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I often wonder why there is a distinction between the Protestant idea of Latitude in doctrine, and the Catholic idea that one must hold to every doctrine in order to be saved. The essential message which runs all the way through both OT and NT is that faith in God is the fundamental. God is consistently called the rock of salvation, justice, mercy, etc., and pure innocent faith and hope in God is paramount. Catholicism seems to have added the notion that we must believe every last little doctrine, dogma, and notion promulgated by the Church in order to be saved. Old-style Latitudinarianism says that we must accept only the fundamental basics, and other doctrines (such as Church organisation) are to be "things indifferent" to us.

Can anyone show me why we as CHRISTIANS need to adhere to every doctrine, de Fide, of the Church in order to be saved? For example, why is affirmation of the Immaculate Conception of the blessed Virgin necessary to be saved? Why the Assumption? Why intercession? Why this, why that, etc.? :) I don't find this idea in the Bible, except perhaps in our Lord speaking of the "seat of Moses" and the Pharisees?
(09-19-2011, 07:16 PM)Laetare Wrote: [ -> ]Can anyone show me why we as CHRISTIANS need to adhere to every doctrine, de Fide, of the Church in order to be saved?

Because this is what Christ commanded.

In giving the Apostles their mission Christ said "All power is given unto me in heaven and earth. Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing men in the name of the Father, and the Son, and the Holy Ghost: teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you, and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the world (Matthew 28: 18-20). "And he said unto them, Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature. He that believeth and is baptized shall be saved; but he that believeth not shall be damned."

From these words two obligations are apparent: The Apostle were commissioned to preach to all nations without exception and obligated of teaching the same identical doctrines which he had taught them. 

The belief that people can themselves can read the Bible themselves and reach conclusions contradictory to what the Holy Church teaches is silly.  The Bible is not self-evident.  If it was, there wouldn't be 50,000 Protestant sects.  Secondly. the books of the Bible were selected by the Catholic Church. The canon was fixed by the Council of Hippo in 393 and confirmed by the Council of Carthage in 397. The Church is not the daughter of the Bible. She is its mother.  To deny the Catholic Church is to deny the Bible (which is also explains why Protestants reject the books of the Bible they don't like). 
Those outside the Church are damned (Lateran IV, 1215)
Those who deny any doctrine of the Faith place themselves outside of the Church
ergo all those who deny any doctrine of the Faith are damned.


This doesn't take in invincible ignorance or other circumstances which could lessen the culpability of the heretic, but in principle I think it works.
(09-19-2011, 07:45 PM)Someone1776 Wrote: [ -> ]In giving the Apostles their mission Christ said "All power is given unto me in heaven and earth. Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing men in the name of the Father, and the Son, and the Holy Ghost: teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you, and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the world (Matthew 28: 18-20). "And he said unto them, Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature. He that believeth and is baptized shall be saved; but he that believeth not shall be damned."

Believeth WHAT, exactly? The Gospel? That is not "the blessed Virgin was immaculately conceived and assumed into Heaven", for example. Why must we believe those things to be saved? What does the latter life of the Virgin have to do with us being saved, apart from being a salutary example of faith and humility?

Quote:From these words two obligations are apparent: The Apostle were commissioned to preach to all nations without exception and obligated of teaching the same identical doctrines which he had taught them.

Did He teach them transsubstantiation specifically? Papal infallibility, etc.? The contention, I suppose, is that these are later doctrinal developments/clarifications, and thus don't fall under the purview of His command. What exactly IS the Gospel He is preaching? Faith in the Father through the Son in the Holy Ghost? Faith in the Church too? What about everything else He never even mentions specifically?

Quote:The belief that people can themselves can read the Bible themselves and reach conclusions contradictory to what the Holy Church teaches is silly.  The Bible is not self-evident.  If it was, there wouldn't be 50,000 Protestant sects.  Secondly. the books of the Bible were selected by the Catholic Church. The canon was fixed by the Council of Hippo in 393 and confirmed by the Council of Carthage in 397. The Church is not the daughter of the Bible. She is its mother.  To deny the Catholic Church is to deny the Bible (which is also explains why Protestants reject the books of the Bible they don't like).

The claim is that the Bible contains the fundamentals of faith, hope, and charity. Parables given by our Lord are ample examples of charity; the hope of the prophets in what was to be done, the faith of the martyrs, etc.! Do martyrs die for doctrines and dogmas, or do they die for Christ? It is an interesting theological distinction between us and the protties. Please forgive me if I sound heretical or schismatic, I just need to learn.
Remember the Bible is not the end-all-be-all of Christianity.  The Church existed decades before all the New Testament was written down, and lasted another nearly four centuries before the canon of the New Testament was finally approved.  The Church is the final arbiter of belief.  We either believe all the Church teaches or nothing.  If we can pick and choose why bother believing in anything?

Transubstantiation is one of the oldest beliefs in Christianity.  When Christ said "whoever eats my flesh and drinks my blood shall have eternal life" he meant it.  The earliest Christian writings from the late 1st century all mention transubstantiation.  Transubstantiation was a central dogma of all Christians until the Reformation. Your absolutely right. Not everything Christ said is recorded in the Bible. This is specifically stated at the conclusion of the Gospel of John.  However Christ founded his church of Saint Peter and promised the Hell would never breach the gates of the Church.  If the Church is incorrect in teaching doctrine than Christ is a liar. 

The Bible alone is not enough to earn salvation. It is the word of God and is important.  Something to keep in mind is that Christians existed before scripture was composed. Saint Stephen never got to read the Acts of the Apostle.  How did he know anything? He trusted the Church.  Something else to keep in mind is you can read the letters of Saint Ignatius of Antioch, composed around 117AD and everything he says will ring true.  Challenge a Protetsant to read his letters and see if they can agree with half the things he said.  Catholicism can trace itself back to the earliest moments of Christianity and in the writings of the early Christians see our holy faith.  Protestants can't even read the writings of Luther and agree with most of what he wrote. 
I think you are begging the question when you say that "Catholicism seems to have added the notion that we must believe every last little doctrine, dogma, and notion promulgated by the Church in order to be saved," whereas "Old-style Latitudinarianism says that we must accept only the fundamental basics, and other doctrines (such as Church organisation) are to be 'things indifferent' to us." Not everyone is going to agree on what those basics are. For example, most Catholics would probably see papal infallibility as a fundamental tenet of the Faith.

Also, I think the Church's attitude on this might be more about protecting the integrity of Tradition as a whole. In isolation, individual doctrines might seem like they are unimportant to the cause of salvation, but really the Faith has been handed down from the Apostles as one Tradition. This means that it is necessary to accept that Tradition as one organic body of belief and practice, which includes various doctrines that might not appear to be particularly relevant.

You can sort of see this in the way that papal infallibility is supposed to work. The primary purpose of the Pope when defining doctrine is to ensure adherence to the Faith when there is confusion and disagreement. It is mostly negative because the Pope is supposed to use it mostly in order to eliminate incorrect interpretations and beliefs. So, infallibility is really necessary to preserve the integrity of the Tradition. I think the purpose of papal infallibility here shows the Church's attitude toward the rest of Church teaching and dogma. It is better to view it as on complete and self-sufficient Tradition or Faith rather than as a bunch of isolated and abstracted doctrines. The content of this Tradition expands over time both as the Church sees more deeply into revelation and works out the logical consequences, and as the Church must correct error.
(09-19-2011, 08:19 PM)Someone1776 Wrote: [ -> ]...you can read the letters of Saint Ignatius of Antioch, composed around 117AD and everything he says will ring true.  Challenge a Protetsant to read his letters and see if they can agree with half the things he said.  Catholicism can trace itself back to the earliest moments of Christianity and in the writings of the early Christians see our holy faith.  Protestants can't even read the writings of Luther and agree with most of what he wrote. 

The moment you mention St. Ignatius, a spark inflamed my heart to read him. I ran to his Epistle to Rome, and am just now reading Chapter 5. He says "I do not, as Peter and Paul, issue commandments unto you. They were apostles; I am but a condemned man: they were free, while I am, even until now, a servant." Isn't this a very protestant thing to say, comparing the Apostles to bishops who came after? Why would he, a bishop, deny being an apostle if a bishop has always considered to be the inheritor of the Apostleship? Is this mere humility on his part, or a larger window into an apostolic vs. "post"-apostolic distinction? SIGH

I'll address the rest of your posts later...

EDIT: Wow, wtf is this?

"I have no delight in corruptible food, nor in the pleasures of this life. I desire the bread of God, the heavenly bread, the bread of life, which is the flesh of Jesus Christ, the Son of God, who became afterwards of the seed of David and Abraham; and I desire the drink of God, namely His blood, which is incorruptible love and eternal life."

He said this as he was going to be martyred. I doubt they had the Eucharist in the Roman execution places. This puts a wholly different spin on "my flesh is food indeed and my blood is drink indeed"!
(09-19-2011, 09:01 PM)Laetare Wrote: [ -> ]
(09-19-2011, 08:19 PM)Someone1776 Wrote: [ -> ]...you can read the letters of Saint Ignatius of Antioch, composed around 117AD and everything he says will ring true.  Challenge a Protetsant to read his letters and see if they can agree with half the things he said.  Catholicism can trace itself back to the earliest moments of Christianity and in the writings of the early Christians see our holy faith.  Protestants can't even read the writings of Luther and agree with most of what he wrote. 

The moment you mention St. Ignatius, a spark inflamed my heart to read him. I ran to his Epistle to Rome, and am just now reading Chapter 5. He says "I do not, as Peter and Paul, issue commandments unto you. They were apostles; I am but a condemned man: they were free, while I am, even until now, a servant." Isn't this a very protestant thing to say, comparing the Apostles to bishops who came after? Why would he, a bishop, deny being an apostle if a bishop has always considered to be the inheritor of the Apostleship? Is this mere humility on his part, or a larger window into an apostolic vs. "post"-apostolic distinction? SIGH

I'll address the rest of your posts later...

If you read all his letters he is never short on advice....except in his Letters to the Romans where he offers no advice because he is in no position to do so since it is the seat of the Saint Peter.  He can't offer commandments to the Romans like Saint Peter and Paul did because he is not their successor.  Pope Sixtus was.

Also the Epistle of Saint Pope Clement to the Corinthians, perhaps the oldest work in Christianity not to be part of scripture, shows the Bishop of Rome advising the distant church in Corinth. Note that at the time of this letter Saint John was probably alive and far closer to Corinth to offer advice. 
Wouldn't you agree that there's a manifest difference between offering advice and commanding obedience to every doctrine? There is a certain fraternal correction issued by Clement of Rome, having none of today's military atmosphere.

Also, again, in the Epistle to Tralles, Ignatius says:

"I put you on your guard, inasmuch as I love you greatly, and foresee the snares of the devil. Wherefore, clothing yourselves with meekness, be renewed in faith, that is the flesh of the Lord, and in love, that is the blood of Jesus Christ."

The flesh of Christ is faith? The blood of Christ is love? How is this commensurate with Catholic dogma relating to our Lord's words about eating His flesh and drinking His blood, outside the Eucharist? :o
(09-19-2011, 09:26 PM)Laetare Wrote: [ -> ]Wouldn't you agree that there's a manifest difference between offering advice and commanding obedience to every doctrine? There is a certain fraternal correction issued by Clement of Rome, having none of today's military atmosphere.

Also, again, in the Epistle to Tralles, Ignatius says:

"I put you on your guard, inasmuch as I love you greatly, and foresee the snares of the devil. Wherefore, clothing yourselves with meekness, be renewed in faith, that is the flesh of the Lord, and in love, that is the blood of Jesus Christ."

The flesh of Christ is faith? The blood of Christ is love? How is this commensurate with Catholic dogma relating to our Lord's words about eating His flesh and drinking His blood, outside the Eucharist? :o

Why do you think he's making such a big deal about flesh of Christ and blood of Christ?

In his letter to the Philadelphians he says "make certain, there, that you all observe one common Eucharist. for there is but one Body of our Lord Jesus Christ and but one cup of union with His Blood, and one single altar of sacrifice - even as also there is but one bishop, with his clergy and my fellow servitors the deacons. This will ensure that all your doings are in full accord with the will of God."

In his letter to the Ephesians he wrote "the reason for the Lord's acceptance of the precious ointment on His head was to exhale the fragrance of incorruptibility upon His Church."

And what was the name of that church according Saint Ignatius: "the Catholic Church." (from his letter to Smyrnaeans). 
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