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Donald Baker

2022 Jul 16 15:33:06
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Author Topic: What is necessary for Catholic/Protestant unification?  (Read 3211 times)

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Offline Phidippides

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What is necessary for Catholic/Protestant unification?
« on: January 29, 2023, 11:46:19 AM »
We've talked about this a while ago, but there are two fundamental questions regarding Catholic/Protestant churches:
  • Should they be brought into unity?
  • What would it take to make this happen?
Each of these questions is critical.  To the first, I say a resounding "yes!".  Unity should be a goal that is sought.  I realize that others, however, may not share such a goal. 

Assuming for the moment that #1 is not the issue, how could #2 be accomplished?  This would be an incredibly difficult challenge, one the has eluded Christians for centuries.  Still, "nothing is impossible with God", so unity is not out of the question.

The theological issues would have to be ironed out that began since Martin Luther.  However, I believe that over the years, progress at common understanding has actually been made between Catholics and Protestants, so it's not as if they would be starting from scratch.  However, there would still be massive challenges in this regard.

Another issue that would have to be dealt with is structural/administration.  Would they exist as different "rites" under the same umbrella?

Are there other big issues that would have to be rectified?

Offline Donald Baker

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Re: What is necessary for Catholic/Protestant unification?
« Reply #1 on: February 21, 2023, 03:57:40 PM »
For there to ever be unity, the RCC must relinquish its claim as the universal head of all churches.  Protestant denominations will never accept one supreme authority over them other than Jesus Christ Himself. 

As for theological differences, they would have to be watered down to the point all denominations could accept.  Any deviation away from the simplest form of the Gospel would immediately invite Schism.

Offline Phidippides

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Re: What is necessary for Catholic/Protestant unification?
« Reply #2 on: May 03, 2023, 11:28:00 PM »
For there to ever be unity, the RCC must relinquish its claim as the universal head of all churches.  Protestant denominations will never accept one supreme authority over them other than Jesus Christ Himself.
 

Why do you say this?  I ask because it seems like each Protestant congregation has to have its own form of authority within itself anyway.  While I'm not sure how such congregations are organized or how authority is distributed, certainly someone is making final decisions in regard to theological matters.  Couldn't union with the Catholic Church simply be considered in this light?

In other words, when an important theological matter comes up within the Southern Baptists, I assume that there are certain churches within the larger congregation that get to vote on the matter, and people declare that the Church has spoken, correct?  Some congregants will like the outcome, while others will not, but everyone is required to follow such a teaching.

Quote
As for theological differences, they would have to be watered down to the point all denominations could accept.  Any deviation away from the simplest form of the Gospel would immediately invite Schism.
I do realize that theological differences would be particularly difficult to reconcile.  Part of this is due to cultural associations tied to theology that is not easy to break.  My guess is that this would be the easiest with denominations that already have some existing theological beliefs that are someone similar to what the Catholic Church holds.

Offline Donald Baker

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Re: What is necessary for Catholic/Protestant unification?
« Reply #3 on: May 05, 2023, 07:20:13 PM »
For there to ever be unity, the RCC must relinquish its claim as the universal head of all churches.  Protestant denominations will never accept one supreme authority over them other than Jesus Christ Himself.
 

Why do you say this?  I ask because it seems like each Protestant congregation has to have its own form of authority within itself anyway.  While I'm not sure how such congregations are organized or how authority is distributed, certainly someone is making final decisions in regard to theological matters.  Couldn't union with the Catholic Church simply be considered in this light?

In other words, when an important theological matter comes up within the Southern Baptists, I assume that there are certain churches within the larger congregation that get to vote on the matter, and people declare that the Church has spoken, correct?  Some congregants will like the outcome, while others will not, but everyone is required to follow such a teaching.

Quote
As for theological differences, they would have to be watered down to the point all denominations could accept.  Any deviation away from the simplest form of the Gospel would immediately invite Schism.
I do realize that theological differences would be particularly difficult to reconcile.  Part of this is due to cultural associations tied to theology that is not easy to break.  My guess is that this would be the easiest with denominations that already have some existing theological beliefs that are someone similar to what the Catholic Church holds.

For Southern Baptists, they are part of a Convention which churches can voluntarily join or leave at their leisure.  When they opt not to join or decide to leave, they lose access to the Convention's subsidies and resources.  Of course if they remain a member, they have to follow the doctrinal orthodoxy established by the Convention.  I think it is very similar with the other Baptist denominations.  Presbyterians have Synods.  I'm not sure about the other Protestant Churches.

Offline Phidippides

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Re: What is necessary for Catholic/Protestant unification?
« Reply #4 on: May 21, 2023, 05:00:25 PM »
Is it considered to be a "bad" thing if a church leaves the Convention?  Or is it considered to be "neutral"?  In other words, I'm wondering if the goal (either stated or implied) is that Christianity would be better off as a whole if all Christians followed the Convention's doctrines, of if they don't think this isn't an issue.

Offline Donald Baker

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Re: What is necessary for Catholic/Protestant unification?
« Reply #5 on: May 23, 2023, 09:02:08 PM »
Is it considered to be a "bad" thing if a church leaves the Convention?  Or is it considered to be "neutral"?  In other words, I'm wondering if the goal (either stated or implied) is that Christianity would be better off as a whole if all Christians followed the Convention's doctrines, of if they don't think this isn't an issue.

I think the Southern Baptist Convention leadership would frown on it, but they literally have no authority to keep a church within its ranks.  Their oversight is very limited anyway so it's more about keeping connected to the rural churches who need assistance, and of course I'm sure the churches have to pay something into the SBC central funds where it can be redistributed to the more needy churches and outreach programs such as overseas missions programs.