Home › Forums › All Things Catholic › Doctrinal Diversity existing in Protestantism & Catholic
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June 15, 2005 at 3:54 am #1095AnonymousInactive
We all know that differences exist in all religions. Some are minor, others are not. How exactly are doctrinal differences resolved specifically in Protestants and Catholics. Let me know your thoughts.
~VictorJune 15, 2005 at 5:11 am #5093
What do you mean by doctrinal differences? Differences amongst theologians, people, priests?June 15, 2005 at 4:28 pm #5098AnonymousInactive
I can talk from the perspective of three different sects within the broader scope of Protestantism. That would be Presbyterian, Baptist and Episcopalian traditions. The Presbyterians would feel that it is no one’s business but the immediate church’s session, but, if it gets too carried away, they’d have to kick it up to the various levels above.
Baptists would feel it’s no one’s business but their’s and start a break-away church.
Episcopalians would think you were heretical and make you a Bishop.
I’m referring, of course, to radical differences in doctrine, like denial of the Virgin birth or the diety of Christ.
If it was lesser — infant baptism, say — they would pretty much remain the same, with the exception that the Episcopalians would privately wonder why you haven’t changed churches since you’ve obviously become a fundamentalist.June 15, 2005 at 4:33 pm #5099AnonymousInactive
[quote:2j3a2y50]What do you mean by doctrinal differences? Differences amongst theologians, people, priests?[/quote:2j3a2y50]
Hope my editing clarified things. The disagreement can be at any level. How exactly do things get resolved?June 15, 2005 at 5:51 pm #5101AnonymousInactive
[quote:285rg0w3]As a PresboCatholitalian, I have to answer Victor’s question as this — it IS just one entity. Just happens to be divided into different camps.[/quote:285rg0w3]
Elka, what exactly did you mean by “different camps”? Do you mean Baptist, Episcopalian, etc. Is this what you mean?
If you do, I don’t consider any seperation that results in the formation of new confessional bodies to be “within” the Church. Such a seperation is always a break “from” the Church.
It is true that schisms cannot be prevented by no denomination. We all have that problem. As the reformers soon found out that rebellion begets rebellion. Although the reasons for why people seperate from Catholicism are crucially different from that of Protestantism. As apologists Gary Hoge puts it,
[i:285rg0w3]It’s true that each of the thousands of confessional Protestant bodies has doctrinal unity, but they only maintain that unity until a doctrinal disagreement arises within that confessional body. Because there exists no mechanism within Protestantism for resolving such disagreements in a binding way, the end result is usually schism and the formation of a new confessional body alongside the original. I see this as a fundamental flaw within Protestant ecclesiology, because, in the case of a doctrinal dispute, one side or the other must be in error, obviously. Therefore, the schism results in the erroneous doctrine becoming institutionalized within one or the other of the confessional bodies, depending upon which one was wrong.[/i:285rg0w3]
In Catholicism there exist a mechanism to resolve doctrinal disputes. Most catholics know what the Church teaches on a particular issue and if they don’t they know where to go. That way, even the simplest Christian, no matter how uneducated he may be, can know what to believe, and what not to believe. The problem with most catholics that seperate from the Church is that they flat out don’t agree and refuse to submitt. In Protestantism what people call the “essentials” may differ from church to church and there is nothing to truly bind them.
[quote:285rg0w3]If it was lesser — infant baptism, say — they would pretty much remain the same, with the exception that the Episcopalians would privately wonder why you haven’t changed churches since you’ve obviously become a fundamentalist.[/quote:285rg0w3]
This is an example of what I mean by the “essentials”. What makes baptism lesser?
Let me know your thoughts.
~VictorJune 15, 2005 at 9:21 pm #5106
[quote:3p8ztbqb]This is an example of what I mean by the “essentials”. What makes baptism lesser?[/quote:3p8ztbqb]
Different denominations teach different things about baptism. For Evangelicals baptism is an ordinance and only occurs after someone makes an altar call or public profession of faith. Baptism is not the public act of faith in itself but something that Jesus told us to do because it is just a symbol. For them baptism is not necessary for salvation, therefore it becomes lesser.June 15, 2005 at 9:32 pm #5108AnonymousInactive
[quote:3rcimfi9]Different denominations teach different things about baptism. For Evangelicals baptism is an ordinance and only occurs after someone makes an altar call or public profession of faith. Baptism is not the public act of faith in itself but something that Jesus told us to do because it is just a symbol. For them baptism is not necessary for salvation, therefore it becomes lesser.[/quote:3rcimfi9]
Right, I was heading in that direction. But then we could ask, what is necessary for salvation? This is what I meant by the “essentials”.
~VictorJune 15, 2005 at 10:30 pm #5109
After that it generally becomes and argument of interpretation of the Scriptures.June 16, 2005 at 1:14 am #5116AnonymousInactive
For me, as a Protestant, there is doctrine and there is Doctrine.
Little d doctrine involves something like prayer to priestly celibacy. Although I don’t have a problem with this as a doctine (much scripture can back this up without having to stand on one’s theological head), although as a Presbyterian the notion of Priest gives pause. In the PC, we have no priest, no altar. Theological reason is that Christ has made the one sacrifice and we don’t need to replicate it.
Big D doctine would be the diety of Christ. If He wasn’t God and man, his sacrifice would be problematic.
How do you feel about that?
As for infant baptism, some Evangelical churches forbid infant baptism on the grounds that baptism doesn’t save, Christ does. Others (mine, f’r instance) practice it because of other scriptural reasons (salvation promised to a believer and his family). But it doesn’t preclude fellowship, or it isn’t supposed to.June 16, 2005 at 3:40 pm #5119AnonymousInactive
[quote:2h71kfxl]For me, as a Protestant, there is doctrine and there is Doctrine. [/quote:2h71kfxl]
I believe that a Catholic theologian would make the distinction of doctrine and DOGMA… dogma being the same as your “big D doctrine.”
Hope that helps.
ScottJune 16, 2005 at 3:41 pm #5120AnonymousInactive
I was trying to lead up to this: Elka, when I was protestant doctrinal diversity was a problem. We constantly defined what was little [b:1ajalxrn]d[/b:1ajalxrn] and large [b:1ajalxrn]D[/b:1ajalxrn]. Saying “go to the scriptures” did not solve the matter. If the pastor attempted to put his foot down, some would say “who are you to tell me what the Scriptures say? I’m following the clear teachings of Scripture.” As you can imagine this got us no where. Some members would leave and others would make something that was a big [b:1ajalxrn]D[/b:1ajalxrn] in a little [b:1ajalxrn]d[/b:1ajalxrn] and stay. As I said above this is a problem that is difficult to avoid in every denomination. Although I have noticed that the Presbyterian seems to have a more authoritative and structured way of handling such things. Nevertheless my question is how do they settle matters in the Presbyterian Churches if you have different groups (pastors and elders included) disagreeing on a large [b:1ajalxrn]D[/b:1ajalxrn] issue? Does the flock submit to their leaders even if they may not understand or disagree?
~VictorJune 16, 2005 at 4:34 pm #5122AnonymousInactive
Victor, I should know this, since I’m a deacon, but I’m pretty sure that it is addressed in the Book of Order, which is the organizational guide for the PCUSA. I’ll look at this while I’m at home and tell you later.
You know, the whole notion of authority scares me a little. I wonder if this has something to with the Scottish origin? You know, us Scots are hard-pressed to submit to any sort of authority ” title=”Wink” />
Given that there is such a wide-swing in the Presbo church, doctrinally, I think that a lot more is over-looked than challenged.
Does the concept of authority bother you at all? What are your thoughts about this as a Catholic?June 16, 2005 at 5:05 pm #5123AnonymousInactive
[quote:te11ebph]Victor, I should know this, since I’m a deacon, but I’m pretty sure that it is addressed in the Book of Order, which is the organizational guide for the PCUSA. I’ll look at this while I’m at home and tell you later. [/quote:te11ebph]
Ok. ” title=”Smile” />
[quote:te11ebph]You know, the whole notion of authority scares me a little. I wonder if this has something to with the Scottish origin? You know, us Scots are hard-pressed to submit to any sort of authority [/quote:te11ebph]
No it’s not just you or the Scots, it’s a human struggle. ” title=”Wink” /> I struggle with it from time to time and I’m sure we all tend to do that. But if you believe that the Church is the [i:te11ebph]”pillar and foundation of the truth” (1 Tim. 3:15), [/i:te11ebph]and built upon the [i:te11ebph]”foundation of the apostles and prophets”(Eph 2:20)[/i:te11ebph], and that Christ would build His [i:te11ebph]”church, and the gates of Hades will not overcome it.” (Matt. 16:17-19).[/i:te11ebph] This brings comfort to me because I know that no priest, bishop, or Pope can mess things up. The next obvious question would be, so which church is it? This of course can be dealt with history, Scripture and reason. Topic for another day.
[quote:te11ebph]Does the concept of authority bother you at all? What are your thoughts about this as a Catholic?[/quote:te11ebph]
Yes it did bother me. Even more so because I came from a Protestant background. I liked living by “the buck stops here” Idiom . Submitting to something other then myself was very uncomfortable and especially if it’s men of this world. The Scriptures, history, and reason help me deal with this and then faith started to kick in. At least this is the way it played out for me.
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