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RicOlie_2

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Post
#1220869
Topic
Religion
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Right, but I doubt the Vatican not doing enough has to do with popes not caring. It’s more likely that John Paul II was unaware of the scale of abuse or was in denial about it due to shock or belief that it was overexaggerated. I’m not saying the Church couldn’t have handled it better, but I don’t think it’s so black and white either. There are many other pressing concerns the Vatican has, so it left local bishops to deal with sexual offenders. The failure to deal with the problem lay more with those bishops far more than it did with the Vatican.

Post
#1220678
Topic
Religion
Time

moviefreakedmind said:

RicOlie_2 said:
There are bad apples, and a handful that merit a far harsher term, but what do you expect from human beings? There are also many saints and inspiring examples among their ranks.

I actually have pretty high expectations of human beings, even though I know I shouldn’t. That’s why I get so angry at them all the time. I don’t like the “bad apples” argument. When there’s a problem that is wide-spread in an organization, I consider every member of the organization that stands by and does nothing to be complicit. Just like all American cops that play the middle ground and don’t condemn wholeheartedly every single instance of police brutality are complicit in the problem.

Every Catholic I’ve ever talked to about this vehemently condemns sexual abuse. There is mandatory training for volunteers in my diocese for dealing with situations of possible sex abuse. I don’t see a whole lot of problems in this area where I live. The problem isn’t as widespread as many make it out to be. There are areas in the world where it’s a horrific problem and many others where it really isn’t an issue.

Post
#1220570
Topic
Religion
Time

chyron8472 said:

Let me be clear here: I have no personal disdain for Catholicism. I just don’t belong to it. To me, again, they are brothers and sisters in Christ. So nevermind the differences.

But I will say this… When I went to Eureka Springs, Arkansas with my wife and her family, and we visited The Thorncrown Chapel there, it was pretty. The building and surrounding nature was nice. But when I visited St. Elizabeth Catholic Church, it was amazing. I could… feel something in the church there. Something tangible. It was like the Spirit was there, in that place, despite it being empty. I didn’t want to leave. I genuinely felt in that moment like I could have sat in that pew all day and just been in His presence. My family wanted to do other things that afternoon, and it made me sad to leave. It made me think about Aslan in the Narnia novel Prince Caspian where he tells Lucy she should have gone to him even despite her siblings’ protestations of not seeing him anywhere.

It was only days later when I mentioned my experience that my family admitted feeling similarly. My wife says the next time we go back, we will go there and just be for a while.

Thank you for sharing that. I do think I’m perhaps overemphasizing our differences when I should be focusing on similarities. But then there wouldn’t be much of a debate, would there? ;P

I feel strongly about the need for unity in matters of doctrine, but I can also appreciate your own desire for unity in a different way. I think the two need to be balanced, but I respect your thoughts on the matter.

Post
#1220569
Topic
Religion
Time

chyron8472 said:

RicOlie_2 said:

I simply love a good debate and mainly out of curiosity am trying to understand why you don’t find the Catholic position convincing.

Because I value believer’s baptism by immersion; I don’t care much for liturgical recitation (because at some point the words become rote rather than genuine); I believe in the priesthood of the believer (1 Peter 2:9); and I’m happy with the autonomy accorded to my local church.

I won’t address all your points unless you want me to, because I’m short on time, but there are a couple points I wanted to make:

While I think what you say about liturgical prayer is often the case, I find I enter into liturgical prayers more and more when I make the effort to do so and they become more meaningful to me the more familiar I become with them and the realities of my faith that they reference. I do agree that personal prayer is extremely important, however, and has not been emphasized enough in the Church.

I appreciate your cordial responses. If only I came across that way all the time…

You may be interested to know that Catholics also believe in the priesthood of the believer (usually called the “Baptismal priesthood” as distinct from the better known “ministerial priesthood”):

http://www.catholiclane.com/the-baptismal-priesthood/

Among other things.

I also really see no value in having a Pope. I can talk to God as easily as he can. He is a teacher, and as a teacher he is held to a higher standard (James 3), but my local church doesn’t need to answer to a denominational administrative body.

Catholics don’t believe that we need the Pope to talk to God for us. Everyone can and should do that. We believe that he is Christ’s representative on earth, it’s true, but he is not somehow a “superhuman,” and his authority is not absolute. Its purpose it to preserve the unity of the Church and to provide guidance to all its members.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FMXvvNjYN50

That’s a beautiful video, and I wish his words applied to more Catholic parishes. It is very true of the Church as a whole, however. People of all kinds are united in the Body of Christ through baptism and it’s a wonderful thing.

 
JEDIT: Apparently, Baptists’ practice of believer’s baptism and Communion/The Lord’s Supper, are referred to as “ordinances” instead of “sacraments”. That is, we do so in obedience to Christ’s command and in following His example. I have personally been taught that baptism is an outward sign of an inward change. If Catholics hold to sacrements as “an outward sign of an inward grace” (according to the wiki entry on Sacrements), I’m not sure how that is different. I would have to ask someone more knowledgeable about it.

I think, though I could be wrong, that the Baptist belief is more along the lines of “baptism is an expression of a change that has occurred within oneself,” whereas in Catholicism, it’s more like "baptism is an outward sign (water and the words “I baptize you in the name of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit”) accompanied by an inward change (remission of original sin, incorporation into the Body of Christ, the gift of the Holy Spirit).

It’s also noteworthy that the Church teaches that the graces of baptism and the other sacraments are not necessarily received by the recipient of the sacrament. A proper disposition is required for this, and thus an infant who is baptized must be raised in the faith and accept it as their own in order to fully receive the graces of the sacrament.

Post
#1220565
Topic
Religion
Time

moviefreakedmind said:

RicOlie_2 said:

moviefreakedmind said:

RicOlie_2 said:

moviefreakedmind said:

RicOlie_2 said:

moviefreakedmind said:

The idea that any church has more to offer seems weird to me. What does that have to do with truth? Who cares if a religion offers more? Shouldn’t all you care about is whether there’s sufficient evidence to justify a belief in it? At least protestants don’t offer nearly two millennia of failure to help the poor while their religious leader lives in a solid gold palace. Not that protestants don’t have their share of con-artists taking money for personal gain, but it’s on a smaller scale.

What evidence are you referring to? Failure of individuals to live up to a religion’s doctrine doesn’t constitute evidence against that religion, unless that itself runs contrary to the tenets of said religion.

It’s also noteworthy that those whom the Church upholds as examples to follow did in fact help the poor. Sts. Martin of Tours, Francis of Assisi, Mother Teresa of Calcutta, and Nicholas all come to mind. Note that there are very few popes from the Middle Ages and Renaissance that the Church honours as saints. It isn’t as if we think they were all good popes. Many were corrupt and immoral, and some were rebuked by saints such as Catherine of Siena or Bernard of Clairvaux.

There’s no concrete evidence for the existence of God or Jesus Christ. I know it’s based on faith, but there’s also clear evidence of Church corruption on a grand scale that would point towards it not being a particularly holy institution.

No concrete evidence for the existence of Jesus Christ? What about the gospels, Josephus, Tacitus, etc.? Jesus’ existence is just as well attested as many other historical figures of the time.

Not really. The gospels were written much later than he was supposed to have lived. Definitely long enough later that there’s no reason to believe they are quoting him verbatim. And there’s definitely no historical documentation that would point towards those documents being credible. I’m not sure what historical figures you’re talking about so I can’t attest to that.

I’m referring to most historical figures who weren’t kings or something similar. I can’t think of a lot of good examples because there simply aren’t many non-Biblical people from the first century or so who are well known. But Pontius Pilate is only known, aside from one partial inscription, from the gospels (c. 70-100), Josephus (c. 75-95), and Philo (died c. 50). This isn’t much different from Jesus, who is attested in the Epistles of Paul (c. 50-60), the gospels (c. 70-100), Josephus (c. 93), and Tacitus (c. 115). There is a fringe theory that Jesus did not exist, but it seems to stem more from an implicit desire to disprove Christianity than from genuinely wanting to reconstruct history.

The “fringe” theory that he didn’t exist is largely just a theory that he didn’t exist in the form that the Bible describes him as. This could be said about pretty much all of the Old Testament Kings too.

No, that’s the mainstream theory. The fringe theory that he didn’t actually exist is what I thought you were referring to and is known as the “Christ Myth Theory.” The Old Testament histories fall into the genre of ancient history, so I don’t have much of a problem accepting that they are probably not factually inerrant.

There are also scientifically inexplicable miracles, still visible in the Shroud of Turin, the Tilma of Juan Diego

There are images that look like certain things appearing in everything. I just googled around a found examples of chicken nuggets shaped like Abe Lincoln. What about the “face on Mars”?

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cydonia_(region_of_Mars)

Doesn’t anyone believe in coincidence anymore? If we’re taking all of these as literal divine interventions just because they look like something or because someone claimed it happened, then you have to accept all other similar claims made by other religious people or even nonreligious people or you’d be intellectually dishonest. My brother claims to have seen a ghost in our childhood apartment. Was that apartment haunted? What makes him less credible than eye-witnesses to other such apparitions?

Images looking like certain things certainly doesn’t apply to the image of Our Lady of Guadalupe on the Tilma of Juan Diego, unless you’re referring to details in the eyes, etc. As for the Shroud of Turin, this certainly doesn’t hold true (see here for a detailed forensic examination of the shroud). The carbon dating to the 14th century is more convincing. I had thought that had been explained away, but I guess the argument that thousands of people fingering the shroud contaminated it may not hold water after all.

I suspect most so-called visions and apparitions are fake (which is why the Church doesn’t typically approve them), but I am willing to accept that some ghost sightings could potentially have a supernatural nature. I also think it’s possible to imagine things or to hallucinate.

Then why believe these specific miracles. It sounds like an implicit desire to prove Christianity.

For the same reason I believe anything else. Because of the evidence for their authenticity.

the Eucharistic miracle of Lanciano…

How could you possibly say that a priest 1300 years ago claiming to have found flesh in his eucharist is a scientifically inexplicable miracle? I guess if we had any reason to believe that it actually happened, it’d be a scientifically inexplicable miracle. But there are people every day that claim to have meetings with aliens, or Elvis. Do you believe them? I have a theory about the miracle of Lanciano: the guy lied. Or at best was totally mistaken.

It was scientifically analyzed by Dr. Odoardo Linoli and found to have not decayed despite not containing preservatives or being in a hermeneutically sealed container, and, like in other Eucharistic miracles, the blood type is AB, among other things. Now, the text of the study is unfortunately not freely available, so I can’t personally attest to its validity. But I certainly can’t dismiss it off-hand.

I can dismiss it off-hand because I know that bread and wine can’t turn into flesh and blood. That’s just how reality is.

Of course it can’t on its own. But if an all-powerful God exists, he can do whatever the heck he wants with matter. You’re looking at it with the assumption that a personal God does not exist, whereas I am looking at it as possible evidence for the existence of such a God (and specifically the Christian God).

The universe has no explicable origin without God. Matter doesn’t just spontaneously generate itself. Not to mention the unliklihood of life simply coming to be through a chemical reaction of some kind. The fact that you believe these things occurred is itself an example of faith without concrete evidence.

Where’d God come from? Why doesn’t he need an origin, but the universe does? And I don’t “believe” in anything. That’s something you’ve attributed to me. I don’t know how the universe came into being. Haven’t claimed to, don’t plan on it. Not to mention, even if I granted that a god was a necessity, that grants no credibility to any particular religion.

God doesn’t need an origin because he is being itself, and is immaterial. Sorry for putting words in your mouth, I made a presumption which I thought was fair, but clearly wasn’t.

Why does he not need an origin? The Bible, at least in the old testament (and even in the new now that I think about it, given Christ’s humanity), describes him as pretty material and tangible.

Because he is the source of all existence; he is being itself. He is not simply “a (really powerful) being.” He is Being, and doesn’t make sense for Being to have an origin beyond itself.

In the Old Testament, he wasn’t described as material and tangible, but rather attributed anthropomorphic characteristics at times and apparently described as appearing under more substantial forms sometimes. In the New Testament, it’s quite clear that he isn’t material and tangible, but that he took on a human nature.

Church corruption was no greater than any other organization in history. It should have been far less, of course. However, if you were to look only at those Catholics who have actually tried to live out their faith, I suspect you will see very little corruption.

I have higher expectations for God’s representatives on earth and there are plenty of irreligious people that have been just as great as Catholics that have tried to live out their faith. And it’s definitely not true that it’s no more corrupt than any other organization in history. What, is the Women’s Christian Temperance Union as corrupt? What about SETI? Or the Free Masons? How are you gauging the level of corruption?

Are any of these plentiful irreligious people as great as the saints?

I’d argue yes. Even if they were more flawed, I’d say that the accomplishments of people like Eleanor Roosevelt, Churchill, Earl Warren, Ghandi, Nelson Mandela, John Adams, Carl Sagan––just a few people that randomly came to my head––and many others have far greater accomplishments and inspired or helped a lot more people than saints like Mother Theresa. I know some of those examples had to claim affiliation with religion in order to survive politically during their respective times, but they weren’t particularly devout and none were Catholic. I’m sure you won’t consider them as great as the saints, but I don’t consider spreading Catholicism or the word of God to be a virtue, so I have much greater respect for people who helped, advocated for, or educated others (which is why I included Sagan) for irreligious reasons. Also, people can do great services without engaging in hands-on charity. Earl Warren protected the rights of tens of millions of Americans as Chief Justice of the Supreme Court, which directly helped a lot more people than even the most charitable saints.

Fair enough. We’re arguing from completely different points of view, so clearly we will never agree on this.

I suppose I wasn’t very clear when talking about corruption, so my claim isn’t very meaningful. When I think of corruption, I’m thinking in more religious terms, where it can refer to any sort of immorality.

I don’t care much about morality unless there’s hypocrisy involved. Like caring about the sanctity of life and then opposing condoms to prevent the spread of AIDS. I would actually be less frustrated by an institution opposing AIDS prevention if it didn’t claim to value the sanctity of life.

In fact, what I should have said is “individual Catholics are no more likely to be living immoral lives than anyone else, and in fact those who actually attempt to live out their faith are far less likely to be doing so,” or “corruption in the Catholic Church is not disproportionate to the amount of wealth and prestige it has enjoyed.”

The wealth and prestige is a big part of why I consider it to be a fraudulent organization, frankly. I don’t recall Jesus Christ or any of his followers living in anything other than poverty. There’s a sound biblical argument to be made that Christ was opposed to the accumulation of wealth at all, if we’re taking the gospels for what they are.

I agree that the wealth and prestige of many Church officials (and aristocratic laymen) throughout history is scandalous. I don’t see that as evidence that the Catholic Church is fraudulent, however, but rather as an indication of the unwillingness of many of its members to truly embrace its teachings. Most Catholics are just as much in need of conversion as anyone else. As far as Jesus’ teaching goes, I agree that he encouraged literal (voluntary) poverty. He would have, and I believe will, condemn many popes and bishops just as strongly as he condemned the pharisees. The Church realized early on, however, that private property was a necessary evil, although a Christian should still live simply and not extravagently.

What is important, and this seems clear from Jesus’ teachings as well, is a spirit of poverty (“Blessed are the poor in spirit…”), i.e. a detachment from material things and by implication, a willingness to generously share what one has. In the story of the rich young man, at least one of the gospels reports that “[Jesus] loved him” when the young man recounted his faithfulness to the commandments. Jesus then counselled him that if he wanted to be perfect, then he should go and sell all that he had and give it to the poor. This implies that a certain degree of poverty is necessary for perfection and sanctity, but that one can follow the commandments well and still have material wealth. If my family gave up all our possessions and gave to those poorer than us, we would soon be living on the street. It simply isn’t practicable for everyone to live in poverty.

The truth of the matter is that there is no other comparable institution on earth. You mention the Women’s Christian Temperance Union, but that was never a potential means of power as becoming a clergyman in the Catholic Church once was. The same applies to Freemasonry. SETI does not have any bearing on one’s personal life. Any number of other organizations have either been relatively short-lived, do not require any moral commitments from their members, do not offer opportunities for power and wealth (this comes with size and prestige).

You didn’t make that distinction, but even still, most governments or governmental institutions in the western world aren’t as morally corrupt as the Catholic Church has been. It’s interaction with the Nazi Party, the child sex abuse coverups, and moral hypocrisy on abortion and birth control are just a few examples of issues that, while awful on their own, I find to be much more egregious coming from such a pious institution.

I certainly don’t see that. Governments are corrupt even on provincial and state levels (it’s a matter of course, in Canada, at least, for government workers to be paid to do things like going golfing, and of course there are many more serious examples to be found). Support for euthanasia, abortion, and complete disregard for the sacredness of human sexuality are just a few of the examples that are indicative of a general moral bankruptcy in the governments of the Western World. You mention that the Church is somehow hypocritical in condemning these things. How so?

I’m not quite sure what you’re referring to regarding the Nazis. Why did Nazis target Catholic priests if the Church was complaisant towards the regime? I suggest you read at least the first few paragraphs of the Wikipedia article on the subject to get a more balanced view of the Church’s response to Nazism:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Catholic_Church_and_Nazi_Germany

Pope Pius XII is credited with doing more than any other world leader to save Jews, and in fact the chief rabbi in Rome, Israel Zolli, converted to Catholicism after the war at least partly because of his efforts and that of other Church leaders.

Sex abuse coverups are often due to corruption, though sometimes they are simply due to cowardice or misplaced “mercy.” It is unfortunate that the problem was as severe as it was in certain countries, but it is a minority of clergy who are culpable. Most Catholic clergymen that I’ve met are wonderful people. There are bad apples, and a handful that merit a far harsher term, but what do you expect from human beings? There are also many saints and inspiring examples among their ranks.

Post
#1220316
Topic
Religion
Time

chyron8472 said:

Ric, I might be interested in discussing what doctrine I hold to vs. what you, or Warb, or _ender or whoemever else holds to. But I am not interested in having to continually defend why Protestant belief is not inferior to Catholicism. Whether whichever position is more sound might be up for debate, but that still doesn’t invite disdain or condescension.

Again, apologies if I come across in any way as being disdainful or condescending. I simply have strong beliefs, but that doesn’t mean I think you’re stupid or ignorant or anything. I simply love a good debate and mainly out of curiosity am trying to understand why you don’t find the Catholic position convincing.

Post
#1220314
Topic
Religion
Time

moviefreakedmind said:

RicOlie_2 said:

moviefreakedmind said:

RicOlie_2 said:

moviefreakedmind said:

The idea that any church has more to offer seems weird to me. What does that have to do with truth? Who cares if a religion offers more? Shouldn’t all you care about is whether there’s sufficient evidence to justify a belief in it? At least protestants don’t offer nearly two millennia of failure to help the poor while their religious leader lives in a solid gold palace. Not that protestants don’t have their share of con-artists taking money for personal gain, but it’s on a smaller scale.

What evidence are you referring to? Failure of individuals to live up to a religion’s doctrine doesn’t constitute evidence against that religion, unless that itself runs contrary to the tenets of said religion.

It’s also noteworthy that those whom the Church upholds as examples to follow did in fact help the poor. Sts. Martin of Tours, Francis of Assisi, Mother Teresa of Calcutta, and Nicholas all come to mind. Note that there are very few popes from the Middle Ages and Renaissance that the Church honours as saints. It isn’t as if we think they were all good popes. Many were corrupt and immoral, and some were rebuked by saints such as Catherine of Siena or Bernard of Clairvaux.

There’s no concrete evidence for the existence of God or Jesus Christ. I know it’s based on faith, but there’s also clear evidence of Church corruption on a grand scale that would point towards it not being a particularly holy institution.

No concrete evidence for the existence of Jesus Christ? What about the gospels, Josephus, Tacitus, etc.? Jesus’ existence is just as well attested as many other historical figures of the time.

Not really. The gospels were written much later than he was supposed to have lived. Definitely long enough later that there’s no reason to believe they are quoting him verbatim. And there’s definitely no historical documentation that would point towards those documents being credible. I’m not sure what historical figures you’re talking about so I can’t attest to that.

I’m referring to most historical figures who weren’t kings or something similar. I can’t think of a lot of good examples because there simply aren’t many non-Biblical people from the first century or so who are well known. But Pontius Pilate is only known, aside from one partial inscription, from the gospels (c. 70-100), Josephus (c. 75-95), and Philo (died c. 50). This isn’t much different from Jesus, who is attested in the Epistles of Paul (c. 50-60), the gospels (c. 70-100), Josephus (c. 93), and Tacitus (c. 115). There is a fringe theory that Jesus did not exist, but it seems to stem more from an implicit desire to disprove Christianity than from genuinely wanting to reconstruct history.

There are also scientifically inexplicable miracles, still visible in the Shroud of Turin, the Tilma of Juan Diego

There are images that look like certain things appearing in everything. I just googled around a found examples of chicken nuggets shaped like Abe Lincoln. What about the “face on Mars”?

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cydonia_(region_of_Mars)

Doesn’t anyone believe in coincidence anymore? If we’re taking all of these as literal divine interventions just because they look like something or because someone claimed it happened, then you have to accept all other similar claims made by other religious people or even nonreligious people or you’d be intellectually dishonest. My brother claims to have seen a ghost in our childhood apartment. Was that apartment haunted? What makes him less credible than eye-witnesses to other such apparitions?

Images looking like certain things certainly doesn’t apply to the image of Our Lady of Guadalupe on the Tilma of Juan Diego, unless you’re referring to details in the eyes, etc. As for the Shroud of Turin, this certainly doesn’t hold true (see here for a detailed forensic examination of the shroud). The carbon dating to the 14th century is more convincing. I had thought that had been explained away, but I guess the argument that thousands of people fingering the shroud contaminated it may not hold water after all.

I suspect most so-called visions and apparitions are fake (which is why the Church doesn’t typically approve them), but I am willing to accept that some ghost sightings could potentially have a supernatural nature. I also think it’s possible to imagine things or to hallucinate.

the Eucharistic miracle of Lanciano…

How could you possibly say that a priest 1300 years ago claiming to have found flesh in his eucharist is a scientifically inexplicable miracle? I guess if we had any reason to believe that it actually happened, it’d be a scientifically inexplicable miracle. But there are people every day that claim to have meetings with aliens, or Elvis. Do you believe them? I have a theory about the miracle of Lanciano: the guy lied. Or at best was totally mistaken.

It was scientifically analyzed by Dr. Odoardo Linoli and found to have not decayed despite not containing preservatives or being in a hermeneutically sealed container, and, like in other Eucharistic miracles, the blood type is AB, among other things. Now, the text of the study is unfortunately not freely available, so I can’t personally attest to its validity. But I certainly can’t dismiss it off-hand.

The universe has no explicable origin without God. Matter doesn’t just spontaneously generate itself. Not to mention the unliklihood of life simply coming to be through a chemical reaction of some kind. The fact that you believe these things occurred is itself an example of faith without concrete evidence.

Where’d God come from? Why doesn’t he need an origin, but the universe does? And I don’t “believe” in anything. That’s something you’ve attributed to me. I don’t know how the universe came into being. Haven’t claimed to, don’t plan on it. Not to mention, even if I granted that a god was a necessity, that grants no credibility to any particular religion.

God doesn’t need an origin because he is being itself, and is immaterial. Sorry for putting words in your mouth, I made a presumption which I thought was fair, but clearly wasn’t.

Church corruption was no greater than any other organization in history. It should have been far less, of course. However, if you were to look only at those Catholics who have actually tried to live out their faith, I suspect you will see very little corruption.

I have higher expectations for God’s representatives on earth and there are plenty of irreligious people that have been just as great as Catholics that have tried to live out their faith. And it’s definitely not true that it’s no more corrupt than any other organization in history. What, is the Women’s Christian Temperance Union as corrupt? What about SETI? Or the Free Masons? How are you gauging the level of corruption?

Are any of these plentiful irreligious people as great as the saints? While it may well be my own fault that I can’t think of any, none come to mind. I suppose I wasn’t very clear when talking about corruption, so my claim isn’t very meaningful. When I think of corruption, I’m thinking in more religious terms, where it can refer to any sort of immorality. In fact, what I should have said is “individual Catholics are no more likely to be living immoral lives than anyone else, and in fact those who actually attempt to live out their faith are far less likely to be doing so,” or “corruption in the Catholic Church is not disproportionate to the amount of wealth and prestige it has enjoyed.”

The truth of the matter is that there is no other comparable institution on earth. You mention the Women’s Christian Temperance Union, but that was never a potential means of power as becoming a clergyman in the Catholic Church once was. The same applies to Freemasonry. SETI does not have any bearing on one’s personal life. Any number of other organizations have either been relatively short-lived, do not require any moral commitments from their members, do not offer opportunities for power and wealth (this comes with size and prestige).

Post
#1220089
Topic
Religion
Time

moviefreakedmind said:

RicOlie_2 said:

moviefreakedmind said:

The idea that any church has more to offer seems weird to me. What does that have to do with truth? Who cares if a religion offers more? Shouldn’t all you care about is whether there’s sufficient evidence to justify a belief in it? At least protestants don’t offer nearly two millennia of failure to help the poor while their religious leader lives in a solid gold palace. Not that protestants don’t have their share of con-artists taking money for personal gain, but it’s on a smaller scale.

What evidence are you referring to? Failure of individuals to live up to a religion’s doctrine doesn’t constitute evidence against that religion, unless that itself runs contrary to the tenets of said religion.

It’s also noteworthy that those whom the Church upholds as examples to follow did in fact help the poor. Sts. Martin of Tours, Francis of Assisi, Mother Teresa of Calcutta, and Nicholas all come to mind. Note that there are very few popes from the Middle Ages and Renaissance that the Church honours as saints. It isn’t as if we think they were all good popes. Many were corrupt and immoral, and some were rebuked by saints such as Catherine of Siena or Bernard of Clairvaux.

There’s no concrete evidence for the existence of God or Jesus Christ. I know it’s based on faith, but there’s also clear evidence of Church corruption on a grand scale that would point towards it not being a particularly holy institution.

No concrete evidence for the existence of Jesus Christ? What about the gospels, Josephus, Tacitus, etc.? Jesus’ existence is just as well attested as many other historical figures of the time. There are also scientifically inexplicable miracles, still visible in the Shroud of Turin, the Tilma of Juan Diego, the Eucharistic miracle of Lanciano… The universe has no explicable origin without God. Matter doesn’t just spontaneously generate itself. Not to mention the unliklihood of life simply coming to be through a chemical reaction of some kind. The fact that you believe these things occurred is itself an example of faith without concrete evidence.

Church corruption was no greater than any other organization in history. It should have been far less, of course. However, if you were to look only at those Catholics who have actually tried to live out their faith, I suspect you will see very little corruption. The Church doesn’t magically make people holy. Virtue requires personal effort, whether or not you’re Catholic. Finally, the Church has often been likened to a hospital. You expect to find sick people in a hospital, but that doesn’t discredit the hospital.

Post
#1220072
Topic
Religion
Time

flametitan said:

RicOlie_2 said:
his statement that “unless you eat my flesh and drink my blood, you have no life within you”

Dumb question from a non-christian: I realize that most Christians do not literally eat his flesh and blood (as I do not believe Jesus was trying to condone cannibalism, especially not of himself), and that really it refers to a sacred wine and I think bread (If I recall, though I might not have the specifics right.) However, why were those two food items chosen? Is there a Bible passage where he explains them to be allegories for his flesh and blood? If not, why those items (Though I maybe get the wine, as it might also be an extension of the whole, “turning water into wine,” thing.)

It’s a great question actually, and it has to do mainly with Jewish traditions. For one, “Eucharist” means “thanksgiving” and there is a connection with thanksgiving offerings (Todah) of the Old Testament, which consisted of bread, wine, and I believe meat. There is also the connection with the Passover (which is when the gospels record Jesus’ celebrated the first Eucharist/last supper), where unleavened bread, wine, and roast lamb were eaten. The question of course arises, why didn’t he use lamb instead of bread? I can’t give a definitive answer there, but I can give some hypotheses (see also this article and its comment section): unlike lamb, wine and bread do not exist in nature and are produced by humans using products of nature, perhaps symbolizing a cooperation between God and man; the Eucharist replaced “bloody” sacrifices (the Eucharist is a sacrifice that re-presents (makes present again) Jesus’ crucifixion, which was the ultimate “bloody” sacrifice), and thus meat wouldn’t be suitable because it would require the shedding of blood; and bread is more universal than meat, and especially compared to lamb. Jesus also speaks of himself as the “bread of life” come down from heaven in his discourse of John 6. There, he connects this notion with the Eucharist: “whoever does not eat [the Greek word used is a more graphic word for eating, like gnawing or chewing[ my flesh and drink my blood has no life within him.”

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#1220070
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Religion
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moviefreakedmind said:

The idea that any church has more to offer seems weird to me. What does that have to do with truth? Who cares if a religion offers more? Shouldn’t all you care about is whether there’s sufficient evidence to justify a belief in it? At least protestants don’t offer nearly two millennia of failure to help the poor while their religious leader lives in a solid gold palace. Not that protestants don’t have their share of con-artists taking money for personal gain, but it’s on a smaller scale.

What evidence are you referring to? Failure of individuals to live up to a religion’s doctrine doesn’t constitute evidence against that religion, unless that itself runs contrary to the tenets of said religion.

It’s also noteworthy that those whom the Church upholds as examples to follow did in fact help the poor. Sts. Martin of Tours, Francis of Assisi, Mother Teresa of Calcutta, and Nicholas all come to mind. Note that there are very few popes from the Middle Ages and Renaissance that the Church honours as saints. It isn’t as if we think they were all good popes. Many were corrupt and immoral, and some were rebuked by saints such as Catherine of Siena or Bernard of Clairvaux.

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#1220046
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Religion
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ChainsawAsh said:

Stepping in to mention that the Protestant church I grew up in (Episcopalian), we absolutely had the Eucharist every service. Hell, the only differences I ever noticed between my church and my uncle’s Catholic church was the extra bit at the end of the Lord’s Prayer, deemphasis of confession, and the ability of priests to marry and have children. Everything else seemed pretty much identical.

I can certainly accept that some denominations are closer to Catholicism than others. Arguably though, Episcopalianism/Anglicanism isn’t even Protestant, but more akin to Orthodoxy, which separated from Catholicism over primarily political issues, with doctrinal differences becoming more prominent later on.

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#1220044
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Religion
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chyron8472 said:

RicOlie_2 said:

Not to mention that most Protestant denominations just don’t have that much to offer in comparison to the Catholic Church. They don’t have the Eucharist (or most of the other sacraments), the tradition, the depth of theology, the saints, or any number of the things that set the Church apart and make it so incredibly rich.

I’m not sure which denominations (if any) don’t have Communion, but mine certainly does. Whether it is bread and wine or unleavened cracker and grape juice, or if it uses intinction (dipping the bread into the wine) or not, or having individual breads/crackers and cups, is irrelevant. It’s the symbol that is important.

What I was referring to is the Catholic belief in transubstantiation. It’s not just a symbol. It is the physical presence of Christ himself, as testified to in Scripture (John 6, the Last Supper narratives) and the Fathers of the Church (including St. Ignatius of Antioch and Justin Martyr in the early-mid 1st century). Yet only the Catholic and Orthodox Churches have retained this belief.

And no, I don’t turn to or reference the saints in prayer. I pray to my Father, my Savior, and the Spirit. Jesus intercedes for me, and the Spirit empowers me. I don’t need additional intercessors. And, for another thing, God is omniscient; the saints are not, so I’m not sure how that works given the number of people here who simultaneously pray constantly.

I was referring more to the example and the writings of the saints than their intercession, to be clear. The saints may not be omniscient, but they are also in heaven, which means that they are not necessarily bound by time in the same way we are on earth.

if we boil down the Christian faith to what we all have in common, we’re not left with a whole lot of substance.

What we’re left with is: We are imperfect, and sinful, and God is absolutely pure and holy. But God loves you. He loves you so much that He sacrificed His own child—His own self, on a Roman cross, as the penalty to redeem you from your our own sin and selfishness. We don’t deserve it, but it is given to us freely and all we need to do is accept His sacrifice and His forgiveness. Then the Spirit gives us power; and the Scripture, given power, is made clear as the Spirit reveals it to us. By that power, we are called to become more like Him, and to share the good news of His sacrifice to the world.

And that is really what is important.

If only we had that much in common. Jehovah’s Witnesses, for instance, do not believe that Jesus was truly God’s son. Armstrongists don’t believe in a divine Holy Spirit. Various Christians throughout history have rejected these beliefs as well. Scripture varies between Christians. Some early Christians rejected much of the New Testament as we know it. Different Orthodox Churches also have variations in their New Testament. The Scriptures do not seem to be made clear across denominations, as there are so many interpretations of it.

I agree with you that what you listed as core Christian doctrine is more important than, say, whether or not contraception is moral, or whether or not Jesus had two wills and two natures, or whether bishops are distinct from priests in more ways than just jurdically. I don’t think you can say that it’s the only thing that’s important though. Jesus gave many specific instructions and teachings, as did the apostles, that not all Christians accept today. Why would he bother to teach these things if they were simply not important?

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#1220019
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Religion
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chyron8472 said:

RicOlie_2 said:

I’m in love with the Catholic faith and I think it’s important, which is why I want to share, though it might come across as aggressive.

I don’t really understand the “love for the Catholic faith” as opposed to just “the Christian faith”. To my mind, the whole point is to love God and love your neighbor, since the whole law and prophets hang on those two commandments. Doctrinal disagreements, in my opinion, are fairly minor in the grand scheme. To me, the different denominations are essentially separate parts of the Body of Christ. None is less important even if one does not understand the use of another (1 Corinthians 12).

Frankly I don’t think God cares if you’re Catholic, Methodist, Baptist, Presbyterian, Church of Christ, Assembly of God or Seventh-Day Adventist. I happen to be Baptist, and there are certain doctrinal beliefs and activities (or lack thereof) that come along with that, but it doesn’t make my faith less meaningful or my life less useful to Him.

Also, I’m not really overly concerned with the “official” stance of the (Catholic) Church to a certain degree. If the “official” view was that God actually literally created everything, from the space-time continuum itself to human life on this planet, in 6 days—that is, only 144 hours—when to begin with a 24-hour day would have no meaning before our planet existed, then I don’t agree with that. I agree that he could if He wanted to, but I don’t believe that He did. And I enjoy learning about what our science has revealed that speaks to the wonder of His handiwork.

God is still teaching me about Himself, and I’m learning more about myself and about His creation. He’s just at a different place with me than He is with someone else.

It’s clear from the Bible that doctrine was important to the early Church. Take the dispute about circumcision, for instance. Jesus himself spoke strongly about various doctrinal issues that many Protestants disagree with (e.g. his condemnation of divorce, his statement that “unless you eat my flesh and drink my blood, you have no life within you”). He also prayed “that they may be one as we are one,” so clearly unity was important to Jesus. And to extend that line of thought, because Jesus is God, and Jesus cares about the unity of Christians, God does in fact care about what we believe because if we all believe different things, we aren’t unified.

Not to mention that most Protestant denominations just don’t have that much to offer in comparison to the Catholic Church. They don’t have the Eucharist (or most of the other sacraments), the tradition, the depth of theology, the saints, or any number of the things that set the Church apart and make it so incredibly rich. Different denominations have incompatible beliefs regarding salvation. The fact is that we can’t all be right, and if we boil down the Christian faith to what we all have in common, we’re not left with a whole lot of substance.

As a side note, the Church has no official stance on how quickly the earth was created. I would say most Catholics accept the scientific data in this regard.

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#1219374
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Religion
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moviefreakedmind said:

Okay, so obviously it has changed. They weren’t supposed to be sold, then they were, and now they aren’t. And clergy is a misleading word to use. Even the pope himself was involved in scamming people out of their money for indulgences. I’m tired of this refusal to even acknowledge things that are documented fact. I don’t get how you could say that “nothing’s changed there,” when the practice has been different depending on who is in charge. It’d be like if I said that black people (or black men anyway) in the southern United States were able to vote ever since Reconstruction because of the 15th Amendment. Nothing’s changed there, now we just have the Voting Rights Act. It’s really misleading because yes, legally blacks were allowed to vote, but it was common practice and basically the law of the land in racist southern states to deny them their right to vote. So no, it actually has changed.

My point is that the teaching of the Church hasn’t changed. The abuses have. There is an important distinction to be made between the teaching authority of the Church and the people who belong to it. When someone says “the Church teaches…” they are referring to the former. When someone says “the Church permitted abuses such as…” they are referring to the latter (i.e. Church officials). In other words, it’s a dichotomy between doctrine and policy, the former of which is unchangeable, the latter of which can. Policy itself is divided into official Church policy (e.g. the contents of Canon Law) and individual policy (e.g. how Church officials handle sexual abuse cases). It is only in the latter that abuses arise, and they have no bearing on what the Church actually teaches, and can in fact run directly contrary to Church doctrine.

TL;DR: The teachings of the Church haven’t changed. Policy, whether unofficial and individual or official and codified, has.

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#1219205
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Religion
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moviefreakedmind said:

RicOlie_2 said:

Warbler said:

But you have to admit the Catholic Church has changed a lot since the Middle Ages. If it were still the same as it was, Pope Francis would endorse burning me at the stake.

Yes and no. The teachings of the Church haven’t changed,

Indulgences?

Nothing’s changed there. You can still get them and they were never supposed to be sold in the first place. That’s why it was so upsetting to Luther. Indulgences basically involve going to confession, receiving the Eucharist, praying for the pope, and usually doing some other pious act. The abuse was when clergy started selling them. In these cases, they weren’t even valid, so it was basically a case of clergymen taking advantage of the laity, who thought they were actually receiving some sort of spiritual benefits. It’s unfortunate that the Church didn’t really crack down on it until the Protestant Reformation was well under way.

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#1219201
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Religion
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Warbler said:

RicOlie_2 said:

chyron8472 said:

RicOlie_2 said:

Warbler said:

RicOlie_2 said:

“To be deep in history is to cease to be Protestant”
-John Henry Cardinal Newman

Somehow I doubt that.

Historically speaking, the Church has always been pretty Catholic, and the Protestant Reformation was revisionist, not based on any solid historical grounds. Sola scriptura is an entirely Protestant invention, for instance, and has no basis in either history or Scripture. There is no historical justification for much Protestant doctrine.

-.-

By grace alone, through faith alone, in Christ alone.

 
I don’t really appreciate this attitude you seem to have about Protestant belief. As though the Body of Christ is weakened by opinion that is not the “official” view of the Catholic Church. I do not have to subscribe to the position that the elements of Communion actually literally become His body and blood. I also do not lend any weight to baptism of those who are too young to make the decision for themselves, albeit baptism itself is not a requirement for salvation. And I am not required to confess to a priest. Jesus Christ Himself is the Great High Priest (Hebrews 4), and He intercedes for me.

JEDIT: 2 Timothy 3 says “All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness, so that the servant of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work.” So relying heavily on Scripture does have a sound basis.

Ephesians 2 says “For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God— not by works, so that no one can boast. For we are God’s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.” So while James 2 does say “Faith without works is dead”, those works are fruit borne from one’s relationship with Christ. They are not required for salvation, because that undermines the sacrifice Christ paid for us. There is no amount of works we can possibly achieve that makes us worthy of salvation.

As for baptism not being a requirement, the thief on the cross was not baptized, and yet he was saved.

So you see, your assertion that Protestant doctrine has no basis is highly uninformed.
/JEDIT

 
I really don’t like the disdain you’re showing here. My relationship with my Savior does not suffer because my church does not doctrinally agree wholly with Catholicism.

Apologies if I’m coming across as disdainful. That’s the trouble with Internet debating. A lot comes across in your words that you don’t intend to.

No, I’m not disdainful, nor do I think badly of you guys in any way. I simply feel strongly about what I believe and am trying to figure out why you guys believe what you do and why you think it’s justified. I’m in love with the Catholic faith and I think it’s important, which is why I want to share, though it might come across as aggressive.

I’m itching to respond to the points you brought up in your edit, but I also don’t want to antagonize you. However, if you’re willing to debate a bit, let me know.

Just keep in mind we feel strongly in what we believe as well.

Of course. Which is why I’m debating you. 😉

I appreciate your willingless to engage in discussion. You’re a great guy, so please don’t think I’m attacking you personally, even if I seem to be passionately tearing apart your arguments. I’m just trying to get a sense of why you believe what you do despite whatever arguments there are against it.

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#1219196
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Religion
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Warbler said:

But you have to admit the Catholic Church has changed a lot since the Middle Ages. If it were still the same as it was, Pope Francis would endorse burning me at the stake.

Yes and no. The teachings of the Church haven’t changed, although new understandings have developed. The attitudes of people have changed. Different doctrines have been emphasized due to cultural influences. However, if you look at the saints, they are actually quite similar in the way they think and act no matter what the time period is. The Catholic Church calls for us to pursue an ideal. The ideal doesn’t change, but the ways people fail to achieve it do.

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#1219194
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Religion
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Possessed said:

The church has definitely not always been catholic. It used to not have an organization hierchy, which the Bible actually warns against having. Does NOT say priests should be celibate, encourages the opposite. Says call no man father, and I don’t even need to go any further on that one. Baptism for people of sound mind who understand the weight of the decision they are making (ie not babies). I don’t even want to continue listing all the things catholics do different than the Bible as I’m sure you have a way to word yourself out of them, but claiming the church has always been catholic when the catholic church very clearly is very different than the early churches spoke of in the Bible is just silly.

You just ignored everything I said. I don’t remember you being like that. I remember you being quite pleasant to chat with in the past. Now we’re just talking past each other.

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#1219193
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Religion
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suspiciouscoffee said:

RicOlie_2 said:

Warbler said:

RicOlie_2 said:

“To be deep in history is to cease to be Protestant”
-John Henry Cardinal Newman

Somehow I doubt that.

Historically speaking, the Church has always been pretty Catholic, and the Protestant Reformation was revisionist, not based on any solid historical grounds. Sola scriptura is an entirely Protestant invention, for instance, and has no basis in either history or Scripture. There is no historical justification for much Protestant doctrine.

Question: do you believe Protestants can go to heaven?

Of course. Unless they commit a mortal sin and die without repentance. Just like Catholics.