Fundamentalist/Evangelical criticism of Catholicism

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Fundamentalist/Evangelical criticism of Catholicism

Post  Dont_Vote_Palin on Tue Feb 23, 2010 8:26 pm

With many of the debates I've had in the last couple months, I've been repeatedly hearing harsh words in light of Catholicism. I have a theory on why, and I want to hear what the usual suspects think.

The Evangelical demographic I've debated with has completely condemned the Catholic denomination and doesn't even consider it a Christian doctrine. At first, I figured this was just the typical denial of reality that is commonly expressed through fundamentalism. However, I came to the realization that it went deeper than that on a philosophical level. Evangelicals' philosophical issue mainly revolves around ethics, being broken down into 2 subjects.

The first issue with Catholicism is its history. When referencing Christian atrocities of the past, you will most often be referencing Catholic atrocities in specific. The Evangelicals use this as an opportunity to exonerate Christianity as a whole. By doing this, Evangelicals effectively exempt themselves from Crusades, Inquisition, Witch Trials, and the genocide and enslavement of Native Americans, additionally exterminating the entire culture over time. Basically, the Evangelicals blame the most popular church of those times, rather than the core of the problem - Christi-fucking-anity.

Secondly, Catholicism is a very reasonable, moderate, and Liberal sect of Christianity. Catholicism widely accepts evolution. That is why I have respect for Catholicism. Being the Right-Wing fanatics that Evangelicals are, they cannot stand this. To them, simply accepting evolution is inadmissible. Catholics have become so moderate that the Evangelicals won't even accept them as fellow Christians anymore.

Who the fuck do Evangelicals think they are to assert who is or isn't a Christian?
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Re: Fundamentalist/Evangelical criticism of Catholicism

Post  SyntheticSylence on Tue Feb 23, 2010 10:11 pm

Catholicism is not "moderate" it is not "liberal" though I do think it's reasonable. The thing about the Catholic Church is that it's really fricken old. You can't place it into contemporary dichotomy because it thinks in periods of hundreds of years rather than decades. Or months. This confuses a lot of people. Democrats can't figure out why they are for amnesty and immigration reform, as well as greater environmental protection, while at the same time being pro-life and having that weird thing about contraception. And the conflict really came into light when the United States Catholic Bishops came out against ObamaCare because of its abortion provisions.

The Catholic Church goes its own path.

I think the main reason is found in a sort of "founding myth" for fundamentalists. Though, there may be more at play. Perhaps some bigotry that goes beyond doctrinal differences. The Catholic Church was made corrupt and it was the Reformation that broke away the fetters of Tradition and Papal authority and finally allowed people to read the Bible. It was then all thinking people realized how much the Church had made up, and left.

The Fundamentalists hold to a rather extreme and crude form of Sola Scriptura which is latin for Only Scripture. It was one of the mottos of the Reformation, the belief that all things worthy of belief must be found within scripture, clearly stated. This got rid of the priesthood, monastic orders, indulgences, five sacraments, the Pope, marian devotion, purgatory, among other things though not all at once.

The Fundamentalists believe that the Catholic faith is so corrupted by this excess that they can't see the true, clearly stated faith in scripture. Where this gets technical is in justification. Justification is a technical term for when and how an individual is declared righteous in God. Another one of the mottos of the formation was Sola Fide, or Only Faith. The Fundamentalists tend to believe in Justification by Faith Alone, meaning that one simply declares their faith and that is all that is required to make one justified in the eyes of God. This also tends to manifest itself in "Born Again" Christianity where you say a prayer and suddenly you're a new person.

This is subtly different in Catholicism. While they agree Justification is by faith alone, they don't believe the same for Sanctification. One is justified by God, but one must still deal with their sins. This is why Penance is necessary, and why they still have indulgences. Sins must be forgiven, even after the act of Justification. There is no provision for this in Fundamentalism. Once saved, that's it. You are made sinless, of course you strive to be a better person, but the Catholic emphasis leads them to believe that it is a form of works-righteousness, and if that were the case it would mean that Christ's sacrifice did not cover all sin, and therefore they would be violating a basic tenet of Christianity.

They may also have a problem with the doctrine of Transubstantiation, which states that at the act of consecration the bread and wine in Eucharist become the Body and Blood of Christ... literally. That's Christ's LIVING body on the altar. And the language used to describe what's going on in the Eucharist is that of a sacrifice. This leads Fundamentalists to confirm their beliefs that Catholicism does not think Christ's sacrifice covered it all. And they think it's pretty damn heretical.

They're not excommunicating the Catholic Church because the Pope decided that the faith is compatible with Evolution. That's the least of their worries.
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