The church a byproduct?

So in a discussion about Matt 18:15-18 I’m having with my Baptist brother, I mentioned how that passage shows why Jesus found one church and not many. He then said

“Christ didn’t come here to “found” anything. He was sent to us by God to provide a way for us to be reconciled to God. You focus too much on the “church” in and of itself which is just a byproduct of what the actual “goal” is. When Christ was here there were no Catholics. There were no Protestants. He simply asked us to follow and believe in him and become part of the “body of Christ” which is the only “church” you speak of. “So it is with Christ. For we were all baptized by one Spirit into one body - whether Jews or Greeks, slave or free - and we were all given the one Spirit to drink.””

The church is a byproduct?? He also seems to be making the catholic case when he sites that its one body etc. How can we show him the church isn’t just anyone who believes and that the catholic church is that one body…

So he now says this about the church

“If you really want to know what is meant by “the church”, you need to look at more passages from the bible than just Matthew 18. The word church in the Bible comes from the Greek word ecclesia, which means a called out company or assembly. Wherever it is used in the Bible it refers to people. It can be a mob (Acts 19:30-41), the children of Israel (Acts 7:38), and the body of Christ (Ephesians 1:22; Ephesians 5:25, 32). The church is never described as a building or business organization.”

Hey, that’s convenient. He cites the Scripture that he attempts to explain away.

If they still refuse to listen, tell it to the church; and if they refuse to listen even to the church, treat them as you would a pagan or a tax collector. [Matt 18:17]

I made that text red to simulate a red-letter Bible, because it is a quote from Our Lord Jesus himself.

The word church in the Bible comes from the Greek word ecclesia, which means a called out company or assembly. Wherever it is used in the Bible it refers to people. It can be a mob (Acts 19:30-41), the children of Israel (Acts 7:38), and the body of Christ (Ephesians 1:22; Ephesians 5:25, 32). The church is never described as a building or business organization."

Aha! a sloppy scholar. You omitted Matt 18:17. You are welcome here. We embrace (and eat) sloppy scholars.

Matthew 16:18 “I also say to you that you are Peter, and upon this rock ***I will build My church.***” Doesn’t sound like a by-product to me. Jesus states clearly his intention to build a church. Your brother is right that Jesus came as a way for us to be reconciled to God. That’s why he had to be sacrificed. But he knew that we would need community to keep each other going. He’s also right that there was no Catholic or protestant then, but that’s what happens when human sinfulness gets in the way of divine plan.

See that you all follow the bishop, even as Jesus Christ does the Father, and the presbytery as you would the apostles; and reverence the deacons, as being the institution of God. Let no man do anything connected with the Church without the bishop. Let that be deemed a proper Eucharist, which is administered either by the bishop, or by one to whom he has entrusted it. Wherever the bishop shall appear, there let the multitude of the people also be; even as wherever Jesus Christ is, there is the Catholic Church.

That’s from St. Ignatius, a very early second century Bishop who was the student of St. John the Apostle himself. As you can see here, your friends theory regarding the beliefs of early Christians is contradicted throughly by the evidence.

Remember, early Christians believed in the importance of Bishop s to such an extent that any theological view that lacked support from a Bishop was sometimes just simply ignored. At least the Arians had bishops on their side.

Christi pax,

Lucretius

Here are some questions you can ask your brother:

Who may authoritatively arbitrate between Christians who claim to be led by the Holy Spirit into mutually contradictory interpretations of the Bible?

Since each “bible-only” Christian must admit that his or her interpretation is fallible, how can they in good conscience call anything heresy or bind another Christian to a particular belief?

Some Protestants usually claim that they all agree “on the important things.” Who is able to decide authoritatively what is important in the Christian faith and what is not?

Who in the Church had the authority to determine which books belonged in the New Testament canon and to make this decision binding on all Christians?

Some say the Bible is the only foundation and basis of Christian truth. Why does the Bible itself say that the Church is the foundation and basis of Christian truth (1 Tim. 3:15)?

Jesus said that the unity of Christians would be objective evidence to the world that He had been sent by God (John 17:20-23). How can the world see an invisible “unity” that exists only in the hearts of believers?

If the unity of Christians was meant to convince the world that Jesus was sent by God, what does the ever-increasing fragmentation of Protestantism say to the world?

My favorite question:
Hebrews 13:17 says, “Obey your leaders and submit to their authority. They keep watch over you as men who must give an account. Obey them so that their work will be a joy, not a burden, for that would be of no advantage to you.”
What is the expiration date of this verse?

Not so much a ‘byproduct’ of His mission, but rather the means through which His mission could be fulfilled. :wink:

:thumbsup:

Excellent compilation there, Epostles!

:clapping::clapping::clapping::clapping:

:tiphat:

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