Only Catholics and total apostates are consistent on last 1700 years

After paganism in Rome, an new era began. From then (300 AD roughly) to today, a span of 1700 years, several major religious conditions have arisen that have varying views about how to interpret the meaning of this history.

And the only views of that history that are fully consistent are Catholicism and the total apostates (atheists and relativists). Catholicism is consistent in the sense that, from the beginning, the fullness of truth existed, and various shots were taken at its differing sources, so that, beginning with Orthodoxy, less and less was gradually belieived until nothing at all was accepted (the modern secular apostasy). Derivatively, the secular apostates are on the opposite pole, but consistent: total BS started in the beginning (Roman Catholicism), and little by little, humanity began to wake up from its religious ignorance to discover that any talk of God and religion is BS.

IOW, for the Catholicism, the sun is gradually setting, for apostates, the sun is gradually rising.

But for intermediate religions, this is not so. They are all INconsistent, in the sense that, at some point prior to their “salvific stage”, TOO MUCH was believed (ie., by RCC), then, in their “salvifici stage”, JUST ENOUGH was believed, then, at some point afterward, TOO LITTLE was believed.

Just follow the list: Islam says Rome believes TOO MUCH (God is NOT Trinitian, He is Unitarian, and Christ is NOT Messiah.) But the Islamics would say the Enlightenment is TOO LITTLE, seeing as it denies DIvine Intervention and Revelation.

The Schismatics claim RCC believes TOO MUCH (Peter is not supreme He is one of equals), but Protestantism is TOO LITTLE (Protestants don’t accept Oral Tradition and formal Apostolic Succession in Bishops and Seven Sacraments, they only accept the Written Word.)

The heretics (Protestants) say Rome believes TOO MUCH (those that claim to be successors of the Apostles are not, there is no Oral Tradition, only the Written [Scripture]), but the Enlightenment is TOO LITTLE (Deists deny Divine Intervention and Rationalists deny Divine Revelation, hence they attack the Scriptures and Christ.)

And Finally, the children of the Enlightenment still have the minimal light: for them, all stages prior to them are TOO MUCH (there is no Triune nature to God, there is no Pope or Bishops, nor Scriptures, that is, there is NO Divine Revelation or Intervention) but the secular apostasy is TOO LITTLE, seeing as atheists do not live according to reason (the existence of a Supreme Being, which we can call God, is evident from reason, without Revelation), and the relativists are against reason and the moral law (Deists and Rationalists still acknowledge absolute truth, and the natural moral law that is evident from reason, hence, they don’t have much problem with the Ten Commandments, because they are naturally ethical).

Only Catholicism retains the totality of sources, and says that ALL others don’t believe ENOUGH (the Trinity and Incarnation, the supremacy of the Petrine Office, the general collection of Bishops and Oral Tradition, the Written Tradition, and even the unaided human intellect, Reason.) Only the full apostates, fully deny all these sources in terms of religion.

All others are Inconsistent (first too much, then just right, then too little.)

Why is that? And what would that say about the Seal and the Mark, which also seem to represent poles?

Food for thought.

[FONT=Wingdings]J[/FONT]

With JPII, we can expand on this: according to JPII, the primary lie of the serpent, when he says, “ye shall be like gods, knowing good and evil” is the lie that man, independent of God, can “determine” what is true, instead of RECEIVING the truth of God, which is God Himself.

We know that the objective reality since Christ came is that the truth of God is called by God to be received according to their sources, the five primary of which are:

I. The Trinity and Incarnation Itself, the central mystery of all truth
II. The Pope (the Apostolic Successsor of Peter, the supreme mediated father)
III. The General Collection of Mediated Fathers (the Bishops, and the associated ORAL Word of God, or Sacred Tradition, that they pass on thorugh the active guide of the Holy Spirit)
IV. The Written Tradition [Scripture]
V. Reason

So then the dragon, in getting humanity to progress towards the total lie (which we have today in the modern secular apostasy, in which humanity considers itself to determine the truth apart from ANY of these sources of Divine Truth), the dragon knows he must get humanity to slowly PROGRESS towards this lie, determining the truth in an ever greater independence, while yet retaining SOME legitimate sources.

Hence, first the dragon says,

I. Islam:“determine the truth apart from the mystery of the Trinity and Incarnation, but retain the shell of the Gospel”

next,

II. Orthodoxy (determine the truth apart from Peter, but retain the general Fathers)

then,

III. Protestantism (determine the truth apart from not only Peter, but all the mediated Fathers, and hence, the Oral Word of God, and trust only the Written Word)

next,

IV. Enlightenment (determine the truth apart from even the Scriptures, and even from all Divine Revelation, and retain only Reason, the unaided human intellect)

Finally, total depravity:

V. The Modern Secular Apostasy (Determine the truth apart from ALL the soruces of God, totally independent of God, even from Reason itself.)

The second lie of the dragon then follows: seeing as God is utterly irrelevant, humanity replaces God with the Creation, that is, materialism, which is the final result of doctrinal depravity.

This makes no sense. You haven’t shown that there is anything inconsistent about either the Eastern Orthodox (“schismatic”) or the Protestant position. You simply assert without proof. Why do you think that will get you anywhere?

It’s perfectly coherent to say that some people err in one direction and others in another. Why do you find this inconsistent?

Edwin

I guess I should clarify what i mean by consistent: if the dragon had a plan to cause total depravity gradually, shouldn’t we just assume the fullness is at the beginning, and that he gradually tears it down, attacking the various sources until nothing is left?

For why would the dragon tack on EXTRA sources of Divine Revelation, so that eventually, mere men are able to gain “salvation” from the falsely imposed extra sources, so as to obtain a salvific “just right condition”, but only to be followed by the loss of the just right condition?

When in any age of OT history, was a primay sinful darkness followed by TOO MUCH, then a just right light, then too little down to the next darkness?

OT history is, as the days of creation first the sun sets, then it rises, then it sets, then it rises, then it sets.

I think that asking why Satan would do anything is usually a bad idea. We can’t outthink him and we aren’t trying to. But for the sake of argument, if Satan had succeeded in corrupting the Church by adding false traditions, and Christians had freed themselves from this error by the help of the Holy Spirit, it would make sense that Satan would next try to get Christians to reject traditional concepts of Christianity altogether. However, I don’t hold to the view that church history is somehow manipulated by Satan.

Luther said at one point that the world is like a drunk peasant–you help him into the saddle on one side and he falls off on the other. I think that’s a pretty reasonable view to take given the history of humanity in general and the Church in particular.

That being said, I for one don’t think that the Reformation got things “just right.” I think that viewed in the most optimistic possible light, it abandoned many things that should not have been abandoned (and arguably also held on in its magisterial form to things that should have been abandoned, like the concept of a state church and the persecution of heretics). When you put together people like me who think the Reformation broke too radically with the tradition and the many Protestants (both liberals and fundamentalists) who think it wasn’t nearly radical enough, the number of Protestants who hold to the view you’re ascribing to us is probably not a majority any more.

Your arguments are too speculative and analogical for me. History is what it is. My job is to study it, not impose a predetermined pattern on it.

In Christ,

Edwin

Is history aimless for you?

If Salvation History is random, and has no spiritual structure, how do you interpret, “Behold, iniquity already worketh”? 2 Thess. 2

Read C. S. Lewis’s essay on “Historicism.” (BTW, I heard a talk at the New York C. S. Lewis Society once that compared Lewis with the Catholic writer Christopher Dawson to the advantage of the latter, precisely because Dawson did see more of a pattern in history. I have read a little Dawson and want to read more–that’s a kind of Catholic historicism I can at least take seriously. Your arguments seem almost completely cut loose from any attention to the actual details of history.) History has a pattern but the pattern is known only to God. Obviously some things are revealed to us, but these are highly limited. You are going way beyond anything that Scripture or Church teaching warrants, and you’re setting yourself up for trouble.

If Salvation History is random, and has no spiritual structure, how do you interpret, “Behold, iniquity already worketh”? 2 Thess. 2

That’s one of those moments where divine revelation gives us a glimpse of the pattern. But given that in 2000 years Christians have really not figured out what St. Paul was talking about there (correct me if I’m wrong, but I don’t think there’s a consensus among Catholics on this and I’m pretty sure the Church has never spoken authoritatively on the subject), I think it’s an ill-chosen example for your purposes.

In Christ,

Edwin

first, Lewis is not Catholic, he was Anglican, hence, he cannot fully understand history.

What do you mean I am ignoring details? Of course there are excpetions in any age.

In the BIG BIG picture, the first set of heresies are assaulting the Trinity and Incarnation, culminating with Islam.

The next BIG BIG attack is the great schism, which moves on to Peter, next in command.

In the Middle Ages, there were minor and isolated heresies. But primarily, it was a Catholic Age of Faith, was it not?

The next BIG BIG attack is Protestantism, which moves down the ladder: attacking Oral Trad and Bishops altogether.

The next BIG BIG attack is the Enlightenment, which only accepts reason.

The next BIG BIG attack is the modern secular apostasy, which has abandoned Reason.

So you are denying this history simply because there are minor exceptions in these eras?

Or are you a liberal who says that the vast majority of Europeans for the last 1700 years have always been mostly atheists or relativistically indifferent to religion? That wasn’t the history I learned.

Please clarify what you mean?

Contaniri, how would you approach historicism? I am talking about a spiritual historicism. Because it is the spiritual that makes or breaks things. Obviously, in terms of temporal problems, such as wars and other sufferings, there is no real pattern to Church history.

But what i am saying, in the larger SPIRITUAL sense, there are more or less the BIGGER spiritual ages of the Church that have developed. That is what i am analyzing.

Hence, in the BIGGER, SPIRITUAL picture, this is what I get. But I am open to criticism, as I am not a professor of history.

But by simply analyzing the table of contents of the TAN book on Church history, this is a fair assessment I would say.

In the bigger picture, spiritually, this seems quite sound. Of course, there are all sorts of temporal calamities and victories, minor recoveries, etc, but in the bigger picture, this is the general trend.

It seems you would wish to throw out the baby with the bath water, simply because of exceptions.

Obviously, if the Scriptures were to reveal the structure of Church history, they cannot divulge into details of everything, for there are always bound to be certain exceptions and spices thrown into the mix. They would have to give a grander view of the GREAT spiritual developments. But in that regard, I do not see a meaningless lack of a pattern. In the bigger picture, I would say this assessment is fairly accurate.

So only Catholics (and, perhaps, ‘total apostates’ like myself) can understand history? And, if I may be so bold as to guess, it’s only certain Catholics – not those cafeteria types, the ‘cultural Catholics’, the Christmas-and-Easter crowd? You’re dangerously close to committing the ‘no true Scotsman’ fallacy.

And what of all the other religions that exist in parallel or even prior to Catholicism? The Jews still await their messiah, and to them Christianity is nothing more than a heretical offshoot – much as you regard Islam or Protestantism. Can Jews understand history, having three times as much of it as Catholics? What about Hindus? Buddhists (although that too is a branch)? Zoroastrians? Classical polytheists?

Is there some ineffable quality of the Catholic/atheist/agnostic mind that makes it uniquely capable of basic comprehension of historical fact?

Wait a minute, clarification. I don’t think I ever said that only Catholics and apostates can fully UNDERSTAND history, I said only Catholics and total apostates are CONSISTENT in their view of the last 1700 years, in the sense that, for Catholics, it’s a downhill ride, for apostates it is uphill. For all the others, the hill was too high at some point, then it was just right, then it went down hill.

Apostates are absolutely clueless about the understanding of history. They are the ones who are most in darkness.

Only Catholics can FULLY understand history, because only Catholicism is the FULLY true religion. All other religions are PARTIALLY false, and so such religions can only understand history PARTIALLY, to the degree that they don’t have errors.

Cafeteria Catholics, BTW, are not what I’m talking about. When I say “Catholics”, I mean those who have very good grasp of their religion and believe all its formal teachings.

THis is not to attack, but simply to make an objective statement. I will elaborate later. Maybe other Catholics who know where I’m going can step in while I’m away for a bit.

You say ‘possess a consistent view’ at one point, and then ‘understand’ at another, specifically in your objection to Lewis (and while I have issues with ol’ Clive Staples, it is not over his lack of understanding!) – and several times further down in your response to me. Which is it? And, as I asked, what about all those other religions that precede or don’t even particularly care about Christianity?

Apostates are absolutely clueless about the understanding of history. They are the ones who are most in darkness.

Wow, thanks. I suppose this makes up for the supposed unification between our respective camps in your first posts; just as well.

Only Catholics can FULLY understand history, because only Catholicism is the FULLY true religion. All other religions are PARTIALLY false, and so such religions can only understand history PARTIALLY, to the degree that they don’t have errors.

While I understand the need for adherents to a particular religion to think it to possess the fullness of truth, it would be good for you to be aware that you can make only as strong a case for yours as any devotee of any other faith can for his or hers.

I do not argue – here, at least – against the Catholic teaching that it possesses the fullness of truth; for all I know, the world may be so stranger than I thought that it does! The idea that all other religions are well-intentioned, correct in some regards, but in the end fallible human attempts to reach toward the heavens is remarkably open-minded considering the territory.

But this territory is not history: it is theology. Understanding history is the job of historians, not that of priests. Sure, it overlaps sometimes – but it is a critical distinction. The pope is supposed to be infallible on matters of faith and morals, neither of which is particularly related to history; your average Catholic is infallible on nothing. You are presuming entirely too much both about your faith and about yourself when you say your religion grants you a uniquely all-encompassing comprehension of history.

There is nothing Catholicism grants its adherents in terms of understanding that could not be gained by a mere student of the faith, whether that understanding be in theology or history. It seems that your fundamental idea of what religion is is flawed. Religion does not make you Superman or da Vinci or Bach; it does not give you the ability to leap tall buildings in a single bound, does not let you talk to fish, does not beam knowledge into your brain, does not remould you into a paragon of virtue and talent.

Religion is a promise and a hope. Nothing more, nothing less.

THis is not to attack, but simply to make an objective statement. I will elaborate later. Maybe other Catholics who know where I’m going can step in while I’m away for a bit.

It looks like you’re pretty much alone in your position. Were I Catholic, I wouldn’t touch this one with a ten-foot pole; but being a total apostate, getting lumped in with such a bizarre understanding of history and theology and the practice thereof rankles me.

Midrah,

religion is much more than a promise and a hope. That is your axiom, but it is false. Of course, the proof of this takes a book. And even then, many shall read the book and still not believe.

The One True God is the God of the Catholic dogma. This God has definitely intervened in human history, beginning in the OT, and then with Christ. His intervention continues through the One Catholic Church. Only the Catholic Church fully possesses the understanding of who God is, who we are, and God’s Truth and Purpose in Creation. Seeing as this God is actively Redeeming humanity with truth and grace, and seeing only the Catholic Church possesses the fullness of truth and grace, it follows that no non-Catholic can fully understand WHY history is going as it is, its mystery and meaning.

History is NOT arbtitrary in Catholicism. This is implied by “there is a Plan.” Obviously, man constantly interrupts this Plan through great punctuated manifestations of the fallen nature, but God forsees these manifestations and can draw a greater spiritual good from them.

ps, the book i mean is not the Bible, but a book called “College Apologetics”, available from TAN, in which it works backwards in the history thus far: first it establishes from reason that there is must be the monotheist God, and the forthconclusion of the minimal necessity of the natural religiosity of an infidel.

From there it looks at the Gospels, as mere history to ascertain the possibilities of who Christ really was. From it, they conclude he must have risen from the Dead. Then, after having established the reliability of the Gospels as an accurate rendering of what Christ actually taught, they show Christ claimed to be God and that He founded a Church.

Analyzing history, they conclude that the only plausible explanation for what this Church is is the Catholic Church, passing on the teachings of the Apostles and throught their successors, the Bishops, and, from what i recall, it concludes by establishing the case from the Fathers that Peter is Supreme, hence, showing that the Orthodox are not fully Catholic, and that, hence, only the Catholic Church proper, under the dominion of Rome, is the true Church.

Is it a proof? I don’t know. But it makes a compelling case.

But your assertion that Catholics have no better means to establish the veracity of their faith than any other religion is why this Forum exists. Welcome to the Club.

And as I indicated, there are several categories of persons that would all contest Catholicism: they are schismatics, heretics, infidels (which includes Islamics, Jews, and Enlightenment monotheists), then pagans (Hindus, Buddhists, Polytheists), then finally agnostics, and then utter apostates (atheists and relativists). Each of these groups shall attack Rome on varying grounds.

This forum exists to help show these poor souls the fullness of truth.

You’re treating that statement too simply. What more could it be? What greater thing is there to a Catholic than the promise of God’s love and the hope to be eternally united with him? Technically speaking, to be a ‘real’ religion it has to have rites, rituals, and scriptures, but all of those serve no purpose other than to remind people of the core message. The essence of religion is divine promise and human hope.

Let us turn to Paul (distasteful as I generally find doing so – but I am not ashamed to admit that he had his moments of absolutely brilliant insight and eloquence): Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen. Apologies for the KJV text of Hebrews 11:1, but the NAB really did not do right by that verse.

The One True God is the God of the Catholic dogma. This God has definitely intervened in human history, beginning in the OT, and then with Christ. His intervention continues through the One Catholic Church. Only the Catholic Church fully possesses the understanding of who God is, who we are, and God’s Truth and Purpose in Creation. Seeing as this God is actively Redeeming humanity with truth and grace, and seeing only the Catholic Church possesses the fullness of truth and grace, it follows that no non-Catholic can fully understand WHY history is going as it is, its mystery and meaning.

If God exists and if Catholicism is correct in its depiction of such a being. Two mindblowingly huge assumptions, neither of which can be satisfactorily proven to an outsider – only taken on faith. Suffice to say, I am not convinced; and if you are speaking of the whys of history as regards divine intervention from a Catholic perspective, you had probably better make that clearer if you don’t want historians and non-Catholics (and likely a fair number of Catholics) jumping down your throat.

Religious perspectives of history can be an interesting study, but as with religious perspectives of anything else, each one has its own, each one claims to be absolutely and uniquely correct, and there’s no way of telling which, if any, is.

Is it a proof? I don’t know. But it makes a compelling case.

It lost me at ‘showing from reason that there must be one God’. If a deity exists, I think there could only be one such being (and I do not think it would be very similar to the God preached of by Christians); but I do not know if it does in the first place, and have never seen an argument either for or against God’s existence that held water better than a colander.

This forum exists to help show these poor souls the fullness of truth.

Many of us poor souls are here to keep you from breaking your arms patting yourselves on the back :wink:

Come to think of it, this thread should not be in apologetics, because it already assumes Catholicism.

Perhaps we can move it to Scripture, or Philosophy.

It is more intended for a Catholic audience. It assumes Catholicism is true.

For the record, faith is not the most important, love is. See St. Paul in Corinthians.

An atheist can suffer uselessly. A Catholic can suffer with purpose: If he is victim of physical or moral evil, he can offer it up in love for sinners.

If one cannot attain to infinite love forever, why even live?

what else is worth living for except LOVE?

What is worth living for, if Immeasurable love cannot be attained forever?

for the record, I am not saying lack of faith today is utterly unforgivable and not understandable. and to illustrate this, let me answer from “Airplane!” for the period of the last 2000 years:

Lloyd Bridges: “I wanna know everything that’s happened until now.”

Goofy Guy: "Well, first, Jews killed Christians, then pagans killed Christians, and pagans killed some Jews and then alot more Christians.

Then Christians killed pagans, pagans resisting conversion killed Christians.

Then Muslims killed Christians, later Christians killed Muslims back.

Then Christians started killing other types of Christians as well as Jews.

Then later, alot of Authority figures in Christianity became hypocrites, so many Christians said, screw you guys, you shammed us, we don’t need you.

So then these Christians divided into myriads of competing factions and killed one another, and the first types of Christians killed them, and they killed them back.

Then alot people said, this is all BS. Can we get over Divine Revelation? Therefore, let us just focus on what we can know about God purely from our brains.

Then later, frustrated that the questions were even more confusing, they said, look, this is too confusing. Let’s just shift our intellect from religion to the world. Let’s be intellectual scientists.

So then science accelerated astronomically as well as material comforts.

Now kids just say, I don’t really care even about science, and natural intellectual questions, much less about God, those are for nerds who can’t get laid. I just want to play video games, sports, eat pizza, drink beer, and have sex. What else is worth living for?"

Another one of his finer moments, yes.

An atheist can suffer uselessly. A Catholic can suffer with purpose: If he is victim of physical or moral evil, he can offer it up in love for sinners.

And an atheist can suffer with purpose, if there is something he or she can achieve by doing so; and a Catholic can be in worthless misery and refuse to do anything with it. As you so aptly pointed out, faith is second to love; and further, faith does not guarantee love.

If one cannot attain to infinite love forever, why even live?

Why not? Eternity has no appeal to me; I am perfectly satisfied to live out my life and let it end when it does.

what else is worth living for except LOVE?

Love is certainly high on the list, but it’s hardly the only item. That’s what’s great about life: we get to choose why we want to keep going.

Well there we have it. If LOVE, and the eternal possesssion of such, is not one’s ultimate desire, nor does the person recognize that this is the greatest possible good, and the highest level of happiness, then there is no legitimate reason to pursue even the question of whether there is any gods or God.

You cannot persuade someone that God exists if they do not WANT God to exist and place eternal love as the highest good.

Question, what things do you consider to be GREATER goods than intimate relationships of intellect and will?

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