Protestanism and Mormonism!!!!!


#1

In studying both Protestanism and Mormonism I see one striking similarity, and that is the lack of historical recognition in terms of doctrine. What do i mean by this? Mormonism teaches that there was a complete apostacy in the early Church and authentic Christianity was not restored until Joseph Smith restored it. The Catholic ( and Protestant) response is to point out that there cannot be a “complete apostacy” because of Christ’s promise that He would be with the Church until the end of time. Ok, now what about the Protestants? They do not assert that there was a complete apostacy(as the Mormons do) but, they have to deal with that fact that their two major doctrines sola scriptura (scriptura alone) and sola fide(faith alone) are unheard of for nearly 1500 years. Furthermore, the notion that the Eucharist is symbolic (and the real presence of Christ under the appearances of bread and wine) is also unheard of until the 11th century. (and was met with widespread horror when denied) The Protestant is going to have to argue like a Mormon(sorta) does because there is no record of Christians believing(the way Protestants believe in the in sola scriptura and sola fide, I understand that the terms sola scriptura and sola fide were used, but the meaning was not the same as Luther and Calvin taught) for 1500 years. What happened to Christianity for this years??? As Jonh Newman said, "The realization of history is the end of protestanism.


#2

I would suggest that what say was unheard of had indeed been referred to in the early church fathers.


#3

Actually no it wasnt!!!The term scripture alone and faith alone were used–although very rarely—But the meaning that the reformers and present day Protestants attached to them ABSOLUTLEY WAS NEVER TAUGHT—The notion that the Bible alone is our sole rule of faith and that the Church did not preserve oral teachings of Jesus was never ever taught–Same with Luther’s teaching that Justification is a legal declarative act that God decalares the sinner just based soley on his faith—That was also never taught at all…


#4

Hi. Please leave some exclamation points for the rest of us.:slight_smile: Actually I think some Protestants do believe the only “real Christians” during the Middle Ages were scattered and in deep hiding. I don’t know whether they consider this a church or not. I don’t know whether they think Luther was a member of one of those tiny hidden communities or not.


#5

Well let’s deal with the Eucharist first.

  1. Then, again, how can they say that the flesh, which is nourished with the body of the Lord and with His blood, goes to corruption, and does not partake of life? Let them, therefore, either alter their opinion, or cease from offering the things just mentioned. But our opinion is in accordance with the Eucharist, and the Eucharist in turn establishes our opinion. For we offer to Him His own, announcing consistently the fellowship and union of the flesh and Spirit. For as the bread, which is produced from the earth, when it receives the invocation of God, is no longer common bread, but the Eucharist, consisting of two realities, earthly and heavenly; so also our bodies, when they receive the Eucharist, are no longer corruptible, having the hope of the resurrection to eternity. Irenaeus (Against Heresies 4:18:5)

newadvent.org/fathers/0103418.htm

Orth.—You are caught in the net you have woven yourself. **For even after the consecration the mystic symbols are not deprived of their own nature; they remain in their former substance figure and form; they are visible and tangible as they were before. But they are regarded as what they are become, and believed so to be, and are worshipped as being what they are believed to be. **Compare then the image with the archetype, and you will see the likeness, for the type must be like the reality. For that body preserves its former form, figure, and limitation and in a word the substance of the body; but after the resurrection it has become immortal and superior to corruption; it has become worthy of a seat on the right hand; it is adored by every creature as being called the natural body of the Lord. Theodret (Dialogues, 2)

newadvent.org/fathers/27032.htm


#6

The word “never” is a strong one to use. Every time I read from the ante-nicene fathers I find something new that surprises me, it seems. You provide a bold statement indeed, one that I’ll find fascinating to research. You imply that you have read the numerous volumes of the early fathers in their entirety and seem to have an amazing recollection of what is and is not included. If that sounds sarcastic, I apologize.

As far as “faith alone,” be careful not to interpret a doctrinal stance that may not accurately reflect the dominant Protestant position. You know how it feels to be accused of “Maryolatry.” Most Protestants are careful to balance the messages of Galatians (faith alone) with that of James (faith without works is dead).

It is not my intention to quarrel- I am a Protestant that has chosen to investigate the claims of Catholics to see what I find. So far I have found where both have overstated their cases involving early church history. The writings of the early church fathers suggest to me that (1) Evangelicals have not necessarily reintroduced the church that existed in the first few centuries and (2) the Roman Catholic Church did not emerge as early as it claims. I find it very interesting and confusing at the same time.

Regardless, we both believe in our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, the Holy Trinity, and the need of our salvation through the death of the Son on the cross so we are brothers in Christ- no matter the outcome of this debate on history.

SyCarl, great quotes! I’ve found them in my books and marked them to revisit later. It seems Catholic doctrine dominates the writings of the fathers, but what about the rise of the papacy? That the church in Rome did not end the controversy of whether Arius was a heretic before the Council of Nicea was called suggests that all 300 bishops were somewhat equal in power (since they all voted).


#7

Chapter 16.—Rule for Interpreting Commands and Prohibitions.

  1. If the sentence is one of command, either forbidding a crime or vice, or enjoining an act of prudence or benevolence, it is not figurative. If, however, it seems to enjoin a crime or vice, or to forbid an act of prudence or benevolence, it is figurative. **“Except ye eat the flesh of the Son of man,” says Christ, “and drink His blood, you have no life in you.” John 6:53 This seems to enjoin a crime or a vice; it is therefore a figure, enjoining that we should have a share in the sufferings of our Lord, and that we should retain a sweet and profitable memory of the fact that His flesh was wounded and crucified for us. ** Scripture says: “If thine enemy hunger, feed him; if he thirst, give him drink;” and this is beyond doubt a command to do a kindness. Augustine (On Christian Doctrine 3:16:24)

newadvent.org/fathers/12023.htm

And if we who preside over the Churches are shepherds after the image of the good Shepherd, and you the sheep, are we not to regard the Lord as preserving consistency in the use of figurative speech, when He speaks also of the milk of the flock? And to this meaning we may secondly accommodate the expression,“I have given you milk to drink, and not given you food, for you are not yet able,” regarding the meat not as something different from the milk, but the same in substance. For the very same Word is fluid and mild as milk, or solid and compact as meat. And entertaining this view, we may regard the proclamation of the Gospel, which is universally diffused, as milk; and as meat, faith, which from instruction is compacted into a foundation, which, being more substantial than hearing, is likened to meat, and assimilates to the soul itself nourishment of this kind. **Elsewhere the Lord, in the Gospel according to John, brought this out by symbols, when He said: “Eat my flesh, and drink my blood;” John 6:34 describing distinctly by metaphor the drinkable properties of faith and the promise, **by means of which the Church, like a human being consisting of many members, is refreshed and grows, is welded together and compacted of both,—of faith, which is the body, and of hope, which is the soul; as also the Lord of flesh and blood. For in reality the blood of faith is hope, in which faith is held as by a vital principle. And when hope expires, it is as if blood flowed forth; and the vitality of faith is destroyed. Clement of Alexandria (The Instructor 1:6)

newadvent.org/fathers/02091.htm

In what manner do you think the Lord drank when He became man for our sakes? As shamelessly as we? Was it not with decorum and propriety? Was it not deliberately? For rest assured, He Himself also partook of wine; for He, too, was man. And He blessed the wine, saying, “Take, drink: this is my blood”—the blood of the vine. He figuratively calls the Word “shed for many, for the remission of sins”—the holy stream of gladness. And that he who drinks ought to observe moderation, He clearly showed by what He taught at feasts. For He did not teach affected by wine. And that it was wine which was the thing blessed, He showed again, when He said to His disciples, “I will not drink of the fruit of this vine, till I drink it with you in the kingdom of my Father.” Clement of Alexandria (The Instructor 2:2)

newadvent.org/fathers/02092.htm


#8

Scripture alone: That everything necessary for slavation is clearly set out in Scripture.

Chapter 9.—How We Should Proceed in Studying Scripture.

  1. In all these books those who fear God and are of a meek and pious disposition seek the will of God. And in pursuing this search the first rule to be observed is, as I said, to know these books, if not yet with the understanding, still to read them so as to commit them to memory, or at least so as not to remain wholly ignorant of them. Next, those matters that are plainly laid down in them, whether rules of life or rules of faith, are to be searched into more carefully and more diligently; and the more of these a man discovers, the more capacious does his understanding become. **For among the things that are plainly laid down in Scripture are to be found all matters that concern faith and the manner of life,—to wit, hope and love, of which I have spoken in the previous book. **After this, when we have made ourselves to a certain extent familiar with the language of Scripture, we may proceed to open up and investigate the obscure passages, and in doing so draw examples from the plainer expressions to throw light upon the more obscure, and use the evidence of passages about which there is no doubt to remove all hesitation in regard to the doubtful passages. And in this matter memory counts for a great deal; but if the memory be defective, no rules can supply the want.-Augustine (On Christian Doctrine, Book 3, Chapter 9, Paragraph 14)

newadvent.org/fathers/12022.htm

What do I come in for, you say, if I do not hear some one discoursing? This is the ruin and destruction of all. For what need of a person to discourse? This necessity arises from our sloth. Wherefore any necessity for a homily? All things are clear and open that are in the divine Scriptures; the necessary things are all plain. But because you are hearers for pleasure’s sake, for that reason also you seek these things. John Chrysostom (Homilies on Second Thessalonians, 3, v. 5)

newadvent.org/fathers/23053.htm


#9

For this reason he writes: “All Scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness” All what Scripture? all that sacred writing, he means, of which I was speaking. This is said of what he was discoursing of; about which he said, “From a child thou hast known the holy Scriptures.” All such, then, “is given by inspiration of God”; therefore, he means, do not doubt; and it is “profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness: that the man of God may be perfect, thoroughly furnished unto all good works” “For doctrine.” For thence we shall know, whether we ought to learn or to be ignorant of anything. And thence we may disprove what is false, thence we may be corrected and brought to a right mind, may be comforted and consoled, and if anything is deficient, we may have it added to us. “That the man of God may be perfect.” For this is the exhortation of the Scripture given, that the man of God may be rendered perfect by it; without this therefore he cannot be perfect. Thou hast the Scriptures, he says, in place of me. If thou wouldest learn anything, thou mayest learn it from them. And if he thus wrote to Timothy, who was filled with the Spirit, how much more to us! John Chrysostom (Homilies on Second Timothy, 9, 3:16-17)

newadvent.org/fathers/230709.htm


#10

Mormons and Protestants share a few things, not least because Mormonism was born in a Protestant milieu. Mormons usually deny this, claiming to have more in common with Catholicism by virtue of not believing in sola scriptura, among other things, such as their having a cadre of “apostles” who they believe have the true apostolic authority that Jesus vested in Peter and the others.

But IMO where Mormons and Protestants really read off the same page is in their rejection of Catholic authority. This puts them both outside the teaching authority of the Church, and is the main reason that they’ve all gone off following various separatist ideas about Church. For me, it all boils down to authority, and unity. Without authority, in a visible, institutional Church, almost everything is open to question. The unity that Jesus earnestly prayed for us is lost, and we look like a bunch of nitwits to the dying world He sent the Church out to teach.


#11

Faith alone

See he calls the faith also a law delighting to keep to the names, and so allay the seeming novelty. But what is the “law of faith?” It is, being saved by grace. Here he shows God’s power, in that He has not only saved, but has even justified, and led them to boasting, and this too without needing works, but looking for faith only. John Chrysostom (Homilies on Romans, 7, v. 27)

newadvent.org/fathers/210207.htm

[quote]
They said that he who kept not the Law was cursed, but he proves that he who kept it was cursed, and he who kept it not, blessed. Again, they said that he who adhered to Faith alone was cursed, but he shows that he who adhered to Faith alone, is blessed.

John Chrysostom (Commentary on Galatians, 3, v. 8)

newadvent.org/fathers/23103.htm

All these, therefore, were highly honoured, and made great, not for their own sake, or for their own works, or for the righteousness which they wrought, but through the operation of His will. And we, too, being called by His will in Christ Jesus, are not justified by ourselves, nor by our own wisdom, or understanding, or godliness, or works which we have wrought in holiness of heart; but by that faith through which, from the beginning,

Almighty God has justified all men; to whom be glory for ever and ever. Amen.

newadvent.org/fathers/1010.htm

Now the fathers may have said other things as well since they do contradict themselves, but they did say these. I cite, not for the truth of what they said, but to show the ideas were expressed before the Reformation.
[/quote]


#12

O.K., valid points about Protestantism and its position against the Catholic Church. I am, however, disturbed at the repeated comparisons to Mormonism. Satan worshipers mimic the Mass and adopt rituals inspired by Catholic tradition- but it would be wrong to lump them together because one chose to parrot the other.

Mormonism is a cult- denying the deity of Christ, the Trinity, the power of the cross for our salvation from sin, and they set themselves to be gods that will obtain the same majesty as our Lord in due time. They are NOT Christian.

BOTH Catholics and Protestants ARE Christian. Whether we recognize the authority of the Pope or not is secondary. It is sad that, in a world where the new age and Islam is such a threat, we cannot stand united as brothers and sisters in Christ. Jesus said that those who believe in Him shall be saved. I believe we will be spending an eternity together so it’s high time we learned to get along with one another.

Sadly, the Mormons will not be there with us. Their Jesus has no ability to save them from their sins because they have stripped him of his power as Savior.


#13

That is the dumbest argument I ever heard. By that argument, all religions in the world, apart from the Catholic Church, “read of the same page”.

zerinus


#14

Good morning, Z.

First, in that short paragraph, I was stating an opinion, not making an argument.

Second, I was confining my opinion to two religions, Mormonism and Protestantism, both of which live within the larger context of Christianity. I wasn’t comparing either to any other world religion.

The argument can be made, of course, even though I wasn’t making it in such a short space.


#15

In fairness to the Mormons, these descriptions aren’t exactly true. They don’t deny the Trinity, they simply have a different take on it than Christians do. They don’t deny the deity of Christ (AFAIK) but rather consider him to be a separate being, and even a lesser god than the Father. Mormons are polytheists, but generally avoid use of that term, preferring instead to use the term “plurality of gods” to describe how they see things. Also, they don’t necessarily set themselves to be gods but rather say that they “may” become gods if they do all that they’re commanded to do by the religion. Obviously not all Mormons are equally good Mormons.

Sadly, the Mormons will not be there with us. Their Jesus has no ability to save them from their sins because they have stripped him of his power as Savior.

We need to be careful about stating as fact what only God knows for sure. I’d be really, really surprised to find that no Mormons went to heaven. Most Mormons are absolutely delightful, honest, hardworking, loving, decent people. Frankly, a few of the ones I know are a lot nicer than I am. Some may be deceitful in the promoting of their religion, but I believe that most are doing what they think is right. That would put them into alignment with Jesus, I think.


#16

I certainly wouldn’t include mormonism in the larger context of Christianity. Christianity focuses on Christ- and if His identity changes and He ceases to be what makes Him Christ, then that view can no longer be Christian.

Mormons believe that Christ is our eldest spirit brother and that his death on the cross enabled everyone and everything to be resurrected to face the judgement. If doesn’t matter if you believe in Him or not. Once at the judgement, your eternal destiny is determined by your works.

This, in no way, falls within the realm of Chrstianity. Otherwise, Islam would be Christian as well. They acknowledge that Christ was a good prophet.

It is the identity of Christ that is critical to the qualification of Christianity. He has to be part of the triune God that died for our sins. That is the universal declaration of all Christians.


#17

We need to be careful about stating as fact what only God knows for sure. I’d be really, really surprised to find that no Mormons went to heaven. Most Mormons are absolutely delightful, honest, hardworking, loving, decent people. Frankly, a few of the ones I know are a lot nicer than I am. Some may be deceitful in the promoting of their religion, but I believe that most are doing what they think is right. That would put them into alignment with Jesus, I think.

Muslims are doing what they think is right. So are Buddists, Hindus, and other followers of the many world religions. Christ didn’t say that “those doing what they think is right will be saved.” Only by accepting Him as Lord and Savior do we receive salvation. If He is not God, He has no power to save. Jesus said that He is the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Him.

We are an exclusivist club with an open offer for membership, the Scriptures don’t allow debate on this fact.

And yes, I’m well aware of Mormon doctrine. I was entrenched in it. Sadly, I’ve read the Book of Mornom, Doctrine and Covenants, Pearl of Great Price, the writings of the Presidents, and other LDS works more than the Bible. Sadly, it continues to evolve- making it difficult to pin down. The writings of Bruce McConkie, an apostle of the LDS Church and once the end all be all of official doctrine, is now considered out of date. Truth is relative, I guess.


#18

Muslims are doing what they think is right. So are Buddists, Hindus, and other followers of the many world religions. Christ didn’t say that “those doing what they think is right will be saved.” Only by accepting Him as Lord and Savior do we receive salvation. If He is not God, He has no power to save. Jesus said that He is the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Him.

We are an exclusivist club with an open offer for membership, the Scriptures don’t allow debate on this fact.

And yes, I’m well aware of Mormon doctrine. I was entrenched in it. Sadly, I’ve read the Book of Mornom, Doctrine and Covenants, Pearl of Great Price, the writings of the Presidents, and other LDS works more than the Bible. Sadly, it continues to evolve- making it difficult to pin down. The writings of Bruce McConkie, an apostle of the LDS Church and once the end all be all of official doctrine, is now considered out of date. Truth is relative, I guess.

I note in your profile that you state you are “Christian”. Care to tell us which church you go to?

zerinus


#19

Jake, don’t get me wrong, I agree with you at the level of principle. But the catechism has a lot to say about this. We don’t believe that people in other religions are necessarily condemned. Jesus judges each person individually. The formulaic aspect of what you seem to be saying is more attuned to a fundamentalist mindset than Catholicism. I don’t know what sort of Christianity you’re practicing now…

BTW I’m glad you’re out of Mormonism. IMO you’re on the right road. Keep on going, bro. Soon enough you’ll come to the river Tiber and have a chance to go for a swim… LOL.


#20

Of course it was unherad of. Generally when Pressed Protestants will provide quotes where the CF talks about the importance of Faith or the Importance of Scripture and claim that means they supporeted sola scriptura and sola fidelis.Of course it one reads ALL the writings of the CFs and examines Church history for the first 1,500 years or so they will see these doctrines never existed until Luther made them up


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