The church is Christ

So I shared a quote from arch bishop Fulton sheen which says “you’ve heard it said ‘i want no church standing between me and Christ.’ There is no church standing between us and Christ- the church is Christ.”

I assume this referring to how the church is the mystical body of Christ and how his grace is administered through it. My Baptist brother has responded saying

“To say the church “is” Christ (not “like”, “for”, or “following” Christ) goes against the commandment “Thou shalt have no other Gods before me” since by saying this, it can be implied that the church “is” God. “I (Christ) and the Father are one.” (John 10:33). The “Church” does not make blind men see. The “Church” cannot turn water into wine. The “Church” did not make birds from clay. Only Jesus did these things. Therefore claiming that any one person or group of people is equal to him, is blasphemy. Now the “Body of Christ” is something totally different and is made up of all followers of Christ, but the “Church” is an institution. It is governed by men and follows rules that were created by men, and has ordained leaders who were selected by men. Members of the “Church” can make up the Body of Christ but the “Church” itself is not Christ. You and I belong to the Body of Christ, Len, and this is not to be confused by which church we attend or are members of.”

How can we respond to this

The Bible says the Church is Christ’s Body (Col. 1:18)–he’s separating the two. He’s doing this because he believes in a kind of invisible body that is not tightly compacted like the Bible says (Eph. 4:16), but rather is loosely scattered among various visible bodies each professing different things. This is not a Biblical model of the Church.

On the other hand, we are baptized into the one Body in the one Spirit (1 Cor. 12:13), partake of the one bread as one Body (1 Cor. 10:17), profess the One Lord, one faith, one Baptism (Eph 4:4-5). Like Noah’s ark, you have to be on board (as the Bible says, like Noah’s ark in the flood, Baptism now saves (1 Peter 3:20-21), and as I just showed, we are baptized into that one Body–so the ark and the Body have the same significance in this regard).

Furthermore, to have fellowship or communion with Christ, you must have fellowship with those who have fellowship with Him (1 John 1:3). We are forbidden, therefore, from schisms and must be united in belief (1 Cor. 1:10).

Furthermore, while Christ is the head of the Church, He has also willed that the Church be led by men. He put St. Peter in charge of His flock (John 21:15-17)–therefore, to be a member of Christ’s flock is to be a member of the flock tended by Peter. Plus, while bishops are selected by men, they ultimately receive authority from the Holy Spirit (Acts 20:28).

Baptists long ago separated from this one body through schism and breaking the unity of belief. They refused to be part of the flock governed by Peter and the other bishops appointed by the Holy Spirit. They also no longer partake of the one bread as His one body.

As the for the Church and Christ being identified together–they are the same in one sense, but distinct in another. The CCC explains in the following two passages:

[quote=CCC]795 Christ and his Church thus together make up the “whole Christ” (Christus totus). The Church is one with Christ. The saints are acutely aware of this unity:

Let us rejoice then and give thanks that we have become not only Christians, but Christ himself. Do you understand and grasp, brethren, God’s grace toward us? Marvel and rejoice: we have become Christ. For if he is the head, we are the members; he and we together are the whole man. . . . The fullness of Christ then is the head and the members. But what does “head and members” mean? Christ and the Church.230

Our redeemer has shown himself to be one person with the holy Church whom he has taken to himself.231

Head and members form as it were one and the same mystical person.232

A reply of St. Joan of Arc to her judges sums up the faith of the holy doctors and the good sense of the believer: "About Jesus Christ and the Church, I simply know they’re just one thing, and we shouldn’t complicate the matter."233

796 The unity of Christ and the Church, head and members of one Body, also implies the distinction of the two within a personal relationship. This aspect is often expressed by the image of bridegroom and bride. The theme of Christ as Bridegroom of the Church was prepared for by the prophets and announced by John the Baptist.234 The Lord referred to himself as the "bridegroom."235 The Apostle speaks of the whole Church and of each of the faithful, members of his Body, as a bride “betrothed” to Christ the Lord so as to become but one spirit with him.236 The Church is the spotless bride of the spotless Lamb.237 "Christ loved the Church and gave himself up for her, that he might sanctify her."238 He has joined her with himself in an everlasting covenant and never stops caring for her as for his own body:239

This is the whole Christ, head and body, one formed from many . . . whether the head or members speak, it is Christ who speaks. He speaks in his role as the head (ex persona capitis) and in his role as body (ex persona corporis). What does this mean? "The two will become one flesh. This is a great mystery, and I am applying it to Christ and the Church."240 And the Lord himself says in the Gospel: "So they are no longer two, but one flesh."241 They are, in fact, two different persons, yet they are one in the conjugal union, . . . as head, he calls himself the bridegroom, as body, he calls himself "bride."242

230 St. Augustine, In Jo. ev. 21,8:PL 35,1568.
231 Pope St. Gregory the Great, Moralia in Job, præf.,14:PL 75,525A.
232 St. Thomas Aquinas, STh III,48,2.
233 Acts of the Trial of Joan of Arc.
234 Jn 3:29.
235 Mk 2:19.
236 Cf. Mt 22:1-14; 25:1-13; 1 Cor 6:15-17; 2 Cor 11:2.
237 Cf. Rev 22:17; Eph 1:4; 5:27.
238 Eph 5:25-26.
239 Cf. Eph 5:29.
240 Eph 5:31-32.
241 Mt 19:6.
242 St. Augustine, En. in Ps. 74:4:PL 36,948-949.
243 St. Augustine, Sermo 267,4:PL 38,1231D.

Ask your brother if he has read the series ‘Radio Replies.’ These books answer hundreds of objections against the Catholic Church, covering a huge number of topics.

I have little else to add after Genesis315’s excellent post.

He has added saying

“The body of Christ does not equate to an actual human body. Just as your spirit isn’t the same as your body as your body is left behind after you die and your spirit lives on, even though they are both you, they are not equal. Just as Christ is not equal to the church.”

According to the Council of Nicea, the Catholic Church is the Church established by Christ.

The Church is mentioned 113 times in the NT

*]New Testament (113)
*]Matthew (2)
*]Acts (21)
*]Romans (5)
*]1 Corinthians (25)
*]2 Corinthians (11)
*]Galatians (3)
*]Ephesians (9)
*]Philippians (2)
*]Colossians (4)
*]1 Thessalonians (2)
*]2 Thessalonians (2)
*]1 Timothy (3)
*]Philemon (1)
*]James (1)
*]3 John (3)
*]Revelation (19)
Your brother is in need of reflecting on Jesus words

                 [[20]]("") And not for them only do I pray, but for them also who through their word shall believe in me;                                           [[21]]("") That  they all may be one, as thou, Father, in me, and I in thee; that they  also may be one in us; that the world may believe that thou hast sent  me.                      [[22]]("") And the glory which thou hast given me, I have given to them; that they may be one, as we also are one:                      [[23]]("") I  in them, and thou in me; that they may be made perfect in one: and the  world may know that thou hast sent me, and hast loved them, as thou hast  also loved me. [John 17:20-23]("")

Jesus established HIS Church on Peter.[FONT=&quot] Jesus, the one who spoke in the beginning and all that is came into existence.

Your brother can’t trace his religion past John Smyth[FONT=&quot] the founder of the Baptist religion in the 17th century. Not God but John Smyth founded his religion.

[FONT=&quot]The Church that J[FONT=&quot]esus established, in[FONT=&quot] the first century, is NOT just spi[FONT=&quot]ritual, but physical as well. It is here in the flesh today, with Pope Francis 266th successor to St Peter at the helm, it is [FONT=&quot]in heaven with Saints who live with the Trinity, and it is in Purgatory as well, with the souls being perfected for heaven… [/FONT][/FONT][/FONT][/FONT]

It’s not an either/or but both physical and spiritual. [/FONT][/FONT]

One further point

Saul before his conversion was persecuting the heck out of the Church. Stephen the first deacon was stoned to death at Saul’s feet. Saul was one bad dude when it came to persecuting the Church. Jesus knocked Saul to the ground and Saul had a come to Jesus moment. Jesus said to him, Saul Saul why do ***you *persecute ME? Acts 9:4

Thank you so much Steve b!

So after mentioning ow Jesus said to saul “why are you persecuting me?” My Baptist brother then replied.

“Jesus was being symbolic when he asked “why are you persecuting me.” Just like that British guy in Braveheart when he says “an attack on the king’s men, is an attack on the king himself”. It’s also symbolic that “Christ is the church” and vice versa. Hebrews 4:15-16 says, “For we do not have a High Priest who cannot sympathize with our weaknesses, but was in all points tempted as we are, yet without sin. Let us therefore come boldly to the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy and find grace to help in time of need” (NKJV). Talk about having friends in high places. The Bible is saying that you are not serving a God who is disinterested in you. You are not serving a God who doesn’t know what it is like to literally walk in your shoes. So you can go boldly to the throne of grace and find grace to help in time of need.
Jesus Christ, never lived for a moment outside of the perfect will of God. He never gave in to a temptation. He never had an impure thought. He never did one wrong thing. He never displeased His Father in the smallest matter. He was flawless. He was sinless. He was perfect.
So why did Jesus come to earth as God in human form? Was it to give us the ultimate teachings ever? No. Though they were the greatest teachings ever given, He came here for more than that. Did Jesus come to set the perfect example of how a man or woman should live? He came to do that and much more. Did Jesus walk this earth merely to do miracles and heal people? While He always reached out to people in need, that was not His primary purpose.
C. S. Lewis said it well: “The Son of God became a man that men might become sons of God.” God became a man so that you might become God’s child. Now that is something worth celebrating.
at God came to earth in human form as Jesus Christ.
So you see, Jesus Christ himnself is symbolic.”

Much of this doesnt seem to have too much to do with the topic but how to address him saying that its all just symbolic including Jesus himself?

Tell him his salvation is just symbolism. It isn’t real for HIM, and see where he goes with THAT?

I’m curious, why doesn’t he say THAT’S just symbolism? He has no problem literalizing and absolutizing THAT verse while ignoring or symbolizing verses he doesn’t like as if the verses he likes cancels out the verses he doesn’t like.

I’m sure he loves the KJV. He probably thinks God wrote it with His own hand. :wink: Tell him he is reading scripture “lite”. He’s missing 7 OT books in that translation, removed from the OT canon by Luther. Your brother is following a religion created by creatures not the creator. John Smyth invented the Baptist religion in the 17th century.

As long as he’s quoting Hebrews, show him the following. Once you show him this truth, and once he knows this truth, then by him deliberately missing mass on Sunday, he commits mortal sin.

said in 2 different ways

#22 , #4

I wonder what he would say about THAT?

Ask him, does he believe Jesus is God?

As an aside, Jesus said to us, we must be perfect as our Father in heaven is perfect :slight_smile: . Matthew 5:48 I’m sure he is going to take issue with Jesus on THAT one too.

Actually that quote was originally from Irenaeus and Athanasius

460 The Word became flesh to make us “partakers of the divine nature”:78 "For this is why the Word became man, and the Son of God became the Son of man: so that man, by entering into communion with the Word and thus receiving divine sonship, might become a son of God."79 "For the Son of God became man so that we might become God."80 "The only-begotten Son of God, wanting to make us sharers in his divinity, assumed our nature, so that he, made man, might make men gods."81

*]79 St. Irenaeus, Adv. haeres. 3, 19, 1: PG 7/1, 939 [Bk 3 [URL=“”]Chapter 19 v1]
*]80 St. Athanasius, De inc. 54, 3: PG 25, 192B. **** §54, 3

:hmmm:I’m trying to figure out which other heresy (s) he’s guilty of

Maybe Docetism. or maybe Arianism or…


Sounds like some usual Protestant mental gymnastics

1. The Church is Christ’s Body.

Paul’s use of the body as an image to describe the unity Christians have with Christ and each other is particularly vivid: “For as in one body we have many parts, and all the parts do not have the same function, so we, though many, are one body in Christ and individually parts of one another” Romans 12:4-5. The Lord alluded to this unity when he prayed, "May [they] be one, as we are one, I in them and you in me, that they may be brought to perfection as one"John 17:22-23. He used the analogy of himself as a vine and Christians as its branches to illustrate the organic bond Christians share John 15:1-5.

**The teaching that the Church is Christ’s Body **is emphasized throughout the New Testament. See 1 Corinthians 10:16, 1 Corinthians 12:12-27; Galatians 3:28;Ephesians 1:22-23, Ephesians 3:4-6, Ephesians 4:4 ,Ephesians 4:15,Ephesians 4:25, Ephesians 5:21-32; Colossians 1:8, Colossians 3:15; Hebrews 13:1-3.

Shaloen, In addition to what has been said before, if your friend believes in another church separate from the Catholic Church which is the body of Christ then he must believe that Christ has more than one body with one head. That would be a strange creature. Or maybe he believe that Christ has many heads with many bodies. He might believe in many variations, mystically speaking of course :slight_smile: .

The church is not an invisible body of 30,000 denominations, founded during the 16th century or later outside the Middle East, each with their own conflicting doctrine.

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