Know Thine Enemy (cont’d)

Disagreement without and within the Catholic church circulated primarily¬†around it’s doctrines or beliefs and teachings. Probably the most disputed was that of the Holy Trinity, the belief that although there is only one God, there are three Persons in Him, the Father, the Son (Christ) and the Holy Spirit. Each is individual but still God.

Regarding sin and salvation, man was born to share his life with and for God but this plan was ruined by Adam’s disobedience. The result, man is born with “original sin”, again a point of contention, leading to disagreement over infant baptism. If a child died without baptism, he could not enter heaven.

Christ (still God) came to earth as a ransom for our sins and those who believe and repent may yet be saved. Again, the concept of a priest mediating between the person and God was a source of disagreement. Roman Catholics do not believe that salvation was complete when Christ died. He appointed apostles to form church communities where people could be “brought to salvation”.

Roman Catholics do not believe that life ends at death but that the spirit goes to heaven, hell or purgatory. When the world ends on Judgement Day, the soul and body will be reunited. Hell is seen as a condition of complete despair and the endless absence of God. If you have rejected God and your sins have not been forgiven (by a priest) this is how you end up, again, a source of controversy.

Next we will look at how the Reformation started and how it came to France. Again, the Huguenots were part of the Reformation in France.

Source for this article-Encyclopedia Brittanica- Roman Catholic article written by Reverend Walter J. Burghardt

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