'The Church' used more by Protestants?


#1

Maybe it’s unique to my area, but I’ve noticed more and more that Protestants/Evangelicals are referring to themselves as ‘The Church’ (as they are all members of the* invisible* Church). I’ve also noticed new banners in the Protestant churches of a couple friends of mine ‘advertising’ they are part of ‘Gods Living Church’. I know this has always been their belief, but I’m hearing it a lot more on Protestant radio and seeing it more. In the past, I’ve typically only heard the term ‘The Church’ used by Catholics (for the most part.)

I’m wondering if this is a passive way of attacking the Catholic view of the ‘Church’. By using it more frequently in this context, people will be conditioned to the meaning they are giving it. Any thoughts?


#2

[quote=Elzee]Maybe it’s unique to my area, but I’ve noticed more and more that Protestants/Evangelicals are referring to themselves as ‘The Church’ (as they are all members of the* invisible* Church).
[/quote]

One thing I want to point out is that our Church is not INVISIBLE. By the Church being the body of believers in Christ I would have to say that we are quite visible.

I’ve also noticed new banners in the Protestant churches of a couple friends of mine ‘advertising’ they are part of ‘Gods Living Church’. I know this has always been their belief, but I’m hearing it a lot more on Protestant radio and seeing it more. In the past, I’ve typically only heard the term ‘The Church’ used by Catholics (for the most part.)

I haven’t noticed a difference myself but it could be that we are becoming more vocal on this point.

I’m wondering if this is a passive way of attacking the Catholic view of the ‘Church’. By using it more frequently in this context, people will be conditioned to the meaning they are giving it. Any thoughts?

:rolleyes: sheesh :rolleyes: Ok, not to sound rude or anything… I am just frustrated and tired… Not everything that the protestants do is a direct or passive way of attacking the catholic church or their views. Maybe we are just proclaiming what we believe for all to hear and it has nothing to do with catholics.


#3

[quote=Elzee]I’m wondering if this is a passive way of attacking the Catholic view of the ‘Church’. By using it more frequently in this context, people will be conditioned to the meaning they are giving it. Any thoughts?
[/quote]

They are not so much passively attacking as excluding, since many serious Protestants consider us pagans.


#4

Good point. You didn’t sound rude at all. My opinion is probably somewhat tainted by the anti-Catholic rhetoric I hear from the pastor of one of the churches that is becoming more vocal on this. And, just so you understand why I said what I said about the ‘invisible church’ - they do (and many other evangelical and Protestant Christians I know - actually, all of them) believe in an INVISIBLE church. They believe the church Jesus founded is an invisible church made up of all believers. Those are their words, not mine. I guess if you believe differently then different Protestant/Evangelical groups define ‘Church’ and ‘visible’ in various ways.


#5

[font=Comic Sans MS]

Hello Singinbeauty,[/font]

[quote=Singinbeauty]One thing I want to point out is that our Church is not INVISIBLE. By the Church being the body of believers in Christ I would have to say that we are quite visible.
[/quote]

This is not the opinion of most serious Protestants, though.

Not everything that the protestants do is a direct or passive way of attacking the catholic church or their views. Maybe we are just proclaiming what we believe for all to hear and it has nothing to do with catholics.

That’s a welcome attitude. I sometimes get a complex from all the un-Christlike attacks.


#6

[quote=Elzee]Maybe it’s unique to my area, but I’ve noticed more and more that Protestants/Evangelicals are referring to themselves as ‘The Church’ (as they are all members of the* invisible* Church). I’ve also noticed new banners in the Protestant churches of a couple friends of mine ‘advertising’ they are part of ‘Gods Living Church’. I know this has always been their belief, but I’m hearing it a lot more on Protestant radio and seeing it more. In the past, I’ve typically only heard the term ‘The Church’ used by Catholics (for the most part.)
[/quote]

I’ve noticed it also, especially on the radio (we only have a Protestant radio station here). This is one of the difficulties with Catholic-Protestant dialog because the term means two different things. When I talk to my non-Catholic friends and use the term Church, I usually have to clarify that I mean the Catholic Church and not a so-called “invisible” church. I don’t think it is used as any kind of attack on the Catholic Church when Protestants use the term “church,” I just think they really believe they are part Christ’s Church (which according to the catechism, they are, although in an imperfect union). The problem I find is that many Evangelicals have difficulty with someone referring to the Catholic Church as “the Church” since many don’t even consider Catholics to be Christians. That makes for some hard dialog.

JU


#7

[quote=Elzee]Maybe it’s unique to my area, but I’ve noticed more and more that Protestants/Evangelicals are referring to themselves as ‘The Church’ (as they are all members of the* invisible* Church). I’ve also noticed new banners in the Protestant churches of a couple friends of mine ‘advertising’ they are part of ‘Gods Living Church’. I know this has always been their belief, but I’m hearing it a lot more on Protestant radio and seeing it more. In the past, I’ve typically only heard the term ‘The Church’ used by Catholics (for the most part.)

I’m wondering if this is a passive way of attacking the Catholic view of the ‘Church’. By using it more frequently in this context, people will be conditioned to the meaning they are giving it. Any thoughts?
[/quote]

I doubt it - people do occasionally think of other things than us and our affairs :slight_smile: We don’t think of the Orthodox every time we use the word “ecclesiology”, even though that word is made of two Greek words; so we needn’t think that Protestants have us in mind whenever they mention the Church (besides, plenty of them deny the CC has any right to be called by so honourable a name as that of a Church).

The Bible as translated into English uses the word “Church” - so these people will use it, if they are trying to follow what it says; since they speak English.

We could always call ourselves the Vogons, and slap a copyright on the name, I suppose. Short of that, people will use the word “Church” for all sorts of reasons - it’s a bit late in the day for us to try copyrighting *that *word :slight_smile:

FWIW, Anglican literature of the 19th century constantly refers to “the Church”, when it is referring to the established Anglican Church rather than the unestablished dissenting bodies such as Quakers, Congregationalists, and so on. What “The Church” means, depends on who you are, when you are, what your ecclesiology is, & what your neighbour’s ecclesiology is. That’s the trouble with religious words - any one can use them, whether others approve or not. ##


closed #8

DISCLAIMER: The views and opinions expressed in these forums do not necessarily reflect those of Catholic Answers. For official apologetics resources please visit www.catholic.com.