Were there any good Christians before the Lutheran Reformation?

Discussion in 'Other Christian Denominations' started by faith in the south, Apr 29, 2006.

  1. faith in the south

    faith in the south
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    I mean from Jesus death to the 16th Century, were they all wrong people cause they were Catholics, Orthodox, Coptics, Nestorians, Armenians, etc
     
  2. Chemnitz

    Chemnitz
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    There were good Christians people who were in the RCC and Orthodox church.
     
  3. Joseph_Botwinick

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    I think some of them might have been persecuted by the Catholic Church,...but I digress.

    Joseph Botwinick
     
  4. Jim1999

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    There have been "good" Christians all down through the ages,,,the church shall prevail,,,they might just have worn different long johns to us. Remember, people like Luther were part of the Catholic Church,,and he never chose to leave it. We ought not to get hung up on the wrongness of the RCC, but instead on the Christian faith which has gone on since the cross. In my humble opinion.

    Cheers,

    Jim
     
  5. faith in the south

    faith in the south
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    Ok, but who???
    What I mean, is that: Was the real Christian and trully Faith reaised in the 16th Century??? or there was a trully Faith before it?? Who were the Church Saint Paul speaks in his letters, and what happened after the death of the first generation of Christinas, did the Church took a break of 1500 years? Cause there were many other Christian denomitations that were not Catholic, like Arrians, Gnostics, Monofisists, etc.
     
  6. faith in the south

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    the Christian faith which has gone on since the cross. In my humble opinion.

    Cheers,

    Jim [/QB][/QUOTE]


    Yeah!! but where??? Saint Paul talked about the Church being a body with different parts and functions, did it lived after his death??
     
  7. Ben W

    Ben W
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    The Russian Orthodox Church claim that Christianity in Russia was planted by the Apostle Peter.
     
  8. faith in the south

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    I some terms this is True, cause the Russian Church comes from the Greek Church (Russia didnt existed in the first century). And the Greek Church was evangelized by Saint Paul, the Apostle.
    So the Russian Church sinks its roots in the True Christian Tradition.
    But the particular Church planted by Peter, were Jerusalen, Antioquia, and Rome. Were he lived, and were he was a bishop.

    Did you new that some Saints in the Catholic Santoral were Russian Orthodox as Saint Hermogenes of Moscow?
     
  9. Matt Black

    Matt Black
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    Good Christians existed in both the Catholic and Orthdox Churches prior to 1517. Up until 1054 they were one Church, in which were most of the Christians. After 1054, as a result of the split, both of the resulting Churches lost something as a result of not being in full communion with the other and both - particularly the Catholics - began to add doctrines which as a consequence did not have the backing of the full Church and which were erroneous. As a consequence, by 1517, the Catholic Church in particular had a large of amount of erroneous doctrinal 'baggage'; the Reformation (and to a degree the Catholic Counter-Reformation which was as much an internal Catholic doctrinal spring-clean as much as about countering those pesky Prots) was necessary to jetison that dross. Good Christians continued to exist in both the Catholic Church and those Churches which came into being as a result of the Reformation.
     
  10. faith in the south

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  11. JFox1

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    I some terms this is True, cause the Russian Church comes from the Greek Church (Russia didnt existed in the first century). And the Greek Church was evangelized by Saint Paul, the Apostle.
    So the Russian Church sinks its roots in the True Christian Tradition.
    But the particular Church planted by Peter, were Jerusalen, Antioquia, and Rome. Were he lived, and were he was a bishop.

    Did you new that some Saints in the Catholic Santoral were Russian Orthodox as Saint Hermogenes of Moscow?
    </font>[/QUOTE]The people of Eastern Europe were evangelized by two Greek scholars, Sts. Cyril and Methodius, at approximately 800 AD. They also developed an alphabet for them since their languages were spoken but not written. It's called the Cyrillic alphabet.

    The Coptic Church in Egypt credits St. Mark with bringing the Gospel to Egypt at about 50 AD. They believe he was later martyred in Alexandria, Egypt.
     
  12. SpyHunter

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    You cannot trace the move of the Spirit by the measurements of man. Did the true Church disappear from the time of the apostles till the Reformation? This is like asking if the people of Israel ceased to be and then suddenly sprouted up in their times of exile.
    Just because the Spirit is not given prominence in historical records does not mean He was at all absent; after all, who did Rome excommunicate as heretics? Surely not all of them were the pagans and apostates they were labeled.
    At any rate, any way you want to slice it, Rome was not the "only game in town," as I've heard so many RC apologists claim. The early church was an underground movement long before the Vatican was even built and any other earthly denomination was conceived, after all.

    Blessings,
    SpyHunter
     
  13. Matt Black

    Matt Black
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  14. faith in the south

    faith in the south
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  15. faith in the south

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    This shows Indulgences were not "invented" by the Church:

    Indulgences

    There are few tenets of the Catholic Church so little understood, or so grossly misrepresented by her adversaries, as her doctrine regarding Indulgences.

    One of the reasons of the popular misapprehension of an Indulgence may be ascribed to the change which the meaning of that term has gradually undergone. The word Indulgence originally signified favor, remission or forgiveness. Now, it is commonly used in the sense of unlawful gratification, and of free scope to the passions. Hence, when some ignorant or prejudiced persons hear of the Church granting an Indulgence the idea of license to sin is at once presented to their minds.

    An Indulgence is simply a remission in whole or in part, through the superabundant merits of Jesus Christ and His saints, of the temporal punishment due to God on account of sin after the guilt and eternal punishment have been remitted.

    It should be borne in mind that, even after our guilt is removed, there often remains some temporal punishment to be undergone, either in this life or the next, as an expiation to Divine sanctity and justice. The Holy Scripture furnishes us with many examples of this truth. Mary, the sister of Moses, was pardoned the sin which she had committed by murmuring against her brother. Nevertheless, God inflicted on her the penalty of leprosy and of seven days' separation from the people.[Num. xii.]

    Nathan, the prophet, announced to David that his crimes were forgiven, but that he should suffer many chastisements from the hand of God.[II Kings xii.]

    That our Lord has given to the Church the power of granting Indulgences is clearly deduced from the Sacred Text. To the Prince of the Apostles He said: "Whatsoever thou shalt bind on earth shall be bound also in heaven; and whatsoever thou shalt loose on earth shall be loosed also in heaven."[Matt. xvi. 19.] And to all the Apostles assembled together He made the same solemn declaration.[Ibid., xviii. 18.] By these words our Savior empowered His Church to deliver her children (if properly disposed) from every obstacle that might retard them from the Kingdom of Heaven. Now there are two impediments that withhold a man from the heavenly kingdom--sin and the temporal punishment incurred by it. And the Church having power to remit the greater obstacle, which is sin, has power also to remove the smaller obstacle, which is the temporal punishment due on account of it.

    The prerogative of granting Indulgence has been exercised by the teachers of the Church from the beginning of her existence.

    St. Paul exercised it in behalf of the incestuous Corinthian whom he had condemned to a severe penance proportioned to his guilt, "that his spirit might be saved in the day of the Lord."[I Cor. v. 5.] And having learned afterwards of the Corinthian's fervent contrition the Apostle absolves him from the penance which he had imposed: "To him, that is such a one, this rebuke is sufficient, which is given by many. So that contrariwise you should rather pardon and comfort him, lest, perhaps, such a one be swallowed up with over-much sorrow. ... And to whom you have pardoned anything, I also. For, what I have pardoned, if I have pardoned anything, for your sakes I have done it in the person of Christ."[II Cor. ii. 6-10.]

    Here we have all the elements that constitute an Indulgence. First--A penance, or temporal punishment proportioned to the gravity of the offence, is imposed on the transgressor. Second--The penitent is truly contrite for his crime. Third--This determines the Apostle to remit the penalty. Fourth--The Apostle considers the relaxation of the penance ratified by Jesus Christ, in whose name it is imparted.

    We find the Bishops of the Church, after the Apostle, wielding this same power. No one disputes the right, which they claimed from the very first ages, of inflicting canonical penances on grievous criminals, who were subjected to long fasts, severe abstinences and other mortifications for a period extending from a few days to five or ten years and even to a lifetime, according to the gravity of the offence. These penalties were, in several instances, mitigated or cancelled by the Church, according to her discretion; for a society that can inflict a punishment can also remit it. Our Lord gave His Church power not only to bind, but also to loose. This discretionary prerogative was often exercised by the Church at the intercession of those who were condemned to martyrdom, when the penitents themselves gave strong marks of fervent sorrow, as we learn from the writings of Tertullian and Cyprian.

    The General Council of Nice and other Synods authorize Bishops to mitigate, or even to remit altogether, public penances, whenever, in their judgment, the penitent manifested special marks of repentance. Now, in relaxing the canonical penances, or in substituting for them a milder satisfaction, the Bishops granted what we call an Indulgence. This sentence of remission on the part of the Bishops was valid not only in the sight of the Church, but also in the sight of God. Although the Church imposes canonical penances no longer, God has never ceased to inflict temporal punishment for sin. Hence Indulgences continue to be necessary now, if not as substitute for canonical penances, at least as a mild and merciful payment of the temporal debt due to God.

    An Indulgence is called plenary or partial, according as it remits the whole or part of the temporal punishment due to sin. An Indulgence, for instance, of forty days remits, before God, so much of the temporal punishment as would have been expiated in the primitive Church by a canonical penance of forty days.

    Although the very name of Indulgence is now so repugnant to our dissenting brethren, there was a time when the Protestant Church professed to grant them. In the canons of the Church of England reference is made to Indulgences, and to the disposition to be made of the money paid for them.[Articuli pro Clero, a.d. 1584. Sparrow, 194. I admit, indeed, that Protestant canons have but a fleeting and ephemeral authority even among themselves, and that the canons must yield to the spirit of the times, not the times to the canons. I dare say that even few Protestant theologians are familiar with the canons to which I have referred. Some people have a convenient faculty of forgetting unpleasant traditions.]

    From what I have said you may judge for yourself what to think of those who say that an Indulgence is the remission of past sins, or a license to commit sin granted by the Pope as a spiritual compensation to the faithful for pecuniary offerings made him. I need not inform you that an Indulgence is neither the one nor the other. It is not a remission of sin, since no one can gain an Indulgence until he is already free from sin. It is still less a license to commit sin; for every Catholic child knows that neither Priest nor Bishop nor Pope nor even God Himself--with all reverence be it said--can give license to commit the smallest fault.

    But are not Indulgences at variance with the spirit of the Gospel, since they appear to be a mild and feeble substitute for alms-giving, fasts, abstinences and other penitential austerities, which Jesus Christ inculcated and practised, and which the primitive Church enforced?

    The Church, as every one must know who is acquainted with her history, never exempts her children from the obligation of doing works of penance.

    No one can deny that the practices of mortification are more frequent among Catholics than among Protestants. Where will you find the evangelical duty of fasting enforced, if not from the Catholic pulpit? It is well known that, among the members of the Catholic Church, those who avail themselves of the boon of Indulgences are usually her most practical, edifying and fervent children. Their spiritual growth far from being retarded, is quickened by the aid of Indulgences, which are usually accompanied by acts of contrition, devotion, self-denial and the reception of the Sacraments.

    But, do what we will, we cannot please our opponents. If we fast and give alms; if we crucify our flesh, and make pilgrimages and perform other works of penance, we are accused of clinging to the rags of dead works, instead of "holding on to Jesus" by faith. If, on the other hand, we enrich our souls with the treasures of Indulgences we are charged with relying on the vicarious merits of others and of lightening too much the salutary burden of the cross. But how can Protestants consistently find fault with the Church for mitigating the austerities of penance, since their own fundamental principle rests on faith alone without good works?

    But have not Indulgences been the occasion of many abuses at various times, particularly in the sixteenth century?

    I will not deny that Indulgences have been abused; but are not the most sacred things liable to be perverted? This is a proper place to refer briefly to the Bull of Pope Leo X proclaiming the Indulgence which afforded Luther a pretext for his apostasy. Leo determined to bring to completion the magnificent Church of St. Peter, commenced by his predecessor, Julius II. With that view he issued a Bull promulgating an Indulgence to such as would contribute some voluntary offering toward the erection of the grand cathedral. Those, however, who contributed nothing shared equally in the treasury of the Church, provided they complied with the essential conditions for gaining the Indulgence. The only indispensable conditions enjoined by the Papal Bull were sincere repentance and confession of sins. D'Aubigne admits this truth, though in a faltering manner, when he observes that "in the Pope's Bull something was said of the repentance of the heart and the confession of the lips."[Vol. I. p. 214.] The applicants for the Indulgence knew well that, no matter how munificent were their offerings, these would avail them nothing without true contrition of heart.

    No traffic or sale of Indulgences was, consequently, authorized or countenanced by the Head of the Church, since the contributions were understood to be voluntary. In order to check any sordid love of gain in those charged with preaching the Indulgence, "the hand that delivered the Indulgence," as D'Aubigne testifies, "could not receive the money: that was forbidden under the severest penalties."[Ibid.]

    Wherein, then, was the conduct of the Pope reprehensible? Certainly not in soliciting the donations of the faithful for the purpose of erecting a temple of worship, a temple which today stands unrivalled in majesty and beauty!

    "But thou of temples old, or altars new,
    Standest alone, with nothing like to thee;
    Worthiest of God, the holy and the true,
    Since Sion's desolation, when that He
    Forsook His former city, what could be
    Of earthly structures, in His honor piled,
    Of a sublimer aspect? Majesty,
    Power, Glory, Strength, and Beauty, all are aisled
    In this eternal ark of worship undefiled."[Byron]

    If Moses was justified in appealing to the Hebrew people, in the Old Law, for offerings to adorn the tabernacle, why should not the Pope be equally justified in appealing for similar offerings to the Christian people, among whom he exercises supreme authority, as Moses did among the Israelites?

    Nor did the Pope exceed his legitimate powers in promising to the pious donors spiritual favors in exchange for their donations. For if our sins can be redeemed by alms to the poor,[Daniel iv. 24.] as the Scripture tells us, why not as well by offerings in the cause of religion? When Protestant ministers appeal to their congregations in behalf of themselves and their children, or in support of a church, they do not fail to hold out to their hearers spiritual blessings in reward for their gifts. It is not long since a Methodist parson of New York addressed these sacred words to Cornelius Vanderbilt, the millionaire, who had endowed a Methodist college: "Cornelius, thy prayer is heard, and thy alms are had in remembrance in the sight of God."[Acts x. 31.] The minister is more indulgent than even the Pope, to whom were given the keys of the Kingdom of Heaven; for the minister declares Cornelius absolved without the preliminary of confession or contrition, while even, according to D'Aubigne, the inflexible Pope insisted on the necessity of "repentance of the heart and confession of the lips" before the donor's offering could avail him to salvation.

    John Tetzel, a Dominican monk, who had been appointed the chief preacher to announce the Indulgence in Germany, was accused by Luther of exceeding his powers by making them subservient to his own private ends. Tetzel's conduct was disavowed and condemned by the representative of the Holy See. The Council of Trent, held some time after, took effectual measures to put a stop to all irregularities regarding Indulgences and issued the following decree: "Wishing to correct and amend the abuses which have crept into them, and on occasion of which this signal name of Indulgences is blasphemed by heretics, the Holy Synod enjoins in general, by the present decree, that all wicked traffic for obtaining them, which has been the fruitful source of many abuses among the Christian people, should be wholly abolished."[Sess. xxv. Dec. de Indulgentia.]
     
  16. Matt Black

    Matt Black
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    The ECF and Scripture references posted by you do not amount to an explicit approval of the doctrine of Purgatory as proclaimed by the late medieval Catholic Church; the fact that the Orthodox Churches do not proclaim such a doctrine bears this out - if this were a doctrine approved by the whole Church at the time of the ECFs, then the Orthodox would hold to it today.

    The Pope's 'legitimate' powers were not approved by any Church Council, not did any of the other Bishops of the Church arrogate similar powers to themselves.

    And you haven't commented on my reference to Biel's 'salvation by works'
     
  17. nate

    nate
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    Can you please offer proof that Peter was Bishop of Rome? I still insist the Catholic Church stands on weak ground claiming Peter was even Bishop of Rome.
     
  18. nate

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    Excellent post Matt. I wanted to definetly second this part of your post and just say I completely agree even if Peter were the Bishop of Rome this still does not mean that he would be the earthly 'Head of the Church' he would simply be the Patriarch of the Western Church. His power would be honorary just as those of the other Orthodox Patriarch's.
    In Christ,
    Nate
     
  19. faith in the south

    faith in the south
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    Excellent post Matt. I wanted to definetly second this part of your post and just say I completely agree even if Peter were the Bishop of Rome this still does not mean that he would be the earthly 'Head of the Church' he would simply be the Patriarch of the Western Church. His power would be honorary just as those of the other Orthodox Patriarch's.
    In Christ,
    Nate
    </font>[/QUOTE]So Nate can you tell me something.

    1) Who is in these days the Legitimate Successor of Peter? Will you tell me as a British, it is your Queen?

    2) Were are the "Authorities" St Paul went to consult from Anthioquia to Jerusalem: The Apostles?. Cause they had a kind of Succession, as you can see in the election of Mathias.

    The only Protestant Church I find honest, and consecuent with its ideas, is the one called "non-denominated church". Cause to this questions they will say to me: "we dont know".
    The thing is that there is no Church without Apostolic Succession, the Churches like Methodist, Lutheran, Baptist, are just inventions, without the legitimate tradition that comes from Jesus itself. After Jesus death when St Paul was converted, he spoke to him "Why are you persecuting ME!? The Church is Jesus mistic Body, and the Pope, successor of St Peter, is its Head.
     
  20. Melanie

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    Of course....there were all the ordinary folks who lived their lives, raised the family, lived a Catholic life, then and now.

    There were good priests and religious who were cared for their pastoral duties and dedicated their lives to God and the folk then and now.

    There were great ecclesiasticals then and now.

    The Catholic Church is peopled by great and bad then and now, more good than bad but it is the bad that is remembered then and now.
     

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