Are there any OTHER churces that claim to be the "One True Church Established by Jesus Christ?"

It seems to me, if I were an alien from another planet who landed on earth, and was considering the Christian Faith, I would start out looking at whatever Christian Faith claimed to be the One True Faith. Why look at any faith that doesn’t even claim to be True?

But, as I look around, I find only the Catholic Church even being so bold as to even claim this.

(Greek Orthodox, blah blah, certain Anglicans, blah blah, Old Catholics, blah blah - I don’t want to get mired in these ancient topics, but rather discuss those faiths who identify themselves as “protestant,” which are none of the above, but which number in the thousands of churches, but none of which claim to be the One True Faith, AFAIK. I know there are Catholics who are not “Roman” Catholics, but I have not even heard these Faiths express themselves as boldly as to make this claim (they rather claim, “we are also Catholic,” which is true, but not as bold), so they would have probably have evaded detection on my alien sensors.)

My question is: Are there any protestant denominations who seriously claim (in some official capacity) that they are the “One True Church Established by Jesus Christ?” (obviously this would exclude ALL non-Christian churches, so let’s not get into Islam, etc.)

(I don’t mean old Uncle Bob, who was a Baptist, and pointed out that John the Baptist was also a Baptist… I mean a serious claim which they attempt to rationally defend in some official capacity - a published theologian, an official website, or whatever.)

And, for brevity, can we please omit Mormons and Jehovah’s Witnesses? We can debate whether these faiths are “Christian” in other threads (but there “boldness” is not in question here, that’s for sure!)

Don’t they all?

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I think Orthodox are just as bold as we confess to be the one Catholic church established by Christ every day with the creed.

I haven’t seen one that claims to be the One True Church founded by Christ, but they all do claim to have the Truth.

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At least a partial answer here is that many protestant communions don’t see “the church” that Jesus founded as a visible, hierarchical, authoritative blah blah church.
Because they take this view - they see the majority of denominations - or at least members there-of - as being part of the "One True Church Established by Jesus Christ.


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I agree.

Are there any OTHER churces that claim to be the “One True Church Established by Jesus Christ?”

Yes, of course.

I agree that you are just as bold as we are, in terms of claiming to be the church established by Christ. But I wouldn’t say you’re bold as we are, in terms of using the word Catholic.

An extraterrestrial intent on examining this question would likely do the only thing it can do: Examine the subject’s history.

It would examine the history of Sacred Scripture. What individual or groups created it, and when? What church groups say or don’t say which equates to the oldest teachings, both biblical and extrabiblical, particularly those from the earliest Christians?

It would examine its founder. When did he exist? What claims did he make? Did he live up to his claims? What historical evidence is found to support his existence, directly or indirectly? Are others mentioned in the writings, scriptural and non-scriptural, supported in the historical record (writings, relics, non-religious eyewitnesses or participants)?

It may look at the subject’s central teachings as supported in history. Which ecclesiastical body has teachings that match to early teachings as shown by the earliest followers?

History, without the use of any theological argument, is the central proof of the validity of Christianity (as opposed to that of myth, which has no history or eyewitnesses) and of Catholicism in particular. There are stones found that mention Pontius Pilate by name. There are many extra-scriptural writings that talk of Christ and his followers and their behavior. Most importantly, this behavior matches the traditions found in the Church, in Sacred Scripture, Sacred Tradition and the Magisterium.

The source of the Bible alone is arguably the best historical support for the Catholic Church’s claim as the One True Church.

Agreed. :thumbsup:


I guess it’s somewhat understandable. I’m just thinking (and I don’t mean this as a criticism of anyone, Orthodox or otherwise) that the groups that are most keen on calling themselves “Catholic” (other than us Catholics), like Anglo-Catholics and the Polish National Catholic Church, generally don’t also call themselves “Orthodox” (not with a capital-O I mean).

(Granted, there are some Anglo-Catholics who are “Anglo-Orthodox”, but I believe they’re a tiny minority, kind of like the “Anglo-Papalists”.)

I was friends with a girl from a large Mormon family when I was a child. I remember sleeping over at their house many times, and their mom would try to evangelize me. I distinctly remember leaving her baffled a few times, because even as a child I loved our Catholic faith and was willing to defend it the best I could. But I digress. Anyhow, a phrase she used often with me was that the Church of Latter Day Saints is “The Church that Christ Himself built”. Part of why I remember this is because their youngest child took it quite literally and thought that Christ had laid the brick and mortar of their church building… But, this is just a memory. I am certainly no LDS scholar.

Come on Peter, you know that we consider ourselves to be THE Catholic Church of the Creed. :slight_smile:


Yes, I admit I would fully expect that answer from an Orthodox if I came right out and asked. But that’s a trifle different from Anglo-Catholics and PNCC, who very frequently refer to themselves as “Catholics”.

All baptized with Trinitarian rite are members of the Mystical Body of Christ, which can also be named as the ‘City of God’.

But Church as Christ intended was that based on the apostles and their successors in systematic appointment of bishops, ecclesial theology, and documentation, the Church being a human institution but animated in Jesus Christ, whose very life comes from Him through Word and Sacrament.

When Lutheran say the Nicene Creed, we’re not thinking that we believe in the ‘Catholic’ church a few blocks down the street.

We maintain that we a valid continuation of the western church. Some strident Lutherans may say we’re the valid continuation, but they usually can be softened with application of beer.

I agree with your point, Kathleen, but I think it is important to note that the Catholic Church is actually a divine institution as it is the Church which Christ himself would build on the rock of Peter and of which He is the Head. It has outlived every human institution of earth precisely because it is a divine institution headed by Christ and protected by the Holy Spirit. :slight_smile:

These Protestants really don’t understand that God did make his church visible

Not to hyperanalyze, but would you see the word in the creed as “catholic”, rather than “Catholic”?

I would say that the problem is less about the visibility of the Church as it is how they define that visibility in relation to the biblical authority to bind and loose.
Most protestants will recognize the “visible” church community - but many will restrict the “authority” of that visible church to the local community only and even that is largely subject to the individual’s interpretation of Scripture.
If they disagree with one local community they go to another local community…:shrug:

They lose the sense of the universality (catholicity) of the authority to bind and loose as it pertains to Jesus desire that we be one as He and the Father are one.


In one sense, though, we are far more bold, because we claim that the Orthodox exclusively are the one body of Christ, that is the One, Holy, Catholic, and Apostolic Church, and we do so without any of the degrees of communion theology of Yves Congar and the Second Vatican Council, which is to say that while the Roman Catholic Church would say that the Orthodox are in an imperfect degree of communion with the Catholic Church, the Orthodox would deny that the Roman Catholic Church is in any sense Catholic, not having any tradition of ecclesiology with degrees of communion.

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