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Southern Baptist

What Divides Catholics and Protestants?

one more straw-man argument.... you proved that scripture supports the Trinity, which it also does for EVERY teaching of the Catholic Church, since the Bible was brought to you courtesy of the Catholic Church. (Inspired by God, of course. Written by men, yet again of course. Who was it that closed the Canon? Who was it that determined which books were inspired and which were not? That would be the College of Bishops.... the Magesterium of the Catholic Church.) What you completely failed to show us all is where the WORD Trinity appears. Since your argument was based on the fact that since a certain word wasn't in the Bible, the concept that defines that word can't be true, then by YOUR ARGUMENT.... The Trinity can't be true, since that word appears NOWHERE. More telling, the definition of the trinity as three persons but one God... is also not in the Bible. Yes, you were very good at showing where the three persons of the Trinity were listed, but we all already knew that. That proves nothing in this particular case, because there is no obvious connection between those words as names and a plurality to a singular God. Bottom line: The interpretation of meaning is the key element. If you want to know what the earliest Christians believed, go read what they wrote about the matter, and you will find that they would have seen not a single inconsistency between their beliefs and the Catholic Church... It all comes down to authority, and I as a Catholic believe that there are three sources to that authority that keep each other in balance (Scripture, The teachings of the Catholic Church, and Sacred Tradition). As a Protestant, I used to only believe in the Scripture as authority, which clearly isn't true, since Scripture itself holds that the Church is the pillar and foundation of the truth... not Scripture.  (Oct 24, 2011 | post #68548)

Southern Baptist

What Divides Catholics and Protestants?

interesting Oxbow... unfortunately it's a straw man argument. Show me where you see the word "Trinity " in the Bible. You cannot, because it is not there. The CONCEPT of the Trinity is there, we see that God was a plurality all the way back in the book of Genesis, but the WORD simply isn't there, nor do we see explicitly even that the three persons of the Trinity (Father, Son, and Holy Spirit) are all one and the same God. Similarly, we see very distinct evidence of what the Catholic Church is today in the Bible, including the first Church Council, which occurred in Jerusalem in order to decide on the matter of circumcision. (Side-note: You will notice that there is evidence of disagreement, but Peter was the final word on the issue.) If you're looking for the English word, but ignoring the interpretation that was used by the early Church as to what those things mean, you're going to get tripped up, just as a non-Christian could make the same argument against us about the Trinity (Which, by the way, was defined and clarified by the College of Bishops within the early Catholic Church, as was the Canon of the Bible) It is ABUNDANTLY obvious, when you read the writings of the early church Fathers, that, to a man, every one of them that touched on the subject was in agreement that the church was hierarchical, and that the Bishop of Rome was the central and primary authority within the Church. These writings, from the first few centuries, still exist, (I have multiple books of collections of them) and the evidence is overwhelmingly in sync with the current interpretation of that authority still used by the Catholic Church today.  (Oct 21, 2011 | post #68512)

Southern Baptist

What Divides Catholics and Protestants?

Nope not at all. You're just skipping ahead to the spiritual senses, and we must first agree on the literal sense, which would be what he literally meant by the words he used. That doesn't come from other scripture, it comes from understanding the context of the physical setting in which he was standing (the rock of Cessaria Phillipi from which flows the waters of the Jordan River), the culture he was in (Jewish), and the audience to which he is talking (The apostles). I'd be glad to discuss the rest of the senses, but we first need to understand the actual statement he made. What does your wife think about the single sentence? To what does the it refer, from a grammarian's perspective, in that sentence? by the way, they are fancy words, but they are also good guideposts to use if you understand them.  (Sep 13, 2011 | post #67674)

Southern Baptist

What Divides Catholics and Protestants?

My biggest issue with the notion of Sola Scriptura, and one of the considerations that helped sway me away from that mindset is that it is, historically speaking, a brand new concept. For the first 1500 years, there was a general acceptance of the three-fold authority of Scripture, Tradition, and the teaching authority of the Church. It was only with Martin Luther's break from the Church that a need to justify his position required him to declare the Church to be unnecessary. My problem should be obvious, though from your perspective might not be. (This is not intended as a condescending statement, just remembering where I was at one point on this issue.) Here you had one person throw away 15 HUNDRED years of accepted practice and decide that he had that same authority to interpret scripture without any guidelines or higher authority to keep him in balance. From this one man's break from all that history, we now have over 30 THOUSAND distinct ecclesial communities. Some are tiny (a dozen or so people) and some are fairly large (The Methodists, Presbyterians, and the Anglicans, for example). But the fact that this break from a centralized real authority has caused a fractioning that is rather stupendous to consider, and it all seems to originate from the notion that scripture interprets itself. Again, put yourself in the shoes of an Athiest, a Jew, or a Hindu and look at Christianity and all of the infighting that is occuring. Would you see "one spiritual body" or would you see a whole bunch of smaller organizations that can't seem to agree on what to believe or how to put that belief into practice? Just something to consider.  (Sep 13, 2011 | post #67672)

Southern Baptist

What Divides Catholics and Protestants?

I'm not taking the sentence out of context. We can discuss the fallibility of the Church separately if you'd like. That is actually a whole separate issue to discuss. You honed in on this sentence, and are describing the "It" that Jesus was referring to by using the writings of others. We are focused here on what one person said in a direct quote, and what they might have been referring to. There are, as I'm sure you know, two major senses within which Scripture is to be interpreted under: The Literal and the Spiritual. The literal refers not just to the words on the page, but to the context of the culture in which they were spoken and the audience to which they were directed. The reason you have to look into that context should be obvious. To use a current example, If I were to tell you that it was "Raining cats and dogs here today" you would presume correctly that it was raining very hard here today, and NOT that there were felines and canines falling from the skies. 2000 years ago, that idiom is likely to have fallen out of use, so they would need to understand our culture to accurately get a literal translation of that word. The spiritual can be broken down further into the Moral sense, the Analogical Sense, and the Anagogical Sense, but we're concerned here with the literal sense of Jesus' words. We can dig into the spiritual sense separately, which is the direction you are going.  (Sep 13, 2011 | post #67669)

Southern Baptist

What Divides Catholics and Protestants?

Yes, you've compared with scripture, but you're using a letter written years or decades later (1 Corinthians) by a different person altogether (Paul) in order to clarify the pronoun ("it") used in a sentence than the person who was speaking in the quote (Jesus). That's not the way I was taught to parse a sentence, and I was (and still am) calling that methodology into question.  (Sep 13, 2011 | post #67661)

Southern Baptist

What Divides Catholics and Protestants?

I bet it is! Okay, so as a grammatical excercise, have your English Teacher wife and/or your middle son parse this sentence: "And I say also unto thee, That thou art Peter, and upon this rock I will build my church; and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it." What, purely within the sentence, from a grammatical sense, is the noun referred to by the pronoun "it". That's what I was referring to. My money is on the noun "church" .  (Sep 13, 2011 | post #67660)

Southern Baptist

What Divides Catholics and Protestants?

In the 8th chapter of John's Gospel, Jesus confirms that Abraham was the father of the Jews. "If you were Abraham's children, you would do what Abraham did." This is in DIRECT response to the Jews claiming that Abraham was their father. Jesus does not reproach them for calling Abraham their father, but confirms Abraham's fatherhood. Later, in verse 56 He says "Your FATHER Abraham rejoiced that he was to see my day; he saw it and was glad." (emphasis mine) I Don't know Nettie. I'm not going to defend what another person believes, but I will gladly discuss what the Catholic Church teaches. Mary does not claim to be sinless (where did you find that??), but the Church has always held this belief. Only Jesus has the power to save, but that doesn't mean that he, as God, could not save Mary before her birth from the stain of original sin. Mary is the New Eve, and the ArchType of the Ark of the Covenant. There are so many parallels to prove this that entire books have been dedicated to the topic. This too is not new teaching.  (Sep 13, 2011 | post #67659)

Southern Baptist

What Divides Catholics and Protestants?

Native, this is absolutely a quote, directly from Jesus. Of course, you're ignoring several other passages in scripture that show that he did not mean that we should wipe literally the word "Father" from our vocabulary unless referring to God. He himself referred to "Father Abraham" as the spiritual father of the Jews. Was Jesus being blasphemous? I'm going with "No" here. Paul, in his letter to the Corinthians, refers to them as his adopted children in the Spirit. Turn that statement around in the opposite direction, and that makes Paul their spiritual father. There is definitely scriptural evidence to support this practice, but you have to read all of it, and read it in context, to see that. Cherry picking passages and pulling them out of context proves nothing other than your ability to read, which I presumed already, since you're on a website responding to words. ;)  (Sep 13, 2011 | post #67653)

Southern Baptist

What Divides Catholics and Protestants?

Wait... so to clarify a pronoun, rather than using basic rules of grammar and looking at the rest of the sentence, you are using writings written decades later to clarify the pronoun in a sentence spoken by someone long since gone from the world? When did that become acceptable? Have Public Schools descended so far? I'm sorry, that argument just doesn't make logical sense. I cannot accept the premise that it is possible to discard the basic rules of grammar when dissecting a sentence to determine the noun referenced by a pronoun, especially when you don't even look within the prior sentence or two, but instead look to someone else's writings from decades later. Oh, and I'm not making the argument in a vacuum, this is based on solid exegesis and teaching from a long history of theologians far more experienced than I can claim to be.  (Sep 13, 2011 | post #67649)

Southern Baptist

What Divides Catholics and Protestants?

Ahh. Fair enough. The thrust of my point was the Church that Jesus founded (which he did actually say), I enclosed the part in brackets because vague pronouns distress me. ;) My memory was focused on the argument I made about the gates of hell not prevailing on the Church. Perhaps a paraphrase would have been better suited. On the other hand, since that was clearly the argument, I do still admit to being surprised that you focused so heavily on that statement as a sticking point, for while I did allude to the quote, I was not explicitly making an argument for the supremacy of Peter or his successors. Oddly, we're circled right back to the argument of authority, which WAS my original premise as to what the largest factor dividing Catholics and Protestants. Perhaps we should go there after all, though that wasn't quite my intent with that quote. Your call.  (Sep 13, 2011 | post #67647)

Southern Baptist

What Divides Catholics and Protestants?

I didn't make the accusation at all. I tacked that on at the end as a request to set some basic ground rules. That's not a straw man argument, that's a simple request for common courtesy. I apologize, however, if you took offense, as I definitely not intend for that to happen.  (Sep 13, 2011 | post #67646)

Southern Baptist

What Divides Catholics and Protestants?

Good call. Thank you. either way, it ain't exactly a newfangled notion. ;)  (Sep 13, 2011 | post #67643)

Southern Baptist

What Divides Catholics and Protestants?

Native, Sorry, missed this part the first pass through. I don't know anything really about the Hindu religion, so it may very well be true that they were using beads to mark their prayers before Christians were... But I am fairly certain that they were not praying the Rosary. Are you at all aware of what praying the rosary entails, or are you just looking at the beads and making assumptions... Here's why the rosary is a distinctly Christian prayer: 1. The Rosary begins with a statement of faith in reciting the Apsostle's creed. 2. The next prayer prayed is the one that Jesus himself taught us: The Our Father (or the Lord's Prayer, depending on what you prefer to call it.) 3. The next three beads mark prayers said for the three great gifts of the Holy Spirit: Faith, Hope, and Charity. On each of those beads we pray a Hail Mary. This prayer is distinctly biblical, as the entire first part entails quotes directly from Luke, while the second part asks her to pray for us, a concept (intercessory prayer) we see clearly in several instances of the Bible. 4. The next prayer said is the Glory Be: Glory Be to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit. If it's a Hindu prayer, please explain how praising the three Persons of God in the Trinity fits into the Hindu belief system? 5. THEN we start to meditate on the mysteries of our Lord Jesus. There are 4 distinct sets of mysteries: a. The Joyful Mysteries: 1. The Annunciation to Mary by the Angel Gabriel 2. The visitation of Mary to her cousin Elizabeth (the mother of John the Baptist) 3. The nativity, or birth of our Lord Jesus 4. The presentation of Jesus in the Temple 5. The finding of Jesus in the Temple b. The Luminous Mysteries: 1. The Baptism of Jesus 2. The wedding feast at Cana 3. The proclamation of the Kingdom of God (Jesus' teachings) 4. The Transfiguration on the mountain 5. The institution of the Eucharist at the Last Supper c. The Sorrowful Mysteries: 1. The Agony of Jesus in the Garden of Gethsemane 2. The Scourging of Jesus at the Pillar 3. The Crowning with Thorns 4. The Carrying of the Cross 5. The Crucifixion of our Lord d. The Glorious Mysteries: 1. The Resurrection of Jesus Christ 2. The Ascension of Jesus to Heaven 3. The Descent of the Holy Spirit 4. The Assumption of Mary into Heaven (I expect some pushback here) 5. The Crowning of Mary as Queen of Heaven For each mystery, we begin by reciting the Our Father, and then meditate on the mystery as we recite 10 Hail Mary's. As you can see, the Rosary is deeply rooted in Scripture (the Mysteries and the prayers themselves), and is also distinctly rooted in Christianity. If it makes you feel better to point to another religion that also uses beads to mark their prayers, that's fine... But there is nothing Hindu about meditating on the mysteries of the life, death, and teachings of our Lord Jesus Christ. As to your other question, worship is reserved for God alone. Do we honor Mary as Theotokos, the Mother of God? Yep. You can go back to the First Council of Ephesis in 325 for that doctrine.... which I should probably remind you occurred some twelve HUNDRED years prior to the Protestant Revolt. This is not exactly new doctrine. May God bless you and yours!  (Sep 13, 2011 | post #67641)

Southern Baptist

What Divides Catholics and Protestants?

You're right. Sprinkling does not constitute Baptism. Baptism is a washing of sins, so it must be poured over or the person must be immersed. You are presuming however that mere water cannot do anything more than wash off evident dirt. Have you read the Old Testament? Are you aware of the leper king who went to Elisha looking for healing? How then was he healed? That would be in the Jordan river. Near Jericho. At the same place where the Jews crossed over into the Promised land. At the same place where Elijah was taken up into heaven in a flaming chariot. At the same place where John the Baptist was baptizing in the wilderness. At the same place where Jesus was baptized. At what is, geologically speaking, literally the lowest point on earth. Some amazing coincidences regarding baptism? I don't think so.  (Sep 13, 2011 | post #67639)