If the Church isn't true, how would you know?


One similarity that I have noticed across most faith traditions is the statement " I know my [insert faith] is the one true religion. To me it seems like spiritual tunnel vision.

My question to you all,

If the Roman Catholic Church turned out to be a corrupt, abusive, misleading institution how would you know? How would you know that the Church was not true? (Question adapted from John Cedar, exjw)

[Edit: This is hypothetical. I’m just honestly asking how would you know the Church isn’t true/ what would have to happen for you to consider it not to be true. Not looking for apologetics debate just your opinions haha]


It would have been destroyed centuries ago. I like Belloc’s quote: no institute ran with such knavish imbecility as the Catholic Church has throughout history would have lasted a week (a fortnight in his words) were it not for God’s intercession.


The Church is “corrupt, abusive, misleading” in the degree that it’s members (all of us) are those sinners.
My faith in the Church is with a community of sinful believers that I have much in common with, and also united with those beatified, and all of us one Body in Christ , who gave himself up to make us a spotless bride.
That is the Church.
If you place your faith in human beings and our actions, you will be disappointed.


To doubt the Church is to doubt the Incarnate Christ.


Learn about Catholicism and see what is true and good in it. Compare it to other religions. They are not all the same. Truth is not a matter of personal preference.


If the Catholic church is not the true church how would you come to realize this?


I don’t understand this concept.


Oh I hate that term, the Church never uses the term Roman Catholic so neither will I except to say that I don’t like it. Now that we’ve gotten that out of the way, I think a good place to start is with history. Why did the Eastern churches accept the authority of the Pope until 1054? Why is there no evidence whatsoever of first amongst equals or other such things until after the great schism? Let’s go to the Protestant Reformation, why is it that Luther and Calvin thought themselves as self-appointed prophets, Calvin especially. Here’s the problem with questions like that, they make the assumption that the Church has to be corrupt, and while there is corruption in the Church that does not mean that corruption is in the Church’s dogmas, Muslims and Mormons claim the same thing, that doesn’t make them right. Like you said though, it’s a hypothetical question, but I always refer back to history when I have this discussion. My major stumbling block with Mormonism, is the claim that men can become gods, my major stumbling block with Islam, is the claim that Jesus was not crucified, in spite of overwhelming historical evidence. Since, even from history, we know the Catholic Church is the original Church, you can find this in secular history books, we either have to concede that Jesus was a liar, or the Church’s Dogma is not corrupt. That being said, there are things in other groups that are true, most Protestants could be considered trinitarian, so that’s correct, Muslims, claim to worship and serve the God of Abraham, so there’s that. I’m always skeptical of any group that tells you that they’re a restoration, whether it’s Islam, Seventh-day Adventist, Jehovah’s Witnesses, Mormonism, Etc.


CatholicDetroit - I would often pray for the Holy Spirit to give me the gift of discernment - I would seek to hold to the words and works of Jesus, to hold to the teachings and religious practices of the early Church Fathers - to be guided by our great saints and martyrs - AND to be aware that I should hold to the Magisterium, and that not all clergy, including the hierarchy of Mother Church are well founded and planted in righteous spirituality. I know the Church is currently going through ‘troubled times’ - indeed, that Satan has always had it AND the family, at the centre of his gun sight. I would seek to have ears and eyes that listen and see, to expand my knowledge and awareness, but above all to question and discern.

Indeed, when RICO hits Mother Church, and it will - that it is NOT because of shortcomings in the Church itself, BUT in clergy and prelates who have let both the Church, Jesus and indeed the Holy Trinity down big time, in lacking spirituality, and being wedded to forces of darkness instead of light.


evidence that the Catholic Church began without apostolic succession.


The question of God is separate.

The question of Jesus it separate.

As for the Catholic Church’s more specific claim about being the fullness of Christ’s Church, I guess the best way to disprove it would be the best way to prove it: Look to its origin.

If the CC in fact did not have continuity with Jesus and the Apostles, who are claimed to have founded and established the Church, well then there you have it. The Catholic Church is not what it claims to be.

Ah but alas, there is continuity. So if you can admit that much, and if you believe in God and accept Jesus’ divine authority, then there you have it. The Catholic Church is what it claims to be: The Church founded by Christ, who had divine authority from the God who truly exists (and in fact is God in the flesh).


You could look up a little history and you’ll find names like St. Polycarp, St. Clement of Rome, St. Ignatius of Antioch, Justin Martyr, St. Augustine, St. Jerome and a number of other real people keeping the faith alive long before Luther, Calvin or anyone else came along…The more you learn about the Church’s early beginnings and the early Church fathers, you’ll know that the Catholics have it right on this one…There are links and connections from Jesus and the Apostles on down…


As I said, learn about it. Take the time, put in the effort, look into it, and see where that leads you. My mother was brought up Baptist, but when she was in her early 20s felt the need for something more. She learned all she could about different Christian denominations and chose Catholicism. I am not sure if she looked into Judaism, Islam, Hindu, Buddhism, and so on, but you could if you wanted to give them fair consideration.


There is only one way: Each and every one of us must compare the teachings of the Roman Catholic Church with the teachings of the Bible. In other words, like the people of Berea, we must care enough about knowing the true way of salvation and the truths given to us by God to explore the Scriptures. We are not to trust in men alone; we should listen to a message we think might be true but trust in God to let us know if it is. “The people [of Berea] were of more noble character than those in Thessalonica, since they received the word with eagerness and examined the Scriptures daily to see if these things were so” (Acts 17:11). Everything, absolutely everything, we need to know and believe is in God’s word. “All Scripture is inspired by God and is profitable for teaching, for rebuking, for correcting, for training in righteousness, so that the man of God may be COMPLETE, equipped for EVERY good work” (2 Timothy 3:16-17). The first thing to ask yourself is this: Are my leaders teaching the true way of salvation? For answers, read Galatians, Ephesians 2:8-9, Titus 3:4-5, John 3:16, and Hebrews 10. Then ask yourself this: Are my leaders qualified? To see the qualifications for pastors, read 1 Timothy 3:1-7 and Titus 1:5-9. Don’t ask yourself if they have been seminary-trained; ask yourself if they know Jesus (Acts 4:13) and have the fruit of a true believer (Matthew 7:13-23). If not, they are blind guides. Jesus says: Leave them. Good fruit comes from being attached to the vine, which is Jesus.


Christ is God Incarnate. Christ is God who comes to us in the flesh, in time and history, among human beings.
An alternative to this is that Christ is a sort of ghost, or merely the spirit and good will of God. In this erroneous view, Christ does not found anything that is corporeal, or institutional. He is more like a great system of spiritual ethics.

If Christ is God Incarnate in time and history, then he lives among real people in a real community. The community he founds is instituted in “the Church”.
So the relevant question is, what kind of integrity and durability do you believe this institution has, seeing that Christ is it’s head, and that Christ is one with this community?


Would this be an accurate statement? God is the church. The church is God. You can’t have one without the other.

Also, you said that to doubt the Church is to doubt Christ. Is this what the Church teaches. I’m not familiar with all the doctrine since I converted last year. But that statement screams “I’m in a cult.”


No, it would not be accurate. It would be correct to say that “The Catholic Church is God’s Church. God’s Church is the Catholic Church”.


The answer to that would be in the first century. What makes the church true is that Christ established it.

Whatever corruption, abuse, etc. is the result of the fallen state of humanity. You will find those issues everywhere.


I wasn’t the person who said this, but if I may…

Christ said upon this rock I built my church and gates of hell will not prevail against it.

To doubt that this church continues to exist is to call into question whether or not Christ was telling the truth when he said that hell would not prevail.

What does this have to do with cults?


Thank God, no pun intended, that we have freedom of and FROM Religion. The true is no one knows what happens when you die, so try to be kind to one another, neighbor and enemy. Personally I think the Catholic Church is indeed very WRONG about Birth control, masturbation and homosexuality, and all the catholics I talk to agree with me.

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