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Aren’t Catholics Being Arbitrary?
Posted: 15 January 2011 04:58 AM   [ Ignore ]
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(A)  Question:  Why does the Catholic church get to ignore certain prescriptions and traditions advocated by Paul, and choose to apply others?  Is that not arbitrary?  Was Paul not a prophet of God, or was he merely espousing his own biases and prejudices?  If he was merely stating his subjective opinion, why listen to anything he had to say?

Explanation:

Doesn’t the Catholic church choose its own humanistic values over the requirements of God?  Doesn’t the Catholic church only follow the Lord’s commands when the commands agree with the church’s humanistic values? - but when, for instance, the Lord commands women to be silent in the church, the Catholic church ignores this prescription because it wants to be nice to women:

“Women should remain silent in the churches. They are not allowed to speak, but must be in submission, as the law says. 35 If they want to inquire about something, they should ask their own husbands at home; for it is disgraceful for a woman to speak in the church. 36 Or did the word of God originate with you? Or are you the only people it has reached? 37 If anyone thinks they are a prophet or otherwise gifted by the Spirit, let them acknowledge that what I am writing to you is the Lord’s command. 38 But if anyone ignores this, they will themselves be ignored.” (1 Corinthians 14 34-38)

Paul says there are special circumstances when women may speak, but generally the Lord revealed to Paul that women must be silent.  Doesn’t the Catholic church disregard this mandate because they think they have the patent on morality, and consider God immoral in this instance?  They appear to, but is a rule right because God says it, or does God make the rule because it is right to do so? In other words, do you get to say which of God’s laws are moral, depending on which ones you like and agree with - depending on which ones agree with your own subjective morality?  Clearly, theologically, it is right because God says it, regardless of whether you like it or not:

4 “Where were you when I laid the earth’s foundation?  Tell me, if you understand.  Who marked off its dimensions? Surely you know!  Who stretched a measuring line across it? 6 On what were its footings set,  or who laid its cornerstone— 7 while the morning stars sang together and all the angels shouted for joy?  8 “Who shut up the sea behind doors when it burst forth from the womb, 9 when I made the clouds its garment and wrapped it in thick darkness, 10 when I fixed limits for it and set its doors and bars in place, when I said, ‘This far you may come and no farther;  here is where your proud waves halt’? (Job 38 4-11)

A Jew, for instance, does not follow a particular dietary law because he likes it, but because to him it is God’s word.  Why, then, do Catholics permit women to speak in their churches, if Paul says God revealed to him women must be silent?

This is also true of traditions.  Doesn’t the Catholic Chuch arbitrarily pick and choose which traditions from Jesus’ time it wants to pay homage to?  For instance, it likes that the church was built on the rock of Peter, so it keeps the tradition of the pope, but its humanism doesn’t like having slaves, even though this is an institution Paul firmly believes in: “Slaves, obey your earthly masters with respect and fear, and with sincerity of heart, just as you would obey Christ. (Ephesians 6:5).” 

If we are being consistent, and if we ignore the tradition of slaves, and the law that women must be silent in church,  doesn’t Protestantism overcome Catholicism, and shouldn’t we also ignore the tradition of the pope, since women can never be pope, and that contradicts the value of equality?  Shouldn’t Catholics also become Protestants and ignore the prescription against homosexuality in Corinthians, if the Pauline letters are all just the biases and prejudices of Paul?

But here’s the problem:  Either homosexuals will not inherit the kingdom of God (1Cor6:9), or Paul was just espousing a prejudice, and if that’s the case, then the whole of the Pauline corpus becomes suspect.  Either women must not talk in church, or it is just a bias of Paul, and all the letters become mere opinion.  wink

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Posted: 15 January 2011 12:03 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 1 ]
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You forgot the commandment against making graven images. And the one against praying to anyone other than Yahweh. Yeah, the Catholic Church cherry picks what parts of the Bible they want to follow.

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Posted: 19 January 2011 09:59 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 2 ]
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No, now wait a minute.
Catholics being arbitrary… come on they base their truths on the Bible… how can anything be arbitrary about that?

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Posted: 20 January 2011 04:11 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 3 ]
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What does one expect from a book that contains so many marginal notes added by scribe. Insertion. Illegitimate insertion.

Paul taught opposite things to the teachings of Jesus. You can rectify them in different ways, but in a nutshell Jesus taught that god is one. 3 times in the New Testament Jesus mentions “Thy lord is one god” or to that effect. On the other hand, Paul and Paulian theologians developed the concept of the trinity. When it came to laws…Jesus was a rabbi, he followed Old Testament law. Thus “Our rabbi Jesus”. Paul came along and cancelled the law. Jesus taught he was “The son of man” and Paul and Paulians “Son of god”. Jesus taught accountability, that everyone is accountable for their own actions, he was an orthodox jew. It’s written in the Old testament;

The son will not bear the iniquity of the father, nor will the father bear the iniquity of the son. Ezekiel 18:20

Yet the crux of Christianity is that we all bear the sin of Adam.

How do you make these two concepts fit? Paul did it by justification by faith. “All you have to do is believe. You shall be justified”

Anyways if you take the teachings of Jesus and those of Paul…they are opposite. There is not a single instance of where they are the same. This is why you will find Paul and James (the alleged brother of Jesus) at odds with one another.

The trinitarian church for the last 1700 years has taken these two teachings even though their opposites and put them together and above all make them work. Jesus said god is one, Paul says god is three. So god is one and he is three. Jesus said Old Testament law applied, Paul said it was cancelled. The church takes the stance of what the last person said is cancelled, and will try and make it work against the teachings of Jesus.

[ Edited: 20 January 2011 04:13 AM by Affluenza ]
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Posted: 20 January 2011 06:28 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 4 ]
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Affluenza - 20 January 2011 04:11 AM

... in a nutshell Jesus taught that god is one. 3 times in the New Testament Jesus mentions “Thy lord is one god” or to that effect. On the other hand, Paul and Paulian theologians developed the concept of the trinity.

...

this is usuall explained as a mystery and that we can’t really understand God….

I wouldn’t call it “arbitrary” but this is a get-out-of-the-sticky-point-in-the-discussion free card that gets played a lot.

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Posted: 21 January 2011 10:57 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 5 ]
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The Pope is God’s spokes-hole on earth.

From what I recall, the Bible actually has less authority then the Pope. It was the Protestants who rejected this idea and placed sole authority in the Bible. Catholics have their authority in apostolic succession. Even to the point they, at times in the past, saw no issue in editing/correcting the Bible.

I suspect the Pope would have the authority to toss out the out the old Bible and write an entirely new one as his authority comes directly from Jesus Christ.

Perhaps what prevents them is the knowledge the Protestants would go ape-crazy if they ever tried this. Right now there is kind of an mutual acceptance between Catholics and Protestants. Maybe deep down the Pope thinks all Protestants are going to hell for accepting the authority of the Bible over his own.

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Posted: 21 January 2011 03:11 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 6 ]
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Don’t you just love this?

VATICAN CITY — Premier Silvio Berlusconi came under mounting criticism Friday from the Catholic Church over his dalliances with young women, with the pope saying public officials must set good moral examples and Italian bishops planning to discuss the sex scandal.

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2011/01/21/vatican-berlusconi-at-odd_n_812093.html

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Posted: 21 January 2011 05:08 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 7 ]
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I think Catholics think that not taking the Bible literally is part of their wisdom.  They think they are more perceptive and more nuanced to realize that it can’t be taken literally.  However, every mass they still hold the Bible up and say “this is the word of the Lord.”  Kind of hard to criticize or correct “the word of the Lord.”  The Protestants are the ones who want to take it literally.  They think they are more correct and more in touch with Jesus’ word than the Catholics because they take it more literally.

Gnostikosis - 21 January 2011 10:57 AM

Right now there is kind of an mutual acceptance between Catholics and Protestants.

The Catholic Church had tried to make amends with the Protestants with the last couple liberal Popes.  They wanted to bring the different denominations closer.  However, I was talking with my parent’s church’s priest about 5-10 years ago and he said he does not consider Protestant churches to be legitimate churches.  I think this is still a common view of Catholics.

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Posted: 22 January 2011 11:15 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 8 ]
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What about celibacy? the Councils of Elvira and the later Council of Carthage are the earliest texts that prohibit sexual relations and/or marriage for priests and bishops.
There is NO direct biblical injunction against the act of sweet love!  In a religion course we discussed this as an economic decision, keeping the wealth of the church in
house so to speak.

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Posted: 18 August 2011 04:55 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 9 ]
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So the good pope isn’t above horse trading to fill his tent.

pathetic . . . dispensations for profit

now that’s corporate religion at its best

Priests to forgive abortion in Pope youth festival
MADRID | Wed Aug 17, 2011 2:06pm BST

(Reuters) - The Vatican has granted priests the right to forgive the sin of abortion when hearing the confessions of hundreds of thousands of young people attending a Roman Catholic youth festival in Spain this week.

The termination of pregnancy is a sin punishable by excommunication under Church law. The World Youth Day (WYD) pilgrims will attend a mass confession in the presence of Pope Benedict on Saturday in a central Madrid park.

“This (concession) is to make it easier for the faithful who attend the World Youth Day celebrations to obtain the fruits of divine grace,” the Madrid archdiocese said in a statement on its website.

Two hundred white portable confessional cabins have been erected in Madrid’s Retiro Park where hundreds of priests will take confessions

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Posted: 18 August 2011 05:02 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 10 ]
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citizenschallenge.pm - 18 August 2011 04:55 PM

So the good pope isn’t above horse trading to fill his tent.

pathetic . . . dispensations for profit

now that’s corporate religion at its best

Priests to forgive abortion in Pope youth festival
MADRID | Wed Aug 17, 2011 2:06pm BST

(Reuters) - The Vatican has granted priests the right to forgive the sin of abortion when hearing the confessions of hundreds of thousands of young people attending a Roman Catholic youth festival in Spain this week.

The termination of pregnancy is a sin punishable by excommunication under Church law. The World Youth Day (WYD) pilgrims will attend a mass confession in the presence of Pope Benedict on Saturday in a central Madrid park.

“This (concession) is to make it easier for the faithful who attend the World Youth Day celebrations to obtain the fruits of divine grace,” the Madrid archdiocese said in a statement on its website.

Two hundred white portable confessional cabins have been erected in Madrid’s Retiro Park where hundreds of priests will take confessions

I don’t see what the problem is…?

Surely if someone is attending and is going to confession it might be therapeutic and might actually help them deal with the emotional strain of an abortion…

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Posted: 18 August 2011 09:21 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 11 ]
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Affluenza - 18 August 2011 05:02 PM
citizenschallenge.pm - 18 August 2011 04:55 PM

So the good pope isn’t above horse trading to fill his tent.

pathetic . . . dispensations for profit

now that’s corporate religion at its best

Priests to forgive abortion in Pope youth festival
MADRID | Wed Aug 17, 2011 2:06pm BST

(Reuters) - The Vatican has granted priests the right to forgive the sin of abortion when hearing the confessions of hundreds of thousands of young people attending a Roman Catholic youth festival in Spain this week.

The termination of pregnancy is a sin punishable by excommunication under Church law. The World Youth Day (WYD) pilgrims will attend a mass confession in the presence of Pope Benedict on Saturday in a central Madrid park.

“This (concession) is to make it easier for the faithful who attend the World Youth Day celebrations to obtain the fruits of divine grace,” the Madrid archdiocese said in a statement on its website.

Two hundred white portable confessional cabins have been erected in Madrid’s Retiro Park where hundreds of priests will take confessions

I don’t see what the problem is…?

Surely if someone is attending and is going to confession it might be therapeutic and might actually help them deal with the emotional strain of an abortion…

Is abortion a sin or not?  If yes, than the church needs to excommunicate them all, the fornicating sinners!

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Posted: 18 August 2011 10:00 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 12 ]
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Actually the catholic church does absolve those who sin…I mean how else do they keep their pedophile ring going…

It’s hilarious that you are troubled by the church absolving people of sin…

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Posted: 19 August 2011 04:36 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 13 ]
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Affluenza - 18 August 2011 10:00 PM

Actually the catholic church does absolve those who sin…I mean how else do they keep their pedophile ring going…

It’s hilarious that you are troubled by the church absolving people of sin…

My post was tongue-in-cheek!  I actually could not care less what the church does, they’re a bunch of liars and hypocrites.

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Posted: 19 August 2011 05:18 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 14 ]
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i’ve had my share of screw-ups during my life, and I’ve felt guilty about them so I’ve worked hard to make restitution.  I’ve often thought how much nicer and easier it would be if I could just convince myself to believe, join the Catholic church then be absolved of everything just by saying a few hail marys.  LOL

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Posted: 19 August 2011 07:23 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 15 ]
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If you believe in 1 Corinthians 14 then it also encourages speaking in foreign tongues.  So learn a new language to spread the word everyone! LOL

Sure the Vatican is arbitrary, but that is a trait of all religion, not just the Vatican.  The Protestants claim that they all base their sects on the same book, but look at how they act, all those dozens of different sects, none of them agreeing, most of them arbitrarily based on their founder’s choices.  What does that say about the book if their is so much disagreement from the people who claim to live by it?  There are dozens of versions of the book in English, that’s because one group or another researches a little more of the ancient manuscripts or a little less, an arbitrary choice, then they decide to publish their results.  One Christian calling the other arbitrary is like the pot calling the kettle black. 

The other religions do that too, the Muslims, the Buddhists, the Hindus, the Pagans, etc.  Really all religion is arbitrary.

Quoting from an English Bible is a bad source for the words of the Canonical Gospels.  Skeptics, please, don’t put too much stock into any of it.

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