Catholics are Christian. They are the thread from which all protestant Christians arose.
My typical opponents try and rewrite history and pretend that it fits with their various "perfect and irrefutable" evidences, but this is much too well documented and well known for the typical arguments from ignoranance advantage we see from the distant, poorly recorded history of the Middle East.
Protestant Christianity wouldn't exist without Catholicisim spreading Christianity throughout the western world.
Catholics, Pentecostal Apostolic, Methodists, Protestant they are ALL Christians. Just like an apple, orange, banana and pear are ALL fruit. They are not the same obviously, but they all are placed in the same category. There are different denominations or sects but they are ALL Christians. The word Christian was used before catholic to describe the disciples
You gotta remember: when the Bible was written there was no Catholic Church yet. That would not come 400 or 500 years until afterwards. So yes they are Christians, but not the originals as the Catholic Church was not formed until the 5 or 6th century AD. So there it is.
I'm not Catholic, but it makes me feel very bad for the current state of Christianity when people say Catholics aren't Christian. Of course, a person is known by their fruit, and it'd seem that many Catholics don't live or act like Christians at all; but then again, those people shouldn't be called "Catholics" in the first place.
If someone believes Jesus was real and calls themselves Christians then they are. The fact is there are multiple interpretations of the Bible so the question of no true Christian can get thrown around for days and months and still people will disagree. Its the same with republicans and democrats. Some people believe Obama is a socialist? Yet he says he is a democrat....
That is the problem. Interpretation.
And this coming from a Protestant. The Catholic church never teaches that WORKS will get you into heaven, it simply teaches that faith ITSELF is dead without works, and I think that the life of Jesus serves as a pretty good example of this. I'm not a member of the catholic church because I don't believe in the authority of the Pope (although I respect him as a teacher/leader tremendously, just not that he is infallible) or the structure of the church, which are pretty essential beliefs one must have to be a Catholic.
Protestant's often use "salvation by faith alone" as an excuse to be apathetic to their neighbor and remain inactive in the face of suffering. Furthermore, the Catholic church holds the creeds to be authoritative, therefore they are orthodox Christian (they wrote the damn things after all).
If you're a protestant and you don't believe Catholics are Christians, you need to get a timeline figured out because the church was the one that compiled and canonized the Bible that you cling to, so you better make sure they were Christians when they canonized the Bible =).
We really need to define our terms.
Christianity: Christianity is today the world’s most widespread religion, with more than a billion members, mainly divided between the Roman Catholic, Protestant, and Eastern Orthodox Churches. It originated among the Jewish followers of Jesus of Nazareth, who believed that he was the promised Messiah (or ‘Christ’), but the Christian Church soon became an independent organization, largely through the missionary efforts of St. Paul. In 313 Constantine ended official persecution in the Roman Empire and in 380 Theodosius I recognized it as the state religion. Most Christians believe in one God in three Persons (the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit) and that Jesus is the Son of God who rose from the dead after being crucified; a Christian hopes to attain eternal life after death through faith in Jesus Christ and tries to live by his teachings as recorded in the New Testament.
Catholics are Christians because they follow Christ exactly by following Jesus when He says at the Last Supper "This is my body, This is my blood, Do this in remembrance of me." Many of Jesus's disciples fled when Jesus said this. By partaking of Jesus' body, Catholics are uniting in Jesus, preserving themselves in grace and also following Jesus. Catholics also follow Christ by believing in papal succession. Jesus said to Peter the Apostle," You are Peter and on this rock, I will build my Church." So Peter became the first pope. I believe that we Catholics are Christian and very much so because we follow Christ in all He says and does, and when we fall sometimes, we love Jesus enough to confess our sin and we get back up. 100% for God and in God.
When a religion splits into sects, they are still a part of that religion. Like if you cut a pie, into pieces, they are still pie. Catholicism still has the basic belief that they follow their messiah Jesus Christ, the founder of the Christian religion; therefore, they are still a sect of Christianity.
Definition of Christian: one who professes belief in the teachings of Jesus Christ (http://www.Merriam-webster.Com/dictionary/christian)
Catholics belief in the teachings of Jesus, therefore they are Christian. I don't see how people disagree. Sure, different denominations are going to argue different doctrine, but they are all followers of Jesus, thus making them Christian.
The Bible says that salvation is by grace through faith alone in Christ alone.
Biblically speaking, a Christian is someone who is saved. On the other hand, someone who IS NOT saved is NOT a Christian. If someone believes in the official doctrines of the Catholic church (like faith PLUS works based salvation), then he is not saved because NO GOOD WORKS CAN SAVE YOU.
Ephesians 2:8-9 (KJV)
"For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God:
9 Not of works, lest any man should boast."
The only way - the only possible method - of identifying a Christian and the church of Christ is by the identifying marks of the organization as revealed in the New Testament. Simply advancing a claim to vaguely "follow Christ" doesn't cut it. Among these marks by which one can identify the NT church are:
(1) the name
(2) the organization
(3) particulars of worship
(4) source of guidance or authority
Those are only four. Four more could be listed. See how Roman Catholics fare:
(1) Name? Peter, Paul, and John never heard of any "Holy Apostolic Catholic Church"
(2) The church has elders (bishops, pastors, presbyters), deacons, and teachers (evangelists, preachers). That's it. There is no arrangement larger than the local congregation.
(3) The Roman Catholic Church heads the list of organizations which have far and long since departed from NT worship. Witness their "holy days", incense, "holy water", instrumental music, substitution of sprinkling for immersion, etc.
(4) Ultimately, when the dust settles, the only use a Roman Catholic has for a New Testament is as he may pervert it to establish an imagined authority of the Catholic Church. Beyond that, for a Catholic, every question is settled by, "What does the Catholic Church officially teach?"
I see a previous post to my left that erroneously states, "They are the first Christians." That's a laugh. The NT writers never heard of the Catholic Church: they were simply members of the church, the church of Christ, the church of God. Then the writer appeals to history. We have a history. It is called the New Testament. The writer above says, "Catholics follow the Bible." I'd inquire, "In what respect?" I would also assert that a person who practices Catholicism will engage in more departures from the Bible then followings of it. He also states, "they were the original Christians." That's another laugh. Were Peter, Paul, James and John all Catholics - and nobody told them? Or did the church of Christ gradually depart from the faith, slowly move away from the NT, until Catholicism finally came about?
He also states, "Catholics are no less Christian than Protestants." Well, that's debatable, but I'd say this much: both are wrong. Most Protestant movements are less wrong - but none of them are right.
"Every word of God proves true; he is a shield to those who take refuge in him. Do not add to his words, Lest he rebuke you and you be found a liar. Proverbs 30:5-6 I am astonished that you are so quickly deserting him who called you in the grace of Christ and are turning to a different gospel— not that there is another one, But there are some who trouble you and want to distort the gospel of Christ. But even if we or an angel from heaven should preach to you a gospel contrary to the one we preached to you, Let him be accursed. As we have said before, So now I say again: If anyone is preaching to you a gospel contrary to the one you received, Let him be accursed. Galatian 1:6-9
When we talk about Christians and Catholics, There are many differences that make them 2 separate religions. Catholics believe good works can also be the way to heaven, And yet in the book of Ephesians, In chapter 2, Verses 8, 9, And 10, It explains that our good works are not enough to get us to heaven. We only need to believe in Jesus Christ and that he is the only way to salvation. Along with that, He is the only mediator between us and God. We don't need o pray to saints, We don't need to pray to a so called "Virgin Mary", And we sure as hell don't need to go to a Pope to tell us what to do, Just look in the Bible. The Bible has all the answers to our questions. Also, Let's talk about the so called "Virgin Mary". The Virgin Mary is an Idol. Mary, Who gave birth to Jesus, Never stayed a Virgin. In the Bible, She had more sons and daughters with Joseph, You know, Her husband? In the book of Matthew, Chapter 1 verse 25, It says "but he knew her not UNTIL she had given birth to a son. And he called his name Jesus. " What this verse says is that Joseph didn't have any sexual intercourse until Mary had Jesus. Not only that, But in Luke chapter 11, Verse 27, A woman says "blessed is the womb that bore you and the breasts at which you nursed! " Would this not be a very good time to agree with this? It would if it were true, And Jesus even says, In the very next verse, "But he said, 'Blessed rather are those who hear the word of God and Keep it! " So even Jesus says that Mary is not special. These are what separate Catholics from true Christians.
8 For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God— 9 not by works, so that no one can boast. 10 For we are God’s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.
This says that we are saved for works, not by works, but the Catholics believe that Jesus death was not enough for us to be saved. However, if a catholic beliefs that we are saved by grace through faith alone, then he is a Christian.