What are the odds of getting to Heaven? … could they be 43,000 to 1.
Protestantism is a multi-faceted form of religious activity, faith and practice which originated with the Protestant Reformation, a movement against what its followers considered to be errors in the Roman Catholic Church. Protestantism either combines or evolves the actions and traditions of Roman Catholicism as well as Judaism.
The Roman Catholic Church took measures to combine the Christian and Pagan festivals so pagans would join the church; for example, Easter, a celebration of the Germanic goddess Ēostre, or better known as the Sumerian goddess Ishtar, as a ‘substitute’ for Passover. The Roman Catholic Church distinguishes Sacred Tradition from traditions, including theological ones, which the Church can retain, modify or even abandon.
“The Pope is of great authority and power that he can modify, explain, or interpret even divine laws… The Pope can modify divine law, since his power is not of man, but of God, and he acts as vicegerent of God upon earth.” (Lucius Ferraris, Prompta Ribliotheca)
“The authority of the church could therefore not be bound to the authority of the Scriptures, because the Church had changed…the Sabbath into Sunday, not by command of Christ, but by its own authority.” (Canon and Tradition, p. 263)
“It is interesting to note how often our Church has availed herself of practices which were in common use among pagans…Thus it is true, in a certain sense, that some Catholic rites and ceremonies are a reproduction of those of pagan creeds.” (The Externals of the Catholic Church, Her Government, Ceremonies, Festivals, Sacramentals and Devotions, by John F. Sullivan, p 156, published by P.J. Kennedy, NY, 1942)
“The belief in the Bible as the sole source of faith is unhistorical, illogical, fatal to the virtue of faith, and destructive of unity.” (The Catholic Encyclopedia, Volume XIII)
The term Protestantism derives from the letter of protestation of the German princes in 1529 against an edict condemning the writings of Martin Luther as heretical. In 1517 Luther published his Ninety-Five theses as a reaction against abuses in the sale of indulgences, which purported to offer remission of sin to their purchasers and that the Catholic doctrine of the merits of the saints had no foundation in the gospel.
In 1521, The Diet of Worms as an imperial assembly of the Holy Roman Empire held at the Heylshof Garden in Worms an Imperial Free City of the Empire which addressed Martin Luther and the effects of the Protestant Reformation. Luther maintained that salvation was by faith alone (sola fide) without reference to good works, alms, penance, or the Church’s sacraments. Luther maintained that the sacraments were a “means of grace,” meaning that while grace was imparted through the Sacraments, the credit for the action belonged to God and not to the individual.
To protect the authority of the Pope and the Church, as well as to maintain the doctrine of indulgences, ecclesiastical officials convinced Charles V that Luther was a threat and persuaded him to authorize his condemnation by the Holy Roman Empire.
In the teaching of the Roman Catholic Church, an indulgence is “a way to reduce the amount of punishment one has to undergo for sins” which may reduce either or both of the penance required after a sin has been forgiven, or after death, the temporal punishment, in the state or process of purification called Purgatory.
“And God himself is obliged to abide by the judgment of his priest and either not to pardon or to pardon, according as they refuse to give absolution, provided the penitent is capable of it.” (Liguori, «Duties and Dignities of the Priest», p.27)
“This judicial authority will even include the power to forgive sin.” (The Catholic Encyclopedia Vol xii, article ‘Pope’ pg 265)
The Protestant Reformation, often referred to simply as the Reformation was a schism from the Roman Catholic Church initiated by Martin Luther and continued by other early Protestant Reformers in 16th century Europe. The new movement influenced the Church of England decisively, after 1547, under Edward VI and Elizabeth I, although the Church of England had been made independent under Henry VIII in the early 1530s for political rather than religious reasons.
The separation of the Church of England (or Anglican Church) from Rome under Henry VIII, beginning in 1529 and completed in 1537, brought England alongside this broad Reformation movement; however, religious changes in the English national church proceeded more conservatively than elsewhere in Europe. Reformers in the Church of England alternated, for decades, between sympathies for ancient Catholic tradition and more Reformed principles, gradually developing, within the context of robustly Protestant doctrine, a tradition considered a middle way (via media) between the Roman Catholic and Protestant traditions.
The highly educated Reformation leaders used prophecies of the Bible as their most powerful weapon in appealing to committed believers to break from the church, which they perceived as the new Babylon, and to convince them that the popes were the Antichrist who had assumed the place of God.
“The penetration of the religion of Babylon became so general and well known that Rome was called the New Babylon.” (Faith of our fathers 1917 ed. Cardinal Gibbons, p. 106)
“In order to attach to Christianity great attraction in the eyes of the nobility, the priests adopted the outer garments and adornments which were used in pagan cults.” (Life of Constantine, Eusabius, cited in Altai-Nimalaya, p. 94)
Luther also wrote during the period 1517–1521 additional works on the Catholic devotion to Virgin Mary, the intercession of and devotion to the saints, the sacraments, mandatory clerical celibacy, monasticism, further on the authority of the pope, the ecclesiastical law, censure and excommunication, the role of secular rulers in religious matters, the relationship between Christianity and the law, and good works.
“The foundation of all our confidence is found in the Blessed Virgin Mary. God has committed to her the treasury of all good things, in order that everyone may know that through her are obtained every hope, every grace, and all salvation. For this is His will: That we obtain everything through Mary.” (Pope Pius IX)
“In fact, by being assumed into heaven she has not laid aside the office of salvation but by the manifold intercession she continues to obtain for us the grace of eternal salvation.” (John Paul II, Dives in Misericordia, 1980, quoting Lumen Gentium)
Following the excommunication of Luther and condemnation of the Reformation by the Pope, the work and writings of John Calvin were influential in establishing a loose consensus among various groups in Switzerland, Scotland, Hungary, Germany and elsewhere. After the expulsion of its Bishop in 1526, and the unsuccessful attempts of the Berne reformer Guillaume (William) Farel, Calvin was asked to use the organizational skill he had gathered as a law student to discipline the “fallen city” of Geneva.
Calvin’s “Ordinances” of 1541 involved a collaboration of Church affairs with the city council and consistory to bring morality to all areas of life. After the establishment of the Geneva academy in 1559, Geneva became the unofficial capital of the Protestant movement, providing refuge for Protestant exiles from all over Europe and educating them as Calvinist missionaries. These missionaries dispersed Calvinism widely, and formed the French Huguenots in Calvin’s own lifetime, as well as causing the conversion of Scotland under the leadership of the cantankerous John Knox in 1560. The faith continued to spread after Calvin’s death in 1563 and reached as far as Constantinople by the start of the 17th century.
The early Puritan movement (late 16thto early 17th century) was reformed, or Calvinist, and was a movement for reform in the Church of England. Its origins lay in the discontent with the Elizabethan Religious Settlement. The desire was for the Church of England to resemble more closely the Protestant churches of Europe, especially Geneva. The Puritans objected to ornaments and ritual in the churches as idolatrous (vestments, surplices, organs, genuflection), which they castigated as “popish pomp and rags”. The later Puritan movement, often referred to as dissenters and nonconformists, eventually led to the formation of various reformed denominations.
The most famous emigration to America was the migration of Puritan separatists from the Anglican Church of England. They fled first to Holland, and then later to America, to establish the English colony of Massachusetts in New England, which later became one of the original United States. These Puritan separatists were also known as “the Pilgrims”.
The participants in Protestantism includes, and is not limited to, the following: Adventism, Anabaptism, Anglicanism, Baptist churches, Calvinism, Lutheranism, Methodism, Pentecostalism, Evangelicalism, the Charismatic movement, Neo-charismatic movement and the Nondenominational Church movement. There are now more than 43,000 different religious affiliations in the Protestant-Christian community.
1 Timothy 2:5 “For there is one God, and there is one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus” what do you follow, the word of the one God or words of the 43,000 religions?