"Starting" new churches . .


#1

I posted this in a previous thread. Truthstalker was wanting me to start another one so that he could read some of my questions. Plus, it wasn’t really on topic with that thread:

TS,

I understand your frustration, but you also have to try to understand ours. Whatever you see as “the church” at this point, the church that ML broke away from was and is the Catholic Church. So think of the offense that could be taken at all of those breakaways on our part. You probably wouldn’t see any reason for that to be offensive. When we refer to the denominations as “churches starting”, you take it as us saying you’re wrong. But when you say that those denominations are a result of one church trying to get it right, you’re saying that the Catholic Church is not. The same reaction could happen on either side. So it really does just go back to real apologetics.

I guess why those histories speak to me is that I believe that when Jesus claimed to be establishing a church, it was a visible, established Church, that He claimed was “the pillar of truth”. A church “trying to get it right”, full of very sincere and faithful people who are searching but disagree, still couldn’t be a pillar of truth, which Jesus promised us. Meemaw’s post was simply faithful confidence, even if the specific words she chose offended you.


#2

So…exactly what are you asking of me?


#3

I guess just what you think about what I said? I only titled the thread that to firmly tie it into the other thread.


#4

and that is what you believe. i believe it meant the spiritual connection of all believers into the body of Christ.

Jesus never said this.

why not? that is what the church has always been. there have always been disagreements going all the way back to the apostles. they came together and did what they could to figure out the truth. we are all searching and that is a good thing because Jesus promises us we who search will eventually find.

again, no He didn’t. those are paul’s words. in context, he was showing that when the church acts together, the truth is present. it doesn’t mean that everything the church does is right and true… it means that the truth comes into the world through the church. but it is still made up of sinful humans who are going to get things wrong from time to time (just like in the early church, some people got some things wrong, but the church came together and tried to work it out).

the problem came when people in the church (and i include luther and calvin and zwingli as well as the pope and cardinals at the time) refused to come together with respect. no one would listen to the other.


#5

Here is one for you to contemplate, I have meditated this through prayer rather extensively.

There is an abandoned church building up the street from me, literally just a few blocks away. I feel called to get it’s doors open, yet here is the dilema. I’m Catholic through and through, yet I am open to fellowship with others that are basing their beliefs upon the gospel regardless of denomination, as long as they are not contradicting the Catholic church, for it is the one true church. I want that to be a place of fellowship for all, with no formal ministry, my roll is simply to help keep the doors open and help out whereever needed. I want it to be a gathering place for all believers, and to join together in a very informal setting, similar to a youth center of sorts, but this one being a spiritual center for those that desire fellowship in an informal manner. It may turn out to be a glorified day care center, it may just be a positive place to hang out at, especially for the youth that have nowhere else to go, it may be a place for us Christian musicians to perform at, it may be many things, but I’m pretty much winging it at this point, not forsaking mass in the process, nor my faith in the Catholic church.

I would also like it to be a place where those in need can find help, especially if their own churches failed them on that account, you know, feeding the homeless, counseling, helping with financial aid to those that desperately need it, in general, taking care of people that need it on any level I can. I refuse to let it become a denomination, nor do I desire it to become a Catholic church, or any formal church for that matter, yet I want it to still be a gateway for those that desire fellowship, and I suspect, many that have fallen away form traditional church services and perhaps, to expose people to the Catholic faith and to dispell the myths they are being told from their protestant denominations without forcing them to comply with the Catholic faith abrubtly.

I have my plans and ideas, and I’m not seeing them out of line, here, at the same time, these are just ideas, ultimately it’s the guidance I receive from God and his church to be the final authority on this matter, so I leave these elements in his hands, hopeing he helps to shape this “institution?”.

I’ve been contemplating this for months now, and I see this lonely abandonded, fenced off little white church with no signs, not even a street address number on it, just a plain little white church with a big cross out front, like a blank slate, and it’s all fenced off just sitting there doing nothing in the middle of this not so safe neighborhood.

Would this be classified as starting a new church? I absolutely do not want to be taken as one to be doing this as branching out and away from the Catholic church at all, don’t get me wrong there, yet I feel it could do so much good for this local community, and perhaps inspire others to follow suite should they too find abandoned churches and want to put them to good use. I’d also like to keep it’s doors open 24/7 so nobody has an excuse that it doesn’t fit into their schedule, and even if it’s just to hang out and discuss the bible, that’s good enough.

What are your thoughts about this?


#6

This is a very insightful post and dead on. The Church from the very beginning recognized that, when differences came up there had to be an authority that could settle the issue(s). This began in the very first centuries before the canon of the bible was settled.
The central value was that the authority was just that. The Authority. The authority that Christ gave to the Church to Bind and Loose. Once that authority made the decision, it was “bound on earth and in Heaven”. Jesus did promise that. So when Luther and others broke away from the established church they broke away from the authority established from Christ in apostolic times and consistantly used by the church to settle issues and protect the faith for over 1400 years.

Did the Church have issues and problems? Sure, when hasn’t she. Was Luther justified in the Protestant Reformation? Not a Chance. As Catholic Priest He was Honor bound to obey Rome.

Peace
James


#7

and that is where i will disagree. luther never wanted to split. his nailing of the theses was an invitation to debate those issues (that he was deeply wrestling with). the church and its hierarchy did not engage in discussion but in condemnation. that is not the attitude nor the actions of Jesus. the catholic church excommunicated luther, not the other way around. the protestant reformation was made by the catholic church and her arrogance at the time.

we are never honor bound to obey those who demand unjust things.


#8

Present your proposal to your bishop. If he gives it his blessing, then go for it. If not, then so be it. God is a God of order; obey your bishop as God’s steward and submit to him in all things.


#9

Here we have several arguments

1… All Christians are in the universal church. There is also the Catholic Church, which claims, among other things, to be the universal church. There is also the Lutheran church, which is a subset of the universal church. In “starting” a new church my understanding is that Luther did not claim to be starting anything original, but rather reforming what was already there. He regarded what he was doing as being more faithful to the apostolic tradition than what was happening in the Catholic church.

I have noticed at lease one thread on the issue of the Catholic church versus the universal church. I have not read that thread.

  1. I’m not Lutheran. Luther’s “break” was not as Catholics seem to view it, as if he was some kind of new pope all the bad little Protestants went after. The Reformers considered what they were doing as a faithful continuation, or re-introduction, of proper theology. You might want to read Alistair McGrath’s book on the intellectual foundations of the reformation if you are interested in where I am coming from. My theological predecessors are more with the reformed than with the Lutherans. There were several reformations happening at the same time, some of which stayed within the Catholic Church.

  2. Roman primacy is a questionable concept historically and theologically. This is one I am still looking into. My current theory is that the “rock” is faith, and that whatever primacy Peter was supposed to have ended during the book of Acts, when the church started and then Peter broke the gospel to the Gentiles, and then it was Paul, with Peter receding into the background.

That does not follow. The Catholic Church has historically striven for internal reform. That it has continually needed reform is telling.

There is a visible church in its various manifestations. As another poster pointed out, Paul was the one who called it a “pillar of truth.” I am sympathetic with the view that Catholics put way too much weight on that one verse to make Scripture fit with their idea of what the Church is. That verse does not stand in isolation from the rest of Scripture.

I disagree with this statement. Catholics disagree with each other all the time over all sorts of issues. If your requirement for truth is total, 100% agreement on all issues, then the Catholic church fails your test as well.

Jesus prayed that we would be one. Catholics seem to insist on disbelieving that God answered this prayer in John 17 in order to hold to their ecclesiology.

I appreciate you setting this up as a separate thread.


#10

Actually, the Church did meet with Luther to discuss his theses. They actually agreed with a large portion of what he listed, they were in the process of, for example, doing something to stop the sale of indulgences; it was the items that they couldn’t change to suit Luther’s new theology that got Luther all hot and bothered. Luther left the Church, and broke his vows to God. He was hardly the innocent victim of an arrogant Church who just wouldn’t listen to him.

Reform Came Before the Reformation


#11

Good idea!!! I never thought of that, thank you and God bless!!!


#12

The fault wasn’t all on Luther’s side. The Church was hardly the innocent victim of an arrogant Luther. Reform had been delayed and blocked by corrupt clergy and popes who, among other things, were interested in pillaging the prosperity of Germany to support their lavish lifestyles. Superstition was widespread and priests were uneducated and unbelieving. No leadership or direction had been provided theologically from the papacy, which was still recovering from the days of two popes and the lack of a definition of its own authority It is only a Catholic myth to say that Luther broke from a church that had its act together.


#13

As a Priest Luther was bound by his vows of obedience to the Church. Once he failed to submit to the lawful authority of the Church and his superiors, He placed himself outside of the communion of Christ. Any Church coming out of this is simply outside of that communion.

Now I am not at all well versed on the particulars of Luther, Calvan or the others and I will freely grant that the Church was in need of reform. But the effort of Luther and the others should have been to regain communion with the Church and not go charging off creating new churches seperate from and in violent opposition to the Holy See.
If the tone among the protestants had been one of, “we’re out here but we’d like eventually to get back”, the reforms within the church could have eventually healed the issues. Instead, today we have thousands of denominations who are united only in their rejection of Christ’s Established Church.

Peace
James


#14

No I don’t think that this could be considered as starting a new church. It would be more of a spiritual community center.
However I would caution that any such thing could morph into a “church” unless the charter is clearly spelled out and enforced.

Peace
James


#15

Many Protestants regard their predecessors as having been thrown out of the church, either via excommunication (Luther) or declaration (anathemas at the Council of Trent). The Catholic Church used to be a much broader place theologically.

Don’t complain about Protestants being outside the Church when you were the ones who threw us out the door.

And many Protestants would like to see the Church reunited. There would have to be significant changes on both sides of the Tiber for that to happen. Rome’s refusal to ever admit error on matters of faith and doctrine is a huge obstacle. Rome’s demand for complete and unconditional surrender is another, without Rome being willing to budge an inch.

I think that mistakes happened on both sides during the Reformation. If it had been handled correctly, then the gifts and talents and energies of Calvin, Luther and Zwingli and others would have gone into the internal reform of the Church and they would be regarded today as Bernard of Clairvaux or Francis or other reformers are within the church . Instead much blood and energy and thought went into an internal war.


#16

I’m not complaining. I am just stating my position.
Since the “throwing out the door” occurred through the lawful excerise of church authority I have nothing to complain about.
Matthew 18: 15-17 Clearly shows how to handle these situations. Luther was “shown his faults”, by his bretheren and superiors in the Church and he refused to listen. He was therefore made “as a gentile and a tax collector”

And many Protestants would like to see the Church reunited. There would have to be significant changes on both sides of the Tiber for that to happen. Rome’s refusal to ever admit error on matters of faith and doctrine is a huge obstacle. Rome’s demand for complete and unconditional surrender is another, without Rome being willing to budge an inch.

The problem here is simple:
Rome cannot admit errors in faith and doctine unless it makes them. Practices are another matter.
Doctrines claimed by Protestant Churches were arrived at outside of the apostolic authority and therefore do not fall under the protection of the Church, for Jesus pomised his Church that whatever they bound on earth, He would bind in Heaven…
Since the leaders of the Protestant reformation were removed from the Church by valid authority for holding and or teaching error, any doctrine deriving from that stem remains suspect.

Peace
James


#17

A few points… Yeah these things happened back then. Stop using the actions of a few tactless clergy to justify your separation from Christ’s Church. Why would an error made by someone affect the verity of the whole Church?

If someone finds a way to float on air, does that make gravity any less true?

Al-Masih Qam!
Andrew


#18

Andrew, didn’t you know, we personally did this to them, it is all of our fault and you and I need to be held accountable for it, I guess we shouldn’t use our time machines to help get the protestants expelled from the Church…


#19

Yes, this is what I believe, but I believe it b/c the Church teaches it, not because I came up with my own opinion about what the Bible says.

Jesus never said this.

Correction accepted, but it’s still in there.

why not? that is what the church has always been. there have always been disagreements going all the way back to the apostles. they came together and did what they could to figure out the truth. we are all searching and that is a good thing because Jesus promises us we who search will eventually find.

Yes, they came together, they disagreed, they DID figure it out, they proclaimed it as truth, and everyone who was searching found the truth. There is no finding a truth that cannot be accepted by all as one truth, outside of opinion and personal interpretation.

again, no He didn’t. those are paul’s words. in context, he was showing that when the church acts together, the truth is present.

Again, correction accepted. Again, it’s still in there. And, show me a time when a church, other than the Catholic church, acted together on everything?

it doesn’t mean that everything the church does is right and true… it means that the truth comes into the world through the church.

I would totally agree here, the only point of contention is the identification of the church you’re talking about. Obviously, if you think the truth comes through a church, then you don’t believe that Scripture can interpret itself, correct?

but it is still made up of sinful humans who are going to get things wrong from time to time (just like in the early church, some people got some things wrong, but the church came together and tried to work it out).

Correction for you: they tried to work it out, and then they did, definitively.

the problem came when people in the church (and i include luther and calvin and zwingli as well as the pope and cardinals at the time) refused to come together with respect. no one would listen to the other.

Just because the Church refused some of Martin Luther and others’ opinions does not mean they did not listen. It doesn’t mean that ML did listen to the Church either.


#20

How illuminating.:rolleyes:


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