Where were all the TRUE Christians (TM) for 1500 years?


#1

I’m not Catholic but I’m having this debate on another BB and I can not get a Protestant to give me a satisfactory answer. I’ve never really been able to get an anti-Catholic Christian to answer this question for me, since I started asking several years ago.

Many Protestants over the years have considered the Catholic Church “The Whore of Babylon” the Pope “The Anti-Christ” and I know several people IRL and some who claim that Catholics are not even Christians.

However, after the death of Christ, the Catholic Church (and Orthodox) was the only game in town until Martin Luther posted his 95 thesis on a door and that was in the late 1400’s. If you read the history of Martin Luther you will find that he venerated Mary and even believed in her perpetual virginity as did many of the Protestant Reformers. He believed in the Real Presence of Christ during Holy Communion etc which are now held to uniquely Catholic beliefs.

So where were all these “true Christians” for all these years? Was there no Christianity from the time of say Penecost until around 1500? If Catholicism isn’t truly Christian, then how did Christianity get spread over Europe and the Americas?


#2

[quote=RENMom]I’m not Catholic but I’m having this debate on another BB and I can not get a Protestant to give me a satisfactory answer. I’ve never really been able to get an anti-Catholic Christian to answer this question for me, since I started asking several years ago.

Many Protestants over the years have considered the Catholic Church “The Whore of Babylon” the Pope “The Anti-Christ” and I know several people IRL and some who claim that Catholics are not even Christians.

However, after the death of Christ, the Catholic Church (and Orthodox) was the only game in town until Martin Luther posted his 95 thesis on a door and that was in the late 1400’s. If you read the history of Martin Luther you will find that he venerated Mary and even believed in her perpetual virginity as did many of the Protestant Reformers. He believed in the Real Presence of Christ during Holy Communion etc which are now held to uniquely Catholic beliefs.

So where were all these “true Christians” for all these years? Was there no Christianity from the time of say Penecost until around 1500? If Catholicism isn’t truly Christian, then how did Christianity get spread over Europe and the Americas?
[/quote]

You have raised good questions, and actually aswered many of them.

Don’t accept their attacks. It is on their shoulders to prove their point, not to make you do all the work to try and prove them in error.

There are lots of history references…
***Triumph ***is recent,
***Eusebius ***is old
History of Christianity by Warren Carroll is already 4 vols long
Works on the Church Fathers are abundant

But just suppose that their “church” was as old as the Catholic Church… so what. Only the Catholic Church was founded by Christ. Matthew 16:18 “… and upon this rock** I **will build my church…” No version of scripture (including theirs) has a plural churches.


#3

You raise some good points, although I if I recall Martin Luther posted his thesis in 1517, not the late 1400s. Minor detail.

Newadvent.org is a great website to learn the history of the Church. It is a Catholic Encyclopedia where one can find the biographies and stories of all the popes and saints. I would suggest going there and researching the doctors of the Church, i.e. St. Augustine, St. Anselm, and St. Thomas Aquinas. You will find that what they say is still prominant in the Church today.

The best way to debate with these people is patience and kindness. I’ve debated many times on the history of the church, and I have found that I can get nowhere if I treat them like they sometimes treat me. Remember, you can’t treat a jerk like a jerk, because then YOU’RE the jerk.

Like the previous poster said, the burden of proof lies with them. Arm yourself with facts, and remember to be patient.


#4

You raise some good points, although I if I recall Martin Luther posted his thesis in 1517, not the late 1400s. Minor detail.

Newadvent.org is a great website to learn the history of the Church. It is a Catholic Encyclopedia where one can find the biographies and stories of all the popes and saints. I would suggest going there and researching the doctors of the Church, i.e. St. Augustine, St. Anselm, and St. Thomas Aquinas. You will find that what they say is still prominant in the Church today.

The best way to debate with these people is patience and kindness. I’ve debated many times on the history of the church, and I have found that I can get nowhere if I treat them like they sometimes treat me. Remember, you can’t treat a jerk like a jerk, because then YOU’RE the jerk.

Like the previous poster said, the burden of proof lies with them. Arm yourself with facts, and remember to be patient.


#5

You raise some good points, although I if I recall Martin Luther posted his thesis in 1517, not the late 1400s. Minor detail.

You are absolutely correct and as a former Lutheran and someone with a BA in History, I should be completely embarrassed. :o
Anyhoo, here is an example of an “answer” I am getting (I hope I’m not breaking any rules) How on earth is this an answer to my question? I really feel like beating my head against the wall here. Now I may just be a stay at home soccer mom but does this really answer my question?

**Sola Scriptura… Only Scripture
Solus Christus… Only Christ
Sola Gratia… Only Grace
Sola Fide… Only Faith
Soli Deo Gloria…Only the glory of God

These are the five “Solas” of the reformation. It is here that the majority of present day Christian doctrine comes from.

It clearly EXCLUDES works and the pope**


#6

Their beliefs do exclude works, Catholic belief does not because the Bible does not exclude works.
It is not Romans or James, (pick one) it is Romans and James. They do not contradict each other but compliment each other.

Faith without works is dead. James 2:14-26
We cannot earn our way into heaven either. Romans says this.
We cannot ignore love either.
“Faith hope and love” What is the greatest? 1 Corinthians 13:13

So we cannot as Catholics believe in Faith Alone an intellectual assent wont save us. Even Demons believe.

You have to exclude the Pope if you are going to reject the authority of the Catholic Church and start your own Church. Having my own Church is incompatible with having a Pope since now I am my own authority in my own unity.

This all can be justified by affirming a belief in Sola Scriptura, you set your own interpretation for your own point of view, depending on the founder of your church.

But I am not completely sure what is your question, unless I just answered it? :slight_smile:

In Christ
Scylla


#7

Wait a sec, boy am I dumb…

Your question is where were all the true Christians for 1500 years…? Is that right?

This is an easy answer and easily provable. Kinda a hard answer if you ignore history and rely on your own intepretation of the Bible.

Seek the truth and trust in God.

I suggest you look at early Christian writings and trace their beliefs.
Ignatius of Antioch, Clement of Rome, etc…

All Christians before the reformation were pretty much Catholic or Orthodox. This is what leads many people to the Catholic Church, they just look at the early Christians and find a continuity of belief. You will find most of the new denominations are attempts to return to early Christianity, by using the Bible Alone which keeps making more denominations.

God Bless
Scylla


#8

I’ve always wondered how people justified that to themselves. It’s as though all of Christian history ceased between the deaths of the Apostles until Martin Luther. What do other churches teach happened during this time? Or, do they just ignore it?


#9

[quote=scylla]Wait a sec, boy am I dumb…

Your question is where were all the true Christians for 1500 years…? Is that right?

This is an easy answer and easily provable. Kinda a hard answer if you ignore history and rely on your own intepretation of the Bible.

Seek the truth and trust in God.

I suggest you look at early Christian writings and trace their beliefs.
Ignatius of Antioch, Clement of Rome, etc…

[/quote]

Hi! I already know there were Christians before Martin Luther. What I am getting at is that anti-Catholics don’t seem to be able to or want to answer this question honestly. They seem to dance in circles around it. Either there were no Christians from the time of say, Paul until Martin Luther or Catholics are indeed Christians. Now you know and I know, the answer. I just don’t understand why so many Protestants can’t seem to figure it out.

Does that make better sense? :slight_smile:


#10

[quote=RENMom]Hi! I already know there were Christians before Martin Luther. What I am getting at is that anti-Catholics don’t seem to be able to or want to answer this question honestly. They seem to dance in circles around it. Either there were no Christians from the time of say, Paul until Martin Luther or Catholics are indeed Christians. Now you know and I know, the answer. I just don’t understand why so many Protestants can’t seem to figure it out.

Does that make better sense? :slight_smile:
[/quote]

Exactly!! The reason why they can’t/won’t answer it is because they don’t like the only possible answer. How could they be right and we be wrong if they have to answer the question. So they dance, and smokescreen, and try to make you sound like you you have a screw loose for even asking the question.

Arlene


#11

I don’t understand it either, it might be for some of them that they are encouraged to have faith without thinking about it.

Many people are taught to just have faith, thinking about it or looking into it is bad, because you are then possibly doubting. Or it might be that people do not want to get out of their comfort zone so they don’t even want to consider anything else, they found Jesus in this church they are in, why should they even look into others?

This is part of the problem with people today they are taught what is true to them is true. Their own opinion makes their own truth and that is just as valid as someone elses opinion.

I got into a conversation with my brother about this he attends a fundamentalist type church and he said, "I don’t care about history, I just need the Bible that is the truth.

They are so ingrained in thinking that the only truth is the Bible that it doesn’t matter that there are other interpretations, they have the truth on what matters.

God Bless
Scylla


#12

I am working on a BA in history, so I guess we have something in common.

Much like you, I cannot see the origins of these things, other than that Luther made them up. Protestants have found a few obscure passages in scripture to allegedly justify these things. They tend to use a verse or two, take it out of the context it is in, and present as the most important passage in the entire bible. Using this philosophy is how we now have 30,000 different Christian faiths, each who interpret scripture differently, all claiming to interpret it correctly.

When I ask a Protestant exactly where the origins of the Solas are, they usually answer with something completely irrelavent, like “Catholics slaughtered 100 millon people during the Inquisition.”(which is rediculous, and not true) Not only did Jesus not speak of these things, but none of the church fathers did.

So, to answer your questions, there were very good Christians before 1500, they were part of the Catholic Church, the same one where we can find many good Christians today.


#13

Protestants can and do refer to the alternative view that the Church is, and always has been, invisible. In fact, no churches can claim that they are directly from Christ unless they do claim it was invisible. It is impossible for us to disprove their logic, how can one disprove the existence of invisible people?

However this leaves them with two dilemma’s:

  1. How is one supposed to spread the gospel if the Church is invisible.

  2. The apostles and all other members were part of an early visible Church. This is fact and recorded in the bible. Epistles were sent between various physical Churches. The claim that the Church is invisible would imply a failure of these original churches.

HOWEVER, there is the alternative view that the Catholic Church WAS the one true Church but slumped into rot, and we needed Luther to reform us.

  1. Id like to see them argue how God would allow his Church to fail.

  2. If the Church had failed who is to say that Luther was right, Calvin etc… and thus we have the infamous 30,000 number of protestants sects.

Im not sure if you yourself are protestant or not, youve listed your religion as undecided, but your question is one of the fundamental reasons so many protestants reject the notion of a “reformation” and embrace Catholicism. Christ gave the keys to Peter, im not sure i remember the clause “until” in the sentence.

In Christ.

Andre.


#14

Where were they? One Protestant answer (though they don’t word it in quite this manner :slight_smile: ) is that they were masquerading as various bands of heretics.


#15

They were in the back of the church listening to their ipods. :wink: But really, I think this all part of trying to understand a different time and culture in the light of today’s time and culture. It is kind of hard to admit an authority and truth, when everything is relative in today’s culture. Besides, shopping the catalog of protestant faiths is so much more rewarding than just going for that old generic catholic brand. There’s no need to go to class mass, or listen to the professors of the church, when you can get it all out of the book. Doesn’t it even say if you really get it, you might not even have to take the Big Exam? And another thing, those catholics don’t even have a gymnasium or game room at their church. Why, there are at least three protestant churches in town that do. :smiley:


#16

[quote=RENMom]I’m not Catholic but I’m having this debate on another BB and I can not get a Protestant to give me a satisfactory answer. I’ve never really been able to get an anti-Catholic Christian to answer this question for me, since I started asking several years ago.

Many Protestants over the years have considered the Catholic Church “The Whore of Babylon” the Pope “The Anti-Christ” and I know several people IRL and some who claim that Catholics are not even Christians.

However, after the death of Christ, the Catholic Church (and Orthodox) was the only game in town until Martin Luther posted his 95 thesis on a door and that was in the late 1400’s. If you read the history of Martin Luther you will find that he venerated Mary and even believed in her perpetual virginity as did many of the Protestant Reformers. He believed in the Real Presence of Christ during Holy Communion etc which are now held to uniquely Catholic beliefs.

So where were all these “true Christians” for all these years? Was there no Christianity from the time of say Penecost until around 1500? If Catholicism isn’t truly Christian, then how did Christianity get spread over Europe and the Americas?
[/quote]

The simple one word answer is PRIDE. a Pride that blinds them so much that won’t it let them see we are Good christians. But a pride that has blinded them so much they won’t or can’t admit that we are even Christians.


#17

[quote=soccerDad] And another thing, those catholics don’t even have a gymnasium or game room at their church. Why, there are at least three protestant churches in town that do. :smiley:
[/quote]

The Catholic churches around here have gyms but they all have schools too. :wink: However, I was at one time a notorious Church Shopper and visited a non-denom fundie type church and instead of children going to church this was their Sunday School program: You drop your kids off in the Kidzone which consisted of a huge room with fuzball, skeeball and videogames (which cost money which I didn’t know so my sons just kind of stood around) then they had children’s “Church” which consisted of putting 100 kids between 1-5 grade in a huge room and having them watch Veggie Tale type movies for 90 minutes and a little snack. Now everyone I know who goes to this church told me how great their youth program was and how much their kids loved it. Honestly, I was appalled. My kids could have stayed home and played GameCube and watched a movie. :rolleyes:

But I digress.


#18

[quote=soccerDad]They were in the back of the church listening to their ipods. :wink: But really, I think this all part of trying to understand a different time and culture in the light of today’s time and culture. It is kind of hard to admit an authority and truth, when everything is relative in today’s culture. Besides, shopping the catalog of protestant faiths is so much more rewarding than just going for that old generic catholic brand. There’s no need to go to class mass, or listen to the professors of the church, when you can get it all out of the book. Doesn’t it even say if you really get it, you might not even have to take the Big Exam? And another thing, those catholics don’t even have a gymnasium or game room at their church. Why, there are at least three protestant churches in town that do. :smiley:
[/quote]

uh… lots of what you said is true… but, our Catholic church has a gym, and handball courts… and showers… and BINGO!!!.. lol

:slight_smile:


#19

Wow, where do you folks live? There are no Catholic churches with these recreational amenities here in Virginia. There are a few catholic schools with small gyms though. Sorry I’m off topic now.


#20

[quote=RENMom]I’m not Catholic but I’m having this debate on another BB and I can not get a Protestant to give me a satisfactory answer. I’ve never really been able to get an anti-Catholic Christian to answer this question for me, since I started asking several years ago.

Many Protestants over the years have considered the Catholic Church “The Whore of Babylon” the Pope “The Anti-Christ” and I know several people IRL and some who claim that Catholics are not even Christians.

However, after the death of Christ, the Catholic Church (and Orthodox) was the only game in town until Martin Luther posted his 95 thesis on a door and that was in the late 1400’s. If you read the history of Martin Luther you will find that he venerated Mary and even believed in her perpetual virginity as did many of the Protestant Reformers. He believed in the Real Presence of Christ during Holy Communion etc which are now held to uniquely Catholic beliefs.

So where were all these “true Christians” for all these years? Was there no Christianity from the time of say Penecost until around 1500? If Catholicism isn’t truly Christian, then how did Christianity get spread over Europe and the Americas?
[/quote]

Why are you not Catholic? :wink:


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