Re: Protestants: How do you determine which denomination holds the truth? 2

I am not even posting in the thread. :shrug:

I think you are very honest and that is appreciated. When you say, “you study the scriptures and go to the church that most resembles orthodoxy” it is you that bears the truth in such a scenario.

This is a very personal concept for me. You see my marriage was destroyed because of a lack of Christian Authority in the Protestant world. My wife and I attended an evangelical free church. We grew up, met, and were married there, dedicated our kids there, led Adult fellowship groups and weekday programs. Our parents were elders and deacons in this large church of over 5,0000.

We had some marital conflict like everyone does and found a “Christian” marriage encounter weekend to go to. We went and my wife bought into every word this person said. We come to find out that it is nothing but a cult group full of heresy. They taught things like;

“Ignore scripture passages that don’t have 2-3 supporting verses elsewhere”
“If there is problems in marriage it is 100% the mans fault”
“If your husband treats you wrong, repay him the same way”
" Paul did not know what he was talking about regarding marriage"
They “redefined the Greek” to fit their program and made claims that they were the first to discover the real meaning of things.
“If your husband does not agree with us, divorce him”

And many many more. They were convincing in their arguments. My wife was hooked. In all our discussions it always came down to interpretation of the Bible. She said everyone else’s interpretation was wrong. Our old church and pastors were just another interpretation among many and she thought they were wrong and this cult was right.

The physical and psychological abuse that followed led to divorce.

Amidst this, I looked for who had the right interpretation of Christianity. I figured if I found the oldest writings from the time closest to the NT times that what they said on matters would bear a bit more weight.

I found those writings, and saw that they talked about Eucharist and baptism and a number of other things in a very Catholic way. I also read how they talked about bishops and authority in the church.

The more I read the more I saw that Christ did not leave us orphans. He left us with the church and the Holy Spirit to guide us in truth. That church still exist today in the Catholic Church. It was the Catholic Church from which the New Testament sprang up and the Catholic Church which holds witness to the context of the scripture.

If there had been just one unified Christian Church, it would have been far clearer that my wife was choosing to depart Christianity for heresy. Instead, there are so many groups and opinions and denominations that it seemed perfectly normal to embrace something so heretical. The field was ripe to harvest souls through an abundance of teaching errors.

As you observe. There are so many break offs that it is impossible in the Protestant communion to trace back the truth. Today Protestantism is splits of splits of splits.

All roads though do lead back to Catholicism. A firm rock of truth.

John 14 says,

I will ask the Father, and He will give you another Helper, that He may be with you forever; that is the Spirit of truth, whom the world cannot receive, because it does not see Him or know Him, but you know Him because He abides with you and will be in you. “I will not leave you as orphans; I will come to you. After a little while the world will no longer see Me, but you will see Me; because I live, you will live also. In that day you will know that I am in My Father, and you in Me, and I in you. He who has My commandments and keeps them is the one who loves Me; and he who loves Me will be loved by My Father, and I will love him and will disclose Myself to him.” (John 14:16-21

If this is true, and Jesus gave us God the Holy Spirit to guide the church in all truth, then I see no reason why such power would ever leave the church , why the truth and thus the spirit would leave us orphans to the whims of the latest pastors and elder boards personal opinions.

You see for me, when I was Protestant, this question was really unimportant…until it slapped me in the face, my life imploded, and I was left with so much confusion and disenfranchisement I nearly abandoned Christianity.

Instead, I realized, this was THE question and there was an answer.

We all do it the same.

How is one different than another:

  1. “I researched scripture, and history, and prayed and came to the conclusion that X Protestant denomination is the correct one.”

  2. “I researched scripture and history, and prayed and came to the conclusion that the Catholic Church is the correct one.”

Thaks for posting your story Jon S. I am sorry you had to go through so much pain and suffering, but I am also glad you did not give up on finding the Church founded by Christ. May God richly bless your commitment to the Truth.

Fixed :cool:

:thumbsup: Amen. May God bless you abundantly.
Mary.

What does Scriptures tell us:

John 16:13 When the Spirit of truth comes, he will guide you into all the truth; for he will not speak on his own authority, but whatever he hears he will speak, and he will declare to you the things that are to come.

It says [all] truth.

1 Timothy 3:15 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.

The Church of the Living God is the pillar and bulwark of the truth.

Let’s keep reading:

2 Timothy 3:14 But as for you, continue in what you have learned and have firmly believed, knowing from whom you learned it 15 and how from childhood you have been acquainted with the sacred writings which are able to instruct you for salvation through faith in Christ Jesus. 16 All scripture is inspired by God and[a] profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness,

Things going on here:

  1. Continue in what you have learned - knowing from whom you learned it.

  2. Acquaintance with the Sacred Writings (Which ones?) - which are able to instruct you for salvation (Not by themselves but----) through faith in Christ Jesus.

  3. [All] Scripture (Not some) is inspired by God.

  4. Scripture is **profitable ** (Not the sole source, not the sole authority, not the final source) for teaching, reproof, correction, training.

Summing up: We need to continue in what we learn - knowing who we learned it from, while we keep ourselves acquainted with ALL of Scriptures, which can instruct us into salvation through faith in Jesus Christ. ALL of these Scriptures/Sacred Writings are profitable for us. And when we don’t know what is the truth of a passage, or the truth in the Christian life - we go to the Church, **the ** (singular) pillar and bulwark of the truth.

Now it seems like from the start we have a problem with determining [all] truth:

  1. Scriptures.

Before we even start, if we affirm that Scriptures are the truth - we need to then identify what is Scriptures.

Protestantism has the shortest version. A declaration lacking a visible and canonical sign through the pillar and bulwark of the truth. IOW, a declaration outside the Church.

In knowing whom we learned it from (2 Tim 3:14-16), this Protestant collection falls short.

None of the Apostolic Churches (CC, EO, OO) agree with this declaration.

Therefore, truth is already missing from this short version.

Thoughts?

This is a very personal concept for me. You see my marriage was destroyed because of a lack of Christian Authority in the Protestant world. My wife and I attended an evangelical free church. We grew up, met, and were married there, dedicated our kids there, led Adult fellowship groups and weekday programs. Our parents were elders and deacons in this large church of over 5,0000.

We had some marital conflict like everyone does and found a “Christian” marriage encounter weekend to go to. We went and my wife bought into every word this person said. We come to find out that it is nothing but a cult group full of heresy. They taught things like;

“Ignore scripture passages that don’t have 2-3 supporting verses elsewhere”
“If there is problems in marriage it is 100% the mans fault”
“If your husband treats you wrong, repay him the same way”
" Paul did not know what he was talking about regarding marriage"
They “redefined the Greek” to fit their program and made claims that they were the first to discover the real meaning of things.
“If your husband does not agree with us, divorce him”

And many many more. They were convincing in their arguments. My wife was hooked. In all our discussions it always came down to interpretation of the Bible. She said everyone else’s interpretation was wrong. Our old church and pastors were just another interpretation among many and she thought they were wrong and this cult was right.

The physical and psychological abuse that followed led to divorce.

Amidst this, I looked for who had the right interpretation of Christianity. I figured if I found the oldest writings from the time closest to the NT times that what they said on matters would bear a bit more weight.

I found those writings, and saw that they talked about Eucharist and baptism and a number of other things in a very Catholic way. I also read how they talked about bishops and authority in the church.

The more I read the more I saw that Christ did not leave us orphans. He left us with the church and the Holy Spirit to guide us in truth. That church still exist today in the Catholic Church. It was the Catholic Church from which the New Testament sprang up and the Catholic Church which holds witness to the context of the scripture.

If there had been just one unified Christian Church, it would have been far clearer that my wife was choosing to depart Christianity for heresy. Instead, there are so many groups and opinions and denominations that it seemed perfectly normal to embrace something so heretical. The field was ripe to harvest souls through an abundance of teaching errors.

As you observe. There are so many break offs that it is impossible in the Protestant communion to trace back the truth. Today Protestantism is splits of splits of splits.

All roads though do lead back to Catholicism. A firm rock of truth.

John 14 says,

Thank you for sharing. I got a lot out of your post. :thumbsup:

[quote=Isaiah45_9;12353483
]Fixed :cool:
[/quote]

Hi Jose,
Why would you assume that, simply on the basis that HH is Lutheran, that he did not consider a 73 book (or 74 book) scripture? Why would you assume that, as a Lutheran, he didn’t consider the entire history of the Catholic faith?

Jon

Hey Jon,

  1. No assumptions. His premise was about the general term: “X Protestant denomination”.

  2. I thought Lutherans did not consider themselves protestants, but a continuation of the Church ;).

However, since you bring the subject up :slight_smile:

Is there a Lutheran Council in regards to the canon of Scriptures?

The canon is not expressly designated in the confessions, therefore leaving the canon, technically, open. For all intents and purposes, however, the Lutheran practice involves viewing books based on the level of attestation throughout the history of the Church: attested, disputed, rejected. Based on this standing, attested books of their own can be used to confirm doctrine, disputed books can be used to support attested books, and rejected books are not used for doctrine.

Jon

That really is the question I posed in this thread as the OP RIGHT?

I mean, this sounds fine but describe what it is that sets Lutheranism (or any other) apart. What is it that made you say, “they are the fullness of Christian truth”

For me and Catholicism it was the fact that it was the historical faith rooted in the apostles that the Bible sprang out from. Also that it’s teachings are consistent in every way for the last 2000 yrs.

Indeed. I find the edit and addition to my comments to be highly offensive and presumptuous.

Well…I think you would find some version of this in every denomination.

So you used your personal judgement to join something that says personal judgement is wrong? Please explain.

I believe that Lutheranism is firmly rooted in yeah scriptures, tradition, and history of the church. And its teachings have been the same since 1580. No updates, or revisions of our creeds and confessions have been added since then. That IMO makes us the most traditional branch of Christianity except for possibly the EOs or OOs.

Even so, there is a personal aspect for me as well. My dying and moribund Catholic faith had become a source of pain in my life. Until a Lutheran pastor told me the gospel. It was like coming up for air. I am now happily Lutheran for approximately a year, and my wife and kids followed me a few months later.

And the, uh… Catholic Church? Why does 434 years impress you when the Catholic Church has 2000 years of unchanging doctrines? I mean, if this is the standard… :shrug:

Hi Steve,
From our POV, we see things like Papal supremacy, and papal infallibility, among others, as innovations not found in the early Church.

Jon

Well then describe what it is about your faith.

I didn’t say not to use any personal judgement.

I asked what your judgement looked like?

What is it about being evangelical that makes you believe you are practicing Christianity as Christ and the apostles taught/ desire for practice. Or what is it that you have said "this is the best display of the Christian faith "

If it is just about what makes us feel best, or what we think is the best without ever exploring what is true , I find a problem with that.

My apologies.

I do need your help, because I am missing something.

I can understand you being offended for editing your original post.

But I don’t understand your accusation of me being presumptuous. So can you please help me out?

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