The Early Church or Churches?


#1

How many churches were around in the early days of Christianity besides the Catholic Church? Church history shows there were many different beliefs and like today, they all claimed to be scriptual truth, wether quoting from the Old Testament or Christ and His apostles.


#2

[quote=The Catholic]How many churches were around in the early days of Christianity besides the Catholic Church? Church history shows there were many different beliefs and like today, they all claimed to be scriptual truth, wether quoting from the Old Testament or Christ and His apostles.
[/quote]

It would be Churches because we know that there were to begin with five:

Antiochian - Peter, Paul, Matthew, Thomas
[size=4][size=4]Alexandrian - Mark
[size=4]Byzantine - Andrew
[size=4]Armenian - Jude, Bartholomew
Roman - Peter and Paul
[/size][/size]
[/size]
[/size]


#3

[quote=The Catholic]How many churches were around in the early days of Christianity besides the Catholic Church? Church history shows there were many different beliefs and like today, they all claimed to be scriptual truth, wether quoting from the Old Testament or Christ and His apostles.
[/quote]

One Christian Church with many local churches run by Bishops (as Bro Rich indicates) all in union with each other. This is the Catholic Church. The only Church.

There were many non-Christian sects such as Gnostics, Pagans, etc., which is not the same as a “denomination”.


#4

[quote=Br. Rich SFO]It would be Churches because we know that there were to begin with five:

Antiochian - Peter, Paul, Matthew, Thomas
[size=4]Alexandrian - Mark[/size]
Byzantine - Andrew
Armenian - Jude, Bartholomew
Roman - Peter and Paul

[/quote]

Nonsense. You are speaking of one church. The question was what other churches were around “besides” the Catholic church. There was one church which was established by the apostles who were led by Peter whether he was in Rome at the time or not.

Other than a few heretical sects, there was only one unified, authorized, and apostolic church.

Thal59


#5

I do not mean to go down a rabbit trail in regards to this threads topic, but in reading I came across this website.
americancatholicchurch.net/about.html
I’d appreciate anyone’s insite into this. As one person mentioned, schism has already arrived here in the US.
%between%
Pray for our Holy Mother Church and frequent the Sacraments.

In the hearts of Jesus and Mary,

Rita


#6

From the website of:

The American Catholic Church in Nevada is particularly sensitive to the voices of those who, having felt been called to Catholic ministry, have found their way blocked by sexism and blanket requirements of celibacy: We are therefore committed to the admission of woman, married and gay / lesbian persons to all ranks of the clergy!There’s no need to be confused. They are CINOs and NOT in communion in any way with us.

Look at this in the first paragraph:

which are independent of the Pope in Rome

That sums it all up. Look at their teachings as shown in my first quote above. These are nothing more than non-Catholics using the name and liturgy. (and that last probably is ALL messed up!)

Actually Bro Rich is correct, but those are what we would call diocese today and the listed apostles are the respective bishops, so it’s okay. ALL of the early church was Catholic, and a reading of the Early Church Fathers will bring that home with a vengeance.


#7

“I believe in the One, Holy, Catholic and Apostolic Church.”

“…the universal Church cannot be conceived as the sum of the particular Churches, or as a federation of particular Churches. It is not the result of the communion of the Churches, but, in its essential mystery, it is a reality ontologically and temporally prior to every individual particular Church”Particular Church

A Particular Church, in Roman Catholic theology and canon law, is any of the individual constituent ecclesial communities in full communion with the Church of Rome that are part of the Catholic Church as a whole. These can be the local Churches mentioned in Canon 368 of the Code of Canon Law: “Particular Churches, in which and from which the one and only Catholic Church exists, are principally dioceses. Unless the contrary is clear, the following are equivalent to a diocese: a territorial prelature, a territorial abbacy, a vicariate apostolic, a prefecture apostolic and a permanently established apostolic administration” [1]. Or they can be aggregations of such local Churches that share a specific liturgical, theological and canonical tradition, namely, the western Latin Rite or Latin Church and the various Eastern Rites or Eastern Churches that the Second Vatican Council’s Decree on the Catholic Eastern Churches Orientalium Ecclesiarum, 2[2] called “particular Churches or rites” .

… The Catholic Church as a whole is more than just the sum of the particular Churches (“dioceses” or “rites”) within it: “The particular Churches, insofar as they are ‘part of the one Church of Christ’ (Second Vatican Council: Decree Christus Dominus, 6/c), have a special relationship of mutual interiority with the whole, that is, with the universal Church, because in every particular Church ‘the one, holy, catholic and apostolic Church of Christ is truly present and active’ (Second Vatican Council: Decree Christus Dominus, 11/a). For this reason, the universal Church cannot be conceived as the sum of the particular Churches, or as a federation of particular Churches. It is not the result of the communion of the Churches, but, in its essential mystery, it is a reality ontologically and temporally prior to every individual particular Church” (Communionis Notio, 9).

Wikipedia


#8

**What All Catholics Should Know About Eastern Catholic Churches **

… For Catholics, the branches of the Church are properly called the Latin Church and the Eastern Churches. There are two separate codes of canon law, one for the Oriental, or Eastern Churches in union with Rome and another for the Latin, or Western Church … Each of these legal codes recognizes the supreme authority of the Roman pontiff, the pope in Rome.

…The Eastern Churches are still mistakenly called “Eastern-rite” Churches, a reference to their various liturgical histories. They are most properly called Eastern Churches, or Eastern Catholic Churches. …


#9

1Cr 1:12 *Now this I say, that every one of you saith, I am of Paul; and I of Apollos; and I of Cephas; and I of Christ. *

There is quite a bit of evidence that the unity you describe was not there…I will try to post something later today…it will take quite awhile for me to compile.

BH


#10

Well, just a few examples of clearly Christian churches that were not part of the “Catholic” Church:

Donatists
Montanists
Novatianists

And no, I’m not making silly claims about the links between these groups and Protestantism. On the contrary, we Protestants, like “Roman” Catholics and Orthodox, are direct descendants of the early Catholic Church.

Edwin


#11

[quote=Br. Rich SFO]It would be Churches because we know that there were to begin with five:

Antiochian - Peter, Paul, Matthew, Thomas
[size=4]Alexandrian - Mark[/size]
Byzantine - Andrew
Armenian - Jude, Bartholomew
Roman - Peter and Paul

[/quote]

It was originally three and then the other two were elevated to the level of patriarch later. The Roman, Antiochian, and Alexandrian were the original patriarchs. The Jerusalem and Constantinople patriarchs came later.


#12

[quote=WordMadeFlesh]I do not mean to go down a rabbit trail in regards to this threads topic, but in reading I came across this website.
americancatholicchurch.net/about.html
I’d appreciate anyone’s insite into this. As one person mentioned, schism has already arrived here in the US.

Pray for our Holy Mother Church and frequent the Sacraments.

In the hearts of Jesus and Mary,

Rita
[/quote]

Read their tenets of faith. They are pantheists and believe that they are all god. That site is really strange and I would say every single tenet of their faith is a heresy in itself. The scripture in their view, instead of being inspired by God was inspired by Vatican II. They mention Vatican II but reject all teachings of the Church. They are heretical.


#13

Well, it is true that the early Christians did have rivalries, but this was more do to the nature of how the Church spread itself.

“I urge you, brothers, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that all of you agree in what you say, and that there be no divisions among you, but that you be united in the same mind and in the same purpose. For it has been reported to me about you, my brothers, by Chloe’s people, that there are rivalries among you. I mean that each of you is saying, “I belong to Paul,” or “I belong to Apollos,” or “I belong to Kephas,” or “I belong to Christ.” Is Christ divided? Was Paul crcified for you? Or were you baptized in the name of Paul? I give thans [to God] that I baptized none of you except Crispus and Gaius, so that no one would say you were baptized in my name. (I baptized the household of Stephanas also; beyond that I do not know whether I baptized anyone else.) For Christ did not send me to baptize but to preach the gospel, and not with the wisdom of human eloquence, so that the cross of Christ might not be emptied of its meaning.” 1 Cor 1: 10-17

This passage in no way suggests that there was no magistrium, that the apostles were not communicating with each other and with those they were putting into authority. On the contrary, it seems quite the opposite. It seems likely that this was affinity to their local parish (church) community and that they were becoming loyal to their specific parishes and were not bothering to unite under the magistrial authority.

It is not much different than what occurs with many Catholics today. They do not bother to read anything that comes out from the magistrium. They are limited to Sunday Mass where the priest spends 5 to 10 minutes giving a homily on the gospel, though some of the time taking a break from that and discussing parish issues of finances. They are Catholics in a Protestant country living their Catholic faith as if it were a Protestant faith. And as such they typicall tend to be less united to the magistrium as they pick out their parish based on whether or not they like and agree with the priest and expect that 5 minute homily to give them all the information they need to know.

It should be noted that Paul is correcting their behavior. Unfortunately all Protestants can do to claim unity among themselves is to delute the faith the only thing they can agree on: that Christ died for their sins, but I honestly doubt that the people of these parish communities really and honestly disagreed with that. It was rather a looking to the Church as one unite of faith, one mind, one set of princples…to be submissive to the teachings of the magistrial authority rather than holding their loyality to the small Christian community they lived in.


#14

[quote=BrianH]1Cr 1:12 *Now this I say, that every one of you saith, I am of Paul; and I of Apollos; and I of Cephas; and I of Christ. *

There is quite a bit of evidence that the unity you describe was not there…I will try to post something later today…it will take quite awhile for me to compile.

BH
[/quote]

There was great unity, just read Ignatius of Antiochs writings. He died in 107AD and he was a disciple of John the apostle. He is very clear when he speaks about heretics and schismatics. He was the bishop of Antioch yet he wrote to Rome, Philadelphia, Smyrnia, Trallia, Magnesia and a couple others. His most clear message is unity. He is clear that if you do not follow the bishop you have no part in the Church.


#15

[quote=Contarini] On the contrary, we Protestants, like “Roman” Catholics and Orthodox, are direct descendants of the early Catholic Church.

Edwin
[/quote]

That is a silly claim that has no basis in history. The Catholic Churches and the Eastern Churches can all trace their bishops back to the apostles. Protestantism can do no such thing. To make this claim is to ignore history.


#16

[quote=jimmy]That is a silly claim that has no basis in history.
[/quote]

Quite the reverse. It’s historically demonstrable. The Protestant Reformers were members of the Catholic Church who very explicitly stated their attempt to reform the existing Catholic Church, not start something new.

Of course, by the standards *you *accept, we have no legitimate claim to continuity. I’m not arguing that. We may be illegitimate descendants (by your definition), but we are descendants nonetheless.

The Catholic Churches and the Eastern Churches can all trace their bishops back to the apostles. Protestantism can do no such thing. To make this claim is to ignore history.

Anglicans and some Lutherans can trace their bishops back to the apostles. Most of the other Reformation churches have a succession of presbyters (though in places it’s spotty–for instance, there’s no evidence that Calvin was ever ordained), and this includes Methodists as well.

More broadly, though, Protestants deny that succession from the early Church is purely a matter of succession in office. You are picking out a very specific criterion and imposing it on the discussion. But precisely what makes us Protestants is that we *don’t *think that criterion is the be-all and end-all.

Edwin


#17

[quote=Contarini]Quite the reverse. It’s historically demonstrable. The Protestant Reformers were members of the Catholic Church who very explicitly stated their attempt to reform the existing Catholic Church, not start something new.

Of course, by the standards *you *accept, we have no legitimate claim to continuity. I’m not arguing that. We may be illegitimate descendants (by your definition), but we are descendants nonetheless.
[/quote]

You are descendants in that you came out of Catholicism. But the Church was never run from bottom up so that the lay people lead the bishops and told the bishops that they were heretics. The Church in every stage of its life was lead from the top down. I am sure you have read Ignatius’ epistles. He is very clear that those who do not follow the bishops are heretics and schismatics. Irenaeus shows the list of the Roman bishops from the apostles. Apostolicity was shown through the connection of the bishops with the apostles.

Whether Luther wanted to start a new church or not matters little, he still rejected half of the teachings of Christianity.

Anglicans and some Lutherans can trace their bishops back to the apostles. Most of the other Reformation churches have a succession of presbyters (though in places it’s spotty–for instance, there’s no evidence that Calvin was ever ordained), and this includes Methodists as well.

More broadly, though, Protestants deny that succession from the early Church is purely a matter of succession in office. You are picking out a very specific criterion and imposing it on the discussion. But precisely what makes us Protestants is that we *don’t *think that criterion is the be-all and end-all.

There is not one Lutheran bishop that can claim he has apostolic succession. Not one bishop followed Luther in his reformation. Luther was a priest, he was not a bishop. Priests have never held succession. The Church fathers never speak of the succession priests. In order for Lutherans to claim apostolicity they must have bishops that were ordained by bishops that have succession. Since Luther was only a priest and no bishop followed him they can not make this claim.

The Anglicans rejected the ancient teachings of Christianity consequently turning themselves into heretics and losing succession.


#18

[quote=jimmy]You are descendants in that you came out of Catholicism.
[/quote]

And that’s all I’m saying. You’re welcome to say that we are illegitimate descendants. Obviously we don’t see it that way.

But the Church was never run from bottom up so that the lay people lead the bishops and told the bishops that they were heretics. The Church in every stage of its life was lead from the top down.

That’s a false generalization. Bishops in the early Church were chosen by the people. Papal appointment of bishops is not an ancient practice–and the same is true of many aspects of modern RC polity. The Church wasn’t “bottom up” or “top down.” All members of the Church had different functions. Bishops had a huge amount of authority–but at the same time they were chosen by the people so there was some accountability.

Furthermore, it was often true–the Arian controversy being one good example–that many bishops were heretics and laypeople *did *rise up and call them heretics.

I am sure you have read Ignatius’ epistles. He is very clear that those who do not follow the bishops are heretics and schismatics.

Very true. In fact I’ve been rereading Ignatius recently. But the “bishops” Ignatius describes are the local leaders of the Church in a specific town. And other writers from the early Church–including, ironically, Clement of Rome, who was allegedly a Pope himself–don’t speak of one bishop but of several presbyters governing the Church. Hermas’s allegory *The Shepherd *speaks of Clement as the presbyter in charge of correspondence with other churches (though that could be another Clement, of course), rather than the sole bishop. Ignatius’s “monarchical” model apparently didn’t take over at Rome itself until the mid-second century. At least that’s the consensus of most scholars today, including Catholics. There was a lot more diversity in the early Church than you are acknowledging.

Irenaeus shows the list of the Roman bishops from the apostles. Apostolicity was shown through the connection of the bishops with the apostles.

In Irenaeus’s definition apostolic succession is a matter of succession of office in a specific see. No American bishop would have apostolic succession in Irenaeus’s definition (though of course he thinks that communion with the apostolic sees, especially Rome, is very important).

I’m not disputing that the succession of bishops is important. That’s one reason why I’m an Anglican rather than some other form of Protestant. I’m denying that it’s the one and only factor that counts.

Whether Luther wanted to start a new church or not matters little, he still rejected half of the teachings of Christianity.

Well, I think that’s bunk. I don’t think the matters debated in the Reformation were of primary importance, though that’s not to say that they were trivial. I think both sides continued to believe the central teachings of Christianity.

There is not one Lutheran bishop that can claim he has apostolic succession. Not one bishop followed Luther in his reformation.

Not in Germany–I was talking about Scandinavia.

Luther was a priest, he was not a bishop. Priests have never held succession. The Church fathers never speak of the succession priests.

You’re wrong. Jerome says that originally there was no distinction between bishops and presbyters, but that later on one presbyter was chosen to govern the others. There’s evidence that at times in Alexandria the presbyters elected the bishop and laid hands on him without any other bishop being involved (as among Methodists and many Lutherans today).

The Anglicans rejected the ancient teachings of Christianity consequently turning themselves into heretics and losing succession.

What are these ancient teachings that we rejected? I don’t dispute that there were some (the Reformers were not as close to the early Church as they taught), but there were others that we restored: communion in both kinds being one of the most obvious examples.

Edwin


#19

That’s a false generalization. Bishops in the early Church were chosen by the people. Papal appointment of bishops is not an ancient practice–and the same is true of many aspects of modern RC polity. The Church wasn’t “bottom up” or “top down.” All members of the Church had different functions. Bishops had a huge amount of authority–but at the same time they were chosen by the people so there was some accountability.

Furthermore, it was often true–the Arian controversy being one good example–that many bishops were heretics and laypeople *did *rise up and call them heretics.

You are creating false history. Yes, they were chosen by the lay people at times and in certain places but this by no means put them under the control of the lay people. The union was held by the bishops. The lay people were bound to follow the bishop in all things. Read Ignatius’ epistles.

The lay people are not the ones that rose up in the arian heresy, it was the good bishops that condemned the false bishops. You are giving false history.

Furthermore, whether the bishops were chosen by the people does not matter. The bishops were given authority over the people. The people were allowed to choose who would be the head of their local church, but once the person was chosen those people were subject to him when it came to the faith. The bishop always held succession as I said.

The lay people can not rise up and start another heirarchy and overthrow the one that exists. Those who were chosen by the people were aproved by the heirarchy. The protestants have tried to overthrow the Church that was in existence and establish a new heirarchy. It is schism at least, and heresy at the worst.

I will answer the rest later when I have more time.


#20

Thanks for answering questions everyone.


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