Genuinely upset about all the different theology I've been reading. Tons of accusations of idolatry and heresy...

Genuinely upset about all the different theology I've been reading. Tons of accusations of idolatry and heresy. How am I supposed to find the right church through the crap? Will the Lord have mercy on me if I choose wrong?

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You don't have to "choose" anything, user.
The sole bare minimum is that you accept Jesus as the Son of God, savior of us all who rose back from the dead.
Choose any church you want to practice your faith. Change it, try a few of them before choosing. Just don't fall for the muh superior doctrine meme.
We're all Christians by the day's end.

It's the Baptists starting all the problems. They intrude every thread and make ramble on nonsensically about idolatry when ironically their favorite pastor literally worships the KJV Bible as God.

But the Catholic Church is the one true Church. All others are heretical and/or schismatic.

Your post is part of the exact problem I'm having. I have been absorbing so much theology from protestants catholics and orthodox but at the end of the day there are good arguments for both sides and I can't make a decision.

Just go get baptized in the name of the Trinity. The fighting between sects is never ending.

I'm watching you. You better not take any scripture out of context.

Veneration and respect tbh

Satan is just doing his job sifting us like wheat. The best you can do is choose whatever is most objectively convincing to you (if that even makes sense), then I do not think God will hold it against you. I'm kinda in the same boat as you OP so thats all I can give you. Hopefully this thread doesn't turn into a shitflinging contest.

Baptists are masters at taking the Bible out of context.


The first step for me was accepting the Gospel account of Jesus. I love history, and Jesus Christ our Lord is so uniquely well documented for His period of history on this Earth. After that, read the apostles creed and examine your conscience to see if you truly believe every word of it. From there, I believe you'll be on the right track.

I converted from paganism to Catholicism because I believe In both of the above, as well as taking to heart very seriously that Jesus gave Peter the keys to the Kingdom of Heaven, and that Christ's Church is built on the rock of that blessed apostle and saint.

Research for yourself, and I'm very sure you will not be the worse off for it. God bless, friend.

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This picture in the OP is winnie the pooh garbage and he should be banned for it.

You'll find errors and inconsistencies in every denomination or sect's theology you read about, until you reach the beauty of Roman Catholicism.

Does the showing of Mater Dei's hair matter?

I think the picture is beautiful, but my culture doesn't condemn the showing of a woman's hair as a bad thing.

I don't see anything wrong with it. Plenty of images depict Mary with her hair showing and sometimes with no veil at all. It's fine.

The thing is this in itself is a Theological argument, considering only prots believe this nonsence since they very clearly separated themselves from what they believed at the time was the visible Church of Christ so they had to make up some nonsense to justify their ecclesiology.

I say this in every thread.
You are not going to find your answer through reasoning, theories and theology.
Visit churches, speak with people, touch, evaluate their fruits.
Above all pray, God will show you the best way.

No, the Orthodox Church is the One and Only Church. The rest are heretical pseudo-"churches".

Blessed is the man who doesn't walk in the church of the wicked but his delight is in Lord's law. The wicked are not so, but are like the chaff which the wind drives away. Therefore the wicked shall not stand in the judgment, nor sinners in the Church of the righteous. (≈psalm 1)

The very fact that you are seeking for the right church speaks a lot for you. Most people don't bother…

If you chose wrong, then you will be your own accuser at the Judgement day. But don't worry about this. Our Lord says: "Seek, and you will find" (Matthew 7:7) and His words are true. Trust in Him that He will show you His people, the new Israel!

Some people are blessed to find quickly the restricted way that leads to life (Matthew 7:14). Others have to go through a long period of doubts, anguish and bad choices. I know, this is not a nice thing to bear, but you should have hope, nevertheless.

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Show me one icon showing Mary's hair. I'll wait.

What idolatry is: worshipping rocks and nature and shit, worshipping ancestors, spirits, demons and angels, worshipping concepts like wealth, fertility, etc.

I'm not convinced it's not false-flaggers. None of the "Baptist" posters behave or speak like any Baptists I've known in real life. Back when we still had flags, there were numerous instances of "Apostolics" forgetting to change their flags back from the Baptist flag after shitposting. Although I suspect they weren't even Apostolics, just atheist faggots trying to stir up trouble.

This exactly. I've been a Baptist all my life, my pastor has ministered for over 40 years in the Baptist tradition, and I've spent time with a lot of IFB as well as my own Reformed Baptists. Never have I met ones that held the heretical notions of Steven Anderson and many of the Baptist posters here.

tfw your church came from the Holy Roman Catholic Church. Orthodoxes are schismatics, that's all they are. St. Peter got the keys, not the patriarch of Moscow

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You know the part of the Bible where Christ calls st. Peter the rock of the Church? You know where it took place? In Caesarea Philippi, on a huge rock that's 100 feet high.
You know the significance of keys in Jewish culture? The symbolic big key was given to the stewards of the king's court.
Therefore, the rock of the Church is st. Peter, he alone, he alone has the keys, he is Christ's steward. Not John from your local Bible study, not the patriarch of Moscow.

The Bible is not a literary text which you can analyze and determine the meaning like you can with Macbeth. Hell, you can't even do that with Macbeth. The Bible is supposed to be interpreted how the Apostles interpreted it and what they thought.

Now, if you were a betting man, what would you bet on? The Apostolic Churches, founded by the Apostles, or the Association of Reformed Baptist Churches of America?
Come to Christ's Church, not some Bible fanclub.

A large part of the decision is based on how you interpret the Scriptures. Some traditions seem to deny the ability of the Holy Spirit to enable the believer to read, understand, interpret, and apply what He spoke through the Prophets and Apostles in millennia past.

If a Bible was given to a remote tribe in their language, they understood the Bible, and they believed in Jesus Christ as their Lord and Savior, what do you believe that they would establish as common beliefs based solely upon God's Word?

Also, look at the fruit of the church. Has it spawned the proclamation of God's Word? Has it ignited a fire in it's members to share the Gospel with the lost and dying? Are its youth challenged and equipped to hold fast to the faith and personal holiness in a time of great apostasy? All questions to consider.

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Dude what the heck. What apostolic churchES?? There's only one apostolic church. The Holy Roman Catholic Church. The orthodox church is not a true church. There's only one true church and that is the Roman Catholic Church. Don't you dare compromise St. Peter for the same of false ecumenism with the schismatic heretics

Are you in communion with the Pope? If so, you need to realize that local churches of the Orthodox "communion" are actual churches, and that many of them were founded by an apostle even if they lost their way. The only apostle who is the rock is Peter after all.

Besides, I think that by Apostolic Churches he meant the 20+ churches that make up the Catholic communion.

Yes I'm in communion with all the popes in fact. It's just been a while since we had an actual pope

So you're not a Catholic, but a Protestant wannabe. Got it.

Angry sage.

if you actually think Vatican II popes could be valid you have some big problems dude. I'm the actual catholic who believes what the Church taught before Vatican II came and contradicted everything

b-b-b-but he drops it on the podium afterword
that makes it all better


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What? Ah, yes! Another catholic inventing history.

First, the Christian Church came from Jerusalem, not from Rome. Second, with respect to the keys of St. Peter – see if you will be able to discover your twisted exegesis of Matthew 16:19 in the exegesis by St. Jerome, doctor of the Catholic Church, or by St.John Chrysostom, doctor of the Catholic Church, or by any saint before year 1054. Apparently what you think is obvious interpretation of Matthew 16:19 wasn't obvious to your (and ours) saints.

Peter was originally the head of the Church of Jerusalem. Leadership was then passed onto James, while Peter went on an ecumenical mission. He settled in Rome and died there, where he passed the keys of heaven to Linus.

On Matthew:
- "The foundation that the apostle, as the builder, laid is our one Lord Jesus Christ. Upon this rock the Lord founded the Church; from this rock also the apostle Peter was allotted his name."
- "he gave [this name] to his apostles so that they too should be called rocks."
- "[Peter] who believed in Christ the rock was granted the name of Peter. And in accordance with the metaphor of rock, it is rightly said to hm 'I will build my church upon you.'"
- "The Church is founded upon Peter, although elsewhere the same is attributed to all the Apostles, and they all receive thhe keys of the kingdom of heaven, and the strength of the Church depends upon them all alike, yet one of the Twelve is chosen so that when a head has been appointed there may be no occasion for schism."

On the Church of Rome and the Pope:
- "I have decided that I must consult the chair of Peter, and the faith that was praised by the lips of the Apostle . . . I speak with the successor of the fisherman, to the disciple of the cross . . . I am united in communion with Your Beatitude - that is with the chair of Peter. Upon that rock I know the church is built! Whoever eats a lamb outside this huse is profane. Whoever is not in Noah's Ark will perish when the flood prevails."

On Matthew:
- "[Christ said to Peter] 'Thou art Peter, and upon this rock I will build my Church; that is, on the faith of his confession.'"

On the Church of Rome and the Pope:
- John wrote a circular letter to the Bishops of Rome, Milan and Aquileia asking for help in his dispute with Theophilus of Alexandria.
- Shortly before his death, John wrote to the pope thanking him for his continued support, since he had "surpassed even affectionate parents' in his "good will and zeal."

That Peter is the rock:
- Tertullian
- Cyprian of Carthage
- Jerome
- Hilary of Poitiers
- Origen
- Epiphanius of Salamis
- Aphrahat
- Basil of Caesarea
- Gregory of Nyssa
- Ephrem the Syrian

That the Pope holds the keys in a special way (either alone, or that the other bishops hold the keys only through him):
- Pope Callistus
- Pope Stephen
- Pope Siricius
- Pope Boniface
- Pope Leo
- etc…
The Pope is consistently recognized as having a unique pastoral and doctrinal authority as early as the 2nd century. It is the degree of this pastoral and doctrinal authority which was often disputed, although the Popes would consistently claim the same things the Pope claims today, while the other churches' reaction would range from completely agreeing, to being indifferent, to strongly disagreeing, at different times and places.

What blasphemous icon.

You see? St. Jerome confirms the Orthodox thesis that all apostles and their successors have the keys.

Jerome wrote this against Jovinianus, whose acts apparently would lead to a schism within the Roman diocese.

Actually I've came across similar situations when a saint refers to the primacy of the pope in order to "calm down" a Western heretic or schismatic. This is to be expected. What you won't find is a saint who says the pope has authority over all the bishops in the universe or at least that he has authority over an Eastern heretic or schysmatic.

Jerome has written this in a letter to the pope. Such style is to be expected considering the customs in this century. But here Jerome says that Rome is the chair of Peter and has the keys. I don't contest this.

You see? On the faith.

The saint asks for help from the first patriarch in his dispute with the second patriarch. Did he ask the pope of Rome to use his special authority over the pope of Alexandria? :)

I don't contest this.

Aha! Pope this, pope that. :) Give me a saint who says the pope is more than just the first among equal patriarchs.

As having unique authority outside the diocese of the patriarchate of Rome? No. You won't find citations to support this.

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Catholics do not deny that all bishops have the keys. They deny that the Pope does not play a special role. The apostles receive the keys through Peter, the bishops receive the keys through the Pope.

I don't see your point.

"He didn't really mean it" isn't an argument.
He also does not say just that Rome has the keys, but that Rome *alone* has doctrinal authority and is the ark of salvation.

… First, "first among equals" is an idea that only rose up in the 12th century. Second, Pope Leo is right there.

The Pope did not have universal jurisdiction, but he did have a universal pastoral and doctrinal authority which no other bishop had, and that was consistently tied to the Pope being Peter's successor (in the West) or to Rome having received the teaching of Peter and Paul (in the East).

You’re just as bad as the Baptist shitposters

Is he retarded???

Who is the first one claiming such a strange and unheard thing which contradicts the gospel? "Jesus therefore said to them again, "Peace be to you. As the Father has sent me, even so I send you." When he had said this, he breathed on them, and said to them, "Receive the Holy Spirit! Whoever's sins you forgive, they are forgiven them. Whoever's sins you retain, they have been retained."

My points is that the letter of Jerome doesn't prove that the pope of Rome has authority outside his jurisdiction because Jovinianus was a member of the Roman diocese.

But I didn't say this. :) I wrote two things: 1.that the style of Jerome is the customary style of the epoch and 2.that I don't contest the statements of Jerome in this quotation.

No, Jerome says no such thing. He says this: "Damas sits on the chair of Peter and his faith is praised by the lips of Peter; he is true successor of the fisherman and to the disciple of the cross. Therefore, when Jerome is in communion with pope Damas, he is also in communion with the whole Church, which is the Noah's Ark".

I don't understand.

ok, ok, but where are the citations in support of this? Just one case where the pope of Rome exercises his authority otside his jurisdiction…

The author of the Gospel of Matthew. Cyprian of Carthage on the apostles receiving the keys through Peter. Pope Leo on the bishops receiving the keys through the Pope.

Not only did the Pope have authority outside his jurisdiction, but so did Constantinople, Alexandria, and Antioch.

You're being dense on purpose.

If you don't understand Pope Leo's ideas about his relationship to Peter and his own authority, I think this discussion isn't worth having.

His pastoral and doctrinal authority? Countless times, from the Quartodeciman controversy to his dealings with the African bishops concerning the rebaptism of heretics to his handling of the ecumenical councils.

This is unhelpful declaration, isn't it? :) I asked about the teaching that the apostles receive the keys through Peter.

All citations I could find were about the primacy of the bishop of Rome. Do you have a citation that the bishops receive the keys through Peter. (This is a genuine, not a rhetorical question.)

Traditionally the eastern patriarchs had relatively smaller power. They could summon and preside councils but outside the council they didn't have the right to judge any other bishop.

No, not on purpose. Which part did I neglect?

No, I am asking of some links to relevant writings by Pope Leo. (This is a genuine request, too. I don't want to read what other people say about pope Leo.)

Ok, for now I suppose that pope Leo was the inventor of the theory that the apostles receive the keys from Peter. Therefore an important question is what kind of authority pope Leo thought he had because of this. This is why I want to see his own writings and not some interpretation by other people.

Was the pastoral authority of the pope accepted during the quartodeciman controversy? No.

(I don't contest the doctrinal authority of the Orthodox popes because in a way any Orthodox bishop has authority over the whole Church for as long as he is Orthodox in his decisions.)

African bishops were western bishops.
You are making a point here. Yes, some popes didn't accept some non-doctrinal decisions of the ecumenical councils. Was this ok? I say no.

I'm sure he didn't have the idea of papal authority the Orthodox have today nor did he want't to condone a possible schism.


It offends the idolator's taste in idols.

I'm tired of seeing threads saying what's the best church? Christianity and religion in general isn't something you choose.
Remember what Christ said?

Pls stop with this shit. There is only one church who was funded by Christ. The Catholic Church (Orthodoxes schismed but they can be traced to Christ as well. A billion times better than being a prot).
Too bad kiddo. The truth never changes, even when fornicators held high positions in the church. Not a single letter was changed in the doctrine.
You do have to choose though. In the living Church of the living God or the church of some random tigger who decided to read a book published by the Catholic Church and then idolise it.
The words in the bible are dead words written by people long dead. The Bible is only alive because of the Holy Spirit that resides in the Church. If you don't live its message, if you believe God abandons the very church it founded and if you really think that some random pastor has more spiritual insight than the Apostles and their successors well become a protestant.
Of course protestant is more attractive since you can make your own truth based on your fallible intelligence. No fasts, no days of obligation, no confession that is anything that requires a small sacrifice from you is put away. Not to mention those fundamentalists who defend that only faith is needed and the need to disobey authority basically the cancer of democracy applied to religion.
It's your choice. The easy path, the path of protestantism, Islam, [insert another random satanic religion] or the hard path, true Religion one that demands fully the efforts of your body and soul and thus requiring you to put away the concuspience of the flesh in order to reclaim your adamic nature.

You bow down to idols.

there are no good arguments for protestanism. keep studying harder, God will help you.

To your credit this is the only one I can find that’s from the Orthodox Church.

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I lied (also even if the message I’m responding to is B8, looking for different icons of Our Mother is fun and faith inspiring)

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this may sound cheesy but the best thing is to disregard reason and just follow your heart and your feelings, and more importantly try to pray for guidance on this, since im Orthodox i would tell you to become Orthodox, but i also understand it's unreasonable to ask that you take that leap of faith right away

the worst thing you could do is to not become Christian at all, so don't do that…

good luck, I hope i didn't just make things harder

From Cyprian of Carthage:
- "upon him [i.e., Peter] he builds his church, and to him hands over in trust his sheep to be fed and, although he might assign to all apostles equal power, he established one Chair and ordainined by his own authority that Chair as the source of unity and its guiding principle. The remaining apostles were of necessity that which Peter was, but the first place was granted to Peter . . . Can anyone believe that he himself sticks fast to the faith without sticking fast to the unity of Peter? Can someone be confident that he himself is in the Church if he deserts the Chair of Peter upon whom the Church is founded?"
- "On one man he builds his Church and although he assigns to all the apostles after the ressurection equal power . . . nevertheless in order that he might reveal their unity, he ordained by his own authority that the source of that same unity should begin from the one who began the series. The remaining apostles were necessarily also that which Peter was, endowed with an equal partnership both in honor and of power, but the starting point from which they begin is from their unity with him in order that the Church of Christ might be exemplified as one."

From Pope Leo:
- "Certainly the right to use this power was conveyed to the other apostles as well . . . Yet not without purpose is it handed over to one, though made known to all. It is entrusted in a unique way to Peter because the figure of Peter is set before all the rulers of the Church . . . for the aid of divine grace is ordered in such a way that the firmness given to Peter through Christ is conferred upon the apostles through Peter."
- "[Christ] wanted his gifts to flow into the entire body from Peter himself, as it were from the head"

A notable difference is that Cyprian believed that all bishops inherit Peter's position, but the Church of Rome plays a special role as the source of the episcopate and as a proof of the unity of the Church. Leo believed that only the Bishop of Rome inherits Peter's position.

The Bishop of Rome had authority (but not jurisdiction) over the Bishops of Constantinople, Alexandria, Antioch, and Jerusalem. Constantinople's elevation by the councils gave it authority over the Bishops of Alexandria, Antioch, and Jerusalem.
In fact the idea of a mere "honorary primacy" between bishops is rather new, and still not widely accepted in Orthodoxy.

For Jerome, only the Church of Rome can be called the See of Peter, outside of which there is no salvation. It should be noted that he's very likely not saying this to lick the Pope's boots, but as part of his genuine anti-orientalism that he has already expressed elsewhere.


He believed that he was above all other bishops, that his theological writings were dogmatic, and that as pastor of the whole Church he needed to get involved in every dispute he could find (but he didn't think what later Popes would think - that he can just override the local rights of a church like that). Some of his writings:
- "Peter does not relinquish his government of the Church . . . in this see his power lives on and his authority reigns supreme." (Sermon 3)
- "[Peter is still active today] manag[ing] the things entrusted to him more completely and effectively . . . So if we do anything correctly or judge anything correctly, if we obtain anything at all from the mercy of God through daily supplications, it comes about as a result of his works and merits." (Sermon 3)
- "Regard him as present in the lowliness of my person . . . Honor him. In him continues to reside the responsibility for all shepherds, along with the protection of those sheeps entrusted to them. His dignity does not fade even in an unworthy heir." (Sermon 3)
- "[Peter] received the fullness of blessing . . . so that, in loosing or binding the petitions of any whatsoever, only that should be ratified in heaven which had been settled by the judgment of Peter." (Sermon 51)
- "[Even if] certain bishops drew up and signed a petition 60 years ago [i.e., the Council of Constantinople] . . . [it is not ecumenical because its acts weren't] brought to the attention of the apostolic see." (Letter 106 to Anatolius)
Scholars generally agree that in Pope Leo's mind, Peter = Rock = Chief Shepherd = Pope, and as such to disobey him is to disobey Peter, whom Christ put at the head of the Church. However, he understood his role in the sense of a servant of the whole Church, not as a sort of monarch, even if he believed his rank was above that of the other bishops. Also, him believing his Christology is dogmatic due to being his own is why he was so enraged at the Second Council of Ephesus embracing a different Christology and not even reading his Tome.

His right to excommunicate the bishops of Asia was accepted. It was just seen as a bad decision to make.

And? Rome's jurisdiction did not extend to all of the West this early on, you know.

Considering that even the East would later agree that the Pope decides what is ecumenical and what isn't…

Thank you for having taken the time to write these two informative posts. Now I have to read and analyse them properly. I'd like to read the citations you provided in their context, hopefully google will help.

There is one thing, however, that I want to comment now:
The key here is the meaning of the word authority. What kind of authority the bishop of Constantinople has over, for instance, the bishop of Alexandria? Does the bishop of Alexandria has an authority over the bishop of Antioch? I don't need an official Catholic statement, just your personal opinion.

The right to hear appeals, the right to appoint or depose bishops in times of crisis, etc. (which doesn't amount to jurisdictional power, but is certainly something more than a mere honorary position with no weight behind it).
That should mean that the bishop of Alexandria could exercise similar power over Antioch and Jerusalem, and Antioch over Jerusalem, but in practice it's Rome and Constantinople that exercised their power this way. That is in fact where the title of ecumenical patriarch came from - the Pope exercises power over the whole world, the EP exercises power over the Byzantine empire.
That is also why Constantinople's rank next to Rome was so much contested by Rome - what was at play here wasn't merely the order of liturgical procession, but the supposedly unique power of the Bishop of Rome to be a pastoral and doctrinal authority.

Well, Rome actually recognized that Alexandria and Antioch had pastoral and doctrinal power. But that was due to a Petrine privilege that Constantinople didn't have.

follow the word of God, not the traditions of man. simply read the Bible and let no man deceive you.

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