Hi all! Something just occurred to me. I was thinking, is it better to have many denominations? The reason being that, like in economics/marketing, the more denominations/brands we have, the bigger the market share that Christendom has. So in this regard, is it better to have more denominations?
Anyway, just something that just occurred to me. Please be gentle!
It also adds to product confusion. It’s best to have the Catholic Church everywhere, than have all sorts of people saying contradictory things about Jesus. That’s scandalous and confusing to those struggling in darkness. Instead of presenting them with one bright light, they see a muddled mess.
Those who deny even one dogma of the Faith are, by definition, not Catholic and not Christian. It doesn’t matter if there is only one denomination of protestants or the 70,000 some odd that they are now: they are heretics and need to be brought to the fullness of the Truth, without which it is impossible for them to please God and save their immortal souls!
This will always be the case with sinners. But there is one discernable rule of faith, even if people don’t follow it or accept it. On the other hand, denominationalism yields many contradictory rules of faith which are all considered valid, rather than departures from the one rule.
It depends. If they have been Baptized they carry the indelible mark from Christ.
Likewise, the Baptized truly become members of the Body of Christ. The Council of Florence defined Baptism as the sacrament by which we enter the Church, as through a door. The Council of Trent anathematizes those who do not admit even heretics’ Baptisms to be true Baptisms.
Likewise, heresy only separates one from that union with the Body of Christ entered in Baptism if there is culpability. Just because someone is poorly educated as to the dogmas of the faith doesn’t expel the person from the Body of Christ.
So, all those united to the Church in Baptism and are not obstinate heretics, but rather desire to believe all that God has revealed, carry the indellible mark of a Christian and are united to the Body of Christ.
In economics, different companies in the same division usually have different focuses, slightly different things to offer, and this helps.
But I believe Catholicism has the ability to cover it all. Different orders of clergy, different apostolates, different devotions - we should be able to attract every type of person while giving them a unified message.
To compare Christendom to a “shoe store” chain for example, Catholicism has every type of shoe at the best price. Or it least it should. When you add more denominations that may hold false beliefs, yes there will be more shoes for more people, but sometimes the shoe has a hole in the toe.
That doesn’t make them any more Christian than a practicing Catholic he renounces the Faith and becomes a satanic priest. If you don’t hold and profess all of the Truths of the Faith then you’re not a Christian.
The reality is there are so many different churches, and factions within churches, is because not everyone thinks alike or has the same background and experiences. Unless you force a particular faith on a group of people through some means of coercion, different people will understand things differently. Usually there is agreement on issues on a larger scale. But as the issues become more detailed and intricate, there is less agreement. While we should all work for unity as Christians, which is what Jesus prayed for to the Father, we should be mindful of Mark 10:38-41. In that passage, the Apostles complained to Jesus that there were others casting out demons in Jesus’ name, but they did not belong to their group. Jesus reminded them that no one who does good in His Name is an adversary or against them. Also in the 10th chapter of John, Jesus tells the Apostles again that He has other sheep, not of this fold, who will hear His voice and He will shepherd them. So it should be for us as Christians - we must work together for a better world and quit condemning each other for differences in doctrines.
Back when I was a Protestant, I frequently mused on the subject of the multiplicity of denominations, and wondered if that might be something that God allowed in our age for the same reason that he allowed divorce under the Law–because of the hardness of people’s hearts.
Now I know better. Denominations are a result of human self-centeredness (among other things), and their existence runs counter to the many demands for unity in the New Testament, not the least of which occurs in Jesus’ High Priestly prayer in John 17.
We Catholics have to be careful in how we judge others. I’ve been a lifelong Catholic and I have done quite a bit of studying of our faith. But I’ve met many wonderful people from other churches and faiths who are sincere and faithful in their beliefs. I respect their beliefs even if I don’t agree with some of them. I don’t think any of them are not Catholic because of any selfish motivation on their part. Many of them lead exemplary lives. I think that, like the parable of the different gifts or talents, some of us are given more or different amounts of grace to discern God’s will. Those with more talents/gifts/grace than others are not “better”. Rather, more is expected from those to whom much is given. Therefore, we Catholics have a lot of work to do if we believe we’re more gifted.
I agree with St. Thomas and the Catholic Encyclopedia:
I. CONNOTATION AND DEFINITION
St. Thomas (II-II:11:1) defines heresy: “a species of infidelity in men who, having professed the faith of Christ, corrupt its dogmas”. "The right Christian faith consists in giving one’s voluntary assent to Christ in all that truly belongs to His teaching. There are, therefore, two ways of deviating from Christianity: the one by refusing to believe in Christ Himself, which is the way of infidelity, common to Pagans and Jews; the other by restricting belief to certain points of Christ’s doctrine selected and fashioned at pleasure, which is the way of heretics. The subject-matter of both faith and heresy is, therefore, the deposit of the faith, that is, the sum total of truths revealed in Scripture and Tradition as proposed to our belief by the Church. The believer accepts the whole deposit as proposed by the Church; the heretic accepts only such parts of it as commend themselves to his own approval. The heretical tenets may be ignorance of the true creed, erroneous judgment, imperfect apprehension and comprehension of dogmas: in none of these does the will play an appreciable part, wherefore one of the necessary conditions of sinfulness–free choice–is wanting and such heresy is merely objective, or material. On the other hand the will may freely incline the intellect to adhere to tenets declared false by the Divine teaching authority of the Church. The impelling motives are many: intellectual pride or exaggerated reliance on one’s own insight; the illusions of religious zeal; the allurements of political or ecclesiastical power; the ties of material interests and personal status; and perhaps others more dishonourable. Heresy thus willed is imputable to the subject and carries with it a varying degree of guilt; it is called formal, because to the material error it adds the informative element of “freely willed”.
IV. GRAVITY OF THE SIN OF HERESY
Heresy is a sin because of its nature it is destructive of the virtue of Christian faith. Its malice is to be measured therefore by the excellence of the good gift of which it deprives the soul. Now faith is the most precious possession of man, the root of his supernatural life, the pledge of his eternal salvation. Privation of faith is therefore the greatest evil, and deliberate rejection of faith is the greatest sin. St. Thomas (II-II, Q. x, a. 3) arrives at the same conclusion thus:* “All sin is an aversion from God. A sin, therefore, is the greater the more it separates man from God.* But infidelity does this more than any other sin, for the infidel (unbeliever) is without the true knowledge of God: his false knowledge does not bring him help, for what he opines is not God: manifestly, then, the sin of unbelief ( infidelitas) is the greatest sin in the whole range of perversity.” And he adds: "Although the Gentiles err in more things than the Jews, and although the Jews are farther removed from true faith than heretics, yet the unbelief of the Jews is a more grievous sin than that of the Gentiles, because they corrupt the Gospel itself after having adopted and professed the same. . . . It is a more serious sin not to perform what one has promised than not to perform what one has not promised." It cannot be pleaded in attenuation of the guilt of heresy that heretics do not deny the faith which to them appears necessary to salvation, but only such articles as they consider not to belong to the original deposit. In answer it suffices to remark that two of the most evident truths of the depositum fidei are the unity of the Church and the institution of a teaching authority to maintain that unity. That unity exists in the Catholic Church, and is preserved by the function of her teaching body: these are two facts which anyone can verify for himself. In the constitution of the Church there is no room for private judgment sorting essentials from non-essentials***: any such selection disturbs the unity,and challenges the Divine authority, of the Church; it strikes at the very source of faith.*** The guilt of heresy is measured not so much by its subject-matter as by its formal principle, which is the same in all heresies: revolt against a Divinely constituted authority.
(The Catholic Encyclopedia, Volume VII. Published 1910. New York: Robert Appleton Company. Nihil Obstat, June 1, 1910. Remy Lafort, S.T.D., Censor. Imprimatur. +John Cardinal Farley, Archbishop of New York) newadvent.org/cathen/07256b.htm
In Summation, I reiterate, heretics and are not Christian in the slightest, that includes but is not limited to, many Christian denominations. GOD Bless you.