Skip to comments.The End of Protestantism :(non-Catholic Author)
Posted on 11/07/2013 10:07:49 PM PST by RBStealth
The Reformation isnt over. But Protestantism is, or should be.
When I studied at Cambridge, I discovered that English Evangelicals define themselves over against the Church of England. Whatever the C of E is, they aint. What Im calling Protestantism does the same with Roman Catholicism. Protestantism is a negative theology; a Protestant is a not-Catholic. Whatever Catholics say or do, the Protestant does and says as close to the opposite as he can.
Mainline churches are nearly bereft of Protestants. If you want to spot one these days, your best bet is to visit the local Baptist or Bible church, though you can find plenty of Protestants among conservative Presbyterians too.
Protestantism ought to give way to Reformational catholicism. Like a Protestant, a Reformational catholic rejects papal claims, refuses to venerate the Host, and doesnt pray to Mary or the saints; he insists that salvation is a sheer gift of God received by faith and confesses that all tradition must be judged by Scripture, the Spirits voice in the conversation that is the Church.
(Excerpt) Read more at firstthings.com ...
Some Protestants dont view Roman Catholics as Christians, and wont acknowledge the Roman Catholic Church as a true church. A Reformational Catholic regards Catholics as brothers, and regrets the need to modify that brotherhood as separated. To a Reformational Catholic, its blindingly obvious that theres a billion-member Church of Jesus Christ centered in Rome. Because it regards the Roman Catholic Church as barely Christian, Protestantism leaves Roman Catholicism to its own devices. They had a pedophilia scandal, and they have a controversial pope. A Reformational Catholic recognizes that turmoil in the Roman Catholic Church is turmoil in his own family.
Seems a bit poorly thought out to me. Protestants don’t just look at the Catholics and do the opposite, that is just ludicrous. Protestants still have plenty of customs that are Catholic in origin, but they have abandoned the ones they don’t view as biblically sound. At this point, there are plenty of Protestants who don’t even know what a lot of the Catholic customs are, because they aren’t paying much attention.
As for “reformed Catholics”, this seems like more of a theoretical construct the author wishes existed, rather than a real thing. Catholics certainly don’t view any Protestants as “catholic”, reformed or otherwise. Opinion on the Protestant side about how to view the Catholic church is divided, but generally, they don’t view any denomination as “catholic”. Instead, membership in the universal church is held to be an individual matter, not a corporate one.
“To a Reformational Catholic, its blindingly obvious that theres a billion-member Church of Jesus Christ centered in Rome. “
Depends. If they trust in their own righteousness to be saved, and think that they are earning or keeping salvation based on their obedience, then they are damned, since they do not trust in the accomplished work of Jesus Christ. By Grace alone, by faith alone, by Christ alone, for God’s glory alone, are not negotiable doctrines for Reformed Christians, and whoever does not hold to them isn’t Reformed at all, even if they try to bastardize the term by adding “Catholic” next to it. And so, whoever does not hold to them, is certainly in profound danger. If they despair of themselves and trust in Christ for the full work of their salvation, the imputation of His righteousness (not their own) being placed upon them, then they do well, even with all their flaky doctrines, even if they themselves do not understand all the thelogical jargon which they are unaware of.
Though I do notice that, most of the time, God pulls people out of these organizations, and I would be suspect of a person’s salvation who does not eventually leave these groups, whether the RCC, or Seventh Day Adventists, etc.
All Christians need to seriously examine their own faith, to see whether or not they are IN the faith to begin with. This means studying the Holy Scriptures, and not remaining slack in their responsibilities. But I have confident that all whom the Father has given to the Son will surely come to the Son, one way or the other.
“I discovered that English Evangelicals define themselves over against the Church of England. Whatever the C of E is, they aint. What Im calling Protestantism does the same with Roman Catholicism. Protestantism is a negative theology; a Protestant is a not-Catholic. Whatever Catholics say or do, the Protestant does and says as close to the opposite as he can.”
Maybe that’s how it is in England. But in the US, most protestants and evangelicals I know don’t spend much time at all thinking about the Catholic church. When it comes up, I and virtually every protestant I know think of Catholics as our brothers in Christ, despite doctrinal differences. Personally, I feel much, much more kinship with Catholics than I do with the secular world.
he obviously overlooks traditional conservative denominations.
oh well. i supose it wouldn’t have fit the story he desired to write.
Well,the author errs by making a blanket statement not all "Protestants" (whatever that term defines) are like that, however, some are -- and I know a couple personally who did that (now they are back to The Church)
you are correct that there are many non-Catholics who don't know anything about the Church, but among those are many who have perceived (wrong) ideas.
A blanket statement errs. I view Lutherans as close to us in catholicity (I prefer the term orthodoxy)
For other denominations, it depends on specifically which sub-denomination we are talking abotu
I’m gratified to hear that you personally feel the kinship. But it’s strange though that the author is ,i>Peter J. Leithart is on the pastoral staff of Trinity Reformed Church in Moscow, Idaho, and senior fellow of theology and literature at New St. Andrews College</i>
others require more.
This is different for different people -- but Jesus opens His hands for all
“Personally, I feel much, much more kinship with Catholics than I do with the secular world.”
Agreed, and it’s because there isn’t the history of sectarian violence in this country that beset Europe for hundreds of years. The pilgrims that left England to come here fled persecution from the Church of England, not the Roman Catholic church.
“I view Lutherans as close to us in catholicity (I prefer the term orthodoxy)”
The official view is something like “well, they’re pretty close”, but they aren’t considered Catholic by any stretch of the imagination. The liturgy is deemed similar enough, but if you were to go up and take the Lord’s Supper in a Lutheran church, your church would view that as illicit. Nor is a Catholic priest allowed to serve communion to a Lutheran in a Catholic church. So, clearly, you can’t really view them as true brethren, if you can’t share the most basic expression of Christian unity.
As for your personal view, what does that matter? Catholicism is a rigidly dogmatic sect. If your personal opinion differs from the church, then you yourself are voicing unorthodoxy, and so you can’t speak for Catholics if that is the case.
1/6th of the world's population as Christian? I don't think so.
A matter of semantics I think. Obviously protest-ants are “protesting” against Catholicism, but that kind of anti-catholiticism has been on the decline for centuries - after all the behaviors of the Catholic Church that inspired it have also sharply declined (thank goodness).
I’m English and I live in England and it certainly isnt how it is. My experience (and thoughts on the matter) are exactly the same as yours.
At this point in life I would be worried if I stopped being criticized.
Among the Baptists I’ve met, I’ve never encountered anyone who gave significant thought to Catholic theology, unless they had a Catholic neighbor or coworker. In 40 years of listening to sermons, I don’t think I’ve ever heard the Catholic Church mentioned. It may have been at some point somewhere, but it certainly was NEVER the subject of a sermon. I’ve never heard it mentioned in doctrinal discussions.
In terms of what to believe, the discussion always centers on “What does the Bible say?”, not, “What do Catholics think?”
The idea that we define ourselves as ‘the opposite of Catholicism’ is ludicrous.
I always thought reformed Catholics became Protestants, not the other way around. At least that’s what it used to mean.
Wiki lists Christians as 2.1B (which is around 1/3 world population), Muslims at 1.5B, Hindus at 1.2B, etc.
Huge disagreement as to how to count “believers.” Who qualifies? But that applies to all groups, not just Christians.
Accurate insofar as the fact goes that all non-Catholic, non-Orthodox groups that claim to be "Christian" are classified as Protestant.
As a group they otherwise have very little in common.
Reformational Catholic is what we call Nancy Pelosi Catholic, or Cafeteria Catholic....you believe what you want to and keep the Catholic in your title - like “our” universities.
Nothing new under the sun, even heresies splitting up.
“The idea that we define ourselves as the opposite of Catholicism is ludicrous.”
No, actually it makes perfect sense historically. The problem is that Protestants in America today have a difficult time seeing it because this was always a Protestant establishment.
Move to Retry Leithart
Friday, May 10, 2013, 5:13 PM
Matthew Schmitz | @matthewschmitz
“The chief prosecutor in Peter Leitharts recently concluded heresy trial stunned many by converting to Roman Catholicism shortly after bringing his prosecution. Now some are citing his conversion as reason to declare a mistrial:”
Is Against Christianity Against Christianity (video interviews)
To say someone who never thinks about Catholicism defines themselves as “Whatever Catholics say or do, the Protestant does and says as close to the opposite as he can” is just stupid. Someone who never thinks about A cannot be striving to be the opposite of A.
Baptists try to follow the Bible. We never discuss what Catholicism is, nor does anyone I’ve met in 40 years CARE. The ONLY standard I’ve ever heard discussed in Baptist discussions on what we should believe is “What does the Bible say”.
Sorry, but our theological world doesn’t revolve around you. In terms of defining what we should accept or reject, you don’t even exist. You might as well suggest we are trying to be different from Hinduism.
Peter J. Leithart / First Things / Douglas Wilson PING
Catholicism is not a sect, and while it is rigid in Christ's teachings, the teaching on the Lutherans is: Their communions can be genuine spiritual encounters with Christ.
We share with them in the basic expression of Christian unity -- prayer to the One Lord, God and Savior Jesus Christ
>> Protestantism ought to give way to Reformational catholicism. Like a Protestant, ... he insists that salvation is a sheer gift of God received by faith and confesses that all tradition must be judged by Scripture, <<
On these two points, he would also find himself in accord with Catholicism. Catholics reject sola fide, in part, because faith comes from grace, and necessarily accompanies works; Catholics reject semipelagianism that holds otherwise. Catholics also judge all tradition against scripture; the distinction with Protestants is that they interpret scripture in the light of tradition, as opposed to, as this author justly condemns, a soteriology that presumes that if the Catholics believe it, it must be wrong.
When I was a kid, I decided that the best definition of Protestant was a Christian who was not Catholic or Orthodox.
While that may seem simplistic, I still sort of see it that way. The writer is correct in the meaning of the word “Protestant”. It is a negative term and has no meaning other than as a protest against the RC Church.
For that reason plus the lack of any central organization, once the Reformation occurred, it “went wild”, in that it spawned new churches/faith groups with ministers who went out on their own if they found even one piece of the Biblical interpretation that was in conflict with that of the minister. That is why there are thousands of denominations now.
Depends on the person. Some of the most fervent and holiest people I knew were simple illiterate folks who just heard the Word of God and believed
While it took people with an education to translate to our language,s that is appreciated but we can do the rest for our selves.
I suggest that you read this article:
So many seem to think that the essence of being Protestant is to conscientiously object to what is or was Roman Catholic. A little history and a little linguistic research shows Protestant to be a much more positive word, referring to what the original Protestants stood for rather than what they stood against....
....Few churches ever adopted the name Protestant. The most commonly adopted designations were rather evangelical and reformed. ... [W]hen the word Protestant came into currency in England (in Elizabethan times), its accepted significance was not objection but avowal or witness or confession (as the Latin protestari meant also to profess).
-- from the thread History Lesson: Positively Protestant
as I said Well,the author errs by making a blanket statement. Not all "Protestants" are like that, however, some are -- and I know a couple personally who did that (now they are back to The Church)
The two that I did know were Assemblies of God at that point, then they jumped 4 or 5 times to various other groups and finally came back
i have no doubt that some non-Catholics do not define themselves as "the opposite of Catholics", but I know personally that some DO define themselves that way, so the author is wrong to give a blanket definition either way, just as you or I would be.
Baptists try to follow the Bible. We never discuss what Catholicism is, nor does anyone Ive met in 40 years CARE. The ONLY standard Ive ever heard discussed in Baptist discussions on what we should believe is What does the Bible say.
Catholicism is not an issue to Baptists, they do not spend any time or effort on it.
Why should they?
“We never discuss what Catholicism is, nor does anyone Ive met in 40 years CARE...”
Just search ‘independent Baptist Catholic tracts.’ I mean, have you ever walked out of your church after services and the cars in the lot have tracts specifically about the faith you belong to on the windshields? That’s caring a heck of a lot in my book, I mean what else would it be called? I don’t think it is a high %, but at least some Baptists care a heck of a lot.
“well, they are considered true brethren. And we can share the basic expression which is praying together.”
You can pray with a Muslim, so you’re just making me chuckle at this point. If you considered them true brethren, then your church would have no problem with you sharing the “family meal” with them.
“Catholicism is not a sect, and while it is rigid in Christ’s teachings, the teaching on the Lutherans is: Their communions can be genuine spiritual encounters with Christ.”
Call it what you want, but you are misleadingly leaving out a very relevant portion of your church’s teachings on this matter. You acknowledge that there could be something genuine there, but you can’t participate in it together:
“Ecclesial communities derived from the Reformation and separated from the Catholic Church, “have not preserved the proper reality of the Eucharistic mystery in its fullness, especially because of the absence of the sacrament of Holy Orders.” It is for this reason that Eucharistic intercommunion with these communities is not possible for the Catholic Church. However these ecclesial communities, “when they commemorate the Lord’s death and resurrection in the Holy Supper ... profess that it signifies life in communion with Christ and await his coming in glory.” (Catechism of the Catholic Church, number 1400)
“Because Catholics believe that the celebration of the Eucharist is a sign of the reality of the oneness of faith, life, and worship, members of those churches with whom we are not yet fully united are ordinarily not admitted to Holy Communion. Eucharistic sharing in exceptional circumstances by other Christians requires permission according to the directives of the diocesan bishop and the provisions of canon law. (canon 844 § 4)”
Catholicism is not an issue to Baptists, they do not spend any time or effort on it.
Why should they?
I don,t know, i did not make that statement.
I’ve heard the general claim that “Protestant” meant “one who professes,” and have generally accepted it as true. However, checking with on-line translators, that seems largely false.
“Protestari” means “to protest.”
“Protest” can also be translated as “recluso,” “acclamo,” and others.
“To profess” is “confitentur,” (as in, “confess”) or “profiteor,” as in (”to promote a belief.”
HOWEVER, I say only LARGELY false: the 12th translation in Google of “profiteor” was “protest.” But in those contexts, the correlated words all had the modern connotation of “protest” rejected by your source: “recuso” (”refuse”), “acclamo” (”object”), “interpello,” (”reject”), “intercedo,” etc. (Google find correlated words to serve the function of a thesaurus.) So even if you accept the argument that “protest” was a translation of “profiteor,” in those contexts where profiteor was translated as “protest,” the meaning of “protest” was, indeed, more likely “to object” than “to confess.”
So, while the article could possibly be somewhat accurate, it’s hard to believe that even in those days, the term “protestant” lacked any connotation of objection. Indeed, “Protestant” was rejected by many Anglicans precisely because they did NOT see themselves as protesting against the Catholic church (as they saw Calvinists and Lutherans), but rather re-establishing a Church of England which they said had existed in the same manner of independence from Rome as had the Orthodox churches.
(In this, they have their history precisely backwards, however: St. Augustine of Canterbury established the Church of England specifically to fulfill the wishes of Rome to provide an educational establishment with which to counter the monks of Ireland, which had lapsed into semipelagianism.)
There are all sorts of Baptists. I’ve had some Baptist congregations tell me I’m a pervert for preferring a modern translation to the KJV. Oh well.
**Protestantism ought to give way to Reformational catholicism.**
I think it slowly is happening. Anyone else?
Absolutely, usually these types of Baptists hold the majority of Baptists as being flawed, at least from what I have observed. But I don’t know that they have/use/order so many tracts specifically about them, or take time to visit their parking lots to put them under windshields.
I also think for me it poses questions of history as it relates to foundation which is barely touched on in this article.
The first being the true origins of each 'faction'--origins or Catholicism, origins or the Church or England, origins or Evangelicalism, origins of Reformed Catholicism (which is a new concept proposed in this article--to me. However it was not clearly differentiated in the article from Catholicism itself only in relationship to Protestants and Evangelicals.)
Secondarily this article for me also begs the question or history of text (i.e bible and its origins and varied interpretations.) Since Evangelicals place such heavy emphasis on biblical interpretation this latter question is a defining question. After all didn't the bible ultimately originate (besides the blatant response of God himself) but text selected, gathered and organized by the Catholic church--the origin of the text to begin with. The answer to that question in my opinion has a profound influence on both religions as they related to one another.
In my opinion and experience that many new things and ideas build upon and also more importantly form out of REACTION to the old. The chaotic and rebellious 1960's springing from more venerable 1950's is an example. The first baby boomers REACTING to the greatest generation (their parents). In my opinion one need look at the first of each new generation to truly discover its origin. For instance the latter baby boomers were mainly copying the initial rebels of the baby boomer. The initial ones were really where the theoretical philosophy can be discovered. THe latter group imitating came from trend established by the first.
Thus it is my thought that in the same way one can look at Christian 'factions' and their history. Of course this is just one perspective and way of looking at the topic. Yet I do believe this is way REACTION is brought up in the article because the truth is many things are formed initially in reaction whether the latter group understands this practical reality or not.
In Defense of the Papacy: 9 Reasons True Christians Follow the Pope
The Four Pillars of the Christian Life
Fragments of Catholic Truth: Yes to Christ, No to the Church?
The Uniqueness of Christianity: 12 Objections Answered
The Church The Bride of Christ
Catholic Identity Once Again
Essays for Lent: The Church
Woe to the Solitary Man A Brief Meditation on our Need for the Church
Jesus and His Church Are One
How Old Is Your Church?
nice conclusion :).
and in the end THIS is what is most important and must be remember and acted upon by all. IMHO
I think it’s slowly happening too, and it’s a good thing.
Progress is rarely, if not never made by telling people what they “lack”, rather the first step to true progress is by listening first and then responding with “I like that too”. And then building from there.
This is, I believe, what our Holy Father is proposing now. To go to people where they are, speak and listen to them first on their “terms”. Then, after finding something which is shared in common, working together to create something new for them; not actively seeking to destroy something in their lives (even if that something is against them).
Love doesn’t destroy for its own sake, for the sake of destruction only. Love always seeks to create something new, something better because it is an overflowing gift from God, who is Love, and thus the Creator. None of us would even be here if it weren’t for this true Love.
If anyone truly wants to be an instrument of His Love we must remember that.
Simply put, it never reached the nationalist levels it did in say, Germany (or Spain for the Catholics).
So at that point, it is a moot point. It isn't a “protest” anymore.
I went into a huge Christian bookstore the other day looking for a decal of a fish to put on the truck. I found it. As a matter of fact I found everything imaginable that dealed with Christianity. I also found books on every religion in the world. They sold the Koran and had many books on the history of Islam. They had books on Buddism. They had books on Mormans. They had books on every protestant faith you could think. What they didn’t have was the first Catholic bible or anything else to do with Catholicism. Nothing, not the first thing. No New American Bible, no RSV Bible, no Douay Rheims Bible, no Ignatius Bible. About the only Bible they had was the NKJV protestant bible. Also the Book of Morman and the Koran and every other type of faith you could think of, except Catholicism. As I was paying for the fish decal I asked the young lady behind the counter did they sell crucifixes; that I had seen plenty of crosses but no crucifixes. She looked at me and said “Christ came down from the cross”. I paid for my decal and left the store.
To say that the vast majority of protestants don’t consider Catholics as christians is an understatement. If the items sold in that huge Christian store are an indication protestants consider Muslims closer to Christianity that Catholics.