Catholics not Christian?

Why do some christian fundamentalists think of Catholics as somehow not christian? Is there some specific doctrine they don’t agree with, or is it a case of “anyone who doesn’t share my exact same views is going to hell”?

(Note to mods: I wasn’t sure if this belongs here or in GQ, please close if appropriate.)

The Catholic Church has many teachings that are anti-Christian, including but not limited to:

  1. The infallability of the Pope.
  2. Idol worship (prayer to Mary and the saints).
  3. The purchase of indulgences.
  4. Purgatory.
  5. Relics.
  6. Pursecution of non-Catholics (in some countries).
  7. Salvation through Catholic membership & rituals, rather than by the grace of God through the death and resurection of Lord Jesus.

Oh Lord, here we go again… :rolleyes:

::shuffles off, gets popcorn::

Many people don’t believe that the largest Christian denonimation, namely the Catholic Church, is not, in fact, Christian, because they are either ignorant or bigots. I’ll assume our friend ImNotMad is simply ignorant. None of the things you list are “anti-Christian.” Oh, and you forgot transsubstantiation.

I’m sure some others can put it better than I can, but I can’t stand this kind of crap.

  1. The infallability of the Pope.

Not sure why the Pope being infallible on issues of Faith would be considered “unChristian.” Every Protestant I’ve ever met believes that they, in fact, are infallible on matters of faith. The Pope represents the concensus of the hierarchy of the Church, being voted by his peers as the one who most represents the ideas of the Church.

  1. Idol worship (prayer to Mary and the saints).

Catholics ask for Mary and the Saints to pray for them to God. Catholics do not pray to Mary and the Saints. Do you believe in Heaven? You don’t think the saints are there and can hear when you pray to God?

  1. The purchase of indulgences.

No such thing in this day and age in the church. The only Church that I know of that sells indulgences is the 700 Club.

  1. Purgatory.

Went away with Vatican II, but, again, I’m not sure why this is “anti-Christian.”

  1. Relics.

Point? Catholics believe that God’s grace can be carried through objects (blessed objects, the Host, holy Water etc.). So What? Many Protestants believe that flashy preachers can heal their diseases.

  1. Pursecution of non-Catholics (in some countries).

And Protestants have never persecuted non-Protestants? I think not.

  1. Salvation through Catholic membership & rituals, rather than by the grace of God through the death and resurection of Lord Jesus.

Untrue. This is a common mix-up of Causality. The Church teaches that one is, in fact, saved through “the grace of God through the death and resurection of Lord Jesus.” The fact that one is a Catholic and goes through rituals and does good acts are considered as proof of God’s Grace acting through Catholics and as proof of their salvation through Jesus. So, one is not saved through acts, but one who is saved will go to church and go through the rituals and do good deeds. The rituals require sincerity. Just going through the motions doesn’t count.

The fact is that ALL non-Catholic Christians owe their faith to the Catholic Church. They are all descended from Catholicism as much as Christianity owes its existence to Judaism. They simply adjusted their beliefs to weed out what they personally didn’t like about the Church. Remember, Catholicism was basically ALL Christianity until Mr. Luther posted his little sign.

Oh, and need I add that the bible is the bible because of the Catholic Church. They decided which books became dogma. The fact that Protestants don’t have the apocrypha is irrelevant. There’s a reason that the Gospel According to James is not in the King James Bible, and that is because the Church decided.

Thank you, LateComer. I knew someone would get the Catholic Church on the scoreboard before I returned from lunch.

I was going to suggest that ImNotMad do a little research here for openers, and then maybe take an advanced course or two here. Maybe ImNotMad will learn we’re not such bad folks after all.

Well, that isn’t quite it either. Catholics draw a distinction between the actual grace imparted by baptism which may result in good works and the sanctifying grace of justification.

The Catholic Encyclopedia goes into great detail:
Controversies on Grace

Actual Grace

Santifying Grace

From the last entry:

It goes on to point out this idea has no Biblical justification.

Even if all of these were true (and kudi to Latecomer for pointing out the errors), how would these make Catholicism non- or anti-Christian.
At most, these are heretical or schismatic beliefs. Given the absurd number of Christian denominations in the world (33,800, according to the co-author of the World Christian Encyclopedia), varying nuances of belief systems is not the definition of what is a Christian belief. Judge not, lest ye be judged.

BTW, where the hell are Catholics persecuting non-Catholics? Northern Ireland? Please.


Shit. Do I have to do everything for you guys? The reasons that Catholics are not considered Christians are comprehensively covered by our good friend Jack Chick. :smiley:

Obviously, ImNotMad is one of Jack’s protege’s.

This whole fasting thing on Good Friday is making me light headed. I’m gonna go nap.

Umm, I think Coptics, Eastern Orthodox and the other small sects in the Middle East may take issue with this, but it does not really affect the rest of your argument.

Sadly I was once taught to believe all the Jack Chick style arguments that ImNotMad is espousing. FWIW I was raised Roman Catholic until I was six when my mother decided she didn’t want to belong to that church anymore. We bounced among several mainstream protestant denominations, arriving at Southern Baptist when I was in high school.

There are some things I disagree with in the RC church but Catholics are christians as much as this heretic Lutheran boy. FWIW I went to Easter mass last year with a friend and when the priest doused us with holy water it didn’t burn my skin so I took it as a good sign. He was blessing the congregation big time, had a frond that held a lot of water. Hairdos and hats were ruined and mascara was running like a river :smiley:

Don’t forget, the Vatican was actually behind the concentration camps and they killed all those jews. (also from our friend Jack Chick)

The only reason I can think of that Jack Chick would have seen this as a sin is that it sent all those Jews to hell a little faster than they would have gone anyway.

  1. As opposed to, say, the infallibility of a literal reading of the Bible? At least the Pope thinks things through carefully and prays about it…

  2. Never knew Mary or any of the saints were graven images – I was under the impression they were Christians. (Of course, some of them were Catholics…)

3-6. Dealt with by others

  1. News to me. Most of the Catholics I’ve dealt with adhere to the grace of God and salvation through Christ’s Atonement.

Got any more canards to throw out?

A touchy subject nicely dealt with. Jet, I like to tell my non- Catholic friends that, IMHO, Protestants (especially the calvinists) look upon salvation as a destination, wheras Catholics approach salvation as a journey.

There is a history of people in power in all religeons abusing that power. Catholicisim hasn’t been immune to this, but then neither has any other major western religeon.

Just my .02

Since large scale wars have been fought in Europe over the difference between transubstantiation and consubstantiation, emotions can still run high in this area.

Unless a Protestant went to a Catholic Mass on a Marian holiday, the differences between Catholicism and other Protestant religions isn’t very great now.

BAHAHAHAH!!! You kill me. :smiley: Pardon my outburst but I come from a perspective of having been at one time or other Roman Catholic (baptized as an infink) , Pentecostal, Missouri Lutheran, Assembly of God, Southern Baptist (baptized the way John did Jesus - full immersion in a fiberglass jaccuzi tub) and now Evangelical Lutheran (or as my R.C. friends call it, “watered down Catholocism”)

Some denominations are in the ecumenical movement that seeks to emphasize what we have in. Unfortunately plenty of fundies think the ecumenical movement is tantamount to Baal worship. I think Christians as a whole need to take “WWJD” off our bumper stickers and put it into practice more.

I can’t agree with that. First of all, which Protestant religions are you referring to? It appears that you’re (for comparison purposes) lumping them all together.

Theologically and liturgically, I would suspect that there are far more differences between the ELCA and Southern Baptists…then there are between the ELCA and Roman Catholics

I agree that unsubstantiated assertions of Jack Chick are disturbing and yet darkly hilarious for their pure absurdity. Particularly funny is the comic tract where Satan concocts the “wafer god” (i.e. Chick’s interpretation of the Catholic doctrine of the Eucharist) as part of yet another diabolical scheme to bring us to damnation. Please also note that in Chick’s comics, agents of Satan (i.e. nuns, priests, gay rights activists, evolutionists, etc.) will physically and verbally assail any Protestant fundmentalist just for looking at them funny. After these “enemies of Christ” mistreat or scorn the fundie, they face one of two possible fates at the ending of a Chick comic–either they bow down to the ground to profusely beg for forgiveness and embrace the Chick theology, or they stand before God’s throne and are sent into the lake of fire.

One reason why I think Catholicism remains a popular target for Protestant fundies is the fundie obsession with the so-called “One world government/one world religion” that some folks read into the book of Revelation. The Catholic Church is sometimes referred to by fundies as the “whore of Babylon” due to a suspect allegorical interpretation of Revelation. (Does anyone know where this “whore of Babylon” notion originated? Surely not with the magisterial Reformers like Luther, who would be horrified by the whole bible prophecy cottage industry that has grown over the last couple of centuries.) I suppose if you want to buy into the idea of an evil one world religion, the Catholic Church is a pretty good target. I mean, do you really think the Methodists, Lutherans, or Baptists could pull off such a scheme of world domination? A denomination that is mostly concentrated in just a few regions of the world, or that lacks strong central organization, is just not good enough for Satan. :wink:

Also realize that some people have a real problem with the notion that God has any “feminine” qualities. This is why people like Jack Chick recoil in horror at anything that seems to deify Mary. If God does not have a penis, the whole universe just falls into disarray for Chick. Just look at one of Chick’s comics where Satan officially proclaims that Bewitched is not only his favorite tv show, but also a clever ploy to deliver people to hell. The Y chromosome must rule the world or we’ll all fall into witchcraft and nature worship.

Chick says that Roman Catholicism spawned Islam and Freemasonry. And don’t forget that the Vatican spawned Communism while also embracing Fascism/Nazism, even though the Communists and Fascists/Nazis were violently opposed to each other…but that’s the kind of consistency you can expect from Chick.

You should also know: (these are Chick’s views, not mine)

  1. Jesuits arranged the assassination of President Lincoln.
  2. Jim Jones (of Jonestown massacre infamy) was trained as a Jesuit.
  3. Mohammed was an agent of the Vatican.
  4. The KKK was created by Jesuits following their failure in the Civil War, in an effort to prejudice African Americans and liberal whites against Protestantism. They are, to put it mildly, a negative PR organization. (I wonder if any of the men who were lynched by the KKK thought it was all just a PR ploy.)
  5. The Ecumenical movement was created at Vatican II as the first step toward a one world religion. (Please disregard the efforts of the World Council of Churches and William Temple, etc. that had already been going on for decades.)
  6. The Vatican is responsible for “all Satanic bible translations”. By contrast, Jack Chick embraces the “only” true English translation–the King James Version. Oh, and Jack Chick is a passionate homophobe, and it just so happens that the King James Version is named after the flamboyantly gay King James I of England.

Any denomination that stays around long enough will have some slip ups. Vatican I was not the proudest moment in Catholic history, and relations with the Orthodox churches of the East were a sore spot long before there were any Protestants. As far as I’m concerned, Protestant fundamentalism and Catholic anti-modernism were evil twins that popped up as an anti-Enlightenment backlash in the 19th century. Fortunately, the Catholic Church recovered from the absurd, pernicious doctrines of Vatican I (which looked suspiciously toward such notions as democracy and modern science) and progressed to the enlightened, sensible doctrines of Vatican II. Also, most major Protestant denominations today would strongly disagree with the crackpot views of Jack Chick. But again, that’s part of the appeal of fundamentalism–Islam, Catholicism, Mormonism, most Protestantism, Buddhism, Hinduism, etc. can all be dismissed as false religions that lead people to hell. And for the fundie, the joys of being saved are enhanced by the delight of knowing how lost and doomed most people will be on Judgment Day. Life is so much easier when anything you don’t understand is quickly dismissed as “evil”.

I’ll kind of agree with that. In some respects the ELCA is far more liberal on some issues like fully welcoming and affirming gays and lesbians who come to worship. I don’t mean just tolerating them if they site quietly in the pew but the whole shebang from affirming relationships to ordained clergy.

Philosophocles, (cool handle BTW) I think you have a pretty good handle on the Jack Chick mentality. It would be funny if he wasn’t spreading so much hate and misinformation.