"The Church" scripture and ECF define it!


#1

Church, though I don’t doubt that their is a physicalness to it, in that it is called the “body” of Christ, it certainly is much more than JUST the church at Rome… Here for starter is what some ECF’s had to say about the “church” being something other than or more than the Roman church.

Tertullian
"Moreover, after the pledging both of the attestation of faith and the promise of salvation under ‘three witnesses,’ there is added, of necessity, mention of the Church; inasmuch as, wherever there are three, (that is, the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit) there is the Church, which is a body of three." - Tertullian (On Baptism, 6)

Lactantius
Roman Catholics tell us that the church is a worldwide denomination led by a Pope, an institution whose legitimacy doesn’t depend on moral character. But Lactantius tells us:

"In the next place, Solomon was never called the son of God, but the son of David; and the house which he built was not firmly established, as the Church, which is the true temple of God, which does not consist of walls, but of the heart and faith of the men who believe on Him, and are called faithful…
(The Divine Institutes, 4:13,

Justin Martyr
Catholic apologists often claim that nobody in the early centuries of Christianity referred to the church as a spiritual entity consisting only of believers. The truth is that, although other definitions were advocated as well, the idea of a spiritual entity consisting only of believers was one of the definitions. For example:

“Moreover, that the word of God speaks to those who believe in Him as being one soul, and one synagogue, and one church, as to a daughter; that it thus addresses the church which has sprung from His name and partakes of His name (for we are all called Christians), is distinctly proclaimed in like manner in the following words, which teach us also to forget our old ancestral customs, when they speak thus: ‘Hearken, O daughter, and behold, and incline thine ear; forget thy people and the house of thy father, and the King shall desire thy beauty: because He is thy Lord, and thou shalt worship Him.’” - Justin Martyr (Dialogue with Trypho, 63)

Clement of Alexandria
Roman Catholic apologists sometimes deny that anybody defined the Christian church as a spiritual entity consisting only of believers during the earliest centuries of Christianity. The truth is that the term “church” was defined in numerous ways, and the concept of an invisible church was one of those definitions. In an earlier segment in this series, I cited Justin Martyr as an example. Here’s Clement of Alexandria:

“For it is not now the place, but the assemblage of the elect, that I call the Church.” (The Stromata, 7:5)

I’ll let you all get started with these and since you’d expect a protestant to use scripture i’ll hold off on that.
:slight_smile:


#2

Eric Svendsen is pretty useful in finding quotes like this, I really suggest you look up these Early Christian writings and read them in context, it will shed a lot of light on the honesty of these quoters.

I really suggest you try this site,
ccel.org/fathers.html
BTW, it is not Catholic, :slight_smile:

Follow truth, follow Christ, He has the power to preserve truth.

In Christ
Scylla


#3

You forgot St. Ignatius of Antioch. Oh nevermind. He is on my signature. LMAO :thumbsup:


#4

Matthew 18:20

20 For where two or three come together in my name, there am I with them."

It doesn’t necessitate a hierarchy, a handed down universal authority, an apostolic succession, a set of keys…


#5

Ignatius
Roman Catholics often accuse evangelicals of being rebellious, being disobedient to godly authorities. Passages of scripture like Jude 11 are cited, and are applied to Protestantism. Often, Catholics quote passages from the writings of the church fathers such as the following from Ignatius:

“It is manifest, therefore, that we should look upon the bishop even as we would upon the Lord Himself.” (The Epistle of Ignatius to the Ephesians, 6)

and Manny…
“For, since ye are subject to the bishop as to Jesus Christ, ye appear to me to live not after the manner of men, but according to Jesus Christ, who died for us, in order, by believing in His death, ye may escape from death. It is therefore necessary that, as ye indeed do, so without the bishop ye should do nothing, but should also be subject to the presbytery, as to the apostle of Jesus Christ” (The Epistle of Ignatius to the Trallians, 2)

**Passages such as these ones from Ignatius are often cited in opposition to the Reformation, in opposition to the use of personal judgment, as evidence that we should submit to bishops who claim apostolic succession, etc. But Catholics aren’t consistent on this issue. The same Catholic who will cite Hebrews 13:17, Jude 11, or one of these passages from Ignatius, for example, will reject the teachings of Eastern Orthodox bishops who claim apostolic succession. And he’ll reject the teachings of Roman Catholic bishops if he thinks they’re being unfaithful to the teachings of the Pope. He’ll even reject many papal teachings that he thinks are fallible. Yet, when he disagrees with an evangelical about something, he’ll quote somebody like Ignatius saying that we should submit to church leaders, then he’ll claim that Ignatius’ comments apply to today’s Roman Catholic hierarchy.

But what did Ignatius actually mean? When he refers to submitting to the bishop as though he were God, is Ignatius saying that we shouldn’t ever disagree with any bishop on any subject? When he says that we should submit to the presbyter as if he was an apostle, is Ignatius saying that presbyters have as much authority as the apostles?

No, some of the other comments Ignatius made clarify what he was saying. For example:**

“But shall I, when permitted to write on this point,** reach such a height of self-esteem, that though being a condemned man, I should issue commands to you as if I were an apostle?**” (The Epistle of Ignatius to the Trallians, 2)

"I do not, as Peter and Paul, issue commandments unto you. They were apostles; I am but a condemned man: they were free, while I am, even until now, a servant." (The Epistle of Ignatius to the Romans, 4)

Ignatius was a bishop in a city the apostles had visited. There’s evidence that Ignatius personally knew at least one of the apostles. Yet, he denies that he has as much authority as an apostle. Why, then, did he tell people to obey the bishops and the presbyters as they would obey God and the apostles?

**Obviously, Ignatius didn’t believe that bishops were actually God or that presbyters were actually apostles. He was using a figure of speech that we have to keep in its proper context. Similarly, the apostle Paul refers to government officials as ministers of God (Romans 13:4), but we wouldn’t conclude that he therefore viewed government officials as some infallible authority that we’re to submit to in every case, without ever disagreeing with them. Ignatius, like Paul, is referring to the concept of subordinate authority. There are authorities God has placed over us, such as bishops, who are to be obeyed within the framework of obedience to God. If a parent tells a five-year-old boy to go to bed at 9 P.M., the boy should obey. But if the parent tells that boy to steal some bread from a store, the child should disobey. Similarly, church leaders are subordinate authorities who should be obeyed as we would obey God or the apostles as far as they’re faithful to God and to apostolic teaching.

Ignatius was familiar with the churches he was writing to. He knew that the leaders of those churches were faithful to apostolic teaching. Would Ignatius write the same things to a Montanist church of the third century? I doubt it. To an Arian church of the fourth century? Surely not. Or to a Roman Catholic church today? I don’t think so.

In the coming days, I want to give more examples of the church fathers qualifying their statements about church authority. Roman Catholics often quote the church fathers referring to the authority of church leaders, then they apply those comments to the hierarchy of the RCC, without explaining the context and qualifications of those comments.**

Thanks Manny for reminding me bout old Iggy!


#6

That is your tradition. We Catholic Church believed in Apostolic Succession as well as the Orthodox. These two Lungs of the Ancient Christian Church is Apostolic in origin.

Matt. 10:1,40 - Jesus declares to His apostles, “he who receives you, receives Me, and he who rejects you, rejects Me and the One who sent Me.” Jesus freely gives His authority to the apostles in order for them to effectively convert the world.

Matt. 16:19; 18:18 - the apostles are given Christ’s authority to make visible decisions on earth that will be ratified in heaven. God raises up humanity in Christ by exalting his chosen leaders and endowing them with the authority and grace they need to bring about the conversion of all. Without a central authority in the Church, there would be chaos (as there is in Protestantism).

Luke 9:1; 10:19 - Jesus gives the apostles authority over the natural and the supernatural (diseases, demons, serpents, and scorpions).

Luke 10:16 - Jesus tells His apostles, “he who hears you, hears Me.” When we hear the bishops’ teaching on the faith, we hear Christ Himself.

Luke 22:29 - the Father gives the kingdom to the Son, and the Son gives the kingdom to the apostles. The gift is transferred from the Father to the Son to the apostles.

Num 16:28 - the Father’s authority is transferred to Moses. Moses does not speak on his own. This is a real transfer of authority.

John 5:30 - similarly, Jesus as man does nothing of His own authority, but He acts under the authority of the Father.

John 7:16-17 - Jesus as man states that His authority is not His own, but from God. He will transfer this authority to other men.

Acts 1:22 - literally, “one must be ordained” to be a witness with us of His resurrection. Apostolic ordination is required in order to teach with Christ’s authority.

Acts 6:6 - apostolic authority is transferred through the laying on of hands (ordination). This authority has transferred beyond the original twelve apostles as the Church has grown.

Acts 9:17-19 - even Paul, who was directly chosen by Christ, only becomes a minister after the laying on of hands by a bishop. This is a powerful proof-text for the necessity of sacramental ordination in order to be a legitimate successor of the apostles.

Acts 13:3 - apostolic authority is transferred through the laying on of hands (ordination). This authority must come from a Catholic bishop.

Acts 14:23 - the apostles and newly-ordained men appointed elders to have authority throughout the Church.

Acts 15:22-27 - preachers of the Word must be sent by the bishops in union with the Church. We must trace this authority to the apostles.


#7

Yes, it is an excellent web page, I’ve shared it here on a number of accounts… You’ll find all these quotes in their proper context… Thanks for pointing that out!


#8

I read many writings of St. Ignatius of Antioch and he is my favorite ECF because he is the Disciple of St. John, the Apostle, and was ordain bishop by St. Peter.

His writings also confirm that presence of Jesus’ Body, Blood, Soul, and Divinity of Jesus, as well as our obedience to the bishop.

Any Apostle, or their companion consider themselves sinners. I’m not surprise why St. Ignatius said, I am but a condemned man: they were free, while I am, even until now, a servant."

Peter likewise during his martyrdom preferred to be crucified upside down because he was not worthy to be crucified like Jesus.

despite that, St. Ignatius remain faith and he himself was eaten by the lions because of his faith as a Christian. He is entirely Catholic not Protestant.


#9

You may believe in apostolic succession Manny! but do the ECF’s whom give you what you claim as the proof believe and testify to that? My next thread I promise, apostolic succession and universal authority… LETS stay on track here…


#10

Well, we can discuss that in another thread. This is Scripture thread.


#11

Manny don’t be evasive you know this was the important part of that paragraph…“I should issue commands to you as if I were an apostle?”


#12

“church” definition.


#13

I’m not evasive. I’m only trying to make a point. St. Ignatius is taught by the Apostles themselves. He received his office from them.

Why else would he question, “I should issue command to as if I were an apostle?” (Clearly he is not an apostle but was ordained by them).

But shall I, when permitted to write on this point, reach such a height of self-esteem, that though being a condemned man, I should issue commands to you as if I were an apostle?" (The Epistle of Ignatius to the Trallians, 2)

“I do not, as Peter and Paul, issue commandments unto you. They were apostles; I am but a condemned man: they were free, while I am, even until now, a servant.” (The Epistle of Ignatius to the Romans, 4)

St. Ignatius himself who received instruction from the Apostles hold fast the traditions, written and unwritten (as St. Paul stated), that is he said, I do not as Peter and Paul issue commandments. Since the Romans already were taught from the Apostles and St. Ignatius could not by his own power teach new doctrine.

It’s late I better go to bed. We’ll discuss this later. God be with you.

You can call me, Emmanuel. That is my first name.


#14

TERTULLIAN:

“Peter, who is called ‘the rock on which the church should be built,’ who also obtained ‘the keys of the kingdom of heaven…’” Tertullian, On the Prescription Against the Heretics, 22 (c. A.D. 200).

“For it is evident that those men lived not so long ago,–in the reign of Antoninus for the most part,–and that they at first were believers in the doctrine of the Catholic Church, in the church of Rome under the episcopate of the blessed Eleutherus, until on account of their ever restless curiosity, with which they even infected the brethren, they were more than once expelled.” *Tertullian, On the Prescription Against Heretics, 22,30 (A.D. 200). *

LACTANTIUS

“From which things it is evident that all the prophets declared concerning Christ, that it should come to pass at some time, that being born with a body of the race of David, He should build an eternal temple in honour of God, which is called the Church, and assemble all nations to the true worship of God. This is the faithful house, this is the everlasting temple; and if any one hath not sacrificed in this, he will not have the reward of immortality. And since Christ was the builder of this great and eternal temple, He must also have an everlasting priesthood in it; and there can be no approach to the shrine of the temple, and to the sight of God, except through Him who built the temple. David in the sixth Psalm teaches the same, saying: 'Before the morning-star I begat Thee. The Lord hath sworn, and will not repent; Thou art a priest for ever, after the order of Melchisedec.’” *Lactantius, Divine Institutes, 4:14 (A.D. 310). *

CLEMENT OF ALEXANDRIA

“Since, according to my opinion, the grades here in the Church, of bishops, presbyters, deacons, are imitations of the angelic glory, and of that economy which, the Scriptures say, awaits those who, following the footsteps of the apostles, have lived in perfection of righteousness according to the Gospel.” *Clement of Alexandria, Stromata, 6:13 (A.D. 202). *

“You may learn, if you will, the crowning wisdom of the all-holy Shepherd and Instructor, of the omnipotent and paternal Word, when He figuratively represents Himself as the Shepherd of the sheep…Such are the promises of the good Shepherd. Feed us, the children, as sheep. Yea, Master, fill us with righteousness, Thine own pasture; yea, O Instructor, feed us on Thy holy mountain the Church, which towers aloft, which is above the clouds, which touches heaven.” *Clement of Alexandria, The Instructor, I:9 (A.D. 202). *

All of the Biblical support and ECF support for the existence of a visible, one, Catholic Church is here:

scripturecatholic.com/the_church.html

I thought “Dr.” Eric Svendsen went into early retirement after his disasterous downfall in the “heos hou” debate. Surely, you can find a more reliable source for your anti-Catholic threads. I personally don’t respect a phony scholar with a fake Ph.D.: catholic-legate.com/articles/heos-drsham.html


#15

Fine then. My last post for the night.

Tradition / Church Fathers
I. Peter is the Rock on which the Church is Built

“Peter, who is called ‘the rock on which the church should be built,’ who also obtained ‘the keys of the kingdom of heaven…’” Tertullian, On the Prescription Against the Heretics, 22 (c. A.D. 200).

“And Peter, on whom the Church of Christ is built, against which the gates of hell shall not prevail…” Origen, Commentary on John, 5:3 (A.D. 232).

“By this Spirit Peter spake that blessed word, ‘Thou art the Christ, the Son of the living God.’ By this Spirit the rock of the Church was established.” Hippolytus, Discourse on the Holy Theophany, 9 (ante A.D. 235).

“’…thou art Peter and upon this rock I will build my Church’ … It is on him that he builds the Church, and to him that he entrusts the sheep to feed. And although he assigns a like power to all the apostles, yet he founded a single Chair, thus establishing by his own authority the source and hallmark of the (Church’s) oneness…If a man does not fast to this oneness of Peter, does he still imagine that he still holds the faith. If he deserts the Chair of Peter upon whom the Church was built, has he still confidence that he is in the Church?” Cyprian, De Unitate Ecclesiae (Primacy text), 4 (A.D. 251).

“…folly of (Pope) Stephen, that he who boasts of the place of the episcopate, and contends that he holds the succession from Peter, on whom the foundation of the Church were laid…” Firmilian, Epistle To Cyprian, Epistle 75(74):17(A.D. 256).

“…Peter, that strongest and greatest of all the apostles, and the one who on account of his virtue was the speaker for all the others…” Eusebius, Ecclesiastical History, 2:14 (A.D. 325).

“And Peter,on whom the Church of Christ is built, ‘against which the gates of hell shall not prevail’” Eusebius, Ecclesiastical History, 6:25 (A.D. 325).

“…the chief of the disciples…the Lord accepted him, set him up as the foundation, called him the rock and structure of the church.” Aphraates, De Paenitentibus Homily 7:15 (A.D. 337).

“Peter, the foremost of the Apostles, and Chief Herald of the Church…” Cyril of Jerusalem, Catechetical Lectures,1 1:3 (A.D. 350).

“**lessed Simon, who after his confession of the mystery was set to be the foundation-stone of the Church, and received the keys of the kingdom…” Hilary de Poiters, On the Trinity, 6:20(A.D. 359).

“[F]or the good of unity blessed Peter, for whom it would have been enough if after his denial he had obtained pardon only, deserved to be placed before all the apostles, and alone received the keys of the kingdom of heaven, to be communicated to the rest.” Optatus of Milevis, De Schismate Donatistorum, 7:3(A.D. 370).

“[T]he Lord spoke to Peter a little earlier; he spoke to one, that from one he might found unity, soon delivering the same to all.” Pacian, To Sympronianus, Epistle 3:2 (AD 372).

“Simon, My follower, I have made you the foundation of the Holy Church. I betimes called you Peter (Kepha), because you will support all its buildings. You are the inspector of those who will build on earth a Church for me…I have given you the keys of my kingdom. Behold, have given you authority over all my treasures.” Ephraim, Homily 4:1, (A.D. 373).

“[T]he first of the apostles, the solid rock on which the Church was built.” Epiphanius, In Ancorato, 9:6 (A.D. 374).

“Peter upon which rock the Lord promised that he would build his church.” Basil, In Isaias, 2:66 (A.D. 375).

“As I follow no leader save Christ, so I communicate with none but your blessedness, that is with the chair of Peter. For this, I know, is the rock on which the church is built!” Jerome, To Pope Damasus, Epistle 15 (A.D. 375).

“Seest thou that of the disciples of Christ, all of whom were exalted and deserving of choice, one is called rock, and is entrusted with the foundations of the church.” Gregory of Nazianzen, Oration 32:18 (A.D. 380).

“[W]e have considered that it ought be announced that although all the Catholic Churches spread abroad through the world comprise one bridal chamber of Christ, nevertheless, the holy Roman Church has been placed at the forefront not by conciliar decisions of other churches, but has received the primacy by the evangelic voice of our Lord and Savior, who says: “You are Peter, and upon this rock I will build my Church, and the gates of hell will not prevail against it…”…The first see, therefore, is that of Peter the Apostle, that of the Roman Church, which has neither the stain nor blemish nor anything like it.” Pope Damasus, Decree of Damasus, 3 (A.D. 382).**


#16

ST. IGNATIUS OF ANTIOCH

It is scarcely possible to exaggerate the importance of the testimony which the Ignatian letters offer to the dogmatic character of Apostolic Christianity. The martyred Bishop of Antioch constitutes a most important link between the Apostles and the Fathers of the early Church. Receiving from the Apostles themselves, whose auditor he was, not only the substance of revelation, but also their own inspired interpretation of it; dwelling, as it were, at the very fountain-head of Gospel truth, his testimony must necessarily carry with it the greatest weight and demand the most serious consideration. Cardinal Newman did not exaggerate the matter when he said (“The Theology of the Seven Epistles of St. Ignatius”, in “Historical Sketches”, I, London, 1890) that “the whole system of Catholic doctrine may be discovered, at least in outline, not to say in parts filled up, in the course of his seven epistles”. Among the many Catholic doctrines to be found in the letters are the following: the Church was Divinely established as a visible society, the salvation of souls is its end, and those who separate themselves from it cut themselves off from God (Philad., c. iii); the hierarchy of the Church was instituted by Christ (lntrod. to Philad.; Ephes., c. vi); the threefold character of the hierarchy (Magn., c. vi); the order of the episcopacy superior by Divine authority to that of the priesthood (Magn., c. vi, c. xiii; Smyrn., c. viii; Trall., c. iii); the unity of the Church (Trall., c. vi; Philad., c. iii; Magn., c. xiii); the holiness of the Church (Smyrn., Ephes., Magn., Trall., and Rom.); the catholicity of the Church (Smyrn., c. viii); **the **infallibility of the Church (Philad., c. iii; Ephes., cc. xvi, xvii); the doctrine of the Eucharist (Smyrn., c. viii), which word we find for the first time applied to the Blessed Sacrament, just as in Smyrn., viii, we meet for the first time the phrase “Catholic Church”, used to designate all Christians; the Incarnation (Ephes., c. xviii); the supernatural virtue of virginity, already much esteemed and made the subject of a vow (Polyc., c. v); the religious character of matrimony (Polyc., c. v); the value of united prayer (Ephes., c. xiii); the primacy of the See of Rome (Rom., introd.). He, moreover, denounces in principle the Protestant doctrine of private judgment in matters of religion (Philad. c. iii), The heresy against which he chiefly inveighs is Docetism. Neither do the Judaizing heresies escape his vigorous condemnation.

Source: newadvent.org/cathen/07644a.htm

Disrespectful nicknames aside, it appears you are not that intimately familiar with the writings of St. Ignatius of Antioch.


#17

So what! try and draw a connection, oh that’ll be the apostolic authority thread…

This doesn’t give anyones definition of a church???:confused:

Your point???

hmmm, again how does this correctly define “church” as being the church at Rome?

CLEMENT OF ALEXANDRIA
"You may learn, if you will, the crowning wisdom of the all-holy Shepherd and Instructor, of the omnipotent and paternal Word, when He figuratively represents Himself as the Shepherd of the sheep…Such are the promises of the good Shepherd. Feed us, the children, as sheep. Yea, Master, fill us with righteousness, Thine own pasture; yea, O Instructor, feed us on Thy holy mountain the Church, which towers aloft, which is above the clouds, which touches heaven." *Clement of Alexandria, The Instructor, I:9 (A.D. 202). *

Again, where is your support in this? they arent talking about the church at rome go to the link provided and read these writings…


#18

Here is a summary of Clement straight from him…

Clement of Alexandria
Roman Catholic apologists sometimes deny that anybody defined the Christian church as a spiritual entity consisting only of believers during the earliest centuries of Christianity. The truth is that the term “church” was defined in numerous ways, and the concept of an invisible church was one of those definitions. In an earlier segment in this series, I cited Justin Martyr as an example. Here’s Clement of Alexandria:

“For it is not now the place, but the assemblage of the elect, that I call the Church.” (The Stromata, 7:5)


#19

“[A]ll the people wondered that there should be such a difference between the unbelievers and the elect, of whom this most admirable Polycarp was one, having in our own times been an apostolic and prophetic teacher, and bishop of the Catholic Church which is in Smyrna. For every word that went out of his mouth either has been or shall yet be accomplished.” Martyrdom of Polycarp, 16:2 (A.D. 155).

“…to be in honour however with the Catholic Church for the ordering of ecclesiastical discipline…one to the Laodicenes, another to the Alexandrians, both forged in Paul’s name to suit the heresy of Marcion, and several others, which cannot be received into the Catholic Church; for it is not fitting that gall be mixed with honey. The Epistle of Jude no doubt, and the couple bearing the name of John, are accepted by the Catholic Church…But of Arsinous, called also Valentinus, or of Militiades we receive nothing at all.” The fragment of Muratori (A.D. 177).

“[N]or does it consist in this, that he should again falsely imagine, as being above this [fancied being], a Pleroma at one time supposed to contain thirty, and at another time an innumerable tribe of Aeons, as these teachers who are destitute of truly divine wisdom maintain; while the Catholic Church possesses one and the same faith throughout the whole world, as we have already said.” Irenaeus, Against Heresies, 1:10,3 (A.D. 180).

“For it is evident that those men lived not so long ago,–in the reign of Antoninus for the most part,–and that they at first were believers in the doctrine of the Catholic Church, in the church of Rome under the episcopate of the blessed Eleutherus, until on account of their ever restless curiosity, with which they even infected the brethren, they were more than once expelled.” Tertullian, On the Prescription Against Heretics, 22,30 (A.D. 200).


#20

”Whence you ought to know that the bishop is in the Church, and the Church in the bishop; and if any one be not with the bishop, that he is not in the Church, and that those flatter themselves in vain who creep in, not having peace with God’s priests, and think that they communicate secretly with some; while the Church, which is Catholic and one, is not cut nor divided, but is indeed connected and bound together by the cement of priests who cohere with one another.” Cyprian, To Florentius, Epistle 66/67 (A.D. 254).

“But for those who say, There was when He was not, and, Before being born He was not, and that He came into existence out of nothing, or who assert that the Son of God is of a different hypostasis or substance…these the Catholic and apostolic Church anathematizes.” Creed of Nicea (A.D. 325).

“Concerning those who call themselves Cathari, if they come over to the Catholic and Apostolic Church, the great and holy Synod decrees that they who are ordained shall continue as they are in the clergy. But it is before all things necessary that they should profess in writing that they will observe and follow the dogmas of the Catholic and Apostolic Church; in particular that they will communicate with persons who have been twice married, and with those who having lapsed in persecution have had a period [of penance] laid upon them, and a time [of restoration] fixed so that in all things they will follow the dogmas of the Catholic Church…” Council of Nicaea I (A.D. 325).


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