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Angelos

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Jesus and the Apostles built a unified, hierarchical Church
« on: Mon Sep 20, 2010 - 09:01:01 »
Within the early Church the Apostles exercised the regulative power with which Christ had endowed them. It was no chaotic mob, but a true society possessed of a structured life, and organized in various orders. The evidence shows the twelve to have possessed (a) a power of jurisdiction, in virtue of which they wielded a legislative and judicial authority, and (b) a magisterial office to teach the Divine revelation entrusted to them.

Thus (a) we find  Paul authoritatively prescribing for the order and discipline of the churches. He does not advise; he directs (1 Corinthians 11:34; 16:1; Titus 1:5). He pronounces judicial sentence (1 Corinthians 5:5; 2 Corinthians 2:10), and his sentences, like those of other Apostles, receive at times the solemn sanction of miraculous punishment (1 Timothy 1:20; Acts 5:1-10). In like manner he bids his delegate Timothy hear the causes even of priests, and rebuke, in the sight of all, those who sin (1 Timothy 5:19 sq.). (b) With no less definiteness does he assert that the Apostolate carries with it a doctrinal authority, which all are bound to recognize. God has sent them, he affirms, to claim "the obedience of faith" (Romans 1:5; 15:18). Further, his solemnly expressed desire, that even if an angel from heaven were to preach another doctrine to the Galatians than that which he had delivered to them, he should be anathema (Galatians 1:8), involves a claim to infallibility in the teaching of revealed truth.

While the whole Apostolic College enjoyed this power in the Church,  Peter always appears in that position of primacy which Christ assigned to him. It is Peter who receives into the Church the first converts, alike from Judaism and from heathenism (Acts 2:41; 10:5 sq.), who works the first miracle (Acts 3:1 sqq.), who inflicts the first ecclesiastical penalty (Acts 5:1 sqq.). It is Peter who casts out of the Church the first heretic, Simon Magus (Acts 8:21), who makes the first Apostolic visitation of the churches (Acts 9:32), and who pronounces the first dogmatic decision (Acts 15:7).  So indisputable was his position that when Paul was about to undertake the work of preaching to the heathen the Gospel which Christ had revealed to him, he regarded it as necessary to obtain recognition from Peter (Galatians 1:18). More than this was not needful: for the approbation of Peter was definitive.

The evidence for the existence of a local ministry is plentiful in the later Epistles of St. Paul (Philippians, 1 and 2 Timothy, and Titus). The Epistle to the Philippians opens with a special greeting to the bishops and deacons. Those who hold these official positions are recognized as the representatives in some sort of the Church.

In the Pastoral Epistles the new situation appears even more clearly. The purpose of these writings was to instruct Timothy and Titus regarding the manner in which they were to organize the local ChurchesWe find the Churches governed by a hierarchical organization of bishops, sometimes also termed presbyters, and deacons. That the terms bishop and presbyter are synonymous is evident from Titus 1:5-7: "I left thee in Crete, that thou shouldest . . . ordain priests in every city . . . For a bishop must be without crime." These presbyters form a corporate body (1 Timothy 4:14), and they are entrusted with the twofold charge of governing the Church (1 Timothy 3:5) and of teaching (1 Timothy 3:2; Titus 1:9). The selection of those who are to fill this post does not depend on the possession of supernatural gifts. It is required that they should not be unproved neophytes, that they should be under no charge, should have displayed moral fitness for the work, and should be capable of teaching. (1 Timothy 3:2-7; Titus 1:5-9) The appointment to this office was by a solemn laying on of hands (1 Timothy 5:22). Some words addressed by St. Paul to Timothy, in reference to the ceremony as it had taken place in Timothy's case, throw light upon its nature. "I admonish thee", he writes, "that thou stir up the grace (charisma) of God, which is in thee by the laying on of my hands" (2 Timothy 1:6). The rite is here declared to be the means by which a charismatic gift is conferred; and, further, the gift in question, like the baptismal character, is permanent in its effects. The recipient needs but to "waken into life" [anazopyrein] the grace he thus possesses in order to avail himself of it. It is an abiding endowment. There can be no reason for asserting that the imposition of hands, by which Timothy was instructed to appoint the presbyters to their office, was a rite of a different character, a mere formality without practical import.

 There is also mention of presbyters at Jerusalem at a date apparently immediately subsequent to the dispersion of the Apostles (Acts 11:30; cf. 15:2; 16:4; 21:18). Again, we are told that Paul and Barnabas, as they retraced their steps on their first missionary journey, appointed presbyters in every Church (Acts 14:22). So too the injunction to the Thessalonians (1 Thessalonians 5:12) to have regard to those who are over them in the Lord (proistamenoi (literally their boss); cf. Romans 12:6) would seem to imply that there also  Paul had invested certain members of the community with a pastoral charge.

Still more explicit is the evidence contained in the account of St. Paul's interview with the Ephesian elders (Acts 20:17-23). It is told that, sending from Miletus to Ephesus, he summoned "the presbyters of the Church", and in the course of his charge addressed them as follows: "Take heed to yourselves and to the whole flock, wherein the Holy Ghost has placed you bishops to tend [poimainein] the Church of God" (20:28). St. Peter employs similar language: "The presbyters that are among you, I beseech, who am myself also a presbyter . . . tend [poimainein] the flock of God which is among you." These expressions leave no doubt as to the office designated by St. Paul, when in Ephesians 4:11, he enumerates the gifts of the Ascended Lord as follows: "He gave some apostles, and some prophets, and other some evangelists, and other some pastors and doctors [tous de poimenas kai didaskalous]. The Epistle of St. James provides us with yet another reference to this office, where the sick man is bidden send for the presbyters of the Church, that he may receive at their hands the rite of unction (James 5:14).

It remains to consider whether the so-called "monarchical" episcopate was instituted by the Apostles. Besides establishing a college of presbyter-bishops, did they further place one man in a position of supremacy, entrusting the government of the Church to him, and endowing him with Apostolic authority over the Christian community? Even if we take into account the Scriptural evidence alone, there are sufficient grounds for answering this question in the affirmative.

From the time of the dispersion of the Apostles, St. James appears in an episcopal relation to the Church of Jerusalem (Acts 12:17; 15:13; Galatians 2:12). In the other Christian communities the institution of "monarchical" bishops was a somewhat later development. At first the Apostles themselves fulfilled, it would seem, all the duties of supreme oversight. They established the office when the growing needs of the Church demanded it. The Pastoral Epistles leave no room to doubt that Timothy and Titus were sent as bishops to Ephesus and to Crete respectively. To Timothy full Apostolic powers are conceded. Notwithstanding his youth he holds authority over both clergy and laity. To him is confided the duty of guarding the purity of the Church's faith, of ordaining priests, of exercising jurisdiction. Moreover, St. Paul's exhortation to him, "to keep the commandment without spot, blameless, unto the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ" shows that this was no transitory mission. A charge so worded includes in its sweep, not Timothy alone, but his successors in an office which is to last until the Second Advent. At the Council of Chalcedon, the Church of Ephesus counted a succession of twenty-seven bishops commencing with Timothy (Mansi, VII, 293; cf. Eusebius, Church History III.4-5).

These are not the sole evidences which the New Testament affords of the monarchical episcopate. In the Apocalypse the "angels" to whom the letters to the seven Churches are addressed are almost certainly the bishops of the respective communities. Some commentators, indeed, have held them to be personifications of the communities themselves. But this explanation can hardly stand. St. John, throughout, addresses the angel as being responsible for the community precisely as he would address its ruler. Moreover, in the symbolism of chapter 1, the two are represented under different figures: the angels are the stars in the right hand of the Son of Man; the seven candlesticks are the image which figures the communities. The very term angel, it should be noticed, is practically synonymous with apostle, and thus is aptly chosen to designate the episcopal office.

Again the messages to Archippus (Colossians 4:17; Philemon 2) imply that he held a position of special dignity, superior to that of the other presbyters. The mention of him in a letter entirely concerned with a private matter, as is that to Philemon, is hardly explicable unless he were the official head of the Colossian Church. We have therefore four important indications of the existence of an office in the local Churches, held by a single person, and carrying with it Apostolical authority. Nor can any difficulty be occasioned by the fact that as yet no special title distinguishes these successors of the Apostles from the ordinary presbyters. It is in the nature of things that the office should exist before a title is assigned to it. The name of apostle, we have seen, was not confined to the Twelve. St. Peter (1 Peter 5:1) and St. John (2 and 3 John 1:1) both speak of themselves as presbyters". St. Paul speaks of the Apostolate as a diakonia. A parallel case in later ecclesiastical history is afforded by the word pope. This title was not appropriated to the exclusive use of the Holy See till the eleventh century. Yet no one maintains that the supreme pontificate of the Roman bishop was not recognized till then. It should cause no surprise that a precise terminology, distinguishing bishops, in the full sense, from the presbyter-bishops, is not found in the New Testament.

The conclusion reached is put beyond all reasonable doubt by the testimony of the sub-Apostolic Age. This is so important in regard to the question of the episcopate that it is impossible entirely to pass it over. It will be enough, however, to refer to the evidence contained in the epistles of St. Ignatius, Bishop of Antioch, himself a disciple of the Apostles. In these epistles (about A.D. 107) he again and again asserts that the supremacy of the bishop is of Divine institution and belongs to the Apostolic constitution of the Church. He goes so far as to affirm that the bishop stands in the place of Christ Himself. "When ye are obedient to the bishop as to Jesus Christ," he writes to the Trallians, "it is evident to me that ye are living not after men, but after Jesus Christ. . . be ye obedient also to the presbytery as to the Apostles of Jesus Christ" (Letter to the Trallians 2). He also incidentally tells us that bishops are found in the Church, even in "the farthest parts of the earth" (Letter to the Ephesians 3) It is out of the question that one who lived at a period so little removed from the actual Apostolic Age could have proclaimed this doctrine in terms such as he employs, had not the episcopate been universally recognized as of Divine appointment.

 It has been seen that Christ not only established the episcopate in the persons of the Twelve but, further, created in St. Peter the office of supreme pastor of the Church. Early Christian history tells us that before his death, he fixed his residence at Rome, and ruled the Church there as its bishop. It is from Rome that he dates his first Epistle, speaking of the city under the name of Babylon, a designation which St. John also gives it in the Apocalypse (c. xviii). At Rome, too, he suffered martyrdom in company with St. Paul, A.D. 67. The list of his successors in the see is known, from Linus, Anacletus, and Clement, who were the first to follow him, down to the reigning pontiff. The Church has ever seen in the occupant of the See of Rome the successor of Peter in the supreme pastorate.

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Jesus and the Apostles built a unified, hierarchical Church
« on: Mon Sep 20, 2010 - 09:01:01 »

Offline LightHammer

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Re: Jesus and the Apostles built a unified, hierarchical Church
« Reply #1 on: Fri Sep 24, 2010 - 11:21:57 »
Just a bit of advice. If you want to start a debate, meaning one side affirmative one side negative, then you should post something like this in the Theology Forum. Although I'm sure you will only be attacked and slandered, you really won't get too much of a rise out of posting a topic like this on the forum where 90% of the posters already agree with you.

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Re: Jesus and the Apostles built a unified, hierarchical Church
« Reply #1 on: Fri Sep 24, 2010 - 11:21:57 »

Offline Berndt Totterman

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Re: Jesus and the Apostles built a unified, hierarchical Church
« Reply #2 on: Wed Nov 17, 2010 - 12:14:29 »
Jesus,our Lords peace be with You.
Dear friend,there is nothing I can say that would make You understand that a Church,any Church,need a "chain of command",as well as rules. If You are catholic,I am,You must understand to be loyal to the Church. And why? Because if You believe like a catholic,You must defend Your faith,and doing so,You defend the whole christian faith. Remember now that the person who split the Church from it's "east-west-latin rites" wos Luther. Why is not a issue to discuss now. But what ever faith one have,one needs to stand behind it. Wisdom from books are good,but my "wisdom" comes only from the Bible and the Catechism,which actually explain what the Bible tells.

Offline Wycliffes_Shillelagh

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Re: Jesus and the Apostles built a unified, hierarchical Church
« Reply #3 on: Wed Nov 17, 2010 - 16:42:45 »
Here's another tip:

If people have to scroll to read the whole post, they won't!  Be concise.

Jarrod

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Re: Jesus and the Apostles built a unified, hierarchical Church
« Reply #3 on: Wed Nov 17, 2010 - 16:42:45 »

Offline mclees8

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Re: Jesus and the Apostles built a unified, hierarchical Church
« Reply #4 on: Wed Nov 17, 2010 - 22:35:10 »
Within the early Church the Apostles exercised the regulative power with which Christ had endowed them. It was no chaotic mob, but a true society possessed of a structured life, and organized in various orders. The evidence shows the twelve to have possessed (a) a power of jurisdiction, in virtue of which they wielded a legislative and judicial authority, and (b) a magisterial office to teach the Divine revelation entrusted to them.

Thus (a) we find  Paul authoritatively prescribing for the order and discipline of the churches. He does not advise; he directs (1 Corinthians 11:34; 16:1; Titus 1:5). He pronounces judicial sentence (1 Corinthians 5:5; 2 Corinthians 2:10), and his sentences, like those of other Apostles, receive at times the solemn sanction of miraculous punishment (1 Timothy 1:20; Acts 5:1-10). In like manner he bids his delegate Timothy hear the causes even of priests, and rebuke, in the sight of all, those who sin (1 Timothy 5:19 sq.). (b) With no less definiteness does he assert that the Apostolate carries with it a doctrinal authority, which all are bound to recognize. God has sent them, he affirms, to claim "the obedience of faith" (Romans 1:5; 15:18). Further, his solemnly expressed desire, that even if an angel from heaven were to preach another doctrine to the Galatians than that which he had delivered to them, he should be anathema (Galatians 1:8), involves a claim to infallibility in the teaching of revealed truth.

While the whole Apostolic College enjoyed this power in the Church,  Peter always appears in that position of primacy which Christ assigned to him. It is Peter who receives into the Church the first converts, alike from Judaism and from heathenism (Acts 2:41; 10:5 sq.), who works the first miracle (Acts 3:1 sqq.), who inflicts the first ecclesiastical penalty (Acts 5:1 sqq.). It is Peter who casts out of the Church the first heretic, Simon Magus (Acts 8:21), who makes the first Apostolic visitation of the churches (Acts 9:32), and who pronounces the first dogmatic decision (Acts 15:7).  So indisputable was his position that when Paul was about to undertake the work of preaching to the heathen the Gospel which Christ had revealed to him, he regarded it as necessary to obtain recognition from Peter (Galatians 1:18). More than this was not needful: for the approbation of Peter was definitive.

The evidence for the existence of a local ministry is plentiful in the later Epistles of St. Paul (Philippians, 1 and 2 Timothy, and Titus). The Epistle to the Philippians opens with a special greeting to the bishops and deacons. Those who hold these official positions are recognized as the representatives in some sort of the Church.

In the Pastoral Epistles the new situation appears even more clearly. The purpose of these writings was to instruct Timothy and Titus regarding the manner in which they were to organize the local ChurchesWe find the Churches governed by a hierarchical organization of bishops, sometimes also termed presbyters, and deacons. That the terms bishop and presbyter are synonymous is evident from Titus 1:5-7: "I left thee in Crete, that thou shouldest . . . ordain priests in every city . . . For a bishop must be without crime." These presbyters form a corporate body (1 Timothy 4:14), and they are entrusted with the twofold charge of governing the Church (1 Timothy 3:5) and of teaching (1 Timothy 3:2; Titus 1:9). The selection of those who are to fill this post does not depend on the possession of supernatural gifts. It is required that they should not be unproved neophytes, that they should be under no charge, should have displayed moral fitness for the work, and should be capable of teaching. (1 Timothy 3:2-7; Titus 1:5-9) The appointment to this office was by a solemn laying on of hands (1 Timothy 5:22). Some words addressed by St. Paul to Timothy, in reference to the ceremony as it had taken place in Timothy's case, throw light upon its nature. "I admonish thee", he writes, "that thou stir up the grace (charisma) of God, which is in thee by the laying on of my hands" (2 Timothy 1:6). The rite is here declared to be the means by which a charismatic gift is conferred; and, further, the gift in question, like the baptismal character, is permanent in its effects. The recipient needs but to "waken into life" [anazopyrein] the grace he thus possesses in order to avail himself of it. It is an abiding endowment. There can be no reason for asserting that the imposition of hands, by which Timothy was instructed to appoint the presbyters to their office, was a rite of a different character, a mere formality without practical import.

 There is also mention of presbyters at Jerusalem at a date apparently immediately subsequent to the dispersion of the Apostles (Acts 11:30; cf. 15:2; 16:4; 21:18). Again, we are told that Paul and Barnabas, as they retraced their steps on their first missionary journey, appointed presbyters in every Church (Acts 14:22). So too the injunction to the Thessalonians (1 Thessalonians 5:12) to have regard to those who are over them in the Lord (proistamenoi (literally their boss); cf. Romans 12:6) would seem to imply that there also  Paul had invested certain members of the community with a pastoral charge.

Still more explicit is the evidence contained in the account of St. Paul's interview with the Ephesian elders (Acts 20:17-23). It is told that, sending from Miletus to Ephesus, he summoned "the presbyters of the Church", and in the course of his charge addressed them as follows: "Take heed to yourselves and to the whole flock, wherein the Holy Ghost has placed you bishops to tend [poimainein] the Church of God" (20:28). St. Peter employs similar language: "The presbyters that are among you, I beseech, who am myself also a presbyter . . . tend [poimainein] the flock of God which is among you." These expressions leave no doubt as to the office designated by St. Paul, when in Ephesians 4:11, he enumerates the gifts of the Ascended Lord as follows: "He gave some apostles, and some prophets, and other some evangelists, and other some pastors and doctors [tous de poimenas kai didaskalous]. The Epistle of St. James provides us with yet another reference to this office, where the sick man is bidden send for the presbyters of the Church, that he may receive at their hands the rite of unction (James 5:14).

It remains to consider whether the so-called "monarchical" episcopate was instituted by the Apostles. Besides establishing a college of presbyter-bishops, did they further place one man in a position of supremacy, entrusting the government of the Church to him, and endowing him with Apostolic authority over the Christian community? Even if we take into account the Scriptural evidence alone, there are sufficient grounds for answering this question in the affirmative.

From the time of the dispersion of the Apostles, St. James appears in an episcopal relation to the Church of Jerusalem (Acts 12:17; 15:13; Galatians 2:12). In the other Christian communities the institution of "monarchical" bishops was a somewhat later development. At first the Apostles themselves fulfilled, it would seem, all the duties of supreme oversight. They established the office when the growing needs of the Church demanded it. The Pastoral Epistles leave no room to doubt that Timothy and Titus were sent as bishops to Ephesus and to Crete respectively. To Timothy full Apostolic powers are conceded. Notwithstanding his youth he holds authority over both clergy and laity. To him is confided the duty of guarding the purity of the Church's faith, of ordaining priests, of exercising jurisdiction. Moreover, St. Paul's exhortation to him, "to keep the commandment without spot, blameless, unto the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ" shows that this was no transitory mission. A charge so worded includes in its sweep, not Timothy alone, but his successors in an office which is to last until the Second Advent. At the Council of Chalcedon, the Church of Ephesus counted a succession of twenty-seven bishops commencing with Timothy (Mansi, VII, 293; cf. Eusebius, Church History III.4-5).

These are not the sole evidences which the New Testament affords of the monarchical episcopate. In the Apocalypse the "angels" to whom the letters to the seven Churches are addressed are almost certainly the bishops of the respective communities. Some commentators, indeed, have held them to be personifications of the communities themselves. But this explanation can hardly stand. St. John, throughout, addresses the angel as being responsible for the community precisely as he would address its ruler. Moreover, in the symbolism of chapter 1, the two are represented under different figures: the angels are the stars in the right hand of the Son of Man; the seven candlesticks are the image which figures the communities. The very term angel, it should be noticed, is practically synonymous with apostle, and thus is aptly chosen to designate the episcopal office.

Again the messages to Archippus (Colossians 4:17; Philemon 2) imply that he held a position of special dignity, superior to that of the other presbyters. The mention of him in a letter entirely concerned with a private matter, as is that to Philemon, is hardly explicable unless he were the official head of the Colossian Church. We have therefore four important indications of the existence of an office in the local Churches, held by a single person, and carrying with it Apostolical authority. Nor can any difficulty be occasioned by the fact that as yet no special title distinguishes these successors of the Apostles from the ordinary presbyters. It is in the nature of things that the office should exist before a title is assigned to it. The name of apostle, we have seen, was not confined to the Twelve. St. Peter (1 Peter 5:1) and St. John (2 and 3 John 1:1) both speak of themselves as presbyters". St. Paul speaks of the Apostolate as a diakonia. A parallel case in later ecclesiastical history is afforded by the word pope. This title was not appropriated to the exclusive use of the Holy See till the eleventh century. Yet no one maintains that the supreme pontificate of the Roman bishop was not recognized till then. It should cause no surprise that a precise terminology, distinguishing bishops, in the full sense, from the presbyter-bishops, is not found in the New Testament.

The conclusion reached is put beyond all reasonable doubt by the testimony of the sub-Apostolic Age. This is so important in regard to the question of the episcopate that it is impossible entirely to pass it over. It will be enough, however, to refer to the evidence contained in the epistles of St. Ignatius, Bishop of Antioch, himself a disciple of the Apostles. In these epistles (about A.D. 107) he again and again asserts that the supremacy of the bishop is of Divine institution and belongs to the Apostolic constitution of the Church. He goes so far as to affirm that the bishop stands in the place of Christ Himself. "When ye are obedient to the bishop as to Jesus Christ," he writes to the Trallians, "it is evident to me that ye are living not after men, but after Jesus Christ. . . be ye obedient also to the presbytery as to the Apostles of Jesus Christ" (Letter to the Trallians 2). He also incidentally tells us that bishops are found in the Church, even in "the farthest parts of the earth" (Letter to the Ephesians 3) It is out of the question that one who lived at a period so little removed from the actual Apostolic Age could have proclaimed this doctrine in terms such as he employs, had not the episcopate been universally recognized as of Divine appointment.

 It has been seen that Christ not only established the episcopate in the persons of the Twelve but, further, created in St. Peter the office of supreme pastor of the Church. Early Christian history tells us that before his death, he fixed his residence at Rome, and ruled the Church there as its bishop. It is from Rome that he dates his first Epistle, speaking of the city under the name of Babylon, a designation which St. John also gives it in the Apocalypse (c. xviii). At Rome, too, he suffered martyrdom in company with St. Paul, A.D. 67. The list of his successors in the see is known, from Linus, Anacletus, and Clement, who were the first to follow him, down to the reigning pontiff. The Church has ever seen in the occupant of the See of Rome the successor of Peter in the supreme pastorate.


I agree with Light Hammer. If a post takes more than a page you tend to lose interest. Most of what you want to show is already known here already.

You want to justify the hierarchical authority system of the RCC. However this is the main thrust for all catholic argument. The church is more than a judicial system of clergy. No one is denying that we must have a certain leadership, but  the church is not just a legal system. Like one must obey the law. One who has been born again of the spirit does not obey the law for the laws sake. but he obeys because the Lord has given us a new spirit.
God Bless



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Re: Jesus and the Apostles built a unified, hierarchical Church
« Reply #4 on: Wed Nov 17, 2010 - 22:35:10 »



Offline Selene

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Re: Jesus and the Apostles built a unified, hierarchical Church
« Reply #5 on: Thu Nov 18, 2010 - 19:20:39 »
Just a bit of advice. If you want to start a debate, meaning one side affirmative one side negative, then you should post something like this in the Theology Forum. Although I'm sure you will only be attacked and slandered, you really won't get too much of a rise out of posting a topic like this on the forum where 90% of the posters already agree with you.

The post is meant for the 10% who come here asking the same question over and over. 

Offline John 10:10

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Re: Jesus and the Apostles built a unified, hierarchical Church
« Reply #6 on: Wed Nov 24, 2010 - 14:25:19 »
For those who believe the RCC is the Church, "the occupant of the See of Rome the successor of Peter in the supreme pastorate," no further proof is needed.

For those who do not believe the RCC is the Church, "the occupant of the See of Rome the successor of Peter in the supreme pastorate," no further un-Scriptural proof can be given.




Offline chestertonrules

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Re: Jesus and the Apostles built a unified, hierarchical Church
« Reply #7 on: Wed Nov 24, 2010 - 20:48:25 »
For those who believe the RCC is the Church, "the occupant of the See of Rome the successor of Peter in the supreme pastorate," no further proof is needed.

For those who do not believe the RCC is the Church, "the occupant of the See of Rome the successor of Peter in the supreme pastorate," no further un-Scriptural proof can be given.






Why do you think hundreds of protestant pastors haver converting to Catholicism in the last 15 years?

I have two answers:


1) An outpouring of the Holy Spirit

AND

2) The internet, which provides easily accessible information about the early Church

Offline LightHammer

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Re: Jesus and the Apostles built a unified, hierarchical Church
« Reply #8 on: Thu Nov 25, 2010 - 05:16:31 »
No brother I think the out pouring has been going steady sense the pentecost but its kind of hard to fill a cup that is already filled with human reasoning and moldings of scripture.

Offline John 10:10

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Re: Jesus and the Apostles built a unified, hierarchical Church
« Reply #9 on: Thu Nov 25, 2010 - 11:51:26 »
For those who believe the RCC is the Church, "the occupant of the See of Rome the successor of Peter in the supreme pastorate," no further proof is needed.

For those who do not believe the RCC is the Church, "the occupant of the See of Rome the successor of Peter in the supreme pastorate," no further un-Scriptural proof can be given.
 

Why do you think hundreds of protestant pastors haver converting to Catholicism in the last 15 years?

I have two answers:

1) An outpouring of the Holy Spirit

AND

2) The internet, which provides easily accessible information about the early Church

Maybe they are called to be missionaries within the RCC to make up for all the priests/church members leaving the RCC?

Offline LightHammer

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Re: Jesus and the Apostles built a unified, hierarchical Church
« Reply #10 on: Thu Nov 25, 2010 - 14:37:30 »
For those who believe the RCC is the Church, "the occupant of the See of Rome the successor of Peter in the supreme pastorate," no further proof is needed.

For those who do not believe the RCC is the Church, "the occupant of the See of Rome the successor of Peter in the supreme pastorate," no further un-Scriptural proof can be given.
 

Why do you think hundreds of protestant pastors haver converting to Catholicism in the last 15 years?

I have two answers:

1) An outpouring of the Holy Spirit

AND

2) The internet, which provides easily accessible information about the early Church

Maybe they are called to be missionaries within the RCC to make up for all the priests/church members leaving the RCC?


Once again do some research and you will find that the RCC is steadily on the rise. However you might not find that seeing how you dispute history and clear truth if it is not written in scripture.

Offline Selene

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Re: Jesus and the Apostles built a unified, hierarchical Church
« Reply #11 on: Thu Nov 25, 2010 - 14:54:00 »
Yes, Roman Catholicism is increasing.  Priests and semarians are also increasing steadily.  What is even more amazing is that there is significant growth found in Asia and Africa.  These continents have a large number of pagan religions, but Catholicism is growing in these pagan continents.  The Holy Spirit is truely working.   

Offline John 10:10

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Re: Jesus and the Apostles built a unified, hierarchical Church
« Reply #12 on: Thu Nov 25, 2010 - 19:00:05 »

While I do not agree with this Catholic's view of Protestantism, as I don't agree with most Catholics here as they characterize Protestantism, he does present quite an introspective look at his own Catholicism.  Maybe it's reversed since 2007, but I doubt it.

"The decline of the Roman Catholic Church in this new era."

http://searchwarp.com/swa210951.htm

His summary is as follows:

Quote
So now that we have touched on the differences that might be distinguishable we get back to the title of this article, just what is the answer to the decline and specifically of the Roman Church?

Well as I stated my opinion is rigidity in requirements and not the celebration, although while sacred and solemn in execution it does not appeal to all. It may have appealed hundreds of years ago when the power of the church was absolute but not in today’s society. John saw this and tried to change the Mass to be more inclusive. It is evidently has not changed enough?
   
Therefore in my opinion I do not see a reversal in attendance but a continued decline in numbers.

Offline Selene

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Re: Jesus and the Apostles built a unified, hierarchical Church
« Reply #13 on: Fri Nov 26, 2010 - 05:33:37 »

While I do not agree with this Catholic's view of Protestantism, as I don't agree with most Catholics here as they characterize Protestantism, he does present quite an introspective look at his own Catholicism.  Maybe it's reversed since 2007, but I doubt it.

"The decline of the Roman Catholic Church in this new era."

http://searchwarp.com/swa210951.htm

His summary is as follows:

Quote
So now that we have touched on the differences that might be distinguishable we get back to the title of this article, just what is the answer to the decline and specifically of the Roman Church?

Well as I stated my opinion is rigidity in requirements and not the celebration, although while sacred and solemn in execution it does not appeal to all. It may have appealed hundreds of years ago when the power of the church was absolute but not in today’s society. John saw this and tried to change the Mass to be more inclusive. It is evidently has not changed enough?
   
Therefore in my opinion I do not see a reversal in attendance but a continued decline in numbers.



The weblink you provided says that Roman Catholicism is on the decline, but offered no statistical data to show that decline.  Because your source offered no statistical data, I can only conclude that your source is not based on facts, but on opinion.   Below is a weblink that shows that Roman Catholicism is on the rise, and it offered statistical data, and I provided the weblink below: 

Quote
   These are taken from the church’s Book of Statistics, and indicate areas of increased numbers of Catholic clergy and laity in several parts of the world. Africa led the way for increase in the number of Catholics: the number of faithful now stands at 72,950,000 – an increase of 8,025,000, or 17.77 % (+ 0.29).

According to the report, the world population is now 6,698,353,000 with an increase of 81,256,000 persons compared to 2009. Population growth was registered on every continent: Africa (+ 29,674,000); America (+ 5,687,000); Asia (+ 42,914,000); Oceania (+ 670,000); Europe (+ 2,311,000). The report noted that there are currently 1,165,714,000 Catholics in the world, showing an increase of 19,058,000 worldwide over previous years. There was increase in the following areas of the world: Africa (+ 8,025,000); America (+ 7,579,000); Asia (+ 3,152,000); Europe (+ 193,000); Oceania (+ 109,000). The world percentage of Catholics increased by 0.07 %, settling at 17.40%; by continent: increases were registered in Africa (+ 0.29); America (+ 0.44); Asia (+ 0.05), while decrease was shown in Europe (- 0.1) and Oceania (0.2).


http://www.speroforum.com/a/42113/Statistics-show-worldwide-increase-of-Catholics-and-Catholic-priests

Offline tinker

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Re: Jesus and the Apostles built a unified, hierarchical Church
« Reply #14 on: Fri Nov 26, 2010 - 07:40:32 »
For those who believe the RCC is the Church, "the occupant of the See of Rome the successor of Peter in the supreme pastorate," no further proof is needed.

For those who do not believe the RCC is the Church, "the occupant of the See of Rome the successor of Peter in the supreme pastorate," no further un-Scriptural proof can be given.






Why do you think hundreds of protestant pastors haver converting to Catholicism in the last 15 years?

I have two answers:


1) An outpouring of the Holy Spirit

AND

2) The internet, which provides easily accessible information about the early Church

The blind leading the blind.

Offline chestertonrules

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Re: Jesus and the Apostles built a unified, hierarchical Church
« Reply #15 on: Fri Nov 26, 2010 - 10:26:31 »
For those who believe the RCC is the Church, "the occupant of the See of Rome the successor of Peter in the supreme pastorate," no further proof is needed.

For those who do not believe the RCC is the Church, "the occupant of the See of Rome the successor of Peter in the supreme pastorate," no further un-Scriptural proof can be given.






Why do you think hundreds of protestant pastors haver converting to Catholicism in the last 15 years?

I have two answers:


1) An outpouring of the Holy Spirit

AND

2) The internet, which provides easily accessible information about the early Church

The blind leading the blind.


Obtaining new information does not make one blind.

I once was an anti Catholic protestant, but by the grace of additional information, I am now Catholic.

You may be some day soon as well!

If it is God's will would you resist it?

Offline LightHammer

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Re: Jesus and the Apostles built a unified, hierarchical Church
« Reply #16 on: Fri Nov 26, 2010 - 15:27:21 »
For those who believe the RCC is the Church, "the occupant of the See of Rome the successor of Peter in the supreme pastorate," no further proof is needed.

For those who do not believe the RCC is the Church, "the occupant of the See of Rome the successor of Peter in the supreme pastorate," no further un-Scriptural proof can be given.






Why do you think hundreds of protestant pastors haver converting to Catholicism in the last 15 years?

I have two answers:


1) An outpouring of the Holy Spirit

AND

2) The internet, which provides easily accessible information about the early Church

The blind leading the blind.


Obtaining new information does not make one blind.

I once was an anti Catholic protestant, but by the grace of additional information, I am now Catholic.

You may be some day soon as well!

If it is God's will would you resist it?


Of course they will. People don't care about God's Will anymore no more than they care about God's greatest commandment which is to love one another.

People care about their own comfort and protecting that by having to be able to explain everything reasonably. If God descended from heaven with an escort of angels and clearly stated that EO, RCC, and Coptic together make up the One, Holy, Apostolic Catholic Church and confirms everything you say about them, they would spit in His face and shout that He is obviously satan trying to protect his antichrist.

The same people who hate the catholic church hate homosexuals and others that have questionable lifestyles. They believe they have the right to share in God's intolerance.  They hate and oppose and reject and say that it all comes from knowing the Truth of God.

Of course they would resist. They don't care about God they care these teachings and men that have just surfaced in the later half of christian history.

Offline John 10:10

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Re: Jesus and the Apostles built a unified, hierarchical Church
« Reply #17 on: Sat Nov 27, 2010 - 11:23:51 »
For those who believe the RCC is the Church, "the occupant of the See of Rome the successor of Peter in the supreme pastorate," no further proof is needed.

For those who do not believe the RCC is the Church, "the occupant of the See of Rome the successor of Peter in the supreme pastorate," no further un-Scriptural proof can be given.
 

Why do you think hundreds of protestant pastors have converted to Catholicism in the last 15 years?

I have two answers:

1) An outpouring of the Holy Spirit

AND

2) The internet, which provides easily accessible information about the early Church
 

The blind leading the blind.

Obtaining new information does not make one blind.

I once was an anti Catholic protestant, but by the grace of additional information, I am now Catholic.

You may be some day soon as well!

If it is God's will would you resist it?
 

I'm reminded of the pastor who sat next to a man on a long flight across the country.  The pastor introduced himself as a pastor, and the man responded by saying he was an atheist who didn't believe in God.  The pastor then said, "Tell me about this God you say you don't believe in.  Maybe I don't believe in Him either."

Tell us about this Protestant Church that many Catholics say they don't believe in?  Maybe I don't believe in it either!

At least Vatican II officially recognized that Protestantism contains elements of truth, and that we are just separated brethren instead of heretics.

Offline mclees8

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Re: Jesus and the Apostles built a unified, hierarchical Church
« Reply #18 on: Sat Nov 27, 2010 - 15:24:50 »
For those who believe the RCC is the Church, "the occupant of the See of Rome the successor of Peter in the supreme pastorate," no further proof is needed.

For those who do not believe the RCC is the Church, "the occupant of the See of Rome the successor of Peter in the supreme pastorate," no further un-Scriptural proof can be given.






Why do you think hundreds of protestant pastors haver converting to Catholicism in the last 15 years?

I have two answers:


1) An outpouring of the Holy Spirit

AND

2) The internet, which provides easily accessible information about the early Church

I may also say that many Catholics have converted to Protestantism as well.

One reason why this happens is that many are seeking truth. They often will jump from  church to church. The problem is you will not likely find the true church if you are looking to the institutional church system or some affiliation or historical facts Truth is not always in historical evidences or tradition. for the church is based on faith in Christ and the Holy spirit and not men or institutions. The church is a relation and not affiliation. True we need the fellowship of other believers and teachers.  but you will not really find truth until you seek Christ with all your heart. As it says"trust in the Lord with all your heart and do not lean on your own understand but in all thy ways acknowledge Him and he shall direct thy path."  When you put Christ at the very center of all you are and do then you will find truth.

It is true that Satan has masterfully injected confusion into this thing we call Christianity so we often will look at the wrong things while looking for truth. Protestant catholic really has little to with finding the truth for truth is revealed truth and that truth is in the person of Jesus Christ  There are no pet denominations in Gods kingdom but only those who walk in the Spirit.

Jumping from one church or denomination to another is not an  outpouring of the Holy Spirit.

There was a mighty outpouring of the Holy spirit on the day of Pentecost that caused thousands to receive Christ. this can still and does happen today. People who are transformed by the Holy Spirits power. This is not something you join but something you experience. It is a revaltion of the truth that Jesus is the Lord of Lords and the king of kings. The  only way of salvation. A witness so strong that many were willing to die for that truth.

I can only liken it to " I once was lost but now I'm found. I was once blind but now I see." No affiliation will ever make these words come alive in you but the Holy Spirit, the same Holy spirit that moved in Peter at Pentecost  when He stood up And said.
This is that which was prophesied bu the Prophet Joel
 And it shall come to pass in the last days, saith God, I will pour out of my Spirit upon all flesh: and your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, and your young men shall see visions, and your old men shall dream dreams: 18 And on my servants and on my handmaidens I will pour out in those days of my Spirit; and they shall prophesy: 19 And I will shew wonders in heaven above, and signs in the earth beneath; blood, and fire, and vapour of smoke: 20 The sun shall be turned into darkness, and the moon into blood, before that great and notable day of the Lord come: 21 And it shall come to pass, that whosoever shall call on the name of the Lord shall be saved.
 . Acts 2:17-21

God bless His Holy Name

 

 

     
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