Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Discuss: Catholics and Protestants - Why the distinction?

In a previous comment, someone asked the question:

isn't that (Catholicism) another denomination of Christianity?

also...

why is it always Catholic and everything else...instead of another denomination of Christianity?

These are great questions. I think what is at the heart of these questions is a true desire to know and understand why the line is drawn between Catholicism and Protestantism. Sure, there are lines drawn between various Protestant denominations, but there is a true and undeniable distinction between Catholics and Protestants. This distinction sometimes leads people to believe that one or the other, or perhaps even both, are not Christian at all.

The point of this discussion is to talk about why is there such a distinction. Why is it always Catholics and everyone else? To kick things off, I would like to start by offering a possible explanation...

The term Protestant literally means, someone who protests. Well, what is a Protestant protesting against? Protestants are actually people who protest against the Catholic Church. In one way or another, they do not accept the teachings of the Catholic Church. As a matter of fact, most Protestants denominations, identify themselves as to how much or how little their belief system aligns with the belief system of the Catholic Church. The Catholic Church is the standard that many denominations measure against. For that reason, the comparison is always Catholics and Protestants, as oppose to Baptists and Catholics, when talking about Christianity.

Thoughts?


51 comments:

Willison said...

I think there are several reasons for Catholicism to be singled out. Carlus is right that the entire category of "Protestant" means someone "in protest" with Rome. For that reason, the founding documents of many major Christian denominations are explanations of why they are not Catholic and / or why Catholics are wrong. So that carries through time.
I also think size plays a role. 3/4 of Christianity is Catholic and the remaining 1/4 is divided among 20,000 to 30,000 other denominations. One of these is clearly not like the others! So it tends to cause it to be singled out.
Another reason is that while there certainly are differences significant enough to cause 20,000 to 30,000 denominations splitting off from each other, the vast majority share some basic principals that unite them - sometimes called the pillars of the reformation - like each person should interpret the Bible for themself and that the authority of the denomination is secondary to that interpretation (ironically also the source of their never-ending divisions). That gives them some common ground from which to unite against "Big Brother" who teaches the opposite.
And of course, the Catholics make some claims no one else does: Our history goes all the way back to Jesus' commands to the apostles, not a reformer. On doctrinal matters of faith we speak once and the issue is forever closed after that. We have a Pope - a clearly defined role for a human to be in charge of the pilgrim Church on Earth. Etc. Etc. No one else claims such things, so it is either correct or crazy - another reason one of these is not like the others.
Finally, I happen to believe Catholicism is the Church Christ established on Earth. As the bride of Christ, she cannot expect anything other being isolated and attacked. And because she is the bride of Christ, she continues to be blessed to thrive and expand in spite of those attacks.

Weston said...

Our history goes all the way back to Jesus' commands to the apostles, not a reformer.

There's a lot of bias and an air of superiority in your words, but I react most strongly to this statement. Jesus established the Kingdom of God on Earth in the hearts and minds of men. Jesus said in Matthew 18:20,
"For where two or three come together in my name, there am I with them." He didn't say, two or three, but make sure that a properly ordained Catholic priest is present. Believers from outside the Catholic tradition are still part of the Church of Jesus Christ. Our charter comes from Christ just like yours does. Martin Luther may have been the catalyst for change, but in no way did he create anything that did not stem from the root of Christ.

triednotfried said...

First of all, again, I don't think there is an air of anything. I think people who are sure of what they believe can come across that way, but they are just sure in what they believe. I know alot of protestant brothers and sisters that sound pretty pompous assish in their assessment of the belief system therefore calling Catholics such things as heretical etc.

"The point of this discussion is to talk about why is there such a distinction."

I listening on this part, and reading right now, but to not call Catholics Christians is like not calling the United States, America. Yes the beliefs are different etc, but let's compare Baptists to Lutherans to Presbyterians to Methodists to Non-Denominational, to (fill in the blank) Do people want to look at these doctrines, pick them apart and declare them non-Christian? Because I guarantee there will be things that are "not what Jesus taught" in those as well.... just sayin'

Paul and Christy said...

I think it is interesting that as some churches move further from the truth(ie. Anglican's), those who want to remain faithful to Christ's truth ask to be reunited with the Catholic Church. The new apostolic constitution will allow for Anglican dioceses to become fully in communion with the Catholic Church while retaining much of their liturgy and spirituality. I also read that there were prayers for the intercession of St. Therese of Lisieux by the Anglican bishops for this reunification.

Willison said...

There's a lot of bias and an air of superiority in your words, but I react most strongly to this statement.

Wes, you can be offended if you choose but if you re-read what I wrote, I said that one of the reasons Catholics are seperated out from protestants is that it makes claims that no other denomination makes like the claim that it goes all the way back to Jesus' instructions to the Apostles. Then I wrote that such a claim is either correct or crazy so people divide over those who think it is correct and those who think its crazy.
Thanks for illustrating my point. One of the reasons it often comes down to "Catholic or Protestant" is the very reaction you just demonstrated. If you don't believe it's true (like you don't) it is perceived as being offensive (and you are offended).

Weston said...

Willison, I'm not offended. (It takes quite a bit more than that to offend me.) No, it's just that that particular line spurred me to comment more than the rest did.

It's not that I disagree with the idea that the Catholic Church has a charter that originates with Jesus Christ Himself. I fully support that idea. However, I take issue with the Catholics that claim that they have exclusive rights to that charter. If you aren't one of those people, then I misunderstood what you wrote, and I'm sorry.

I don't quite understand the "true or crazy" mantra that I keep running into. Can you explain to me why it has to be one or the other? There are plenty of ideas that are not crazy, i.e. perfectly plausible, yet very much incorrect.

fisherwoman said...

I protest that Mary is not a mediator between God and man, but only the Lord Jesus Christ. (1 Tim. 2: 5)

I protest that Mary was free from any stain of sin . Rom. 5: 12

I protest that Mary became the cause of salvation for herslef and for the whle human race (St. Irenaeus)Acts 4: 12

I protest that unless we enter or remain in the Catholic church, "men could not be saved" Rom. 10: 13

I protest that Muslims are saved simply because they acknowledge a Creator. Jn. 14:6

I protest that we merit for ourselves and for others all the graces needed to attain eternal life. Eph. 2: 8,9

Carlus Henry said...

Everyone,

I am sure that you are all wondering why in the world did I allow fisherwoman to post what she posted.

Well, fisherwoman and I have been having a conversation on another post, that was going no where fast. I invited her to post on a more relevant topic, in hopes that our conversation would go better...

fisherwoman,

The same rules apply. All of these things are worth blog posts on their own, and they are worthy discussions to have. At the same time.....remember the doctrinal dance....

Doctrinal dance is when someone challenges about more than one doctrinal statement or belief at a time. They are not good for discussion and, frankly, I am not going to respond to any of it, and I don't expect anyone else to respond to it either...

If you want to discuss something in particular, that is great. But within the context of this discussion, I think you could have made your point easily by saying that there are some teachings of the Church that you disagree with.

God bless...

Paul and Christy said...

Fisherwoman,

Do you also protest the Bible, the Trinity, and the Divinity of Christ?

The Church witnesses to the fullness of the Truth, not just the Truth we are comfortable with or the Truth we understand.

The Church can do no other and continue be faithful to it's spouse, Christ.

pb

Weston said...

P&C, your argument doesn't seem to fit.

Fisherwoman gave 6 examples of currently held beliefs (are all those examples really representative of actual Catholic beliefs? I wasn't aware that the CC believed some of them.) and then listed a verse from the Bible that appears to strongly contradict each particular belief.

If Fisherwoman did not believe in the Bible, the Trinity, and the Divinity of Christ, why else would she challenge those 6 beliefs? In each case, her argument is drawn straight from the Bible. You might question the interpretation of the verses in question, but you cannot insinuate that she's ignoring truth.

Assuming that you believe the Bible contains absolute truth, this is not a case of someone choosing to ignore truths because they are "uncomfortable", as you have implied; rather, this is a case of someone rejecting incorrect ideas because they conflict with the truth found in the Bible. The truth appears to be on her side, because, when you attempt to argue in favor of those beliefs, you'll be arguing against statements in the Bible itself; attempting to explain how the verses don't really mean what they appear to mean.

You are correct when you say it is wrong to deny truth simply because it doesn't suit our purposes, but it is equally wrong to cling to beliefs that are contrary to truth, simply because they fit our understanding or are comfortable.

-----

As a general observation, and I may be overlooking something, there doesn't seem to be many doctrines or practices that the Protestant movement has added to the Catholic tradition since the initial separation; most of the core beliefs and doctrines held by Protestant churches still exist in the Catholic faith. It seems like most of the changes the Protestant Movement made were concerned with removing or "pruning" additional "baggage" that had accumulated over time.

Paul and Christy said...

Weston,

Fisherwoman was protesting things she believes the Catholic Church teaches that are at odds with what she thinks the Bible teaches. My point to her (and you) is that the Church has always taught the Fullness of the Truth and that means taking it all or nothing. If you believe that you or your pastor or your friend is the best interpreter of the Bible, you will take each piece of Catholic theology and pick it apart, using what you believe to be true.

A Catholic, on the other hand, starts with the assumption that Christ actually gave Peter and the Apostles the authority and graces necessary to lead the Church until His return. With those special graces the Holy Spirit led them and their successors to guide the Church as it developed. This led to the canon of the Bible as well as the development of doctrine.

If fisherwoman protested some of the Truth, or doctrine of the Catholic Church, then why didn’t she protest them all? Either the authority is there, or it is not. If it is not, then any doctrine, from the Trinity to the Assumption, should be suspect. Even the authority of the Bible would be suspect. If the authority is there, then it is our understanding that has to change, not the doctrine, and we do not have the luxury of choosing which ones we recognize as Truth.

This is the difference between Catholics and Protestants.

Not to get in to them here, but I would say that most of what fisherwoman posted was either not what the Church teaches or a misunderstanding of the teaching.

pb

Carlus Henry said...

Weston,

Fisherwoman gave 6 examples of currently held beliefs (are all those examples really representative of actual Catholic beliefs? I wasn't aware that the CC believed some of them.)

Some are accurate, while others are a misrepresentation of what Catholics believe.

The truth appears to be on her side, because, when you attempt to argue in favor of those beliefs, you'll be arguing against statements in the Bible itself; attempting to explain how the verses don't really mean what they appear to mean.

I see that we are going to end up discussing some of these items....aren't we...hehehe....

That is okay, I am game.

As a general observation, and I may be overlooking something, there doesn't seem to be many doctrines or practices that the Protestant movement has added to the Catholic tradition since the initial separation;

How about the 5 Solas?

It seems like most of the changes the Protestant Movement made were concerned with removing or "pruning" additional "baggage" that had accumulated over time.

Removing or pruning additional baggage....What we first must honestly determine is if the additional baggage was divinely revealed by God or not. If it was, then no one has the right to remove it.

Tuesday Morning said...

Weston,

Its' all about interpretive authority.

We can cast scripture at each other every day on this blog, but unless there is an authority by/through which someone claims to interpret scripture better than the next person, it's simply...well casting scripture.

I think you've heard enough from the Catholics on where our interpretive authority comes from, but how do you, Weston, discern whether or not you're interpreting scripture properly?

Just as important, isn't there a certain level of faith or trust you're placing in the translators and interpreters for the Bible version you read through every day?

Unless you yourself become versed in all manner of both translating and interpreting source documents, how can you really trust that what you've been reading is an accurate presentation of God's word?

And since those who do both translate and interpret oftentimes can't themselves seem to agree on what is accurate, how can you be certain that what you're reading is correct?

If the answer is personal interpretation, than why has it resulted in so much fragmenting of denominations, and how would you know which church/denomination/individual practicing personal interpretation is correct?

Weston said...

Some are accurate, while others are a misrepresentation of what Catholics believe.

Can you give me a brief rundown of this? i.e. 1=misrepresentation, 2=accurate, etc? At some point I'd like to research these and I don't want to waste time on misrepresentations.

How about the 5 Solas?

I would argue that the 5 Solas did not add anything that was not already present in Catholic beliefs. Here's my thinking:

1. Sola scriptura (by Scripture alone)
The Bible is the ultimate authority on Christian beliefs and contains everything you need to know to be saved. As far as I know, Catholics believe this. Even though they also believe in Sacred Tradition and the Sacred Magisterium, if ever there was a conflict between what a Church leader taught and what the Bible taught, the Bible would win. This puts the Bible in a place of ultimate authority.

2. Sola fide (by faith alone)
Faith is sufficient for salvation. We've talked about this one a lot already. I think the end result was that we agree that nothing other than faith is required, although works are a good indicator of the state of your heart.

3. Sola gratia (by grace alone)
We are saved by God's grace alone. I don't think this idea conflicts with the teaching of the Catholic church.

4. Solo Christo (through Christ alone)
Only Christ is the mediator between God and Man. The idea that Christ is a mediator is still present in Catholic beliefs. The idea that are other mediators, i.e. Mary and the priesthood, is something that is additional. The Protestants didn't introduce a new idea, just curtailed the existing belief.

5. Soli Deo gloria (glory to God alone)
All glory is to be due to God alone. I don't really think there is a disagreement here. True, Protestants don't give glory to humans such as saints, but I don't believe that even Catholics would dare elevate any human to the level of glory given to God.

What we first must honestly determine is if the additional baggage was divinely revealed by God or not. If it was, then no one has the right to remove it.

I wholeheartedly agree. Where the Catholic and Protestant churches disagree is how to "honestly determine".

Carlus Henry said...

Weston,

Can you give me a brief rundown of this? i.e. 1=misrepresentation, 2=accurate, etc? At some point I'd like to research these and I don't want to waste time on misrepresentations.

fisherwoman said:

I protest that Mary is not a mediator between God and man, but only the Lord Jesus Christ. (1 Tim. 2: 5)

This seems to imply that Catholics believe that Mary and Jesus are on the same level. We do not. This would be inaccurate.

I protest that Mary was free from any stain of sin . Rom. 5: 12

This implies that Catholics believe that Mary was without sin. This is true. This is an accurate statement of what we believe.

I protest that Mary became the cause of salvation for herslef and for the whle human race (St. Irenaeus)Acts 4: 12

This is saying that Catholics believe that Mary saved herself and others. This is completely inaccurate.

I protest that unless we enter or remain in the Catholic church, "men could not be saved" Rom. 10: 13

This makes it seem as though Catholics believe that only Catholics are going to go to heaven. This is inaccurate.

I protest that Muslims are saved simply because they acknowledge a Creator. Jn. 14:6

This is implying that Catholics believe that Muslims have an opportunity to go to heaven simply because they acknowledge a Creator. This is completely inaccurate.

I protest that we merit for ourselves and for others all the graces needed to attain eternal life. Eph. 2: 8,9

This statement seems to make the case that Catholics believe that by our own means, we can merit grace for ourselves and for others. This is completely inaccurate.

So, fisherwoman got 1 out of 6 right.

Carlus Henry said...

Weston,

You piqued my interest with the 5 Solas, and if time allows, I would like to discuss this on it's own blog post.

In the meantime...

I would argue that the 5 Solas did not add anything that was not already present in Catholic beliefs.

To begin, if it did not add anything that was already present, we should be able to find in history, where these Five Solas were ever taught. Prior to the Reformation, did the Earliest of Christians believe in Sola Scriptura, for example?

Sola Scriptura
The Bible is the ultimate authority on Christian beliefs and contains everything you need to know to be saved. As far as I know, Catholics believe this.

Catholics believe that it is an authority of the faith. We don't believe that it is the ultimate authority.

Sola Fide
I think the end result was that we agree that nothing other than faith is required, although works are a good indicator of the state of your heart.

Here is a clear example of why Scripture Alone does not work. No where in Scripture does it say that man is saved by faith alone. Except for the section that Martin Luther put in in order to justify his claims (thank goodness that was removed). The only time the words "faith" and "alone" appear together in Scripture is...

ou see that a person is justified by what he does and not by faith alone.James 2:24

I read that as being pretty straightforward. Others would read that and say, "that is not what it really means".

Sola Gratia
This would be the only Sola that Catholics can accept...

Solo Christo (through Christ alone)
What about the Holy Spirit? Doesn't the Holy Spirit play a role in our salvation? What about our parents and our friends that lead us to Christ. Don't they play a role in our salvation as well? Paul tells Timothy to pay close attention to the doctrine so that he (Timothy), may save both himself and his hearers.

The major problem with Sola Christo is that it results in a "Me and Jesus" Christianity. While we are all called to have a relationship with Christ, Christianity was never meant to be individualistic, instead it was communal.

The idea that are other mediators, i.e. Mary and the priesthood, is something that is additional.

It is not additional to the faith, if it was always there. If it was always there as a part of the faith, then it is something that the Protestants removed.

he Protestants didn't introduce a new idea, just curtailed the existing belief.

curtailed....modified....removed....changed.....Either way, we are not the ones that are called to make changes to Divine Revelation. No one can do that.

Sola Gloria
All glory is to be due to God alone. I don't really think there is a disagreement here. True, Protestants don't give glory to humans such as saints, but I don't believe that even Catholics would dare elevate any human to the level of glory given to God.

We would dare not to extend God's glory to a mere human.....Christ did that.

I have given them the glory that you gave me, that they may be one as we are one:John 17:22

This is just a brief overview, and each one of these things would require, and is worthy, of their own conversation. This is why I am tempted not to even address these things in such a brief piece. Instead, maybe we should have the discussion of each on their own merits.

God bless...

Weston said...

...but how do you, Weston, discern whether or not you're interpreting scripture properly?

Tuesday, you're not going to like my answer. By "consensus". That's not quite the right word, but I can't come up with a better one, right now. Let me give you an example to help you understand what I mean.

Unless you've been living under a rock, you've probably been exposed to the media circus that surrounded Michael Jackson's death. I remember the day. Not because I really care about him all that much; more because it demolished the last shred of respect I had for the American media. I was surfing digg.com for amusing headlines when I encountered the announcement that MJ had died. My reaction was "Really? No way." Now, because I don't trust anything coming from digg.com, I decided to look around to get the truth. So I went out to CNN.com, CNBC.com, Foxnews.com, and on and on. Everyone had a radically different story. Some said he had a heart attack, some said he wasn't dead but in the hospital, some declared that he was dead. All of these "trusted" sites were passing off total speculation under the guise of truth. If I had trusted any one of them alone, I would likely have ended up with incorrect information. The only way I could really determine truth was to inspect the facts and sources that these news outlets were going off from. The more hard facts they had; the more I could trust their information. I had to assemble the real truth from the bits and pieces that were available to me.

Contrast this to my dad. My dad thinks that Fox News is the most "fair and balanced" news source in existence. He tends to implicitly trust everything that they say and report. I'm under no such delusions. I have nothing against Fox News in particular, but I recognize that they are just as biased as any other news agency. So, when it's really important that I get the truth, I'm not going to let any one news organization determine my understanding of an issue. I tend to gather information from multiple sources before forming an opinion.

I see the Catholic church like I do Fox News. It's a single source of information; one that proclaims truth, but does so through its own filter of bias and preexisting beliefs. Before you think that I'm attacking the Catholic church on this, I'm not; this is true for any religious organization in existence. Would I let a Protestant church describe what a Catholic church believes? Only if I'm interested in getting only one side of the story.

As far as relying on interpreters and translators for the text of the Bible goes, you're correct; I have no choice but to trust them. However, when a particular verse is called into question, it's useful to put as many translations side-by-side as you can, in order to get a consensus to emerge.

So many people treat "personal interpretation" like a horrible thing that they would never do, yet isn't it personal interpretation to declare, for yourself, that the Catholic church is the authority that you will trust?

Weston said...

Ok, I'll resist responding to your summaries so that we can stay on track, with the hope that maybe we can discuss these in the future.

My point is that at the core, there is not much difference between Catholics and Protestants. Unlike the Mormon faith which is sometimes grouped together as a "Christian" faith. In that case, however, much has been added beyond what Catholics believe and practice.

triednotfried said...

Weston: Always to be one to throw a wrench in things.... sigh... but you said

"The Protestants didn't introduce a new idea, just curtailed the existing belief."

Isn't that introducing something new? Just hear reasoning alot and hoping you can explain the mind frame behind it.

it's kind of like making a batch of Chocolate Chip Cookies and trying to convince someone they are still the same without the chips... on the flip side adding to the Word is like putting a bit of poop in the dough and saying it won't hurt you. When was the scripture written anyway that says not to add or subtract from God's Word... was that before or after the Reformation? Just some stuff I'm pondering...

I agree with you tho... and your synopsis of the five solas.. a bit confused about some of your answers Carlus, I'll be back when I get a sec...

Carlus Henry said...

triednotfried,

MMMmmmm....cookies....

If you could hold the poop, that would be appreciated....hehehe

a bit confused about some of your answers Carlus,

Yeah...that is to be expected. I definitely didn't give a 100% explanation of what Catholics believe. It was written knowing it would probably spark more questions than answers. Each one of those points is worth at least their own blog post, if not it's own book. I am not doing it service with just the short explanation.

God bless...

triednotfried said...

Carlus:

I only use poop when absolutely necessary to make a point... ;-)

So.... are we suppose to discuss the solas or not?

Carlus Henry said...

triednotfried,

We can discuss the Solas.....can we take one at a time?

Tuesday Morning said...

>>Unless you've been living under a rock, you've probably been exposed to the media circus that surrounded Michael Jackson's death.<<

Oi! Not just any circus, but one that would have made the Ringling Brothers jealous.


>>Before you think that I'm attacking the Catholic church on this, I'm not; this is true for any religious organization in existence.<<


It sounds as though you become your own church. This is one of the most difficult aspects of protestantism that I find. It seems to support an individualism (the personal relationship) above all else. Carlus already touched on this, but my sense is that the communal piece is all but dis-regarded.


>>So many people treat "personal interpretation" like a horrible thing that they would never do, yet isn't it personal interpretation to declare, for yourself, that the Catholic church is the authority that you will trust?<<


I see them as markedly different. One is characterized by an approach that seeks to satisfy an expectation. Whether we admit it or not, we all approach scripture with pre-conceived notions that we oftentimes hope will find validation. Whether we're truly understanding God's will or simply what we'd like to hear becomes an entirely subjective exercise (reference the examples I gave in another post of abusing scriptural understanding of marriage, etc...).

The other approach requires a submission of the will that can only be borne from humility. A loving submission or 'fiat' as Catholics might say, perfectly exemplifies God's will. Consider that pride was the first sin of man and to this day remains the centerpiece of all we do wrong. Accepting the Catholic Church as the teaching authority isn’t personal interpretation. It’s accepting a history no less evident from the fact that Mother Theresa walked the earth, served the poor and died. It’s also accepting a lesson from God that runs counter to my desire for being the one in charge, being the one to figure things out, being the one to tell others exactly what God is saying.

I can see how submitting oneself to an 'earthly authority' like the Catholic Church seems ludicrous if one's been taught that 'I' am the best person to decide what scripture really says. But does that foster humility? How does it shape one's character toward accepting a God who will expect us to abandon everything we hold dear for His sake?

Why would God support reading His Word in a manner that only further fragments His church and leads His people not toward a spirit of submission, but one of pride?

Weston said...

Actually, I would say that my approach is more communal. How is there "community" when a group of men, meeting in some far off place, dictate your beliefs?

...Whether we admit it or not, we all approach scripture with pre-conceived notions that we oftentimes hope will find validation...

You're exactly right. However, I believe this applies to even the Pope and the College of Cardinals. They look at scripture with pre-conceived notions, just like everyone else does. In fact, they've got more incentive to maintain the status quo, since their very livelihoods are dependent on it.

I can see how submitting oneself to an 'earthly authority' like the Catholic Church seems ludicrous if one's been taught that 'I' am the best person to decide what scripture really says.

I am definitely not the best person to decide what scripture says. However, at the same time, I'm not willing to declare that some other human is the best person to decide, either.

We are approached by a number of different religions, Christianity, Islam, Hinduism, Mormonism, Scientology, etc, who all say that they are the ultimate authority when it comes to life's questions. "Just trust us; we know better than you." You must make at least one very personal judgment call, that no one else can make for you, when choosing one over the others. Considering that 4 out of 5 religions in that list are incorrect, doesn't it make sense to retain your ability to think for yourself?

For myself, when choosing between Protestant and Catholic faiths, one of them says to me "Hey, we're doing our best to figure out what the truth is. We think we have it correct, but there's always a chance that we don't. If that happens, we'll admit that we were wrong and seek the real answer. You are welcome to join us in helping us discover truth." The other says to me, "We have the answer and it is absolutely impossible that we could ever be wrong. You must accept everything that we tell you. If you disagree, then we'll throw you out of the Church. Have a nice day."

Deborah said...

Ok, how about if we start with Sola Scriptura? From what I have been reading there are four major discrepancies that I can see so I'll just start by listing them if that's ok, along with both sides.

1. Protestants believe that the Scriptures alone are the formal authority and the rule of faith. Our faith should be based on the Bible and nothing else.

Catholics believe in Solum Verbum Dei, meaning the Word of God alone. You do not deny that the Word of God is the Bible, but not only in the Bible. Not everything that happened is recorded in the Bible therefore there are other sources from which God can speak to man.

2. Protestants believe in 2 Timothy 3:16,17 the all too familiar all scripture is inspired by God.... This means that Scriptures have the Sole Authority, we don't need a Pope or Magisterium, just the Bible. We have everything within Scripture.

Catholics believe that that scripture says "All Scripture, but does not say only scripture, if it said only instead of all it would mean only the Bible. Also the Apostles did not themselves believe in Sola Scriptura, but in the written and oral tradition of God's Word.

3. Protestants believe we do not need a Pope and council to interpret the Bible. Anyone can, and the Holy Spirit is the best interpreter of it.

Catholics believe there are 33,000 Protestant denominations that exist and all claim they have interpreted it the right way. The question of heresy would not arise if we have someone to interpret the word such as a council.

4. Protestants believe Jesus was against the tradition of men. Matthew 15:3 says so...and 15:6, and Mark 7:8-13. So there are scriptures to back up that Jesus was not in favor of tradition.

Catholics believe that Jesus was not condemning all tradition but only those that made the Word of God void. Catholics do not hold to myths or legends, but only to the Apostolic teachings of Christ, written or oral.

Ok, those are the four major foopas I see.... would you say those are accurate?

Carlus Henry said...

Debroah,

Wow!!! I am going to have to say that is a very accurate understanding of Sola Scriptura from both the Protestant and Catholic perspective.

Someone has been doing their homework!!!

God bless...

Deborah said...

Ok, so to me all Sola Scriptura means is that all that the church and every Christian needs to believe for salvation, and is found in the Holy Scriptures. It shows us that salvation is by faith in Christ, and is useful for teaching. What else could we need that we would need to seek elsewhere? God's revelation is fully contained in the Bible.

There are some things that the Catholic church believes that Protestants believe about SS that I don't think are accurate. I don't think that SS is a denial of the church's authority to teach God's revelation. The church according to 1 Timothy 3:15 is the pillar and foundation of truth, and it is that because it teaches the Word of God. BUT, the church can't add doctrine that contradicts God's Scriptures. Isn't the church's authority subordinate to the authority of the Bible?

Also I don't believe that SS doesn't say that the Bible will always be interpreted correctly, and that it will not be heresy between Christians. I mean truly, Jesus was quite clear in His teaching, but His disciples often misunderstood Him. The apostles when they taught were very intelligible, but still there were all kinds of errors that crept into the early church. It's not like it is written in some kind of code that needs an infallible interpreter to explain hidden meanings. It is for ordinary people, and can be understood. The problem as far as I'm concerned is not the clarity of the Bible, it's with people who like to ignore it, or twist its meaning.

I don't think that SS denies that God's Word historically came in other ways than just written form. God spoke through prophets, apostles, and through Christ His Son. The Holy Spirit also moved on holy men to write down God's Word. I do believe that the apostles and prophets are the foundation of the church as it says in Ephesians 2:20, even tho they are absent, we can still build our lives on their teachings that is infallibly recorded in the Bible.

The last thing is I don't think that SS says that the Bible contains all knowledge. It doesn't give all of the details on the history of redemption. John 21:25 says that not everything that Jesus did is recorded, and that all of the books in the world wouldn't be enough to contain it. But, does the Bible really have to be exhaustive to be able to function as the sole source of faith for the church? We need enough knowledge, not exhaustive. Tradition is not exhaustive either is it? Does Catholic tradition give us all of the possible information about the life of Christ? all He said? all the apostles said?

Just some thoughts....

Carlus Henry said...

Debroah,

God's revelation is fully contained in the Bible.

God's revelation is definitely contained within the Scriptures. However, I would not say that God's entire revelation is contained therein. An example of this would be the Hypostatic Union, which was defined in order to combat a heresy called Nestorianism. In other words, God's revelation came through the Council itself.

Maybe a better example would be the canon of the New Testament. There is nothing inside of the Scriptures that tell us which books should be in the canon, yet you and I both believe that God has revealed the books of the New Testament to us. Therefore, divine revelations cannot only exist within Scripture.

There are some things that the Catholic church believes that Protestants believe about SS that I don't think are accurate.

I think that you are absolutely right. The hard part about Sola Scriptura....scratch that....the hard part about Protestants is that there is not a common belief or authority to define those beliefs. I would say that there are some Protestants who share your view of what Sola Scriptura is, and there are some Protestants who would completely disagree with you.

I hope to continue commenting later....

God bless...

Carlus Henry said...

Debroah,

The apostles when they taught were very intelligible, but still there were all kinds of errors that crept into the early church.

Like what? What kind of errors specifically crept in?

The problem as far as I'm concerned is not the clarity of the Bible, it's with people who like to ignore it, or twist its meaning.

But see, isn't this the reason why we need an infallible interpreter? I think that there are those who purposely distort scripture....and I believe that there are those who are ignorant, and distort scripture not of their own fault, but because they misunderstand it 2 Peter 3:16. Then there are those who follow both groups, trusting them to interpret scripture accurately....Without an infallible interpreter, how do you know if you have the correct interpretation?

Tradition is not exhaustive either is it? Does Catholic tradition give us all of the possible information about the life of Christ? all He said? all the apostles said?

The Church does not profess to know everything. It confesses that it knows all that has been revealed thus far.

Weston said...

But see, isn't this the reason why we need an infallible interpreter?

An infallible interpreter would most definitely be a wonderful thing. However, as long as humans are involved, such a thing does not exist.

Carlus Henry said...

Weston,

An infallible interpreter would most definitely be a wonderful thing. However, as long as humans are involved, such a thing does not exist.

The position that an infallible interpreter could not exist due to the fact that humans are involved doesn't make sense when you take Scriptures into consideration. Humans were involved with the writing of Scripture. As a matter of fact two of the Gospels are heresay. Mark and Luke were not even with Jesus....

Humans were involved with writing the Gospels as well as all of the other books of the Bible. Yet we think of these writings as 'infallible', right? But should we consider them infallible if humans are involved...? Of course we should, because we believe that they are guided by the Holy Spirit. We also believe that the people / council who identified the Scriptures were guided by the Holy Spirit and therefore can be trusted....

Weston said...

Actually, I said "does not exist" (present tense), not "could not exist". In fact, an infallible interpreter, did exist on Earth, in the form of Jesus Christ. All of the scriptures of the New Testament have come from people who lived in close proximity to him, this is what gives Scripture the ability to be considered infallible. The difference is that the source of the information was Jesus Himself, not some mystery revelation from the "Holy Spirit".

Show me a documented method by which the Holy Spirit can be infallibly communicated with, and I'd be willing to consider the non-Biblical teachings of the Catholic Church as potentially something more than mere speculation by error-prone humans.

Carlus Henry said...

Weston,

All of the scriptures of the New Testament have come from people who lived in close proximity to him, this is what gives Scripture the ability to be considered infallible.

This is not entirely true. No one knows who wrote Hebrews....the author is unknown. People think that it is Paul, yet we do not know for sure. Infallability of scripture is not entirely based on the proximity of the author to Jesus Christ. Two of the Gospels come from people who did not even travel or know Jesus personally.

What gives Scripture the ability to be considered infallible is the infallible source that identified the Scriptures in the first place. The Holy Spirit worked through the Church in order to identify which books belonged and which books did not.

Weston said...

Bringing up the controversy over the book of Hebrews does nothing to instill confidence in the Church, but rather creates doubt about the book of Hebrews.

Tell me, what prevents the leadership of the Catholic church from just making wild theories up and passing it off as truth? What is the mechanism that keeps them in check?

I know you're going to say the "Holy Spirit", but that just doesn't work. When we get into that territory, there's no possible way to distinguish between real truth and absolute fraud. I can present to you two people with completely opposing ideas who both claim that they received those ideas from the Holy Spirit. By what process can you know which one is real and which one is fake? If you want an example, take Martin Luther and Pope Leo X. They were both Christians, which means they both received the Holy Spirit, yet they had drastically different theology. Who was receiving instruction from the Holy Spirit and who was not? How can you know for sure?

What's to stop a Pope from declaring that you must pay the Church a certain amount of money and you could skip out on Purgatory entirely? He could easily twist a handful of verses in the Bible to support that. They almost got away with it with the sale of indulgences. What's to stop a Pope from declaring that Catholics may not associate with Jewish people because they killed Jesus? How can we say that the Book of Mormon is false? Wasn't Joseph Smith guided by the Holy Spirit? Real heresies have been promoted under the guise of the leading of the Holy Spirit. All of these things can be passed off as real truth if the only option we have is to take someone's word that the Holy Spirit revealed it to them.

You mentioned Nestorianism. Nestorius wasn't just any ol' guy; he was the Archbishop of Constantinople. This means that he was an integral part the authority of the Catholic church. Eusebius, another bishop, opposed him. Now these guys were arguing over a matter that the Bible says nothing about; how the God part of Jesus and the human part interacted. Without any support from the Bible, how can you come to any truth? It's simply one guy's idea against another. Apparently more people sided with Eusebius than Nestorius and he got labeled a heretic. Isn't that "truth by consensus"? If you've got more people supporting you, you can push through any idea you want.

Carlus Henry said...

Wes,

Bringing up the controversy over the book of Hebrews does nothing to instill confidence in the Church, but rather creates doubt about the book of Hebrews.

Careful Wes....Everyone of your Protestant and Catholic brothers and sisters would agree that the Book of Hebrews is inspired. All of us. If we do not, then we might as well question every other book in Scripture.

Instead of casting doubt on the Book of Hebrews, I believe instead that it casts doubt on your conclusion regarding what is considered canonical and what is not. Specifically:

All of the scriptures of the New Testament have come from people who lived in close proximity to him, this is what gives Scripture the ability to be considered infallible.

That is an illogical position in the light of Hebrews.

Tell me, what prevents the leadership of the Catholic church from just making wild theories up and passing it off as truth? What is the mechanism that keeps them in check?

...Well that is easy...the...

I know you're going to say the "Holy Spirit", but that just doesn't work.

...darn...you stole my thunder ;)

When we get into that territory, there's no possible way to distinguish between real truth and absolute fraud.

Of course there is. Did Jesus Christ set up a Church that is visible that he promised would be led by the Holy Spirit into all areas of truth. Either He did...or He did not. I believe He did. What do you believe?

Carlus Henry said...

Wes,

(continued)

By what process can you know which one is real and which one is fake?

Does it contradict anything in Scripture? Does it contradict any of the formal conclusions made by any of the Councils of the Church? Then it doesn't belong.

We see this model clearly executed in Scripture when it comes to the Judaizers in Acts 15. Something was going on in the Church, there was mass confusion. Some people believed that Gentile Christians should be living according to the Mosaic Law, others thought that they were free from the Mosaic Law and were justified by grace. The Church meets, they formally come to a conclusion and communicate that conclusion to the rest of the Church. That conclusion is authoritative and it is binding on the hearts of all believers. This model that is clearly defined in Scripture is the same model that has been executed since the beginning of the Church until today.

Regarding Martin Luther and Pope Leo X.
Who was receiving instruction from the Holy Spirit and who was not?

The Church, with Pope Leo X.

How can you know for sure?

The Holy Spirit has always acted through the Councils starting with the Council of Jerusalem Acts 15.

What's to stop a Pope from declaring that you must pay the Church a certain amount of money and you could skip out on Purgatory entirely?

This may sound strange, but the Church. The Church has already defined this as contrary to divine revelation. You cannot pay for an indulgence. The Church cannot go back on it's word once it has been dogmatically defined.

They almost got away with it with the sale of indulgences.

People do err in the Church. That is no doubt...for instance...

You mentioned Nestorianism. Nestorius wasn't just any ol' guy; he was the Archbishop of Constantinople. This means that he was an integral part the authority of the Catholic church.

Sure.

Apparently more people sided with Eusebius than Nestorius and he got labeled a heretic. Isn't that "truth by consensus"? If you've got more people supporting you, you can push through any idea you want.

No, No, No. Let's take it back to Acts 15 Council of Jerusalem. Are you saying that more people sided with justification by grace as oppose to imposing Mosaic Law onto Gentile Christians? Based on what? The outcome?

With Nestorius and Eusebius, there was a disagreement. Until there is a formal declaration made by the Church, you can take your sides. However, after the Church made a formal decision, it is then binding on the Christian. So, prior to the Council that declared Nestorianism a heresy, we were only dealing with opinions. When the Council speaks, as it does with the Holy Spirit, it no longer is a matter of preferential option...The Holy Spirit has spoken. That is it. Truth on one side and heresy on the other.

Weston said...

Of course there is. Did Jesus Christ set up a Church that is visible that he promised would be led by the Holy Spirit into all areas of truth. Either He did...or He did not. I believe He did. What do you believe?

I also believe that God chose the nation of Israel as His special people. Look at the state of those "special people" now. Humans screw things up.

We see this model clearly executed in Scripture when it comes to the Judaizers in Acts 15.

The council in Acts 15 is very much different from the example of Nestorius v. Eusebius or Luther v. Pope Leo X.

In Acts 15, we see these ingredients:

1. They traveled to see the Apostles. (Acts 15:2) These guys heard the message straight from the source.

2. They had solid facts:
a. When the Holy Spirit went out (presumably at Pentecost), it made no distinction between Jew or Gentile (Acts 15:8)
b. The Christian Gentiles were performing miraculous signs and wonders. (Acts 15:12)

3. They had Scripture verses that appeared to support their ideas. (Acts 15:16-18)

Using all of these elements, not just the Holy Spirit alone, they made a decision. It wasn't a consensus; it was applied reason coupled with hard facts.

In the case of Nestorius v. Eusebius, they were missing all 3.
In the case of Luther v. Pope Leo X, they were missing 1 and 2.

As far as I'm concerned, we're still dealing with opposing opinions in both cases. I don't see how, especially in the case of Nestorius and Eusebius the Church has any grounds to render a judgement, if all they have available is the opinions of a bunch of men. This is not at all like the Council of Jerusalem.

Deborah said...

"God's revelation is definitely contained within the Scriptures. However, I would not say that God's entire revelation is contained therein." I believe it is.

Let's take the Hypostatic Union. Jesus has always been God John 8:58, 10:30, and became human at the incarnation. John 1:14. The human and divine are completely inseparable. We can see from God's Word that He sometimes operated within the limitations of humanity, such as John 4:6 and 19:28, and other times in His Deity, as in John 11:43, Matthew 14:18-21. It is obvious to see from scripture that His actions were from His one Person, with two natures. Even the doctrine of the hypostatic union is incapable of fully understanding how He can be God and man at the same time. We have finite minds and cannot possibly comprehend and infinite God. So again... why to explain the obvious that is within the pages of the Bible?

"I would say that there are some Protestants who share your view of what Sola Scriptura is, and there are some Protestants who would completely disagree with you."

And I bet if there was a survey taken or written test so to speak, there would be just as many Catholics who disagree with, or not understand or fully know your doctrine as well...

"Like what? What kind of errors specifically crept in?"

The errors made based on tradition, and not God's Word.

"But see, isn't this the reason why we need an infallible interpreter?"

There may be a need, but how do we get there with fallible man. (If you have answered any of this I'm sorry, I'm kinda sticking with you and me in this conversation)

"The Church does not profess to know everything. It confesses that it knows all that has been revealed thus far.' Hallelujah! So do Protestants ;-) What happens when something is revealed that is contradictory to a former enlightenment?

Carlus Henry said...

Wes,

I asked if you believed that Jesus Christ set up a Church, to which you responded:

I also believe that God chose the nation of Israel as His special people. Look at the state of those "special people" now. Humans screw things up.

Does the fact that you used the term 'also' mean that you do believe that He setup a Church or not?

The council in Acts 15 is very much different from the example of Nestorius v. Eusebius or Luther v. Pope Leo X.

Once again, you are building a false litmus test. Just apply the same litmus test against the canon of the New Testament.

1. They traveled to see the Apostles. (Acts 15:2) These guys heard the message straight from the source.

Were the Apostles around? Nope. Fails your first test.

...since I don't quite understand your 2nd point, I am going to skip it.

3. They had Scripture verses that appeared to support their ideas. (Acts 15:16-18)

There were no scriptures that presented which books should be in the New Testament. So it fails your 3 litmus test.

Once again, I think that the litmus test that you are building in order to discover truth, is flawed. If you are color blind (like me), you can swear up and down that blue is purple. You look at it over and over and over again, it is purple to you. If someone tells you that it is not purple, instead it is blue....of course the person that says it is blue is correct. The only reason why they are correct is because the lens that they are using to see the world is not flawed. If you are going to understand Christianity and history, then you cannot approach it with a flawed lens. We both agree that the New Testament is breathed by the Holy Spirit, however the litmus tests that you are coming up with does not allow for Hebrews. It actually causes doubt on it - your own words. Instead of first doubting Hebrews, re-examine your lens.

As far as I'm concerned, we're still dealing with opposing opinions in both cases. I don't see how, especially in the case of Nestorius and Eusebius the Church has any grounds to render a judgement, if all they have available is the opinions of a bunch of men. This is not at all like the Council of Jerusalem.

It is completely like the Council of Jerusalem, because it is in fact the same Church with the same authority that Christ gave it.

Carlus Henry said...

Debroah,

I said that not all revelation is contained within the Bible. And then went on to say that Hypostatic Union is an example of revelation that came through the Church.

You went on to show that there is Scriptural evidence the Hypostatic Union - to which I will say Amen!!!!

The point that I was trying to make was a belief that surfaces, whether it is orthodox or heretical, it has always been the function of the Church imbued with the Holy Spirit, to define it. It is clearly an excercise of Matt 18:15-17 Christ gave the authority to the Church in order to settle matters.

And I bet if there was a survey taken or written test so to speak, there would be just as many Catholics who disagree with, or not understand or fully know your doctrine as well...

Trust me, it is not my doctrine. I am not making up anything new. Instead I am just sharing what has always been.

As far as the Catholics who do not believe in the teachings of the Catholic Church.....mmmmm....don't even go there. I have compassion for them, and I pray for them, but that is something that I find very frustrating.

Regarding the errors that crept into the Early Church...you said
The errors made based on tradition, and not God's Word.

Can you be more specific?

Regarding the need for an infallible interpreter...you said:
There may be a need, but how do we get there with fallible man.

The same way fallible man was able to write the Holy Scriptures. Through the Holy Spirit. If the Christ set up the Catholic Church, and is leading it through the Holy Spirit, then how can it teach error regarding faith and morals?

I said:
"The Church does not profess to know everything. It confesses that it knows all that has been revealed thus far.'

You said:
Hallelujah! So do Protestants ;-) What happens when something is revealed that is contradictory to a former enlightenment?

If it in any way contradicts something that has already been divinely revealed and authoritatively stated, then it is a lie and contrary to the mind of God.

God bless...

Deborah said...

Ok, I understand your first point there. But the point I was trying to make in regards to the SS theme was that everything is in scripture. Doesn't matter who think they discover whatever, or tries to clarify it, it's in there, completely. That's all. =)

"Trust me, it is not my doctrine. I am not making up anything new. Instead I am just sharing what has always been."

I understand this.

"don't even go there" Huh? Why? It is just as frustrating for me as a Protestant, and the point is it does exist, on BOTH sides.... even tho the Church has it's infallible interpreters. I think there is something to that, and needed to be brought up. I am learning alot right now about faith choices, it's tough, I'll tell ya, but God expects us to walk a walk of faith not sight. Don't know where I was going with that, just sharing a little of where I'm at I guess... LOL

Be more specific? Yes, but I have to go for the day, I will make a point in doing this tonight when I get home.

"If it in any way contradicts something that has already been divinely revealed and authoritatively stated, then it is a lie and contrary to the mind of God."

Completely agree, do you think this doesn't happen with the protestants as well? Keeping this with SS, doesn't the Bible need to be the standard? Doesn't the Church/church/ ChUrCh.. need to be under the authority of the Word? Sorry this is so quick, but gotta get out the door... thanks Carlus =)

Carlus Henry said...

Deb,

But the point I was trying to make in regards to the SS theme was that everything is in scripture. Doesn't matter who think they discover whatever, or tries to clarify it, it's in there, completely. That's all. =)

Everything is not in Scripture. One thing, for example, is the Divine Table of Contents. That is not revealed in Scripture, that was revealed through the Church by the Holy Spirit.

"don't even go there" Huh? Why? It is just as frustrating for me as a Protestant, and the point is it does exist, on BOTH sides

Thanks for not reading my frustration as an attack. After I reread my post, I can see that it could be taken as I as being aggressive towards you, and that is definitely not my intent.

...it is very frustrating.

I think there is something to that, and needed to be brought up.

What is the difference between a Catholic who does not believe that the Church is being led by the Holy Spirit into all areas of truth, and a Protestant? In my opinion - nothing. Both protest against the teachings of the Catholic Church. Now this is a very over simplified view of many differences, however, I think that you get my point.

Completely agree, do you think this doesn't happen with the protestants as well?

Of course it doesn't. The reason why it doesn't is because there is no central authority in the Protestant Church to contradict. If you say Scripture, then you are really saying that the central authorities are individuals interpretation of what Scripture says. Every Bible believing Christian would profess that they are following Scripture, yet they don't agree on many things of the faith. So can the honestly say that they are following what Scripture says, or are they really following what they believe scripture to say?

Keeping this with SS, doesn't the Bible need to be the standard? Doesn't the Church/church/ ChUrCh.. need to be under the authority of the Word?

The true authority is Sacred Tradition. That is the Teachings of God. That rules supreme. Part of the teaching has been written down - Holy Bible, the other part of that tradition remains with the Church. Of course everything that is believed and confessed has to comply with Scripture. But it also has to comply with the correct interpretation of Scripture. Who has been given the ability to correctly interpret Scripture? The Church.

God bless...

Weston said...

Does the fact that you used the term 'also' mean that you do believe that He setup a Church or not?

Yes, of course I do. However, like my example of the Jewish nation, I don't believe that the institution that Christ set up, is impervious to human corruption. This is why I'm looking for some sort of checks and balances. Otherwise we're all vulnerable to any man that wants to promote his own ideas and is able to sucker us into believing he is speaking for God.

Imagine this scenario: One day, the Pope from decrees that all Catholics need to buy and drive electric cars, in order to be good stewards of God's creation. To top it off, he says that the Holy Spirit revealed this to him. How would you, as a Catholic, respond to this? On what grounds could you possibly disagree?

Let me use your color blindness example. Take two people, show them an object. One says it is blue; one says it is purple. Obviously, they can't both be right. However, how do you know which one is correct? If all the evidence you have is the opinion of these two people, how can you declare one right and the other not? In order to make a determination, you need more facts. Let's say you go find a third person and they say the object is blue. How do you know that you haven't run into another person who is color blind?

What's wrong with a litmus test? In science, a litmus test is used to determine whether something is acidic or alkaline. This is a piece of data that helps us make decisions. It's very useful. When the early church fathers collected the books into the Canon, I am certain that they used facts and criteria to help them make their decision. If they didn't, then we've got a serious problem. I can accept that it's possible that my criteria doesn't exactly match their criteria. That's fine; but then please help me to understand what criteria they did use. I cannot accept that they just threw the books in a pile and took turns saying, "I feel that the Holy Spirit is leading me to pick this one. Ok, your turn."

You keep using the book of Hebrews to prove your point that I should accept anything that the Church decides. I don't see how that follows. I don't know a lot about the book of Hebrews, as I haven't spent a lot of time researching it. However, I will say that if Hebrews promotes a particular doctrine that has no support in any other book, then I'm going to be hesitant to accept it, because I don't know the source. But if it reiterates ideas that exist in other parts of scripture and factual history, then I have no problem with it.

Carlus Henry said...

Wes,

Not a lot of time, but I do have time for some clarifications:

What's wrong with a litmus test?

I didn't say that something was wrong with litmus tests in general. I said that your litmus test in order to know what books should be part of scripture is flawed, because it would eliminate Hebrews.

That's fine; but then please help me to understand what criteria they did use.

Study the Councils. Here is a good start.

Carlus Henry said...

Wes,

doh...One more thing:

You keep using the book of Hebrews to prove your point that I should accept anything that the Church decides.

I keep using Hebrews to point out the flaw in your litmus test.

However, I will say that if Hebrews promotes a particular doctrine that has no support in any other book, then I'm going to be hesitant to accept it, because I don't know the source.

Let's be frank and honest. You don't know who wrote any of the books. Just because someone says that they authored it, doesn't necessarily mean that they did. In fact, you are relying on the witness of the Early Christians in the mere fact that Mark wrote Mark, and Luke wrote Luke....

Deborah said...

Carlus:

"for example, is the Divine Table of Contents."

The huh, wuh? Ummmm maybe it's not in there cause it didn't need to be?

"What is the difference between a Catholic who does not believe that the Church is being led by the Holy Spirit into all areas of truth, and a Protestant? In my opinion - nothing. Both protest against the teachings of the Catholic Church. Now this is a very over simplified view of many differences, however, I think that you get my point."

Do you see how one sided this is? Catholic Church is against Protestant teachings as well... it works both ways...there is nothing exclusive about Protestants who don't believe in the Catholic teaching. So far we have, Protestants don't agree with all of the Protestant teaching, Catholics don't agree with all of the Catholic teachings, and Protestants and Catholics don't agree with each other's teaching... Don't see anywhere yet where anyone can claim a point....

"The reason why it doesn't is because there is no central authority in the Protestant Church to contradict."

Yes there is, His name is Jesus Christ, and He should be central in ALL of our beliefs. If your infallible man can interpret to a point where you put your entire faith base in him, why can't ours? Cause he's not yours?

"Every Bible believing Christian would profess that they are following Scripture, yet they don't agree on many things of the faith."

Exactly, same thing with Catholics.. even though you claim infallible interpreter. Now what?

"The true authority is Sacred Tradition"

Ok, so here we go.

It is the Scripture that is God-breathed... 2 Timothy 3:16

It is Scripture that Jesus along with the Apostles defend their actions and teachings with Matthew 12:3,5 19:4, 22:31 Mark 12:10

it is Scripture with which the church is to combat the error that was going to happen Acts 20:32

You say that infallibility is for the ones who would become church leaders in succession of the apostles. Yet in both the Old and New Testaments, it is stated that the appointed religious leaders that could cause God's people to err 1 Samuel 2:27-36, Matthew 15:14, 23:1-7, John 7:48, Acts 20:30, Galatians 2:11-16....and by the way both testaments tell people to study the Scriptures to determine what is true and false. Why would that be in there if there were an infallible interpreter?

It goes on and on... so again, why in the world would anyone put as much authority in tradition, as the inspired, God-breathed Word of God???

Carlus Henry said...

Deborah,

The huh, wuh? Ummmm maybe it's not in there cause it didn't need to be?

I agree with you 100%. But do you see how admitting that the Divine Table of Contents is not in the Bible, then Sola Scriptura is a self-defeating argument? In order for Scripture to be the Supreme Authority, then it has to authoritively declare what is included. Which writings make up the Bible? Only the Holy Spirit acting through the Church defined that.

So far we have, Protestants don't agree with all of the Protestant teaching

Let's take it back a step. There is no such thing as a Catechism of the Protestant Church. There is no single authority that any one Protestant can disagree with. There is not a such thing as the Teachings of the Protestant Church.

To my comment about there not being a central Protestant authority, you said:
Yes there is, His name is Jesus Christ, and He should be central in ALL of our beliefs.

Then I would have to say which one? Which Jesus Christ? The one that is preached in the Reformed Theology...the one who predestines people to heaven and to hell. The one that does not believe in Free Will, or the Jesus Christ who promoted the Rapture...or the Jesus Christ who taught that baptism is only a symbol, and also taught that Eucharist is only a symbol, or the Jesus Christ that taught that Sacraments are extensions of his Grace from the Cross...

Yes, Christ is our Light...but with so many different versions of Christ being preached, and clearly so many contradictions between Protestant Denominations, which Protestant brand of Christ is leading the "Protestant Church"?

running short on time again....sorry.....will be back.

unlikelywriter said...

Carlus, are you going to continue?

Carlus Henry said...

unlikelywriter,

Yes. Holidays are a little busy for me.

God bless...

Carlus Henry said...

unlikelywriter,

My apologies....I thought you meant if I was going to continue blogging. I now see that you are asking if I am going to continue with my resaoning and line of thinking.....

Since that was over a couple of months ago, I don't think that I am going to continue....however, is there something in particular that you wanted to discuss?

unlikelywriter said...

Sure. I guess if we're on the subject of protestant vs RCC. Why not cover the split between Eastern Orthodox Church and RCC?

I think that was the original split wasn't it? Maybe you can cover that in a new post.