Long Term Effects Of Protestantism


#1

Dear All:

Protetantism has been around long enough and in enough places for somebody somewhere to have done a study and determine what the long term effects of Protestantism are to a society. Does anyone know if this has been done yet??? To me, it doesn’t look all that good in the long term - but I just might be biased. Would be interesting to get an official opinion from a secular historian or socialogist or whoever does these types of things… Any one know of any information of this type???


#2

I don’t, but I’m pretty sure we can trace post-modernism and relativism right to the Reformation…


#3

[quote=maesoph]Dear All:

Protetantism has been around long enough and in enough places for somebody somewhere to have done a study and determine what the long term effects of Protestantism are to a society. Does anyone know if this has been done yet??? To me, it doesn’t look all that good in the long term - but I just might be biased. Would be interesting to get an official opinion from a secular historian or socialogist or whoever does these types of things… Any one know of any information of this type???
[/quote]

Anyone that is concerned about the long term affects of Protestantism can always move to a Catholic country. It would be interesting though to ask all of the people living in the Americas where they would prefer to live. Would it be in the Protestant North of Canada and the United States or the Catholic South with countries like Peru, Columbia, etc.


#4

[quote=Alfie]Anyone that is concerned about the long term affects of Protestantism can always move to a Catholic country. It would be interesting though to ask all of the people living in the Americas where they would prefer to live. Would it be in the Protestant North of Canada and the United States or the Catholic South with countries like Peru, Columbia, etc.
[/quote]

Lol. Hey, that’s not a bad idea. I’d LOVE to go live with my Catholic brothers and sisters in a tropical climate. :wink:


#5

Oh, can we please (speaking to both sides) stop this mudsling? It’s neither productive nor Christlike.

Kendy


#6

[quote=montanaman]I don’t, but I’m pretty sure we can trace post-modernism and relativism right to the Reformation…
[/quote]

I’d have to agree. Relativism is inherent in Protestantism.


#7

[quote=Kendy]Oh, can we please (speaking to both sides) stop this mudsling? It’s neither productive nor Christlike.

Kendy
[/quote]

Kendy, I understand your aversion to this. However, the question is a legitimate one (even if there’e no guarantee that the answers will be kind) and an interesting one, from the philosophical standpoint. I was a Protestant myself for a period of time, and many of my friends are. I can see that there were some positive aspects of the particular Protestant worship I availed myself of in those days, and I can see that (in the past, at least) Protestantism has been good for a few friends for whom that was their first (and very positive!) experience with serious Christians. However, I do believe that the answer to the question of long-term effects is not positive, as I do believe relativism is inherent in Protestantism, and is ultimately destructive to Christianity. Am I “mudslinging”? No, I’m simply assessing the long-term effects in as objective and thoughtful a way as possible. The short-term effects for individuals are often quite positive.


#8

[quote=Alfie]Anyone that is concerned about the long term affects of Protestantism can always move to a Catholic country. It would be interesting though to ask all of the people living in the Americas where they would prefer to live. Would it be in the Protestant North of Canada and the United States or the Catholic South with countries like Peru, Columbia, etc.
[/quote]

Hey, I’d go for Poland! And Ireland is still pretty good, though slipping.


#9

[quote=Sherlock]Hey, I’d go for Poland! And Ireland is still pretty good, though slipping.
[/quote]

Don’t forget Italy. If we were all cordoned off in our own little theological communities, I’d have to go with Italy. Definitely. :smiley:


#10

[quote=Sherlock]Kendy, I understand your aversion to this. However, the question is a legitimate one (even if there’e no guarantee that the answers will be kind) and an interesting one, from the philosophical standpoint. I was a Protestant myself for a period of time, and many of my friends are. I can see that there were some positive aspects of the particular Protestant worship I availed myself of in those days, and I can see that (in the past, at least) Protestantism has been good for a few friends for whom that was their first (and very positive!) experience with serious Christians. However, I do believe that the answer to the question of long-term effects is not positive, as I do believe relativism is inherent in Protestantism, and is ultimately destructive to Christianity. Am I “mudslinging”? No, I’m simply assessing the long-term effects in as objective and thoughtful a way as possible. The short-term effects for individuals are often quite positive.
[/quote]

Well, if you insist. It seems l like there have been positive and negative on both sides. I don’t think the the enlightment and industrial revolution would have happened without the reformation, and while it has led to relativism, it has also led to human progress. But that’s often an important part of human progress. Asking questioning and doubting are often how we make big discoveries. Catholicism certainly perserved the Christian faith for centuries through its monastaries and evangelization of Europe. It brought the world many great charitable organizations. In fact, brought the world the idea of a charitale institution. However, Catholicism has also been incredibly stiffling, halted human progress centuries. It also brought us the crusades and the inquisition.

As for growing up in all catholic country, it’s not all you are cracking it up to be even from from a purely religious perspective. My experience was that growing up in a catholic country is that it is often more cultural than spiritual. 90% of Haitians would say they are catholic, but only a tiny minority of them are Christian in any meaningful way. Baptism, communion, and confirmations are simply opportunities to throw big parties, and having spent the second part of my life and Latin American dominated Miami, I am pretty comfortable saying that this is the same for the Hispanics around me. Everyone is catholic, but there seems to be little evidence that their faith has an impact on the lives they choose to live.

I don’t mean to be insulting, but all of my grandparents were catholics. But on both sides of my family, the only people who take their faith seriously are the protestants. In fact, in both sides of my extended family, the only people who have had abortions, out of wedlock births, and divorces are the catholics! Growing up, I never saw anyone crack open a bible once, and most of my family members were literate.

As for relativism, there is certainly plenty of it in American Catholic Church. Poll after poll indicate that American catholics (not to mention South African catholics, Italian catholics, and increasingly Latin American catholics) are extremely liberal and don’t take the church’s teachings all that seriously. Many of the relativists in the church are priests and nuns. I have met plenty of them. So, it seems to me that looking at the relativism in protestant churches is a real case ignoring the big, fat log in your eye.

I imagine that many of you would want nothing more than for protestants to come to Rome. Well, I assure you that I would have never left the church if I had not witnessed so much lukewarm behavior and relativism in the catholics around me. So, you might be better off bringing renewal to the catholic church than comforting yourselves by pondering all the errors of protestantism. Besides making you feel smug, it will accomplish nothing for the body of Christ.

There was an article in the Rock some time ago called what catholics can learn from evangelicals, which I think might be useful for catholics to read. If more than catholics did these things, more protestants might “come home.”

Kendy


#11

[quote=montanaman]Don’t forget Italy. If we were all cordoned off in our own little theological communities, I’d have to go with Italy. Definitely. :smiley:
[/quote]

Doesn’t Italy have a declining population due to its low birth rate? How are they catholic (Christian) in any meaningful sense?

Kendy


#12

[quote=montanaman]Don’t forget Italy. If we were all cordoned off in our own little theological communities, I’d have to go with Italy. Definitely. :smiley:
[/quote]

You and the other European countries should thank the United States for the Marshall Plan that rebuilt Europe. However, it seems that it was all for not because it won’t be long before the Moslem religion will be the dominant force on the continent, so you had better think about that before you decide to move there.


#13

Ah, the “Crusades and the Inquisition”.

Have you read Hillaire Belloc? Or the Cambridge History series? Or “The Triumph of the Cross?”

In my experience, the majority of those who bring up “the crusades and the inquisition” lack a balanced knowledge AND a sense of historical context. Again, in my experience, the majority of those who bring up the crusades and the inquisition as NEGATIVES have little idea of what life (meaning people, society, and experience) was like for people who actually LIVED the events, as opposed to those of us examining those events, in retrospect, centuries later, with a very, very different experience of people, society, mores etc.)

In my experience, many people seem to think that the crusades came about because greedy, dark-ages, thuggish, intolerant Christians were trying to forcibly convert peaceful, advanced, tolerant Muslims and to “take their lands”. They also seem to think that the “inquistion” came about because the Catholic Church wanted to stamp out Protestants, and went on to burn witches.

The reality of both is quite, quite different. Neither Christians nor Muslims were “tolerant”–or INTOLERANT for that matter. Neither group had any sort of experience of tolerance or intolerance, for the simple reason that neither had anything really to “tolerate”. Muslims did not “tolerate” so-called “people of the book” the way that Protestants “tolerate” Catholics, or Buddhists, or atheists. . . or vice versa. Neither did Christians have “intolerance” for others when they sought to convert pagans, Jews, Muslims etc. For the Muslims, “allowance” of a group of people to follow certain laws or live in certain places did not mean that any of those people could not at any time face either “death or conversion”, or that the nonMuslims were viewed as equals. And for the Christians, the ideas that, say, Druids, should be “allowed” to persist in their beliefs–beliefs, I should mention, which came relatively late in human history and superseded various other beliefs, from animism on–and that speaking to them and urging their conversion to Christ was somehow “intolerant” or disrespectful, implying that Christian belief was “BETTER”–well, those ideas would have been met with derision. The Druids themselves did not necessarily believe their religion was “better” than Christianity, or feel that they were being disrespected. That type of revisionistic belief is far more typical of the CURRENT mindset which has come out of the Reformation.

Further, the Inquistions (there were more than one, lasting over a period of centuries) were internal, not external. They had nothing to do with Protestantism either. The earliest ones in fact took place when Christian MEANT Catholic --there were no protestants–and were concerned with orthodoxy of those who PROFESSED to be Catholic but secretly were not. . .most often those of Spanish Moorish background whose ancestors had been Jewish, who had become Christian, but whose descendents, while claiming to be Christian, had reverted to the Jewish faith. Thus, we have internal heresy, not external.

Finally, witches were burned far more by the Protestants (for which we can mostly thank King James I and VI). While neither individual GROUPS of Catholics or Protestants can be blameless–people on BOTH sides made mistakes, people on BOTH sides also acted with great courage and goodness, still, the end results of centuries of rebellion have yet to be seen. One can only say that the results THUS FAR have yielded great individuals on both sides, but great internal damage to the majority on both sides too. . . in my opinion and experience.


#14

I am well aware of this.

Well, I am inclined to agree with most of this. Can you say a little more about what you mean by internal damage to both sides?

Kendy


#15

[quote=Kendy]Well, if you insist. It seems l like there have been positive and negative on both sides. I don’t think the the enlightment and industrial revolution would have happened without the reformation, and while it has led to relativism, it has also led to human progress.
[/quote]

To be honest, there have been destructive, dehumanizing aspects of the industrial revolution, and the enlightenment was hostile to religion of any kind, being atheistic in its outlook. So while you cite those as evidence of non-Catholic “progress”, I’d say they were a mixed bag at best. You need to come up with a stronger case.

[quote=Kendy] However, Catholicism has also been incredibly stiffling, halted human progress centuries. It also brought us the crusades and the inquisition. .
[/quote]

There is no basis for your assertion that Catholicism has been “incredibly stifling”. (And please don’t trot out Galileo until you read "http://www.catholic.com/library/Galileo_Controversy.asp
The European university system is of Catholic lineage; the organization of the legal system is of Catholic lineage; many of the “fathers” in various scientific fields have been Catholic----I suggest you read Thomas Woods book about how Catholicism built Western Civilization before you simply recite the usual myths about the inquisition and the Crusades (both of which I’m not ashamed of, especially the Crusades). And the flowering of architecture, great art, and literature produced by Catholics has not been equalled. So—what’s this “stifling” you’re referring to?

[quote=Kendy]As for growing up in all catholic country, it’s not all you are cracking it up to be even from from a purely religious perspective. My experience was that growing up in a catholic country is that it is often more cultural than spiritual. 90% of Haitians would say they are catholic, but only a tiny minority of them are Christian in any meaningful way. Baptism, communion, and confirmations are simply opportunities to throw big parties, and having spent the second part of my life and Latin American dominated Miami, I am pretty comfortable saying that this is the same for the Hispanics around me. Everyone is catholic, but there seems to be little evidence that their faith has an impact on the lives they choose to live.
[/quote]

It’s always a problem if people don’t take their faith seriously. But I don’t base my search for objective truth on others. And I certainly wouldn’t base an assessment of a particular faith on those who DON’T practice it: this is like trying to doscover how to win at an Olympic event by talking to, not the winners, but those who didn’t even try out for the team. This isn’t even logical. Trust me, I wouldn’t base my estimation of Protestantism on the lukewarm, “practical atheism” of my Protestant aquaintances.

[quote=Kendy]I don’t mean to be insulting, but all of my grandparents were catholics. But on both sides of my family, the only people who take their faith seriously are the protestants. In fact, in both sides of my extended family, the only people who have had abortions, out of wedlock births, and divorces are the catholics! Growing up, I never saw anyone crack open a bible once, and most of my family members were literate.
[/quote]

Once again, you insist on judging a faith on those who don’t practice it. It doesn’t make sense. If you want to know what a tree grows, look at mature fruit on the tree, not withered half-grown windfalls on the ground. Look at the saints; look at Mother Theresa; John Paul ll, Mary Jo Copeland; etc. Why is your faith based on humans? You’re always going to be disappointed that way, trust me.

continued…


#16

My experience as well. All my relatives are Catholic. I have never seen a bible opened nor grace being said…unless it is a big family get together like Christmas, then the same grace is recited every year.

I know they think I am in a cult as I go to church often, miss parties etc cause I am @ bible study or whatever. Then in my leisure time, studing the bible on my own. Not attacking here, just elaborating my same experience.


#17

cont.

[quote=Kendy]As for relativism, there is certainly plenty of it in American Catholic Church. Poll after poll indicate that American catholics (not to mention South African catholics, Italian catholics, and increasingly Latin American catholics) are extremely liberal and don’t take the church’s teachings all that seriously. Many of the relativists in the church are priests and nuns. I have met plenty of them. So, it seems to me that looking at the relativism in protestant churches is a real case ignoring the big, fat log in your eye.
[/quote]

There’s a HUGE difference, Kendy. The teaching of the Catholic Church is a standard by which one’s adherence to Catholicism can be objectively measured. Those who disagree with Church doctrines are what they are: dissidents at worst, heterodox at best. They aren’t practicing Catholics, and so their positions can be judged against Church teaching. That is why it doesn’t amount to a hill of beans what any poll says. Protestantism is VERY different: since you’re all claiming the Bible as authority (and of course, the Holy Spirit is usually invoked), there is no standard by which you can say any other Protestant doctrine or sect is wrong—they’re all equal, since they’re all claiming the same authority. You may think that you’re “safe” in your particular church, but there’s no guarantee that a new pastor might come in and eventually you might vote for actively gay clergy—just like the Episcopalians did, and the Lutherans are doing. Polls do matter for a Protestant, because there’s no guarantee that they won’t determine “doctrine”.Nice try, Kendy, but it’s simply not a comparable situation. There is no real relativism within Catholicism, only those who follow the Christ’s Church and those who don’t. Those heterodox, dissenting Catholics are NOT on an “equal footing” with those who are practicing Catholics. Within Protestantism, all you can say is, “Well, I have my truth, and they have theirs”.

[quote=Kendy]I imagine that many of you would want nothing more than for protestants to come to Rome. Well, I assure you that I would have never left the church if I had not witnessed so much lukewarm behavior and relativism in the catholics around me. So, you might be better off bringing renewal to the catholic church than comforting yourselves by pondering all the errors of protestantism. Besides making you feel smug, it will accomplish nothing for the body of Christ.
[/quote]

Again, you illustrate the dangers of basing one’s faith on mere humans. People let you down; therefore there must not be “truth” there. This is no way to discover truth—Truth is ultimately a Somebody, not a something, and you can’t vote on that or decide what it is based on looking and judging all of those around you. I just don’t understand the logic of looking at the lukewarm of a faith instead of the winners.

[quote=Kendy]There was an article in the Rock some time ago called what catholics can learn from evangelicals, which I think might be useful for catholics to read. If more than catholics did these things, more protestants might “come home.”
[/quote]

Which means that Truth is being decided on the basis of the attractiveness of the messengers. I take your point, but in the end rotten Catholics simply provide an excuse for Protestants who want to remain Protestant to remain Protestant. Those who are interested in objective Truth will pursue it (Him) no matter where it takes them, and the Catholic Church is happy to receive them when they come home.


#18

[quote=maesoph]Dear All:

Protetantism has been around long enough and in enough places for somebody somewhere to have done a study and determine what the long term effects of Protestantism are to a society. Does anyone know if this has been done yet??? To me, it doesn’t look all that good in the long term - but I just might be biased. Would be interesting to get an official opinion from a secular historian or socialogist or whoever does these types of things… Any one know of any information of this type???
[/quote]

I have done a study and one thing I have found is
"The fear of sola scriptura" in society and in Catholic society specifically.

The Catholic Church is based on Scripture and Tradition, in other words,
God gave us a body with (2) legs, yet many Catholics own a bible but seldom or never read it… Why?
a.) fear of mal-interpretation
b.) fear of sola scriptura
c.) fear of mental struggle

the result is that some fall into the “Tradition only” mentyality, (or “sola tradicia”) :slight_smile:
Living by either “sola scriptura” or “sola tradicia” alone is like walking on one leg only, to avoid the other.
Protestants live by scripture alone, and some catholics live by tradition alone, both are crippled.

Jesus hits the nail on the head as he says to the sadducees:
“You err because you know neither the scripturs nor the power of God.”

some Catholics are fearful of Scripture,
Protestants are fearful of Tradition.
But Jesus says “Fear is useless, what is needed is Faith.”

Happy New Year !

gusano


#19

Well, since so many people were clamoring to move to catholic countries I just wanted tell them what is what like growing up in and living in a small one in Miami.

Secondly, how people actually live their christian life inevitably has an impact on how people perceive the faith. My perception of the catholicism is inevitably shaped by all the catholics I grew up with. And I don’t mind if you just protestants by what protestants actually do. We are supposed to be witnesses to the world and when someone fails to do that it does say something about their faith. I am very proud to a member of church. You are welcome to judge us by how we live our faith. I am very proud of the fact that if you did not take your faith seriously you would to leave my church because you would just feel uncomfortable being there. I think it is the evidence of the presence of the Holy Spirit at work in our lives.

[quote=Sherlock]Once again, you insist on judging a faith on those who don’t practice it. It doesn’t make sense. If you want to know what a tree grows, look at mature fruit on the tree, not withered half-grown windfalls on the ground. Look at the saints; look at Mother Theresa; John Paul ll, Mary Jo Copeland; etc. Why is your faith based on humans? You’re always going to be disappointed that way, trust me.

continued…
[/quote]

My faith is in Christ. However, I don’t believe that Christ intended for us to walk this road alone. I certainly do look to great Christians for inspiration, but all of us need to be able to have people we can call on to pray for us, and to worship with. I am sorry that I am so pathetically weak, but having a family of committed believers to fellowship is important to me.

Kendy


#20

[quote=Sherlock]To be honest, there have been destructive, dehumanizing aspects of the industrial revolution, and the enlightenment was hostile to religion of any kind, being atheistic in its outlook. So while you cite those as evidence of non-Catholic “progress”, I’d say they were a mixed bag at best. You need to come up with a stronger case.

[/quote]

Honestly, no I don’t. I am really not that interested in scoring points. I already said that doubt was a part of that human progress. I already said that I think there were negative aspects to both sides. Yes, the enlightment brought is atheism, but it also brought us science (greater health and longer lifespan). And yes the industrial revolution was depersonalizing, but it brought modern conveniences, which have given people more time to enjoy their longer lives. Since we are passing reading lists around, how about you check Thomas Sowell, F.A. Hayek, and Milton Friedman on how all of us have benefitted from industrialization and captialism. As for our legal system, we owe a great debt to those Greek and Roman pagans, and to the enlightenment philosophers, John Locke, being one of my personal favorites.

But more importantly, if you prefer to believe that catholicism has brought the world nothing but good including the crusades (and while we are at it the Magdelene Houses of Ireland) , knock yourself out. I don’t really have an interest in disrespecting the catholic church.

Kendy


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