What happens if I'm wrong?


#1

As a protestant I leave open the possibility that I may not understand everything and I actually might have a few things wrong. I often ask myself, “What if I’m wrong?” about my faith. I’ve been visiting this board for a few weeks and I’m baffeled by the fact that anytime someone questions a Catholic Church stance there seem to be individuals who without question believe everthing the Catholic Church believes. I want to pose the question “What if the protestants are wrong?” what does that mean for us protestants. Also “What if the Catholic Church is wrong?” what does that mean for Catholics?


#2

How wrong? If Christ is God, than you are fine, as are we.

“Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ and thou shalt be saved.” For the must part, both Protestants and Catholcs believe in Christ. Jesus is the center of Catholicism.

If Jesus is not God, the possibilities are too numerous for me to list, but I don’t we have to worry about that too much.


#3

[quote=trumpet152]How wrong? If Christ is God, than you are fine, as are we.

“Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ and thou shalt be saved.” For the must part, both Protestants and Catholcs believe in Christ. Jesus is the center of Catholicism.

If Jesus is not God, the possibilities are too numerous for me to list, but I don’t we have to worry about that too much.
[/quote]

I dont’ mean wrong about Christ being God, attonment for our sins. I’m talking about the Catholic Church being the one true church. What if Martin Luther was right? What if he was wrong? What would the implications be?


#4

[quote=smelton]As a protestant I leave open the possibility that I may not understand everything and I actually might have a few things wrong. I often ask myself, “What if I’m wrong?” about my faith. I’ve been visiting this board for a few weeks and I’m baffeled by the fact that anytime someone questions a Catholic Church stance there seem to be individuals who without question believe everthing the Catholic Church believes. I want to pose the question “What if the protestants are wrong?” what does that mean for us protestants. Also “What if the Catholic Church is wrong?” what does that mean for Catholics?
[/quote]

Be of good cheer! Protestants aren’t wrong about everything. And you good folks are considered Christians by the Catholic Church by reason of your trinitarian baptism.

Catholics do not claim that the Church is right about everything all the time. There are many things the Church says nothing about because it cannot know if some things are true or not. What the Church claims is that it right about those things that Christ has revealed to it, either through the Scriptures or the oral Tradition of the Apostles and their successors (the preaching of the word), and the decisions of the Magisterium (the teaching organ of the Church).

The things the Protestant churches have gotten wrong are those things they rejected when they split from the Catholic Church, and no I don’t mean things like the selling of indulgences (which was never sanctioned by the Church). When Luther and others decided to look solely to the Bible (rejecting centuries of Sacred Tradition passed down by the Apostles and Church Fathers), they opened a Pandora’s box of dissent that has led to the fracturing of Christianity into thousands of denominations and sects, along with several outright heretical groups.

So, I say again, be of good cheer! Learn what the Catholic Church teaches and why and I’m sure you’ll see that it is right and proper and what Christ himself wanted for his Body and Bride, the Church.


#5

[quote=Della]Be of good cheer! Protestants aren’t wrong about everything. And you good folks are considered Christians by the Catholic Church by reason of your trinitarian baptism.

Catholics do not claim that the Church is right about everything all the time. There are many things the Church says nothing about because it cannot know if some things are true or not. What the Church claims is that it right about those things that Christ has revealed to it, either through the Scriptures or the oral Tradition of the Apostles and their successors (the preaching of the word), and the decisions of the Magisterium (the teaching organ of the Church).

The things the Protestant churches have gotten wrong are those things they rejected when they split from the Catholic Church, and no I don’t mean things like the selling of indulgences (which was never sanctioned by the Church). When Luther and others decided to look solely to the Bible (rejecting centuries of Sacred Tradition passed down by the Apostles and Church Fathers), they opened a Pandora’s box of dissent that has led to the fracturing of Christianity into thousands of denominations and sects, along with several outright heretical groups.

So, I say again, be of good cheer! Learn what the Catholic Church teaches and why and I’m sure you’ll see that it is right and proper and what Christ himself wanted for his Body and Bride, the Church.
[/quote]

So if the Pope comes out and says, “The Catholic Church believes this …” Then does that make it something you can not question? Does the church have the same authority as the Bible? Does the Pope have the same authority? The reason I ask is because just from perusing this site for a while it seems to me, I could be wrong, that the catholic faith teaches those things. I just wonder if Catholics ever wonder, what if its wrong. What is Martin Luther was right? What if the traditions of the church is all bunk? Do you ever question these things?


#6

[quote=smelton]So if the Pope comes out and says, “The Catholic Church believes this …” Then does that make it something you can not question? Does the church have the same authority as the Bible? Does the Pope have the same authority? The reason I ask is because just from perusing this site for a while it seems to me, I could be wrong, that the catholic faith teaches those things. I just wonder if Catholics ever wonder, what if its wrong. What is Martin Luther was right? What if the traditions of the church is all bunk? Do you ever question these things?
[/quote]

Yes. The mere act of defending the faith often brings out the question “what if I am wrong”? I will say this, even if I thought the CC was wrong, I would likely not believe Luther or any of the Reformers were right because I find these to be biblically, traditionally and historically incoherent. I would have to look elsewhere for the truth.


#7

[quote=Scott Waddell]Yes. The mere act of defending the faith often brings out the question “what if I am wrong”? I will say this, even if I thought the CC was wrong, I would likely not believe Luther or any of the Reformers were right because I find these to be biblically, traditionally and historically incoherent. I would have to look elsewhere for the truth.
[/quote]

Besides the scripture where else would you turn to find truth?


#8

[quote=smelton]Besides the scripture where else would you turn to find truth?
[/quote]

That’s the problem when talking about a hypothetical. I can’t prove in the scientific sense that the CC is the one true Church Our Lord founded, but after study, prayer and reflection, I am satisfied that it is the most likely to be it, so I believe it. I will leave it in a second if someone can show me a better alternative. So far no one has come close. That is, the burden of proof is on the guy that thinks I need to leave and join whatever brand of religion they want me in.


#9

[quote=smelton]So if the Pope comes out and says, “The Catholic Church believes this …” Then does that make it something you can not question? ?
[/quote]

Yes-although he doesnt do this very often and he has to make clear that he is speaking “Ex Cathedra”. Not everything the Pope says are infallible Church teaching. For instance both current and previous Popes opposed the death penalty but that is not the teaching of the Church

[quote=smelton]Does the church have the same authority as the Bible? Does the Pope have the same authority? The reason I ask is because just from perusing this site for a while it seems to me, I could be wrong, that the catholic faith teaches those things. I just wonder if Catholics ever wonder, what if its wrong. What is Martin Luther was right? What if the traditions of the church is all bunk? Do you ever question these things?
[/quote]

Yes-the Church has the same authority as the Bible.


#10

[quote=smelton]Besides the scripture where else would you turn to find truth?
[/quote]

2,000 years of teachings and traditions of the Catholic Church. In fact withut the Church it is not possible for an individual to properly interpret Scripture.


#11

[quote=smelton]So if the Pope comes out and says, “The Catholic Church believes this …” Then does that make it something you can not question? Does the church have the same authority as the Bible? Does the Pope have the same authority? The reason I ask is because just from perusing this site for a while it seems to me, I could be wrong, that the catholic faith teaches those things. I just wonder if Catholics ever wonder, what if its wrong. What is Martin Luther was right? What if the traditions of the church is all bunk? Do you ever question these things?
[/quote]

These are all good questions. When you start to seriously consider them you will find some unexpected realities. For example, when you say,“Does the Church have the same authority as the Bible?” Some problems immediately surface. What, exactly, IS the bible? Where is it defined, and by whom?
Do we all have to agree with that definition?
In addition, what do you mean by the “authority of the bible”? The bible is a collection of statements. There is no statement in the Bible which says, “the Bible has full authority” So where did this concept of biblical authority come from? It is only through the human mind that the various statements of the bible become ideas. The question then becomes whose ideas of what the bible is saying has authority?

The Church is the pillar and foundation of Truth 1Tim 3:15

Phil


#12

[quote=smelton]As a protestant I leave open the possibility that I may not understand everything and I actually might have a few things wrong. I often ask myself, “What if I’m wrong?” about my faith. I’ve been visiting this board for a few weeks and I’m baffeled by the fact that anytime someone questions a Catholic Church stance there seem to be individuals who without question believe everthing the Catholic Church believes. I want to pose the question “What if the protestants are wrong?” what does that mean for us protestants. Also “What if the Catholic Church is wrong?” what does that mean for Catholics?
[/quote]

If the Catholic Church is wrong, why even bother being Christian because Scripture is a lie. Scripture tells us that the Church is the pillar and foundatin of truth, the church will withstand the gates of hell, and He will lead us to all truth. If the Catholic Church were wrong as Luther proclaimed, Scripture lied. (if you need the Scripture references, I’ll get them, but “it’s in there”:wink: )

If the Catholic Church is wrong, it means all Christians, Catholic and Protestant, are wasting their time, because God isn’t keeping the promises in the Bible.


God Bless,
Maria


#13

[quote=estesbob]2,000 years of teachings and traditions of the Catholic Church. In fact without the Church it is not possible for an individual to properly interpret Scripture.
[/quote]

Bob, I believe you meant “without,” correct? (When I read this quickly my brain read “with” and then came a ???)


#14

To add to that, the Church doesn’t contradict the Bible either. It’s not a matter of the authority of the Chuch or of the Bible. It’s both at the same time.

The Church doesn’t have teachings. The Church teaches the Truth, which comes from God.

God bless.


#15

Smelton:

I think this is an intelligent and honest question that any human being need to ask regarding TRUTH. What if what I think to be true is not? Very fundamental human query.

I don’t know if you’ve heard this statement before but for Catholic apologists referring to the reformation, the reformers threw the baby out with the bath water. What they mean by this is that the protestants (in practice)rejected just about anything related to the Catholic Church including the whole bible. This complete rejection equates that everything Catholic is in error. To take that further, it means that the past 1500 years is a complete sham until Luther, Calvin, et.al. came along to shine the whole truth to mankind. To us Catholics, that’s completely irrational. True, there were abominable things being done by Catholics, but the church remains the church. Liken it to the US gov’t. A bad president doesn’t disqualify the US gov’t as the rightful authority of the land.

At your juncture, a lot of reading and prayer is due so you can triangulate what happened in history, what development of doctrine remains true to the early Christians and which church today holds the authority granted by Christ to Peter. A big task if you’re up to the challenge…

Many converts here and all over the world go through this process and end up becoming Catholic in spite of their pre conceived notions. Most converts will tell you that they did not plan nor wanted to become Catholic but the compelling evidence of it being the true faith brought them in.

Our part is to support and answer whatever we can. This, we are more than glad to do.

in XT.


#16

[quote=estesbob]Yes-although he doesnt do this very often and he has to make clear that he is speaking “Ex Cathedra”. Not everything the Pope says are infallible Church teaching. For instance both current and previous Popes opposed the death penalty but that is not the teaching of the Church

Yes-the Church has the same authority as the Bible.
[/quote]

That is a scary thought to me. The church is made up of sinners, sinners make mistakes. Seems to me a logical conclusion. What is to prevent the abuse of power that the Pope and the bishops have? If Christ were the Pope I would have no objection since I know what he says is truth.


#17

Let me try and give you a protestant point of view. Jesus alone is the attonment for our sins. I’d suspect everyone who is Christian would agree. When I came on to this board a very short time ago I read things that were simply ludicrous to me. It sounds like instead of people putting their faith in Christ and his action on the cross and in the tomb, it sounds like many Catholics put their faith in the church. This sounds very dangerous to me. My faith is not based on anything but Jesus Christ and his attoning actions. I believe the bible is infalliable, but my faith is in Christ. I’m an active member of my chuch but my faith is in Christ. When I read a lot of posts on here I see people using the words Catholic Church where I would only use Christ. I know many of you feel I’m probably some poor warped protestant that needs some straighting out. But I come to this board looking for understanding on the thoughts of a Catholic. Don’t you see a danger in not putting all your faith in Christ for your salvation? Maybe I just don’t understand what you really believe, which is a good possibility.


#18

[quote=smelton]That is a scary thought to me. The church is made up of sinners, sinners make mistakes. Seems to me a logical conclusion. What is to prevent the abuse of power that the Pope and the bishops have? If Christ were the Pope I would have no objection since I know what he says is truth.
[/quote]

The Church doesn’t claim impeccability (the inability to sin or a lack of sin) for the pope. The charism of infallibility has nothing to do with the individual person who is pope, but rather the charism goes with the office of pope.

The Church has had some really bad popes–not just people who made bad decisions (in their personal lives) but ones that were downright evil. But, the amazing thing is that none of them, not even the worst of them ever declared as doctrine or dogma anything that is not true.

You have to understand that Jesus knew perfectly well that he was establishing his Church on imperfect men, especially Peter. He never told them that they would be sinless, but he did promise that the Holy Spirit would lead them into all truth. Jesus founded his Church on the Apostles not on a book, no matter how good or holy that book might be. If he had expected them to go strictly by the Sacred Texts they could never have written the Gospels or the Epistles or the Book of Revelation because the only “Bible” at the time was the OT.

The whole of the Bible is the Church’s book, but the NT in particular was written by the Apostles and other early Christians closest to Christ and his words. That is why other, later writings are not in the NT–because they could not be verified as having been written under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit. And who made that decision? A council of the Catholic Church. No one would have the Bible in their hands today if the Catholic Church had not compiled it, copied it, preserved it and lovingly preached it.

I heartily recommend to your reading Where We Got the Bible: Our Debt to the Catholic Church. It is an easy but reliable book on the topic that will help you to see what the Bible is and what it’s place is within the Sacred Tradition of Christ’s Church.


#19

[quote=MariaG]If the Catholic Church is wrong, why even bother being Christian because Scripture is a lie. Scripture tells us that the Church is the pillar and foundatin of truth, the church will withstand the gates of hell, and He will lead us to all truth. If the Catholic Church were wrong as Luther proclaimed, Scripture lied. (if you need the Scripture references, I’ll get them, but “it’s in there”:wink: )

If the Catholic Church is wrong, it means all Christians, Catholic and Protestant, are wasting their time, because God isn’t keeping the promises in the Bible.


God Bless,
Maria
[/quote]

I use this as an example, no offense meant Maria. If the Catholic Church is wrong, it does not nullify what Christ did. If the Christian Non-denomination church is wrong, it does not nullify what Christ did. My faith is in Christ and his grace not in the church.


#20

[quote=smelton]That is a scary thought to me. The church is made up of sinners, sinners make mistakes. Seems to me a logical conclusion. What is to prevent the abuse of power that the Pope and the bishops have? If Christ were the Pope I would have no objection since I know what he says is truth.
[/quote]

Hello Smelton–welcome to the boards.

What your describing has actually come close to happening, and yet the power of the Holy Spirit has stepped in to prevent the Pope from teaching error. An excellent treatment of this is found in Patrick Madrid’s “Pope Fiction;” a worthy read. I can’t cite the historical situation exactly (since I don’t have the book on hand now), but there have been some amazing reversals in the (seeming) nick of time to prevent a Pope from teaching a heresy. The more you study the history of the Church and you see the things she has survived, the more confident you become that she is in fact guided by the Holy Spirit, in fulfillment of our Lord’s promise (Jn 14:26 ff). The Magisterium of the Church becomes a great comfort, that we can turn to her for guidance and not be misled.

As you search, check out 1 Tm 3:15. It’s a quality passage.

God bless,
CathChemNerd


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