It may claim that it has ‘the truth,’ that it is ‘the New Testament Church,’ that its creed is the true statement of the Christian faith, and that its practices and mode of organization conform strictly to the ‘pattern’ of the primitive church; but no denomination, or only a negligible few, has ever pretended that Christ is the head of its denomination. Apart from the bishop nobody must perform any of the functions that belong to the Church. In each place bishops and priests were necessary. Obey priests as apostles of Jesus Christ. Those who have faith in Him, repent, and keep His commandments receive forgiveness of sins and are filled with peace and joy. This same Church must also have a leader of this apostolic body in the person of the successor of St. Peter, bed-rock on which Jesus has built His Church” (ibid., p. 52). Jesus tells Peter that he received this revelation from God. There are simpler definitions, but in my opinion, they either are not comprehensive enough or they miss the mark in other ways. Reverence the deacons as you would God’s command. When I was a little girl, I remember one night when I was asleep, my mom and dad came into the room and they shook me and said, “Honey, wake up.” I knew that something was wrong just by the sound of their voices, but I was not sure what. The records of these and other Councils are facts of history which prove beyond a shadow of doubt that the Church of those days was regarded by all as a visible, organized society, a group of men, with the same objective, using the same means to attain it under the direction of an authority they all recognized. Wherever the bishop appears, there should the people be; as wherever Jesus Christ is, there is the Catholic Church.”. Only Rome makes such a claim, and it was against this very pretension that Protestantism revolted.”. . These contradictions, such as those which exist in the Church of England between the High Church party and the Evangelicals, are nowadays called “tensions.” They will be resolved, it is contended, in time by a normal development and evolution through which the truth will finally emerge. Possibly it has been quoted more than any other work of the period as evidence of belief in the supremacy of the pope. Before the sixteenth century there is no reference anywhere to the notion that the Christian Church consists of all Christ’s followers, whether they are baptized or not, whether they believe in the sacraments or not, whether they accept orthodox teaching or not, whether they obey the successors of Peter and the apostles or not. The church was founded upon th… From this passage it is very obvious that Christ is the builder or founder of the New Testament church and that he calls this church his church. I can provide you with verses that show that Jesus delegated Peter as the Prime Minister among Ministers (Is 22:19-24, Mt 16:18-19). He said in his Sermon on the Mount, “He that shall break one of these least commandments and shall so teach men shall be called the least in the kingdom of heaven” (Matt. Acts 19:37 | View whole chapter | See verse in context The canons of the general councils–four of them were held in the fourth and fifth centuries, Nicaea (325), Constantinople (381), Ephesus (431), Chalcedon (451)–demonstrate that the Church was regarded as an organization embracing rulers and subjects, teachers and taught, working together with the same means, with the same object in view. Therefore, the Church came first, then Bibles. We cannot be true followers of Christ unless we accept his Church. Romans 16:16 - Salute one another with an holy kiss. All this is clear from the general councils held from very early times. After His death and Resurrection, He continued to guide the Apostles through revelation. Such a thing would have been impossible if all that was necessary to be a member of the Church was belief in Christ and willingness to follow him. Members of the universal church should seek fellowship and edification in a local church. What a contrast with, say, the Lambeth Conferences or the meetings of the World Council of the Churches, where representatives sit together under a chairman who has no jurisdiction over them. More recently Adolf Harnack, a leading member of the so-called critical school of Protestants, maintained that the important thing was the spirit of Christ, the spirit of love for God and men. What shall we say of those who, through culpable ignorance, intellectual indolence, or moral cowardice, reject the Church God came to earth to found? At the end of His life, Jesus Christ suffered and died for the sins of everyone who has lived or who will live on earth. So it may well be that one church is as good as another. Ignorance is only blameworthy when it is culpable. Therefore thus saith the Lord GOD, Behold, I lay in Zion for a foundation a stone, a tried … Any church founded by someone other than Christ is not … Acts 16:5 | View whole chapter | See verse in context And so were the church es established in the faith, and increased in number daily. High Churchmen, Episcopalians, and the separated Eastern Churches admit that Christ set up a visible organized society, but the common Protestant view has been stated by Charles G. Morrison in a book called Can Protestantism Win America? Isaiah 28:16. Anyone, therefore, who fails to assemble with the others has already displayed his pride and separated himself…Let us be careful not to oppose the bishop so that we may obey God.”, To the latter he wrote, “Shun schisms as the source of troubles. The metaphor itself, of the Church as "a building of God"--frequently used in the New Testament--reaches its full perfection in this passage. It was taken for granted. . Many of them have a deep, personal love of Christ and regulate their lives according to the highest ideals. 5:19). To the former Ignatius wrote, “If the prayer of one or two men is so powerful, how much more so is that of the bishop and that of the whole Church. They think of his church as a number of souls–how many God alone knows–who believe in Christ’s Kingdom and his message but do not necessarily belong to an organized body of his followers. All the evidence at our disposal–even though omitting, due to space, scriptural evidence–convinces us that Christ set up over nineteen hundred years ago a visible, organized society. The general councils could, and sometimes did, cut off certain heretics from the Church. It was there that the apostles were first located. 1a. 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