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Funny but sad – the impossibility of ecumenism with protestant sects September 9, 2013

Posted by Tantumblogo in Basics, Bible, disaster, Ecumenism, error, foolishness, General Catholic, sadness, scandals, secularism, Society.

I have made no attempt to disguise the fact that, as a convert to the Faith from a protestant background, I hold the efforts, by certain highly placed progressive types in the Church, to engage in ecumenism with protestant sects in contempt.  I do so because I know from close experience that the umpteen-thousand protestant sects out there all beleive rather different things, often radically different things, and that any effort to draw some accord with one, will only wind up alienating another.  And all such efforts will wind up alienating the Eastern Orthodox, who are still of the Church but in schism.  The only way such “important” accords between the Church and protestant sects can be arrived at, is by redefining language, violating the principle of non-contradiction, muddying theological definitions, and in general engaging in one huge exercise in indifferentism.

Last Friday, I posted an excerpt from Fr. Arnold Damen’s little treatise on the Church and the Bible, focusing on What it means to be Catholic.  Today, a furhter exerpt from this very handy little booklet, regarding just a few aspects of the numerous and contradictory beliefs held by a small number of the more well known protestant sects:

There are now throughout the world three hundred and fifty different   denominations  [this was written 150 years ago. Today, with the explosion of 20th century “evangelical” protestantism, there are tens of thousands of denominations, all based on the same error – private interpretation] …..and all of them say the Bible is their guide and   teacher. And I suppose they are all sincere. Are all of them true churches? This   is an impossibility. Truth is one as God is one, and there can be no   contradiction. Every man in his senses sees that every one of them cannot be   true, for they differ and contradict one another, and cannot, therefore, be all   true. The Protestants say the man that reads the Bible right and prayerfully has   truth, and they all say that they read it right. 

Let us suppose that here is an Episcopal minister. He is a sincere, an   honest, a well-meaning and prayerful man. He reads his Bible in a prayerful   spirit, and from the word of the Bible, he says it is clear that there must be   bishops. For without bishops there can be no priests, without priests no   Sacraments, and without Sacraments no Church. The Presbyterian is a sincere and   well-meaning man. He reads the Bible also, and deduces that there should be no   bishops, but only presbyters. “Here is the Bible,” says the Episcopalian; and   “here is the Bible to give you the lie,” says the Presbyterian. Yet both of them   are prayerful and well-meaning men.  [Certainly. And we should always remember that when dealing with individuals. But when speaking of protestantism in general, heaping scorn on their constant, multiplying divisions and internecine doctrinal divisions is, I think, appropriate, even necessary.]

Then the Baptist comes in. He is a well-meaning, honest man, and prayerful   also. “Well,” says the Baptist, “have you ever been baptized?” “I was,” says the   Episcopalian, “when I was a baby.” 

“And so was I,” says the Presbyterian, “when I was a baby.” “But,” says the   Baptist, “you are going to Hell as sure as you live.” 

Next comes the Unitarian, well-meaning, honest, and sincere. “Well,” says the   Unitarian, “allow me to tell you that you are a pack of idolators. You worship a   man for a God who is no God at all.” And he gives several texts from the Bible   to prove it, while the others are stopping their ears that they may not hear the   blasphemies of the Unitarian. And they all contend that they have the true   meaning of the Bible.  [Unitarianism was an early attempt to amalgamate liberal political/cultural views with Christianity.  The result?  The chucking of Christ.  Unitarianism was simply an early version of modernism, which is a more recent attempt to “reconcile” Christianity and leftist socio-political views.  The end result has always been the same, as it must: the leftism crushes the Christianity, and all that remains is a shrunken, dead husk of religiosity masking the leftism.  Thus, so many Katholycs.]

Next comes the Methodist, and he says, “My friends, have you got any religion   at all?” “Of course we have,” they say. “Did you ever feel religion,” says the   Methodist, “the spirit of God moving within you?” “Nonsense,” says the   Presbyterian, “we are guided by our reason and judgment.” “Well,” says the   Methodist, “if you never felt religion, you never had it, and will go to Hell   for eternity.”  [That’s just so great. Nails it]

The Universalist next comes in, and hears them threatening one another with   eternal hellfire. “Why,” says he, “you are a strange set of people. Do you not   understand the Word of God? There is no Hell at all. That idea is good enough to   scare old women and children,” and he proves it from the Bible. 

Now comes in the Quaker. He urges them not to quarrel, and advises that they   do not baptize at all. He is the sincerest of men, and gives the Bible for his   faith. 

Another comes in and says: “Baptize the men and let the women alone. For the   Bible says, unless a man be born again of water and the Holy Ghost, he cannot   enter the Kingdom of Heaven.” “So,“ says he, “the women are all right, but   baptize the men.”  [This is actually really key……..see below]

Next comes in the Shaker, and says he: “You are a presumptuous people. Do you   not know that the Bible tells you that you must work out your salvation in fear   and trembling, and you do not tremble at all. My brethren, if you want to go to   Heaven shake, my brethren, shake!” 

—————End Quote—————-

I promised myself I would do shorter posts this week, so I’ll try to be brief.  As one can see above, what protestantism has always done is to elevate certain bits of Scripture – whatever happened to exercise their founder, for instance – at the expense of others, the result being the great disfigurement of the whole.  This is inevitable when men are set loose on the Bible without some Authority to guide them and determine the relative meaning and import of all the tens of thousands of verses of Scripture each on their own, and over and against each other.  That is the great Grace of Tradition, which has served as that guide.

I find it more than slightly important that all the ancient Churches, whether in union with the Holy See or not, understand that a Church must have a central source of Authority to determine matters of Doctrine and judge what constitutes true practice of their faith.  The Catholics and Orthodox of course believe such, but so do the Nestorians, Copts, and all the other ancient churches that sadly split off from the Catholic Church in the first millenium.

It was not until the 16th Century of Our Lord Jesus Christ that the Bible as “sole rule of faith,” interpreted privately by each believer, was even put forth as an idea, let alone accepted by many.  Christendom has never recovered from this shattering, utterly novel blow.



1. Steve - September 10, 2013

“And all such efforts will wind up alienating the Eastern Orthodox, who are still of the Church but in schism.”

Anti-Catholicism is rampant within Eastern Orthodoxy.

Who was more ecumenical and Eastern Orthodox-friendly than Pope Blessed John Paul II?

When he visited Greece, Pope Blessed John Paul II was denounced as an “arch-heretic” and labeled “the two-horned grotesque monster of Rome” by a clerical union that spoke for thousands of Greek Orthodox priests.

Thousands of police officers and security personnel in Greece were utilized to prevent tens of thousands of anti-Catholic protestors from venting their collective rage within the Pope’s vicinity.

As is the case with Protestantism, disunity in regard to religious teachings exists within Eastern Orthodoxy.

The Eastern Orthodox hurl anathemas against each other daily.

Overall, Catholic participation in the ecumenical movement has inflicted tremendous harm upon Holy Mother Church.

But Catholic ecumenical “successes” have been achieved far more often among Protestants than Eastern Orthodox.

Many Protestant ministers and communities have joined the True Church. Conversely, good luck in attempting to achieve that feat with the Eastern Orthodox.

Marguerite - September 10, 2013

Many protestant ministers and communities have joined the Church because the Catholic Church has capitulated so often in its ecumenical efforts that at times it seems the Catholic Church is no different from the Protestant sects.

2. Steve - September 10, 2013

As regards the Latin Church, as it is to the Western Church that the majority of Protestants have converted, our Churchmen have capitulated in the sense that they have stolen the Traditional Mass from their people. They have also stolen from us numerous traditions.

That said, any Protestant who has joined the Catholic Church with an honest heart and mind has done so after having accepted the following:

— The Catholic Church is the True Church.

— The Roman Pontiff is Christ’s Vicar.

— A true believer is in communion with the Roman Pontiff.

— The Roman Pontiff teaches, governs and sanctifies the Faithful. That also applies to bishops in communion with the Roman Pontiff.

— Each Catholic is bound to accept the True Faith that the Roman Pontiff and our bishops safeguard.

— The Mass is a true sacrifice…the Body and Blood of Jesus is real and present at Mass.

In short, the Catholic Church differs radically from Protestant sects.

3. John R. - September 11, 2013

As a Christian I am in search of the truth. If the Catholic group editing these replies let’s this go through, I am wanting real answers to questions that I cannot get Catholic Answers or anyone in the church to respond.

The first question: In the Torah, the Jewish Bible, the 10 commandments were originally given to Moses on the mountain and God wrote the inscriptions into the stone. When Moses found his people had made an idol, he was so furious he broke the stones and made a return trip to the mountain where he took the words of God and wrote the words with his own hand.

The commandments were NOT numbered, but the essence of the message was clear and the words concise. The Catholic Bible completely eliminated the 2nd commandment and split the 10th commandment as given to Moses into two separate commandments so as to keep the 10. All one has to do is read the Torah and then compare it to the Catholic Bible. This is a corruption I cannot accept because it came directly from God to us. Why does the POPE not fix this problem?

The second question: The Catholic Bible was created from the Alexandrian Manuscript. The video from the Church I watched intently specifically says it came from Alexandria, Egypt. This cult was started around 200 A.D. and was very corrupt in that it took the manuscripts that were part of the Textus Receptus (certified copies of the original scrolls created by the disciples) and proceeded to create incredible deviations, alterations, and changed the words and meanings to large numbers of the sacred scrolls. When the dead sea scrolls were found, (2,000 years after written) the words were found to be exactly as the King James Bible and not the Catholic Bible. I’ve been told there are a few versions of the Catholic Bible, but NONE OF THEM follow the Textus Receptus certified copies of the original scrolls. The question is: If one is to accept an infallible interpretation, how can one believe anyone using a corrupt version of the BIBLE that is being interpreted?

Third question: Protestants do not believe a person can enter heaven because of the good works he or she does. The primary reason Marin Luther stood up against the church were because of two reasons, primarily; 1) Salvation does not depend on works and if it did, no one would enter heaven and no one should have to go to a priest to confess their sins because the priest has no authority to forgive anyone and the Bible is very clear as it is Stated in Ephesians 2: 8For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: [it is] the gift of God: 9Not of works, lest any man should boast. 2) second reason was all the corruption in the church at the time.

tantamergo - September 11, 2013

First of all, your questions are not questions, they are accusations.

There are many different versions of Catholic Bibles. I do not recommend any version produced after 1900, and prefer those compiled no later than the early 1800s. Virtually all 20th century Catholic Bibles, especially the New American Bible produced by the USCCB, are infected to varying degrees with modernism. NABs prior to 1968 are OK (there is a 1964 version that is pretty fair), but anything beyond the 60s is utterly corrupted with modernism. I will not speak to any of those.

Regarding your statement on the ostensible 2nd Commandment, there have been numerous different numbering schemes for the Commandments dating back to the earliest Church. Numerous different sources disagreed with one another. Almost no early Christian sources (that would be, Catholic sources) followed the Jewish numbering scheme. I assume by 2nd Commandment, you are trying to allude to the injunction not to allow graven images. From the Douay-Reims Catholic Bible, which actually provided much of the foundation for the “sainted” King James Version, and which predates it by several decades:

And the Lord spoke all these words: [2] I am the Lord thy God, who brought thee out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of bondage. [3] Thou shalt not have strange gods before me. [4] Thou shalt not make to thyself a graven thing, nor the likeness of any thing that is in heaven above, or in the earth beneath, nor of those things that are in the waters under the earth. [5] Thou shalt not adore them, nor serve them: I am the Lord thy God, mighty, jealous, visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children, unto the third and fourth generation of them that hate me:[6] And shewing mercy unto thousands to them that love me, and keep my commandments.

That Catholic Saints like Augustine combined the injunction against graven images – so misunderstood and abused by protestants, in order to provide justification for their rape of Church assets (which, in the case of England and Scotland, at least, was the prime purpose of the revolt against papal authority) – into the First Commandment, provides no special problem. The denunciation of pagan worship of gold statues and things of the like remains, and is totally different from the golden cherubim that adorned the Jewish Ark of the Covenant, or images in Catholic, Orthodox, Coptic, and other ancient churches. These latter images are not worshipped in themselves as “gods,” as so many protestants try to claim. Note, even here, there is huge disagreement among protestant sects – Lutherans, Anglicans, and some others have churches adorned with great amounts of liturgical art – statues, paintings, etc, while even more liberal sects like the Baptists and evangelical communities pretend these things are profane.

The Pope does not fix the problem, becuase it’s not a problem, and it is highly debateable that he would be able to make such a change, anyway. And even more, every decent Catholic Bible that I have ever read maintains the injunction you claim is missing.

The Catholic Bible is not based on some Alexandrian Gnostic cult. Please. There were a large number of ancient manuscripts upon which the Bible was built, including copies of Scripture in the Vatican, at Alexandria, the Samarian versions of Scripture, the Septuagint, etc. There was a manuscript was Alexandria, but there was also an enormous library there and also a totally orthodox Catholic Church. That a gnostic sect existed there contemporaneously does not establish that the Alexandrian version, to the extent it was used (and its use was only as part of many other copies of the books of Sacred Scripture), was somehow “corrupted.” This is the same defamatory “Babylonian mystery cult” crap that evangelicals always try to use to prove the early Church went off the rails and into apostasy. Read some early Church history, like Jurgen’s Faith of the Early Church Fathers, Vol. 1-3, and you’ll find, my friend, that EVERYTHING the Catholic Church knows to be Truth was beleived by the earliest Church going back to the 1st century. But, to answer your question, you’re wrong on all counts, King James does not magically “match” the Dead Sea Scrolls, and yet again, King James has been very well proven to derive extensively from the Douay Reims version, which was the first Bible translated into modern English.

On your third accusation, yet again, you’re wrong. First of all, far from preserving Scripture intact and pure, the earliest protestant revolutionaries butchered Scripture to their own end. Luther added the word “alone” to Romans 3:28, and tried to have the Book of James removed. Because, that same Book of James provides the direct rationale for Sacramental Confession (Jm 5:16),, just as James strongly endorses works as being necssary for salvation. But not only that, but St. Paul himself makes plain that works are also necessary for salvation. What protestants do not understand, with their private interpretation and deformations of Scripture, is that what St. Paul is referring to when declaiming the efficacy of good works in various Letters, is that works done according to the Old Law are useless – but not works done in Grace under the New Law. Works done in a system of Grace are embraced by St. Paul, and trying to claim otherwise makes Paul contradict himself. I don’t have the Scripture quote to hand, I don’t have all my references with me, but it is there.

The whole problem, which I stated in the post, is that protestants wrest Scripture to their own destruction. Private interpretation was essentially discredited by St. Peter in that same 2 Pet 3:16. You find a few bits of Scripture to hand enormous doctrinal shifts on, taking them often out of context and decoupling them from the whole, which has resulted in the deformation of the Faith. If protestantism be so correct and right, why has it warred and split against itself hundreds and thousands of times? Baptists reject Calvinists who reject Lutherans who reject Pentecostals, ad infinitum.

Everything I said above, is not just the Catholic position, it is also the belief of all the Church that date from ancient times – Catholic, Orthodox, Coptic, Chaldean, even Nestorian heretics.

There is a straight line of advancing cultural decay and collapse ever since the protestant revolutionaries first shattered the unity of Christendom. The first protestant reformers OK’d divorce right out of the gate, making the sanctity of marriage a lie and leading to steadily worsening cultural calamities. The Baptists, as of 1970, approved abortion as moral by an act of their entire Convention. It was only Catholic defense of life and changing political attitudes that led Baptists to later claim abortion was a sin. If they can’t even get that right, what else have they got wrong? All the evils afflicting our culture today can be traced directly back to Luther’s apostasy in Wurttemburg in 1517.

Some questions back to you. Who compiled the Bible? Who determined which books constituted the New and Old Testaments? When was this accomplished? Who then butchered and removed large parts of Scripture that were found to be inconvenient? Who introduced radical new interpretations of Scripture that had never been accepted before, and many of which had already been refuted by heresies in Church both East and West?

But the fundamental damnation of protestantism is, and always will be, its disunity. Christ founded One Church, not 80,000 warring little churches.

This took a long time to write, and really isn’t what I want to be doing – engaging in endless Scripture wars with an individual protestant. If you’re not satisfied with my responses, I highly recommend you go to Steve Kellmeyer’s blog and throw these same things at him. He’ll do an even more thorough, efficent job of refutation.

4. Response to protestant accusations of Catholic “errors” | A Blog for Dallas Area Catholics - September 11, 2013

[…] I did a post the other day which attracted a protestant partisan who wanted to shock me out of my britches with his accusations against the Church.  My response became long and involved, and I even held some things back, but I put enough effort into it, I thought I’d make you suffer through it. […]

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