Not your truth, THE TRUTH
Anonymousasked this question on 7/23/2000:
What does INRI mean? I'm referring to the cross, of course. Second, I'm a Lutheran who doesn't agree with all the teachings of the Lutheran church. First of all, I think it's narrow-minded to base everything on the Bible. Also, I believe the intercession of the saints and devotion to the Virgin Mary is all right. I think Protestantism, Lutheranism went to far in this respect. But at the same time, I think there are some Catholics who focus on Mary and the saints far too much and in the Rosary, there are ten Hail Marys to every Our Father which strikes me as a great imbalance. I accept the concept of Purgatory.
But I don't think confession should be obligatory and I don't like the idea of indulgences. I also disagree with the sacrifice of the mass because I believe it was done once and for all. And I don't believe in concomitance which says if you receive only the bread, you also receive the wine. Then if you receive 0 elements, you receive 1, right? This just seems an excuse not to give communion under both forms. I think Luther was right when he said communion should be under both. I believe in the presence of Christ in the Eucharist, but I tend to believe it's a spiritual presence, not a physical one, unlike Luther. Would you agree that the Anglican and Lutheran churches are the Protestant churches closest to Catholicism? Do you think we'll ever see the day when these churches will unite with the Roman Catholic? Finally, what do my beliefs make me? Do they put me somewhere in between Lutheran and Catholic?
Your many questions are evidence that you read, think and consider.
But before answering them you have to give solution to one basic problem.
What do you think distinguishes Judaism and Christianism from all other religions? They are the result of revelation, i. e. God has reveled himself to mankind and Judaism and Christianism are an answer to God’s revelation.
Why do you think Catholicism and Protestantism profess the tenets you mention? Because they consider these principles as part of the revelation. Therefore they cannot be changed.
Do you really think that the Catholic or the Protestant churches will change the doctrine in order to accommodate you? Please, I do not mean disrespect. I want to help you so that the logic of your position makes you look at the consequences.
There is only one case that would make the Christian churches admit changes: you can prove that this or that belief is erroneous. Can you?
If you can’t there is only one logic consequence. You will have to found a new church.
The burdens of prove are yours and not ours.
If you want clarifications regarding your questions that is a different matter. But you simply say that you don’t accept this or that. I suppose you have matured your conclusions and they are your creed: " I do not believe in.". Perhaps I am far off the track, your track and your "no-acceptance" is really only a way to ask for explanation.
So what will it be?
Anonymous asked this follow-up question on 7/24/2000:
I don't agree that it's necessary to leave my church. I simply don't believe any church has a "monopoly" on the truth. And I think it's all right to think for oneself and search for truth. And I honestly believe that the Christian churches are coming closer together because the divisions in Christianity are human divisions, divisions which surely damage Christianity more thanthey aid it.
In my childhood we used to marvel about one thing that was not conceivable for a Catholic. Contradiction in doctrine. Out of curiosity we, the altar boys, used to visit the services of the Lutheran churches of our city and we heard one pastor defending the virginity of the Mother of God. In the other church we heard the pastor decrying this tenet: "How can it be possible to even think that there is possible a virgin giving birth? Anyway Mary had more children". I am sorry to remember that we used this incident to put down our Lutheran schoolmate in the eternal battle about who was right.
One thing is sure. The Catholic Church teaches the same in the whole world with the exception of some recalcitrant members. The Catholic Church does not have a "monopoly" on the truth. The Vatican Council teaches that the Holy Ghost is present in every man of good faith. But we believe that the Catholic Church safeguards the sum total of the revelation of Christ.
You have not only the right; you have the duty to search for the truth. But my contention was that the fact of your not acceptance of tenets obliges you to prove that the churches are wrong.
This sounds like an abstract debate. So why don’t you present a Catholic belief you don’t accept and tell me why you don’t accept it? So we could confront the arguments.
What to you think?
Nobody challenges your right to think or search. But you should search for THE truth, not your truth.