Is this difficult to understand?

I am flabbergasted that people do not believe this obvious statement from Scripture.

Ephesians 3:4 When you read this you can perceive my insight into the mystery of Christ, 5 which was not made known to the sons of men in other generations as it has now been revealed to his holy apostles . . .

Ephesians 3:8 To me, though I am the very least of all the saints, this grace was given, to preach to the Gentiles the unsearchable riches of Christ, 9 and to make all men see what is the plan of the mystery hidden for ages in God who created all things; 10 that through the church the manifold wisdom of God might be made known

Paul clearly tells us that it is through His Church that the manifold wisdom of God is made know to the world.

How can people not believe these clear Scriptural Statements?

I’m sorry, I’m not sure I’m following you question or concern. Are you referring to Protestants not believing in the physical Church and her authority? Please clarify.

Thank you and God Bless.

Yes, scripture has replaced the role of the Church in the minds of many, with some forsaking the Church altogether in any communal sense and typically defining it as strictly an invisible entity. But the role of the visible, unified Church is central to the proclaiming and living out of the gospel We wouldn’t have it today without that Church.

I believe that Protestants look at the Church as “Christianity” not a specific Church, but then you’ll see them saying they are part of "Churches depending on what denomination they are.

I’ve seen the argument that many believe we see Churches as buildings instead of people and so they think we’re all about the building. Well there are different definitions for Churches. Churches are buildings yet Church as in the Catholic Church, or the Anglican Church, is made up of people united in their beliefs. It’s one of those things where people perceptions of what we believe and are about are off. Yes we believe the Church building is important because a Church is holy Ground where God resides, the Eucharist especially, but the Catholic (universal) Church is made up of people.

Ephesians 3:4 When you read this you can perceive my insight into the mystery of Christ, 5 which was not made known to the sons of men in other generations as it has now been revealed to his holy apostles . . .

Ephesians 3:8 To me, though I am the very least of all the saints, this grace was given, to preach to the Gentiles the unsearchable riches of Christ, 9 and to make all men see what is the plan of the mystery hidden for ages in God who created all things; 10 that through the church the manifold wisdom of God might be made known

Paul clearly tells us that it is through His Church that the manifold wisdom of God is made know to the world.

I believe that Protestants look at the Church as “Christianity” not a specific Church, but then you’ll see them saying they are part of "Churches depending on what denomination they are.

.
[/quote]

If read in the context of the time when Paul is writing, when he refers to The Church, he clearly means Institution that Jesus Christ founded. There was no other Church at that time and there weren’t any church buildings. There was in the whole world only the One Church Universal Church. There was at that time only one thing he could have been referring to.

If one takes into account the context and the time and circumstances at the time it was written, It seems to me that It is not a difficult in the lease passage to understand.

All that you say is true. However, Protestants have, out of necessity, redefined the Church to include just about anyone who “believes” in Jesus. The most conservative and fundamentalist among them will point to their own little group or denomination, but the majority will ultimately concede that the “church” is pretty all-inclusive. Thus, Paul was speaking to and about that diverse and geographically-dispersed collection of independent local congregations that formed the first century church.

I know what you are saying, but wouldn’t the the revealing in Eph 3 of “the plan of the mystery hidden for ages” through The Church have to be coherent? But, since they all teach different things, that interpretation doesn’t make any sense.

That is actually the point of att…the point at which you can begin the discussion. :wink:

John Martignoni states it this way:

Today, there are more than 25,000 (this was a few years ago!) recognized Christian denominations throughout the world. Given this situation, we realize one of the following must be true:

[LIST=1]
*]Jesus established more than one church
*]Jesus established one church, but it is an invisible, abstract, “spiritual” church in which all true believers, regardless of denomination, are members. In this church, either:
(a) Doctrine does not matter, or
(b) Conflicting and contradictory doctrines are acceptable.
*]Jesus established one, visible church in which doctrine matters and does not conflict. This church contains the fullness of truth as revealed by God; all others have partial truth, at best.
[/LIST]

Then you ask: “Now, my Protestant friend, which is it?”

And you go from there. :slight_smile:

I would answer: [LIST=1]

*]Jesus established one, visible church in which doctrine matters and does not conflict. This church contains the fullness of truth as revealed by God; all others have partial truth, at best.
[/LIST]

So if it is visible what are its signs? One? Well is the Catholic Church one? All those under Peter? Orthodox? how do they fit in? Etc. And even if the Catholic had impeccability in truth and doctrine that does not mean they have the fullness… The incorporation of those into Christ is known by God alone not by membership to a specific body of believers. Now doctrine does matter but the Spirit of God can show them the truth in those things that they most need. So if the Church is all who are in Christ then only they have the fullness on a given issue. Such as belief in Jesus. being born again by the Gospel through water and Spirit. Etc.

I would answer

[LIST]
*]Jesus wants unity that is perfect in all aspects, not just between the apostles, but also with those who come to faith through them. John 17:20-23
*]and The Holy Spirit who Jesus sends, doesn’t tell one person one thing and another person something different. The HS doesn’t divide Our Lord’s Church. That’s because the HS that Jesus sends doesn’t speak on His own but only what Jesus wants taught John 16:12-15 . And Jesus wants perfect unity in what He started and gave all His promises to
*]Jesus started one Church only #[FONT=Arial]34[/FONT]
[/LIST]Therefore, taking various points you bring up
[LIST]
*]did Jesus divide the Orthodox from the Catholic Church? No
*]did Jesus start protestantism regardless of stripe? No
*]did the HS start protestantism regardless of stripe? No
[/LIST]Here’s a point that needs stressing. Division (as in what’s described above) is condemned in scripture. If you’re interested in those passages I’ll be happy to show them to you

So… it’s not enough to just have {part} of the truth. Anymore than it’s okay to be part of the following. The Great Heresies . I suppose It could be said each group mentioned there had {part} of the truth. But they were also Heresies, which means they rejected truths. And we can’t dismiss the point, heresy will get one condemned

Titus 3:10
“As for a man who is factious ( [FONT=Verdana]αρετικν[/FONT] heretic ), after admonishing him once or twice, have nothing more to do with him, 11 knowing that such a person is perverted and sinful; he is self-condemned.”

I would suggest those points aren’t difficult to understand as well.

I would agree with your first point. Your second point is correct however one crucial thing missing is that faith is given in measure, meaning some will have a fuller understanding than others, and secondly the HS may reveal to one that Jesus is Life (which is true) but when they attempt to interpret scripture on their own without the HS then they may make wrong or incorrect conclusions. So the HS still led them into truth, and further more will continue to do so if they submit to the leading of the HS, but that doesn’t mean divisions in understanding can’t arise among believers. That’s why the council was developed in Acts. And we should continue following that method. So why, after the Greek Schism, do we not include the Bishops and Patriarchs in Councils?

Therefore, taking various points you bring up
[LIST]
*]did Jesus divide the Orthodox from the Catholic Church? No
*]did Jesus start protestantism regardless of stripe? No
*]did the HS start protestantism regardless of stripe? No
[/LIST]Here’s a point that needs stressing. Division (as in what’s described above) is condemned in scripture. If you’re interested in those passages I’ll be happy to show them to you

As for your above list I agree, however Jesus came to bring the Sword to divide (until greater unity arises). The sword is the Truth and the understanding of that and precisely what that entails is the matter of these divisions. So does that Catholic Church continue to let the lost sheep wander in error? Or should they settle the differences, say with the Orthodox Church, with a better teaching through a council?

So… it’s not enough to just have {part} of the truth. Anymore than it’s okay to be part of the following. The Great Heresies . I suppose It could be said each group mentioned there had {part} of the truth. But they were also Heresies, which means they rejected truths. And we can’t dismiss the point, heresy will get one condemned

While you are right that the whole Truth is essential, one whom believes Jesus is the Truth and the Way and the Life has the whole Truth. So even a simpleton can understand the Truth provided they have belief. So does one assume, simply because a person has less understanding and only believes Jesus, that they are not incorporated into Christ? What if your press them and say: do you belief in OSAS? and they respond:’’ Jesus Saves me so yes. I believe He will always save me.’’ Is that a statement requiring more expounding? Sure, for us whom have a greater ‘measure’ and understanding of Faith through the Spirit, but for this person they have all they need for Life Everlasting. Jesus.

Titus 3:10
“As for a man who is factious ( [FONT=Verdana]αρετικὸ****ν[/FONT] heretic ), after admonishing him once or twice, have nothing more to do with him, 11 knowing that such a person is perverted and sinful; he is self-condemned.”

I would suggest those points aren’t difficult to understand as well.

I like the above quote but you must understand the term factitous, is one whom causes divisions. So if you go into a protestant bible study and start asking questions (with a mind to bring them to acknowledge the Catholic Church teaching authority) that begin to divide the group is such a person ‘‘factitous’’? Or how does one decide when a division is created? and by whom? over what?

That is the problem in a nutshell. People interpreting scripture on their own. THAT has produced division on steroids.

If a person was truly led by the HS there would be zero division. And as far as “believers”, that term has become somewhat nebulous. Depending on who one is talking with, that could be defined many different ways.

The Catholic Church has had 21 ecumenical councils over the last 2000 years and myriads of local councils. Please explain your point

Jesus doesn’t divide what He established John 17:20-23. The division you speak of is dividing those who join Him and His Church vs those who won’t. Jesus gave His people 1st crack at the truth Matthew 10:6 , Matthew 15:24 . After that He opened up the faith to the Gentiles as well.

The Catholic Church has made numerous attempts at reconcilliation. And little by little it has born fruit.

Such as
melkite.org/eparchy/bishop-j…ited-with-rome

allow me to finish that conditional statement.

IF one “believes” Jesus is the Truth and the Way and the Life THEN they would be in the Catholic Church because that’s the one and only Church He established and gave all His promises to. #34

and Jesus wants actions not words

John 14:15 , John 2:5

is the following a suggestion or command?

John 6:52-69 , #4

OSAS is error. We need to correct error not leave it alone

to review the quote again,

Titus 3:10
“As for a man who is factious ( αρετικν heretic ), after admonishing him once or twice, have nothing more to do with him, 11 knowing that such a person is perverted and sinful; he is self-condemned.”

I would say Re: protestants, it’s 1st an issue about material heresy, then when does it flip over into one’s formal heresy.

Easy. First close your eyes to the truth. Second, deny the Oral Tradition, Third, interpret scripture as you wish. Fourth, repeat over and over.

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