When you say the word "Catholic", obviously the first things that pop in the mind are "The Pope of Rome", Roman Catholic", "the Virgin Mary", and a few other things. There seems to be a problem with this however, seeing that this is not actually "Catholic", but the "Roman Catholic Church".


Therefore Clergy and Laity, I would like to ask you "What does it mean to be Catholic?"


-are you familiar with where the word came from?

-are you familiar with who claims the title Catholic today?

-are you familiar with who can/should authentically be considered Catholic?

-what exactly is believed by Catholics about God?

-what exactly is believed about the blessed virgin Mary?

-what does the term "the one Holy Catholic and Apostolic Church" mean?

-did the first Protestants stop considering themselves to be Catholic? Why or why not?


No more assumptions, guessing, or prejudice. Since we claim to be Christians, lets hit the hard facts about this subject that was apart of Christianity for 2,000 years.


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1. I learned about the definition of "Catholic" from Michael Patton on the "Theology Program" so I understand the "universal" principal. The issue then is... We have information from both sides of the coin. My info just happens to be the negative confessions I've heard from the RCC in Catholic articles. But thanks for your positive info.

2. There are a few Catholic churches that aren't "Roman" Catholic if that's your question.

3. Again, different Catholic churches have different "Doctrines of God", especially in relationship to Christ.

4. I agree that Jesus is God in the flesh and Mary birthed Christ. But God the Father has no beginning or ending. So she's only the mother of Christ in that context. You can share whatelse is believed about her by Catholics.

5. I know it's offensive, but I've read this is their claim. In some definitions Catholic means "all embracing" or "of the Roman Catholic faith. So I'm not really clear on their claim.

6. I'm still learning about the Protestants, and you brought up some good points about them. I told a friend who's a Calvinist, that, groups like the Protestants broke away from groups for good reasons mainly because of belief and practice issues. But they held on to other sinful and unorthodox ways. Man is fallible!

Forgive me if I'm wrong, but you spoke as if you agreed that Christianity was just a Western European religion for a time. That couldn't be any further from the truth seeing that India, Ethiopia, Armenia, Egypt, Turkey, all of Russia, and other places in the far far East were touched the Church early on.


The Church's catholicity is not in its "universal place" because there are in fact places that have yet to hear the Gospel, but in each believers "universal recognition of Christians here there and everywhere else besides where they know of". 

Yes, what a mess!


Yes and no. Both considered themselves Catholic, but the Orthodox took that name in in a way to declare that "they were right and haven't changed", and that Rome was the one that in fact deviated. After studying the issue, I would have to agree with the Eastern/Oriental Orthodox on that subject, even though they have their own faults just as well.

I see your point in that Ignatius who studied under John I believe, used the word "Catholic" to describe the universal church in 106 AD, before the RCC used the term. I get your point now. But you must admit that the bible teaches the office of bishop/elder and deacon/servant. The bishops/elders, succeeded the apostles in overseership of the churches. This is written in post-Apostolic history or the history of the church. And the term "Pope" was first used by the Patriarchs of Alexandria. Which means "Father". Now is this biblical?

You have to present the question properly, or else you will be in error more than anyone else for leading them astray. what I mean is this: you are asking "is this Biblical". Do you mean to ask "does this follow the principles set forth in the Bible", or do you mean "can we find this in the Bible word for word"? There is a B-I-G difference between the two.


Now, what does this have to do with the Bishops, Elders, and Deacons? Yes the Bible mentions them, and teaching about their spiritual qualities, but doesn't fully describe their functions and relationships. That you must learn by adhering to Apostolic Tradition. 

Well Jesus said call noone "Father" but God in the context we're talking about. And I think the bible is clear on the duties of an elder and deacon. The elder is the overseer and the deacon is the servant to the elder.

Elder, you have taken Christ's words out of context. Yes He did in deed say that, but you must also consider that both Apostles Paul and John spoke of not only there being fathers in the faith, but they themselves calling themselves fathers in the faith. So here is the deal: either they were dead wrong and that portion of Scripture is to be omitted, or you are misunderstanding Christ's words.  

You make this "Apostolic Tradition" sound like its something that is hidden away lock and key, or like its something brand spanking new to the Church! The Israelites have always held to two things: The Written Torah and the Oral Torah ( aka The Talmud). The written Torah was authoritative and from God, but they also held the Oral Torah in high regard just as well. The Oral Torah was handed down to them from Moses, words that were never officially written down by the Prophet, but was taught and kept in high regard by Joshua, the Rabbis and the Levites for generations. It showed them exactly how to adhere to the Written Torah in details that were not written down. It was to never contradict or override what was written, but to coincide with it. This is what allowed for the Prophets to speak and have their words regarded as authoritative as well, and then eventually canonized. Book like the Book of Enoch were apart of this Oral Tradition of not only the Israelite, but the Church. They only "canonized their text" (aka closed the Canon of Scripture) in 100 A.D. and that was ONLY because they wanted to make a distinction between Judaism and Christianity.


The Church, like its elder brother Israel, adhered to not only written text but the Oral Tradition. This "doctrine/dogma" (more like nonsense) of "Sola Scripture is brand spanking new to the Church, being only a few hundred years old. The Church originally and always held to both the written Text and the Oral Tradition passed down from Church leader/Teacher to Church Leader/Teacher. You can easily see this in the writing of the Apostolic Fathers. In fact, you being apart of a certain denomination have your own Oral Tradition, for there are certain things that your denomination adheres to and doesn't adhere to that are not clearly written out in Scripture, but are indeed adhered to by your Church. Therefore this is not at all foreign to any of you whether you heard this form of language or not. The terms are different, but the concept is as old as time. Now the question is, what traditions did the Church adhere to for what section of doctrine? Each portion of doctrine had its own tradition behind it that the Apostolic Fathers held to, stemming from the Lord's teachings to His disciples. Any person who reads the Bible can know this. Only those who don't fully read the Scriptures will hold to the idea that "all you need are the Scriptures". 

Do I look like the type of person that forgot that all Scripture is given for such? Not at all! There is a major problem with your statement though: Paul said "ALL Scripture is given....", while you're using his statement to say/mean "ONLY Scripture is given..." There is a HUGE difference between the two ideas.


Secondly, you saying "the written word takes precedence over the Oral Tradition" is doing nothing more than repeating my words. Did you glance over my words or really read them for what they are? If you would simply read what I said and respond to all that is there instead of responding based upon assumptions fueled by a nature zeal to defend your faith, then you would see that most of what you said had nothing to do with what I said. Let me give you a few direct quotes from what I said earlier:

-"The written Torah was authoritative and from God, but they also held the Oral Torah in high regard just as well."

-"It (meaning the Oral Tradition) showed them exactly how to adhere to the Written Torah in details that were not written down. It was to never contradict or override what was written, but to coincide with it."


I'm quite sure that you seen these words before when you read my response. Yes God wrote the commandments in stone, but they were shattered and Moses had to re-write them by hand. Moses also had the Oral Torah passed on to them just as well. This is WELL KNOWN by all Rabbis (ask any one of them for yourself).


Now, if you really read all that I said, then you would also see that I mention Judaism for a reason: because it is our roots as Christians, whether we like it or not. I went on to show you that Christianity adhere to Oral Traditions passed down from Christ Jesus to His Apostles and down through the Bishops, Presbyters and Deacons for generations. Did I say to continue in the Law of Moses? Did I say go back under the Torah? Find that for me please....

The Bible contains things vital for salvation but is not complete in itself, as St. John points out:


“But there are also many other things which Jesus did: were every one of them to be written, I suppose that the world itself could not contain the books that would be written” (John 21: 25)

 “I have got many things to say to you, but you cannot bear them now. When the Spirit of truth comes, He will guide you into all the truth; for He will not speak on His own authority, but whatever He hears He will speak, and He will declare to you the things that are to come.” (John 16: 12-13)

Everything the Lord said was not written. Therefore, we are obliged to obey the teachings of the Apostles and their disciples, and pay heed to the traditions built around them. 
St. Paul says, About the other things I will give directions when I come” (1stCorinthians 11:34). These directions are the unwritten tradition. What you have learned and received and heard and seen in me, do; and the God of peace will be with you” (Philippians 4:9). So not only what is written but also what is heard and seen assumes significance. 
The ‘heard’ things gravitate into life models. “And what you have heard from me before many witnesses, entrust to faithful men who will be able to teach others also” (2nd Timothy 2:2)

Follow the pattern of the sound words which you have heard from me, in the faith and love which are in Christ Jesus” -2nd Timothy 1:13 
Therefore we must pay the closer attention to what we have heard, lest we drift away from it” -Hebrews 2:1 
I had much to write to you, but I would rather not write with pen and ink; I hope to see you (Gaius) soon, and we will talk together face to face” -3rd John 13


Such talks are not recorded in the Bible, but can be seen in the Church in which Gaius practiced the same. And when this letter has been read among you, have it read also in the church of the Laodiceans; and see that you read also the letter from Laodicea” (Colossians 4:16). But this letter to Laodicea is believed to be lost. So the Church has the authority to interpret the Bible, in the light of the traditions passed down from the Apostles, which comes from direct discipleship from the Lord. I can continue to speak on the Oral Tradition of the Church easily, proving its existence by quoting even more Bible verses.....


Thats right, and it is the Written Word that I have used to show you that the Church used and still is to adhere to and make use of the Oral Tradition. That is the point of it all.


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