A Convicted Evangelical (Church of Christ)


#1

As my title indicates, I am a committed and active member within the circle of Churches of Christ. I am convinced (through reading the earliest Fathers and New Testament) that the Church of Christ, (and not the Roman Catholic or Eastern Orthodox) has a right claim to the true faith instituted by Christ. As a disclaimer, I do not consider the RCC and EOC to be devoid of true and genuine believers. I do, however, believe that these churches have in large part departed from what I would consider to be a truly Orthodox view.

That being said (and keeping in mind that I am a minority voice in this forum), I would like this particular blog to center on:

1) How you came to the conclusion that whatever religious body you are a part of is in fact the one true church?

2) Why you feel/don't feel that the Church of Christ is the one true church.

3) Are there eternal consequences for being outside the true church? (Here I am not talking about the post-Vatican II view that considers Evangelicals to be separated brethren that are in some form or fashion mystically part of the RC faith. Rather, my inquiry is mean to be taken thusly: If RC is true, will Evangelicals go to heaven since they are not true Catholics? And if Evangelicalism is true, will Roman Catholics go to heaven since they are not true "Protestants?"

4) Based on your answer to (3) If both groups have the same eternal destiny, why does it matter if one is Protestant or Catholic?


#2

I think it would be helpful, if you provide arguments as to why you think the Church of Christ is the true faith by Christ, and also WHAT IS the Church of Christ? Not to offense but there are so many christian denominations out there that some of us can't possibly know them all.

Be Blessed


#3

For me, it was by READING the ECF's and holy scripture that I came to a stronger belief/faith in the Holy Roman Catholic Church.

If by faith you believe to be in the Right church and worship God and follow His commands to the best of your knowledge and ability based upon what you have learned, then just be the most committed and faithfilled Christian you can be.:thumbsup:

God will judge us by how we kept His commandments and by what we KNOW, NOT on what we DON'T know.

May the blessings of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ be with you as you continue on your journey towards His heavenly kingdom.:)


#4

I will focus this response on the latter part of your question--that is--what is the Church of Christ? By this I take it that you mean: What does the Church of Christ believe?

A short synopsis of our beliefs

1) We simply wear the name Christian (not Baptist, Methodist, or Presbyterian)

2) We believe in baptism for the forgiveness of sins. However, we reject infant baptism as having no apostolic validity. Also we baptize strictly by immersion, and the rite is only administered to those who are able to give ther consent.

3) We are governed by a plurality of elders (aka bishops) and under them deacons. Each church is autonomous. We believe that the triadic form of government--first attested by Ignatius--is an early departure from the New Testament teaching.

4) Our singing is done Acapella (as church history attests was the only practice in the church up until the 7th century. The EOC has continued to observe this practice).

5) We observe the Lord's Supper weekly.

Blessings, bwmnstar


#5

[quote="MaryandJoseph, post:3, topic:287173"]

God will judge us by how we kept His commandments and by what we KNOW, NOT on what we DON'T know.

[/quote]

What do you mean by that statement?


#6

[quote="bwmnstar, post:1, topic:287173"]
As my title indicates, I am a committed and active member within the circle of Churches of Christ. I am convinced (through reading the earliest Fathers and New Testament) that the Church of Christ, (and not the Roman Catholic or Eastern Orthodox) has a right claim to the true faith instituted by Christ. As a disclaimer, I do not consider the RCC and EOC to be devoid of true and genuine believers. I do, however, believe that these churches have in large part departed from what I would consider to be a truly Orthodox view.

That being said (and keeping in mind that I am a minority voice in this forum), I would like this particular blog to center on:

1) How you came to the conclusion that whatever religious body you are a part of is in fact the one true church?

2) Why you feel/don't feel that the Church of Christ is the one true church.

3) Are there eternal consequences for being outside the true church? (Here I am not talking about the post-Vatican II view that considers Evangelicals to be separated brethren that are in some form or fashion mystically part of the RC faith. Rather, my inquiry is mean to be taken thusly: If RC is true, will Evangelicals go to heaven since they are not true Catholics? And if Evangelicalism is true, will Roman Catholics go to heaven since they are not true "Protestants?"

4) Based on your answer to (3) If both groups have the same eternal destiny, why does it matter if one is Protestant or Catholic?

[/quote]

Well sorry to rain on your parade,but the church you attend has no historical proof to supoort such a claim. Mormons and Jehovah Witnesses also make the same claim. Kindly show me the historical writings supporting the "Churches of Christ" existed in the second century? Name one early church ffather who belonged to the "Churches of Christ " outside of Catholicism & Orthodoxy?


#7

How do you address the issue that when we read the New Testament we do not see individual autonomous churches? In fact, many of the books of the NT are letters written to those churches to address specific problems. Those churches, it is mentioned, also would write to Paul asking for direction on debates that had occurred. Paul makes multiple visits to the churches to keep them on the right path.

It seems more akin to the Catholic idea of individual churches being under a larger umbrella while being run by local pastors.


#8

[quote="bwmnstar, post:1, topic:287173"]

1) How you came to the conclusion that whatever religious body you are a part of is in fact the one true church?

*Apostolic Succession, Church History, Church Teachings of the Catholic Church.
*

2) Why you feel/don't feel that the Church of Christ is the one true church.

I don't know this other "Church of Christ", but I am sure it doesn't have the historical link the Church founded by Christ (Catholic Church) has with Jesus Christ.

3) Are there eternal consequences for being outside the true church? (Here I am not talking about the post-Vatican II view that considers Evangelicals to be separated brethren that are in some form or fashion mystically part of the RC faith. Rather, my inquiry is mean to be taken thusly: If RC is true, will Evangelicals go to heaven since they are not true Catholics? And if Evangelicalism is true, will Roman Catholics go to heaven since they are not true "Protestants?"

*Look up in the forums Salvation outside the Catholic Church or even better look it up in the Catechism of the Catholic Church.
*

4) Based on your answer to (3) If both groups have the same eternal destiny, why does it matter if one is Protestant or Catholic?

*Follow the teachings of Jesus Christ. Are we going to fall into relativism?
*

[/quote]


#9

[quote="Nicea325, post:6, topic:287173"]
Well sorry to rain on your parade,but the church you attend has no historical proof to supoort such a claim. Mormons and Jehovah Witnesses also make the same claim. Kindly show me the historical writings supporting the "Churches of Christ" existed in the second century? Name one early church ffather who belonged to the "Churches of Christ " outside of Catholicism & Orthodoxy?

[/quote]

Thanks for the response. Asserting that the Church I attend has no historical proof is merely that, an assertion. Simply saying such a statement does not dismiss the possibility that the Churches of Christ do, in fact, have historical precedence. I can supply a plethora of patristic quotations that go against infant baptism alone (See the writings of Aristides, Justin Martyr, Barnabas, the Shepherd of Hermas).

Aristides: "And when a child has been born to one of them, they give thanks to God; and if it should die as an infant, they give thanks the more, because it has departed life sinless (Apology 15.11--circa 125 AD).

I can supply numerous others if necessary. Also, you concluded your response with a reference to the EOC, which similar to RC, claims apostolic continuity. What we have here is two churches, both claiming to be the one True Church, both tracing their lineage to the apostles, who make contradicting doctrinal claims. Seems as if appeal to apostolic continuity is problematic in and of itself.

A better question perhaps: Did the Eastern Orthodox and RCC remain faithful to the apostolic teaching. My answer is "No."


#10

[quote="Patavium, post:8, topic:287173"]

[/quote]

Rejoinder to (2)

I don't know this other "Church of Christ", but I am sure it doesn't have the historical link the Church founded by Christ (Catholic Church) has with Jesus Christ.

After admitting your ignorance (btw I don't mean ignorance in a demeaning sense. You are unaware of what the Church of Christ believes), how can you make such a bold statement? That would be like me saying: I don't know about the Roman Catholic Church, but I am sure it doesn't have the historical link the Church founded by Christ (The Church of Christ) has with Jesus Christ." You wouldn't accept such a statement. Why should I?

Rejoinder to (4)

Eastern Orthodox, the RCC, and Evangelicals all believe that they are faithfully following the teachings of Jesus. What does relativism have to do with the question I asked? It is a fact that the Catechism stipulates that Protestants will be in heaven. If you affirm this, you need to clarify your inquiry about relativism, and what relevance it has for this discussion?


#11

Thanks for the response. Asserting that the Church I attend has no historical proof is merely that, an assertion. Simply saying such a statement does not dismiss the possibility that the Churches of Christ do, in fact, have historical precedence. I can supply a plethora of patristic quotations that go against infant baptism alone (See the writings of Aristides, Justin Martyr, Barnabas, the Shepherd of Hermas).

It is not an asserting,but a FACT! I'll be more than glad for you to present me ONE primary source written by an early church father stating he does not belong to the Catholic Church/Orthodox Church,but to the circles of Churches of Christ.

You can supply a plethora of ECF going against infant baptism? You mean more like "proof-texting" their works to present a smoking gun?

Aristides: "And when a child has been born to one of them, they give thanks to God; and if it should die as an infant, they give thanks the more, because it has departed life sinless (Apology 15.11--circa 125 AD).

Where in thet statement is Aristides advocating non-infant baptism? Where? Second,did he make such a statement in reference to infant baptism being false?

I can supply numerous others if necessary. Also, you concluded your response with a reference to the EOC, which similar to RC, claims apostolic continuity. What we have here is two churches, both claiming to be the one True Church, both tracing their lineage to the apostles, who make contradicting doctrinal claims. Seems as if appeal to apostolic continuity is problematic in and of itself.

Go for it and I'll be more than glad to rebuke your position. Problems within the church does not change the santification of the church. Problems have always existed and always will.

A better question perhaps: Did the Eastern Orthodox and RCC remain faithful to the apostolic teaching. My answer is "No."

Your opinion...not a fact.


#12

[quote="bwmnstar, post:10, topic:287173"]
Rejoinder to (2)

I don't know this other "Church of Christ", but I am sure it doesn't have the historical link the Church founded by Christ (Catholic Church) has with Jesus Christ.

After admitting your ignorance (btw I don't mean ignorance in a demeaning sense. You are unaware of what the Church of Christ believes), how can you make such a bold statement? That would be like me saying: I don't know about the Roman Catholic Church, but I am sure it doesn't have the historical link the Church founded by Christ (The Church of Christ) has with Jesus Christ." You wouldn't accept such a statement. Why should I?

I am sure, Why?, simply because other than the Catholic and Orthodox, there was no other Church for many years. In fact, there was only one Church, Catholic for many years. Where was this Church of Christ? that only a handful have heard of?

Rejoinder to (4)

Eastern Orthodox, the RCC, and Evangelicals all believe that they are faithfully following the teachings of Jesus. What does relativism have to do with the question I asked? It is a fact that the Catechism stipulates that Protestants will be in heaven. If you affirm this, you need to clarify your inquiry about relativism, and what relevance it has for this discussion?

**Your question is about salvation. Thus, it connects to salvation outside the Catholic Church. Right?

Relativism is it doesn't matter We are all the same, even if we disagree, we end up all in the same place? :shrug: It doesn't matter the means just the end...

**

[/quote]


#13

[quote="Link0126, post:7, topic:287173"]
How do you address the issue that when we read the New Testament we do not see individual autonomous churches? In fact, many of the books of the NT are letters written to those churches to address specific problems. Those churches, it is mentioned, also would write to Paul asking for direction on debates that had occurred. Paul makes multiple visits to the churches to keep them on the right path.

It seems more akin to the Catholic idea of individual churches being under a larger umbrella while being run by local pastors.

[/quote]

After the death of the apostles, the earliest non-canonical writings attest that the churches were governed by a plurality of elders: (See Didache 15, Hermas, Visions 2.4.2-3=8.2-3; 3.5.1=13.1). (See also Acts 14:23; 20:17, 28; Ephesians 4:11; Phil 1:1; 1 Tim 3:1-13; 4:14; 2 Tim 4:5; Titus 1:5-9).


#14

[quote="bwmnstar, post:10, topic:287173"]
Rejoinder to (2)

I don't know this other "Church of Christ", but I am sure it doesn't have the historical link the Church founded by Christ (Catholic Church) has with Jesus Christ.

After admitting your ignorance (btw I don't mean ignorance in a demeaning sense. You are unaware of what the Church of Christ believes), how can you make such a bold statement? That would be like me saying: I don't know about the Roman Catholic Church, but I am sure it doesn't have the historical link the Church founded by Christ (The Church of Christ) has with Jesus Christ." You wouldn't accept such a statement. Why should I?

[/quote]

Fair enough. I looked up the "Church of Christ" and it appears to have its origins in the Restorationist Movement of the 19th century.

The Catholic Church appears to have its origins in the Way movement of the 1st century.

That's pretty conclusive to me.


#15

[quote="bwmnstar, post:1, topic:287173"]
... I am convinced (through reading the earliest Fathers and New Testament) that the Church of Christ, (and not the Roman Catholic or Eastern Orthodox) has a right claim to the true faith instituted by Christ.

That being said (and keeping in mind that I am a minority voice in this forum), I would like this particular blog to center on:

1) How you came to the conclusion that whatever religious body you are a part of is in fact the one true church?

[/quote]

I read the following, a quote from St. Ignatius of Antioch, one of the Early Church Fathers.

**"Consider how contrary to the mind of God are the heterodox in regard to the grace of God which has come to us. They have no regard for charity, none for the widow, the orphan, the oppressed, none for the man in prison, the hungry or the thirsty. They abstain from the Eucharist and from prayer, because they do not admit that the Eucharist is the flesh of our Savior Jesus Christ, the flesh which suffered for our sins and which the Father, in His graciousness, raised from the dead."
"Letter to the Smyrnaeans", paragraph 6. circa 80-110 A.D

Ignatius lived no wrote this no more than 80 years after Christ ascended into heaven, and learned the faith from Polycarp, who was taught it by John who wrote the fourth Gospel.

-Tim-.


#16

I don't know this other "Church of Christ", but I am sure it doesn't have the historical link the Church founded by Christ (Catholic Church) has with Jesus Christ.

I beg your pardon?

After admitting your ignorance (btw I don't mean ignorance in a demeaning sense. You are unaware of what the Church of Christ believes), how can you make such a bold statement?

And you are an expert what the RCC/EO teach? You also admitted yours about the RCC/EO churches-historically speaking.

That would be like me saying: I don't know about the Roman Catholic Church, but I am sure it doesn't have the historical link the Church founded by Christ (The Church of Christ) has with Jesus Christ." You wouldn't accept such a statement. Why should I?

First of all, I am aware of the historical roots of the RCC and not once have read ANY primary source from the early church supporting your position that the Churches of Christ have existed from the get-go.

Rejoinder to (4)

Eastern Orthodox, the RCC, and Evangelicals all believe that they are faithfully following the teachings of Jesus. What does relativism have to do with the question I asked? It is a fact that the Catechism stipulates that Protestants will be in heaven. If you affirm this, you need to clarify your inquiry about relativism, and what relevance it has for this discussion?

Revativism? Who mentioned anything about it? The issue at hand here is you coming in here in the CAF and making a claim you have yet to support with historical evidence.


#17

[quote="bwmnstar, post:13, topic:287173"]
After the death of the apostles, the earliest non-canonical writings attest that the churches were governed by a plurality of elders: (See Didache 15, Hermas, Visions 2.4.2-3=8.2-3; 3.5.1=13.1). (See also Acts 14:23; 20:17, 28; Ephesians 4:11; Phil 1:1; 1 Tim 3:1-13; 4:14; 2 Tim 4:5; Titus 1:5-9).

[/quote]

U-huh....and the current RCC also has a pluarity of elders called the College of Cardinal/bishops operating the CC. And?


#18

[quote="Nicea325, post:16, topic:287173"]
I beg your pardon?

And you are an expert what the RCC/EO teach? You also admitted yours about the RCC/EO churches-historically speaking.

First of all, I am aware of the historical roots of the RCC and not once have read ANY primary source from the early church supporting your position that the Churches of Christ have existed from the get-go.

Rejoinder to (4)

Revativism? Who mentioned anything about it? The issue at hand here is you coming in here in the CAF and making a claim you have yet to support with historical evidence.

[/quote]

Hi, sorry. My response about relativism was meant for another individual. I just joined today and am still getting used to posting. It's a bit confusing, especially when all of the posts are directed at me. Please bear with and forgive me.

Blessings, bwmnstar


#19

[quote="Rich_C, post:14, topic:287173"]
Fair enough. I looked up the "Church of Christ" and it appears to have its origins in the Restorationist Movement of the 19th century.

The Catholic Church appears to have its origins in the Way movement of the 1st century.

That's pretty conclusive to me.

[/quote]

:thumbsup: :D


#20

[quote="bwmnstar, post:18, topic:287173"]
Hi, sorry. My response about relativism was meant for another individual. I just joined today and am still getting used to posting. It's a bit confusing, especially when all of the posts are directed at me. Please bear with and forgive me.

Blessings, bwmnstar

[/quote]

It is okay,not a problem. Take your time. God Bless


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