Tuesday, July 24, 2007

Christian vs Catholic

The Pope took me by surprise earlier this month, by stating "saying non-Catholic Christian communities are either defective or not true churches, and the Roman Catholic Church provides the only true path to salvation."

I decided immediately to write about refutations to his claims. This took a lot longer than I thought, and I was surprised at the difficulty in finding good scholarly works refuting Roman Catholic Doctrine and this doctrine in particular.

This may be for a number of reasons. First, the web is not geared to the scholarly writings and over time it has become a trash heap of half baked ideas, first drafts and other debris. Second, many who could most resoundingly refute this doctrine are "old school" scholars, and not likely to use the Web. Third, none of this is new, so except for some students (and this is summer break for many universities) many scholars have heard all of this before and may not think it really necessary to discuss it again.

(As a side note: there are other Churches who call themselves Catholic, and thus the distinction "Roman" Catholic.)

Don't get me wrong, there is no shortage of people with the same initial thoughts I had: "Pope shows the true, evil nature, of the Roman Catholic Church" and in researching these, I did come across some really good stuff.


Now, to be sure, just as there are people misrepresenting the views of Islam, there are also people who will misrepresent the views of the Catholic Church. Therefore, I need to show first what the Roman Catholic Church really teaches.
if a person is outside of the Catholic church -- whether they:
  • Are a Muslim, Hindu, Buddhist or a member of another non-Christian religion,
  • Are a member of another Christian denomination,
  • Consider themselves an unaffiliated Christian who follows the teachings of Jesus, or
  • Are an Agnostic, Atheist, Humanist, secularist, etc.
    they cannot possibly be saved

    Pope Benedict XVI reasserted the primacy of the Roman Catholic Church, approving a document released yesterday that says other Christian communities are either defective or not true churches and Catholicism provides the only true path to salvation.
    This article also has a question and answer section, which is worth more than the article itself.

    Now, why I disagree with the Roman Catholic Church. First and foremost, my belief is that the Bible is the supreme authority on religious matters. The Roman Catholic Church supplants that with the notion that the Church itself and the Pope in particular are a higher authority than the Bible. In fact, they stand in direct conflict with the Bible in many matters.
    Overview of how Catholic faith contradicts the Bible.
    bible.ca overview false teaching
    (This second one is a bit of a cult - more on that in a minute)
    Jesus-is-Savior dotcom - Roman Catholicism vs Bible
    A few other links of interest:

  • Now to be sure, several sects of Christian Churches have their own cultures of exclusionary teachings. As a Baptist, I am familiar mostly with this one:
    The Baptist Standard page id=6626
    Another cultish group is the one that says the only true Bible is the King James Version. While I love that translation, I don't agree with their teachings whole heartedly. And the Jesus-is-Savior dot com site is not only into that culture, but quite far out in their other beliefs too. (wander around the site and you will get an eye full)

    Again, the difference between Christians and followers of the Roman Catholic Church is that we believe the Bible. Beginning with the reformation period associated with Martin Luther and a few others, we have fought a long battle to teach people that the Bible is the true source of wisdom and truth about God.

    Other notes:
    Along the way, I found a couple other works of interest.

    Careful examination, however, shows that the Pope's "Day of Pardon" was in fact not an apology, but rather a day of deception.

    Methods Muslims use to attack Christianity

    (check out their theology quiz)


    dw said...

    Rex I'd go for the heart of the matter.

    'The Two Babylons' by Alexander Hislop. I read it 30 years ago, or at least as best I could read it. it was mostly footnotes in Greek and Latin but fascinating. The subject is obvious from the title but it leaves little room for doubt that the Catholic Church is an extension of the Babylonian or Chaldean Mystery religeon.

    It will show you the origins of the Catholic Church's symbols, ceremonies, priesthood and the origins of the concept that salvation is a mysterious labrynth that no man can navigate without a priest. And maybe sex and drugs as they worshiped provreation. If you read hough it you may well be questioning your own Christian symbols and ceremonies. But doan oan worry. The one's I am referring to are not in the Bible. but rather simple tradition however to the caholics they are symbolic of their faith. The Bible is the only book I have ever read that I cannot is good concious challenge.

    BTW I remember reading of something called the 'lost church era' Appearantly after the original churches are created there is a blank spot for a few hundred years of what goes on with them then suddenly the Catholic Church emerges in history alreaduy up and running.

    Knowing the common practice of eliminating statues and documents of enemies and cultures conquered, basically rewrithing history, it would not be suptising if their was a battle between the original christian churhes and the counterfeit satan version. The epistles of Paul focused upon apasty. He sounded like he was expecting it big time.

    I also used to have a biography of every pope sence Peter. Some were prety sceary guys. One or two may have been black which support the view that the concept of racism is new and a tweaked version of culture clash. It splintered lik the reformation and evolved into political correctness. lol

    dw said...

    This thread got me doin a lil soul searchin. Doan know if you might need to delete it but wanna make a point.

    Jesus forgave mary magdelene for her sins of prostitution saying that she had 'loved much'

    Help me out here. I have never been a womanizer. not my nature but if it was I would have done it as God knows we all prolly fantasize. Anyway, hen a boy of seventeen I saw a girl and commented upon how beautiful she was to me. I was told she was a tram and 'go for it'. Going for it was terrifying to me as I was missing a front tooth all my childhood andit was a sourceof embarassemnt and tease, even provoked fights on occasion.

    Somehow I went for it and took her home. I had no idea about girls and failed miserably. She was so sweet about it and later when kissing her, her front teeth were ralse and fell out. I felt like I knew exactly how she felt and did a good job of showing her it mattered not and that she was a beautiful sweetheart.

    I was afraid to later persue her and she went to another school so only saw her one more time and still remember her sweet encouraging smile and wave but I was too shy. Have never forgotten her and that seems odd to me. She was a very innocent and sweet tramp.

    I am well aware of the problems these types of women can cause when they tempt men and harm families butb think of mary magdelene. Did I totally miss the real point Jesus made due to my secular mind? Do some women so desperately need to be loved that they use their sexuality for intamacy and a shot at finding love? Funny how men escape condemnation. I was the tramp.

    TRex said...

    I haven't actually read it, but I found some information about "The Two Babylons." While much of it is still taught in some Churches today, some of it has been debunked. Much of his work was not up to what we would consider good scholarly research today. (Possibly, in his day, might have gotten a passing mark. The booklet is over 100 years old, after all.) The bottom line is that while it may be a good expose of the problems with the Roman Church, I wouldn't "take it as gospel" or quote it without at least first checking other sources.

    I don't question my own Christian symbols, as I insist they be based directly on the Bible. There are other symbols of my religion that are not biblical, but we will tell you right up front they are our traditions. The most obvious is the cassarole dish - showing the tradition we like to hold pot luck dinners.

    Your quote about Mary Magdelene is not quite on - Jesus said she had sinned much. And been forgiven for much sinning. And that is why she loved him very much.

    Yes, I am sure there are women who turn to sex out of need for intamacy and some for a shot at finding love. I know a couple.

    As for being a tramp, many of us have been the tramp at one time in life or another. Myself included. That men get away with these things in society was one of the hidden messages in the story about Jesus and the woman caught in adultery. The brought her to Jesus and he said let the one who has no sin though the first stone. In addition to showing that all have sinned, if you check the scriptures it will say that both the man and woman caught in adultery should be brought forward. No man was brought that day. This may be why Jesus refused to condem her. It also may be why the eldest men were the first to leave when Jesus asked for the man who has no sin - they had sinned just by bringing her there and not bringing the man.


    dw said...

    Your right he was not a scholar but had acess to Greek and Latin documents due to his connections. I think maybe he was the pitbull against Catholics and suported by mainstream Christian leaders.

    You can't deny the obvious though. The ceremony and icons are the same as ancient Babylon and their is a blank spot is the evolution of the Catholic Church. And it is a 'Universal' church and it does in fact celebrate it's holy days on seasonal solistces as virtually every pagan religeon does of which makes conversion not so strange when you keep the same holy days and symbols. The names are changed to protect the guilty.

    It is very interesting to me and as I am not a christian I can afford to be open minded.

    The most significent thing I have ever learned about misinterpretation of the Bible involves the ressurection. Jesus was crucified on a 'high sabbath'.
    He obviously was the Passover fell on a wednesday that year and he was ressurected on a sabboth which means 'three days and three nights in hell. (grave) as he promised the Pharisses that demanded a sigh. Mary M. went to the tomb early Sun mourn while still dark. That means the it was still the Sabbath and he was already gone. Days have always begun and ended at susset. I think the Catholic Church had a hand in that change also.

    Anyway my view is literal. I can read and understand words especially when they discuss actual events. And if I seek deeper understanding from those that cannot even understand literal writings of actual events I get confounded. That is why I rejected the Catholic Church early on and not for any historical accusations. they have contributed nuch toi humanity in my view.

    TRex said...

    Let's start with the last item in your comment, first. I prefer the litereal to the "spiritual" meaning. And while I acknolege there is a lot to some of the alagories, I still think the plain, literal meaning of the Scriptures is most important. I only ask that they be read carefully, and in context with each other and the events that happened around that time.

    As for Mary M. arriving at the tomb - I always interpreted that as she left home before sunrise, and arrived at sunrise. therwise, how would she be able to see inside to know Jesus wasn't there. Maybe I should go read it again. Dang, I just studied that stuff (word by word) a couple months ago. My memory ain't what it used to be.

    As for the three days and three nights, my Sunday school class discussed and debated that for hours. Was it three days and three nights - or as I argued, He was buried on one day, spent the entire next day in the tomb and was resurected on the third day. We never did finalize our decision, and our salvation is not in jepardy on that account.

    BTW, Sheol, or the belly of the earth, does not nessasarily mean hell. Like jail, it can be a place of waiting. See the story about the rich man and Lazarus. Both were in the same place, but with a gulf between them, one was in torment and the other was not. This explains Jesus telling the "theif on the right" that he would be with Him "that day" in paradise.

    I want you to be open minded. While we are often asked to convert to Christianity by blind faith - we are by no means expected to stay that way. Learning and rising to challenges are one way we are suposed to grow.

    Not quite ready to discuss symbols right now (this IS getting long, after all), but I would like to know more about the "blank spot" in the evolution of the Roman Catholic Church. Are you takling about 100 to 300 AD? Or is there a later one, as well?

    In the mean time, I want to thank you for the pointer to the "Two Babylons" book. I had heard the name, and had heard the description, but had not put the two together.

    I also want to thank you for giving me the push I needed to get back into my studies in a more serious way. My mind grows dim if I don't constantly refresh it.


    dw said...

    Got a lil deeper than Iintended also. We can back burner it for another day Rex. thanx.