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#101 Parrothead

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Posted 28 December 2010 - 12:13 PM

I posted some above after quoting you: I am copying them here so you don't have to search-
From Wiki: was only relatively recently defined as infallible dogma by the Catholic Church, and in spite of a statement by Saint Epiphanius of Salamis in AD 377 that no one knew whether Mary had died or not. Why wouldn't Mary have died? She was human right?

"having completed the course of her earthly life," leaves open the question of whether the Virgin Mary died before her assumption or whether she was assumed before death; both possibilities are allowed. Mary's assumption is said to have been a divine gift to her as the 'Mother of God'. Ludwig Ott's view is that, as Mary completed her life as a shining example to the human race, the perspective of the gift of assumption is offered to the whole human race.[13] Yes, I'm confused. What exactly is assumption?

I see other "denoms" believe in the assumption as well.
From Eastern Christianity Comparison (is this part of the Catholic Church?)
Many Catholics also believe that Mary first died before being assumed, but they add that she was miraculously resurrected before being assumed, while others believe she was assumed bodily into Heaven without first passing through death.
Huh?

Your second bolded part answers your first question. The Blessed Virgin Mary may not have died as a divine gift - a gift from God. She was simply brought to Heaven body and soul at the end of her Earthly life.

While there is a definite dogma that the Blessed Virgin Mary was assumed (taken to heaven body and soul) that dogma does not state how and if BVM died first. It is left to the individual Catholic to decide what he/she believes about. Some say she died and at the moment of death was assumed to Heaven. Others say she was assumed to Heaven just prior to death.

Eastern Christianity includes the Eastern Orthodox church. As Asta and I very breifly discussed a few posts up, the Great Schism of 1054 was where the Church split "officially" into East and West.

#102 OregonNative

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Posted 28 December 2010 - 12:14 PM

The Catholic Church (and the Eastern Orthodox also, though with shades of difference) has an understanding of Mary as especially special, that she was the Ark of the New Covenant, and that, in order for her to be worthy of that exalted honor, she is intrinsically different. Thus her being transported to Heaven, and the Catholic view that she was conceived without being subject to original sin. This is theologically complicated, and I don't claim to have a thorough understanding of the differences between the Catholic and Orthodox views. The main thing is that Mary is viewed with particular honor and veneration, but not worship, by the RCC and EOC.


Is this Biblical based?

#103 Caitilin

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Posted 28 December 2010 - 12:17 PM

Is this Biblical based?

In the Gospel of Luke when the angel appeared to Mary, he addressed her as "full of Grace" and told her "the Lord is with you." This is a way of showing her special gift of closeness to God.

Edited by Caitilin, 28 December 2010 - 12:19 PM.


#104 Parrothead

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Posted 28 December 2010 - 12:19 PM

Is this Biblical based?

No, the Bible does not mention Mary's last days. Sacred Tradition is where Catholics get the doctrine/dogma of Mary. As someone previously explained, everyone believed the same thing and there was no need to define the dogma until someone/some group got it wrong. So from the time of the apostles it was common knowledge that Mary was assumed to Heaven.

ETA: Sorry again, got it wrong. I can't read the pink too well. Yes, Mary being the Ark of the New Covenant is Biblical.

#105 mommaduck

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Posted 28 December 2010 - 12:21 PM

I hope I explain this well. The RCC (and, I *believe*, Orthodox as well) believe in the Real Presence; that is, the Blessed Sacrament becomes the Body and Blood of Christ through transubstantiation. As such one should not partake of the Scacrament if one is not is a state of grace such as one would be after Confession/Reconciliation. Too, one must understand and believe in transubstantiation before receiving the Eucharist. It is considered, mmm, harmful spiritually to partake of the Eucharist is one is not in a state of grace.

Contrary to what others may believe the practice of closed Communion within the RCC does not mean Catholics think they're "better Christians" or anyone else is not saved, doomed to Hell, etc.

I can't speak to any other denomination which practices closed Communion. Good luck with your search.


We believe in the Real Presence...we don't call it transubstantiation though.

Yes. The Protestant Reformation didn't begin until 1517. Prior to that, there simply were no Protestants. If a person was a Christian, they were a Catholic. Try to remember that the word "Catholic" means "universal". There was only ONE type of Christian: a "universal Christian". Even though there were groups living in different areas, with assorted cultural differences, the basic message remained the same. There was not a cohesive liturgy for Christianity until the Catholic Church wrote one.

People were under a Patriarch (what the Pope is...he was one of several). The Great Schism between East and West was completed about 1054. The Roman Patriarch wanted to make various changes, including to the Nicene Creed, but between the Roman Patriarch not going about things in proper order and lingual difficulties (apparently neither side stayed educated on the others language) things got hairy.


Now to answer the OP's questions:

For those who studied/researched a faith before choosing, what solidified your choice?

Studying Church history and the early Church Fathers. Like one poster mentioned, "to study history is to cease being Protestant." Most Protestants don't study beyond the Awakening, the Reformation, and only the Early Church Fathers in as much as they can find bits and pieces that agree with their already decided doctrine (depending upon which kind of Protestant you are).

Does anyone feel that a particular Christian denom. is closest to the truth and why?

Because the Orthodox (one holy and apostolic catholic church...catholic does not mean Rome; Rome simply chose to keep the term catholic. Orthodox became in use to distinguish, meaning "right worship") is the earliest, the one with the least amount of changes, if any. Because when one thinks logically about sola scriptura, it falls to pieces. Tradition and Councils are what determined what went into the Bible and what did not. The Bible was not around the first few hundred years in the form you are familiar with. The deuterocanonicals (which, btw, are different than the apocrypha...but the Protestants erroneously call them the apocrypha...that's another rabbit trail) weren't even excluded from Protestant Bibles until recently. The first edition they were deleted from was the 1599 Geneva (reason I like the 1560 better ;) ). Even the King James Version carried them until the 1800's.

What are the major differences between Catholicism and Protestant Christianity?


Depends on which kind of Protestant. There are too many answers to this. Now if you want to compare a specific denomination, then I could manage that (I've not only been in many different churches, but have studied many of them).

Tell me anything thing you deem helpful. Tell me your own story. My heart and mind are wanting to hear!

I will have to do this one later...let's just say that I've been around more of the block than most people.

#106 milovany

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Posted 28 December 2010 - 12:22 PM

Oregon Native,

I PM'd you about Orthodox Christianity since it doesn't seem to have been brought into the discussion yet. It's not Protestant or Roman Catholic, but Protestant, Roman Catholic or Eastern Orthodoxy. According to our beliefs, the Orthodox church pre-dates the Catholic church; we don't follow the Pope as the leader of the Church; we believe the Church is and has always been led by a communion of bishops.

CORRECTION: Mommaduck just posted too, while I was writing. And I see that Orthodoxy was brought up previously as well. Many apologies! :-0

Edited by milovaný, 28 December 2010 - 12:28 PM.


#107 mommaduck

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Posted 28 December 2010 - 12:23 PM

Just to add for the Assumption and the Immaculate Conception:

For the Catholic Church, no doctrine is defined until it is violated. Basically, this means that when everyone is in agreement, there isn't a need to define and discuss something. I know that goes against the modern sense of put everything out there up front, but that is how things have traditionally been handled.

This also means that just because you don't see something in print, that doesn't mean that when you do see it, it is innovative or that it is THAT point in time that Catholics started believing it. There just isn't any need to argue about it until someone violates that particular position. Before that, it existed in the oral teaching of the Church. And in a mostly illiterate world, most teaching of any kind was ORAL. Before the printing press, books were not widely available and were so expensive that even literate people didn't own many of them. Even universities consisted mainly of lectures and not textbooks.

Well put.

#108 mommaduck

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Posted 28 December 2010 - 12:26 PM

I posted some above after quoting you: I am copying them here so you don't have to search-
From Wiki: was only relatively recently defined as infallible dogma by the Catholic Church, and in spite of a statement by Saint Epiphanius of Salamis in AD 377 that no one knew whether Mary had died or not. Why wouldn't Mary have died? She was human right?

"having completed the course of her earthly life," leaves open the question of whether the Virgin Mary died before her assumption or whether she was assumed before death; both possibilities are allowed. Mary's assumption is said to have been a divine gift to her as the 'Mother of God'. Ludwig Ott's view is that, as Mary completed her life as a shining example to the human race, the perspective of the gift of assumption is offered to the whole human race.[13] Yes, I'm confused. What exactly is assumption?

I see other "denoms" believe in the assumption as well.
From Eastern Christianity Comparison (is this part of the Catholic Church?)
Many Catholics also believe that Mary first died before being assumed, but they add that she was miraculously resurrected before being assumed, while others believe she was assumed bodily into Heaven without first passing through death.
Huh?

The Orthodox believe she did die. In fact, we celebrate it as part of our Liturgical Year.

#109 OregonNative

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Posted 28 December 2010 - 12:28 PM

Just wanted to say THANK YOU ladies for all of you patience and kindness in answering my endless questions. As you can tell, I have a lot to learn and understand. It really touches my heart that you have reached out to me. :grouphug:

#110 simka2

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Posted 28 December 2010 - 12:51 PM

I'd like to share my analogy. My parents are Roman Catholic, and I am a Bible-believing, Christ-following, born-again non-denominational Christian LOL, and I like to use this illustration with them: Christ came to plant a tree (the church) and that tree still exists. But every time a human being twists things, interprets things differently, adds rules, etc., then a branch (denomination) is formed off that tree. There are so many branches; many are close to the trunk and the nourishment and truth Christ offers. But many branches are far removed, even dead. The way I see it, if one is close to Christ, the rest will follow. If one is growing and daily receiving nourishment from Him, they will want to follow HIM regardless of what their church or any man says. With spiritual maturity, the gift of discernment will show followers if they ought to leave their church or denomination if that branch is not fruitful.

These discussions can go around for millenia because the words can mean different things to different people. But the truth is the truth is the truth. John 15: 1-8 1 “I am the true vine, and my Father is the gardener. 2 He cuts off every branch in me that bears no fruit, while every branch that does bear fruit he prunes[a] so that it will be even more fruitful. 3 You are already clean because of the word I have spoken to you. 4 Remain in me, as I also remain in you. No branch can bear fruit by itself; it must remain in the vine. Neither can you bear fruit unless you remain in me.
5 “I am the vine; you are the branches. If you remain in me and I in you, you will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing. 6 If you do not remain in me, you are like a branch that is thrown away and withers; such branches are picked up, thrown into the fire and burned. 7 If you remain in me and my words remain in you, ask whatever you wish, and it will be done for you. 8 This is to my Father’s glory, that you bear much fruit, showing yourselves to be my disciples.


:iagree:

To the OP: If you believe in Sola Scritpura...any of the groups that elevate Tradition are going to be difficult for you. It sounds like you have been trained to ask the question, "Is it in the Bible?"

Please understand that I am not saying either position is wrong...as you will see I am a beautiful mess on this.

I have great appreciation for the orthodox and Catholic churches, I've learned to let go of my vice grip on the Bible to the exclusion of other inspired resources. I think that one of the reasons we have all these different groups out there is that there is safety in belonging to a group and sharing it's belifes. After all, "We can't all be wrong, especially after all this time. Right?" Any one group might say.

I too have felt a frustration with denomination and denominational churches. Probly not for the same reasons as you, as I despise Scripture being used to beat up, shame, and control people. For those reasons I tend to lean towards the more liberal....although I am not a big "topical study" type person :D.

Anyway, just to confuse even more, there are Non-Denominational churches out there, that are very strong in their belifes, practices and love of Jesus. (I hesitate to even write that lest it sound like I am saying that there are those that don't. My point is only to the OP who is frustrated where she is at)

I'm thankful that in my present searching state, I am in a church that welcomes me reading and learning all I can about Church history and the various ways worship was practiced.

#111 Carol in Cal.

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Posted 28 December 2010 - 01:16 PM


Is anyone familiar with the practice of close communion? In visiting a Missouri Synod Lutheran Church, I was told that I could not take communion.


When a Missouri Synod church takes the position that you should not commune there, they are watching out for you, rather than denying you. They are saying, "We know that this is the Real Presence, and that it has objective power. We know that the Bible says that if you take it wrongly, not discerning it the way God wants, you're eating and drinking judgment on yourself. So we are going to do our best to prevent that hazard. If we knew that you are of our faith, then we wouldn't need to do this."

We believe that taking Communion together results from unity of faith, rather than brings it about.

I know it's very frustrating when it happens, but the intention is for your good.

Not all LCMS churches are strict about this, but the strict position is the actual official synodical position.

This position is shared by the RC and Orthodox churches, to my certain knowledge, and perhaps by others as well.

#112 Paintedlady

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Posted 28 December 2010 - 01:47 PM

There are many people that believe communion is the literal Body and Blood of Jesus but are not Roman Catholic. I'm Episcopalian and believe it is the Body and Blood, and always have.


:iagree: I was an Episopalian/Anglican for 12 years and also believe.

#113 JumpedIntoTheDeepEndFirst

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Posted 28 December 2010 - 02:24 PM

A question--

Is there a difference between Real Presence and transubstantiation?

I thought I understood that Real Presence was due the priest's consecration of the host during mass and that it remained (physically if you will) in the consecrated host that stays after mass.

Transubstantiation--does this occur because of the consecration and thereby create the Real Presence or does it only occur once communion is taken?

I hope that makes sense and that I have the terminology correct. Thanks.

#114 Violet Crown

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Posted 28 December 2010 - 02:42 PM

Transubstantiation is a particular theological claim about the Real Presence, which asserts that the entirety of the elements (bread and wine) are annihilated and replaced by the entirety of the Body and Blood of Christ. This is the only view permissible under Catholic theology. Transubstantiation is understood to occur at the consecration, and the Body and Blood of Christ remain under the appearance (accidents) of bread and wine until they are no longer recognizable as 'bread' and 'wine' (e.g. digestion is underway, or decay begins), at which point Christ is no longer present.

There are other theological options compatible with affirmation of the Real Presence, including (but not limited to) Consubstantiation, which asserts that Christ is entirely and truly present, but that the elements are also still present; and the view (my apologies for not knowing the correct term for this) that Christ is truly present, but that this is because the communicant is put in the real presence of Christ (in Heaven) through Communion: thus one receiving unworthily would not receive the Body and Blood of Christ, but only the elements.

Edited by Sharon in Austin, 28 December 2010 - 02:47 PM.


#115 OregonNative

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Posted 28 December 2010 - 03:05 PM

:iagree:

To the OP: If you believe in Sola Scritpura...any of the groups that elevate Tradition are going to be difficult for you. It sounds like you have been trained to ask the question, "Is it in the Bible?"

I guess what I'm trying to ask in that questions is: are the words in the inspired resources written based on scripture. For example-is there anywhere in the Bible that says Mary was sinless? If not, how did this come about as a belief? Did someone in the hierarchy (if you will) come to this conclusion and how? Or, where is the proof?

#116 transientChris

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Posted 28 December 2010 - 03:15 PM

I was raised in the Catholic Church, married in the Catholic Church, and then shortly after, we left. We initially chose a Presbyterian Church USA. Since then we have attended and been members of both Presbyterian Churches (USA, Cumberland, and now PCA), Methodist Churches, and military chapels (led by Southern Baptists). My personal beliefs line up mostly with Presbyterian but we choose a church to attend based on many aspects like music, youth programs, Sunday schools, but the absolute requirement is that the teaching be sound Biblically.

Why did we leave the Catholic Church? Because it was a shell of a church- we had a priest who would talk about sitcoms and Sandanistas, not about the Bible. The people didn't sing, they droned in monotone. It seemed to us that there was no life in the church and therefore, we couldn't see that God's presence was there. What a change when we started attending Protestant churches- everyone singing, adults going to Sunday School to get more education about the Bible or ethics, a very vibrant community outreach- things like Jail ministry, ministry to children in housing projects, food banks, etc. It was really after I left that I decided that issues such as Mary's Immaculate Conception and Assumption just weren't true.

We have been Protestants for 24 years now and our children were all baptized close after birth.

#117 lamamaloca

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Posted 28 December 2010 - 05:08 PM

Why did we leave the Catholic Church? Because it was a shell of a church- we had a priest who would talk about sitcoms and Sandanistas, not about the Bible. The people didn't sing, they droned in monotone. It seemed to us that there was no life in the church and therefore, we couldn't see that God's presence was there. What a change when we started attending Protestant churches- everyone singing, adults going to Sunday School to get more education about the Bible or ethics, a very vibrant community outreach- things like Jail ministry, ministry to children in housing projects, food banks, etc.


I'm sorry that you didn't find this also in the Catholic Church, I've been a part of many Catholic parishes that were very much alive and vibrant.

#118 simka2

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Posted 28 December 2010 - 06:07 PM

I guess what I'm trying to ask in that questions is: are the words in the inspired resources written based on scripture. For example-is there anywhere in the Bible that says Mary was sinless? If not, how did this come about as a belief? Did someone in the hierarchy (if you will) come to this conclusion and how? Or, where is the proof?


I was going to make a stab at an answer, but I shouldn't. I'm not impartial and I don't share all of the Catholic churches belifes.

I will say this...I've asked those questions, and my conclusion was.... that I was asking from the wrong frame of refrence. I needed to ask myself this question first, "Could extra-biblical writings be as inspiried as what I have in my protestant Bible?" "What makes the bible the "end all" on Christianity?"

I know this doesn't really go along with your OP, but if your asking for Catholics to justify their theology from the Protestant Bible...it's not going to happen. Does that make sense?

Anyone else please feel free to add, correct, or expound on what I am trying to say!!!! :D

#119 milovany

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Posted 28 December 2010 - 06:17 PM

I know this doesn't really go along with your OP, but if your asking for Catholics to justify their theology from the Protestant Bible...it's not going to happen. Does that make sense?

Anyone else please feel free to add, correct, or expound on what I am trying to say!!!! :D


How about this: the Church that the Holy Spirit worked through to put together the Scriptures, the "one, holy catholic and apostolic church," wasn't sola scriptura, so why should we demand adherence to this idea? And/or the Bible itself doesn't teach sola scriptura, so why should we be just because some people 1500 years after the fact thought it might be a good idea? These are questions I asked myself in our conversion to the Orthodox church .....

Edited by milovaný, 28 December 2010 - 06:40 PM.


#120 Ellie

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Posted 28 December 2010 - 06:36 PM

Is this Biblical based?

Who "invented" the Bible? The Catholic Church. The Church's position is that the Church defines what constitutes the Bible, not that the Bible defines what constitutes the Church.

The Bible did not exist for over 300 years. How do you suppose the Church functioned before then? Would it not have been oral tradition as well as the writings which became Sacred Scripture?

#121 mom2a&z

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Posted 28 December 2010 - 07:04 PM

How about this: the Church that the Holy Spirit worked through to put together the Scriptures, the "one, holy catholic and apostolic church," wasn't sola scriptura, so why should we demand adherence to this idea? And/or the Bible itself doesn't teach sola scriptura, so why should we be just because some people 1500 years after the fact thought it might be a good idea?


:iagree:


Who "invented" the Bible? The Catholic Church. The Church's position is that the Church defines what constitutes the Bible, not that the Bible defines what constitutes the Church.

The Bible did not exist for over 300 years. How do you suppose the Church functioned before then? Would it not have been oral tradition as well as the writings which became Sacred Scripture?


:iagree:


These were the same questions that I had to grapple with as I left my Protestant church and decided to convert to Catholicism. I believed sola scriptura only because that is what my church taught as it was part of the protestant tradition. When I actually took away the protestant lens through which I had been studying the Bible, I came to realize that sola scriptura is not Scriptural.

I then began to study the teachings of the Catholic Church from Catholic sources. I was amazed at the misinformation to downright lies I had been taught by Protestant pastors, Sunday School Teachers, and ex-Catholics with an axe to grind.

I'm so excited to be in the process of becoming Catholic. I have been attending Mass now for over a year, and still have not been able to receive the Eucharist because I'm waiting on my dh's annulement. And I'm OK with that because I know the Lord has a reason. When the day comes that I will be fully received into the Church and be able to take communion will be one of the happiest days of my life!

#122 milovany

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Posted 28 December 2010 - 07:13 PM

I just wanted to make it clear, since I was quoted alongside dear Ellie who was speaking of the Roman Catholic church, that it's not the Catholic perspective I'm coming from, but the eastern Orthodox one. It is our belief that the "one holy catholic and apostolic church" was/is the Orthodox church; that it was the Orthodox who organized and canonized the Bible. I don't care to press that point here; am just mentioning it because I was quoted alongside those who hold to the Catholic position.

#123 mom2a&z

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Posted 28 December 2010 - 07:19 PM

I just wanted to make it clear, since I was quoted alongside dear Ellie who was speaking of the Roman Catholic church, that it's not the Catholic perspective I'm coming from, but the eastern Orthodox one. It is our belief that the "one holy catholic and apostolic church" was/is the Orthodox church; that it was the Orthodox who organized and canonized the Bible. I don't care to press that point here; am just mentioning it because I was quoted alongside those who hold to the Catholic position.



I'm sorry, I know you are Orthodox and I didn't mean to say that you share the same beliefs as Catholics.

I was just agreeing with your view on sola scriptura.

#124 milovany

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Posted 28 December 2010 - 07:21 PM

I'm sorry, I know you are Orthodox and I didn't mean to say that you share the same beliefs as Catholics.

I was just agreeing with your view on sola scriptura.


Great, thanks!

#125 OregonNative

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Posted 28 December 2010 - 07:36 PM

Who "invented" the Bible? The Catholic Church. The Church's position is that the Church defines what constitutes the Bible, not that the Bible defines what constitutes the Church.

The Bible did not exist for over 300 years. How do you suppose the Church functioned before then? Would it not have been oral tradition as well as the writings which became Sacred Scripture?

I never realized the catholics invented the bible. Boy am I thankful for everyone's answers here! So then, did the church decide what went into the bible? I was told that the books aren't even in the correct order. If the bible was invented by man, how do we know it was done accurately? Is this something based on historical church writings?

#126 lamamaloca

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Posted 28 December 2010 - 07:53 PM

I never realized the catholics invented the bible. Boy am I thankful for everyone's answers here! So then, did the church decide what went into the bible? I was told that the books aren't even in the correct order. If the bible was invented by man, how do we know it was done accurately? Is this something based on historical church writings?


I wouldn't say that "the Catholics invented the Bible," and I'm a Catholic. Rather, I would say that the Church recognized works as inspired and as part of Scripture, suitable for use in the liturgy and able to be depended on for right doctrine. Since Christ did not hand the apostles a completed Bible, one must accept some outside authority (even if it is only your own reason and decision) as to what is Scripture and what is not.

http://en.wikipedia....on_of_Scripture

#127 Giraffe

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Posted 28 December 2010 - 07:57 PM

Yowza. I've been struggling for months with Catholicism vs. Protestantism and thought I'd reconciled my way to staying Protestant. But reading this post has me thinking - again - about the history of the church, the origins or the Bible, and the sources of our beliefs. And whether or not I've gotten it right.

I really like the church we've found (Presbyterian PCA) - but I still think the Catholics are the ones that really do have it right.

My spirit aches.

#128 milovany

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Posted 28 December 2010 - 07:58 PM

I never realized the catholics invented the bible. Boy am I thankful for everyone's answers here! So then, did the church decide what went into the bible? I was told that the books aren't even in the correct order. If the bible was invented by man, how do we know it was done accurately? Is this something based on historical church writings?


Well, as we and the Catholics would agree -- there was just ONE church at the time; whether that was the Catholic or Orthodox church is an area that we two disagree on (the Catholics think they have the original faith and the Orthodox split off from them in 1054 AD; the Orthodox see it the other way around).

BUT, that said, the thing is that "man" didn't invent the Bible -- but men, by the power of the Holy Spirit, put together the Scriptures in the way God wanted. In the same exact way, men, by the power of the Holy Spirit, organized and set the Church in motion and uphold its Holy Tradition the way God wanted/wants.

Edited by milovaný, 28 December 2010 - 08:10 PM.


#129 unsinkable

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Posted 28 December 2010 - 08:03 PM

Yowza. I've been struggling for months with Catholicism vs. Protestantism and thought I'd reconciled my way to staying Protestant. But reading this post has me thinking - again - about the history of the church, the origins or the Bible, and the sources of our beliefs. And whether or not I've gotten it right.

I really like the church we've found (Presbyterian PCA) - but I still think the Catholics are the ones that really do have it right.

My spirit aches.


:grouphug::grouphug::grouphug:

#130 Giraffe

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Posted 28 December 2010 - 08:05 PM

:grouphug::grouphug::grouphug:


Thank you. I need that tonight. My poor DH doesn't know what to do with me.

#131 Ellie

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Posted 28 December 2010 - 08:28 PM

Yowza. I've been struggling for months with Catholicism vs. Protestantism and thought I'd reconciled my way to staying Protestant. But reading this post has me thinking - again - about the history of the church, the origins or the Bible, and the sources of our beliefs. And whether or not I've gotten it right.

I really like the church we've found (Presbyterian PCA) - but I still think the Catholics are the ones that really do have it right.

My spirit aches.

Well, then, come on Home-it's nice here. :D

Here's a really good Catholic discussion forum. It's a wonderful place to ask questions.

#132 JumpedIntoTheDeepEndFirst

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Posted 28 December 2010 - 09:12 PM

No one has mentioned it in this thread but I've had several folks recommend this blog in the past--

http://www.conversiondiary.com/

#133 mcconnellboys

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Posted 28 December 2010 - 09:42 PM

I'm sorry, but there has never been such an announcement, or of course I and those with me would not have partaken, nor has there been anything in writing to this effect and we have specifically looked. So I can only guess at this point that there are an awful lot of Catholic churches in the south that are in schism.... Believe me, I am going to pursue this with the Diocese here and I've already emailed a Catholic friend about it.

I just asked my husband about his recollection of all this, too, to make sure I'm not hallucinating, and he was offered mass the entire time he attended Catholic High in Baton Rouge, as my older son was the entire time he attended Lexington Catholic here. And we were all offered communion at my son's graduation, too....

#134 littlebug42

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Posted 28 December 2010 - 09:55 PM

I can't add a lot to the first few of the OP's questions because they have already been answered so eloquently by others but I can share my story.

I have been on what I feel is a lifelong journey to the Catholic church. I was raised in a Southern Baptist Church that LOATHED Catholics. There were literally entire sermons on some Sundays about how evil Catholics were. However, I remember seeing Catholics depicted on TV - infant baptism, confession etc and I can remember believing that was what was right and not what I was being taught at Church. Eventually, I ended up going to a Catholic college and my journey continued. Then, I met my dh, a cradle Catholic. I started attending mass with him and his family and I would leave on Sundays feeling so uplifted and closer to God than ever. I still did not convert but we did what we needed to do to be married in the Church and had our children baptized Catholic.

About 6 years ago, I finally took the step to attend RCIA and become Catholic. So many questions were answered for me - particularly two things I could never reconcile in my Baptist teachings. The first one was the issue of Peter, who in my upbringing barely existed to our church. In the church I grew up in, Paul was the only one that mattered. Learning that Peter was the first Pope finally put the verse about Peter being the rock on which Jesus would build his church made sense to me.

The other one I could never understand was in relation to the Last Supper and the body and blood of Christ. In the church where I was raised, the Bible was the literal word of God however, the piece about the body and blood was only symbolic. Everything else had to be taken as written but the body and blood were symbolic. Finally, it made sense to me when I learned about the Eucharist in the Catholic church.

There were other smaller pieces for me that fit together but those were the two biggest unanswered questions to me. I have not regretted my conversion. Even when I stray, I feel closer to Christ than ever before. One year after my conversion, My Mom, sister and nephews all converted as well and my youngest nephew believes that my meeting dh was part of God's plan for all of us.

I wish everyone here great things on your spirtual journeys and that you will find the answers that you seek.

#135 Avila

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Posted 28 December 2010 - 09:55 PM

I'm sorry, but there has never been such an announcement, or of course I and those with me would not have partaken, nor has there been anything in writing to this effect and we have specifically looked. So I can only guess at this point that there are an awful lot of Catholic churches in the south that are in schism.... Believe me, I am going to pursue this with the Diocese here and I've already emailed a Catholic friend about it.

I just asked my husband about his recollection of all this, too, to make sure I'm not hallucinating, and he was offered mass the entire time he attended Catholic High in Baton Rouge, as my older son was the entire time he attended Lexington Catholic here. And we were all offered communion at my son's graduation, too....


The announcement is not always verbally made, but it is always in the missalette everywhere I have ever been to Mass.

http://www.catholic....e_Communion.asp

Our priest normally does make a verbal announcement at Masses where we might have larger numbers of non-Catholics, like funerals, weddings, First Communions, etc.

http://www.usccb.org.../intercom.shtml

But non-Catholics and Catholics not in a state of grace should not be receiving communion.

Edited by Asenik, 28 December 2010 - 10:00 PM.


#136 Parrothead

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Posted 28 December 2010 - 10:00 PM

I never realized the catholics invented the bible. Boy am I thankful for everyone's answers here! So then, did the church decide what went into the bible? I was told that the books aren't even in the correct order. If the bible was invented by man, how do we know it was done accurately? Is this something based on historical church writings?

The first part of the Bible which we call the Old Testament is made up of either 46 (Catholic) 36 (Protestant) and I believe 48 (Orthodox) of Hebrew Scripture. (Milovany can correct that if I'm wrong.) So you can see that Christanity borrowed a good bit of the Bible from the Jewish canon. The rest, the New Testament, was complied over a period of centuries starting during the time of the Apostles to the end of the 4th century.
From this website:
324 C.E.
St. Jerome (Eusebius of Caesarea) Translated Bible from Greek & Hebrew into Latin (Vulgate edition—early 5th Century)[21]
Early church historian lists in his Church History the following controversial books: Hebrews, Jude, 2 Peter, 2 and 3 John, and Revelation; plus other books no longer considered part of the canon such as The Shepherd, Acts of Paul, Apocalypse of Peter, Barnabas, and Teachings of the Apostles.
325 C.E.
Council of Nicea
Decisively ruled that that Jesus was both human and divine, and that he was equivalent to (literally, “of the same substance as”) God the Father. Resulted in making Arianism a heresy. The Nicene Creed encapsulated this theological doctrine.
350 C.E.
Cyril of Jerusalem
Lists acceptable books to read. Includes four gospels, “Acts of the twelve apostles; and in addition to these the seven catholic epistles of James, Peter, John, and Jude; and as a seal upon them all, and the latest work of disciples, the fourteen epistles of Paul. But let all the rest be put aside in a secondary rank.”
363 C.E.
Synod (Council) of Laodicea, first official church-wide body to define books in New Testament canon
Some say this list no longer exists, but Metzger lists them.[22]
367 C.E.
Athanasius, the bishop of Alexandria, compiled a list including all 27 books of the New Testament canon.
Athanasius, chief defender of the Nicene Creed. Known as “the Great”. 293?-373 C.E.

The Greek patriarch of Alexandria and leading defender of Christian orthodoxy against Arianism.[23]
382 C.E.
Council of Rome
Produces list of Old and New Testament books (Galasian Decree) as know today. Prompted by Pope Damasus’ (366–384 C.E.) Decree. Same list as later adopted by the Council of Trent (1545–1563 C.E.).
393 C.E.
Council of Hippo[24]
Local North Africa Council of Bishops created the list of Old and New Testament books which forms the Roman Catholic Bible today.


At some point (I don't know the history) the Orthodox Bible changed. Or maybe the Catholic Bible changed. It depends on the view point. And we all know that the Reformation produced another couple versions of the Bible

#137 Parrothead

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Posted 28 December 2010 - 10:03 PM

Yowza. I've been struggling for months with Catholicism vs. Protestantism and thought I'd reconciled my way to staying Protestant. But reading this post has me thinking - again - about the history of the church, the origins or the Bible, and the sources of our beliefs. And whether or not I've gotten it right.

I really like the church we've found (Presbyterian PCA) - but I still think the Catholics are the ones that really do have it right.

My spirit aches.

:grouphug: It might be time to talk to your local parish's priest.

Well, as we and the Catholics would agree -- there was just ONE church at the time; whether that was the Catholic or Orthodox church is an area that we two disagree on (the Catholics think they have the original faith and the Orthodox split off from them in 1054 AD; the Orthodox see it the other way around).

BUT, that said, the thing is that "man" didn't invent the Bible -- but men, by the power of the Holy Spirit, put together the Scriptures in the way God wanted. In the same exact way, men, by the power of the Holy Spirit, organized and set the Church in motion and uphold its Holy Tradition the way God wanted/wants.

:iagree:Amen.

#138 Parrothead

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Posted 28 December 2010 - 10:09 PM

Believe me, I am going to pursue this with the Diocese here and I've already emailed a Catholic friend about it.

This would be a good thing for you to do. If it is going on as you say, the Bishop needs to know.

#139 unsinkable

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Posted 28 December 2010 - 10:10 PM

I'm sorry, but there has never been such an announcement, or of course I and those with me would not have partaken, nor has there been anything in writing to this effect and we have specifically looked. So I can only guess at this point that there are an awful lot of Catholic churches in the south that are in schism.... Believe me, I am going to pursue this with the Diocese here and I've already emailed a Catholic friend about it.

I just asked my husband about his recollection of all this, too, to make sure I'm not hallucinating, and he was offered mass the entire time he attended Catholic High in Baton Rouge, as my older son was the entire time he attended Lexington Catholic here. And we were all offered communion at my son's graduation, too....


A non-Catholic can attend Mass daily if they want.

Am I understanding you correctly: You are not RC but you have relatives (DH & sons) who have attended and/or graduated from RC schools but this thread is the first time you have heard that the RCC teaches that Holy Eucharist at Mass or a Eucharistic service is for baptized RCs in a state of grace? :confused:

#140 mommaduck

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Posted 28 December 2010 - 10:12 PM

I'm sorry, but there has never been such an announcement, or of course I and those with me would not have partaken, nor has there been anything in writing to this effect and we have specifically looked. So I can only guess at this point that there are an awful lot of Catholic churches in the south that are in schism.... Believe me, I am going to pursue this with the Diocese here and I've already emailed a Catholic friend about it.

I just asked my husband about his recollection of all this, too, to make sure I'm not hallucinating, and he was offered mass the entire time he attended Catholic High in Baton Rouge, as my older son was the entire time he attended Lexington Catholic here. And we were all offered communion at my son's graduation, too....

My son is also attending Catholic school. Eucharist is "offered", but generally the students are relied on to partake if they are Catholic and abstain if they are not. Basically, it's out there, but that does not mean it's open...the responsibility has been placed on the individual. It's still closed. If you are not Catholic, then you are not supposed to partake.

#141 JumpedIntoTheDeepEndFirst

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Posted 28 December 2010 - 10:31 PM

I know that Episcopal/Anglican Clergy often announce prior to Communion that all baptized Christians are welcome to partake. That makes things pretty clear. But-if you are not baptized (or otherwise feel unready to partake) you do have the option to go to the altar rail, cross your hands over your chest and the priest will offer you a blessing instead. I don't know if the RC or Orthodox churches offer the same.

#142 dirty ethel rackham

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Posted 28 December 2010 - 10:49 PM

I guess what I'm trying to ask in that questions is: are the words in the inspired resources written based on scripture. For example-is there anywhere in the Bible that says Mary was sinless? If not, how did this come about as a belief? Did someone in the hierarchy (if you will) come to this conclusion and how? Or, where is the proof?


Well, that begs the question "Which came first?" The epistles were written somewhere around 50 - 65 AD. Most modern scholarship puts the authorship of the Gospels after that. Jesus Christ instituted the Church. What was there in between? When was the canon defined? In the 300's. So, there wasn't a defined scripture for some 300 years after Christ was born. So, there was a Church with Tradition long before there was Scripture.

#143 Teachin'Mine

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Posted 28 December 2010 - 11:08 PM

Thank you for explaining this!! Off to research the Assumption-

Edited to add: I looked up the Assumption and am confused (big surprise right?)

From Wiki: was only relatively recently defined as infallible dogma by the Catholic Church, and in spite of a statement by Saint Epiphanius of Salamis in AD 377 that no one knew whether Mary had died or not. Why wouldn't Mary have died? She was human right?

"having completed the course of her earthly life," leaves open the question of whether the Virgin Mary died before her assumption or whether she was assumed before death; both possibilities are allowed. Mary's assumption is said to have been a divine gift to her as the 'Mother of God'. Ludwig Ott's view is that, as Mary completed her life as a shining example to the human race, the perspective of the gift of assumption is offered to the whole human race.[13] Yes, I'm confused. What exactly is assumption?

I see other "denoms" believe in the assumption as well.
From Eastern Christianity Comparison (is this part of the Catholic Church?)
Many Catholics also believe that Mary first died before being assumed, but they add that she was miraculously resurrected before being assumed, while others believe she was assumed bodily into Heaven without first passing through death.
Huh?


Mary was conceived without sin - original sin. This is how she has the title Immaculate Conception. Along with this, she wasn't subjected to death, but was assumed into Heaven in body and in soul. When she appears in apparitions, she appears in this way.

#144 ktgrok

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Posted 28 December 2010 - 11:14 PM

Mary was conceived without sin - original sin. This is how she has the title Immaculate Conception. Along with this, she wasn't subjected to death, but was assumed into Heaven in body and in soul. When she appears in apparitions, she appears in this way.


Just adding that the Eastern Orthodox do not believe in the Immaculate Conception. Rather, they don't have a stance on it one way or the other.

I love Orthodox theology but will remain at my Episcopal church for personal reasons.

#145 Onceuponatime

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Posted 28 December 2010 - 11:14 PM

I kindly ask that you do not post if your response will be negative, demeaning or unhelpful.
I believe the Bible is the infallible word of God and was not meant to be added to by man after it's completion. I also believe in the Trinity. I respectfully ask that if you deem yourself of Christian faith and do not believe the aforementioned statements, that you do not respond.

After reading many thought provoking threads here, I have begun to search deeper into my own spiritual beliefs (raised MS Lutheran and have been non-demon. for years). My search also began because so many churches (mostly non-demon, but not all) are too worldly and soft on the Bible for my liking.

I ask these question with sincerity and honesty.

For those who studied/researched a faith before choosing, what solidified your choice?

Does anyone feel that a particular Christian denom. is closest to the truth and why?

What are the major differences between Catholicism and Protestant Christianity? (Edited to specify)

Tell me anything thing you deem helpful. Tell me your own story. My heart and mind are wanting to hear!

Please PM me if you are more comfortable doing so.


This thread has been very enlightening. I have been studying and researching for years, especially the last few years. I don't feel any closer to the complete truth. In fact, I would say ignorance is bliss. Lol. The more I learn, the more conflicted I am.

I don't even know if there is a faith group that I fit in: Theologically liberal and socially conservative. The best fit that I can find on paper is the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ). However, I have no practical knowledge of them at all.

I do not fit with the fundamentalists because I believe the Bible is a witness of God, not the infallible word of God. I believe nature is also a witness of God. I don't believe in Sola Scriptura, but I don't believe in Holy Tradition either. The Bible contains truth, but does not contain all truth. All that is true and good is from God, no matter where it is found.

I tend to think true Christianity is a lot simpler than what most people currently practice. I also think the church is spiritual not physical, and all who acknowledge Christ, love God, and try to keep his commandments by loving others are members of the true (invisible) church.

It would probably take a long time to list all the things I do and don't believe, not to mention the things I haven't made up my mind about. I'm a mess. So, I just say, "God you know me and you know what is best, I throw myself on your mercy."

#146 Teachin'Mine

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Posted 28 December 2010 - 11:17 PM

Yowza. I've been struggling for months with Catholicism vs. Protestantism and thought I'd reconciled my way to staying Protestant. But reading this post has me thinking - again - about the history of the church, the origins or the Bible, and the sources of our beliefs. And whether or not I've gotten it right.

I really like the church we've found (Presbyterian PCA) - but I still think the Catholics are the ones that really do have it right.

My spirit aches.


If your local Catholic church has Adoration available, the Blessed Sacrament (Eucharist) exposed, go and spend some time there quietly talking with Jesus. See if you can feel His presence. I'll bet that your spirit will rejoice. :)

#147 kokotg

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Posted 28 December 2010 - 11:28 PM

I don't even know if there is a faith group that I fit in: Theologically liberal and socially conservative. The best fit that I can find on paper is the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ). However, I have no practical knowledge of them at all.


It sounds like the DOC might well be a good fit for you. We just joined a DOC church a month or so ago (after attending for several more months). Ours is actually theologically AND socially liberal, but my understanding is that socially conservative congregations are at least as common. But they should all be open to disagreement and questioning on theological issues.

#148 Jeanne in MN

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Posted 28 December 2010 - 11:34 PM

Is there a reason why a Catholic identifies them self as such, but a Protestant Christian calls them self Christian? If someone is Lutheran, Methodist etc., they don't use that as a defining term-at least in my experience. Just wondering if this has some sort of historical basis maybe trying to separate the Catholics from Christianity. As you can tell, I have SO much to learn.


Hmmmm, around here people always refer to themselves as Lutheran, Presbyterian, Baptist, Methodist, Catholic, whatever. All of us would claim to be Christians as well.

#149 Jeanne in MN

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Posted 28 December 2010 - 11:38 PM

As I mentioned in my post, I attended catholic High School; maybe 2/3 of the students were catholic (I wasn't). We had mandatory religion classes and mandatory mass. Why did I go to mass at the RCC if I wasn't RCC? Because I was marched there in single file line by the priests several times a year. :D We always had school on Good Friday and spent half that day in mass. We were instructed on the RCC beliefs of the Eucharist. We were told it was our choice whether to commune, but were free to do so as long as we approached it with respect and meaning. As a Lutheran I had many discussions with several of the priests about it, one of whom taught seminary. It was NOT RCC policy (but then the Jesuits have a long history of being 'rebels'), but the jist of what they said was that what was in our hearts was between us and God.

I guess after all Jesus shared the first communion with Judas. Again, I have no interest in getting into a debate on the meaning of the Eucharist or whether open or closed communion is "right". I was just presenting my own personal experience of how much policies can vary from place to place, even within one denomination.


An area Catholic grade school has a number of protestant teachers. At one time the priest having mass at the school welcomed non-Catholic teachers to partake in communion. Later, when another priest was doing the masses, he put a stop to non-Catholics taking communion. So there's a situation where it depended on the priest! I think the protestant teachers were Lutheran (ELCA), which from my understanding believe the Eucharist is the body of Christ too.

#150 Patty Joanna

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Posted 29 December 2010 - 02:06 AM

The answer in EOrthodoxy is different. We believe that this is the body and blood but do not explain it in words or processes, like "transubstantiation" or "consubstantiation"...or at what time or what cause the gifts become the body and blood, or how.


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