Why Should Catholics, Protestants and Orthodox Christians Reunite?

Why Should Catholics, Protestants and Orthodox Christians Reunite?

Catholics believe they alone are the fullness of Christ’s church, the various Eastern Orthodox communions believe the same about themselves and Protestants believe they are Christ’s church and may or may not accept Catholics and the Orthodox as part of Christ’s church. Why should these three groups with such diverse views of the church consider reunion?

1. Because the Bible tells us we should.  In 1 Corinthians 1:10, the Apostle Paul says “I appeal to you, brothers, by the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that all of you agree, and that there be no divisions among you, but that you be united in the same mind and the same judgment.” As early as the first century the Christians in Corinth were beginning to divide into different groups, each claiming a different Christian teacher for their leader (1 Cor. 1:12). In response to this the Apostle Paul admonishes the Corinthians for their divisions and encourages them to be united in the same mind. Though the situation today between Catholics, Protestants and the Orthodox is not exactly the same as the divisions found in the church of Corinth in the first century, there is still a lesson Christians today could learn from Paul’s words to the Corinthians: all those who would claim to be Christians are to be united in the same mind. The Apostle Paul wrote in Ephesians 4:1-6 “I therefore, a prisoner for the Lord, urge you to walk in a manner worthy of the calling to which you have been called, with all humility and gentleness, with patience, bearing with one another in love, eager to maintain the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace. There is one body and one Spirit—just as you were called to the one hope that belongs to your call— one Lord, one faith, one baptism, one God and Father of all, who is over all and through all and in all.” Since there is only one body of Christ, all people who profess to be followers of Christ should be eager to maintain the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace with all others who are followers of Christ.

2. Catholics, Protestants and Eastern Orthdox Christians need each other! From the Catholic perspective, Protestants and Eastern Orthodox Christians are not part of the fullness of Christ’s church.  Catholics believe that Protestants and Eastern Orthodox Christians are separated brethren who are part of the church, though in a very incomplete way. From the Catholic perspective, the separation of the Eastern Orthodox and Protestant Christians is as if an arm of the body of Christ ceased to function properly. A human body can survive with only one fully functioning arm but it could function better with two fully functioning arms. So it is with the body of Christ. The church is able to survive and function sufficiently without Protestants and Eastern Orthodox Christians within the fullness of the church but the Catholic Church would function much better if they came back into the fullness of Christ’s church. It is undeniable that Protestant Christians are able to contribute to Christ’s church in various ways. They have a tremendous desire to study God’s word, a great emphasis on the importance of sermons, a wonderful emphasis on evangelism and an unquestionable desire to follow Christ. Eastern Orthodox Christians have an amazing zeal to preserve Christian traditions, a heavenly vision of beauty in the liturgy, an admirable emphasis on self denial, as well as a sincere desire to be conformed into the image of God (theosis).

From the Protestant and Eastern Orthodox perspectives, the Catholic Church is needed in order to have a center of unity. Without the Bishop of Rome being the visible center of unity in the Protestant and Orthdox communions, they break down into numerous pieces and divisions without anything to keep them together into one organic whole.  Additionally, without the Catholic Church, they do not have a single authoritative voice to declare what is true and what is false, what is moral and what is immoral.

3. Because our disunity is a bad witness to non-Christians. Let’s face it, non-Christians see how divided the followers of Christ are and as a result they are not impressed with Christianity. Indeed there may be other reasons non-Christians do not seriously consider converting to Christianity, but this is definitely a major stumbling block to some (after all, if we are going to tell them to be reconciled to God, it is only right that we be reconciled with each other). Our desire as followers of Christ should be to remove this stumbling block in order that non-Christians would be more likely to consider following the Lord Jesus Christ.

Ultimately, Catholics, Protestants and Eastern Orthodox Christians should work towards reunion because it would please Christ (John 17:21)! May God’s Spirit bring this about.

In the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, Amen.

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18 responses to “Why Should Catholics, Protestants and Orthodox Christians Reunite?

  1. This is deceptive nonsense. All three branches of those who profess to believe in Jesus need to repent–but no on papistic ground!

    The papists need to repent of their Pharasaic additions to the Scriptures, repenting of the accumulations of false doctrines such as

    1. The (false) perpetual virginity, immaculate conception, ascension, and special intercession of the Jewish lady of the tribe of Judah whom God selected to bear Jesus in her womb (and give birth to a number of childern afterwards, (Matth 13.55, Mark 6.3)

    2. The (false) doctrine that Peter had a successor, or that there is an earthly “father”–in fact, the Scripture expressly forbids this, (Matth 23.9)

    3. The (false) doctrine of purgatory: “absent from the body, present with the Lord”

    4. The schizophrenic maintenance of papal infallibility alongside the attempt to be nice and attractive to the “separated brethren, by casting aside the thunderings and anathemas of past popes (such as “unam sanctum”, which declared that obedience to the pope was necessary for salvation.

    5. The (false) general attitude that pronouncements by bishops of Rome and councils are of equal weight with Scripture–and even cast the plain meaning of Scriptue aside. True grandchildren of the Pharisees and their “Corban”!

    6. Any church leadership differnet than what the New Testament shows the apostles to have established: that local areas were governed by a group of men who were described as “bishop”, “elder”, and “shepherd”. These three titles describe the same men, and are not three separate offices (Acts 20, Titus 1, 1 Pet 5). Bishops as a separate office, archbishops, cardinal bishops, prelates, vicars, metropolitans, etc, etc, etc. are not authorized by the Lord of Glory.

    The Eastern Orthodox have the same problem–the only difference there is a different set of traditions and a different bunch of names for their unscriptural leadership.

    Protestants have splintered because they have not held to the plain truth of Scripture. This is in fact EXACTLY the problem with both the Catholics and Orthodox: the only difference is that the Catholics managed to cover over the heresy THEY generated by a false unity which was achieved by bloodthirsty persecution and even genocide of those who did not agree with them (also completely unscriptural).

    Only a few groups have managed to pretty much stick to the Scriptures–it seems difficult for men to just obey what is there in black and white, without “adding to” or “taking away”. Perhaps Satan is involved in promoting this. None of these groups, such as the Waldensians, is “the Church”. Neither are the papists–despite repeated “ex cathedra” claims by popes.

    The TRUE unity is for ALL sides to cast away ALL things they are doing that are NOT in the SCRIPTURES!! But of the three, the Protestants, as a whole, have the least accumulation of vile perversions than do the Catholic or the Orthodox, who have the wrenching repentance facing them, for they will have to forsake the “pope”, the councils, the accumulated baggage of Cyprian, Augustine, Nicea, Ephesus, Lateran, Aquinas, Trent, etc, etc, etc. They will have to repent of their doctrines of Mary, Purgatory, Indulgences, the Rosary (5 prayers to Mary for every 1 to God–that is BLASPHEMY and IDOLATRY!) etc, etc.

    Protestants will have to repent of their wimpy vision of authority. That is one of the chief reasons people are headed back to Rome, is my guess–that the Protestant churches are just mush-bowls with no true authority. But you don’t have to go from the mush-bowl to the prison! The true path to the true exercise of authority is to just DO WHAT THE BIBLE SAYS!!

    • Hello friend,

      I appreciate your response and I will do my best to help clarify some misunderstandings. By the way, what denomination are you?

      You wrote “This is deceptive nonsense”

      I don’t think it is wise to try to discern my motives and judge whether I am being “deceptive”. Just for the record, I am not.

      You wrote “The papists need to repent of their Pharasaic additions to the Scriptures, repenting of the accumulations of false doctrines such as 1. The (false) perpetual virginity, immaculate conception, ascension, and special intercession of the Jewish lady of the tribe of Judah whom God selected to bear Jesus in her womb (and give birth to a number of childern afterwards, (Matth 13.55, Mark 6.3)”

      These are not additions to Scripture but can be found in the Bible, read this post where I have previously written on this http://workingtowardsreunion.wordpress.com/2012/06/07/the-biblical-case-for-the-marian-doctrines/ Read here for some of the Fathers on Mary http://www.churchfathers.org/

      You wrote “2. The (false) doctrine that Peter had a successor, or that there is an earthly “father”–in fact, the Scripture expressly forbids this, (Matth 23.9)”

      The Bible teaches Peter had a successor and even the early church confirmed this, I have written on this here http://workingtowardsreunion.wordpress.com/2012/07/13/did-christ-establish-a-living-magisterium-that-continues-to-the-present/

      The Bible doesn’t forbid calling anyone father any more than it forbids one calling another teacher, which the Bible itself says there are “teachers” in the church (Ephesians 4:11). What was the Bible forbidding in regards to “Call no man your father upon earth”? Read this http://www.catholic.com/tracts/call-no-man-father
      You wrote “3. The (false) doctrine of purgatory: “absent from the body, present with the Lord”
      Purgatory is Biblical (1 Cor. 3:15), read this http://www.catholic.com/tracts/purgatory

      As far from absent from the body, present with the Lord”, Paul is simply saying he would rather be absent from the body and present with the Lord, this does not mean some Christians might not have to undergo purification for temporal guilt before they enter heaven. It is possible to skip purgatory and go straight to heaven, in Paul’s case this was most likely what happened. So this is not a refutation to purgatory. Read this for more http://jimmyakin.com/2012/06/to-be-absent-from-the-body-is-to-be-present-with-the-lord.html

      You wrote “4. The schizophrenic maintenance of papal infallibility alongside the attempt to be nice and attractive to the “separated brethren, by casting aside the thunderings and anathemas of past popes (such as “unam sanctum”, which declared that obedience to the pope was necessary for salvation.”

      Past popes anathematized any Catholics who follow Protestantism, this is not an anathema against non Catholics. Non Catholics, if invincibly ignorant, may not be culpable for material heresy or for their remaining outside full communion with the Body of Christ. In regards to Unam Sanctum, read this http://www.philvaz.com/apologetics/debate9.htm

      You wrote “5. The (false) general attitude that pronouncements by bishops of Rome and councils are of equal weight with Scripture–and even cast the plain meaning of Scriptue aside. True grandchildren of the Pharisees and their “Corban”!”

      Pronouncements by Bishops of Rome are not “of equal weight with Scripture” in that they are not inspired like Scripture. However, they are binding and guided by the Holy Spirit. This comes from Christ’s proclomation that Peter has the authority to bind and loose. Papal pronouncements cannot add to Scripture or overrule it, but can only clarify it. As far as the corban charge and us being grandchildren of the Pharisees, this is most uncharitable. In regards to the corban issues itself, read here http://www.staycatholic.com/tradition.htm

      You wrote “6. Any church leadership differnet than what the New Testament shows the apostles to have established: that local areas were governed by a group of men who were described as “bishop”, “elder”, and “shepherd”. These three titles describe the same men, and are not three separate offices (Acts 20, Titus 1, 1 Pet 5). Bishops as a separate office, archbishops, cardinal bishops, prelates, vicars, metropolitans, etc, etc, etc. are not authorized by the Lord of Glory.”

      The Apostles established the Bishopric and Acts 1:20 bears this out. The term Bishop and Presbyter was used more loosely in the days of the NT (keep in mind a Bishop is still a presbyter) but the concept was there in seed form, we can see this in that Titus was appointed to appoint other elders (Titus 1:5). Sounds like a Bishop to me. Plus, this is what the immediate successors of the Apostles believed, for example, the Apostle John’s disciple Ignatius of Antioch who clearly distinguishes between the office of Bishop and Presbyter around 105 A.D. Read here for some quotes by the early church Fathers on this http://www.catholic.com/tracts/bishop-priest-and-deacon My main question to you is why did the early church believe in the office of a Bishop if it was against the Apostles teachings? Why don’t we find people saying ” ‘this isn’t what the Apostles taught ‘ “?

      As far as “archbishops, cardinal bishops, prelates, vicars, metropolitans, etc, etc, etc. are not authorized by the Lord of Glory.” These are not offices in the church like Deacons, Elders and Bishops. They are authorized by God, he gave the church this authority when he gave Peter the keys of the kingdom.

      You wrote “Protestants have splintered because they have not held to the plain truth of Scripture”

      Who determines what is the plain truth of Scripture? Wouldn’t some heretics say the plain truth of Scripture is that Christ was not always God because the Bible plainly says he was “begotten”? Doesn’t 2 Peter 3:16 say there are some things in the Bible that are hard to understand “There are some things in them that are hard to understand, which the ignorant and unstable twist to their own destruction, as they do the other Scriptures.” How do you know your interpretation of what is the plain meaning of Scripture isn’t really ignorant and unstable?

      You wrote “the only difference is that the Catholics managed to cover over the heresy THEY generated by a false unity which was achieved by bloodthirsty persecution and even genocide of those who did not agree with them (also completely unscriptural).”

      Can you give an example please?

      You wrote “Only a few groups have managed to pretty much stick to the Scriptures”
      Who determines this? You? Doesn’t every heretic claim they are the real ones sticking to Scripture?
      You wrote “The TRUE unity is for ALL sides to cast away ALL things they are doing that are NOT in the SCRIPTURES!!”

      Who determines what is in Scripture? I believe every Catholic dogma is Scriptural and that sola scriptura is not. True unity is in the Eucharist “Because there is one bread, we who are many are one body, for we all partake of the one bread.” (1 Cor. 10:17)

      You wrote “5 prayers to Mary for every 1 to God–that is BLASPHEMY and IDOLATRY”
      Our prayer to Mary are being offered through her to God, there is no problem here. “Idolatry”, how? We do not worship Mary.

      You wrote “The true path to the true exercise of authority is to just DO WHAT THE BIBLE SAYS!!”
      And every heretic thinks their heresy is what the Bible says. How do you determine what the Bible says?

      • Thanks for the thoughtful reply. Sorry, I’m not ignoring you, just very busy. I do want to say this before a full reply, which will have to wait until later:

        When I say “deceptive”, I am not commenting on your motives, I am commenting on the subject. Commonly, “re-uniting of the brethren” involves all sides being willing to look at what is not Scriptural, as a result of recognizing that all sides have in one degree or another departed from full obedience to the Scripture, either in adding to or subtracting from what is written, and in doing and saying things that are not in accord with the will of God. However, in reading your entry, it became apparent that the bottom line is that the claims of the papacy are correct and all other parties simply need to acknowledge their error and return to the Roman fold. I assume you are sincere and not consciously trying to pull the wool over someone’s eyes. However, I think a more accurate title would be something like, “Orthodox and Protestant adherants must return to the fold of Rome in order to be fully in the will of God”.

        As to my denomination: I belong to the Body of Christ. He is NOT denominated. All the denominations are a mirage, for there is only one Church–which is simply the aggregate of all who are born again through faith in Jesus Christ the Lord. Oh, I am under submission to a bishop, in a congregation whose “lineage” would roughly be considered Baptist. I first fellowshipped with a Congregational group of believers after I was first born again and then filled with the Spirit of Christ. O glory to God! that a vile sinner such as I, licentious, lazy, blasphemous rebel against God, should be born again, a new creature in Christ! Hallelujah! Later, I gathered with brethren in meeting houses whose titles referred to group who have adopted the name “charismatics”, but only because that is where God guided me to fellowship at the time.

        The denominations are in fact, sign-posts of “strifes over words”. Every denomination is a result of some one or some group of men teaching things which are not clearly in the Scripture, and thereby alienating other brethren. Romanism is in fact the earliest denomination. The claims to primacy of the Roman bishops were never universally accepted, and thus their divisiveness created the first major “church split” that was not a result of an outright doctrinal error attacking the person of Christ. The Greek Orthodox are a later denomination whose claims are just as unscriptural. Lutherans, Calvinists, and Wesleyans followed, all with varying degrees of conformity to Scripture, but still retaining elements of the “doctrines of men” that are the fountainhead of diviseveness. Today, denominations have multiplied to the point of indescribability. However, those who remained faithful to the Scriptures during the times when the papacy, orthodox, Lutherans and Calvinists were in close ties with the secular states, were viciously persecuted from about 400AD to the time when the papacy and other Christian groups lost their interdependence with the secular states, around 1700AD. Some are still around. It’s a lonely road, for mankind seem addicted to adding to the Scripture. But God is able to re-unite the true, born-again believer in ALL his truth and ONLY his truth. May God show the greatness of His power through Jesus Christ, in granting a revival of obedience unto all his Word among all who call upon the name of the Lord Jesus Christ in truth. And let the wolves in sheep’s clothing depart. God can do this, and ONLY He can do this.

        PS 119, Daleth:

        25 My soul cleaveth unto the dust: quicken thou me according to thy word. 26 I have declared my ways, and thou heardest me: teach me thy statutes. 27 Make me to understand the way of thy precepts: so shall I talk of thy wondrous works. 28 My soul melteth for heaviness: strengthen thou me according unto thy word. 29 Remove from me the way of lying: and grant me thy law graciously. 30 I have chosen the way of truth: thy judgments have I laid before me. 31 I have stuck unto thy testimonies: O LORD, put me not to shame. 32 I will run the way of thy commandments, when thou shalt enlarge my heart.

        If the Lord wills, I will attempt to address your specific comments at a later time.

        Tom

  2. Hello

    Thanks for writting.

    What if I believe your views of ecclesiology and sola scriptura are the traditions of men and it is Catholics who have not added to God’s word? How would you respond? I say your views are unbiblical and the traditions of men. How do we determine who is correct?

    • It doesn’t matter what your “views” are, or what my “views” are. What matters is what God has SAID. The answer is, Scripture–“Thy word is truth”. “Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of the Lord.” “If any man obey not our word by this epistle, note that man, and have no fellowship with him.” “Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded.” “That ye may be mindful of the words which were spoken before by the holy prophets, and of the commandment of us the apostles of the Lord and Saviour”. Ps 119 entire.

      • I think you are missing the point. Of course it matters most what God has said, but whose interpretation is correct. i say God’s word is in agreement with my position, while you say it is in agreement with yours, and just about every heretic says their position is what the Bible says. How then do we determine whose interpretation is consistent with what the Bible says because we are both appealing to Scripture for our position. I’ll reply to the post below soon.

  3. One general pattern emerges: reference to the “Church Fathers”. You can pick and choose which ones you consider “authoritative”. Such doctrines as the papacy cannot be traced CLEARLY all the way back to the earliest Christian writings. The quotes on staycatholic.com from Tertullian and Origen are perfect examples. Their focus on apostolic succession is not the later roman-focused, papal type. Getting the papacy out of their writings is like the proverbial getting the blood out of a turnip. It is later writers that developed the various aspects of what is now “catholic”. And the Greek Orthodox would certainly not agree, seeing they had their Metropolitans, and there was the famous split in the 11th century etc. Anabaptists also appeal strongly to “early Christians”. David Bercot is a famous modern writer in this vein. Pick your theological persuasion, you will find someone among the “church fathers” to support your view, either directly or indirectly. But the Church Fathers were but men. They did not have the Scripture given through them. They never claimed it as did the apostles–they always referred to the Scriptures. They are not the authority. The Scripture is. And reading their writings at face value–especially the early ones like Clement, reveals an overall approach not at all resembling those who today look to the “church fathers” to support their doctrines of papal infallibility, purgatory, the worship of Mary, etc. In fact if you search the First Epistle of Clement to the Corinthians, you will not even find the word “Mary”, “Pope” or even “Rome”, except in the first line where the epistle is from the Church in Rome to the Church in Corinth.

    We must remember that, in the New Testament, the Holy Spirit shows us that even in the days of the Apostles, those who walked in error but claimed to be Christians were in no short supply: “Also of your own selves shall men arise, speaking perverse things, to draw away disciples after them.”, and again, “They went out from us, but they were not of us; for if they had been of us, they would no doubt have continued with us: but they went out, that they might be made manifest that they were not all of us.” The early Christians are NOT the measure–the Scripture IS. Tertullian became a Montanist and railed against other Christians because of their lack of his version of holiness. The sad fact then, as now, is that both the disciplines which grieved him because not strict enough, and the disciplines he adopted, were both false disciplines which were imposed in ways not according to the Scriptures. Clement bemoaned the Corinthians still apparently acting like they did in the days of Paul. Origen was quite the speculator–and a universalist who propounded a system of thought which ended up concluding that the punishment in the afterlife is not endless–in complete contradiction to Scripture. So, is HE whom you want to follow, because he is ancient? Origen, though quite learned, and quite brave, was nonetheless gravely in error. I am not at all he will appear in New Jerusalem with the strange doctrine he propounded in direct contradiction to the plain statements of Scripture such as “And these shall go away into everlasting punishment: but the righteous into life eternal.” At the very least, he let human logic run away with him, and he muddled and complicated things, and will give an account to the Lord of Glory for his false teachings.

    But, see THIS is the generation of papacy, and other errors: very learned and eloquent men ply their trade of making scholarly conclusions based on their own (phenomenal) mental abilities. Their impressive conclusions were embraced by many–but never by all. However, as the centralization of power proceeded, disagreeing with the conclusions of these mental giants if they were “approved” became the target of increasingly violent hostility, with punishments not ordained by the Word of God–which is exactly what the “binding and loosing” is about. Those who appeal to Matthew 16:18 as the basis for the papacy ignore the same “binding and loosing” given in the plural to believers in Matthew 18:18–“Verily I say unto you, Whatsoever YE shall bind on earth shall be bound in heaven: and whatsoever YE shall loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven.” (this is one reason I strongly prefer the King James–you can see the interplay of the singular and plural second person–singular is thee/thou, plural is ye/you). There is NOTHING in the Scripture which even remotely resembles the accumulated practices of the papacy in regards to binding and loosing, which has to do particularly with binding and loosing the punishment for sins in THIS life only, and which we see in action in 1 Cor 5 and 2 Cor.

    When you back up and just look at the Scriptures, and take them at face value, no one would ever come up with the weird doctrines that accumulated over 1800 years–such as praying to anyone but God, and needing any other mediator than Jesus. On the note of mediation, the vilest-and I mean that word as the one I want to pick–the vilest thing about Catholicism is that they steal the essence of salvation from anyone who buys into their system. “For Christ also hath once suffered for sins, the just for the unjust, that he might bring us to God”. “Having boldness to enter into the Holiest by the blood of Jesus”. “For through him we both have access by one Spirit unto the Father.” “n whom we have boldness and access with confidence by the faith of him.” But the false doctrine of this monumental accumulation of error places the local “priest” (all believers are priests), then the roman bishop, then Mary, between the believer and God the Father. The truth is that what Christ purchased on the cross was forgiveness of sins and DIRECT access to God the Father through Christ ALONE. “There is one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus.”

    I used to be kind of warm and fuzzy toward (mis-named) catholicism (mis-named because it is not, nor ever was, “catholic” which means “universal”). But the more I read their own writings, the more revulsed I am by the vile heresies they advocate (such as saying the little Jewish virgin who was chosen to bear the Messiah is a “co-redemptix”); the hypocrisy of their history (the thundering of hundreds of years of papal bulls given “ex cathedra” which declared war and torture, and anathema against people who sought to follow the Scriptures and rejected the papal doctrines–but once they lost power, lo! now these are but separated brethren–but lo! the papal declarations are “irreformable”–but lo! we are now contradicting what they said under color of the keys of the kingdom–but lo! the Pope’s pronouncements are “irreformable”–but lo! we are singing a different tune. Just like the Mormons. Exactly like the Mormons! When they were in Utah alone, oh! the pronouncements made as from the mouth of God–polygamy–blood atonement–“Adam is our God and Father, and the only God with whom we have to do”–and when they lost power–lo! all they evaporate, yet lo! the Mormon prophets are still authoritative! So it is with romanism. Witness the papal bull of 1484 by Innocent VIII, calling for the “extermination” of the Waldenses. Such an “irreformable” pronouncement! But now, in 2012, the “irreformable” office is, O so nice to the “separated brethren” and wouldn’t dream of harming a fly. Spiritual schizophrenia!

    Tell you what, I would have some respect for Catholics if they would stand up and say, “We BELIEVE our religion! We BELIEVE that the pronouncements of the bishops of Rome are irreformable, and that every word they have uttered under the proclamation of exercising the keys of Peter are binding for all time! Extirminate the heretics, as Innocent commanded! In “The Church and Her Enemies”, Father Michael Mueller C.SS.R. says, among other things, “But there are other reasons still, why Protestants cannot be saved.” (http://www.catholicapologetics.info/apologetics/protestantism/enemies.htm) I at least have some respect for this man as somewhat a consistent follower of his religion. If you take the pronouncements of the “infallible” popes as “irreformable” this IS the attitude they present toward those who wish to humbly serve God by obeying His Word alone and ignore the various additions of men.

    And that is why, yes indeed, I think the original writing about unity is deceptive. Any Catholic worth his salt for understanding that religion and following it with integrity has to have the attitude, “You are all wrong, you must return to us or you are lost”.

    I used to think of Catholics rather nicely, as I said. But the more I go along, although I am not prone to conspiracy theories, the more I am inclined to think that this organization could really be what the true believers down through the centuries saw it as-the great whore who sits on a vile beast with seven heads which are (Rev 17:9) seven hills and is drunk with the blood of the saints. I don’t know for sure. But Rome IS the “city of seven hills” and has shed more blood than any other organization I know of–with the exception perhaps of Mao Zedung of China. Perhaps the Albigensian Crusade of Innocent III, 1209-1255. Or the various “inquisitions” of which the Spanish was the most famous.

    As to “sola scriptura” be “unbiblical”! Hmmm. Sola Scriptura is un-BIBLICAL? Let’s see:

    “Add thou not unto his words, lest he reprove thee, and thou be found a liar”.

    And it is written:

    “For I testify unto every man that heareth the words of the prophecy of this book, If any man shall add unto these things, God shall add unto him the plagues that are written in this book: And if any man shall take away from the words of the book of this prophecy, God shall take away his part out of the book of life, and out of the holy city, and from the things which are written in this book.”

    And it is written:

    “What thing soever I command you, observe to do it: thou shalt not add thereto, nor diminish from it.”

    And it is written:

    “Ye shall not add unto the word which I command you, neither shall ye diminish ought from it, that ye may keep the commandments of the LORD your God which I command you.”

    And I don’t know about you, but I do not want to hear, from the Lord of glory who shed his blood for me:

    “Why do ye also transgress the commandment of God by your tradition? 4 For God commanded, saying, Honour thy father and mother: and, He that curseth father or mother, let him die the death. 5 But ye say, Whosoever shall say to his father or his mother, It is a gift, by whatsoever thou mightest be profited by me; 6 And honour not his father or his mother, he shall be free. Thus have ye made the commandment of God of none effect by your tradition. Ye hypocrites, well did Esaias prophesy of you, saying, This people draweth nigh unto me with their mouth, and honoureth me with their lips; but their heart is far from me. But in vain they do worship me, teaching for doctrines the commandments of men.

    My observations cannot persuade you: only the Word of life can, for it is living. Have you read it, and is what you believe and do tied to that, as is, adding nothing, leaving nothing out?

    O, blessed be the Lord God Almighty, who has sent his Son, the Lord Jesus Christ, to die on the cross and rise again. I believe in Jesus! I am alive in Him! I have been filled with the Holy Spirit! O, bless the Lord, o my soul!!

    Respectfully,

    Edm. Hunt.

  4. You words will be in quotes and mine will be underneath them.

    “One general pattern emerges: reference to the “Church Fathers”. You can pick and choose which ones you consider “authoritative” ”

    Actually, Catholics don’t believe the church fathers are “authoritative”, they are simply a witness to the deposit of faith.

    “Such doctrines as the papacy cannot be traced CLEARLY all the way back to the earliest Christian writings”

    This is flat out untrue, consider these quotes here as a starter http://www.churchfathers.org/category/the-church-and-the-papacy/authority-of-the-pope/.

    “The quotes on staycatholic.com from Tertullian and Origen are perfect examples”

    tertullian and origen are not church fathers. Besides, consider what they said about the papacy here http://www.churchfathers.org/category/the-church-and-the-papacy/peters-primacy/.

    “Their focus on apostolic succession is not the later roman-focused, papal type”

    how so? Keep in mind we acknowledge that doctrine develops, as any Trinitarian must.
    “Getting the papacy out of their writings is like the proverbial getting the blood out of a turnip”

    I wouldn’t agree, again for starters see the links provided above.
    “It is later writers that developed the various aspects of what is now “catholic””

    The papacy is found in seed form in the Patristic era and yes it did develop in subsequent periods, no problem here.
    “And the Greek Orthodox would certainly not agree, seeing they had their Metropolitans, and there was the famous split in the 11th century etc”

    The Eastern Orthodox affirm the primacy of the Bishop of Rome, it is merely that since the Council of Florence they do not affirm it as functioning in the way Catholics do. There really wasn’t a split in the 11th century according to church historians, this officially took place in the 15th century.

    “Anabaptists also appeal strongly to “early Christians””
    Yes, they appeal to heretical movements throughout church history.
    “David Bercot is a famous modern writer in this vein. Pick your theological persuasion, you will find someone among the “church fathers” to support your view”

    heresy can indeed be found among some of the church fathers in matters that had not been defined by the church in their time. So what? The Fathers aren’t infallible.,

    “either directly or indirectly. But the Church Fathers were but men. They did not have the Scripture given through them. They never claimed it as did the apostles–they always referred to the Scriptures.”

    So what?

    “They are not the authority.”

    Never claimed they were.

    “The Scripture is.”

    Scripture is an authority, but so is the magisterium, according to Scripture. Where do the Scriptures say the Scriptures alone are the final authority? This is a tradition of men you are reading into the Bible.

    “And reading their writings at face value–especially the early ones like Clement, reveals an overall approach not at all resembling those who today look to the “church fathers” to support their doctrines of papal infallibility, purgatory, the worship of Mary, etc.”

    How is Pope Clement in opposition to papal infallibility, purgatory and Mary. Also, we do not worship Mary, I corrected you on this already and so now you are repeating what you know to be untrue, unless you did not read what I have previously written to you.
    “In fact if you search the First Epistle of Clement to the Corinthians, you will not even find the word “Mary”, “Pope” or even “Rome””
    Those words may or may not be in the epistle but the content of those words, at least some of them, is. The name of God doesn’t appear at all in the Book of Esther, so what? Does every doctrine and word have to appear in every book or epistle? and yet he was the Bishop of Rome and presumed to be able to write to them to correct their errors and even says “Owing to the sudden and repeated calamities and misfortunes which have befallen us, we must acknowledge that we have been somewhat tardy in turning our attention to the matters in dispute among you, beloved; and especially that abominable and unholy sedition, alien and foreign to the elect of God, which a few rash and self-willed persons have inflamed to such madness that your venerable and illustrious name, worthy to be loved by all men, has been greatly defamed. . . . Accept our counsel and you will have nothing to regret. . . . If anyone disobey the things which have been said by him [God] through us [i.e., that you must reinstate your leaders], let them know that they will involve themselves in transgression and in no small danger. . . . You will afford us joy and gladness if being obedient to the things which we have written through the Holy Spirit, you will root out the wicked passion of jealousy” (Letter to the Corinthians 1, 58–59, 63 [A.D. 80]).” How could he exort them thus without papal authority, especially given St. John was still alive and closer to them. As far as early witnesses to Mary, consider Justin Martyr and Irenaeus http://www.churchfathers.org/category/mary-and-the-saints/mary-without-sin/

    “except in the first line where the epistle is from the Church in Rome to the Church in Corinth.”

    Why did the Christians all the way in Corinth write to the Bishop of Rome to settle their disupte and why did the Bishop of Rome write back as if he had the authority to do so, escpecially given that St. John was closer to Corinth and capable of settling their dispute? This seems to be a major point in favor of papal authority and supremacy.

    “We must remember that, in the New Testament, the Holy Spirit shows us that even in the days of the Apostles, those who walked in error but claimed to be Christians were in no short supply: “Also of your own selves shall men arise, speaking perverse things, to draw away disciples after them.”, and again, “They went out from us, but they were not of us; for if they had been of us, they would no doubt have continued with us: but they went out, that they might be made manifest that they were not all of us.” The early Christians are NOT the measure–the Scripture IS”

    Again early Christians are not our authority but are merely a witness to the Apostolic deposit of faith. True, error is just as ancient as Apostolic truth. For this reason, how do you determine which doctrines are of Apostolic origin and which are not, especially given the fact that canon wasn’t determined until the late fourth, early fifth century, and even then not definitively so.

    “Tertullian became a Montanist and railed against other Christians because of their lack of his version of holiness. The sad fact then, as now, is that both the disciplines which grieved him because not strict enough, and the disciplines he adopted, were both false disciplines which were imposed in ways not according to the Scriptures.”
    This is why Catholics don’t consider Tertullian a Church Father. Did we ever say he was our final authority anyway? By the way, who determined those were false disciplines? Wasn’t it the Bishop of Rome?

    “Clement bemoaned the Corinthians still apparently acting like they did in the days of Paul.”

    And?

    “Origen was quite the speculator–and a universalist who propounded a system of thought which ended up concluding that the punishment in the afterlife is not endless–in complete contradiction to Scripture.”

    Which is also why he is not a Church Father to Catholics, and he is not our final authority.

    “So, is HE whom you want to follow, because he is ancient?”

    Nope, you clearly do not understand out position by asking this question.

    “Origen, though quite learned, and quite brave, was nonetheless gravely in error.”

    Who determined his views were in error? Wasn’t it the Catholic magisterium at the Second Council of Constantinople? How is this helping your position since this is actually helping the Catholic position.

    “I am not at all he will appear in New Jerusalem with the strange doctrine he propounded in direct contradiction to the plain statements of Scripture such as “And these shall go away into everlasting punishment: but the righteous into life eternal.” At the very least, he let human logic run away with him, and he muddled and complicated things, and will give an account to the Lord of Glory for his false teachings.”

    Don’t be so hard on Origen, he was wrong but you are too on many points.

    “But, see THIS is the generation of papacy, and other errors: very learned and eloquent men ply their trade of making scholarly conclusions based on their own (phenomenal) mental abilities. Their impressive conclusions were embraced by many–but never by all.”

    Our claims do not depend on universal agreement. You do not understand the Catholic position. Our final authority is not the Fathers but the magisterium of Christ, as the Scriptures themselves teach in Acts 15.

    “However, as the centralization of power proceeded, disagreeing with the conclusions of these mental giants if they were “approved” became the target of increasingly violent hostility,”

    can you give an example?

    “with punishments not ordained by the Word of God–which is exactly what the “binding and loosing” is about.”

    What are you saying binding and loosing is about?

    “Those who appeal to Matthew 16:18 as the basis for the papacy ignore the same “binding and loosing” given in the plural to believers”

    Nothing is ignored and nowhere does it say this authority is given to every believer, you are reading into the text. Jesus spoke those words to the Apostles, not to every Christian. All the Apostles and their successors have the authority to bind and loose but only Peter and his successor was given the keys of the kingdom. Note how Matthew 18:18 doesn’t mention the keys.

    “in Matthew 18:18–”Verily I say unto you, Whatsoever YE shall bind on earth shall be bound in heaven: and whatsoever YE shall loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven.” (this is one reason I strongly prefer the King James–you can see the interplay of the singular and plural second person–singular is thee/thou, plural is ye/you). There is NOTHING in the Scripture which even remotely resembles the accumulated practices of the papacy in regards to binding and loosing, which has to do particularly with binding and loosing the punishment for sins in THIS life only, and which we see in action in 1 Cor 5 and 2 Cor.”

    I recommend you read this on binding and loosing and Matt. 16:18-19 before commenting on this topic further. http://www.cin.org/users/james/files/Why_Be_Catholic.htm

    “When you back up and just look at the Scriptures, and take them at face value, no one would ever come up with the weird doctrines that accumulated over 1800 years”

    “face value”, what is the face value meaning of “You see that a person is justified by what he does and not by faith alone” (James 2:24)?

    “–such as praying to anyone but God”

    Here is a good refutation to this claim http://www.catholic.com/tracts/the-intercession-of-the-saints,

    “and needing any other mediator than Jesus”

    Jesus is the one mediator between God and man, we affirm this, yet Moses in the Scriptures is called a mediator, why is that? Why do you ask anyone to pray for you if there aren’t any other kinds of mediation? Read this for a good refutation of your point http://www.catholic.com/tracts/praying-to-the-saints.

    “On the note of mediation, the vilest-and I mean that word as the one I want to pick–the vilest thing about Catholicism is that they steal the essence of salvation from anyone who buys into their system.”

    How so?

    ““For Christ also hath once suffered for sins, the just for the unjust, that he might bring us to God”. “Having boldness to enter into the Holiest by the blood of Jesus”. “For through him we both have access by one Spirit unto the Father.” “n whom we have boldness and access with confidence by the faith of him.” We affirm all of these Scriptures. But the false doctrine of this monumental accumulation of error places the local “priest” (all believers are priests)”

    all believers are priests, as Peter quotes the old testament passage, but didn’t the people in the Old Testament also have special kinds of priests that not all believers were a part of? We believe in the priesthood of all believers, see here for more http://www.ewtn.com/library/ANSWERS/PRIEST3.HTM

    “, then the roman bishop, then Mary, between the believer and God the Father. The truth is that what Christ purchased on the cross was forgiveness of sins and DIRECT access to God the Father through Christ ALONE.”

    We believe all believers have access directly to Christ in prayer. But the ordinary way Christ’s work of salvation is applied to us is through the sacraments.

    “There is one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus.”

    Amen. We affirm this.

    “I used to be kind of warm and fuzzy toward (mis-named) catholicism (mis-named because it is not, nor ever was, “catholic” which means “universal).””

    Why do we have Christians from all over the world? How is that not universal?).

    “But the more I read their own writings, the more revulsed I am by the vile heresies they advocate (such as saying the little Jewish virgin who was chosen to bear the Messiah is a “co-redemptix”);”
    You do not understand what we mean by this. Read here for more http://www.catholic.com/magazine/articles/mary-mother-of-salvation

    “the hypocrisy of their history (the thundering of hundreds of years of papal bulls given “ex cathedra” which declared war and torture, and anathema against people who sought to follow the Scriptures and rejected the papal doctrines”

    can you give an example? Why do you feel the need to resort to emotive language?

    “–but once they lost power, lo! now these are but separated brethren”

    you do not understand our position, and I get the impression you are not willing to either by the use of your emotive language, after all, why would you hear us out when we are nothing but hypocrites according to you? You are being most uncharitable and you are also displaying a great deal of ignorance in regards to our positions. You would do well to approach the matter with a heart open to learning what we believe, since you clearly have not done so yet. In regards to separated brethren, you are obviously not familiar with the concept of invincible ignorance.

    “–but lo! the papal declarations are “irreformable”–but lo! we are now contradicting what they said under color of the keys of the kingdom–but lo! the Pope’s pronouncements are “irreformable”–but lo! we are singing a different tune.”

    No, you are just ignorant and do not know what we believe and therefore it seems like contradictions to you.

    “Just like the Mormons. Exactly like the Mormons!”

    Actually, your position is similar to the Mormons, read here http://www.calledtocommunion.com/2009/07/ecclesial-deism/

    “When they were in Utah alone, oh! the pronouncements made as from the mouth of God–polygamy–blood atonement–”Adam is our God and Father, and the only God with whom we have to do”–and when they lost power–lo! all they evaporate, yet lo! the Mormon prophets are still authoritative! So it is with romanism. Witness the papal bull of 1484 by Innocent VIII, calling for the “extermination” of the Waldenses. Such an “irreformable” pronouncement! But now, in 2012, the “irreformable” office is, O so nice to the “separated brethren” and wouldn’t dream of harming a fly. Spiritual schizophrenia!”

    I think you are confusing a number of issues. Where did the Pope define as a matter of faith and morals that the Waldenses are not separated brethren? Remember that the infallability of the church in defining matters of faith and morals doesn’t mean all Popes will be free from error in practice, it just means they will be free from error in defining matters of faith and morals, something you have to demonstrate Innocent VIII was doing, assuming he ever said the Waldenses were to be “exterminated”. Would you mind providing a quotation of Innocent VIII on exterminating the Waldenses and also provide your source? Also, show where he defined as a matter of faith and morals that the Waldenses are not separated brethren. If you can’t demonstrate this then your argument is irrelevant.

    “Tell you what, I would have some respect for Catholics if they would stand up and say, “We BELIEVE our religion! We BELIEVE that the pronouncements of the bishops of Rome are irreformable, and that every word they have uttered under the proclamation of exercising the keys of Peter are binding for all time!”

    I believe this.

    “Extirminate the heretics, as Innocent commanded!”

    Again, you are confusing the Pope as excercising the keys of the kingdom in matters of faith and morals and the Pope as a civil ruler.

    “In “The Church and Her Enemies”, Father Michael Mueller C.SS.R. says, among other things, “But there are other reasons still, why Protestants cannot be saved.” (http://www.catholicapologetics.info/apologetics/protestantism/enemies.htm)”

    I don’t care to find out why Michael Mueller said what he said but even if he said what you say he said it wouldn’t matter, he does not speak for the Catholic Church, the magisterium does.

    “I at least have some respect for this man as somewhat a consistent follower of his religion.”

    Such a position is not consistent with Catholicism and you only respect him because you think his position is that of the Catholic Church when if I am understanding his position correctly is not. You, or Mueller, do not get to decide what the Catholic church teaches, the Catholic magisterium does that.

    “If you take the pronouncements of the “infallible” popes as “irreformable” this IS the attitude they present toward those who wish to humbly serve God by obeying His Word alone and ignore the various additions of men.”

    You need to learn what we believe about papal infallibility before you comment on this matter further since you are only demonstrating that you are ignorant on this matter. The Pope is only infallible only when speaking ex cathedra on matters of faith and morals. Read here for more on this topic http://www.catholic.com/tracts/papal-infallibility

    “And that is why, yes indeed, I think the original writing about unity is deceptive. Any Catholic worth his salt for understanding that religion and following it with integrity has to have the attitude, “You are all wrong, you must return to us or you are lost”.”

    No, you don’t know what you are talking about. But we do think that they need to return to us because it was them who left us.

    “I used to think of Catholics rather nicely, as I said. But the more I go along, although I am not prone to conspiracy theories, the more I am inclined to think that this organization could really be what the true believers down through the centuries saw it as-the great whore who sits on a vile beast with seven heads which are (Rev 17:9) seven hills and is drunk with the blood of the saints.”

    I’m not surprised, that also explains why you don’t seem to have really looked into what we believe so far. I use to believe the Catholic Church was the whore of Babylon, see here for a good refutation of this view http://www.catholic.com/tracts/hunting-the-whore-of-babylon

    “I don’t know for sure. But Rome IS the “city of seven hills””
    Rome is, the Vatican is not. Also Jerusalem sits on seven hills if I am not mistaken.

    “and has shed more blood than any other organization I know of”

    Pagan Rome seems to fit this description better. Also, what are we to say of the many Protestants who have shed blood?

    “–with the exception perhaps of Mao Zedung of China. Perhaps the Albigensian Crusade of Innocent III, 1209-1255. Or the various “inquisitions” of which the Spanish was the most famous.”

    Are you aware that only a few thousand people were put to death because of the Spanish Inquisition. I’m not making light of that but this is a far cry from what you are implying.

    “As to “sola scriptura” be “unbiblical”! Hmmm. Sola Scriptura is un-BIBLICAL? Let’s see: “Add thou not unto his words, lest he reprove thee, and thou be found a liar”.”

    Right, Catholics don’t add to God’s word. So how does this teach sola scriptura???

    “And it is written: “For I testify unto every man that heareth the words of the prophecy of this book, If any man shall add unto these things, God shall add unto him the plagues that are written in this book: And if any man shall take away from the words of the book of this prophecy, God shall take away his part out of the book of life, and out of the holy city, and from the things which are written in this book.””

    We don’t add to the words of the Book of Revelation. How does this teach sola scriptura?

    “And it is written: “What thing soever I command you, observe to do it: thou shalt not add thereto, nor diminish from it.””

    We haven’t added to God’s word. How does this teach sola scriptura?

    “And it is written: Ye shall not add unto the word which I command you, neither shall ye diminish ought from it, that ye may keep the commandments of the LORD your God which I command you.””

    We haven’t added to God’s word. How does this teach sola scriptura?

    “And I don’t know about you, but I do not want to hear, from the Lord of glory who shed his blood for me: “Why do ye also transgress the commandment of God by your tradition? 4 For God commanded, saying, Honour thy father and mother: and, He that curseth father or mother, let him die the death. 5 But ye say, Whosoever shall say to his father or his mother, It is a gift, by whatsoever thou mightest be profited by me; 6 And honour not his father or his mother, he shall be free. Thus have ye made the commandment of God of none effect by your tradition. Ye hypocrites, well did Esaias prophesy of you, saying, This people draweth nigh unto me with their mouth, and honoureth me with their lips; but their heart is far from me. But in vain they do worship me, teaching for doctrines the commandments of men.”

    He is rebuking the traditions of men, as he clearly says “your traditions”, and not the traditions that come from Christ. Catholics hold to Apostolic Tradition which comes from the Apostles and we reject the traditions of men when they conflict with God’s Word. So this is not relevant to our position on tradition. Not all traditions are bad, as Paul says in 2 Thess. 2:15 “So then, brothers, stand firm and hold to the traditions that you were taught by us, either by our spoken word or by our letter.”

    “My observations cannot persuade you: only the Word of life can, for it is living. Have you read it,”

    I’ve read the Bible (Protestant canon) cover to cover many times

    “and is what you believe and do tied to that, as is, adding nothing, leaving nothing out?”

    We do not add to Gods’ Word and I try to live my life in conformity to God’s word.

    “O, blessed be the Lord God Almighty, who has sent his Son, the Lord Jesus Christ, to die on the cross and rise again. I believe in Jesus! I am alive in Him! I have been filled with the Holy Spirit! O, bless the Lord, o my soul!!”

    Amen.

    “Respectfully,
    Edm. Hunt.”

    I think you are jumping around from topic to topic and it would be more productive if we could focus our discussion on one topic at a time. Perhaps we could discuss the biggest problem you have with Catholicism.

    • The “episcopate” was not “established” in Acts 1:20. Taking it at face value, the man was chosen to take the place of Judas, and the Old Testament Septuagint was quoted, “let another take his bishoprick (episkope)”. None of the additions of later centuries is here presented. In an utterly amazing defiance of the PLAIN teaching of the Scriptures, the papists forbade those serving in this kind of office from marrying, when in a TRULY DIRECT teaching on the same word, God himself said,

      KJV 1 Timothy 3:1 This is a true saying, If a man desire the office of a bishop [same word, episcope), he desireth a good work. 2 A bishop then must be blameless, the husband of one wife, vigilant, sober, of good behaviour, given to hospitality, apt to teach…. 4 One that ruleth well his own house, having his children in subjection with all gravity; 5 (For if a man know not how to rule his own house, how shall he take care of the church of God?)

      So: the SCRIPTURE says a bishop must be the husband of one wife and have faithful children. But the disobedient papists that their authority may–just like the Pharisees of old–walk in direct contradiction to the Scriptures. How like the endless writings of the Jewish rabbis are the endless writings of the Catholics!

      The office of bishop is further described. In Acts Chapter 20, “bishop”, “elder”, and “shepherd (pastor)” are applied to the same group of men from a locality who were not apostles. In Titus 1 in a TRUE handbook of the Church, “elder” and “bishop/episkopos” are in one breath, of the leaders of churches in cities (not individual meeting places). AND here to they are to be “the husband of one wife, having faithful children not accused of riot or unruly”.. And in 1 Peter 5, “bishop/episkopos”, “elder”, and “shepherd/pastor” are in one breath.

      SO: the Bible says one thing, clearly–twice. Yet the papists disobey with their pronouncements. Yet a passage that is not a clear teaching on the nature of Church leadership is milked for a doctrine it does not teach.

      Hypocrites!

      • Let’s try to tone it down a little bit.

        Are you aware that clerical celibacy in Catholicism is not a dogma but a discipline? Are you aware there are married Catholic priests?

      • First, on the celibacy of the clergy:

        From the Catholic Encyclopedia:

        “Celibacy is the renunciation of marriage implicitly or explicitly made, for the more perfect observance of chastity, by all those who receive the Sacrament of Orders in any of the higher grades. The character of this renunciation, as we shall see, is differently understood in the Eastern and in the Western Church. Speaking, for the moment, only of Western Christendom, the candidates for orders are solemnly warned by the bishop at the beginning of the ceremony regarding the gravity of the obligation which they are incurring. He tells them:

        You ought anxiously to consider again and again what sort of a burden this is which you are taking upon you of your own accord. Up to this you are free. You may still, if you choose, turn to the aims and desires of the world (licet vobis pro artitrio ad caecularia vota transire). But if you receive this order (of the subdiaconate) it will no longer be lawful to turn back from your purpose. You will be required to continue in the service of God, and with His assistance to observe chastity and to be bound for ever in the ministrations of the Altar, to serve who is to reign.

        By stepping forward despite this warning, when invited to do so, and by co-operating in the rest of the ordination service, the candidate is understood to bind himself equivalently by a vow of chastity. He is henceforth unable to contract a valid marriage, and any serious transgression in the matter of this vow is not only a grievous sin in itself but incurs the additional guilt of sacrilege.”

        Note then, that the “episcopate” is bishops. Note that the Scripture specifically says that “bishops” are to have a wife and rule his children well. Note then that the “higher orders” in the papist system are bishops, and that “all those who receive the Sacrament of Orders in any of the higher grades”–the bishops–must be unmarried. This is sophistry, I cannot believe you missed the point. How can you invite people to be unified to such an unscriptural system? I would not want to answer for that in the resurrection.

        Speaking of which: if you are a true Christian, you should know that you have eternal life: KJV 1 John 5:13 “These things have I written unto you that believe on the name of the Son of God; that ye may know that ye have eternal life, and that ye may believe on the name of the Son of God.”

        I am so saddened by your answer–I invite you to compare the answer for your soul that your religion has given you–compare it to the Scripture.

        “If any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold all things are become new.” Is this your experience?

        KJV Romans 8:15 “For ye have not received the spirit of bondage again to fear; but ye have received the Spirit of adoption, whereby we cry, Abba, Father.” Do you cry “Abba, Father” by the Spirit of adoption?

        KJV Galatians 4:6 “And because ye are sons, God hath sent forth the Spirit of his Son into your hearts, crying, Abba, Father.” Do you have the Spirit of Jesus in your heart, crying “Abba, Father”? It doesn’t sound like it. You are focused on your sins, and you hope to go to purgatory. That sounds like you are uncertain if you will even make it there…

        Next, I have to ask you–if you are a sincere devotee of the teachings of this organization you are promoting–do you agree with the following official statements? Are they your belief (this is very, very germane to this blog, because you are asking, nay demanding, that people join you in the state you are in, so they should know what they are signing up for)

        So, do you agree, is this your trust?–

        “None, O Mother of God, obtains salvation except through thee, none receives a gift from the throne of mercy except through thee.” (Leo XIII: Adiutricem populi, September 5, 1895) — [p. 19, no. 44]

        No one can enter into Heaven except through Mary, as entering through a gate. St. Bonaventure

        Mary became for herself and for all men the cause and foundation of salvation. St. Francis de Sales

        Mary desired, sought, and obtained the salvation of everyone; nay, she even effected the salvation of everyone! St. Alphonsus Maria Liguori

        For, since it is the will of divine Providence that we should have the God-Man through Mary, there is no other way for us to receive Christ except from her hands. Pope St. Pius X

        In other words, are you trusting in Christ Jesus ALONE for your salvation? Or perhaps, I should ask are you for sure–in your own spiritual experience, a son of God, as it is written,

        KJV 1 John 3:2 “Beloved, now are we the sons of God, and it doth not yet appear what we shall be: but we know that, when he shall appear, we shall be like him; for we shall see him as he is.”

        Your responses highlights what is the main problem with the papist organization: the unique teachings of that system are based on off-the-wall interpretations of Scripture that depart from the plain teaching of the Lord, while ignoring and even flat contradicting that which is plainly stated in the Word of God. In talking to those under the sway of this belief system, I find it’s exactly like talking to someone in a cult–they cannot see through to the Scripture without this bizarre filter over their mind’s eye. Jehovah’s Witnesses just cannot see the plain teaching of the Scripture that Jesus is truly God. Mormons cannot see that God has always been God and there will never be any other God. Seventh Day Adventists cannot see that keeping Sabbath is not a factor in the New Testament. And Catholics cannot seem to see any of the delightful, wholesome Word of God, but through the filter of the weird interpretations of various passages by the likes of Cyprian, Ambrose, Augustine, Aquinas, etc.

        If you really want the true unity that would honor God, I suggest you fast from anything but the Bible for one year. And see if you are living this.

      • It does not say they must be married and have children it just says that they should be limited to one wife and should raise their children well. Catholics recognize that some in the episcopate in the early church were married, even the Vatican website says, ”It is clear from the New Testament (Mk 1:29-31; Mt 8:14-15; Lk 4:38-39; 1 Tim 3:2, 12; Tit 1:6) that at least the Apostle Peter had been married, and that bishops, presbyters and deacons of the Primitive Church were often family men.”
        http://www.vatican.va/roman_curia/congregations/cclergy/documents/rc_con_cclergy_doc_01011993_chisto_en.html

        Our position is a discipline and not a dogma. Most clergy even in the early church were celibate though. Read here for more. http://www.vatican.va/roman_curia/congregations/cclergy/documents/rc_con_cclergy_doc_01011993_chisto_en.html i’ll send you a response to your other comments later.

      • You wrote: “Speaking of which: if you are a true Christian, you should know that you have eternal life: KJV 1 John 5:13 “These things have I written unto you that believe on the name of the Son of God; that ye may know that ye have eternal life, and that ye may believe on the name of the Son of God.”

        I do know I have eternal life, the question is whether or not I will persevere in this state. Paul speaks about falling away from grace in Galatians, as does the writer of Hebrews that says “How much worse punishment, do you think, will be deserved by the one who has spurned the Son of God, and has profaned the blood of the covenant by which he was sanctified, and has outraged the Spirit of grace?” (Hebrews 10:29) So it is possible to have eternal life, and to have been sanctified by the blood of Christ and to then reject Christ. Also, going to purgatory is evidence you have eternal life since no one goes to purgatory without eternal life.

        “I am so saddened by your answer–I invite you to compare the answer for your soul that your religion has given you–compare it to the Scripture.”

        I have and I find Catholicism’s soteriology, as all of Catholicism, thoroughly Biblical. It is your view I find not only against Scripture but also to be very dangerous.

        “If any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold all things are become new.” Is this your experience?”

        Yes.

        “KJV Romans 8:15 “For ye have not received the spirit of bondage again to fear; but ye have received the Spirit of adoption, whereby we cry, Abba, Father.” Do you cry “Abba, Father” by the Spirit of adoption?”

        No objection here. How is this relevant to our discussion? I think you just don’t understand Catholic soteriology.

        “KJV Galatians 4:6 “And because ye are sons, God hath sent forth the Spirit of his Son into your hearts, crying, Abba, Father.” Do you have the Spirit of Jesus in your heart, crying “Abba, Father”? It doesn’t sound like it. You are focused on your sins, and you hope to go to purgatory. That sounds like you are uncertain if you will even make it there…”

        I do have the Spirit in Galatians 4:6. I am only as uncertain that I will go to purgatory insofar as I am uncertain that I will reject Christ. I don’t believe I will, but it is possible because I still have a will to choose. I don’t think I will ever divorce my wife but I can’t say it is not possible.

        “Next, I have to ask you–if you are a sincere devotee of the teachings of this organization you are promoting–do you agree with the following official statements? Are they your belief (this is very, very germane to this blog, because you are asking, nay demanding, that people join you in the state you are in, so they should know what they are signing up for)”

        I do not reject any of the Scritpures you have quoted, I believe them all, as does the Catholic Church.

        “So, do you agree, is this your trust?–”

        My trust is in God.

        “None, O Mother of God, obtains salvation except through thee, none receives a gift from the throne of mercy except through thee.” (Leo XIII: Adiutricem populi, September 5, 1895) — [p. 19, no. 44]”

        Yes, this does not mean Mary obtained salvation in the way Christ does but it merely means that by her intercession she really plays a part in our salvation, just as when one Christian prays for another it can really be said that the Christian who prays for another Christian is helping to save the other Christian, not that Christ’s work isn’t sufficient, but that Christ’s work must still be applied, and God has given all his saints the job of applying the work of Christ to others by prayer, witnessing and so on. If you will enter into the beatific vision it will be not only because Christ died for you but also because Mary interceded on your behalf and Christ’s work was applied to you, whether you believe in Mary’s intercession or not.

        “No one can enter into Heaven except through Mary, as entering through a gate. St. Bonaventure”

        Right because it is through her womb that salvation came into the world.

        “Mary became for herself and for all men the cause and foundation of salvation. St. Francis de Sales”

        Right, because through her womb salvation came into the world.

        “Mary desired, sought, and obtained the salvation of everyone; nay, she even effected the salvation of everyone! St. Alphonsus Maria Liguori”

        Right, because through her womb salvation came into the world

        “For, since it is the will of divine Providence that we should have the God-Man through Mary, there is no other way for us to receive Christ except from her hands. Pope St. Pius X”

        Right, see my previous response.

        “In other words, are you trusting in Christ Jesus ALONE for your salvation? Or perhaps, I should ask are you for sure–in your own spiritual experience, a son of God, as it is written,”

        I trust in Christ alone in the sense that there is salvation in no one else, but the church is also part of Christ so I trust in the whole Christ.

        KJV 1 John 3:2 “Beloved, now are we the sons of God, and it doth not yet appear what we shall be: but we know that, when he shall appear, we shall be like him; for we shall see him as he is.”

        I believe this and I believe I am a son of God.

        “Your responses highlights what is the main problem with the papist organization: the unique teachings of that system are based on off-the-wall interpretations of Scripture that depart from the plain teaching of the Lord, while ignoring and even flat contradicting that which is plainly stated in the Word of God. In talking to those under the sway of this belief system, I find it’s exactly like talking to someone in a cult–they cannot see through to the Scripture without this bizarre filter over their mind’s eye. Jehovah’s Witnesses just cannot see the plain teaching of the Scripture that Jesus is truly God. Mormons cannot see that God has always been God and there will never be any other God. Seventh Day Adventists cannot see that keeping Sabbath is not a factor in the New Testament. And Catholics cannot seem to see any of the delightful, wholesome Word of God, but through the filter of the weird interpretations of various passages by the likes of Cyprian, Ambrose, Augustine, Aquinas, etc.”

        I would likewise say that it is you who has a false understanding of Scripture.

        “If you really want the true unity that would honor God, I suggest you fast from anything but the Bible for one year. And see if you are living this.”

        Thank you for your suggestion though your concern for the state of my soul does not seem sincere.

  5. The doctrine of papal infallibility as propounded in the 1800’s is the most monumental cop-out in religious history. I used to think it was the most extreme papal pronouncement ever, but it actually just the opposite! By saying the popes are infallible when speaking “ex cathedra”, they neatly excused themselves from accountability for roughly 1,500 years of papal expression which always appealed to the bedrock of Catholicism–namely the power of binding and loosing in Matthew 16:18. Applying that passage (falsely) to their unique office, these men thundered anathemas, required subjects to disobey their kings and queens, authorized crusades, and on, and on, and on in and endless stream of bulls and councils. They at least honestly applied their (warped) usage of Matthew 16:18 consistently, “WHATSOEVER thou shalt bind”. But, hey, Presto!, once the popes had lost their secular influence, we have a new doctrine, that only what is “ex cathedra” is infallible and irreformable. So now we can pick and choose, and not have to face the reality of the barbaric, worldy, violent, and obviously unscriptural block of doctrine that those who claimed to wield “the keys” generated.

  6. But I would like to ask this personal question: If you died tonight, where would you end up, and why?

    • If I died tonight I would hope I would be welcomed into the light of God’s face. Since I still have an attachment to certain venial sins, at least in my own eyes I do, I would think I would go to purgatory. I would hope I would go to purgatory by God’s grace because of Christ and because of his work of redemption.

    • Let’s boil all this down to this: what is your biggest contention with the Catholic Church?

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