Some differences in beliefs among Protestants


#1

[font=Verdana]Part 1

SOME DIFFERENCES IN PROTESTANT BELIEFS
(adapted and modified from Unabridged Christianity by Father Mario P. Romero)

Is the Bible the sole rule of faith and morals? Then why do various Protestant churches rely on their different “traditions.”

How are we “saved” – and can we be “unsaved”?

If a Christian “backslides,” does that mean that he only thought he was saved, when he was never really saved at all? How would one ever know for sure whether he is saved or not?

Are we “saved,” (Rm 8:24, Eph 2:5-8), and/or “being saved” (1 Cor 1:8, 2 Cor 2:15, Phil 2:12) and/or “hope to be saved” (Rm 5-9-10, 1 Cor 3:12-15)?

What does it mean to become “righteous” and “justified” in God’s sight? Was Luther correct that we are like “snow-covered dunghills” – i.e.,we are merely “covered over by Christ’s righteousness” when we become Christians; and when we die, God can’t “see” our true interior state; and therefore He allows us into heaven, but our sins remain? Or are we regenerated by baptism to our pristine state, washed white as snow, full of grace, as Adam and Eve were in the Garden of Eden?

Did God predestine (predetermine) that certain people would go to heaven and others not? How can we know whether we are among the “elect” destined for heaven? Does that mean God consigns some people to hell and that they are helpless to prevent it?

What does “born again” mean in John 3:3-5?

What role do “good works” play in salvation?

What did James means when he wrote: “See how a man is justified by works and not by faith alone” (James 2:24)?

What was the author of book of Revelation saying in Rev. 20:12-13: “. . . all the dead were judged according to their deeds?”

What did Jesus mean when He declared at the Last Supper “this is my body . . . this is my blood…; i.e., what is the nature of Jesus’ presence in Holy Communion?

How often (if ever) should a Christian receive Holy Communion?

What does the Bible reveal God’s Name to be?

Which day should we worship?

Should we worship daily? Weekly? Monthly? Yearly?

Do the Scriptures reveal God to be a Trinity of Persons?

Who/what is the Holy Spirit?

What does it mean to be baptized in the Holy Spirit? Is this necessary for a Christian and, if it is, how does this come about?

Continued
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#2

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Part 2
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What happens to a Christian’s soul after death?

What, if anything, are the saints in heaven able to do? What type of relationship (if any) should a Christian living on earth have with the saints in heaven?

Are we conceived with “original sin”?

What did Paul mean when he wrote: “…stand firm and hold to the traditions which you were taught by us, either by word of mouth or by letter” (2 Thess 2:15) and “. . . hold fast to the traditions, just as I handed them on to you” (2 Cor 11:2)? What role should these traditions of the apostles have to play in Christianity?

Is divorce and remarriage against the law of God? (See Mt 5:31-32, 19:9; Mk 10:11-12, Lk 16:18, 1 Cor 7:10-11.) What does the Greek word porneia mean as used by Matthew?

Must one “speak in tongues” to be considered a true Christian?

Should women be ordained? Preach?

How will the end of the world unfold? How should Revelation Chapter 20 be interpreted?

Will there be a “Rapture” at the Second Coming of Christ? What does it mean?

Amillenial? Pre-millineal? Post-millenial?

Who or what is the anti-Christ?

How should worship services be structured?

How should church leadership be structured?

When disagreements arise over the meaning of Scripture, how are they resolved?

Is water baptism necessary for salvation?

How is baptism to be administered (what method should be used)?

What words should be used in baptism? Should Mt 28:19 be followed, or Acts 2:38?

Should infants and children be baptized?

What is the “age of accountability” and where is it found in the Bible?

What happens to unbaptized babies when they die?

How many “sacraments” are there (if any)? What do they accomplish (if anything)?

Does God desire His faithful followers to be well off? Explain Lk 6:24 and Mt 19:24.

Is sickness or suffering a sign of God’s displeasure or a sign of His love?

Is abortion permitted for a Christian? Under what conditions? At what point does a fertilized ovum become a human being? If a mother is the victim of rape or incest, should her baby receive a death sentence?

Is it permissible for Christians to dictate to God when he can create new life by using artificial birth control?

What about babies created in test tubes? Can they be used for experiments? Is producing babies on demand, at will, in a test tube, permissible for a Christian?

Is killing the helpless young, ill, or elderly permitted (euthanasia)?

Should homosexual marriage be legalized?

Are homosexual acts sinful?

Is it okay for a sick Christian to see a doctor? Receive a blood transfusion?

Is it sinful to dance? Drink? Play cards?

Comments, anyone?

JMJ Jay


#3

Please add to this list as differences occur to you.

There are many different answers to these questions – and others – based on the same 66-book cut version of the Bible that all Protestants use as the “Word of God.”

All Protestants claim that their competing and conflicting doctrines are ‘true.’

:whacky: Jay


#4

Change the word “Protestants” to “Christians” (to include Catholics and Orthodox), and a very similar argument could be by a non-Christian to mock Christianity as a whole- with or without the other biblical texts. :whacky: Incidentally, didn’t I see one time that some Orthodox Churches have even a couple more books than the Catholics?


#5

[quote=mean_owen]Change the word “Protestants” to “Christians” (to include Catholics and Orthodox), and a very similar argument could be by a non-Christian to mock Christianity as a whole- with or without the other biblical texts. :whacky: Incidentally, didn’t I see one time that some Orthodox Churches have even a couple more books than the Catholics?
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In Christianity, there is the One Holy Catholic and Apostolic Church – the Mother Church – and all those who are in schism (the Orthodox) or splintered from her (the Protest-ants).

The Catholic Church canonized the Sacred Scriptures that she inherited from Jesus and the Apostles and named them the “Old Testament” – 46 writings, no more, no less, as she received them in the first century. The Catholic Church collected, canonized and preserved 27 of her own writings and named them the “New Testament.” The canon of her Scriptures has never changed since it was first adopted at the Council of Rome in 382 A.D.

The Orthodox Churches are not united, they have never settled on a canon they all accept, and they have more than one Bible among them. The Ethiopian Orthodox, for example, have 81 books in their Bible.

The Protestants have a truncated Bible of only 66 books because of Martin Luther’s rejection of eleven writings – four from the NT were later restored – and 7 plus parts of Esther and Daniel are still missing from their Bible to this day.

The differences in Protestant doctrine all derive from various interpretations of their incomplete version of the Bible by the founders of thousands of denominations. A list of these differences was requested on another thread. I had this partial list saved on my computer and obliged by posting it.

Peace be with you and with all who post at Catholic Answers.

JMJ Jay


#6

[quote=mean_owen]Change the word “Protestants” to “Christians” (to include Catholics and Orthodox), and a very similar argument could be by a non-Christian to mock Christianity as a whole- with or without the other biblical texts. :whacky: Incidentally, didn’t I see one time that some Orthodox Churches have even a couple more books than the Catholics?
[/quote]

Very good answer! True. I encounter this all the time.


#7

[quote=Katholikos]…The Catholic Church canonized the Sacred Scriptures that she inherited from Jesus and the Apostles and named them the “Old Testament” – 46 writings, no more, no less, as she received them in the first century. The Catholic Church collected, canonized and preserved 27 of her own writings and named them the “New Testament.” The canon of her Scriptures has never changed since it was first adopted at the Council of Rome in 382 A.D…

JMJ Jay
[/quote]

If the Church inherited the Scriptures from Christ and the Apostles, but didn’t set the Canon till 382, that sure was one long probate. :slight_smile: That must mean that even different parts of Catholic Church didn’t have the same canon for >300 years after the death of Christ. Couldn’t the fact that different bishops accepted different texts as authoritative have meant that the Catholic Church wasn’t speaking with one voice at the time- just like a bunch of Protestants? Although I’m not in the know about such things, one wonders if there wasn’t some continuing conflict about the matter, since the topic kept coming up (Hippo, Carthage, Florence). Trent’s a given.

Peace back at ya’.


#8

Musical instruments are issues in some protestant Churches,in fact the use of them cn condemn you to hell.God Bless


#9

[quote=michaelp]Very good answer! True. I encounter this all the time.
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#10

I understand that there have been people on here that have been uncharitable to you. But, I must tell you that all the time Catholics are attacked by other Christians who want to show them the light. We are accused of statue worship, Mary worship,called Romanist,the whore of Babylon,and any other thing that is rude hateful and untrue. When you tell them you love Jesus they look at you with pity(as if you don’t know who Jesus is).They tell you that you try to work your way into heaven,something we don’t even believe.They do not know what to expect and sometimes they say things that seem and sometimes are insensitive.So many non-Catholic Christians hate us, don’t think we’re Christians and slander us.Alot of us don’t know what to do with non-Catholics who don’t know whether to expect an ax to fall per say when a non catholic posts.God Bless You and thankyou for being respectful


#11

[quote=mean_owen]If the Church inherited the Scriptures from Christ and the Apostles, but didn’t set the Canon till 382, that sure was one long probate. :slight_smile: That must mean that even different parts of Catholic Church didn’t have the same canon for >300 years after the death of Christ. Couldn’t the fact that different bishops accepted different texts as authoritative have meant that the Catholic Church wasn’t speaking with one voice at the time- just like a bunch of Protestants? Although I’m not in the know about such things, one wonders if there wasn’t some continuing conflict about the matter, since the topic kept coming up (Hippo, Carthage, Florence). Trent’s a given.

Peace back at ya’.
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Just to be clear, the Catholic Church inherited the Old Testament Scriptures from Christ and the Apostles. She selected 27 of her own writings for the NT. She canonized both at the same time.

The Church was preoccupied with survival – enduring fierce and protracted Roman persecutions from her birth in 33 A.D. to 313 when Constantine issued the Edict of Milan and made Christianity legal. During this period, it was a criminal (capital) offense to possess any writing that pertained to the outlaw religion. Many Catholics died and many documents were destroyed at the hands of the Roman persecutors.

As soon as the Church was able to function openly, her attention turned to which writings should be considered “Scripture.” The development of heresies also prompted the canon. The second century heretic Marcion developed the first “canon,” excluding the OT and including only Luke and Paul’s letters. Determining canonicity was a lengthy winnowing process. The Church canonized only those writings that were written by the Apostles or their immediate disciples, that were universally accepted by the local churches by the end of the fourth century, that were used in the Liturgy, and – obviously – that conformed to her own teaching and other approved writings.

You’re quite right that the canon was in flux until 382 A.D. But it had no effect on the teaching of the Church. The Catholic Church received her doctrines directly from the lips of the Apostles and would teach, even today, the very same truths whether the NT existed or not. The Church didn’t come out of the Bible; rather, the Bible came out of the Church. The NT is a reflection of what the Church was teaching at the time it was written.

The first list of approved (canonized) Scriptures was decreed at the Council of Rome in 382. The very same list of Scriptures was named by the Councils of Hippo and Carthage. Although the Council of Rome was presided over by Pope Damasus I, it was a “synod” rather than a full council of all Catholic bishops. The same is true of Hippo (where St. Augustine was bishop) and Carthage; both were “synods” in Africa and not ecumenical councils. But Carthage sent it’s decrees to the Pope for approval. Pope Innocent I approved the same list of Scriptures as can be seen in his letter of 405. That’s why Carthage (397) is seen by Protestant scholars as well as Catholics as the defining date for the canon.

Here’s an interesting website which details the history of the canonization of the Scriptures and earlier lists before the canon was finalized.

I can post the decrees of the Councils of Rome and Carthage for comparison – and the letter of Pope Innocent I in 405 – if you’d like to see them.

ntcanon.org/

Peace be with you,

JMJ Jay


#12

Mean Owen, Sorry, I had to jump off line. To continue . . .

Although I’m not in the know about such things, one wonders if there wasn’t some continuing conflict about the matter, since the topic kept coming up (Hippo, Carthage, Florence). Trent’s a given.

The same, identical canon has been reiterated at several councils. First at Rome (382), Hippo (393), Carthage (397, 419), [Pope Innocent I (405)], Florence (1431-1445), Trent (1545-1563). Vatican I and II confirm the Scriptures as stated by previous councils.

Here’s an article on the development of the canon: newadvent.org/cathen/03274a.htm

God bless us every one, JMJ Jay


#13

[quote=Lisa4Catholics]I understand that there have been people on here that have been uncharitable to you. But, I must tell you that all the time Catholics are attacked by other Christians who want to show them the light. We are accused of statue worship, Mary worship,called Romanist,the whore of Babylon,and any other thing that is rude hateful and untrue. When you tell them you love Jesus they look at you with pity(as if you don’t know who Jesus is).They tell you that you try to work your way into heaven,something we don’t even believe.They do not know what to expect and sometimes they say things that seem and sometimes are insensitive.So many non-Catholic Christians hate us, don’t think we’re Christians and slander us.Alot of us don’t know what to do with non-Catholics who don’t know whether to expect an ax to fall per say when a non catholic posts.God Bless You and thankyou for being respectful
[/quote]

Lisa, to whom is your post addressed?

Thanks, Jay


#14

[quote=michaelp]Very good answer! True. I encounter this all the time.
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michaelp, your comment concerned the difference in Orthodox and Catholic Bibles. Did I answer your Q? See my post #5.

The Orthodox have added to the original Bible.

The Protestants have subtracted from the original Bible.

The Catholic Church canonized the 46 OT Scriptures she inherited from Jesus and the Apostles and 27 of her own writings.

Peace be to all who post at Catholic Answers.

JMJ Jay


#15

[quote=Katholikos]Mean Owen, Sorry, I had to jump off line. To continue . . .

The same, identical canon has been reiterated at several councils. First at Rome (382), Hippo (393), Carthage (397, 419), [Pope Innocent I (405)], Florence (1431-1445), Trent (1545-1563). Vatican I and II confirm the Scriptures as stated by previous councils.

Here’s an article on the development of the canon: newadvent.org/cathen/03274a.htm

God bless us every one, JMJ Jay
[/quote]

That was precisely my point. Why the reason to keep reiterating at the different councils, unless there was some apparent confusion/disagreement regarding the canon?

Thanks for posting the links, by the way.


#16

[quote=mean_owen]That was precisely my point. Why the reason to keep reiterating at the different councils, unless there was some apparent confusion/disagreement regarding the canon?

Thanks for posting the links, by the way.
[/quote]

Did I answer your Q? Again, Rome, Hippo, Carthage, were local “synods” and not general councils binding on the entire Church. It was not until Carthage (397) sent its decrees to Rome for approval that the canon was considered binding on the whole church. It wasn’t because of confusion or disagreement (the list of scriptures each synod or council produced was identical) but because of jurisdiction that it was repeated. The Council of Trent addressed the Protestant attack on the canon and made the same list of Scriptures that are in the Vulgate (a translation into Latin that was undertaken by Jerome after the Council of Rome) de fide – permanent, unchangeable, final.

Just want to be sure I answered you well and truly. :slight_smile: Jay


#17

Jay- no, you answered fine. It’s just that, in general, things don’t get reiterated unless there’s a good reason to do so. Trent was a perfect example, as you say, because they needed to deal with the Protestants. It’s been too long since I read about the earlier councils and synods, tho I had the impression that the reiterations mentioned above (esp. Florence IIRC) were also somewhat of a reaction/clarification to disputes/different understandings of the Canon. Things are a bit hairy right now, but when I get a chance I’ll go back the books and see if I find where I got that impression.


#18

Mean_Owen, the fact that St. Athanasius, Bishop of Alexandria, Egypt, was the first to list the exact NT writings in his Easter letter of 367 that may have either influenced his brother bishops at the Council of Rome to take action or was an indication that a consensus had finally been reached by that time. The great St. Augustine was greatly influential in the Councils of Hippo (where he was bishop) and Carthage (both in Africa).

I’m eager to see what you find (though please don’t rush on my account) about any underlying reason for repeating the canon. I’ve never read or heard any reason other than the one I gave you. It was a fascinating step in early Christian history – a cohesive set of writings that all agreed upon as the “inspired Scriptures,” after a lot of wrangling. But in the end, Roma locuta est, causa finita est. Rome has spoken, the case is closed – although the problems in long-distance communication being what they were, compliance with the canon was not immediate everywhere.

Nice to chat with you! :slight_smile: Jay


#19

[quote=mean_owen]Change the word “Protestants” to “Christians” (to include Catholics and Orthodox), and a very similar argument could be by a non-Christian to mock Christianity as a whole- with or without the other biblical texts. :whacky: Incidentally, didn’t I see one time that some Orthodox Churches have even a couple more books than the Catholics?
[/quote]

Just going along this line, one could look at Catholic churches even in just one city. I’ve seen differences such as:

Pews or chairs
Kneelers or no kneelers
Altergirls or alterboys
host in hand, host on tongue
wine, no wine
music, no music
organ, or band or guitar
people dressed up or people dressed casual
kids in the seats, or kids in the cry room
kids in the whole Mass, or kids leave for something else
Sunday school or no
short Mass or long Mass
confessional with privacy panel, or face to face

I realize these are not doctrinal differences, but inconsistancies maybe that could be questioned by non-Christians.


#20

[quote=Katholikos]Mean_Owen, the fact that St. Athanasius, Bishop of Alexandria, Egypt, was the first to list the exact NT writings in his Easter letter of 367 that may have either influenced his brother bishops at the Council of Rome to take action or was an indication that a consensus had finally been reached by that time. The great St. Augustine was greatly influential in the Councils of Hippo (where he was bishop) and Carthage (both in Africa).

I’m eager to see what you find (though please don’t rush on my account) about any underlying reason for repeating the canon. I’ve never read or heard any reason other than the one I gave you. It was a fascinating step in early Christian history – a cohesive set of writings that all agreed upon as the “inspired Scriptures,” after a lot of wrangling. But in the end, Roma locuta est, causa finita est. Rome has spoken, the case is closed – although the problems in long-distance communication being what they were, compliance with the canon was not immediate everywhere.

Nice to chat with you! :slight_smile: Jay
[/quote]

Jay- I took a non-credit course on the church a few years ago. Much to my chagrin, the book in which the development of the canon was discussed is missing. Probably in a box somewhere in the garage (we moved a couple of years back, but you know how unpacking can be). Anywho, I could at least find some of my scribbled notes. Although you and I already addressed the issue, there were indeed some disputes prior to the councils of Rome, and some of the major figures apparently held different texts to be canonical, or not, as the case may be.

The only thing I had written down was that there seemed to be an ongoing dispute over the “Epistle to the Laodiceans”, up until the time of Florence. Here’s a little blurb about it: ntcanon.org/Epistle_to_the_Laodiceans.shtml

Sorry I couldn’t dig up more.

Peace


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