For our Catholic friends....

Discussion in 'Free-For-All Archives' started by D28guy, Jul 10, 2003.

  1. D28guy

    D28guy
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    One of the claimes that it routinely made by Catholics is that we protestants can only trace our faith to the 1600's...but that the Catholic faith, supposedly, can be traced all the way back to the 1st century, and finally to Peter. A continual 2000 year string of apostolic continuity, or so we are told.

    Here is some information from a fine website that I would like to present. It is the summation of an exceedingly lenghthy study...I believe actually a debate, or some type of challenge...on this topic. Sources are given.

    It is from this website...

    http://members.aol.com/jasonte/

    Here is the excerpt(Jason Engwer speaking)...

    ------------------------------

    I wrote a series of posts at the New Testament Research Ministries web site (<http://www.ntrmin.org>), from May of 2002 to May of 2003, documenting examples of the church fathers contradicting Roman Catholicism. Archives of the series are available at:
    <http://www.ntrmin.org/catholic_but_not_roman_catholic_index.htm>


    The following is the conclusion I wrote to the series, summarizing what had been documented:

    I began the Catholic, But Not Roman Catholic series one year ago, May 18, 2002. I'm concluding the series today at 365 segments. In this conclusion, I want to summarize what's been documented and discuss the implications.

    The series has addressed several dozen church fathers, churches, and church councils covering several hundred years of church history, from the first century to the eighth. (The father I cited most was Augustine, in 29 segments.) I addressed dozens of subjects, including foundational issues of authority and salvation and less significant issues of church discipline, for example. I quoted the most authoritative documents of Roman Catholicism to contrast with the teachings of the fathers. I cited many highly regarded Roman Catholic historians, theologians, and apologists, as well as credible non-Roman-Catholic scholarship.

    We saw examples of the fathers rejecting the Roman Catholic view of church history. Hegesippus, Cyprian, and Dionysius of Alexandria, for example, referred to the fallibility of past generations and the need to go back to the original revelation of God rather than expecting an infallible succession of all apostolic teaching throughout church history.

    We saw many examples of church fathers, churches, and councils, from the East and West, rejecting the Roman Catholic system of authority. We saw one father after another, generation after generation, commenting on the significance of the Roman church without saying anything of a papacy, even in the midst of giving reasons for the church's significance. We saw one father after another, along with regional and ecumenical councils, contradicting the doctrine of the papacy. We saw the fathers deciding what canon of scripture to accept without any infallible ruling from a church hierarchy. We saw widespread rejection of the Roman Catholic canon of scripture. We saw the rejection of the infallibility of ecumenical councils, rejection of the Roman Catholic definition of tradition, rejection of the Roman Catholic definition of apostolic succession, and rejection of the Roman Catholic definition of the church.

    We saw a wide variety of views of salvation, contradicting Roman Catholicism from many different angles. We saw a Protestant view of justification in fathers like Clement of Rome and Mathetes. We saw fathers like Clement of Alexandria and Gregory of Nyssa advocating views we would associate with theological liberalism, such as post-death salvation and universalism. We saw widespread disagreements with Roman Catholicism on original sin, the salvation of infants, the atonement, whether and how salvation can be lost, etc. We saw widespread rejection of Roman Catholic ecumenism.

    We saw a system of penance and church discipline that was much more public, much more severe than what we see in Roman Catholicism. We saw the fathers advocating standards of church discipline that are rejected by Roman Catholicism, including standards that would require the removal of many Roman bishops from office.

    We saw widespread rejection of the Roman Catholic view of Mary. Fathers from the second century onward, from West and East, deny that she was sinless and even describe some of the sins she committed. Some of the fathers denied that she was a perpetual virgin. Epiphanius denies that anybody has received any tradition concerning the end of Mary's life, which excludes the possibility of an apostolic tradition of a bodily assumption. We've also seen some of the fathers deny the mediatorial role assigned to Mary in Roman Catholicism.

    We saw widespread rejection of Purgatory among the earliest fathers. Irenaeus and Hippolytus, for example, referred to all deceased believers being in a heavenly region of Hades without the suffering associated with Purgatory. Even when some elements of Purgatory are advocated by some of the fathers, other elements of the doctrine are still rejected and other fathers continue to advocate something more along the lines of Irenaeus and Hippolytus.

    We've seen that premillennialism was the popular eschatology among the earliest fathers, even though Roman Catholicism rejects and condemns premillennialism. Even the fathers who weren't premillennialists contradicted Roman Catholic eschatology in other ways.

    We saw some fathers rejecting any physical presence of Christ in the eucharist or advocating a physical presence that they defined in a way that contradicts transubstantiation. We saw some examples of fathers rejecting the Roman Catholic definition of the sacrificial nature of the eucharist. We saw widespread rejection of the veneration of images, and we saw the fathers advocating traditions about baptism and the eucharist that Roman Catholicism rejects. We've seen rejection of prayers to the dead among the earliest fathers.

    We saw Roman bishops and church fathers living in Rome rejecting the Roman Catholic view of the Trinity, justification, the canon of scripture, the eucharist, Mary, etc. One wonders how the bishops and church fathers of Rome could not only have not known of the apostolic traditions of Roman Catholicism, but even contradicted them. If the traditions weren't being handed down in Rome, then where were they being handed down, and what does that tell us about the reliability of Rome?

    We saw examples of the fathers accepting Roman Catholic doctrine for reasons other than what Roman Catholicism claims. Irenaeus, for example, believed in a form of Roman primacy, but for non-papal reasons. Basil accepts the perpetual virginity of Mary, but he also says that many Christians reject the doctrine and that rejecting it is acceptable within orthodox Christianity. Augustine advocates something like Purgatory, but as an unproven speculation, not as an apostolic tradition always held by the Christian church.

    We've seen the fathers advocate a much higher view of the sufficiency and perspicuity of scripture than we see in Roman Catholicism. We've seen them reject popular Roman Catholic interpretations of many passages of scripture.

    We saw disagreements with Roman Catholicism on moral issues, such as when life begins, marriage, divorce, overpopulation, and the definition of murder.

    We've seen that contradictions of Roman Catholicism aren't found only in a single father here or there or in a minority of fathers, but often among a majority of fathers, even universally. The conservative Roman Catholic theologian Ludwig Ott refers to the rejection of the veneration of images among the ante-Nicene fathers as a whole. Augustine describes the belief that Jesus was the only immaculately conceived human as the view of the universal church of his day. When the Council of Chalcedon passed its 28th canon despite the objections of the bishop of Rome, that ecumenical council didn't represent just one or two bishops. And when the ecumenical Second Council of Constantinople claimed authority over the bishop of Rome and excommunicated him, and multiple churches in the West also broke ties with the Roman church and its bishop, such actions don't just reflect the beliefs of one father or a small minority.

    Even when the disagreements with Roman Catholicism are a minority view among the fathers, how does a Roman Catholic explain the beliefs of that minority? How does a Roman Catholic explain Ambrose's belief that original sin is removed by means of foot washing or Gregory of Nyssa's belief in universal salvation? Were those fathers Roman Catholic, but they chose to reject apostolic tradition on the issues in question? If so, why should they be considered faithful Catholics? Or were they not Roman Catholic, whereas other fathers were? If only some of the fathers were Roman Catholic, then which ones? Will we ever be given a list? If some of the fathers weren't Roman Catholic, then what is the universal church to which those fathers claimed to belong? If it wasn't the Roman Catholic denomination, then what was it?

    I've given a few hundred examples of the fathers contradicting Roman Catholicism, and surely thousands more could be given. Development of doctrine is no explanation. Oak trees don't grow from apple seeds. A patristic belief in the limited jurisdiction of the bishop of Rome doesn't inevitably grow into a belief in the universal jurisdiction of the bishop of Rome. The patristic belief that Mary was a sinner doesn't inevitably grow into the belief that she was sinless. A patristic rejection of the veneration of images doesn't inevitably grow into an acceptance of the veneration of images. If logically unconnected and contradictory ideas are to be associated with one another under the banner of doctrinal development, then anything can be said to have developed from anything else. And anything that can prove everything proves nothing. If our beliefs can be logically unconnected to those of the fathers, even contradicting the beliefs of the fathers, yet still be considered patristic, then any and every professing Christian group in existence can claim to be patristic.

    The claim is often made that to be deep into history is to cease being Protestant, as if Roman Catholicism is the alternative. But Roman Catholics aren't deep into history. They're deep into philosophical speculations based on personal preferences. Wishing for a Divine institution with the attributes the Roman Catholic Church claims for itself isn't equivalent to proving its existence. A wish isn't a proof. If the church fathers rejected Roman Catholicism's view of church history, its system of authority, its view of salvation, its view of the afterlife, its worship, its view of prayer, its morality, its eschatology, its view of Mary, its penitential system, its disciplinary standards, its ecumenism, and so many of its scripture interpretations, even in the city of Rome itself, what are we to think of the claim that the fathers were Roman Catholic? It's an attempt to derive an oak tree from an apple seed. The Roman Catholic Church isn't the church of the fathers. The change isn't a development. It's a long series of contradictions.
    -------------------------------

    Any comments?

    God bless,

    Mike
     
  2. 3AngelsMom

    3AngelsMom
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    The pure faith of the Apostles survived the dark ages.

    It wasn't by the Catholics though.

    Ever heard of the Waldenses?
     
  3. Singer

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    Mike,

    The material you posted will be paramount in my efforts to squelch
    this monster that flies in the face of reason.

    Thank You.


    Kelly,

    Do the Waldenses resemble any particular group/sect of Christianity today..?
    I've read where they still exist...do you know about that..?
     
  4. thessalonian

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    I got booted off of ntmin.org while refuting some of Jason's stuff. It's not worth the paper it is printed on as he selectively quotes and takes things out of context to the extreme. But you guys will latch on to it as you are like a pack of wolves around a bleating sheep, looking for an angle at the neck.
     
  5. thessalonian

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    The baptists of course will say they were baptist, while the Seven Day Adventists claim them as there own and of course the Church of Christ has them linked to their history. In other words, no they do not. They were just another run of the mill heresy that rejected authority.
     
  6. thessalonian

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    Singer,

    You said:
    "flies in the face of reason."

    Yep that is what they are like. Flies in the face of reason, buzzing around and creating an anoyance. Just my Jason Te. immation. :D
     
  7. BrianT

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    Yes, I have. They began as a reform movement from *within* the Catholic Church. They were eventually excommunicated. They took vows of poverty. Although they rejected authority of high-ranking clergy and some of the sacraments, they retained the Catholic view of confession, absolution, the eucharist, and baptism.

    About Jason Engwer, I've already read several debates between him and Catholic apologists. Search for his name on this site (it appears many times): http://www.bringyou.to/apologetics/apolog.htm to read some interesting debates and rebuttals to him.

    I've read that there are currently about 35,000 Waldenses in Italy. I don't know if that is accurate.
     
  8. Singer

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    They were just another run of the mill heresy that rejected authority.

    How could we be so wrong to think that anything could supercede Catholicism.

    (With Jesus being a Catholic and all and God creating Creation for the purpose of
    building the RCC Empire so He could provide for a way to save that which hadn't
    been lost yet..or even created for that matter)

    There...am I learning ?

    Gosh I wonder how people in the OT were ever saved without a Mass to attend or
    a priest to confess to or Mary to interfere...I mean intervene.

    Oh I know.....They were all "Catholic by Desire"....right ?

    Kinda like I'm told that I'm connected to the Catholic Church even though in an
    imperfect way.....like I'm Catholic whether I know it or not.

    Oh boy !! [​IMG]
     
  9. mozier

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    Keeping in mind a promise I made not to go all "Jack Chick" on the Catholic Church anymore, I will still say this:

    One of the greatest arguments against the claims of the Roman Catholic Church is the fact that there is an Eastern Orthodox Church.


    mozier
     
  10. trying2understand

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    How so?
     
  11. BrianT

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    Um, what? Me no understand.
     
  12. thessalonian

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    Mozier,

    It seems there are a few of us here who don't understand your logic. If the Orthodox were close to the Baptist faith you might have a point but there beliefs, except on the papacy are nearly identicle to Catholicsm. And that they were a part of Catholicm until 1300 or so seems to be problematic for your arguement. There is a substantial amount of evidence that the papacy did not start at the time of the Orthodox split, even among the eastern churches. If the Papacy had started around 1000 then you might have a point. It is interesting that the Lutherans and Anglicans who split off first in the reformation are closer than the Baptists and Presbyterians who came later, to the Catholic way.

    Blessings
     
  13. D28guy

    D28guy
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    Thesselonians,

    Speaking for myself, I am not "looking for the neck" of Catholics. I was one before I was born of the Spirit, and I have an entire family of them. And I am not saying, of course, that all individual Catholics are necesarrily lost.

    It is the religious system that we feel so strongly about. The ideal situation for me would not be for the "Catholic Church" to be destroyed. As Luther was seeking reform 1st, I would love for a sweeping reform to take place in the CC. like what has happened with Herbert W. Armstrongs group.

    I view the Catholic church to be heretical, and it people to be its victims. And I do believe that they distort the gospel to the point where I believe very many could not be saved as a result.

    Blessings,

    Mike
     
  14. mozier

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    Exactly. And that is my point, thessalonian.

    If the papacy's authority had started beforehand, then the Orthodox would never have split with the Roman Church. Instead, they would have easily have followed behind it and would've had no problem with it.

    But they did have a problem with it.

    Starting at around 800 AD, the Eastern Church was horrified by what the Bishop of Rome had become. He was not just a First Among Equals, but rather had evolved into "The Supreme Pontiff," the Grand-Poobah of the entire church. And they could never accept this, for it was not the way it was supposed to be.

    So when Cardinal Humbert slammed the Bull of Excommunication on Michael Caelarius's altar right in the middle of the liturgy, the Patriarch did not quiver and beg for the "Holy Father's" forgiveness. Rather, he excommunicated him right back!

    So my point is demonstrated. The Church of Rome had changed to the point where the Eastern Orthodox didn't even know it anymore. If the Roman Church was the One True Religion, then they would have been on the same wavelength as Rome.

    But then again, we Baptists shouldn't even care about any of this, anyway. In the end, neither church is what it claims to be.


    mozier
     
  15. 3AngelsMom

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    The baptists of course will say they were baptist, while the Seven Day Adventists claim them as there own and of course the Church of Christ has them linked to their history. In other words, no they do not. They were just another run of the mill heresy that rejected authority. </font>[/QUOTE]I am unsure of all that the COG believes, but I do know what the SDA believes about the Waldenses, and it is NOT that we are spiritual descendents of them! The SDA movement is just another leg of the Protestant reformation.

    What we DO claim about the Waldenses is that they were the chosen vessel to carry the pure doctrines and the pure unadulterated Word of God through the dark ages. They are the church in the wilderness, the Woman who was swallowed by the earth.

    They didn't just take a vow of poverty, they took a vow of TRUTH. They were persecuted JUST LIKE EVERYONE else who didn't bow to the Papacy. It just so happens that they survived the dark ages with not only a pure faith, but with the pure Word, one of the manuscripts that the KJV was based on. The Waldenses DID NOT separate from the Catholic church. On the contrary their 'faith' was noted by historians as to have accumulated some time between the death of Christ and 120 AD. It was not until the mid 3rd century that they were persecuted, and forced into the 'mouth of the earth' for 1260 years.

    The Waldenses were those Christians who lived in the Vaudois valley in northern Italy. Beza dates the Waldensian church from A.D. 120 and their Old Itala Bible from A.D. 157. It was a translation of the true text into the rather rude Low Latin of the second century. Historians like Allix, Leger, Gilley, Comba, and Nolan document this church’s continual use of the pure text of the bible. They were persecuted severely between the fourth and thirteenth centuries by the Church of Rome. The bible of the Waldenses was used to carry the true text throughout Europe.

    Olivetan, a pastor of the Waldensian valley, translated a Waldensian Bible into French. This French Olivetan (Olivetan was a relative of Calvin), in turn, became the basis of the Geneva Bible in English. Luther used the German Tepl Bible, which represented a translation of the Waldensian Bible into German, to make Luther’s German Bible. Diodati’s Italian Bible was one in a line of Waldensian-type texts. All of these pure Waldensian-based texts, as well as several other Waldensian manuscripts, like Dublin Ms A4 were among the rich variety of pure documents used by the KJV translators.

    So, contrary to popular belief it was NOT the Catholic church which protected and preserved the Word of God, but rather a little group of faithful men and women, who were known to handwrite little portions of the Word of God, and deliver them to people disquised as peddlers.

    Such a wonderful story of triumph.

    And who are their descendents? All those who refuse to bow to the Papacy, and choose to follow the pure faith of the Apostles, and the Word of God.

    God Bless,
    Kelly
     
  16. Kathryn

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    Kelly:
    You might want to look up Peter Waldo and the Waldenses. You can start with Encyclopedia Britannica.

    http://concise.britannica.com/ebc/article?eu=407547

    The Waldensian Bible was a translation of the Latin Vulgate of St. Jerome.

    God Bless
     
  17. Kathryn

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    Here is some more info from a non-Catholic site on Peter Waldo founder of the Waldensians going to the Pope to get his translation approved :

    http://www.kjvonly.org/doug/waldensian.htm

    God Bless
     
  18. dumbox1

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  19. thessalonian

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    "The Church of Rome had changed to the point where the Eastern Orthodox didn't even know it anymore. "

    If that were the case then how come after 800 years of being split are there beliefs essentially the same and there are essentially only about 3 issues that divide them doctrinally. (And certainly the Orthodox are nowhere near the baptists). That one man or a group of men didn't see the Pope as the head of the Church doesn't make it so. That one group, rejecting authority like little Children, thinks the parent (the Church) is a tyrant doesn't make it so.
     
  20. thessalonian

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    Mozier,

    One other thing Mozier. It is interesting that the denomination explosion did not start with this division but waited until the "dog-ma" of Sola Scriptura was declared by Martin and company. Martin himself complained in his later years of how men were being blown by every wind of doctrine. The Orthodox who believed in Tradition stayed and had legitimate bishops statyed largely the same as the Catholics in their belief system to this very day. Two points determine a line you know (tradition and scripture). One point can have lines going out in every direction with no real endpoing or limit to the number of lines (i.e. I am expecting about 30,000 more denonimations in the next 30 years).
     

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