Roman Catholics and Evangelicals

Last Things

Last updated Fri Mar 23 19:03:55 EST 2001

Individual Eschatology

There is very little disagreement between Catholics and orthodox Protestants on the fate of individuals.

General Eschatology - the Second Coming

There are many variations on the second coming among Protestants. There are, however six elements clearly taught in Scripture which all orthodox Protestants must deal with. The Catholic position also affirms these biblical elements. What is not so clear from Scripture is the order in which these elements occur - and whether the millenium is literal or spiritual. The best way to organize the many Protestant positions is to classify them by which element comes first. We all agree that the New Heavens and New Earth come last. Pick one of the above, and mix with one of the following:

Just War

Then said he unto them, But now, he that hath a purse, let him take it , and likewise his scrip: and he that hath no sword, let him sell his garment, and buy one. [Luke 22:36]

Christian ethics were largely developed before the Reformation, and Protestants agree with Catholics on almost everything. I will present several ethical issues where many (but not all) Protestants disagree with Catholics.

Just War theory defines when it is right to wage war. It is based on "natural law". The right to wage war stems from the natural rights of its citizens - because it is often necessary to use force to secure those rights. It is in fact the duty of civil government to use force to secure those rights.

Conditions (title) of a Just War to preserve the rights of a state:

Secondary titles may come to a state: Many anabaptists have always taught that War is always wrong - this seems to completely deny Just War theory. However, they were persecuted by Catholic and Reformed states alike. There was no Anabaptist state, because their understanding of the Church precluded such. They were also powerless. So the behaviour of the Anabaptists was actually consistent with Just War theory in regard to their own persecution.

They will also not serve in the military even to defend to innocent - so this is the central point of their disagreement.

In class, we will also discuss Birth Control, Capital Punishment, and some current issues. Creative Commons License
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