Protestants are truth?

Hello my fellow Catholics,

I recently heard something that unnerved me a bit and I was wondering what you guys think.

Basically it said that Protestants are the true church and they were simply not in existence before the reformation. The claim was that the church died with the apostle John in about 100 AD. What do you guys think. I don’t mean to be rude as I am a Catholic as well, but I think we should analyze this from a secular, non biased, historical, perspective. Any ideas?

(What does this have to do with “How does CAF work?”)

It perhaps all depends what your definition the true church is.

Joseph Smith, who founded the LDS/Mormon church in the early 19th Century, taught that the Christian Church went apostate and died out after the death of the Apostles. Most Protestant reformers believed that the Church went apostate at some point, although there seems to be no consensus on when and how.

Ok thank you and yes haha I’m new to this site so I clicked a post button where I could find it lol. Thanks for the response.

I think you need more educated friends. :coffeeread:

Sounds about right if you are fundamentalist you likely believe this.

In seminary they study to about 100AD, then take lunch and come back at 1pm talking about Martin Luther. As if those 1400 years never actually happened, or the Church became all corrupted so it wasn’t worth mentioning. :eek:

There are so many problems with that belief that I don’t know where to start. Ask whoever said that how their bible came into existence? 99% chance they have no clue and assume it slid down a rainbow or something. It was actually formed long after the apostle John. Didn’t have chapters or verses until like the 12th century. They can thank that ‘untrustworthy’ Catholic church for all this.:rolleyes:

And if the Church did fall off a cliff for 1400 years, then this means Jesus is not keeping His promise that the gates of Hades would not prevail against it. Matt 16:18

A 14 year period of corruption? Ok, maybe that is believable, but 1400 years w/o the true Church is simply unfathomable. We know from ACTS 9:4 just how intimate the Lord planned on being with His Church. :highprayer:

I would not bother entertaining people who hold such foolish beliefs. They would need to first demonstrate a rudimentary understanding of how that bible they hold so dear ultimately got into their hands. If they say King James was the first bible then terminate the conversation and pray for their enlightenment.

“Heard” where? From whom? With what evidence?

I don’t think anything about such a ludicrous claim.

Analyze WHAT? There’s nothing to analyze. The claim that “true” Christianity spontaneously arose in the year 1500? Um, not much to analyze.

What’s the point?

Moved to Apologetics where it belongs.:slight_smile:

That’s pretty laughable (and sad really) since the writings of the early church prove otherwise.

What Was Authentic Early Christian Worship Really Like?

Well, Potato, we can look at this from the Protestant viewpoint. So: Their statement above has to be true, for if it is not true then Protestantism is wrong from the first moment, and since that can’t be right, then the death of the church must be assumed.

Also Mormonism, the Jehovah’s Witnesses, and every Christian religion or religion claiming to be Christian: they all have to be two contrary things at the same time. They must be Christ’s true church which failed but somehow survived. That survival turns out to be in some non-actual or non-historical way, such as potentially, or virtually, or in the heart of God, or spiritually, or underground, etc. That break is the great Protestant Assumption, a doctrine which is simply assumed, for otherwise all the protesting is vacated before it even gets started.

For if Christ’s Church never failed, as He promised it never would; if He has always been with her, as He said He would be: then no matter what good points Protestantism has, it is vacant of validity at its roots.

It can be useful to concede what is obvious and true about their thinking: It certainly would be important if the true Church vanished after St. John the Apostle. Yes, indeed, for sure. For if such a Great Apostasy (mormon terms) occurred, then the resulting great vacancy needed to be filled by the truth once again. And that would make the news of (Protestantism, Mormonism, JWism, etc., whichever) very good indeed.

After agreeing to this in principle, you can then move on to saying that, however, if there was no such break; if in fact there is continuity, then of course, though there may have been plenty of room for reform and renewal, there was/is no room for Protestantism et al.

I tend to ask things which will focus on this great apostasy, this terrible failure of Christ’s Church to continue: under which pope (what name) did this apostasy occur? What were the particular issues? What were the church councils saying before and after the apostasy? Were there battles? Was there land won and lost? What land? What were the sides in the struggle? Led by whom, that is, what were the names of these people? What cities hosted these councils/battles? How about some dates?

In other words, where is your positive evidence that such a break in continuity even happened?

Otherwise it’s wishful thinking, and one huge cover-your-backside assumption in order to backward-engineer the justification for not being in Christ’s ever-continuous Church.

This is a conversational approach one can take. Of course as a conversation, it doesn’t tend to go on very long. Anyway, hope this and the other answers on the thread are helping.

St. Augustine has an interesting insight on this sort of thing. He said…

[FONT=Palatino Linotype]***“All heretics wish to be styled Catholic, yet if anyone asks them where is the Catholic place of worship none would venture to point out his own.”*** [/FONT]

Buy and read the book “The Apostasy that Wasn’t”

God Bless

Thank you all for the responses!

Which protestant church is the true church? This is a dilemma that I reached as a protestant. I had no idea where to turn for the true church. As a last resort in my profound confusion and disillusionment seeking the Christian Truth, seeking something that would stand the test of time and be here tomorrow, I googled Catholic. Last resort. I knew nothing about the Catholic Church at the time, only that it was wrong?


There it is. Thanks be to God for taking me so low, that He could bring me home.

So in terms of what you are asking, I have to say, I have lived both, one provides a constant Truth, the other provides a meandering opinion of truth.

But *where *was the Church then, if that were true. Mormons, who came centuries after the original Protestants, say that they, uniquely, are the restored Church . Protestants from the time of the reformation began battling with each other almost immediately over doctrine, and splits and spin-offs have occurred ever since. In the case of most of Protestantism the disagreements arise over different interpretations of the bible, since that is almost exclusively the only source for Christian truth that they appeal to. In the case of Mormons and a few others, Scripture is supplemented by new, so-called revelations.

Either way the very foundation of Protestantism is weak and shifting soil-because it’s primarily based on personal opinions and interpretations of the bible, which can vary immensely. And this, BTW, is precisely why the teachings of the Catholic Church on Tradition and and the gift of infallibility are so supremely valuable, necessary-and honest. Without the source of Tradition-simply a living legacy of understanding of the faith based on unwritten revelation from the beginnings of Christianity, much of doctrine is guess-work. And implicit in the gift of infallibility is the acknowledgment of man’s need for supernatural guidance in guaranteeing that the faith is kept intact, as it was originally received and held.

I think you’re right.

Thank you all for the great responses!

Sounds to me like all those anti-Catholic websites I’ve seen time and time again spilling the same old things. Jesus Christ established the Catholic Church, on the unshakeable rock of Peter and his successors; and that this Church established by Jesus Christ is empowered with his authority infallibly to declare his truth until the end of time (1 Tim 3:15, John 16, Mt 18:17, Lk 10:16). It is the one true Church.

Only in the Catholic Church can you find the whole truth about Jesus, and all the means of grace he intends us to have. Knowing this, our greatest desire should be to bring our separated brethren into the fullness of grace and truth that Christ has entrusted to the Catholic Church. For “In her subsists the fullness of Christ’s body…the fullness of the means of salvation which he has willed: correct and complete confession of faith, full sacramental life, and ordained ministry in apostolic succession” (CCC 830). To provide others with the means to know the full truth of who Christ is and what he did and what he taught, is an act of love. To deny others the fullness of truth is to deny them the fullness of Christ.

Well, from a secular perspective the idea that people in the sixteenth century or later can just reconstruct a religion that died in A. D. 100 seems pretty crazy. To be sure, so do some basic Christian beliefs, so there’s not much one can say to people who believe this as a matter of faith. But it doesn’t rest on a particularly rational approach to the history of Christianity.

It is particularly against this position that standard Catholic arguments like the argument from the canonization of Scripture are effective. If the Church died in 100, then how on earth do we have confidence that the NT books we have are really divinely inspired, since they were discerned to be divinely inspired by people who lived after the Church died? They may respond by citing 2 Peter–but secular scholars think that 2 Peter was written in the second century as well. In fact, the dominant view among secular scholars these days is that Acts was written that late as well. (I’m not necessarily saying that these things are true, only pointing out that from a “secular, historical” point of view the position you’re describing totally undermines our confidence in NT Scripture.)

Just a thought or two from my Lutheran perspective.

First, I think that all who recognize the Triune God and who are baptized with the Trinitarian formula are true Christians. That does not, however, make them infallible in matters of faith.

Second, and proceeding from the above, I have no doubt that Catholics are true Christians and have been from the beginning. Similarly, the Orthodox are true Christians and have been, as a separate ecclesial body, since 1054. And, all who are heirs of the Reformation and who are properly baptized are true Christians.

I like the response a Lutheran theologian once gave when asked if Lutherans had the truth. He said something like, “yes, but we aren’t the only ones who have it.”

The secular, non biased, historical perspective points to Catholicism. I was taught in my AP World History Class at a public high school, that Jesus started the Papacy, even though many protestants will object.

You can tell these people to look at the writings of the First Christians, or Church Fathers. These were the successors of the Apostles. Examples of very early Christians would be St Ignatius of Antioch, St Irenaeus of Lyons, St Polycarp, St Clement of Rome, and St Linus (2nd Pope).

The only reason we believe in the Bible and those books only as inspired, is because of the Catholic Church. St Augustine, another Church Father of the 4th century, said “I would not believe in the Gospel, had not the authority of the Catholic Church already moved me.”

Here’s a link to satiate your mind with the Early Church:

Enjoy your reading

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