Protestants: The Invisibility Factor?


Protestants claim they belong to an invisible church. Where were these invisible Protestants for the first 1500 years? Also if Protestants go on “Scripture Alone” how could they actually believe Christ Church is not visible as Scripture dictates otherwise right from our saviour’s mouth.

18:17. **And if he will not hear them: tell the church. And if he will not hear the church, let him be to thee as the heathen and publican. **

18:18. Amen I(Jesus) say to you, whatsoever you shall bind upon earth, shall be bound also in heaven: and whatsoever you shall loose upon earth, shall be loosed also in heaven.

18:19. Again I say to you, that if two of you shall consent upon earth, concerning anything whatsoever they shall ask, it shall be done to them by my Father who is in heaven.

Thank you for your answers .

God bless,


14 You are the light of the world. A city set on a
mountain [size=]cannot
be hidden.
15 Nor do they light a lamp and then put it under a
bushel basket; it is set on a lampstand, where it gives light
to all in the house.[/size] Mat 5:14-15

Back in the day churches were to be built with steeples so high that they could be seen so that all can come to worship God.

God never intended for the Catholic Church to be INVISIBLE by any means. Since God made Himself Visible by becoming Flesh how can He want His own Church to be INvisible? That just doesn’t make sense.


Those Protestants who seek to be Godly use the term to express a sincere devotion to God and a certain perspective on the interior life of Christ. We tend to call that “mysticism”. Thewy do admit that the Church is also visibly seen in Christian fellowship. The weakness of their argument is their denial that the Church must also be one. They don’t have that quality.

Some Protestants, perhaps many or even most, insist that the invisible part is all that matters, that only those who oppose Catholicism are part of it, and they themselves know themselves to be part of it.

One can help the first group. The second group have hardened hearts.



Yes, and what is a city? It is both people, and the unified grouping of structures which house and contain them. Protestant theology replaces “city” in this verse" with “people”, leaving out the unified grouping of structures and thus changing the word of God to fit their theology.


18:18. Amen I(Jesus) say to you, whatsoever you shall bind upon earth, shall be bound also in heaven: and whatsoever you shall loose upon earth, shall be loosed also in heaven.

18:19. Again I say to you, that if two of you shall consent upon earth, concerning anything whatsoever they shall ask, it shall be done to them by my Father who is in heaven.

Thank you for your answers .

God bless,
Jonfan:) I don’t know…it’s invisible I guess. LOL


Though Henry Wilcox hadn’t been seen on Sunday in ten years, he was still considered an active member at Calvary Baptist Church.

A little humor for us all! :whacky:

God bless,


This is the best summary I’ve seen.


This is true from the conversations that I’ve had with some of my Protestant friends. They think that ONLY the invisible is what counts. And that the only “authority” is within us. :confused: Huh?

We need a visible authority here on earth. Jesus gave Peter (Rock) the Keys to the Kingdom.

But I also believe in the “inner” as Father Benedict Groeschel stated in today’s homily. He mentioned that the Church is the “Mystical Body of Christ.”

- Nov 16, 2006Gospel reading
Lk 17:20-25

Asked by the Pharisees when the Kingdom of God would
come, Jesus said in reply,
“The coming of the Kingdom of God cannot be observed,
and no one will announce, ‘Look, here it is,’ or, ‘There it is.’
For behold, the Kingdom of God is among you.”

Then he said to his disciples,
“The days will come when you will long to see
one of the days of the Son of Man, but you will
not see it. There will be those who will say to you,
‘Look, there he is,’ or ‘Look, here he is.’
Do not go off, do not run in pursuit.
For just as lightning flashes
and lights up the sky from one side to the other,
so will the Son of Man be in his day.
But first he must suffer greatly and be rejected by
this generation.”

He was upset that this translation was wrong because the Early Church Fathers believed it as "the Kingdom of God is within you.” I also believe this. But we cannot say that the Church is ONLY invisible and within us. We Catholics must believe that we have a visible Church with a visible head that is the Pope. God would not leave us orphans with nothing. The Bible wasn’t even put together when Jesus left Peter in charge. So we have to know that the Church came BEFORE the Bible did.

edit… that link for the homily only works for each days homily. So if you want today’s homily (11/16/06) you have to click before sometime early tomorrow (11/17/06). You can still click if you want :yup: You will hear that day’s homily; which is always good to hear the Priests on EWTN! :thumbsup:


Let me make this simple to understand.
You are putting WAY to much thought into “invisible church”.
What we mean when we say invisible church, we are referring to ALL people who believe in Christ and that he is the only way to Eternal Life. These people are members of EVERY denomoniation and thus members of one large body of Christian believers.
THAT is the invisible church.
Where was it during the first 1500 years?
Mostly split between your churches, the Orthodox, Oriental Orthodox, Coptics etc.:wink:


1 I, then, a prisoner for the Lord, urge you to live
in a manner worthy of the call you have received,
[size=]2 with all humility and gentleness, with patience,
bearing with one another through love,
3 striving to preserve the unity of the spirit through
the bond of peace:
4 one body and one Spirit, as you were also
called to the one hope of your call;
5 one Lord, one faith, one baptism;
6 one God and Father of all, who is over all and
through all and in all.[/size] Eph 4:1-6


We understand that this is what is meant by “invisible church” by the Protestants. Gregory has pointed that out in his post. I also understand this because I have Protestant friends who tell me this.

What Gregory has also pointed out was that there is a denial on the part of the Protestants that the Church has to be ONE. And we have to have ONE head of the Church of whom Jesus Christ appointed Peter for that. There is only ONE Holy Spirit with only ONE interpretation of the Bible and only ONE teaching of the ONE Church. I don’t see what is so hard to understand about that. :confused:


The general Lutheran explanation of the invisible church is that only God knows who the members of His church are, because only God can see into our hearts to determine our true faith in Christ.

THis confuses me because I thought Jesus taught through a couple of parables that members of his church, both good and bad, would exist together (weeds & wheat? sorting good and bad fish? am I close? someone help me).

Anyway, if, as they claim, God knows who’s a true member of his church, how does this coincide with the parables stating that not everyone in the church will go to heaven?

Does anyone see where I’m going with this? I’m obviously not able to articulate this.


I think I know what you mean. There are a lot of Catholics who do not “have faith” in anything within the teachings of the Church. Some Catholics do not believe in the Real Presence of Jesus in the Eucharist. Some Catholics just “go with the flow” and are not true Christians. And we have some Catholics that just do not practice their faith or any faith for that matter.

I also know that there are some Protestants that fall into that same category. There are Protestants who are just “nominal” Protestants but don’t really have faith. And there are some people who were born into a Protestant family who just doesn’t practice their faith at all.

Within these faiths, Catholicism and Protestantism, there are True Christians that God knows very well. And just because you “belong” to a “church” does not mean that you will be “saved.”

So within the Catholic church we have weeds and we have wheat. And within a Protestant denomination, you will also have weeds and wheat. I believe that mainly cradle Protestants who are not anti-Catholic or anti-People, and that also have soft hearts that are open to the Truth of Jesus Christ, I believe that they can be saved. I say “cradle Protestants” because it seems that most converts to the Faith are cradle Catholics who have a vendetta and a grudge against the Catholic Church for some reason or another. The worst anti-Catholics out there are cradle Catholics who have left the Church. I know this from experience because I have family that are like this. Now I’m not saying ALL, I’m only saying most.


AlegreFe, :amen: . You totally get it. I have family members and best friends who are Lutheran and Methodist. They never say anything to me that is hostile or anti-Catholic; they are always charitable. In fact, I frequently talk to them about my Sunday school classes (we have adult Sunday school, which is Bible study, at my Catholic parish). We have discussed the Bible, and these family/friends who are Protestant have never said anything offensive or contradictory to the Catholic faith. I have encountered more hostility from people who are baptized Catholics, but have fallen away, either because they have become Protestant fundamentalists, or become SSPX dissenters. I’m far from perfect myself, and I had actually been away from the Catholic Church for about 5 years myself (I left in 1996 and came back in 2001). But when I was away, I never actually said anything anti-Catholic, I just didn’t care about any religion at the time. God, the Holy Spirit, knows what He is doing though, because He arranged for me to experience just the right things, with and through the right people, to bring me back to the Catholic Church. He deserves all the glory, because I certainly was not doing anything at the time to make it easy for Him. In spite of myself, He convicted me of my sin and showed me that the Catholic Church is the Truth. I truly do believe that with God all things are possible, because I was not open at all, but God broke through my spiritual blindness and made me see.


That’s great! And I’m glad you can talk and just have conversation with your friends about your bible study. I only have one friend that I can do that with… he’s actually my bro-in-law but we were friends before he became my bro-in-law. He is also a fallen away Catholic who is now Protestant but we can now talk and just engage in conversation and it seems he is open and is really listening to what I have to say. It’s unfortunate that I don’t get to see him that much because of distance and he’s not a phone person. I know that it is only the Holy Spirit that can convert a heart. So I keep praying. :gopray:


You mentioned that he’s not a phone person, but does he like email and IM? I will offer my prayers for him, so he may be lead back to the Catholic Church.


He’s an OTR driver so he’s barely at home. :frowning: And when he is, he’d rather much be with his family and who can blame him.

Thank you so much for your prayers. :gopray:


Yes this is generally my understanding of that parable.

What I’m trying to flesh out is that they (some protestants) define members of the true church as something only God can determine because only He can see into the heart of man and their true faith in Jesus Christ. Therefore, these “true” members of the church are the ones who will go to heaven.

However, scripture tells us that not all in the church will go to heaven (wheat coexisting with weeds, etc.).

Their definition of the church, to me, implies that the weeds are not considered part of the church…but scripture says otherwise.


Most of us protestants will agree with this statement,


We believe the Church is the Body of Christ ( 1 Cor 12:12 -14; Eph 1:22 -23) , His Bride (Eph 5:25 ) and Temple of the Holy Spirit (1Cor 3:16 ), the expression of the present rule and reign of Christ’s Kingdom of God on earth. Christians are members of the universal, mystical, body by faith-they are a holy priesthood of believers. Believers need to live out their commitment to Christ in love, unity and community with other body members in the local church-this is the practical expression of Christian faith in action.

Romans 12:3-8

3For by the grace given me I say to every one of you: Do not think of yourself more highly than you ought, but rather think of yourself with sober judgment, in accordance with the measure of faith God has given you. 4Just as each of us has one body with many members, and these members do not all have the same function, 5so in Christ we who are many form one body, and each member belongs to all the others. 6We have different gifts, according to the grace given us. If a man’s gift is prophesying, let him use it in proportion to his[a]faith. 7If it is serving, let him serve; if it is teaching, let him teach; 8if it is encouraging, let him encourage; if it is contributing to the needs of others, let him give generously; if it is leadership, let him govern diligently; if it is showing mercy, let him do it cheerfully.

1 Corinthians 12:12-14

12The body is a unit, though it is made up of many parts; and though all its parts are many, they form one body. So it is with Christ. 13For we were all baptized by[a] one Spirit into one body—whether Jews or Greeks, slave or free—and we were all given the one Spirit to drink.

14Now the body is not made up of one part but of many.

Ephesians 1:22-23

22And hath put all things under his feet, and gave him to be the head over all things to the church,

23Which is his body, the fulness of him that filleth all in all.

Ephesians 5:25

25Husbands, love your wives, even as Christ also loved the church, and gave himself for it;

1 Corinthians 3:16

16Know ye not that ye are the temple of God, and that the Spirit of God dwelleth in you?

Ephesians 4:11-16

11And he gave some, apostles; and some, prophets; and some, evangelists; and some, pastors and teachers;

12For the perfecting of the saints, for the work of the ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ:

13Till we all come in the unity of the faith, and of the knowledge of the Son of God, unto a perfect man, unto the measure of the stature of the fulness of Christ:

14That we henceforth be no more children, tossed to and fro, and carried about with every wind of doctrine, by the sleight of men, and cunning craftiness, whereby they lie in wait to deceive;

15But speaking the truth in love, may grow up into him in all things, which is the head, even Christ:

16From whom the whole body fitly joined together and compacted by that which every joint supplieth, according to the effectual working in the measure of every part, maketh increase of the body unto the edifying of itself in love.

Ephesians 2:6
And God raised us up with Christ and seated us with him in the heavenly realms in Christ Jesus,

In short, we believe in the “spiritual body of Christ” and the local visible body of christ, church.

Now, there are some Baptists who deny that there is an Universal, spiritual body of Christ. They claim that there is only a local church.±roman+Mystical+universal+church±unitarian+%22body+of+christ%22+spiritual


OH MY GOODNESS!! The guy looking right into the camera look like one of my ministers and we go to Calvary Bible Church!! Could he be reincarnated:eek: :stuck_out_tongue: LOLOLOL

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