Protestants Do Not Think They are Infallible….

ARNE:  No one that I know of from any serious denomination purports in any way to ” know infallibly ” what is true, or claims any exclusive authority to understand the scriptures except the pope.  What people is trying to, is to understand the scriptures. And I think any serious person will never suggest that he or his denomination holds the whole truth exclusively to all others.

BFHU: Jesus promised to be with His Church to the end of time. He gave Peter the Keys to the Kingdom and told him that whatever he bound on earth is/would be bound in Heaven and whatever he loosed on Earth it would be loosed in Heaven. This does not mean that God was bound or loosed by Peter’s decision but that Peter’s decisions were already bound or loosed in Heaven.

We know that Peter made astounding decisions at the dawn of Christianity by doing away with circumcision, the dietary laws, and choosing a successor to Judas. How did Peter know a successor to Judas was to be found? Jesus must have told him and the rest of the apostles about succession. How did Peter know that the ancient practice of circumcision and the dietary laws, which sound like permanent ordinances in the OT, could be abolished? Jesus must have instructed him before His death. The Pope is the final authority but when he acts or teaches in union with the bishops he is also infallible.

In fact, when you or I teach the truths of the Catholic Church, we are teaching infallibly. But we do not have the gift of infallibility. And this does not mean that the Pope is therefore able to just pronounce oracles. No. This is not what infallibility means. I merely means that God will prevent the pope and/or the pope and the bishops, from ever teaching error about faith and morals to the whole Church.  You might find this post of interest in order to properly understand infallibility.—->If the Pope Is Infallible…

Look Arne, I know that Protestants would never openly claim to be able to infallibly interpret scripture. But, this is exactly what they do when they act on what they think scripture means and leave a denomination because it doesn’t agree with their  interpretation. Or, they start a new Church based on their interpretation of Scripture. Or they condemn other Christians for believing something that does not agree with their ninterpretation of scripture. They are convinced that  their interpretation of Scripture is the TRUE one and that everyone else is wrong. If this is not thinking that their  interpretation is infallible I don’t know what that would be then. They don’t claim infallibility because they KNOW Jesus did not promise every believer infallibility.

Therefore, they reason, the Holy Spirit is  infallible and they just know that the Holy Spirit is leading them and therefore it is safe to act on what they are sure is the Holy Spirit’s infallible interpretation. Now, many stop there and never second guess or wonder more deeply the implication of this belief regarding other seemingly sincere Christians. And these people manifest a pride and arrogance that does not comport with a Christian character. And it is pretty obvious that they deem themselves pretty darn infallible despite the FACT that they would never claim to be infallible. Yet they teach, act, criticize, and condemn as if they KNOW their interpretation is infallible.

But, most Protestants are troubled by the fact that many of the people in the church they left because it didn’t agree with their interpretation, or other Christians who disagree with their interpretation of scripture, or Christians who believe things that they disagree with are very loving and seemingly very sincere Christians. This gives them a lot of cognitive dissonance. Therefore, they will then in humility realize they could be wrong. Some will just try not to think about it and go on as if they were correct anyway. Some, and this is what I did as a Protestant, will conclude thus:

When I read the Scripture I understand it to mean such and such. When Joe reads the very same scripture he reads it to mean something quite different. Joe really seems to love the Lord. I don’t know of any great sin in his life. Why doesn’t the Holy Spirit cause him to understand this scripture to mean such and such, the same as me? I KNOW I love the Lord. I know I am seeking the Truth in sincerity. Yes, I sin but nothing terrible and I am always asking for forgiveness. What is causing Joe to think that the Scripture means something different than what I think it means? Why doesn’t the Holy Spirit lead us to both understand this scripture to mean such and such? I know my heart and it is as it should be. I don’t know Joe’s heart though. It must NOT be as it should be and therefore the Holy Spirit is not REALLY leading Joe’s interpretation of Scripture even though he thinks He is leading him. Therefore Joe’s interpretation is not correct, but mine must be. So, I will trust my interpretation and reject Joe’s interpretation.

This was the only way to understand this problem that made any sense. But it made me uncomfortable so I tried not to think about it. But, when my interpretation caused such a surprising uproar in the church I was in I found it very hard to ignore or find a reasonable explanation. I begged God to show me the Truth, even if I was wrong. I just wanted to KNOW THE TRUTH. And next thing I knew I found the Catholic Church. Do you want to know the Truth no matter where it leads? Do you want to know the Truth, even if it means you are wrong?

83 Responses

  1. When I read about the catholics and the orthodox christians during WW2 in the balkans it would make anyone shudder – photographs included – how can we see infallibility in these circumstances not to mention the child abuse scandals.

  2. Dear Charles,

    The TEACHING of the Catholic Church is infallible. The People are NOT. Catholics are not infallible. Catholics are not sinless. Protestants sin. Catholics sin. Whatever is horrifying you about the Balkans should not cause you to stumble b/c Christ never promised His followers to be infallible and or sinless.

    Is the institution of marriage a fraud b/c some who are married commit adultery?

    Is the institution of marriage a fraud b/c some people murder their spouse?

    Is the Presidency of the United States a fraud b/c some president attacks the constitutional right to freedom of religion?

    Is the profession of teaching fraudulent b/c a teacher abuses a student?

    Is fatherhood a fraud b/c some fathers molest their daughters?

    You are confusing the Church Jesus founded with individuals. This is called a strawman.

    Remember the promise He made to His Church, “The Gates of Hell will not overcome it”. Even though a lot of Catholics have certainly tried.

    • This is perplexing reasoning! 700 000 orthodox christians in the Balkans were murdered in the most horrific way with the direct participation by catholic priests, nuns and monks in the 2nd WW. Can anyone talk lightly about that , as if it was an accident?
      Jesus said:” by their fruits you shall know them “.
      The inquisition during the middle ages was not an accident. it was a systematic, organized institution blessed by the ” infallible popes ” with the gregorian monks in the forefront. This was a movement from top down in the system. Not some scattered small accidents by catholic maniacs. Thousands and even perhaps millions were brutally tortured and murdered for just minor offenses as not to believe in the trinity or child baptism. It is impossible to conceive that the church behind this can be the true church of Jesus Christ. How can anyone suggest that?
      It is absolutely meaningless to compare as is done by this author. Everyone understands that whoredom doesn´t abolish marriage. But what Jesus says is this: if someone say they represent me, and they don´t live according to my teaching , then they are liars.

      • Dear Arne,
        You are mistaken. If Catholics killed innocent people it was evil. But I know that you will not be able to find anywhere in the Catechism that Catholics are taught to kill innocent people of another religion or no religion. The Catholic faith does not teach her children to sin. But they do sin. You can bring up a million billion examples of sinful Catholics, even priests, nuns and popes and it will not prove anything about the infallible teaching of the Church Jesus founded. It will only prove, what we already know, Catholics are sinful. Some are very sinful. And they are liars. But sinful Catholics do not abolish the Church or proclaim that it is fraudulent. The Church itself teaches that her children are sinful. The Church herself teaches that Jesus died to saved these children from Hell. So, I just do not get why you are surprised. If all the people in your church were sinless you might have standing to point the finger at Catholics. But as St. John tells us anyone who says that is a liar.

        Your information about the inquisition is Protestant mythology. I have explained this before. The Church did not torture or kill anyone. The State executed heretics as traitors b/c that is how it was viewed in those days. Church and state were not separate as we have it today in the West. The State constrained the Church to examine heretics for trial. The Church begged heretics to recant in every attempt to save them from execution. But it was NOT the Church who tortured and executed. The torturers and executors were most likely Catholic however. This is where confusion lies and is used to good effect by Our Enemy.

        Let me ask you a question. If you were Satan and Jesus had established a Church to save people from the clutches of the Devil, what would you do? Just give that church free reign? Or target her children and entice them to such evil that it would make confused people think that the Church must be a fraud b/c her members are sinners? Even though everyone has always known Catholics are sinners. And yet, Satan has convinced you with his lies that sinners in the Church mean the Church is a fraud. But he was a liar from the beginning and he has so easily deceived you.

      • @ Charles & Arne: It’s really getting old very quickly when you both persistently make spurious accusations against the Church. Is anyone worry about blasphemy against Christ and His body, the Church? Can you cite your sources of information?

        And Arne, are you still up to the task of doing “a bible study” with me on the perpetual virginity of Mary and siblings of Christ? I’m still waiting for you to state your case.

        • Surkiko I take it that you can use the internet – just type in “atrocities
          committed by catholics in the Balkans during WW2 “.

          • @ Charles: I’m not naive. Internet is the playground of the Devil. Do you really buy into all the anti-Catholic bigotry? Show me some good an direct scholarly sources. With respect, I think too many people bought the lies of the Devil too easily, much too easily.

            • I don’t like posting this on this site since it is full of people who have
              a better Christian walk than me…

              Dear Charles,
              I have removed the rest of your post. I have never done this before but I have no confidence that the information is credible. Unbeknownst to most of the world the Nazis persecuted the Catholic Church and Protestant faithful who crossed them, as well. From what I read it sounded very much like a Nazi scheme and was not truly Catholic. The Catholic Church never forces conversion. Again, if you cannot separate THE CATHOLIC CHURCH TEACHING from individual Catholics who sin or are evil then you are really unable to continue this conversation. The Catholic church is 2000 years old. In that time there have been billions of Catholics who have lived and died in this world. Some, born Catholics, may have been exceedingly evil, such as Hitler. But this is not a valid reflection upon the Catholic Faith.

              This is basically an ad hominem attack upon the Catholic Church. In any sort of debate,on any sort of topic, when one side is running out of substantive arguments, information, and/or evidence to support their position they will without fail resort to an ad hominem attack. This is where you are now and this will always be ineffective at persuading anyone to your side because it is a fallacy.

              So, I would like to invite you and Arne to do further research so that you have something substantive to say or good questions to ask and then come back. But I am going to remove any and all comments containing ad hominem attacks on our Faith. For a better understanding please see this link–>Ad Hominem attack

              • @ My brother Charles: Have you ponder why people like Chief Rabbi Israel Zolli of Rome converted to Catholicism at the conclusion of WWII? He even took the Christian name of Eugenio Maria Zolli in honor of Pope Pius XII who was born Eugenio Pacelli. We’re fighting principalities so please do not buy into deliberate misinformation and untruths too easily. Christ was crucified as a common criminal not because the truth was not with Him. So do your research carefully and don’t become complicit in persecuting Christ and his body, the Church.

                • You asked for references an I gave you one – this sort of thing happened in Rwanda and was proven in court.

                  • @ Charles: The tribal war between the Hutu and Tutsi in Rwanda was terrible. For every Christian who became complicit in the tragic 100 days genocide, there were tens and thousands of Christians who were also heroic in sheltering and saving lives at the same time. I don’t understand why you consistently tried to indict the Church for the failings of some of her members. Is it fair to condemn Christ for Judas’ betrayal too? After all, Judas was one of chosen ones in the elite band of the twelve.

                • @ Charles: What are you talking about Rwanda? Give us more info so we can research it. Thanks.

        • surkiko: if you read my post below you will find some references that, sorry to say, will leave your church in no flattering light.

          As for our Bible study on the perpetual virginity of Mary, I am a little bit unsure what will come out of it. I have debated this quite extensively with the author of this blog, and have spoken my heart. The conclusion we reached was that this is what the author calls a ” historical proof ” but she was not able to show me the evidence for it, not from the bible , nor from history ( was just left to believe it or not- it was still “the truth ” even if evidence was lacking ) . If you have anything of substance to add you are free to do so, and I will listen carefully. But the requirement from my side is that you be able to put your finger on some good Bible verses for me to read that clearly states this truth. This cannot be too difficult if this is such an important truth for the believer?
          so lets keep it simple. Just give me the one or two words that at least makes this doctrine highly probable? It´s not more difficult than that, is it?

          • @ Arne: You’re dealing with me now. I’ve read most of your comments on it. You seem to have made some very broad and decidedly absolute statements about your beliefs with virtual impunity and getting away with it. So to begin with, please state precisely why you think Matt 1:25 “until” is a deal breaker for you scripturally? We will see whether it is you or the Church which is unreasonable and illogical.

  3. @Arne “And I think any serious person will never suggest that he or his denomination holds the whole truth exclusively to all others.” @bfhu “Jesus must have told him and the rest of the apostles about succession. How did Peter know that the ancient practice of circumcision and the dietary laws, which sound like permanent ordinances in the OT, could be abolished? Jesus must have instructed him before His death. The Pope is the final authority but when he acts or teaches in union with the bishops he is also infallible. In fact, when you or I teach the truths of the Catholic Church, we are teaching infallibly. But we do not have the gift of infallibility. And this does not mean that the Pope is therefore able to just pronounce oracles. No. This is not what infallibility means. I merely means that God will prevent the pope and/or the pope and the bishops, from ever teaching error about faith and morals to the whole Church. You might find this post of interest in order to properly understand infallibility.–> If the Pope Is Infallible…

    Me…I disagree, Arne…the catholic religion, through their pope, DOES claim to have the whole truth, exclusively to all others.

    I, as a protestant, do not claim infallibility, nor does my church. Just as quickly as I would run from an emergent or universalist protestant church that deviates from Gospel teachings (obviously if they are universalist), I would also run from the catholic church and their false teachings, or any one else preaching false gospels.
    2 Timothy 4:3-4 (KJV)
    3 For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but after their own lusts shall they heap to themselves teachers, having itching ears;
    4 And they shall turn away their ears from the truth, and shall be turned unto fables.

    • Jackie, what I meant was that I never heard from any non-catholic denomination any claim to either infallibility or to have the full and only right understanding. That the catholic church claims this, is evident.

      • Yes, agreed Arne. RCC is the only group I know that lays claim to infallibility through their church/pope.
        Good to make your acquaintance brother. 🙂

        • Jackie, thanks for your nice greeting! It seems we have much the same approach to the scriptures. As I understand you have first hand knowledge of catholicity in your family. I have not. But I try to understand and argue the best I can, hopefully ” faithful to the truth with love”. Is this to think too highly of oneself?

          • Well said Arne. 🙂 It’s very easy to get caught up in the purposeful – IMHO – antagonistic needling that keeps a blog like this “interesting” – I choose carefully my “battles”.
            Mat 7:14 But small is the gate and narrow the road that leads to life, and only a few find it.
            Not everyone is going to heaven, but we cannot give up hope and stop working (not “works” – I feel like I have to always qualify that so it’s not taken out of context by others). I am grateful that I am saved and have a glorious life to look forward to. All glory and praise to God.

  4. Dear bfhu,
    That was very nicely put.

    • This much is clear. Protestantism does not, cannot and should not claim infallibility.

      • @surkiko The catholic church, through it’s pope – or any other means, cannot and should not claim infallibility. Your first part “protestantism does not..” is correct.

      • We don’t, and know we shouldn’t – therefore, we don’t. That is clear.

        • An ex-Protestant concluded:
          The lack of a definitive teaching authority in Protestantism (as with the Catholic magisterium) makes many individual Protestants think that they have a direct line to God, notwithstanding all of Christian Tradition and the history of biblical exegesis (a “Bible, Holy Spirit and me” mentality). Such people are generally under-educated theologically, unteachable, lack humility, and have no business making presumed “infallible” statements about the nature of Christianity.

          • @ Wyat: It’s almost sad, isn’t it? Thank God for your testimony. I know a lot of Protestants like to throw rocks at the stain-glass windows from the outside. Once you’re home and inside the house of God, we see the beauty of the stain-glasses and the wondrous works of the salvific plan of Christ.

          • I’m gonna go out on a limb here, in my “under-educated theologically, unteachable, lack humility, and have no business making presumed “infallible” statements about the nature of Christianity”, and say, that most protestants that I know are some of the most humble human beings I have ever known. We don’t want to be right so we can say we are right. We are right to share the truth of Gods word, of Christ’s finished work on the cross, with unbelievers, with those who are not born-again, because we want you in eternal heaven with us. We work to that end – and don’t go off on me on that, I didn’t says “works” – in humility and in love.

            If you review HONESTLY so, so many of posts on this site that were submitted by catholics, I think you would be hard pressed to say that non-catholic posts are the ones lacking humility.

            And I would remind you, we are not claiming to make “presumed infallible statements”, but rather that you are, in your “well-intentioned”, but misguided belief of pope(s) infallibility.

            • Protestantism from its inception was anti-Catholic, and remains so to this day (esp. evangelicalism). This is obviously wrong and unbiblical if Catholicism is indeed Christian (if it isn’t, then – logically – neither is Protestantism, which inherited the bulk of its theology from Catholicism). The Catholic Church, on the other hand, is not anti-Protestant.

  5. Dear bfhu, No I don´t expect to find any traces of any encouragement to kill in the cathecism. But that doesn´t leave me confident that the church has not been responsible for the horrific fact of the inquisition and at least deeply involved in many other atrocities. To suggest that would be to approach this subject quite superficially.
    The fact of the inquisition simply cannot be denied and with it the churches´ direct participation and initiation through its popes and clergy. In most instances the convicts were handed over to church controlled exercising authority for the “dirty jobs” of torturing and killing practically innocent people. But several of the popes had, for instance even private interests in inventing torture methods aiming at prolonging the pains without killing, grounded in the “pious hope” that the persons could be converted back to the ” true belief ” and as such be rescued from hell. After all, these “pious men” were driven by a” real care” for people to evade the torments of hell, so in fact whatever tortures could be invented: nothing could be worse than hell. Therefor the they justified their consciences with such satanic logic.

    What happened in the Balkans you can read about f.ex. on this address: This is a site for freethinkers, and as such not neutral in your view, but is well documented ( and which source is really neutral?). Also read this passage in the “Fox´s book of Martyrs” http://www.Jesus – is – 1.htm. If you want to learn something about the churches involvement with the outbreak of the Vietnam war I will recommend Avro Manhattan in http://www.reformation .org/vietnam.html.

    Some weeks ago I saw a program on ” history channel ” about the atrocities on Balkan during WW2. There were some eyewitnesses interviewed. They also made a reconstruction of an episode they had experienced. The catholic priests forced the conversion of orthodox christians to the catholic faith ,and in doing so they required the converts to learn the catholic way of reciting the Lord´s prayer. One young man was so nervous when he was to be examined by the priest that he couldn´t help pass a fart. The priest angrily commanded the soldiers to take care of this man and kill him. He was there and then taken aside and regularly beaten to death.
    Was this just one or two deplorable happenings, one should not make much out of it. But sad to say, this was a systematic terror supported by the Pope Pius 12 and even priests, bishops and nuns participated in the actual atrocities and killing themselves. This cannot be denied.

    That said, it is not my intention to fill this blog with stuff like this. But as I sense a rather unserious approach to this matter in the blog I found it necessary to state my opinion. But my criticism is not entirely towards the catholic church. What about the role of the Lutheran church in Germany during WW2? , and the role of Luther to nurture the antisemitism even of Hitler? This is no better . And what about the burning alive of Michael Servetus in Geneva by Jean Calvin in 1553? This splendid physician and humanistic christian were judged in a Catholic court on the order of Calvin , even with the approval of Luther. But the catholics sentenced him to be burnt alive. Calvin pleaded for him to be beheaded as a traitor, but to no avail, the death of a heretic was burning!!( his herecy was that he didn´t believe in the trinity , nor child baptism , two of the things not mentioned in the Bible )

    Reading things like this makes me extremely sad, and I hope you feel the same. I do not want to use this to discredit anyone here on the blog. Only it is so easy to, even with the best intentions, do extremely wrong things in the name of God. And this is a danger for anyone of us, me included.
    People of faith is in danger to do harm to others as a misguided service towards God, as the bible warns would be done towards the disciples.
    Hopefully, this is what I will say on this matter by now. I will rather use my energy on reasoning with the scriptures.

    • @ Arne: I knew this a long time ago …

      From Wikipedia: ” … Foxe’s book is in no sense an impartial account of the period. He did not hold to later centuries’ notions of neutrality or objectivity, but made unambiguous side glosses on his text … the book’s credibility was effectively challenged in the early 19th century by a number of authors, most importantly Samuel Roffey Maitland … commented on Foxe’s lost credibility across denominations … Foxe’s historical influence had been diminished so that “no one with any literary pretensions…ventured to quote Foxe as an authority.”

      I really think that you’ve to pick your battle wisely. No seriously Protestants will even cite Foxe’s book nowadays. And what about the other citation from some freethinker blog? You’re serious?

  6. Well, surkiko, I am also able to read wikipedia. Perhaps you should read the whole article before you draw your conclusion. Take also this quote”Since Mozley’s landmark study (1940),” Warren Wooden observed in 1983, “Foxe’s reputation as a careful and accurate, albeit partisan, historian especially of the events of his own day, has been cleansed and restored with the result that modern historians no longer feel constrained to apologize automatically for evidence and examples drawn from the ‘’Acts and Monuments’’.[55] Patrick Collinson’s formal acknowledgement and recognition of “John Foxe as Historian,” invites redetermining historians’ current relationship with the text. “John Foxe waa the “greatest [English] historian of his age,” Collinson concluded, “and the greatest revisionist ever”.[56]
    And also I find it interesting that the Encyclopedia Britannica seems to rebuild his reputation, Quote: The 2009 Encyclopædia Britannica notes that Foxe’s work is “factually detailed and preserves much firsthand material on the English Reformation unobtainable elsewhere.”
    So you must try to be more balanced. Many of his critiques seem to me to be partial on their own, having private agendas as catholic scholars.

    So who do you trust: only the pope I suspect, because he is the only one infallible? The rest of us can just pick our tiny little brains together, put it on the shelve and leave the history ,the religion, the thinking and deciding to your final arbiter.

    Yes, I do think that even an atheist or a freethinker can say something of value. Sometimes even much more of sanity and trustworthiness than people of ( blind ) belief . But I suspect that you are too involved in the church to be able or willing to see for yourself the very unpleasant evidence of the atrocities this church have done.What about the Ustachi in Kroatia, and what happened to the orthodox serbs: Is also this mere lies to hurt your church? And you tell me that all of Foxes book is just downright lies? Were you there during the 15th century fearing for your life because of the inquisition? It should be noted also, that John Foxe was from his upbringing a catholic , so his critique could hardly come from inbred bias.

    • @ Arne: You must read in context. John Foxe is called “partisan” and that “modern historians no longer feel constrained to apologize automatically for evidence and examples drawn from the ‘’Acts and Monuments (Foxe’s Book of Martyrs).’’ The modern historians are not clearing Foxe for his inaccuracies in “Martyrs” but merely saying that the book is of historic value, much like a lot of the agnostic gospels and apocrypha literature. I’m prepared to examine other scholarly sources with you. Time is pressed for me right now but I can come back later. Let me know if you want to do this.

    • From the same article: “The 2009 Encyclopædia Britannica notes that Foxe’s work is “factually detailed and preserves much firsthand material on the English Reformation unobtainable elsewhere.” It was typical, however, in the late nineteenth and early decades of the twentieth centuries to treat Foxe’s text as …

      “not to be trusted….If not the father of lies, Foxe was thought to be the master of inventions, and so readers of the Encyclopedia Britannica were advised and warned.

      So much for the Queen and Encyclopædia Britannica. So be advised and warned …

  7. The fact that he is called a partisan doesn´t discredit him totally. I do not have the insight or scholarly prerequisite in this field to make bold statements about John Foxe. As with every other historian there is diverging views about the correctness of his interpretation and presentation of history. I have no problem with understanding that not everything is absolutely correct. But on the other hand , to deny his very credibility to such an extent as to disregard him totally must be equally faulty. At least most of what he is telling must have happened. Or do you discard everything? In that case I don´t see you are in accordance with Wikipedia.
    A more in debt study of this could be interesting, but I don´t want to focus on these matters any more. Anyone with an open mind can find out about this things for himself. Should we go on discussing anything, it must be a Bible topic.
    For my part I will not comment on any items pertaining to the dark history anymore on this blog.

    • @ Arne: Precisely, don’t quote John Foxe’s Book of Martyrs as authority and as some sort of gospel truth contained in it. We can rest the issue.

  8. I would think that the catholic church was certainly anti protestant -this
    was why the jesuits were empowered by the Pope’s and the Pope who banished them admitted he had signed his death warrant which came true.

  9. Hi Arne,
    Your quotes of history are truely amazing and in doing so you are submitting yourself without free will to the fidelity of the history books of the current age but we all know that history is written by the victors. I urge you to go and teach anything contrary to history other than whats in black and white in the current history books and see how long you last especially if you’re a teacher. Yet you quote that the church is totalitarian but you’re happy to submitt your will to these. (Oh and by the way I suggest you find a synonim for that word because it’s becoming a broken record).
    Take a look at this article:
    about the dark ages and the authors view of the Church at that time. You say The Church is a cult then since it compiled the Bible then aren’t you also saying that all other non-Catholics are indeed part of a sub cults that stem from that main cult? to prove my point, a lot of protestants believe in the Trinity but you will never find that word in the Bible because it’s Catholic oral tradition. You can pick and choose and quote all you want but what I’m seeing is a clear case of double standards on your part. There is a verse in that book compiled by the Catholic Church which you like quoting from called the Bible and it reminds me of you: Ecclesiastes 10:13-15.
    He described these babblers as starting with foolish talk and ending with mischievous madness (Pr 13). They are full of words, even though no man knows what is going to happen tomorrow (Pr 14), and they are frustrated by hard work, because they cannot figure out the simplest things of life (Pr 15).
    Maybe look at the scriptures more philosophicaly instead of chapter and verse. Don’t be like the postman who knows the street addresses but not those inside the houses.
    And as far as your understaning of who Jesus is which seems to be a totalitarian view of Him as “buddy Christ”, lets look at how the incarnation dealt with those who got it wrong in the Temple:
    King James Bible (Cambridge Ed.)
    And when he had made a scourge of small cords, he drove them all out of the temple, and the sheep, and the oxen; and poured out the changers’ money, and overthrew the tables;
    Now lets look at toalitarianism:
    King James Bible (Cambridge Ed.)
    Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.
    NOT A WAY BUT THE WAY!!!! we getting it yet? Not A way but THE way and that is ALL or nothing, TOTAL, 1, the Only, not many, no choice to choose by free will other gods. So forgive me for saying this but in saying these things you really do come off as unlearned.

    Anno D 🙂

    • ” … history is written by the victors”

      Even far worse, English Reformation text books were written by English Protestants for Protestants with a slant of bias against Catholicism. And there are many unsuspecting readers here quite obviously.

  10. Thank you Anno Domine.
    I do by no means think I am specially learned, and do not know all history. I should have known much more, that´s true. and neutrality is a scarce commodity , certainly. Still I can´t but think that there is
    something also on the side of history I have related. Or you think all
    that is written that is negative about the RCC is mere slander?

    I have read the link you gave me. It was interesting. Actually I have bought myself a farm and would like to start living more the way that was talked about here. Clearly the world economy and our way of living is not sustainable.
    But your point was perhaps about the cathedrals? and to stress that perhaps the pre – renaissance life was not as dark a have been the
    common opinion? That´s worth pondering.
    To define a cult is not simple, and generally just smaller religious societies have been given that label, and as such the mainstream churches, both RCC and protestant have by their shear magnitude ( and power ) evaded this brand. What I have perhaps assumed to be central to the definition is a requirement from the leadership to submit your intellect and will to the system. In my opinion, that must be a more central aspect to the definition than the magnitude of the movement. As such the Nazi movement , in my opinion was a cult. In the Canonic law of RCC there is written ( CAn.752 ):” although not an assent of faith, a RELIGIOUS SUBMISSION OF INTELLECT AND WILL must be given to a doctrine which the supreme Pontiff or his college of bishops declares concerning faith and morals when they exercise the authentic magisterium…” and further §3: ” no appeal or recourse is permitted against a sentence or decree of the Roman Pontiff” And also Cathecism 882: “The Roman Pontiff by reason of his office as Vicar of Christ…has full, supreme and universal power over the whole church, a power he can always exercise unhindered .”

    What do you make of this? Do you really feel comfortable with submitting your intellect and will to anyone? And to one who in principle has unlimited power?
    This is what scares me , and seems to be in starch contradiction even to human rights. I would say, it is not only a right you have not to submit your intellect and will to anyone ,it is also a solemn obligation for every person that cherishes personal, intellectual freedom.

    And also, when I see citations like I have rendered, I can´t help thinking that this is in fact the recipe of a totalitarian system. Maybe I offend you by writing that, but what can one say when reading things like that? Is this something you will defend and even commend to others? Don´t you see any problem at all in this?

    Your comment on the trinity is interesting. You are absolutely right: it is not in the Bible , and was unknown until the 3. century. So I don´t believe that doctrine either! And I don´t believe in sunday keeping or christmas celebration or Easter – because it´s totally foreign to he Bible and the original christian belief, actually the true Catholic belief oft the apostolic age. Not only the trinity, but a lot of other doctrines are , as you call them: (roman ) catholic traditions. And you are right: that does leave many protestants in a dubious light: feeding on the doctrines from the Catholic church but not acknowledging it.

    • Although the Trinity is not mentioned as a word – it is certainly mentioned as …..baptising them in the name of the Father the Son
      and the Holy Spirit. Plus the Holy Spirit is a person whom you can grieve. The Holy Spirit was called He by Jesus …….
      So there is one God in three persons – difficult for me to understand but I believe in the trinity although this word may not explain fully
      the meaning of the Godhead.

      • The triune God is already hinted and forshadowed from the very beginning …

        “In the beginning God (Father) created the heavens and the earth … and the spirit of God (Holy Spirit) was moving over the face of the waters. And God said (Logos-Son) …” (Gen 1:1-3).

        Then God said, “Let ‘us’ make man in our image, after ‘our’ likeness” (Gen 1:26).

    • @ Arne: Yes. From my “bio” … By its nature, faith (“Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen”, Heb 11:1) is suspended over the abyss of unbelief. The loyal (faithful) Catholic gives free assent not only to the unseen God, but also to a church that claims power to pronounce decisively on doctrinal matters. The believer must continually turn to God with fresh humility: “I do believe; help my unbelief” (Mk 9:23).

      The idea of subjection of any sort of one man to another seems incompatible with human freedom. The world around us (long conditioned by the false feminist movement) cannot fathom such thinking. But not in the affairs of the kingdom of God where there are positive prescriptions by their constituted nature from the Almighty God. To love, honor and yes, obey. Paul reminded us that husbands should love their wives as Christ loves the Church and to be subordinate to one another out of reverence to Christ (Eph 5:22). The Church gets its authority from Christ, the head of the Church. How many Christians obey the positive biblical prescription of “He who hears you, hears me; and he who rejects you, rejects me, and he who rejects me rejects him who sent me” (Lk 10:16)?

      Christian obedience is a virtue and the key to knowing God’s will. As a virtue, it is pleasing to God because it means the sacrifice of one’s will out of love for God. Abraham didn’t understand God when told to sacrifice his only son. But his obedience was credited as righteousness, and God spared his son and blessed Abraham greatly. We are called to the same obedience – in trusting God who knows best, even when we don’t fully understand everything now. It’s in this giving of the “free assent” which distinguishes us from the secularized society we live in.

      “Through whom we have received grace and apostleship to bring about the obedience of faith for the sake of his name among all the nations” (Rom 1:5).

  11. As I said before my 25 years in the Catholic church meant only a few paragraphs of scripture every Sunday and a homily of a few minutes.

    I got the impression that if you talked about bible study – you were a bible nut. This also happens in some protestant churches but the evangelicals at least have an emphasis on Bible study and prayer groups. Catholics seemed to be taught not to read the Bible on their own due to the twisting of what Peter meant in 2 : 1 : 20.
    Everything seemed to be left to the priest. I can’t remember seeing
    anyone take a bible into the catholic church although there were a handful with missals.

    For charity I got involved in organising – dances with alcoholic drink ,
    race nights , halloween parties , etc etc usually with BYOB. I can’t believe when I look back – it was my own fault – I should have kept studying the bible and followed the hundreds of commands to flee from things which will stop you entering heaven. I even watched my children drinking thinking they were learning moderation with fellow catholics (they were not)

    Fellowship was based on worldly things not on bible study or prayer.
    Going to football matches on sunday afternoon with drink was typical – I was guilty as well.
    There is a certain pharisaical attitude – if you are baptised as a baby
    and go to mass once a week and holidays of obligation – thats it.

    I would have benefited from bible study and reading the catechism and some of the church fathers but like a frog being slowly heated I did not realise how far away from true religion I was. I never learned a thing
    in 25 years and waxed worse.

    I think catholics in america have learned from the protestant bible emphasis.

    • @ Charles: When my children were younger, I quizzed them about the bible readings after church as soon as we got into the car. I made sure that they had heard and properly understood God’s words. Now that they are older and have family of their own, I still quizzed them occasionally esp. when I felt that there is a positive prescription in the Sunday readings which should be restated again. I treasure all God’s words in my mind, my mouth and my heart … but it’s not enough until we live out our faith. I really think that your attempt to translate Catholic spirituality by your subjective personal experience is unduly judgmental and unfair. Lord forgives us all if we become too spiritually proud as to say, “God, I thank you that I am not like other man” (Lk 18:11).

      • It was my own fault I can’t deny – sad thing is I actually liked reading the bible but used up my time in church hall social events not counting my worldliness.

  12. We could , of course, enter into a discussion on the trinity. But not here and now ,I think. What I would like, is that someone, whom it might concern could make a comment on what I have asked In my longer passage above. I cited from the Canon and kathechism and asked if this is not a language of suppression and power. This is more important.

    Compare these statements to the attitude of whom you consider the first pope: Peter in his first letter about the “rule ” of the bishops in 5:3 ” neither as being lords over God´s heritage,but being examples to the flock ”
    And in 2 Cor 11:20 Paul actually rebuked them for allowing what he named ” false apostles ” to suppress them: ” for ye suffer if a man bring you into bondage, if a man devour you, if a man take of you, if a man exalt himself( above you ), if a man smite you in your face”(KJV)
    What do you say? could it be that this is the character of ” a false apostle “?

    • @ Arne: I just realized that you’re a Christian atheist, the worst kind of a sola-scriptorist gone mad. I’m afraid to have to carry this bad news to you but the Kingdom of Heaven is hierarchical beginning with the “King of Kings” and “Lord of Lords” at the top. Yes, the ministerial function of the Church is here to serve and protect us from straying from the truth. Of course, you want none of it. You are obviously self-serving and appear to have self-annointed yourself beyond any authority here on earth and even in heaven. There’s actually a biblical warning about avoiding association with factious and undisciplined people like you (but what do you care, right?)

      • Wow @surkiko. I just gotta say, sometimes we might be better served to turn that finger back at ourselves.
        Wisdom = seeing things from Gods viewpoint and then responding according to scriptural principles.
        I see a lot of rhetoric in your responses here, although you will throw a scripture out now and then, you are mostly quoting from your catechism and what your RCC “fathers” have told you is truth. That “truth” is NOT the word of God,. No matter how you try to sugar coat & bully your “side” of things, when you deviate from the Bible, and choose instead to put your faith & hope & trust in your popes, your bishops vs. in the one true living God & in the saving grace of the shed blood of Jesus Christ & his finished work on the Cross, you are following a false teaching.

        2 Peter 2:1 But there were false prophets also among the people, even as there shall be false teachers among you, who privily shall bring in damnable heresies, even denying the Lord that bought them, and bring upon themselves swift destruction. 2 And many shall follow their pernicious ways; by reason of whom the way of truth shall be evil spoken of. 3 And through covetousness shall they with feigned words make merchandise of you: whose judgment now of a long time lingereth not, and their damnation slumbereth not.

        And know, that I will not respond to a divisive attempt to lure me into an argument. It would warm my heart to see the love of God doing a good work in you, in your responses.

        • @ Jackie: Please put yourself in the bible in NT times and imagine yourself as one of the first Christians. There was/is discipline and order in the Church of God. We don’t need johnny-come-lately religious fanatics trying to usurp the bible and quoting it out of context, time and place. What are you thinking? You ARE the naive and factious believer that the bible warns about. This world must be really messed up for every Harry, Dick and Jane to think that they are above authority.

      • Surkiko, call me what you like, I can handle that, as I have done with all your former outbreaks. But it should be a problem for yourself how you speak about other people. Anyone with sound judgement understands that when someone is out of arguments, one starts to make characteristics about the person instead of discussing matters. Actually I have asked relevant, serious and important questions, but they are all evaded. I draw my own inevitable conclusions from that.
        Perhaps one cannot expect to have a free and unbiased discussion with people who have “religiously submitted their intellect and will” to the pope and his system. How can any serious person really confess to such a stand in life and at the same time take for granted that anyone will find it worhtwhile to discuss anything at all?

        Actually, I don´t know of any serious organization – religious or otherwise in the free world, that would demand their members to ” submit their intellect and will ” to their leaders without being warned against as a dangerous sect.

        • Submitting to the Church is submitting to Christ according to the words of Luke 10:16 “HE WHO HEARS YOU,HEARS ME”.

          Is it legitimate to use these words of Jesus to support the teaching
          commission of the Church? Vatican II said yes strongly, in “Lumen gentium” P20: “This sacred Council teaches that the Bishops, from divine institution, have taken the place of the Apostles, as the authorized pastors of the Church: he who hears them, hears Christ; he who spurns them, spurns Christ, and Him who sent Christ”.

          • But Peter and the apostles replied, “We must obey God rather than any human authority.

            • Charles,
              You are right, but fact is that Peter and the other apostles, like the bishops of the Magisterium today, are authorized Pastors. But is Charles Allen an authorized pastor? No, he and his companions have the Protestant view, a direct line to God. A bible, the Holy Spirit and me mentality, led by the same Holy Spirit but receiving different, sometimes contradicting, answers. Always remember that in the Church some had the gift to write inspired scriptures and some had or have the gift of infallible interpretation, they are connected with each other. Hearing the Church is hearing Christ, it is an act of obedience to Christ

              • “ALL Scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness. That the man of God may be complete, thoroughly equipped for every good work.”
                2 Timothy 3:16-17

                • Charles,

                  True, but who told you, which scripture is inspired and which is not?

                  • The inspired scripture was known immediately it was written and circulated – eg paul’s , peter’s letters and the gospels.

                    To suggest that these writings lay on a dusty shelf for 300 years unread is pure fantasy.

                    The council included the writings that had already been accepted by all the churches – such as the seven churches in asia – to whom most of the letters were written.

                    • Charles,
                      There were hundreds of scriptures at that time, but which one was inspired, it took the Church about four centuries to find out.

                    • This 400 years before anyone knew the truth is absurd – paul’s letter to the corinthians was passed round all the churches – the christians knew the NT from the start and the OT by heart among the Jewish converts. You can’t move the good news forward by 400 years.

                    • Charles wrote:
                      “You can’t move the good news forward by 400 years”.

                      But also move a lot of false teachings like sola scriptutura by 495 years.

                    • Charles wrote:
                      “and the OT by heart among the Jewish converts.

                      It were just the the converts that came from the Gentiles who had problems with the OT as inspired scripture, but accepted it as such on behalf of the authority of the Church.

                    • Dear Charles,
                      This is yet another strawman ad hominem attack that makes no logical sense. No one ever said that the writings of what later became known as the NT were unread for 400 years or that that they lay on a dusty shelf for 300 years. But all of those writings AS WELL AS OTHER WRITINGS were read and used in Church. The point is that Sola Scriptura could not have been practiced FOR THE VERY SIMPLE REASON THAT NO ONE KNEW WHICH WRITINGS, WHICH GOSPELS, WOULD ULTIMATELY BE CANONIZED.

                    • bfhu – No I dont agree – the churches at this time already knew what letters came from the apostles. If any Christian was deceived into heresy they would have been deceived even if the cannon had been
                      decided. A Holy Spirit Christian would have been led into all truth by
                      the NT writings

                    • Dear Charles,
                      They were taught the true Faith because of the TEACHING, orally by the Apostles and those ordained by them during the time before the NT was canonized. Yes, people had a pretty good idea what were the best writings but there was disagreement about several of them right up until the canon was finalized.

                      Sola Scriptura is NOT taught in Scripture. It is a tradition of men started by Martin Luther. I talk about the canonization issue b/c Christianity has NEVER been about Sola Scriptura until Luther and the Protestants tried to adopt it. But history disproves it as an eternal principle and it could only have been practical for the first 400 years of Christianity to claim a sola scriptura of the OT.

                    • But many bishops and others went into apostasy even though they were originally in the faith

                • Amen! But it doesn’t show any authority that governs a church because it nonetheless requires one’s interpretation. But the question is, who’s interpretation is truly what God wants to speak to us? The Holy Spirit is a spirit of truth, unity and reconciliation. It never brings confusion to His faithfuls. So, who’s interpretation would be the right one then?

                  • The Holy Spirit’s interpretation.

                    “As for you, the anointing which you received from Him abides in you, and you have no need for anyone to teach you; but as His anointing teaches you about all things, and is true and is not a lie, and just as it has taught you, you abide in Him.” John.

                    • Charles,
                      Well put, but who believes you without any authority.

                    • Believe the word of God – the bible

                    • Amen.

                    • Jesus said this to His Apostles. He did NOT make this promise to everyone, to the crowd. If He had then history would have proven Him to be a liar since Protestants CANNOT agree on the interpretation of scripture so they have splintered into thousands of denominations of disunity.

                    • As I said before disunity can be hidden in one denomination if it a “broad” church. Eg in India there can be non christian idols in catholic churches.

        • @ Arne: So you can’t take it just because the rest of the world call you a Christian atheist (I didn’t coin the term) because of your peculiar religiosity? Well, you and others have called Catholics by even worse terms and don’t complain. So what are you rating and raving again? I’m still waiting for you to state your first case about Matt 1:25 “until” which you boast to have absolute prove from the bible to the contrary of the teaching of the Catholic Church.

          • Yes, I can take it. I haven´t heard the rest of the world say so, but if you say that they say, then it is surely so. I can handle that. but before we pass on, can I ask you a question? Do you subscribe to this statement I have cited: Do you give “a submission of intellect and will” to the doctrines which the supreme pontiff declares? Yes, or no?

            • @ Arne: To answer your question, yes … I do subscribe my free assent to the doctrines of the Catholic Church. For a fuller answer, we may have to examine the ordinary and extraordinary magisterium of the Church but that’s probably beyond us right now. But the short answer is … Yes.

              As far as Matt 1:25 “until” is concerned, can we then agree to stipulate that there’s no conclusive evidence either way about the perpetual virginity of Mary based on the passage alone? From there, we can go into the circumstantial evidences to affirm or deny it. I will even allow it from scripture alone for this next step. What do you think?

        • Better sola scripture than no scripture. Many catholics expect to be sure of their calling on a few paragraphs a week.

          • Sola Scriptura is an abuse of the Bible, since it is a use of the Bible contrary to its explicit and implicit testimony about itself and Tradition. An objective reading of the Bible leads one to Tradition and the Catholic Church, rather than the opposite. The Bible is, in fact, undeniably a Christian Tradition itself!

            • I have often wondered if the bible alone could start a church.
              The survivors of mutiny on the bounty ended up on an island in the pacific – they had one bible which they taught to the natives – when fletcher died his companion continued with the bible study and the natives formed a church of fervent christians . When the english navy found them they were invited to preach to neighbouring islands but found their behaviour so distasteful that they returned home – is this and example of the bible founding a church.

            • Copied from web :-
              They distilled whiskey from a native plant. Drunkenness and disorder characterized their colony. Disease and murder quickly took the lives of each of the men, including Fletcher. Soon only one man was left – Alexander Smith. Smith found himself the only man on the island, surrounded by an assortment of women and children.
              Then Smith found the Bounty’s neglected Bible. As he read it, his heart was transformed and he began to instruct the survivors of their community. He taught the Scriptures and helped to implement it’s instructions. The message of Christ so transformed their lives that, 20 years later, in 1808, when the crew of the Topaz landed on the island, they found a joyful society of Christians living in peace and prosperity, free from crime, free from disease, and without murder and mutiny.
              That Bible that transformed the people of Pitcairn Island resides on display in the church in Pitcairn as a monument to it’s transforming message.

              Notice there was no church authority or bishop – just the bible alone.

              • If you put it that way we do not even
                If you put it that way we do not need even a bible to know God.

                Romans 1:19-20
                19 Because that which may be known of God is manifest in them; for God hath shewed it unto them.

                20 For the invisible things of him from the creation of the world are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even his eternal power and Godhead; so that they are without excuse:

            • Copied from website :-
              Most of you probably do not know what Shiva religion is, so we will take a few moments to enlighten you. The New Age Dictionary defines the Shiva (pronounced “siva”) as the “Hindu God of Illusion, Yoga, Animals, Ascetics; Lord of the Dance, who lives on Mt. Kailas, Benares, and sundry other places around the world”. [Page 180]

              Therefore, we know that the religion of Shiva is part of the Hindu religion, and that it is Pagan. If the Roman Catholic Pope is “Jesus Christ’s Vicar On Earth”, and if he is infallible when he is performing his duties as Pope, then how can he sanction the false religion of Hinduism? How can he allow a ceremony in which he not only receives a mark on his forehead, but he allows himself to take part in a ceremony which clearly identifies himself as being subservient to the Shiva priestess? Has Pope John Paul II forgotten our Lord’s Words on this matter of other religions?

              “Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.” [John 14:6] In other words, Jesus is declaring that His Way to Heaven is the only way, and that Christianity is the only valid religion on earth! By the way, this exclusivity used to be cardinal doctrine within the Roman Catholic Church, for centuries!

              What does the average catholic think of the Pope doing this ?

  13. Surkiko. I am not boasting anything about my understanding of Matt 1:25. I only have maintained that this expression ” he didn´t know her until she brought forth her son” implies that they took up a normal marital living after the birth. At least, in my mind , if I wanted to state very strongly and pointedly that they never ever ” fulfilled their marriage “, I would have used a totally different expression: for ex. ” and he knew her not before the birth , nor afterwards”
    On the other hand: I am open to be shown good arguments that this is actually meant, whatever the writing is. I have seen some examples to explain this, but none were really good or convincing. But if you have anything to tell me on this , I will listen.
    The understanding I have of this seems to be well fitting with 1:18 ” before their coming together she was found to have conceived by the holy spirit”. ” Coming together ” here can not possibly be anything else than coming together in matrimonial cohabitation . So what is said here, as in 1: 24 is a clear and unequivocal statement that they actually came together. The point of the sentence is clearly to make it absolutely clear that Jesus was born BEFORE this living together started. Then it started, and from there was born both brothers and sisters as is evident from Mtt 13:55.

  14. Surkiko, you do not answer my question. I do really understand that, you being a Catholic, implies that you subscribe your free assent to the teaching of your church. That goes without saying. That means that you are on the whole convinced that its teachings are true, and therefore you give your assent. You have used your intellect to evaluate the teachings and have found them acceptable, and you have used your will freely to join the church. That´s ok.

    But that is not what is implied in what I have cited, because what is required is a ” religious submission of intellect and will “. That is an entirely different thing. It means exactly what the founder of the Jesuits, Ignatius Loyola,( one whom this site is dedicated to ) is known for having said: ” if [the Church] shall have defined anything to be black which to our eyes appears to be white, we ought in like manner to pronounce it to be black.”

    But then you cannot talk about free speech and unbound thinking anymore. This is for people who asks for being dominated.

    So what it also implies is that if the church have declared that Mary and Josef had no marital relation – in spite of the clear statements in Matt 1: 18 and 1:25 – you have an obligation to submit your intellect to accept that. At least if you want to be a good catholic.

    So, I cannot accept what you propose with regard to Matt 1:18 and 1:25. This is as close to conclusive as anything can be to disprove the perpetual virginity if Mary. Take v. 18 : your only possibility to evade this conclusion , is to contend that ” coming together ” doesn´t mean what most people understands it to mean.

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