"No where did Christ say one must agree with every dogma

My Baptist brother has told me this:

"“The faithful are required to accept with the divine and Catholic faith all which the Church presents either as solemn decision or as general teaching. Yet not all teachings are dogma. The faithful are only required to accept those teachings as dogma, if the Church clearly and specifically identifies them as infallible dogmas.[4] If a Catholic were to willfully deny any particular dogma they know is taught dogmatically by the Church, they would no longer be a part of the Church, since heresy immediately separates one from the Church.”

That quote up above from the wikipedia page on Catholic Dogmas, I think is the main reason to why I am not a Catholic. No where did Christ say one must willfully agree with every dogma that is taught by this church in order to get into heaven."

How should I respond to this?

Well, no where did Christ say “sola scriptura” either. On the other hand, he did say, “And I tell you, you are Peter, and on this rock I will build my church, and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it.” Matthew 16:18.

Christ gave the Apostles the authority to speak in his name promising them:

Lk. 10[16] “He who hears you hears me, and he who rejects you rejects me, and he who rejects me rejects him who sent me.”

Mt. 16[18] And I tell you, you are Peter, and on this rock I will build my church, and the powers of death shall not prevail against it. [19] I will give you the keys of the kingdom of heaven, and whatever you bind on earth shall be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven."

Mt. 28:[19] Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, [20] teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you.

John.16[13] When the Spirit of truth comes, he will guide you into all the truth; for he will not speak on his own authority, but whatever he hears he will speak, and he will declare to you the things that are to come.

Acts.1[3] To them he presented himself alive after his passion by many proofs, appearing to them during forty days, and speaking of the kingdom of God.

Jesus passed his authority in matters of faith and morals over to Peter and the Apostles who in turn laid hands on their successors, the bishops of the Church, to speak in his name.

And as far as, “the gates of hell shall not prevail against it”, Jesus told us very simply just what the “mission” of His Church is.

When the Catholic Church decrees dogma, Catholics believe this is trustworthy and truthfully dispensed with the authority of Jesus Christ, who is God. We also believe that in heaven, all truth (God) will be revealed to us. Thus, it follows that Catholics would believe anyone entering into heaven would believe in the full truth of God, whether it be in dogma, or kept secret from the beginning of the world.

This doesn’t mean that one must know all of the dogma and agree with it prior to entering into heaven. Catholics don’t believe, “You are going to hell if you willfully don’t agree with dogma.” The Wikipedia article doesn’t insinuate that either, because being a “heretic” is not equivalent to “damned to hell for an eternity”. There can exist what is called an “invincible ignorance” on the part of the heretic which could yet provide a means for salvation.

As far as I know, the Church has never dogmatically indicated anyone was lost to hell, including Judas Iscariot, even if an individual died a staunch, atheist, satanist, etc…

Im sure your friend would agree that we are all bound to follow truth. The bible tells us that the “Church is the pillar and bulwark of truth”. Where in that statement does one have room to decide for himself what truth is?? No where! Therefore, if one wants to follow the truth, they will follow the Church…not just what they agree with and like, but everything the Church teaches.

If the Sheen Quote fits, use it: There are not a hundred people in America who hate the Catholic Church. There are millions of people who hate what they wrongly believe to be the Catholic Church — which is, of course, quite a different thing.

This is a chance for dialogue. Our dogma is based on Tradition and scripture his position will quickly fall apart if you ask specifically which “dogma” he doesn’t agree with, which will allow you to do some research or just post to this group for an answer. Another way to approach this is even Baptists have lists of stuff they believe, how is that any different in his mind? (we know its different)

Dogma: A doctrine or a corpus of doctrines relating to matters such as morality and faith, set forth in an authoritative manner by a religion.

A principle or statement of ideas, or a group of such principles or statements, especially when considered to be authoritative or accepted uncritically.


You might begin by asking him some questions such as …

Would you prefer a Savior, and a -]Church /-] community, that says, “I am going to leave you in doubt as to what is the true path to heaven.”

Or would you prefer a Savior, and a Church, that gives us an infallible proclamation of how to get to heaven.

Do you want a religion that allows you to make up your own beliefs, your own interpretation of the Bible, so that you can live however you want, and hence be your own savior, or do you really want to get to heaven ?

And to add to Della’s good quotes:

Matthew 18:17-18
" … and if he refuses to listen even to the church, let him be to you as a Gentile and a tax collector. 18 Truly, I say to you, whatever you bind on earth shall be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven."

** Apostolic Succession **

Caesarea Philippi and the Rock of Peter
[INDENT] [INDENT] Pictures of Caesarea Philippi and an explanation of the theological significance of the huge rock there that Christ compared to Peter, the real rock.

Read Matthew 18 particular the part on the church settling disputes definitively.

Then ask, if one in the first century had to listen to the apostles…why shouldn’t we do the same today?


Hey Shaolen,

The logical response is that the authority behind that Church dogma which a heretic wants to reject is the same for all other dogmas–God.

If a man had written ten things under divine inspiration, it would be unreasonable for me to reject one because it disagrees with me and accept the other nine; I accept the nine on the exact same authority which I overthrow by rejecting the one. Heresy separates one from the Church for this reason–at its center is a spurning of the authority of God. (In addition, it involves putting one’s own fallible and malleable opinion over God’s.)

Besides, in the end I’ll either have to totally accept or reject God anyway. Why hold a position now that I’m (hopefully) just going to renounce later on?


Cutting and pasting from my recent post in another thread:

Being a Catholic simply means you have received Christian Baptism and you identify yourself as Catholic (or your parents did if you were Baptized as an infant). Being a faithful Catholic means you obey the five precepts (rules) of the Church.

No belief is a condition of Catholicism (or salvation). People can (and do) have a crisis of faith, where they may find certain things hard to accept (even God himself - and if we’re having a hard time believing in God, we could hardly believe anything the Church teaches about him - including the Nicene Creed). Even great Saints and Doctors of the Church have experienced a crisis of faith. It can happen to anybody, of any religion.

A person who is having a crisis of faith does not sin, remains in a state of Grace, and remains a Catholic in good standing, provided s/he:
*]Realizes that the disbelief is a flaw that needs to be corrected
*]Makes a sincere, diligent, and ongoing effort to correct the disbelief
*]Does not teach (promote to others) any false beliefs
Obstinate refusal to believe is another thing, but disbelief which is not an act of our will is not sinful (because all sin requires freewill consent) and it won’t get you kicked out of the Church. We don’t excommunicate people who are having a crisis of faith.

So you can be a perfectly good Catholic - in good standing - and go to heaven without believing ANY dogmas.

So many misconceptions about what the Church teaches…

Supposedly, according to the bible which you cited, Jesus’s invitation was/is to “Come follow Me”, it is not to follow Jesus’s Church but to follow Jesus.

You wrote, “Im sure your friend would agree that we are all bound to follow truth. The bible tells us that the “Church is the pillar and bulwark of truth”. Where in that statement does one have room to decide for himself what truth is??”

Actually, according to the bible which you cited, truth is NOT a what but Is a Who and that Who Is Jesus.

Jesus reportedly said, “I AM the Way, the Truth and the Life, no one comes to the FATHER except thru Me”, or words to that effect.

This statement seems to leave WIDE-OPEN the number of ways to Jesus while at the same time saying that Jesus is the only way to Dad.

Jesus himself gives authority to his church to act in his stead. The church is the body of Christ on earth. The church is seen as the bride of Christ. This is clear clear inagery in the scripture.

So tell me, if you are a husband (Jesus) and your bride is the church, are your kids only bound to obey you?

Or are the bound to obey your wife as well.

And in a perfect marriage, as the church and Christ are in due to it being Jesus and the Hily Spirit, wouldn’t you and your wife teach the children exactly the same thing, discipline and correct them the same, and do all things as a single one flesh team.

Jesus very might’ve said that:

"Jesus did many other things as well. If every one of them were written down, I suppose that even the whole world would not have room for the books that would be written." John 21:25

And who is the Church?

We are the Church.

The “Church” is NOT just the higher-ups.

Our relationship with God is that we are God’s children and we are also God’s brothers and sisters since the Second Person of the Trinity became our Brother by becoming the Son of God and the Son of Man when Mary said YES.

When God became One of us in the Incarnation, we could say that our relationship with God expanded.

Besides God being our Father and Brother, God is also our “helpmate”, in the Person of the Third Person of the Trinity, the Holy Spirit.

Well, first of all tell your brother to do his research on the Catholic Church and its teachings in the Catechism and not on Wikipedia. Secondly, He should consult scripture to find what Jesus did say. Paul too for that matter. Thirdly, I discern an anti Catholic bias in your brother. So, ask him this, “If I can show you from scripture that your position is wrong would you then be willing to convert?” If he says yes, which is highly unlikely, then use the scriptures John 16:13:

“When the Spirit of truth comes, he will guide you into all the truth; for he will not speak on his own authority, but whatever he hears he will speak, and he will declare to you the things that are to come.”

and Paul’s words in 1 Timothy 3:15:

" if I am delayed, you may know how one ought to behave in the household of God, which is the church of the living God, the pillar and bulwark of the truth."

If the Holy Spirit guides the church into all truth and the church is the pillar and bulwark of truth then where is his argument?

But my guess is that when you ask him the question, “If I can show you from scripture that your position is wrong would you then be willing to convert?” He will say no.

The church is also not just you and has authority in its teaching office. To say otherwise is to ignore both scripture and history.

If it’s just you and your opinion…it becomes Protestant relativism


John 17:20-23
My prayer is not for them alone. I pray also for those who will believe in me through their message, that all of them may be one, Father, just as you are in me and I am in you. May they also be in us so that the world may believe that you have sent me. I have given them the glory that you gave me, that they may be one as we are one: I in them and you in me. **May they be brought to complete unity to let the world know that you sent me and have loved them even as you have loved me. **

1 Corinthians 1:10
I appeal to you, brothers, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that all of you agree with one another so that there may be no divisions among you and that you may be perfectly united in mind and thought.”

You know, the more I think about his assertion, the less I think it’s true – in fact, I think Jesus is explicitly saying exactly the opposite, in direct speech, as found in the Bible!

Look at Matthew 16:19. Speaking solely to Peter, Jesus says, “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.”

In the first sentence, Jesus is giving Peter authority; in the context of the adminstration of His Church, Jesus grants leadership to Peter. In the second sentence, Jesus explains what that effect that authority has: what the Church binds in its declarations on earth, Jesus will hold bound from heaven; what she looses, Jesus will hold loosed.

The practical upshot of this is that the Church – led by Peter – will administer Jesus’ Church. In the context of that administration, she will naturally provide interpretations of what Jesus meant and what the content of the Church’s faith will be. Jesus promises that He will adopt these interpretations – no ifs, ands, or buts.

Now, I ask you: if Jesus says “I hold you to X, Y, and Z, and I loose you from A, B, and C,” aren’t we – as Christians – obliged to listen to Him? Aren’t we called to follow what He says to follow and reject what He says to reject? So then, if the Church’s declarations have Jesus’ thumbs-up, aren’t we obliged to follow them?

I would say that Jesus’ proxy in Mt 16:19 is precisely what your brother is rejecting – and that’s surprising, since we’re not talking apostolic teaching here, but the red-letter words of Jesus Himself in Scripture! I think I might point your brother to that verse in Scripture and ask him what this verse could possibly mean, other than that the Church has Jesus’ authority here on earth with respect to declaration of doctrine and administration…?

What a great topic! :wink:
Especially in the Western World, many Catholics struggle with the social dogma mandates, not the theological dogmas. As a 61 year old who is single, I have absolutely no reason to use ABC, but I disagree fervently with the dogma concerning birth control. I also am a straight person, was born that way, and once again, I disagree with the CCC that gay individuals are intrinsically disordered. These two dogmas have nothing to do with my life, but as I said, I just cannot wrap my pea sized brain around these “rules”. I continually confess my doubts and plain disagreement and several priests have told me that we all struggle and that I’m not alone I my heartfelt beliefs.
I certainly do not believe that if you don’t fully believe in every single solitary social dogma that you are going to hell in a handbasket. I find it so fascinating that all of our threads generally concern social dogma and not theological dogma. :rolleyes:

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