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Radio Replies Second Volume - The Idealization of Protestantism
Celledoor.com ^ | 1940 | Fathers Rumble & Carty

Posted on 05/08/2010 9:30:27 PM PDT by GonzoII

The Idealization of Protestantism



246. Protestants claim to belong to the Apostolic Church.

The claim cannot be sustained. That Church alone can be truly Apostolic which reaches back to the Apostles by the historical, spiritual, and social bond of uninterrupted succession. Jesus chose and commissioned the Apostles, and they formed the authoritative body in the Church. And in the same Church today there must still be an authoritative body derived from them. This derivation must be historically and socially evident in a visible Church. The whole chain depends on the first link, for that links the Church to Christ.

247. The Reformation was to restore the Apostolic Church.

So it is said. But Protestants do not claim an Apostolic character for their Churches in the right sense of the word. As a rule, they seek to attach themselves to Christ directly, without any intermediary society possessing historical continuity. They rather claim to have a religion "like" that of the Apostles, than one given them "by" the Apostles and their lawful successors. The true Christian and Catholic doctrine is that the Eternal Son of God became man in the Incarnation, thus commencing a life at once divine and human. And this life of Christ continues its activity by the Church, which is a kind of permanent social incarnation. As there is one continuous life of humanity by heredity, so the life of the Church is continuous by succession and tradition.

248. We cling to the traditions of the Apostles.

You mean that you have the same doctrines as the Apostles. That is not really true. But even were it true, it would not be enough. To profess someone's doctrine on the grounds of one's own approval of them does not mean social continuity with him. The Church is a society, and its life is collective and organized under one authority. Protestantism has no central authority, and no priesthood properly so-called. It has not an apostolicity such as the true Christian Church requires.

249. The Reformed Church has always acknowledged the Roman Catholic Church as an important branch of the Church Catholic; but that Christian judgment is not reciprocated.

Do all the Protestant Churches constitute the one "Reformed Church"? If so, would Methodists or Presbyterians admit that they are one with Judge Rutherford's Witnesses of Jehovah? After all, Judge Rutherford has as much, or as little right to set up his new Protestant sect as John Knox had to set up Presbyterianism. And it is not true, of course, that the Protestant Churches have always acknowledged the Roman Church as an important branch of the Church Catholic. The first Reformers rejected the Catholic Church as antichrist, and spoke of it with the utmost horror. Preaching in Edinburgh, in 1565, John Knox, the founder of Presbyterianism, declared that the Church is limited to those who profess the Lord Jesus, and have rejected papistry." The Catholic Church must be forgiven for refusing to admit relationship with Protestant Churches which originated with men who denounced her, and left her, and never returned to her. Is it reasonable to suppose that the new Churches set up by the Reformers are really in union with the Church they left? History and logic leave no room for the modern claim of Protestants to belong also to the Catholic Church.

250. Whom do members of Protestant Churches acknowledge as head of their Church on earth?

They have various systems of government. In some, as the Congregationalists, the members of each congregation are a law to themselves. In others, as the Presbyterians, authority is vested by the members in elected office-bearers, different assemblies prevailing in various localities. In these cases there is no universal bond of unity in the strict sense of the word. In Churches which have bishops, as the Catholic, Orthodox Greek, and Episcopal or Anglican, power is vested in those bishops. In the Greek Church the power is ultimately traced back to one or other of almost a dozen different Patriarchs. There is no such thing as one united Greek Church. In the Anglican Church the final authority is traced back to the Crown of England. In the Catholic Church all authority on earth centers in one supreme bishop independent of any national rulers — the Bishop of Rome. Thus we have a genuine ecclesiastical unity side by side with the required universality of one and the same Church throughout the world.

251. Do the Anglican, Presbyterian, and Methodist Churches exist in such foreign countries as Germany, Russia, France, Spain, Norway, etc.?

They may have what may be termed "agencies" in some of those countries to cater for English-speaking tourists of the different denominations. But, insofar as any nationals of these countries profess Protestantism, they usually profess a type of Protestantism peculiar to themselves. Where the Catholic Church unites men of different nationalities in one and the same Christian doctrine, Protestantism permits variations in doctrine to suit the national differences of outlook amongst men.

252. You habitually speak of your own Church as the Catholic Church. What right have you to drop the prefix "Roman"?

Either ours is the Catholic Church, or there is no Catholic Church. The expression "Roman Catholic," though frequently used, is really meaningless. Grammatically it involves a contradiction in terms. For the word Catholic means universal or "not limited." To use the word "Roman" as a qualifying adjective of limitation or restriction is like speaking of the "limited unlimited." Again, geographically, the Catholic Church is that Church which exists in all the different countries of the world for members of those different countries. And our Church is alone truly Catholic in that sense of the word. The Church subject to the Bishop of Rome exists in every country precisely for the people of each different country. No other Church is universal in this sense of the word.

253. I cannot accept your verdict of Protestantism. You seem quite blind to all the positive good it has accomplished.

I am not blind to the good to be found in Protestantism side by side with its errors. But I am concerned with the Reformation movement as such; and I say that it was not justified.

254. When the Romish Church rose to power she abandoned the teachings of the Gospel until the people were fed up with the deal given by Rome.

The Catholic Church never abandoned the teachings of the Gospel. The laxity of many of her members in practice was made one of the excuses for the Protestant Reformation. But the Protestant defection from the Church was a great mistake.

255. The people gladly accepted the teaching in which the Apostles gloried.

You would find it very difficult to set out clearly the teachings of the Protestant Reformers which you believe to harmonize with those of the Apostles. For the Reformers themselves were anything but agreed as to what should be believed. They fought against each other's teachings bitterly, indulging in violent mutual recriminations.

256. Protestantism is a witness to the great truths that have stood the test of time.

It used to witness to some of them. But unfortunately it is allowing most of them nowadays to be denied without protest, and even by its official teachers and ministers.

257. Protestants believe the Bible to be the standard of Christian truth, and the very Word of God.

Many of their leading exponents dispute that today. But even amongst those who still accept the Bible, there is little agreement as to what the Bible means. The Catholic Church defends the Bible as the very Word of God, and is alone capable of giving the authentic interpretation of the sense intended by God.

258. The Bible gives spiritual freedom such as all Protestants enjoy.

The Bible nowhere gives freedom to believe as one pleases, or to worship as one pleases. It demands our submission to the truth that we may be free from error, and obedience to the Church that we may be free from false forms of religion.

259. The Reformation limited the power of priests, and liberated the people from an autocratic hierarchy.

It abolished the priestly office, limiting the ministry to the preaching of the Word of God and the administration of some of the Sacraments.

260. It meant a purifying of the ministerial office to an extent that makes it difficult to realise now the evils to which it was subject.

It is true that there were many evils amongst the clergy at the time of the Reformation. I will go so far as to say that, had the Catholic clergy of the time been all they should have been, the disaster would not have occurred. At the same time, if many were not true to their obligations, many also were strictly faithful, and some were saints fit for canonization. Nor did any really holy priest dream of leaving the Church. I deny, of course, that the ministry was purified by abandoning the priesthood, abolishing its obligations, and adopting definitely lower standards. However, as I have admitted, if the Reformation did not itself purify the ministry, it did occasion a vast movement of reform strictly so-called within the Catholic Church; and the Council of Trent made the most stringent legislation for the better formation of future candidates for the priesthood, and the elimination of abuses. While the Reformation, then, did not purify the ministerial office, it did challenge the Catholic Church to do so.

261. Protestant Churches are founded on personal trust, and freedom as to how and where we shall meet our Lord in prayer.

The Catholic Church does not exclude personal trust in our Lord. She insists upon it. And Catholics are perfectly free to seek union with Him in prayer whenever they wish. But the Catholic Church rightly forbids Catholics to seek union with the assemblies of others who profess doctrines other than hers. Whatever charity we have for the persons of others, we cannot extend approval to their erroneous teachings and forms of religious worship. You may be my friend; but your religion is not my religion; and you should not expect me to behave as if it were.

262. Protestantism at least has meant liberty.

It liberated people from the Catholic Church. But that was a liberation from the restraints of the truth revealed by Christ, and from His moral laws. In his excellent book on "Luther and His Work," Mr. Joseph Clayton, F.R.H.S. writes, "Whither has Luther led his followers? Into what promised land, after the years of wandering outside the Catholic unity, are now brought the Protestants who date their emancipation from Martin Luther? Four centuries of journeying since Luther started the exodus, and yet the promised land of the Lutheran evangel, so often emergent, fades from sight even as the mirage vanishes in the desert. It is the wasteland of doubt that Protestants have reached — a wasteland littered with abandoned hopes and discarded creeds."

263. The Reformation meant the restoration of public prayer to its right place as the duty and privilege of every servant of God, and not the monopoly of a select class of monks and nuns called ironically the Religious.

Such a sneer at those who consecrated their lives to God in the Religious Orders is unworthy of a Christian. Meantime, while the suppression of the monasteries meant the suppression of the worship offered to God within them in the name of the whole Church, what have people made of the duty and privilege of public prayer? Protestant clergymen complain regularly of lost congregations, empty Churches, and the neglect of public worship. That scarcely sounds like the restoration of public prayer to its proper place as the right and duty of all the faithful. On the other hand, Catholic Churches are filled to overflowing.

264. The Reformation meant a purifying of family life.

In what way? The Catholic Church certainly cannot be blamed for the growth of loose ideas of marriage, easy divorce, the widespread plague of contraceptive birth control, and other acknowledged evils tending to break down family life.

265. How can you escape the evident success of Protestantism?

I deny that its success is evident, at least from the genuinely Christian point of view. Genuine Christianity leads to supernatural rather than to merely natural ideals. Christ said that His kingdom was not of this world, and definitely bade us "love not the world." A spiritual and unworldly outlook is therefore the outstanding characteristic of the Catholic religion. I do not say that it is the outlook of all individual Catholics. But insofar as he has not a spiritual and unworldly outlook, a Catholic has drifted from Catholic ideals. On the other hand, Protestantism does not, of its very nature, lead to a spiritual and unworldly outlook. If some good Protestants are truly spiritual, it is in spite of their religion, not because of it. The contrast is evident in the fact that Catholicism will propose as one of her heroes a St. Francis of Assisi who utterly rejected worldly goods, sought poverty and holiness of life, and ended up as a canonized Saint. But the heroes of the Protestant tradition grow from penniless boys into millionaires, or travel from log cabin to White House.

Encoding copyright 2009 by Frederick Manligas Nacino. Some rights reserved.
Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0
http://www.celledoor.com/cpdv-ebe/


TOPICS: Apologetics; Catholic; History
KEYWORDS: catholicism; christianity; protestantbash; protestantism; radiorepliesvoltwo; religion; theology
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To: vladimir998
[roamer_1:] The Gemera, Josephus, Seneca, Tacticus, Pliny the Elder, Suetonius, and many others... All are not credible? Their silence on the matter of the highly structured Papist faith speaks volumes.

No, it doesn’t. If you look, you’ll see more than you might think. Pliny, for instance, makes reference to deaconesses and apparently to the sacrament of the altar (without realizing it).

Deacons are the least offensive office between factions - Everyone accepts that the office of deacon is Biblically valid, and that office is largely the same all the way across.

I would take exception to the idea that Pliny refers " apparently to the sacrament of the altar (without realizing it)." The reference is vague, stating only that after a service, the Christians would depart and go somewhere else to eat together. It could just as easily defend the long custom in many families of going out to breakfast at a diner after Sunday service.

Medieval Sourcebook: Pliny on the Christians

Many people today forget that Acts itself speaks of bishops (Apostles), presbyters (priests) and deacons. That in itself implies a highly structured church on the episcopal level.

No, Acts describes bishops (head elder), presbyters (elders), and deacons. Elders are a fairly normal construct in both Greek and more importantly, Hebrew communities, and do not speak to an ornate hierarchy, but to a simple one.

Also, Pliny makes clear that even after more than 70 years the Romans still did not understand what Christianity was about, who was involved or how it worked on the ground (maybe “underground” should be the word used there). Christians were often secretive. The Romans couldn’t write about what they didn’t know.

I find that to lean more toward my position - A rigid hierarchy would be easy to detect and destroy, while a simple structure is more fluid, and hard to define.

And the fact that Rome didn't understand also points away from an ornate hierarchical structure - something which was very common in Roman religions of every type. That priests are not mentioned is odd, especially from a Roman perspective, see? .

161 posted on 05/09/2010 11:41:49 AM PDT by roamer_1 (Globalism is just Socialism in a business suit)
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To: sabe@q.com

“Why do you think Martin Luther was excommunicated?”

1. Because he translated the bible into a language the common person could read.

2. Because he threatened the political power of the Catholic Church.

3. Because he had a problem with the Catholic Church requiring cash payments so the priests would ‘forgive’ peoples sins.


162 posted on 05/09/2010 11:43:00 AM PDT by driftdiver (I could eat it raw, but why do that when I have a fire.)
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To: driftdiver

Actually there were a few more but whose counting.


163 posted on 05/09/2010 11:48:36 AM PDT by sabe@q.com (Yes, I'm a SW freak!)
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To: driftdiver

Oh, yeah. My son says I’m a sissy! ROFL!


164 posted on 05/09/2010 11:49:14 AM PDT by Judith Anne
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To: SnakeDoctor

Yes.


165 posted on 05/09/2010 11:50:11 AM PDT by Judith Anne
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To: OneVike; My hearts in London - Everett
Yup, sounds like liberals to me.

What other strategy is left when you post their own documents showing the error they have fallen into. The last recourse is to condemn you and try to censor your views.

FWIW, I have found your posts very persuasive especially #58.

166 posted on 05/09/2010 11:52:16 AM PDT by wmfights (If you want change support SenateConservatives.com)
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To: GonzoII
It is germane if you make the link back to the apostles and therefore Christ himself [...]

Another wholly unprovable point (apostolic succession).

167 posted on 05/09/2010 11:53:20 AM PDT by roamer_1 (Globalism is just Socialism in a business suit)
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To: Judith Anne

Care to share them?

SnakeDoc


168 posted on 05/09/2010 11:55:15 AM PDT by SnakeDoctor ("The world will know that free men stood against a tyrant [...] that even a god-king can bleed.")
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To: sabe@q.com

I was trying to hit the high points.


169 posted on 05/09/2010 11:56:10 AM PDT by driftdiver (I could eat it raw, but why do that when I have a fire.)
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To: SnakeDoctor

No. I’m busy. Would you like me to ping you to the next 10-20 I answer?


170 posted on 05/09/2010 11:57:24 AM PDT by Judith Anne
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To: driftdiver

I was going to post LOL but honestly it really isn’t funny at all, its very sad.


171 posted on 05/09/2010 11:57:31 AM PDT by sabe@q.com (Yes, I'm a SW freak!)
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To: roamer_1; GonzoII

“Another wholly unprovable point (apostolic succession).”

Why should it even matter? Jesus was sent for all of us that accept him as our savior. Not just for those who claim to have some spurious connection.


172 posted on 05/09/2010 11:58:15 AM PDT by driftdiver (I could eat it raw, but why do that when I have a fire.)
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To: sabe@q.com

Sad in which way?


173 posted on 05/09/2010 11:59:03 AM PDT by driftdiver (I could eat it raw, but why do that when I have a fire.)
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To: Judith Anne

I don’t need citations ... off the top of your head will do. What type of Protestant-made statements do you consider bigoted?

SnakeDoc


174 posted on 05/09/2010 12:00:03 PM PDT by SnakeDoctor ("The world will know that free men stood against a tyrant [...] that even a god-king can bleed.")
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To: driftdiver

I guess I’m just a simpleton. I listen to the holy spirit when I read the Word of God. As a believer, I have faith its just that easy.


175 posted on 05/09/2010 12:00:44 PM PDT by sabe@q.com (Yes, I'm a SW freak!)
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To: GonzoII; OneVike
You will probably reply that this is not Scripture, fine, it's still history four hundred years before this absurd claim: (wrt Maccabees)

Being less likely to avoid the Apocrypha than my brethren, I can still readily attest that this particularly (the prayers for the dead) is one of many problems pointing to the Hellenization of the Apocryphal books. It is also why they are absent from the Masoretic texts.

176 posted on 05/09/2010 12:02:37 PM PDT by roamer_1 (Globalism is just Socialism in a business suit)
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To: GonzoII

Why are some people more preoccupied with a source than with the content of the post? Reads as though they seek to target the source than the content of the post.


177 posted on 05/09/2010 12:06:49 PM PDT by Cvengr (Adversity in life and death is inevitable. Thru faith in Christ, stress is optional.)
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To: sabe@q.com

“I listen to the holy spirit when I read the Word of God. As a believer, I have faith its just that easy.”

I hear ya, but some want us to think its a difficult thing. If Jesus is our King then we have no use for others. That is a threat to political power.


178 posted on 05/09/2010 12:07:14 PM PDT by driftdiver (I could eat it raw, but why do that when I have a fire.)
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To: driftdiver

Ya King Henry VIII might of had it right after all. Then again, maybe it was God.


179 posted on 05/09/2010 12:08:24 PM PDT by sabe@q.com (Yes, I'm a SW freak!)
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To: SnakeDoctor

No. I’m busy. Would you like me to ping you to the next 10-20 I answer?


180 posted on 05/09/2010 12:10:56 PM PDT by Judith Anne
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