In an earlier post [Pagan Worship at the Air Force Acadamy] I wrote that I considered Protestantism to be a dangerous belief system. I say this because I believe the belief system goes against the true teachings of Jesus Christ.
As might be expected, this statement did not sit well with everyone. One anonymous poster called me a "legalist" by following "rules" and thereby missing Christ's message. Amanda of steelingspoons left an url in the comment section which leads to a site that compares the differences between Catholic & Protestant beliefs. She asked for my thoughts on the comparison.
The comparison chart lists fifteen areas where there are disagreements between the two groups. These areas of disagreement range from Authority - Bible - Divine Grace - up to Prayer to saints , to name just four. Naturally, I could not write on all fifteen in the comment section; it would be difficult to include all fifteen areas of disagreement in one blog post. So, I'm going to take this one bit at a time.
I'm not a Catholic scholar and I'm sure there are areas where I may not be able to put forth the proper Catholic teaching on a particular subject. I'm hoping some of my Catholic readers, who are more knowledgeable than I, will correct me when I make a mistake.
The first area I want to discuss is what the chart lists as Authority . The site states the Catholic position as Scripture and tradition and the Protestant view as Sola Scriptura - Scripture alone. To be completely accurate, the Catholic position should be rightly listed as Scripture, Tradition and the Magisterium but I'll work with what's given to me.
While here, Christ told his apostles to go forth through out the world, spreading the "good news". Obviously, Christ would have wanted His teachings presented as He had given these teachings to His disciples while He was on Earth. The New Testament as we know it was not written until many years after Christ's Ascension.....put together by the Church. Christ said, "You are Peter, and on this rock I will build my Church, and the gates of hell will not prevail against it" (Matt. 16:18)." It was left up to the Magisterium, following the Traditions, to maintain Christ's teachings. I find it difficult to believe that Christ would leave us without an authoritative Church to present His true teachings, but this is what the Protestants would have us believe.
Following the Scriptures alone (Sola Scriptura) hasn't stood the test of time. Look at the number of Protestant denominations in the United States alone; each one claiming to have a proper interpretation of Scripture. One example of this is in nearby Bartow county, Georgia where two different "snake handler churches" call home. These two churches interpret Mark 16:17-20 differently than the Baptists, Methodists and the Presbyterians who do not "view snake handling as a literal sign of God's power to the believer and unbeliever".
It doesn't take a degree in theology to see that, not only do the Protestants disagree with the Catholics on many issues, but the various Protestant denominations can't even agree among themselves......and these are the groups that claim the Bible as the final authority.