What or where is the church that Jesus started.
Why to Catholics believe that their Church is the one true Church of Jesus Christ? Wouldn't it be more reasonable to believe that Christ's true Church is a spiritual union of all Christian denomination?
Catholics believe that theirs is the one true Church of Jesus Christ, firstly, because theirs is the only Christian Church that documented proof that goes back in history to the time of Christ. All other Churches trace their lineage back to a human person; secondly, because theirs is the only Christian Church which possesses the invincible unity, the intrinsic holiness, the continual universality and the indisputable apostolicity which Christ said would distinguish His true Church; and thirdly, because the Apostles and primitive Church Leaders, who certainly were members of Christ's true Church, all professed membership in the same Catholic Church (See Apostles' Creed and the Primitive Christian letters). Wrote Ignatius of Antioch, Church Leader of the first century: "Where the bishop is, there let the multitude of believers be, even as where Jesus is, there is the Catholic Church." Our Lord said: "There shall be one fold and one shepherd”, yet it is well know that the various Christian denominations cannot agree on what Christ actually taught.
There are over 30,000 independent churches and thousands of splinter groups among them in just 500 years since the Protestant reformation. Some have come and gone and not all can agree on interpretation of Scripture. Matthew 18 verse 17 talks about if there is a conflict, say on baptism “If he refuses to listen then take it to the Church” Well with all those Churches out there which one are you going to take it to. You will get dozens of different answers.
Christ condemned interdenominationalism, “that house cannot stand." (Mark 3:25), Catholics can not believe that He would even sanction it in His Church. There is still only but one Catholic Church and She still holds the same interpretations of Sacred Scripture, the same Doctrines and Divine Tradition that have remained unchanged world wide for almost 2000 years. There is also no Scriptural evidence of independent Churches.
Catholics do NOT condemn any other faith. The Catholic church is the fullness of faith and shares many things with other christian denominations in part because they originated from Catholic church.
So where is church in the Bible:
WHAT IS CHURCH
Mt 16:18-9 - upon this rock I will build my Church
Mt 18:17-18 - if he refuses to listen even to Church ...
Mt 28:18-20 - go baptize and teach all nations
Mt 16:15-16 - go to whole world and proclaim gospel
Lk 10:16 - whoever hears you, hears me; rejects you, rejects me
Jn 14:16,26 - Holy Spirit w/ you always, teach/remind everythg
Jn 16:13 - Spirit of truth will guide you to all truth
1 Tim 3:15 - Church is the pillar & foundation of truth
CHURCH IS THE BODY OF CHRIST
Col 1:18 - he is the head of the body, the church
1 Col 12:20-27 - you are Christ's body, individually parts of it
Eph 5:30 - we are members of his body
Rom 12:4-5 - though many, we are one body in Christ
1 Cor 6:15 - don't you know your bodies are members of Christ
CHURCH MUST BE ONE
Jn 10:16 - there shall be one fold and one shepherd
Eph 4:3-6- one Lord, one faith, one baptism, one God &Father
Rom 16:17- avoid those who create dissensions
1 Cor 1:10 - I urge that there he no divisions among you
Phil 2:2 - be of same mind, united in heart, thinking one thing
Rom 15:5- God grant you to think in harmony w/ one another
Jn 17:17-23 - I pray that they may be one, as we are one
Jn 17:23 - that they may be brought to perfection as one
1 Cor 12:13 -in one spirit we were baptized into one body
Rom 12:5 - we, though many, are one body in Christ
Eph 4:4 - one body, one Spirit, called to one hope
Col 3:15 - the peace into which you were called in one body
Quotes from early church leaders:
St. Cyprian (c. 250 AD): "God is one and Christ is one, and one is His Church, and the faith is one, and His people welded together by the glue of concord into a solid unity of body. Unity cannot be rent asunder, nor can the one body of the Church, through the division of its structure, be divided into separate pieces." On the Unity of the Church 23.
Tertullian (197 AD): "We are a society with a single religious feeling, a single unity of discipline, a single bond of hope". Apology 39,1.
St. Hillary (4th c.): "In the Scriptures our people are shown to be made one; so that just as many grains collected into one and ground and mingled together, make one loaf, so in Christ, who is the heavenly Bread, we know there is one body, in which our whole company in joined and united." Treatise 62, 13.
Why do Catholics refuse to concede that their church became doctrinally corrupt in the Middle Ages, necessitating the Protestant Reformation?
Catholics refuse to concede such a thing out of faith in Jesus Christ. Christ solemnly pledged that the gates of Hell would never prevail against His Church (Matt. 16:18), and He solemnly promised that after His ascension into Heaven He would send His Church "another Paraclete...the spirit of truth," to dwell with it forever (John 14:16-17), and He inspired the Apostle Paul to describe His Church as "the pillar and ground of the truth." (1 Tim. 3:15). If the Catholic Church (which Protestants admit was the true Church of Jesus Christ before Luther's revolt) became doctrinally corrupt as alleged, it would mean that the gates of Hell had prevailed against it, it would mean that Christ had deceived His followers. Believing Christ to be the very essence of truth and integrity, Catholics cannot see how the division of Christianity into hundreds of rival camps and doctrinal variations can be called a "reformation" of the Christian Church. In the Catholic mind, hundreds of conflicting scripture interpretations of Christ's teachings do not add up to a true interpretation of Christ's teachings.
Jn 15:16 - Jesus chose special men to be his Apostles
Jn 20:21 - Jesus gave the Apostles his own mission
Lk 20:29-30 - Jesus gave them a kingdom
Mt 16:18 - Jesus built Church on Peter, the rock
Jn 10:16 - one shepherd to shepherd Christ's sheep
Lk 22:32, Jn 21:17- Peter appointed to be chief shepherd
Eph 4:11 - church leaders are hierarchical
1 Tim 3:1,8 ; 5:17 - identifies roles of bishops, priests, deacons
Tit 1:5 - commission for bishops to ordain priests
Mt 28:18 - Jesus delegates all power to Apostles
Jn 20:23 - power to forgive sin
1 Cor 11:23-24 - power to offer sacrifice (Eucharist)
Lk 10:16 - power to speak with Christ's voice
Mt 18:18 - power to legislate
Mt 18:17 - power to discipline
Early church leaders on the authority of Church
St. Irenaeus (c. 200 AD): "...the Church, having received this preaching and this faith, although she is disseminated throughout the whole world, yet guarded it, as if she occupied but one house. She likewise believes these things just as if she had but one soul and one and the same heart; and harmoniously she proclaims them and teaches them and hands them down, as if she possessed but one mouth." Against Heresies 1,
Eusibius of Caesarea (4th c.): "But the brightness of the Catholic Church proceeded to increase in greatness, for it ever held to the same points in the same way, and radiated forth to all the race of Greeks and barbarians the reverent, sincere, and free nature, and the sobriety and purity of the divine teaching as to conduct and thought." Ecclesiastical History 4, 7, 13.
St. Augustine (392 AD): "The Catholic Church is tile work of Divine Providence, achieved through the prophecies of the prophets, through the Incarnation and the teaching of Christ, through the journeys of the Apostles, through the suffering, the crosses, the blood and death of the martyrs, through the admirable lives of the saints .... When, then, we see so much help on God's part, so much progress and so much fruit, shall we hesitate to bury ourselves in the bosom of that Church? For starting from the apostolic chair down through successions of bishops, even unto the open confession of all mankind, it has possessed the crown of teaching authority." The Advantage of Believing 35.
Jn 16:13 - guided by Holy Spirit into all truth
Jn 14:26 - Holy Spirit to teach & remind them of everything
Lk 10:16 - speak with Christ's own voice
1 Tim 3:15 - church called "pillar and foundation of truth"
1 Jn 2:27 - anointing of Holy Spirit remains in you
Act 15:28 - Apostles speak with voice of Holy Spirit
Mt 28:20 - I am with you always
St. Irenaeus (c. 200): "For where the Church is, there is the Spirit of God; and where the Spirit of God, there the Church and every grace. The Spirit, however, is Truth." Against Heresies 3, 24, 1.
If the Catholic Church never fell into error, how explain the wordily Popes, the blood Inquisitions, the selling of indulgences and the invention of new doctrines?
A careful, objective investigation of Catholic history will disclose these facts: The so-called worldly popes of the Middle Ages, three in number, were certainly guilty of extravagant pomposity, nepotism and other indiscretions and sins which were not in keeping with the dignity of their high church office, but they certainly were not guilty of licentious conduct while in office, nor were they guilty of altering any part of the Church's Christ-given deposit of faith. The so-called bloody Inquisitions, which were initiated by the civil governments of France and Spain, for the purpose of ferreting out Moslems and Jews, who were causing social havoc by posing as faithful Catholic citizens, even as priests and bishops, were indeed approved by the Church. (Non-Catholics who admitted they were non-Catholics were left alone by the Inquisition.) And the vast majority of those questioned by the Inquisition (including St. Theresa of Avila) were completely cleared. Nevertheless, the popes roundly condemned the proceedings when they saw justice giving way to cruel abuses, and it was this insistent condemnation by the popes which finally put an end to the Inquisitions.
The so-called selling indulgences positively did not involve any "selling", it involved the granting of the spiritual favor of an indulgence (which is the remission of the debt of temporal punishment for already-forgiven sins) in return for the giving of alms to the Church for the building of Christendom's greatest house of prayer, St. Peter's Basilica in Rome. One must understand with regard to indulgences that there are always two acts to be fulfilled by the one gaining the indulgence: 1)doing the deed (e.g., alms giving) and 2)saying of some prescribed prayers with proper spiritual dispositions. In the case in point, the first act for gaining the indulgence was "giving alms." If the almsgivers thereafter failed to say the requisite prayers, he would not receive the indulgence because he had failed to fulfill both required acts. The indulgences therefore were not "sold"; the very giving of money was itself the first of two requisite acts for gaining the indulgence in question.
The so-called invention of new doctrines, which refers to the Church's proclamation of new dogmas, is the most baseless and ridiculous charge of all, for those "new" dogmas of the Church were the Church merely emphasized their importance to the Faith and affirmed that they are in truth, part and parcel of divine revelation. Hence it is obvious that the Catholic Church did not fall into error during the Middle Ages as some people allege, for it she had, she could not have produced those hundreds of medieval saints, saints the caliber of St. Francis, St. Bernard, St. Bonaventure, St. Clare, St. Anthony, St. John of the Cross, St. Thomas Aquinas, St. Elizabeth and St. Vincent Ferrer (who performed and estimated 40,000 miracles).
Is 9:6-7 - of Christ's government there will be no end
Dan 2:44 - God's kingdom shall stand forever
Dan 7:14 - his kingdom shall not be destroyed
Lk 1:32, 33 - no end to Christ's kingdom
Mt 7:24 - Jesus is like a wise man who built his house on a rock
Mt 13:24-30 - let wheat & weeds grow together until harvest
Mt 16:18 - gates of hell will never prevail against Christ's church
Jn 14:16 - Holy Spirit will be with you always
Mt 28:19-20 - I am with you all days
Who started them and How Old are they? This is a very short list of some of the major Protestant churches.
The Protestant Church with the oldest roots is the Lutheran Church . If you are a Lutheran, your religion was founded by Martin Luther, an ex- monk of the Catholic Church, in the year 1517. Lutheran Churches today have more than 50 million followers. The bulk of the Lutherans are mainly from Germany, the U.S.A. and the Scandinavian countries.
If you belong to the Church of England, your religion was founded by King Henry VIII in the year 1534 because the Pope would not grant him a divorce with the right to remarry.
If you are a Presbyterian, your religion was founded by John Knox in Scotland in the year 1560. Presbyterianism claim about 39 million followers. It is strongly concentrated in Scotland, the U.S.A., Hungary, Holland, Northern Ireland, Switzerland and France.
If you are a Protestant Episcopalian, your religion was an offshoot of the Church of England founded by Samuel Seabury in the American colonies in the 17th century.
If you are a Baptist, you owe the tenets of your religion to John Smyth, who launched it in Amsterdam in 1605. The Baptist churches are one of the most diverse protestant group of churches. The Baptist churches claim about 35 million followers worldwide. The largest concentration of Baptist churches is in the U.S.A.
If you are a Congregationalist, your religion was originated by Robert Brown in Holland in 1582.
If you are a Methodist, your religion was launched by John and Charles Wesley in England in 1744. There are more than 31 million Methodists worldwide. Of this more than 12 million reside in the USA.
If you are a Unitarian, Theophilus Lindley founded your church in London in 1774.
If you are a Mormon (Latter Day Saints), Joseph Smith started your religion in Palmyra, N.Y., in 1829.
If you are of the Dutch Reformed church, you recognize Michaelis Jones as founder, because he originated your religion in New York in 1628.
If you worship with the Salvation Army, your sect began with William Booth in London in 1865.
If you are a Christian Scientist, you look to 1879 as the year in which your religion was born and to Mrs. Mary Baker Eddy as its founder.
If you belong to one of the religious organizations known as 'Church of the Nazarene," "Pentecostal Gospel." "Holiness Church," "Pilgrim Holiness Church," "Jehovah's Witnesses," your religion is one of the hundreds of new sects founded by men within the past 100 years.
If you are Catholic, you know that your religion was founded in the year 33 by Jesus Christ the Son of God, and it is still the same Church with well over 1 billion followers world wide.