questions for Protestants


#1

ok what I see that most Protestants have a problem with recently is the Pope saying the Catholic Church is the only true Church (NOT as some mistakenly believe that we are the only ones with truth–there is some truth in all religions, the Catholic Church is just where the fullness of truth resides.)
anyway…if you Protestants believe that all of the churches who call themselves Christian are equally true, then why can’t you allow that to extend to the Catholic Church too? Isn’t it hypocritical to claim all Christians are Christian EXCEPT Catholic Christians? :shrug: :confused:


#2

The Source of Truth does not reside in a “church” but in God…the Light of Christ shines in each persons heart…Muslim, Buddhist, Wiccan, Catholic, Methodist, Jehovah’s Witness, athiest and Satanist…how we respond to the Light is a whole different issue.


#3

Well… I’m new and all, but I don’t have a problem with the Pope saying that at all. I mean… he’s just reiterating what the Catholic church has taught since at least Trent and I see quite a bit in the latest motu propio to be hopeful about.

This Evangelical Protestant does think that’s hypocritical. It’s not that I don’t have serious and substantial disagreements with my Catholic brothers and sisters in Christ. I do. But I have serious and substantial differences with my Presbyterian and Methodist and Lutheran and fill-in-the-blank brothers and sisters in Christ too. I disagree with plenty of things in the Catholic church, but I try to do so respectfully, with a great deal of humility and charity, and with an understanding that we may not be able to meet in the same pew, but we can meet together on our knees as Christians.


#4

Wouldn’t it be the greatest event in all contemporary times if all Catholic and Protestant Christians would kneel together and acknowledge the unity that Christ prayed for in John 17?? Imagine all Christians acting as one Body of Christ in Christ without debates or divisions?? Imagine. All kneeling at the foot of the Cross. O.K. This Catholic will stop dreaming now. But it was one heck of a dream. thank you all for allowing me take a moment outside the content of this thread. After all, this was only a dream…teachccd :grouphug:


#5

First, I certainly believe Catholics (in Union with Rome) can be every bit as Christian as any other version such as a Protestant. I think certain Protestants who state Catholics are members of a cult and yada…yada…are wrong and bigots.

Second, I really am unconcerned about what the Pope said. He is entitled to be in error and speak in bravado just like any other head of a Church such as Lutherans, etc. Many churches feel they are the closest, best, most correct (etc). From my reading I feel that the closest to being able to claim being the “true church” and apostolic in the fullest sense is the Orthodox (of which I am not one). But I no more begrudge the Pope his human opinion than I do anyone else. Bless him for loving his church. Bless you for loving yours and Bishop Schori for loving hers, etc.

We are children of Almighty God!:thumbsup:

Rev North


#6

As you are entitled to your opinion. The Pope is not in error as Jesus founded ONE Church. And that Church is the Catholic Church. She withstood the test of time and the gates of hell shall not prevail. And yes I agree, bless him for loving Christ’s Church! There is no my Church, ***your ***Church, or her Church. There is ONE Church and it’s His Church. It’s the only Church founded by our Lord Jesus Christ and that is His opinion actually His command. So your opposition lies not with the Pope and his proclamation of the Gospel but with Jesus Christ Himself. God Bless…teachccd:)


#7

“If I am delayed, you may know how one ought to behave in the household of God, which is the church of the living God, the pillar and bulwark of the truth.” 1 Timothy 3:15


#8

Yes…thanks be to God for the Orthodox Church.:thumbsup:

Rev North (thinking about buying swimming trunks)


#9

I think the Pope has the right to say whatever he wants to say, he also has the right to be wrong in what he says


#10

Ahhh, but what did JESUS say?

**Acts 9:3-5 explicitly states:
*On his journey, as he was nearing Damascus, a light from the sky suddenly flashed around him. ***
**He fell to the ground and heard a voice saying to him, "Saul, Saul, why are you persecuting ME?" **He said, “Who are you, sir?” The reply came, "I am Jesus, whom you are persecuting.

Notice he doesn’t say, " . . . my Church"? He says “ME”.
Jesus and his church are ONE.

Also, to reiterate what 4life4nfp has already posted:
“If I am delayed, you may know how one ought to behave in the household of God, which is the church of the living God, the pillar and bulwark of the truth.” 1 Timothy 3:15


#11

“In as much as you have done it to the least of these…you have done it to me.” The least of these…anyone who bears the Light of Christ Within is in essence “Jesus”…those whom we do not feed, those whom we do not clothe, those whom we do not visit…are representing Jesus…

It seems you are defining “church” as an institution…it IS people, not an institution.


#12

Welcome to CAF! It’s great to see new people!

I hope your time here will clear up any misunderstandings and/or help you come to appreciate the Catholic perspective.

Feel free to “post” lots of questions and be up front with any of your objections.

May our dear Lord bless you here and on the journey!

In Him,
JB


#13

That depends on how you want to define “institution.” On what basis did Jesus desire to start a community of believers alone and not an institution?

What is the Church apart from its people? No people, no institution. When you strike the institution, you are directly hurting people, not some invisible construct. (Clearly, lifeless invisible constructs don’t have feelings.)

If the church is the “pillar and bulwark of the truth,” then which people? Any group of Christians could have dozens of interpretations on scripture.

In Luke 10:16, Jesus says to the Apostles “He who hears you hears me.” Jesus puts on par the teaching of the Apostles with his own teaching, now that’s authority!! In Matt 18:15-18, we see Jesus telling us that if we have a disagreement with another ‘brother’, “take one or two others along so that every matter may be established by the testimony of two or more witnesses.” But what if he won’t listen, what do you do? Jesus says in verse 18 “you take him to the Church. And if he refuses to listen even to the church, treat him as you would a pagan or a tax collector.”

www.canapologetics.net/html/origin_of_the_church.html

Again, which church? The Anglican church will likely handle things differently from the Amish. The Baptists may handle things differently from the Pentecostals. (You get the idea.)

(I should also mention I love all these groups and they can offer wonderful examples of Christian virtue and truth to the Catholic Church. Even so, Catholic teaching says they are mystically united (though imperfectly) to the universal Church.)

Furthermore, God chose to use a visible institution to bring forth the Bible. Yes, if you hurt the institution, you are also persecuting Him.

God Bless,
JB


#14

What on earth makes you think that this is something Protestants believe? Most Protestants today have absolutely no problems saying that Catholics are Christians. Of course this was not always the case (Catholics didn’t always have as gentle a view of Protestants as they do today either), and there are many Protestants who maintain older and more hardline attitudes. But if you want to generalize about Protestants, it is extremely unfair to claim that we deny that Catholics are Christians.

Edwin


#15

what on earth makes me believe what I believe? Perhaps 20 years living in the southern US? 5 years living next door to Liberty University? and the scariest, worst 3 years of my life as a Catholic in middle Tennessee? I was not generalizing at all but speaking specifically of my own experience. Who are you to question my experience? If you have not had a similar experience then why bother to answer my thread? Quarrelsome and contentious posters who just want to start trouble and ridicule others are not Christian–IMO.


#16

We each will look at the historical development of the Christian very differently. The writings of the early Christians the emerging catholic church/proto orthodox groups declared as “apostolic” merely reflected their own views…a “myth” of apostolic succession was developed…not all who claimed to be Christians accepted that “myth”.

Christians saw themselves as the true continuation of “God’s people”…the emerging catholic church organized itself in opposition of all other groups…the other groups didn’t see it necessary to organize under “bishops, priests or decons”…the so called “heretics” were another stream in the message of Jesus of Nazareth.

That you and I disagree on the nature of the church, is no surpise…God’s people are in every nation on earth…those who live according to Light Within…we are very very different you and I…no doubt about it…the ‘heretics’ did not support the “hierarchy” which developed in the 2nd to 3rd centuries…some of the groups appointed “ministers” each Lord’s Day…and scandal of scandal…some even had women serve…

There is only “God’s People”…be they Baptist, Catholic, Friend, Mormon, Muslim, Buddhist…God’s people listen to His voice and seek to follow the Light they are given…unity isn’t in doctrine or church government…unity comes in showing love to one another…being kind, gentle, peaceful…this is where true unity lies…a change on the inside, not confomity to an outside mode or form.


#17

and BTW–just so everyone on this thread will think I am a $#@&*…I did not ask for the issue to be proven one way or another. All I wanted to know was (of the Protestants who have a problem with it–which is ‘a given’ in the OP! ) how can they qualify getting upset that Catholics think other churches are not true when these ones do not even think Catholics are Christian?

I was speaking to my adopted brother on the phone the other day-he only calls when he wants something about once a year- and when I referred to myself as Christian and then later as Catholic he commented but I was not Catholic anymore because he thought I said I was a Christian now! He is a follower of this new ‘fundy’ Prosperity Theology and belongs to a mega-church. He is also very typical of what I have dealt with.

I have not had this problem with most mainstream Protestants—ie Methodist, Episcopal, Luthern, Presbyterian.


#18

First of all, I don’t think that definition of “Christian” would be accepted by most Catholics, or by most Christians historically (there are lots of Christians who are quarrelsome and contentious, unfortunately!).

More to the point, I am not trying to start trouble or ridicule others. I am simply pointing out that fundamentalists in the southern U.S. are hardly representative of all Protestants. Of course I didn’t know that this was your specific experience, but it’s not surprising that this is where you are coming from. I grew up in that environment as well (I was one of those anti-Catholics myself, though not as bad as some). But this is just one corner of the Christian world. I am not questioning your experience at all, and I apologize for my tone. I am defensive because many Catholics on this forum use their bad experience with fundamentalism as an excuse to attack Protestantism as a whole.

Perhaps another time you could say, “the southern fundamentalist Protestants I know” instead of just “Protestants.” That would make it clearer that you are not generalizing to all Protestants everywhere.

I’m curious: are your fundamentalist neighbors upset at the Pope’s words? Generally the reactions from fundamentalist and conservative Protestants I’ve seen on the web have tended to be fairly respectful, precisely because they openly admit that they don’t think Catholicism is a true church and thus are not offended by the Pope’s (much milder) assertions about Protestants. Albert Mohler’s piece is the best example. Granted, Mohler is a relatively thoughtful representative of conservative Southern Protestantism. No doubt others are less rational and consistent. The “offended” reactions I’ve seen have come from those who do think Catholics are fully Christian and object to what they perceive as a Catholic refusal to reciprocate. (They are wrong in their interpretation, because of course the Pope never said that Protestants are not Christians, only that Protestant communities are not churches in the sense that Catholic and Orthodox communities are. Rightly understood, this should not be offensive to any but the most high-church Protestants. And offense is really a silly and irrelevant response to theological assertions anyway.)

If you have examples of Protestants who think Catholics are not Christians but feel offended by the Pope’s assertions, I’d like to hear about them. (I’d “like” this only in the sense that I want to know the truth–it would of course anger me greatly to hear of such inconsistency and bigotry.) I would not, alas, be terribly surprised to hear that some people have responded in this way, but I have yet to come across an example on the Internet.

Edwin


#19

I’m a recovering Fundamentalist (now Evangelical). I even spent a year at the infamous Bob Jones University. Prosperity Gospel is not at all Fundamentalist. Prosperity Gospel is kind of a “lite” version of the Word-Faith heresy and it’s found almost exclusively in Pentecostal churches.

More of a discussion would certainly be off topic in this thread but I would gladly field any questions anyone would like to ask.


#20

You have my condolences.


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