Skip to comments.The Church of Christ Is Hierarchical
Posted on 03/08/2014 2:58:53 PM PST by NKP_Vet
The Protestant Church of Christ also calls itself the Churches of Christ. The utilization of both names grants the group flexibility: the word Church (singular) communicates unity, and the word Churches (plural) communicates the autonomous nature of each local congregation. It makes sense; the Catholic Church has used the same names for centuries, but the Catholic Churchs use of the words do not indicate autonomy, but rather, unity.
Autonomy is a goal and mark of the Protestant Church of Christ, whereas Catholicity is a goal and mark of the Catholic Church of Christ; and even into the local congregations the Catholic Church remains united. And she, the real Church of Christ, remains united because she is hierarchical, as I will illustrate throughout this essay.
One Protestant Church of Christ writer, Edward C. Wharton, describes his groups position well, and he provides insight into your groups collective mind. He introduces the subject of autonomy in his book, The Church of Christ, by writing:
Contrary to the complex hierarchical system of one ruling bishop over many churches, the New Testament presents the autonomy of each local church, whether or not they have elders. Local church autonomy means that each local church is self-governing.1
(Excerpt) Read more at thechurchofchristiscatholic.com ...
The Church may or may not be.
Christ, however, is not.
The alleged “unity” of the Catholic Church ended three centuries before the Reformation.
“THE CHURCH OF CHRIST IS CATHOLIC .com is a project by Patrick Vandapool, and it serves teachable members of the Stone-Campbell churches of Christ (and other Restoration-leaning ecclesial communities) who are interested in learning about the fullness of Christianity found only within the Catholic Church. “
Jesus specifically stated that He is the way, the truth, and the life....”
Roman or not it is not through any church that I find God and His mercy and grace
Well, when you believe (contrary to the scriptures) that a man, the pope, can add to the word of God, well, you can say and believe just about anything.
Google “The Great Schism”
That was people breaking away from the Catholic Church.
>>That was people breaking away from the Catholic Church.
Is that what they teach you? That was the split between the Eastern and Western Catholic Church. That wasn’t “people breaking away”.
Nope. We who are free in Christ (if a person is truly born-again, no matter the denomination, and are not just members of a certain Church without having a “circumcised heart (Romans)” are equal in Him, there is not hierarchy other than He is King, and we are ALL lower. In fact Christians will be higher even than the Angels in the “New Heaven and Earth (Revelations/Apocalypse)”.
The fellow who broke up the Catholic Church. The father of the reformation. If these are not actual quotes from Lord Luther, please prove them false. Maybe he was just into one of his many drunken rants.
“If you are a preacher of grace, then preach a true and not a fictitious grace; if grace is true, you must bear a true and not a fictitious sin. God does not save people who are only fictitious sinners. Be a sinner and sin boldly, but believe and rejoice in Christ even more boldly . . . as long as we are here [in this world] we have to sin. . . . No sin will separate us from the Lamb, even though we commit fornication and murder a thousand times a day” ~ Martin Luther
If Moses should attempt to intimidate you with his stupid Ten Commandments, tell him right out chase yourself to the Jews
“Moses must ever be looked upon with suspicion, even as upon a heretic, excommunicated, damned, worse than the Pope and the devil”
If we allow them - the Commandments - any influence in our conscience, they become the cloak of all evil, heresies and blasphemies
An unofficial Catholic site directed toward “Protestant Church of Christ.” I didn’t find mention of “Disciples of Christ.” And the banner saying that we Barton-Stone folks are actually Catholics. Somehow I’ve missed the Catholic like hierarchical structure in my 50 years of being a member of the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ). However I guess since Barton & Stone wanted all Christians to be united the author is trying to figure out a link.
And within it is this link: http://thechurchofchristiscatholic.com/2014/03/07/a-peek-into-a-stone-campbell-christians-journey-home/
Bookmarked because I’ve always sensed some connection. Thanks for posting it. My grandmother would have had a wall-eyed fit if she’d seen this.
I don’t care what Luther said, what I do care about is what Jesus and His Apostles (and even the Old Testament saints/prophets) have said.
We should seek what He said, and what they have said is the basis for faith (it is not works).
The Catholic Church can no more save anyone than I can. It is the Holy Spirit that gives a person life by them hearing The Word, and then God’s conviction of sin, and then provision of salvation by Grace.
Ah, quotes by Blessed Saint Luther.
Some seemingly “not politically correct”. A true example of the need of a Savior, the necessity of entrusting ourselves to Him in faith, instead of pursuing our own righteousness by works.
Thank you for posting. This is an excellent reminder of what grace really is and why it was so needed.
-— Well, when you believe (contrary to the scriptures) that a man, the pope, can add to the word of God-—
Can you point that out in the Catechism, or a Church Council?
Just happened to put this together today. Providential it seems.
Probably as many as half the men in orders had wives and families. Behind all the New Learning and the theological debates, clerical celibacy was, in its own way, the biggest single issue at the Reformation. It was a great social problem and, other factors being equal, it tended to tip the balance in favour of reform. As a rule, the only hope for a child of a priest was to go into the Church himself, thus unwillingly or with no great enthusiasm, taking vows which he might subsequently regret: the evil tended to perpetuate itself. (History of Christianity, pgs 269-270)
In the summer of 1536, Pope Paul III appointed Cardinals Contarini and Cafara and a commission to study church Reform. The report of this commission, the Consilium de emendanda ecclesiae, was completed in March 1537. The final paragraphs deal with the corruptions of Renaissance Rome itself:
the swarm of sordid and ignorant priests in the city, the harlots who are followed around by clerics and by the noble members of the cardinals households
The immediate effects of the Consilium fell far below the hopes of its authors and its very frankness hampered its public use. the more noticeably pious prelates [note: this the noticeably pious clergy] had no longer to tolerate the open cynicism of the Medicean period, and when moral lapses by clerics came to light, pains were now taken to hush them up as matters of grievous scandal. A.G. Dickens, The Counter Reformation, pp. 100,102)
honest manners should flourish in this city and church, mother and teacher of other churches [yet] whores perambulate like matrons or ride on muleback, with whom noblemen, cardinals, and priests consort in broad daylight (cited in Denis R. Janz, A Reformation Reader, Primary Texts with Introductions, pg 406.
Let us hear the avowal of the learned cardinal Bellarmine: [Concio XXVIII. Opp. VI. 296; Colon. 1617.] Some years before the rise of the Lutheran and Calvinistic heresy, according to the testimony of those who were then alive, there was almost an entire abandonment of equity in the ecclesiastical judgments; in morals no discipline, in sacred literature no erudition, in divine things no reverence; religion was almost extinct.
In the same candid spirit is the following statement of de Mézeray, the historiographer of France: [Abrege Chronol. VIII. 691, seqq. a Paris, 1681.]
As the heads of the Church paid no regard to the maintenance of discipline, the vices and excesses of the ecclesiastics grew up to the highest pitch, and were so public and universally exposed as to excite against them the hatred and contempt of the people. We cannot repeat without a blush the usury, the avarice, the gluttony, the universal dissoluteness of the priests of this period, the licence and debauchery of the monks, the pride and extravagance of the prelates, and the shameful indolence, ignorance and superstition pervading the whole body...
These were not, I confess, new scandals: I should rather say that the barbarism and ignorance of preceding centuries, in some sort, concealed such vices; but,, on the subsequent revival of the light of learning, the spots which I have pointed out became more manifest, and as the unlearned who were corrupt could not endure the light through the pain which it caused to their eyes, so neither did the learned spare them, turning them to ridicule and delighting to expose their turpitude and to decry their superstitions.
Bossuet* in the opening statements of his Histoire des Variations, admits the frightful corruptions of the Church for centuries before the Reformation; and he has been followed in our own times by Frederic von Schlegel [Philosophy of History, 400, 401, 410, Engl. Transl. 1847.] and Möhler. [Symbolik, II. 31, 32, Engl. Transl.] While all of them are most anxious to prove that the Lutheran movement was revolutionary and subversive of the ancient faith, they are constrained to admit the universality of the abuses, which, in the language of Schlegel, lay deep, and were ulcerated in their very roots. Charles Hardwick A History of the Articles of Religion - http://www.anglicanbooksrevitalized.us/Oldies/Thirty-Nine/hardwick39.htm
In addition is the prior historical disarray and Catholic confusion. As German Roman Catholic theologian Joseph Lortz states,
"Long before the Reformation itself, the unity of the Christian Church in the West had been severely undermined." This is in reference to the Western Schism, of which Lortz writes,
The real significance of the Western Schism rests in the fact that for decades there was an almost universal uncertainty about where the true pope and the true Church were to be found. For several decades, both popes had excommunicated each other and his followers; thus all Christendom found itself under sentence of excommunication by at least one of the contenders. Both popes referred to their rival claimant as the Antichrist, and to the Masses celebrated by them as idolatry. It seemed impossible to do anything about this scandalous situation, despite sharp protests from all sides, and despite the radical impossibility of having two valid popes at the same time. Time and time again, the petty selfishness of the contenders blocked any solution...
The split caused by the Western Schism was far from being merely the concern of theologians; no area of public or private life remained untouched; even the economic sphere was affected, mainly because of disputes in regard to the possession of benefices. Provinces of the Church, religious orders, universities, even individual monasteries and parish houses were divided. For decades, all experienced this profound division in all sectors of daily life. Good people on both sides, even saints, were not only unable to bring about unity, but in their allegiance to one or the other of the contenders they themselves were in sharp opposition. We find, for example, St. Catherine of Siena on the Roman side and St. Vincent Ferrer on that of Avignon.
Furthermore, the settlement of the Schism at the Council of Constance did not really solve the problem. The triumph of the Conciliar Theory at Constance, and even more at Basel, extended the life span of the Schism from 1378 to 1448, when it finally came to an end in the person of the Antipope Felix V. The confusion and uncertainty about the valid pope and the true Church is manifest in the amazing twists in the allegiance of Nicolaus of Cusa and Aeneas Silvio dei Piccolomini, later to become Pius II, both of whom had begun by defending the Conciliar Theory in its most radical form.
This was an experience shared by the entire West one which would leave its imprint in Western consciousness for a long time to come. The memory of this experience was still fresh a century later. It is not too difficult to see the effects of the Western Schism in preparing the way for the doctrines of the Reformation. When Luther asserted that the pope of Rome was not the true successor of Saint Peter and that the Church could do without the Papacy, in his mind and in their essence these were new doctrines, but the distinctive element in them was not new and thus they struck a sympathetic resonance in the minds of many. Long before the Reformation itself, the unity of the Christian Church in the West had been severely undermined (pp. 35-37; http://beggarsallreformation.blogspot.com/2011/10/roman-catholic-scholar-look-at-causes.html).
The Avignon Papacy (1309-76) relocated the throne to France and was followed by the Western Schism (1378-1417), with three rival popes excommunicating each other and their sees. Referring to the schism of the 14th and 15th centuries, Cardinal Ratzinger observed, "For nearly half a century, the Church was split into two or three obediences that excommunicated one another, so that every Catholic lived under excommunication by one pope or another, and, in the last analysis, no one could say with certainty which of the contenders had right on his side.
The Church no longer offered certainty of salvation; she had become questionable in her whole objective form--the true Church, the true pledge of salvation, had to be sought outside the institution. It is against this background of a profoundly shaken ecclesial consciousness that we are to understand that Luther, in the conflict between his search for salvation and the tradition of the Church, ultimately came to experience the Church, not as the guarantor, but as the adversary of salvation. <font><i> <font size="1"> Joseph Cardinal Ratzinger, head of the Sacred Congregation of the Doctrine of the Faith for the Church of Rome, Principles of Catholic Theology, trans. by Sister Mary Frances McCarthy, S.N.D. (San Francisco: Ignatius, 1989) p.196). http://www.whitehorseinn.org/blog/2012/06/13/whos-in-charge-here-the-illusions-of-church-infallibility/ </i> </font>
Of which the Catholic Encyclopedia (Council of Constance) states,
....after nearly forty years of disastrous life; one pope (Gregory XII) had voluntarily abdicated; another (John XXIII) had been suspended and then deposed, but had submitted in canonical form; the third claimant (Benedict XIII) was cut off from the body of the Church, "a pope without a Church, a shepherd without a flock" (Hergenröther-Kirsch). It had come about that, whichever of the three claimants of the papacy was the legitimate successor of Peter, there reigned throughout the Church a universal uncertainty and an intolerable confusion, so that saints and scholars and upright souls were to be found in all three obediences. On the principle that a doubtful pope is no pope, the Apostolic See appeared really vacant, and under the circumstances could not possibly be otherwise filled than by the action of a general council.
Under the circumstances the usual form of papal election by the cardinals alone (see CONCLAVE) was impossible, if only for the strongly inimical feeling of the majority of the council, which held them responsible not only for the horrors of the schism, but also for many of the administrative abuses of the Roman Curia. http://www.newadvent.org/cathen/04288a.htm
See #17 above. At that time, according to even Ratzinger, people were not sure where the true Catholic could be found.
For nearly half a century, the Church was split into two or three obediences that excommunicated one another, so that every Catholic lived under excommunication by one pope or another, and, in the last analysis, no one could say with certainty which of the contenders had right on his side.
The Church no longer offered certainty of salvation; she had become questionable in her whole objective form--the true Church, the true pledge of salvation, had to be sought outside the institution. It is against this background of a profoundly shaken ecclesial consciousness that we are to understand that Luther, in the conflict between his search for salvation and the tradition of the Church, ultimately came to experience the Church, not as the guarantor, but as the adversary of salvation. <font><i> <font size="1"> Joseph Cardinal Ratzinger, head of the Sacred Congregation of the Doctrine of the Faith for the Church of Rome, Principles of Catholic Theology, trans. by Sister Mary Frances McCarthy, S.N.D. (San Francisco: Ignatius, 1989) p.196).
And while it came out of this fractured condition, it remained a church with critical and other contrasts with NT church.
This aberrational condition was not the work of one day or two, but it saw substantial progress under such men as pope "saint" Damascus 1, who employed a murderous mob in seeking to secure his seat. And to which wicked use of the sword Rome owes much of her dominion and her greatest "unity."
As recommended before, search here before uncritically posting what other ignorant or willfully deceiving RC site parrot (like "Luther, Exposing the Myth"), while trying to comprehend that fundamental Evangelical types do not follow popes, despite our overall common contention for so many core truths, and superior unity in conservative beliefs, vs Catholics overall.
Here are results on the ones you posted:
I agree with your statement at post # 12. The Barton-Stone churches were never Catholic nor hierarchical.
Can you point that out in the Catechism, or a Church Council?
Well of course not, seeing as "the word of God" is only what Rome says it is, and thus it can declare such a event as Mary being bodily assumed into Heaven, and crowned as its queen, as being the Word of God, although we nowhere see this event being recorded about her, or prophesied. And which is contrary to what Scripture states, as the elect are only said to be crowned at the Lord's return. (2Tim. 4:8; 1Pt. 5:4; Rv. 11:18)
How can an entity be wrong when it has presumed to infallibly declare she is and will be perpetually infallible whenever she speaks in accordance with her infallibly defined (scope and subject-based) formula, which renders her declaration that she is infallible, to be infallible, as well as all else she accordingly declares?
For as Keating stated in the light of there strictly being no proof for the Assumption from Scripture, "The mere fact that the Church teaches the doctrine of the Assumption as definitely true is a guarantee that it is true. Karl Keating, Catholicism and Fundamentalism (San Francisco: Ignatius, 1988), p. 275.
I did not post ANY Luther quotes, thank you.
However I still maintain that what Luther, or any Catholic leader has said is irrelevant, yes I said IRRELEVANT.
What matters is what Christ, and others that God has sovereignly write in the Bible through the Holy Spirit is what matters.
When your soul is at stake, you’d better trust His word, not those of church “leaders”.
I understand, but as the one who did was responding to you, then i pinged you in answering it myself.
What matters is what Christ, and others that God has sovereignly write in the Bible through the Holy Spirit is what matters. When your soul is at stake, youd better trust His word, not those of church leaders.
Yes, while conditional obedience is enjoined to all valid authorities, the level of veracity of that rests upon the degree of Scriptural substantiation, and those are clearly contrary to that, or to conscience, are not to be followed.
Well maybe, but since in your reply you emphatically used “Dude” and that is my nickname it can get a bit confusing who you are referring to!?
Council of Trent?
Labeled other Christian religions (Protestant) as heretic because considered original sin beyond removal by a priest's words and actions.
Both sides seem to ignore prophesy that the sins of the father would no longer be visited upon the son, etc., so I think both sides were wrong.
I guess I'm uncomfortable with a church being a powerful institution with varying degrees of power and influence due to the hierarchical stratification of a very layered power structure.
Protestant cult church of Christ? Are you serious?
You’ve must never have met a Church of Christ member. They’re works only, believe you must be baptized to be saved, and believe they’re the only true church. But unlike our Catholic friends-they really believe it. :O)
I’ve experience some very tragic things with them and wouldn’t want to even be associated with them.