Skip to comments.Sources of the Protestant Devolution
Posted on 11/06/2014 2:29:33 PM PST by NYer
In June of this year, the largest Presbyterian denomination in America voted to allow their clergy to perform same-sex marriages within the church, thus joining the ranks of other Protestant denominations, such as the Evangelical Lutheran Church, Episcopalian Church, and United Church of Christ.
This evolution of theology and modernizing of church doctrine is a trend that I predict well continue to see in non-Catholic Christian circles for years to come, and not just with marriage. Today, nearly all Protestant denominations support and even advocate the use of artificial birth control, and many allow at least some level of support for abortion.
Of course, not all Protestants are willing to move with the times, so to speak; there remains, especially among the more conservative groups, quite a bit of dissent. However, it cannot be denied that many modern day Protestant denominations are falling further into the depths of secularism.
While it pains me to see Christians turning their backs on the sanctity of life and marriage, I have to admit that whenever the media lights up with news of another Protestant church endorsing an otherwise wholly unchristian act, I find myself entirely unsurprised.
The reason for my utter lack of shock lies, interestingly enough, within two of the critical tenants of Protestant Theology: the doctrines of sola scriptura (scripture alone) and sola fide (faith alone).
As Catholics, the Bible is not our sole source of authority, nor was the Catholic Church based upon it. In fact, what we now call The Bible the collected Old Testament and New Testament writings was put together by the Church herself, and is meant to enrich and support our doctrine and Tradition.
(Consider too that the Gospel is the written testimony of the teachings of the apostles, which, due to apostolic tradition and the God-given teaching authority of the Church, precedes the written text. Thus, any authority of the Scriptures is derived from the recognition of the Church.)
Yet, the Protestant Reformation severed the Tradition from the Bible, and put all other authorities beneath it. By doing so, they created a type of religious relativism (unwittingly, Im sure) that opened the door for an anything goes mentality. So long, of course, as it can be found or not found in the scriptures.
For years, sola scriptura was a major weapon against Catholic theology, claiming that our practices were either absent or directly forbidden by Sacred Scripture. However, since the latter part of the 20th century, the charges that Jesus never said (x) or Thats not in the Bible have turned on themselves and have now become, Jesus never said (x) was wrong, so that means (x) must be okay.
This idea blends well with many in my generation, the millennials, who wish to hold on to some shred of spirituality but cannot bring themselves to relinquish the desires of the flesh. It is also a base notion of Progressive Christianity, which is basically the feel-good parts of following Christ without any actual sacrifice.
The same problem goes for sola fide. Though the only place in the Bible where the words faith and alone appear next to one another is in James 2:24 (See how a person is justified by works and not by faith alone), it still remains a significant tenant of Protestant Christianity. However, much like sola scriptura, it has seemingly evolved into an even more bastardized version of itself that states, As long as Im a good person and believe in Jesus, Im okay.
Now, understand, Im not among the ilk who believe that Protestants cant go to Heaven, though the path is significantly more challenging (and not in a take up your cross kind of way). I do believe, however, that Christianity was never meant go in this direction. And I certainly believe that, should things continue in the manner theyre going for the modern-day Protestants, theyll eventually have nothing left to call Christian at all.
Of course, perhaps thats the only logical conclusion Protestantism could possibly come to. It is, after all, a theologically incomplete Christianity; and perhaps that is why it has such difficulty standing the test of time. Consider the continuous splintering Protestantism has seen since the days of Luther, that continues today. Sooner or later, it will be dust; and displaced Christians will be left with two choices: return to Holy Catholic Church or give themselves to the world.
You forgot the United Methodists . . . There’s nothing Bible-based there anymore. Too concerned with building homeless homes than souls.
Or, option 3, continue to call to those who have swum the Tiber, "Leave the whore of Babylon and come into the light of Jesus, alone." I think I'll go with #3.
“Sooner or later, it will be dust; and displaced Christians will be left with two choices: return to Holy Catholic Church or give themselves to the world.”
Or, you know, just stay faithful to the Word of God and Christ, even if nobody else is standing with us. That’s always an option too.
Q: In light of all the recent publicity about same-sex marriage, where does the LCMS stand on the issue?
A: God gave marriage as a picture of the relationship between Christ and His bride the Church (Eph. 5:32). Homosexual behavior is prohibited in the Old and New Testaments (Lev. 18:22, 24, 20:13; 1 Cor. 6:920; 1 Tim. 1:10) as contrary to the Creators design (Rom. 1:2627). The LCMS affirms that such behavior is "intrinsically sinful" and that, on the basis of Scripture, marriage [is] the lifelong union of one man and one woman (Gen. 2:2-24; Matt. 19:5-6) (2004 Res. 3-05A). It has also urged its members to give a public witness from Scripture against the social acceptance and legal recognition of homosexual marriage (2004 Res. 3-05A). At the same time, the Synod firmly believes "the redeeming love of Christ, which rescues humanity from sin, death, and the power of Satan, is offered to all through repentance and faith in Christ, regardless of the nature of their sinfulness (1992 Res. 3-12A). The Synod developed a Law/Gospel ministry plan for use in ministry to those who are troubled by homosexual desires, Ministry to Homosexuals and Their Families.
The Synod's Commission on Theology and Church Relations has prepared a report titled Human Sexuality: A Theological Perspective that discusses the issue of homosexuality on pages 32-36. Another resource addressing the matter of same-sex relationships available online is the document Theological Implications of the 2009 ELCA Decisions.
There is additional information found in the Frequently Asked Questions on Homosexuality.
“This evolution of theology and modernizing of church doctrine is a trend that I predict well continue to see in non-Catholic Christian circles for years to come”
Yeah, cause the Roman Church is exactly the same as it was 500 years ago, or 100 years ago, or 30 years ago. And Vatican II never happened. That Synod on faggotry never happened last month either Roman propaganda. Its ok, we know it isn’t aimed AT protestants. Like all propaganda, it is really more for internal consumption to keep the flock assured that they are correct.
Sorta like a soviet propaganda poster hanging in a Moscow subway.
Of course, not all Protestants are willing to move with the times, so to speak; . . ."
No, they all "move with the times". A given generation may refuse to abandon what they've been taught but Protestant and Protestant derived groups are all just Pop Christianity as spread by the mass media of the day.
Each generation latches on to whatever makes it easier for them to go along to get along with Pop Culture. It's been that way ever since Luther and the only thing that's changed is how fast follow-on generations openly accept what their parents refuse to accept.
Protestants bailed out when they accepted artificial birth control in the 1930s, leaving the Catholics alone to battle Hollywood and pornography. (apologies for the redundancy) We held-sway until the sexual revolution, then all hell - quite literally - broke loose. A downward spiral since. Morality drives the culture, the culture drives politics, and the vicious cycle begins.
How come these articles start out interesting but always end up simply trying to discredit or marginalize the Bible?
“I do believe, however, that Christianity was never meant go in this direction”
That’s pretty much saying he doesn’t believe in Western Civilization or the USA.
The Depositum Fidei has not changed in 2000 years. Personal revelations are not Church teachings.
It would be interesting to hear from the 30,000-40,000 different Protestant denominations (Google) on what their stand is on same-sex marriages.
The Catholic Church puts that number of different Protestant denomiations at 30,000; the Protestants themselves say there are 40,000 different denominations. Google it yourself; it's an interesting read.
There are all sorts of forbidden unions. If THIS forbidden union is allowed WHAT would be next? Brothers-sisters? Fathers-daughters? Humans-animals? Multi-inner family unions?
I always thought that the Bible was pretty clear about ONE man and ONE woman.
LORD help us, Catholics, ALL Protestant denominations and all other God-fearing people.
You DID nail it: devolution of doctrine/practice.
Same sex marriages from places called Christian churches is indeed troubling. So are gay priests molesting children.
“Yet, the Protestant Reformation severed the Tradition from the Bible, and put all other authorities beneath it. By doing so, they created a type of religious relativism “
That is complete nonsense and the reverse of the truth. While the “infallible” pope may declare the world flat and then later recant, or make other mind changes, God’s word is unchanging. The corrupt churches to which you refer have abandoned the authority of the scripture.
“As Catholics, the Bible is not our sole source of authority”
Galatians 1:8 8 But though we, or an angel from heaven, preach any other gospel unto you than that which we have preached unto you, let him be accursed.
Even Christ Himself who DOES have the authority answered satan from scripture.
2 Thes 2:3 Let no man deceive you by any means: for that day shall not come, except there come a falling away first[to elevating the pope i.e. Catholicism], and that man of sin be revealed, the son of perdition; [the papal system]
Daniel 7:25 25 And he shall speak great words against the most High[popes], and shall wear out the saints of the most High[foxes book of martyrs], and think to change times[pope Gregorian calendar] and laws[code of Justinian elevating papacy]: and they shall be given into his hand until a time and times and the dividing of time.
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