Just one of my recent funnies for Twitter...

You kinda either get it or you don’t.

 

lol Isn’t that how it goes? They steal everything by way of myth and claim it as their own.

Interesting note, I once heard two Catholics arguing over whether Mary remained a virgin her entire life or had other children after Jesus with her husband. To one of them it was extremely important that she never got laid, ever. To the other it didn’t matter after the fact and it was unreasonable to think her husband stayed on his own side of the bed for decades. It was rather amusing to watch.

@Widdershins

I once heard two Catholics arguing over whether Mary remained a virgin her entire life

Oh, this is a HUGE thing for Catholics. It’s called “The perpetual virginity of Mary.”

... taught by the Catholic Church and held by a number of groups in Christianity, which asserts that Mary (the mother of Jesus) was "always a virgin, before, during and after the birth of Jesus Christ." This doctrine proclaims that Mary had no marital relations after Jesus' birth nor gave birth to any children other than Jesus. While the Bible mentions brothers of Jesus, other interpretations offer various explanations....that these siblings were either children of Joseph from a previous marriage, cousins of Jesus, or were closely associated with the Holy Family.
The article says the Orthodox and many Protestants also accept this. But I feel like it was symbolic in Orthodoxy, and it isn't a BIG thing for most Protestants like it is for Catholics.

Also: a lot of people think The Immaculate Conception and the Virgin Birth are the same thing. But actually the Immaculate Conception refers to Mary:

The Catholic Church teaches that God acted upon Mary in the first moment of her conception, keeping her "immaculate".
This was actually another reason why Catholics & Orthodox split.

If you really think about it … ew.

However, I need to point out that over the last 20 years, Evangelicals have become even MORE toxic around sexuality than Catholics have been. As harmful as Catholic dogma has been for young people, certain elements in the Evangelical approach are even worse.

https://www.vice.com/en_us/article/pa98x8/purity-culture-linday-kay-klein-pure-review

 

 

 

But here’s the real question: Was Joseph the absolute dumbest man to ever live or what?

@Widdershins

To be fair, the dude was really old and had other wives & kids. I’m sure he just lost track. Relatable

@Mriana @Widdershins

One glance at social media:

This has bugged the shit out of me since the 1980s when I watched Campus Crusade students trying to save Catholics.

But it really, REALLY bugs the shit out of me now. Not for theological reasons, because I don’t BELIEVE any of it.

But the American Evangelical narrative that they’re the original Christians, and that the majority of the world’s Christians really aren’t, has fueled their entitlement and priviledge, and their strategy to infiltrate and control political debate and process in the USA. And it’s all built on a falsehood – not a theological one, but a HISTORICAL one.

An absolutely stupid belief. Catholics can trace the pope back, absolutely unquestionably, to about 300 AD and, with room for argument, clear back to Jesus. It was hundreds of years before the Catholic church split, which was hundreds of years before the protestant reformation. So for AT LEAST, what, 700 years there the single Catholic church, known with absolute certainty to be headed by a pope, was the only game in town. There was ONE Christian religion, lead by a pope. And you think your religion “stayed true” while they strayed, yet you don’t have a pope? How the hell is the one that looks the same today as the one which was “true” back then the one that “changed” while your religion, which looks NOTHING like the one church back then, is somehow “the same”? It’s just the dumbest thing.

Catholics, like Episcopalians and Lutherans and Orthodox, are Xians. They all profess the Nicene Creed, which is a Xian oath/vow, and also quote the Patre Nostra (or Our Father). It’s only the Fundamngelicals that say they are not Xian, but in their view, no one is an Xian unless they not only profess Jesus as their lord and saviour, but also go to their church. That’s how it works with Fundamngelicals.

@widdershins

An absolutely stupid belief. Catholics can trace the pope back, absolutely unquestionably, to about 300 AD and, with room for argument, clear back to Jesus.

Yes, the succession of priests. If there is a break in that, then they aren’t ordained or legit. All priests, which includes the pope for the Catholic church, must be able to trace their succession by to Jesus or their ordination isn’t legit. Thus, the preachers in the Fundamngelical churches are not legit… in the Catholic, Episcopal, Lutheran, and probably even in the Orthodox Church too.

BTW, I may have a unique perspective in that I grew up in both the Free Methodist and Church of God (Anderson Indiana), then Lutheran as a teen, then as an adult who eventually left, went to the Episcopal Church. I sometimes visited the Catholic Church as an Episcopalian, as part of the communion that was attempting to be established but wasn’t, last I knew. It wasn’t too much different. Episcopalians are Catholic, without a poop.

Well, with credentials like that…you’re definitely going to Hell. MAYBE one of those was the “one true religion”. The rest were all blasphemy.

If Mary was Catholic, maybe she kept her vaginal virginity intact, but did oral and anal with Joseph. But really what does it matter?

You kinda either get it or you don’t.

The whole claim on getting the Bible right has been going on for so long, you’d think more people would have got the joke by now. What’s amazing is people like JD Crossan who write books about how everyone is wrong, but somehow manages to come up with a way to justify his faith anyway.

Nice. The 1st sentence in the thread comes back around:

“You kinda either get it or you don’t.”

It will always be amazing to rational people how irrational people think. Their brains are literally wired differently so that they can keep their beliefs. I read something recently (maybe here) about how they tend to think more intuitively and dwell less on the facts, or something along those lines. It takes a pretty serious rewiring of the brain to think in circular logic, obvious falsehoods so unconvincing that even the thinker can’t really believe them and to believe that you should be able to come up with an answer to anything on the spot, which must be 100% right, even if you have to make it up.

1/2

So for AT LEAST, what, 700 years there the single Catholic church, known with absolute certainty to be headed by a pope, was the only game in town. There was ONE Christian religion, lead by a pope.
Well... almost but not quite. Your heart's in the right place though, @widdershins.

The Evangelicals HAVE gaslighted history. There WAS, officially, one Christian church.

But there has actually never been a time when that church had a single leader, nor has there ever been an era with total theological agreement (beyond the Nicene Creed in 325.)

I point this out when Evangelicals downplay historical disagreement over doctrine by making it sound like the King James Bible fell from heaven in 33 AD and identical churches sprung up like McDonalds franchises. The reality was so much more MESSY than they want to admit. Clearly, if a God had wanted everyone to come to a single, clearly defined truth, he did a very bad job explaining it.

So, here’s my handy-dandy diagram* again, but with the Great East/West Schism, in 1054 AD, highlighted:

And, here is a map of the split:

There had actually been, not one, but five equal bishops (patriarchs) – located in Rome, Alexandria, Antioch, Constantinope and Jerusalem. For political purposes the bishop of Rome was called “the First Among Equals,” but interestingly, he had no actual authority over the other four. In fact, the intent for the bishop of Rome to become the universal authority was one of the biggest reasons for the schism.

But also, travel and communication being what they were back then, big differences over practices & doctrines had already existed for centuries by that time. The 1054 schism essentially made those differences official. Think of it like a married couple that’s been separated for 10 years, already living individually, finally signing those divorce papers.

As for which was the “original” church (Catholic vs Protestant), theologically it’s irrelevant to me. But historically…

:heavy_check_mark: The church in Rome wanted to have a universal bishop, celibate clergy, the filioque, added to the creed, and a liturgy spoken only in Latin… the churches in Alexandria, Antioch, Constantinope and Jerusalem did not;

:heavy_check_mark: The church in Rome adopted Inherited Original Sin, Substitutionary/Penal Atonement, and the immaculate conception of Mary, and the churches in Alexandria, Antioch, Constantinope and Jerusalem did not;

:heavy_check_mark: The church in Rome did the Spanish Inquisition and the Crusades, and the churches in Alexandria, Antioch, Constantinope and Jerusalem did not;

:heavy_check_mark: The church in Rome would spark the Protestant Reformation, largely over the practice of indulgences, and the churches in Alexandria, Antioch, Constantinope and Jerusalem would not; and

:heavy_check_mark: The church in Rome would make multiple differences in liturgy and doctrine, and reclarify things in Vatican I and Vatican II, and the churches in Alexandria, Antioch, Constantinope and Jerusalem would not.

So even though I think it’s all bullshit, I’m still honestly confused as to why the Catholics are still seen (by all!) as “the Original,” and the Orthodox as “the Spinoff.”

The Roman church became dominant mainly due to luck of geography: it was white and European, while the Orthodox churches (outside of Russia) were largely brown and black, located in Africa and the Middle East, and its growth crippled by Islam and poverty.

So to me, the way that history awarded Catholicism as the “legit” church over Orthodoxy was about Europeanism and Whiteism and Capitalism Wealth and Privilege (which is why it bugs me).

…Just saying. ?

 


*Oops, I now see I should have put the Oriental Orthodox lower, to 4 AD, but I made this in my phone so it was very tiny.

Having technically been Oriental Orthodox myself, I can tell you that the big issue with the Christology was basically semantics. The Oriental & Eastern Orthodox have the same beliefs, just a different way of articulating them. The fact they are still fighting after all these years is that they’re BIG WHINY BABIES.

2/2

So… as I have explained above, even “official” Christianity was never a monolith. It WAS “one church,” but with 5 legit leaders, who recognized one another as legit, despite a certain amount of theological/doctrinal variety, until 1054.

Now, here’s my beef with the Evangelicals. Using my ‘tree’ metaphor again, here is a very rough representation:

 

In the 1500s, thanks to Luther, the Protestant Reformation said:

:heavy_check_mark: You don’t need a church or clergy as a “go between” between you and God. You can deal with God directly.

:heavy_check_mark: You don’t need the church or clergy to tell you what the Bible means. You can read it and interpret it yourself.

:heavy_check_mark: You don’t need to give money to the church or get a special blessing from clergy to be saved. As long as you have the right faith (belief) in Christ, you go to heaven.

And over the next 500 years, the result was the development of between 10,000 and 40,000 denominations, with opposing and mutually-exclusive teachings on the Trinity, redemption, salvation, baptism, communion, women in the church, divorce, tongues, the end times (and “the Rapture,”) and interpretation of the Bible.

Actually, this should be cool. The human family has lots of variety, and Protestantism reflects that variety. It’s freedom. Right?

Well, no.

HERE’S THE PROBLEM.

Despite the significant differences in beliefs between the East and West, there was still an amazing level of agreement until the Reformation…especially given the fact that traditions were mostly verbal since almost nobody could read.

Almost no one, including churches, had copies of the entire Bible. They had whatever parts they could afford. It was simply too expensive.

While “heretics” WERE imprisoned, tortured and killed, the average individual person saw salvation as corporate. A person worried less about whether he understood a certain doctrine right; if he was participating in the church as an institution, it was okay.

The Reformation spurred the invention of the printing press in the 1500s. That’s when average folks began learning to read, and being able to purchase their own the complete Bible. And in Protestantism, salvation was no longer corporate, but individual.

And the more people read the Bible… and the less they relied on what the clergy taught via verbal traditions …the more they disagreed on what the Bible meant.

Every time someone got his own idea, he started his own denomination. And people didn’t start denominations for trivial reasons, but because they thought they were CORRECT, and everyone else was IN ERROR.

All the differences in doctrine that existed prior to 1500 would be multiplied by THOUSANDS over the next centuries.

WHY DOES THIS MATTER?

Well, if this were simply different opinions on philosophies, it wouldn’t matter.

➠ But unlike philosophy, the consequence of having an incorrect belief, in Protestantism, is damnation.

So at the same time as Protestantism says, “You can decide for yourself what the Bible means,” it ALSO says, “But if your belief is wrong, you go to hell.”

Basically, Protestantism is The Free Market … but Buyer Beware. You have the right to “buy” whatever product you want, but if at the end of your life, you find out it was defective…too bad, so sad, it’s on you.

¯_(ツ)_/¯

Much more choice, much more risk.

It’s, like, the worst of Western Society, so it’s no mystery why "Americanism’ and “Protesantism” became so entwined.

That’s why I get so pissed at Evangelicals who claim they are the only “true” Christians. The history, plus the quandary and cognitive dissonance.

They claim the meaning of the Bible is “obvious,” when it was the Protestant Reformation ITSELF that made it clear it WASN’T.

They put the onus on the individual believer to pick out the right doctrine, out of thousands and thousands, and condemn the traditional (Orthodox/Catholic) church that existed 1,500 years without THIS amount of division.