World Christian Encyclopedia, April 2001. This is a Protestant publication.

There are now over 33,800* non-Catholic Christian ecclesial communities** in the world today. Twenty years ago there were about 21,000*.
"Has Christ been divided up?"
1Corinthians 1:10

*World Christian Encyclopedia, April 2001. This is a Protestant publication.
**There is only one Christian Church in the world, since Jesus Christ founded only one. See Matthew 16:18 and you will find that He did say that He founded His Church, and not churches. There cannot be 33,800 different churches, since Christ is one,
so they are rightfully called “ecclesial communities”.

Bob Stanley

One disobedient and egotistical priest, and look at the mess we have! If only we could focus all of this contentious energy on defeating the devil, we might just win.

One disobedient and egotistical pope was just as responsible. :wink:

Jon

You can certainly say this, but isn’t that relativism? How about all of the others who remained obedient and trusted in God, rather than themselves? Those who weathered the storm, knowing that better times lie ahead? Look at the sorry state of Christianity. That Pope is gone, and so is Luther. The horrible division in the Body of Christ remains. We now argue and fight with each other, rather than with the evil one. This is not the hoped for legacy, I would imagine.

But the Catholic Church remains the true Church founded by Christ despite that disobedient and egotistical Pope.

You cannot say the same to the sect founded by that disobedient and egotistical priest.

I absolutely agree with the bolded part. My only reason for the comment was to make clear that Luther was not alone at fault. The Catholic Church makes clear that there was blame to go around. We all have an obligation to overcome our differences, as difficult as that may be at times, and allow the Holy Spirit to bring His Church together again.

Jon

You can say this, and being a Catholic you should. But with this claim comes responsibility, and perhaps a tacit acknowledgement that the far greater fault must be with that leader of Christ’s true Church protected by the Holy Spirit, who had the guidance of the Magisterium and Sacred Tradition, as compared to a single insignificant monk from Wittenburg.

Jon

I agree but it could not justify the sin of that “insignificant monk”. After all, that monk knew that the Church he was rebelling against was the one founded by Christ. And the moment he took up his rebellion against the Church, he was rebelling not only against the leader of the Church who was a sinner but ultimately against Christ.

I would say he acted (rebelled, if that is the word you choose) against the sins of the leaders of the Church. He was asked to recant and, therefore, be obedient to sin! If it is a rebellion to say no to those who led the Church into sin, then so be it.

As you can see, it is all in one’s perspective. It was never Luther’s goal to form a new Church. It was his original goal to spark a dialogue about the abuses going on within the Church. One can only speculate what might have happened then had there been positive dialogue.
Pro18guy mentioned our inclination to argue amongst ourselves. I contend that, through dialogue, we can first join our hearts and prayers, and then remain hopeful that someday we can join in complete doctrinal reconciliation. Pray for the day.

Jon

To much is given, much is expected?
Who was given more?

Both would have been in sin, I think. But, if one felt they were defending Christ I don’t think we can judge his actions. In retrospect it is very easy to do but not at all fair. You don’t know if his intention was that eventually things would work out. You can not say you know he desired a rift that would last this long.

I have thought about the 30K+ Non-catholic Denominations dispute. The gist I hear from Catholics is that these various denominations are splintering Christ and all should come home to the Catholic Church, the One and Only True Church.

The idea that the various Christian denominations outside of Catholicism are in some way unified can be seen in the various groups with their various charisms within the Catholic Church. The Dominicans, the Franciscans, the Jesuits, the Benedictines, are all Catholic Denominations. Each has their part in strengthening the body of Christ in the way in which they feel called. Their focus is Christ but in each their own way. The way of the Franciscan differs greatly from the Jesuit, yet both build up the body of Christ and because they are under the umbrella of Catholicism they are not viewed by Catholics as a different Church or a different denominations, but to non-Catholics that’s exactly what they are.

And so it is within the non-Catholic denominations. The Baptists have their charism and draw unto themselves those that follow Christ with the Baptist focus, and the Methodist, and the Evangelical, etc. These groups are not separate from The Body, but they are different parts of the same Body. Therefore, non-Catholic Christians do not agree with the Catholic perspective of a splintering of Christ’s mystical body with the various part of the body all doing their part as they discern their walk with Christ.

Just as if we look at a part of a physical body as an individual cell or piece under the microscope and we looked no further; how could anyone see a human body in their microscope if he was only looking at a single hair? But if you step back and look at the body as a whole and then look again at that hair you begin to see how beneficial this single item it the body as a whole.

He introduced doctrines alien from the Church. Had he rebelled only against the sins of the leaders of the Church, he would not have introduced Sola Scriptura, Sola Fidei and other Solas out there. He repudiated the Apostolic Tradition revered by the Christians for more than 1500 years.

As you can see, it is all in one’s perspective. It was never Luther’s goal to form a new Church. It was his original goal to spark a dialogue about the abuses going on within the Church. One can only speculate what might have happened then had there been positive dialogue.

But his rebellion caused the founding of a sect, thus Lutheran exists, and triggered the sprouting of numerous sects in the world.

And I guess dialogue was impossible for one who was so proud and arrogant not willing to concede his heretical teachings.

Dominicans, the Franciscans, the Jesuits, the Benedictines, are NOT denominations considering that they do not have their own sets of doctrines. They adhere to the same teachings adhered by all Catholics in the world.

These groups are not the same with the Baptists, Pentecostals, Lutherans and the rest of the 30, 000+ denominations who differ in their doctrines.

Guess we’ll have to agree to disagree about his intentions, and what he introdiced and didn’t introduce. The notion that Luther developed these things out of whole cloth is false.

As for his pride and arrogance, I’ll allow you to judge the heart of someone who died 500 years ago. I don’t feel it my place.

Jon

Amen! We are called to deny ourselves, take up our cross daily and only then to follow Christ. Not many of us today are willing to take that advice. It may seem unfair, but my point is that if we have a bad president, we don’t secede and form our own nation. We suck it up for the sake of unity. But what’s done is done. Unity is our goal now, and there is so much more that unites us than divides us.

Christ’s peace be with you.

And also with you.

And if someone challenges what the president is doing, we don’t kick them out. But even then, we all have a responsibility to work for reconciliation. To the extent that I and my leaders have not worked as hard as they could toward reconciliation, a ask forgiveness of God, and my brothers and sisters in Christ.

Jon

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