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Who Needs the Church? You might as well ask, “Who needs Jesus?”
Archdiocese of Washington ^ | 3/17/2014 | Msgr. Charles Pope

Posted on 03/18/2014 2:14:03 AM PDT by markomalley

I was asked to go to a neighboring parish and address some fundamental questions related to the necessity of the Church. Many today question the need for a church or The Church and claim they can have Jesus without the Church. And thus the fundamental question “Who needs the Church?” ought to be addressed.

I propose here a rather more doctrinal answer to the question and hope tomorrow to offer a more personal answer. But, the fundamental answer I offer to “Who needs the Church?” is that everyone does, because the Church is the Body of Christ.

To the related questions “Why do I need to come to Church?” and “How can the Church possibly be relevant to me?” the fundamental answer is because it is in the Church that Jesus is first and foremost to be found.

I. To those who reject that anything special is to be found in the Church that cannot be found elsewhere Jesus says,

  1. Wherever two or three are gathered in my name, there am I in the midst of them (Matt 18:20) And thus we see that Jesus is present in the gathering we call the Church in a more perfect way than he is in my private prayer, or on some mountaintop. He says, THERE am I in the MIDST of THEM.
  2. [Jesus said to the disciples] The one who hears you hears me Me, and the one who rejects you rejects Me; and he who rejects Me rejects the One who sent Me. (Luke 10:16) And thus Jesus speaks and teaches in and through his Church in a personal manner that he does not elsewhere, such that to hear his voice in the proclamation of the Church is to hear him in a more perfect way than “in my heart,” or in creation, or in any other person or place outside the Church
  3. Unless you eat the flesh of the Son of Man and drink his blood, you do not have life in you. (Jn 6:53) And thus the liturgy of the Church is an essential source of true life for us since apart from Holy Communion that Jesus offers in the Mass we “have no life” in us.

II. To those who say, “I can have Jesus without the Church,”  I say “no can do.” For the Church is the body of Christ and it pertains to the head of a living Body to be found with his body, not apart from it. That the Church is the Body of Christ is clear in many Scriptures such as

  1. Jesus is the head of the body the Church (Col 1:8)
  2. Now you are the body of Christ, each one of you is a part of it. (1 Cor 12:27)
  3. For just as we have many members in one body and all the members do not have the same function, so we, who are many, are one body in Christ, and individually members one of another. Since we have gifts that differ (Rom 12:4-6)

Hence, Christ the Head cannot be had or found apart from his Body the Church.

III. To those who say, “I can read my Bible alone,” it must be said that there would be no Bible if it were not for the Church. Jesus didn’t write a book. He founded a community he called “My Church” (Matt 16) and sent them to “Teach all that I have commanded” (Matt 28:20).

Of course it would be silly to have things depend solely on a book in the ancient world when almost no one could read, and even those who could, could scarcely afford books, which all had to be hand-copied prior to the invention of the printing press.

Further, the Bible is a Church book and is meant to be read in the context of Church life. Scripture itself warns: Our beloved brother Paul, according to the wisdom given him, wrote to you, as also in all his letters, speaking in them of these things, in which are some things hard to understand, which the untaught and unstable distort, as they do also the rest of the Scriptures, to their own destruction. (2 Peter 3:16). In effect Peter goes on to warn them to read Scripture in conformity with the Church.

IV. To those who say “I can watch Church on TV,”  I say “Yes, but you can’t get Holy Communion on TV!” which as we saw above is essential if we are to have life in us.

Neither can we be in that place “wherever two or three are gathered” and thus be there where Jesus says he is, by sitting at home in front of a TV.

Neither can we have real fellowship, as Scripture admonishes us to do, by watching at home. And let us consider how to spur one another to love and good deeds, not forsaking our own assembling together, as is the habit of some, but encouraging one another; and all the more as you see the day drawing near. (Hebrews 10:24-25)

Nor can we fulfill most of the vision of the life of the early Christians, who, as Scripture says, devoted themselves to the apostles’ teaching and to fellowship, to the breaking of bread and to the prayers (Acts 2:42)

V. To those who say, “I like Jesus but I can’t stand the Church, with all those hypocrites,” but Jesus was found in strange places, among sinners. So much so that he scandalized the Pharisees. Jesus ate with tax collectors, prostitutes, and other sinners and unsavory characters. Even his best followers, the apostles, had great character defects.

The fact is, if you reject the company of sinners you’re going to have a hard time finding Jesus who is found among sinners, sinners that he loves and calls his brethren, As Scripture says, For both He who sanctifies and those who are sanctified are all from one Father; for which reason He is not ashamed to call them brethren, saying, “I will declare your name to my brothers and sisters; in the assembly I will sing your praises.” (Heb 2:11-12)

So Jesus is found in the assembly of sinners and loves them. It is a strange disconnect to say to Jesus, “I love you but I hate the people you love and call your brethren; I just refuse to consort with them.”

Considering too that sinners are joined to Christ as members of his body, think of the strange logic in going to someone and saying, “I love and respect you, but I can’t stand your body. It is ugly and awful. I want to be with you, but I hate your body, I just can’t endure it. I will relate to you, but not your body.” This sort of talk is absurd and disrespectful.

VI. To those who say “It’s the institution of the Church I object to, not the Body of Christ,” sorry, but bodies are not abstractions. They have parts and functions. They require a head with executive functions as well as other parts and members with other functions. Neither is the Body of Christ an abstraction. It must have headship and governance along with other members and parts having various roles and functions.

Further, the Gospels, the Acts of the Apostles, and the Epistles all talk a LOT about “institutional aspects” such as offices and structures:

1. There are offices like apostles, bishops, priests, deacons, catechists, administrators, etc.
2. There are Councils that issue binding documents and interpretations considered authoritative (e.g., the Council of Jerusalem in Acts 15).
3. There is an insistence by the apostles as to their authority on numerous occasions.
4. Each local Church is overseen by a priest or bishop (Acts 14:23; Titus 1:5).
5. There are disciplinary functions such as excommunication, disciplining of the clergy and faithful, etc. (1 Cor 5; Matt 18:17).
6. There are sacraments being celebrated and certain norms associated with them (e.g., 1 Cor 11).
7. There are liturgical norms being promulgated (e.g., 1 Cor 14).

All of these “institutional” aspects are necessary and biblical. They are not some medieval addition, or “tradition of men.” They are right there at the beginning as the Scriptures attest.

VII. To those who say that the Church is irrelevant, outdated, and arrogant because it does not reflect the modern age or most of its members, it must be pointed out that the Church does not exist to reflect the views of its members, but to articulate the views and truths of her head and founder, Jesus Christ. Her mandate from Jesus is to make disciples from all the nations teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. (Mat 28:20).

And the Holy Spirit admonishes every Bishop through St. Paul: I give you this charge: Preach the word; be prepared in season and out of season; correct, rebuke and encourage—with great patience and careful instruction. For the time will come when people will not put up with sound doctrine. Instead, to suit their own desires, they will gather around them a great number of teachers to say what their itching ears want to hear. They will turn their ears away from the truth and turn aside to myths. But you, keep your head in all situations, endure hardship, do the work of an evangelist, discharge all the duties of your ministry. (2 Tim 4:1-5)

Therefore the Catholic Church is the enduring, visible presence of Jesus Christ in the World. It is the Body of Christ who still walks this earth preaching, teaching, healing, forgiving, feeding, admonishing sinners, consoling the repentant, being loved but also hated, being appreciated but also persecuted. The Church is not an institution; it is the Body of Christ, and also his Beautiful Bride; for in marriage the two become one. You cannot have Christ without the Church.  You cannot have the groom without his Bride. You cannot have the head without his Body. You cannot love the one and despise or be indifferent to the other. Jesus is first and foremost to be found with his Body, the Church.

Yes, the Church is the enduring, visible yet spiritual, structured yet Spirit-led, human yet divine presence of Jesus Christ in the World today. To the scoffers who set up false dichotomies Jesus says, “Saul, Saul why are you persecuting me?!”

Who needs the Church? You might as well ask, “Who needs Jesus?”


TOPICS: Catholic; Theology
KEYWORDS: catholicchurch; church; msgrcharlespope; thecatholicchurch; thechurch; whoneedsthechurch
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1 posted on 03/18/2014 2:14:03 AM PDT by markomalley
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To: Biggirl; ConorMacNessa; Heart-Rest; Mercat; Mrs. Don-o; Nervous Tick; Rich21IE; RoadGumby; ...

Msgr Pope ping


2 posted on 03/18/2014 2:14:23 AM PDT by markomalley (Nothing emboldens the wicked so greatly as the lack of courage on the part of the good -- Leo XIII)
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To: markomalley; Tax-chick; GregB; Berlin_Freeper; SumProVita; narses; bboop; SevenofNine; ...

Ping!


3 posted on 03/18/2014 3:46:23 AM PDT by NYer ("You are a puff of smoke that appears briefly and then disappears." James 4:14)
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To: markomalley

I need Jesus; however, I don’t need the corrupt institution that the church has become.


4 posted on 03/18/2014 4:58:34 AM PDT by Arm_Bears (Shoot cops that shoot dogs.)
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To: markomalley

You don’t need to join the fan club to love the music.


5 posted on 03/18/2014 5:03:16 AM PDT by muir_redwoods (When I first read it, " Atlas Shrugged" was fiction)
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To: Arm_Bears
I don’t need the corrupt institution

You read the article, right?

V. To those who say, “I like Jesus but I can’t stand the Church, with all those hypocrites,” but Jesus was found in strange places, among sinners. So much so that he scandalized the Pharisees. Jesus ate with tax collectors, prostitutes, and other sinners and unsavory characters. Even his best followers, the apostles, had great character defects.

The fact is, if you reject the company of sinners you’re going to have a hard time finding Jesus who is found among sinners, sinners that he loves and calls his brethren, As Scripture says, For both He who sanctifies and those who are sanctified are all from one Father; for which reason He is not ashamed to call them brethren, saying, “I will declare your name to my brothers and sisters; in the assembly I will sing your praises.” (Heb 2:11-12)

So Jesus is found in the assembly of sinners and loves them. It is a strange disconnect to say to Jesus, “I love you but I hate the people you love and call your brethren; I just refuse to consort with them.”

Considering too that sinners are joined to Christ as members of his body, think of the strange logic in going to someone and saying, “I love and respect you, but I can’t stand your body. It is ugly and awful. I want to be with you, but I hate your body, I just can’t endure it. I will relate to you, but not your body.” This sort of talk is absurd and disrespectful.


6 posted on 03/18/2014 5:31:32 AM PDT by annalex (fear them not)
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To: muir_redwoods

That might be true about music, especially the kind with fan clubs.


7 posted on 03/18/2014 5:34:52 AM PDT by annalex (fear them not)
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To: markomalley

Where two are gathered is called a marriage and when three or more are gathered is called a family, not a church, and Jesus is there in there midst.

Jesus said, “Abide in me, and I in you.”

It is all about the Spirit of Christ abiding in you, and has nothing to with rules, dogma, sacraments, buildings, fonts, holy water, altars, pews, priests, confessionals, catechisms, statues and statutes, rosary beads, crosses, incense, and chalices. That is all noise and distraction.

People would well to just humbly seek the Holy Spirit everyday and avoid all other gobbledeegook.


8 posted on 03/18/2014 5:41:53 AM PDT by Boanarges
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To: Boanarges

The Church is the body of Christ. End of story.


9 posted on 03/18/2014 5:42:47 AM PDT by Biggirl (“Go, do not be afraid, and serve”-Pope Francis)
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To: markomalley

God Bless Msgr. Pope!


10 posted on 03/18/2014 5:43:41 AM PDT by Biggirl (“Go, do not be afraid, and serve”-Pope Francis)
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To: Arm_Bears

To those that are holy and pure, we may need you to inspire the rest of us sinners to follow Christ by being part of the Church and the Body of Christ..

II. To those who say, “I can have Jesus without the Church,” I say “no can do.” For the Church is the body of Christ and it pertains to the head of a living Body to be found with his body, not apart from it. That the Church is the Body of Christ is clear in many Scriptures such as

1.Jesus is the head of the body the Church (Col 1:8)
2.Now you are the body of Christ, each one of you is a part of it. (1 Cor 12:27)
3.For just as we have many members in one body and all the members do not have the same function, so we, who are many, are one body in Christ, and individually members one of another. Since we have gifts that differ (Rom 12:4-6)


11 posted on 03/18/2014 5:53:30 AM PDT by ADSUM
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To: Boanarges

Family is indeed a model of the church, called Church Domestic. Matthew 18:20 does not necessarily refer to a family, rather, it speaks of any three Christians, and by extension of any number of Christians. The Church as an institution originally consisted of a small circle of apostles and disciples not related by family, and it established dogmas and had sacraments. That a certain Catholic culture, with statues and rosary beads grew out of it merely shows that Christ founded a living Church where the Holy Spirit abides, not a dead one.


12 posted on 03/18/2014 5:55:07 AM PDT by annalex (fear them not)
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To: Biggirl

Amen. Christ is the head, and the Church (made of people, NOT a building) is the body.


13 posted on 03/18/2014 5:55:15 AM PDT by Boanarges
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To: markomalley

**To those who say, “I can have Jesus without the Church,” I say “no can do.” **

Full of great one liners.


14 posted on 03/18/2014 6:53:52 AM PDT by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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To: markomalley

The story of C.S. Lewis comes to mind whenever I hear this question. Lewis was always questioning everything, and at some point in his questioning (as described in his book “Surprised by Joy”) he came to the knowledge of the existence of God. And - given that there is a God - He was worthy of our worship. He therefore went to church simply to worship God - but he really did not like it. It took about a year, but eventually he found (was found by) Jesus and the rest - as they say - is history.

If you believe in God - then He is worthy of our worship. Period!


15 posted on 03/18/2014 6:54:28 AM PDT by impactplayer
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To: Arm_Bears

**Hence, Christ the Head cannot be had or found apart from his Body the Church.**


16 posted on 03/18/2014 6:54:46 AM PDT by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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To: Boanarges
**1.Wherever two or three are gathered in my name, there am I in the midst of them (Matt 18:20) And thus we see that Jesus is present in the gathering we call the Church in a more perfect way than he is in my private prayer, or on some mountaintop. He says, THERE am I in the MIDST of THEM.**

Are you saying that you don't believe the Bible?

17 posted on 03/18/2014 6:56:58 AM PDT by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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To: Arm_Bears; Alex Murphy; bkaycee; blue-duncan; boatbums; caww; count-your-change; CynicalBear; ...

The body of Christ is an organism, not an organization.

Believers become part of the body of Christ when they are born again. That is the assembly of called out ones that someone, somewhere mislabeled with the English word *church*.

Denominations are not THE church and especially not The One True Church. No denomination can lay claim to it because salvation is by grace through faith in Christ and not membership or adherence or baptism into a denomination.

Denominations do not save. Jesus does.


18 posted on 03/18/2014 7:25:54 AM PDT by metmom (...fixing our eyes on Jesus, the Author and Perfecter of our faith....)
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To: Salvation

AMEN to that!


19 posted on 03/18/2014 7:36:37 AM PDT by Biggirl (“Go, do not be afraid, and serve”-Pope Francis)
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To: metmom

You go girl


20 posted on 03/18/2014 7:45:04 AM PDT by Dutchboy88
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To: markomalley
Msgr. Charles Pope

Everyone's their own pope?

Looks like this guy's ahead in the race!

21 posted on 03/18/2014 8:27:13 AM PDT by Elsie (Heck is where people, who don't believe in Gosh, think they are not going...)
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To: markomalley
Who Needs the Church? You might as well ask, “Who needs Jesus?”

Or, one can just ASK Jesus!!


 
 
 

Micah 6:8

He has shown you, O mortal, what is good. And what does the LORD require of you?

To act justly and to love mercy and to walk humbly with your God.


John 6:28-29

Then they asked him, “What must we do to do the works God requires?”

Jesus answered, “The work of God is this: to believe in the one he has sent.”


 
1 John 3:21-23

Dear friends, if our hearts do not condemn us, we have confidence before God and receive from him anything we ask, because we keep his commands and do what pleases him.

 And this is his command: to believe in the name of his Son, Jesus Christ, and to love one another as he commanded us.


James 1:27 

Religion that God our Father accepts as pure and faultless is this: to look after orphans and widows in their distress and to keep oneself from being polluted by the world.

 

22 posted on 03/18/2014 8:28:43 AM PDT by Elsie (Heck is where people, who don't believe in Gosh, think they are not going...)
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To: markomalley
When you start out with a lie, the whole mess becomes a lie...

II. To those who say, “I can have Jesus without the Church,” I say “no can do.” For the Church is the body of Christ and it pertains to the head of a living Body to be found with his body, not apart from it.

Mar_16:19 So then after the Lord had spoken unto them, he was received up into heaven, and sat on the right hand of God.

Jesus has not come down from heaven since he ascended...You guys just mock Jesus when you tell these false tales...

23 posted on 03/18/2014 8:35:24 AM PDT by Iscool (Ya mess with me, you mess with the WHOLE trailer park...)
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To: annalex
Family is indeed a model of the church, called Church Domestic. Matthew 18:20 does not necessarily refer to a family, rather, it speaks of any three Christians, and by extension of any number of Christians. The Church as an institution originally consisted of a small circle of apostles and disciples not related by family, and it established dogmas and had sacraments. That a certain Catholic culture, with statues and rosary beads grew out of it merely shows that Christ founded a living Church where the Holy Spirit abides, not a dead one.

And the Lord gave the Church the Koran and the Book of Mormon...And the Lord lives in a black rock over in Mecca...

Their tradition is just as good and legitimate as the Catholic tradition...Why should anyone believe you and not them???

24 posted on 03/18/2014 8:39:56 AM PDT by Iscool (Ya mess with me, you mess with the WHOLE trailer park...)
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To: annalex

It’s an analogy meant to illustrate a point. One is not obligated to accept the point


25 posted on 03/18/2014 10:21:56 AM PDT by muir_redwoods (When I first read it, " Atlas Shrugged" was fiction)
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To: Salvation

I simply refer to “Church” as people led by the Holy Spirit and not an institution of dictates, rules, and tradition, and you immediately conclude - “are you saying that you don’t believe the Bible.” That is quite the leap and a curious way defend your religion.


26 posted on 03/18/2014 10:22:34 AM PDT by Boanarges
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To: Boanarges
That is quite the leap and a curious way defend your religion.

It is NOT a defense; but an offence.

You are expected to defend YOURS by this tactic.

27 posted on 03/18/2014 11:12:55 AM PDT by Elsie (Heck is where people, who don't believe in Gosh, think they are not going...)
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To: Elsie

Do you not see what happened? I readily admit I attack religion, not a person, nor people. And SALVATION responds with an “offensive” personal attack on my unbelief of the Bible. And so it goes with the “Religious Spirit.”

I stand on the Spirit of Truth. That is all.


28 posted on 03/18/2014 12:07:01 PM PDT by Boanarges
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To: Boanarges

It’s called deflection.


29 posted on 03/18/2014 1:11:47 PM PDT by Elsie (Heck is where people, who don't believe in Gosh, think they are not going...)
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To: Salvation
**Hence, Christ the Head cannot be had or found apart from his Body the Church.**

Oh??

He says, THERE am I in the MIDST of THEM

Philip and the eunuch had NO 'church' and yet...

30 posted on 03/18/2014 3:11:15 PM PDT by Elsie (Heck is where people, who don't believe in Gosh, think they are not going...)
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To: markomalley

One goes to church in order to practice loving your neighbor as Jesus commanded. One can love his neighbors elsewhere, of course, but where else will you find a more challenging group of neighbors to love?

Remember he also said that loving those who love you back doesn’t do all that much for your spiritual growth... It’s loving your enemies that is really important. If you attend church long enough, you’ll have plenty of great opportunities to love your enemies; and also give other people a few yourself.


31 posted on 03/18/2014 3:57:26 PM PDT by Red Boots
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To: Elsie

Philip had a church.


32 posted on 03/18/2014 6:04:24 PM PDT by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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To: Iscool
Their tradition is just as good and legitimate as the Catholic tradition.

Catholic faith is faith in the historical witness of the Church to the historical events in the 1 Century AD that gave us our Savior. One who does not believe the Church and instead believes Mormon or Muslim fairy tales is free to do so, but he is not very smart if he does.

33 posted on 03/18/2014 6:16:51 PM PDT by annalex (fear them not)
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To: muir_redwoods

The analogy breaks because Catholic Christian faith in its essence is not a musical or poetic, or even philosophical narrative but rather what we do to be saved.


34 posted on 03/18/2014 6:19:17 PM PDT by annalex (fear them not)
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To: annalex

The analogy is perfect once you free yourself from the notion that there’s room for someone between you and God. If you’re afraid to face Him alone thats between you and your conscience. I’m not.


35 posted on 03/18/2014 7:01:31 PM PDT by muir_redwoods (When I first read it, " Atlas Shrugged" was fiction)
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To: muir_redwoods
afraid to face Him alone

I obey the Church that Christ founded that gave me my faith and freed me, and I face God daily with my Holy Rosary and at the Holy Communion weekly, when I am alone and when I am with His Holy Church. If you want instead to believe Protestant fairy tales, please keep your theological fantasies and your familiarity with rock music to yourself.

36 posted on 03/18/2014 7:07:19 PM PDT by annalex (fear them not)
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To: annalex

Smells, bells and beads won’t get you anywhere but by all means keep it up. It’s just silly but you’ve a right to be entertaining.

BTW, I never claimed either Protestantism nor a fondness for rock music. That’s something else you made up.


37 posted on 03/18/2014 7:46:19 PM PDT by muir_redwoods (When I first read it, " Atlas Shrugged" was fiction)
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To: markomalley
I. To those who reject that anything special is to be found in the Church that cannot be found elsewhere...

I would note that believers even back to the beginning apparently disagreed with you.

II. To those who say, “I can have Jesus without the Church”...

I would say Paul (under the influence of the Holy Spirit) apparently disagreed with you.

III. To those who say, “I can read my Bible alone”...and IV. To those who say “I can watch Church on TV”...

I would say that neither of those are provided for in the Bible, not least because III simply wasn’t a realistic option for at minimum three-quarters of Church history and IV wasn’t a realistic option up until the last fifty years or so. Even radio’s only about a century old. Streaming on a home computer? Twenty years, tops. Streaming on your mobile phone? Ten. Turn off the tube, turn off the radio, shut down the computer, leave your freaking phone in the car and go to church. If I can manage that, you can manage that.

V. To those who say, “I like Jesus but I can’t stand the Church, with all those hypocrites”...”

I would say that if you think you’re better than they are, either you are, in which case you’re a remarkable human being, or you’re kidding yourself. I’m betting on the latter.

VI. To those who say “It’s the institution of the Church I object to, not the Body of Christ”...

I would say that you’re trying to make a distinction that the Bible itself never did. From the start of Jesus’ ministry on, the Church always has been, not some spiritualized thing, but, for better or worse, those guys over there, in the Temple courts, in the upper room, in Jerusalem, throughout Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth.

And

VII. To those who say that the Church is irrelevant, outdated, and arrogant because it does not reflect the modern age or most of its members...

I would say that (a) since human nature has changed remarkably little since the Fall, let alone the time of the Gospels and Acts, the Church’s mission to be a contradiction to that sinful nature is therefore as up to date and relevant as it was then; and (b) news flash, kids: It’s called the Kingdom of God, not the Democracy of God.

38 posted on 03/18/2014 8:12:18 PM PDT by RichInOC (2013-14 Tiber Swim Team)
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Comment #39 Removed by Moderator

To: Boanarges
Where two are gathered is called a marriage

think about that....Fred and George are NOT a marriage

40 posted on 03/18/2014 8:25:16 PM PDT by terycarl (common sense prevails over all else)
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To: metmom
Denominations are not THE church and especially not The One True Church

wrong once again...you know, as well as I do that the Catholic Church is the ONE TRUE HOLY APOSTOLIC CATHOLIC church on Earth...you may have left it, but that doesn't change her credentials. The denominations that you speak of sprang off of the true church because mere mortals decided that they knew more about establishing a church than Christ did...

41 posted on 03/18/2014 8:32:30 PM PDT by terycarl (common sense prevails over all else)
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To: terycarl
you know

Reading the mind of another Freeper is a form of "making it personal."

Discuss the issues all you want, but do not make it personal.

42 posted on 03/18/2014 8:38:16 PM PDT by Religion Moderator
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To: markomalley
Points I to VII refer merely to "the Church," which is presumably the body of Christ.

The conclusion is a non sequitur:

"Therefore, the Catholic Church . . ."

Where in the Bible does it equate the Body of Christ with the Catholic Church?

43 posted on 03/18/2014 8:38:33 PM PDT by Jess Kitting
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To: terycarl; metmom
wrong once again...you know, as well as I do that the Catholic Church is the ONE TRUE HOLY APOSTOLIC CATHOLIC church on Earth...you may have left it, but that doesn't change her credentials. The denominations that you speak of sprang off of the true church because mere mortals decided that they knew more about establishing a church than Christ did...

No, not wrong once again, Metmom is speaking the truth. You can believe your religion is the "one, true, holy, apostolic" and ONLY church established by Jesus Christ all you want but it doesn't make it true or you right. A closer look at that kind of claim would prove that the Roman Catholic Church is:

1. Not "one" - there is PLENTY of disunity among the various rites that fall under the umbrella of "Catholic". Least of all, the Eastern Orthodox who split from the Roman church nearly a thousand years ago over some pretty major doctrinal differences and who have not made any move towards reunifying. Even among Roman Catholics today, there are varying degrees of disagreement over doctrines and dogmas - clergy included.

2. Not "true" - because the Roman Catholic Church has strayed from the Biblical doctrines that defined genuine Christianity and substituted man made and invented dogmas in the place of the truths Jesus and the Apostles taught from the start.

3. Not "holy" - certainly even Roman Catholics will admit that a big part of the membership is CINO (Catholic in Name Only). The rest of them won't even testify to an assurance of their OWN salvation because they don't count themselves as redeemed yet. Sure they strive towards holiness - all within their own efforts and merits - but few have received the righteousness of Christ in their stead and know they are holy because Christ is holy FOR them - salvation being by grace through faith and not of works.

4. Not "apostolic" because the Roman Catholic religion teaches as essential for salvation doctrines and dogmas never heard of in the writings of the Apostles and those who God used to pen sacred Scripture. The Roman Catholic Church presumptuously asserts the right to determine what is or is not the truth of the Christian faith and their claims to teach "what has always and everywhere been believed by all" is provably false. Though there is a claim to infallibility of the Popes, things one declared was de fide another later on called heresy. Papal bulls and encyclicals written in one century were trashed by a different pope later.

The "credentials" heralded by Roman Catholics of today are really based upon myths, faux-traditions, forged and fabricated documents, use of the sword of government to force submission, destruction of writings that disputed claims and, maybe, a smidgen of truth mixed in to hold on to an appeal to being Christian. "Mere mortals" were the real perpetrators of what bills itself today as the one, true church established by Jesus Christ when anyone who objectively looks at the writings of the earliest early church "fathers" would see that the church was made up of local assemblies of believers in Christ who followed His teachings and those that His disciples passed down to them through their Holy Spirit inspired letters and epistles.

How a church of Jesus Christ was recognized back then is how one is today - they uphold and support the rule of the Christian faith - NOT based upon power-hungry leaders, but humble servants of Christ who led by their OWN lifestyles in submission to the Holy Spirit and were examples of personal holiness. NO religious organization today can lay claim to being THE church - it is a SPIRITUAL house being built up with living stones of which are individual believers. The TRUE body of Christ consists of ALL the saved who hear the Shepherd's voice and follow Him. He knows His own and they know Him. That is why a congregation/assembly can be made up of two or more believers who come together to worship, learn, share, edify, evangelize and live as lights in the darkness of a dying world drawing souls to Christ, the Life-giver. Christ's body IS one and it IS holy and it IS true. His bride is adorned in white linen, washed in HIS precious blood - not the rags of works-righteousness so many religions insist they are.

44 posted on 03/18/2014 11:31:55 PM PDT by boatbums (Simul justis et peccator.)
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To: annalex

Faith comes by hearing the word of God and salvation is by grace through faith in Christ.

No denomination or religious system is needed for a personal encounter with the Living Jesus.

You can get saved in your living room while reading the Bible and praying.


45 posted on 03/19/2014 1:10:16 AM PDT by metmom (...fixing our eyes on Jesus, the Author and Perfecter of our faith....)
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To: terycarl
you know, as well as I do that the Catholic Church is the ONE TRUE HOLY APOSTOLIC CATHOLIC church on Earth...you may have left it, but that doesn't change her credentials.

Nonsense. It's their opinion, nothing else.

Their say so doesn't make it a fact.

Lots of cults claim to be the OTC.

Which one should we believe?

Catholics?

Mormons?

Roodites?

Borg?

Jim Jones?

SDA?

JW's?

There's lots of options for people claiming to the the OTC with their special, given to nobody else but them, divine revelation that God (conveniently) left out of Scripture, but also (conveniently) happened to reveal to each group that claims its own flavor of extra-Biblical divine special revelation.

Whether it's golden books or *sacred tradition*. Doesn't matter. It's all the same.

It's Satan's continuing lie of *Did God REALLY say.....?

The denominations that you speak of sprang off of the true church because mere mortals decided that they knew more about establishing a church than Christ did...

That statement alone also condemns the Catholic church because it makes the same claims. Men in the church claim to know more than God so have the cutzpah to do things like change wording in translating the Bible and renaming Mary from *mother of Jesus* to *mother of God*.

46 posted on 03/19/2014 1:19:37 AM PDT by metmom (...fixing our eyes on Jesus, the Author and Perfecter of our faith....)
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To: boatbums

Preach it, sister!!!

Amen!!!


47 posted on 03/19/2014 1:22:14 AM PDT by metmom (...fixing our eyes on Jesus, the Author and Perfecter of our faith....)
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To: muir_redwoods

The Holy Church is primarily people keeping company with Jesus; certain aesthetic that is present there and not in your living room is a corollary of that divine presence. The silly point about “fan club” is that it equated Jesus Christ with a pop musician. That is deeply offensive to serious people. This is also a typical Protestant mentality, whether you “claim” Protestantism or not. Get rid of it; it is killing your soul. That is what I am trying to get through to you about.


48 posted on 03/19/2014 5:14:56 AM PDT by annalex (fear them not)
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To: metmom
You can get saved in your living room while reading the Bible and praying

The domestic Church is indeed important if it is in communion with the Catholic Church. If the Church Domestic is denying the Church Catholic, there is a problem in your home; find another.

I'd rather be where the Holy Scripture commands me to be.

II. To those who say, “I can have Jesus without the Church,”  I say “no can do.” For the Church is the body of Christ and it pertains to the head of a living Body to be found with his body, not apart from it. That the Church is the Body of Christ is clear in many Scriptures such as
  1. Jesus is the head of the body the Church (Col 1:8)
  2. Now you are the body of Christ, each one of you is a part of it. (1 Cor 12:27)
  3. For just as we have many members in one body and all the members do not have the same function, so we, who are many, are one body in Christ, and individually members one of another. Since we have gifts that differ (Rom 12:4-6)

Hence, Christ the Head cannot be had or found apart from his Body the Church.

III. To those who say, “I can read my Bible alone,” it must be said that there would be no Bible if it were not for the Church. Jesus didn’t write a book. He founded a community he called “My Church” (Matt 16) and sent them to “Teach all that I have commanded” (Matt 28:20).

Of course it would be silly to have things depend solely on a book in the ancient world when almost no one could read, and even those who could, could scarcely afford books, which all had to be hand-copied prior to the invention of the printing press.

Further, the Bible is a Church book and is meant to be read in the context of Church life. Scripture itself warns: Our beloved brother Paul, according to the wisdom given him, wrote to you, as also in all his letters, speaking in them of these things, in which are some things hard to understand, which the untaught and unstable distort, as they do also the rest of the Scriptures, to their own destruction. (2 Peter 3:16). In effect Peter goes on to warn them to read Scripture in conformity with the Church.


49 posted on 03/19/2014 5:22:05 AM PDT by annalex (fear them not)
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To: annalex

Thanks for your advice. I understand it was free and worth every penny I paid. No thanks, once free I’m not going back into spiritual slavery. Your choice is yours.


50 posted on 03/19/2014 9:54:00 AM PDT by muir_redwoods (When I first read it, " Atlas Shrugged" was fiction)
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