When discussing theology, I've come to realize that not only is personal study of doctrine a necessary component to faith, but it is something that shouldn't be kept to oneself. I want to share my journey, both past and ongoing, into the realm of theology. Through this, I hope that you will gain insight into the Christian faith as a whole. Before reading anything else, I suggest you read the introduction and definitions (found in the pages tabs above) so you may better understand where I am coming from in everything I write. Because many of my posts are on heresies, there is also a page above with a family tree of heresies and links to all the posts I have so far on the topic.

13 October, 2012

UPDATE: Why I am not Catholic

I'm going to keep this simply to the topics why, rather than explaining them at this point.  I'll also do "why I am not [fill in one of three protestant sects]" posts soon.

Part of what I am working on now is a study of why the Book of Concord (UAC) is still necessary today, which is why I have been more and more convicted that the teaching of the dogmas below are why I cannot be Catholic.  As my project progresses, my hope is to post short summaries on a number of theological topics with the Catholic, Lutheran and other protestant teachings on each of them so you can see more clearly from where I am coming.  My first topic is Original Sin.

That said, if I was forced to choose between Catholicism and protestantism (Arminianism, Calvinism, Radical Reformed), I wouldn't hesitate for a second to choose to be a Catholic.  Thank God I can be a Lutheran instead, though.
  1. The Infallibility of the Pope
  2. The Office of the Pope (in general)
  3. The deification of Mary*
  4. Worship of the Saints**
  5. Purgatory and penance
  6. Extra Ecclesiam nulla salus 
  7. Definitions of Justification and Sanctification
  8. The number of Sacraments
  9. Transubstantiation
  10. The Theology of the Cross vs. the Theology of Glory

P.S. I haven't forgotten about the Heresies family tree list, it is just taking longer than I expected to finish up.

* Update 1: For clarification, I am referring to four separate things here: 
1) The hyper-Marian Catholics, a few of whom I have had conversations with, who are a small but vocal sect pushing for Mary to become the fourth part of the Godhead (but not part of the Trinity as I understand it) which is not, from my understanding, common Catholic teaching.  
2) The immaculate conception of Mary, which from a Lutheran perspective would make her God (since God is the only perfect being, and no human since the Fall can be perfect, therefore for any human, such as Mary, to be perfect, she cannot be truly human because of Original Sin). 
3) The use of the term "co-redemptrix" (which makes it sound as if Mary plays a role not in being the Mother of our Savior, but in our own salvation with Jesus, which is false).
4) Prayer to/in the name of Mary--which, from a Lutheran perspective, is the same as worship of Mary in addition to and/or in place of God.  

There are other items which would be of concern from a Lutheran perspective as well, such as the assumption of Mary, but are less of an issue than the four above.

** Update 2: By "worship" I mean prayer to, or (probably more specifically) prayer in the name of, Saints.  As a Lutheran, we believe we need no intercessor but Jesus, and, as the redeemed children of God, we are even bold enough to pray in the name of Our Father, through Jesus Christ, as taught to us in Matthew.  Again, prayer is a form of worship, and to pray in the name or to the name of anyone but God is tantamount to worship of that person rather than God from the Lutheran perspective.

Originally published on 28 August, 2012; updates on 13 October 2012.


Anonymous said...

I like your thorough approach to all this. I think a few clarifications may be needed regarding certain items in the 10 item list above:
1) Papal infallibility is a negative protection which keeps the pope from teaching error in regards to faith or morals. It doesn't keep him from sinning. We've had very naughty popes on occasion.
2) You must realize that the papacy has been in existence from the beginning of the Church without interruption. Impressive.
3) Hyperdulia is infinitely less than latria. Deification is never what the Church believed. Ever.
4) Pray means 'ask.' You're smarter than that. When we ask one other to pray for us it's the same thing. It is the same 'prayer' with regard to those in heaven.
5) Not enough space to cover that one in a comment...
6) The One, Holy, Catholic, and Apostolic Church is the Body of Christ. In the same way that nobody can get to heaven but through Jesus, nobody gets to Jesus but through the mystical Body of Christ; the Church. Non-Catholics participate partially in this union.
7) Not enough space to cover that one in a comment...
8) That's a funny objection =)
9) What a wonderful mystery. Replacing the substance of the bread and wine with the Body, Blood, Soul and Divinity of Jesus
10) Not sure what to make of this objection

Theomastix said...

You are one of the few clinically non-psychotic "Protestants" I have encountered. You must not live in America, yes? In America, there is only universal madness and satanism masquerading as piety - cross-denominational degeneracy. Anti-Catholicism is the especial favorite pastime of Americans, this breed of degenerate detritus and thralls to Mammon. Continuing: Therefore, as your mind is intelligent, you shall proceed into the tent of Catholicism, or its hardly distinguishable twin, Eastern Orthodoxy, or a similar doctrinal stronghold of "non-subverted" Christianity. Lutheranism is unworthy of your intellect. I never flatter, you should know. Luther was merely a boorish clod-hopping philistine whose personal failure to attain self-mastery over his libidinous impulses in ascesis as a contemplative, was rationalized into a civilization-splitting "theology", whose higher elements coexist with equally substantial, if not more sadly predominating, lower elements derivative of his own psyche, no metaphysical intellection. Your own rationality is superior to that of Luther and Lutheranism, not to mention the hydra-headed chaos-dragon of "Protestantism" and its zillions of neo-totemic cultic groupuscles Luther paved the way for by privatizing spiritual authority. Among all "Protestant" "forms", I shall admit and state perhaps the least psychosis-marred, befuddled and nihilistic-proletarian "reformed" Christianity is Lutheranism. Going through your objections, I can explain the metaphysical explanations for each one, but I am time-pressed of the moment. E-mail me if thou wilt. My "prophecy": You shall join one of the true fragments or links of "cardio-gnostic" (see Paul, Romans for heart-intellect as the image of God in Homo Sapiens) transmission, rivulets of unstained translucence of the origins, still, even if imperfectly, yet surviving and preserving, semi-intact, the "real deal": either Catholic (and trust me, Madam, authentic - that is, counter-"modernistic" - authentic, real, "Traditional" - tradition not as "convention" but as "vehicle of supra-human teaching" - Catholics are more militantly disposed against any sort of Marian lunacy developed by the limp-wristed and limp-spirited androgynous priesthood of apostasy of the times, and eager to crusade against in indignant fury, concerning those verminous idiots who would sully God and Jesus in the neo-Babylonian demoness-worship of "Mariolatry/Co-Redemptrix Mariology" - *real Catholics* do exist, and reject in fiery warlike terms, all such decadent nonsense...while, naturally, holding Mary in a proportionate, sane and just reverence, a reverence even Luther expresses intermittently...), - sorry to digress: whether Traditional (in the metaphysical sense) Catholic, Melkite, Eastern Orthodox, Oriental-Assyrian, whatever! - the specificity meaningless here, as long as part of the "golden chain" - of the great river of Christian primordialism (the exact opposite of Restorationist anti-authoritarian "primitivism" so terribly popular in America, this God-awful "New Zion") - you shall find your soul-rest in one of these deeper waters retaining the transcendental truth of real Christianity.

Theomastix said...

The metaphysical sublimity of "reactionary" ante-modernist Christianity your intellect can not resist, for intellect is also the gift of God... Your intellect is super-personal, wholesome and free from prejudicial pettiness. Thus, your fate I know. Sooner or later, you shall reform your soul-core in ridding yourself of the outer reform, and advancing to a greater and more abyssal, sublime reform... Have you studied, perchance, John of the Cross, his "Dark Night of the Soul"? Nobler literature does not exist in human history, Madam. Catholicism of the modern age, is pure decadence. Yet before its corruption, Catholicism and Eastern Orthodoxy, I must gently assert, succeeded in maintaining the doctrinal ascendancy of the spirit, compared to the other "low-culture" Christian forms, the more vulgar ones, merely schismatic. In assessing "co-redeemer" nonsense, keep in mind NOT ONE SINGLE Christian expression has escaped the involution of the spirit of this epoch and its sub-human, savage ethos of all-consuming metaphysical materialism and nihilistic amorality.

BTW, your fearlessness in exposing the fraud of neo-Ebionite-"Zionistic", Antitrinitarian/rationalistic/Rosicrucian and other regressive and Americanist type heresies, your fellow Protestants blindly serve as idols. Your "countercultural" activity is refreshing and delightful; moreover, personally, evinces superb moral merit... I honor your integrity and vigor of cognition, Madam, and wish you the best,

Robin Palacio, "hyper-Catholic" anti-Catholic Catholic