Social JUSTICE Talking With Other Denominations
Why study other Christian Denominations? • “All who believe in Christ and have been baptized are in communion with the Catholic Church even though this communion is imperfect” (UnitatisRedintegratio, 3) • Church defines “ecumenism” as the spiritual dialogue and activity in which the Church engages with other Christians. “Other Christians” means validly baptized non-Catholics. • Vatican II calls the Church to promote Christian unity through ecumenical dialogue, understanding that unity can only be fully realized through the sacrament of the Holy Eucharist.
Why study other Christian Denominations? • Our job is to evangelize the world, not to live in isolation. It is helpful to understand each other view to continue Christ’s mission on Earth. • We discover we have a lot in common. • Even if we do not believe the same, other denominations may have good points to help us with our spirituality.
Historical Perspective • The Church was started by Jesus Christ (~33 AD) after his resurrection by handing Peter the keys to the kingdom of heaven (Mathew 16:18-19) • Multiple councils to discuss issues (i.e., Jew vs. Gentile) • Ecumenical Council Nicaea in 325 AD (Creed) • Council of Rome (382), Synod of Hippo (393), Councils of Carthage (397 & 419) Bible
Historical Perspective • In 1054 Eastern Orthodox split from the Roman Catholic Church over the filioque controversy (Latin for “and from the Son”) • Numerous events culminated in the Protestant Reformation in the 1500s. Martin Luther is most widely given credit/blame when he objected to several doctrinal issues (1517) with his Ninety-Five Theses • Protestant Reformers could not agree on issues and denominations continue to be born even in recent times
Reformation Issues • Scripture and Tradition • Scripture Alone • Disputed books • Original Sin • Salvation • Faith alone vs. Faith and works • Once Saved always saved? • Sacraments • How many • When received • How received • Eucharist • God’s presence vs. symbolic • Veneration of Saints • Mary • Authority of Pope • Infallibility • Indulgences • National influences
The Nicene Creed • Believe in one God the Father almighty • Maker of heaven and earth, of all things visible and invisible • One Lord Jesus Christ, the Only begotten Son of God, born of the Father before all ages • God from God, light from light, true God from true God, begotten not made, consubstantial with the Father, through him all things were made
The Nicene Creed • For us and our salvation came down from heaven and by the Holy Spirit was incarnate of the Virgin Mary and became man. • For our sake he was crucified under Pontius Pilate, suffered death and was buried, and on the third day rose again from the dead in accordance with the Scriptures. • He ascended into heaven and is seated at the right hand of the Father • He will come again in glory to judge the living and the dead and his kingdom will have no end
The Nicene Creed • I Believe in the Holy Spirit, the Lord, the giver of life who proceeds from the Father and the Son who with the Father and Son is adored and glorified who has spoken through the prophets • I believe in one, holy, catholic and apostolic Church. • I confess one Baptism for the forgiveness of sins and I look forward to the resurrection of the dead and the life of the world to come.
He said, she said • Baptists And Catholics • The source of authority: the Bible vs. the Bible plus tradition plus the ex cathedra pronouncements of the pope. • The authority of the pope: None vs. Christ's representative on earth. • Salvation: By faith alone vs. by faith plus works. • Baptism: of believers by immersion as a "sign" of one's commitment to Christ vs. of infants by pouring as the means of salvation. • The Apocrypha: not canonical (part of inspired Scripture) vs. canonical. • The Lord's Supper: Symbolic of Christ's death vs. a re-sacrifice of Christ, with the bread and wine being "transubstantiated" into the literal body and blood of Christ. • The place of Mary: to be honored as any other believer for being faithful to the Lord vs. to be prayed to and venerated. • Saints: all believers in Christ are saints vs. especially "holy" people the pope has canonized, who can then be prayed to. • Meaning of the Church: all true believers in Christ vs. the Roman Catholic Church, with Protestants being "separated brethren." • Priests: not needed vs. needed as "mediators" between the congregation and God, and as "sacrificers" of Christ in the mass.