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» Ship of Fools   » Ship's Locker   » Limbo   » Purgatory: What Is A Christian? (Page 2)

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Source: (consider it) Thread: Purgatory: What Is A Christian?
Karl: Liberal Backslider
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# 76

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IIRC, Jesus says both. Those who are not for us are against us, AND those who are not against us are for us.

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Might as well ask the bloody cat.

Posts: 17938 | From: Chesterfield | Registered: May 2001  |  IP: Logged
Alaric the Goth
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# 511

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I have a long 'love/hate' relationship with Catholics/Catholicism. My first ever 'best friend' was the Catholic lad next door, and I didn't understand why he had to go to a different (infant) school because of it.

I was influenced by a small amount of anti-Catholic prejudice over the following years, partly because of a relative of mine telling a story of how a Catholic had called her a 'heretic' when she had made a friendly comment (at a Catholic funeral) about how there was little difference between the Mass and (Anglican) Communion.

At University, one of the first friends I made was a Catholic, and through him I became an 'honorary member' of CathSoc, the student Catholic society, going along to their 'pub socials'!

Round about the same time, I was 'finding' evangelical Christianity, and became a regular Christian Union attender. One of the more alcohol-loving CathSoc members thought I was a most unusual phenomenon - a beer-drinking CU member happy to associate with Catholics!

But I also 'got hold of' anti-Catholic writings soon after this (the sort Mr Paisley might approve of), and was definitely influenced by them for a while.

Meanwhile, a friendship was developing with a Catholic who was also a CU member, and a fellow poet. My understanding and acceptance of him as an individual Catholic helped counter the influence of some of the stuff I'd been reading.

I still have problems with 'Catholicism' (rather than with individual Catholics). I look at Mexico, for instance (our Minister and many young people from our church are over there at the moment). In many parts of that country, non-Catholic evangelicals are persecuted, even killed, because they 'witness' and give out Bibles, etc., and will not go along with the local customs,which seem to be a mixture of 'folk' religion, handed down since Aztec days, and Roman Catholicism.

I could think of other countries where Catholic hierarchies greatly oppose non-Catholic Christianity, or at least turn a blind eye to its persecution, whilst being complacent about age-old mixing of 'paganism' with Roman Catholicism.

And in Europe, I read that long-established Protestant churches are regarded as 'sects' in some Catholic countries.

I have just read 'The Principality and Power of Europe', an excellent book, which looks at the way Roman Catholicism is the dominant 'spiritual influence' on the development of the Eurpean Union, and the implications for us non-Catholics. And it leaves me quite concerned.

--------------------
'Angels and demons dancing in my head,
Lunatics and monsters underneath my bed' ('Totem', Rush)


Posts: 3322 | From: West Thriding | Registered: Jun 2001  |  IP: Logged
Ian Climacus

Liturgical Slattern
# 944

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I would agree with others in saying you can't make sweeping generalisations. Each denomination no doubt has Christians and non-Christians. I believe if you truly accept Jesus as your Saviour and attempt to walk in His ways to the best of your ability, then you are a Christian.

Carmel and others, I certainly hope you are not offended. I think it is a product of environment.

In secondary school I was told by a number of Catholics "Anglicanism" was not true Christianity. I was told I must be a Catholic. These sort of things grated on me, and much like Alaric - I sucked up anti-Catholic literature for a while. Luckily I had the good sense to leave it behind.

In Sydney, the evangelical Sydney diocese is very big on pointing out the errors of Catholicism (from my personal experience). Calls to convert them, convert them, convert them!

I think it is due to people's false perceptions of the Catholic church and their belief that they worship the Pope and Mary above Jesus. Leaping before they bother to look...

I have a good many Catholic friends, and with them, unlike the school colleagues, we can accept each other as Christians without resorting to name calling and low-level swipes. I pray that it could be the same with everybody. But I do feel environment plays a large part in determining people's perceptions.


Posts: 7800 | From: On the border | Registered: Jul 2001  |  IP: Logged
Astro
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# 84

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I hope that I have not given the impression that I am knocking Catholics in any way.
When I was a student the CU although led by a mainly Calvinist leadership had many catholic members (a sign of how mature the leadership was). I think it is unfortunent that Catholics often seem to live in a separate world from other christians e.g. they tend to go to catholic schools, however they have had problems with people moving to other branches of chrsitainity.

When people move house and look for a new church about 1/3 go to a church of a different denomination, however catholics do tend to stay in catholic churches unless they have an evangelical conversion. So whereas there are AnglicanBaptists like myself around you are unlikely to find, say, a CatholicMethodist, though I do know someone who went from being a Methodist to a catholic to a baptist.

As for Gill's story about France, the catholic rep on our local council of churches (or I should say churches together) was very keen to find a council of churches in or French twin town but there was not one.

Finally, favorite story, from one off the ecumnical projects in a new town, where the catholic and protestant host were hung together in the same "box" with a piece of glass separating the two. The catholic priest would have liked to put up a sign saying:

In case of unity - break glass

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if you look around the world today – whether you're an atheist or a believer – and think that the greatest problem facing us is other people's theologies, you are yourself part of the problem. - Andrew Brown (The Guardian)


Posts: 2723 | From: Chiltern Hills | Registered: May 2001  |  IP: Logged
Karl: Liberal Backslider
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# 76

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That 'box' must have been a poignant reminder of our divisions. The Host - Christ's body, divided.

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Might as well ask the bloody cat.

Posts: 17938 | From: Chesterfield | Registered: May 2001  |  IP: Logged
Amos

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# 44

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Dyfrig--re. "Churches Together"--it's very curious to see who will and who won't participate. In my town, we have a really active Churches Together group, comprising the Catholics, the Methodists, the URCs, and the CofE. The Baptists won't join us, because they say some of us are not Biblically based
I'm a bit taken aback by the number of folks gravely explaining how their views on Catholicism date from an ignorant or offensive remark made to them in their youth. It takes me back to my youth, when both Catholic and Protestant schoolmates (and one unforgettable teacher) told my sisters and me that we were Christ-killers and would burn in Hell for all eternity. Were they Christian? Yep. Did they speak for the Church, or for Christ? I tend to think not.
I agree with the person (too lazy to check back and see who) who suggested that we will know who Christ's true followers are when He comes in glory to judge the living and the dead. Until then, however, we are all of us striving, and it behoves us (can't believe I get to use that word!) to give each other the benefit of the doubt. Even if that means saying the CofE church in the next parish, which has the OHP and the weird choruses is Christian.

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At the end of the day we face our Maker alongside Jesus--ken

Posts: 7667 | From: Summerisle | Registered: May 2001  |  IP: Logged
Wood
The Milkman of Human Kindness
# 7

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And of course, that depends on wht you mean by Baptists, doesn't it?

I go to a MOR (BUGB) Baptist Church, but around here we have really strict Baptist churches (Evangelical Movement of Wales) and really really strict ones.

I've been a Christian for seven years, since uni, and until abou fou years ago, when I went out with a Catholic (who is not now my wife - I started going our with her after) I had no idea that Ctholics could be anything other than dreadful heretics.

Aound here, it's a given among all the non-conformist protestant churches I know (one I don't agree with, btw) that Catholics are somehow 'not proper Christians'.

And this is a view which is not just espoused by the fundies. Many people who are otherwise marvellous fall down on this one point.

Back in September 2000, I did the Rant of the Month, and shortly after it was printed in our church magazine. The only real objection was that I shouldn't have bigged up Mother Theresa because she 'probably wasn't a Christian'. And this was not from a rabid extremist.

People in my church support missions to Spain to save Catholics. It's really common, and among evangelicals, even thinking ones, Catholics at best aren't mentioned, and at worst are condemned.

quote:
Dyfrig said:Whilst at college, a good friend of mine nearly left a CU pryer meeting because someone else (from a strict Baptist church) prayed for the conversion of Catholics to Christianity.

Which was nothing compared to the wars our CU and Chaplaincy had when I was an undergrad.

Which was a shame. It's calmed down here, but it's still something that people have to be educated in.

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Narcissism.


Posts: 7842 | From: Wood Towers | Registered: Apr 2001  |  IP: Logged
Ignatius
Apprentice
# 1120

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What is a Christian?
Staying within the mainstream of Christianity, Roman Catholics would regard Protestants and the Orthodox as heretics, and many Anglicans and others would regard them all as equally valid Christians, but some Evangelicals and most fundamentalists wouldn't even bother with the useful term "heretic" and instead opt to say that people simply aren't Christian.
As for what constitutes a basic level of orthodoxy, I would tentatively submit the following -
sacramentally: one who has been baptised in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit since this is what unites one with Christ in His Mystical Body, the Church, and who receives Holy Communion
doctrinally: full assent to the Nicene Creed (sans filioque clause)

I think the main problem with defining "Christian" is that there are 2 basic meanings in common use:
1>one who considers himself to be, or is being raised as, a follower of Jesus of Nazereth - that includes heretics and orthodox, good and bad
2>one who will be saved at the last Judgement thru Christ's redeeming sacrifice

This confusion can probably be traced back, in part, to the argument over whether the Church is a visible body in which there are tares as well as wheat or whether it is an invisible body consisting entirely of true believers.

All would consider Roman Catholics Christians<1>. Most would consider some or most Roman Catholics to be Christians<2> (tho it cannot really be known exactly which ones), tho some would say that none of them are Christians<2>.
Considering Mormons, they too would be Christians<1> but most of those who consider them heterodox would say that, while they do not believe Mormonism to be a vehicle capable of delivering Christian<2> status [sorry for the crude and inadequate metaphor], the final status of individual Mormons (as perhaps with members of other religions) is unknown and they may well turn out as Christians<2> despite the perceived inadequacies of their form of faith.

I'm not sure whether my contribution here is of any use but I know that I have thus far managed to miss out two crucial things - faith and agape. I think the relationship between these 2 and right doctrine and right sacraments (beginning to sound a little Buddhist) causes the greatest problems in saying what a Christian is.
Perhaps the most divise issue in that respect is whether one can become a Christian initially by the Spirit coming and dwelling in one at baptism or whether it is always by an initial act of faith that one would become a Christian. Either way, tho, faith has to come about (hence Roman Catholic and Anglican Confirmation) and the relationship with God from there on is affected by the beliefs one holds and, as far as a sacramentalist like me is concerned, by one's participation in the sacraments.

When I say Christian, I tend to mean Christian<1> and I never mean Christian<2>.

Maybe, to answer this question, those of us who consider ourselves Christian should ask why we do so. I see myself as Christian because I feel Christ calling me and respond by having faith in him and following him. But I see this in a sacramental context and consider that having orthodox doctrine is important in the way it shapes the subsequant relationship...
All things flow out into mystery...


Posts: 2 | Registered: Aug 2001  |  IP: Logged
joekidd71
Apprentice
# 1093

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Not trying to be a wet blanket but could those of us who are quoting scripture please give book, chapter, verse, and version so we can play along at home.

Plus, I have a question for a catholic brother or sister. I hope it is viewed as innocently as it is posed.

Is it a stance of the Holy See that Jeus is not God? Is it common among Catholics?
I had a friend at work today who was raise catholic say He wasn't and she was raised being told so by folks and priest.

I am really curious. sincerely your ecumenically confused Brother in Christ

joekidd71

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Peace Sells but whos buyin'?


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Ingeborg S. Nordén
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# 894

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quote:
Originally posted by joekidd71:
Not trying to be a wet blanket but could those of us who are quoting scripture please give book, chapter, verse, and version so we can play along at home.

Plus, I have a question for a catholic brother or sister. I hope it is viewed as innocently as it is posed.

Is it a stance of the Holy See that Jeus is not God? Is it common among Catholics?
I had a friend at work today who was raise catholic say He wasn't and she was raised being told so by folks and priest.

I am really curious. sincerely your ecumenically confused Brother in Christ

joekidd71



Both my grandparents and my stepmother are Catholic (the latter post-Vatican II); neither of them ever said anything about Jesus' not being God, and the priests at the Masses I used to attend didn't claim that either. The priest at St. Paul's Center here in Madison certainly goes out of his way to show people that Jesus IS God, judging by the hand-painted art and slogans on the doors when major holidays roll around! If the Catholics I've encountered are typical, I'd say that your co-worker (not to mention her family and priest) are heretics from a mainstream Catholic viewpoint.


Posts: 188 | Registered: Jul 2001  |  IP: Logged
Charles
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# 357

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The beliefs of Catholics are based on the Bible and Tradition.

Any "Catholic" claiming that Christ is not God, would most certainly be running against the teachings of the Church.

It is sad that so many non-Catholics have such strange ideas of what Catholics believe.

I have always seen myself as a Christian who happened to be a Catholic. Surely this is true of a member of any other denomination, that they see themslves as Christians first?

The beliefs of Catholics are Bible based, those beliefs which are based on Tradition, are not at odds with the Bible.

This is true of the Orthodox Church and I would imagine the other pre-reformation Churches.

It was only at the time of the Reformation and afterwards, that people required that beliefs should be based on the Bible only.

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Charles


Posts: 115 | From: Blairgowrie, Perthshire, Scotland | Registered: Jun 2001  |  IP: Logged
Manx Taffy
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# 301

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quote:
Originally posted by Alaric the Goth:

I still have problems with 'Catholicism' (rather than with individual Catholics). I look at Mexico, for instance (our Minister and many young people from our church are over there at the moment). In many parts of that country, non-Catholic evangelicals are persecuted, even killed, because they 'witness' and give out Bibles, etc., and will not go along with the local customs,which seem to be a mixture of 'folk' religion, handed down since Aztec days, and Roman Catholicism.

I have just read 'The Principality and Power of Europe', an excellent book, which looks at the way Roman Catholicism is the dominant 'spiritual influence' on the development of the Eurpean Union, and the implications for us non-Catholics. And it leaves me quite concerned.


Mt Goth I must admit I have problems with a christian church "converting" other christians, presumably into "beter" christians? Surely there are other places where more important work can be done.

I am not surprised at the hostility encountered - though this does not justify killing etc if that is hapenning. Picture the reaction though if a bunch of avid catholics went to the deep South in America stating that unless people converted to the true universal church of Rome, they would be damned and in doing this they employed lots of culturally foreign methods such as parading effigies, kneeling to the host etc - I can imagine the reaction that would cause!

The catholic church from day 1 has had to encompass various cultural norms and stand points from the society into which it is trying to bring the universal message of Christ - this started in 1st century Greece. To my mind this adds to the richness and variety of worship and shades of belief. The alternative is that we expect everyone to adopt a western rational view of the world or forget it. In reality people from South America, Asia etc have different philosophical viewpoints and I am sure Christianity is big enough to absorb such outlooks within a Christian framework.

Are you serious in believing the EU is being inordinately influenced by the catholic Church. It would nice to think there is some Christian spiritual influemce on that body but I doubt there is. If there is then why not the probably the largest denomination within the member states


Posts: 397 | From: Isle of Man | Registered: May 2001  |  IP: Logged
Alaric the Goth
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# 511

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originally posted by Manx Taffy:
quote:
admit I have problems with a christian church "converting" other christians, presumably into "beter" christians?

The key question is 'are the people concerned Christians?'

I watched an excellent programme last night about how the Mayan civilisation came to an end, and it showed the modern descendants of Mayas in the Yucatan region of Mexico praying to (I quote) 'the gods' for them to send rain. Th ceremony was a mixture of some Catholic ritual and a lot of pagan stuff from the remote past. All very interesting, you mihght say, but, IMO, not Christian. In South Mexico there's a lot of this sort of thing, with deliberate intoxication a part of a lot of the ceremomies. I think it is necesary to show these people the Gospel - I thought this before the programme and it went some way to confirm it.

As for a Catholic European Union, I cannot remember the detail of the very cogent arguments in 'The Principality and Power of Europe' as to how the Catholic church is working to achieve something like a 21st century equivalent of the Holy Roman Empire. I would recommend you read it. The book is not some 'mad fundie rubbish' - it is well researched, non-sensationalist, and has a foreword by Viscount Tonypandy (George Thomas, the former Speaker of the House of Commons), who is convinced of the significance and seriousness of its conclusions.

--------------------
'Angels and demons dancing in my head,
Lunatics and monsters underneath my bed' ('Totem', Rush)


Posts: 3322 | From: West Thriding | Registered: Jun 2001  |  IP: Logged
Tubbs

Miss Congeniality
# 440

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quote:
I'm a bit taken aback by the number of folks gravely explaining how their views on Catholicism date from an ignorant or offensive remark made to them in their youth.

This is what I don't "get". I'm sure that the people who use this as a justification for their anti-Catholic sentiments [okay prejudice!] wouldn't say stuff like, "I don't like blacks / women / gays" because of incident x when I was younger or stuff I'd been told and I read books that confirm this. But I've got friends who are Catholic and they're okay. Oh please! Have you any idea how patronising you sound!

It's a bit of a tangent but it does make me wonder why this kind of thing is seen as acceptable / excusable when said about one group but not about another.

Back to the point …

One of the large churches in my locality refused to join Churches Together on theological grounds as they thought the wordings of one of the clauses was too vague to be excused. [Can't remember which bit but it was the bit that enabled Catholics to join CT]. There was a fairly dramatic re-think / large bun fight when the church schools announced a new admission policy - and refused to even consider applications from children whose churches who weren't members of Churches Together.


The popular definations of “a Christian” in the UK is someone who was Christened when they were a baby and may have been Confirmed / had First Communion even if they couldn’t tell you where their local church was and has never darkened its door in living memory. They would probably state they were either CofE or Catholic [lapsed or non-practicing if asked to qualify]. And they would expect the Church to be there for them for the big life events – hatching, batching and despatching.

Someone who goes to Church – even if they have no active faith of their own and only go out of duty or because their parents make them. [And these exist across all demoninations].

The proper defination is someone who follows Christ and tries to live by his teaching.

Tubbs

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"It's better to keep your mouth shut and be thought a fool than open it up and remove all doubt" - Dennis Thatcher. My blog. Decide for yourself which I am


Posts: 12701 | From: Someplace strange | Registered: Jun 2001  |  IP: Logged
Polly

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# 1107

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Not sure how we got from What is a Christian to Are Catholics Christians however...

Many people in this country would say that they are christian because their parents were/are.

If your parents brought you up in C of E church you were probably christened and then confirmed and if they were catholics you may have gone through a "formal" proceedure as well.

The point being is that no proceedure makes you a Christian no matter which denomination you are ( yes charismatics have similar traditions etc as well).

So to make a sweeping statement that one denomination or another aren't christians isn't fair.

My wife can take commuinion as a catholic but goes to a baptist church like me but she went to a C of E beforehand and I went to a charasmatic church. So to say that either of our pasts make our faith void now is rather judgemental ( aren't there warnings about that).

Whether you are catholic, raving fundy ( my wife's favourite phrase for me) or a baptist surely it is up to you to get right with God and your responsibility to do this no matter what church commuinty you belong to.


Posts: 560 | From: St Albans | Registered: Aug 2001  |  IP: Logged
strathclydezero

# 180

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Lets not go down the Christian = middle class Christian line. Remember that people come from a wide variety of backgrounds / cultures.

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All religions will pass, but this will remain:
simply sitting in a chair and looking in the distance.
V V Rozanov

Posts: 3276 | From: The Near East | Registered: May 2001  |  IP: Logged
RuthW

liberal "peace first" hankie squeezer
# 13

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Polly: if you'll have another look at the first post, this thread started out asking why anyone would ask whether Catholics are Christians.

Tubbs: I don't think anyone's said they got anti-Catholic (or anti-anyone else) ideas from one remark. One remark in childhood can of course make a big impression, but that generally happens because of the accompanying background. If, for example, you don't as a child know anyone belonging to a certain group of people, and you hear one thing said, it's going to kind of stand out, especially if there are cultural tensions in the background. I think what we're exploring here is how much prejudice is fostered by ignorance.

Alaric: Yes, there is a lot of religious syncretism in southern Mexico (and in Guatemala, where I saw it firsthand in and around Chichicastenango -- hope I'm spelling that right) and yeah, it's pretty weird. I don't think it's grounds for sending missionaries to Mexico, though -- there are plenty of Christians both Protestant (more of these than you might think, with numbers growing) and Catholic in Mexico and Central America who can and do bear witness to the Gospel. I also think there's a big plank-in-the-eye issue here, considering how many of the "religious" practices we ourselves hold dear are purely cultural.

If the RC Church wants to have a renewed version of the Holy Roman Empire, they really need to tell the Pope. I don't think what he's done and preached over the last twenty years or so has in any way pointed toward that sort of thing.


Posts: 24453 | From: La La Land | Registered: Apr 2001  |  IP: Logged
PaulTH*
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# 320

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There are two ways of looking at the subject"are you a christian?" You can call yourself a christian because you believe the tenets of the faith as defined by the church, or you can try to go down the road which Jesus mapped out for us. His road was radical.strait and narrow, because it involves the total dedication to God at the expense of all wordly cares.

In that renunciation of the wordly, is contained the repentance when we know we have failed and the immediate rededication of the self to God.

A Christian is in my opinion, a person who follows the teachings of Christ. The Catholic bashing on this forum is uncalled for. I choose not to be a catholic,being a C of E member, but the Catholic Church is by far the largest Christian movement on earth
and it is unrealistic for any protestant movements to say they have a better grasp of truth.

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Yours in Christ
Paul


Posts: 6387 | From: White Cliffs Country | Registered: May 2001  |  IP: Logged
Bob R
Apprentice
# 322

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Originally posted by Charles
quote:
The Pope never takes precedence over Christ!


Maybe not Charles but there are more than a few doubful practices in the Roman Catholic church. For example the elevation of the Virgin Mary a co-mediatrix with Christ. The doctrine of the assumption of Mary, the doctrine of the perpetual virginity of Mary, the whole business of the veneration of Mary that is bordering on worship.

Add to this catalogue of error a few other heretical practices like the Mass and the shrine worship and the "magic charms" and the "holy" water and the images etc., etc and it is no wonder that some people are confused about whether roman Catholics are Christians.

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I beseech you, in the bowels of Christ, think it possible you may be mistaken.

Oliver Cromwell in a letter to the General Assembly of the Church of Scotland, 3 Aug 1650


Posts: 43 | From: Greenock | Registered: May 2001  |  IP: Logged
RuthW

liberal "peace first" hankie squeezer
# 13

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quote:
Originally posted by Bob R:
Maybe not Charles but there are more than a few doubful practices in the Roman Catholic church. For example the elevation of the Virgin Mary a co-mediatrix with Christ. The doctrine of the assumption of Mary, the doctrine of the perpetual virginity of Mary, the whole business of the veneration of Mary that is bordering on worship.

Add to this catalogue of error a few other heretical practices like the Mass and the shrine worship and the "magic charms" and the "holy" water and the images etc., etc and it is no wonder that some people are confused about whether roman Catholics are Christians.


Host hat ON

You're on probation as of right now. This is simply not allowed here. It is very much against the spirit of debate and conversation between people who are mostly Christians for anyone to come in and label a huge number of Christians heretics.

You don't have to agree with Catholic doctrines and practices or like them, but you do have to show respect for the people who hold those doctrines and engage in those practices.

An apology is in order.


Posts: 24453 | From: La La Land | Registered: Apr 2001  |  IP: Logged
joekidd71
Apprentice
# 1093

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[Sarcastically flirting with danger]

It's all relative anyway isn't it.

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Peace Sells but whos buyin'?


Posts: 25 | Registered: Aug 2001  |  IP: Logged
joekidd71
Apprentice
# 1093

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Last post was meant as a joke.

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Peace Sells but whos buyin'?

Posts: 25 | Registered: Aug 2001  |  IP: Logged
joekidd71
Apprentice
# 1093

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Something just struck me RuthW, not lightening. Could you unpack the "mostly" Christians phrase. Since this kinda fits the subject anyway.

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Peace Sells but whos buyin'?

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Nunc Dimittis
Seamstress of Sound
# 848

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But, Charles, the Pope has a different function to the Archbish of Canterbury. The Archbish is a figurehead. He has authority in his own Diocese and as chairperson of the General Synod of his province, but no statement he makes is binding on the rest of Anglicans throughout the world.

The Pope on the other hand has the authority in the Catholic church to decree what people throughout the world should believe about certain things. Very different.

All the catholics I have met are christians. I have more reason to question whether some protestants are christians than most catholics. IMO all who are extremists in a religion by definition have ceased to practice "true religion", because their extremist views have become their religion.

I think I'll jump on the bandwagon and state unequivocally that a Christian is someone who tries to put Christ at the centre of their lives.

What the implications of this are, is up to the individual to realise. Ultimately we should not be attempting to judge whether X Y or Z person is "saved" because the only effective Judge of what goes on in that person's being is the God who made that person.


Posts: 9515 | From: Delta Quadrant | Registered: Jul 2001  |  IP: Logged
RuthW

liberal "peace first" hankie squeezer
# 13

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quote:
Originally posted by joekidd71:
Something just struck me RuthW, not lightening. Could you unpack the "mostly" Christians phrase. Since this kinda fits the subject anyway.

Most of the people on these boards call themselves Christians.


Posts: 24453 | From: La La Land | Registered: Apr 2001  |  IP: Logged
joekidd71
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# 1093

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Sorry I just assumed we all called ourselves christians. WOOOOOSH!.

Joe just split so he could go make some posts on an islamic board.

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Peace Sells but whos buyin'?


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joekidd71
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# 1093

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I have fallen into the realms of sarcasm so I will make my last post for this thread then I will sit back and feel the tomatoes and cabbages hit me.

I will agree a WHOLE bunch of evangelical thought needs reconstructed. But there is a lot of people, a lot whom I call friend, who want to knock it all down and replace it. Not with a new structure but with legos so we can tear it apart and make it look like what we want when it suits us.

This is not neccesarily a slam on anyone here. It is merely a rant. I spent two years deconstructing and then an entire year reconstrucing. I am beyond it. I love you all as fellow humans and those who call themselves christians even if I disagree with your beliefs I call you brother and sister because I have no basis to do otherwise. Please do as I do and keep seeking. God loves sincerity and I think honors it. Look for truth it is out there and it is not in the eye of the beholder.

God Bless

JESUS KICKS BOOOTAY!

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Peace Sells but whos buyin'?


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Ingeborg S. Nordén
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# 894

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quote:
Originally posted by joekidd71:
Sorry I just assumed we all called ourselves christians. WOOOOOSH!.

Joe just split so he could go make some posts on an islamic board.


I know of at least two non-Christians here other than myself; their usual screen names should make it clear which two people I mean. However, I am still interested in reasonable, civilized theological debate: I don't have to follow a given religion to discuss its teachings on that level.

In general, I agree with the broadest definitions of "Christian" given here: someone who professes to follow Jesus' teachings. Whether self-styled Christians actually practice what they preach is another thread, however. (For the sake of preventing a flame war, I won't criticize any particular sect as "not following Jesus".)


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Charles
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# 357

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Bob R:
-------------------------------------------
Maybe not Charles but there are more than a few doubful practices in the Roman Catholic church. For example the elevation of the Virgin Mary a co-mediatrix with Christ. The doctrine of the assumption of Mary, the doctrine of the perpetual virginity of Mary, the whole business of the veneration of Mary that is bordering on worship.
--------------------------------------------

Bob, I am sure you know that the co-mediatrix issue is not orthodox Catholic teaching.

Mary, as with the saints, is held in great respect as a worthy example to us all as she is in the Orthodox, Lutheran, Anglican and other Churches.

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Charles


Posts: 115 | From: Blairgowrie, Perthshire, Scotland | Registered: Jun 2001  |  IP: Logged
Bob R
Apprentice
# 322

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The host has slapped my wrist by saying: -

quote:
You don't have to agree with Catholic doctrines and practices or like them, but you do have to show respect for the people who hold those doctrines and engage in those practices.

An apology is in order.


I am at a loss to understand why I need to apologise for having an opinion, after all is that not the whole point of a discussion board?

It is my honest and carefully considered opinion that the Roman Catholic Mass is heresy. I also think that many of their other practices are at best unecessary acretions and at worst have a tendency to detract from the centricity of Christ.

If I were to stifle these honestly held opinions for the sake of political correctness I would not be showing any respect for the readers of this forum. We are all surely adult and can take criticism of our views without resorting to banning each other?

I am not alone in holding these views. Many Godly men and women have also held similar views and have been persecuted to the point of martyrdom in defence of those views. We forget our history at our peril!

That is not to say that I do not love Roman Catholics. If Christ has loved me, even me, enough to suffer on my behalf and to take the ridicule and beating and scourging and worse, the spiritual torture of separation from His Father, then it behoves me well to show the same kind of self-sacrificing love to all.

Loving someone how3ver is not the same thing as avoiding offence. We are called to speak the truth in love. If I tell an addict that it is OK to continue to drink or snort or whatever so as to avoid upsetting him am I doing him a service or a disservice?

Of course I do not want to deliberately cause pain. I recognise that to some people such outspoken views are both a shock and the cause of pain to them. If you are feeling pain at my remarks then I am truly sorry to be the cause of that pain and wish that I could share it with you.

I am quite prepared to debate these views with anybody, after all that is why we visit this forum is it not?

I know that this is a bit off the subject of the thread and for that I do apologise.

YIC

Bob R

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I beseech you, in the bowels of Christ, think it possible you may be mistaken.

Oliver Cromwell in a letter to the General Assembly of the Church of Scotland, 3 Aug 1650


Posts: 43 | From: Greenock | Registered: May 2001  |  IP: Logged
Ingeborg S. Nordén
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# 894

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So many churches are sure that their rituals and traditions have at least some Biblical basis that I don't think pointing fingers at one denomination is fair. But when the Bible describes Judgment Day, it doesn't say anything about the sheep and goats being separated because of rituals, Bible interpretations, or the like. Both sides acknowledge Jesus' lordship in that passage--but what decides their final fate is the actions those people perform or neglect in the ordinary world. No oral exam in theology--just a look at self-styled Christians' hearts and hands to see if they were worthy of the name.
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RuthW

liberal "peace first" hankie squeezer
# 13

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Host hat still on ...

quote:
Originally posted by Bob R:
I am at a loss to understand why I need to apologise for having an opinion, after all is that not the whole point of a discussion board?

You don't have to apologize for having an opinion. This is, however, a debate board -- you are not allowed to make controversial assertions of opinion that are bound to give offense without making any effort to back up those assertions.

quote:
It is my honest and carefully considered opinion that the Roman Catholic Mass is heresy. I also think that many of their other practices are at best unecessary acretions and at worst have a tendency to detract from the centricity of Christ.

Again, these are simply assertions. You have offered no argument or evidence to support your claims.

quote:
If I were to stifle these honestly held opinions for the sake of political correctness I would not be showing any respect for the readers of this forum. We are all surely adult and can take criticism of our views without resorting to banning each other?

You haven't offered any criticism. You've offered name-calling.

quote:
I am not alone in holding these views. Many Godly men and women have also held similar views and have been persecuted to the point of martyrdom in defence of those views. We forget our history at our peril!

And many Catholics have likewise been persecuted to the point of martyrdom in defense of their beliefs. This is hardly evidence that you are right and they are wrong.

quote:
That is not to say that I do not love Roman Catholics. If Christ has loved me, even me, enough to suffer on my behalf and to take the ridicule and beating and scourging and worse, the spiritual torture of separation from His Father, then it behoves me well to show the same kind of self-sacrificing love to all.

Loving someone how3ver is not the same thing as avoiding offence. We are called to speak the truth in love. If I tell an addict that it is OK to continue to drink or snort or whatever so as to avoid upsetting him am I doing him a service or a disservice?


So Catholicism is like an addiction? No, you didn't say that, but what you're saying is they need help and you're in a position to give it. This is still nothing but name-calling, even if you do couch it in terms of love.

quote:
Of course I do not want to deliberately cause pain. I recognise that to some people such outspoken views are both a shock and the cause of pain to them. If you are feeling pain at my remarks then I am truly sorry to be the cause of that pain and wish that I could share it with you.

I'll take this as an apology. But if you recognize that such views give pain to others when expressed, it behooves you to take that into consideration before you express them.

quote:
I am quite prepared to debate these views with anybody, after all that is why we visit this forum is it not?

I know that this is a bit off the subject of the thread and for that I do apologise.


If you would like to debate whether or not certain practices of the Roman Catholic Church are heretical, please do start a new thread. If you start such a thread, present the reasons for your views in your opening post, or else the thread will quickly be a candidate for Hell.


Posts: 24453 | From: La La Land | Registered: Apr 2001  |  IP: Logged
BigEd
Shipmate
# 1001

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A christian should not be defined by there denomination. You could look at almost every denomination today and find something "wrong" with it. when we bash each other were violating Christ command to "love one another, as I have loved you."

When I see Christ face to face, i doubt he's going to congratualtly me on the points I scored theologically , but rather how i treated my brother and sisters.


oh by the way.
The word Christian mean literly Christ-one.
One who is like Christ.

[inserted 'not' into first sentance at posters' request]

[ 13 August 2001: Message edited by: Alan Cresswell ]

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"and now these three remain: faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love." 1 corinthians 13:13


Posts: 54 | From: Connecticut,USA | Registered: Jul 2001  |  IP: Logged
Ariel
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# 58

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I have followed this discussion with interest over the past few days and not a little disquiet. I have lived in England since 1974 and I have never experienced anti-Catholic prejudice anywhere before now.

All this squabbling about which denomination holds the truth is just a complete waste of time. I am glad there are differences because it gives us new perspectives: God is too great to be defined by any one denomination or religion, but to say that anyone is a heretic because they do not believe exactly what you believe is, frankly, childish. We ought to be working towards a common ground and defining what does make us Christians, not focusing on the negative aspects of what we dislike most about each other's faiths. I would rather hear about what people like and regard as the best points of their faiths, not what they think the negative points of other people's are. I am willing to listen to any reasonable and verifiable logical argument, but I'm not interested in unsubstantiated abuse.


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babybear
Bear faced and cheeky with it
# 34

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quote:
Originally posted by BigEd:
A christian should be defined by their denomination.

What on earth makes you think that? Is there anyone here who can honestly say that they agree with every part of their denomination's ritual or dogma?

bb


Posts: 13287 | From: Cottage of the 3 Bears (and The Gremlin) | Registered: May 2001  |  IP: Logged
Tubbs

Miss Congeniality
# 440

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quote:
Tubbs: I don't think anyone's said they got anti-Catholic (or anti-anyone else) ideas from one remark. One remark in childhood can of course make a big impression, but that generally happens because of the accompanying background. If, for example, you don't as a child know anyone belonging to a certain group of people, and you hear one thing said, it's going to kind of stand out, especially if there are cultural tensions in the background. I think what we're exploring here is how much prejudice is fostered by ignorance.

Hi RuthW ...

Suspect that we've demonstrated the answer to that question is lots and lots.

What I can't see is why one group of Christians sees nothing wrong in holding such negative opionions about another group of Christians in the 21st Century?!

For every example of dodgy belief, practice and behaviour within one demonination there's an equally valid example of the same in the others

Tubbs

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"It's better to keep your mouth shut and be thought a fool than open it up and remove all doubt" - Dennis Thatcher. My blog. Decide for yourself which I am


Posts: 12701 | From: Someplace strange | Registered: Jun 2001  |  IP: Logged
Polly

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# 1107

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Wow are we still debating whether Catholics are Christians??

I have grown up in a Charasmatic church background so I sort of understand why some people hae reservations about some of the more established church denominations.

I don't always agree with them however a sort of explanation from what I have observed.

Traditions are everywhere including the church. Some are good some are bad. Both the Catholic church and C of E have heaps of traditions and some people assume that all these traditions and practices are ok and we should protect them others want to change things on a regular basis.

If a practice or tradition becomes a distrcation then maybe we should consider whether it is still benficial to have it but this has to be done by the church concerned rather than someone else who disagrees with it.

To me the position of Mary in the Catholic church seems to take the focus from Christ but that is because I don't understand and so I am not going to slag this off.

Perhaps we should take the plank out our own eye before we publically criticise other practices.

PS

Is anyone else embarassed of teh evangelical bop??


Posts: 560 | From: St Albans | Registered: Aug 2001  |  IP: Logged
Ian Climacus

Liturgical Slattern
# 944

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Polly..."the evangelical bop"...what is that?

I am personally embarrassed (sometimes) to be a Sydney Anglican when I hear them carrying on - especially about other denominations.

I have had many an experience where fellow Christians from my church have come up to me and said, "Can you pray for my friend I am sharing the Bible with...s/he is a Catholic." I just want to choke.

I think what is needed in many places (Sydney esp.) is for people to think for themselves rather than lap up anti-Catholic propaganda. It is very easy to be sucked in, especially when you are being told each week fallacies about what other denominations do - and as you trust these people, you accept it without question.

I always follow the advice of the Archdeacon who used to preach at our church when we were between ministers: "Never simply accept what I say...go and look and find out for yourself." It was in reference to the Bible but I think we can equally apply it to slanderous gossip doing the rounds under the pretence of "true" Christianity.


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RuthW

liberal "peace first" hankie squeezer
# 13

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"The evangelical bop" ... sounds like a new dance craze to me! But since the evangelicals who raised me don't dance, please do explain.
Posts: 24453 | From: La La Land | Registered: Apr 2001  |  IP: Logged
Polly

Shipmate
# 1107

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Ok for all you out there who don't know what the evangelical bop is.

It helps to have some sort of happy chorus (anything from Graham Kendrick will do!!)

Then making sure you do it out of time you bounce on one foot then on the other. This can be done on the spot or over an area.

Ps

No I don't take drugs and yes I am sober!


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Karl: Liberal Backslider
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# 76

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Ah - AKA the Charismatic Two-Step!

Isn't there always some twit who notices if you aren't dancing and wonders aloud if you are truly 'released' in your worship?

[shudders]

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Might as well ask the bloody cat.


Posts: 17938 | From: Chesterfield | Registered: May 2001  |  IP: Logged
Ian M
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# 79

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I must say that when young I did construct a theory that Catholics probably weren't Christians on the basis of sundry doubtful/negative remarks about same - an accidental thing rather than a policy handed down.

It wasn't until university that I realised these Catholics did have a real faith, and a lot of the stuff we Protestants focus on as being 'Catholic' in negative ways is in many ways fairly peripheral to Catholics too: the focus being the saving grace of Christ.

Anyway, since then I have looked on as most of my close Protestant friends from college have ended up with Catholic spouses... including one who is an Anglican clergyman.

Whoever said we should be focussing on what we share, not where we differ, is spot on. "It's the same God" gets "I suppose" appended and is used as a grudging admission, where it should be the glory of it all. Unfortunately, too often (as Christians as in many other things) we seek to bolster our own position by doing down that of others.

Ian


Posts: 332 | From: Surbiton, Surrey, UK | Registered: May 2001  |  IP: Logged
Reepicheep
BANNED
# 60

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quote:
Originally posted by Bob R:
Originally posted by Charles
Maybe not Charles but there are more than a few doubful practices in the Roman Catholic church. For example the elevation of the Virgin Mary a co-mediatrix with Christ. The doctrine of the assumption of Mary, the doctrine of the perpetual virginity of Mary, the whole business of the veneration of Mary that is bordering on worship.


Add to this catalogue of error a few other heretical practices like the Mass and the shrine worship and the "magic charms" and the "holy" water and the images etc., etc and it is no wonder that some people are confused about whether roman Catholics are Christians.


RuthW - I haven't quoted your response to this, but anyway....

When I was in poland at the Taizé European meeting I wandered into a fair few RC churches. If I hadn't known better, I'd have thought they were worshipping Mary. From talking to the Eastern Europeans present, there were some seriously "dodgy" views being propounded by their priests.

At the same time though, the RC church was doing a huge amount of good with the poor, and any doubt about their christian faith as evidenced by the way they lived was misplaced.

Having read "the death cookie" and Why is mary crying? you start to see where some of the views come from in the more extreme protestant end about Christianity and catholicism.

Thing is that, sadly Chick has a valid point in there, about how attending to ritual and other things can get in the way of a relationship with Christ. But equally we can get so hung up on this "relationship" thing, we can forget about others.

Imagine this situation.

A son raves on about how much he loves his mother, and how wonderful she is. But over the course of 3 years doesn't notice how ill she has become. They talk on the phone every week, but they have no idea of what is really going on in each other's lives. Yet they are apparently a model family. Then she gets cancer, and he gets a serious mental health problem.
And they can't accept that they didn't really know each other, so they attack those that did notice first. And they keep on affirming their relationship as if they're trying to convince themselves.

In the same way, this is the relationship people on both sides have with God. And it makes them spiritually sick, such they have to attack outside.

In both cases ritual has taken the place of a relationship with God.

I'm not saying all are like this. But I thought it served as an illustration.


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Ariel
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# 58

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My view has always been that ritual is a framework constructed to help the individual reach out to God. Some people need more than others, some don't need any. There are elements of Catholicism and even Christianity I find difficult to accept, and it is very easy to get swamped by ritual and liturgy and formal prayers and lose sight of God. I do this frequently, which is why half the time I am a "lapsed" Catholic: I'm still looking, just in other places.

What kind of ritual you go for depends firstly on your upbringing, then on temperament: your parents bring you up in a certain way, maybe not to believe in God at all, but eventually you find a path that suits you. Religion is and should be a personal experience. People have different temperaments. Perhaps if I had been brought up a Protestant I would have found that satisfactory, but I think I would still have wandered. I've tried Buddhism, New Age thought, even wondered about Islam, but Catholicism is probably always going to be my home and I'm happy with that.

So for me there is no such thing as a heretic. Everybody has their own journey. The important thing is to make that journey in a spirit of sincerity and to be open to whatever experiences it brings. That includes listening to other people not only from other denominations but other religions. All the great mystical works of the major religions bear a striking similarity to each other which suggests that most of the time the only thing dividing us is language and small details.


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Reepicheep
BANNED
# 60

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quote:
Originally posted by Carmel:

So for me there is no such thing as a heretic. Everybody has their own journey. The important thing is to make that journey in a spirit of sincerity and to be open to whatever experiences it brings. That includes listening to other people not only from other denominations but other religions. All the great mystical works of the major religions bear a striking similarity to each other which suggests that most of the time the only thing dividing us is language and small details.


My view is that there are heretical catholics, protestants, pentecostals, orthodox, but seldom heretical christians. (I have problems with christianity-lite, when the teachings are followed but the divinity of Christ is questioned, but even there I can think of none off-hand I would call heretical)

I agree with you about world religions though.


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Carys

Ship's Celticist
# 78

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I think that there is such a thing as heresy, but not heretics. That is there are teachings that go against - or fall short - of Christian doctrine, but that holding such beliefs don't necessarily stop you being a Christian. We are after all saved by grace not but theology. But that might just be me making odd distinctions again.

Carys

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O Lord, you have searched me and know me
You know when I sit and when I rise


Posts: 6896 | From: Bryste mwy na thebyg | Registered: May 2001  |  IP: Logged
SteveWal
Shipmate
# 307

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On the subject of heresy - I think it was WH Auden (famous gay Christian poet, Anglo-Catholicism in fact) who said there are two types of heresy. There is heresy of belief and heresy of practice. When someone believes one thing and does another, that is heresy of practice. This can often lead to heresy of belief in those who see the church say one thing and do another.

You know - as in "God loves you" while they're burning you at the stake. Bound to make you a heretic. Or selling indulgences; or supporting slavery/racism/homophobia while saying that God came to save the world - all things that both Catholic and Protestant (and probably Orthodox) Christians have supported.

"Heresy of practice" is far more damaging, in my opinion, than "heresy of belief."

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If they give you lined paper to write on, write across the lines. (Russian anarchist saying)


Posts: 208 | From: Manchester | Registered: May 2001  |  IP: Logged
Campbellite

Ut unum sint
# 1202

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quote:
Originally posted by Tubbs:

[A] believer in Christ during Biblical times was [called a] disciple or follower. Someone who looked at the example that Jesus said and followed it to the best of their ability And that's probably the best definition - it doesn't include or exclude anyone. Which is probably why we uncomfortable with it

Tubbs


I am not at all uncomfortable with it. In fact, that is the preferred name for members of my denomination, we call ourselves "Disciples". Please see www.disciples.org

BTW, am I the only "Disciple" here?

--------------------
I upped mine. Up yours.
Suffering for Jesus since 1966.
WTFWED?


Posts: 12001 | From: between keyboard and chair | Registered: Aug 2001  |  IP: Logged
Campbellite

Ut unum sint
# 1202

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quote:
Originally posted by Karl:
That 'box' must have been a poignant reminder of our divisions. The Host - Christ's body, divided.

No, no, no, a thouand times NO!

The Body of Christ is NOT divided. The unity of the Church of Jesus Christ is a given.

It is us, prideful and sinful humans, who are divided.

--------------------
I upped mine. Up yours.
Suffering for Jesus since 1966.
WTFWED?


Posts: 12001 | From: between keyboard and chair | Registered: Aug 2001  |  IP: Logged
Charles
Shipmate
# 357

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I have been away from this board for sometime, having been on holiday, visiting among other things, Lutheran churches, which I like.

I am a 64 year old cradle Catholic (RC if you prefer). I went to a Catholic school and was brought up in my faith. At no time have I hated Protestants. At no time have I met Catholics who hate Protestants. Nor was I taught to hate Protestants.

When I did my National Service, I met Protestants, of different denominations, for the first time. I was amazed at how well versed these Protestants were in anti-Catholic propaganda. It seemed obvious to me that they had been taught these things either at school or at church. This propaganda consisted of the usual chestnuts that appear on this board and elsewhere.

Since then I have taken part in ecumenical activities in which, the members of different denominations discussed their various standpoints.

The Mass is the centre of Catholic worship, as it is with the Orthodox Church.
The Eucharistic services of the Episcopalian and Church of England, which I have experienced, are the same as the Mass as to make no real difference.
Maybe someone can explain to me in what way the Mass is heresy.


--------------------
Charles


Posts: 115 | From: Blairgowrie, Perthshire, Scotland | Registered: Jun 2001  |  IP: Logged



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