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Tuesday, September 1, 2009

The charges:

 Jennie writes:

There are centuries of history, from well before the Reformation, of people objecting to doctrines and practices of the Roman Catholic church. The objections of the Reformers have never been resolved. How can we resolve them here, when the magisterium has not changed anything since then except to add more objectionable doctrines? I believe the Reformers were right; and the differences still remain today.

There were centuries of people objecting to doctrines and practices of the Roman Catholic Church.  We call these heresies.

But in the interest of education and mutual understanding  here is some information on the Catholic Counter-Reformation

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84 comments:

Paul said...

Elena, in the link you posted to C.A under Heresies it says:

Protestantism (16th Century)


Protestant groups display a wide variety of different doctrines. However, virtually all claim to believe in the teachings of sola scriptura ("by Scripture alone"—the idea that we must use only the Bible when forming our theology) and sola fide ("by faith alone"— the idea that we are justified by faith only).

The great diversity of Protestant doctrines stems from the doctrine of private judgment, which denies the infallible authority of the Church and claims that each individual is to interpret Scripture for himself. This idea is rejected in 2 Peter 1:20, where we are told the first rule of Bible interpretation: "First of all you must understand this, that no prophecy of Scripture is a matter of one’s own interpretation." A significant feature of this heresy is the attempt to pit the Church "against" the Bible, denying that the magisterium has any infallible authority to teach and interpret Scripture.

The doctrine of private judgment has resulted in an enormous number of different denominations. According to The Christian Sourcebook, there are approximately 20-30,000 denominations, with 270 new ones being formed each year. Virtually all of these are Protestant.
---------
Well, to start off with. This is not an accurate description of Sola Scriptura:

("by Scripture alone"—the idea that we must use only the Bible when forming our theology)

http://www.catholic.com/library/Great_Heresies.asp

Elena said...

What I have in mind with this thread Paul is to defend the doctrines of the Catholic church as Jennie charged - not have you defend Protestant doctrines, which at this point I have no interested in challenging.

FYI, in my experience depending on the Protestant I talk to, sola scriptura has a different meaning. It apparently does not have a universal understanding.

Kelly said...

The objections of the Reformers have never been resolved.

I was going to point you to the Catholic Reformation (or Counter Reformation) as well.

The very first canon of Trent condemns salvation by works.

Barbara C. said...

Great link to the heresies, Elena.

Paul said...

The Circumcisers (1st Century)


The Circumcision heresy may be summed up in the words of Acts 15:1: "But some men came down from Judea and were teaching the brethren, ‘Unless you are circumcised according to the custom of Moses, you cannot be saved.’"

Many of the early Christians were Jews, who brought to the Christian faith many of their former practices. They recognized in Jesus the Messiah predicted by the prophets and the fulfillment of the Old Testament. Because circumcision had been required in the Old Testament for membership in God’s covenant, many thought it would also be required for membership in the New Covenant that Christ had come to inaugurate. They believed one must be circumcised and keep the Mosaic law to come to Christ. In other words, one had to become a Jew to become a Christian.

But God made it clear to Peter in Acts 10 that Gentiles are acceptable to God and may be baptized and become Christians without circumcision. The same teaching was vigorously defended by Paul in his epistles to the Romans and the Galatians—to areas where the Circumcision heresy had spread.
------------------------
The summary of Paul's charge was that the "Judaizers" had added to "The Gospel" and were therefore Anathema.
Rome at Trent and Vatican I has gone way beyond the Judaizers in adding to "The Gospel". And as recently as 1950:
By promulgating the Bull Munificentissimus Deus, 1 November, 1950, Pope Pius XII declared infallibly that the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary was a dogma of the Catholic Faith. Likewise, the Second Vatican Council taught in the Dogmatic Constitution Lumen Gentium that "the Immaculate Virgin, preserved free from all stain of original sin, was taken up body and soul into heavenly glory, when her earthly life was over, and exalted by the Lord as Queen over all things (n. 59)."
source
http://www.newadvent.org/cathen/02006b.htm

Elena said...

I don't think the church considers Marian doctrines as part of the Gospel message. It's separate.

Jennie said...

FYI, in my experience depending on the Protestant I talk to, sola scriptura has a different meaning. It apparently does not have a universal understanding.

Does every Catholic on the street know how to explain specific doctrines of the RCC if I or some other protestant walks up and asks them?
There is a specific and original doctrine of sola scriptura. The Fathers spoke of it without naming it. The Reformers gave it the name sola scriptura. It is the doctrine that scripture is the FINAL authority and rule (not the ONLY rule). Everything else must by definition bow to it because it is the very word of God.
Just because many people don't know exactly what it means or how to explain it doesn't negate it.

Sue Bee said...

From the Catholic Counter-Reformation article: The Protestants believed in Predestination, which offered salvation to the educated and wealthy laity. Technically, the poor were included, as well.

Huh? Cite sources please! Anyone heard this before?

Jennie said...

Sue Bee,
No. Several things in that article sound a little fishy.

Elena said...

Does every Catholic on the street know how to explain specific doctrines of the RCC if I or some other protestant walks up and asks them?

Here's the difference - every Catholic on the street SHOULD be able to explain specific doctrines - particularly the meat and potatoes basics of the faith.

But at least in my experience each Protestant interprets and sola scriptura a little differently and when I point that out they tell me that wherever I heard "xy or z" was wrong.

But this isn't a thread to challenge sola scriptura or any Protestant doctrine and I'm not going down that road.

Interestingly you Jennie are complaining that nothing has changed and Paul and others are complaining that it has! Can you agree on nothing?

Jennie said...

I don't think the church considers Marian doctrines as part of the Gospel message. It's separate.
They are considered some of the most important doctrines of the Church aren't they?
Here's a quote from the Heresies article you linked to:
Finally, the doubt or denial involved in heresy must concern a matter that has been revealed by God and solemnly defined by the Church (for example, the Trinity, the Incarnation, the Real Presence of Christ in the Eucharist, the sacrifice of the Mass, the pope’s infallibility, or the Immaculate Conception and Assumption of Mary).
It seems that the RCC connects the Marian doctrines to the gospel in many ways, by making Mary play such a prominent part in all aspects of salvation. Scripture doesn't give her this exalted role.

Jennie said...

nterestingly you Jennie are complaining that nothing has changed and Paul and others are complaining that it has! Can you agree on nothing?
I agree with Paul,and I think he would agree with me. I said that the things the Reformers objected to had not changed and that more has been added to object to since then. I did not say no changes had occurred.

Paul said...

Elena wrote:
"nterestingly you Jennie are complaining that nothing has changed and Paul and others are complaining that it has! Can you agree on nothing?"

Jennie responded:
"I agree with Paul,and I think he would agree with me. I said that the things the Reformers objected to had not changed and that more has been added to object to since then. I did not say no changes had occurred."
---------------------
I completely agree with what Jennie said.

Elena said...

Wasn't the whole point of the Trent discussion that you wanted to show how Catholic doctrine has changed?

Paul said...

Elena wrote:
"Wasn't the whole point of the Trent discussion that you wanted to show how Catholic doctrine has changed?"
------------
Actually I was addressing the fact that R.C Doctrine appears to have changed. I know that one of the boasts has been that it is "semper eadem". And despite the fact that it's members can honestly think that such things as "Indulgences", "Purgatory", "Hell" and even "Anathemas" have been put-away, matters of Faith are "irreformable". The Pope can even kiss a Quran allowing unsuspecting people to read something into that action. So when we see things that appear ambiguous or contradictory it seems to me that it is most likely an effort to obfuscate reality. This seems to be a rather recent practice. (Since Vatican I anyway).

Elena said...

so you're agreeing with your online adversaries that Catholic Doctrine doesn't change? I'm confused. It seems like you're trying to play it both ways Paul.

Paul said...

Elena wrote:
"so you're agreeing with your online adversaries that Catholic Doctrine doesn't change? I'm confused. It seems like you're trying to play it both ways Paul."
-------------
I'm saying that what it declares to be doctrine does not change. I am saying that the RCC is trying to have it both ways. They deliberately spin their literature to make it appear that things have changed when they have not. Hence the examples I gave recently in which:

The Council of Florence, the 17th Ecumenical (and hence “infallible”) Council of the Roman Catholic Church, said the following:

It firmly believes, professes, and proclaims that those not living within the Catholic Church, not only pagans, but also Jews and heretics and schismatics cannot become participants in eternal life, but will depart "into everlasting fire which was prepared for the devil and his angels" [Matt. 25:41], unless before the end of life the same have been added to the flock; and that the unity of the ecclesiastical body is so strong that only to those remaining in it are the sacraments of the Church of benefit for salvation, and do fastings, almsgiving, and other functions of piety and exercises of Christian service produce eternal reward, and that no one, whatever almsgiving he has practiced, even if he has shed blood for the name of Christ, can be saved, unless he has remained in the bosom and unity of the Catholic Church. (Denzinger 714).

Yet, section 841 of the Catechism of the Catholic Church (1993) says:

The Church's relationship with the Muslims. "The plan of salvation also includes those who acknowledge the Creator, in the first place amongst whom are the Muslims; these profess to hold the faith of Abraham, and together with us they adore the one, merciful God, mankind's judge on the last day."

Paul said...

Elena wrote:
"I don't think the church considers Marian doctrines as part of the Gospel message. It's separate."
---------------
Well, if it was not what Paul delivered to the saints in Galatia and yet is necessary to be believed to be saved. Then it is a different Gospel. The popes in defining the Marian Dogmas have anathematized all who would in any way reject or doubt their teachings.

Paul said...

In reading the Scriptures, I just can't see all of this (see link) as necessary for salvation.

http://photos1.blogger.com/photoInclude/hello/182/3364/640/CathSalvPlan.0.jpg

Elena said...

I doubt that diagram even came from a Catholic source Paul so I'm not paying a lot of attention to it.

The gospel means "good news." The catechism sums up the gospel message this way:

God, infinitely perfect and blessed in himself, in a plan of sheer goodness freely created man to make him share in his own blessed life. For this reason, at every time and in every place, God draws close to man. He calls man to seek him, to know him, to love him with all his strength. He calls together all men, scattered and divided by sin, into the unity of his family, the Church. To accomplish this, when the fullness of time had come, God sent his Son as Redeemer and Savior. In his Son and through him, he invites men to become, in the Holy Spirit, his adopted children and thus heirs of his blessed life.

Period.

Clare said...

Paul
The salvation plan you posted... Do share where you found it. It's really interesting.
Maybe it's just me, but it seems to brilliantly exemplify the difference between Protestant and Catholic ways of seeing things.
Protestants seem to like charts and diagrams much more.

Clare said...

Paul
That game of salvation snakes and ladders is VERY ODD.
I can't believe it's catholic.
I could be wrong but 'de justification' and 're justification' sound very unlike catholic terminology to me.

It's all very cut and dried. It doesn't include 'grey area' stuff (like 'baptism of desire' perhaps)
It uses sneaky phrases like "increased justification through the reception of merited grace" but ignores the fact that we believe God certainly gives unmerited grace.

It's bugging me now. Go on, 'fess up, where did you get it?

Also, could you be a bit more specific about which bit (of this presumably Protestant representation of catholic salvation beliefs) are actually "unscriptural"

Kelly said...

It seems that the RCC connects the Marian doctrines to the gospel in many ways, by making Mary play such a prominent part in all aspects of salvation.

Paul and Jennie, would you consider someone a Christian who believed that Jesus Christ was the Son of God, who died for our sins, but that did not believe in the virgin birth?

Jennie said...

Protestants seem to like charts and diagrams much more.
If it was a protestant, which seems likely, he was probably trying to put everything he saw in the catechism, etc. into one place so people could see how it might all work together.
Clare, you mentioned the chart shows 'merited grace' but doesn't mention that you believe in unmerited grace. Are there not both mentioned in the catechism? And if so, how can grace be merited? It means 'undeserved favor.'

Jennie said...

Kelly,
Paul and Jennie, would you consider someone a Christian who believed that Jesus Christ was the Son of God, who died for our sins, but that did not believe in the virgin birth?
No, not if they were rejecting it; if they were ignorant and just needed instruction, then it's possible.
But the virgin birth is biblical, and is the sign of the Messiah's birth. Most of the Catholic doctrines have no basis in scripture or history. They are myths based on speculation and human reasoning.

Elena said...

The Marion doctrines have a basis in scripture and history.


There, I guess we can both make declarative statements!!

Kelly said...

So you see my point. Mary is tied to the Incarnation. Understanding her role is not adding all sorts of unnecessary baggage to the gospel. It is helping us to understand the great miracle of how God could be made flesh.

Jennie said...

Kelly,
What does the immaculate conception and the assumption and all the prayers to Mary, etc. have to do with understanding the incarnation? They take attention away from Jesus, who didn't need to be born to a sinless person in order to be sinless Himself, any more than we need to be sinless first in order to be saved. Only the doctrines that are specifically in scripture are necessary and good to help us understand the incarnation and the gospel.

Clare said...

Jennie
Sorry. I am on top of my head tonight getting older boy ready for his first day at high school ( he's been homeschooled till now so it's a biggie for us)

I'll get back to you on this, but I believe that Protestants and Catholics don't share exactly the same definition of what Grace is.
The little acronym I learnt as a Protestant ( 'Gods Riches At Christs Expense') doesn't quite cover it.
Later!

Elena said...

What does the immaculate conception and the assumption and all the prayers to Mary, etc. have to do with understanding the incarnation? They take attention away from Jesus, who didn't need to be born to a sinless person in order to be sinless Himself, any more than we need to be sinless first in order to be saved.

They have everything to do with it. God almighty who created all of us made his most perfect creature of all- Mary. And he made her perfect and protected her from sin. Isn't that what any of us would do if we had the chance to put in an order for our own mothers? And far from taking attention from Jesus, Mary glorifies God by her very existence - she is the essence of what we were made to be. And as she exists now in heaven complete body and soul, is how we will one day be at the end of time.

Clare said...

Jennie

"Clare, you mentioned the chart shows 'merited grace' but doesn't mention that you believe in unmerited grace. Are there not both mentioned in the catechism? And if so, how can grace be merited? It means 'undeserved favor.'"

Are you saying that you have read references to "merited grace" in the catechism?
Can you show me where?

My (catholic) understanding of grace is that it is a gift of God, undeserved and freely given.
It is a share in the divine life.
Through Grace, we become partakers in the divine nature.
This is something that we can chose to co operate with, or to quash, through sin.
Sin harms the life of grace in the soul.
It is my understanding that in honouring the commandments of God, avoiding occasions of sin, recieving the sacraments, prayer, and other 'good works' we are cherishing and nurturing the life of grace in our souls. This is not the same as 'meriting' or earning it.

I'm afraid I'm not expressing myself as lucidly or elegantly as I would like, but it's late here and I need to get to sleep.
I didn't want to leave your question unanswered.


I'm assuming that you are aware of a place in the catechism where it talks about 'merited grace', if so, I would be interested in reading it. This is a topic that is pretty new to me.
Best wishes, and good night from London!

Sue Bee said...

I couldn't get Paul's link to work, but I remembered seeing a flow chart once upon a time - so I hunted it down.

This is a Roman Catholic Doctrine flow chart made by a Roman Catholic:

http://www.davidmacd.com/catholic/catholic_doctrine_flow_chart.htm

Sue Bee said...

Maybe it is my browser - the end of the address is cut off...Must be why I couldn't open Paul's link.

Here is the link embedded.
Flow Chart

Taxing my brain tonight!

Jennie said...

Elena,
They have everything to do with it. God almighty who created all of us made his most perfect creature of all- Mary. And he made her perfect and protected her from sin. Isn't that what any of us would do if we had the chance to put in an order for our own mothers? And far from taking attention from Jesus, Mary glorifies God by her very existence - she is the essence of what we were made to be. And as she exists now in heaven complete body and soul, is how we will one day be at the end of time.

It all sounds good, but none of it is from scripture. We can assume that she is in heaven because she was a believer, but that's the only part of what you said that is understood from scripture. To me it's just a distraction from trusting in God alone, because I can see that I would be tempted to desire a perfect heavenly mother who would intercede for me or give me everything I ask her for, when Jesus tells me to pray directly to the Father for every need and to thank and praise Him and ask forgiveness. Instead of waiting on Him, I would be trying to get what I want or need from her. I think it's a major temptation and a direct disobedience to the Lord.

Elena said...

It all sounds good, but none of it is from scripture.


As a Catholic, I understand that sola scriptura is a man made doctrine and thus I do not believe that every item of faith has to come directly from the scriptures. I understand that the bible was never meant to be used as the ultimate guide book of everything a Christian was to believe.

So I don't have any problem with Marian Doctrines as they arrived to us through the church via Sacred Tradition, believed from the earliest church to today.

Your mileage, as they say, may vary.

Jennie said...

Clare,
I have just started reading the catechism, though I have read parts of it before. I don't know where all the references to merit are. I just read this part: http://www.scborromeo.org/ccc/p3s1c3a2.htm

Using the word merit is confusing to me, because most people think of merit as something one earns. I don't think it is the best word to use if you are trying to convey something given by grace.
I don't think the way the catechism uses the word grace is accurate according to scripture. The Bible doesn't talk about 'graces' as far as I remember, but about the grace of God, which is unmerited favor. So using the word merit along with grace is a contradiction to me, or at least a cause of confusion. I don't like it that the terms used are so different from scripture that it seems alien to me, and I can't understand it well. It seems like a different voice.

Elena said...

I can see that I would be tempted to desire a perfect heavenly mother who would intercede for me or give me everything I ask her for

You as a not-so perfect earthly mother to intercede for you every time you ask your mom to pray for you.

Paul said...

The Assumption Of Mary

How then did this teaching come to have such prominence in the Church that eventually led it to be declared an issue of dogma in 1950? The first Church father to affirm explicitly the assumption of Mary in the West was Gregory of Tours in 590 A.D. But the basis for his teaching was not the tradition of the Church but his acceptance of an apocryphal Gospel known as the Transitus Beatae Mariae which we first hear of at the end of the fifth century and which was spuriously attributed to Melito of Sardis. There were many versions of this literature which developed over time and which were found throughout the East and West but they all originated from one source. Mariologist, Juniper Carol, gives the following historical summary of the Transitus literature:

An intriguing corpus of literature on the final lot of Mary is formed by the apocryphal Transitus Mariae. The genesis of these accounts is shrouded in history’s mist. They apparently originated before the close of the fifth century, perhaps in Egypt, perhaps in Syria, in consequence of the stimulus given Marian devotion by the definition of the divine Maternity at Ephesus. The period of proliferation is the sixth century. At least a score of Transitus accounts are extant, in Coptic, Greek, Latin, Syriac, Arabic, Ethiopic, and Armenian. Not all are prototypes, for many are simply variations on more ancient models (Juniper Carol, O.F.M. ed., Mariology, Vol. II (Milwaukee: Bruce, 1957), p. 144).
source:
http://www.christiantruth.com/assumption.html

Jennie said...

Elena,
As a Catholic, I understand that sola scriptura is a man made doctrine and thus I do not believe that every item of faith has to come directly from the scriptures. I understand that the bible was never meant to be used as the ultimate guide book of everything a Christian was to believe.
The term 'sola scriptura' is man-made, but the doctrine that scripture is God's inspired word and so is the final rule for faith and practice is scriptural. If scripture IS God's word then it must take precedence. If something is claimed to be Apostolic tradition but is not written in scripture, it must be tested by scripture to be validated. Anyone can claim to have unwritten knowledge passed down, so it must be tested. What I wonder is, isn't all that 'unwritten tradition' now written down? And would it not have been written down pretty early on so as not to be lost?
Isn't the assumption of Mary never heard of until the 5th century? How could this be historical? It is definitely not scriptural.

Jennie said...

Well, Paul saved you having to answer my question about when the assumption was first heard of, Elena. And saved me from having to look it up again :)
Thanks, Paul.

Elena said...

How can it be the final rule when it was the church that decided which books to contain in it? It boggles the mind.

But I'm not going to get into a discussion of sola scriptura other than to say I don't believe in it for theological, logical and historical reasons and I won't be bound to it on matters of what Catholics should and shouldn't believe. That's a HUGE stumbling block, but it's not the topic of this particular thread.

Paul said...

Here is a 10 min. clip of The Great Debate I. This portion is actually the cross-examination period on The Assumption Of Mary.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=m4aOzMBLqWk&feature=PlayList&p=A344ABA14541A479&index=26

Elena said...

And would it not have been written down pretty early on so as not to be lost?

5th century is pretty early. The scriptures themselves weren't finalized for centuries until the church closed the canon of the scriptures - that pesky church deciding on the bible thing again.

Paul said...

The scriptures themselves weren't finalized for centuries until the church closed the canon of the scriptures ....yes, at the Council Of Trent.

It's amazing how so many people knew what was scripture long before that.

Elena said...

Council of Carthage - you were only off by about 12 centuries or so.

Jennie said...

Elena,
How can it be the final rule when it was the church that decided which books to contain in it? It boggles the mind.

It was written down by the Apostles and disciples mainly before the destruction of Jerusalem in 70 AD. Which were inspired books was well understood by the believers all along. You don't think they knew that Paul's works were inspired, and the gospels? The church finally listed them officially because many false books were appearing and they wanted to be sure it was clear which were inspired. There was not much disagreement overall which were inspired. Making an official list of what is already understood is different from deciding the canon. It's not like they would have chosen Homer's works to be included if enough of them had voted for them. They knew. If I remember correctly the Apocryphal books were NOT included and then were later included again at Trent. Correct me if I'm wrong.

Elena said...

Yea cause Paul is all that and a bag of chips. But here's some earlier info:

The Assumption is the oldest feast day of Our Lady, but we don't know how it first came to be celebrated.

Its origin is lost in those days when Jerusalem was restored as a sacred city, at the time of the Roman Emperor Constantine (c. 285-337). By then it had been a pagan city for two centuries, ever since Emperor Hadrian (76-138) had leveled it around the year 135 and rebuilt it as Aelia Capitolina in honor of Jupiter.

For 200 years, every memory of Jesus was obliterated from the city, and the sites made holy by His life, death and Resurrection became pagan temples.

After the building of the Church of the Holy Sepulchre in 336, the sacred sites began to be restored and memories of the life of Our Lord began to be celebrated by the people of Jerusalem. One of the memories about his mother centered around the "Tomb of Mary," close to Mount Zion, where the early Christian community had lived.

On the hill itself was the "Place of Dormition," the spot of Mary's "falling asleep," where she had died. The "Tomb of Mary" was where she was buried.

At this time, the "Memory of Mary" was being celebrated. Later it was to become our feast of the Assumption.

For a time, the "Memory of Mary" was marked only in Palestine, but then it was extended by the emperor to all the churches of the East. In the seventh century, it began to be celebrated in Rome under the title of the "Falling Asleep" ("Dormitio") of the Mother of God.http://www.ewtn.com/library/ANSWERS/AOFMARY.HTM

Elena said...

It was written down by the Apostles and disciples mainly before the destruction of Jerusalem in 70 AD.

Yes, yes, I know that. Honestly Jennie sometimes I think you think i am completely ignorant on the topic.

But the point is that those manuscripts didn't make it into the final canon of what was considered Sacred Scripture until the Church by its authority compiled them and said they were part of Sacred Scripture.

At least be honest about that historical part ok or else I really don't see any further port in discussing this with you.

Elena said...

If I remember correctly the Apocryphal books were NOT included and then were later included again at Trent. Correct me if I'm wrong.

OK, you're wrong.

Jennie said...

How can it be the final rule when it was the church that decided which books to contain in it? It boggles the mind.
Don't you think the word of the Apostles whether written or spoken was the final rule for the saints before any council finalized a list of books?
Didn't all the writers of the NT warn the believers to test everything they heard from anyone by scripture. If any word was claimed to be an unwritten tradition it would have always been compared to scripture, Old testament and New, even though the NT wasn't 'official'. It was God-breathed and didn't need a stamp on it any more than the Old Testament did after each book was written.

Elena said...

See my next post - which was too big for a comment box.

Jennie said...

Elena,
I am being honest. I don't know why you can't see my point.
But the point is that those manuscripts didn't make it into the final canon of what was considered Sacred Scripture until the Church by its authority compiled them and said they were part of Sacred Scripture.
How do you think the councils knew which books to consider? Did they just take everything that had been written since Apostolic times and vote on each one? They knew which ones to consider because they were already well understood from ancient times. There were false books coming in claiming Apostolic origin that needed to be weeded out or shown to be false for the sake of the believers of those times and later. The ones known to be Apostolic were never in question overall I believe.

Jennie said...

Paul,
I watched the youtube clip of the portion of the Great Debate. I think it's interesting that Mr. Matatics was arguing like an atheist, asking how we can know that scripture was really written by the Apostles, in order to try and undercut Mr. White's position on the lack of historical evidence for the assumption of Mary.

Clare said...

Well I hate to nag, and Paul didn't decide to share his source for that dodgy snakes and ladders game over which I got a bee in my bonnet.
I tracked it down to here:

http://beggarsallreformation.blogspot.com/2008/07/roman-plan-of-salvation.html

And here:

http://hereiblog.com/through-the-maze-of-the-roman-catholic-plan-of-salvation/

Apparently it's from James McCarthy's Gospel According To Rome.

LOL! I might have guessed.
Paul. Wrong audience. You'll have more luck with that dodgy chart if you show it to catholics who don't have a clue.

Clare said...

Here is another commenters observations:

1) Why is final perseverance after death and purgatory? Final perseverance just means perseverance until death.

(2) The chart fails to recognize that God can justify apart from the Sacraments of Baptism and Penance.

(3) The chart should include repentance with faith and good works among the things leading an adult to justification.

(4) Step 8 is incomplete. It is true that the justified grow in justification through sacramental and merited grace. God is also free to give them completely unmerited grace, outside of the sacraments.

(5) The chart fails to recognize the necessity of grace in moving the fallen Christian to repentance.


(6) I don't see "prayer" anywhere on the chart. Prayer should feature prominently in the process leading an adult to justification and in the process of sanctification (increasing justification).

Clare said...

Paul and Jennie
I haven't been reading these kind of blogs for long, but I'm seeing the same trend of misrepresentation, and use of dodgy sources going on alot.
This is really telling me something.

It would make your job alot easier if all catholics were credulous idiots.
Unfortunately some are.

Kelly said...

I *just* put up my post defending the Assumption a week or two ago and no one commented on it. Rather than writing it all over again, go read it and comment there:

http://mdcalexatestblog.blogspot.com/2009/08/feast-of-assumption.html

I also have remarks on the Bible canon, but put them under Elena's new post. Why do you guys get into these discussions on the evenings when my husband is on the computer??

Clare said...

Jennie
Using the word merit is confusing to me, because most people think of merit as something one earns. I don't think it is the best word to use if you are trying to convey something given by grace.

Yes, I understand. It is frustrating and confusing that we use the same words differently.

The word 'pray' is another example of this of course. It has come to imply worship.
Although the older original meaning was to make a request, or to entreat, I am wondering if catholics should update their vocab to avoid confusion.
I tend to avoid making references to 'praying to St such and such' now but rather say 'I'm asking St Such and such to intercede for me'.
A slightly OT point perhaps, but your comment got me thinking about that.

Kelly said...

Clare, I've made the point several times that the Catholic Church is so old, that it uses vocabulary which is now a bit antiquated. I usually give the recent change in meaning of "celibacy" as an example.

Yet, people still insist that using the older meanings (which the Catholic Church has used consistently since it was just the meaning, and not the older meaning) is the Catholic Church's way of trying to confuse people, or some such sinister motivation.

Kelly said...

Jennie wrote:

It all sounds good, but none of it is from scripture.

Well, I hope you don't celebrate Christmas, or worship on Sunday, or use grape juice instead of wine for the Lord's Supper. Because that all sounds good, but none of it is from Scripture.

Elena said...

DOUBLE SNAP!!!

Sue Bee said...

Very quickly...

A key word to understanding Sola Scriptura is sufficiency.

According to SS, everything that is necessary for salvation is found in Scripture. Saving faith can be created by Word alone.

Scripture contains the words of the Gospel and it is that Gospel that saves me. Word alone is sufficient for salvation.

Kelly said...

Sue Bee, can you tell me how you think that differs from the Catholic understanding of Scripture?

I didn't see anything in what you wrote that I disagreed with, but I might have missed something.

We believe Scripture is authoritative. We believe that it contains everything you need for salvation.

But we do not believe that Scripture alone is our sole authority, or that you are not allowed to believe anything that isn't specifically mentioned in the Bible.

Barbara C. said...

Unfermented grape juice (aka as non-alcoholic) wasn't even possible until 1869. Dr. Welch had to wait for pasteurization to be discovered in 1862.

Just a little nerd nugget for the day.

Jennie said...

Kelly,
Well, I hope you don't celebrate Christmas, or worship on Sunday, or use grape juice instead of wine for the Lord's Supper. Because that all sounds good, but none of it is from Scripture.
I don't consider Christmas as a part of church doctrine. It's a tradition that some celebrate as part of church worship and some celebrate as just a family and cultural tradition. It's certainly not something that was commanded in scripture or done in the early church.
As to the other things, they are not major doctrines pertaining to salvation, but would be considered matters of freedom and conscience, as to what day to worship, and whether to use alcoholic wine for communion. There is not agreement on them, so we should do as conscience dictates. We don't believe traditions are bad, just that they must be in line with scripture.

The RC doctrines of Mary are not taught in scripture AND are in contradiction to it. They are myths with no historical support and, in protestant eyes, should not be believed and certainly should not be dogmas that everyone must believe. In the firm belief of many Christians, they take away from the supremacy of Christ and the gospel message, and point people to Mary instead.

Clare said...

DOUBLE SNAP!!!

Please translate the meaning of this phrase for curious Englander.

Clare said...

Jennie
The RC doctrines of Mary are not taught in scripture AND are in contradiction to it

How are the marian doctrines in contradiction to scripture?

Jennie said...

Clare,
I'll have to come back later this evening to comment on the Marian doctrines. I do have a few posts on my blog with lots of comments that discuss this if you would like to look at them in the meantime. Just look under 'Mary' in the sidebar.

Sue Bee said...

Kelly said: We believe Scripture is authoritative. We believe that it contains everything you need for salvation.

Then there should be no disagreement. RC's should accept SS as valid doctrine since it does not put anyone's salvation at risk.

But we do not believe that Scripture alone is our sole authority, or that you are not allowed to believe anything that isn't specifically mentioned in the Bible.

But why do so when it isn't necessary for salvation?

Clare said...

But why do so when it isn't necessary for salvation?

Is salvation the only worthy objective?
How about growing in holiness, answering the great commision etc?

Kelly said...

I don't consider Christmas as a part of church doctrine. It's a tradition that some celebrate as part of church worship and some celebrate as just a family and cultural tradition. It's certainly not something that was commanded in scripture or done in the early church.

I get very frustrated that things non-Catholic Christians do which are traditions are always okay, even though they aren't Scriptural. Anything Catholics do which smack of tradition (such as pray the rosary) is met with the accusation that it isn't in the Bible, and therefore shouldn't be done.

The RC doctrines of Mary are not taught in scripture AND are in contradiction to it. They are myths with no historical support and, in protestant eyes, should not be believed and certainly should not be dogmas that everyone must believe.

How does the Assumption contradict Scripture, which is silent on what happened to Mary. Elijah and Enoch were assumed into heaven.

I would also disagree that there is no historical support. In my blog entry which I linked to earlier, you can see that the church which holds Mary's empty tomb is still around. Historical accounts always refer to an empty tomb.

It isn't as if there are accounts of the body being there, and then at a certain point they change to describing an empty tomb, as it would if the body were stolen.

Sue Bee said...

Clare asks: Is salvation the only worthy objective?
How about growing in holiness, answering the great commision etc?


Hmmm - good question...Which is more important, justification or sanctification?

My answer is that what is most important is that Jesus' has died for my sins so by His Grace and through faith I am justified.

The work of the Holy Spirit to sanctify me is on-going and won't be complete until heaven is my home (and that could happen in minutes or years - I may be as sanctified as I'm going to get :) ). Justification is necessary to begin and complete the work of sanctification. Sanctification only comes through justification so justification is the greater of the two.

This life is short, temporal. The next life is forever, eternal. I would rather spend it in heaven. It isn't wrong to desire sanctification - in fact it is a sign that the Holy Spirit is working within you!

Jennie said...

Kelly,
I would also disagree that there is no historical support. In my blog entry which I linked to earlier, you can see that the church which holds Mary's empty tomb is still around. Historical accounts always refer to an empty tomb.
I haven't heard of Mary's empty tomb. When does history speak of it? I've heard of many people going to the Holy Land to see Jesus' empty tomb, but not Mary's. I'll go back and look at your earlier blog entry.
The Bible records Jesus' resurrection and ascension, and earlier as you said it records Elijah and Enoch being taken up into heaven alive, so if Mary was assumed and it's so important to Christianity, why is it not recorded in scripture and testified to by early believers by many eyewitnesses as Jesus' death and resurrection and ascension were?

Jennie said...

Kelly,
It looks like all the documents that refer to the assumption are from the 5th century or later. That's not the same as the eyewitness accounts of Christ and the historical accounts from the same period as Christ that speak of the events of the time. It still looks like the Mary stories came in later as myths.

Clare said...

It is a little bit intriguing to observe the lack of relics of Mary. No 'true bones' or anything.
The early church ( and this habit persists) tended to treat the mortal remains of saints with great care and reverence.

Jennie said...

Clare,
I don't know much about relics; I tend to wonder how, or if, it is known for sure that the relics are really from the person claimed. Is there documentation?

Clare said...

Jennie
Lots of fraudulents claims to be in possesion of a splinter of the 'true cross' and a bone of the saint du jour abounded I'm sure.

What I meant was, there were no claims ( apparently, and I've certainly never heard tales of them) to have any relics of Mary.

Daughter of Wisdom said...

I can shed a little light on why the body of Mary was not found.

The burial practices of 1st century Jews were markedly different from the modern burial practices of today, or of our culture. In first century Jewry, bodies were not embalmed or preserved. The body was anointed with special herbs such as myrrh or aloes to mask the stench as the body decomposed. Once the body had decomposed, the bones were taken and placed in a box called an ossuary, which contained all the bones of a particular family. These ossuaries were then stored in special burial caves where they could be retrieved at any time so that new bones from newly deceased family members could be added. For more information see Ossuary.

Another thing: The name Mary was very common back then. It would have been difficult to next to impossible for a devout Catholic who came along hundreds of years later (as there were no Roman Catholics in the first century) to determine which bones belonged to Mary of Nazareth. The destruction of familial records by the then Roman empire, and the Jewish diaspora of 70 A.D would also make it virtually impossible for people to identify remains.

Conclusion: No body of Mary because the body had rotted away, and the documentation to identify the bones were destroyed.

I hope this helps :-)

Clare said...

Daughter of Wisdom
That's not quite what I was driving at.
My query wasn't so much "where are Marys bones?" But rather an observation that, in a culture that already made a habit of recording where the heroes of the faith were buried ( eg the OT patriarchs), and where the bones of early martyrs were carefully gathered by the early christians and altars were built over them etc. Why are there no stories of Marys remains?

I'm not talking about Catholics coming along "hundreds of years later" looking for archaeological evidence of Marys bones. I'm talking about the oral passing on of information that one might expect regarding the death and burial of Mary the Mother of Our Lord.

We're not talking about the grave of some anonymous bumpkin that years later takes our interest, but we find that all the old parish records were destroyed in a fire and anyway there are mindreds of graves marked 'Ethel Smith'.

I'm not even looking for verifiable relics of Mary. As I said earlier, I'm sure fakes abounded ( esp in the middle ages).
But despite the claims to have:
Jesus' baby blanket - Aachen, Germany
Jesus' foreskin ("Holy Prepuce") - Coulombs Abbey, France
Jesus' loin cloth worn on the cross - Aachen, Germany
Pieces of the true cross - many locations, but primarily Santo Toribio de Liébana, Spain
Mary's cloak - Aachen, Germany etc
There is NO tradition around alleged bones, or some other physical relic, of Mary.

Could it be that it was just accepted that there were none?

I don't think your suggestion about her bones being quietly gathered up in an ossuary and forgotten about is a likely scenario. I think she was far too significant for that.

Daughter of Wisdom said...

Okay. There is no tradition of Mary's bones or relics because that was not something the early Christians of the first century did. They did not preserve bones or relics for religious purposes. The tradition was for bodies to be allowed to decompose in shallow graves then the bones were placed in ossuaries. The Biblical record attests to this in its description of the burial of Jesus, our God and Savior of the world.

John 19:38-42, NIV:

"38Later, Joseph of Arimathea asked Pilate for the body of Jesus. Now Joseph was a disciple of Jesus, but secretly because he feared the Jews. With Pilate's permission, he came and took the body away. 39He was accompanied by Nicodemus, the man who earlier had visited Jesus at night. Nicodemus brought a mixture of myrrh and aloes, about seventy-five pounds.[d] 40Taking Jesus' body, the two of them wrapped it, with the spices, in strips of linen. This was in accordance with Jewish burial customs. 41At the place where Jesus was crucified, there was a garden, and in the garden a new tomb, in which no one had ever been laid. 42Because it was the Jewish day of Preparation and since the tomb was nearby, they laid Jesus there."

Jesus went through the first part of the burial procedure, but because He was resurrected on the third day, His body did not undergo decomposition.

Acts 2:23-27, NIV:

"This man was handed over to you by God's set purpose and foreknowledge; and you, with the help of wicked men,[d] put him to death by nailing him to the cross. 24But God raised him from the dead, freeing him from the agony of death, because it was impossible for death to keep its hold on him. 25David said about him:
" 'I saw the Lord always before me.
Because he is at my right hand,
I will not be shaken.
26Therefore my heart is glad and my tongue rejoices;
my body also will live in hope,
27because you will not abandon me to the grave,
nor will you let your Holy One see decay.
"

Jesus resurrection was attested to by the empty tomb and eyewitness accounts (1 Corinthians 15:3-6). The account of Mary's death and her supposed resurrection is sadly lacking in both documentation and eyewitness accounts. There is no evidence that this ever happened.
Peace and blessings.

Daughter of Wisdom said...

There is also no evidence or account of Mary being translated directly into heaven without seeing death. Such an important occurrence would have been recorded in the Bible, or at least referenced historically. None of the apostles ever mentioned this, and yet they referred to others who were known to be in heaven such as Moses, Elijah, and Enoch, and the significance of those men in the redemption plan of God. Nothing more about Mary after Acts 1.

Peace.

Barbara C. said...

Much of what is known about Mary is found in the NT apocrypha. While some of these books were rejected from the official canon as heretical, others were rejected because their authorship was questioned, not their validity. Other things were passed down in oral tradition.

The reason that many doctrines about Mary were officialy declared was in response to those questioning Jesus' humanity. Jesus was fully human because his mother was fully human. Would you not agree that a central tenent is that Christ was both human and divine.

Kelly said...

New blog post in progress. PLEASE stop posting on the Assumption on this thread until it is up! And then post there, not here! ;)

Kelly said...

New post is up. Or at least I'm calling it a night and heading to bed. Please move Assumption talk that that post and reserve this one for anything that might have originally been on topic that you still want to discuss.