Ok, I guess I should probably try to finish my unfinished thought. Why is protestantism a heresy? well first of all I’d say its more of a subtle heresy in theological terms, its more obviously apparent when we look at the outcomes.
Firstly iconoclasm, the puritanical hatred of beauty in Church buildings, stain glass windows, incense, vestments, statues of saints and frescoes. This sentiment is not as dead as you might think, it has, to an extent, spread to the Catholic Church, with bare modernist buildings, modernist statues that aren’t just modernist in the artistic sense. To this day I get upset when I walk into old Cathedrals, minsters and parish church’s that predate the reformation in this country and see examples of all the destruction wrought by the reformation… People poured their heart and soul (and the contents of their wallets) into beautifying their places of worship as a gift to their God… only for fanatical vandals to trash it and the government to steal anything of value.
So in conclusion its not a heresy because of what it believes, but because of what it denies. Denying the sacraments is probably its biggest fault, sacramental worship is so key to Christianity, in fact from the earliest times separating the very notion of the Church from that of the Mass was difficult so to get rid of the Mass turns things into a jolly good singalong, coupled with a lovely sermon and a bit of a pray… sorry but Christianity is more than that! it is a full blooded religion with altars and the sacrifice of Jesus on the cross for our salvation, it is not just a knees up with a motivational speaker…
Anyhoo, yes there are lots of things that protestants are missing out on, and it really is their loss, and for what? What are protestants protesting about anymore? I used to be a protestant and I have no clue what all the fuss was about anymore. A miss understanding about the difference between need and desire. Yes we don’t need ornate church buildings, yes we don’t need to pray to Mary or the Saints for intercession, yes we don’t need all the liturgical bells and smells. But to say because we don’t need something it is wrong to have it is a massive philosophical crime. Who was it who said that it is more of a crime to say that something which is good is bad, than to say something that is bad is good? I think it was Chesterton.
Oh well, I’m still struggling to express myself on this subject… I’m going to leave it there. The Church doesn’t have the anger towards protestantism as it did towards other more serious heresies, just a sense of sadness that a lot of people are missing out on the great wealth of things the Church has to offer for their nourishment.