The First Christians


#1

I find it not only frustrating but painful to try and speak to non Catholics about the foundation of the Church. To offer Mathew 16:18 just gets placed in the " Peter was never Pope…not in Rome…where does it say Catholic." file. I also get a plethora of different dates and eras that they believe that the Catholic Church was founded, sometimes followed by the apostasy date as well. The Church was pure until Constantine, and then suddenly “corrupt” bishops founded the Catholic Church during a council in Nicaea. After that “real” Christians had to go underground

For the most part over the last six months of so I have just given up. It is difficult to evangelize to those who are poisoned with revisionary history. Just wondering if anyone has any thoughts or suggestions.


#2

I, for the most part, agree with you; it can be very despairing to talk to some fundamentalists.


#3

The only reasonable approach I have encountered from discussions with Protestants is that the Church had always been subject to corruption. That is the only semi-reasonable explanation, but usually only Protestants who are familiar with Church History use that. Most throw the blame on Constantine–that is a grave error on their part. It is very important to point out the testimony of the Apostolic Fathers and the Early Church Writings. Show how they are consistent on many important issues…If they reject that, well then…pray :shrug:

Prayers and petitions,
Alexius:cool:


#4

Sorry to double-post, but I would also say it is extremely important to be patient. It is better to turn your back in a peaceful manner having presented the message, than to get in a heated exchange and leave on bad terms…


#5

you have to read the early writers and look at what they are saying and whats happening at the time,if you look at other writers you get an idea of what was happening historically things that won’t be in Bible [secular stuff] a good site is www.earlychristianwritings.com I don’t think its a Catholic site but its pretty good,for instance Pope Clement 1st is called Clement 1, as for Popes you have to look and see who the early church looked to for direction from the begining it was St Peter and soforth to our present Pope.


#6

What I find even MORE confusing, and I consider myself Catholic, is the fact the Churches in the West, or the Latin Church, and SOME churches of the Eastern form of belief were not united in doctrine and belief until around 381 at the council called by the Emperor Theodosius in Constantinople. There had been a dispute between the Western Church and the Arienists of the East for generations as to the doctrine of whether Christ was the equal of God the Father (Western belief, Nicene Creed) or was He just a bit lower than the Father. (Arien Belief) Battles were fought over this by both factions with the loss of many lives and the humiliation of many. This went back and forth for centures. Then there was the matter of the Holy Spirit. Where did He fit? Theodosius, tired of all the fol de rol, called the council, said the Nicene Creed, with some changes, which was first formed at Nicea (Constantine) was the way every one should believe. If the Ariens couldn’t accept that, they were out. So this became one of the reasons for the split between the Church in the East and West. I haven’t read much at all of this history, but it is interesting. What is SO INTERESTING however, is that this decision to follow the Nicene Creed was a decision of an emperor, not a Pope, or the Bishop of Rome as he was then called, although the Bishops in Rome had adhered to the Nicene Creed for as long as the argument between the East and West was in existence. Anyone free to correct me if I’m wrong??? :slight_smile: Peace.


#7

Perhaps what we must adhere to is that although the Church was open to HUMAN corruption it was guarded and guided by the Holy Spirit in matters of faith and morals. One of the things I hang on to, is the History of the church. It is the ONLY one with the history of reaching back to the time of Christ.:slight_smile: Peace.


#8

It somewhat amazes me that people think the Church went off the rails so very early, and yet believe that their own denomination, which began 14 or 15 or 16 or more centuries later, somehow got it right!

The fact of the matter is that when looking at the very earliest structure and beliefs of the Church, it is Catholic. I recommend a reading of Rod Bennet’s “Four Witnesses,” to demonstrate that. From the beginning the Church showed the characteristics of hierarchy, [presbyters, episkopos, & diakonos] universality, and apostolicity.

What emerged from the Apostolic Age was the Catholic Church. If one thinks that it went wrong nearly from the beginning, what chance does anyone now living have of getting it right? If the church went wrong so early, then we can’t really trust any Christian organization, and might as well go back to the old covenant.


#9

I agree with what you say and also recommend Four Witnesses. I’m in the middle of it now and I like how the author puts the developing church in the context of the history of the times. It also casts light on things that are mentioned in some of the epistles.


#10

Yeah… the fictional opposing propaganda can be tiresome.

My response to this is always “I can’t tell from the writings of the early church fathers, who didn’t mention anyone else.”

…not in Rome…

Oh. yeah, I love this one too.

My response: Really? Then why does history tell us that he died there and why are his bones still there to this day?

where does it say Catholic." file.

That would be in Acts 9:31 in the Greek, which reads. http://www-users.cs.york.ac.uk/~fisher/tmpdir/gnt/050931.gif
The words ekkelsia kath olos is indeed “Catholic Church” and in most translations is rendered “the church throughout all”, which a good definition of “universal church”.

I also get a plethora of different dates and eras that they believe that the Catholic Church was founded, sometimes followed by the apostasy date as well. "The Church was pure until Constantine, and then suddenly “corrupt” bishops founded the Catholic Church during a council in Nicaea. After that “real” Christians had to go underground

"Another historical fiction which completely ignores that the writings of Polycarp, Ignatius of Antioch, and the Didache are definitively Catholic and make no bones about being so. Polycarp was infant baptized, and Ignatius not only calls the church by the name Catholic Church, but makes it plain that anyone who denies the Eucharistic Real Presence is a heretic to be avoided. ALL of them preceded the 4th century, and none of that changed post Nicaea.

For the most part over the last six months of so I have just given up. It is difficult to evangelize to those who are poisoned with revisionary history. Just wondering if anyone has any thoughts or suggestions.

I understand. :slight_smile: However, one of the best things to do is simply bathe those opponents in prayer. I use the Rosary and the Divine Mercy Chaplet and have had a great many of answers to them.

Also, in real life, I don’t waste my time on those who are stiff necked and just want to argue. I briefly summarize my points and then just walk away just as Our Lord said to do, and the apostles obeyed.

Matthew 10:14 And whosoever shall not receive you, nor hear your words: going forth out of that house or city shake off the dust from your feet.

Mark 6:1 And whosoever shall not receive you, nor hear you; going forth from thence, shake off the dust from your feet for a testimony to them.

Luke 9:5 And whosoever will not receive you, when ye go out of that city, shake off even the dust of your feet, for a testimony against them.

Acts Of Apostles 13:51 But they, shaking off the dust of their feet against them, came to Iconium.


#11

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