Questions for Brandon E: #8 Should Protestants Be Showing More Deference to Roman Catholics?

This is the eighth in a series of questions for Brandon E which began with this first question.

Brandon, since Roman Catholics outnumber Protestants, and since Roman Catholicism can boast many spiritual people and even martyrs, shouldn’t – according to your logic – Protestants be less confident in their beliefs which contradict Roman Catholicism?

8 Replies to “Questions for Brandon E: #8 Should Protestants Be Showing More Deference to Roman Catholics?”

  1. No, because in word and in concept the Roman Catholic position places tradition alongside the word of God, which is how we arrived at the distinctives between Roman Catholicism and Protestantism (or Eastern Orthodoxy). Not all evidently spiritual persons and martyrs whom the Catholic Church would claim believe what the Catholic Church presently teaches as opposed to non-Catholics (for instance, concerning the papacy, ecclesiology, purgatory, Mary, justification by faith, etc.). And most significantly, despite the actual differences, the Roman Catholic Church and Protestant groups have a large amount of agreement as opposite your own concerning the teaching of the Scriptures on the issues we’ve actually been discussing (God being triune, the Spirit being God, the Lord’s coming and resurrection of the dead being future, bodily, evident, etc.)

    I’m not saying that spirituality alone makes someone right, but rather that since 1) you contradict the views of many believers who agree on major topics across denominational lines, and are the only one we know of advocating your own particular combination of views, and 2) yet you claim that it is not possible that your views are not the revelation of God in the Scriptures, your explanation for why you should be absolutely assured that you “know” you are right over and against everybody else who hold views that you contradict–that is, that you’ve prayed about it long and hard and (you think) you know they are God’s revelation–is not a solid reason to think that it’s not possible for you to be mistaken. Or that self-deception in these matters is not a possibility in your case. Many others walk the same path of faith and repentance and have prayerfully considered their views, and yet come to conclusions about the teaching of Scripture that you contradict, on topics they have studied at length. Why should your conscience count absolutely, and their conscience not count at all if you disagree with them, when we are speaking of the possibility or impossibility of you versus opposed to everybody else being mistaken?

  2. So you believe it’s okay to hold a position different from the majority as long as you have some other folks agreeing with you. That sounds like a recipe for 30,000 denominations.

    1. I believe that denominations are wrong and I don’t believe that simply holding a different position is in itself a basis for forming a denomination, so if everyone practiced what I think it would hardly be a recipe for 30,000 denominations. And of course I would say it’s “okay” to hold a minority position about matters addressed in Scripture, especially if the majority bases their ostensibly bases their view on tradition instead of or alongside of the word of God. What I’ve been asking you is what reasons you have to think that you cannot possibly be mistaken on any of point concerning the things you proclaim on your blogs (as if in yourself can infallible discern what God Himself has or hasn’t revealed to you), when you hold views that in combination only you are known to us to have arrived at through one’s own reading of Scripture. I’ve already said that if was in your shoes I would at least remain open to the possibility of being mistaken, and that if I were mistaken it wouldn’t affect my belief that Jesus was Lord and that the Bible is the word of God.

    1. You and who else who believes that the Bible is the word of God? Which persons or group of persons have thought this, especially in the churches established in the apostles themselves and in which their letters were circulated? I’m not entirely sure what import you would assign to the expression “Jesus in the flesh as a human being.” But to be clear, I believe that He still is both God and a genuine man, as He has been since the moment of His incarnation, and that He will come in the same glorified, spiritual yet visible body in which He resurrected and ascended. There is a great amount of agreement across denominational lines, who otherwise differ on various points, concerning this.

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