The irony of Reformers


#1

Every church that has broken away from the Catholic Church (in particular, the Protestant churches) broke away because of what they thought to be incorrect doctrine. Ie, there was a particular doctrine or indeed a whole set of doctrines that they disagreed with - and claimed had changed (as opposed to develop) from the time of Christ - and as the Catholic Church maintained that she(?) had it right, they broke away. Would everyone (Protestants included) agree with this?

Now one thing that I desire like almost nothing else is unity. Unity of Christians, that we (everyone who believes in Christ) can all be in communion with one another. I believe that a lot of different people from different denominations desire this as well. However, for that to happen, people from different denominations want the opposing denomination(s) (namely the Catholic Church) to back down on a particular doctrine or set of doctrines. But don’t you see that the Catholic Church can NEVER do this? The CC claims infalliblity; so if the Church backed down on even ONE doctrine, the entire Church would cease to exist. In other words, the gates of hell would prevail against the church that Jesus built (as the CC sees it).

The irony enters the situation when you consider what has happened to the churches that broke away from the CC. I’m not so sure about the Orthodox churches, but the Protestant Churches and the Anglican church have all had doctrines that have changed over time. Now they haven’t simply developed over time, but have actually changed! One example of this would be birth control. Now I don’t know if you could call birth control a doctrine, but it would seem that almost every church has backed down on this issue. Which church hasn’t? The Catholic church. Indeed, which church has never backed down on anything? The Catholic church. And this is entirely the reason why the Catholic church cannot back down on any particular doctrine, for the sake of unity.

With regard to the Orthodox churches, I think much of my argument would hold for them as well, but I guess you could say that they changed with the iconoclasm heresy; I’m not sure.


#2

The Catholic church is never wrong. That is a big advantage!

FzFk


#3

There will never be Christian unity until the other members of the ecclesial communities come into unity with Rome. There is no other way.


#4

Yeah I think that was my overall point. And I’m hoping people can see the irony of the situation. Does anyone agree with me, that it is ironic? Or am I getting it wrong? Is it ironic for the reformers to break away from the catholic church because the catholic church apparently changed her doctrine, and then for the new reformed churches to change their doctrine all the time? Is what I am claiming correct, or not?


#5

I often hear, especially from my evangelical friends, that true Christian unity is somewhere in the “middle.” That can’t be, as stated already in previous replies. The Catholic Church isn’t simply unwilling to change her doctrine, she is unable to. She doesn’t have Christ’s authority to do so.

I agree completely with FzFk’s comment, but the problem with that kind of statement is that when non-Catholics hear it, they assume it means that Catholics are never wrong, which is a misunderstanding. The Church is never wrong, even though individual Catholics may be.

I don’t believe true unity (which can only mean all Christians are united with Rome) will ever be attained until the sin of human pride is eradicated. Disunity isn’t always a matter of doctrinal disagreement, it goes much deeper emotionally than that. At least that’s what I see in many of my friends.

JU


#6

Bless you, I feel the same way. I would love to see a Unified Christian Church, but, like you, I too see many problems standing in the way.

First off, almost all denominations (at least the one’s I’ve attended) all claim to be the one and only path to heaven. In my opinion this is bunk but when you have people devoted to their beliefs there’s no arguing with them.

Second, there is no ONE church that is right for all people. If everyone agreed on everything all cars would be painted black and have 4 doors.

As long as there is mankind, there will be religion. As long as there is religion there will be differences in beliefs. As long as there are differences in beliefs there will be strife, and to some degree this strife is necessary, since we must examine our personal beliefs in order to defend them, thus, win or lose strengthening our faith.

I sincerely believe there is no ONE true church, that the Baptists, Meathodists, Mormons etc. have just as much chance at getting into heaven as the Catholics. After all, the Bible it’s-self never specified a denomination, it just laid out how we should live our lives. Don’t Kill, Don’t Lust, Don’t Cheat on your spouse, Don’t sleep with someone of the same-sex and Don’t Judge Others (though members of all religions have serious problems with that last one).

Jesus said “those who keep my commandments and teach others, will be called great in the kingdom of Heaven”.

So pick the church that strengthens your faith in God and stick with it, and allow others the same privilege. Nevermind the name of the door.

God Bless.


#7

I really appreciate this philosphy, Jo’s Dad. I think my post is aimed at those people who do believe that their particular church is the one true church, and similarly deny that the Catholic Church could fit this position.


#8

[quote=Jo’s_Dad]Second, there is no ONE church that is right for all people. If everyone agreed on everything all cars would be painted black and have 4 doors.
[/quote]

Well, yes there is. Two contradictory things cannot be true. People shouldn’t pick a church that is right for them–in other words, one that fits their own personal beliefs–they muct pick the one that teaches truth and conform their beliefs to that Truth. God is not a matter of personal perefernce–He is ontological fact. He is what He is no matter what our opinions, preferences, or personal beliefs are. Therefore, the Church that teaches the truth about God is the ONE right for everyone.

Jesus said “those who keep my commandments and teach others, will be called great in the kingdom of Heaven”.

Well, this statement contradicts your above and below stated belief that people should pick a church that fits their preference. Teaching others would mean teaching them the Truth, not teaching them to believe whatever they feel like.

So pick the church that strengthens your faith in God and stick with it, and allow others the same privilege. Nevermind the name of the door.

What if it strenghtens your faith in something that is not true? Is loving some concept of God that’s not consistent with the real God a good thing to do just because it makes you feel better? I don’t think so. I wouldn’t call being deceived a “privilege.” Like you said before, we must teach others.

I don’t mean to seem harsh, but reducing God to a matter of personal preference is one of the greatest errors of our time.


#9

Yes but he’s showing he has love for other people, imo. It is something that I used to believe in; that there wasn’t necessarily one true religion, and all Christians churches were just as good as one another. Then I found out a little bit about history, in particular the Reformation. Since those days I have changed my mind. It was one statement, made by Gary Hoge that made me change my mind, and I will paraphrase it here:

The Reformers were one of two things. They were either justified in breaking away from the apostate church of which they were formally members, and should be called Reformers. Or they were rebelling against the one true Church.

I believe the latter case is correct, with the proof in history.


#10

so if the Church backed down on even ONE doctrine, the entire Church would cease to exist.

This is something that my super-brainy agnostic husband “got” about the church lonnnnng before I did.

We had one heck of an loud-and-screechy argument once (he loud, me screechy :wink: ) because I insisted that churches had to change to meet the needs of their congregations. If you weren’t feeding the spiritual needs of the people and adapting to society, then the church would die.

He maintained that if the church changed, it was an admission that they had been wrong, before, and that truth does not change. It’s either truth or not. What was truth 2000 years ago is either truth today as well… or it never was.

I could have “come home” a long time ago if I’d just recognized the good sense in what he was saying instead of doggedly defending the relativism I had put my trust in for so long.

One of many debates I’ve had to concede to him. :slight_smile:
Elizabeth


#11

[quote=ElizabethJoy]This is something that my super-brainy agnostic husband “got” about the church lonnnnng before I did.

We had one heck of an loud-and-screechy argument once (he loud, me screechy :wink: ) because I insisted that churches had to change to meet the needs of their congregations. If you weren’t feeding the spiritual needs of the people and adapting to society, then the church would die.

He maintained that if the church changed, it was an admission that they had been wrong, before, and that truth does not change. It’s either truth or not. What was truth 2000 years ago is either truth today as well… or it never was.

I could have “come home” a long time ago if I’d just recognized the good sense in what he was saying instead of doggedly defending the relativism I had put my trust in for so long.

One of many debates I’ve had to concede to him. :slight_smile:
Elizabeth
[/quote]

So true.

One of the things that bothers me immensely about Protestantism is the flip-flop on contraception. How could they, before 1930, preach that it is morally wrong but today promote it in their pre-marital classes? Either they were wrong then or they’re wrong now. Whichever you choose, you must admit they were wrong at some point in time.

Of course, they will claim they are not infallible. I ask then, what good is a church that admits it could possibly lead me into sin with its teachings?


#12

Birth control, visible or invisible church, divorce, homosexuality, blasphemy, the Immaculate Conception of Mary, the True Presence in the Eucharist, adultery, modes of salvation, source of Truth…

There are many precepts on which the various protestant churches have reversed their positions over the years. Especially in the last half-century.

As someone a lot smarter than I has pointed out, the one thing they almost universally agree upon is that the Catholic church is wrong.

Elizabeth


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