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"Christian" question-off topic

by: lukesmom

I am confused , I have been seeing and hearing here and many other places the term "Christian" thrown around as if to identify a specific religion. I am Catholic, I am christian. A christian is anyone who professes belief in the teachings of Jesus Christ. Comments?

reply from: carolemarie

Yes,
Christian is a follower of Jesus. Not talking about a brand, like Catholic or Baptist.

reply from: LiberalChiRo

I agree, "Christian" is a large term encompassing anyone who believes in God and Jesus.

reply from: LiberalChiRo

Also I've noticed that the quick-reply box isn't working for me. It keeps asking for a topic title which I obviously can't enter into the quick reply box lol.

reply from: Faramir

From our Catholic Church's perspective, it is not enough to "believe in Jesus."
A Mormon would not be considered to be a Christian for example.
A Christian must believe in the inerrancy of the Scriptures, that Jesus is God and man, born of a Virgin. That he performed miracles, was crucified, died, and rose from the dead by his own power. To be a Christian, one must be validly babtized in the name of the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.
From a Catholic perspective, the above would be Christian, and radically a part of the Catholic Church, whether they know it or not, or believe it or not, since there is only One Christian Church, the Catholic Church.
That's the Catholic perspective.
Others call themselves Christian, but don't believe in baptism or that Jesus is God. Some don't believe the Bible is inerrant. On a board I was on, someone insisted she was a Christian, but did not believe that Jesus ever existed.
From a Catholic perspective, the above are not Christian, regardless of what they call themselves.

reply from: LiberalChiRo

Well catholics are often stereotypically full of themselves, everyone knows that.

reply from: Faramir

There are a bunch of Catholics on this board, you know.
That's how Catholics define Christianity. A definition has nothing to do with "being full of oneself."

reply from: LiberalChiRo

When you think you are the only one who is right (and only those who believe exactly as you do), I consider that being full of oneself.

reply from: galen

____________________________________________-
to be honest i have never heard a priest or bishop say it this way..

reply from: Faramir

I don't think that I personally am right. I think that my Church is right because as a Catholic I believe it was created by Jesus Himself, and he promised it would be free of error.
Catholicism was the only Christian religion for centuries.
Catholics believe that within the Catholic Church alone subsists the fullness of all that God wishes to reveal to man regarding morals and salvation (while in his earthly state).
HOWEVER, all other religions have good in them, and the Catholic Church does not claim that those who practice them will go to hell for not belonging to the Catholic Church (so long as it is through no fault of their own, and they walk in the light they've been given).
Yes, the Catholic Church makes some outrageous claims about itself. When I heard about them, I didn't believe them, but after checking everything out, I became a believer, and had no choice but to become a Catholic (as an adult at age 38).

reply from: Faramir

I don't think I have either. I haven't heard it discussed from the pulpit, at least.
But that's the Catholic position in a nutshell. I might have left out a couple things though.

reply from: 4given

Right.. For the most part. It is essentially about having a personal relationship with God. A personal respect for the suffering bought for us on that cross at Calvary. I think of my bloodied Savior and how deeply he suffered- in such a gruesome way- for my inequity! What an awesome Savior.. So yes, there are many brands of Christian, but what matters most is the person that stands solely accountable before the Heavenly throne on the day of judgment.
I believe in one God the Father Almighty, Maker of heaven and earth, and of all things visible and invisible.
And in one Lord Jesus Christ, the only-begotten Son of God, begotten of the Father before all worlds, God of God, Light of Light, Very God of Very God, begotten, not made, being of one substance with the Father by whom all things were made; who for us men, and for our salvation, came down from heaven, and was incarnate by the Holy Spirit of the Virgin Mary, and was made man, and was crucified also for us under Pontius Pilate. He suffered and was buried, and the third day he rose again according to the Scriptures, and ascended into heaven, and sitteth on the right hand of the Father. And he shall come again with glory to judge both the quick and the dead, whose kingdom shall have no end.

reply from: Faramir

I forgot to mentiono the belief in the Holy Trinity, but that's implied in the baptism formula.

reply from: Faramir

That's very similar to the Nicene Creed we say every Sunday:
We believe in one God,
the Father, the Almighty,
maker of heaven and earth,
of all that is, seen and unseen.
We believe in one Lord, Jesus Christ,
the only Son of God,
eternally begotten of the Father,
God from God, Light from Light,
true God from true God,
begotten, not made,
one in Being with the Father.
Through him all things were made.
For us men and for our salvation
he came down from heaven:
by the power of the Holy Spirit
he was born of the Virgin Mary,
and becam man.
For our sake he was crucified under Pontius Pilate;
he suffered, died, and was buried.
On the third day he rose again
in fulfillmeint of the Scriptures;
he ascended into heaven
and is seated at the right hand of the Father.
He will come again in glory to judge the living and the dead,
and his kingdom will have no end.
We believe in the Holy Spirit, the Lord, the giver of life,
who proceeds from the Father and the Son.
With the Father and the Son he is worshiped and glorified.
He has spoken through the Prophets.
We believe in one holy catholic and apostolic Church.
We acknowledge one baptism for the forgiveness of sins.
We look for the resurrection of the dead,
and the life of the world to come. Amen.

reply from: sk1bianca

the orthodox creed is very similar to the catholic, except the part about the Holy Spirit. we only say "who proceeds from the Father".
we believe that all religions have good parts, but only ours has the Truth. so there are good religions but only one guarantees salvation. sorry, i guess we're "fundies" about that .
the orthodox church doesn't consider mormons or jehowah's witnesses to be christians. we think they offend Jesus.

reply from: Faramir

The Greek Orthodox Church is about as close to being Catholic as possible.
You just reject the Pope as your leader, as I understand it. And there is also that detail about the Creed that you mentioned that is a sticky point.
The Orthodox Church is the only (non Catholic) Church a Catholic may attend and receive Communion, so long as there is no Catholic Church nearby. The Orthodox Church has true Apostolic Succession, and all Sacraments are valid (from a Catholic perspective).
I hope there will be a reunion some day.

reply from: 4given

Because it is. I have been to many churches- the first version of the Nicene Creed is from St. Rita's. St. John's and St. Patrick's recite as you do. I am a Christian. The teachings of Christ- if followed through Scripture are enough to build a foundation on. Much like sk1bianca, I do not recognize Jahovah's Witnesses or Mormons as belonging to a true faith. There is one God, One Jesus and One Holy Book. Any variation isn't of God, as the Bible says no man shall add to or take away from God's Word. (So the Book of the Mormon- or You Too Can Live Forever In Paradise On Earth don't quite "fly").. I guess you may have to ask the individual what being Christian means to them. I acknowledge that Christ is God's Son and died for me. I know that the only way to the Father is through Him and His sacrifice. I want to serve Him. I love and honor Him. So I am a folower of Christ or a "Christian".

reply from: 4given

Where do you live- I mean what country? They have come here.. the Mormon "elders" once stopped by and asked if they could "demonstrate love and service". My friend had them rearrange her living room! Do the JW's do door to door conversions in your neighborhood or country? I mean I don't mind them that much- for the most part they are sincere. My problem is with a Kirby vacuum I own.. and any solicitor- All of them. They need to step away from my property. I actually had some Harri Krishna's following me around too.. So yeah.. the "religion" itself is flawed, but often the unwanted communication is worse..

reply from: sk1bianca

i live in Romania. jehowa's witnesses and mormos are the ones that usualy bug people around here.
well, as far as i know, you can only recieve communion in an orthodox church if you have confessed you sins and received forgiveness. even so, if you had very grave sins, you can be denied communion for a certain period of time, so you can purify yourself thru penitence.
i doubt that if someone says he's a catholic he will be given communion. if he takes the communion and hides the fact that he doesn't belong to the orthodox church we consider that a very grave sin, such as stealing the communion.
however, it he wants to convert, it's a bit easier than for people coming from within other churches.
orthodox believers are forbidden to receive communion or any other sacrament in a non-orthodox church.
there are many differences between orthodox and catholics. but you have to look a bit deeper. history, saints, writings, teachings, atitudes...

reply from: abc123

The devils believe in God and Jesus....will Satan be saved or can Satan be a Christian?
James 2:19 - Thou believest that there is one God; thou doest well: the devils also believe, and tremble.

reply from: abc123

Faramir,
If the Catholic church believes that they are the 'One and Only True Church' then how can you claim that those who have not 'come home to Rome' can still go to heaven?
The sad thing is that the people in the Catholic Church don't know if they are going to be saved or not and as you stated you don't even know if babies that die in the womb will be in the Kingdom of God.......

reply from: galen

Faramir is very strict in his interpretation of Catholic dogma...

reply from: galen

here is a link that explains it well...
http://www.answerbag.co.uk/q_view/709554

reply from: abc123

Thanks Galen.....I just don't understand how and why the Catholic church seems to change such key doctrinal issues when new leaders take over? God is the same yesterday, today and forever. I find it hard to believe that through one pope God said salvation is only through the Catholic Church and then 100's of years later God changes his stance on that and says otherwise.

reply from: LiberalChiRo

The devils believe in God and Jesus....will Satan be saved or can Satan be a Christian?
James 2:19 - Thou believest that there is one God; thou doest well: the devils also believe, and tremble.
Why couldn't he be? Cannot EVERYONE be redeemed?
And I simplified the statement down to "believes in God and Jesus" but any idiot knows that it means, expanded, that Jesus is our savior and that God is ultimate.
But anyway, I don't think believing in God and Jesus is enough to get you into heaven. You have to be a good person. I also believe that being a good person is ALL it takes to get into heaven, so even people who have never heard of Jesus will go to heaven as long as they are good people.

reply from: Faramir

Thanks Galen.....I just don't understand how and why the Catholic church seems to change such key doctrinal issues when new leaders take over? God is the same yesterday, today and forever. I find it hard to believe that through one pope God said salvation is only through the Catholic Church and then 100's of years later God changes his stance on that and says otherwise.
The Church has never reversed any doctrine.
All salvation is through Jesus and his Church.
But those outside the Church formally can still be saved. And if they are, it is still through the Church Jesus gave us.
And galen, Catholic dogma is what it is. I don't "strictly interpret" it.

reply from: galen

a strict interpretation is one that never allows questions.. and if that were the case we would still be back in pre VII and never make any progress.. we'd still be burning witches too..Rules in the Church are made to be studied and questioned so that they may be revised if need be..what is revelation for if not to teach others.. why do you think a POPE declares change? Its through devine revelation and prayer and people who bring to his attention problems.
The Church has not remained unchanged for 2000 years.

reply from: abc123

The devils believe in God and Jesus....will Satan be saved or can Satan be a Christian?
James 2:19 - Thou believest that there is one God; thou doest well: the devils also believe, and tremble.
Why couldn't he be? Cannot EVERYONE be redeemed?
And I simplified the statement down to "believes in God and Jesus" but any idiot knows that it means, expanded, that Jesus is our savior and that God is ultimate.
But anyway, I don't think believing in God and Jesus is enough to get you into heaven. You have to be a good person. I also believe that being a good person is ALL it takes to get into heaven, so even people who have never heard of Jesus will go to heaven as long as they are good people.
The devil cannot be redeemed the devil is a fallen angel; Jesus did not die on the cross for angels he died for man.
In Hebrews 2:16 it says 'For assuredly He does not give help to angels, but He gives help to the descendant of Abraham.'
Being a good person does not get one into God's Kingdom; Jesus is the ONLY way to heaven. Jesus said in John 14:6 I am the way, the truth and the life,NO MAN comes to the Father but through Me.

reply from: abc123

Thanks Galen.....I just don't understand how and why the Catholic church seems to change such key doctrinal issues when new leaders take over? God is the same yesterday, today and forever. I find it hard to believe that through one pope God said salvation is only through the Catholic Church and then 100's of years later God changes his stance on that and says otherwise.
The Church has never reversed any doctrine.
All salvation is through Jesus and his Church.
But those outside the Church formally can still be saved. And if they are, it is still through the Church Jesus gave us.
And galen, Catholic dogma is what it is. I don't "strictly interpret" it.
Salvation is by grace through faith in Jesus Christ, not by grace through faith in Jesus Christ and the Catholic church.

reply from: nancyu

What is a Kirby vacuum?
This was when I was living (and now when I visit) New Zealand (am in the US at the moment). They drive us nuts! Our neighbour had a big problem with a couple who refused to leave and shoved their foot in the door so she couldn't shut it.
But I like the story about them rearranging your friend's living room! lol
Oh no, 4given, don't tell me you bought a kirby! I was "lucky" enough to use one in one of the houses I used to clean. It is a monster of a vaccuum cleaner that weighs about 500 pounds, and you can only fill the bag half way before you need to replace it. I'm glad I got to try before buying, because I never will. (unless maybe, if they promised to fight for personhood???)

reply from: Faramir

Agreed.
And the grace and faith comes through the Church Jesus left us.
But your ignorance will not be held against you, so long as it is not willful.

reply from: Banned Member

Catholic is not a brand, or even a denomination. That would be at the least historically incorrect to call Catholicism a denomination. I will not say that non-Catholics are not Christian, although to those who do not hold the biblical teachings of the Christ of the Gospel, I would say that sometimes, they are not Christian. Others still distort Christ so that they cannot be called Christian at all.
I don't consider Mormans to be Christians, properly. They hold to a gospel that is not of the bible that most biblical scholars would not even consider historical on any level. Rather than any gospel, the book of Morman just rather came quite out of the head of Joseph Smith. However many Mormans live lives that seem rather Christian in appearance, particularly mainstream Mormans.
Catholics think they are the only ones who are right, because Jesus Christ knew and proclaimed by the authority of his heavenly Father that He was the only one that IS right.
One person once called non-Catholic groups as non-ecclesial Christian communities.
Jehovas Witnesses are not Christians.
And Galen, if you think that Faraimir is strict in his Catholic belief, I am probably more so. But for some strange reason non-Catholics seem to identify with Christianity as I speak of it. I am not sure why that is. Non-religious types and atheists hate me unconditionally.
I am a Catholic after the mold of Benedict XVI. Faith and reason!

reply from: galen

i belive i stated what i know to be true.. the Pope can and does change things....
therefor it is not a faith that ca not br changed..
and yes i do consider you a strict adherer word?) to the dogma..

reply from: Faramir

I don't think Augustine is more or less strict than I am.
I am "orthodox."
I belive all that the Church teaches, as does Augustine and as do ALL practicing Catholics. I am sure that Teresa, Juju, Sheri and other Catholics on this site are in agreement.
This is not some kind of "right wing" version of Catholicism, but simply accepting the totality of Catholicism.
There have been no reversals ever of any dogma or doctrine.
If there had been, the Church would be a sham.
Doctrine can "develop" but it never reverses.

reply from: abc123

Agreed.
And the grace and faith comes through the Church Jesus left us.
But your ignorance will not be held against you, so long as it is not willful.
Faramir,
You are confusing the Pope and the Church with Jesus Christ.....Jesus Christ is God in flesh who lived a sinless life was crucified and raised.

reply from: galen

___________________________________________
i said revised.. not reversal..
Webster's 1913 Dictionary
Re
ver´sal
a. 1. Intended to reverse; implying reversal.
n. 1. The act of reversing; the causing to move or face in an opposite direction, or to stand or lie in an inverted position; as, the reversal of a rotating wheel; the reversal of objects by a convex lens.
2. A change or overthrowing; as, the reversal of a judgment, which amounts to an official declaration that it is false; the reversal of an attainder, or of an outlawry, by which the sentence is rendered void.
WordNet Dictionary
Adj. 1. revised - improved or brought up to date; "a revised edition"
2. revised - altered or revised by rephrasing or by adding or deleting material; "the amended bill passed easily"
Related Words
amended

reply from: galen

__________________________________________________
this is my original statement... i will have you note that if revision were not sometimes given to us by the Pope then JPII would never have endorsed evolution and the inquisition would never have stopped.. nor would Priests be celebit at this time...

reply from: Faramir

I'm not confusing anything.
I know very well that Jesus was the Son of God, who was sinless and crucified for the sake of our salvation.
And I know he built a Church and that the gates of hell would not prevail against it.
The Pope is the head of the Church, a vicar of Christ, but NOT Christ, and no Catholic believes that. We understand that the pope was born with the stain of Original Sin, and can be tempted to sin just like the rest of us. But we also believe that by the power of the Holy Spirit, he is prevented from creating any false doctrine.
But we also believe that it is possible to be a Christian while not being a part of the Catholic Church in the formal sense.

reply from: galen

again off topic somewhat.. but faramir.. have you noticed the change in Benedict after he became Pope? i remember reading some of his writings in the 80's and 90's and believeing he was positively dull and completely without empathy or compassion. now i look at this man and see so many changes. i have to admit i was too young when JPII was elected to notice any before and after in him. but the transformation of Benedict ( at least to me ) is pretty striking. To me it is an example of the Holy Spirit at work in a man.

reply from: Faramir

People can change.
And certain disciplines can come and go, such as vestments, a celibate priesthood, days of abstaining from meat, and the like.
But doctrine never changes. It doesn't ever reverse.
It can be more "unfolded" as new light is shed on it, but it never contradicts previous doctrine.

reply from: galen

why do you keep saying reverse... did i say reverse?? no ..
what are u or i missing here....?
i said revise and gave you a def.. NOT reverse.. never reverse...
so why do you keep using that?

reply from: galen

___________________________________________
i said revised.. not reversal..
Webster's 1913 Dictionary
Re
ver´sal
a. 1. Intended to reverse; implying reversal.
n. 1. The act of reversing; the causing to move or face in an opposite direction, or to stand or lie in an inverted position; as, the reversal of a rotating wheel; the reversal of objects by a convex lens.
2. A change or overthrowing; as, the reversal of a judgment, which amounts to an official declaration that it is false; the reversal of an attainder, or of an outlawry, by which the sentence is rendered void.
WordNet Dictionary
Adj. 1. revised - improved or brought up to date; "a revised edition"
2. revised - altered or revised by rephrasing or by adding or deleting material; "the amended bill passed easily"
Related Words
amended

reply from: Faramir

Can you give me an example of a "revision"?

reply from: galen

the stance on evolution...
been revised several times by several Popes.. i even posted examples in another thread..

reply from: Faramir

But that was not doctrine.

reply from: galen

here are a few links...
http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/10101394/
http://www.freemarketnews.com/WorldNews.asp?nid=1866
http://www.law.umkc.edu/facult...nlaw/vaticanview.html
http://ltc.cr.duq.edu/bsnes/da...Vatican_position.html
http://tmatt.gospelcom.net/col...96/11/06/?printable=1
http://www.ewtn.com/library/PAPALDOC/JP961022.HTM
sorry that took so long his original address was in French.. i needed to find an English translation so everyone could read it.
here are those links... what do you mean its not doctrine...
Main Entry: doc·trine
Pronunciation: \?däk-tr?n\
Function: noun
Etymology: Middle English, from Anglo-French & Latin; Anglo-French, from Latin doctrina, from doctor
Date: 14th century
1archaic : teaching, instruction
2 a: something that is taught b: a principle or position or the body of principles in a branch of knowledge or system of belief : dogma c: a principle of law established through past decisions d: a statement of fundamental government policy especially in international relations e: a military principle or set of strategies.
seems like doctrine to me.. i've always been taught that , even in catholic school theology class they taught us that what the vatican says is doctrine.. so why is JPII's letter not doctrine? Isn't the Pope infallible?

reply from: LiberalChiRo

Why couldn't he be? Cannot EVERYONE be redeemed?
And I simplified the statement down to "believes in God and Jesus" but any idiot knows that it means, expanded, that Jesus is our savior and that God is ultimate.
But anyway, I don't think believing in God and Jesus is enough to get you into heaven. You have to be a good person. I also believe that being a good person is ALL it takes to get into heaven, so even people who have never heard of Jesus will go to heaven as long as they are good people.
The devil cannot be redeemed the devil is a fallen angel; Jesus did not die on the cross for angels he died for man.
In Hebrews 2:16 it says 'For assuredly He does not give help to angels, but He gives help to the descendant of Abraham.'
Being a good person does not get one into God's Kingdom; Jesus is the ONLY way to heaven. Jesus said in John 14:6 I am the way, the truth and the life,NO MAN comes to the Father but through Me.
Oki doki on the satan thing; I wasn't aware that God doesn't give the angels a second chance. Then again didn't the angels not have free will in the first place? How then did Satan fall?
Moving on... DO you actually believe that every single non-christian on this planet is dying and going to hell? That's billions and billions of people.
I believe that someone who is a good person DOES know Christ and God, even if he or she is not aware of it. To live a life of love is to live a life of God, for God is love.

reply from: galen

Dogma
Definition
The word dogma (Gr. dogma from dokein) signifies, in the writings of the ancient classical authors, sometimes, an opinion or that which seems true to a person; sometimes, the philosophical doctrines or tenets, and especially the distinctive philosophical doctrines, of a particular school of philosophers (cf. Cic. Ac., ii, 9), and sometimes, a public decree or ordinance, as dogma poieisthai.
In Sacred Scripture it is used, at one time, in the sense of a decree or edict of the civil authority, as in Luke, ii, 1: "And it came to pass, that in those days there went out a decree [edictum, dogma] from Caesar Augustus" (cf. Acts 17:7; Esther 3:3); at another time, in the sense of an ordinance of the Mosaic Law as in Eph., ii 15: "Making void the law of commandments contained in decrees" (dogmasin), and again, it is applied to the ordinances or decrees of the first Apostolic Council in Jerusalem: "And as they passed through the cities, they delivered unto them the decrees [dogmata] for to keep, that were decreed by the apostles and ancients who were at Jerusalem" (Acts 16:4).
Among the early Fathers the usage was prevalent of designating as dogmas the doctrines and moral precepts taught or promulgated by the Saviour or by the Apostles; and a distinction was sometimes made between Divine, Apostolical, and ecclesiastical dogmas, according as a doctrine was conceived as having been taught by Christ, by the Apostles, or as having been delivered to the faithful by the Church.
But according to a long-standing usage a dogma is now understood to be a truth appertaining to faith or morals, revealed by God, transmitted from the Apostles in the Scriptures or by tradition, and proposed by the Church for the acceptance of the faithful. It might be described briefly as a revealed truth defined by the Church -- but private revelations do not constitute dogmas, and some theologians confine the word defined to doctrines solemnly defined by the pope or by a general council, while a revealed truth becomes a dogma even when proposed by the Church through her ordinary magisterium or teaching office. A dogma therefore implies a twofold relation: to Divine revelation and to the authoritative teaching of the Church.
The three classes of revealed truths
Theologians distinguish three classes of revealed truths: truths formally and explicitly revealed; truths revealed formally, but only implicitly; and truths only virtually revealed.
A truth is said to be formally revealed, when the speaker or revealer really means to convey that truth by his language, to guarantee it by the authority of his word. The revelation is formal and explicit, when made in clear express terms. It is formal but only implicit, when the language is somewhat obscure, when the rules of interpretation must be carefully employed to determine the meaning of the revelation. And a truth is said to be revealed only virtually, when it is not formally guaranteed by the word of the speaker, but is inferred from something formally revealed.
Now, truths formally and explicitly revealed by God are certainly dogmas in the strict sense when they are proposed or defined by the Church. Such are the articles of the Apostles' Creed. Similarly, truths revealed by God formally, but only implicitly, are dogmas in the strict sense when proposed or defined by the Church. Such, for example, are the doctrines of Transubstantiation, papal infallibility, the Immaculate Conception, some of the Church's teaching about the Saviour, the sacraments, etc. All doctrines defined by the Church as being contained in revelation are understood to be formally revealed, explicitly or implicitly. It is a dogma of faith that the Church is infallible in defining these two classes of revealed truths; and the deliberate denial of one of these dogmas certainly involves the sin of heresy. There is a diversity of opinion about virtually revealed truths, which has its roots in a diversity of opinion about the material object of faith (see FAITH). It is enough to say here that, according to some theologians, virtually revealed truths belong to the material object of faith and become dogmas in the strict sense when defined or proposed by the Church; and according to others, they do not belong to the material object of faith prior to their definition, but become strict dogmas when defined; and, according to others, they do not belong to the material object of Divine faith at all, nor become dogmas in the strict sense when defined, but may be called mediately-Divine or ecclesiastical dogmas. In the hypothesis that virtually revealed conclusions do not belong to the material object of faith, it has not been defined that the Church is infallible in defining these truths, the infallibility of the Church, however, in relation to these truths is a doctrine of the Church theologically certain, which cannot lawfully be denied -- and though the denial of an ecclesiastical dogma would not be heresy in the strict sense, it could entail the sundering of the bond of faith and expulsion from the Church by the Church's anathema or excommunication.
Divisions
The divisions of dogma follow the lines of the divisions of faith. Dogmas can be (1) general or special; (2) material or formal; (3) pure or mixed; (4) symbolic or non-symbolic; (5) and they can differ according to their various degrees of necessity.
(1) General dogmas are a part of the revelation meant for mankind and transmitted from the Apostles; while special dogmas are the truths revealed in private revelations. Special dogmas, therefore, are not, strictly speaking, dogmas at all; they are not revealed truths transmitted from the Apostles; nor are they defined or proposed by the Church for the acceptance of the faithful generally.
(2) Dogmas are called material (or Divine, or dogmas in themselves, in se) when abstraction is made from their definition by the Church, when they are considered only as revealed; and they are called formal (or Catholic, or "in relation to us", quoad nos) when they are considered both as revealed and defined. Again, it is evident that material dogmas are not dogmas in the strict sense of the term.
(3) Pure dogmas are those which can be known only from revelation, as the Trinity, Incarnation, etc.; while mixed dogmas are truths which can be known from revelation or from philosophical reasoning as the existence and attributes of God. Both classes are dogmas in the strict sense, when considered as revealed and defined.
(4) Dogmas contained in the symbols or creeds of the Church are called symbolic; the remainder are non-symbolic. Hence all the articles of the Apostles' Creed are dogmas -- but not all dogmas are called technically articles of faith, though an ordinary dogma is sometimes spoken of as an article of faith.
(5) Finally, there are dogmas belief in which is absolutely necessary as a means to salvation, while faith in others is rendered necessary only by Divine precept; and some dogmas must be explicitly known and believed, while with regard to others implicit belief is sufficient.
Objective character of dogmatic truth; intellectual belief in dogma
As a dogma is a revealed truth, the intellectual character and objective reality of dogma depend on the intellectual character and objective truth of Divine revelation. We will here apply to dogma the conclusions developed at greater length under the heading of revelation. Are dogmas considered merely as truths revealed by God, real objective truths addressed to the human mind? Are we bound to believe them with the mind? Should we admit the distinction between fundamental and non-fundamental dogmas?
(1) Rationalists deny the existence of Divine supernatural revelation, and consequently of religious dogmas. A certain school of mystics has taught that what Christ inaugurated in the world was "a new life". The "Modernist" theory by reason of its recent condemnation calls for fuller treatment. There are different shades of opinion among Modernists. Some of them do not, apparently, deny all intellectual value to dogma (cf. Le Roy, "Dogme et Critique"). Dogma, like revelation, they say, is expressed in terms of action. Thus when the Son of (God is said "to have come down from heaven", according to all theologians He did not come down, as bodies descend or as angels are conceived to pass from place to place, but the hypostatic union is described in terms of action. So when we profess our faith in God the Father, we mean, according to M. Le Roy, that we have to act towards God as sons; but neither the fatherhood of God, nor the other dogmas of faith, such as the Trinity, the Incarnation, the Resurrection of Christ, etc. imply of necessity any objective intellectual conception of fatherhood, Trinity, Resurrection, etc., or convey any idea to the mind. According to other writers, God has addressed no revelation to the human mind. Revelation, they say, began as a consciousness of right and wrong -- and the evolution or development of revelation was but the progressive development of the religious sense until it reached its highest level, thus far, in the modern liberal and democratic State. Then, according to these writers, the dogmas of faith, considered as dogmas, have no meaning for the mind, we need not believe them mentally; we may reject them -- it is enough if we employ them as guides for our actions. (See MODERNISM.) Over against this doctrine the Church teaches that God has made a revelation to the human mind. There are, no doubt, relative Divine attributes, and some of the dogmas of faith may be expressed under the symbolism of action, but they also convey to the human mind a meaning distinct from action. The fatherhood of God may imply that we should act towards Him as children towards a father -- but it also conveys to the mind definite analogical conceptions of our God and Creator. And there are truths, such as the Trinity, the Resurrection of Christ, His Ascension, etc. which are absolute objective facts, and which could be believed even if their practical consequences were ignored or were deemed of little value. The dogmas of the Church, such as the existence of God, the Trinity, the Incarnation, the Resurrection of Christ, the sacraments, a future judgment, etc. have an objective reality and are facts as really and truly as it a fact that Augustus was Emperor of the Romans, and that George Washington was first President of the United States.
(2) Abstracting from the Church's definition, we are bound to render to God the homage of our assent to revealed truth once we are satisfied that He has spoken. Even atheists admit, hypothetically, that if there be an infinite Being distinct from the world, we should pay Him the homage of believing His Divine word.
(3) Hence it is not permissible to distinguish revealed truths as fundamental and non-fundamental in the sense that some truths, though known to have been revealed by God, may be lawfully denied. But while we should believe, at least implicitly, every truth attested by the word of God, we are free to admit that some are in themselves more important than others, more necessary than others, and that an explicit knowledge of some is necessary while an implicit faith in others is sufficient.
Dogma and the Church
Revealed truths become formally dogmas when defined or proposed by the Church. There is considerable hostility, in modern times, to dogmatic religion when considered as a body of truths defined by the Church, and still more when considered as defined by the pope. The theory of dogma which is here expounded depends for its acceptance on the doctrine of the infallible teaching office of the Church and of the Roman pontiff. It will be sufficient to notice the following points, (1) the reasonableness of the definition of dogma; (2) the immutability of dogma; (3) the necessity for Church unity of belief in dogma (4) the inconveniences which are alleged to be associated with the definition of dogma.
(1) Against the theory of interpretation of Scripture by private judgement, Catholics regard as absolutely unacceptable the view that God revealed a body of truths to the world and appointed no official teacher of revealed truth, no authoritative judge of controversy; this view is as unreasonable as would be the notion that the civil legislature makes laws and then commits to individual private judgment the right and the duty of interpreting the laws and deciding controversies. The Church and the supreme pontiff are endowed by God with the privilege of infallibility in discharge of the duty of universal teacher in the sphere of faith and morals; hence we have an infallible testimony that the dogmas defined and delivered to us by the Church are the truths contained in Divine revelation.
(2) The dogmas of the Church are immutable. Modernists hold that religious dogmas, as such, have no intellectual meaning, that we are not bound to believe them mentally, that they may be all false, that it is sufficient if we use them a guides to action; and accordingly they teach that dogmas are not immutable, that they should be changed when the spirit of the age is opposed to them, when they lose their value as rules for a liberal religious life. But in the Catholic doctrine that Divine revelation is addressed to the human mind and expresses real objective truth, dogmas are immutable Divine truths. It is an immutable truth for all time that Augustus was Emperor of Rome and George Washington first President of the United States. So according to Catholic belief, these are and will be for all time immutable truths -- that there are three Persons in God, that Christ died for us, that He arose from the dead, that He founded the Church, that He instituted the sacraments. We may distinguish between the truths themselves and the language in which they are expressed. The full meaning of certain revealed truths has been only gradually brought out; the truths will always remain. Language may change or may receive a new meaning; but we can always learn what meaning was attached to particular words in the past.
(3) We are bound to believe revealed truths irrespective of their definition by the Church, if we are satisfied that God has revealed them. When they are proposed or defined by the Church, and thus become dogmas, we are bound to believe them in order to maintain the bond of faith. (See HERESY).
(4) Finally, Catholics do not admit that, as is sometimes alleged, dogmas are the arbitrary creations of ecclesiastical authority, that they are multiplied at will, that they are devices for keeping the ignorant in subjection, that they are obstacles to conversions. Some of these are points of controversy which cannot be settled without reference to more fundamental questions. Dogmatic definitions would be arbitrary if there were no Divinely instituted infallible teaching office in the Church; but if, as Catholics maintain, God has established in His Church an infallible office, dogmatic definitions cannot be considered arbitrary. The same Divine Providence which preserves the Church from error will preserve her from inordinate multiplication of dogmas. She cannot define arbitrarily. We need only observe the life of the Church or of the Roman pontiffs to see that dogmas are not multiplied inordinately. And as dogmatic definitions are but the authentic interpretation and declaration of the meaning of Divine revelation, they cannot be considered devices for keeping the ignorant in subjection, or reasonable obstacles to conversions, on the contrary, the authoritative definition of truth and condemnation of error, are powerful arguments leading to the Church those who seek the truth earnestly.
Dogma and religion
It is sometimes charged that in the Catholic Church, in consequence of its dogmas, religious life consists merely in speculative beliefs and external sacramental formalities. It is a strange charge, arising from prejudice or from lack of acquaintance with Catholic life. Religious life in conventual and monastic establishments is surely not a merely external formality. The external religious exercises of the ordinary Catholic layman, such as public prayer, confession, Holy Communion, etc. suppose careful and serious internal self-examination and self-regulation, and various other acts of internal religion. We need only to observe the public civic life of Catholics, their philanthropic works, their schools, hospitals, orphanages, charitable organizations, to be convinced that dogmatic religion does not degenerate into mere external formalities. On the contrary, in non-Catholic Christian bodies a general decay of supernatural Christian life follows the dissolution of dogmatic religion. Were the dogmatic system of the Catholic Church, with its authoritative infallible head, done away with, the various systems of private judgment would not save the world from relapsing into and following pagan ideals. Dogmatic belief is not the be-all and end-all of Catholic life; but the Catholic serves God, honours the Trinity, loves Christ, obeys the Church, frequents the sacraments, assists at Mass, observes the Commandments, because he believes mentally in God, in the Trinity, in the Divinity of Christ, in the Church, in the sacraments and the Sacrifice of the Mass, in the duty of keeping the Commandments, and he believes in them as objective immutable truths.
Dogma and science
But, it is objected, dogma checks investigation, antagonizes independence of thought, and makes scientific theology impossible. This difficulty may be supposed to be put by Protestants or by unbelievers. We will consider it from both points of view.
(1) Beyond scientific investigation and freedom of thought Catholics recognize the guiding influence of dogmatic beliefs. But Protestants also profess to adhere to certain great dogmatic truths which are supposed to impede scientific investigation and to conflict with the findings of modern science. Old difficulties against the existence of God or its demonstrability, against the dogma of Creation, miracles, the human soul, and supernatural religion have been dressed in a new garb and urged by a modern school of scientists principally from the discoveries in geology, paleontology, biology, astronomy, comparative anatomy, and physiology. But Protestants, no less than Catholics, profess to believe in God, in the Creation, in the soul, in the Incarnation, in the possibility of miracles; they too, maintain that there can be no discord between the true conclusions of science and the dogmas of the Christian religion rightly understood. Protestants, therefore, cannot consistently complain that Catholic dogmas impede scientific investigation. But it is urged that in the Catholic system beliefs are not determined by private judgment, behind the dogmas of the Church there is the living bulwark of her episcopate. True, behind dogmatic beliefs Catholics recognize ecclesiastical authority; but this puts no further restraint on intellectual freedom -- it only raises the question as to the constitution of the Church. Catholics do not believe that God revealed a body of truths to mankind and appointed no living authority to unfold, to teach, to safeguard that body of Divine truths, to decide controversies; but the authority of the episcopate under the supreme pontiff to control intellectual activity is correlative with, and arises from their authority to teach supernatural truth. The existence of judges and magistrates does not extend the range of our civil laws -- they are rather a living authority to interpret and apply the laws. Similarly, episcopal authority has for its range the truth of revelation, and it prohibits only what is inconsistent with the full scope of that truth.
(2) In discussing the question with unbelievers we note that science is "the observation and classification, or co-ordination, of the individual facts or phenomena of nature". Now a Catholic is absolutely free in the prosecution of scientific research according to the terms of this definition. There is no prohibition or restriction on Catholics in regard to the observation and co-ordination of the phenomena of Nature. But some scientists do not confine themselves to science as defined by themselves. They propound theories often unwarranted by experimental observation. One will maintain as a "scientific" truth that there is no God, or that His existence is unknowable -- another that the world has not been created; another will deny in the name of "science" the existence of the soul; another, the possibility of supernatural revelation. Surely these denials are not warranted by scientific methods. Catholic dogma and ecclesiastical authority limit intellectual activity only so far as may be necessary for safeguarding the truths of revelation. If non-believing scientists in their study of Catholicism would apply the scientific method, which consists in observing, comparing, making hypotheses, and perhaps formulating scientific conclusions, they would readily see that dogmatic belief in no way interferes with the legitimate freedom of the Catholic in scientific research, the discharge of civic duty, or any other form of activity that makes for true enlightenment and progress. The service rendered by Catholics in every department of learning and of social endeavour, is a fact which no amount of theorizing against dogma can set aside. (See FAITH, INFALLIBILITY, REVELATION, SCIENCE, TRUTH.)
from the New Advent encyclopedia.

reply from: galen

and on doctrine
Christian Doctrine
Taken in the sense of "the act of teaching" and "the knowledge imparted by teaching", this term is synonymous with CATECHESIS and CATECHISM. Didaskalia, didache, in the Vulgate, doctrina, are often used in the New Testament, especially in the Pastoral Epistles. As we might expect, the Apostle insists upon "doctrine" as one of the most important duties of a bishop (1 Timothy 4:13, 16; 5:17; 2 Timothy 4:2, etc.).
The word katechesis means instruction by word of mouth, especially by questioning and answering. Though it may apply to any subject-matter, it is commonly used for instruction in the elements of religion, especially preparation for initiation into Christianity. The word and others of the same origin occur in St. Luke's Gospel: "That thou mayest know the verity of those things in which thou hast been instructed" (katechethes, in quibus eruditus es -- i, 4). In the Acts, xviii, 25, Apollo is described as "instructed [katechemenos, edoctus] in the way of the Lord". St. Paul uses the word twice: "I had rather speak five words with my understanding, that I may instruct [katecheso, instruam] others also" (1 Corinthians 14:19); and "Let him that is instructed [ho katechoumenos, is qui catechizatur] in the word, communicate to him that instructeth [to katechounti, ei qui catechizat] him, in all good things" (Galatians 6:6). Hence the word, with its technical meaning of oral religious instruction, passed into ecclesiastical use, and is applied both to the act of instructing and the subject-matter of the instruction. The word catechism was also formerly used for the act of instructing ("To say ay, and no, to these particulars, is more than to answer in a catechism" -- As You Like It, act iii, sc. 2), as catéchisme is still used in French; but it is now more properly applied to the little printed book in which the questions and answers are contained.
same scource.. and link
http://www.newadvent.org/cathen/05075b.htm

reply from: carolemarie

The Mormans don't believe Jesus was God. They believe he was a man, our brother. That makes them not Christians.

reply from: GodsLaw4Us2Live

Christ is translated "Messiah", a term meaning King, Lord, Ruler.
Since saints and Christians should be synonymous terms, I would use the Revelation 14:12 definition of a saint for the definition of a Christian.
Rev 14:12 "Here is a call for the endurance of the saints, those who keep the commandments of God and their faith in Jesus."
This tells me a Christian saint is one who obeys the commandments by faithfully taking heed to observe and do all that the Word Jesus, our Captain, has revealed and commanded. A Christian is one who doesn't faint but endures until the end, being diligent always to serve the Lord by doing what pleases Him. A Christian has faith that doing what Jesus commands is the Way to life. The sheep hear the Shepherds voice and follow Him; they trust Him. Following means doing, behavior modification.
Most people do not obey God or put their faith in Jesus; therefore, they are not Christians. Many claim to "know the Lord", but in a NT book of John, Paul or Peter it is written; "Whomever says 'I know Him' but keepeth not His commandments is a liar and the truth is not in him."
How can you know or understand someone if your values and behavior are completely contrary?

reply from: sk1bianca

the devils believe in the existence of God and are well aware of His power. but the refuse to obey and respect Him. if they repented, God would have forgiven them, but they won't do that. because of PRIDE. which is why satan fell from heaven in the first place. he was so proud he thought he can replace God. he even planned it. pride is part of his nature as a devil.
Jesus died and came back from the dead for us, humans. so we can enter heaven. that's why devils hate humans so much. because they were angels and now, thanks to Jesus, poor creatures made of flesh and blood can take their places in heaven.
in the orthodox church, the original sin is cleansed thru baptism. as for the Pope, we have other objections concerning him. i can look for them and post them if anyone is interested.

reply from: galen

sure i'm interested.. i've not learned as much as i would ike about the orthodox church..
what are you russian greek etc..?

reply from: sk1bianca

russian, greek, romanian (like me), bulgarian, serbian and there are many orthodox believers in other countries. especially in the US.
check out this link: www.deathtotheworld.com. it's from US.
i will look for stuff about the Pope.
as for other differences:
* in our creed, the Holy Spirit proceeds from the Father, into the world, thru His Son, Jesus. that's how John says it in his gospel.
* we believe that the head of the Church is Jesus Christ, so we don't need a Pope.
* we don't believe that the Pope is infaillible. the Church is infaillible as a whole, but not a single person.
* we don't believe in the purgatory. just heaven and hell.
* we use raised bread (is that correct?) for communion and we mix the bread and the wine in the cup.
* our priests get married, unless they are monks. however, only monks can reach higher hierarchical positions in the Church.
* in the Orthodox Church confirmation is right after baptism.
* the Orthodox Church doesn't go thru "aggiornameto", changing and adapting to the world, like the Catholic Chruch.

reply from: sk1bianca

saint athanasios said that as you see the lightening and hear the thunder, that's how God creates the soul and the the body in the moment of conception.
the body is shaped in the form of the soul.

reply from: galen

that is what i mean about revised.. not reversed...
they kept moving back the point when life begins as science got a better understanding of the process of human reproduction...they are not above revising a statement.

reply from: jujujellybean

THAT in and of itself is very stereotypical. We are not 'full of ourselves' and I haven't met one Catholic that is. That may be their character, but we don't go around gloating and saying 'our church is the real one so in your face.' Have you ever had someone say that? I mean really, that is what you are implying by your statement.

reply from: jujujellybean

Because it is. I have been to many churches- the first version of the Nicene Creed is from St. Rita's. St. John's and St. Patrick's recite as you do. I am a Christian. The teachings of Christ- if followed through Scripture are enough to build a foundation on. Much like sk1bianca, I do not recognize Jahovah's Witnesses or Mormons as belonging to a true faith. There is one God, One Jesus and One Holy Book. Any variation isn't of God, as the Bible says no man shall add to or take away from God's Word. (So the Book of the Mormon- or You Too Can Live Forever In Paradise On Earth don't quite "fly").. I guess you may have to ask the individual what being Christian means to them. I acknowledge that Christ is God's Son and died for me. I know that the only way to the Father is through Him and His sacrifice. I want to serve Him. I love and honor Him. So I am a folower of Christ or a "Christian".
I don't mind people that are religious but I cannot stand the Jehovah's witnesses since they've come to my door and bugged me so much in the past!
LOL I know we get those too! It's really frustrating. What do they expect us to do, fall down on our knees and say yes I believe right there? LOL they are annoying.

reply from: galen

________________________________________________________--
still no response faramir... this is getting to be kinda like debating w/ ChM...she can't seem to come up with anything when confronted by a simple question like this either...
curiouser and curiouser...

reply from: GodsLaw4Us2Live

Ignorant unlearned men in the Catholic Church have made decisions not based on knowledge and then punished those who did't buy the party line of the "great and infallible Pope" and Catholic crew. A few centuries ago those who thought the earth was not a fixed object at the center of creation were in danger of being punished as a heretic with punishments up to and including death.
The Pope reminds me of the "Great and Powerful Wizard of Oz" sheltering behind the curtain. Just a big fraud and humbug.

reply from: galen

i agree that the Church has some demons among them , however i do belive in the Holy Father as the head of the church.. from my standpoint the change in Benedict from before his election to after shows me that the Holy Spirit can move and change a person...
I respect him more now as Pope than i ever did before .

reply from: Faramir

Not true.
It is a two part statement, and what follows those comments in Exodus is that those things should not be WORSHIPPED.
There is nothing wrong with a graven image in and of itself, and God commanded that statues of angels be made, and when I have time I'll find the scripture to support it.

reply from: Faramir

People who oppose religious statuary forget about the many passages where the Lord commands the making of statues. For example: "And you shall make two cherubim of gold [i.e., two gold statues of angels]; of hammered work shall you make them, on the two ends of the mercy seat. Make one cherub on the one end, and one cherub on the other end; of one piece of the mercy seat shall you make the cherubim on its two ends. The cherubim shall spread out their wings above, overshadowing the mercy seat with their wings, their faces one to another; toward the mercy seat shall the faces of the cherubim be" (Ex. 25:18 - 20).
David gave Solomon the plan "for the altar of incense made of refined gold, and its weight; also his plan for the golden chariot of the cherubim that spread their wings and covered the ark of the covenant of the Lord. All this he made clear by the writing of the hand of the Lord concerning it all, all the work to be done according to the plan" (1 Chr. 28:18 - 19). David's plan for the temple, which the biblical author tells us was "by the writing of the hand of the Lord concerning it all," included statues of angels.
Similarly Ezekiel 41:17 - 18 describes graven (carved) images in the idealized temple he was shown in a vision, for he writes, "On the walls round about in the inner room and [on] the nave were carved likenesses of cherubim."

The Religious Uses of Images
During a plague of serpents sent to punish the Israelites during the exodus, God told Moses to "make [a statue of] a fiery serpent, and set it on a pole; and every one who is bitten, when he sees it shall live. So Moses made a bronze serpent, and set it on a pole; and if a serpent bit any man, he would look at the bronze serpent and live" (Num. 21:8 - 9).
One had to look at the bronze statue of the serpent to be healed, which shows that statues could be used ritually, not merely as religious decorations.
Catholics use statues, paintings, and other artistic devices to recall the person or thing depicted. Just as it helps to remember one's mother by looking at her photograph, so it helps to recall the example of the saints by looking at pictures of them. Catholics also use statues as teaching tools. In the early Church they were especially useful for the instruction of the illiterate. Many Protestants have pictures of Jesus and other Bible pictures in Sunday school for teaching children. Catholics also use statues to commemorate certain people and events, much as Protestant churches have three-dimensional nativity scenes at Christmas.
If one measured Protestants by the same rule, then by using these "graven" images, they would be practicing the "idolatry" of which they accuse Catholics. But there's no idolatry going on in these situations. God forbids the worship of images as gods, but he doesn't ban the making of images. If he had, religious movies, videos, photographs, paintings, and all similar things would be banned. But, as the case of the bronze serpent shows, God does not even forbid the ritual use of religious images.
It is when people begin to adore a statue as a god that the Lord becomes angry. Thus when people did start to worship the bronze serpent as a snake-god (whom they named "Nehushtan"), the righteous king Hezekiah had it destroyed (2 Kgs. 18:4).
http://www.catholic.com/library/do_catholics_worship_statues.asp

reply from: Faramir

A tiny oak tree is just as "right" as a giant oak tree.
The Catholic Church has grown in size and in understanding of the revelation its been given.
I don't see that as any kind of contradiction.
It has always had the means of salvation for all people for all time. But that it should grow in wisdom, besides growing in number is natural.
That's not having it "both ways."

reply from: Faramir

I'll respond to a question, but not to multiple links and lenthy copy and pastes.
Boil it down to a question, and make a couple brief quotes if you must, and I'll be happy to respond, but I don't have time to do research.

reply from: galen

what are you saying is not doctrine...the pope's response to questions.. his pronouncements on faith what? none of that question requires research just clarification on what you were talking about.
and why do you keep saying i said one thing such as the word reverse...and then not responding to the post where i prooved i did not.
also your response is a bit silly in toto bec ause YOU are the one who ALWAYS seems to want scource material.
i think your hiding from the answers...

reply from: Faramir

I used the word "reverse" because that word has often been used to criticize Chruch doctrine.
I understand now you have said "revise."
But as far as evolution goes--the Church has not spoken definitively.
We are free to believe or disbelieve. There is no Church doctrine about evolution one way or the other.
I am not "hiding" from any answers. Why should I? I do not doubt the Catholic Chruch and accept all that it teaches.

reply from: galen

did you read the french discussion transcripts? they state that evolution is a good theory that needs to be further explored.. that and JPII's comments are an endorsement of it as good science.
sure seemed like you were hiding....you ignored the post for days . you even answered posts around it. it made me sad especially after we were having such a good discussion.
thanks for adressing the 'revised' statement.

reply from: lukesmom

WOW! Ask a simple question and what a response! LOL.
Here's another question: Who decides who goes to heaven, the religion you subscribe to or God? And yes, God gave us a "format" on how to attain heavenly status but, it seems, each religion interpits this format differently and some go so far to say their way is the only way so again: Who decides who goes to heaven, the religion you subscribe to or God?

reply from: galen

God is the only omnipitant being i know of.. so i say ulimately its Him.

reply from: Faramir

There is NO DOCTRINE about evolution. The pope has some opinions about it, but it's not doctrine. The "doctrine" about evolution is that the faithful may believe it or not. If we believe in evolution, we are not to exclude the dogma of the fall of man, however.

reply from: galen

There is NO DOCTRINE about evolution. The pope has some opinions about it, but it's not doctrine. The "doctrine" about evolution is that the faithful may believe it or not. If we believe in evolution, we are not to exclude the dogma of the fall of man, however.
_________________________________________
i'm pretty sure that the infallibility of the Pope makes what he and the council agree on doctrine... it can be revised under new eveidence but its still doctrine... kinda like what they did with Galileo's research about the earth and the sun..

reply from: Faramir

A Catholic believes the religion he ascribes to IS of God and is inerrant. Catholics do not believe that Catholicism is a man made religion and just another one of mankind's attempts to find some religious system to attain salvation.
Again, from a Catholic perpective, Catholicism is THE WAY, but not necessarily the only way, since we believe that God will not withhold his grace from those who, through no fault of their own, are ingnorant about the Truths of Salvation, and who are striving as best they can to know the truth and to live the truth.

reply from: lukesmom

DING, DING, DING. WE HAVE A WINNER!!!!

reply from: galen

yeah... what do i win?

reply from: lukesmom

A Catholic believes the religion he ascribes to IS of God and is inerrant. Catholics do not believe that Catholicism is a man made religion and just another one of mankind's attempts to find some religious system to attain salvation.
Again, from a Catholic perpective, Catholicism is THE WAY, but not necessarily the only way, since we believe that God will not withhold his grace from those who, through no fault of their own, are ingnorant about the Truths of Salvation, and who are striving as best they can to know the truth and to live the truth.
Another Catholic, what are the "Truths of Salvation" and are they given only to Catholics since everyone else is "ignorant"? Or maybe I "interpeted your above post incorrectly?

reply from: lukesmom

Salvation of course because I say so! And a beer of course!

reply from: Faramir

As I previously posted, and as proclaimed by the Catholic Church, the Catholic Church alone has the fullness of the Truth necessary for salvation.
However, other religions have the Truth in-part and imperfectly, and so long as the believer believes in good faith and is ignorant of the greater truth through no fault of his own, it will not be held against him.
But all the major religions have much truth and much in common with Catholicism.
God ultimately knows the hearts of each man and woman and decides who makes it to Heaven, but it is God who has given us Catholicism, and if Catholics doubt that, then they either do not understand their faith, or they have rejected it.

reply from: lukesmom

DING, DING, DING. ANOTHER WINNER!
Salvation and a beer to you too!

reply from: Faramir

DING, DING, DING. ANOTHER WINNER!
Salvation and a beer to you too!
Thanks, but how do you know I'm right?
And I don't like beer.
I'll take a wine cooler, though.

reply from: lukesmom

DING, DING, DING. ANOTHER WINNER!
Salvation and a beer to you too!
Thanks, but how do you know I'm right?
And I don't like beer.
I'll take a wine cooler, though.
I don't know that YOU are right but I do know that GOD is right and only He makes the decision on who is saved and who is not regardless of what religion they are or are not. Everything else is human interpetation and judgement. Catholosism may have been the first christian religion but I really wonder if God really conciders it's members above members of other religions. Kinda like adoping a child and loving it less than your own born child.
I don't have a wine cooler icon here so will take the beer and change it to wine! LOL, little biblical humor here!

reply from: Faramir

I hope it didn't come across that that's what I meant.
I don't think Catholics as individuals are better than anyone else.
Catholics have been given much, and much will be expected of them.

reply from: Faramir

A tiny oak tree is just as "right" as a giant oak tree.
The Catholic Church has grown in size and in understanding of the revelation its been given.
I don't see that as any kind of contradiction.
It has always had the means of salvation for all people for all time. But that it should grow in wisdom, besides growing in number is natural.
That's not having it "both ways."
If it's all inspired by "God," why would "He" not give the church the full and correct understanding to start with? Yes, you're trying to have it both ways....You say the church is always right by the authority of God, correct? So it can not be questioned? And yet, you admit that the church's understanding may not be complete. A Catholic in 1920 would have thought it heretical to deny that unbaptised children go to "Limbo," right? The church had to be right about that, because it is God that makes the church right, but this was second guessed later, wasn't it? That's no contradiction? You, my good man, are in denial...
The Church has never had any "incorrect" understanding, and has always had the necessary "tools" (for want of a better word) to guide its followers in the matters of faith an morals.
"Limbo" was never a doctrine. It was speculation by theologeons and nothing more.
Lastly, I do not question peoples' beliefs on a personal level. I accept that they believe as they do in good faith and with good intentions, whether they are Hindu, Muslim, Baptist, Humanist, Agnostic, or Atheist. I do not attack their religion or belief system, or criticize them on a personal level, even if I believe they are embracing error, because I give them the benefit of the doubt that they mean well and do the best they can with what they know and understand.
If they want to debate me--fine, but I don't question their sincerity, or whether they believe as they do because they are "in denial."
I have been respectful of your beliefs and I expect the same in return. I don't ask that you accept what I believe as the Truth, but I do ask that you accpet that I belive as I do in good faith, and if you can't do that, then I have no desire to discuss religion with you.
You have an animostity towards my religion. I have no such animostiy towards your belief system. I love my faith, but attacks against it can go on forever, and I do not have time to research every petty criticism of 2,000 years of Church history, so it is likely that assaults against my faith, or personal insults because I embrace it, will go unanswered for the most part.

reply from: sk1bianca

orthodox church has no statues, only icons. but we don't worship the object, the wood, the paint, we worship the person represented in the icon. if the images fades away, it becomes worthless.
for example, if you pray in front of an icon of Jesus, you think about Jesus. they are like the Bible in images.
in Romania, in Moldavia and Bucovina, we have very beautiful monasteries, which were built in XV century. in those times most people couldn't read so the churches were painted on the inside and on the outside so people could see the Scriptures in the paintings.
icons are like pictures of the people you love. that is why we paint saints on the inside, because we are in a spiritual communion with those who are already with God. the Church has two parts: the Church that is fighting, here, on earth, and the victorious Church, the saints in heaven and all the people who received salvation.

reply from: Faramir

It's the same principle as with our use of statues and icons too.
The image is a reminder only. There is no prayer to the image or worship of the image.

reply from: sk1bianca

we don't bow down before the images, we bow before Jesus and his saints. they can see us and hear our prayers no matter where we are. not respecting their images would be an insult, especially when God shows his love and mercy thru them.
further more, images of Christ are images of a God that has made himself visible, accesible to us. the icons are a way to confirm the humanity of Jesus, God, Son of God, His life, His suffering, His death and His resurrection.
the Old Testament shows that images of angles were made for the temple of God. in the innermost room of the temple, on the ark of the Testimony, on the walls, on the curtains.
icons were painted on the walls of the catacombes in the early times of the Church.

reply from: faithman

http://i81.photobucket.com/albums/j214/yodavater/IamaPerson2.jpg

reply from: Faramir

These common anti-Catholic criticisms are a perfect example of the adage "a text without a context is a pretext."
God commanded his people to not worship idols. They had been known to veer off into idolatry.
He did not command his people to not worship HIM.
Whatever visual aids some Christians use in their worship practices are to help them aid the worship of God, who gave them the Church from whence came th Bible.
The Church knows how to interpret its own book.
We are not to make idols and bow down and worship idols.
Statues that serve as reminders of God or his saints are not idols and any act of reverence or respet towards them is not an act of worship, as it would be if we believed them to be gods.

reply from: Faramir

Then these people are using their images properly.
I have yet to meet a person who worships a statue or a painting either.
But I swear I've met some who worship their cars or houses.

reply from: sk1bianca

orthodox jews don't believe Jesus is God, Son of God. as far as i remember they had him crucified for claiming that. for them, God is still unseen, unaccesible, without a face.
we believe Jesus is God and He became human and lived, suffered and died like a human. He has a face. and if i have pictures of mom, my husband and my brothers and i look at them with love and think about them, how is it wrong to treat the picture of my God and my Saviour with far more love and respect?
when i pray in front of an icon of Jesus, i don't say "icon of Jesus, have mercy on me", i say "Jesus have mercy on me".
the Bible says "You shall not bow down to them or worship them". we don't bow down to the icon and we don't worship the icon. we respect it as an image of God.
St. Luke painted the first icon of The Virgin Mary with Jesus in her arms, as he had seen her in a vision. he wanted to remember the vision so he painted what he saw.
aslo, we have to undrestand the context in which God gave such a commandement. the Israelites were surrounded by pagan nations who worshiped statues and many times the chosen people had fallen to the habit of worshiping their gods.
even today there are religions which consider that a certain god or supranatural entity actualy inhabits the statue. the statue is given food and drinks, it is washed, dressed and taken to bed as if it was a living creature.


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