Read a little black book today, shouldn't have. Which Religion is the TRUE religion?


#1

Once and for all, Which religion is the true Religion?

I was at my Grandfathers house, and he believes there is a Supreme Being, he just doesn’t belong to any religion. I was going through this book and I saw this little Black Book, and I think it was distributed by the Church Of Christ. It says after the time of Jesus, that the Real Church went into hiding, like it says somewhere in The book of Revelation, and at that time, the Catholic Church rose, and eliminated the Church of Christ. Then Whoever founded the Church of Christ came and brought back the TRUE church, the Church of Christ. The book also says that the church was refered to as the Church Of Christ, but never the Catholic church in the Bible. It also said that the Catholic Church could not be the church because it isn’t Unified, They were talking about the Eastern and Western Churches, and that the only church that hasn’t broken apart is the Church of Christ, anyone have any answers to this?


#2

Just curious… when was this book written?


#3

I really dont know, it looked kinda old though, it was called Religions of the World I think, I thought it was about religion, not condeming religion.


#4

[quote=RomanRyan1088] . . .I was going through this book and I saw this little Black Book. . . . .It says after the time of Jesus, that the Real Church went into hiding . . .Then Whoever founded the Church of Christ came and brought back the TRUE church, the Church of Christ. The book also says that the church was refered to as the Church Of Christ . . . .and that the only church that hasn’t broken apart is the Church of Christ, anyone have any answers to this?
[/quote]

The Churches of Christ are scarcely ‘unified’. They are part of an attempted unification of Christianity sparked in the late 1700’s/early 1800’s called the ‘Christian Connection’. Three prominent leaders of the early ‘Christian Connection’ were Thomas and Alexander Campbell and Barton Stone. Stone worked mainly in the American South, the father-son team of Campbells worked the American frontier. Each favored slightly different names for the churches they founded: the Campbells favored names like “Disciples of Christ” or “Christian Church”, Stone favored “Churches of Christ”. They followed a polity of ‘New Testament Christianity’ and were rather strict about using only ‘Bible names for Bible things’–the movement was once thought to be anti-Trinitarian because they refused to use the word ‘Trinity’ for decades. Their distictives include Arminian theology, rejection of the perpetuation of charismatic gifts (speaking in tongues, etcetera), weekly communion services, and baptism by immerson immediately following a profession of faith. Otherwise they greatly resemble the Baptist and similar frontier churches.

After the death of the Campbells and Stone the “Christian Connection” split several times. During the Civil War, the “Churches of Christ” (based largely in the South) split over issues of slavery and integration. In the late 1800’s through the 1920’s the Disciples split from the “Independent Christian Churches” over the introduction of liberalism into seminaries and missionary organizations. Only the Disciples now have a formal national ‘headquarters’ although all branches of the movement are at least quasi-congregational (congregations own and manage their own property). The “Independents” and the CofC have national conferences at which major issues are debated. The Disciples are deemed to be the most liberal–many are EXTREMELY so–while the Churches of Christ tend to be not only fundamentalist but largely insular.

In addition to the three splits I just described there are various other minor splits over such issues as: instrumental music in churches (most, but not all Churches of Christ are non-instrumental, most “Independents” and Disciples accompany congregational singing with the use of instruments). Also, the number of cups and loaves of bread to use in communion have been an issue–some congregations are quite insistent upon use of a single, chalice-like cup and a single ‘loaf’ of bread to be broken up and distributed as part of the communion service. Most use the ubiquitous little multiple ‘medicine cups’ for communion wine, to inhibit the spread of disease, and most place no emphasis upon how many ‘loaves’ of bread may be used. There is the perenial debate over whether to use ‘fermented wine’ or ‘pure wine’ (grape juice)–some few Protestants argue vehemently that fermented wine was NEVER used by Christ nor by the original Levitical priesthood.

The book you read was probably referring to what is known as the ‘trail of blood’ theory of Church continuity–this theory is that the church always survives but is in every generation a small and heavily persecuted group. It would be difficult to recognize or observe in many historical epochs, because it is continually being suppressed and/or supplanted by the much larger ‘apostate church’. Hope this helps!


#5

Very good explanation of the origins of the Christian churches.

My husband and I attended a Christian church in college and really liked it. It was nice to have communion not just every week, but at every service, even business meetings, it was offered in case someone hadn’t had communion that week.

They are quite adamant that they are NOT a denomination, but “just Christians.” There is no governing Board, each church is autonomous. This means, of course, that a pastor can lead his congregation astray, and no one will step in and stop him.

This is what happened with the Rev. Jim Jones, who was part of the Christian Church, churches of Christ/Disciples of Christ group.

I wanted to make a clarification in case someone is confused. The church of Christ is NOT the same as the United Church of Christ!

The UCC is related to the Congregationalists, a much older denomination than the Campbellites.

Also, the UCC is extremely liberal. On their website, they take great pride in the fact that they were the first denomination to ordain a practicing homosexual, way back in the 1970s when every church was shocked. They still lead the way in liberal practices.

Yet, because the UCC churches are “autonomous,” i.e., not under the direct control of a denominational board or headquarters, you can still find decent UCC churches. It’s all a question of who the pastor is. I imagine this is more likely to happen in the more isolated cities, because it seems that any UCC pastor who opposed the UCC’s liberal agenda would be ostracized by his/her fellow pastors, and this would be hard to take, having no friends.

The point is, you have to take a look at each UCC church individually.


#6

Every denomination’s founding story goes something like this.

Pentecost. New Testament Church. Gates of Hell Prevail over the Church and Catholicism is founded. Then centuries pass. Then the denominational founder overcomes the Gates of Hell and restores the New Testament Church (more like his/her interpretation of the NTC)


#7

:eek:

Please forgive me if I come off rude…but…you are over 165 posts into THIS SITE. So that means you have read what people believe here…the NAME of the site is Catholic Answers…I just dont understand the question…so what IS the “true” religion???


#8

flame…

great post, i was just about to type it out also but you saved me the time :smiley: . everything you wrote is true and again thanks for writing it.


#9

Roman, the so called “churches of Christ” are very divided. In out home town you will find the majority of them have sunday school classes, and don’t use musical insturments.

But there are others going by the same name that are different, for example Washington Ave. cofC and several others do not have sunday school classes.

Crescent Park cofC is called “anti institunional” they believe that church financing of “institutions” like orphanages and church colleges is “unscriptural” and therefore wrong.

Golf Course cofC in Midland actually uses instruments with their worship.

I myself was raised in the Eisenhower cofC and (modestly speaking) know quite a bit about them, if you have any questions … ask, I will answer to the best of my abibility.


#10

RomanRyan,

The idea that there was some True Religion that the Catholic Church forced into hiding is an old and tired bit of falsehood that is trotted out by a number of denominations, not just this one. (I think that if all of the denominations that claim this were telling the truth, then the sheer numbers of hidden “True Church” members would have swamped the relatively puny Catholic Church…one couldn’t have hidden them all…) Anyway, it’s false. You’ll probably be able to find articles on Catholic.com that will go into more detail on the topic, but I will point out one quick item: how come we know about the early heresies (Arianism, etc), but there’s absolutely no documentation of a hidden church? Why would the Catholic Church destroy “evidence” of this alleged hidden church, but keep the evidence of these heresies (Arianism and others), and the efforts to fight them? This doesn’t make sense…

What concerns me is your own faith, if I may be so bold. It sounds as if it doesn’t take much to shake your faith. I’m not trying to be insulting, but rather I am hoping that you will try to learn more about your faith so that you are confident and won’t be so vulnerable to claims like these.


#11

Hi, RomanRyan! As others have noted, this “Trail of Blood” shtick is a bunch of hooey. There was no “hidden underground church.” The reason why there’s absolutely no evidence for such a church is that…there was never such a church!

Steve Ray and others have written exposes of this silly theory (which, BTW, is held by Landmark Baptists and some Independent Baptists as well as by Church of Christ folks).

As for the Church of Christ specifically: You may want to order the back issue of Envoy Magazine containing Jeff Childers’ article, “From the Church of Christ to Christ’s Church.” (Go to www.envoymagazine.com.) Or you may wish to go to chnetwork.org and download the Journey Home episode in which Jeff Childers told his remarkable conversion story.

Blessings,

ZT


#12

Hi, RomanRyan! As others have noted, this “Trail of Blood” shtick is a bunch of hooey. There was no “hidden underground church.” The reason why there’s absolutely no evidence for such a church is that…there was never such a church!

Steve Ray and others have written exposes of this silly theory (which, BTW, is held by Landmark Baptists and some Independent Baptists as well as by Church of Christ folks).

As for the Church of Christ specifically: You may want to order the back issue of Envoy Magazine containing Jeff Childers’ article, “From the Church of Christ to Christ’s Church.” (Go to www.envoymagazine.com.) Or you may wish to go to chnetwork.org and download the Journey Home episode in which Jeff Childers told his remarkable conversion story.

Blessings,

ZT


#13

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http://forums.catholic.com/images/icons/icon1.gif Re: Read a little black book today, shouldn’t have. Which Religion is the TRUE religion?
:eek:

Please forgive me if I come off rude…but…you are over 165 posts into THIS SITE. So that means you have read what people believe here…the NAME of the site is Catholic Answers…I just dont understand the question…so what IS the “true” religion???

If I’m not badly mistaken, Roman Ryan is a teenager, so I think he can be excused if he doesn’t know the faith backwards and forwards yet. Everything of his I’ve read has seemed very sincere.


#14

Hey, Roman! I try to make my posts pithy and useful, but in this case . . . I can’t make up my mind whether to :rotfl: or :crying: – this story is so old (well, not so old, the “trail of blood” story dates from 1931), tired and unbelievable.

Get a grip, lad. Read REAL stuff. I mean, evan REAL Protestant literature would be a step in the right direction; better yet, the Church fathers: not this nonsense.


#15

The true church is the Catholic church. The church that Christ founded and put in care of the apostles was and is the Catholic church. Just read the multitude of writings from the church fathers and you will see them clearly talking about the same faith - the Catholic faith. There are so many books from ex-Protestants that testify to this fact. Steve Ray’s Crossing the Tiber; David Currie’s Born Fundamentalist, Born Again Catholic; Tom Howard’s Evangelical is Not Enough and many, many more. All of the arguments put forth in these books regarding the historicity of the Catholic church being the true church are cogent and very persuasive.


#16

[quote=seeker63]Faithful 2 Rome http://forums.catholic.com/images/statusicon_cad/user_offline.gif vbmenu_register(“postmenu_129809”, true);
Senior Member
Join Date: May 19, 2004
Location: Midwest
Posts: 840

http://forums.catholic.com/images/icons/icon1.gif Re: Read a little black book today, shouldn’t have. Which Religion is the TRUE religion?
:eek:

Please forgive me if I come off rude…but…you are over 165 posts into THIS SITE. So that means you have read what people believe here…the NAME of the site is Catholic Answers…I just dont understand the question…so what IS the “true” religion???

If I’m not badly mistaken, Roman Ryan is a teenager, so I think he can be excused if he doesn’t know the faith backwards and forwards yet. Everything of his I’ve read has seemed very sincere.
[/quote]

Thank you


#17

:Every denomination’s founding story goes something like this.

Pentecost. New Testament Church. Gates of Hell Prevail over the Church and Catholicism is founded.:

You are totally wrong. That is not the Anglican story. It’s not the story that most of the major historic Protestant traditions would tell today. Even in the Reformation era, when passions ran high and polemic was vicious, the Reformers didn’t quite hold this view. Their version of it would have been more like this. Pentecost. New Testament Church. Early Church which is basically sound but not infallible. Early medieval Church which has growing corruption but is still recognizably a true Christian Church. High medieval Church in which the Papacy has become the Antichrist and is tyrannizing over the Church, but the true Church remains and has some great spokesmen like Bernard of Clairvaux. Late medieval Church in which the corruption of the Church by the anti-Christian parasite called the papacy is almost complete, so God raises up the Reformers.

But today most Protestants–certainly most members of infant-baptizing Protestant churches–would not hold anything like this. Rather, we would say something like this: Pentecost. New Testament Church. Early Church which is mostly unified and is a respected though not infallible guide to the right interpretation of Scripture. Medieval Church from which we can learn a lot but which saw the growth of some troubling developments, such as the use of the secular arm against heretics and an overly powerful Papacy. This resulted in the East-West split, which is one of the most tragic in the Church’s history. Then the Reformation, which addressed some abuses and some mistaken emphases and restored some important aspects of historic Christian teaching, but was overly dogmatic and polemical. Because of faults on both sides, the Reformation resulted in a a further tragic split within the Western Church, and on our side we just kept on splitting. So now we need to be faithful to the basic insights of our respective traditions, but to understand them in the light of Scripture and the “undivided” Church of the first millenium, so that we can come to see how our fundamental convictions are in fact compatible.

Edwin


#18

They are quite adamant that they are NOT a denomination, but “just Christians.” There is no governing Board, each church is autonomous. This means, of course, that a pastor can lead his congregation astray, and no one will step in and stop him.

**The Church of Christ (called Christ’s Church at Mason now, but was called Mason Church of Christ), which is where my husband belongs, has quite an elaborate system of elders…This system ensures that the pastor cannot go off on his own tangent…He is accountable to certain elders, who meet with him each week. Indeed, each staff memeber meet with particular elders for the same reason. **


**The system seems to work pretty well most of the time. **


There are, I think at least three groups of elders, each group responsible for a particular work. Can’t remember what they are off hand, though I know some meet with the pastor and staff on a regular, weekly basis.


**This church belongs to a “Conference”, but is not responsible to it…They don’t make “rules” for the member churches to follow, or really discuss doctrinal issues at their meetings, either. The purpose of the Conference meetings are mainly for fellowship, I think. So, each member church remains autonomous. **


#19

[quote=CD4]They are quite adamant that they are NOT a denomination, but “just Christians.” There is no governing Board, each church is autonomous. This means, of course, that a pastor can lead his congregation astray, and no one will step in and stop him.
[/quote]

Congregational churches operate rather synodally: there is a board of elders who will intervene if a pastor gets too far afield.In fact, regular everyday members will ‘nail’ a pastor pretty hard if they imagine him drifting too far from the denominational distinctives or ESPECIALLY from sound doctrine.

Moreover–even loose affilations have ways of denouncing heretical teachers. The so-called "Boston Church of Christ’ movement became abberant in the seventies (very authoritarian and prone to heresy in places). It was roundly condemned by established Churches of Christ.

This is a puzzlement to Roman Catholics but Protestants do a reasonable job of policing their own. They can’t seem to stop the perpetual splits and schisms over petty stuff, but they can and do spot true heresy.


#20

[quote=flameburns623]Congregational churches operate rather synodally: there is a board of elders who will intervene if a pastor gets too far afield.In fact, regular everyday members will ‘nail’ a pastor pretty hard if they imagine him drifting too far from the denominational distinctives or ESPECIALLY from sound doctrine. .
[/quote]

This is true for the UCC which has a mixed polity, but the so-called “churches of Christ” are organised in a pure congregational manner. They have no synods, areas, districts, or associations. They have no organisation that goes beyond the local congregation. The way they control the local unordained “preachers” is by use of an unwritten but very real creed. But even with the unwritten creed csofC often splinter at the drop of a hat. There are at least six denominations opperating under the “church of Christ” name, all denying fellowship, and even the name “Christian” to the others. In the cofC any male can be a preacher if they can find a group of elders to hire them, of course the elders can just as easily fire a preacher who displeases them, and they do often. In fact though cofC preachers do frequently go to bible colleges and “Schools of Preaching” (there is no a single seminary opperating in the “churches of Christ”) there is no requirement that they do so, and there are many who are not educated beyond High School.

In the cofC “preachers” are exactly that and nothing more. The only function they have other than preaching is conducting weddings, a function forced on them by law. Anyone can baptise, in fact it is not uncommmon for a Father to baptise his own children. CofC “preachers” do not approach the “Lord’s Table” during the communion part of the service, the prayers (extempore of course) are said by normal everyday men of the congregation. The only way women are allowed any participation at all is by singing hymns.


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