What is true bible based Christianity? (according to bible only Christians)


#1

So that you understand where I'm coming from I'm a practicing Catholic. I'm open to truth but thoroughly convinced in what I now know. I'm simply asking to try and understand the protestant perspective.
How do you define "true" Christianity?
With the hundreds (if not thousands) of interpretations of what constitutes true Christianity all claiming authority and truth from the bible with divine guidance from the Holy Spirit what makes your claim to truth any different from your incorrect protestant brethren?
Peace and love


#2

[quote="untruestory, post:1, topic:296601"]
So that you understand where I'm coming from I'm a practicing Catholic. I'm open to truth but thoroughly convinced in what I now know. I'm simply asking to try and understand the protestant perspective.
How do you define "true" Christianity?
With the hundreds (if not thousands) of interpretations of what constitutes true Christianity all claiming authority and truth from the bible with divine guidance from the Holy Spirit what makes your claim to truth any different from your incorrect protestant brethren?
Peace and love

[/quote]

Its not about being catholic, protestant, baptist or whatever!! Its about seeing God's persepective and denying even your own religion for him! We are all Christian and Catholicism is law and Jesus came to fulfill the law so that we may rely solely on truth and faith! It is good as a tutorial into the faith but on its own it is nothing but a Godless system! May you feel God's true LIVING love!


#3

[quote="untruestory, post:1, topic:296601"]
With the hundreds (if not thousands) of interpretations of what constitutes true Christianity all claiming authority and truth from the bible with divine guidance from the Holy Spirit what makes your claim to truth any different from your incorrect protestant brethren?

[/quote]

It's a good question. May I ask a related one? There are very few, maybe just three, churches that claim to be true based not only on scripture but also on such things as apostolic succession, ecumenical councils, tradition, and the promise that the gates of hell would not prevail against the church Christ established. How do you know, for example, that Roman Catholicism is correct while Orthodox Christianity isn't? On another thread, someone asked about those two groups getting back together. There was a list of differences I'd read in a book from an Orthodox perspective, and I'm sure something similar could be written from a Catholic Perspective. But with all those differences, how would a person choose between them? Or, to add a third, I happen to be Anglican, so also am not a sola scriptura Protestant. There may not be thousands, but what makes Anglican or Roman Catholic or Eastern Orthodox claims to truth any better than the other two? I chose Anglican, but maybe only because it was a better fit with my basically Protestant background.

items that Roman Catholics must repudiate and reject:

papal universal jurisdiction
papal infallibility
papal Petrine exclusivism (i.e., that only the pope is Peter's successor)
development of doctrine
the Filioque
original sin understood as guilt transmitted via "propagation"
the immaculate conception of Mary
absolute divine simplicity
merit and satisfaction soteriology
purgatory and indulgences
created grace

items that Roman Catholics would have to accept and fully confess:

the authority of the Ecumenical Councils over the pope
the essence/energies distinction

practices Roman Catholics would need to restore:

reconnect confirmation/chrismation to baptism rather than delaying it
give Holy Communion to all church members, including infants


#4

[quote="charlie4christ, post:2, topic:296601"]
Its not about being catholic, protestant, baptist or whatever!! Its about seeing God's persepective and denying even your own religion for him! We are all Christian and Catholicism is law and Jesus came to fulfill the law so that we may rely solely on truth and faith! It is good as a tutorial into the faith but on its own it is nothing but a Godless system! May you feel God's true LIVING love!

[/quote]

Uhh. . . . excuse me. Are you calling Catholicism a Godless system? On a Catholic forum? Overall, I didn't really understand your post.

[quote="jrtrent, post:3, topic:296601"]
It's a good question. May I ask a related one?

[/quote]

You never did answer the question posed by the OP and instead posed your own, seemingly to distract the thread. Maybe you should start a new thread to have your own questions answered.


#5

jrtrent: do you feel your comment is somehow helpful?


#6

Its the King james version yall!

Joking aside Solo scriptura (distinct from Sola Scriptura) is an incorrehent and question begging position. You simply can't have a bible with the bible alone. Its a mystifying position, at one time you want to posit a faith based solely on the bible yet that bible you have is posited on a faith which is not exclusively on the bible which you hold to!


#7

[quote="jrtrent, post:3, topic:296601"]
It's a good question. May I ask a related one? There are very few, maybe just three, churches that claim to be true based not only on scripture but also on such things as apostolic succession, ecumenical councils, tradition, and the promise that the gates of hell would not prevail against the church Christ established. How do you know, for example, that Roman Catholicism is correct while Orthodox Christianity isn't? On another thread, someone asked about those two groups getting back together. There was a list of differences I'd read in a book from an Orthodox perspective, and I'm sure something similar could be written from a Catholic Perspective. But with all those differences, how would a person choose between them? Or, to add a third, I happen to be Anglican, so also am not a sola scriptura Protestant. There may not be thousands, but what makes Anglican or Roman Catholic or Eastern Orthodox claims to truth any better than the other two? I chose Anglican, but maybe only because it was a better fit with my basically Protestant background.

[/quote]

What are the 3 groups? Do there claims have reliable evidence? The only real difference between Orthodox and Catholics is papal authority. Orthodox claim the pope is "first among equals" or papal primacy. Both of these claims can't be considered true after any serious thought.

And with regards to anglicanism, though I could mention the many problems with its protestantism, I don't know why anyone could prefer it when it was started in the most immoral way.


#8

[quote="acarlson, post:4, topic:296601"]
Uhh. . . . excuse me. Are you calling Catholicism a Godless system? On a Catholic forum? Overall, I didn't really understand your post.
QUOTE]
uh yes I did....I said that catholicism is worthless without the living God!! Just like judaism was worthless without the Living God during Moses' time!! wake up to yourself, catholicism isnt God, however it is effective when it is used in conjunction with faith, not without it!

[/quote]


#9

[quote="untruestory, post:1, topic:296601"]
So that you understand where I'm coming from I'm a practicing Catholic. I'm open to truth but thoroughly convinced in what I now know. I'm simply asking to try and understand the protestant perspective.
How do you define "true" Christianity?
With the hundreds (if not thousands) of interpretations of what constitutes true Christianity all claiming authority and truth from the bible with divine guidance from the Holy Spirit what makes your claim to truth any different from your incorrect protestant brethren?
Peace and love

[/quote]

quite simply true bible based christianity is whatever they subscribe to individually and that's it. They are 100% right and 100% saved and everyone else is varying degrees of wrong.


#10

Just to provide you with an alternative answer:

I don’t. Given that it is in the nature of humans to fail, I consider it highly unlikely that any Christianity practised by humans is “true” Christianity. I also believe God to be wise enough to be able to cope with our failures there.

With the hundreds (if not thousands) of interpretations of what constitutes true Christianity all claiming authority and truth from the bible with divine guidance from the Holy Spirit what makes your claim to truth any different from your incorrect protestant brethren?
Peace and love

Our clergy have better clothes. :stuck_out_tongue:

Actually, what I appreciate most about Anglicanism is its willingness to acknowledge its own fallibility: collectively, we are not “making a claim to truth” so much as we are trying to understand what is true.


#11

[quote="acarlson, post:4, topic:296601"]

You never did answer the question posed by the OP and instead posed your own, seemingly to distract the thread. Maybe you should start a new thread to have your own questions answered.

[/quote]

I wasn't trying to distract the thread; I thought my question was on topic--what makes one church's claims to truth different from another church's claim when they use the same criteria, whether Bible alone or some other set. But maybe you're right that my question belongs elsewhere, and probably not in this forum. Not being Catholic, this is the only one I've hung out at, but maybe apologetics would be a better fit.


#12

I. Matthew 16:18-19 / Isaiah 22:22

"And I tell you, you are Peter, and on this rock I will build my church, and the powers of death shall not prevail against it. I will give you the keys of the kingdom of heaven, and whatever you bind on earth shall be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven."

"And I will place on his shoulder the key of the house of David; he shall open, and none shall shut; and he shall shut, and none shall open."

Most Protestants believe that "church" refers to the mass of Christian believers throughout the world, loosely connected to each other by their faith in the Bible alone. But these verses demonstrate that the "Church" Jesus Christ founded is not an invisible body of loosely-connected believers, but a visible and hierarchical institution built upon the person of Peter, who was given supreme authority, an office for dynastic succession, and the gift of infallibility. This Church can only be the One, Holy, Catholic and Apostolic Church.

In these verses, we see the following. First, Jesus builds His Church (“ecclesia”) upon the person of Peter. As we learned in the previous link on The Church, Jesus changes Simon's name to "Kepha," and says that on this "Kepha" He will build the Church. Kepha, in Aramaic (the language Jesus spoke), means a massive rock formation, and Jesus' use of Kepha to rename Peter signifies Peter's foundational leadership in the Church. (See also Mark 3:16 and John 1:42 where Jesus renames Simon "Cephas" which is a transliteration of the Aramaic "Kepha."). Only the Catholic Church recognizes and proves through an unbroken lineage of successors that her foundation is Peter.

Mr John Salza explains this topic best.


#13

I do believe in the sufficiency of Scripture alone to be the sole guide for Christian faith and living. However, this does not mean that all "Bible alone" Christians are going to come to precisely the same conclusions on every doctrinal matter. The Holy Spirit is our Teacher and He direct each person according to the measure of faith they have been granted. What unites believers is just that - we BELIEVE that Christ alone has provided a sufficient substitutionary atonement for our sins. Thus, we enjoy an intimate relationship with Him. Therefore we find our unity IN CHRIST, not in church or denomination. This is why I believe that although Roman Catholicisim skews the central issue of Justification, it is still possible for folks in the RCC to personally know the risen Christ.

Many people in the RCC seem to think that Catholicism is some kind of monolith, when in reality it is as multi-faceted as one could imagine. I could ask 100 Catholics their views on "infallible" or non-negotiable doctrines the RCC teaches and get 100 very different answers. I know this because I've tried it over the last 4 years. Yet, Catholics as a whole tend to still bring up the idea that Sola Scriptura results in thousands of denominations and no one can be sure that their interpretation is correct. Well, anyone who chooses to involve yourself in Catholicism has made a fallible decision which is subject to err. People will always be fallible. Mormonism also claims to have an "infallible" church which is why they cannot be wrong on any doctrinal matter....supposedly.

I have chosen to reject the claims of the RCC church mainly because they believe it is Jesus PLUS the sacremental system = salvation...albeit your still found in a state of grace at that point. One can simply bounce in and out of salvation based on the fact that if they commit a mortal sin, they have lost their state of grace. This is not the gospel. The Gospel is based not on what we do but on what Jesus Christ has DONE for us. Hence our life's testimony will show Who we belong to. So, the good works we do stem from and testify to the true saving faith we have. The works themselves never save us - God's grace through faith in Jesus Christ alone does.

This is the HUGE folly of Catholicism as I see it - it's not Jesus plus anything, rather it's Jesus plus nothing.


#14

[quote="narrow_path, post:13, topic:296601"]
The works themselves never save us - God's grace through faith in Jesus Christ alone does.

[/quote]

James 2:24

"You see that a man is justified by works and not by faith alone."

Study Sacred Scripture first instead of making your own interpretation.


#15

[quote="untruestory, post:5, topic:296601"]
jrtrent: do you feel your comment is somehow helpful?

[/quote]

Sorry. As I explained in my response to acarlson, I thought it was on topic as it related to how a church validates its claims to truth against competing churches' claims. I'll drop it.

Your original question is a good one. I'm no longer a sola scriptura Protestant because I don't have a good answer to it. As both child and adult, I've had long exposure to various denominations (Presbyterian, Baptist, Lutheran, Methodist), and they are all filled with people honestly, sincerely seeking to serve God to the best of their ability and in the way they think God desires. The list of Orthodox/Catholic differences I posted previously comes from the book Orthodoxy and Heterodoxy, and its author agrees with the Roman Catholic characterization of sola scriptura as really meaning, "every man his own pope." His answer is that the various Protestant denominations aren't really sola scriptura, but that each interprets scripture through the lens of its own tradition, following their own teachers in the faith.

I was listening to an old "Our Life in Christ" podcast in the car yesterday, and their contention was that the heresies the early church contended against were all based on sola scriptura thinking, rather than adhering to the teachings of the church. In the series of books on the Nicene and Post-Nicene Fathers edited by Philip Schaff, the historical introduction to the Council of Nice makes this observation:

"The editor, however, ventures to call the attention of the reader to the fact that in this, as in every other of the Seven Ecumenical Councils, the question the Fathers considered was not what they supposed Holy Scripture might mean, nor what they, from à priori arguments, thought would be consistent with the mind of God, but something entirely different, to wit, what they had received. They understood their position to be that of witnesses, not that of exegetes. They recognized but one duty resting upon them in this respect—to hand down to other faithful men that good thing the Church had received according to the command of God. The first requirement was not learning, but honesty. The question they were called upon to answer was not, What do I think probable, or even certain, from Holy Scripture? but, What have I been taught, what has been intrusted to me to hand down to others?"


#16

[quote="mynamesjoe, post:7, topic:296601"]
What are the 3 groups? Do there claims have reliable evidence? The only real difference between Orthodox and Catholics is papal authority. Orthodox claim the pope is "first among equals" or papal primacy. Both of these claims can't be considered true after any serious thought.

[/quote]

Absolutely untrue. There are plenty of differences besides the papal claims.


#17

JOHN653 - James is reiterating what Paul teaches. Are you saying that you believe they contradict one another? James is saying we are saved by the KIND OF FAITH that produces good works. So, the good works prepared for us beforehand will be manifest in the life of a true convert to Christ. He’s not saying that he disagrees with Paul and believes that we’re justified by works. Rather, he’s placing the emphasis on the fact that true saving faith will have good works to accompany it.


#18

Distinguish between the “works” James taught about in James 2:24 and the “works of the law” Saint Paul taught about in Rom. 3:20,28; Gal. 2:16,21; 3:2,5,10; and Eph. 2:8-9. Protestants generally confuse James’ “good works” from Paul’s “works of the law” when they attempt to prove that “works” are irrelevant to justification and salvation. The “works of the law” Paul taught about in Ephesians 2:8-9 and elsewhere referred to the Mosaic law and their legal system that made God obligated to reward them for their works. They would thus “boast” about their works by attributing their works to themselves. Cf. Rom. 4:2; Eph. 2:9. Saint Paul taught that, with the coming of Christ, the Mosaic (moral, legal, and ceremonial) law which made God a debtor to us no longer justified a person. Instead, Paul taught that we are now justified and saved by grace (not legal obligation) through faith (not works of law). Eph. 2:5,8. Hence, we no longer “boast” by attributing our works to ourselves. We attribute them to God who gives everything to us freely by His grace.

Therefore, we are no longer required to fulfill the “works of law,” but to fulfill the “law of Christ” Gal. 6:2. This is why Paul writes that the “doers of the law (of Christ)” will be justified. Rom. 2:13. Of course, the “works of the law” Paul wrote about in Rom. 3:20,28; Gal. 2:16,21; 3:2,5,10 and Eph. 2:8-9 have nothing to do with the “good works” James is teaching in James 2:24 or the “law” Paul is teaching about in Rom. 2:13 (because they are part of the same Word of God which can never contradict itself).

In summary, based on the Scriptures, the Church has taught for 2,000 years that we are justified and saved by the grace and mercy of Christ through both faith and works, and not faith alone. We are no longer in a legal system of debt where God owes us (creditor/debtor). We are now in a system of grace where God rewards our works when done with faith in Christ (Father/child). This also means that we must continue to exercise our faith and works to the end of our lives in order to be saved. This is why Jesus told us to “endure to the end” to be saved. Matthew 10:22; 24:13; Mark 13:13. This is also why Saint Paul warned us that we could even lose our salvation if we did not persevere. cf. Romans 11:20-23; 1 Corinthians 9:27. This Catholic belief contradicts the novel Protestant notion of “once saved, always saved.”**


#19

[quote="narrow_path, post:13, topic:296601"]
I do believe in the sufficiency of Scripture alone to be the sole guide for Christian faith and living. However, this does not mean that all "Bible alone" Christians are going to come to precisely the same conclusions on every doctrinal matter. . . What unites believers is just that - we BELIEVE that Christ alone has provided a sufficient substitutionary atonement for our sins. Thus, we enjoy an intimate relationship with Him. Therefore we find our unity IN CHRIST, not in church or denomination.

[/quote]

Thank you; that's very helpful. I know there are degrees of inclusiveness out there; for example, the Anglican church I attend allows anyone baptized via the Trinitarian formula to partake of holy communion, though LCMS Lutherans would not, and WELS Lutherans won't participate in prayer led by someone outside their denomination. However, a Lutheran would still acknowledge a Presbyterian to be a Christian, even with errors in doctrine. Catholics extend the same courtesy, "All who have been justified by faith in Baptism are incorporated into Christ; they therefore have a right to be called Christians, and with good reason are accepted as brothers in the Lord by the children of the Catholic Church." (Catholic Catechism 818)


#20

[quote="John653, post:18, topic:296601"]
Distinguish between the "works" James taught about in James 2:24 and the "works of the law" Saint Paul taught about in Rom. 3:20,28; Gal. 2:16,21; 3:2,5,10; and Eph. 2:8-9. Protestants generally confuse James' "good works" from Paul's "works of the law" when they attempt to prove that "works" are irrelevant to justification and salvation. The "works of the law" Paul taught about in Ephesians 2:8-9 and elsewhere referred to the Mosaic law and their legal system that made God obligated to reward them for their works. They would thus “boast” about their works by attributing their works to themselves. Cf. Rom. 4:2; Eph. 2:9. Saint Paul taught that, with the coming of Christ, the Mosaic (moral, legal, and ceremonial) law which made God a debtor to us no longer justified a person. Instead, Paul taught that we are now justified and saved by grace (not legal obligation) through faith (not works of law). Eph. 2:5,8. Hence, we no longer “boast” by attributing our works to ourselves. We attribute them to God who gives everything to us freely by His grace.

Therefore, we are no longer required to fulfill the “works of law,” but to fulfill the “law of Christ” Gal. 6:2. This is why Paul writes that the “doers of the law (of Christ)” will be justified. Rom. 2:13. Of course, the “works of the law” Paul wrote about in Rom. 3:20,28; Gal. 2:16,21; 3:2,5,10 and Eph. 2:8-9 have nothing to do with the “good works” James is teaching in James 2:24 or the “law” Paul is teaching about in Rom. 2:13 (because they are part of the same Word of God which can never contradict itself).

In summary, based on the Scriptures, the Church has taught for 2,000 years that we are justified and saved by the grace and mercy of Christ through both faith and works, and not faith alone. We are no longer in a legal system of debt where God owes us (creditor/debtor). We are now in a system of grace where God rewards our works when done with faith in Christ (Father/child). This also means that we must continue to exercise our faith and works to the end of our lives in order to be saved. This is why Jesus told us to "endure to the end" to be saved. Matthew 10:22; 24:13; Mark 13:13. This is also why Saint Paul warned us that we could even lose our salvation if we did not persevere. cf. Romans 11:20-23; 1 Corinthians 9:27. This Catholic belief contradicts the novel Protestant notion of "once saved, always saved."**

[/quote]

You lost me in the last paragraph where you are substituting one system of works necessary for salvation (Law of Moses) to be saved (which no one was ever saved by) for another (Law of Christ). Could you explain that if we are not in a creditor/debtor relationship that is by grace, how then are works necessary for the salvation? Because that would mean God owes us our salvation because we did something to earn it and are then owed it. When you stand before the throne will you rely on your works or Gods grace and mercy? Grace by definition is UN-merited favor. How can you merit something that cannot be merited?

The works we do have been prepared beforehand by Christ. His grace provokes the faith within us to do these works. They bring glory and honor to Him. We do receive a crown of glory based on our works but we are saved apart from this.


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