Debating becoming a Traditional Roman Catholic

Discussion in 'Navigating Through Church Life' started by Khater, Dec 23, 2017.

  1. Stalwart

    Stalwart Well-Known Member Anglican

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    See this on the patristic doctrine of the Sacraments. A devastating refutation of Roman Catholic spirituality, quoted almost wholly from the Church Fathers' writings. It looks to be dated from 1583, by John Jewel. The more I read of him, the more I feel like he's an absolute spiritual giant. He's also one of your forefathers:
    https://www.anglican.net/works/john-jewel-a-treatise-of-the-sacraments-1583/
     
    Last edited: Aug 10, 2019
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  2. Antony

    Antony New Member

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    This looks excellent. Thank you.
     
  3. Rexlion

    Rexlion Well-Known Member

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    You might like to read the section on Eucharist in this excellent treatise from the 1500s: https://www.anglican.net/works/john-jewel-a-treatise-of-the-sacraments-1583/#p2 (Edit: oops, I never went to the next page... Stalwart beat me to it!) I was really surprised at the large number of pertinent quotes which John Jewel had collected from the early church writers on this subject. The quotes come from such noteworthy individuals as John Chrysostom, Cyril, Tertullian, Origen, Augustine, and Clement of Alexandria. If I were to summarize the upshot of it all, it would be thus:
    1. The early fathers recognized and agreed that Jesus' body and blood is present in the Eucharist
    2. Notwithstanding that fact, the early fathers also agreed that the bread and wine remain bread and wine
    3. Therefore, Jesus is not present in literal flesh and literal blood, rather He is present spiritually and sacramentally (as well as symbolically)

    BTW I was raised Roman Catholic but left in my late 20s. As I've said elsewhere: been there, done that, got the scapular! I also spent about as many years in Protestantism. But now after much reading and prayer, and the Holy Spirit's guidance, here I walk (between the two ditches) along the "middle road."
     
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  4. Stalwart

    Stalwart Well-Known Member Anglican

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    I think he would want to say on #3 that Jesus is present literally but not physically (hence the difficulty of human language to explain the mystery). We can truly commune with our Lord, but there is no danger of worshipping the physical elements, or claiming that Jesus has Incarnation every Sunday which cheapens our whole faith.
     
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  5. Rexlion

    Rexlion Well-Known Member

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    Yes indeed, Stalwart. Thanks for cleaning up my mess. :thumbsup: Not present in physical flesh and physical blood, yet literally present.
     
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  6. Antony

    Antony New Member

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    I've read Jewel's tract and enjoyed it. After reading the anglican section on the 'Real Presence' Wikipedia page, it seems that what happens during the Eucharist is incomprehensible for humans, according to the anglican position. Would it be fair to say that? And is the only concrete thing that an Anglican would say about it that the bread and wine do not literally turn into His body and blood?
     
  7. Stalwart

    Stalwart Well-Known Member Anglican

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    The wikipedia page is a mess, anyone can just put anything they want there. That's why I've enjoyed reading the authoritative sources. There are some Anglicans today who derive inspiration from outside churches. The more Roman-leaning Anglicans will claim our doctrine to have more 'physical presence', and the more Evangelical-leaning Anglicans will claim that it's just a memorial. Because we don't have a 1000-page Catechism (see above), we have to read the authentic underlying works to perceive the authentic Anglican doctrine. It may require reading a work from centuries ago, or a book from today but which accurately captures the historic Anglican (and patristic) doctrine.

    In short I would say, at the consecration, the physical elements become the Sacrament of the Body and Blood. Namely, when we receive the physical elements, we also receive the spiritual body. He is really and truly present to us. However he isn't physically present in a manner that would let mice chew on his body; nor (as Jewel says) do we expel His Body in the toilet. All these impious fictions invented by Rome are foreign to us. It's a true and real reception, but without any of the dangers and impiety of the physical presence. Also, the Sacrament carries no propitiatory expiation of sin, which is another thing that Rome added. For us, Holy Communion is the Last Supper, whereas for Rome it is also Calvary, in that by performing the Mass the priest (they claim) is sacrificing the Son to the Father for the sins of the whole world. It's really incredible, the rubbish they've taught for centuries. We, on the contrary, know that He has died. He has risen. and He will come again. We commune with him really and spiritually through the Sacrament.
     
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  8. Rexlion

    Rexlion Well-Known Member

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    Stalwart has said it well.

    The RC belief and the Anglican belief regarding Eucharist may seem really similar to some, but they are actually very far apart. The Bible-based Anglican position is enunciated in Article 28:
    The Supper of the Lord is not only a sign of the love that Christians ought to have among themselves one to another, but rather it is a Sacrament of our Redemption by Christ's death: insomuch that to such as rightly, worthily, and with faith, receive the same, the Bread which we break is a partaking of the Body of Christ; and likewise the Cup of Blessing is a partaking of the Blood of Christ.

    Transubstantiation (or the change of the substance of Bread and Wine) in the Supper of the Lord, cannot be proved by Holy Writ; but is repugnant to the plain words of Scripture, overthroweth the nature of a Sacrament, and hath given occasion to many superstitions.

    The Body of Christ is given, taken, and eaten, in the Supper, only after an heavenly and spiritual manner. And the mean whereby the Body of Christ is received and eaten in the Supper, is Faith.

    The Sacrament of the Lord's Supper was not by Christ's ordinance reserved, carried about, lifted up, or worshipped.
    The bread is still bread, but it is also the Body of Christ to be received in a spiritual manner. He is present literally, but spiritually and sacramentally rather than physically (God is spirit, after all). Jesus' physicality is in heaven, and in heaven His physicality remains. The early Christian writers supported this view. Paul's letter to the Corinthians supports it, too:
    1Co 11:26 For as often as ye eat this bread, and drink this cup, ye do shew the Lord's death till he come.
    1Co 11:27 Wherefore whosoever shall eat this bread, and drink this cup of the Lord, unworthily, shall be guilty of the body and blood of the Lord...
    1Co 11:29 For he that eateth and drinketh unworthily, eateth and drinketh damnation to himself, not discerning the Lord's body.

    Paul never said, "as often as you eat our Savior," or, "as often as you eat Jesus." Paul said you're still eating bread, yet you must recognize Christ's body as you eat the bread.

    In contrast, the RC doctrine centers around an actual change of the bread into not-bread. The bread transforms into the body and the spirit and the soul and the divinity and the complete fullness of Jesus. The early Christian writers rejected this view. Scripture support for this view is absent; in fact, Scripture tells us that drinking physical blood is forbidden and that we should not believe anyone who says, "Look, here is Christ" (Mark 13:21). Consider where this RC doctrine led: in the dark and middle ages, laity only were allowed to receive Eucharist once a year; the rest of the time they looked upon the wafer in the monstrance and worshipped it. The RCC told them, "Here is Christ in His complete, physical and divine fullness; look at Him! Get onto both knees before your God (never mind that He looks freshly baked) and adore Him!

    As Stalwart made note of, though, the Anglican family is inclusive-minded in the sense that, if a person tends to think of Eucharist in a more Roman way (or in a more memorialist way, for that matter) that person is still welcome in the church and at Eucharist; he is still treated as a brother in the Lord and is not excluded. After all, one need not have perfect theological understanding to be right with God and to go to heaven (or else who could be saved??). Contrast that with the RCC, where one must believe in the transubstantiated Eucharist to receive it, and must acknowledge that belief by responding "Amen", or the priest is supposed to withhold it.
     
    Last edited: Aug 13, 2019
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  9. Antony

    Antony New Member

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    I greatly appreciate your contributions Stalwart and Rexlion. They have helped make the anglican position much clearer to me.

    Stalwart writes 'For us, Holy Communion is the Last Supper, whereas for Rome it is also Calvary'. I recall Jewel writing something aking to 'imagine Christ on the cross at some point during the Eucharist'. Would it be impious to imagine the scene of Calvary during the sacrament while refraining from venturing to imagine that one is eating the actual body of Christ?

    Also, Jewel writes something like 'we have a spiritual mouth and a bodily mouth, and when we partake in the eucharist we are eating the bread bodily but the our spiritual mouth is...'. Perhaps I am mistaken in this paraphrase, but how does he finish this line? I'm tempted to say 'our spiritual mouth eats the body of christ' (spiritual body of christ perhaps?).
     
  10. Stalwart

    Stalwart Well-Known Member Anglican

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    1.) You should indeed conceive of yourself as receiving the actual heavenly body of Christ. It is important, and the benefits of his actual reception are numerous:

    The Book of Common Prayer lists these benefits, in the Prayer of Humble Access:
    "... Grant us therefore, gracious Lord, so to eat the flesh of Thy dear Son us Christ, and to drink His blood, that our sinful bodies may be made clean by His body, and our souls washed through His most precious blood, and that we may evermore dwell in Him, and He in us."

    And the prayer of Thanksgiving after the reception, lists these benefits:
    "Almighty and everliving God, we most heartily thank thee, for that thou dost vouchsafe to feed us who have duly received these holy mysteries, with the spiritual food of the most precious Body and Blood of thy Son our Saviour Jesus Christ; and dost assure us thereby of thy favour and goodness towards us; and that we are very members incorporate in the mystical body of thy Son, which is the blessed company of all faithful people; and are also heirs through hope of thy everlasting kingdom...

    2.) There is nothing wrong with bringing to mind Calvary, his sacrifice on the Cross. In fact the Book of Common Prayer constantly brings to our minds the sacrifice on the Cross, so even if we forgot to remember Calvary it would remind us.

    My point point was that the act of Holy Communion is not a propitiatory sacrifice, for the sins of the whole world, in the way that Rome would claim their Mass is. They want to say that the acts of the Mass, in that particular building, at that time of day in the year 2019, are actually the acts of Calvary from 2000 years ago. In their theology if suddenly there stopped being Masses throughout the world, then there would be no redemptive sacrifice at Calvary 2000 years ago. They literally equate the acts of the mass taking place around the world in the year 2019 with the singular moment which took place in one location and one time, 2000 years ago. It's really crazy.

    Not sure what you meant there, sorry.
     
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  11. A Garden Gnome

    A Garden Gnome Member

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    On the recommendation of yourself and @Stalwart I have just finished reading Jewel's apology (eventually, had a lot of other reading to get through first). I just wanted to say how pleased I am that you recommended it - it really is brilliantly clear and concise.

    He really doesn't hold back in attacking Rome, and he certainly goes further than I'm willing to go (calling the pope "antichrist" being a good example, though maybe I'm reading it incorrectly as a modern reader) but he gets his point across beautifully. The thing that amazed me about it was how the arguments against the reformation have changed so little in 400 years. Apart from the English (I used Lady Ann Bacon's translation) it may as well have been written yesterday.

    Excellent!
     
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  12. Religious Fanatic

    Religious Fanatic Well-Known Member

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    Good news. I got in touch with a pastor from a local Anglican church we have (traditional, one of the two I mentioned) and he says we have never met because there was no such incident he could recall that left me feeling so bad. He is also a clinical psychologist. I look forward to speaking with him sometime soon. I think he has the qualifications to help me out in my current struggles.
     
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  13. Rexlion

    Rexlion Well-Known Member

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    Sounds excellent! I'm happy for you.
     
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  14. Liturgyworks

    Liturgyworks Well-Known Member Anglican

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    I am presently working my way through this work. My main concern is that John Jewel is leaning heavily on St. Augustine, who most Eastern Christians disagree with extensively, and also Dr. Jewel seems to ignore the cases where the mysteries (by which I don’t just mean the two Anglican sacraments, but the additional five mysteries some Orthodox call sacraments due to RC influence, and those other mysteries enumerated by the Assyrians, and lastly what the Romans call “sacramentals.” The reason being some of these do have visible or perceptual manifestations of a divine grace (for example, the Eucharist, or Reconciliation, or the Holy Oil used for healing), or are otherwise inexplicable.

    But that being said I have concerns about traditional Roman Catholicism, because the problem is the schismatic trad RC churches are nasty and have innovative and unsound practices (and the SSPX is widely regarded as anti-Semitic, and even if it is not, which it probably isn’t, other schismatic trad Catholics are), and those in the Church are embattled because of Bishop Francis persecuting them. So you might have a splendid diocesan Latin mass, but you also have the frightful Amazonian synod, et cetera.

    It should also be noted that much traditional RCism is really “traditional Tridentine Latin Rite-ism.” With the exception of some excellent groups like the New Liturgical Movement (which seeks to undo what the old Liturgical Movement did when liberals like Cardinal Bugnini took over), some traditional Roman Catholics have pure contempt for anything other than the Tridentine mass; they only begrudgingly, at best, might accept, as historic facts, pre-Tridentine Roman Catholic practices, and also many of them hold in varying degrees of contempt the rites of the Eastern Catholic Churches, and would like to see the Latinizations formerly imposed in some of them before Vatican II reinstated, or the rites to be abolished. Indeed, the only Catholic churches to become liturgically healthier after Vatican II were a minority of the Eastern Catholic churches, in particular the Ukrainian Greek Catholics (conditions in the Melkite, Maronite and Ruthenian Greek Catholic churches, and of late since Pope Francis appointed a liberal and arrogant Patriarch, the Chaldeans, however, look very bad).
     
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  15. Stalwart

    Stalwart Well-Known Member Anglican

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    I know they do, but he is one of the 4 Doctors of the Church, and maybe the most foundational father of the Western Church. Rejecting him completely is to reject the whole western tradition of the church completely. It depends on how fanatical and separated from the history of the Church someone is (St Augustine was venerated by the EO all the way from ancient times through ~20th century). So adopting that position would be akin to adopting modernism. Even religious fanaticism can be akin to modernism, as for example the Mormons, Jehovas Witnesses, and now apparently some of the Eastern Orthodox.

    Conversely if Jewel is so strongly leaning on St Augustine, he can’t be blamed for some new theology, or any of the things the Reformers are sometimes blamed for by the EO.
     
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  16. Liturgyworks

    Liturgyworks Well-Known Member Anglican

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    St. Augustine has always been venerated by the Eastern Orthodox, and indeed I daresay veneration of him in the 20th century has actually increased. For example, it used to be, in older Orthodox churches, icons of him were rather rare, but now, one is reasonably likely to encounter one at a larger Orthodox church, and there are even some named for him. He is simply doctrinally less important, just as St. Benedict, who we also venerate, is less important for us from a monastic perspective than St. Pachomius, although basically the monastic approach of St. Benedict and St. Pachomius is more or less identical.

    There are a small number of idiots who deny that he is a saint to the Orthodox, but they are wrong, and mostly members of extremist groups like the Old Calendarists, some of whom seem to regard all of Western Christianity as an abomination. This is not the Orthodox position, and was expressly refuted by one of the most beloved leaders of Orthodox Christians in the 20th century, St. John Maximovitch, who while in France organized a Western Orthodox Church for French people who came to him wanting to worship in the ancient and beautiful Gallican liturgy of France, which Rome suppressed to its great discredit (although the related Ambrosian rite survives, and the even more closely related Mozarabic rite also barely survives - in one chapel of the cathedral in Toledo, in Roman Catholicism, but Anglicanism, with its typically dashing heroism, when establishing the Anglican church in Mexico, used a Book of Common Prayer which was based on the Mozarabic Rite, translated into English and vernacular Spanish, as portions of this rite had remained in use in Mexico, for example, in the nuptial mass).

    But returning to St. Augustine, we love the man, the Orthodox simply disagree with him regarding the exact nature of original sin; here we prefer the works of his contemporary St. John Cassian, also a Latin monastic, whose Conferences are perhaps the apex of late Roman Patristic theological writing (although St. Vincent of Lerins and St. Isidore of Seville are of extreme importance to us). Also we love St. Ambrose of Milan. Now, some people will say we don't believe in original sin, but this is nonsense; we simply believe in it as being a disease which afflicts humankind, thus requiring the grace of the Holy Spirit to enable us to come to our Lord and restore our free will to do so, in that sense, as otherwise we would have no inclination to do so, nor any positive inclination. St. Augustine also had the very unpleasant idea, which the Roman Catholics later watered down into Limbo, that infants who die before baptism are inextricably damned, but St. John Cassian's model does not require this, although nonetheless every effort to baptize an infant promptly should be made.

    Also, the Orthodox disagree with St. Augustine concerning his precise model of sacramental theology; this is the other key bone of contention, but only in part; specifically, on this point we to a certain extent follow the older model of another Western theologian, St. Cyprian of Carthage, but this did not prevent ROCOR, one of the most traditionalist Orthodox churches, from accepting the ordinations of Anglican priests as valid in the first half of the 20th century, or for that matter, St. Rafael Hawaheeny directing the first Antiochian Orthodox Christians to arrive in America, to use an Episcopalian church if they could not find a Russian or Antiochian church (the Antiochian church operated in America as part of the Russian church until St. Tikhon, who St. Rafael was a suffragan bishop to, after he became the Moscow Patriarch following the Russian revolution, shortly before being thrown into the Soviet prison where he would die, most likely of mistreatment, directed the Russian Orthodox churches outside of Russia to ignore all further instructions from Moscow, and thus, the Antiochians naturally at that point sought instruction from their Patriarch in Damascus (alas, Antioch itself has not been safe for Christians for about a thousand years; the Syriac Orthodox Patriarch historically lived in Tur Abdin, in Turkey, the Antiochian Orthodox Patriarchate, in Damascus, and the Roman Catholic Patriarchs, in Lebanon; now the Syriac and Antiochian Patriarch are both in Damascus, nominally, but due to the horrible war, many Christians have been displaced to Lebanon or elsewhere, and much of these churches is now managed from there; Tur Abdin in Turkey is quite dangerous, and the Syriac Orthodox monasteries still extant after the genocide are basically massive fortresses, who must lock their doors at night; and it is imperative for pilgrims in the area to travel during the day and observe precautions, due to the ongoing civil war between Ankara and the Kurds.

    So indeed, moving back to St. Augustine, anyone who rejects him completely is not Orthodox. The irony also is that the saints whose positions we prefer to St. Augustine (namely, St. John Cassian and St. Cyprian of Carthage) are also Western saints, North African even. But St. Augustine is very, very good.

    .......

    On another note of pressing importance, I should observe the concept of "Doctors of the Church" is of Roman Catholic origin; I was not aware of it being popular in Anglicanism outside of some Anglo-Catholic circles, and the Eastern churches do not use it at all. Rather, you have the Apostles, the Evangelists, the Equal to the Apostles, the Martyrs, the Confessors, the Ascetics, the Theologians (of which there are only three; St. John the Beloved Disciple, St. Gregory Nazianzus, and St. Symeon the New), and the Teachers of the Faith, who usually are venerated on some specific quality (for example, St. Romanos the Melodist).

    Also the Eastern church, unlike the Roman church, does not demarcate an end of the Patristic era. It is too early to say who will be regarded as a 20th century Church Father, of those saints born in the 20th century, but from the 19th century we have St. Seraphim of Sarov (born in the 18th), St. Ignatius Brianchaninov, and St. John of Kronstadt, and I daresay also St. Rafael of Brooklyn and St. Tikhon of Moscow. But probably, St. John Maximovitch and St. Paisios and St. Joseph the Hesychast. The idea that the Patristic era just stopped with St. John of Damascus has always struck me as being absurd; how is St. John of Damascus a church father, but someone like St. Bernard or St. Bruno not? It makes no sense to me.

    Also, I feel like Rome devalues Thomas Aquinas, who Summa is a good work, by declaring St. John of Damascus the last Father, and then proclaiming the new era that of the Schoolmen, of which Thomas Aquinas, "the Angelic Doctor", is supposed to be the best. Now, I like Thomas Aquinas; some of his work parallels that of his near contemporary St. Gregory Palamas, who is very important, but if one was to say the Patristic era simply ended with St. John Damascene, there would be no point in Thomas Aquinas even writing the Summa, because the opus of St. John of Damascus, The Fountain of Wisdom (which contains the celebrated Exact Exposition of the Orthodox Faith), would surely be sufficient for all time.

    But of course, the trick is, there is a continual need for further exposition and explanation, to present the Apostolic faith to new generations, who live in a world very different from that of ancient Rome. You and I have both encountered on this forum people who are utterly befuddled by, for example, the mere Semitic cultural attributes concerning the use of arbitrarily large numbers, something which still exists; and to the extent that ancient philosophers like Plato, on whom the early Fathers relied heavily, Aristotle, who the Syriac monastics preserved and translated into Arabic for the Muslim philosophers, and who in turn inspired Avicenna, the great Jewish philosopher Avicenna, and with particular relevance to the Summa, Averroes, who Aquinas referred to as the Commentator (Aristotle was The Philosopher; St. Gregory Palamas also used Aristotle much more than prior Greek Fathers), become less well known. So in the 21st century, we have to figure out how to teach the Apostolic Faith, without error, without leading anyone astray, when we have a generation raised on this extremely problematic Postmodern philosophy, such as the Deconstructionism of Jacques Derrida, Ballard's Simulacra et Simulation and so on, which, like Plato of old, actually is all rather Gnostic. So, Gnosticism was nearly dead when Aquinas wrote the Summa; I believe the Albigensians had either been wiped out or were being exterminated by that point, and the only practitioners of it were the Paulicians of Armenia, perhaps a few Bogomils, and the non-Christian or crypto-Christian Mandaeans and Sufi sects such as the Bektasi/Alevis of Turkey, the Yazidis, the Yarsanis, and so on. Now we are in an era when Gnosticism has made a comeback and has become a direct enemy of Christianity, and the major philosophers of the late 20th century whose work has a metaphysical bearing, who have been popularized by The Matrix and other postmodern films, are all people who take a view of reality that inclines towards Gnosticism. And virtual reality itself doesn't help. So this becomes the next major Patristic challenge; someone will have to refute the Postmodern philosophers, quite possibly, and very disagreeably, relying on early 20th century Modernists, who at the very least had a certain appreciation for factuality; a more Patristic approach might be to do what St. Irenaeus and the Cappodacians, and St. John of Damascus did, and basically subvert the Postmodernists the way they subverted Plato. But I believe there will be Church Fathers of the 21st century, although who will be considered in their number, I could not tell you.

    I will also state that I consider there to have been a great many Western fathers in the past millenium, men who I think we could agree on, like St. Jan Hus and St. Jerome of Prague. And saintly Anglicans such as the Caroline Divines, Archbishop Laud, and the authors of the Book of Common Prayer, not to mention its editor, Archbishop Cranmer. Indeed, since a Father does not need to be a saint (see Tertullian, Origen, Theodore of Mopsuestia, or Tatian, to name a few), I should also add Luther and Calvin. Even Zwingli, Bucer and Melancthon for that matter could be considered intellectually valuable enough to have Patristic status; the Magisterial Reformers in general did rather a splendid job intellectually, even when they were in error. I don't know how you feel about John Wesley, but I love his work and consider him worthy of veneration.
     
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  17. Religious Fanatic

    Religious Fanatic Well-Known Member

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  18. Religious Fanatic

    Religious Fanatic Well-Known Member

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    I also want to note that I may seriously consider converting to Orthodoxy or Roman Catholicism because I am at a point where I am terrified as to my spiritual state and want to know the truth, so I am consulting patristic writings as well as the Anglican KJV, the Orthodox Study Bible, the Douay Rheims, and the Protestant Geneva for competing but complimentary witnesses regarding the bible. I also have the doctrinal books/catechisms of many of those groups. It's going to be extremely difficult as my family hates anything to do with Catholicism and I could potentially be ostracized for even accepting something more Protestant like Anglicanism, even if my mother, sister or father find it more agreeable. Jesus tells us we have to forsake our family to follow the truth where it leads, and I am feeling it's going to be a tough road. I know all the Anglican apologetics against Romanism, but despite my torments relating to RCs, I am struggling and pondering whatever truth is amidst the church's teachings even in spite of how hard it is, or Orthodoxy, which are both alien to my Protestant upbringing. I feel the inquiries I've made of the better apologia from the RCC have been dodged or ignored. I am also weary of mind because of my medicine amplifying my traumatic stress from several incidents of psychological abuse, many from religious people themselves which make it even harder for me to contemplate the truth of those sects who hurt me. I've spoken about this so many times, it's tiring. I am serious, though. I feel like I don't have any freedom or space to follow what I want or investigate things sincerely. I am terrified and am wrestling between obeying my conscience and acknowledging when I've been defiant and wrong, and avoiding deception from the enemy. It's an embittered battle because I'm fighting all sorts of conflicting beliefs and evidence, and don't know what I'm doing or if I have any hope of getting out of it.
     
  19. Rexlion

    Rexlion Well-Known Member

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    Friend,
    Pro 3:5 Trust in the LORD with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding.
    Pro 3:6 In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths.
    Pro 3:7 Be not wise in thine own eyes: fear the LORD, and depart from evil.
    Pro 3:8 It shall be health to thy navel, and marrow to thy bones.

    Know that God loves you very much!

    Trust in Jesus. Have confidence in the complete efficacy of His redemptive work on your behalf.

    Don't depend on your own ability :wallbash: to understand or to figure things out. You don't need to have perfect theology to receive God's love and provision.

    Be reverential and respectful toward the Lord (the word 'fear' in the above proverb doesn't mean terror). Avoid evil acts and evil thoughts; push temptations and unbidden thoughts away as soon as they come, and never dwell on them.

    If there is a church that 'resonates' on the inside of you when you attend, go there. It won't be perfect, but that's okay. Eat the good fruit and spit out the pits. (Thank family members for being tolerant and understanding of your decision; if necessary, tell some of them to 'put a sock in it.' It's your life, not theirs.)

    As you walk according to the Word and listen to the Holy Spirit's gentle guidance and leading, fret not when you mess up. We're all human. God understands. He knows your infirmities. He still loves you very much!

    Hang in there, brother! :yes:
     
    Last edited: Oct 4, 2019
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  20. Religious Fanatic

    Religious Fanatic Well-Known Member

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    USA
    Religion:
    Christian
    I would feel severely dishonest though if I tried to enter the RC with their instructional class, because the best thing you could say to get around the idea of the pope's 'supremacy' and 'infallibility' (as it is defined) being unnoticed by the early church is that God didn't say every church founded by Peter would be infallible or HOW it would be infallible (to explain why Antioch and other sees didn't end up like that), just that it had to be some church founded by Peter. I truly believe based on my research (so far) that the early church didn't recognize anything other than primacy for Rome, and I do believe that although there's wide consensus that Peter founded the Church of Rome as is commonly claimed, the idea of in what sense is he bishop or pope is not clear based on the same traditions. The apologetics mentioned are very obscure and I have only ever heard them from one apologist that I can recall on the internet, and likely not taught to people in the RCIA, which further shows you that the instructions offered by the church present a misleading opinion and that doesn't make sense. I do believe in the Orthodox and Anglican view of what Irenaeus says about meeting at Rome. What is the real killer for me at the moment is that there was someone who claimed that some prophecy in either the OT or NT either predicts that the future church would have a papal character or that some event in a particular book, like maybe Revelation, had come to pass in the medieval ages or elsewhere, and it was the Roman Church, and that it suggested the 'true church' would be revealed over time much like how the bible unfolds by showing typology and then someone reveals or explains what that was supposed to lead up to later on. That would be interesting, but for the love of me, I cannot remember what it was! I'd REALLY like to know. I think it may have had something to do with the days or years aligning with a particular event in history, but I'm at a loss.
     

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