus sacrificed his body and blood, right?

[/FONT][FONT=Georgia]In addition to these passages of the New Testament I would also like to add this very clear quote from St. Ignatius of Antioch, who was a close friend and disciple of St. John the evangelist , the bishop of Antioch and a martyr for the faith.
***[FONT=Palatino Linotype]

*** They abstain from the Eucharist and from prayer,(7) because they confess not the Eucharist to be the flesh of our Saviour Jesus Christ, which suffered for our sins, and which the Father, of His goodness, raised up again. Those, therefore, who speak against this gift of God, incur death(11) in the midst of their disputes. But it were better for them to treat it with respect,(13) that they also might rise again. It is fitting, therefore, that ye should keep aloof from such persons, and not to speak of(15) them either in private or in public, but to give heed to the prophets, and above all, to the Gospel, in which the passion[of Christ] has been revealed to us, and the resurrection has been fully proved.(16) But avoid all divisions, as the beginning of evils.*
The Epistle of Ignatius to the Smyrnaeans**

Ignatius was speaking about a gnostic heresy called Docetism. This heresy denies that Jesus came to earth with a body. britannica.com/topic/Docetism In chapter 5 “For what does any one profit me, if he commends me, but blasphemes my Lord, not confessing that He was[truly] possessed of a body?” I don’t know if Ignatius was speaking of transubstantiation or not. I do know that there would be no reason to celebrate a symbolic communion about Jesus’ sacrifice on the cross if he did not really die on the cross. That is the whole point of communion. I don’t know if this is sufficient evidence to know Ignatius’ ideas on the Eucharist. But there was clearly plenty of theologians in the first 500 years who denied transubstantiation - yet were in the catholic church.

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