Wednesday, June 01, 2011

Results of Sola Scriptura?

A bit of a humorous look at sola scriptura...

OK, it's a humorous approach - but there's some underlying truth to it!  With all the divisions the protestors have put upon Christ's body - some truly end with one sect condemning any other sect which does not believe as they do.  Would someone from a differing Baptist sect push another off the bridge to their death?  Not likely, but the hyperbolic portrayal of this cartoon underscores one of the fatal flaws of sola scriptura.  Are you one who believes in sola scriptura?  Did the video make you chuckle, or make you feel uncomfortable?  My purpose in posting it (reposting it, actually the original is here) is to get people to think about sola scriptura and to generate discussion on what it REALLY means and what it ultimately results in.

Addendum:  In doing a little search on Beggars All for my name, I found an article which mentioned "The Scott Windsor approach."  I have left a comment/response over there.  You can see that by using "The Scott Windsor approach" (click here).  That subject matter was sola scriptura as well, which is why I mention it here.



  1. Pretty much accurate. Get a pre-trib and post-trib together and see the sparks fly.

  2. I guess it's humorous because it shows the complete difference between Catholics and Protestants by showing a "Protestant" acting in the mindset of a Roman Catholic? Which I guess really makes this a commentary on Roman Catholic thinking. If anyone disagrees with your denomination you consider them "heretic scum" and so it must be that Protestants have the same attitude towards not only Catholics but towards other Protestants who disagree with us on particulars.

    One of the only Protestants I have ever heard use the word "heretic" in any but a historical sense is James White... and he has been in several joint ministry efforts with Michael Brown, a charismatic, Arminian, Messianic Jew. I can't recall anyone I actually know in real life using the word.

    Compared to the half dozen or so lay Roman Catholics I know (in real life) who have used the same word for other Roman Catholics who prefer contemporary music to Gregorian chant.

    Projection is always humorous. Thanks for pointing it out.

    In Christ,

  3. Chris, good point.

    John, I will not deny that some Catholics treat other Catholics with disdain, especially those who are polarized over tradition v. innovation - however, while strong sentiments may be expressed, the word "heretic" is not used. I cannot speak for your anecdotal experiences - nor will I deny that you may have heard that word so expressed.

    That being said, I do not consider you, John, to be a heretic. Your views may be born of heresy but in order for you to be a heretic you would have to have been a Catholic first. So, while the first generation of Protestants were indeed heretics - subsequent generations are less so. Back to the point of the video - both were "reformed Baptists" - but from two different years of formation, thus being both of Baptist persuasion, the term "heretic" would apply between themselves. A Catholic is only considered a heretic when he/she leaves the Catholic Faith for a false teaching.

    That being said, Methodists are seldom overly judgmental (in my anecdotal experiences - and I have an uncle who is a Methodist pastor) thus it does not surprise me that you may not recall anyone actually using the word.

    Now, I can see how - and especially WHY you make this a point of "projection," but can you not see the humor in it without pointing it back upon Catholics? Like Chris' point of pre-trib v. post-trib - I've been witness to such discussions - and as a Protestant too - and the sparks DO fly.

    In JMJ,

  4. Scott,

    While I've made reference to the UMC as my home church, I think I should point out that I'm not an official member of the UMC for reasons largely to do with school.

    The people in the video being Reformed Baptists but of two different years of reformation wouldn't make them heretics to one another. Granted, Reformed people are the only ones I've heard use that word, but I've never heard them use it in reference to people who accept one confession over another and I highly doubt they would. I don't even think I've heard a Reformed person refer to an Arminian as a heretic. I have been called a heretic once for believing in theistic evolution, but it didn't accompany a push off a bridge.

    BTW, I'm not convinced of you definition of a heretic from Roman Catholic standards. Check the catechism . I've been baptized (validly by RC standards) and I know very well several things that the Roman Pontiff declares necessary for "divine and catholic faith" - such as the assumption of Mary - and I deny them explicitly, knowing how they are defined and the penalty for denying them. Having once been a Roman Catholic isn't part of the definition your denomination offers.

    In Christ,

  5. John,
    You can't be a heretic from a faith you've never been part of. Yes, your baptism is most likely valid, but that alone does not make you a professed Catholic. That being said, there are degrees of heresy too and if you wanted to push the issue then perhaps we could agree that you're a material heretic but not a formal one.

    One of the other things which would make one a formal heretic is that after BEING a professed Catholic he/she denies an Article of Faith (dogma) while still CLAIMING to BE a Catholic. At which point the Church may need to officially declare such a person a heretic so as to not confuse the faithful. For example, Arius, who CLAIMED to be preaching the orthodox faith was condemned precisely because he was NOT professing the Faith and in fact was teaching quite CONTRARY to the Faith.

    Once someone LEAVES the Faith completely then their heresy becomes apostasy.

    Now, all THAT being said, since you brought it up, why do you "explicitly deny" the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary? Such an assumption HAS scriptural precedence! While her assumption is not recorded by Scripture - it IS one of the earliest feast days celebrated in the Early Church. To get all hell-bent (pun intended) over this dogma seems done so out of spitefulness or animosity against anything "Catholic" without any REAL justification - other than "if it's not in Scripture, I'm not going to believe it," and that's a pretty silly position to take.

  6. Scott,

    The catechism doesn't say anything about having to be a confessed Catholic to be a heretic. Neither have any of the sources I've looked at claim that being a Catholic is required - merely that knowledge of the doctrine, the gravity of the doctrine, the gravity of denying it, etc., must be present.

    I have no interest in talking about the assumption of Mary. I was merely pointing out that I understand - better than many professing Roman Catholics - the gravity of this dogma (necessary for divine and catholic faith) and how it is defined and all the other bells and whistles that actually appear in the definition of formal heresy in the catechism (which does not include in any way being a Roman Catholic).

    This is one of the funniest conversations for me to have. Fifty years ago you would have called me a heretic without blinking an eye. Today, your canons and councils and what-have-you still define me as a heretic, yet in such a confusing blabber of qualifiers and such as they scramble to make the word more politically correct. And so it's just really funny for me trying to get Roman Catholics to admit that according to your world view I must be a formal heretic.

    Since I have this conversation so often with close personal friends, could you perhaps provide me with any sort of official teaching insisting that one must be a Roman Catholic in order to be a heretic?

    In Christ,

  7. John,
    That silly film is definitely not the "mindset of a Roman Catholic". It is a commentary on Protestantism. Period. Which brings us back to the fallacy of Sola Scriptura--that was the funny part. IF the Scriptures are the final word on Christian faith, why would there be so many differences in faiths based on the same book? It makes no logical sense--that's the point here, and the joke.
    I don't know where you see the word heretic in the CCC. I'd like to know where you get this definition: "...merely that knowledge of the doctrine, the gravity of the doctrine, the gravity of denying it, etc., must be present." The CCC is addressed to Catholics. What it points out as heresy or heretical is addressed to Catholics.

    "The Catechism of the Catholic Church, a statement of the Church's faith and of catholic doctrine, attested to or illumined by Sacred Scripture, the Apostolic Tradition and the Church's Magisterium." --Pope John Paul II, On the Publication of the Catechism of the Catholic Church, para. 2.

    When the CCC talks about what happens after baptism, it speaks to Catholics baptized in the Catholic Church, not other baptized 'Christians'. When it speaks of the "Christian Church" or the "Christian Faith" or "Christians" more often than not it is addressing the Catholic Church, the Catholic Faith, or Catholics, not other 'Christian' denominations or members thereof.

  8. John, this statement is yet another example of projection: "...yet in such a confusing blabber of qualifiers and such as they scramble to make the word more politically correct." The Church is not trying to make the word 'heretic' politically correct. That's not even in the realm of sense. The Church is rarely, if ever, "politically correct". She serves as a ship in a stormy and definitely hostile sea.

    The Church attempts to address heresies as they develop, through teaching, preaching, and ultimately councils. The latest council (Vatican II) was attempting to put the Faith (ie, Scripture, Tradition, and the Magesterium) within the reach of modern people. Much of the way the Church's teachings were expressed were of the middle ages or older. Most people, even Catholics, didn't understand the teachings of the Church. (And, yes, even today many Catholics don't understand Catholic doctrine) The CCC is a best effort attempt to explain to the lay CATHOLIC what the faith is, where it came from, and what we believe in today's terminology.

    If you read the letter at the beginning of the CCC, Pope John Paul II hopes that the CCC will help everyone understand the Catholic Faith, but addresses it to the Bishops, Religious, and Lay people of the Catholic Faith.

  9. Oh, and I WAS a Regular Baptist (GARBC) growing up; I attended an Southern Baptist Church while attending a Baptist College; I attended an Independent Baptist Church while in the Military. While no one used the word "heretic", they sometimes used words far worse about each other. The different Baptist Associations' approach to the Gospel and how it applies to our every day lives was much, much different in each.
    This little cartoon not only speaks to the truth of the differences of so-called 'Sola-Scriptura' faiths, even those of the same sect, and how the treat each other (even if they don't use the word "heretic"), but it also seems to have struck a nerve, eh?

    It was funny! Laugh!

  10. Cathmom5,

    I think the fact that now you and the Catechism of the Catholic Church are engaged in an argument on the definition of heresy is ample evidence that Roman Catholicism is not in a much of a better place when it comes to unity.

    I linked to the CCC definition of heresy, let me type it out:
    Incredulity is the neglect of revealed truth or the willful refusal to assent to it. "Heresy is the obstinate post-baptismal denial of some truth which must be believed with divine and catholic faith, or it is likewise an obstinate doubt concerning the same; apostasy is the total repudiation of the Christian faith; schism is the refusal of submission to the Roman Pontiff or of communion with the members of the Church subject to him." [2089]

    I noticed there is a footnote on this paragraph which refers to the Code of Canon Law canon 751, which says the exact same thing.

    Accoring to the Catholic Encyclopedia , the essential difference they draw between material and formal is that formal heresy is freely willed .

    I searched the entire Code of Canon Law and did not find anything making a difference between formal and material heresy (or sin). I likewise could not find anything about it in the CCC. I did find a statement in the Baltimore Catechism distinguishing between material and formal sin, but that doesn't lend any support to your position.

    I mentioned the stuff about gravity, etc., because heresy is a grave sin, therefore also being a mortal sin if done under the right mindset.

    If you can please point me to any official Roman Catholic teaching that insists one must be a Roman Catholic - not merely a baptized Christian - in order to be guilty of heresy, then please, refer me there. At the moment, however, near as I can tell, you are defying or ignoring or at any rate working outside of the official teaching authority of your denomination for the sake of a private interpretation - which is all pretty ironic, considering.

    "All the Christian faithful are obliged to observe the constitutions and decrees which the legitimate authority of the Church issues in order to propose doctrine and to proscribe erroneous opinions, particularly those which the Roman Pontiff or the college of bishops puts forth."
    - Canon 754, CIC

  11. And by the way, yes, the video did "strike a nerve". It did so because it is dishonest, and I had come to respect Scott more than to post stuff like that.

  12. This comment has been removed by the author.

  13. John,
    I read CCC 2089. Since, as I attempted to point out to you, the Catechism is written TO CATHOLICS--"Baptized Christians" refers TO CATHOLICS. "Christian faithful" refers TO CATHOLICS. "Christians" almost always refers TO CATHOLICS.

    The Canons of the Church, too, apply TO CATHOLICS. Where the Canon refers to "All the Christian faithful" it is refering to CATHOLICS. Why would the canons (laws if you will) of the CATHOLIC Church be binding on non-Catholics? It isn't. Just as the Jewish Law did not apply to Gentiles, the Catholic canons do not apply to you.

    I don't argue with the Catechism, only your faulty interpretation of it. I am, as a faithful Catholic, in perfect agreement with the CCC and the canons of the Church.

    I'm sorry the silly video hit a nerve with you. Perhaps a look in the mirror can be eye opening.

  14. So... I'm not a Christian? I wasn't validly baptized?

    Notice, the Catechism still doesn't say what you want it to say, and notice actually that it says the exact opposite.

    1271 Baptism constitutes the foundation of communion among all Christians, including those who are not yet in full communion with the Catholic Church: "For men who believe in Christ and have been properly baptized are put in some, though imperfect, communion with the Catholic Church. Justified by faith in Baptism, [they] are incorporated into Christ; they therefore have a right to be called Christians, and with good reason are accepted as brothers by the children of the Catholic Church." "Baptism therefore constitutes the sacramental bond of unity existing among all who through it are reborn."

    Who does the Catechism say are Christians?
    Everyone who is validly baptized, even if they are not yet in communion with Rome.
    Who does Cathmom5 say are Christians?
    Roman Catholics.
    Who does the Catechism say are validly baptized?
    Any one who is baptized under the Trinitarian formula with the intention of doing what the Church does in baptism.
    Who does Cathmom5 say are validly baptized?
    Roman Catholics.

    Pardon me if I hold the private interpretation of the people who compiled the CCC in a bit of a higher regard than the private interpretation of an anonymous laywoman on the internet fallibly interpreting the CCC. I guess the real question is why you don't hold the CCC's interpretation higher than your own? Or why you need to add your own layer of private interpretation to what is already an official private interpretation of what is supposed to be the infallible councils infallibly interpreting the infallible sacred scripture and tradition. It just seems a bit much, is all.

    I asked for some sort of official source agreeing with you over and against the CCC, the Catholic Encyclopedia, and the CIC, and I suppose I'm supposed to accept your use of all-caps as such a source? I'm sorry, but I'm going to have to ask for a bit more than that.

    What makes you state that only Roman Catholics can become heretics?

    "I'm sorry the silly video hit a nerve with you. Perhaps a look in the mirror can be eye opening."

    I already stated why the video hit a nerve - that it is dishonest, and moreover that it is dishonesty being promoted by someone I thought I respected more than to be dishonest. Insisting the video "really" struck a nerve with me because I "really" think it's just like how Protestants "really" behave is not convincing me (and I doubt it's convincing you), and is really just adding more dishonesty to it.

    If that was supposed to be a Jedi mind trick or something, like you're convincing me to accept Republican credits, I'm afraid such tricks only work on the weak-willed :P

    In Christ,

  15. John,
    I did NOT say that only Catholics are Christians. That is not my interpretation and not what I said. What I stated was FACT, not my "interpretation", that the CCC and the Canons, etc are written TO and FOR CATHOLICS. Please read the letters written by Pope John Paul II at the beginning of the Catechism (I've asked you three times now). It is written for the CATHOLIC bishops, religious, and laypeople. The canons are rules or laws if you will for the CATHOLIC CHURCH. Those are FACTS. When they refer to "Christian", "Christian faithful", etc. more often than not they (the CCC and the Canons) are referring to CATHOLICS. Yes, there are exceptions, but for the MOST PART, they refer to CATHOLICS. That is FACT not interpretation.

    I never, ever stated that you were not a Christian. That definitely NOT up to my interpretation. However, most of the time the CCC refers to Christians it does not mean you. I know very well that the CCC says that a properly Baptized person is a Christian. I was not rebaptized when I entered full communion into His Church. What I said was that the MAJORITY of the references to "Christians" in the CCC is to CATHOLICS. That is FACT.

    Now, I'm sorry my questioning your personal interpretation of the CCC and Canons of the CATHOLIC Church seems to have struck another nerve; that truly was not my intent. But, in all Christian charity, all I was trying to do was explain Catholic teaching from a Catholic perspective. What Catholics mean by one thing may (and most times does) mean something different to a Protestant. You don't want to hear the Catholic perspective on our own Catechism and Canons. Got it. Let's not get rude or insulting, okay? Up until now it seemed to be going okay and not getting personal. If we can't keep it civil, the conversation is over.

  16. So then if I am validly baptized, then I am under the jurisdiction of canon law, hence why canon law is applicable to me. If I am a Christian, then it is required of me to be subject to the Roman Pontiff. As it stands, I am not subject to the Roman Pontiff, which makes me a material schismatic, and I am not subject to the Roman Pontiff knowing that he insists I must be, which makes me a formal schismatic. The Roman Pontiff declares it is necessary for divine and catholic faith to believe in the assumption of Mary and I don't, which makes me a material heretic, and I know that the Roman Pontiff has declared this in the fullness of his claimed authority as the teacher of all Christian people to be believed and I still don't believe it, making me a formal heretic.

    That's what every official teaching I've seen has said, at any rate, and I have yet to find any sort of official teaching to the contrary. I keep asking for it. Please, do clarify my misunderstanding, but I'm afraid that it really would not be fair to Roman Catholicism to take the private, fallible opinion of an anonymous layperson on the internet as a final determiner of RC belief. I'm going to need something a bit more official than that.

    The Catechism does not say that the definition of heresy is only for Catholics, it says that it applies to baptized Christians and that I am a baptized Christian. The Catechism defines its own terms, and pretty literally is the officially distributed source to define RC doctrinal terms.

    Do you not see the huge problem with relativism if I do accept your private addition to the CCC? I absolutely must believe everything the Roman Pontiff says for divine and catholic faith... unless I don't believe I do.

    If you're going to say that canon law doesn't apply to me, then you're essentially renouncing any real claim to the title "catholic". It would make your dogmas and authorities optional ornaments.

    Or maybe I'm wrong. I have searched for hours, really, trying to find something to validate your view. I've searched Vatican I, Vatican II, the CCC, the Codes of Canon Law, and the Catholic Encyclopedia. I've checked old catechisms and outdated editions of the canon laws. I've looked all over RC forums to hopefully find citations to something defining this distinction between formal and material heresy.

    I have asked both you and Scott Windsor - and any passing RC who happens to see this comment - to provide any sort of official distinction between formal and material heresy that points out that only Roman Catholics can become heretics. Everything I have found doesn't say that, they all say that only a baptized Christian can be a heretic. They all say that material heresy is an erroneous view held out of ignorance or poor understanding but that ultimately answers to authority when corrected, whereas formal heresy is held against correction and with full knowledge of the official teaching.

    If you want me to believe you, please provide me a little something more. Is all I'm saying.

  17. All I'm saying is that I've explained it five different ways and you haven't listened once, and, even in my frustration, I haven't been rude to you.

    The CCC and the Canon laws are written by, for, and to CATHOLICs of the CATHOLIC FAITH. I don't know how else I can say it. I can't prove what is right in front of your face. Read a little more carefully, especially the parts at the beginning of the ccc--which I've pointed out several times now. It is NOT MY "PRIVATE ADDITION"--it is fact. Facts you're not going to accept no matter what I say. So there is nothing else TO say.

  18. From the prologue of the CCC:

    This catechism aims at presenting an organic synthesis of the essential and fundamental contents of Catholic doctrine, as regards both faith and morals, in the light of the Second Vatican Council and the whole of the Church's Tradition. Its principal sources are the Sacred Scriptures, the Fathers of the Church, the liturgy, and the Church's Magisterium. It is intended to serve "as a point of reference for the catechisms or compendia that are composed in the various countries"

    The Catechism doesn't say that when it says "Christian" it means "Roman Catholic", and it doesn't say that when it says "baptized" it means "Roman Catholic". The Catechism actually says the opposite - that "baptized" means immersion or dousing with water under a Trinitarian formula with the intention of baptism, and that "Christian" is anyone who has been so baptized and proclaim faith in Jesus.

    When you say that the Catechism really does qualify its terms in this way, you are making an addition to the text, simply because the Catechism uses the term "post-baptismal" in the definition of heresy and you insert "Roman Catholic" in there as well.

    The Catechism does say that its goal is to clarify official RC teaching on faith and morals, and that the intended audience are Roman Catholics. That doesn't change the definition of baptism provided by the catechism itself, or the definition of heresy provided by the catechism itself.

    You know, Nancy Pelosi was on TV awhile ago insisting that it isn't against Catholic teaching to support abortion legislation. What do you think? Should I just believe her because she says so? Or should I look to an official RC teaching source, like the CCC for instance?

    You're asking me to believe you because you say so, and to ignore what's in the CCC because it really meant to say something other than what it said. Really, when I ask you for an official reference, you just repeat the same thing you said before I asked for a reference, presumably making yourself the reference? When I tell you the CCC's definition of heresy, you tell me it doesn't apply to me because the words in that definition mean something different than in the entire rest of the text and as specifically provided in the text.

    And when I keep telling you that your own private insistence that the CCC really meant to say something that it doesn't say isn't enough for me and to please give me something more, your response is to accuse me of ignoring facts.

    Am I the one ignoring the CCC's definition of heresy?
    The CIC's definition of heresy?
    The CCC's definition of baptism?
    The CIC's definition of baptism?
    The II Vatican Council's definition of baptismal unity?
    The I Vatican Council's definition of who is to be subject to the Roman Pontiff?
    The Council of Trent's definition of who is to be subject to the jurisdiction of the Magisterium?

    But all of this stuff I can set aside because an anonymous woman on the internet assures me the catechism meant to say something to the effect of "post-confirmation" when it said "post-baptismal"?

    No, there isn't anything else to say, at least until you can provide me with an actual statement from an actual teaching authority on the subject. Hopefully Scott Windsor or someone else will be along shortly to do so.

    Thank you very much for your patience.
    In Christ,

  19. John,
    First of all - NO catechism is THE official word for the Catholic Church, period. Catechisms are contemporary explanations of Church teachings. So, for you to put so much emphasis upon any ONE catechism is not a very "catholic" way of considering Catholic teaching.

    The fact of having received valid baptism places material heretics under the jurisdiction of the Church, and if they are in good faith, they belong to the soul of the Church. Their material severance, however, precludes them from the use of ecclesiastical rights, except the right of being judged according to ecclesiastical law if, by any chance, they are brought before an ecclesiastical court. They are not bound by ecclesiastical laws enacted for the spiritual well-being of its members, e.g. by the Six Commandments of the Church.

    You, John, would be a material heretic, not a formal heretic. I believe you are imputing the statement of "heresy" in a blanket manner as to not recognize the difference between a material and formal heretic. However, that being said - since you recognize the validity of your baptism as a validly Catholic baptism and claim to understand the Catholic Faith on certain dogmas - the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin, you have named explicitly - and stand in open (though I believe to be irrational) denial of said dogma, that a case MAY be made for formal heresy - IF you were to so pursue such (which I don't know why you would even want to do so).

    Distinctions: Heresy differs from apostasy. The apostate a fide abandons wholly the faith of Christ either by embracing Judaism, Islamism, Paganism, or simply by falling into naturalism and complete neglect of religion; the heretic always retains faith in Christ. Heresy also differs from schism. Schismatics, says St. Thomas, in the strict sense, are they who of their own will and intention separate themselves from the unity of the Church. The unity of the Church consists in the connection of its members with each other and of all the members with the head. Now this head is Christ whose representative in the Church is the supreme pontiff. And therefore the name of schismatics is given to those who will not submit to the supreme pontiff nor communicate with the members of the Church subject to him. Since the definition of Papal Infallibility, schism usually implies the heresy of denying this dogma. Heresy is opposed to faith; schism to charity; so that, although all heretics are schismatics because loss of faith involves separation from the Church, not all schismatics are necessarily heretics, since a man may, from anger, pride, ambition, or the like, sever himself from the communion of the Church and yet believe all the Church proposes for our belief (II-II, Q. xxix, a. 1). Such a one, however, would be more properly called rebellious than heretical (ibid).

    You, John, would fall more under the category of schismatic or a rebel than heretic.

  20. continuing... The CIC (Code of Canon Law) is the current set of laws in governance over the Church.

    Canon Law # 751 "Heresy is the obstinate denial or doubt, after baptism, of a truth which must be believed by divine and catholic faith."

    John claims that because he is baptized and denies dogmatic teaching (specifically mentioning the ABVM) that he is, therefore, a heretic according to Catholic standards.

    My point to John is that while technically speaking, there is some truth to what he's saying - HOWEVER - there's more to consider than his over-simplified view and interpretation. More accurately, John is a schismatic - and schism can lead to heresy. The only point that gets a bit iffy is whether or not John is a material or formal heretic. Since John essentially BOASTS denial of the ABVM, there MAY be an argument for him to be a formal heretic - but that would really have to boil down to a tribunal to judge this, and since John is NOT A CATHOLIC, there would be no such tribunal - hence I would surmise that he would be classified a schismatic and perhaps a material heretic.

    Here is a reference page which has a lot of documentation regarding heresy, v. schism, v. apostasy:

    Now, this topic is drifting quite a bit from the original statement, which was a more "tongue in cheek" statement about the results of sola scriptura. John has put all the focus upon the closing comment, "DIE YOU HERETIC SCUM!" Whereas THE POINT of the cartoon is all that LED UP TO THAT COMMENT!

    Are you religious?
    Are you a Christian?
    Are you Catholic or Protestant?
    Are you Episcopalian or Baptist? (As if there are only two Protestant beliefs!)
    Are you Baptist Church of God or Baptist Church of the Lord?
    Are you Original Baptist Church of God or Reformed Baptist Church of God?
    Are you Reformed Baptist Church of God 1879 or Reformed Baptist Church of God 1917?

    HERE is where the distinction was made between the two - and it was after a PROGRESSION of sola scriptura schisms that she finally gets to a point where the "Die, you heretic scum!" is pronounced.

    So John, if your entire focus is on that last line - then you've missed the point entirely and all your attempts to turn this back on Catholicism are futile.

    In JMJ,

  21. Hey Scott,

    Thank you for your response. I do believe I understand the distinction between material and formal heresy. The matter of heresy is holding to a false belief, while the form of heresy is denial of an authority. You can have the matter of heresy (be a modalist) without the form (only because no one has properly explained the Trinity). In that light, from a Roman perspective I would think I would be a formal heretic. From the CE:

    The impelling motives are many: intellectual pride or exaggerated reliance on one's own insight; the illusions of religious zeal; the allurements of political or ecclesiastical power; the ties of material interests and personal status; and perhaps others more dishonourable. Heresy thus willed is imputable to the subject and carries with it a varying degree of guilt; it is called formal, because to the material error it adds the informative element of "freely willed".

    By the way, as I think I mentioned, I looked at a ton of stuff, not just the current catechism. However, the current catcehism is the one on the Vatican's webpage, so I figured it would be most authoritative and most suited to this purpose.

    If I had known I could quote from sedevacantist sources, BTW, I would have done so with relish. For instance, the site you quoted from (and which kept coming up in my searches) has this to say on whether ignorance excuses:

    "In other words, Protestants, Nestorians, etc., must be presumed responsible for their external acts in violation of the law of the Church, until and unless the contrary is proven. Consequently, when they formally joined their sect, or publicly lived in accordance with its tenets and its practices, they are presumed to have incurred this juridical infamy, along with the general excommunication for heresy." (The Delict of Heresy, p. 54.)

    Anyway, yes, my entire focus is on that last line, because the last line is the part that is dishonest. Of course there are different denominations. We all already knew that. I don't consider a plurality of denominations to be necessarily a bad thing, so long as they are united by common love. The diversity of opinion amongst Protestants really is not any broader than among Roman Catholics, in my humble experience.

    While disagreement on particulars may damage charity, it doesn't have to damage charity, especially for something so plainly trivial as whether your branch of the Ordinary Baptist Church of God reformed in 1879 or 1917. I doubt I'd even be able to recognize the difference in creeds between those two sub-denominations. Heck, I didn't even know there were that many flavors of Baptist, and where I live Baptist churches are as common as gas stations.

    The main point of contention that I have found in Baptist circles is over how God works in choosing us and us choosing him - which I am told is an issue also with no final determination from RC authorities on the exact mechanics.

    I'm not sure how you define "schism", or if the catechism's definition has any meaningful application to Protestantism. Some Christians meet in buildings with different signs and that operate under different organizational structures - that doesn't make me consider them "outsiders".

    Anyway, thank you again for our response and for being very patient with me.

    In Christ,

  22. I don't have much time right now, but let me say for now that there's a difference between "matter and form" and "material and formal."

    More later...

    In JMJ,

  23. I have continued my response here:

    I believe you've strayed far enough from the main point of this posting to merit a separate posting.

    In JMJ,


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