Derico
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Something I Don't Understand About Protestants

Wed May 25, 2011 6:27 pm

Of course not all Protestant churches, but quite honestly too many of them.

For the record, I'm not Cathotic, or Orthodox. In fact I don't really believe in organized churches beyond them being a generally positive social forum for people. Not all of them, but quite a few.

Now, the reason perhaps simplified by me, that Protestant Churches broke from the Vatican was because among other things besides the massive corruption of such a huge entity (which persist to this day with the Molestation Scandal worldwide), was they believe Jesus Christ is the only savior, and that God alone should be worshipped, through the Bible. Thus, an intermediary like the pope, or veneration of the Virgin, or of idols in eastern churches is seen as straying from the worship of a monotheistic God.

Yet, 99% of cases of wacky religious groups in Christianity, where members sometimes in the thousands BLINDLY follow the words and orders of completely deranged preacher, evangelist or leader, are Protestant. I mean how many have there been in the last century? ''Churches'' whose followers go to some jungle and commit mass killing, or those that believe a comet will save them and need to commit suicide, or those who on television become ''posessed'' when they are touched by their churches's preacher, those who die in burning buildings for their leader, who preach everywhere the end of the world or who protest funerals because their leader says so, or even decided to live in caves because supposedly it's the will of God.

To my point... If protestant churches find the Pope's status as intermediary, or praying to the Virgin, or worshiping idols in eastern Orthodoxy heretic, then why do they so easily fall prey to the words of (usually), old anti-social men who seem to have chips on their life's shoulders, and lead their followers to reclusive, bizarre and often deadly outcomes? Why and how do these preachers even get to make converts with such wacky views?

As an outsider, it seems to me way too many of these churches are cults of personality, which would most cetainly contravene a most basic principle of the Protestant movement.

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lewis
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RE: Something I Don't Understand About Protestants

Wed May 25, 2011 6:59 pm

Quoting Derico (Thread starter):
or worshiping idols in eastern Orthodoxy heretic,

As an orthodox I have yet to witness worshiping idols.
 
Doona
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RE: Something I Don't Understand About Protestants

Wed May 25, 2011 7:00 pm

Quoting Derico (Thread starter):
Why and how do these preachers even get to make converts with such wacky views?

This has nothing to do with protestantism. It's a general problem every time you have people who have it as their job to tell people what to do. It's a cult of personality, same thing in politics. The reason it doesn't happen as often or as visibly in the catholic church is likely that it's size and established hierarchy and doctrine prevent the nutjobs from spouting their crap. Except for the pontiff, that is...   

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Mir
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RE: Something I Don't Understand About Protestants

Wed May 25, 2011 7:01 pm

Just so I've got this straight, you're wondering why it is that religious extremist nutcases have beliefs that don't jive with the actual teachings of their religion?

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TheCol
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RE: Something I Don't Understand About Protestants

Wed May 25, 2011 7:03 pm

Quoting Derico (Thread starter):
or those that believe a comet will save them and need to commit suicide
Quoting Derico (Thread starter):
those who die in burning buildings for their leader, who preach everywhere the end of the world or who protest funerals because their leader says so, or even decided to live in caves because supposedly it's the will of God.
Quoting Derico (Thread starter):
''Churches'' whose followers go to some jungle and commit mass killing

Those people are usually practicing occult beliefs. Even much of the modern Catholic Church doctrine falls under the definition of the occult. So at the end of the day, the Westboro Baptist Church, for example, isn't even close to charismatic Christianity. They and others like them are all cut from the same cloth.
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iakobos
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RE: Something I Don't Understand About Protestants

Wed May 25, 2011 7:09 pm

Quoting lewis (Reply 1):
As an orthodox I have yet to witness worshiping idols.

You do not watch "Greek Idol" Lewis ?
 
vikkyvik
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RE: Something I Don't Understand About Protestants

Wed May 25, 2011 7:18 pm

Quoting Derico (Thread starter):
As an outsider, it seems to me way too many of these churches are cults of personality, which would most cetainly contravene a most basic principle of the Protestant movement.

Just a hypothesis here, with no basis in evidence or testing:

It's probably easier to form a "religious" cult with a "godlike" leader if you don't have to answer to a higher (human) authority like the Pope.

This could allow you to have pretty much free reign to say/do what you like, of course in the name of god and your religion, without being excommunicated or chastised or censured by your higher authority.

But I'm not all that familiar with the hierarchical structure of Protestant churches, so I could be completely off-base.
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Klaus
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RE: Something I Don't Understand About Protestants

Wed May 25, 2011 7:20 pm

The difference is that the catholic church (with all its own crazyness) is a relatively rigid and very strictly hierarchical organisation. Catholicism is highly focused on this kind of centralism and on-message consistency.

Protestantism, on the other hand, is more focused on a grassroots scheme of organisation, which leaves plenty of opportunities for different congregations to find their own ways, even to the point of crazy people easily creating their own independent cults who would in most cases be disciplined by a catholic hierarchy, suppressing the most embarrassing excesses (at least most of the time).

There simply isn't a central institution which can approve or disenfranchise a congregation or its leaders calling itself "protestant". Contrary to "catholic" there's nobody who'd actually enforce exclusivity or a specific interpretation of the religion.
 
Fabo
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RE: Something I Don't Understand About Protestants

Wed May 25, 2011 7:28 pm

Difficult to answer, indeed.

One of the reasons, as mentioned, is the organisational level of Catholic church. It is pretty well laid out who is who. Soon as you would have a catholic priest preaching stuff like rapture or so, you have his bishop having to say something about that. As far as I know, protestant churches are less controlled, more autonomous and more stationary in terms of priest placement. I do not know what is the standart modus operandi within catholic church in the US, but here, priests are rotated between places. Normally, you would have a priest stationed in one church for maybe 4, 5 years, then he moves somewhere else. Whereas if protestant preacher is in one place for 10, 20 years, he can gradually gather a much larger following. And then you have TV preachers and so...
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David L
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RE: Something I Don't Understand About Protestants

Wed May 25, 2011 8:15 pm

Quoting vikkyvik (Reply 6):
It's probably easier to form a "religious" cult with a "godlike" leader if you don't have to answer to a higher (human) authority like the Pope.

Exactly. Most don't feel the need but there's no-one to stop them if they do.

Quoting Klaus (Reply 7):
There simply isn't a central institution which can approve or disenfranchise a congregation or its leaders calling itself "protestant". Contrary to "catholic" there's nobody who'd actually enforce exclusivity or a specific interpretation of the religion.

   You can't get thrown out of "the Protestant church" because it isn't a single church but many churches that are Protestant.
 
lewis
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RE: Something I Don't Understand About Protestants

Wed May 25, 2011 8:22 pm

Quoting iakobos (Reply 5):
You do not watch "Greek Idol" Lewis ?

Hahaha, fortunately not, right?
 
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Aesma
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RE: Something I Don't Understand About Protestants

Wed May 25, 2011 8:39 pm

Quoting lewis (Reply 1):
As an orthodox I have yet to witness worshiping idols.

What I've seen is kissing icons (and the ring of a priest, too). And I never understood the cult of saints or the virgin in the catholic church either, when I was a member, but it took time for me to realize it because it wasn't really happening in my church. There are also the relics, that one is even worse. I currently own one, not some bone chip fortunately but a bit of cloth of a priest that is not yet "blessed" but should be one day. I don't care about it but the aunt who gave it to me does so I keep it, she's a sister.
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iakobos
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RE: Something I Don't Understand About Protestants

Wed May 25, 2011 9:17 pm

Quoting Aesma (Reply 11):
What I've seen is kissing icons (and the ring of a priest, too).

correct, and some books. Though it has lot more to do with tradition and superstition than religion, the same flock will read the future in coffee ground or tarot, visit their Mr Abracadabra for psychological advice, turn three times when seeing a black cat and paint a cross at the entrance of their home to scare the devil...among others things.

Klaus and Fabo are on the right track, I would add that there is no Protestant Church but a multitude of congregations orbiting in and around a loose protestant movement.
 
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RE: Something I Don't Understand About Protestants

Wed May 25, 2011 9:19 pm

Quoting Aesma (Reply 11):
And I never understood the cult of saints or the virgin in the catholic church either

You've obviously never needed a miracle and miraculously got it.  

I'll be honest I don't really understand modern protestanism. But as long as everyone is happy and leading a moral life I don't care. Each to their own.
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seb146
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RE: Something I Don't Understand About Protestants

Wed May 25, 2011 9:39 pm

Hmmmmm.... As a Protestant, let me just say I and my church family have never thought of these cults at "Protestant" or even "Christian" since the Bible is very clear on false prophets. My sect (Church of God, Anderson Indiana) believe that we can gather any time, any day, anywhere in the name of God and worship. No prophets, no heirarchy, no saints. We have ordained ministers leading the worship, but they are NOT God and they do not claim to be God. As such, if we can not find a COG to visit while we are travelling, we can feel comfortable worshiping at a Nazerine or Assembly of God or Presbyterian church. But, in the eyes of my particular church, cults are false prophets and will be judged only by God as such. As will the righteous, God fearing among us whether they be Protestant, Catholic, Mormon, or Orthodox.
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Aesma
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RE: Something I Don't Understand About Protestants

Thu May 26, 2011 2:23 am

Quoting Babybus (Reply 13):
You've obviously never needed a miracle and miraculously got it.

Maybe I did and didn't notice ! I'm so far from religion now that it wouldn't cross my mind.

Quoting seb146 (Reply 14):
My sect
Quoting seb146 (Reply 14):
cults are false prophets

Funnily enough, in French, the "culte" is practicing a "respectable" religion while a "secte" is a group of people following a guru or things like that (scientology is a considered a secte).
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RE: Something I Don't Understand About Protestants

Thu May 26, 2011 2:44 am

What I don't get about Protestantism is, Anglicanism (one of its main branches) was created solely so that King Henry VIII could divorce his wife, who wouldn't give him any male children. And yet, until very recently British monarchs were not allowed to marry divorced women (in fact, that is the only reason the current queen is queen).
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Derico
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RE: Something I Don't Understand About Protestants

Thu May 26, 2011 2:49 am

Quoting lewis (Reply 1):
As an orthodox I have yet to witness worshiping idols.

I am stating verbatum what several evangelists havet told me about what they see wrong with Orthodoxy, I should have made that clear I apologize. As with all religious differences, it is in the eye of the beholder so it is pointless to argue what is considered what.

My bigger point was that if you spoke to those wacky churches, outside the mainstream of their movement, they would say you are heretics, like Catholics, and even other Protestant churches. Yet these outfits are almost invariably centered around the personality, charisma or rhetoric of a man. Just kinda doesn't make sense.

Quoting Klaus (Reply 7):
There simply isn't a central institution which can approve or disenfranchise a congregation or its leaders calling itself "protestant". Contrary to "catholic" there's nobody who'd actually enforce exclusivity or a specific interpretation of the religion.

But shouldn't mainstream Protestantism care about, if not so much about how those churches do the interpretation of the Bible, just the upholding of the basic principles that lead to the reformation?? It is obvious that such churches in the fringe are based on cults of person. Isn't that totally contrary to the reform movement? Yet you don't hear much formal rejection or criticism.

Maybe they don't consider such fringe elements worthy of their time, but like for example with this end of the World church, which I found out today that the world is supposed to be over by now (!), why don't the main churches come out and say ''hey, you know what, we don't think that is the case''.

[Edited 2011-05-25 19:51:41]
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Klaus
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RE: Something I Don't Understand About Protestants

Thu May 26, 2011 2:54 am

Quoting Derico (Reply 17):
But shouldn't mainstream Protestant care about, if not so much the interpretation of the Bible, just the upholding of the basic principles that lead to the reformation??

There just isn't anyone who could determine who is or isn't a "protestant". It's just not a protected brand. If you declare that you're protestant, then that's what you are. Some people may object to your views but nobody can really expel you from protestantism.
 
BMI727
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RE: Something I Don't Understand About Protestants

Thu May 26, 2011 3:39 am

Quoting vikkyvik (Reply 6):
It's probably easier to form a "religious" cult with a "godlike" leader if you don't have to answer to a higher (human) authority like the Pope.

Exactly. Most of these well-known evangelists are completely independent (nondenominational) and do whatever they like. Really, they are only borderline churches at all. More of a "let's all be nice and get along" parties with a pinch of Jesus.

Quoting Fabo (Reply 8):
One of the reasons, as mentioned, is the organisational level of Catholic church.

There are organized Protestant groups that are also free from such things.

Quoting Babybus (Reply 13):
I'll be honest I don't really understand modern protestanism.

There is really no such thing as modern protestantism.
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Klaus
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RE: Something I Don't Understand About Protestants

Thu May 26, 2011 3:41 am

Quoting BMI727 (Reply 19):
There is really no such thing as modern protestantism.

Nor modern religion, while we're at it...!
 
Derico
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RE: Something I Don't Understand About Protestants

Thu May 26, 2011 4:15 am

Quoting Klaus (Reply 18):
There just isn't anyone who could determine who is or isn't a "protestant". It's just not a protected brand. If you declare that you're protestant, then that's what you are. Some people may object to your views but nobody can really expel you from protestantism.

Yet please correct me if I'm wrong but many protestant churches while not agreeing in the finer details consider each other legitimate Christianity over non-protestant entities, in what to me seems a Comity. How then can a non-protestant be defined if what a protestant is cannot be? That's my point.

[Edited 2011-05-25 21:16:47]
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Klaus
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RE: Something I Don't Understand About Protestants

Thu May 26, 2011 4:28 am

It will probably depend on who you're asking.

Catholicism is pretty rigidly defined both in written form and ex cathedra by the pope (to a significant extent being subject to the pope is the definition of catholicism), but the mutual recognition of protestant congregations is relatively fluid as far as I know. I'm not current on the state of affairs there, however.
 
BMI727
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RE: Something I Don't Understand About Protestants

Thu May 26, 2011 4:39 am

Quoting Derico (Reply 21):
Yet please correct me if I'm wrong but many protestant churches while not agreeing in the finer details consider each other legitimate Christianity over non-protestant entities,

There is no wide gulf between Protestants and non-Protestants. In fact, in terms of what they believe, certain Protestant groups are far closer to the Catholic church than other Protestant groups.

Quoting Derico (Reply 21):
How then can a non-protestant be defined if what a protestant is cannot be?

Non-Protestant refers to the Eastern Orthodox and Catholic churches. Protestant is any group that can be traced back to the reformation, such as Presbyterians, Methodists, etc.
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YVRLTN
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RE: Something I Don't Understand About Protestants

Thu May 26, 2011 5:35 am

Quoting Derico (Thread starter):
Now, the reason perhaps simplified by me, that Protestant Churches broke from the Vatican was because among other things besides the massive corruption of such a huge entity (which persist to this day with the Molestation Scandal worldwide), was they believe Jesus Christ is the only savior, and that God alone should be worshipped, through the Bible. Thus, an intermediary like the pope, or veneration of the Virgin, or of idols in eastern churches is seen as straying from the worship of a monotheistic God.

I think that is right in the basic origination of it, but these nutjob protestants you talk about fall into the exact same things themselves, so are no better. If they even followed the basic teachings of Jesus and were guided by God from heaven as they claim, none of the stuff that makes the news would ever happen as its clearly inconsistent with what God is supposed to be. But power and money is all good however you can get it and it all seems more plausible if in the name of religion.

Quoting BMI727 (Reply 19):
There is really no such thing as modern protestantism

The only real distinction today IMO is not being part of the Vatican. The "protestants" splintered off into thousands of groups over the years - I guess centuries now - who had to do so because of difference in opinions as to certain doctrines. Some are minor differences but some are major, things like whether Paul's writings should be part of the bible or not, and if they are, how literally they are to be taken, whether God is a tri-partite being, evolution going along with creation and so on. These are pretty huge differences, yet they would all fall into the category "protestant" as they dont recognize the pope and the Catholic system. Chances are, the average Catholic person may appear to be a much better Christian than many "protestants" because it is clear and defined what they are supposed to be and stick to what they hold to be the truth, whereas there are so many different species of "protestant" that what they are supposed to be way back when is so inconsistent one from the next. But that doesnt mean that all "protestants" even within a certain congregation or group can be tarred with the same brush as a few prominent, misbehaving leaders.

All IMO of course.
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babybus
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RE: Something I Don't Understand About Protestants

Thu May 26, 2011 11:41 pm

Quoting BMI727 (Reply 19):
There is really no such thing as modern protestantism.

From my point of view there is, in that protestanism changes with trends. people want women vicars they start ordaining women vicars. They change to any current trend. Unlike the Catholic church which refuses to budge on any issue and very much remains the same from one dedade to another.
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BMI727
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RE: Something I Don't Understand About Protestants

Fri May 27, 2011 5:24 am

Quoting Babybus (Reply 25):
people want women vicars they start ordaining women vicars.

There are protestant groups that are very much against female clergy and are nearly as unlikely to budge on that as the Catholics are. The truth is that protestants as a group are simply far too large and diverse to be defined as a whole to be anything other than not Catholic.

Furthermore, there is no great chasm between the Catholics and some Protestant groups. Others are further removed, but simply lumping protestants together as a group is not reflective of reality.
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