No, Not One

Jesus founded only one church and no other communion in the world is a church, not even the Eastern churches which actually came before Peter and Paul died in Rome.

Now, in this apologetics series we have seen that none of the Protestant churches (among the thousands of them) is the Church of Jesus Christ, and none can be. Neither can Anglicanism be, nor the Orthodox churches. There is only one left to fit in the marks of being One, Holy, Catholic, Apostolic, etc. And you will get not a single brownie point for guessing which one I am referring to.

Why is the Roman Catholic Church the Church founded by Jesus Christ? Not merely because it is the last one left in the list of our considerations, not at all.

First of all, she is one in faith: Faithful Catholics the world over — whether they live in America, Europe, Africa, Asia, or Oceania — share the same Creed, and believe the same articles of faith. (Please note: I mean the faithful Catholics, not the superficial, relativistic, modernist folks you find in many places today. They do not represent the Catholic Church, only themselves. An organization is properly represented by its faithful members, not by its unfaithful ones.)

The faithful ministers of the Catholic Church bear the message of Christ in its entirety, without any adaptations to the worldly culture of our days.

Does that apply to the German bishops?

She is one in government. Faithful Catholic people are joined to their priests, the priests and people to their bishops, and all are subject to the Pope, the center of authority, the bond of apostolic unity, the Successor of St. Peter, and the Vicar of Christ. The Code of Canon Law acts like a “constitution” for the Catholic Church, and all are subject to its ordinances. There is unity in government.

Does that include the Vatican curia who leak documents and information to Italian reporters?

The Catholic Church bears the message of Christ, and her faithful members, courageous and plain-spoken as Christ Himself, insist that it be received in its integrity. She shuts her ears to the sensual who look to her in vain for an accommodation in her moral doctrine; those unfaithful members of the Church at times attempt to change her moral doctrine, but always without success. They either leave the Church in a schism or deny her truth as a new heresy.

What about Cardinal Law?

Since Luther’s revolution, countless new Protestant groups, as well as semi-Christian sects, have arisen. Some of them, e.g., Assembly of God, Jehovah’s Witnesses, Worldwide Church of God, are not named after any particular person, place, or doctrine — but one thing they, and all Protestant bodies, have in common is that the date of their foundation can be given. Before Luther there was no Lutheranism, before Calvin there was no Calvinism, before Henry VIII there was no Anglicanism, before Ellen White there were no Seventh-day Adventists, before Joseph Smith there were no Mormons. And so on and so forth.

The Catholic Church — it is a fact of history — was founded by Jesus Christ in the year 33. Only the Catholic Church goes back in every respect of her foundation to Jesus Christ Himself. No other person can be adduced as her founder.

So why not relocate and call the church, the Jerusalem Catholic Church?

Here I thought Lutherans and Calvinists were separated brethren and sistren.

Postscript: Program Notes on the Church Jesus Founded

Acts 1: Then the apostles returned to Jerusalem from the hill called the Mount of Olives, a Sabbath day’s walk from the city. 13 When they arrived, they went upstairs to the room where they were staying. Those present were Peter, John, James and Andrew; Philip and Thomas, Bartholomew and Matthew; James son of Alphaeus and Simon the Zealot, and Judas son of James. 14 They all joined together constantly in prayer, along with the women and Mary the mother of Jesus, and with his brothers.

15 In those days Peter stood up among the believers (a group numbering about a hundred and twenty) 16 and said, “Brothers and sisters, the Scripture had to be fulfilled in which the Holy Spirit spoke long ago through David concerning Judas, who served as guide for those who arrested Jesus. 17 He was one of our number and shared in our ministry.”

Acts 2: When the day of Pentecost came, they were all together in one place. 2 Suddenly a sound like the blowing of a violent wind came from heaven and filled the whole house where they were sitting. 3 They saw what seemed to be tongues of fire that separated and came to rest on each of them. 4 All of them were filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak in other tongues as the Spirit enabled them. 5 Now there were staying in Jerusalem God-fearing Jews from every nation under heaven.

Jerusalem envy, anyone?

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13 thoughts on “No, Not One

  1. come let us reason together….

    “Just about everyone who has started a movement has declared themselves the only true church on earth. In this they claim one must join their exclusive group or organization to be saved and to be a Christian.”..

    “In conclusion there is one true Church, but it is not found in a certain denomination or group by itself. Those who claim you must join their group or Church to be right with God, only prove they do not understand what the word Church or body of Christ means. It is not exclusive but inclusive, as it is found in the heart of all those who have accepted the true Jesus, and have come to God the way He has provided (through His son on the cross), and hold to the essentials of the faith. Whether one is Lutheran, Anglican, Baptist, Presbyterian, Episcopalian, Charismatic, or Pentecostal, etc. The Church transcends denominational barriers, it exists within denominations, as well as outside of them. This is the Universal Church that has continued from the beginning of Pentecost. While denominations may have differences on peripheral issues, they do hold to the core beliefs that make them all part of the body of Christ, the Church.”
    http://www.letusreason.org/cult12.htm

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  2. Quote from the article: (Please note: I mean the faithful Catholics, not the superficial, relativistic, modernist folks you find in many places today. They do not represent the Catholic Church, only themselves. An organization is properly represented by its faithful members, not by its unfaithful ones.)

    Haha. I can do that too! Only real, faithful Protestants who believe like I do and those I think are really Christians are the true church and meet the qualifications of One, Holy , Catholic, and Apostolic Church. I don’t mean those who aren’t like me and aren’t defined as Christians they way I do. So don’t argue with me; I’m right.

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  3. Ummm, which bishops? Which canon lawyers? Which school of canon law? Whose Vat II? Rahner’s? What about the Gregorian reforms? How do I get Tridentine RC all the way back to Jerusalem? And we’re leaping.

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  4. Serisouly, it is much easier to figure out what any Evangelical group believes than what the Roman Catholic Church actually believes. Even the CCC has loopholes a mile wide. Exhibit A: Are people in Hell? You won’t find any Pope since Vatican II teaching so. Is the Bible inerrant, and if so, how? Good luck, again. The uniformity of Catholic belief extends to believing they are all in the same garage Beyond that… These guys are pining for a paper Church that ceased toe exist long ago.

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  5. There is obviously something about this argument that bothers you all. If not, you wouldn’t waste so much time writing about it. How many posts on the mass? How many defending sola fide? How many on baptism? How many on intercessory prayer? Next to nill. You are a man obsessed. It’s like watching a black lives matter advocate murder “this system is broken, the system is broken, the system is broken” each time a police officer is found innocent. (Which is near all the time) Whatever helps you sleep at night yo!

    Keep your eyes on the Yankees problems. That’s the trick. So long as the RCC isn’t a utopia of discipline and obedience, just maaaaaaybe you can put that little voice in your head to rest as the denominations keep splitting and splitting. Maybe Bart Ehrman and Co crushing protestant scholars daily will matter a little less. Maybe, if you squint just right, you could imagine that people gave a damn about the reformation. Or that critical biblical scholarship hasn’t crushed the sola scriptura pipe dream. I mean, if the Yankees have issues, we shouldn’t really mind being in the minors. Right. … Right?

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  6. “Maybe Bart Ehrman and Co crushing protestant scholars daily will matter a little less.”

    Umm…Dr. Ehrman is not “crushing” protestant scholars. Numerous protestant scholars have offered reasonable and scholarly answers to his hyper-agnostic brand of repackaged 19th century liberal scholarship (Daniel Wallace, Darrell Bock, Richard Buckram, Ben Witherington, etc.). And if you want evidence that Roman Catholic biblical scholarship has made many many concessions to the kind of rationalistic higher critical biblical scholarship advocated by Erhman, I simply refer you to The Jerome Biblical Commentary (Edited by Raymond E. Brown, S.S., Joseph A. Fitzmeyer, S.J., and Roland A. Murphy, O.Carm, and given an Imprimatur by Lawrence Cardinal Shehan, Archbishop of Baltimore, June 6, 1968).

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  7. KW: “Bart Ehrman and Co crushing protestant scholars,” well, that conflict exists only because Catholics no longer feel compelled to even defend the Bible… they have essentially rolled over on that score, retreating to some imagined Magisterium (Francis? Seriously?), and are otherwise too busy worrying about contraception and annulments. The Theology of the Body is their idea of New Evangelization. Jesus = The Joy of Sex, or something like that. It’s all yours, as are Timothy Dolan, the Jesuits, and Bishop Barron. I don’t see much difference in your crowd and Joel Osteen, minus the birth control ban. Besides, we can dare to hope all are going to Heaven anyway, right?

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  8. ” you could imagine that people gave a damn about the reformation. Or that critical biblical scholarship hasn’t crushed the sola scriptura pipe dream.”

    And you might imagine people give a damn about an infallible Magisterium, except of course for the 95% of Catholics ignoring it, and the 5% who can’t figure out what in the Hell Francis is talking about. As for silly Bible arguments, go read George Kelly’s “New Biblical Theorists.” 20 years ago he rightly pointed out that if Higher Criticism is correct, the Catholic Church has no leg to stand on. Your smirk is thus all wet, flamethrower. You can retreat back to your St. JPII the Great Fan Club meeting place. I am sure they’ll have plenty of first aid available.

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  9. JoeM: ” “Bart Ehrman and Co crushing protestant scholars,” well, that conflict exists only because Catholics no longer feel compelled to even defend the Bible… ”

    Since the supposedly infallible teaching magisterium is suppose to infallibly interpret both Scripture and Tradition (never mind that fallible theologians and clergy and laity have to interpret and apply these supposedly infallible interpretations), in practice neither Scripture nor Tradition ultimately matter. What matters is what “the Church” says. As in, Sola Ecclesia (“the Church alone”).

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