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Old 11-05-2002, 04:19 PM   #1
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Catholic/Protestant

Recently I'm wondering very often why the Christian religion is divided into Catholic and Protestant - of course because of Martin Luther, I know----but why is this partition still there? If there was just one religion like the 'Christian' there would be much less trouble in the world. I mean look at Northern Ireland and Ireland for example - without those two branches of the Christian faith they wouldn't be THAT much arguing; they'd still because of Britain's role in this conflict but one of the main points wouldn't be there.

I think it would be better if Catholic and Protestant would be merged into Christian.

Tell me aspects against or for what I was saying. I think I didn't quite thought through this all, but this is what I am thinking.

Not to be used as a platform for debates on religion.
I know that, but I want to hear your opinions about that. I'm sorry if this isn't the right place for my thoughts.
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Old 11-05-2002, 04:45 PM   #2
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There have been many attempts to reconcile the various Christian denominations over the years, including one (I believe it is ongoing) in the last few years. I have more information at home and will post a follow-up later.

The theological divisions between Catholics & Protestants are over core doctrinal issues – things that are not easily reconcilable. Maybe someone can correct me if I am wrong, but he Catholic Church has never repudiated its position that anyone claiming to be saved by grace alone through faith alone in Christ alone is an anathema.

IMHO, the division between Catholics & Protestants in Northern Ireland is more of a cultural/political division – not pure theological.

Bottom line – you are correct. It would be better if we followed Romans 15:5 “May the God who gives endurance and encouragement give you a spirit of unity among yourselves as you follow Christ Jesus.”

Satan, on the other hand, loves the division between believers. My wife has an excellent book on the history of the church that outlines the various schisms that have occurred over the centuries.

Peace & Love.
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Old 11-05-2002, 04:58 PM   #3
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i would say two major issues that i don't see being reconciled between the two would be transubstantiation (which is probably the biggest issue) and teachings on the virgin mary.
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Old 11-05-2002, 06:47 PM   #4
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You are all correct, but the biggest thing that will always divide is Man's ego. We can't seem to humble ourselves enough to admit that we don't know any of these answers 100% and try to find the answers together. We can't do this because both sides think they've figured it out, but of course neither have. I'm a strong believer in Christianity, but this is where I think that the other side may be right in thinking that we're all brainwashed. I don't think Christians are brainwashed in the matters of spirituality, but a lot are brainwashed in the matters of religion.
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Old 11-05-2002, 07:03 PM   #5
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Well said. Our ego draws us toward following traditions or church teachings (because we always have) rather than examining Scripture to find the truth.

When I teach bible studies, my greatest fear is misspeaking God's Word.

In His love
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Old 11-05-2002, 07:29 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally posted by Screaming Flower
i would say two major issues that i don't see being reconciled between the two would be transubstantiation (which is probably the biggest issue) and teachings on the virgin mary.

Haven't heard that one - what's transubstantiation?
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Old 11-05-2002, 07:54 PM   #7
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Haven't heard that one - what's transubstantiation?
catholics believe that the bread and wine in the mass is physically and literally converted into the body and blood of Christ.
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Old 11-05-2002, 08:01 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally posted by nbcrusader
Maybe someone can correct me if I am wrong, but he Catholic Church has never repudiated its position that anyone claiming to be saved by grace alone through faith alone in Christ alone is an anathema.
Well, the Lutherans and the Catholics (whose disagreement started it all) released a joint statement on justification about 5 years ago in which they said this:

Quote:"Together we confess: By grace alone, in faith in Christ’s saving work and not because of any merit on our part, we are accepted by God and receive the Holy Spirit, who renews our hearts while equipping and calling us to good works....Through Christ alone are we justified, when we receive this salvation in faith. Faith is itself God's gift through the Holy Spirit.... as sinners our new life is solely due to the forgiving and renewing mercy that God imparts as a gift and we receive in faith, and never can merit in any way.

How's that?
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Old 11-05-2002, 08:10 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally posted by mebythesea


Well, the Lutherans and the Catholics (whose disagreement started it all) released a joint statement on justification about 5 years ago in which they said this:

Quote:"Together we confess: By grace alone, in faith in Christ’s saving work and not because of any merit on our part, we are accepted by God and receive the Holy Spirit, who renews our hearts while equipping and calling us to good works....Through Christ alone are we justified, when we receive this salvation in faith. Faith is itself God's gift through the Holy Spirit.... as sinners our new life is solely due to the forgiving and renewing mercy that God imparts as a gift and we receive in faith, and never can merit in any way.

How's that?
That all sounds good to me.

And thanks Flower, I knew of that belief but I didn't know that was the technical name for it.
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Old 11-05-2002, 11:42 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally posted by mebythesea


Well, the Lutherans and the Catholics (whose disagreement started it all) released a joint statement on justification about 5 years ago in which they said this:

Quote:"Together we confess: By grace alone, in faith in Christ’s saving work and not because of any merit on our part, we are accepted by God and receive the Holy Spirit, who renews our hearts while equipping and calling us to good works....Through Christ alone are we justified, when we receive this salvation in faith. Faith is itself God's gift through the Holy Spirit.... as sinners our new life is solely due to the forgiving and renewing mercy that God imparts as a gift and we receive in faith, and never can merit in any way.

How's that?
Well, you would think that would do it. To the lay ear, it sounds as if Catholics and Protestants were on the same page. But in their hearts the division remains. The following is taken from World Magazine, December 25, 1999:

And yet, only days after signing the document, the major Vatican negotiator, Cardinal Edward Cassidy, President of the Vatican’s Pontifical Council for Promoting Christian Unity, said that the accord “helps us to put in a balance which does not place too much emphasis neither on the divine, neither on justification, nor the human but at the same time finds a way of bringing these together.”

Asked by a reporter whether there was anything in the official common statement contrary to the Council of Trent (The Roman Catholic Church’s 16th-century response to the Reformation), Cardinal Cassidy said, “Absolutely not, otherwise how could we do it? We cannot do something contrary to an ecumenical council. There’s nothing there that the Council of Trent condemns.”

But Canon IX of the decrees of the Council of Trent says, “If anyone says that the ungodly is justified by faith alone in such a way that he understands that nothing else is required which cooperates toward obtaining the grace of justification,” which is what traditional Lutherans say, “let him be anathema.” And Canon XII says, with the Augsburg Confession in mind, “If anyone says that justifying faith is nothing else that trust in divine mercy, which remits sins for Christ’s sake, or that it is this trust alone by which we are justified, let hem be anathema.”


Bottom line, nothing has really changed. The positions held by Catholics and Protestants on justification remain apart and measures to unify the faiths ended up as window dressing.
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Old 11-06-2002, 11:15 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally posted by nbcrusader
Well, you would think that would do it. To the lay ear, it sounds as if Catholics and Protestants were on the same page. But in their hearts the division remains. The following is taken from World Magazine, December 25, 1999
Well, how the statement related to the Trent texts was agreed upon prior to its release by both the Lutheran and the Roman Catholic negotiators. But, since this forum is not supposed to be for debates on religion, I think I'll step aside from a reply on the underlying theological issue.

I'll just say that I do doubt if the "hearts" of average Roman Catholics living their faith in Jesus are really summed up by official anathemas of the 16th-century Council of Trent, any more than the hearts of most Protestants now are summed up by some of the parallel 16th-century statements that no Catholic can be saved.

Sure, if writers want to spotlight and perpetuate historical divisions between Christians, they'll always be able to, I guess. But to me, that begins to come under the "trenches dug within our hearts -- there's many lost, but tell me who has won" clause.
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Old 11-06-2002, 11:31 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally posted by mebythesea
I'll just say that I do doubt if the "hearts" of average Roman Catholics living their faith in Jesus are really summed up by official anathemas of the 16th-century Council of Trent, any more than the hearts of most Protestants now are summed up by some of the parallel 16th-century statements that no Catholic can be saved.

Sure, if writers want to spotlight and perpetuate historical divisions between Christians, they'll always be able to, I guess. But to me, that begins to come under the "trenches dug within our hearts -- there's many lost, but tell me who has won" clause.
I agree with you completely. The average believer doesn't fight over this stuff - it tends to be the officials of the institutions that do.

Have a blessed day.
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Old 11-06-2002, 01:41 PM   #13
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Okay, so basically it would be a good thing if Catholics and Protestants would be united, it' just not likely that this will ever happen...
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Old 11-06-2002, 01:52 PM   #14
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I doubt they will ever have a common governing body.

Unless something happens sooner, we will be united in our glorified state!
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Old 11-07-2002, 03:15 PM   #15
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On the contrary, I think the idea of complete unity would be an utter mistake. The only people who have any desire for complete Christian unity generally enjoy the power that such a position would give. The pope's idea of unity, for instance, involves no compromise on his part; just everyone else's part. Human nature is too controlling, and division is the only thing that keeps Christianity from becoming completely fanatical. We will never all agree on the same set of ideals, nor did we agree when Christianity was theoretically "united." They just knew how to kill dissenters better in the "good old days."

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Old 11-07-2002, 10:56 PM   #16
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On the contrary, I think the idea of complete unity would be an utter mistake. The only people who have any desire for complete Christian unity generally enjoy the power that such a position would give. The pope's idea of unity, for instance, involves no compromise on his part; just everyone else's part. Human nature is too controlling, and division is the only thing that keeps Christianity from becoming completely fanatical. We will never all agree on the same set of ideals, nor did we agree when Christianity was theoretically "united." They just knew how to kill dissenters better in the "good old days."

Melon
Unity is driven by the Holy Spirit. Control and fanaticism are works of the flesh.
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Old 11-08-2002, 10:47 PM   #17
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Originally posted by nbcrusader
Unity is driven by the Holy Spirit. Control and fanaticism are works of the flesh.
But here's the thing. I'm guessing that you think you are right, correct? The Pope thinks he's right. Jerry Falwell thinks he's right. Fred Phelps thinks he's right. I'm sure you all would want unity--but would you compromise your beliefs to fit theirs? Because I doubt "compromise" is on none of their agendas either.

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Old 11-11-2002, 08:40 PM   #18
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Originally posted by melon
But here's the thing. I'm guessing that you think you are right, correct? The Pope thinks he's right. Jerry Falwell thinks he's right. Fred Phelps thinks he's right. I'm sure you all would want unity--but would you compromise your beliefs to fit theirs? Because I doubt "compromise" is on none of their agendas either.

Melon
I thought about this all weekend. I'm sure the Pope, Falwell and Phelps all think they are right. All I know is that I am learning - and know to check everything against Scripture.

Unity can only come from the believers themselves - not from "leadership" that has a holy (not Holy) goal.
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Old 11-12-2002, 03:30 AM   #19
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I think the fact that we are given different options encourages us to evaluate our spiritual lives and thus become involved in the Church. I recently converted from the Catholic Church to non-denominational, and ultimately have found a place better suited for me. The process of questioning your faith promotes growth, and though some protestants may not agree or understand the Catholic practices and vice versa I think it's important to always hold an element of respect toward the other, and the lack of that respect is where the problem lies. No doubt there's hostility between Protestants and Catholics in some cases, and that's where the separation occurs, not necessarily in the structure. I forget who mentioned it, but I agree that ego and the idea that you can have it all figured out is the source of this hostility.
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