Proof that your interpretation is the right one.


#1

Hi, This is new to me I usually do not post in threads or make new ones for that matter but I am curious. The Bible, though the word of God is also just words on a page, words that 2 Peter 3:16 tells us can be distorted.

With that in mind ghow do you prove to an unbeliever in Christ that your doctrine is the only doctrine especially when there are over15,000 other churches claiming the same thing.

Catholics use sacred tradition ( proof from history) that are beliefs have remained the same. What do Protestants use.

TRUTH CANNOT CONTRADICT TRUTH. SOMEONE IS WRONG

IF WE CANNOT DISTINGUISH WHICH INTERPRETATION OF SCRIPTURE IS TRUE AND WHICH IS WRONG

Then Satan truly prevailed against HOLY MOTHER CHURCH


#2

There really is no "proof’ in any religion…you just follow what you think is right/ logical…and believe / have faith.

God is not difficult! Humans made Him difficult.


#3

Holly - I agree with Jedda, to a point, that ‘proof’ beyond doubt is not possible. However, if you look at the Bible, the Fathers of the Church, and Catholic history in general, you can build a strong case. Because I am not so knowledgeable myself, I suggest you read Scott Hahn on Church history.

You ask what Protestants rely on: it seems to me that most Protestants rely soley on the Bible (Sola Scriptura), and the result has been the thousands of denominations you mention. I do not believe that is what Jesus intended when He prayed that “you (his disciples) may be one as the Father and I are one.”

Chuck


#4

I’d say you’ve hit on the main problem caused by the Protestants and their cousins, the cults. Because of their disobedience (often well-meaning and heartfelt) they have caused Christianity to be scandalized before the unsaved world. Think how much more effective we’d be at witnessing to the world if all Christians were part of the same communion, rather than split up and fighting amongst ourselves.

At the same time you’re trying to show the existence and power of God, you’re also having to argue the problems with things that happened 500 years ago.


#5

Our brothers and sisters are all other Christians. Since you and I are siblings, if the cults are our cousins, would that not make them yours as well?


#6

Not all non-Catholic religions are wrong. Have you researched all of them? Or are you saying that since none of them are Catholic, then they’re wrong?


#7

Greetings and peace be with you all,

[FONT=Arial]Jesus gave us a new commandment to love one another as I have loved you, by this all men will know that you are my disciples.[/FONT]
[FONT=Arial][/FONT]
[FONT=Arial]I believe it is a lack of visible love between Christians that separates us and take us away from the truth,[/FONT]
[FONT=Arial][/FONT]
[FONT=Arial]In the spirit of praying for peace on Earth[/FONT]
[FONT=Arial][/FONT]
[FONT=Arial]Eric[/FONT]


#8

I guess the family analogy breaks down. My point is that the cults derive from the Reformation sects that existed in the United States in the early 19th century. There’s no question about that. Whether you examine it superficially, or deeply, the relationship of Mormons and other cults to Protestantism is obvious. So it wasn’t Catholicism directly that gave rise to these cults, it was Protestantism. More precisely, the spirit of Protestantism, which is a spirit of disobedience and self-direction. Every man his own Pope and Bible interpreter. By 1830, the year the Mormon church was organized by the so-called prophet Joseph Smith on claimed visions and spurious Bible interpretations, this Protestant process was 300 years old, and well established in Protestant countries like the United States, where rugged individualism and American exceptionalism were features of the American personality.


#9

I agree with grace seeker, I believe all is part of God’s plan and he will achieve his purpose, that all may be one. Cults ?

Peace, OneNow1


#10

No argument with your analysis of some of the things that led to the proliferation of those uniquiely American cults in the 1800s. The many divisions and even open animosity between all the different religious groups created a climate in which everyone was searching for the “right” faith at the exclusion of all others. I don’t think such practices where Christians (who in my opinion are all brothers and sisters one with another through their relationship in Jesus Christ) try to prove who is the Father’s favorite (duh, Jesus) is particularly an activity worthy of any of us.

I’m glad we agree that the family analogy whereby cults become our cousins breaks down.

Kujo, where do you get the idea that I think all non-Catholic religions are wrong?


#11

“Wrong” would be an oversimplification. Unity is critical. There are bonds of unity, which are visible. According to the Catechism of the Catholic Church:

**815 What are these bonds of unity? Above all, charity “binds everything together in perfect harmony” (Col 3:14). But the unity of the pilgrim Church is also assured by visible bonds of communion:

 --- profession of one faith received from the Apostles

 --- common celebration of divine worship, especially of the sacraments.

 --- apostolic succession through the sacrament of Holy Orders, maintaining the fraternal concord of God's family.**

And here’s part of what the Catechism states about the separated brethren:

838 The Church knows that she is joined in many ways to the baptized who are honored by the name of Christian, but do not profess the Catholic faith in its entirety or have not preserved unity of communion under the successor of Peter. Those who believe in Christ and have been properly baptized are put in a certain, alhough imperfect, communion with the Catholic Church.

The Catechism has a lot more to say about this, of course, and even addresses the relationship of the Church to specific other religions.


#12

There are levels of brotherhood. In the larger sense, all men are brothers, regardless of creed. But in the Christian sense, given that Jesus specifically expects unity among believers, and that He established a Church, an authoritative Church, with a leader whose instructions were “feed my sheep,” all things which lead away from this unity are anti-Christian. It doesn’t do any good for anyone to gloss over these things. Jesus demands unity, and for good reason. He commanded the Apostles to go out and preach the Gospel to all the world. A single, unified Church carries a witness of itself as the instrument of God. That unity alone is a proof. A fractured Church consumed by arguments within itself presents a poor witness of the unity-demanding Jesus to the unsaved world, and in fact becomes something of a joke among atheists. Lots of sects claim the name of Jesus, but that in and of itself doesn’t put them into communion with the larger Church. They may be in partial communion, but what we should be aiming for is FULL communion, top to bottom, inside and out, visible and invisible. I believe that submission is the key. We need to stop thinking of ourselves as so important, our ideas and interpretations so profound, that we will put energy into divisions from full communion, rather than into unity with the Church (singular) that Jesus established way back in Mt 16.

I’m glad we agree that the family analogy whereby cults become our cousins breaks down.

LOL, I just wanted to make sure to identify them as cousins in the Protestant branch of the family…


#13

I think we will have to just recognize that we disagree on some of this. If one is in communion with Christ, and I believe that all Christians (Catholic, Orthodox, Protestant, and even “non-denominational”) are, then we are in communion with one another There is no such thing as partial-communion, that is a human concept. Whether the Catholic Church recognizes this or not is something for the Catholic Church to wrestle with, not those of us who are non-Catholic. I will recognize you as my brother/sister, even if you won’t recognize me. I know that in doing so I am living in submission to Christ. If you choose to do otherwise, well, I’ll let God be the judge of that.

LOL, I just wanted to make sure to identify them as cousins in the Protestant branch of the family…

No, I don’t recognize non-Christian religious bodies to be part of the Protestant branch of the family. Do you recognize Marconites and Arians to be part of the Catholic branch of the family?

While these groups may have had their origins within the Church family, they are branches that have been pruned and are no longer a part. Sometimes I get the feeling that Catholic Christians look at non-Catholic Christians this same way; but I know that Christ himself does not, and that is all that matters in the end.


#14

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#15

Isn’t there a visible and authoritative institution on Earth known as the Church? To what was Jesus referring when he told Peter that upon “this rock I will build my church”? I see a singular word, not a plural one. Jesus didn’t say “churches.” He intended that the Apostles, the men he spent 3 years teaching personally, would teach the things that He taught them, and carry the Gospel, and His Church, into the world. Jesus always used physical, concrete methods of teaching. Sure, there is a mystical communion with Jesus, but there is also a visible, concrete communion, and that is through the Church, the One Church that Jesus established.

There is no such thing as partial-communion, that is a human concept. Whether the Catholic Church recognizes this or not is something for the Catholic Church to wrestle with, not those of us who are non-Catholic. I will recognize you as my brother/sister, even if you won’t recognize me. I know that in doing so I am living in submission to Christ. If you choose to do otherwise, well, I’ll let God be the judge of that.

We’re Christian brothers, I’m sure, and I certainly recognize that. The original comment had to do with the cults and sects, some of which cannot be considered Christian. I pointed out that these are derived from the Protestant theologies esp that existed in New York in the 1830s. I realize that it is painful for Protestants to grasp that the Luther/Calvin rebellion of the 16th century gave rise to the cults and sects, but that is the truth. In a broad sense, we are also brothers with these cultists, because we all adhere to a Christian type of moral code, and that’s a good thing. But the moral code doesn’t make us Christians in and of itself. There’s more to it. So we could maybe be half-brothers with the Mormons and Jehovah’s Witnesses, something like that. In the fullest sense of communion, they are separated from Catholics in pretty much the same way all Protestants are… no commonality of liturgy, no valid sacraments, no Holy Orders.

No, I don’t recognize non-Christian religious bodies to be part of the Protestant branch of the family. Do you recognize Marconites and Arians to be part of the Catholic branch of the family?

Fortunately, none of this depends on what I recognize or don’t recognize. There is an authoritative Church that decides these matters. I believe and recognize what this Church teaches. I gave up having my own opinions on such weighty matters a long time ago. I’m allowed to have my own opinions on the color of car I buy, or what types of food I’ll eat, or what I’ll name my children… stuff like that. But I’m not allowed to have my own opinions on whether Arians are part of the Catholic Church. Or, if I do have opinions, they are not authoritative, and can’t be taken as such.

While these groups may have had their origins within the Church family, they are branches that have been pruned and are no longer a part.

No, that’s not clear enough. They didn’t have their origins within the “Church family” but rather within a sectified, broken-away, schismatic, heretical grouping of church families known collectively as Protestant. As the Protestants watched the Mormons grow, did they have the ecclesiastical machinery necessary to deal with them? No. Only the Catholic Church has that machinery… an authoritative, Tradition-based, Scripture-based Magisterium with the ability to address cults and sects in clear terminology.

Sometimes I get the feeling that Catholic Christians look at non-Catholic Christians this same way; but I know that Christ himself does not, and that is all that matters in the end.

Catholic Christians are sinners, just like everyone else, and often suffer from too much religious pride. It is hard to resist. After all, we’ve got the main claim to fame! What a marvelous thing is the
Catholic Church!


#16

As I said, on some of this we are just going to disagree. On some of it we do agree. Is it right hijack this thread to go into those differences? If that is the pattern here, I’ll be glad to respond, but I haven’t been posting long enough to feel comfortable going so off topic on my own yet.

Thanks for your comments.


#17

Well, this recent exchange hardly seems off-topic. Go back to post #1 and see what was posed. We’re talking about interpretations. The Protestants have a vast array of interpretations, of Scripture, of church, of church authority, of doctrine, etc, etc. Catholics have a much narrower range of interpretation of these things, and in fact we have no authoritative private interpretations at all. Everything is measured and weighed up against the 2k years of Sacred Tradition and Sacred Scripture. The OP asked for proof that “your interpretation is the right one.” He specifically posed the question to Protestants. You are a Protestant. This seems almost eerily On Topic.

So, how do you as a Protestant prove that YOUR interpretations are the right ones?


#18

I can’t prove it. And anyone who says that they can isn’t listen to those who ask for proof. In my experience, it does not matter what the logic, reason or facts one’s particular belief are, if someone else choose to believe differently you can’t prove to that other person that you are right and they are wrong.

I have friends who are Muslim, agnostic, atheist, Budhist, they ask for me to prove to them that Christianity is right and they are wrong. Sometimes they will agree that what I say makes sense, but they won’t accept it as “proof”. And the same thing happens in reverse when they try to “prove” something to me. Likewise between Catholic and Protestant. I simply don’t accept the concept that Catholic’s have that Jesus founded the Catholic Church. That is not how I read the passages that are given to me as “proof”. I think Jesus found the Church of which what passes itself off as the Catholic Church today is but a subset within the larger concept of the Church that Jesus originally founded. All the wonderful things of value you think you have in the Catholic Church I understand myself to also have in my denomination simply by virtue of it also being part of the Church that Jesus founded. And I believe that based on the very same passages that Catholic hold up for “proof” that their is the one true Church. Hence, in my opinion, today’s Catholic are misinterpreting and misapplying these scriptures in ways that the Holy Spirit never intended them to be understood. But I can’t prove it to you, anymore than you can prove your viewpoint to me, because we have been so conditioned to approach the scriptures differently by the historical traditions of which we were each born into that on this point we can find no common ground on which to have the conversation.

Oh, and before some person who was once a Protestant and is now Catholic takes exception to my last statement, I am sure I can find as many former Catholics who are now Protestant to make that argument a wash.


#19

So when Jesus said in Mt 16 thou art Peter and upon this rock I will build my church, he wasn’t establishing a visible, authoritative, organizational entity. Yet, it appears from Scripture that this is exactly what the Apostles understood him to mean. They established an organizational entity, with a hierarchy of leadership, they convened councils to deliberate over and solve religious questions, they wrote Scripture and interpreted the OT in terms of the New Covenant, they ordained ministers and their own successors and gave them rather detailed instructions on how to go forward with the organization. This is the organization we find in the writings of the Fathers, under the leadership of bishops and popes, from Jesus onward. If this isn’t the Catholic Church, which church is it? My understanding is that the Protestants didn’t come along until after 1500 a.d. That means the only church that existed for some 1500 years had all the identifying features of Catholicism, with popes, bishops, Mary, sacraments, confession, Christ real and present in the Eucharistic host, etc. Are you saying that the Catholic Church had it all wrong for 1500 years?

All the wonderful things of value you think you have in the Catholic Church I understand myself to also have in my denomination simply by virtue of it also being part of the Church that Jesus founded. And I believe that based on the very same passages that Catholic hold up for “proof” that their is the one true Church. Hence, in my opinion, today’s Catholic are misinterpreting and misapplying these scriptures in ways that the Holy Spirit never intended them to be understood. But I can’t prove it to you, anymore than you can prove your viewpoint to me, because we have been so conditioned to approach the scriptures differently by the historical traditions of which we were each born into that on this point we can find no common ground on which to have the conversation.

Well, I wasn’t born into Catholicism. I got saved at age 27 into Protestant fundamentalism, and stayed there for about 8 years before finally realizing that my non-denom brothers were not very clear on the meanings of Scripture, and had an unsavory tendency to split the group up over fairly minor interpretive disagreements. This didn’t seem right to me. I see where Jesus demanded unity. That is when I started moving towards a more coherent interpretive system. But, you say you feel that Catholics are “misinterpreting and misapplying” Scripture. Do you go merely on feelings to arrive at this conclusion? Or do you have some logical process that you follow to make this determination? Do you interpret Scripture on your own? Are you an infallible interpreter of Scripture?

Since these interpretations have led to disunity, and since Jesus demanded unity, it seems like a fairly important question.


#20

No, it hasn’t had it all wrong. It hasn’t had it all right either.

And, though I know you think so, what it believed in history really isn’t a part of this discussion; what we are debating is what you believe now.

We don’t know what the Catholic Church believed in the first century. We only know what we believe it believed in the first century. And I happen to think that they thought differently in the first century than you have painted them as thinking.

The other funny thing is that between these last two of my posts, I happened to participate in an ecumenical community service. The local Catholic priest was a participant. His prayer went something like this:

Lord, though we come here today representing many different religious bodies, we are not many churches but one Church in you. We are not Catholic nor Baptist nor Methodist; we are Christian. We pray for each of our congregations that together we might be your Church in this community making the body of Christ known through our oneness that we share by our common faith in you as our one Lord…

And when the Baptist preacher got up he prayed something like this:

Father God, you have blessed us and called us to be your people. As you told Peter that you would found your church in this Rock, and that nothing would ever prevail against your Church, and as you preserved your Church, your people through the course of human history and have brought us here today remind us that we are still dependent on you and not ourselves. Let us not drift into our own private interpretations of scripture but rely on your Holy Spirit to led us into the truth that comes from you and you alone…

To me it sounds like the congregations of my community have it figured out. But I’m not sure that this board does.


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