one big happy christian church
I suppose their are many who still dream of one big happy Christian church; I don’t. John defined the test for a good Christian leaders in 1 John 1-5, especially 1 John 4:1-3. If you want to defer to a pope, that is your perogative. On the other hand, even though my authority may be weak, not deferring to a pope is my perogative.
Although we can’t expect much from someone who doesn’t know their their from there, and clearly can’t spell prerogative, Citizen Tom still brings up an interesting point on our good friend SOM’s excellent post, “Some Challenges Presented by Modern Religion“.
The vision created by the writers of the Bible was clearly that the Christian church be united:
I appeal to you, brothers and sisters, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that all of you agree with one another in what you say and that there be no divisions among you, but that you be perfectly united in mind and thought. (1 Cor 1:11)
Furthermore, the character Jesus clearly states that the church (not plural) will stem from Peter, who went on to establish this church (not plural) in Rome:
And I tell you that you are Peter, and on this rock I will build my church, and the gates of Hades will not overcome it. (Matthew 16:18)
So I find it curious that any Christians think they can practice their faith outside of the Roman Catholic Church. If you believe the Bible is the literal word of the god God, and the Bible states there should be only one church, how could you believe that the first 1500 years were wrong? How could you join a church with only 500 years or less of history? Surely those who follow protestant faiths are suggesting that the gates of Hades overcame the Catholic Church. Jesus would not approve.
The Catholic Church is quite sure it is the only True Christian faith, although most of them are learning to be less adamant about this claim than they were in the Middle Ages.
There is but one universal Church of the faithful, outside which no one at all is saved. (Pope Innocent III, Fourth Lateran Council, 1215)
We declare, say, define, and pronounce that it is absolutely necessary for the salvation of every human creature to be subject to the Roman Pontiff. (Pope Boniface VIII, the Bull Unam Sanctam, 1302)
Now, although you may not know this, I am not a Christian, so this problem doesn’t actually affect me. But I do think I should do the decent thing and help out all those crazy Protestants out there. If you truly believe what is written in the Bible, you need to join the Catholic Church. If you think that the Catholic Church isn’t doing something (or anything) correctly, you need to reform it from within – as members of the one true Church of your god that you believe Jesus set up through Peter. Otherwise, you are contradicting the words attributed to character Jesus, by avoiding the church that Peter set up, and by contributing to the fractious and damaging (for your religion) existence of 42,000 Christian denominations, who are clearly not perfectly united in mind and thought.
As for Citizen Tom: shame on you for not dreaming the dream.