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Old 03-14-2007, 04:58 PM   #46
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marriage isn't considered to be a sacrament in your church? what is it considered then?

(sorry to derail this thread. i think we're all sick of the pope. i find this more fascinating )
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Old 03-14-2007, 05:07 PM   #47
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I'm a practicing Catholic, but like many other U.S. Catholics, I don't feel obligated to agree with everything the pope says. Homosexuality is one area I disagree with him on. He shouldn't be pressuring our politicians like this. Keep the church out of the state's decision making process, I say.
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Old 03-14-2007, 05:29 PM   #48
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Originally posted by redhotswami
marriage isn't considered to be a sacrament in your church? what is it considered then?

(sorry to derail this thread. i think we're all sick of the pope. i find this more fascinating )
We keep our ceremonies, creeds, and whatever at the back of the hymnal and according to this it's just called "Marriage".
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Old 03-14-2007, 05:40 PM   #49
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well i think now we're on to something! i never knew about this.
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Old 03-14-2007, 05:45 PM   #50
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I think it is a culture thing to. I don't really know any Catholics that believe you can only access Christ through the Church, or that the Pope is an intermediary between the laypeople and God, or that you can be saved through good works alone.... I'm Protestant because I believe I am saved through Grace alone. But most of my Catholic friends say the same thing, sooooooo....? I guess I wonder how Catholics define themselves, in a theological sense. What makes them Catholic and me Protestant, besides being from a family that says "we are Catholic"? Maybe verte can help me out...
I'm basically lapsed, but anyway.

I don't believe you are saved by faith alone and frankly I don't know any Catholic friends or family that do either. That doesn't mean they think they should pay to the Church (and they don't) but they do believe good works are necessary for salvation. In recent decades, there has been a lot of crossover between Buddhist monks and certain monastic orders of Catholicism because there is a lot of overlap in this field. This is a large reason why I would never bother calling myself a Protestant - I just don't believe in this major tenet.

Beyond that, it is a cultural thing. For a lot of Catholics, especially in former colonies, the Church is an icon and a lot of your life is culturally based around religious holidays and rites. I don't think Protestants really understand this concept precisely because there isn't such an equivalent.

And still beyond that, as lapsed as I am, I feel spiritually connected to God, not at all distant, and feel absolutely no compulsion at all to go "Church shopping" in Protestantism, or frankly, to go to any Church at all. Don't miss services and don't really have any intent to return.
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Old 03-14-2007, 05:59 PM   #51
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Now this thread is getting good.

who loves gettin' educated about this stuff.
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Old 03-14-2007, 06:06 PM   #52
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Oh! Anitram just reminded me of another thing. I think Catholic bibles are different from Protestant bibles. I think the Catholic ones have a few books that aren't in the Protestant ones...I know James for sure...but I can't remember the others.
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Old 03-14-2007, 06:22 PM   #53
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Originally posted by Liesje


Is there any one core belief that all Catholics subscribe to?

I guess I just find it rather odd how often I get into discussions with people (not on Interference) who say they are Catholic and like to argue in favor of Catholicism, but most of their beliefs are just as Protestant, if not more so, than my own. How can I convert to something that's basically what I already believe, just less well defined?

One of the major dividing points between Catholics and Protestants is that Catholics believe that the bread and wine are actually transformed into the body and blood (and spirit) of Christ when the priest performs the transubstantiation ritual over it. Protestants see it as symbolic. So this is one core belief that Catholics share.

The Catholic church also teaches that sacraments are necessary as a channel for God's grace - so grace is important in both churches, but they differ in their interpretation as to how grace is received.
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Old 03-14-2007, 06:29 PM   #54
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Originally posted by redhotswami
Oh! Anitram just reminded me of another thing. I think Catholic bibles are different from Protestant bibles. I think the Catholic ones have a few books that aren't in the Protestant ones...I know James for sure...but I can't remember the others.
I have James....66 books in all (if I counted right). We don't have the Apocrypha, though we did study it as any other book of the Bible in each of my religion courses. We Protestants get in big fights over our Bibles (which versions). I have an NIV, but I prefer the NRSV, which has the same books.
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Old 03-14-2007, 06:31 PM   #55
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Originally posted by Liesje
We Protestants get in big fights over our Bibles (which versions). I have an NIV, but I prefer the NRSV, which has the same books.
what is the debate about the different versions? and what are your opinions on it?
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Old 03-14-2007, 07:12 PM   #56
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what is the debate about the different versions? and what are your opinions on it?
The debates are over the way things were translated from the more original texts. There are other stupid debates about things like certain versions taking out gender-exclusive words like "man" in reference to humankind, etc.

My opinion is that if I need to be careful, I don't really trust any of the modern versions. You can't do proper exegesis with a KJV, NIV, or NRSV. In my religion courses, all of the profs and some of the students know Hewbrew and other Biblical languages, so they read to us from the oldest texts available and we go from there. I wish I knew these languages, because then I could really decide more for myself, but I don't so when I have a question of interpretation, I ask a certain person whom I trust, someone that can tell me what the original words mean in their context. I e-mail him my question, he does some research, then we meet for lunch and he explains to me all the different ways of interpreting the original text.

I don't read the Bible much these days, honestly. I feel like I've got all that there is for it to say and now is the time to put those things into practice.

I rarely attend church these days and I don't feel guilty about it either. The few services I have attended recently have left me more infuriated than spiritually renewed.
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Old 03-14-2007, 07:46 PM   #57
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Originally posted by AussieU2fanman
but you can extrapolate the many Bible's passages condemning homosexuality and form a pretty conclusive view that homosexual marriage is a sin from the understanding that homosexuality obviously is. But to what extent do we recognise these messages?

Leviticus 18:22 states the principle: "You [masculine] shall not lie with a male as with a woman; it is an abomination."
This ends up tying together quite well with the "Goddess" thread, where I talk about the difficulty of translating archaic practices, and how translators attempt to tie in a modern concept to that word.

However, translators are not free from bias, particularly when it comes to the Bible. And this verse is an example of that. The key words, in Hebrew, are this:

"Ish shall not lie with zakar as with Ishah. It is toe'vah."

"Ish" means "man." "Ishah" means "woman." Now here's where it's important:

If this verse really meant that a man cannot lie with another man, it would have said, "Ish shall not lie with Ish." And that's where mistranslation alarms should go off, coupled with the fact that the meaning of "zakar" is unknown in linguistics. A prominent theory is that "zakar" is a word referring to a temple prostitute or some pagan cult practice, as was highly common in this region during both the Old and New Testament eras.

This theory gets added credence when you look at the structure of Leviticus 18. Verses 6-20 refer to intercourse taboos, while Verse 21 forbids the Israelites from offering their children to the Semitic god, Molech--a common pagan cult practice. It then stands to logic that Verse 22, the verse you just quoted from, is also a related pagan cult practice and has absolutely zero to do with modern homosexuality, as I have repeatedly maintained.

As for "toe'vah," it is an abomination in itself that this word is translated "abomination." It's too harsh of a translation for a word that signifies a "ritual taboo." In other words, it ends up signaling that we're dealing with the "Purity Codes" that Protestants like to maintain that Acts 15 repealed (whereas I maintain that that Protestant distinction has no merit, and that Acts 15 repeals the entirety of Mosaic Law, minus some archaic practices that are no longer relevant).

Quote:
A question, I was brought up with the understanding that Catholics in general recognise the Pope's authority as somebody 'appointed' by God to do his work and whatnot. So if the Pope opposes gay marriage, shouldn't most Catholics given they recognise his authority? How much credence do they give to the Pope's word?
Part of this is cultural. American Catholics, in particular, are highly influenced by Protestantism, which tends to deemphasize the importance of authority figures. The Vatican also realizes this, which is why it is a common belief that there will never be an American elected to the papacy. But this lends to a bias of another kind, where the Vatican is purposely skewed towards arch-conservative blowhards who think a little too highly of themselves and want everyone to bow down to their edicts, no matter how illogical they are.

And I think that anitram has explained the rest of this cultural equation, so I don't need to repeat it.
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Old 03-14-2007, 08:17 PM   #58
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I don't mean to step on your toes here, Ormus, but I can probably field this question. "Natural law" is a concept dating as far back as Plato, but was developed strongly by Stoics and early Christian thinkers.
It's true that "natural law" was a question for the ancient Greeks and the earliest of Christian fathers like you've mentioned, but, in terms of how it influences modern Vatican philosophy, it's not the same thing. That's where I started mentioning the two greatest influences on Roman Catholicism, St. Augustine of Hippo and St. Thomas Aquinas, who really are the two who defined "natural law" in the context of Catholicism.

That's not to say that they weren't conscious of earlier attempts to define "natural law." In fact, they were highly conscious of ancient Greek stoicism, which is why their movement became known as "Christian stoicism," as a way to co-opt the term from the "pagan" Greeks and to assert their authority as those who finally achieved what the ancient Greeks that they admired scholastically could not.

However, people like Aquinas had their limitations. It must be remembered that modern science did not exist until centuries after his death, so much of his methodology consists of circular reasoning created from pseudoscience and too many baseless assumptions, such as the infallibility of Augustine's doctrine of "original sin." And that, in my opinion, ends up being the downfall of the entire theology.

Where I get deeply disappointed in the Catholic Church is in the fact that they have embraced science and textual Biblical scholarship so deeply in the 20th century as to be admirable. While much of American Protestantism bickers over the issue of creationism versus evolution, the Catholic Church has long backed evolution, based on the science, coming to the theological conclusion that God can create through such science (this has nothing to do with Protestant "intelligent design," as ID demands strict changes to science, while Catholicism accepts the scientific conclusions about evolution completely). And, yet, it seems like all this fairly reasonable theology is overshadowed by its nonsensical clinging to "natural law" pseudoscience. And, frankly, I don't get it, except that such misanthropic attitudes as espoused in "natural law" have become so core to "Catholic tradition" that they cannot even think of a way to get rid of it. But, in the process, the more they try to reassert "natural law," the more irrelevant and foolish they look.

"Pride," after all, is a vice, not a virtue.
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Old 03-14-2007, 09:44 PM   #59
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Oh! Anitram just reminded me of another thing. I think Catholic bibles are different from Protestant bibles. I think the Catholic ones have a few books that aren't in the Protestant ones...I know James for sure...but I can't remember the others.
Catholic Old Testaments have seven books Protestant Bibles don't have. They are Tobit, Judith, 1 Macabees, 2 Macabees, Wisdom, Sirach, and Baruch.
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Old 03-14-2007, 10:16 PM   #60
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ahhh! there it is. thanks
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