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The Great Heresies [Open]
Catholic.com ^

Posted on 05/20/2008 7:45:05 AM PDT by NYer

From Christianity’s beginnings, the Church has been attacked by those introducing false teachings, or heresies.

The Bible warned us this would happen. Paul told his young protégé, Timothy, "For the time is coming when people will not endure sound teaching, but having itching ears they will accumulate for themselves teachers to suit their own likings, and will turn away from listening to the truth and wander into myths" (2 Tim. 4:3–4).

  What Is Heresy?

Heresy is an emotionally loaded term that is often misused. It is not the same thing as incredulity, schism, apostasy, or other sins against faith. The Catechism of the Catholic Church states, "Incredulity is the neglect of revealed truth or the willful refusal to assent to it. Heresy is the obstinate post-baptismal denial of some truth which must be believed with divine and Catholic faith, or it is likewise an obstinate doubt concerning the same; apostasy is the total repudiation of the Christian faith; schism is the refusal of submission to the Roman Pontiff or of communion with the members of the Church subject to him" (CCC 2089).

To commit heresy, one must refuse to be corrected. A person who is ready to be corrected or who is unaware that what he has been saying is against Church teaching is not a heretic.

A person must be baptized to commit heresy. This means that movements that have split off from or been influenced by Christianity, but that do not practice baptism (or do not practice valid baptism), are not heresies, but separate religions. Examples include Muslims, who do not practice baptism, and Jehovah’s Witnesses, who do not practice valid baptism.

Finally, the doubt or denial involved in heresy must concern a matter that has been revealed by God and solemnly defined by the Church (for example, the Trinity, the Incarnation, the Real Presence of Christ in the Eucharist, the sacrifice of the Mass, the pope’s infallibility, or the Immaculate Conception and Assumption of Mary).

It is important to distinguish heresy from schism and apostasy. In schism, one separates from the Catholic Church without repudiating a defined doctrine. An example of a contemporary schism is the Society of St. Pius X—the "Lefebvrists" or followers of the late Archbishop Marcel Lefebvre—who separated from the Church in the late 1980s, but who have not denied Catholic doctrines. In apostasy, one totally repudiates the Christian faith and no longer even claims to be a Christian.

With this in mind, let’s look at some of the major heresies of Church history and when they began.

 

The Circumcisers (1st Century)

The Circumcision heresy may be summed up in the words of Acts 15:1: "But some men came down from Judea and were teaching the brethren, ‘Unless you are circumcised according to the custom of Moses, you cannot be saved.’"

Many of the early Christians were Jews, who brought to the Christian faith many of their former practices. They recognized in Jesus the Messiah predicted by the prophets and the fulfillment of the Old Testament. Because circumcision had been required in the Old Testament for membership in God’s covenant, many thought it would also be required for membership in the New Covenant that Christ had come to inaugurate. They believed one must be circumcised and keep the Mosaic law to come to Christ. In other words, one had to become a Jew to become a Christian.

But God made it clear to Peter in Acts 10 that Gentiles are acceptable to God and may be baptized and become Christians without circumcision. The same teaching was vigorously defended by Paul in his epistles to the Romans and the Galatians—to areas where the Circumcision heresy had spread.

 

Gnosticism (1st and 2nd Centuries)

"Matter is evil!" was the cry of the Gnostics. This idea was borrowed from certain Greek philosophers. It stood against Catholic teaching, not only because it contradicts Genesis 1:31 ("And God saw everything that he had made, and behold, it was very good") and other scriptures, but because it denies the Incarnation. If matter is evil, then Jesus Christ could not be true God and true man, for Christ is in no way evil. Thus many Gnostics denied the Incarnation, claiming that Christ only appeared to be a man, but that his humanity was an illusion. Some Gnostics, recognizing that the Old Testament taught that God created matter, claimed that the God of the Jews was an evil deity who was distinct from the New Testament God of Jesus Christ. They also proposed belief in many divine beings, known as "aeons," who mediated between man and the ultimate, unreachable God. The lowest of these aeons, the one who had contact with men, was supposed to be Jesus Christ.

 

Montanism (Late 2nd Century)

Montanus began his career innocently enough through preaching a return to penance and fervor. His movement also emphasized the continuance of miraculous gifts, such as speaking in tongues and prophecy. However, he also claimed that his teachings were above those of the Church, and soon he began to teach Christ’s imminent return in his home town in Phrygia. There were also statements that Montanus himself either was, or at least specially spoke for, the Paraclete that Jesus had promised would come (in reality, the Holy Spirit).

 

Sabellianism (Early 3rd Century)

The Sabellianists taught that Jesus Christ and God the Father were not distinct persons, but two aspects or offices of one person. According to them, the three persons of the Trinity exist only in God’s relation to man, not in objective reality.

 

Arianism (4th Century)

Arius taught that Christ was a creature made by God. By disguising his heresy using orthodox or near-orthodox terminology, he was able to sow great confusion in the Church. He was able to muster the support of many bishops, while others excommunicated him.

Arianism was solemnly condemned in 325 at the First Council of Nicaea, which defined the divinity of Christ, and in 381 at the First Council of Constantinople, which defined the divinity of the Holy Spirit. These two councils gave us the Nicene creed, which Catholics recite at Mass every Sunday.

 

Pelagianism (5th Century)

Pelagius denied that we inherit original sin from Adam’s sin in the Garden and claimed that we become sinful only through the bad example of the sinful community into which we are born. Conversely, he denied that we inherit righteousness as a result of Christ’s death on the cross and said that we become personally righteous by instruction and imitation in the Christian community, following the example of Christ. Pelagius stated that man is born morally neutral and can achieve heaven under his own powers. According to him, God’s grace is not truly necessary, but merely makes easier an otherwise difficult task.

 

Semi-Pelagianism (5th Century)

After Augustine refuted the teachings of Pelagius, some tried a modified version of his system. This, too, ended in heresy by claiming that humans can reach out to God under their own power, without God’s grace; that once a person has entered a state of grace, one can retain it through one’s efforts, without further grace from God; and that natural human effort alone can give one some claim to receiving grace, though not strictly merit it.

 

Nestorianism (5th Century)

This heresy about the person of Christ was initiated by Nestorius, bishop of Constantinople, who denied Mary the title of Theotokos (Greek: "God-bearer" or, less literally, "Mother of God"). Nestorius claimed that she only bore Christ’s human nature in her womb, and proposed the alternative title Christotokos ("Christ-bearer" or "Mother of Christ").

Orthodox Catholic theologians recognized that Nestorius’s theory would fracture Christ into two separate persons (one human and one divine, joined in a sort of loose unity), only one of whom was in her womb. The Church reacted in 431 with the Council of Ephesus, defining that Mary can be properly referred to as the Mother of God, not in the sense that she is older than God or the source of God, but in the sense that the person she carried in her womb was, in fact, God incarnate ("in the flesh").

There is some doubt whether Nestorius himself held the heresy his statements imply, and in this century, the Assyrian Church of the East, historically regarded as a Nestorian church, has signed a fully orthodox joint declaration on Christology with the Catholic Church and rejects Nestorianism. It is now in the process of coming into full ecclesial communion with the Catholic Church.

 

Monophysitism (5th Century)

Monophysitism originated as a reaction to Nestorianism. The Monophysites (led by a man named Eutyches) were horrified by Nestorius’s implication that Christ was two people with two different natures (human and divine). They went to the other extreme, claiming that Christ was one person with only one nature (a fusion of human and divine elements). They are thus known as Monophysites because of their claim that Christ had only one nature (Greek: mono = one; physis = nature).

Orthodox Catholic theologians recognized that Monophysitism was as bad as Nestorianism because it denied Christ’s full humanity and full divinity. If Christ did not have a fully human nature, then he would not be fully human, and if he did not have a fully divine nature then he was not fully divine.

 

Iconoclasm (7th and 8th Centuries)

This heresy arose when a group of people known as iconoclasts (literally, "icon smashers") appeared, who claimed that it was sinful to make pictures and statues of Christ and the saints, despite the fact that in the Bible, God had commanded the making of religious statues (Ex. 25:18–20; 1 Chr. 28:18–19), including symbolic representations of Christ (cf. Num. 21:8–9 with John 3:14).

 

Catharism (11th Century)

Catharism was a complicated mix of non-Christian religions reworked with Christian terminology. The Cathars had many different sects; they had in common a teaching that the world was created by an evil deity (so matter was evil) and we must worship the good deity instead.

The Albigensians formed one of the largest Cathar sects. They taught that the spirit was created by God, and was good, while the body was created by an evil god, and the spirit must be freed from the body. Having children was one of the greatest evils, since it entailed imprisoning another "spirit" in flesh. Logically, marriage was forbidden, though fornication was permitted. Tremendous fasts and severe mortifications of all kinds were practiced, and their leaders went about in voluntary poverty.

 

Protestantism (16th Century)

Protestant groups display a wide variety of different doctrines. However, virtually all claim to believe in the teachings of sola scriptura ("by Scripture alone"—the idea that we must use only the Bible when forming our theology) and sola fide ("by faith alone"— the idea that we are justified by faith only).

The great diversity of Protestant doctrines stems from the doctrine of private judgment, which denies the infallible authority of the Church and claims that each individual is to interpret Scripture for himself. This idea is rejected in 2 Peter 1:20, where we are told the first rule of Bible interpretation: "First of all you must understand this, that no prophecy of Scripture is a matter of one’s own interpretation." A significant feature of this heresy is the attempt to pit the Church "against" the Bible, denying that the magisterium has any infallible authority to teach and interpret Scripture.

The doctrine of private judgment has resulted in an enormous number of different denominations. According to The Christian Sourcebook, there are approximately 20-30,000 denominations, with 270 new ones being formed each year. Virtually all of these are Protestant.

 

Jansenism (17th Century)

Jansenius, bishop of Ypres, France, initiated this heresy with a paper he wrote on Augustine, which redefined the doctrine of grace. Among other doctrines, his followers denied that Christ died for all men, but claimed that he died only for those who will be finally saved (the elect). This and other Jansenist errors were officially condemned by Pope Innocent X in 1653.

Heresies have been with us from the Church’s beginning. They even have been started by Church leaders, who were then corrected by councils and popes. Fortunately, we have Christ’s promise that heresies will never prevail against the Church, for he told Peter, "You are Peter, and on this rock I will build my Church, and the gates of hell will not prevail against it" (Matt. 16:18). The Church is truly, in Paul’s words, "the pillar and foundation of the truth" (1 Tim. 3:15).


TOPICS: Apologetics; Catholic; Theology
KEYWORDS: heresy; history
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NIHIL OBSTAT: I have concluded that the materials
presented in this work are free of doctrinal or moral errors.
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IMPRIMATUR: In accord with 1983 CIC 827
permission to publish this work is hereby granted.
+Robert H. Brom, Bishop of San Diego, August 10, 2004

1 posted on 05/20/2008 7:46:02 AM PDT by NYer
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To: Salvation; narses; SMEDLEYBUTLER; redhead; Notwithstanding; nickcarraway; Romulus; ...
Additional Resource:

HERESIES and CONDEMNED DOCTRINES

2 posted on 05/20/2008 7:48:00 AM PDT by NYer (Jesus whom I know as my Redeemer cannot be less than God. - St. Athanasius)
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To: NYer

“Protestant groups display a wide variety of different doctrines. However, virtually all claim to believe in the teachings of sola scriptura (”by Scripture alone”—the idea that we must use only the Bible when forming our theology)”

To believe otherwise is to confer genuiness (is that even a word) on things like the “Book of Mormon.”


3 posted on 05/20/2008 7:48:37 AM PDT by Grunthor (Juan agrees with Ted Kennedy on Amnesty, Gore on GW & says Hillary'd be a good POTUS)
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To: NYer

Hilaire Belloc also considered Islam to be a “peculiar heresy”.


4 posted on 05/20/2008 7:49:12 AM PDT by flying_bullet (El Conservo tribe member)
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To: NYer

Another that was condemned just over 100 years ago is Modernism.


5 posted on 05/20/2008 7:50:58 AM PDT by Pyro7480 ("If the angels could be jealous of men, they would be so for one reason: Holy Communion." -M. Kolbe)
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To: NYer

“To commit heresy, one must refuse to be corrected. A person who is ready to be corrected or who is unaware that what he has been saying is against Church teaching is not a heretic.”

What if I listen to all the things that I, a non-Catholic am doing wrong and still refuse to then become Catholic, believing it to be wrong-headed and depending too much on tradition and extra-biblical texts?


6 posted on 05/20/2008 7:52:09 AM PDT by Grunthor (Juan agrees with Ted Kennedy on Amnesty, Gore on GW & says Hillary'd be a good POTUS)
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To: Grunthor
To believe otherwise is to confer genuiness (is that even a word) on things like the “Book of Mormon.”

That isn't true - the Church teaches "by the Teachings of Christ and the Apostles alone," so to speak. We include Sacred Tradition with Sacred Scripture, both sides of the same coin - the Oral teachings and the Written teachings. The Book of Mormon is an attempt to create new Scripture, while Tradition is unbroken since the time of the Apostles.

7 posted on 05/20/2008 7:55:39 AM PDT by thefrankbaum (Ad maiorem Dei gloriam)
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To: NYer

It’s amazing how many of these heresies, even the most ancient, are still around to some degree.


8 posted on 05/20/2008 7:56:29 AM PDT by B Knotts (Calvin Coolidge Republican)
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To: NYer

When Jesus needed an answer, he always went to the Word and not to traditions, which he often condemned. That is good enough for me.


9 posted on 05/20/2008 7:58:39 AM PDT by Always Right (Was it over when the Germans bombed Pearl Harbor?)
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To: flying_bullet
Hilaire Belloc also considered Islam to be a “peculiar heresy”.

He was correct. Just had this discussion with my pastor over the weekend. Islam stems from a monk who did not believe in the divine nature of Jesus Christ. That did not stop him from proselitizing the Arabs who worshipped many gods. He taught them that there is but one God. The first part of the Qu'uran ends with the writer saying that God's inspiration for his writings ended at a certain point. That would have been when the monk died. The 2nd part of the Qu'uran is more of a political book on how to rid the world of those infidels who do not preach and practice the one God (the word Allah means God but the Muslims have twisted the word into also being the name of God). Wish I could provide more details. It was a lengthy and fascination discussion. And, oh yes, my pastor is from the Middle East.

10 posted on 05/20/2008 7:58:47 AM PDT by NYer (Jesus whom I know as my Redeemer cannot be less than God. - St. Athanasius)
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To: Grunthor

I would say you aren’t a Heretic, because truly teaching the Church requires more than just a statement of fact. The Catholic Church condemns the use of contraception, but if all I tell you is that you can’t use contraception, have I really “taught or corrected” you. In our sound-bite culture, we take the short road, rather than the real work required for it.

Same for witness and evangelization, all too often we take the easy way.


11 posted on 05/20/2008 8:00:10 AM PDT by StAthanasiustheGreat (Vocatus Atque Non Vocatus Deus Aderit)
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To: NYer

Ping for later


12 posted on 05/20/2008 8:02:18 AM PDT by schu
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To: NYer

I’ve always wondered, how does someone go about making themselves believe something?


13 posted on 05/20/2008 8:03:04 AM PDT by stuartcr (Election year.....Who we gonna hate, in '08?)
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To: NYer

Calling Protestantism heresy is a pant load. No more heretical than a church that recites liturgy and recitations when the Bible clearly states do not pray in meaningless repetition and without emotion. Also by what right do certain men think that their interpretation of the Bible is better than anyone else?

Sheesh do certain people ever get tired of being so paranoid and arrogant at the same time that they condemn other believers that follow only the Bible to make themselves feel better?


14 posted on 05/20/2008 8:04:50 AM PDT by Resolute Conservative
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To: NYer

Calling Protestantism heresy is a pant load. No more heretical than a church that recites liturgy and recitations when the Bible clearly states do not pray in meaningless repetition and without emotion. Also by what right do certain men think that their interpretation of the Bible is better than anyone else?

Sheesh do certain people ever get tired of being so paranoid and arrogant at the same time that they condemn other believers that follow only the Bible to make themselves feel better?


15 posted on 05/20/2008 8:04:54 AM PDT by Resolute Conservative
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To: Alex Murphy; HarleyD; Dr. Eckleburg; Manfred the Wonder Dawg; xzins

So there you have it, contrary to what has been said on other threads, Protestants are heretics.

If Rome could get away with it, we’d be burned at the stake, like the “heretics” of old.


16 posted on 05/20/2008 8:09:05 AM PDT by Gamecock (The question is not, “Am I good enough to be a Christian?” rather “Am I good enough not to be?")
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To: StAthanasiustheGreat

Thank you.


17 posted on 05/20/2008 8:11:56 AM PDT by Grunthor (Juan agrees with Ted Kennedy on Amnesty, Gore on GW & says Hillary'd be a good POTUS)
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To: Grunthor

>>What if I listen to all the things that I, a non-Catholic am doing wrong and still refuse to then become Catholic, believing it to be wrong-headed and depending too much on tradition and extra-biblical texts?<<

I would say that men can say whatever they want, but in the long run, none of us truly know the Mind of Our Lord.

It’s not up to me, is it?


18 posted on 05/20/2008 8:12:38 AM PDT by netmilsmom (I am Ironmom. (but really made from Gold plated titanium))
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To: Gamecock

Yup, WE’RE the heretics for “the doubt or denial involved in heresy must concern a matter that has been revealed by God and solemnly defined by the Church (for example, the Trinity, the Incarnation, the Real Presence of Christ in the Eucharist, the sacrifice of the Mass, the pope’s infallibility, or the Immaculate Conception and Assumption of Mary).”

Yup - those fables of man that the RCC has declared to be of God - they MUST be of God because the man in the religious garb has said so. And if you don’t accept that man’s declarations - he stands in the place of God don’t ya know - let ye be anathema!

Praise be to the one true God of Isaac, Jacob, and Abraham that He is not bound in the religious traps and trappings of man’s wicked mind.


19 posted on 05/20/2008 8:17:53 AM PDT by Manfred the Wonder Dawg (Test ALL things, hold to that which is True.)
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To: Gamecock
You didn't even read the article did you? An excerpt:

To commit heresy, one must refuse to be corrected. A person who is ready to be corrected or who is unaware that what he has been saying is against Church teaching is not a heretic

If Rome could get away with it, we’d be burned at the stake, like the “heretics” of old.

That's a jump in reasoning if I ever saw one.

20 posted on 05/20/2008 8:18:24 AM PDT by Pyro7480 ("If the angels could be jealous of men, they would be so for one reason: Holy Communion." -M. Kolbe)
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To: Resolute Conservative

Honestly, I don’t give a flying butt what any religion thinks of me. Look at the definition of heresy...

Noun
S: (n) unorthodoxy, heterodoxy, heresy (any opinions or doctrines at variance with the official or orthodox position)
S: (n) heresy, unorthodoxy (a belief that rejects the orthodox tenets of a religion)

So, anyone outside of the Roman Catholic church can define me as a heretic. I think I might even be proud if some churches called me that.

I am a Heretic and an Infidel to some. Who cares, Our Lord loves me!


21 posted on 05/20/2008 8:19:33 AM PDT by netmilsmom (I am Ironmom. (but really made from Gold plated titanium))
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To: Pyro7480

And right there in the article it says Proddies are heretics.

You missed that part, huh?


22 posted on 05/20/2008 8:20:29 AM PDT by Gamecock (The question is not, “Am I good enough to be a Christian?” rather “Am I good enough not to be?")
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To: Gamecock

Protestantism is a heresy. Protestants aren’t necesarily heretics, as my excerpt explained.


23 posted on 05/20/2008 8:22:43 AM PDT by Pyro7480 ("If the angels could be jealous of men, they would be so for one reason: Holy Communion." -M. Kolbe)
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To: Resolute Conservative
No more heretical than a church that recites liturgy and recitations when the Bible clearly states do not pray in meaningless repetition and without emotion.

Ritual prayer is based on Scripture. In Matt. 26:44, for example, Jesus prayed a third time in the garden of Gethsemane, saying the exact same words again. It is not the repetition that is the issue. It's the vanity. God looks into our heart, not solely at our words. And in Luke 18:13, the tax collector kept beating his breast and praying "God be merciful to me, a sinner." This repetitive prayer was pleasing to God because it was offered with a sincere and repentant heart. Even the Book of Revelation demonstrates ritualistic prayer (Rev. 4:8) where the angels pray day and night without cessation the same words "Holy, Holy, Holy is the Lord God Almighty." This is repetitious prayer that is pleasing to God.

by what right do certain men think that their interpretation of the Bible is better than anyone else?

Is private interpretation of the Bible condoned in the Bible Itself? No, it is not 2 Peter 1:20. Was individual interpretation of Scripture practiced by the early Christians or the Jews? Again, "NO" (Acts 8:29-35). The assertion that individuals can correctly interpret Scripture is false. Even the "founder" of Sola Scriptura (Martin Luther), near the end of his life, was afraid that "any milkmaid who could read" would found a new Christian denomination based on his or her "interpretation" of the Bible. Luther opened a "Pandora's Box" when he insisted that the Bible could be interpreted by individuals and that It is the sole authority of Christianity.

Can there be more than one interpretation of the Bible? No. The word "truth" is used several times in the New Testament. However, the plural version of the word "truth" never appears in Scripture. Therefore, there can only be one Truth. So how can there be over 20,000 non-Catholic Christian denominations all claiming to have the "Truth" (i.e., the correct interpretation of the Bible)? For that matter, aren't ALL non-Catholic Christians as individuals claiming "infallibility" when it comes to interpreting the Bible? Catholics only believe in the infallibility of the Papacy as an office.

Which is more believable - one office holding infallibility or 400 million non-Catholic Christians who can't agree on the interpretation of Scripture all claiming "infallibility?" When it comes to interpreting Scripture, individual non-Catholic Christians claim the same infallibility as the Papacy. If one were to put two persons of the "same" non-Catholic Christian denomination (i.e., two Presybterians, two Lutherans, two Baptists, etc.) in separate rooms with a Bible and a notepad and ask them to write down their "interpretation" of the Bible, passage for passage, shouldn't they then produce the exact same interpretation? If guided by the Holy Spirit as Scripture states, the answer should be "Yes." But would that really happen? History has shown that the answer is "No." Now, in the case of Catholics, the Church which Christ founded and is with forever (Matthew 28:20) interprets the Bible, as guided by the Holy Spirit, (Mark 13:11) for the "sheep" (the faithful). The Church (not individuals) interpret Scripture. In Catholicism, Scripture is there for meditation, prayer and inspiration, not for individual interpretation to formulate doctrine or dogma. cf.

24 posted on 05/20/2008 8:22:55 AM PDT by NYer (Jesus whom I know as my Redeemer cannot be less than God. - St. Athanasius)
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To: Gamecock

What does your church call me? A Roman Catholic?


25 posted on 05/20/2008 8:25:00 AM PDT by netmilsmom (I am Ironmom. (but really made from Gold plated titanium))
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To: NYer
How interesting that it's the gang of mortal venerators who label Protestants as "heretics." (And if angels repeatedly told men "don't do it" when men were tempted to bow down & worship them, then saints aren't more "saintly" than perfect moral entitities like angels).

But as for the content put forth:

The doctrine of private judgment has resulted in an enormous number of different denominations. According to The Christian Sourcebook, there are approximately 20-30,000 denominations, with 270 new ones being formed each year. Virtually all of these are Protestant.

Let's go back to the early NT church, shall we?
Did the early NT church meet in glass-stained set-aside huge buildings? (No)
Did it meet largely in homes (even caves)? (Yes)
Were plural leaders of the church recognized, like James, Peter, and Paul? (Yes)
Were churches arranged more by communities/cities? (Yes)

The truly Protestant "denominations" of today (most of them, anyway) are like the community based churches of old. In those churches of old, you would find distinctives, but more would unite them than would set them apart.

As for 270 "new ones" each year, some of those are cults. Some are independents that won't survive over the long run. As for the rest:

Imagine that you are a local church "patriarch" of a community-based church right after Christ has ascended. (Remember this is Christ's church & there is no such thing at this point as a Rome-based worldwide church).

You have 9 kids, who each have 9 kids, and you tell them to each move into a new community to start a new mission church. Once they all reach young adulthood, that's 90 "new ones formed." As soon as each of your grandkids has 2 per family who have reached young adulthood and have moved into a new community to start a new church, that's 270 new mission churches in the early church. (So, what? the early pre-Rome, home-based, community-based church was a "heresy," too?)

Now if you each of those churches had some flexibility of worship according to customized cultural distinctives, they would not going to be carbon copies of each other, giving the partial appearance of a different "denomination." As for the "Patriarch," in reality, for Rome the Patriarch is a man, the Pope. In Protestantism, our "Patriarch" is God the Father and "the Pope" is our Living Prophet, Jesus Christ (Hebrews 1:1-2). Paul said the "Head of the Body" was Jesus Christ, not Peter. Peter was a pillar, a foundational servant of the Church.

26 posted on 05/20/2008 8:28:14 AM PDT by Colofornian
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To: netmilsmom

***A Roman Catholic?***

And why not?

There are countless websites out there for self-professing “Roman Catholic” churches as well as other “Roman Catholic” websites.

Or is this one of those victim things where only members of a certain group can call themselves by a certain name?


27 posted on 05/20/2008 8:29:01 AM PDT by Gamecock (The question is not, “Am I good enough to be a Christian?” rather “Am I good enough not to be?")
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To: Gamecock

>>Or is this one of those victim things where only members of a certain group can call themselves by a certain name?<<

Oh no, really not at all!


28 posted on 05/20/2008 8:30:49 AM PDT by netmilsmom (I am Ironmom. (but really made from Gold plated titanium))
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To: NYer
The great diversity of Protestant doctrines stems from the doctrine of private judgment, which denies the infallible authority of the Church...

If there's no diversity of Catholic doctrines in the church, then why do some Catholics...
...worship Mary and others don't?
...pray & venerate beyond-the-veil saints & others don't?
...follow strictures of not using birth control & others don't?
...recognize Mary appearing to Portuguese teen-agers & others don't?
...venerate holy relics and others don't?

According to the logic expressed here, then Catholics themselves exercise private judgment & therefore supposedly deny the infallible authority of the church...

29 posted on 05/20/2008 8:33:29 AM PDT by Colofornian
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To: netmilsmom

It reads that way.

Proddies can’t call you a Roman Catholic.

Roman Catholics can call themselves Roman Catholic.

So what’s the deal?


30 posted on 05/20/2008 8:34:07 AM PDT by Gamecock (The question is not, “Am I good enough to be a Christian?” rather “Am I good enough not to be?")
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To: Manfred the Wonder Dawg
Uh-oh...now you've done it, hope you got your flame suit on, they're gonna burn you at the stake ; )
31 posted on 05/20/2008 8:38:08 AM PDT by ravingnutter
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To: ravingnutter

Ha! Virtual flames of today or real flames as in the past - Christ defends His own. He alone is a refuge. In Christ alone - no not Mary or the religious organization of the RCC - is salvation and security. Praise God for His mercy and the salvation of the elect in Christ!


32 posted on 05/20/2008 8:44:41 AM PDT by Manfred the Wonder Dawg (Test ALL things, hold to that which is True.)
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To: Gamecock

Yeah, sure. And if Protestants could get away with it, we’d have our heads chopped off.

This is silly.

Each considers the other’s beliefs heretical. We both left off government/church persecution some time back.


33 posted on 05/20/2008 8:55:09 AM PDT by D-fendr (Deus non alligatur sacramentis sed nos alligamur.)
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To: Always Right; NYer
When Jesus needed an answer, he always went to the Word and not to traditions, which he often condemned. That is good enough for me.

Very good point.

Jesus had three points of authority:
The Holy Spirit-inspired Old Testament
His Father. Two examples:

He who does not love me will not obey my teaching. These words you hear are not my own; they belong to the Father who sent me. John 14:24.

So Jesus said, "When you have lifted up the Son of Man, then you will know that I am the one I claim to be and that I do nothing on my own but speak just what the Father has taught me. (John 8:28)

The third source of authority for Jesus wasn't the traditions of men, or the Church (other than the authority He gave to forgive or retain sins in Matthew 18)...it was HIMSELF!!!

Read through Matthew 5 and read all the "You have heard it said...but I tell you..." phrases. (He gives more "But I tell you" authoritative phrases in Matt. 11:22-24; 12:36; 17:12; John 16:7, etc.).

The problem with those who think that church authority resides in either Rome or Salt Lake City is that they ignore Jesus' clear teaching that "ALL" authority was given to Him (Matt 28:18); that although He physically ascended, He promises to remain with His disciples until the end of the Age (Matt 28:20); and that Christ is the "head of the body" (Col. 1:18)--"the head of the church, his body" (Eph. 5:23).

(So why do Catholics plainly ignore Paul's apostolic authority to proclaim Christ as Head?)

34 posted on 05/20/2008 8:58:37 AM PDT by Colofornian
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To: Pyro7480; Gamecock
A person who is ready to be corrected [corrected by whom? - AM] or who is unaware that what he has been saying is against Church teaching is not a heretic

In other words, a heretic is anyone who refuses to bow to Rome. Or more precisely and in reverse, Rome declares anyone who formerly bowed to Rome, but refuses to do so now for expressly and consciously religious reasons, to be a heretic. Rome can never be guilty of heresy, because it gets to define heresy for the rest of us. Surely you've seen these rules spelled out before?

Rule #1: The boss is always right.
Rule #2: When the boss is wrong, see rule #1.

35 posted on 05/20/2008 9:00:55 AM PDT by Alex Murphy ("Am I therefore become your enemy, because I tell you the truth?" -- Galatians 4:16)
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To: NYer
Holy straw man!

From the article... "claims that each individual is to interpret Scripture for himself". This is not sola scriptura. If you read John 14: 15-17a "If you love me, you will obey what I command. And I will ask the Father, and he will give you another Counselor to be with you forever, the Spirit of truth."

God clearly sent the Holy Spirit as a Counselor, a spirit of truth.

Which is more believable - one office holding infallibility or 400 million non-Catholic Christians who can't agree on the interpretation of Scripture all claiming "infallibility?"

Whoever claimed infallibility? As a part of the LCMS, I accept the Bible as the sole authority and measure of truth. I accept the Book of Concord as a faithful representation of that truth. The Book of Concord is not infallible. The LCMS is not infallible. The claim of infallibility is just about as ridiculous as the obscene "Throne of Peter".

Catholics are way too smug: my favorite being "It's our Bible". No! It's not your Bible. The Bible is a gift. You can try and argue that the authority of the Bible comes from the Catholic Church, but that's just silly. The authority of the Bible comes from the God in general and the Holy Spirit in particular.

Christianity isn't that complicated. The key aspects of that faith are stated in the creeds. They represent the catholic faith that all Christians share. There is a difference between "catholic" and "Catholic". Small "c" stands for universal. If you read the small "c" catholic creeds, you will find nothing about submitting to Peter or the Roman Catholic Church. I do not submit to a man, nor an institution. I submit to my God.

I know that my synod is imperfect. I know that my knowledge is imperfect. I know I am imperfect.

If you read 1 Corinthians 1 is a very interesting chapter. It talks about division in the Church. But the end of the chapter is very very telling. Let him who boasts boast in the Lord. Now tell me about the Catholic's Bible and the Catholic Infallibility. You are boasting about a man and an institution, not the Lord.

36 posted on 05/20/2008 9:09:18 AM PDT by Tao Yin
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To: NYer

I love catholic.com, but I missed this gem, thanks, it’s very helpful.


37 posted on 05/20/2008 9:12:34 AM PDT by FourtySeven (47)
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To: D-fendr; Gamecock
Each considers the other’s beliefs heretical. We both left off government/church persecution some time back.

Thanks for the answer, D-fendr. I admire your intellectual honesty, and your ability to not have to resort to Al Gore-style fearmongering.

38 posted on 05/20/2008 9:14:19 AM PDT by Pyro7480 ("If the angels could be jealous of men, they would be so for one reason: Holy Communion." -M. Kolbe)
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To: netmilsmom; Gamecock; blue-duncan; Dr. Eckleburg

see the above about protestants.

Is anyone going to hell because of the protestant heresy?


39 posted on 05/20/2008 9:16:52 AM PDT by xzins (Retired Army Chaplain -- Those denying the War was Necessary Do NOT Support the Troops!)
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To: NYer

The clergy - laity distinction is a heresy of the 3rd. century.
“The word cleric (Lat., clericus from clerus) is derived from the Greek kleros, a “lot”. In the Septuagint, this word is used in the literal sense quite frequently, though not in its later technical sense. In the First Epistle of St. Peter (v, 3) it is applied to entire body of the faithful. The use of the word in its present restricted meaning occurs, however, as early as the third century. It is found in Tertullian (De idol., c. viii), Origen (Hom. in Jer., xi, 3) and Clement of Alexandria (Quis dives salvetur, c. xlii) in this sense. It is not easy to determine exactly how the word came to have its present determinate meaning. The “Pontificale Romanum” refers to clerics as being those whose “lot” is the Lord Himself, and St. Jerome explicitly derives the name from that fact. These statements do not give us, however, the steps by which kleros, “lot” became “clergy” or “cleric”. Probably the best suggested explanation is, that from lot or portion, it came to mean a particular lot or office assigned to some one, and finally the person himself possessing the lot or office.” Catholic Encyclopedia
The disciples didn’t take titles and don peculiar garb. Jesus warned against such elevating of one believer over another, therefore this tradition of men must be rejected in favor the authority of Christ.


40 posted on 05/20/2008 9:21:32 AM PDT by count-your-change (you don't have to be brilliant, not being stupid is enough.)
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To: NYer
Iconoclasm

This heresy arose when a group of people known as iconoclasts (literally, "icon smashers") appeared, who claimed that it was sinful to make pictures and statues of Christ and the saints, despite the fact that in the Bible, God had commanded the making of religious statues (Ex. 25:18–20; 1 Chr. 28:18–19), including symbolic representations of Christ (cf. Num. 21:8–9 with John 3:14).

I preface this by stating I don't individually have a problem with images of Jesus. However, my church believes they are a violation of the Commandment "You shall not make for yourself an idol in the form of anything in heaven above or on the earth beneath or in the waters below. You shall not bow down to them or worship them;"

That said, my objection to this claim of "heresy" is that the scriptures included do not support the contention. The first two references regard the construction of the Ark of the Covenant. They were not "religious statues", nor were the features a form of Christ OR of the saints.

And in fact, the Jewish people were meant to worship, in a sense, the Ark. It was a revered, God-dictated icon of their faith.

So I'm not against icons, so long as they are dictated in the Bible. Since there appears to be no icons currently called for by biblical texts, I oppose the use of statues, and I believe that view is the biblicly correct view, not the "heretical" view.

41 posted on 05/20/2008 9:26:37 AM PDT by CharlesWayneCT (Green, but not gullible)
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To: NYer

I find your pastor’s assertion regarding Islam fascinating. Is there any more information regarding that?


42 posted on 05/20/2008 9:31:01 AM PDT by sheik yerbouty ( Make America and the world a jihad free zone!)
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To: Pyro7480; Gamecock

Well, OK, maybe we HAD a loophole.

But now that somebody posted this and we read it, we’re screwed.

Because we aren’t ignorant anymore now, are we. No, we now know the infallable teachings of the Church, and so our heresy is perfected.


43 posted on 05/20/2008 9:31:31 AM PDT by CharlesWayneCT (Green, but not gullible)
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To: NYer

Doesn’t that entire “infallable” church break down rather quickly when you realise how fallable the Roman Catholic Church has been over the years, how many times it has had to admit error and accede to a “better understanding”?

I imagine the Russian Orthodox Church thinks it has the truth.


44 posted on 05/20/2008 9:36:35 AM PDT by CharlesWayneCT (Green, but not gullible)
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To: Tao Yin
I know that my synod is imperfect. I know that my knowledge is imperfect. I know I am imperfect.

This, combined with this...

As a part of the LCMS, I accept the Bible as the sole authority and measure of truth.

... leads one to, IMO, a fatal error. After all, if one admits that there is no perfection in one's self, or in one's church, then how can one know that one's interpretation of Scripture is perfect?

If one says, "Well I don't claim my interpretation of Scripture is perfect", then I would ask, "Then how can you know what the Bible says about topic 'X' is actually what you believe it says about topic 'X'?"

One can't know for certain, and that's the point. One could say, "Well I believe the Holy Spirit confirms it for me", but that's easy to say, and indeed, as everyone (even Catholics) must admit, we all are indeed "imperfect", and part of this imperfection is our unfortunate tendency to convince ourselves of our own "correctness", even when faced with facts to the contrary. This pride is manifested in many forms, but in Christianity, it's often disguised with the claim, "the Holy Spirit taught me that". Or, "God told me that I'm right".

Besides, even beyond the analysis above, if the Holy Spirit can guide and teach individual men truth (which I do believe He can, I just don't believe that can be used as a justification for rejecting Church authority), then why can't He guide an entire Church in the same way? After all, the Church (on Earth) is comprised of men, so, if we believe the Holy Spirit can and does teach men on an individual level, then why is it so hard to believe He would teach an entire body of men, or at least keep that body of men from making any mistake that would doom them for eternity (which is really less than actually "teaching" them something, it's just keeping them from error) That's really the ultimate question I had to ask myself, as painful as it was, when I was a separated Catholic (heretic) myself. I used to believe the Holy Spirit only taught men individually, but in reality, (and if one is rational about the question, one can see) that belief limits God.

It limits Him, so we are free to reject the painful possibility above.

45 posted on 05/20/2008 9:36:55 AM PDT by FourtySeven (47)
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To: CharlesWayneCT; StAthanasiustheGreat

It isn’t that simple. See StAthanasiustheGreat’s #11, for example.


46 posted on 05/20/2008 9:38:55 AM PDT by Pyro7480 ("If the angels could be jealous of men, they would be so for one reason: Holy Communion." -M. Kolbe)
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To: NYer
Protestant groups- “A significant feature of this heresy is the attempt to pit the Church “against” the Bible,...”

The Bible is the inspired Word of God.
A church is simply a group of baptized believers.
Sorry but the Word of God trumps any group of people.

By the way, Baptists, which I am one, are not Protestants.
Catholics were “Baptizing” us in rivers and lakes long before Martin Luther.

47 posted on 05/20/2008 9:40:11 AM PDT by Stark_GOP
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To: Colofornian

This post is a non-sequitur. The Church teachings on all of these things you list are clear - because members of the Faith don’t always follow the Church has no bearing on the infallibility of Its teachings. Pride is a sin, and thinking you “know better” than the Church established by Christ (whether you’re Catholic, Protestant, Orthodox, or whatever) has occured consistantly throughout time. People fail in following Christ all the time, doesn’t make Him wrong.


48 posted on 05/20/2008 9:40:27 AM PDT by thefrankbaum (Ad maiorem Dei gloriam)
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To: NYer

I find it interesting reading the list of “isms” that have been “debunked” by Catholics in the past. No reason to believe these people are any different from ones here on FR that I find untrustworthy (doctrinally). Yet the mantra seems to be if “debunked” in the past there’s no sense discussing it any further. Ya right.


49 posted on 05/20/2008 9:41:47 AM PDT by Invincibly Ignorant
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To: B Knotts

It’s amazing how many of these heresies, even the most ancient, show up on Free Republic every day.


50 posted on 05/20/2008 9:42:07 AM PDT by Petronski (Scripture & Tradition must be accepted & honored w/equal sentiments of devotion & reverence. CCC 82)
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