Protestant Unity

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  • #777

    Andres Ortiz
    Keymaster

    Ok, I am up way later than I should be, but that’s not the point. <img src=” title=”Wink” />

    I’ve been reading numerous other forums about ex-Catholics and it’s quite stunning actually. Some people have been led away from the Catholic faith because of RCIA and how weak their program is (which is the case at my current parish).

    Anyway, my observations have shown me that there are Protestants who hold to certain things such as faith with works and faith alone as well as various other things. To me, this is not united in belief if they hold to all these different things.

    The only unity I see in the Protestant sect is hatred of Catholicism. There is not single set of Protestant beliefs yet they all know they are going to heaven. Very odd. <img src=” title=”Confused” />

    #2749

    benda41
    Member

    Yeah I agree. One of the things that is hardest for me to understand is how many of my friends can church-hop with seemingly little problem with the doctrinal differences. For though two different churches may both believe in a fundamentalist interpretation of the bible, one pastor may interpret a passage completely differently than the pastor next door.

    #2750

    benda41
    Member

    We all need to step up and use our gifts in the church, however small, especially in the case of reaching out to our youth. There is so much about Catholicism which is misunderstood because it was never clearly presented.
    In this our Protestant friends have far surpassed us in many instances with their sunday school, youth groups, and bible studies.
    I’m so glad you’ve started something with this site! <img src=” title=”Smile” />

    #2753

    Andres Ortiz
    Keymaster

    [quote:abe7ofow] In this our Protestant friends have far surpassed us in many instances with their sunday school, youth groups, and bible studies. [/quote:abe7ofow]

    Yes, growing up, I remember it seemed like my Protestant friends had many more activities that they could attend at their church.

    I always thought it would be neat to have the youth more involved in the Catholic church. After all, the youth of a parish are one day going to be what makes up the parish.

    #2759

    Andres Ortiz
    Keymaster

    Well, “they” have always seemed to have a lot more community building activities at their churches that Catholics don’t. BUt I think that is starting to change. I think the Church overall isstarting to heed the call of Vatican II (and Jesus for that matter) to actively engage in our faith.

    Many parishes have outstanding youth programs these days, but there are also some that don’t. For the most part it depends on how much money the parish has.

    So, ok – they have unity in hating Catholicism and great community building programs. :rolleyes:

    #2778

    Andres Ortiz
    Keymaster

    I too am noticing a trend that seems to show that more Catholic Parishes are offering more ways to become involved.

    I am happy to see that. <img src=” title=”Very Happy” />

    #2912

    Elkabong
    Member

    Sorry, I know that this is a month or so behind the times, but, hey, I’m new.

    I wonder if it is like I find here. It is funny that I can barely find a topic in my Christian Pipe Smokers page that don’t have a recent entry (very similar in appearance to this, btw), yet I find so many topics haven’t been addresses or haven’t been addressed in a long time. Is the Catholic church experience similar? I am asking legitimately, not rhetorically. Has Mass attendance taken the place of relationships in the church? Or the fact that you live in a largely protestant culture, and many of your neighbors aren’t Catholic?

    The discussion about Protestant sunday schools, etc., is about socializing, koinanea (sp?), which has always been part of the Protestant church experience. It was our entertainment, for goodness sakes!

    But, to the original question — I attend a Presybyterian church, and we don’t use words like Salvation. Embarrassingly emotional, don’t you know. Much easier to call us the Elect, than the saved! (I’m being only partly facetious.)

    #2913

    Andres Ortiz
    Keymaster

    [quote:19q3uiu1]Sorry, I know that this is a month or so behind the times, but, hey, I’m new.

    I wonder if it is like I find here. It is funny that I can barely find a topic in my Christian Pipe Smokers page that don’t have a recent entry (very similar in appearance to this, btw), yet I find so many topics haven’t been addresses or haven’t been addressed in a long time. [/quote:19q3uiu1]

    Welcome, Elkabong! Yeah, this site has been a bit slow in the past few months, but hopefully it can get stirred up again one day. <img src=” title=”Smile” />

    [quote:19q3uiu1]Is the Catholic church experience similar? I am asking legitimately, not rhetorically. Has Mass attendance taken the place of relationships in the church? Or the fact that you live in a largely protestant culture, and many of your neighbors aren’t Catholic?[/quote:19q3uiu1]

    Not quite sure what you are asking here. I guess in lieu of the topic I would say that Mass attendance was the bulk of the relationships in the church in the old days, but not so much anymore. A lot of Catholic parishes have all sorts of fellowship after Mass and activities outside of the Mass.

    [quote:19q3uiu1]The discussion about Protestant sunday schools, etc., is about socializing, koinanea (sp?), which has always been part of the Protestant church experience. It was our entertainment, for goodness sakes!

    But, to the original question — I attend a Presybyterian church, and we don’t use words like Salvation. Embarrassingly emotional, don’t you know. Much easier to call us the Elect, than the saved! (I’m being only partly facetious.)[/quote:19q3uiu1]

    lol

    #2919

    Elkabong
    Member

    I think that it’s like the old joke — if you ask a Baptist and a Methodist and an Pentecostal for an opinion, you’ll get four answers — and one of them will be in tongues. I think that just might be true about Catholics, too.

    You know, now that I’m thinking about it, I’ve never been invited to attend Mass by a Catholic friend. Never. Billy, whom I knew when I was very young, used to give me his Catholic comic books — guess that counts for something.

    I attended Mass a few times, at different parishes. The first was in a swank and very modern building. I couldn’t tell the difference between it and a Baptist service, until they asked someone going through RCIA to leave the service during the grape juice and ritz cracker portion of the proceedings (can you tell I come from a Baptist background?)

    I left, too, before they found me out. I never did figure out who the priest was — the roly poly Santa Claus looking guy, or the lady who did most of the talking. She was one of those folks that sound really soothing when she talks, only later you can’t remember what she said. You can’t even remember any of the words you promised yourself you’d look up.

    The second one was a large Cathedral and it was much more conservative in its liturgy. I admit that it was beautiful and struck a chord.

    One of the earlier posts said something about the difference of denominations, and I wonder if you’ve grasped yet that different churches of the same denomination will give you a vastly different experience.

    I attend a PCUSA church, and, according to a local Presbyterian magazine, less than 6% of PCUSA pastors believe the Bible is the word of God, compared to over 50% of the laypersons of the denomination.

    That’s why it is becoming (has become?) an inconvenient social club, like the Episcopalians. Inconvenient because you have to get up so early to attend the meetings. Shoot, they can barely afford to keep up the organ. I got in trouble for lifting my bic lighter in the air after one particularly florid and finger-flailing rendition of The Old 100th…

    (I was married in an Episcopalian country clu…I mean, church, and we left because we didn’t want to contribute money to fund a pilot of a cable teevee show they wanted to produce called, ‘Episcopalian Eye for the Straight Guy.’)

    #2922

    Andres Ortiz
    Keymaster

    Well, a different experience of the mass and a different theology from the pulpit are two different things. The Catholic churches are still unified in that they are doing the same thing, but presenting it in a modified way. It’s like you wearing different clothes. On the other hand, most Protestant churches differ in what their core beliefs are and other things so it’s not like someone changing their clothes, it’s a whole new person.

    [quote:3h6cna13]I attend a PCUSA church, and, according to a local Presbyterian magazine, less than 6% of PCUSA pastors believe the Bible is the word of God, compared to over 50% of the laypersons of the denomination. [/quote:3h6cna13]

    That actually scares me that there are Christians who do not believe the Bible is the word of God – especially Christians in leadership positions. :shock:

    And I’m sorry no Catholics have invited you to mass before. Do you have many Catholic friends? Do they know of your interest in the Church? Do you attend any church right now?

    Catholic comic books…interesting. What were they called – I’ll have to check them out. <img src=” title=”Smile” />

    #2923

    Elkabong
    Member

    Do I know many Catholics? Who knows? Most never mention it, at least around here. You could jeapordize your career and social standing, I think.

    You’re from ‘up north,’ I see, so you might not be aware that the south is still a land of suspicion and intolerence. Not that this is necessarily bad, but it’s true. I have a friend who is a charismatic and attends one of those ‘blab it and grab it’ churches. Never get sick or have a check bounce if you know Jesus, kind of thing.

    She’s an EMT, and likes to tell a story about confronting a young man who was into Dungeons and Dragons (aren’t they always?) and had consequently become demon possessed. The demon recognized her Christianity but not that of her Catholic co-worker.

    Most of the RC’s I have known are no longer believers or now in Protestant churches. Of course, given the locally prevalent mind-set, that makes sense.

    I’m fifty, and my friend, Billy, used to pass along the comic books he got from Church when we were pre-teen, until my mother found them and made me take them back. I don’t remember what they were called, sorry. They were pretty cool, I remember.

    #2924

    Andres Ortiz
    Keymaster

    Yes, you make a good point. Sometimes I forget that the south is like that. It actually shocks me that there are parts of the US still like that.

    Interesting story about your friend there. I know some people who are kind of like that. It almost scares me. Unfortunately, I think the D & D story about the demon not recognizing the Catholic person’s Christianity is a little far-fetched. :rolleyes: I get so sick of stories like that that supposedly “prove” that Catholicism in not Christianity. (Of course if people cracked open a respectable history book they would see that it was the first Christianity). There’s a guy on this board who plays D & D and is still a strong Christian (although he hasn’t been able to visit this site in a while). http://www.aboutcatholics.com/community … .php?t=109

    Yeah, I would imagine the South would be a pretty tough place to be a Catholic. I know someone who lives near Atlanta and has confrontations with non-Catholics all the time because he is a bit flamboyant about his Catholicism.

    Up here in Minnesota most people are of the traditional Christian lines. It’s about 40% Catholic, 40% Lutheran and 20% everything else. But I’ve watched TBN enough times to get an idea of what it’s like to be Christian in the south. <img src=” title=”Wink” />

    Sorry if any of this offends you. I think I’m getting a little defensive now – not against you, just that story of the lady saying “the demon” did not recognize a Catholic person as Christian.

    #2925

    Elkabong
    Member

    Yes, I know — what can you do? That particular lady is a big C. S. Lewis fan, but almost becomes violent if you mention that he believed in Purgatory — or was attracted to the notion, in any event.

    The same person is big on the so-called Toronto blessing, so, she has her own problems!

    I attend a Presbyterian Church, solidly in the reformed tradition, big on Barth and John Leith (his daughter attends our church).

    Most of the membership doesn’t attend, but that’s par for the course in a mainline denomination these days. I used to attend a PDI church. Those people all home school their kids and hit the place like double coupon days at the grocery store.

    #2928

    Andres Ortiz
    Keymaster

    [quote:2dwv2lau]The same person is big on the so-called Toronto blessing, so, she has her own problems! […] I used to attend a PDI church.[/quote:2dwv2lau]

    2 questions: What’s the Toronto blessing and what is a PDI church?

    #2929

    Elkabong
    Member

    There is a group of Christians who believe that God is miraculously transforming old fillings to gold. Put it in a search engine if you don’t believe me. There are supposedly other manifestations, but that is the one that sticks in my memory.

    Now, personally, I’d like to see the incredulous look on the face of your average Sudanese believer if someone tried to explain this phenomonon.
    http://www.ewtn.com/library/SPIRIT/TORONTO.HTM

    PDI is a semi/charismatic, Reformed doctrine “non-denomination” denomination that I used to attend. I think they’ve changed their name. It’s a home-schooling, child bearing, early thirties kind of group that I was completely out of place in. I think you can also still find them under PDI church on Google.
    http://www.sovereigngraceministries.org/

    #2931

    Benedict
    Member

    I would be the D&D guy (Hi Jon!). Like Jon, I am rather skeptical of the demon story.

    I am back home, so no more firewall/filter blocking my access.

    #2935

    Andres Ortiz
    Keymaster

    Oh ok, so the Toronto blessing is kind of like the Pentecostal altar call thing? I think I get the general idea. Thanks for the link! <img src=” title=”Smile” />

    [quote:3qxtdux0]I would be the D&D guy (Hi Jon!). Like Jon, I am rather skeptical of the demon story.

    I am back home, so no more firewall/filter blocking my access.[/quote:3qxtdux0]

    Hey, welcome back Benedict! I saw you posting a lot on Suzanne’s boards – you write some good apologetics stuff. Now that you’re back maybe we can pump some life back into this place. As you can see it’s mostly died with the exception of Elkabong here.

    #3100

    Is the belief that Jesus and the Holy Spirit somehow save you totaly from within yourself. The physical church and the interplay with other believers, is almost irrelevant…at least in terms of salvation.

    I think many protestants search for churches like they search for clothes- comfort and appearance.

    I have many protestant friends who are good people but they seem to view the physical church as a demonstration of their salvation rather than a means to it.

    #3102

    Andres Ortiz
    Keymaster

    Yes, that is very true, John. Apparently they forget Matthew 9:10-13:

    [quote:211qjigm]While he was at table in his house, many tax collectors and sinners came and sat with Jesus and his disciples.
    The Pharisees saw this and said to his disciples, “Why does your teacher eat with tax collectors and sinners?”
    He heard this and said, “[b:211qjigm]Those who are well do not need a physician, but the sick do.[/b:211qjigm]
    Go and learn the meaning of the words, ‘I desire mercy, not sacrifice.’ [b:211qjigm]I did not come to call the righteous but sinners.[/b:211qjigm]”[/quote:211qjigm]

    I’ve seen way too many times people that are looking not for a church that teaches some ultimate truth about God, but a church that shows you how to fit God into what you already believe and are doing.

    Another one of my favorite Evangelical/Fundamentalist ironies is their claim that the Bible stands on its own and speaks for itself yet they still go to their pastor for an interpretation and rely on Bible studies to guide them. :rolleyes:

    #3366

    asimonelli
    Member

    I would have to say that is was the very fact that there isn’t any Protestant Unity at all that led me to the Catholic Church. I got so sick of trying to find out which church’s interpretation of the Bible and God’s salvation is correct, that I came to the conclusion that there had to be more. Bingo! Holy Tradition of course! And also, before there was a Bible, there was a Church. The Bible is here because of the Church. That is why Sola Scriptura falls flat on its face. That was a real turning point for me as a former Protestant, now in the process of conversion to Catholicism.

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