Protestants claim to be one Church?


I saw this posted elsewhere and thought it was a good question. How can Protestants claim to be one Church as Jesus and the Father are one (John 17) when they disagree on doctrine. Do Jesus and the Father argue over infant baptism,divorce, abortion, etc.?


My friend believes that all “believers” are part of Christ’s church, and that they’re scattered across all the denominations. In a sense, he’s correct; all “believers” or Christians, are indeed part of Christ’s church - the Catholic Church - albeit in imperfect communion therewith.


This is a very important point. If they disagree about matters of doctrine and still claim to be part of the one church then these differences don’t matter, insofar as they don’t prohibit membership to the one church. And if they don’t matter, why do they have to disagree?

High-Church Anglicans believe in the Communion. Low-Church Anglicans don’t. Some churches speak in tongues. Some few even handle snakes. Some believe in infant baptism, some in adult baptism.

If those who believe in infant baptism argue for it, then they negate their own argument about its importance by saying they’re part of a wider church that ignores infant baptism.

Once I toyed with the idea of being Protestant. I was stuck at the very point of asking “Which church?”. The differences either matter, or they don’t. They can’t argue for both at the same time.


It doesn’t matter how you say it, Protestants for the most part do not interpret the “one Church” in the Bible as the Catholic Church (in union with Rome). If they would only do a little church history and see what the early church thought about this, they would recognize that the Bride of Christ is the Catholic Church.


The same way that my various siblings, cousins, etc claim to be one family though we are far scattered and have differing ideas about how life should be lived. We claim the same ancestory and take our name from the same “Father”.


The church I attend is First Congregational Methodist and we believe that anyone who is a believer and baptised in the name of The Father, The Son and The Holy Spirit is a Christian and therefore part of the greater church which knows no denomination.
If anyone wanted to be a member of our congregation and were baptised by the Baptists, Catholics etc. we would accept them if their baptism were valid and performed in the name of the Trinity no matter whether by submersion, sprinkling, pouring.
One Lord, One Faith, One Baptism is taken literally with us.
Our Minister frequently announces church activities (Easter plays etc.) at churches of other denominations in case we would like to attend, this morning for example he announced an Easter Drama being performed at the Baptist Church next month and encouraged us to attend if we could.


The Catholic Church does all of this as well. I was baptized Baptist by submersion and no one in the Catholic Church has treated me with any disrespect or disdain. Only open arms into the Church. Also, the parish I go to is sister churches with two Presbytieran churches.

I believe we are all Christians and therefore all a part of God’s family. For me, thats different than saying we’re all a part of God’s Church. Obviously, thats not true…yet.


Who taught you this and where did they get it from?


The Bible.
That is how the New Testament teaches that you should be baptised, in the name of The Trinity.


Please, do show me.


Not the Baptism part, your definition of the Church.


Except the definition of your family bears no resemblence to one of the church.

The analogy fails.


As you’re baptised in water you’re baptised in the name of the Trinity


The concept of “one church” in Protestant understanding…well, at least this Protestants understanding, is that there is one mytical body of Christ. He has called his people out of every nation, tongue and people. Union with Christ through the Holy Spirit…it is his body…it is not necessarily based on doctrine, but on the work and nature of God in the lives of His people.

His church exists whereever his people exist…is isn’t necessarily based on belief in his resurrection…but in those who share in his resurrection. It’s relational…not doctrinal…“some say I am of Paul, others I am of Cephas, some I am of Appolos.”…it is through the work of the Holy Spirit that the church is made one…no on our works to all believe the same thing. Those that share in new life with him are members of the church…made part of the church through the work and regeneration of the Holy Spirit.

It is mystical and invisible…existing in this world…similar to how Catholics view the Eucharist…the emblems…the bread and wine keep the form and appearance of bread and wine…but they are something substantially different…so Protestants view the church…it is Christ who binds the church together thrrough the ministry of the Holy Spirit…it is not found in one locality…but where those washed in regeneration and where those who have taken on them the name of Christ are found…One Body of believers.

The church is not an organization…but an organism…a living extention of his presence in this world…a priesthood of believers…a nation of priests called out from every corner of the Earth…One as Christ and his Father are One through the unity of the Holy Spirit.


originally posted by** montalban**
As you’re baptised in water you’re baptised in the name of the Trinity

The jws practice submersion Baptism and do not believe in the Trinity.


No, the analogy doesn’t fail…while it doesn’t meet your definitions and beliefs of what the “church” means…it may be imperfect…but most analogies are…to find understanding perhaps we need to look beyond ourselves and seek to understand those who are different…we can still believe they are wrong…but seeking to build understanding and mutual appreciation is a start…

You cannot impose Catholic understanding on someone who does not hold “Catholic understanding” I thought the thread was for Protestants to explain hwo they “claim to be one church”? If one dismisses out of hand every statement and just says…“no…not it…your analogy fails…” how will we ever communicate?

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