The One True Churchgreenspun.com : LUSENET : Catholic : One Thread
The One True Church
Does Catholicism still teach that it is the one true Church founded by Christ? Many think not, but there is no denying the church's official position:
"This is the sole Church of Christ, which in the Creed we profess to be one, holy, catholic and apostolic." Pg. 214, #811
Referring to the Catholic church, the Catechism pronounces:
"In fact, in this one and only Church of God..." Pg. 216, #817 "First, the Church is catholic because Christ is present in her. Where there is Christ Jesus, there is the Catholic Church." Pg. 220, #830
This "one true church" doctrine can be traced to one verse of Scripture, which, when compared with other Scriptures, is found not to teach this doctrine at all. When Jesus asked his disciples who He was, Peter responded:
"Thou art the Christ, the Son of the living God. Matthew 16:16"
Then Jesus answered Peter:
"... thou art Peter, and upon this rock I will build my church; and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it." Matthew 16:18
Catholicism contends that the Lord was referring to Peter as the rock, and has since built the entire Catholic religion upon that premise. But all other pertinent Scriptures declare that Jesus was referring to Himself as the rock, not Peter:
"... for they drank of that spiritual Rock that followed them: and that Rock was Christ." 1 Corinthians 10:4
Jesus is not only the rock, He is the chief cornerstone of the church:
"And are built upon the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Jesus Christ himself being the chief corner stone;" Ephesians 2:20
Back in the Old Testament, it was prophesied that Jesus, whom men rejected, would become the cornerstone of the church:
"The stone which the builders refused is become the head stone of the corner." Psalm 118:22
Even Peter, allegedly the first pope, confesses that Jesus Christ is the cornerstone of the church:
"...by the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth... This is the stone which was set at nought of you builders, which is become the head of the corner." Acts 4:10-11 "... the stone which the builders disallowed, the same is made the head of the corner," 1 Peter 2:7
According to Scriptures, Peter is NOT the rock:
"For who is God save the LORD? or who is a rock save our God?" Psalm 18:31 "... I will publish the name of the LORD: ascribe ye greatness unto our God. He is the Rock..." Deuteronomy 32:3-4
"Truly my soul waiteth upon God... He only is my rock..." Psalm 62:1-2
"But the LORD is my defence; and my God is the rock of my refuge." Psalm 94:22
Who is the head of the church
Despite all these Scriptures, Catholicism still claims that Peter was the rock and his successors are the head of the church:
"The sole Church of Christ (is that) which our Savior, after his Resurrection, entrusted to Peter's pastoral care, commissioning him and the other apostles to extend and rule it... This Church, constituted and organized as a society in the present world, subsists in (subsistit in) the Catholic Church, which is governed by the successors of Peter and by the bishops in communion with him." Pg. 215, #816
But the Bible declares that Jesus Christ, not Peter or his successors, is the head of the church:
"And he (Christ) is the head of the body, the church: who is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead; that in all things he (Christ) might have the preeminence." Colossians 1:18 "And hath put all things under his feet, and gave him (Christ) to be the head over all things to the church," Ephesians 1:22
"But speaking the truth in love, may grow up into him in all things, which is the head, even Christ:" Ephesians 4:15
The biblical "church"
When the Bible uses the words "the church," it always refers to all those who trust in Jesus Christ alone for salvation, not just to members of the Catholic church:
"Unto the church of God which is at Corinth, to them that are sanctified in Christ Jesus, called to be saints, with all that in every place call upon the name of Jesus Christ our Lord..." 1 Corinthians 1:2
The Apostle Paul wrote:
"Husbands, love your wives, even as Christ also loved the church, and gave himself for it;" Ephesians 5:25
Paul was not a Catholic, yet he knew that Christ loved him and died for him. Certainly, no one would dare say that Paul was not a Christian because he was not a Catholic.
Would anyone suggest that God only loves Catholics?... or that He only died for Catholics? Such would be the case if the Catholic church was the only church.
Paul also proclaimed:
"And walk in love, as Christ also hath loved us, and hath given himself for us..." Ephesians 5:2
Can non-Catholics be Christians?
As the "one true church," Catholicism claims the right to determine who is or is not a Christian:
"All who have been justified by faith in Baptism are incorporated into Christ; they therefore have a right to be called Christians, and with good reason are accepted as brothers in the Lord by the children of the Catholic Church." Pg 216, #818
In other words, if you have not been baptized into the Catholic church, you are not a Christian. These are not my words, but the words of the official Catholic Catechism.
But according to Scripture, it doesn't matter if the Catholic church has accepted you or not. If your faith is in Jesus Christ alone, then He has already accepted you:
"To the praise of the glory of his grace, wherein he (Jesus) hath made us accepted in the beloved." Ephesians 1:6
At this point, you must make a few decisions:
Is Peter really the rock? The Catechism says he is, but God's Word says he is not. Is the Catholic church the one true church? The Catechism says yes, but the Bible says no. Do you really believe that all non-Catholics will burn in hell? Once again, the answers to each of these questions will be determined by which you choose to believe... the traditions of men, or God' s Word. Jesus asked the Pharisees a question which all Roman Catholics should ponder:
"Why do ye also transgress the commandment of God by your tradition?" Matthew 15:3
-- Casey Simpson (firstname.lastname@example.org), January 22, 2001
I am only going to answer your first question. I thought it very interesting that all your quotes about God as a rock came from the Old Testament. In fact, there are a other books in the Old Testament that compare God to a rock. But these quotes, because they are from the Old Testament, strengthen the Catholic viewpoint even more.
See, Jesus did tell Simon Bar-Jona that he was "rock"; the name Peter even means rock. THroughout the Old Testament, you can see that a name change is VERY significant. When Jesus changes Simon's name to Rock, He knows full well the meaning of Rock in the O.T. SO, Catholics look at that and say that Jesus is giving Peter a lot of power-- the power to lead the Church, to interpret to the scriptures infallibly. The answers to your other questions you may find here on other threads. I think they have both been sufficiently answered elsewhere.
-- Hannah (email@example.com), January 22, 2001.
Dear Casey-- Hannah answers the part about Peter being Rock very clearly. In giving Peter that name-- his name was Simon, Casey-- Our Lord, (Who has supreme authority) made him that very ROCK upon which He would build the Church of the Apostles, the Catholic Church. Jesus calls it ''my church''. --There is no other reference in the Holy Bible, OT or NT-- necessary to give Peter that authority. The Head of the Church is Christ-- Catholics acknowledge this and enphasize it clearly.
In case you thought this was the only NT verse in which Jesus made Peter the head apostle, and subsequently Peter's successors-- read John 21, 15-19. Again here, unmistakably Jesus appoints Peter chief apostle. It's significant He asks Peter ''Dost thou love me more than (the other disciples) these do?'' And Peter replied, ''Yes, Lord.'' There's also Luke 22, 32 -''I have prayed for YOU,(Peter) that thy faith not fail; and do thou when once thou has turned again--strengthen thy brethren.'' Jesus meant after you've repented of denying me three times, take the authority I give you, to strengthen the rest of the disciples. When did Peter make the formal act of repentance for his sin of denying Jesus three times? Look at John:21, 15-19: Jesus three times asks Peter, ''Peter, do you love me?'', and each time Peter replies with ''Yes, Lord.'' After each answer, Jesus says to him: ''Feed my lambs, Feed my Lambs, and then, Feed my sheep.'' Three times he's named Pastor of the fold; which is the Catholic Church.
Without baptism, a believer still hasn't received the grace jesus promises His belivers in faith. All must be baptised! How is it a true believer would disagree with Him? Since baptism brings you into the Catholic Church, baptism makes you Christian in faith! The last thing Jesus expected was that you'd reeive this immense grace, then leave and start a separate Church from the Church He founded on the Apostles! That would be going backward! Incidentally, and to answer the other point about Paul's epistles.
Paul was writing to Catholic bishops and disciples! When he wrote, ''One faith, One Church'', and don't hear any other gospel but the One Gospel-- he wrote to his Catholic communities. He was saying clearly: ''You must be faithful to the Catholic Church alone! There was no other at the time-- It was 1,000 after he wrote the epistles that the eastern (Byzantines) churches broke with Roman Catholicism; and 500 years after THAT when Luther started the ''reformation. Paul was most certainly NOT writing his epistles to martin Luther, Casey-- Get real!
-- eugene c. chavez (firstname.lastname@example.org), January 22, 2001.
Question: Does anyone know just how many branches there are of "other Rites" under the umbrella of Catholicism? I once heard nine. It is my understanding that Byzantine Rite is not eastern orthodox, but answers to Rome as do some others (who are still Catholic, just not "Latin Rite" Catholi
-- anthony (email@example.com), January 22, 2001.
All your claims can be refuted. There are several good books available that do this; please let me know if you are interested in reading any of them and I'll give you the place where you can buy them.
-- Casey Simpson (firstname.lastname@example.org), January 22, 2001.
Casey: I don't like the sound of your latest reply! I read as meaning, "you are all wrong, but I don't have the information to refute you, and I am either too lazy to get, or not all that interested in getting it, so here, read these books and go ahead and prove that I'm right!" It doesn't work that way! If you say something then please show that you at least have attempted to know what you are talking about. In answer to your earlier question, I believe there are 22 "Eastern" rite Churches that answer to the Holy Father in Rome including The "Byzantine" rite which have several Churches in it.
-- Ed Lauzon (email@example.com), January 22, 2001.
Oh, Casey-- Come On!
If it isn't a lot of trouble, just put this at the top of your agenda. It might take you some time, but isn't it worth your time, to save sinners for Christ?
You refute them for us yourself. You said they can all be refuted. It ought to be possible for you, then. I'm not keen on buying fundamentalist bible material. Let's go; refute.
-- eugene c. chavez (firstname.lastname@example.org), January 22, 2001.
I could tell, even before he chickened out on research at the end, that Casey was a phony.
I could see those little "sub-headings" sprinkled throughout "his" comments. ["The One True Church" ... "Who is the head of the church" ... "The biblical 'church'" ... etc.]
In no time flat, I found that he had plagiarized a whole "page" from the Internet site of one of the most disgustingly hate-filled, anti-Catholic organizations in the world -- Jack Chick Publications.
See for yourself here.
Yesterday, good ol' Casey posted his first offensive thread ("An Invitation"). I was the first one to respond, and I said (among other things), "Man, these pitiable, misguided apostates sure do know how to do one thing well -- copy-and-paste their stock phony 'testimonies' from the sites of Jack Chick and similar bigots. Definitely a D-minus for creativity this time."
Believe it or not, I just tossed that out brazenly without doing any checking. Now we see that Casey really is a "Chick-let" and a copy-and-paster.
Friends, if you never do me another favor, please do this one: Don't ever buy something that is anti-Catholic. Such satanic enterprises as the Chick[-en] house will collapse from lack of cash, if good people stop filling their coffers. When I recommend that a non-Catholic read something, I try to make it sometihng on the Internet, or I suggest that they get the item at the library. I don't expect them to spend money on our religion until they find out (as they inevitably will) that it is the true Church of Jesus.
St. James, pray for us (including Casey).
Immaculate Heart of Mary, beloved mother of God, pray for us (including Casey).
-- J. F. GEcik (email@example.com), January 22, 2001.
Anthony, you asked: "Does anyone know just how many branches there are of "other Rites" under the umbrella of Catholicism?"
That's a tough one, because one gets different answers from different sources.
This, I think, is right -- or very close to it. (And yes, you are right. These folks of the Eastern Catholic churches are 100% Catholic -- no less so than you and I. [You should read the great Vatican II document about the Easterners: "Orientalium Ecclesiarum."]
According to one way of counting, there are five major subdivisions of the East, each comprising one or more "rites" (which have their own way of celebrating liturgies).
- - - - - There are the Alexandrian rites [i.e., of Alexandria, Egypt]. This includes the Coptic and Ge'ez rites.
- - - - - There are the Antiochene rites [i.e., of Antioch, Syria]. This includes the Malankar, Maronite, and Syrian rites.
- - - - - There is the Armenian rite. [You know of Armenia, formerly enslaved within the Soviet Union.]
- - - - - There are the Chaldean rites. [You may remember that Abraham was from Ur of Chaldea, now in Iraq.] This includes the Chaldean and Syro-Malabar rites.
- - - - - There are the Byzantine rites, by far the largest subdivision of the East. [Ancient Byzantium became Constantinople and now Istanbul, in Turkey.] This includes the following ethnically-oriented rites (and I hope I don't miss any): Albanian, Belarussian, Bulgarian, Croatian, Georgian, Greek, Hungarian, Italo-Albanian, Melkite, Romanian, Russian, Ruthenian, Slovak, and Ukrainian.]
I count 22 rites, but don't quote me on that!
St. James, pray for us.
Immaculate Heart of Mary, beloved mother of God, pray for us.
God bless you.
PS: Most of us here attend Mass celebrated according to the Latin (some say "Roman") rite, which is actually one [the largest one] of a few Western Catholic rites. The others are: Ambrosian (or Milanese) and Mozarabic.
-- J. F. Gecik (firstname.lastname@example.org), January 22, 2001.
I am not a Catholic but I am a christian. I was baptised in the name of the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit. My Salvation is assured through the death and ressurection of Jesus and my belief and trust in Him as the author and perfector of my faith. Through His grace I am recieved into the salvation he offers. It is sad to think I am not accepted by the Catholics simply because I have not recieved a baptism they value. I believe and trust in One God, the same God you have faith in. Is God not big or fair or just enough to recognise the truth in a persons heart and accept them on that. Works and club membership are not enough to get you into Heaven. Faith in Jesus Christ is the only door, the only WAY, the only TRUTH.
-- Sharon (email@example.com), March 09, 2001.
Please be specific. If people on this forum have "not accepted you" you should at least say *where* they offended you. We accept you gladly at this forum, as long as you do not insult our religion. After all this is a Catholic forum, and we do not have to mindlessly agree with everything you say. If you look at previous posts, you will see that we don't always agree either.
-- Hannah (firstname.lastname@example.org), March 09, 2001.
There isn't anything about your baptism that separates you from full communion with the Catholic Church. As great an Anglican as John Henry Cardinal Newman returned to the Catholic Church and was not re-baptised. He was even elevated to Cardinal by the Church. The tenets and belief in our churches is what makes them separate.
Catholics don't recognise Anglican orders, because the True Church is in unbroken succession from the Holy Apostles. Only a bishop of the Roman Catholic Church is authorised by Christ to ordain Catholic priests. The faith of the apostles must be passed on intact, without human revisions. The Pope is the only Vicar on earth of Jesus Christ. Other, less divisive differences exist. Only one of these has to do with gender. To me, this isn't even an issue. It is simply politically motivated, by a feminist movement out of control. I realise you'll reject that as sexist; but it's just a fact.
The greatest female saints in Christian history were not called to the priesthood. It was not because of discrimination, because they were raised to the altar just as regularly as men were. That is the highest honor the Catholic Church and the Holy Ghost can confer, and women have received it.
And by the way, it's ignorant of you (sorry) to call Catholicism, or the Catholic hierarchy a ''club membership.''
-- eugene c. chavez (email@example.com), March 09, 2001.
You stated (with my emphasis added), "My Salvation is assured through the death and resurection of Jesus and my belief and trust in Him as the author and perfector of my faith. Through His grace I am received into the salvation he offers."
I would ask that, rather than using the word, "assured," you use the phrase, "made possible." And so, you could say, "My salvation is made possible through the death and resurrection ... ."
The reason that it is not accurate to use the word "assured" is that there remains, until the day you die, the unfortunate possibility that you may not persevere in sanctifying grace (having sinned mortally) and that you may die impenitent. In that situation, which we pray will never happen, you would have forfeited your salvation, since it was not "assured."
You also stated, "Faith in Jesus Christ is the only door, the only WAY, the only TRUTH." You are quite mistaken if you believe that Catholicism does not value the virtue of Faith. Your statement that I just quoted is true, as long as you properly understand the meaning of the word "faith." St. Paul makes it clear that "faith" includes obedience of God's commandments and obedience to Jesus's Church, and that the only true faith is one that "works itself out" in love. In keeping with this, St. James tells us: "You see that a man is justified by works and not by faith alone" -- i.e., by both faith and good actions. Neither is sufficient without the other.
Sharon, you have recently said to me: "... some of your responses are not friendly or done from a place of love."
I must join with Eugene in pointing out that your reference to being a Catholic as a "club membership" is "not friendly or done from a place of love." Let us have a single, not a double standard in our colloquy, please.
You wrote, "I was baptised in the name of the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit. ... It is sad to think I am not accepted by the Catholics simply because I have not received a baptism they value."
You have jumped far to the wrong conclusion, my friend. As a Catholic, I do accept you as my sister in Christ, and I do value your Baptism just as highly as my own. I thank God that you were blessed with that grace of becoming a Christian.
God bless you.
-- J. F. Gecik (firstname.lastname@example.org), March 09, 2001.
Unfortunately, you are sadly mistaken. Two conditions exist for a baptism to be acknowledged as valid by the Catholic Church. The person must be baptized with water and in the name of the Father, Son and Holy Spirit. If your baptism was performed in this manner than Catholics respect it, honour it and should you ever desire to join our faith you would NOT be re-baptized. Can we make it any clearer for you?
As for your comment about our “club”. Our “club’s” regulations are stringent. Unlike all other Christian sects founded in the last 500 years, our regulations have not changed in 2,000 years since Christ Himself, gave them to us. In our “club” you cannot get a “life-time” membership and remain in “good standing” by merely uttering a secret “password” such as “I accept Jesus Christ as my Lord and Saviour!” It takes more than that. Our membership is only good for 24 hours and has to be renewed daily. In our “club” you have to remain a “member in-good-standing” by living heroically the life of Christ according to your state in life, lest you run the risk of being expelled from this very privileged “club”.
St. James and Mary, Our Blessed Mother pray for enlightenment of all peoples; that they may come to see the true light of Christ in the way it shone on the first Christians, 2000 years ago; and as always, pray for us!
-- Ed Lauzon (email@example.com), March 10, 2001.
I apologise unreservedly for my use of the words club membership. I didn't mean it in quite the way it was interpreted, but nevertheless I have caused offense and I am sorry.
I am glad that my baptism is recognised and I am happy to be put right on that point.
As for thinking you are being sexist Eugene - never! I know you are a sensitive guy. Gender is an issue when you are not the 'right' one. Female history has been hidden for too long both within the church and without. I know you weren't implying that womens faith was unimportant just because the clergy are male.
-- Sharon (firstname.lastname@example.org), March 13, 2001.
Question? If the Catholic Chirch is True In deed the Church? Then why do you keep Sunday Over Saturday?
-- PMH (Hisproperty@aol.com), December 01, 2003.
Because we are not Jewish, and our Lord and Savior rose from the dead on Sunday. That's why the Christian Church has met for worship on Sunday since the time of the Apostles. (Acts 20:7)
-- Paul M. (PaulCyp@cox.net), December 02, 2003.