The Christian Church of the New Testament holds the key to True Christianity. (Read this very carefully, you might be surprised!)
St. Ignatius of Antioch (98-117 AD) is an “Apostolic Father” by reason of him being a disciple of the Apostle John. St. Ignatius was a martyr, thrown to the lions in the roman arena. On his journey from Antioch to Rome and martyrdom he wrote seven letters, addressed to the Christians at Ephesus, Magnesia, Tralles, Rome, Philadelphia and Smyrna.
Sound familiar? “Ephesus, Philadelphia, Smyrna…(Rev 1:11)” He’s writing to the original and 1st Christians, as we know them from the New Testament Scriptures. We also know that the one True Church had bishops, priests, and deacons (1 Tim 3:1, 8; 5:17). Bishops are the successor’s of the apostles. We have the first account of this with Judas’s Successor (Acts 1:15).
St. Ignatius was bishop of Antioch, succeeding St. Evodius, who was the immediate successor of St. Peter the Apostle. St. Ignatius was taught by the Apostle John, and was a bishop, succeeding the role of apostle; a “shephard” to the people. An authoritative “head” to the original and 1st Christians, to the one faith, the one church.
These are some of the writings to the original and 1st Christians, from St. Ignatius of Antioch on his way to martyrdom (110 AD - about 300 years before there was the New Testament Bible):
Concerning Heretics: “They abstain from the Eucharist and from prayer, because they do not confess that the Eucharist is the Flesh of our Savior Jesus Christ, Flesh which suffered for our sins and which the Father, in His goodness, raised up again.”
Further down on the same letter he writes, “You must all follow the bishop as Jesus Christ follows the Father, and the presbytery (priests) as you would the Apostles. Reverence the deacons as you would the command of God. Let no one do anything of concern to the Church without the bishop. Let that be considered a valid Eucharist which is celebrated by the bishop, or by one whom he appoints. Wherever the bishop appears, let the people be there; just as wherever Jesus Christ is, there is the Catholic Church.”
**St. Ignatius’ letter indicates that by 110 AD, the original and 1st Christian Church was already well known as the “Catholic Church.” This also is, as he has written, the faith of the original and 1st Christians. **
This is the Christian Church of the New Testament, the the Body of Christ (Col 1:18; Eph 5:30; Rom 12:4-5) United by one Lord, one faith, one baptism, one God and Father (Eph 4:3-6), Consecrated in Truth (Jn 17:19). Christ is the head of the body, the church (Col 1:18). Christ and His Church are One.
“Whoever listens to you (Church) listens to me. Whoever rejects you (Church) rejects me. And whoever rejects me rejects the one who sent me.” (Lk 10:16)
**Is it possible to have “True” Christianity outside of the Catholic Church?.. **If your answer is “yes”, then you need to re-read this post a little more carefully. Never-the-less all the yes’s in the world won’t change Apostolic Teachings or the original and 1st Christian Church… 2000 years and still standing, “the gates of hell will never prevail against Christ’s Church.” (Mt 16:18)
Great Topic! A Catholic can present true Christianity as handed down by Sacred Tradition. You go to any protestant thread and ask… “Are Catholics Christian?” :nope: