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Is Identifying Oneself A Catholic Or Protestant, More Of Legality?

Discussion in 'General Discussions' started by aha, Jul 6, 2014.

  1. Is identifying oneself a Catholic or Protestant, more of legality?

    I asked in the same manner how i see that Paul refer to being a Pharisee as "concerning the law"?

    By legality, I mean more on identifying oneself in public, what set of rules or school of taught he follow...

    My next question will be: if one does not practice few of the set of beliefs where he belong, will he still be legally belong?

    Philippians 3 New King James Version (NKJV)
    All for Christ
    3 Finally, my brethren, rejoice in the Lord. For me to write the same things to you is not tedious, but for you it is safe.
    2 Beware of dogs, beware of evil workers, beware of the mutilation! 3 For we are the circumcision, who worship God in the Spirit,[a] rejoice in Christ Jesus, and have no confidence in the flesh, 4 though I also might have confidence in the flesh. If anyone else thinks he may have confidence in the flesh, I more so: 5 circumcised the eighth day, of the stock of Israel, of the tribe of Benjamin, a Hebrew of the Hebrews; concerning the law, a Pharisee; 6 concerning zeal, persecuting the church; concerning the righteousness which is in the law, blameless.
    7 But what things were gain to me, these I have counted loss for Christ. 8 Yet indeed I also count all things loss for the excellence of the knowledge of Christ Jesus my Lord, for whom I have suffered the loss of all things, and count them as rubbish, that I may gain Christ 9 and be found in Him, not having my own righteousness, which is from the law, but that which is through faith in Christ, the righteousness which is from God by faith; 10 that I may know Him and the power of His resurrection, and the fellowship of His sufferings, being conformed to His death, 11 if, by any means, I may attain to the resurrection from the dead.

    Pressing Toward the Goal

    12 Not that I have already attained, or am already perfected; but I press on, that I may lay hold of that for which Christ Jesus has also laid hold of me. 13 Brethren, I do not count myself to have apprehended; but one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind and reaching forward to those things which are ahead, 14 I press toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus.
    15 Therefore let us, as many as are mature, have this mind; and if in anything you think otherwise, God will reveal even this to you. 16 Nevertheless, to the degree that we have already attained, let us walk by the same rule,[b] let us be of the same mind.

    Our Citizenship in Heaven

    17 Brethren, join in following my example, and note those who so walk, as you have us for a pattern. 18 For many walk, of whom I have told you often, and now tell you even weeping, that they are the enemies of the cross of Christ: 19 whose end is destruction, whose god is their belly, and whose glory is in their shame—who set their mind on earthly things. 20 For our citizenship is in heaven, from which we also eagerly wait for the Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ, 21 who will transform our lowly body that it may be conformed to His glorious body, according to the working by which He is able even to subdue all things to Himself.
  2. Some refer to Catholicism as being filled with rules, but in reality all faiths have rules... like the Ten Commandmants.

    The rules most people attribute to Catholicism are how they understand the administering of sacraments which they believe are necessary for the full expression of the faith. Most people who disparage this are not Catholic, so if you choose not to be Catholic obviously you will either not believe in sacraments or believe they need not be administered by the Church, or that there are only two. In any case that is one's own personal faith.
  3. I agree, faith is more of personal.
    In terms of identifying oneself in public, or legal proceedings, I notice that Paul still refer to himself as "I am a Pharisee"?

    I look on what sets of belief Pharisees have, I think the core sets of belief Paul still have(?): Oral Law, after life, last judgment, a messiah.... although on the Oral Law, he discusses it more in his letters....

    Acts 23:6New King James Version (NKJV)
    6 But when Paul perceived that one part were Sadducees and the other Pharisees, he cried out in the council, “Men and brethren, I am a Pharisee, the son of a Pharisee; concerning the hope and resurrection of the dead I am being judged!”

    Of the various factions that emerged under Hasmoneanrule, three are of particular interest: the Pharisees, Sadducees, andEssenes.

    The Pharisees

    The most important of the three were the Pharisees because they are the spiritual fathers of modern Judaism. Their main distinguishing characteristic was a belief in an Oral Law that God gave to Moses at Sinai along with the Torah. The Torah, or Written Law, was akin to the U.S. Constitution in the sense that it set down a series of laws that were open to interpretation. The Pharisees believed that God also gave Moses the knowledge of what these laws meant and how they should be applied. This oral tradition was codified and written down roughly three centuries later in what is known as the Talmud.
    The Pharisees also maintained that an after-life existed and that God punished the wicked and rewarded the righteous in the world to come. They also believed in a
    messiah who would herald an era of world peace.
    Pharisees were in a sense blue-collar Jews who adhered to the tenets developed after the destruction of the
    Temple; that is, such things as individual prayer and assembly in synagogues.

    The Sadducees

    The Sadducees were elitists who wanted to maintain the priestly caste, but they were also liberal in their willingness to incorporate Hellenism into their lives, something the Pharisees opposed. The Sadducees rejected the idea of the Oral Law and insisted on a literal interpretation of the Written Law; consequently, they did not believe in an after life, since it is not mentioned in the Torah. The main focus ofSadducee life was rituals associated with the Temple.
    The Sadducees disappeared around 70 A.D., after thed estruction of the
    Second Temple. None of the writings of the Sadducees has survived, so the little we know about them comes from their Pharisaic opponents.
    These two "parties" served in the
    Great Sanhedrin, a kind of Jewish Supreme Court made up of 71 members whose responsibility was to interpret civil and religious laws.

    The Essenes

    A third faction, the Essenes, emerged out of disgust with the other two. This sect believed the others had corrupted the city and the Temple. They moved out of Jerusalem and lived a monastic life in the desert, adopting strict dietary laws and a commitment to celibacy.
    The Essenes are particularly interesting to scholars because they are believed to be an offshoot of the group that lived in
    Qumran, near the Dead Sea. In 1947, a Bedouin shepherd stumbled into a cave containing various ancient artifacts and jars containing manuscripts describing the beliefs of the sect and events of the time.
    The most important documents, often only parchment fragments that had to be meticulously restored, were the earliest known copies of the
    Old Testament. The similarity of the substance of the material found in the scrolls to that in the modern scriptures has confirmed the authenticity of the Bible used today.
  4. I once heard that a Jew had said, "If the Jews understood the law like Christians did, the last Jew would have stoned himself to death."
  5. I've never heard this before, but it's interesting.
  6. Interesting, similar to the one I heard from a pastor that, if the Jews strictly implemented the OT laws, there will be no Jews left….


    Contemporary attitudes towards capital punishment

    Leading rabbis in Reform Judaism, Conservative Judaism, and Orthodox Judaism tend to hold that the death penalty is a correct and just punishment in theory, but they hold that it should not generally be used (or not used at all) in practice.
    MMurphy likes this.

  7. That's a very excellent question actually.

    I'd argue the answer is no--it's not just a subject of legality, or at least it ought not be. Titles like Catholic or Protestant are words to describe where one's doctrinal faith. If Joe Schmoe is a Catholic, it's not because of legality, but because He does believe that the pope is the successor of St. Peter and also believes that the Eucharist is body, divinity, and spirit present at the Mass. If Mr. Smith is a Protestant, it's because perhaps he believes in Calvinism or Lutheranism or what have you as being the right approach to Christianity, and objectively speaking.

    That's difficult to answer because some Christian groups really differ on this. For instance, many non-denominational groups don't really have specific rules at all other than submitting to the general Christian doctrine of Christ, His divinity, His sacrifice, resurrection, and salvation by Grace.

    For Catholics, if a Catholic decides that he believes in the Christ's divinity and resurrection, etc., but doesn't believe in the actual presence of the Eucharist at Mass (perhaps he believes in CONsubstantiation rather than TRANsubstantiation), then he is only a Catholic but title, but not by faith, so I would say he isn't really a Catholic. People like this are generally called Cafeteria Catholics (where they choose what they want from Catholicism and leave what they don't want). Most of the time, these Catholics believe in charity, peace, but are pro-abortion and pro-gay marriage because it is politically correct. Sadly, this is very common with Catholics and the Church is hurting for this.
  8. Hmmm, that's interesting, according to Paul if we claim an attachment to/following after some man we are considered babes in Christ, 1 Cor 3 and are carnal instead of spiritual, which is clearly what Catholicism and Protestantism actually are.

    What I read in the book of Acts is the church had leaders, but didn't venerate them as is being done today by both sides, they were Spirit filled, Spirit lead believers in Christ that Evangelized the whole know world at that time in 23 years, funny thing, they didn't have the New Testament, they didn't have any Creeds, it seems the only doctrinal differences were Truth and false teaching, ...they were united in faith and Truth.

    I think the pertinent question is, ...why is there a division, when did it occur and what caused it?


  9. By no means do I think denominationalism is right. At least coming from the Catholic position, the Church doesn't want to be recognized as a different denomination -- it recognizes itself as the one and only denomination. Though the question was in regards to labels. I have no problem with labels as they are just words to describe their meanings. For instance, Paganism is a valid label but just because I believe the label is right because Paganism does exist doesn't means that I agree with Paganism.
  10. I'm not going to go there and start another 30 some odd page war, you're talking semantics, I'm talking reality, ...tell me, what did I say in my last post that is not Truth or historical reality?


  11. I'm not intending to say what is right or wrong -- I'm only expressing what the Catholic Church says. Perhaps I didn't understand your question.
  12. #12 aha, Jul 7, 2014
    Last edited: Jul 7, 2014
    I agree. Precisely, why I propose it is a legality.

    Legality is defined as “attachment to or observance of law” or a creed, say the Nicene Creed.

    Am not sure yet how to connect this below, I google "Who is Catholic" and I found it interesting.

    "Who is Catholic" is proposed to be of 4 classification, with No. 4 as highest....

    AND yet… the measurement is not “measured” how is one “Catholic”.. but how one is measured as a “Christian”…


    Who Is Catholic? The Awareness of Catholic Identity and the Universal Call to Holiness | Cynthia Toolin | IgnatiusInsight.com

    [​IMG] Print-friendly version

    In a 1998 Gallup poll, [1] 46% of those who identified themselves as Catholic answered yes to the question, "Did you yourself attend church in the last seven days?" While the statistic cannot be taken as reflecting obligatory Sunday Mass attendance, [2] it can be used as the base for an estimate of this attendance.

    The accuracy of this base is open to questioning because self-reporting is notoriously inaccurate. A person may not remember his behavior, or may lie to impress the researcher, or may not be willing to reveal religious behavior. A study by Hadaway, Marler and Chaves found that actual church attendance is approximately half of what people self-report. [3] They estimate that the Catholic attendance rate is around 25%. Assuming that Catholics attend Mass half as often as they self-report and using the Gallup statistic of 46%, actual attendance for Catholics may be as low as 23%.

    An estimate for attendance at church within the last seven days for Catholics could thus range anywhere from a low of 23% to a high of 46%. It is not possible to attain a more accurate percentage, nor is it necessary. As Catholics, we are bound to participate in the Mass on Sundays and other designated days, unless we have a serious reason for not doing so or are dispensed by our own pastor. [4] With estimates of 54% to 77% of Catholics in the United States not attending, it is clear that a serious problem exists. [5]

    A Proposed Distinction

    Membership in social groups has different degrees of importance, or salience, to people. Take, for example, a married Roman Catholic Italian American insurance executive, who can be classified by marital status, religion, ethnicity and occupation. These classifications are probably not equally important to him: he may more highly value being an insurance executive and a married man, than being a Roman Catholic or an Italian American.

    For purposes of illustration, a classification of four categories concerning membership within a group (from lowest to highest salience) is suggested:
    1. a descriptive label, a category that expresses a person's characteristics with minimal or no effect on external behavior;

    2. a social declaration, a category that expresses an external behavior that a person wants others to see;

    3. a distinctive affirmation, a category that expresses self-definition and has a strong effect on external behavior; or

    4. a definitive statement, a category that expresses what permeates a person's inner life and has a significant effect on external behavior. [6] These categories can be applied to the religious status "Catholic." That is, being a member of the social group "Catholic" may be a descriptive label, a social declaration, a distinctive affirmation or a definitive statement. These suggested categories are mutually exclusive and are usually non-progressive.

    A man for whom the status "Catholic" is a descriptive label might attend Mass only on Christmas and Easter, and for weddings and funerals. When asked about religious membership, he might say he is Catholic, but add a negative qualifier such as "I don't agree with most Church teaching, especially on sexual issues." He probably does not think much about being Catholic, and the status might be grouped with numerous other statuses of about equal importance, like sex, marital status, race, ethnicity, age, occupation, and educational attainment. A relationship with Christ is probably seen as irrelevant, if it is thought of at all, and the status has almost no effect on his external behavior. The status "Catholic" does have some salience for him; if it had none, he would not say he was Catholic.

    If the classification "Catholic" is a social declaration, a man might attend Mass relatively often and might volunteer the information to others that he is Catholic. Such a person wants to be identified as Catholic by others. The reasons can vary widely--to receive social status as a God-fearing man, to please a spouse or potential spouse, or to gain acceptance into a community. The status of "Catholic" is important to him, but only because he wants others to see him as Catholic. His goal is not to have a relationship with Christ, but to be perceived as having one. Thus, his external behavior may be affected by the status, but it has no impact on his inner spiritual development.

    A man for whom the status "Catholic" is a distinctive affirmation would probably rarely miss Mass, might be a church usher, and might belong to a Catholic organization like the Knights of Columbus or the Holy Name Society. The status of "Catholic" is very important to him, and has great impact on his external behavior. Such a person not only wants to be identified as Catholic by others, he strongly identifies himself as Catholic. It is one of the most important self-identifiers he has. However, this high salience does not mean that he has a relationship with Christ, nor that he believes Church teaching, nor that he lives a moral life. High salience of the status "Catholic" is not the same as, nor does it necessarily lead to, holiness. As Joseph Cardinal Ratzinger mentioned in his book Called to Communion, "There can be people who are engaged uninterruptedly in the activities of Church associations and yet are not Christians." [7]

    The highest salience of the status "Catholic" is found in a man who can be classified in the category of definitive statement. Like a man for whom the status is a distinctive affirmation, his self-identity is strongly tied to being Catholic and his external behavior shows this. But unlike a man in the distinctive affirmation category, it is because being Catholic permeates his inner life. He is engaged in a relationship with Christ and is growing spiritually towards holiness. He loves Christ, and Christ's spouse, the Church--he believes Church teachings on faith and morals, and daily grows in a life of virtue and in obedience to God.
  13. Very eloquently put.

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