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Old 01-28-2008, 12:29 PM
 
479 posts, read 979,515 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by robertpolyglot View Post
No, that list doesn't qualify. I'm talking about formalities here...if a person where to be admitted to a hospital and they would have to "check the box" for Christian, it typically means those who use the Old Testament and New Testament for their doctrine and nothing else.

This would mean (for the most part) as I understand it:

1. All Protestant groups (from fundamentalist to Episcopal/Anglican, and anything in between....so long as there are no other books)

2. All Roman Catholics

3. All Eastern Rite Orthodox Christian churches (Greek Orthodox, Mennonites, Assyrian and Armenian Orthodox rites, etc.)

There are only minor interpretative differences of the New Testament and most of the difference is in the structure of the ritual and formality/lack thereof.

CAVEAT: I will not opine as to whether Mormons and Jehovah's Witnesses are in this group because of the additional books and teachings which appear to contrast greatly with the content of the above. Muslims and Hare-Krishna's are certainly not in this group.

I'm talking about the formal and traditional definition of what is a Christian and let's leave it at that.
Well I think in kind of narrowing it down to even those categories, we can get ourselves into trouble. I think the focus should be on spreading Truth, as oppossed to specifically labeling individuals as followers of Christ or Christian. We can let people make their own determinations on what they want to follow after the Truth has been revealed, as it really is a work of the spirit, which allows us to even distinguish Truth from error to begin with. That being said, many of the things mentioned in this thread are things that the Catholic Church is grossly wrong about in regards to what is taught in the bible, and go against what is written in the scriptures.

I don't think though that anyone should single out Catholics or call someone not Christian when doing this though, as it isn't their place to make that call - and I can understand one's frustration with an individual when they do this. So I think the standard that should be adhered to is giving glory to Truth in all of our Church settings. Whether that Church be Catholic, Methodist, Presbyterian, Baptist, etc, etc.
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Old 01-28-2008, 12:36 PM
 
Location: Oz
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Let me ask this: what do the exterior trappings matter if the basic tenets are the same?
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Old 01-28-2008, 12:41 PM
 
479 posts, read 979,515 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RoaminRed View Post
Let me ask this: what do the exterior trappings matter if the basic tenets are the same?
It depends on what the trappings are...sometimes they can indeed matter, as they can lead one into bigger issues of disobedience/not following God's Word.

i.e. Praying to statues of saints

Goes against "thou shalt put no other gods before me"

Stating that the Pope has a direct contact with God goes against Christ as the intermediator, and intercessor before the Father.


These are just two "exterior trappings" that can be found in the Catholic Church, and definitely should be called out as being not in accordance with scripture, particularly since they go against an important doctrinal Truth which can be found in the Word. Now whether or not a person will be judged on such knowledge and their following of such observances is not my call. It's just my call to reveal the Truth.

Last edited by simpleton; 01-28-2008 at 12:52 PM.. Reason: grammar and clarification
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Old 01-28-2008, 12:50 PM
 
479 posts, read 979,515 times
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All this being said, there is a certain amount of variance God allows when it comes to our worship with him. This variance simply boils down to this - anything that does not go against the Truth of God's Word.

Things like where to assemble, what clothes to wear during assemblies, when to perform baptisms, what color should the church carpets be, instrumental music, how long sermons will be, etc,etc, those are all things that I think don't really go against God's Word and can be made based on individual preference. I don't think though individuals should over-focus on these things, as it will take away from the main focus of our assemblies before Christ - that main focus being, glorifying our creator.
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Old 01-28-2008, 01:06 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by simpleton View Post
i.e. Praying to statues of saints

Goes against "thou shalt put no other gods before me"
And herein lies part of the problem: Protestant-Christians sling stuff at us, yet Catholics don't sling stuff at Protestant-Christians.

With regard to above, we pray THROUGH saints...and THROUGH the Virgin Mary. We ask for and value THEIR prayers...like we do of our friends when we are "in a pickle," but more so because we seek their intercession. Sit in a Catholic church sometime and listen to each and every word of the Eucharistic prayer which precedes communion...it clearly states that we ask for the help and intercession of the saints in moving toward a saintlier life and a way of being which is more in harmony with what Christ wants...we are asking them to "be in our corner". The fact that there is a statue is because there might be a basis for what these people might have looked like...aren't there pictures of Christ everywhere you look in the Protestant sects (people are visual and that reinforces things for us)?

As for the saints, some of them did exemplary and unselfish deeds in the name of Christianity, the culmination of which, for some, was putting their lives on the line. I think they deserve some credit.
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Old 01-28-2008, 01:10 PM
 
Location: Oz
2,238 posts, read 8,347,677 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by simpleton View Post
It depends on what the trappings are...sometimes they can indeed matter, as they can lead one into bigger issues of disobedience/not following God's Word.

i.e. Praying to statues of saints

Goes against "thou shalt put no other gods before me"

Stating that the Pope has a direct contact with God goes against Christ as the intermediator, and intercessor before the Father.


These are just two "exterior trappings" that can be found in the Catholic Church, and definitely should be called out as being not in accordance with scripture, particularly since they go against an important doctrinal Truth which can be found in the Word. Now whether or not a person will be judged on such knowledge and their following of such observances is not my call. It's just my call to reveal the Truth.
As I understand it (and I'm not Catholic so I may be off base here) they don't pray to the statues. The statues are merely there to give them a representation of something -- like non-Catholic Christian churches that have a crucifix behind the altar.

And as far as the pope goes, don't Protestants consider their preacher/reverend/pastor as somewhat of a person on a higher level within their religion? A lot of people ask their pastor for advice, or to pray for them. How is this not placing greater value on the prayers of the pastor than it is on the prayers of your "everyday" Christian?
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Old 01-28-2008, 01:13 PM
 
479 posts, read 979,515 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by robertpolyglot View Post
And herein lies part of the problem: Protestant-Christians sling stuff at us, yet Catholics don't sling stuff at Protestant-Christians.

With regard to above, we pray THROUGH saints...and THROUGH the Virgin Mary. We ask for and value THEIR prayers...like we do of our friends when we are "in a pickle," but more so because we seek their intercession. Sit in a Catholic church sometime and listen to each and every word of the Eucharistic prayer which precedes communion...it clearly states that we ask for the help and intercession of the saints in moving toward a saintlier and way of being which is more in harmony with what Christ wants...we are asking them to "be in our corner". The fact that there is a statue is because there might be a basis for what these people might have looked like...aren't there pictures of Christ everywhere you look in the Protestant sects (people are visual and that reinforces things for us)?

As for the saints, some of them did exemplary and unselfish deeds in the name of Christianity, the culmination of which, for some, was putting their lives on the line. I think they deserve some credit.
Although I do believe it's possible that saints are interceding on our behalf with Christ, it's just important that we don't deviate from scripture and try to go by the standard of God's Word. Christ didn't pray to Moses, Jeremiah, Elijah, or any of the other saints of the OT - nor did he pray to statues of them - he prayed directly to the Father in Heaven. We need to go with the standard in which the scripture teaches us to go by. God is not the spirit of error, but of Truth. When we don't abide by this standard, we can end up with a lot of doctrinal confusion and error.
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Old 01-28-2008, 01:18 PM
 
Location: Oz
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Quote:
Originally Posted by simpleton View Post
When we don't abide by this standard, we can end up with a lot of doctrinal confusion and error.
Again, why does the doctrine matter if the person themselves is living the best life they can and following what they believe to be true? Anything else is just window-dressing.
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Old 01-28-2008, 01:19 PM
 
479 posts, read 979,515 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RoaminRed View Post
As I understand it (and I'm not Catholic so I may be off base here) they don't pray to the statues. The statues are merely there to give them a representation of something -- like non-Catholic Christian churches that have a crucifix behind the altar.

And as far as the pope goes, don't Protestants consider their preacher/reverend/pastor as somewhat of a person on a higher level within their religion? A lot of people ask their pastor for advice, or to pray for them. How is this not placing greater value on the prayers of the pastor than it is on the prayers of your "everyday" Christian?
I had several aunts who were Catholic who would bring out statues of the virgin Mary to pray to before they went to Mass I believe. They would also chant the prayer to Mary while in front of the statue. That sounds like worship to me.

The second part of what you said I agree with. We need to be careful not to put any human being in the place of intercessor before God. My intention has never been to condemn Catholicism in posting here, it's just to state that there are some things within it that go against scripture that need to be called out as not being in accordance with scripture.
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Old 01-28-2008, 01:21 PM
 
Location: Oz
2,238 posts, read 8,347,677 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by simpleton View Post
I had several aunts who were Catholic who would bring out statues of the virgin Mary to pray to before they went to Mass I believe. They would also chant the prayer to Mary while in front of the statue. That sounds like worship to me.
Sounds a lot like meditative use of symbols to me.
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