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Christianity and Catholic
Posted 11/9/08
Are Catholics Christian?

I have an Evangelical friend who asked me:

"what is the difference between Catholics and Christians?"

I had to scratch my head for a few moments because it never occurred to me that some people didn't think Catholics are Christian. I explained to him that that is kind of like saying "what is the difference between Americans and U.S. citizens?" The name Christian predates the Evangelical community by over a millennium, as do the words Bible, and Trinity.

I think it is good that Evangelicals and Catholics have lively and animated discussions on the interpretation of Scripture. That's the spice of life. Evangelicals do that with each other all the time. That's why there are so many different denominations. However, I have a big problem with any organization that says "Catholics are not Christians," because they are ignoring the history of Christianity. Some who advance this theory, spend a lot of effort pulling Vatican statements out of context. By saying we are not Christian they think they can get around Jesus' call to Christian unity (Jn 13:34). I got an email that said:

"I am wondering if you are truly Christian then why do you call yourselves Catholic? Believers were called Christian in Acts 11 & no other denomination or religion."

I could ask the same question, "why do Baptists, Pentecostals, United, Methodist, or even nondenominational communities use those words and not simply say Christian?" The word Catholic was used before the end of the first century to distinguish the Church of the Apostles from heretical teachings. St. Ignatius of Antioch, apostolic Father and bishop, was a disciple of St. John, along with St. Polycarp. The Church historian Theodoret says Ignatius was consecrated bishop by St. Peter, who was the first bishop of Antioch before going to Rome.

Ignatius was martyred in Rome under Emperor Trajan's rule. It was during the journey to Rome that he wrote his famous letters that contain invaluable information about the early Church. He was the first to use the term "Catholic" in it's current form to describe the Church. It means universal. Ignatius' use of the word shows it was in common use. His is the earliest extant writing which has "ekklesia katholicos" where Catholic is an adjective modifying "Church" in the nominative. In Acts 5:11 and 15:22 we find "holen ten ekklesian." It is derivative of the same root as katholicos and is in the nominative and is translated as "The Whole Church" and then in Acts 9:21 we find εκκλησια καθ'ολης (ekklesia kathholes) and here Catholic is also an adjective, but it does not modify "Church" because it is in the wrong case but rather modifies the words following. Best translated as "the Church throughout the whole
of..."

Catholic" referring to the Whole Church was a term in common use at the time but Ignatius' writing is simply the oldest still existing text which contains a specific form of the phrase we still use today as a proper name. That of "ekklesia katholicos". Which means"Universal Church". But the terms "holen ten ekklesian"="The Whole Church" and "ekklesia kathholes"="The Church throughout the whole of" were also in use, and by the Apostles no less.

In 325 A.D. the Catholic Church discerned the Holy Spirit's voice when it formed the doctrine of the Trinity (Father, Son and Holy Ghost, three person's in one). Yup, the "Trinity" is a Catholic doctrine that predates the Evangelical community by 1200 years. That word isn't even in the Bible. The Catholic Church protected Christianity from the Arian heresy that almost gutted Christianity in the 4th century when many began to believe Jesus wasn't "fully God" and "fully human."
The Catholic Church protected the Bible

The Catholic Church protected the Bible across the ages until the Gutenberg press was invented. Century after century, Monks in Monasteries faithfully copied Scripture. It would take each monk a lifetime to copy one Bible and thousands of faithful Catholics dedicated their lives to this work. Catholics protected the Bible over the centuries of wars, famines, plaques, the fall of Rome, fires, and threats from all sides. This was long before any other denomination existed. And the Catholic Church chose which books to include in the Bible in the Synod's of Hippo (393 AD) and confirmed it at Carthage (397 AD). The non-Catholic scholar Peter Flint, who translated the Dead Sea Scrolls, tells us that there was no Bible until 397's when the Catholic Church infallibly decided on what books belong there. Before that there were hundreds of letters and the Septuagint.

Even the word Bible is not in the Bible. It was coined by Catholics. It means books from the Greek word βυβλος-byblos meaning "papyrus", from the ancient Phoenician city of Byblos which exported papyrus, the "paper" of the day. We love the Bible. Honest!

Some Evangelicals claim they have a direct connection to the early Church of the first centuries that bypasses Catholicism. If that is so, I would think the beliefs of modern Evangelicals would reflect the beliefs of the early Church. However, any time spent studying the Church Fathers will make it abundantly clear that early Christian beliefs were Catholic. The Church Fathers believed in the real presence of Jesus in the Eucharist, honoured Mary, had elaborate ceremonies, prayed for the dead, respected the Church hierarchy, baptized babies, recognized Peter as the Rock, built the Church upon him with successors and followed a rich tradition of Christianity. That was the Christianity of the early days, and is the Catholic Church of today. A timeline of the Catholic Church from 1-500 A.D. is here. Beginning with the apostles, century after century, Catholics died so that Christ's message would reach the nations. Yes, we are Christians.

Whether or not someone agrees with Catholic doctrine is their prerogative. But all who look at history will admit that Catholics are clearly Christian. "No one can say that Jesus is Lord except by the Holy Spirit" (1 Cor 12:3)

Jesus has called Christians to unity "that they may all be one, as you Father, are in me and I am in you." (Jn 17:21) I hope we can love one another as He has loved us. (Jn 13:34).

Jesus Christ is Lord of all. If you have never made a personal decision for Christ, I beg you to do so now. It was the best thing I ever did. Here is an article that shows you how to do that.
In the early Church, it was neither called Orthodox nor Catholic, but in the Bible, wasn't it was called "the way?

Mark Bonomero answers: The early Church was called BOTH "Orthodox" and "Catholic." St. Ignatius of Antioch, a disciple of the Apostles, calls the Church by both these names as early as A.D. 107. The term "the Way" was used by Jewish Christians to describe the Christian Faith of the New Covenant to non-Christian Jews. From the Jewish Christian point of view (and indeed from the point of view of both the Catholic Church and the Eastern Orthodox Church today) the Church of Jesus Christ is not something separate from Israel, but is the true Israel --the true manifestation of the Chosen People (see Gal 6:16, 1 Peter 2:9-10, etc.). This is why the Eastern Church is correct to refer to the saints of the Old Testament as "St. Abraham" and "St. Moses," etc. For, we are not a replacement for Israel of old, but an unbroken continuation of Israel under the promised King and Messiah of Israel, and His Church is His Kingdom of Israel, expanded to include all the Gentile peoples of the earth. And so, in Acts of the Apostles, when you have Jewish Christians addressing their fellow Jews who are not yet full Christians, you will see them refer to it as "the Way" --that is, the true manifestation of Israel --the "sect" that truly represents Israel, as opposed to the other Jewish sects (the Pharisees, Sadducees, Essenes, Zealots, etc.) who did not recognize the true King of Israel, Who is the only "Way" --the "Way, the Truth, and the Life." But, when Gentile Christians spoke of the Church, they stressed its truth and its universality; and this is why and how the terms "Orthodox" and "Catholic" were applied to the Church. And those two terms exist today.

Lord Jesus, let Your prayer of unity for Christians
become a reality, in Your way
we have absolute confidence
that you can bring your people together
we give you absolute permission to move
Amen

Erehe 
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27 / M / Heretic's Keep
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Posted 11/9/08
Tsk, Didn't even give a damn about the sources.
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28 / F / Austin, Texas
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Posted 11/9/08




ALELUYAH!!!!!!
FINALLY, SOMEBODY DARES TO TELL ONE OF THE BIGGEST TRUTHS ABOUT CHRISTIANITY.

Posted 11/9/08
it's all the same crap.
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27 / M / in a world where...
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Posted 11/9/08

Deathguitar wrote:

bump


baka.... u know its against the rules to bump threads?
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Posted 11/9/08 , edited 11/9/08
There are 3 main sections of Christianity - Catholic, Orthodox and Protestant. The Roman Empire split up into an Eastern Empire based in Constantinople and a Western Empire based in Rome. This was followed by the Church splitting up into East and West. The East became Orthodox & used Greek as a main language, the West was Catholic based in Rome and using Latin as a main language.

later, some people broke away from the Catholic Church in Rome and formed their own churches - these are known as Protestants.

So there are three main movements within Christianity, and the Catholic Church is one of them
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Posted 11/9/08 , edited 11/9/08
It doesn't mater to me which is which,I could care less, I just look at it like this :
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25 / F / Las Vegas, NV
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Posted 11/9/08 , edited 11/9/08

Christianity is broader
Catholic is specific.
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39 / M
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Posted 11/9/08
Yes Catholic are Christian because they are all based on Christianity
Satanism is also Christian because it uses Christian Satan.

also Christianity is basically shameless caricature of Judaism.
Posted 11/9/08 , edited 11/9/08
It's the same way with me. I'm LDS, people are always telling me that I'm not christian. It sees a bit obvious to me.
Christian. Christian.
The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints
And people still can't figure out that I'm Christian... =_=
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24 / F / The Leaf Village
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Posted 11/9/08
Christians are Catholics- Catholics are just a "branch" of Christianity like Protestants or Baptists or even Greek Orthodox, all are Christians the difference is, Catholics believe in the Pope, Saints, and believe that the bread and wine is actually "body and blood" protestants, baptists and others I'm pretty sure don't believe in saints or the pope and they believe the bread and wine is a symbol of the Body and blood


*Note: I'm Catholic & go to catholic school so that's why I know this.
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27 / M / Look up.
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Posted 11/9/08
Catholics are a division of the religion known as Christianity. There, is that easier to read than that huge text wall?
Posted 11/9/08

Anime_rocks_95 wrote:

Christians are Catholics- Catholics are just a "branch" of Christianity like Protestants or Baptists or even Greek Orthodox, all are Christians the difference is, Catholics believe in the Pope, Saints, and believe that the bread and wine is actually "body and blood" protestants, baptists and others I'm pretty sure don't believe in saints or the pope and they believe the bread and wine is a symbol of the Body and blood


*Note: I'm Catholic & go to catholic school so that's why I know this.


I'm pretty sure most Christian religions believe in the symbolism of the Bread and wine. At least, it is part of LDS doctrine.

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Posted 11/9/08

Enylla wrote:


Anime_rocks_95 wrote:

Christians are Catholics- Catholics are just a "branch" of Christianity like Protestants or Baptists or even Greek Orthodox, all are Christians the difference is, Catholics believe in the Pope, Saints, and believe that the bread and wine is actually "body and blood" protestants, baptists and others I'm pretty sure don't believe in saints or the pope and they believe the bread and wine is a symbol of the Body and blood


*Note: I'm Catholic & go to catholic school so that's why I know this.


I'm pretty sure most Christian religions believe in the symbolism of the Bread and wine. At least, it is part of LDS doctrine.



i know but my priest told me that we "catholics" are supposed to believe that the bread and wine is the read body and blood, i never knew that i always thought it was a symbol...and still do so idk =/
Posted 11/9/08

Anime_rocks_95 wrote:


Enylla wrote:


Anime_rocks_95 wrote:

Christians are Catholics- Catholics are just a "branch" of Christianity like Protestants or Baptists or even Greek Orthodox, all are Christians the difference is, Catholics believe in the Pope, Saints, and believe that the bread and wine is actually "body and blood" protestants, baptists and others I'm pretty sure don't believe in saints or the pope and they believe the bread and wine is a symbol of the Body and blood


*Note: I'm Catholic & go to catholic school so that's why I know this.


I'm pretty sure most Christian religions believe in the symbolism of the Bread and wine. At least, it is part of LDS doctrine.



i know but my priest told me that we "catholics" are supposed to believe that the bread and wine is the read body and blood, i never knew that i always thought it was a symbol...and still do so idk =/


What do you mean? did you mean to say real body and blood?
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