Was there ever just ONE church?

Discussion in '2004 Archive' started by Ronald, May 13, 2004.

  1. Ronald

    Ronald
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    Will the real church please stand up

    I am a ardent student of Philip Schaff and his history of the Christian Church. He has no axe to grind and simply reveals the truths of the matter.

    Actually, there was NO Baptist church in existence until at the time of the reformation.The primary church for over a thousand years was the CATHOLIC church divided into the west and the east. The BEGINNING church in Jerusalem was made up of Jews who still held to their heritage, but trusted in Jesus as their Lord and Messiah.God chose Paul as a minister to the GENTILES. Because of his efforts many, many gentile churches were established. Even so, whether assemblies of Jewish believers or gentile believers there were NO NAMED denominational churches, ONLY where they were located.

    The title CATHOLIC was a Latin term meaning "universal" and so the whole church LATER ON was thereafter called was the CATHOLIC CHURCH. Even in the Nicene Creed the phrase "I believe in the Holy Catholic Church" appears. So the there was only ONE name church and that was the Catholic or universal church.

    Originally, this primitive church held to the doctrines of grace and practiced believers' baptism, but as pagans flooded the church just a couple centuries later they brought in false teachings INTO the once primitive and pure church. Then in the 3rd century the Emperor Constantine LEGALIZED Christianity and so Christianity BECAME A STATE CHURCH. A religious-political state run church. After that the Papacy arose with great power and Maryology,as well as images were erected and even more heresies entered the church.

    Few people know that a great pagan philosopher who converted to Christianity had a powerful influence on the dogmas of the state run church. His name was Augustine. His writings were revered as much as the bible. Martin Luther was an Augustinian monk at one time and John Calvin borrowed much of his theology from Augustine.

    The Albigensian and Waldensian were prominent during the time of Luther, but were not Baptist in their total beliefs. The Baptists started in ENGLAND under Roger Williams. Williams’s criticism of the existing authorities, coupled with his outspoken demeanor, resulted in his banishment from New England in 1635. He fled southward in January of the following year, where he bought land from the Indians and founded the colony of Rhode Island. He named its first settlement Providence in recognition of God’s help and guidance. Soon after this time he founded America’s first Baptist church in 1639

    Now one can deny all these truths, but true history cannot lie. One poster claimed John the Baptist was a member of the church. No, he wasn't. He was a chosen prophet of God's choosen to preach to the CHILDREN OF ISRAEL baptism and repentance and to herald the wonderful news of their coming Messiah. What we call the church did not really come into being until Pentecost, when the Holy Spirit was first given. That was the church's birthday. Christ and the apostles are the FOUNDATION of the church and John the Baptist was not an apostle.

    Now some Baptist brethren feel the church didn't begin until after Paul's ministry began which would be after the first dispersion of the Jewish church. This was believed by O Hare, E.W. Bullinger and now C.R.Stam and the Grace brethren movement of today. Irregardless, the church BEGAN after Pentecost and not before.

    I just wanted to post this because I feel a lot of folks read misleading books that deny the real truth of church history. That's all.
     
  2. Matt Black

    Matt Black
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    There hasn't really been a one great church through history - think of the Catholic-Orthodox split in 1054 that only really formalised something that had existed for centuries. Even the RCC is not and has not been the monolith people seem to think - remember the Rome-Avignon schism of 1378-1417, the Jansenists, Gallicans and ultra-montanes (and that's just in 17th century France). Even before the Constantinian-Theodosian Establishment, you had groups like the montanists, donatists and novatians

    Yours in Christ

    Matt
     
  3. rsr

    rsr
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    You've packed a lot into one post.

    There is disagreement among Baptists on the exact origins of the English Baptists; the most widely held view is that the Baptists had their roots in Separatism; the first "Baptist" church was founded in the Netherlands in 1608 or 1607 under the leadership of John Smyth and Thomas Helwys; the Helwys group moved back to England in 1611 and founded the first Baptist church on English soil.

    Williams, so far as we know, came to North America as a Separatist and became a Baptist later. While an influential writer and proponent of religious lilberty, Williams stayed a Baptist only a short time. John Clarke, who founded the second Baptist church in North America (or first, if you don't consider Williams' church to be properly constituted) was more important in the growth of Baptists on this continent.
     
  4. mioque

    mioque
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    On the whole you 3 are right, I would disagree with some details in this paragraph.
    "Originally, this primitive church held to the doctrines of grace and practiced believers' baptism, but as pagans flooded the church just a couple centuries later they brought in false teachings INTO the once primitive and pure church. Then in the 3rd century the Emperor Constantine LEGALIZED Christianity and so Christianity BECAME A STATE CHURCH. A religious-political state run church. After that the Papacy arose with great power and Maryology,as well as images were erected and even more heresies entered the church."
    -We simply don't know for certain how widely held the doctrines of grace were in the early church. The Jewish-Christian side certainly held them less than the gentile-Christian side.
    -False teachings started very early and continously plagued the Church, there was ofcourse a hausse of them in the 4th century, but not as big (compared to the previous centuries) as most around here seem to think.
    -The rise of the Papacy, Mariology and the use of images are intertwined, but (once again) not in a straightforward manner.
     
  5. Ronald

    Ronald
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    mioque

    I agree with your thoughts on the early church, especially at Pentecost. It was definitely Messianic and still held to the laws of Moses, Sabbaths, purification and stuff like that. Also they were prejudiced against Gentiles.

    It was Paul who who "broke the ethnic barrier", through his gospel, that ALL MEN could be accepted into the church OF Christ. Before Paul's ministry it was totally messianic or another day at the Jewish Lodge.

    Many preachers believe that Paul's ministry was ALL OF GRACE, while Peter and the other apostles' ministries was MESSIANIC and still retained Jewish laws and customs. I don't want to get into that. But if you compare Paul's theology with that of James and Peter there does seem to be differences? So Mioque, your point is well taken and many great men of God held to the position you believe.
     
  6. Ben W

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    Hello Ronald, certainley a very interesting post, I am studying Church History at Bible College at present. When Baptists emerged is an interesting one, it is likely to be at the start of the 16th century, my own Denomination the Seventh Day Baptist Church records two significant dates, the opening of the Mill Yard Church in London in 1650 and the first church planted in Rhode Island U.S in 1671. The Seventh Day Baptists record that they had come out of a first day Baptist (interestingly Calvinist) congregation, hence they had obvioulsly been around for some time prior.

    http://www.seventhdaybaptist.org/
     
  7. Ronald

    Ronald
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    Ben

    Very true.The Seventh Day Baptists have a very long and proud heritage.But I hope that unlike the Seventh Day Adventists you don't hold to keeping the seventh day Sabbath as a condition for salvation? What is your stand on this?
    Bro Ron
     
  8. Ben W

    Ben W
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    Completly agree with you Ronald, if some type of perfect sabbath keeping was required for Salvation, then Jesus would not have had to come in the first place.

    The Seventh Day Baptists do not teach that you must keep the Sabbath in order to be saved, in our history, we were amongst the first group of dissenters, the other two being the Open Brethren and the Quakers who along with the SDB had a problem with the leadership structure of the Catholic and organised churches, and had a particular focus on Lay Ministry and having a "Congregational" structure.

    Where the Seventh Day part came in, was the descion of the SDB to oppose the Catholic teaching that Sunday was the Sabbath and it was to be observed as such by all.

    Interestingly in Alaska the SDB share halls and even ministers with other Baptist groups, in Australia our head office is used by a Salvation Army church that are planting a new church in the area. The SDB will happly allow other evangelical christian groups to use any of their resources for evangalism. I would encorage to you to have a look at the U.S website, quite some interesting articles there.
     

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