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KevinBrowning
September 22nd, 2009, 04:09 PM
The Catholic Church is the only one in the West for 1,500 years? It is sheer arrogance to discount the churches of other denominations.

I think you have shown some huge ignorance with that statement. I referred to the teachings of the Church. I then explained the historical fact of the reason I refer to the Catholic Church as "the Church." Because in our Western world, it was the Church for most of history (the first 1,500 years AD). For you to call that arrogant is absurd, since it is simply a historical fact. Not to mention, it is saying nothing about me personally, and not boasting at all. In fact, I am a convert, an act I have never heard described as "arrogant."

Sigfried
September 22nd, 2009, 05:55 PM
With some caveat. I think that the Catholic church was heavily influenced by Roman culture in the year 300+ and it seems to me it had a very different character prior to that which the much later groups sought to return to.

But clearly, nearly all current branches of Christianity stem directly from the Catholic church and its very long history.

disinterested
September 23rd, 2009, 07:40 AM
I think you have shown some huge ignorance with that statement. I referred to the teachings of the Church. I then explained the historical fact of the reason I refer to the Catholic Church as "the Church." Because in our Western world, it was the Church for most of history (the first 1,500 years AD). For you to call that arrogant is absurd, since it is simply a historical fact. Not to mention, it is saying nothing about me personally, and not boasting at all. In fact, I am a convert, an act I have never heard described as "arrogant."

I'm not sure to which thread you refer when you speak of a "closed thread".

However, I will take issue concerning your use of the term "catholic" which means "universal" and specifically as far as the church of Jesus Christ is concerned, of one Spirit - the Holy Spirit.

I think you are speaking of the Roman Catholic church which, I along with all Protestants, believe is in error.

Sigfried
September 23rd, 2009, 08:18 AM
I think you are speaking of the Roman Catholic church which, I along with all Protestants, believe is in error.

I'm not sure but I think his point was that Protestants branched off from the Roman Catholic church in the 1500s and that church was stems back to the 300/400s so whatever feelings the Protestants may have for the Roman Catholic church, it is none the less the Church from which Protestants sprang from.

disinterested
September 23rd, 2009, 08:33 AM
I'm not sure but I think his point was that Protestants branched off from the Roman Catholic church in the 1500s and that church was stems back to the 300/400s so whatever feelings the Protestants may have for the Roman Catholic church, it is none the less the Church from which Protestants sprang from.

I understand that but it is debatable. There was a slow move from the church of Christ established via the apostles, to the church institution approved by Constantine, and thence to the institutional church of the Middle Ages where corruption among priests was widespread, largely because the Bible wasn't available to the laity since it was in Latin which only the educated and priests could understand, hence Wycliffe's desire to translate the Bible into English (which cost him his life) so all could understand the message of salvation by grace through faith, and thus free themselves from the yoke of indulgences and penances that the priests had imposed as necessary to salvation, against the teaching of the apostles. This was the beginning of the Reformation, to return to the church of Jesus Christ as established by the apostles, not to overturn it.

I'm not an expositor of Reformation Theology. I know my church history but I really should not be attempting to teach others.

I only butted in on this thread to clarify what I believe is a fairly common misunderstanding concerning the catholic (universal) church - those that are united in one Spirit - and the Roman Catholic Church.

I am going to have to withdraw and leave it to a better qualified Reformation theologian than I to make true and consistent arguments. I simply do not have the requisite knowledge and teaching ability/gifting.

Dionysus
September 23rd, 2009, 08:36 AM
Moved thread to Debates Discussion since this stemmed from a closed thread.

~Dio

Trendem
September 23rd, 2009, 08:44 AM
I think you have shown some huge ignorance with that statement. I referred to the teachings of the Church. I then explained the historical fact of the reason I refer to the Catholic Church as "the Church." Because in our Western world, it was the Church for most of history (the first 1,500 years AD). For you to call that arrogant is absurd, since it is simply a historical fact. Not to mention, it is saying nothing about me personally, and not boasting at all. In fact, I am a convert, an act I have never heard described as "arrogant."
I apologise for the "1,500 years" comment; I thought you were saying that the Catholic Church was the only church in the past 1,500 years. But that wasn't my main beef; your comment was arrogant in the context of what transpired in that thread (which was regarding the interpretation of Revelation):


Why is your personal interpretation of Revelation better than the Church's own teaching? Frankly, I recommend you seek psychological help because your post reveals a schizophrenia-like confusion of unrelated facts.


To whom is that directed? And which church do you think has the correct interpretation? Churches vary greatly in how they interpret Revelation.


To the thread starter, sorry it was unclear. And the Church refers to the Catholic Church, the only one in the West for 1,500 years.

The arrogance stems from the fact that you believe the Catholic Church has all the right answers. You discount other churches as if they don't exist - the first post of yours illustrates this arrogance where you don't even bother to specify which church you are talking about, and when prompted, you make it sound as if it should be understood that you were referring to the Catholic Church. After all, why would anyone refer to the teachings of other churches, right?

Also, your posts were bad form as they engaged in ad hominem attacks (Telling someone to seek psychological help just because you disagree with them? Seriously?) and appeals to authority instead of actually evaluating the arguments made by the opening poster. And mind you, this is how you engage with fellow Christians.

Sigfried
September 23rd, 2009, 09:29 AM
I understand that but it is debatable. There was a slow move from the church of Christ established via the apostles, to the church institution approved by Constantine, and thence to the institutional church of the Middle Ages where corruption among priests was widespread, largely because the Bible wasn't available to the laity since it was in Latin which only the educated and priests could understand, hence Wycliffe's desire to translate the Bible into English (which cost him his life) so all could understand the message of salvation by grace through faith, and thus free themselves from the yoke of indulgences and penances that the priests had imposed as necessary to salvation, against the teaching of the apostles. This was the beginning of the Reformation, to return to the church of Jesus Christ as established by the apostles, not to overturn it.

I think there has always been distention and infighting in Christianity just like any human endeavor. There is the open question for reformists of "when did the RCC go wrong, but none the less wherever they went wrong, all the current branches still trace their history through it. Until the east/west split, the Church seems to have been fairly monolithic and any branches weren't significant enough to make history or to survive to this day and age in any significant numbers. At least thats my take from the readings.

Spartacus
September 23rd, 2009, 10:39 AM
I apologise for the "1,500 years" comment; I thought you were saying that the Catholic Church was the only church in the past 1,500 years. But that wasn't my main beef; your comment was arrogant in the context of what transpired in that thread (which was regarding the interpretation of Revelation): .


I posted this in another thread. But I think it is appropriate here too:

Historically, Christians have always taken this to mean that it is Peter’s statement of faith to which Jesus was referring when he bestowed this authority. It is also a nice play on words in the ancient Greek playing on the similar sounding words for “Peter” and “Rock” in Ancient Greek. Only recently – in the last 1,000 years Have Roman Catholics believed in the Petrine Supremacy and the Infallibility of the Pope

Additionally, at the Pentecost:

2:1-4 (CEV):
On the day of Pentecost all the Lord’s followers were together in one place. Suddenly there was a noise from heaven like the sound of a mighty wind! It filled the house where they were meeting. Then they saw what looked like fiery tongues moving in all directions, and a tongue came and settled on each person there.

This is viewed as the Holy Spirit descending on the first Christian leaders. As to authority of teachings from these first Christians, one can look at Apostolic Succession to find the logic in that.

Apostolic Succession is NOT the same as a belief in Petrine Supremacy.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Apostolic_succession

As a traditional ecclesiastical doctrine, apostolic succession provides an historical basis for the spiritual authority of the bishops of the Church (the episcopate). Apostolic succession is usually described as the official authority that has been passed down through unbroken lines of successive bishops beginning with the original Apostles selected by Jesus, or on a similar basis. Put another way, bishops (in churches subscribing to the doctrine) are only created bishops by other bishops; thus, every bishop today is the end of an unbroken line of bishops, extending all the way back to one (or more) of the Apostles, through which authority descends.

For further evidence of early teachings and beliefs, one can always gain wisdom and insight from the writings and teachings of the Desert Father.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Desert_Fathers


Petrine Supremacy has many flaws including the fact Peter was first the Bishop of Antioch before becoming the Bishop of Rome. The authority of Rome and the rise of Papism, can be traced to earthly, political, reasons just as much, perhaps more, than spiritual or religious matters.

The rise of the Roman Church’s power is in no small part related to what was happening politically. The Byzantine Empire was the super power of the era. Europe and Rome were fractured into tiny little states, until Charlemagne came and challenged Constantinople. Pope Leo III – whose election was highly controversial -- allied himself and the Roman Church with Charlemagne.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pope_Leo_III

Pope Saint Leo III (died June 12, 816) was Pope from 795 to his death in 816.Protected by Charlemagne from his enemies in Rome, he subsequently strengthened Charlemagne's position by crowning him as Roman Emperor.

The coronation of Charlemagne, is viewed by many as a pivotal breaking point between Eatsern and Western Churches. These divisions eventually increased with the rise of European political powers and the decline of the Byzantine Empire – Until finally Rome and the Eastern Orthodox churches eventually split, and remain split today.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/East%E2%80%93West_Schism

Nicea to East-West Schism (325–1054)
During these seven centuries, the church unified by Emperor Constantine effectively split into a Greek East and a Latin West. The pope became independent of the Emperor in the East, and became a major force in politics in the West.

It is following this split that one sees many changes in the dogma, beliefs and teachings of the Roman Catholic Church including but certainly not limited to:

__________________________________________________ _______________________________

Belief in Papal infallibility and Petrine Supremacy
Mandatory celibacy of the priesthood
Mandatory belief in Purgatory and indulgences
The belief in Transubstantiation as a response to the Protestant Reformation
__________________________________________________ ________________________________

As to current authority: The Roman and Orthodox Churches have two very different views. Rome subscribes to Papal Infallibility, formally since 1870. The Orthodox Churches believe the Holy Spirit works through the Church in ways no one can comprehend and trusts in the Holy Spirit for making decisions – so long as the decisions are not counter to Biblical and Apostolic Tradition.

I have written this rather long piece in the hopes of people understanding the history of the Church(es), and also in the hopes that People might better understand that Orthodox beliefs on matters of Holy Communion, Christ’s actual presence in the Eucharist; and the belief in Apostolic Tradition, and the validity of Apostolic Succession should never be equated with Papism or modern Roman Catholicism.

The Protestant reformation as begun by Martin Luther was in fact an attempt to return to Orthodox teachings and beliefs. Somewhere though it went off the rails.Political realities of the period though prevented Martin Luther from freely associating his movement with the Orthodox East.

GoldPhoenix
September 23rd, 2009, 02:40 PM
I think you have shown some huge ignorance with that statement. I referred to the teachings of the Church. I then explained the historical fact of the reason I refer to the Catholic Church as "the Church." Because in our Western world, it was the Church for most of history (the first 1,500 years AD). For you to call that arrogant is absurd, since it is simply a historical fact. Not to mention, it is saying nothing about me personally, and not boasting at all. In fact, I am a convert, an act I have never heard described as "arrogant."

This is still wrong, because in the first 300 years of Christianity, the Catholic church wasn't even in existence yet (At least not in its modern form), and the Gnostics were one of the largest sects of Christianity. Then in 1,100 AD or so, the Catholics split into the Orthodox and the Catholics.

There never has been one "Church" in Christianity's existence.

So this is simply just historically erroneous, no matter how you try to defend this statement.

Spartacus
September 23rd, 2009, 03:34 PM
This is still wrong, because in the first 300 years of Christianity, the Catholic church wasn't even in existence yet (At least not in its modern form), and the Gnostics were one of the largest sects of Christianity.

Well not exactly.

Gnosticism was a sect in early Christianity -- but as to their numbers, it does not appear they were ever that large. St. Nicholas -- yes, Santa Claus -- is famously known for striking a gnostic bishop at the Council of Nicea. St. Nicholas begged forgiveness -- but the Gnostics never amounted to much more than a footnote.

The St. Nicholas slap....
http://shepherdstudy.wordpress.com/2008/12/06/st-nicholas-day-a-reason-to-celebrate/

There is also evidence that Gnosticism existed well before the birth of Christ.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gnosticism
Whereas formerly Gnosticism was considered by some a heretical branch of Christianity, it now seems clear that traces of Gnostic systems can be discerned some centuries before the Christian Era.

After 325 -- it can correctly be stated that only one Church existed. As all Orthdoox and Roman Catholic Churches were all in communion...a few isolated national Churches were not part of this communion at that time. Copts, Ethiopia and Armenia for example. The belief and practice differences have always been small and these Churches are in fact very close to coming into Communion with the other Orthodox Churches, God Willing.

This state existed until the Great Schism in 1054.

However -- I think KB was only referring to the Church in the West. So in that regard he is correct. from 325 and before, until the Protestant reformation, there was only one Christian Church in the West.

KevinBrowning
September 23rd, 2009, 04:08 PM
This is still wrong, because in the first 300 years of Christianity, the Catholic church wasn't even in existence yet (At least not in its modern form), and the Gnostics were one of the largest sects of Christianity. Then in 1,100 AD or so, the Catholics split into the Orthodox and the Catholics.

There never has been one "Church" in Christianity's existence.

So this is simply just historically erroneous, no matter how you try to defend this statement.

That is false. The Catholic Church was established by Jesus Christ as the universal assembly on Earth of His followers, under the leadership of St. Peter as the Head of the Apostles. It was established 40 days after His resurrection when He sent His Holy Spirit to the Apostles on Pentecost. Gnosticism arose later on.

---------- Post added at 07:08 PM ---------- Previous post was at 07:01 PM ----------


The arrogance stems from the fact that you believe the Catholic Church has all the right answers.

No, that simply means I'm Catholic. I joined the Catholic Church because I believe it has the right answers. Nothing arrogant about that at all. I'm not saying I came up with the right answers on my own, nor saying that my church has the right answers because I was born into it, because I wasn't.


Also, your posts were bad form as they engaged in ad hominem attacks (Telling someone to seek psychological help just because you disagree with them? Seriously?)

Actually, my comment was not just because I disagree with him, it's because his strange, obsessive combination of details from Revelation and modern Palestinian politics really strikes me as schizophrenic. My recommendation to him was sincere and not meant humorously.

Spartacus
September 23rd, 2009, 04:38 PM
Actually, my comment was not just because I disagree with him, it's because his strange, obsessive combination of details from Revelation and modern Palestinian politics really strikes me as schizophrenic. My recommendation to him was sincere and not meant humorously.

Knowing you like I do KB -- I believe you on this matter.

But I would suggest in the future making such comments in PMs with the most extreme compassion and charity.

Allocutus
September 23rd, 2009, 10:12 PM
I'm not sure to which thread you refer when you speak of a "closed thread".

However, I will take issue concerning your use of the term "catholic" which means "universal" and specifically as far as the church of Jesus Christ is concerned, of one Spirit - the Holy Spirit.

I think you are speaking of the Roman Catholic church which, I along with all Protestants, believe is in error.

LOL nitpicking.

"Catholic" is commonly used to mean "Roman Catholic" when referred to a denomination and I've NEVER seen the word "catholic" used in any other context, such as to say "universal".

I think it's a catholic**fact that the word "Catholic" has lost its "universal" meaning in common lanaguage. What's more, when used with a capital "C" it CERTAINLY refers to "Roman Catholic" and I can't think of a single person who would be confused by such usage.

** see how ridiculous it sounds? :grin:

disinterested
September 23rd, 2009, 10:58 PM
LOL nitpicking.

"Catholic" is commonly used to mean "Roman Catholic" when referred to a denomination and I've NEVER seen the word "catholic" used in any other context, such as to say "universal".

I think it's a catholic**fact that the word "Catholic" has lost its "universal" meaning in common lanaguage. What's more, when used with a capital "C" it CERTAINLY refers to "Roman Catholic" and I can't think of a single person who would be confused by such usage.

** see how ridiculous it sounds? :grin:

The term "catholic", meaning "universal" is used by millions of Christians in the Church of England (Protestant) every time they say The Apostles' Creed. Its "universal" meaning is thus very much extant.

....I believe in the Holy Ghost;
the holy catholic church;
the communion of saints;
the forgiveness of sins;
the resurrection of the body;
and the life everlasting.

Edited to add:

Also, "catholic" still has a contemporary, secular usage as in, "catholic tastes" meaning "comprehensive."

GoldPhoenix
September 24th, 2009, 07:58 AM
Well not exactly.

No, ignoring useless details, what I said was perfectly correct.



Gnosticism was a sect in early Christianity -- but as to their numbers, it does not appear they were ever that large.

Let's presume, for a moment, that you're actually right. Even if we discount gnostics, there were still other churches that wasn't the church of Alexandria. I recall that there were a group called Arianists, and then using wiki for an extended lists:

1. Arianism
2. Adoptionism
3. Ebionites
4. Marcionism
5. Montanism


All of these were schisms in early Christianity. We don't know the numbers of each, but all of these certainly don't just make "a footnote" in the grand historical scheme of things.


And that's irrelevant still, because KB said there were no other sects. He didn't say major, he just said that there was only 1 church. This is, as you should know, laughably wrong, no matter how you try to slice it. Especially given that he ignored the huge schism that is your own version of Christianity (Eastern Orthodox, in the 1100's, if memory serves).

I'll agree with you that the gnostics and the others lost the battle to the Catholic church (or whatever it was calling itself at the time), but this doesn't mean the other groups didn't exist, or that Eastern Orthodoxy isn't a schism of Catholicism.



St. Nicholas -- yes, Santa Claus -- is famously known for striking a gnostic bishop at the Council of Nicea. St. Nicholas begged forgiveness -- but the Gnostics never amounted to much more than a footnote.

At the Council of Nicea? Not particularly surprising. Most Gnostics more or less ignored the entire outcome of that council.



There is also evidence that Gnosticism existed well before the birth of Christ.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gnosticism
Whereas formerly Gnosticism was considered by some a heretical branch of Christianity, it now seems clear that traces of Gnostic systems can be discerned some centuries before the Christian Era.

After 325 -- it can correctly be stated that only one Church existed. As all Orthdoox and Roman Catholic Churches were all in communion...a few isolated national Churches were not part of this communion at that time. Copts, Ethiopia and Armenia for example. The belief and practice differences have always been small and these Churches are in fact very close to coming into Communion with the other Orthodox Churches, God Willing.

This state existed until the Great Schism in 1054.

I was referring to Christian Gnostics, obviously, which came in at an early part of Christianity's history. (At least in the 100's).

It's also worth noting that Manichaeism was a large gnostic sect (and eventually more or less became its own religion) until the 1300's. (Or so Wiki says)



However -- I think KB was only referring to the Church in the West. So in that regard he is correct. from 325 and before, until the Protestant reformation, there was only one Christian Church in the West.

I consider Greece, Russia, and the other European Eastern(/Russian) Orthodox countries to be a part of the "West", too.

I'd agree with him if he said "predominant," but certainly not the "only."


Regardless, if he was strictly referring to the standard Western states, he used a poor dating system. Christianity was not the predominant religion in Europe until much later than 500 CE (Christianity hadn't finally more or less destroyed Paganism until 1100 CE)

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Christianization_of_the_Germanic_peoples


That is false. The Catholic Church was established by Jesus Christ as the universal assembly on Earth of His followers, under the leadership of St. Peter as the Head of the Apostles. It was established 40 days after His resurrection when He sent His Holy Spirit to the Apostles on Pentecost. Gnosticism arose later on.

The "I say so's" of the Catholic church (with no ancient texts to corroborate this) hardly conforms to any standard of evidence.

disinterested
September 24th, 2009, 08:23 AM
No, ignoring useless details, what I said was perfectly correct.



Let's presume, for a moment, that you're actually right. Even if we discount gnostics, there were still other churches that wasn't the church of Alexandria. I recall that there were a group called Arianists, and then using wiki for an extended lists:

1. Arianism
2. Adoptionism
3. Ebionites
4. Marcionism
5. Montanism


All of these were schisms in early Christianity. We don't know the numbers of each, but all of these certainly don't just make "a footnote" in the grand historical scheme of things.


And that's irrelevant still, because KB said there were no other sects. He didn't say major, he just said that there was only 1 church. This is, as you should know, laughably wrong, no matter how you try to slice it. Especially given that he ignored the huge schism that is your own version of Christianity (Eastern Orthodox, in the 1100's, if memory serves).

I'll agree with you that the gnostics and the others lost the battle to the Catholic church (or whatever it was calling itself at the time), but this doesn't mean the other groups didn't exist, or that Eastern Orthodoxy isn't a schism of Catholicism.



At the Council of Nicea? Not particularly surprising. Most Gnostics more or less ignored the entire outcome of that council.



I was referring to Christian Gnostics, obviously, which came in at an early part of Christianity's history. (At least in the 100's).

It's also worth noting that Manichaeism was a large gnostic sect (and eventually more or less became its own religion) until the 1300's. (Or so Wiki says)



I consider Greece, Russia, and the other European Eastern(/Russian) Orthodox countries to be a part of the "West", too.

I'd agree with him if he said "predominant," but certainly not the "only."


Regardless, if he was strictly referring to the standard Western states, he used a poor dating system. Christianity was not the predominant religion in Europe until much later than 500 CE (Christianity hadn't finally more or less destroyed Paganism until 1100 CE)

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Christianization_of_the_Germanic_peoples



The "I say so's" of the Catholic church (with no ancient texts to corroborate this) hardly conforms to any standard of evidence.

Re my rep for this post.

Not sure where it went wrong, but what I thought I'd said (and which didn't actually turn out) was:

Well done for identifying the heretical sects that sprang up even during the apostles' lifetime; I am only sorry that you were not able to identify the true Church of Christ which is to be found in the one Spirit - the Holy Spirit, that is.

Allocutus
September 24th, 2009, 04:16 PM
The term "catholic", meaning "universal" is used by millions of Christians in the Church of England (Protestant) every time they say The Apostles' Creed. Its "universal" meaning is thus very much extant.

....I believe in the Holy Ghost;
the holy catholic church;
the communion of saints;
the forgiveness of sins;
the resurrection of the body;
and the life everlasting.


Then they should change it to "the holy universal church" to make it clearer :)

The fact of the matter is that when someone says "I'm catholic", they're not taken to mean "I'm a member of the worldwide community of all Christians" or "I'm a member of the older family of denominations including Orthodox, Roman Catholic and Anglican". It actually is taken to mean "I'm a Roman Catholic".

Even if some protestants don't like it (for some type of political correctness of "language envy" I'm guessing), that's the reality.



Edited to add:

Also, "catholic" still has a contemporary, secular usage as in, "catholic tastes" meaning "comprehensive."

Yeah, I'll agree with that but it's still somewhat antiquated and lacks common usage.

KevinBrowning
September 24th, 2009, 04:25 PM
However, I will take issue concerning your use of the term "catholic" which means "universal" and specifically as far as the church of Jesus Christ is concerned, of one Spirit - the Holy Spirit.

You take issue needlessly. There is a difference between "Catholic" and "catholic," capitalized or not. I am aware of the meaning of "universal" for the uncapitalized word. However, the official name of the Church is modernly considered to be "The Catholic Church," not "The Roman Catholic Church," although that is a traditionally common name. The reason is that there are particular churches in the East which are in full communion with the Bishop of Rome, which do not follow the Latin Rite, such as Coptic, Syriac, Maronite, etc. All of these churches are Catholic (with a capitalized "C"), but they are not Roman Catholic. They have their own distinct liturgical forms, despite being in union with the Pope.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Eastern_Catholic_Churches#List_of_Eastern_Catholic _Churches