What do Protestants think of the church built by Jesus?


#1

Jesus obviously built a church. do Protestants think

  1. the church Jesus built is their church or
  2. the gates of hell has prevailed against the church Jesus built?

if it’s the first case why Jesus built a church that has been teaching wrong doctrines from the beginning and for ~1500 years? the 2nd idea is obviously against the scripture


#2

Hell is not a good translation here… the word is Hades in Greek and simply means the place of the dead. It is equivalent to the Hebrew Sheol in the OT. The verse means that his Church will never die or go to the grave.

Remember that Protestants believe in an invisible church of all believers that has never died but continues by way of Christian faith.


#3

Jesus very clearly gave us a “visible Church”. St. Ignatius of Antioch was a disiple of St. John and so he received both revelation and the interpretation of revelation directly from the Apostles. In his writings, St. Ignatius shows that the Church Christ founded was “visible”. Ignatius of Antioch speaks of a visible Church when he outlines its nature in 107, marking it, for the first time of which we have record, as the “Catholic Church”: “Where the bishop is found, there let the people be, even as where Jesus Christ is, there is the Catholic Church.”

catholic.com/thisrock/1993/9301fea2.asp

Here is an excerpt from a very thorough Protestant to Catholic conversion story which includes his discovery that the “invisible church” was a “late innovation”:

chnetwork.org/cbconv.htm

**As I continued to study Church history, I learned that “Scripture alone,” “Faith alone,” an “invisible” church, and symbolic baptism and Eucharist were all late innovations – teachings of men who came along centuries after Christ established His Church. Not a single Church Father taught Sola Scriptura or Sola Fide. The two great pillars of the Protestant Reformation were “traditions of men” (Mark 7:8). **
I had to make a choice. I could listen to the men who sat at the feet of the Apostles themselves – men who sacrificed their very lives for the faith that had been passed down to them – or continue to follow those who had separated themselves from the ancient Church, men who taught radically new doctrines that had never been held in the entire history of Christianity.

**Jesus promised to be with His Church until the end of time (cf. Matt. 28:20) and to send the Holy Spirit to guide her into all truth (cf. John 16:13). I was forced to admit that either Christ had broken His promises and had allowed His Church to fall into error and remain in darkness for fifteen hundred years, or that Protestantism was not historical Christianity. **

The testimony of the Fathers was irrefutable. The early Church was not Protestant. I had been taught that the Reformers restored “pure Christianity” to a corrupt Church, but I now knew that Protestantism was the corruption. The Reformers refashioned Christianity according to their own beliefs and lost the Faith of the Fathers, departing further and further from the Apostolic Faith with each successive generation of Protestant believers.


#4

I love the church that jesus built=when three or more or gathered in my name i will always be with you.I often do just that,meet with other christian friends (catholics and protestants) and discuss lifes trials,tribulations,theology,etc.these gatherings often enrich me more than any four walled denominational setting ever have. in christian unity,celt


#5

I guess Jesus founded a Church as a haven for pedophiles. Look at the history of your church. It certainly isn’t Jesus’s church.


#6

“Wherever the bishop appears, let the people be there; just as wherever Jesus Christ is, there is the Catholic Church” St. Ignatius of Antioch written in the year 110 way before the inventions of the reformation


#7

“Wherever the bishop appears, let the people be there; just as wherever Jesus Christ is, there is the Catholic Church”

St. Ignatius of Antioch written in the year 110 way before the inventions of the reformation


#8

[quote=YesORno]I guess Jesus founded a Church as a haven for pedophiles. Look at the history of your church. It certainly isn’t Jesus’s church.
[/quote]

Now now now. Yes the sex abuse scandal certainly a black eye for the Church, but once again the people that make up the Church are certaintly not all saints, even the clergy. No action by its members could take away from it’s divine foundation


#9

[quote=YesORno]I guess Jesus founded a Church as a haven for pedophiles. Look at the history of your church. It certainly isn’t Jesus’s church.
[/quote]

I have found these same statistics on many sites:

1)Protestant Ministers have a divorce rate equal to the general population. Over 50% of first marriages fail in the USA. Source: Statistical Abstract of the United States. U.S. Dept. of Statistics, Vital Statistics.

2)Pedophiles and Priests by Philip Jenkins, Professor of History and Religious Studies at Penn State, has done extensive research of pedophilia and sexual abuse among the clergy and has come up with some rather eye opening facts. It seems that while 1.7 percent of Catholic clergy have been guilty of pedophilia , a whopping 10 percent of Protestant ministers have been found guilty of the same crime. Jenkins argues convincingly not only that clergy sex abuse is far less widespread than the headlines suggest, but that there is nothing at all particularly Roman Catholic about the problem. Jenkins unmasks the media’s unholy war against the Catholic Church, and he shows how dissidents within the Catholic Church have used this issue as a weapon to advance their agenda of a married clergy and women priests.

(I just wanted to answer Yesorno. Let’s not allow this person to hijack this thread.)


#10

10 percent! Are you sure about that?


#11

I love the church that jesus built=when three or more or gathered in my name i will always be with you.I often do just that,meet with other christian friends (catholics and protestants) and discuss lifes trials,tribulations,theology,etc.these gatherings often enrich me more than any four walled denominational setting ever have. in christian unity,celt

But the Church that Jesus built is not a denomination. Denominations began with the Deformers… So which IS the Church that Jesus built?


#12

[quote=JP2ImissU]10 percent! Are you sure about that?
[/quote]

I know it seems shockingly high, but I have found this report from a Penn State researcher on many sites. Here is one:

aboutcatholics.com/faith_beliefs/church_holy/

Some claim that the church openly accepts pedophiles in the priesthood. This is yet another outrageous allegation. 1.7% of Catholic priests have been found guilty of pedophilia. This number compares to about 3% of the general public and an alarming figure of nearly 10% among protestant ministers.*
***This according to Penn State historian Phillip Jenkins. **

Sorry, abcdefg, I don’t want to hijack your thread! I’ll start a new thread if I need to.


#13

[quote=Eden]I know it seems shockingly high, but I have found this report from a Penn State researcher on many sites. Here is one:

aboutcatholics.com/faith_beliefs/church_holy/

Some claim that the church openly accepts pedophiles in the priesthood. This is yet another outrageous allegation. 1.7% of Catholic priests have been found guilty of pedophilia. This number compares to about 3% of the general public and an alarming figure of nearly 10% among protestant ministers.*
***This according to Penn State historian Phillip Jenkins. **

Sorry, abcdefg, I don’t want to hijack your thread! I’ll start a new thread if I need to.
[/quote]

I don’t believe that figure. I don’t believe Jenkins said any such thing. Possibly he was talking about all kinds of sexual misconduct (affairs with adult parishioners, for example). That’s still a high figure, but I could believe it.

Edwin


#14

[quote=abcdefg]Jesus obviously built a church. do Protestants think

  1. the church Jesus built is their church or
  2. the gates of hell has prevailed against the church Jesus built?

if it’s the first case why Jesus built a church that has been teaching wrong doctrines from the beginning and for ~1500 years? the 2nd idea is obviously against the scripture
[/quote]

The gates of hell did not prevail just because not every doctrinal i was dotted and every t crossed. Many of us Protestants would say that no church is fully correct in its doctrine, and that’s OK. What matters is that we believe in Christ with a faith that works in love and continue to hear the Word and receive the Sacraments.

It’s true that many Protestants fall back on the concept of an “invisible church,” but that’s a cop-out (one that Catholics resort to as well though in somewhat different ways). The Church is a visible institution which we can trace throughout history in various forms. The Church is visible because the Word and the Sacraments are visible and because it is a concrete (though never wholly unified) company of people call on the name of Christ. Against that Church the gates of hell will never prevail. But it’s a wild leap from that promise to doctrinal infallibility.

One of the reasons Protestants tend to harp on the bad popes is that we have trouble understanding why doctrinal infallibility alone is such a big deal. We tend to assume that it should be associated with exemplary holiness, and if it isn’t we have trouble understanding why we should be so impressed by the claim.

Edwin


#15

[quote=Contarini]One of the reasons Protestants tend to harp on the bad popes is that we have trouble understanding why doctrinal infallibility alone is such a big deal. We tend to assume that it should be associated with exemplary holiness, and if it isn’t we have trouble understanding why we should be so impressed by the claim.

[/quote]

God revelaed Himself and the Truth to us for a reason. If it didn’t matter, He wouldn’t have revealed it. That’s why doctrinal infallibilty is such a big deal–so we can pass down the Truth revelaed by God to every generation, as I would imagine He would desire. I could be wrong, but I doubt God wants us to have misconceptions about Him-- He wants us to know Him and love Him:)


#16

[quote=Genesis315]God revelaed Himself and the Truth to us for a reason. If it didn’t matter, He wouldn’t have revealed it. That’s why doctrinal infallibilty is such a big deal–so we can pass down the Truth revelaed by God to every generation, as I would imagine He would desire. I could be wrong, but I doubt God wants us to have misconceptions about Him-- He wants us to know Him and love Him:)
[/quote]

Of course. And God wanted us to be holy too. But God did not ensure that every member of the visible Church would be holy. He didn’t even ensure that every Pope would be holy (though we’ve sure had a good run recently!). The purpose of doctrine–the purpose of everything–is to make us holy and unite us to God. Sure, doctrine is one part of that. But the cosmos is not going to fall apart if the Church embraces some unnecessary theories about the mode of the Real Presence. To ecumenical Protestants and moderate evangelicals (I would include myself in both of those categories), that way of thinking (whether from Catholics or confessional Protestants or fundamentalists) just seems a bit over-heated.

Edwin


#17

[quote=Contarini]Of course. And God wanted us to be holy too. But God did not ensure that every member of the visible Church would be holy. He didn’t even ensure that every Pope would be holy (though we’ve sure had a good run recently!). The purpose of doctrine–the purpose of everything–is to make us holy and unite us to God. Sure, doctrine is one part of that. But the cosmos is not going to fall apart if the Church embraces some unnecessary theories about the mode of the Real Presence. To ecumenical Protestants and moderate evangelicals (I would include myself in both of those categories), that way of thinking (whether from Catholics or confessional Protestants or fundamentalists) just seems a bit over-heated.

Edwin
[/quote]

That’s a good point, however, I think free will would be lost if we were all just made holy. By having all of the truth we have the best available means to be holy (which is a possibility for all of us).

I would think understanding the truth of the Real Presence would be of the utmost importance and everyone would love to know and understand it as deeply as possible. People always mention that there are doctrines that are meaningless, but I can never think of any. Usually they are just referring to contraception. :rolleyes:

While we’re on it, that might be a good example since it is a doctrine that has changed in protestant communities (it was once sinful, now it’s not). Your average protestant I guess wouldn’t think it was a big deal whether or not one thinks it is a sin or not. But, why wouldn’t I want to live in a way most pleasing to God? If using contraception was not pleasing to God (which it’s not) then it is a big deal and detracts from my ability to be holy.

I forget where I read this, I hope I get it right: We are created in the image and likeness of God. Through original sin, that likeness was deformed. As Christians, through Christ’s sacrafice and also His example, during our lives we should strive to get closer and closer to that original likeness. It’s much tougher to get back to this likeness if we don’t have the complete picture. Does that make sense?


#18

[quote=Contarini]The gates of hell did not prevail just because not every doctrinal i was dotted and every t crossed. Many of us Protestants would say that no church is fully correct in its doctrine, and that’s OK. What matters is that we believe in Christ with a faith that works in love and continue to hear the Word and receive the Sacraments.

It’s true that many Protestants fall back on the concept of an “invisible church,” but that’s a cop-out (one that Catholics resort to as well though in somewhat different ways). The Church is a visible institution which we can trace throughout history in various forms. The Church is visible because the Word and the Sacraments are visible and because it is a concrete (though never wholly unified) company of people call on the name of Christ. Against that Church the gates of hell will never prevail. But it’s a wild leap from that promise to doctrinal infallibility.

One of the reasons Protestants tend to harp on the bad popes is that we have trouble understanding why doctrinal infallibility alone is such a big deal. We tend to assume that it should be associated with exemplary holiness, and if it isn’t we have trouble understanding why we should be so impressed by the claim.

Edwin
[/quote]

But truth is what Christ is. And truth is what his Church is. Let us not seperate the Head from the Body. Christ said he will lead his disciples into all truth not partial truth.


#19

[quote=Genesis315]That’s a good point, however, I think free will would be lost if we were all just made holy. By having all of the truth we have the best available means to be holy (which is a possibility for all of us).
[/quote]

Well, it may seem that way. But who’s to say how God sees it? Maybe the struggle with uncertainty and ambiguity is part of the process of becoming holy? Maybe the sort of complete certainty that some Catholics seem to want would actually be bad for us. (BTW this is not necessarily the Catholic view–I think there are ways of understanding infallibility that don’t stem from this hunger for complete certainty, and in practice infallibility doesn’t seem to provide a lot of certainty, since its precise limits become themselves a matter of fierce debate. But it’s often presented in fora like this one as if that were its selling point.)

[quote=Genesis315]I would think understanding the truth of the Real Presence would be of the utmost importance and everyone would love to know and understand it as deeply as possible.
[/quote]

There’s a big difference between what we might like and what is necessary for us. It’s nice to understand the chemical composition of the food I eat, but I don’t need to do so in order to be nourished. The fact that scientists might argue about the way in which the food nourishes me doesn’t prevent me from being nourished (though it might have some impact on what I eat and how, so it’s not irrelevant).

[quote=Genesis315]People always mention that there are doctrines that are meaningless, but I can never think of any. Usually they are just referring to contraception. :rolleyes:
[/quote]

I’m not sure about that, but at any rate I would never say that any doctrine of Catholicism is meaningless. I’m just not sure that they are all so central that if the Church was wrong about some of them it would follow that the gates of hell had prevailed. If the Church said that Jesus was divine when He really wasn’t, then the gates of hell would have prevailed. Arguably if the Church taught idolatry toward the Blessed Virgin, then the gates of hell would have prevailed. But not all the points at issue are of such importance.

[quote=Genesis315] While we’re on it, that might be a good example since it is a doctrine that has changed in protestant communities (it was once sinful, now it’s not). Your average protestant I guess wouldn’t think it was a big deal whether or not one thinks it is a sin or not. But, why wouldn’t I want to live in a way most pleasing to God? If using contraception was not pleasing to God (which it’s not) then it is a big deal and detracts from my ability to be holy.
[/quote]

True. But consider this: we would all agree today that owning slaves is always displeasing to God. The Church has never taught that slavery was a good thing. But it has not always taught that owning slaves (as opposed to enslaving innocent people) is always wrong. There are many documented cases of Popes and clergy owning slaves–in the 19th century I understand that the Jesuits at Georgetown owned slaves. Some people (like Rodney Stark) claim that this was simple disobedience to the Church’s teaching, but I see no evidence for this. The Catholic Church disapproved of slavery, but it was a nuanced disapproval that left Catholics on the ground a lot of leeway. Now I grant that this is not parallel to the mainline Protestant attitude toward birth control. But I’d argue that it is roughly parallel to the mainline Protestant attitude toward abortion. Mainline denominations deplore abortion but seem to regard it as a necessary evil in some cases.

I’m not trying to draw exact parallels, only to point out that the Catholic Church has taken morally problematic positions, leaving ambiguity where today we would see total condemnation as the only legitimate option. Of course, the Church’s position on the execution of heretics is even more obvious, since the Church explicitly taught that heretics should be executed, while today it clearly teaches that people should not be persecuted for their religion. (The other example often cited is usury, which actually is a fairly good parallel with the Protestant shift on contraception.)

This is not an argument against infallibility. It’s an argument against your implicit claim that Catholicism offers moral clarity whenever and wherever needed. Quite clearly it does not. It would, I’m convinced, have been very helpful to St. Thomas More in his striving for holiness if the Church had told him that it was wrong to persecute heretics, instead of telling him (as it did) that it was a sacred duty. If, as we both agree, St. Thomas More managed to become a saint in spite of being led astray by the Church on that score, then surely people can also become saints while being led astray on some more abstruse doctrinal point.

In Christ,

Edwin


#20

The Jesuits who owned slaves at Georgetown is quite troubling. I found this article which says “When Pope Pius VI in 1823 ordered the society to surrender the slaves, the American Jesuits turned to an international rule that prevented Rome, a foreign power, to intervene in American affairs.” This illustrates that the Jesuits who owned slaves were acting against Church teaching and it was not nuanced in this case.

Here is the source: thehoya.com/features/020299/features1.htm


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