A new (well, actually quite old) twist on "Who founded your church"

I’m sure most of us are familiar with this little essay. It appears in a number of different forms, but it always looks something like this one, from the EWTN website:

If you are a Lutheran, your religion was founded by Martin Luther, an ex- monk of the Catholic Church, in the year 1517.

If you belong to the Church of England, your religion was founded by King Henry VIII in the year 1534 because the Pope would not grant him a divorce with the right to remarry.

If you are a Presbyterian, your religion was founded by John Knox in Scotland in the year 1560.

If you are a Protestant Episcopalian, your religion was an offshoot of the Church of England founded by Samuel Seabury in the American colonies in the 17th century.

If you are a Congregationalist, your religion was originated by Robert Brown in Holland in 1582.

If you are a Methodist, your religion was launched by John and Charles Wesley in England in 1744.

If you are a Unitarian, Theophilus Lindley founded your church in London in 1774.

If you are a Mormon (Latter Day Saints), Joseph Smith started your religion in Palmyra, N.Y., in 1829.

If you are a Baptist, you owe the tenets of your religion to John Smyth, who launched it in Amsterdam in 1605.

If you are of the Dutch Reformed church, you recognize Michaelis Jones as founder, because he originated your religion in New York in 1628.

If you worship with the Salvation Army, your sect began with William Booth in London in 1865.

If you are a Christian Scientist, you look to 1879 as the year in which your religion was born and to Mrs. Mary Baker Eddy as its founder.

If you belong to one of the religious organizations known as 'Church of the Nazarene," “Pentecostal Gospel.” “Holiness Church,” “Pilgrim Holiness Church,” “Jehovah’s Witnesses,” your religion is one of the hundreds of new sects founded by men within the past century.

If you are Catholic, you know that your religion was founded in the year 33 by Jesus Christ the Son of God, and it is still the same Church.

Now, Protestants like me tend to not be very fond of this essay, since we don’t consider our denominations to be our religions any more than Catholics consider their dioceses to be their religions. (And this particular one happens to contain a gross factual error, since Samuel Seabury wasn’t even alive in the 17th century.) But the other day I was reading through a book of old sermons and found a version of it that was quite interesting.

What a glorious thing it is to belong to a Church that has such a Faith,–so come down, so fought for, so victorious. Look at those who do not belong to the Church, and see where their faith comes from. There are the Wesleyans: their faith comes from John Wesley, about 100 years ago. There are the Quakers: their faith comes from one George Fox, and is about 200 years old. There are the Baptists: their faith is about 300 years old. But we Catholic Christians take our name from no man. We have no Master but JESUS CHRIST. Our Faith comes from Him, through His Apostles, through His Bishops, through His Martyrs.

And why, you may ask, was this one so interesting? Well, the “Catholic Christian” who wrote it was John Mason Neale, an Anglican priest.

Hmmm. I think every form of Christianity under the sun was mentioned above … No wait! I see no mention of Eastern Orthodoxy.

Seriously does anyone find the West’s ignorance of the East to be sad?

There is actually an Orthodox version of it too! It seems to have copied the text from EWTN, but it has a few minor modifications…

If you are a Roman Catholic, your church shared the same rich apostolic and doctrinal heritage as the Orthodox Church for the first thousand years of its history; since during the first millennium they were one and the same Church. Lamentably, in 1054, the Pope of Rome broke away from the other four Apostolic Patriarchates (Constantinople, Alexandria, Antioch, and Jerusalem), by unilaterally altering the original Creed of the Church and considering himself to be the universal head of the Church. Thus, your church was founded in the year 1054.

If you are a Lutheran, your religion was founded by Martin Luther, an ex-monk of the Catholic Church, in the year 1517.

If you belong to the Church of England, your religion was founded by King Henry VIII in the year 1534 because the Pope would not grant him a divorce with the right to remarry.

If you are a Presbyterian, your religion was founded by John Knox in Scotland in the year 1560.

If you are a Congregationalist, your religion originated with Robert Brown in Holland in 1582.

If you are a Baptist, you owe the tenets of your religion to John Smyth, who launched it in Amsterdam in 1606.

If you are of the Dutch Reformed Church, you recognize Michelis Jones as founder, because he originated your religion in New York in 1628.

If you are a Protestant Episcopalian, your religion is an offshoot of the Church of England, founded by Samuel Seabury in the American colonies in the 17th century.

If you are a Methodist, your religion was founded by John and Charles Wesley in England in 1774.

If you are a Unitarian, Theopolis Lindley founded your church in London in 1774.

If you are a Mormon (Latter-Day Saints), Joseph Smith started your religion in Palmyra, New York in 1829.

If you are a member of the Seventh - day Adventist Movement, your history began (1844) with the Baptist preacher William Miller, followed by James and Ellen White in 1863.

If you worship with the Salvation Army, your sect began with William Booth in London in 1865.

The Jehovah’s Witnesses began with Charles Taze Russell in 1872.

If you are Christian Scientist, you look to 1879 as the year your religion was born and to Mrs. Mary Baker Eddy as its founder.

If you belong to one of the religious organizations known as “Church of the Nazarene”, “Pentecostal Gospel”, or “Holiness Church”, your religion is one of the hundreds of new sects founded by men within the past hundred years.

If you are an ORTHODOX CHRISTIAN, your Church was instituted by Our Lord Jesus Christ, the Son of God, and His Apostles in the year 33. This was the beginning of the Christian Era. There is no time in this Era when the Orthodox Church did not exist and there has been no interruption in the life of the Church up to this present day. The Orthodox Church continues to hold its Treasury of Christian Faith and Truth, Sacred Scripture, Holy Tradition, and Liturgical Worship unchanged! The Orthodox Church is in fact the One, Holy, Catholic, and Apostolic Church, and its age is the same as that of Christianity itself. Jesus Christ is the Head of His Church which is guided by the Holy Spirit unto the ages of ages. Amen!

Anabaptists?
:slight_smile:

Indeed, I think I’ve heard that version of it before too.

On the one hand, it seems like kind of a lame rip-off … But I at least have to give them credit for not omitting Catholicism in the same way that they were omitted from the other version. :slight_smile:

Good point!~~
Mary.

:rotfl::D:rotfl:

Even more interesting than that he was an Anglican cleric, is what kind of Anglican he was:
christianity.com/church/church-history/timeline/1801-1900/john-mason-neale-is-remembered-11630542.html

As you know Anglicans can go from low church-Bible-only-evangelical to high church were-more-catholic-than-the-Pope variety. John Neale was one of the latter.

What about Peter for which St. Peter’s in Rome is named after?

Where’s the Assyrian Church of the East in the list? :hmmm:

I have found this line of argumentation particularly compelling recently, though I am not sure why. I have asked on some chat rooms various protestants of an evangelical or baptist bent if they could name one Christian in the history of the church after the apostles and before the reformation or before the year 1000. None of them, who had that fundamentalist protestant view of things could name a single person but simply insisted there must have been true Christians, who have all been since lost to history.

Is it a legitimate question to ask where the Lutherans, Anglicans, Baptists and others, who came about after or during the reformation, where exactly they were in the centuries before hand? Where were they responding to the Arians or the Monophysites or others? Some protestants may contend they have a spiritual inheritance from the fathers or churches of this time but do they have an ecclesiastical inheritance? A real connection that goes beyond simply saying “we agree with them,” that is an actual communion in the same body which is Christ’s?

The question then becomes what is the nature of church. Can it be any where established by anyone so long as he or she has doctrine A, B and C or is there something more to it? Protestantism has to insist all that matters is faith and not community so much.

Um, the thread commences with a quotation from a Protestant who very explicitly states the continuity of faith throughout the centuries. Curiously enough, the same Protestant spent much of his life trying to build bridges between Orthodoxy and Anglicanism, such that St Philaret of Moscow wrote to him, “God’s blessing and help to those who investigate the truth in the ancient books and traditions of the Church, for the peace and ultimate union of the Churches of God.”

Do Protestants have an ecclesiastical inheritance from the Early Church? Anglicans, Lutherans, and Methodists certainly do. Some others claim a revival of a lapsed form of the Early Church, while yet others embrace Progress so enthusiastically as to shun history altogether.

I think this is a good summation of where Protestant churches began. But the quote from EWTN kinda smacks of the Pharasee and the tax collector in the temple. Here it is from Luke 18:

…10"Two men went up into the temple to pray, one a Pharisee and the other a tax collector. 11"The Pharisee stood and was praying this to himself: ‘God, I thank You that I am not like other people: swindlers, unjust, adulterers, or even like this tax collector. 12’I fast twice a week; I pay tithes of all that I get.’…

(Please note that I am absolutely NOT calling Catholics swindlers, unjust, adulterers, or even like the tax collectors.)

I know the Catholic faith is said to have been started by Jesus in Matthew 16:18 but to imply that they alone have no Master but JESUS Christ is not true.

I know this should be an interesting thread so I’ll sit back and watch it play out.

God bless all!!

On that score someone, I forget who, said “Bridges are for crossing.” :cool:

Granted, of course, that in this case the Anglicans would have ended up in the wrong place, i.e. Orthodox rather than Catholic (ICWR). :blush:

Indeed they are, in both directions, and (except in the case of drawbridges) they are designed to permit recrossing.

Granted, of course, that in this case the Anglicans would have ended up in the wrong place, i.e. Orthodox rather than Catholic (ICWR). :blush:

Had he crossed the bridge to stay, he would have certainly have become Orthodox rather than Catholic, given his views of each, but his interest was in the reunification of the Christian Church rather than in migration from one part of it to another: he meant that bridge to be used more than once.

Also, it would not have made Anglicans Orthodox: we are a confederation of autonomous provinces, and none of us, including the Archbishop of Canterbury, has the power to make the rest follow. The only means by which the whole Anglican Communion could merge with any other ecclesial body is by a unanimous vote of all of the dioceses of all of the provinces. I do not anticipate such a result of any vote on any issue in my lifetime.

Che Guevera and Jim Morrison.

Yes

Probably because we acknowledge they have valid apostolic succession and sacraments.

So the same body that was at Nicaea was the same body that endorsed the book of common prayer and a reformed understanding of Christianity?

Probably because we acknowledge they have valid apostolic succession and sacraments.
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Indeed, it does at times seem like there is a Catholic mindset of The worse you are, the less likely we are to ignore you. But I would hasten to add that does not apply to all Catholics.

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