If Catholics can interpret this passage loosely


#1

If Catholics can interpret passages of the Bible loosely to conclude that:

  • Purgatory exists
  • One must confess sins to a priest
  • There exist mortal and venial sin
  • Praying to saints is okay and God is pleased with it
  • Mary has a high position
  • Abortion is a grave evil
  • Contraception is a grave evil
  • Homosexual sex is a sin
  • Tradition must be followed
  • The Eucharist is the Real Presence
  • The Bible is not the only authority and the Church is the pillar of the Truth
  • Peter is the Rock on which the Church stands, and Rome is primary and infallible in areas of faith and morals

Then why can’t Protestants interpret passages of the Bible loosely to conclude that:

  • Sola Scriptura is true
  • Purgatory does not exist
  • Prayers should be sent to God only
  • Confessions should be sent to God only
  • Mary does not have a high position
  • Homosexuality is not a sin; rather, temple prostitution and pederasty were being referred to
  • There is nothing banning contraception
  • Drinking alcohol is a sin
  • Smoking tobacco is a sin
  • Certain forms of dancing are sins
  • Having statutes in church is idolatry
  • It is not necessary to adhere to all Holy Tradition, and the Gospel can and should be adapted to be relevant to people of all cultures and times, for evangelization purposes
  • The Eucharist is symbolic
  • Jesus is the Rock on which the Church stands, and therefore Rome is not primary

Can someone help? If you say the Magisterium helps us, then why should we continue to trust the Magisterium in the face of continuing Catholic Church scandal?


#2

How are Catholics interpreting the Bible loosely?

Do you read the New Testament?

The Catholic list you put is pretty obvious when reading the Bible.


#3

Isn’t the Protestant list just as obvious as the Catholic one? Let’s narrow the argument down and discuss a few items in each list.


#4

No!

Okay. Any particular one that you are having the most problem with?

Jesus said that His body was real food and his blood was real drink and that we need this for salvation. He told us to receive it in memory of Him.

He didn’t say pretend or symbolic.


#5

All of the Catholic positions that you mention are based on the Apostolic Christian faith and are in the Catholic Bible explicitly, not “loosely.”


#6

Being a convert from protestant to catholic I can tell you that my experience shows that the problem lies with the fact that protestants use only a few verses (many times out of context) to back up their claims. While Catholicism relies on the bible in its entirety. It seems that even tho Jesus tells us that His body and blood is true food indeed, protestants over look that. So much of the bible seems to be overlooked in all but the Catholic Church. Take each point you’ve made and watch a few debates on the topics…I believe you’ll find your answers.


#7

Good idea. Since you made the charge, you get to start – list exactly what makes one or two of those items a “loose” interpretation by the Catholic Church.


#8

If Sola Scriptura were true, then 1) there wouldn’t be any debate on what the Bible means, and 2) you could get a list of the books of the Bible from within the Bible, without need for Tradition.

  • Prayers should be sent to God only

“To pray” just means “to ask”. There are even cases in the KJV where humans are prayed to. (And as early as Genesis, I might add)

  • Mary does not have a high position

“From this day, all generations will call me blessed” Lk 1:48
“Then he said to the disciple, ‘Behold, your mother!’” Jn 19:27

Mary gave birth to God himself, and you mean to tell me she’s not important?

  • Drinking alcohol is a sin

Ignoring the Last Supper, I point out the Wedding at Cana. Jesus’ first miracle involved wine. If alcohol was necessarily sinful, and not just sinful in excess, wouldn’t it have made more sense to miraculously turn it back into water?

  • Certain forms of dancing are sins

I’m 19, and I have to agree about grinding.

  • Having statutes in church is idolatry

“Make one cherub on the end, and one cherub on the other end” Ex 25:19, just 5 chapters after the Decalogue.

The prohibition is not against any and all statues. If you look at the verse in context, you see God telling them to make statues quite a few times. The cherubim on the Ark, the bronze serpent, the cherubim in the Temple… The prohibition is against making idols and worshiping them as God.

  • The Eucharist is symbolic

Don’t you think he would have called the crowd back in John 6? Or if it was symbolic, then why did so many people choose to die for it.

  • Jesus is the Rock on which the Church stands

Luther disagrees with you. :cool:


#9

Let’s run with that.

If that were the case, what would differentiate the CC from other churches? Why believe the CC interpretation of Scripture over others? The difference is authority. Who has the authority to interpret Scripture?

We Catholics will tell you that only the Catholic Magisterium had/has the authority to interpret Sacred Scripture. That has been in operation since the Apostles and continues unbroken for over 2000years to today within the CC from St Peter to Pope Francis.

Excluding the EO, you would need to convince us that Protestant churches also possess that authority unbroken throughout the past 2000years.

The scandals will not bury Christ’s church. That is impossible. It has existed for over 2000years, the oldest institution on earth and has been attacked from within and without over the years and survived. It is an institution staffed by humans, humans sin, there is no getting around it. Every church/religion has had it’s fair share of scandals, the difference is in the publicity it receives.


#10
  • Purgatory exists:
    Circumstantial evidence at best. It is possible that the “consuming fire” passage refers to people being accountable to the works they do in this life. But it doesn’t necessitate the existence of a purgatory process. Also, the “not in this life or the next” passage could also refer to an emphasis on how someone might not be forgiven at any time under certain circumstances. Therefore, a loose interpretation by the CC.

  • One must confess sins to a priest

  • There exist mortal and venial sin
    There are no Biblical verses on point; rather, an analysis of the consequences different people faced for different sins according to various verses. The Bible does mention confessing sins to each other. But it doesn’t necessitate the dogmatic, guilt-mongering system that the CC devised in which one must confess mortal sins to remain in a state of grace, or else one faces hell. It doesn’t exclude the possibility that absolution can be obtained by confessing to God directly. It doesn’t exclude the possibility of Once Saved, Always Saved.

  • Praying to saints is okay and God is pleased with it
    Though there is definitely a communion of saints, there is no Bible verse on point that requires the frequency in which Catholics pray to saints. Logically speaking, shouldn’t prayer to God Himself be foremost?

  • Mary has a high position
    Yes, the Hail Mary is a quote from what Gabriel said to Mary in the Bible, but it does not necessitate putting Mary in such a high place as Catholics put her. Mary is just a human. God is first. The Hail Mary is an overemphasis on Gabriel’s quote in the Bible, and even Catholics admit that Marian devotion has gone too far.

  • Abortion is a grave evil
    Though the Bible says that God knew us from when we were in the womb, this does not necessitate banning abortion. This is a loose interpretation.

  • Contraception is a grave evil
    There are no Bible verses banning contraception. Onan’s death was in the Old Testament. If OT law still holds true, then why do Catholics have tattoos and shave the backs of their heads? This is a loose interpretation. And who gets to decide whether something is a ceremonial tradition or a moral tradition?

  • Homosexual sex is a sin
    A complicated topic. But research shows that the Bible is not as clear on this topic as we once thought. See gaychurch.org/homosexuality-and-the-bible/the-bible-christianity-and-homosexuality/

  • Tradition must be followed
    There is nothing that states that we MUST follow Holy Tradition. We know that Paul, in his missionary journeys, adapted himself to connect with multiple cultures so that he can spread the Gospel, the way Protestants do now.

  • The Eucharist is the Real Presence
    Then it must logically follow that the CC teaches cannibalism, and in turn, murder. And see above, do we have to follow Holy Tradition?

  • The Bible is not the only authority and the Church is the pillar of the Truth
    If Catholics can interpret Scripture loosely as above, then we can interpret 1 Peter loosely and say Sola Scriptura is true.

  • Peter is the Rock on which the Church stands, and Rome is primary and infallible in areas of faith and morals
    It is quite possible that Jesus is the Rock referred to in this verse. We know that this Rock was near a cave that was said to be the lair of the pagan god Pan, a god of fertility (sexuality). The Church was built to combat paganism. But it doesn’t necessitate that Peter is this Rock.


#11

2 verses come to mind, Luke 16:10, whoever is faithful in the small is faithful in the big, and 1 Corinthians 14:33, God is a God of peace not confusion.

You can not dare say, that one topic has 5 different stances. That’s what you have with Protestants and say oh their right. Because if you say that your making God sound confused and Scripture says that God is not confused.


#12

I’ve seen these questions somewhere before…

youtube.com/watch?v=QBQUHRL_eC8

God Bless.


#13

We can toss Bible verses back and forth all day long, because I think I can defend the Church’s positions based on the Bible and you probably think you can defend those other ones based on the Bible. But at the end of the day, I don’t think it’s reasonable that we should each have to try to figure out all the truth on our own. I think there ought to be someone in authority just because logic dictates that not everyone will ever agree on how to interpret the Bible. What you said right here is the main thing:

If you say the Magisterium helps us, then why should we continue to trust the Magisterium in the face of continuing Catholic Church scandal?

I think we can trust the Magisterium’s teachings even if some of its priests are sinners. What do you think?


#14

Counterargument: Nothing unclean can enter the kingdom of Heaven. Hence, there’s some sort of purgation by which we’re cleansed completely of sins. As an analogy, say you’re wearing some light clothes and fall in the mud. You might wipe it off, but there’ll still be a stain, and you still wouldn’t wear it to fancy occasions.

  • Praying to saints is okay and God is pleased with it
    Though there is definitely a communion of saints, there is no Bible verse on point that requires the frequency in which Catholics pray to saints. Logically speaking, shouldn’t prayer to God Himself be foremost?

I will give you that there’s nothing that says we have to pray to saints. Mainly because there isn’t. But they’re still up there in Heaven praying for us, so why not tell them what we want them to pray for us about?

  • Abortion is a grave evil
    Though the Bible says that God knew us from when we were in the womb, this does not necessitate banning abortion. This is a loose interpretation.

Well thankfully we don’t ban them because God knew us from the womb. :rolleyes:

The CC (and plenty of secular scientists) believe that life begins at conception. Hence, abortion is murder.

  • Tradition must be followed
    There is nothing that states that we MUST follow Holy Tradition.

But logically, Tradition must exist. Ignoring the obvious example of the Bible itself, I point out the end of John’s Gospel. “Now Jesus did many other signs in the presence of the disciples, which are not written in this book” The Bible itself says that it doesn’t contain everything.

  • Peter is the Rock on which the Church stands

Once again, even Luther, the father of Protestantism, agrees that Peter is the Rock. As do plenty of modern Protestants, for that matter.


#15

First, the Catholic Church does not interpret things loosely. I think you might mean for some things there is not a lot of Biblical evidence.

The difference is authority.

Christ never wrote a word. He taught directly disciples. Those disciples taught others. Only part was later recorded in a book and collected into the Bible. The church with the protection of the Holy Spirit has protected this teaching. We trace it back all the way to Christ , Protestants just trace back a couple hundred years to their founders opinions.

Basically we use the book and the oral dynamic teachings of Jesus.

Imagine if Jesus taught you for three years. After you wrote letters to twenty friends telling them about it all, and you formed disciples to carry on the message and instructed them

Then 1000 years later someone decides to only use the twenty letters you wrote to form a religion from. They discard all that you painstakingly instructed but failed to write. They also threw away all the secondary writings by disciples over the years that did contain writing of the oral teachings simply because it wasn’t in one of your 20 letters.

That is exactly what Protestants did/do


#16

Good reading!


#17

The short answer to your question (all I have time for right now) is that protestants CAN interpret Scripture to mean the things you mention above…

The real question is whether or not a given interpretation is correct…

Hopefully I can address this a bit more fully later

Peace
James


#18

The difference between the two is called humility. The
Catholic Church is humble. Which MEANS using
purgatory and tradition as an example:
if the Jews did it we do it as well until Christ tells us
otherwise.
Purgatory is based on scant Biblical traditions but
Strongly on Jewish custom during the time of and
prior to Christ and still today.

At no point did Christ tell His disciples to stop praying
for the dead. Not once. Therefore until Christ tells
us to stop we will continue this holy practice.

Passover: we have not stopped this either. Our
Passover sacrifice continues uninterrupted except
for the changes Christ Himself made.

If Christ did not condemn a widely done religious
practice of HIS people- the Jews and HIS religion-Judaism-then we do not either.


#19

Please do not take my comment as devaluing the Bible.

At any point during His ministry, Jesus could have said…write this down or keep a journal or designate a specific person as a scribe or even left behind a book that He Himself wrote. He could have done any of those things but He did not.

What He did do is leave behind His authority to Peter and the apostles, imparted with knowledge and the Holy Spirit, to continue His ministry…that is the Catholic Church.

What He did do was promise that the gates of hell will not prevail.

If you believe that Jesus can appear to St Paul on the road to Damascus(it is in the Bible), and you can believe that Jesus Ascended into Heaven(it is in the Bible), and you can believe that Jesus resurrected (it is in the Bible) etc. etc. etc. …

Why can’t you believe that Jesus would leave behind a Church and declare that the gates of hell will not prevail against it, in order for us to have guidance, a beacon of Truth?

Here we are 2000+ years later and the gates of hell have not prevailed though many attempts have been made

When it comes to interpreting scripture, I have found many people who can make the Bible sing to their tune…(not all the same tune BTW). Someone is right and someone is wrong. The authority is with the CC.


#20

OK - I expressed earlier that there is nothing to prevent anyone from interpreting Scripture any way they choose.

To answer why continue to trust the magisterium…let’s start by looking at Scripture.
[BIBLEDRB]Mt 23:1-3[/BIBLEDRB]

Now we all know how Jesus felt about the scandalous lives of the Church leadership of the day,yet in the above passage, he upholds their teaching authority.
Why didn’t Jesus tell the people to not trust the Pharisees because of the scandals?

Further, we see in Mt 16 where Jesus Give Peter Authority to bind and loose and then shortly there-after admonish him severely for wrong thinking…Yet Jesus did not take back the authority he had just bestowed…Even later after Peter had denied Jesus three times, Jesus does not denounce him or take back his authority. In fact, in John’s Gospel, we see Jesus reinforce Peter’s mission and authority in the “Do you love me” passage. Jesus tells him to “tend” and to “feed” His sheep.

Scandals cannot be a basis on which to judge the validity of the teaching of the Church.

Hope this helps some.

Peace
James


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