Thoughts on this discussion with a Methodis Minister


#1

Dear brother, the early Church was no more “your” Church than it was my Church. There is no place in the Scriptures where the Catholic church is mentioned. Whatever assumptions the Roman Catholics have made about apostolic succession are a matter of interpretation that is in no way supported by Scripture. However, the catholic (universal) Church is spoken of several times. There is one Church. Your comments and arguments sound an awful lot like what the apostles faced from some of the more zealous Jews who insisted that Christianity had to be done their way. The concept of denominations or even Catholic versus protestant is a human aberration. I have great respect for Roman Catholics, as well as any and all true Christiian faith communities; so much so that I won’t argue with folks about their beliefs. On the authority of Scripture, I know that the only way to salvation is by grace through faith in Christ. Other than that, Jesus said we are to love God and love each other. Maybe we ought to focus on that rather than correcting other Christians viewpoints. Blessings to you in Christ’s name.
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I think I will leave this one alone, as someone who doesn’t think there is such a thing as denominations is going to be hard to deal with!


#2

I will make one opening remark.

Does the Methodist think that Jesus would have left the world without some organization that would keep the teachings of Christ free of error?


#3

His response would be that He did, and it’s called the Bible.


#4

I also have 1 thought about this letter…Matthew 18:17! In Matthew the 18th chapter Jesus is teaching about humility, to beware of scandal, and to flee the occasions of sin: to denounce to the church incorrigible sinners, and to look upon such as refuse to hear the church as heathens.

“And if he will not hear them: tell the church. And if he will not hear the church, let him be to thee as the heathen and publican.”

What church is Jesus talking about?

Well, that can be answered in Matthew’s gospel as well…

Matthew 16:18-19

“And I say to thee: That thou art Peter; and upon this rock I will build my church, and the ages of hell shall not prevail against it. And I will give to thee the keys of the kingdom of heaven. And whatsoever thou shalt bind upon earth, it shall be bound also in heaven: and whatsoever thou shalt loose on earth, it shall be lossed also in heaven”

Well, we can see that Jesus is speaking of a Church that will be founded upon Peter…

The Church Fathers, those that knew Jesus and even the Apostles personally knew that Peter was the rock that the Church would be built upon.

Cyprian of Carthage says:

“The Lord says to Peter: ‘I say to you,’ he says, ‘that you are Peter, and upon this rock I will build my Church, and the gates of hell will not overcome it. And to you I will give the keys of the kingdom of heaven . . . ’ [Matt. 16:18–19]. On him [Peter] he builds the Church, and to him he gives the command to feed the sheep [John 21:17], and although he assigns a like power to all the apostles, yet he founded a single chair cathedra], and he established by his own authority a source and an intrinsic reason for that unity. Indeed, the others were that also which Peter was *, but a primacy is given to Peter, whereby it is made clear that there is but one Church and one chair. . . . If someone does not hold fast to this unity of Peter, can he imagine that he still holds the faith? If he [should] desert the chair of Peter upon whom the Church was built, can he still be confident that he is in the Church?” (*The Unity of the Catholic Church **4; 1st edition [A.D. 251]).

So, I would simply ask our dear Methodist brother…If Jesus did not intend to set up a visible organization why did he tell the Apostles in Matthew’s gospel the 18th chapter that if someone is sinning we are to report them to the Church…and why do we read that the Church is given the right to JUDGE the person that has been turned over…because Jesus says: “and if he refuse to hear the Church”?

Also point out to our Methodist brother that he said:

[quote]
The concept of denominations or even Catholic versus protestant is a human aberration.

simply point out that that “human aberration” is the sole fault of those protestants that “protested” the core beliefs of the Church.

So, your Methodist friend is right…“There is only one Church”, and the Catholic (universal) Church is the ONLY Church founded by Jesus…all other Churches are results of “human aberration” started by reformers who believed that they where the teaching authority of the Church.

Just my thoughts on the subject.

God Bless,

Cody
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#5

[quote=ppcpilot]His response would be that He did, and it’s called the Bible.
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Jesus left us the Bible? Let me think, oh yes, you are Peter and on this rock I will write My book?


#6

This will be in two parts, since I apparently am too long-winded for my own good…

[quote=ppcpilot]Dear brother, the early Church was no more “your” Church than it was my Church.
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You are correct. It was the Church for all of us, universal in teaching in belief, left to guide and direct all of us in true christian teaching. The Church is and was here for all of us. In fact, the Catholic Church still opens her arms and recognizes all brothers and sisters in Christ as such, regardless of denomination. We should both understand that we have very real differences, and the Catholic Church does contend that certain teachings of the Protestant denominations are flawed. However, to the extent that we are united in doctrine and purpose, this is an extension of the Church, whether the Protestant realizes it or not. You see, Protestantism broke from the Catholic Church. While certain teachings were abandoned, others remain. Those that remain are inherently Catholic.

There is no place in the Scriptures where the Catholic church is mentioned.

First of all, nothing is proven by its absence. That is a very weak argument. The simple fact is that it was not necessary. Since there was only one “denomination” there really was no point in labeling it. Across the street from my house there is a mailbox. It is the gomer_tree mailbox, yet it was never referred to as such, until someone built a house across the street from me and put another mailbox up next to it. Suddenly, my mailbox is named, in order to differentiate it. The mailbox has not changed, nor has its purpose. It has just been labeled to clarify things.

Whatever assumptions the Roman Catholics have made about apostolic succession are a matter of interpretation that is in no way supported by Scripture.

Well, this just isn’t correct. There is clearly the laying on of hands and the passing on of a bishophric in Scripture.

However, the catholic (universal) Church is spoken of several times. There is one Church.

Again, agreed. There was one Church. God-willing, there will one day be again just one Church. (We argue, of course, that there is still only one fully true Church). Listen, I am uncertain as to why this is so inflammatory. Thinking logically for a moment, if there is a clear difference between two denomination - let’s point to the Eucharist - then it is either the body, blood, soul, and divinity of Christ or it is not. If two churches teach the opposite, then one cannot say it is unimportant, and there is really only one Church for those who “really believe.” The false premise there is that, for the Catholic, belief in the Eucharist is essential to true belief in Christ and all He did for us. To the Methodist, it is not. In all differences, either one is wrong, or both are wrong. As Catholics, we happen to believe that our Church teaches truth, and it is correct. If you do not have that same thought about your Church, then I would think you would want to seek out the full truth in all these questions. And if you do believe that, then you are simply proclaiming on a personal level what the Church proclaims on a magesterial level, and it is no less of a statement than the Catholic Church’s claim.

Your comments and arguments sound an awful lot like what the apostles faced from some of the more zealous Jews who insisted that Christianity had to be done their way.

Not so. There is great variation in Liturgical practices throughout the world. This is not akin to proclaiming certain doctrines as true, or watering such doctrines down for the sake of “unity,” which in reality is a paradoxical approach.


#7

The concept of denominations or even Catholic versus protestant is a human aberration.

I find this statment interesting. You do realize that the Catholic Church did not initiate the split, correct? Denominations are strictly a Protestant innovation.

I have great respect for Roman Catholics, as well as any and all true Christiian faith communities;

As do I. I have great love for my non-Catholic brothers and sisters in Christ.

so much so that I won’t argue with folks about their beliefs.

There is a difference between arguing and discussing, although “Argument” has a place, properly defined. I approach this differently. I love to debate and discuss, and I show my respect, hopefully, by presenting my viewpoint fairly and listening to the other person. Personally, I think simply ignoring areas of disagreement disallows an opportunity for more unity, rather than the other way around. Ignoring differences simply creates a feeling a false unity.

On the authority of Scripture, I know that the only way to salvation is by grace through faith in Christ.

Catholics believe the same, not only through the “authority” of Scripture, but through Tradition. I am curious as to what you mean by “authority of Scripture.” Scripture itself nowhere states that it is a sole authority, or even the highest authority. Of course, it isn’t. Christ is the authority. Scripture is certainly the Word of God, used to help determine Christ’s authority. But the Bible itself, while infallible, can be fallibly interpreted. Certainly you can see that yourself, as we have widely understood interpretations of the Bible. It is only logical then, to believe that Christ had the knowledge to know this could happen and would implement a structure to infallibly interpret the infallible Word of God. It only makes sense. Without the added element of an infallible interpretative authority, the infallible book, while not meaningless, certainly becomes confusing and certain interpretations can even lead to scandal. It should also be noted that the early Church had no Bible, and that the Bible itself was determined in accordance with the teachings of the Church. In other words, the books were determined to be Scriptural, among other reasons, if they were in accord with the teachings of the Church, already in place. An honest reading of early Church Fathers (Jurgens) before the official canon of the Bible was determined, shows they were pretty “Catholic.” Also, at this same time, the same group of men through the guidance of the Holy Spirit also accepted the 7 books of the Old Testament that Protestants generally reject. You can see the list in documents from these councils, if you wish. It is difficult to reason how one can accept the sole authority of the Bible put together by a Council of men in almost 400 AD, and at the same time summarily reject some of the books that the same men considered Scripture.

Other than that, Jesus said we are to love God and love each other.

Absolutely!

Maybe we ought to focus on that rather than correcting other Christians viewpoints.

I do not see the disconnect. In fact, I see a disconnect between loving one another and NOT correcting other viewpoints (correction being done in a charitable way, of course). Paul says we are to admonish sinners. Are we then not to believe we should correct error in teaching which could lead people down the wrong path? This is not to say that other Christians are on the path to hell in a handbasket - I would never suggest that. But it does mean that there are serious differences that need to be addressed and understood. There is no reason we cannot have those discussions, while at the same time working together for the common good: the poor, the unborn, the defense of family, and so on.

God bless.


#8

This is to anyone out there.
What is the 101 on Methodists…How are their “methods” different from other Prots?


#9

I think it depends on the Methodist…

Seriously, I’m not sure. I know some Methodists who I’d swear are almost Catholic, and then the next day I read of some Methodist Church marrying a gay couple. But, I am no docrinal expert on “official” Methodist teachings, so I better pass.

Only now did I just realize that the original post was not the thoughts of the poster, but the relaying of something from another person. I apologize for that. ppc, not sure if that gave you any food for thought or not.


#10

I know a methodist minister in our town that is as nice a person as you will ever meet. My brother in law is a nazarene minister, but when we get together, the differences in our religions are never discussed. I guess we both realize that it would not do either one of us any good to do so. My wife, (his sister) is a recent convert to our church, and he was all for it.


#11

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[size=3][font=Times New Roman]Dear brother, the early Church was no more “your” Church than it was my Church.

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Not true. “My Church” has always had seven sacraments, your church has reduced them to two.

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[/size]There is no place in the Scriptures where the Catholic church is mentioned. [/font]

Wrong. CATHOLIC comes from the Greek word Katholikos, which was later Latinized into Catholicus. It means ‘Universal’, which in itself means, ‘of or relating to, or affecting the entire world and ALL peoples therein’. It means, ALL encompassing, comprehensibly broad, general, and containing ALL that is necessary. In summation, it means ALL people in ALL places, having ALL that is necessary, and for ALL time.

It is in Matthew 28:19-20, “Go, therefore and make disciples of ALL nations…teaching them to observe ALL that I have commanded you; And behold, I am with you ALL days, even unto the consummation of the world.” That is a statement of Universality, Katholicos, Catholicus, Catholic. Is the Methodist church found in every nation? See Malachi 1:11

[font=Times New Roman][size=3]Whatever assumptions the Roman Catholics have made about apostolic succession are a matter of interpretation that is in no way supported by Scripture.

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Jesus did not institute an assumption of apostolic succession. It is found in many places in the bible and is a hard historical fact.

http://www.scripturecatholic.com/apostolic_succession.html (We don’t make up presuppositions and then find scripture to support them.) It is written about by many early church fathers going back to the first centuries of the Church. There was never a bishop, priest, or deacon who was ever conferred by a lesser authority. NOT ONE. It is denied by deformists because to admit it would mean that the Gospel message was the property of the bishops, just like the bible says, and not each individual believer. To admit the reality of Apostolic Succession would mean that the bible could never be removed from the Church. To deny Apostolic Succession makes it possible to pit tradition against scripture, a concept totally foreign to Christianity for 1500 years.

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#12

However, the catholic (universal) Church is spoken of several times. There is one Church. Your comments and arguments sound an awful lot like what the apostles faced from some of the more zealous Jews who insisted that Christianity had to be done their way.

How can a city set on a hill be visible if it only exists in the hearts of believers?

Jesus said that the unity of Christians would be objective evidence to the world that He had been sent by God (John 17:20-23). How can the world see an invisible “unity” that exists only in the hearts of believers?

If the unity of Christians was meant to convince the world that Jesus was sent by God, what does the ever-increasing fragmentation of Protestantism say to the world?

The Methodist definition of “catholic” in your confession of faith is unbiblical and unworkable.

It is not a matter of “doing it our way”. It’s a matter of doing it God’s way, and either He promised to be with us until the end of the age, or He is lying and took a vacation and came back in the 15th century.


#13

[font=Times New Roman][size=3]The concept of denominations or even Catholic versus protestant is a human aberration.

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There was no such thing as a denomination until the 15th century revolt. Catholicism is not, nor ever has been, a denomination. The catechism speaks of such aberrations.

**817 **In fact, “in this one and only Church of God from its very beginnings there arose certain rifts, which the Apostle strongly censures as damnable. But in subsequent centuries much more serious dissensions appeared and large communities became separated from full communion with the Catholic Church - for which, often enough, men of both sides were to blame.” The ruptures that wound the unity of Christ’s Body - here we must distinguish heresy, apostasy, and schism - do not occur without human sin:

Where there are sins, there are also divisions, schisms, heresies, and disputes. Where there is virtue, however, there also are harmony and unity, from which arise the one heart and one soul of all believers.

You cannot have harmony and unity in the absence of virtue. Methodism is an offshoot of Calvinism, which is an offshoot of Lutherism.

I have great respect for Roman Catholics, as well as any and all true Christian faith communities; so much so that I won’t argue with folks about their beliefs.

In other words, you refuse to come to terms with what the Catholic Church has to say for herself, and feel safe with what your seminary or bible college has told you. Get the information from the right source, and receive the truth with humility from God. So it’s not a matter between you and Catholics, is it.

[font=Times New Roman][size=3]On the authority of Scripture, I know that the only way to salvation is by grace through faith in Christ. Other than that, Jesus said we are to love God and love each other. Maybe we ought to focus on that rather than correcting other Christian’s viewpoints. Blessings to you in Christ’s name.

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This is what the Catholic Church has always taught. But I hope you would grant us the courtesy to be honest about what we really believe and honest about the facts of history. Then your “great respect” will have substance. At least with me.

kepha1


#14

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