15Moreover if thy brother shall trespass against thee, go and tell him his fault between thee and him alone: if he shall hear thee, thou hast gained thy brother.
16But if he will not hear thee, then take with thee one or two more, that in the mouth of two or three witnesses every word may be established.
17And if he shall neglect to hear them, tell it unto the church: but if he neglect to hear the church, let him be unto thee as an heathen man and a publican.
God Bless You
Matthew 18:15-17 is about conflict resolution, not the church or about any denomination (yours or mine or any other). Yes - if I thought/felt that you had sinned against me, ONE of the steps Jesus outlines is to "tell it to the church." Obviously, "church" here would have to have ears since it is IMPOSSIBLE for a denomination (such as the RCC) to hear anything. Jesus means PEOPLE here - believers. And yes - that's what He calls "the church."
You seem to be laboring under the delusion that "denominations" are any less people than the "church". You say its IMPOSSIBLE for a denomination to have ears but the Church can because its made of people. I am curious as to what you think denominations are made up of, fish?
I posted Matthew 18:15-17 because someone asked how I would define a true Christian. True Christians listen to the Church. Now we all know for a fact that originally the Church was undivided and everyone listened to the Apostles. We know that the Apostle ordained others to lead after them Timothy, Linus, Barnabas, Mark, Luke, John and we know they carried on in the tradition of ordaining others to carry on after them.
If the Church started off undivided then we know somewhere along the lines division came about because there was a faction that refused to listen to the Church. Those weren't true Christians or they were true Christians being led by non christian influences.
You seem to think that protestant churches are ruled by fish. There are leaders in each church and if they agree to scripture, then they take any matters and disputes with the church elders or deacons.
The catholic church though employs a pope to judge matters over which he cannot see and the whole church is at his mercy, whether he be good or evil. But those of course who rebel against his ways are labeled as heretics and excommunicated and shamed before the church.
It's a bit like the government where the feds wants absolute power over local authority.
I think you mistook my sarcastic "fish" comment as a literal statement. I'm sure if you but reread my quote you will see the correct atmosphere of my words.
Actually you can disagree with actions of the Pope without being labeled a heretic or being excommunicated. You can't disagree with the teachings of the papacy which have not conflicted with the teachings of the Catholic Church for 2000 years. Well unless of course you're an Eastern Orthodox or Coptic, in which case we would be having an entirely different conversation.
I will however concur that the executive pastoral powers of the papacy have far exceeded that of which St. Peter or any Bishop of Rome wielded before the Great Schism. Those powers however are not contradictory to role of St. Peter's primacy.
I do at times hesitate when I look at the dominance of the Holy See and the shadow the Patriarchate of Rome cast over the rest of clerical Christendom.
There is hope however. I believe that a reunion of the East and West will return the Catholic Church to a proper reflection of the Early Church; whereas the Bishop of Rome was the senior chief pastor instead of how modern times portray him as the only chief pastor. A sort of system of checks and balances will be restored where the Pope will be able to be judged by the other Patriarchates and we may even have a means of properly disposing of Popes who have been proven corrupt.