1. Welcome to Baptist Board, a friendly forum to discuss the Baptist Faith in a friendly surrounding.

    Your voice is missing! You will need to register to get access to all the features that our community has to offer.

    We hope to see you as a part of our community soon and God Bless!

The Church

Discussion in 'Other Christian Denominations' started by Tim71, Oct 5, 2019.

Thread Status:
Not open for further replies.
  1. Tim71

    Tim71 Member
    Site Supporter

    Joined:
    Dec 6, 2016
    Messages:
    123
    Likes Received:
    23
    Faith:
    Baptist
    I’m studying Acts 2:41

    I know there are no contradictions in the Word. I’m having problems with this word “added”. My question is can someone be saved and not be in the bride of Christ?

    If people are "in the body" when they become saved and are baptized, then why would the scriptures tell us about this ADDED UNTO THEM?

    Those words, ADDED UNTO means to place....ADDITIONALLY.

    Here is another: Act 9:26 And when Saul was come to Jerusalem, he assayed to join himself to the disciples: but they were all afraid of him, and believed not that he was a disciple.

    Why did Paul wish to JOIN with the Disciples (the Church)? He was already saved, already filled with the Holy Ghost, already baptized...he was ALREADY a Jew too.. he assayed himself to JOIN himself to the Disciples...and IF he was "already a part of them, by getting saved" then WHY WERE THEY AFRAID to let him join them?

    I personally believe, once someone is saved, they are placed in the body of Christ immediately. I’m trying to harmonize Acts 2:41, 9:26 and 1 Cor. 12:13 with each other. Maybe I’m overthinking this.

    1 Corinthians 12:13
    For by one Spirit are we all baptized into one body, whether we be Jews or Gentiles, whether we be bond or free; and have been all made to drink into one Spirit.

    John Gill states there is an order: saved, baptized and then added to the church

    Acts 2:41. Then they that gladly received his word were baptized: and the same day there were added unto them about three thousand souls.

    John Gill states in his commentary
    I am of opinion, that they were all baptized in one day; and that on the same day they were baptized, they were joined to the church; and that day was the day of Pentecost, the day on which the law was given on Mount Sinai, and on which now the Gospel was published to men of all nations under the
    heavens; the day on which the firstfruits were offered to the Lord, and on which now the firstfruits of the death, resurrection, and ascension of Christ were brought in to him. Let the order be observed, they were first baptized, and then added to the church.
     
    #1 Tim71, Oct 5, 2019
    Last edited: Oct 5, 2019
  2. mailmandan

    mailmandan Member

    Joined:
    Apr 16, 2011
    Messages:
    37
    Likes Received:
    11
    Faith:
    Baptist
    I believe we are added to the church the moment we believe before we are water baptized. In Acts 4/4, we read - However, many of those who heard the word believed; and the number of the men came to be about five thousand. *No mention of water baptism.

    In Acts 5:14, we read - And believers were increasingly added to the Lord, multitudes of both men and women.

    *Also see Acts 10:43-47.
     
    • Agree Agree x 4
    • Like Like x 1
  3. Shoostie

    Shoostie Member

    Joined:
    Sep 11, 2019
    Messages:
    228
    Likes Received:
    23
    Faith:
    Baptist
    Paul was part of the universal church, which is not the same as being personally being accepted by other Christians.
     
    • Agree Agree x 2
  4. JoeT

    JoeT Member

    Joined:
    Sep 23, 2019
    Messages:
    98
    Likes Received:
    12
    Faith:
    Non Baptist Christian
    St. Paul said " For in Christ Jesus neither circumcision availeth any thing, nor uncircumcision: but faith that worketh by charity." Circumcision and Baptism are not normally thought of as convertible terms. Each have their own distinctive social and spiritual meaning, but they are similar in one way - one enters God’s Kingdom through Baptism, then as now. Spiritually, one contains the right to be of the chosen people. The other provides redemption, renewal, forgiveness of sins but also opens the door to the Catholic Church; “Kyriakon”, a compound of two words, “kyrios” meaning the Lord, and “oikas” in Latin Latin “domus Domini” Christ's first century New Kingdom is not the replacement of the old Kingdom, it does not void the Law of God or the Kingdom given Moses [Exodus 19:6]. If so, then you might explain how the immutable word of God was made mute. So, since John 3:5 requires baptism of water and the Holy Spirit, St. Paul too need Baptism to enter the New Kingdom.

    There is a Jewish ritual that has both spiritual and hygienic purposes not to mention a unique marking of the male body. To the Jew in Abraham’s time, in Moses’ time and the Jew in Christ’s time is a physical mark of a spiritual connection with God. Brit milah, it was an obligation both for the father to care for the infant child's spiritual well being. I’m told the ritual that accompanies the brit milah is a solemn occasion of prayers and blessings recited with the child receiving his Hebrew name. The Jew did not take circumcision lightly; it marked them spiritually and physically as a member of the Jewish community and a future member of the Kingdom of God. It joined their manhood to God. Catholics view baptism as another form of circumcision, a spiritual connection with Abraham, the Father of the Jews, with Moses, with David, with Christ, thereby becoming eligible to receive the divinely promised salvation. The result isn’t a NEW Baptismal ritual, but rather an entrance, a door with a universal doormat, open to all, to the promised Kingdom of God to be presented by Christ to God.

    In order to walk through the doorway to the Kingdom of God we must first be baptized, there are no exceptions indicated in the verse; there is no “figuratively” spoken clause. Unless a man be born again of water and the Holy Ghost, he cannot enter into the kingdom of God. (John 3:5) This is a unique doorway to the One, Holy, Catholic and Apostolic Church, the Kingdom of God. St. Paul taught that Baptism was “circumcision not made by hand” making the catechumen a member of the community in the Body of Christ [Colossians 2:11]. Acts chapter 2, verse 38 speaks clearly of the remission of sins; in Acts 22:16 Be baptized, and wash away thy sins: in Acts 5:25 sqq. Because "Christ loved the Church, and delivered Himself up for it: that he might sanctify it, cleansing it by the washing of water in the word of life: that he might present it to Himself a glorious Church, not having spot or wrinkle, or any such thing; but that it should be holy and without blemish.“ He loved the Church so much that he viewed her as his spouse without spot or wrinkle, not actual sin or original sin. In baptism all sin is washed away to be made holy: an infusion of supernatural graces that renders the recipient an adopted son of God.


    JoeT
     
    • Agree Agree x 1
    • Informative Informative x 1
  5. Particular

    Particular Active Member

    Joined:
    Sep 26, 2019
    Messages:
    345
    Likes Received:
    62
    Faith:
    Baptist
    Tim, Luke was writing to Theophilus, a person in the Roman government to whom he was giving a historical account regarding the early church. Luke shows us that being a member of the church was important. Identifying as a Christian was important. The church was an underground unit, meaning the Roman government did not officially sanction its existence. The Jews in Palestine did not sanction its existence. To identify as a Christian had consequences. People had to know how to identify one another and how to establish a structure of expectations for how a Christian ought to live. Luke was meticulously detailed in recording these things when he wrote to Theophilus.
    We should realize that when we join together as a church, we are assembling at an Embassy that represents the Kingdom of God. We Christians live as foreigners on this Earth. It is not our Homeland. When we go to church and assemble, we enter the Embassy of the Kingdom of God. We ought to know who the citizens of the Kingdom are and know who is being added. We aren't lone rangers fighting against evil by ourselves. We are unified as citizens in the Kingdom of God. This is why it is important to keep roll and why it was important to Luke to say that about 3000 people were added as citizens in the Kingdom of God.
     
  6. JoeT

    JoeT Member

    Joined:
    Sep 23, 2019
    Messages:
    98
    Likes Received:
    12
    Faith:
    Non Baptist Christian
    Theophilus means "Loving God," there are several theories as to who this individual is, only one could be said to be a member of the Roman government. My opinion is that this doesn't 'sound' right. Catholics were viewed as pagans by the Roman government - Luke would essentially be giving an insiders 'members list' to the Roman in order to persecuted Church. My bet is that Theophilus who was a member of the Sanhedrin at the time, Christians and Jews were not at loggerheads at the time - animosity of the Christians didn't start to build until after the Jewish Temple was destroyed - five to 10 years after the death of St. Paul. Also, there are some who say there is a strong possibility that St. Paul wrote the second half of the Acts of the Apostles.

    Of course all of this is speculation which we should be quite open about.

    Really? Do you consider 'church' an adjunct to the Kingdom of God? The Gospel is nothing but the establishment of the Kingdom of God as a visible kingdom of priests.

    This is not a true statement. If nothing else, the history of the past five-hundred years would seem to prove otherwise. There is only ONE "True" or "real" Church of Jesus Christ, the New Israel.

    JoeT
     
  7. Tim71

    Tim71 Member
    Site Supporter

    Joined:
    Dec 6, 2016
    Messages:
    123
    Likes Received:
    23
    Faith:
    Baptist
    I’m new and just trying to understand. Can you please explain how you define Church?

    When God saves an individual I believe he is placed in the true Church according to corinthians 12:13. Is this correct?
     
  8. 3rdAngel

    3rdAngel Member

    Joined:
    Aug 15, 2019
    Messages:
    604
    Likes Received:
    5
    Faith:
    Seeking Christ

    A Church is the people that BELIEVE and FOLLOW God's WORD. They are the called out and Jesus is in the midst of them.

    WHO IS GOD'S TRUE CHURCH ACCORDING TO GOD'S WORD?

    1 JOHN 2:3-4 [3], And HEREBY WE KNOW THAT WE KNOW HIM IF WE KEEP HIS COMMANDMENTS. [4], HE THAT SAYS I KNOW HIM AND DOES NOT KEEP HIS COMMANDMENTS IS A LIAR AND THE TRUTH IS NOT IN HIM.

    REVELATION 12:17 [17] And the dragon was wroth with the WOMAN, and went to make war with the remnant of her seed, which keep the commandments of God, and have the testimony of Jesus Christ.

    NOTE: In scripture a PURE WOMAN represents God's people [Church] JEREMIAH 6:2; 2 CORINTHIANS 11:2; EPHESIANS 5:23-27

    REVELATION 14:12 [12] HERE IS THE PATIANCE OF THE SIANTS HERE ARE THEY THAT KEEP THE COMMANDMENTS OF GOD AND THE FAITH OF JESUS.

    REVELATION 22:14 [14]BLESSED ARE THEY THAT DO HIS COMMANDMENTS THAT THEY HAVE RIGHT TO THE TREE OF LIFE, and may enter in through the gates into the city.

    Notice God's "SAINTS" (the Church) keep ALL of God's Commandments through FAITH in Christ?

    God has his people in every church *JOHN 10:15, living up to all the knowledge God has revealed to them. Many have never had the opportunity to learn about God's 4th commandment Sabbath truth and have been blessed in keeping all the commandments of God through faith. All who have not rejected God's WORD and are living up to all the knowledge God has revealed to them are a part of God's true Church wherever they may be. Once we are given a knowledge of the truth and reject it however however we turn from being a beliver and follower of God's WORD to an unbeliever who no longer follows God's WORD *ACTS 17:30-31; JAMES 4:17.

    According to the scriptures the time is coming and now is when God's true worshippers will worship God in Spirit and in truth because God is a Spirit and those who worship him must worship him in Spirit and in truth. God is calling his people wherever they may be out from following man made traditions back to the Word of God *JOHN 4:23-24; MATTHEW 15:3-9; REVELATION 18:1-5.

    God is calling his people wherever they may be to leave man-made traditions that break the commandments of God and return to the pure Word of God to worship him in Spirit and in truth. God is a Spirit and those that worship him must worship him in Spirit and in truth accoding to His WORD *JOHN 6:63. God's people therefore are all those who BELIEVE and FOLLOW God's WORD. God's Church is defined in scripture alone as those who keep the commandments of God and the faith of JESUS *REVELATIONS 12:17; REVELATION 14:12; REVELATION 22:14

    God bless.



     
    • Prayers Prayers x 1
  9. Tim71

    Tim71 Member
    Site Supporter

    Joined:
    Dec 6, 2016
    Messages:
    123
    Likes Received:
    23
    Faith:
    Baptist
    I’m not sure what you’re stating here. What have many not learned about God’s 4th commandment?
     
  10. JoeT

    JoeT Member

    Joined:
    Sep 23, 2019
    Messages:
    98
    Likes Received:
    12
    Faith:
    Non Baptist Christian
    I wrote this some years back:

    FOUR MARKS OF THE CHURCH

    I'll try In a following post to provide a table of the Marks of the Church found in the Nicene Creed. We confess that "We believe in one, holy, catholic, and apostolic Church." Each Mark is intrinsically and inseparably linked reflecting the nature and character of the Catholic Church. These Marks were identified early in Church history. They are characteristics made real in the Church through the power of Christ who consecrated her and through the Holy Spirit who support her mission from day to day, century to century to the end of time."

    This is the sole Church of Christ, which in the Creed we profess to be one, holy, catholic and apostolic." These four characteristics, inseparably linked with each other, indicate essential features of the Church and her mission. The Church does not possess them of herself; it is Christ who, through the Holy Spirit, makes his Church one, holy, catholic, and apostolic, and it is he who calls her to realize each of these qualities. CCC 811


    Only faith can recognize that the Church possesses these properties from her divine source. But their historical manifestations are signs that also speak clearly to human reason. As the First Vatican Council noted, the "Church herself, with her marvelous propagation, eminent holiness, and inexhaustible fruitfulness in everything good, her catholic unity and invincible stability, is a great and perpetual motive of credibility and an irrefutable witness of her divine mission." CCC 812


    These Marks identify only one Body, the Catholic Church.

    JoeT
     
    • Agree Agree x 1
  11. 3rdAngel

    3rdAngel Member

    Joined:
    Aug 15, 2019
    Messages:
    604
    Likes Received:
    5
    Faith:
    Seeking Christ
    God's 4th Commandment is one of God's 10 commandments that in the NEW COVENANT give us the "KNOWLEDGE OF GOOD AND EVIL; SIN AND RIGHTOUESNESS *ROMANS 3:20; ROMANS 7:7; 1 JOHN 3:4. According to God's WORD if we "KNOWINGLY" break any one of God's 10 commandments we stand guilty before God of sin *JAMES 2:9-10. God's true Church are defined in God's WORD as keeping "ALL THE COMMANDMENTS OF GOD" through faith in Christ *1 JOHN 2:3-4; REVELATIONS 12:17; REVELATION 14:12; REVELATION 22:14. Most of the Chuch's have forgotten God's 4th commandment which is one of God's 10 commandments that give us the knowledge of what sin is when broken *ROMANS 3:20 when God says "REMEMBER" *EXODUS 20:8. God is calling his people out wherever they may be to worship him in Spirit and in truth and come out from following man made teachings and traditions that break the commandments of God *MATTHEW 15:3-9. In times of ignorance God winks at but when he gives us a knowledge of the truth through his Word he expects us to believe and follow it *ACTS 17:30.

    God bless
     
    #11 3rdAngel, Oct 6, 2019
    Last edited: Oct 6, 2019
    • Prayers Prayers x 1
  12. JoeT

    JoeT Member

    Joined:
    Sep 23, 2019
    Messages:
    98
    Likes Received:
    12
    Faith:
    Non Baptist Christian
    ONE or UNITY

    Founding of One Church, Instituted for man’s salvation to be ONE heart, soul, and mind

    John 17:11

    Christ prays that they May be ONE

    Christ prays that they will be ONE as He and the Father are ONE

    John 17:21-24

    One in Glory, Perfection, Charity, with Christ, knowing Christ is the Messias

    Ephesians 4:4 - 5

    One Church, One Holy Spirit, One Lord, One Baptism, One Father

    St. Paul speaks of the Church as a living Person having body and soul complete and whole

    John 10:16

    One flock

    A body tended by One Shepherd

    1 Corinthians 10:17

    One Body and One Bread

    St. Paul speaks of participating of one meat, the same bread

    Luke 13:18-19

    One Tree

    The Kingdom of God, the Church is like that of One mustard tree

    John 18:36

    Divine Unity

    The Kingdom of God

    HOLY OR SANCTIFIED

    Moral perfection, A corporate body instituted by Christ receiving the gift as a body of sanctity

    Mark 16:17-18

    Signs of Holiness

    As the Mystical Body of Christ where the believers go so too the power of His Holiness

    John 14:12

    Will do greater things than Christ

    Those in the Body of Christ receive His power of holiness doing as Christ has done healing the sick and whatever the Father asks of her

    Ephesians 5:25 - 27

    Christ Sanctifies the Church with Lavers of water

    As husbands love their wives so too does Christ love the Church making her spotless without blemish

    Matthew 19:12

    Christ Sanctifies the Church with Lavers of water

    As husbands love their wives so too does Christ love the Church making her spotless without blemish

    1 Corinthians 6:1; 16:1

    Members are called saints

    The “Saints shall judge this world” St. Paul refers to the members of the Church as saints.

    Catholic

    Identifying Seal, Where ever the Church is so to is the universality of God’s word and sacraments

    Mark 16:15

    Proclaim the same gospel

    She is the fullness of faith not encumbered by time or space, she teaches the same from beginning to end

    John 11:52

    The word for all the gathered children

    A Kingdom whose people are of all the world

    Matthew 28:19

    Teaching all nations

    The Church is commissioned to teach One Holy Word to all nations of the world.

    Ephesians 1: 22-23

    All things are under the Head

    Christ is head of the Church which is subject to Him, this body is universally fulfilled in Him who fills us all

    Apostolic

    Identifies the Church, Correlates relationship between Christ, the Apostles and the faithful


    Mark 16:15

    Proclaim the same gospel

    She is the fullness of faith not encumbered by time or space, she teaches the same from beginning to end

    John 6:71

    Chosen by Christ

    For those whom He selected there is nowhere else to go

    Ephesians 1:22-23

    All are subjected to the Church

    The fullness of Christ is taught by the Apostles

    Note that these marks were first identified at the Council of Nicea identifying the Church of Christ from the other 'churches' claiming to be 'Christian' at the time, an associate points out three of these points are theological, but one is empirical: That of the her Apostolicity. For no other Church has her priestly lineage.
     
    #12 JoeT, Oct 6, 2019
    Last edited: Oct 6, 2019
    • Like Like x 1
  13. Tim71

    Tim71 Member
    Site Supporter

    Joined:
    Dec 6, 2016
    Messages:
    123
    Likes Received:
    23
    Faith:
    Baptist
    I’m sorry. I don’t understand the catholic doctrines. I would assume you believe that your Church is the only true Church. How does one become a member of the true Church?
     
  14. Particular

    Particular Active Member

    Joined:
    Sep 26, 2019
    Messages:
    345
    Likes Received:
    62
    Faith:
    Baptist
    The history of God's elect show it to be true. Not all who self-ascribe as Christians are Christians. Peter informs us that false teachers will come, speaking heresies and blaspheming God and the elect. (2 Peter 2:1-3)
     
  15. Particular

    Particular Active Member

    Joined:
    Sep 26, 2019
    Messages:
    345
    Likes Received:
    62
    Faith:
    Baptist
    Tim, the Roman Catholic catechism is a very lengthy compilation of double-speak and contradiction. You can't get 10 priests in a room that will agree on what the statements mean. Much like the Jewish Mishnah, the catechism represents traditions that change and over rule scripture so that looking only at the catechism you will likely have an obstacle placed before Christ, which obstructs your view of Christ.
    We read God's word. We hold to what God says. We test every word of man (this includes the Roman Church catechism) against scripture. When a catechism contradicts God's word, we toss it out and/or correct it.
     
    • Informative Informative x 1
    • Prayers Prayers x 1
  16. Dave Gilbert

    Dave Gilbert Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jul 11, 2018
    Messages:
    1,854
    Likes Received:
    380
    Faith:
    Baptist
    No.
    All believers are the spiritual "bride" of Christ.
    Keep reading, it will all come together for you.
    Study His word every day.

    It takes awhile for it to "coalesce".

    For example, there are things I didn't understand about his word and in certain places for the first 10 times I read it.
    Then I came back to a certain passage after having read in other places, chapter by chapter, and things I didn't see before became clearer to me...each successive time I read them.
    That it is not important for believers.

    We are no longer under the Law, but under grace.
    Keeping the Sabbath was a function of the Law of Moses, and as such, was only important under the first covenant.
    The Law functioned as the schoolmaster to bring us to Christ, while a day of rest was made for man, and not man for the Sabbath ( Mark 2:27 ).

    Don't let anyone judge you with respect to an holy day, food or drink, or of the Sabbath ( Colossians 2:16 ).
    You are free in Christ, only use not your liberty for an occasion to the flesh, Tim.

    As far as I know, @3rdAngel is a Seventh Day Adventist, and as such, they do not believe in eternal torment in Hell.
    Instead, they teach annihilationism.

    As for the 4th commandment,
    Even though the disciples gathered together the first day of the Hebrew week ( John 20:1, Matthew 28:1, Mark 16:2, Acts of the Apostles 20:7 ) or "Sunday" in commemoration of His resurrection, SDA's meet on the 7th day of the week, the Jewish Sabbath, and teach that all believers should meet on that day.

    You can find out more about Seventh Day Adventism here:
    The Official Site of the Seventh-day Adventist world church

    You'll find that they also believe that the mark of the beast is on those who gather together on Sunday, as opposed to Saturday:
    The Mark of the Beast | Bible Study Guides | Amazing Facts



    May God bless you.
     
    #16 Dave Gilbert, Oct 6, 2019
    Last edited: Oct 6, 2019
    • Useful Useful x 2
    • Informative Informative x 1
  17. JoeT

    JoeT Member

    Joined:
    Sep 23, 2019
    Messages:
    98
    Likes Received:
    12
    Faith:
    Non Baptist Christian
    I do indeed believe there is only one true Church. The reason why can be found in one simple word "Truth" or alternatively "Reality." Any reasoning person can deduce there is one and only one truth (or reality) regarding any one thing, including the question of "Church". From that one axiomatic observation all else becomes yours to know.

    For an adult to become a Catholic is simple in one regard, but requires an arduous introspection of the conscience. Call any Roman Catholic Church and set up an appointment with the parish priest. Or, simply say you want to become a catechumen - a student. The parish priest will instruct you himself or you'll be placed in a Rite of Christian Initiation for Adults (RCIA) class with other adult catechumens which is usually taught by a deacon or a parish priest. You will first be Baptized, if your baptism isn't valid, then you'll make your first confession and if time works out for you you'll make you first communion on Easter - that is a very special time. I believe those catechumens who manage their time to have their first communion on Easter are especially blessed.

    Now I must warn you, there is an article I ran across for those who seek truth but do not want to be a Catholic. While I'm not a convert myself, it was the convert's love of the Church that inspired me (after all, the world asks us why would one 'want' to become a Catholic). The author lists a series of "do not do's" if you do not want to be a Catholic. I think he is setting the trap. "How to Not Become a Catholic, A Convert’s Guide". G.K. Chersterton, also a Catholic convert, is the first that I know who lets the secrete out of the bag telling how the trap works.

    ”It is impossible to be just to the Catholic Church. The moment men cease to pull against it they feel a tug towards it. The moment they cease to shout it down they begin to listen to it with pleasure. The moment they try to be fair to it they begin to be fond of it. But when that affection has passed a certain point it begins to take on the tragic and menacing grandeur of a great love affair. The man has exactly the same sense of having compromised himself; of having been in a sense entrapped, even if he is glad to be entrapped. But for a considerable time he is not so much glad as simply terrified. It may be that this real psychological experience has been misunderstood by stupider people and is responsible for all that remains of the legend that Rome is a mere trap. But that legend misses the whole point of the psychology. It is not the Pope who has set the trap or the priests who have baited it. The whole point of the position is that the trap is simply the truth. The whole point is that the man himself has made his way towards the trap of truth, and not the trap that has run after the man. All steps except the last step he has taken eagerly on his own account, out of interest in the truth; and even the last step, or the last stage, only alarms him because it is so very true".​

    JoeT
     
    #17 JoeT, Oct 6, 2019
    Last edited: Oct 6, 2019
    • Like Like x 1
    • Prayers Prayers x 1
  18. Dave Gilbert

    Dave Gilbert Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jul 11, 2018
    Messages:
    1,854
    Likes Received:
    380
    Faith:
    Baptist
    • Agree Agree x 1
  19. Particular

    Particular Active Member

    Joined:
    Sep 26, 2019
    Messages:
    345
    Likes Received:
    62
    Faith:
    Baptist
    I notice no comment about God.
    However, the Church is the Elect, those chosen by God to be saved and redeemed from their own rebellion.
    So, there is only one Church, on body of Christ. The body of Christ congregates in many denominations. There is a small remnant in the Roman Church, but it is, sadly, not the majority of congregants.
     
  20. JoeT

    JoeT Member

    Joined:
    Sep 23, 2019
    Messages:
    98
    Likes Received:
    12
    Faith:
    Non Baptist Christian
    And what do you test every word of man against, your own passions? Instead let’s look for an objective truth, an immutable truth, an infallible truth. We know that God and Truth are convertible; St. Thomas says, “Whence it follows not only that truth is in Him, but that He is truth itself, and the sovereign and first truth. [Summa Theologica, Prima, 15, a5] Consequently there is an absolute infallible truth. If we hold that Truth is absolute then there can be only ONE absolute TRUTH. True?

    Consequently, we cannot simply hold what ‘feels’ good, or what supports our life style, as truth. There can be no commonality in the various Christian faiths; in any two competing faiths, one must be True and the other must be false or they both must be wrong. There is a fourth outcome but it is inconsequential, both truths are real, thus they are the same reality. The reason should be obvious; truth resides in God, and what resides in God has definitive meaning. Since the Holy Scriptures are inspired by God then for each individual there can be only One Truth, One Word. It’s an obscenity to believe Scripture can have ‘different meaning for different folks’. The Holy Spirit inspires men to One True faith, else the spirit inspiring is not the Holy Spirit.

    O soul pressed down by the corruptible body, and weighed down by earthly thoughts, many disingenuous and various; behold and see, if thou canst, that God is truth. For it is written that "God is light;" not in such way as these eyes see, but in such way as the heart sees, when it is said, He is truth [reality]. [St. Augustine, On the Trinity, 8,2]​

    Therefore, to have a ‘Standard’ of competing faiths with which to measure the same Truth, the same Revelation, is self-contradictory. Pope Benedict XVI spoke directly to this issue in Truth and Tolerance, and specifically to the multiplicity of 'one faith':

    The dominant impression of most people today is that all religions, with a varied multiplicity of forms and manifestations, in the end are and mean one and the same thing; which is something everyone can see, except for them. The man of today will for the most part scarcely respond with an abrupt No to a particular religion's claim to be true; he will simply relativize that claim by saying "There are many religions." And behind his response will probably be the opinion, in some form or another, that beneath varying forms they are in essence all the same; each person has his own. [Joseph Cardinal Ratzinger, Truth and Tolerance, Christian Belief and World Religions, p 22]​

    A society of like religions is tolerance expressed as 'orthopraxy' (correct action), In architecture this would be akin to a structure where function follows the form [the true art is where form follows function]. The outcome of actions in this kind of society looks toward our desired outcome instead of God’s will. We experience self-serving acts in our technocratic socialist societies that replace a redemptive utopia found in Christ with the science of socialism. Ideologies of socialism replace faith with an enlightenment [hint, think French revolution which was a blood bath visited on Catholics], hope with progress, and charity with entitlements. God becomes an uber-Santa Claus, a good dude with a long white beard who takes delight in answering our prayers. Herein lies one of the sins of Protestantism, secularism, and naturalism, God simply becomes irrelevant.

    What the True Church of Jesus Christ is not:

    • Church is not something whose unique differences between other various Christian religions are deemed inconsequential. “Based on incorrect theological perspectives and is characterized by a religious relativism which leads to the belief that ‘one religion is as good as another.’“ Pope John Paul II, Redemptoris mission, December 7, 1990
    • Christ's Church is not reformable
    • Church is not a company of like minded believers joined together by some vague vibe of Christ's Divinity and Christ's humanity
    • Church is not a democracy subject to the will of men. Instead it is a rule of faith, subject to the will of God
    • Church is not constituted and commissioned by man
    • The Church is not Scripture is not a BOOK, i.e. Scripture Alone.
    • The Church is not body of believers, rather a body of faithful.
    • The Church is not solely the body of physical beings. Rather Church is the body of all the faithful, those living in this world, those in purgatory, and those in heaven.
    From this list we see that you must hold Catholicism equal to your own religion, but your rhetoric doesn’t seem to relay that message.

    I've found that the Church of Jesus Christ cannot participate in any such definition; primarily because Divine Truth is not an amalgamation of partial Divine Truths. Since faith resides in the intellect, this type of faith is "one's own invention and milieu" and will not "bring us into the company of believers", i.e. it is a dead faith. [Pope Benedict XVI, Principles of Catholic theology: building stones for a fundamental theology, 1987]. Thus, the Church is not a company of like minded believers joined together by some vague vibe of Christ's Divinity and Christ's humanity. God's word is immutable, never changing, and incorruptible; recall, "God is Truth" (Cf. St. Thomas Aquinas). There is only one True Word of Christ that resides in only one teaching authority, the Catholic Church. In commissioning the Apostles to teach, Christ created a Divine college, made sufficient by God to teach a divine Word. Any other is false. Thus we see that only a Divine College can infallibly teach disciplines of an irreformable Truth. Only the Divine can receive and bind others to immutable Truth with the authority to oblige. This Divinity resides only in the Catholic Church with Christ as her head.

    The Catholic Church is constituted for the salvation of the faithful; explicit in the doors opened in baptism she is necessary for redemption, the faithful souls given an indelible mark, the new circumcision. She is a corporate family of adopted ‘sons of God’ redeemed through God's merciful graces given freely. "He that believeth and is baptized shall be saved: he that believeth not shall be condemned" (Mark 16:16). The Church is the Divine Motherhood of our salvation; consequently we find our devotion to the Blessed Virgin a gift from heaven. Nevertheless, the Church is simplistically defined as the "Body of Christ". The totality of sacramental life is the Sacrament of Christ in which she becomes a type of sacrament. As the Church affirms our faith, our faith affirms the Church; it is only within her that eternal life exists. The Catholic Church becomes life in Christ. The sacraments are an outward signs of inward grace of sanctification. As a type of sacrament the Church herself is a visible and outward expression of her corporate priesthood signifying the graces bestowed through her.

    "If Christ is the sacrament of God, the Church is for us the sacrament of Christ; she represents him, in the full and ancient meaning of the term; she really makes him present. She not only carries on his work but she is his very continuation, in a sense far more real than that in which it can be said that any human institution is its founder's continuation." Henri de Lubac, Catholicism: Christ and the common destiny of man, English edition 1988 , French original, 1947, p 76​

    "The highly developed exterior organization that wins our admiration is but an expression, in accordance with the needs of this present life, of the interior unity of a living entity, so that the Catholic is not only subject to a power but is a member of a body as well, and his legal dependence on the this power is to the end that he may have part in the life of that body. His submission in consequence is not an abdication; his orthodoxy is not mere conformity, but fidelity. It is his duty not merely to obey her orders or show deference to her counsels, but to share in a life, to enjoy a spiritual union. [Henri de Lubac, Catholicism: Christ and the common destiny of man, English edition 1988, French original, 1947, p 76] ​

    Therefore, we can say that salvation comes only through Church, but as faith is bound to 'Church', Church is synergistically tied to faith. Only when the 'Catholic Church' and 'faith' are together, are they both alive. We commune in Christ as He abides in us (John 6:57). The importance of a dead faith is the emptiness of revolt, schism, i.e. an abandoned Church is those disciples who "went back; and walked no more with him." (John 6:67).

    The Holy Spirit animates the Mystical Body of Christ the same way the soul animates the body of man. A man separated from his soul is dead; likewise a man separated from the Catholic Church is spiritually dead. St. Origen (185-232) once said “Let no man deceive himself. Outside this house, i.e. outside the Church, none is saved".

    JoeT
     
    • Agree Agree x 1
Thread Status:
Not open for further replies.
Loading...