Protestants who have a problem with Catholic Traditions


#1

Well, I keep hearing how the Catholic church’s traditions were traditions of men and how traditions are non biblical and all that junk, I usualy get these kinda attacks from protestants. but the problem is that when I hear the word tradition, We Catholics refer them to, oral traditions as in teachings pretty much that were passed down from the apostles including Paul. I do not understand why Protestants have a problem with that but I feel that many Protestants aren’t really referring to Oral tradition but something else.

can someone explain the problem with the Traditions of the Catholic Church that a protestant might have and also would like to have some catholics explain these traditions to them.


#2

Catholic Tradition

  1. As a result the Church, to whom the transmission and interpretation of Revelation is entrusted, ‘does not derive her certainty about all revealed truths from the holy Scriptures alone. Both Scripture and Tradition must be accepted and honoured with equal sentiments of devotion and reverence.’ [DV 9.]–Catechism of the Catholic Church, © 1994/1997 United States Catholic Conference, Inc.

#3

As Roman Catholic apologists like to point out, the RCC is not guided only by the Sacred Scriptures, but also by Holy Tradition. Like so many other aspects of the Catholic Religion, this unwillingness to accept God’s Word as sufficient shares many characteristics with those other religions and cults which the Roman church absorbed in order to gain control over their devotees.
In the Book of Exodus, we read the account of Moses’ mountaintop encounter with the Lord God Almighty. When Moses came down the mountain with the tablets containing the Decalogue, Ten Commandments, this was the beginning of the process Jews call Matan Torah, the giving of the Torah.

All in all, there are 613 laws in Torah. Why did God write but ten “utterances” on the stone tablets? Rabbis and biblical scholars tell us that the Ten Commandments are but general headings and that each of the other 603 laws can be assigned to one of these ten categories. The laws God provided, if kept in the spirit, were adequate to cover all aspects of community and personal living. God is all-wise. Surely He provided the perfect number of perfectly written rules to protect and guide His chosen people.

Originally, the Law was in the hands of the prophets (nevi’im) and the priests (Levites). This changed under Persian rule, when Ezra returned to the Jewish homeland. From this time on, religious teaching and leadership was in the hands of scholars, who were referred to as scribes (soferim). You know what happens when lawyers or academicians get their hands on anything.

It is not in man’s nature, apparently, to leave perfection alone. Priests and scribes began adding to God’s perfect collection of laws. It was not plain enough that God commanded against eating blood (Leviticus 17:11); these deep thinkers determined it was necessary to supplement God’s law with a complex set of rules for slaughtering animals and preparing food in the “kosher” manner. Over the centuries, hundreds, nay! Thousands, of rules, comments, codicils, interpretations, etc., were added to the growing collecting of oral “tradition” concerning the Law given by God in Torah
In the rabbinical era, folks began gathering all this multitude of “traditions” into some semblance of order. And thus were born the six orders of the Mishna. Today, Orthodox Jews are guided by Torah and tradition. And here it can get really confusing

The Gemara is an addition to the Mishna. The gemara do not adhere closely to the text, but offer instead an enormous amount of addition material only loosely connected to the Mishna. They supplement the Mishna with Jewish literature and exposition of Scripture. As such, they are excelient historical references

Actually, though there is but one Mishna, there are two Gemaras, each developed by rabbis over centuries. The gemara developed in Israel is called the Yerushalmi and the one that came out of Babylon is the Bavli. The gemara are NEVER printed alone, but always with the Mishna. Thus, if you have the Israeli gemara and the Mishna bound together, you have the Yerushalmi Talmud. The combination of Babylonian Gemara and Mishna is known as the Bavri Talmud

The Talmud, supreme sourcebook of Jewish Law, sometimes is referred to as the Shas. The word Shas is a shortened form of Shisha Sedarim (six orders), which is a reference to the six orders of the Mishna. Actually, there are two distinct versions of the Talmud: the Yerushalmi (Jerusalem) Talmud and the Bavli (Babylonian) Talmud. Of the two, the Bavli Talmud enjoys greater popularity and authority, and it is to this version the generic term Talmud refers

Orthodox rabbis may devote a lifetime to studying the Talmud, which describes how to apply the laws in Torah to different life situations. Talmud is not a legal code, but it provides the material used to decide all issues of Jewish law (Halakha).

Conservative Rabbis also consider the Halakha as binding, but they do not accept the most recent and strict opinions as absolutely binding. Instead, they use the Talmud as did the rabbis of old, which is also a rarely used option for the Orthodox

The more liberal Reformed and Reconstructionist Jews don’t even teach Talmud in their Hebrew schools, though it still is taught in seminary. They refer to Torah in their research on points of Torah law, but also consider the times and parallels in other societies

Since the closing of the Talmud, Jews have continued to develop the Law in areas of practical application, though always honoring the opinions of the Talmudic rabbis. Modern rabbis are free to interpret, but never to contradict the findings of those who developed the Talmud


#4

There is a sharp division between Torah Law and Rabbinic Law. Torah Law is drawn directly from prohibitions in the Written or Oral Torah. Rabbinical Law was developed to provide a buffer to prevent Jews from inadvertantly violating Torah Law. For example, God provided for a penalty to be administered to the loser in a striving between two men: forty lashes — no more. That was the Torah Law. Rabbinical Law provided that such punishments were to be 40-minus-one, so that should a person miscount he would not violate God’s law.

Torah Law: Deuteronomy 25:1 -3, “If there be a controversy between men, and they come unto judgment, that the judges may judge them; then they shall justify the righteous, and condemn the wicked. And it shall be, if the wicked man be worthy to be beaten, that the judge shall cause him to lie down, and to be beaten before his face, according to his fault, by a certain number. Forty stripes he may give him, and not exceed: lest, if he should exceed, and beat him above these with many stripes, then thy brother should seem vile unto thee.” Rabbinical Law: 2 Corinthians 11:24, “Of the Jews five times received I forty stripes save one.”

Here is an example of how such oral and written traditions can get all mixed up. It is extracted from the soc.culture.jewish FAQ: Torah and Halachic Authority

“Often, a false distinction is made by uninformed posters between ‘Torah’ (meaning Written) Law and Oral Law—in normative Judaism, the two stand together in distinction to Rabbinic Law. Example: the Written Law says an eye for an eye’. The Oral Law says (and historical documents from the Second Temple era confirm) that this was never intended literally, but rather means measured and just (monetary) compensation for damages inflicted’. The Rabbinic Law upholds this principle, but might still command a man to forego the monetary damages in certain cases so as not to even come close to transgressing some other Torah prohibition, such as exacting interest on a debt, or causing baseless hatred. The first two are Torah, the last is not. But all are binding on Jews worldwide. (A still lower level of ‘law’, called minhag, or ‘custom’, is post-Talmudic and usually has force only within particular communities.)”

Then, there is the Tosafot , which are supplemental commentaries on the Talmud written by various Rabbis. Sometimes, the Gemara will quote a legal source external to the Mishna. This is a citation of a Baraita (external teaching), which can be any authoritative legal material which was not included in the Mishna. Everything in the Tosefta is, by definition, Baraita.

At the end of the Bavli Talmud, there are a number of tractates which address such issues as dying, mourning, engagement, marriage, sex, modesty, self-examination, etc.

And then we come to Midrash, which is a term referring to exegesis, a compilation of the results of exegesis, or to the interpretation of a particular verse or passage to search out the fullness of God’s Word. As is to be expected, there are two basic approaches to Midrash. One is that the wording of Scripture was inspired by God and every word is important — even repetitions, apparent errors and peculiar word orders. The other school argues that language is a human thing and subject to all the ordinary flaws of human communication.


#5

All these “authoritative” sources of rules and legislation. All but one of them are the products of man’s ingenuity, yet all are considered to have the force of religious law, even the Law given by God Himself, within the community of Judaism. Who can know all these things? What Jew can live his life so well that he never falls into lawbreaking? I would submit that the only Jew ever to live in such a manner was the Jew Jesus of Nazareth. In the days of Temple worship, there was provision in the Law for atoning sacrifices. There has been no Temple, no altar, wherein Jews might sacrifice since the since the Roman sack of Jerusalem in 70 AD. There is no hope of forgiveness for any Jew outside of Messiah.

As I have shown, I hope. God provided His chosen people a complete compendium of laws which, if followed perfectly in the spirit would have made their living comfortable and assured them of spending eternity with their God. Of course, God knew they would not be able to do that. The Law stands, even today, as given, for it is through the Law that we came to know sin.

Now, what has the RCC done with God’s Law? Well, among other things they diluted it, as did the Jews, by declaring tradition to be co-equal with Scripture in determining doctrine. One big difference between the way Jews handle their multiplicity of sources and Rome’s way is that any Jewish scholar, or even serious lay student, can find the books of tradition and search them. This is because the sources have been identified, compiled and published.

I have never discovered, nor even heard of an authoritative compilation of what Catholicism calls “Sacred Tradition.” I suppose the nearest comparison to the Talmud would be found in the Code of Canon Law and, perhaps, the Catechism of the Catholic Church would approximate the Midrash.

Then, there are all the writings of the Early Church Fathers which, depending upon the needs of the Catholic apologists, may be either authoritative or merely informational. At times, the writings of a particular father can be both authoritative (when they support the RCC position) and only informational (when they oppose the RCC position).

To this growing pile of sometimes authoritative sources of tradition, we might add the writings of the Doctors of the Church, which include some really off-the-wall mystical stuff from such folks as the Little Flower. Popes tend to write a lot and what they write to the whole church is not only authoritative but some are considered infallible declarations of God’s will (they claim), unless it suits the needs of some apologist to declare that a particular papal utterance failed to meet the conditions for infallibility. This is so even when what one pope declares infallibly is then countermanded by another, also infallible, pope or some equally infallible church council. So, too, are the rules of the 21 infallible church councils considered infallibly authoritative. And we have the pronouncements of such historical and current RCC agencies as the Inquisition, the Sacred Congregation of the Faith, the Penitentiary, the Curia, etc., all of which have the authority of law within the RCC.


#6

The Roman Catholic church explains the mutability of tradition by declaring there actually are two types of tradition: there is Tradition with a capital ‘T’ and tradition with a small ‘T’

  1. "The Tradition here in question comes from the apostles and hands on what they received from Jesus’ teaching and example and what they learned from the Holy Spirit. The first generation of Christians did not yet have a written New Testament, and the New Testament itself demonstrates the process of living Tradition.

"Tradition is to be distinguished from the various theological, disciplinary, liturgical or devotional traditions, born in the local churches over time. These are the particular forms, adapted to different places and times, in which the great Tradition is expressed. In the light of Tradition, these traditions can be retained, modified or even abandoned under the guidance of the Church’s Magisterium.

“The heritage of faith entrusted to the whole of the Church.”–Catechism of the Catholic Church, Op. cit

I love that one phrase, “In the light of Tradition, these traditions can be retained, modified or even abandoned… .” Ha!

Enter the Magisterium. This is the mighty Teaching Authority of the Roman Catholic church. Ultimately, all religious legislation seems to fall under the control of the Magisterium. The Magisterium is defined as:

"The Church’s teaching authority, instituted by Christ and guided by the Holy Spirit, which seeks to safeguard and explain the truths of the faith. The Magisterium is exercised in two ways: ‘extraordinary’, when the Pope and ecumenical councils infallibly define a truth of faith or morals that is necessary for one’s salvation and that has been constantly taught and held by the Church; ‘ordinary,’ when the Church infallibly defines truths of the faith: 1) taught universally and without dissent, 2) which must be taught or the Magisterium would be failing in its duty, 3) connected with a grave matter of faith or morals, and 4) which is taught authoritatively. Not everything taught by the Magisterium is done so infallibly; however, the exercise of the Magisterium is faithful to Christ and what He taught.–Peter J.M. Stravinskas, Ed., The Catholic Dictionary, Our Sunday Visitor, (1993), p.316)

Just how much clout does the Magisterium enjoy? Well, the Magisterium has declared that the Magisterium is the sole agency authorized to interpret the Word of God (CCC, Logia 100). In fact, the Magisterium has declared that the Magisterium is co-equal in authority with the Word of God and Sacred Tradition (Big ‘T’). Since the Magisterium has declared the Magisterium to be infallible in such matters, then it must be true. Right?

  1. "‘It is clear therefore that, in the supremely wise arrangement of God, sacred Tradition, Sacred Scripture and the Magisterium of the Church are so connected and associated that one of them cannot stand without the others. Working together, each in its own way, under the action of the one Holy Spirit, they all contribute effectively to the salvation of souls.’[DV 10 # 3.]–Ibid…

So, for Roman Catholics, all one really needs to know about God’s will is what the infallible Magisterium infallibly determines to infallibly declare, since only she is empowered by Christ with the authority to do so (CCC, Logia 88). And what the Magisterium infallibly declares to be the will of God is authoritative, for her declarations are “under the action of the Holy Spirit.” Which is just as well, for there is no authoritative compendium of Sacred Tradition for Catholics that I am aware of, unless it is written in Latin and resides in the basement of St. Peter’s.

Knowing God’s Law is a lot easier for the Bible-believing Christian. We have His revealed Word as our sole authoritative document on matters of doctrine and faith. Sure, there are commentaries, creeds and constitutions, but these are intended as aids to understanding the Bible, not as authoritative rules and laws extrapolated from Scripture. Granted, there are legalists among Bible believers, but their writings and pronouncements have no more authority than any other commentary or creed.

2 Peter 1:20-2 1, “Knowing this first, that no prophecy of the scripture is of any private interpretation. For the prophecy came not in old time by the will of man: but holy men of God spake as they were moved by the Holy Ghost.”

Revelation 22:18-19, “For I testify unto every man that heareth the words of the prophecy of this book, If any man shall add unto these things, God shall add unto him the plagues that are written in this book: And if any man shall take away from the words of the book of this prophecy, God shall take away his part out of the book of life, and out of the holy city, and from the things which are written in this book.”


#7

Is that why there is so much confusion and disagreement among Bible-believing Christians?

Thankfully, God gave us an authoratative Church so that we don’ t have to guess what He meant. One Catholic Tradition that Protestants don’t seem to have a problem with accepting is the Canon of the New Testament, give authoratatively by the Catholic Church.

BTW, officially, there is no organisation called the Roman Catholic Church. It is, and always has been, the Catholic Church, from at lesat the time of Ignatius of Antioch in 107. He wrote: “Where the bishop appears, there let the people be, just as where Jesus Christ is, there is the Catholic Church.”


#8

Protestants use tradition, too, but they usually don’t realize it, or if they do, they will poo-poo it off with some fancy rationalized excuse. Their problem is that the Bible can’t provide all that is necessary as a sole norm of faith. No matter how hard they work at oversimplifying things, Protestants can’t fully avoid the use of extra-Biblical sources for doctrine.

Of course, this varies considerably from sect to sect, since there is so much diversity among Protestants. Some actually do a pretty good job of sticking to Scripture alone, but these are such impossibly stripped-down, oversimplified versions of Christian life, that they can’t be considered much more than Bible studies, or prayer gatherings, rather than bona fide churches.


#9

Hi truthnlight,

Can you help me out here? Why do you feel it necessary to flood every thread like this? You will neither convince a Catholic nor endear yourself to Protestants. You are not helping your cause by posting wave after wave of false accusations and out of context scripture. The people on this forum are far too well-versed and will generally ignore rants.

Personally I think you have something valuable to contribute to the debate, but I can’t seem to find it under the mountain of posts one right after another. Take it easy, be a loving Christian, you will be welcomed and loved in return, I promise. :thumbsup:

God bless you for the effort, though! I’m sure God knows you are trying your best to do his work. Nothing I love more than somebody who’s fired up with the Holy Spirit. :amen:

Peace be with you (for real!) :smiley:


#10

truthnlife

unless this is you lazyboysreststop.com/lazyboy.htm who appears to be the author of what you posted (or even if you are not) please provide a link for what you are obviously cutting a pasting.

sxws.com/charis/apol7.htm

truth… do you have any thoughts of your own?

God bless


#11

www.wels.net is straight out of scripture and is by no means water down or oversimplified.
I will admit that some Lutheran/ Protestants faiths have lost faith in the scriptures and have worded them to suite their purposes. However, I am confused as to why the Catholic Church has signed an agreement of Faith with the ELCA, one of the most liberal Lutheran churches in America. ELCA has water down the Bible to the point that they our becoming very close to a non-Christian church. The examples are: Gods creation might or might not have happen, Women as ordained Pastors, and openly homosexual priest. This is just a small list. If you would like to know more read,” What’s going on among the Lutherans” by Leppien and Smith.

In Christ


#12

I think there are far more Catholics than Protestants who have problems with Catholic Traditions. Maybe another thread should be started on that??? :o


#13

I intended them to be general and non-specific, owing to the lack of space that would be required to give even a brief run-down of the kaleidoscopic doctrinal variety in the Protestant world.

Traditions are great and bring comfort to those who worship our Lord. However, when those traditions go beyond what the scriptures say and are required part to be a Christian that is when they go over the line.

When a Catholic says “Sacred Tradition” he isn’t referring to quaint traditions. He is referring to a very important part of the total deposit of faith. They don’t just “give comfort” but rather provide instruction in the doctrines of the faith.

Our Doctrine (WELS) www.wels.net is straight out of scripture and is by no means water down or oversimplified.

I’m sure they are, or that you feel that they are, but I don’t know anything about your particular brand of Lutheranism, so am unable to comment on it. BTW I am currently reading through some of Luther’s writings. I started on the 95 Theses this morning. How does your brand of Lutheranism square with Luther himself? Especially with regard, say, to confession and absolution, or veneration of Mary?

I hear you on your disagreemtents with your Lutheran brethren. I don’t know anything about any agreements between the Catholic Church and the ELCA. I’d be amazed if any authoritative arm of the Catholic Church was in agreement with any of the things you describe, such as “homosexual priests” or that “God’s creation might or might not have happen.” I have no idea what that could mean, but on face of it doesn’t sound like anything Catholic I’ve ever heard. Can you provide a link?


#14

It is on the www.vatican.va under the heading
JOINT DECLARATION
ON THE DOCTRINE OF JUSTIFICATION

by the Lutheran World Federation
and the Catholic Church
You will need to read about the ELCA, but here is one qoute about thier view on atonement from the book Whats going on among the Lutherans.
Jesus died for us in the sense of a man dying for his friends, not in the sense of God punishing him for the sins of others. Such would portray an unjust God.
This is their qoute on the resurrection of Christ.

It is doubtful what the body is, The corpse that is buried is not the body. Therefore, ressurrection concerns some kind of spiritual body, not our earthly remains. The tomb was not empty on the first Easter morning. Jesus Christ did not Physically rise from the dead. Perhaps we can speak of some spiritual resurrection.

My church does not share fellowship in any means with this church as these are positions that go square against the Bible.
We were suprised to see the Catholic Church have any agreement with this church which belongs to Lutheran World Federation let alone one about JUSTIFICATION.

God Bless you and your Church


#15

Roman_Catholic, here’s the link to truthnlight’s cut and paste:

jesus-is-savior.com/False%20Religions/Roman%20Catholicism/rcc15-tradition.htm

This website is absolutely bizarre and not only anti-Catholic, but anti pretty much everything.

truthnlight, please take a serious look at what you are falling for. Think for yourself, don’t let someone else think for you.


#16

I’m not finding it there, even doing a search with that phrase in it. Can you give me a direct link to the document? The Vatican website is huge.

You will need to read about the ELCA, but here is one qoute about thier view on atonement from the book Whats going on among the Lutherans.
Jesus died for us in the sense of a man dying for his friends, not in the sense of God punishing him for the sins of others. Such would portray an unjust God.
This is their qoute on the resurrection of Christ.

It is doubtful what the body is, The corpse that is buried is not the body. Therefore, ressurrection concerns some kind of spiritual body, not our earthly remains. The tomb was not empty on the first Easter morning. Jesus Christ did not Physically rise from the dead. Perhaps we can speak of some spiritual resurrection.

My church does not share fellowship in any means with this church as these are positions that go square against the Bible.
We were suprised to see the Catholic Church have any agreement with this church which belongs to Lutheran World Federation let alone one about JUSTIFICATION.

God Bless you and your Church

This doesn’t sound right at all, and I can’t believe that there is any agreement between Rome and this type of teaching. Where are you getting this from?


#17

Truthnlight posted

]As a result the Church, to whom the transmission and interpretation of Revelation is entrusted, ‘does not derive her certainty about all revealed truths from the holy Scriptures alone. Both Scripture and Tradition must be accepted and honoured with equal sentiments of devotion and reverence.’ [DV 9.]–Catechism of the Catholic Church, © 1994/1997 United States Catholic Conference, Inc.

Your faith comes from a Church which always had the Scriptures. My faith comes from a Church which for the first 300-years of its existence did not and had nothing but oral tradition as there was nothing else. :stuck_out_tongue:

You answer the question then, in the days before the Holy Church canonised the Scriptures, by what other methods where there to learn abou the faith that was passed from the Apostles?

Even after the Scriptures were canonised, how do you think folk managed when 99% of the population could not read?

It is only in the last 200-years that the masses learned how to read


#18

/www.vatican.va/holy_father/john_paul_ii/speeches/2003/march/documents/hf_jp-ii_spe_20030324_evangel-luth_en.html

Here is one link that talks about the ELCA. If you go to the Vatican website and type in Lutheran in the search box many more doctuments will come about about this agreement.

The ELCA has made a effort to slowly move its church to the left and many of its own members are unaware of this movement.
The ECLA beliefs are well documented in this book, What going on among the Lutherans, by their own words over the last 30 years.
I recommend the book highly so you will be aware of what beliefs the ELCA has and its dealings with your Church. I’m not trying to sway you from your Church or say your Church believe this garbage, but you should know what is going on.
Here are a few more quotes from the book. The documentation to back these statements up are in the book
Creation
The story of Creation in Genesis is a myth. We got here by a chance process of evolution that God directed or at least used.
Adam and Eve
Adam and Eve are symbols of humanity and not real people. The never really existed Thier story is a myth containing important spiritual truth just as the stories of Noah, Jonah, and Job are myths
The virgin birth
Jesus Christ was not born of a Virgin. we are not sure who his physical father was-perhaps Joseph or an itinerant Roman Soldier. The early church honored Jesus by pretending his only father was God.
I could go on and on. It is shocking. This book was written by conservative Lutherans trying to show where some churches(ELCA) are saying and headed in their Beliefs.

God Bless
In Christ


#19

Here is one of the letters that state the agreement
Type Lutheran in the search box and it will all come up

ADDRESS OF JOHN PAUL II
TO A DELEGATION FROM THE LUTHERAN DIOCESE
OF NIDAROS (NORWAY)

Saturday, 16 November 2002

Dear Bishop Wagle,
Distinguished Friends,

It gives me great pleasure to welcome to the Vatican this Delegation from the Lutheran Diocese of Nidaros, in Rome for the Feastday of Saint Olav, Patron of Norway.

I well remember, during my visit to Norway and the other Scandinavian countries in 1989, the ecumenical service in the Cathedral of Nidaros in Trondheim with your predecessor, the Right Reverend Kristen Kyrre Bremer. It was a sign of new and deeper ecumenical relations between us, improved relations which, in 1993, enabled the Lutheran Church to allow the Catholic community to celebrate in the old mediaeval cathedral the hundred and fiftieth anniversary of the re-establishment of the Catholic Church in Norway. Let us thank God who has helped us to make such progress.

We are committed to moving further ahead on the path to reconciliation. The Joint Declaration on the Doctrine of Justification between the Lutheran World Federation and the Catholic Church, signed in 1999, paves the way for more extensive common witness. It brings us a step closer to the full visible unity which is the goal of our dialogue.

May the Lord help us to treasure what has been achieved so far, and may he sustain us in our efforts to hasten its development into ever broader cooperation. At the beginning of the new millennium the Lord is calling all his followers: “Duc in altum! – Put out into the deep!” (Lk

5:4). May we ever remain open to the surprising work of the Holy Spirit among us. God bless you!


#20

zcharry, you’re losing me. The address by John Paul from 2002, which you quote, doesn’t seem to say anything about doctrine. It is a short sort of introduction and welcome. JPII mentions the Joint Declaration between the Lutheran World Federation and the Catholic Church, but he doesn’t describe anything about it, except to say that it moves towards greater cooperation.

I’m sorry to say I know next to nothing about the various Lutheran organizations. What is the connection between the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America, and the Lutheran World Federation? What do either of these have to do with the Norwegians?


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