What is the role of Protestanism in God's Plan


#1

Note: I’m a Catholic writing this from a Catholic perspective, so I’ll just ask my Protestant brothers and sisters to go along with this wild speculation for now…

It is often said that God makes good things happen out of bad things. So this got me to thinking about the role of Protestants (from a Catholic perspective) in God’s plan.

The reformation was bad since it broke apart the one church. But on the other hand, the Catholic Church needed reformed, and the reformation seemed to provide an incentive to actually do it. So I’ll concede some points there to the Protestants :slight_smile: Some good came out of the “bad” reformation in times past.

But what about today? The reformation, and Catholic responses to it are over and done with. What role does God have for Protestants in today’s world? Is it possible that they “complement” the Catholic Church in some way that is useful to the Catholic Church in God’s overall plan?

There are 2 things that occur to me about the Catholic Church that seems to inhibit us from saving more souls:

  1. The Catholic faith is fairly complicated. Just look at the Catechism. This makes catechesis difficult.

  2. Catholics are notoriously poor evangelists. When’s the last time a Catholic knocked on your door and asked you if you were saved :slight_smile: Heck, we don’t even say hi to new faces in church :frowning:

Protestants would seem to fill a vacuum here…they concentrate on simpler theology such as Sola Scriptura or Once Saved Always Saved. This is much easier to understand and therefore easier to accept than the totality of “complicated” Catholicism.

And Protestants are not afraid of knocking on doors.

So is the purpose of Protestantism to be a sort of “farm team” for the Catholic Church? [Please excuse the analogy - it is not meant to be disrespectful].

Protestants work very hard (I’ll give them credit there) to pull in people who have no faith, or are not well catechized, or who need a “lite” version of Christianity (less complicated than Catholicism). They get people (even ex-Catholics) truly excited about Jesus. For some people, this may be as far as they go. And it is certainly much better than having no faith at all. Then if the converts decide that they need more or want more, they can eventually find their way to Catholicism.

Of course, this whole post is wild speculation, and I want to reiterate that no offense is intended.

“Scotty - raise the shields - just in case.” ]


#2

A kick up the a… of catholicism :slight_smile:


#3

A kick up the a… of catholicism in a period of her history when she was most in need of it! :smiley:


#4

Hi,
I think you make some good points about how we may fill the void in certain areas.

This non-catholic christian is afraid to knock on doors:o

As far as God’s plan:
I believe God is using the reformation for good because we know that all things work for the good.

It is hard for us to say or even understand what purpose God had for the reformation except maybe what Sixtus said.

We cant see God’s overall plan so we just have to trust that there is a good purpose and we are living it now( maybe not on these forums:p --sometimes no good comes from certain threads;) ) But I think you would agree that there are many non-catholic christians who walk the talk about Christ:thumbsup: Well now you know one anyway–ME:D


#5

ricmat

great post, I maintain humility on both sides will get us all seeking God. Prostentant churches are as you say better at this and Catholic churches are better at the organized part, the traditions.

United we stand and if we could learn to put our heads together instead of worrying details we could do great things. The world sees all believers as stupid cant think for themselves, fight amoung themselves and not even agree. So why should they even consider God if we cant agree??

And its right. We are poor hands and feet of Jesus. I bet if we had to duck into basements and hide in garages to worship God alot of this bickering would resolve. As what is actually important would surface.

If we are going to enter Heaven logically theres gotta be a better convergience of thoughts or we are just taking the arguement there and that wont work.

Maybe we will all be Baptists :slight_smile: or it will be Catholic or Mennonites or just Gods children following our Father. Since we will finally have direct connection with Him there will be no more confusion on matters and we will no longer have to discuss what we should do, we will know.

But until then, we have to try to do our best and attempt to do and be what He wants us to be.


#6

on the other hand . . . i hope everyone doesnt mind but after I posted a thought came to me.

Babylon everyone was of one language, God separated them. Satan set up his religions again but this time he had many divisions possibly so the one couldnt be knocked down again the ole eggs in one basket. They are all different but still honor satan.

so perhaps just perhaps we christians are also various so we are on a even playing field. Dont know just a thought, dont flame please. Maybe various does play a role in Gods plan.


#7

Are you saying that protestants are honouring satan? My friend is a protestant and he claims to love Jesus. How do protestants honour Satan?


#8

To come back to my original point (which was probably lost due to the length of my post #1):

  1. I concede that the Reformation had a positive effect on the Catholic Church, in that needed reforms within the Catholic church came about (although there may have been other better ways to do it). So I can see, in a way, “God’s purpose” for Protestantism in the 1500’s. It was to help the One True Catholic Church to get back on track.

  2. I’m actually looking for insight from other Catholics about what they think God’s plan might be for Protestantism in 2007. If God does bring good out of bad, then what good (for the Catholic Church) is coming out of Protestantism today?

Thanks!


#9

The purpose for anything that God does, is that He may be glorifed.

In heaven everyone is a Baptist
allischalmers


#10

umm no not honoring satan. its a bit of a thought may have merit may not. I was thinking along the lines of how satan copies God on things. God separated the people at Babylon to many cultures, satan didnt rebuild his church as one but many types possibly to combat the various types of christian churches.

dont know just a thought in thinking about the threads question of the role of protestanism. God does use and move in mysterious ways. There is a bigger picture we just dont see. does that make more sense?


#11

sorry ricmat, Im not catholic who your looking for, but I still think your onto a good idea. Protestantism is getting its share of strange ideas for example, propersity teaching. It may be its time for a make over :slight_smile:

The more I hoover here from time to time I become more convinced theres a lot to teach one another.


#12

Thank you for your reply, but if you do not see the bigger picture, than you can not help me with my questions.


#13

What bigger picture are you referring to, so I understand you?


#14

Yes, it makes sense that there’s a bigger picture. I was hoping that a Catholic smarter than me could provide a piece of that picture. Even though you are not Catholic, I appreciate your responding :slight_smile:


#15

i guess i see it like this:
perhaps the reformation gave the church a shot it needed to straighten up. and at the same time perhaps it put a bigger burden on the church. perhaps a chastisement from God for it’s sins. now aside from all the people that do not know Christ and need conversion we have a whole lot of wayward Christians drifting farther and farther away from the true church of Christ. people that subcribe to teachings unheard of in the first 1500 years of Christianity. alot of people that need to be brought home to the church. a big task. Catholics don’t need to go door to door. they need to walk the faith. to be a shining light. to be Jesus to the world. talk is cheap if you don’t walk the walk. it takes actions of love. protestant people, please do not be offended by what i say. this is from my Catholic perspective, which the OP asked for.


#16

I don’t think that Protestantism was a good thing at all.

I consider it “telling” that Mother Mary (through Juan Diego) converted 9 million Aztecs to the Catholic faith (roughly the same as the number of Europeans who ultimately became Protestant) in 1531-41, roughly the same time period as the early “Reformation” - obviously, someone up there thought that “replacements” were needed for “Judas” (see Acts 1;12-26).

Yes, there were certainly abuses going on in the Church at the time, but I believe that they were far more effectively dealt with by leaders like St. Teresa of Avila, St. John of the Cross, St. Ignatius of Loyola, and their contemporaries, along with all the nameless peasants who faithfully followed their teachings and literally rebuilt Catholic Christian civilization with their bare hands.

If all of Europe had been working on the same side together instead of turning it into a war, I believe that Marxism, Nazism, and other atheistic philosophies and political movements would have failed before they even got off the drawing board, and we’d be looking at a far happier and gentler world, today.


#17

I don’t disagree with what you say, but I’m trying very hard to see God working some good purpose, for Catholicism, via Protestantism.

Perhaps there isn’t any such thing :frowning:

I speculated in my original post that perhaps the Protestants form a sort of “farm team” like minor leage baseball, pulling in not-ready-for-prime-time players, and then feeding the really good players to the majors (Catholicism). And for the players that aren’t ready yet, well, they still have some sense of faith and worship.

Wild speculation, I know.


#18

Both are serving God and building His Kingdom.

Building His Kingdom is to do it according to His Will, not our will.

Don’t forget the fact that divisions among Christians is not part of doing His Will.


#19

I’d say you have it pretty close. :slight_smile:

I SERIOUSLY doubt ANY protestants would agree with you…!

Protestantism is the “Babylonians” to our “Judea”.

A vaccuum cleaner to collect up “nominal” Christians, such that they don’t turn to “non-Christian” nonsense.

When they get tired of the “bag”, they can at least have a recognizable path back to full Christianity.

Mahalo ke Akua…!
E pili mau na pomaikai iaoe. Aloha nui.


#20

I don’t know. In minor league baseball, they still play by the rules of baseball, right? When they go to the majors, they don’t have to unlearn anything - they just have to get really good at doing what they already know how to do.

My experience in RCIA (I’ve been an Inquiry leader for about 3-4 years, now) is that it’s actually a lot easier for someone of absolutely no faith background whatsoever to become Catholic than it is for a Protestant to become Catholic, because it takes quite a lot of time for them to sort out what to keep and what to throw away from their Protestant beliefs.

The person with no faith background just reads the Catholic materials, listens to the RCIA lectures, and “gets it” pretty much straight away - not saying that it’s “easy” for anyone - it still takes several months - but Protestants seem to have to pick through all the material, doubt everything, question everything, and then finally figure it out, instead of just reading it or hearing it.

Just as an example, if I tell the Inquirers to go to Mass every Sunday, the response I get from the unchurched Inquirer is along the lines of, “Oh - Mass every Sunday? Is that here? What time is Mass at, then? Will someone come with me?” whereas the ex-Protestant will be more like, “Mass every Sunday? Why do we have to go to Mass on Sunday - shouldn’t that be optional? Who has the authority to tell me that I have to go to Mass on Sundays? Where does it say in the Bible that we have to do that?”


DISCLAIMER: The views and opinions expressed in these forums do not necessarily reflect those of Catholic Answers. For official apologetics resources please visit www.catholic.com.