Saturday, May 22, 2010

The True Church

A question from CatholicFriends:

Scripturally and logically speaking...

Why do you think your CHURCH is "the church, which is His body", as mentioned in Colossians 1:18, 24?

Why do you think your CHURCH is "the church, which is His body", as mentioned in Colossians 1:18, 24?
According to those who studied the Greek language, the English word CHURCH is EKKLESIA. The classical meaning is A CALLED OUT ASSEMBLY without reference to a particular religious group.

A LOCAL CHURCH is a mixed multitude of people, while "The church, which is His body" is a mixed multitude of JUSTIFIED people. The first is headed by a human pastor or minister, while the latter the HEAD IS CHRIST.

This is the big difference of YOUR CHURCH and the CHURCH of COLOSSIANS 1:18, 24

Therefore, there is no ORGANIZED CHURCH ON EARTH who could Scripturally claim being the TRUE CHURCH.


Let me attempt, briefly. Actually it is quite coincidental that in yesterday's Gospel (Jn 21:15-19) we see Jesus asking Peter three times if he loved Him. We see then from Peter's as many affirmatives that Jesus instructed him just as forthrightly to "feed my lambs; tend my sheep; feed my sheep". It is very clear evidence from the Scriptures that Jesus specially anoints Peter towards a monumental task in leading His flock. Thus, when Jesus says "You are Peter, and on this rock I will build my Church, and the gates of hell will not prevail against it" (Matt. 16:18), we essay the biblical evidence that Christ instituted the Church along with Peter's primacy. Although the broader definition of the Church may include many senses, in this particular context we speak of the visible Church, composed of a community of believers, an ekklesia united under the love of Christ AND under the authority of lawful pastors that Jesus himself commissioned. We see that there is only one Church that traces its lineage from our current Pope Benedict XVI all the way to the first Pope -- St. Peter himself. From the time of the Early Church Fathers (those Christians closest to the apostles in time, culture, and theological background), it was clearly understood that Jesus promised to build the Church on Peter. The Holy Tradition of the "laying of the hands" found in the Scriptures manifests itself only in the Papal succession of the Holy Catholic Church -- in an unbroken tradition.

Thus based on Scriptures and the actual historical evidence, there can only be one decisive answer to the question of what is the true visible Church. However when we speak of the Church as the mystical body of Christ, we are speaking in a different sense that does not in any way negate the establishment of a visible Church with its pastoral leaders. For while we speak of a visible Church, it also has both visible and invisible boundaries. The Church, the mystical body of Christ, is also a mystery in this sense. Thus we do not claim that the Holy Catholic Church has a monopoly of the truth, but that it alone possesses the fullness of the Truth - that which has been faithfully handed down throughout generations as the deposit of faith. In all this we must remember that the fullness of truth carries '"the keys to the kingdom of heaven" (Mat 16:19) that .."whatever you BIND on earth shall be BOUND in heaven, and what you unbind on earth shall be unbound in heaven.”.

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