Diff. between Catholic and Christian? - VeggieBoards
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#1 Old 08-14-2005, 10:18 PM
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In another thread, someone said they had been Catholic but now they are Christian. I have heard other people make a distinction between Catholicism and Christianity before, but I have never known why. I always thought to be a Christian meant you follow the teachings of Christ -- and that it included Catholicism, Eastern Orthodox, all the variations on Protestantism, and assorted other sects, such as the Coptics and so on.



Why the distinction? And if Catholicism is singled out, is Eastern Orthodox also singled out and not considered Christian?



I'm just curious, not trying to start something. I am Buddhist, if it makes any difference in the discussion. I grew up in a Protestant denomination.
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#2 Old 08-14-2005, 10:26 PM
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As someone who grew up Catholic, I can say that this sort of thing always ticked me off! Some branches of Christians refuse to recognize Catholics as Christians simply because they have slightly different views. I'm not sure, but I think it may have something to do with Mary's increased role in the Catholic church. If its not that, I really have no idea. I also always went by the rule that 'Christian meant you follow the teachings of Christ'.



Eh. One of the many things that drove me away from any and all forms of Christianity: Nutters.
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#3 Old 08-14-2005, 10:34 PM
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See, I kind of thought that, too... that it was some Christian sects that didn't recognize the Catholic Church as Christian. But the person who brought it up was raised Catholic, so I thought there must be some other distinction that I didn't understand. It was in the What do you think of meat? thread.
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#4 Old 08-14-2005, 11:32 PM
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I think that if a person were to say that, they'd mean to say that they no longer have faith in that particular denomination, but they haven't yet chosen another.



But there are definitely people who feel Catholics aren't Christian, and people who feel Mormons aren't Christian, and people who feel Jehovah's Witnesses aren't Christian, and so and so forth and it seems that won't change anytime soon. From an outsider's perspective, they're certainly all part of the same branch of religion.



( <--Increasingly becoming more Buddhist, too.)
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#5 Old 08-14-2005, 11:47 PM
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Before reading the thread, I was going to respond that Catholics are Christians, and there are different "schools" of Christianity, so Catholicism is one of the "schools" (or a branch of the Christianity tree, if that makes more sense). A Catholic is a Christian, but a Christian doesn't have to be a Catholic.



But now that I read the other posts, I'm confused. People don't consider Catholics to be Christians? Is this possibly them judging Catholics as too harsh?
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#6 Old 08-15-2005, 01:18 AM
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I thought that was just like a subspecies of christian or something . . . but then I don't pay a whole lot of attention to it.



Are they the ones who say the world is ending? There were some people here in 1999 from a "seventh day <insert strange word here>" church claiming the world would end in 2000. I think maybe it's a little late . . .
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#7 Old 08-15-2005, 01:20 AM
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Originally Posted by borealis View Post


Why the distinction? And if Catholicism is singled out, is Eastern Orthodox also singled out and not considered Christian?



I'm just curious, not trying to start something. I am Buddhist, if it makes any difference in the discussion. I grew up in a Protestant denomination.



As someone who was raised RC and who has always considered RC's Christian,

here are some possible arguments from the other side:



1) Protestants believe in sola scriptura as the only rule of faith; Catholics believe in the teaching office of the RC Church as the rule of faith,

and this would include (1) unwritten traditions, as expounded by the RC Church, (2) Scripture that is common to the Catholic and Protestant Bibles (3) Scripture in the Catholic Bible that is rejected by Protestants as apocryphal. Since Catholics accept things as part of their faith that are in addition to simply the teachings of Christ recorded in the Protestant Bible, such "additions" make Catholics non-Christians in the same sense that Mormans are non-Christians, since they accept the Book of Morman in addition to the Bible, and Muslims are non-Christian since they accept the Koran in addition to the Bible.



2) Protestants believe that salvation is through faith in Christ alone.

Catholics believe that good works can also "earn" saving grace because God has promised such. But Protestants believe that preaching "works" is unChristian.



3) Protestants believe that prayers must be addressed directly to God.

Catholics believe that one can call upon the Virgin Mary ("Hail Mary, Full of Grace ... Pray For Us Now...") and the saints to intercede. Protestants see such beliefs as false and unChristian.



Since the Eastern Orthodox Church shares many beliefs with the RC Church,

the same Protestants who think the RC Church unChristian would probably say the same of the Eastern Orthodox Church. But Protestants probably don't have much contact with or interest in the Eastern Orthodox Church.
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#8 Old 08-15-2005, 01:25 AM
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I always thought it was like vegan and vegetarian. One can say one is vegan, but has now gone vegetarian, even though they were vegetarian all along.



The infighting thing, well, that's not just confined to Catholics. My Dad, for example, is Gnostic Christian. Catholics and some Protestants both coniser that "not Christian", as the teachings are, according to them, heretical.

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#9 Old 08-15-2005, 01:40 AM
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Here's an article from the John Ankerberg website that is right on point.

Unfortunately, it is in PDF format, but is well worth reading.



Is A Catholic Christian An Oxymoron?



By Mike Gendron



http://www.johnankerberg.org/Article...m/RC2W1299.pdf.



BTW, I don't agree with the conclusions, but this really illustrates the thinking of those who say Catholics are not Christians.
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#10 Old 08-15-2005, 02:17 AM
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I thought that was just like a subspecies of christian or something . . . but then I don't pay a whole lot of attention to it.



Are they the ones who say the world is ending? There were some people here in 1999 from a "seventh day <insert strange word here>" church claiming the world would end in 2000. I think maybe it's a little late . . .



No, the Roman Catholics don't think the world is ending.
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#11 Old 08-15-2005, 02:58 AM
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Well someone did . . . they must have been some kind of christian with all the bible stuff they quoted. Maybe that lot disbanded when they found out they were wrong.



I remember my dad was arguing with them because they said some prophecy had come true like "all rivers run to the sea". Except that all rivers don't run to the sea lol . . . so they were standing there talking about that for ages.
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#12 Old 08-15-2005, 03:15 AM
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Are they the ones who say the world is ending? There were some people here in 1999 from a "seventh day <insert strange word here>" church claiming the world would end in 2000. I think maybe it's a little late . . .

seventh day adventist. i don't know much, but from what i've read, adventists originally thought that the second coming would be some time a long while ago. i don't know that a new specific date was ever "decided." they're still around. i have some sda family members.
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#13 Old 08-15-2005, 03:47 AM
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They are just using the term "Christian" to refer to Protestantism.



They were Catholic and now they are Protestant. But protestants rarely ever use the term Protestant and instead simply say "Christian", hence the confusion.
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#14 Old 08-15-2005, 03:54 AM
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Well someone did . . . they must have been some kind of christian with all the bible stuff they quoted. Maybe that lot disbanded when they found out they were wrong.



I remember my dad was arguing with them because they said some prophecy had come true like "all rivers run to the sea". Except that all rivers don't run to the sea lol . . . so they were standing there talking about that for ages.



seventh day adventists. Most SDA's are not Apocolyptic weirdos. Half my family is SDA, and I was raised SDA.





anyway... back to catholic vs. christian...
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#15 Old 08-15-2005, 04:18 AM
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What Elena says is right: Catholicism is a school (in fact: the main school) of Christianity. Some fundamentalist Christians may think that the Catholics are wrong and may therefore not acknowledge Catholicism as the 'true' Christianity. It is definitely a part of the Christian religion however, whether other Christians share the Catholic view or not.
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#16 Old 08-15-2005, 06:21 AM
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here are some possible arguments from the other side:

i don't much like that protestant centric definition of christianity and much conclude they are envious of our catholic bling.

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#17 Old 08-15-2005, 06:31 AM
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i don't much like that protestant centric definition of christianity and much conclude they are envious of our catholic bling.



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#18 Old 08-15-2005, 07:18 AM
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Ugh, one of my least favorite aspects of christianity is the propensity of various sects to use the NARC argument against other sects. NARC = "Not A Real Christian" Many people seem to have this idea that anyone who doesn't share their particular idea about christianity isn't a "real" christian. I think it's especially funny that some protestants label catholics "not a real christian" considering catholicism predates protestantism by some 1200 years! In my opinion, none of them are "real christians!" The real christians, the Gnostics, were outlawed in 325, when orthodox christianity was formally instituted. With the formal institution of the church came the end of real christianity, in my opinion!



No, not really. I think there are still "real christians" out there, people who don't judge others, who follow the teachings of Jesus as best they can. But they are generally much quieter than the judging type of christian, who ignore what Jesus said about praying at the front of the temple.
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#19 Old 08-15-2005, 08:06 AM
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In the relm of Christainaity you have Prodisants which is all christian religions and than Catholics. Catholics don't only put an focus on God and Jesus, but Mary and the saints as well. They believe the same things as Christains, but there are some things they believe or focus on that they don't.



This is my basic understanding of it anyway since I was raised Roman Catholic. Also there are other subgroups of Catholics. I can not remember the names

It gets a little confusing at times.
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#20 Old 08-15-2005, 08:14 AM
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I thought that was just like a subspecies of christian or something . . . but then I don't pay a whole lot of attention to it.



Are they the ones who say the world is ending? There were some people here in 1999 from a "seventh day <insert strange word here>" church claiming the world would end in 2000. I think maybe it's a little late . . .





Maybe just a little.





I grew up Catholic, but I'm Christian now. Seeing as I've been a part of both, I can see them as two separate things with some different "ways"...but I'd never go back to being Catholic after what they did when my sister died (long story).
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#21 Old 08-15-2005, 08:20 AM
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You know, I rarely watch TV but I caught an episode of the simpsons last night and i couldnt stop watching. Bart and Homer decided to convert to catholicism and the rest of the community (all protestant) flipped out - even marge began to worry that they would end up in catholic heaven and her in "protestant heaven". i found it rather strange that people would make such a huge distinction in the US (of course, in ireland the hatred runs pretty deep, so i guess its not unheard of...)



I was raised catholic in the northeast (there are a lot of us there) so I never really was exposed to the hatred of catholics that is found in other parts of the country.



Christianity was ALL made up of catholics (and I think the eastern orthodox, although I'm not well versed on that) until the reformation in the early 1500's. then it splintered into protestant and catholic - and then as time went on, the protestants splintered into a million other sects (quakers, shakers, lutherans, evangelicals, baptists... the list goes on and on.) So for protestants to believe that they are the "true" christianity, I think they better get their own views set first ;-) (sorry, I can't stand the "my religion is better than yours" mentality, which is partly why I'm an atheist now anyway.)



Here is a catholic explanation of the reformation.



http://www.newadvent.org/cathen/12700b.htm
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#22 Old 08-15-2005, 08:45 AM
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You know, I rarely watch TV but I caught an episode of the simpsons last night and i couldnt stop watching. Bart and Homer decided to convert to catholicism and the rest of the community (all protestant) flipped out - even marge began to worry that they would end up in catholic heaven and her in "protestant heaven". i found it rather strange that people would make such a huge distinction in the US (of course, in ireland the hatred runs pretty deep, so i guess its not unheard of...)







After Flanders shook the Catholic priest's hand "Note to self. Get hand re-blessed" I the Simpson's. It was a good episode and it was quite hilarious taking the piss out of us 'ol Catholics



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i don't much like that protestant centric definition of christianity and much conclude they are envious of our catholic bling.





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#23 Old 08-15-2005, 08:57 AM
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so, i grew up protestant with the thought that catholics COULD be christians, but weren't necessarily.



now, i still struggle with that line of thought, but i try to do away with it. it mostly pisses me off b/c catholics seem to be the ones out there with charities and working for the poor and homeless much more than the "fundamentalist"/ evangelical christians (of which i am a part). since that is what jesus seemed to care most about, and least about theology, seems to me they are at least doing something right so how can i fault them for that?



joe made some of the points that run thru my head when i'm not understanding catholics and their dogma.



but there are alot of things i think protestants do wrong. so there you go.
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#24 Old 08-15-2005, 10:02 AM
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basicly, it works like this:



Christians include all denominations, including catholicism, eastern orthodox, etc. Therefore, catholics are a 'type' of christian. It functions similar to vegan and vegetarian. vegans are a type of vegetarian, but not all vegetarians are vegan. There are philosophical differences within and between these groups too--reaching a broad spectrum of beliefs and practices.



The 'first' church was the "catholic church" which divided into the roman catholic and eastern orthodox churches after the councel of nicea when there was a theological debate between the use of the term 'filioque' in the nicean creed. "filioque" means "and the Son" and was part of the trinity document. There was confusion about the use of this term, which started the debates. And then, this lead to the primary theological difference between these two groups: resurrection theology (roman catholic) and incarnation theology (eastern orthodox).



The next big split was the reformation (Lutherans), and of course then the formation of the Anglican Church (also called episcopal). These were both responses to roman catholicism. Therefore, these are protestants of roman catholic doctrines. And then there are various strains of anabaptists, calvinists, and various other strains such as puritains who spawned groups like shakers. Many protestant churches in the US today are actually uniquely american, developing after certain groups from these variousstrains (anabaptist, calvin--particularly) came to the US and formed other churches. Some churches are 20th century denominations; some of them were formed within the last 10 years even.



What is interesting is not just the changes in doctrine, but also the changes in perspectives and teachings regarding other churches. Catholics are often maligned because they 'use a different bible' but this isn't 'really' the case. The first offically canonized text was the catholic canon decided at the council of carthage in the 400s. this included the OT texts plus the dueterocanonical texts and the NT as it is today. There were coplies in latin, used in masses, and copies in vulgar (local) languages to be used at public readings. So, there's this 'myth' that the bible wasn't accessable to the 'average person' which is untrue, as there were public readings.



In the 1600s, the king james translation was commissioned. some important things happened between this translation and the original canonization (there were canoniztaions prior, but they were regional--maronite and ethiopean canons). First, after the catholic canon was made, the jewish community noticed that deutero canonical texts (that is, texts written by diasporic hebrews or local hebrews in the judean region in greek) were included, so they decided to make their own canon--which is basicly the same except they remove the dueterocanonicals. Then, you have luther--who believed that certain books should be removed. not necessarily the duetero canonical texts, but others such as Jude. Around this time, you also have the advent of the printing press, which ushers a way to a largely literate population. And finally, you have the 'break' with the catholic church into the anglican church.



So, James wanted a translation. Erasmus, the translator, decided to defer to the jewish canon, but still wanted to include the deuterocanonical texts because of their importance to christianity (and the anglican church wasn't a far cry from catholicism theologically or traditionally anyway). Part of the reason for an english translation was the same reason as the latin translation--so there was a common text used for masses, etc--which may have been the origin of masses/services in the local languages. So, the dueterocanonical texts were included in the "king james version" at the end of the texts. So, the organization was like this: Jewish canon, deuterocanonicals, and new testimant canon.



Of course, printing was now a common practice--for the most part--which means that you have what we have today--multiple printings, right? First editions, second editions, etc. These editions are often changed for grammatical errors or translation errors or simply for translation ideas that change. Over the years, there were many editions of the King James version printed--and restructured, including one that had the texts in this order: jewish canon, new testament, and deuterocanonical texts.



Then, the americans get into the act. The first versions of the bible in the US were two kinds: catholic canon in it's order in latin and local language versions (ie, spanish, french, noteably, and a few english once those catholics started coming over). But, most english speaking people used the king james version, and most christians who were english speaking were protestants of either anglicanism or of catholicism. Of course, there were others who came as well--such as the various groups from germany and scandenavia and other parts of northern europe, where lutheranism and various anabapist traditions had a strong foothold. They generally carried the catholic canons (there was a lutheran canon as well, early on, that was later cast aside)--which was in their languages. So, you have a number of bibles floating around--most noteably catholic in various languages and the king james version in it's more modern order of jewish texts, new testament, and dueterocanonical texts.



Then, something changed in the 1800s, which was part of the huge advent of anticatholicism in the US--the idea that catholics have a different, and therefore fallacious, bible--The New Jerusalem printing of the King James Version. THis version was printed in the US for a US market. This printing contained only the jewish canon and the new testament, no deuterocanonicals. This is when the dueterocanonical texts were given the term "apocrypha" or "apocryphal" which means 'false or errant." in truth, the catholic church considers very few non-canonical texts 'apocrypha' or 'apocryphal' and regional churches (such as armenian, byzantine, coptic, etc--which are considered 'in union with rome, though culturally distinctive') were allowed to use their cultural traditions and gospels, as well as the teachings of their founders, as elements of gospel revelation to that church in that time and place. So, it was quite an affront to many to call those books "apocryphal."



since that publishing in the 1800s, there are two bibles sold in the US: protestant canons and catholic canons. There are multiple translations of course including the new international version (NIV), the New King James (modernized the language), the New American version, and a myriad of others including one that is called the 'modern language' bible which is a horrifyingly bad translation. Yet, people still use it.



So, part of the reason why people make the distinction is that sometimes it is important. If we go to the veggieboards gathering, we'd probably like to know which are vegan and which are vegatarian as we open a dialogue or search for a restaurant or whatever. When christians open a dialogue, or a nonchristian opens one about a christian topic or such, it may be helpful to say which demonination or theological perspective one is coming from.



catholicism is different, but the differences are relatively minimal. And they are a christian denomination.
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#25 Old 08-15-2005, 10:11 AM
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"You're quite a bingo player Homer. What's your secret?"



"(Homer whispering) You have to cheat!"

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#26 Old 08-15-2005, 10:16 AM
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Christianity is an all encompassing term for all religions that believe that Jesus was the son of God.

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#27 Old 08-15-2005, 10:18 AM
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zoebird I want you on my team next time I play trival pursuit.
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#28 Old 08-15-2005, 10:20 AM
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"You're quite a bingo player Homer. What's your secret?"



"(Homer whispering) You have to cheat!"






LOL and when they show Homer and Bart being Catholic... Bingo cards and pancakes everywhere!
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#29 Old 08-15-2005, 10:27 AM
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LOL and when they show Homer and Bart being Catholic... Bingo cards and pancakes everywhere!

Yeah, it was a funny episode.



Marge, when Homer gets home- "It seems like you've accepted someone as your personal something!"
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#30 Old 08-15-2005, 11:15 AM
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LOL and when they show Homer and Bart being Catholic... Bingo cards and pancakes everywhere!



One of the best episodes I've seen in a long time!



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Christianity is an all encompassing term for all religions that believe that Jesus was the son of God.



Exactly. It's common sense people. Catholics believe Jesus is the son of God, so, they are Christians. Why was this even a question?
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