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In order to argue against Protestantism and Sola Scriptura, Roman Catholics will often ask, sarcastically, that if we are to only go by what the Bible says, not church tradition, which of the 30,00...
None of the Christian Denominations is the true Church that will be Raptured, thus includes the Catholic Church. When Jesus started the Church and said, " On this Rock, I will build my Church"' He was not saying that He would build His true church using Peter (a mere human), but the true Rock was Himself. Jesus is the Rock, and only through Him can we be saved. Jesus is the only Way, the only Truth, and the only Life. The True Church is all the believers in Jesus Christ, whom have accepted Him as Lord and Savior, regardless of Denomination. I suggest you look at yourself and see if you are depending on a Denomination for your Salvation or in Jesus Christ who is the Salvation.
This is much like asking "Which of the 642 muscles, 78 organs, and 206 bones are the true human body?" There is only one church, the body of Christ, comprised of all believers who follow Him as their Lord and Savior. (Eph 4:3-5, 1 Cor 12:12-14) Wherever two or more believers are gathered, there Jesus is in the midst - one can consider that a localized expression of the church, or a church meeting. (Matt 18:20) This doesn't need to be in a formal building, it can be anywhere! In a house, at the riverside, in the townsquare, in a jail, etc. (Acts 2:36, Acts 5:42, Acts 16:13, Acts 16:15, Acts 17:17) Formalizing a denomination does not separate one off from the body of Christ. (1 Cor 15:20) It can, however, fracture the unity in the spirit that all believers should have towards one another if that group of believers then isolates themselves from other believers, or worse, consider themselves the only 'true' believers. As denominations usually do have a set of beliefs, one will find denominations that do not follow Christ or Christ alone. Unfortunately, even if they claim to be, these cannot be part of he body of Christ as they are not subject to Christ the head of the body. This does not mean that believers may not still be found among their members.
None of them. Period. Our hope is built on nothing less than the sacrifice of Jesus and the revelation of amazing grace through faith. We need not look for "right" among the denominations. We need to get out of the way so that the Holy Spirit can reveal to us the "right." His revelations will never need to be examined and dissected and re-introduced as mortal man "investigates" what God is telling us. As the Bible tells us "Lean not to your own understanding, but in all your ways acknowledge Him," Proverbs 3:5. Sadly, denominations pride themselves in their "own understanding." Look to your Bible and prayer. Denominations sacrifice Spiritual comprehension of God's Word while going through ritualistic worship services and intellectual studies of the Bible, based upon what a neo-secular author has written. Extravagance is celebrated in place of rejoicing in the love of God that we have passed from sin into life, and that everlasting. Yield yourself to what the Holy Spirit wants you to know and do.
Examine each denomination following the following scriptural guidelines. In they fail on any point, then perhaps they are not the true church. A man of discernment will see immediately which points a church (or churches) are failing on. 1. The true religion worships the only true God.—Deuteronomy 6:4, 5; Psalm 146:5-10; Matthew 22:37, 38. 2. The true religion offers access to God by means of Christ Jesus.—John 17:3, 6-8; 1 Timothy 2:5, 6; 1 John 4:15. 3. The true religion teaches and practices unselfish love.—John 13:34, 35; 1 Corinthians 13:1-8; 1 John 3:10-12. 4. The true religion remains untainted by worldly politics and conflicts. It is neutral in time of war.—John 18:36; James 1:27. 5. The true religion lets God be true by accepting the Bible as God’s Word.—Romans 3:3, 4; 2 Timothy 3:16, 17; 1 Thessalonians 2:13. 6. The true religion does not condone war or personal violence.—Micah 4:2-4; Romans 12:17-21; Colossians 3:12-14. 7. The true religion successfully unites people of every race, language, and tribe. It does not preach nationalism or hatred, but love.—Isaiah 2:2-4; Colossians 3:10, 11; Revelation 7:9, 10. 8. The true religion advocates serving God, not for selfish gain or a salary, but out of love. It does not glorify men. It glorifies God.—1 Peter 5:1-4; 1 Corinthians 9:18; Matthew 23:5-12. 9. The true religion proclaims the Kingdom of God as man’s sure hope, not some political or social philosophy.—Mark 13:10; Acts 8:12; 28:23, 30, 31. 10. The true religion teaches the truth regarding God’s purpose for man and the earth. It does not teach doctrines or philosophies of man as scriptural fact. It teaches that God is love.—Judges 16:30; Isaiah 45:12, 18; Matthew 5:5; 1 John 4:7-11; Revelation 20:13, 14
The only true church there ever was or will be is the body of believers. The ones that are trusting in Jesus and His righteousness by faith instead of our our own righteousness. Paul said; "Salvation is by grace though faith and not of works, lest any man should boast." He said all boasting in ourselves is sin. We can only boast in the cross of Christ and him crucified. If you do not have Jesus you are not a part of the body. If you have put your faith in Him alone, you are a part of the body of Christ and the true church. There is only one sin that will keep you out of heaven: That of unbelief in what Jesus did on the cross for you.
-- Vincent, as a brother in Christ, I respectfully disagree with you. As a former Catholic, altar boy and junior seminarian for the priesthood, I never saw a Bible. I only saw authorized commentary on Bible points. There was never a Bible in my Catholic home and I never knew, as a child, there was such a thing as the Bible. Mind you, I am 83 and I know that there have been many improvements in the Catholic Church perspective. But the history I am so familiar with explains why the Catholic Church cannot abide Sola Scriptura. Jesus, the first century Christians, the Twelve did in fact practice Sola Scriptura, but it was still in oral form. The Gospels and Paul's letters became the "Scriptura" at the end of the first century. Meanwhile, they were urging their followers constantly to follow what became the Scriptura. Respectfully, the Catholic Patriarchs added extra-scriptural revelations, predicated on Jesus' dialogue with Peter about "whatsoever you bind on earth will be bound also in Heaven". Several subsequent Popes were politicians with less than saintly motives. Imagine someone like President Obama as an third century Pope and you can see why "Sola Scriptura" (think of the Constitution) would be a great obstacle to earthly ambitions. It may sound like a cliche, but I have many relatives and friends who are Catholic. I do not denigrate the Catholic Church in any way, because I believe in my heart they are saved because they recognize Jesus Christ as their Savior. That is the only test, according to John 3:16, "whosoever believeth". God bless you. --
I agree that the 30.000 denominations statement is grossly exaggerated; however, there are probably over a hundred of major denominations deeply divided by real differences of doctrine and Bible interpretations. In Isaiah 4:1, the prophet talks about seven women that "shall take hold of one man in that day, saying, 'We will eat our own bread and wear our own clothes, only let us be called by your name; take away our reproach.” As we well know, in the Bible a woman (or a bride) represents a church, a Man (or Groom) represents Christ, the bread represents the word of God, and white clothes (or robe) represent righteousness, while stained clothes represents unrighteousness. Isaiah’s prophesy refers to present times when some churches, dressed in unrighteousness, using their own interpretation of God's word, using Christ's name (Christian) pretend to be the real Christ Church. In Bible times was shameful for a woman to be unmarried and she needed a husband to take away her reproach. There are many Christian churches today, all having their own Bible interpretations, all insisting to be the true church; however, they are dressed in their own righteousness, not Christ's. Sometime I watch on TV an entire sermon broadcasted from a crowded auditorium, where the preacher hardly mention a single Bible text. You hear lots of philosophy, modern feel-good theology, an smorgasbord of ideas, entertainment, but nothing to make you stop and think about the important issues. However, the Bible is telling us that many sincere, God loving Christians are scattered among many churches that one day will hear his voice and follow him (John 10:16; Revelation 18:4). It’s up to each of us to read our Bibles, to examine what is being preached from the pulpit, and decide if what we hear is God’s word or something else.
None of the Protestant denominations is the true Church of God. It would be interesting to ask these Christian groups, "How old is your church?" My wife's church is celebrating its 35th anniversary. The church opposite my house has been around for 50 years already. Cute. Jesus Christ himself established his Church 2000 years ago, when he said to Simon, "You are Kephas and on this kephas I will build my Church". If you have been away from the Catholic Church, I suggest you take a second look, like I did. There are a lot of people willing to answer and clarify your doubts. Come Home. And no, Catholics will not use this question to argue against Sola Scriptura. We have better, more effective arguments than this, e.g. Jesus, the twelve, the first century Christians, never practiced Sola Scriptura. So why should we?
Call it a branch, religion, grouping, any of such is as applicable to me as it is in line with the word of God. Equally so, Church history should be as good to me as directing me well in doing the word of God. First of all, I do not believe in such mappings as Catholic branch, Orthodox Branch, or Protestant branch. What are the determinants of a branch? How does a denomination come to belong to a certain branch? What are these mappings for and what are they? Are they spiritual mappings or they are for creating study topics? Because to assume that by professing to be a Born Again Pentecostal Christian, I am automatically declared a Protestant is very, very unfair. I know who a Protestant is, I know what their origin is, I know what their doctrine is. I am making a study and trying to look for an area where as a Born Again Pentecostal Christian, I tally with the doctrine of the Protestants. In fact, we differ in many, many areas as in leadership, baptism, doctrine, the working of the Holy Spirit. The Bible is very clear on all such issues. I have been told that it is that simply because that is what Church history is telling us, but what is the word of God telling us on the other hand. I believe sometimes Church history is as good as what whoever wrote it wanted me to believe. A point in view of this is the fact that the Roman Papacy tried very much to prevent the printing of the Bible because the truth in it would significantly dilute their authority much of which they wielded from people's ignorance of the word of God. On that basis therefore, what kind of Church history should I expect from that side? Yet according to Church history, I am being told this is the original branch of Christianity! I have therefore taken it on me to try to search for the originality of the Catholic branch in light of what the word of God is telling me to do. What did Jesus teach us in comparison with what the Roman Catholics are teaching today? How can I trace for Roman Catholicism in the word of God? I would say it is only wishful to say that by being a Born Again Pentecostal Christian, I should equally belong to the Protestant branch. What has led to the splitting and the eventual emergence of these branches? Did all Christian doctrine and all that is Christian begin with these branches? My strong question is; WHERE IS THE TRUTH? To me, branch or no branch, is never any issue. The lead guide in all this should be as much as it is revealing the truth of the word of God to me. We can never therefore in our own beliefs and submissions come to agreement of what the true denomination should be. But my only undertaking is that anything that should be called Christian truth, is only what has come out of the mouth of Jesus and out of His servants who have been guided by the Holy Spirit. If even I realize a fellow Born Again Christian is going astray, I will not continue to go along with them simply because we agree in Faith. Some people are only Christians in as much as it is comfortable for them to be. Professed agreement is different from agreement in heart. Agreement in heart is only proven by how much you live by what you say. God is a personal experience. And I believe this is the very reason we are faced with all these denominations. Everybody feels a certain way about God, not even with my wife we do always agree on matters of God. In that light therefore, I may not really care much where I am wished to belong, I should care much what thoughts God has about me. In the same vein, I can only wrap up this by saying any Christian denomination which should be the true denomination, should be the one which believes in Jesus the CHRIST and closely follows in His footsteps. It should be the one which follows the word of God as it is written in the Holy Bible. But as for me, I am a passionate Born Again Pentecostal Christian. I am guiding my children in the same vein, but the decision remains theirs, when they have grown.
None, the true church of Christ is those that keep the commandments, not those that teach that it doesnt apply anymore. Matthew 5:19- "So if you ignore the least commandment and teach others to do the same, you will be called the least in the Kingdom of Heaven. But anyone who obeys God's laws and teaches them will be called great in the Kingdom of Heaven."
Let's see who constitutes the called-out assembly of God. All believers are part of the spiritual Israel of God, the Congregation of God, the called-out Assembly of God, the household of God, the Temple of God collectively and individually a temple of God. Notice there is no denominational connection whatsoever! It is a universal, catholic group of believers that constitute the Ecclesia - called-out Assembly of God.
This is a very interesting question which most people will no doubt answer with a bias towards their own denomination. I pray that I will be as objective as the question demands. Perhaps it is worth noting that it is not the Catholic versus the rest of the world that is an issue here. I am of the opinion that it is the Orthodox Churches (Roman Catholic Church, Church of England, Ethiopian, Greek and Russian) on the one side versus the Protestant Churches. The reason why I am grouping them this way is because, the orthodox churches may not subscribe to the Roman Catholic Pope, but they are modelled along similar lines barring celibate priests and nuns. I will go further to say that Protestants are actually not a “church” per se but a movement. This means that once Protestantism started with Martin Luther, it ignited a process/ movement away from the Catholic religion. The dark ages were not just dark in time, but gross darkness covered the people and to emancipate them from the catholic teaching would take time. The truth of God long obscured by the Catholic church was being uncovered as thick layers of deception being peeled off one at a time. Unfortunately in my view, limitations of human capacity obstructed swift progression away from the catholic teaching at various stages. To simplify my view, the Lutherans led by Luther broke away, others having received more light also moved further than the Lutherans and so forth until the present day. If Martin Luther had gone the full distance I doubt we would have had as many protestant denominations. As people began reading the bible for themselves, they realised the shortcomings of the church of the day and broke away. Others who were satisfied with what they had stayed behind taking on the name of their pioneer. As Protestantism is a movement, even today God is still revealing his truth to us by peeling off the layers of deception still there. Of critical importance is that we do not shut off the revelation of God. Jesus is still waiting for His pure “church” to come through after the last layers of deception have been removed. We should therefore not view Protestantism as a destination but a process to go back to the original Apostolic Faith. It is interesting also to note that the Catholic Church itself does not appear alarmed and worried about Protestantism as it is today. I recall reading a challenge that the Catholics threw at the modern day Protestants – “If you have truly protested and left the Catholic Church why are you still keeping Sunday holy? There is no biblical basis for keeping Sunday as the Holy Sabbath except by Roman Catholic proclamation.” I think this is the single biggest challenge that almost all Protestant Churches face today in relation to the Catholic Church. We therefore need to examine ourselves many times over and find out if we have really left the Catholic Church. Are we protestant enough? Therefore in addressing the question of which of the “30 000” protestant churches is the true church of God perhaps we need to be looking at sola scriptura in light of the challenge from the Catholic Church. By that challenge they are also telling us that the Catholic Church itself is not the true Church of God because they have challenged God and substituted His Holy Sabbath with another day. They are not secretive about it. The true protestant church of God therefore will stand in stark contrast to man-made holy days and stick to the bible and the bible alone. Being a Protestant Christian is not enough but a first step, the second is to look for a protestant church that holds scripture supreme and encourages its members to not only read but do what the bible says. You want to associate with a church that will help you grow as a christian, and allow you to be used by the Holy Spirit.
Actually God has no business with human religion at all, but a Covenant which God had made through the prophets (the Old Covenant) and through his One and Only Son, Jesus Christ (the New Covenant). In the New Covenant, all believers and followers of Jesus Christ are the children of God (John 1 : 12-13); not servants of God anymore (Joshua 1: 1-2). If we're really the children of God, how can we be devided into such a religions and religion's denominations? So, no one of the churches in this world is the true church of God, but Jesus Christ himself, as He said: " I am the way, and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me" (John 14 : 6).
The question that I wish to present is this: Which religious group or organization do you identify yourself with? Once this question has been answered it becomes YOUR responsibility to compare the true gospel as defined by God's Word to the gospel that you have received. Philippians 2:12; Therefore, my dear friends, as you have always obeyed--not only in my presence, but now much more in my absence--continue to work out your salvation with fear and trembling, Colossians 2:8 See to it that no one takes you captive by philosophy and empty deceit, according to human tradition, according to the elemental spirits of the world, and not according to Christ. I Timothy 4:1 Now the Spirit expressly says that in later times some will depart from the faith by devoting themselves to deceitful spirits and teachings of demons, So, whats next? Acts 17:11 Now these Jews were more noble than those in Thessalonica; they received the word with all eagerness, examining the Scriptures daily to see if these things were so. Read God's word and pray, be careful who you study with; do not depend solely on another's interpretation. It is your responsibility to obey God, not men (or women). Galatians 1: 6 - 8 I am astonished that you are so quickly deserting the one (God) who called you to live in the grace of Christ and are turning to a different gospel— 7 which is really no gospel at all. Evidently some people are throwing you into confusion and are trying to pervert the gospel of Christ. 8 But even if we or an angel from heaven should preach a gospel other than the one we preached to you, let them be under God’s curse! I f you do not understand the truth and accept it as the Word of God it simply doesn't matter which church you belong to! John 3: 1 – 8 Now there was a Pharisee, a man named Nicodemus who was a member of the Jewish ruling council. 2 He came to Jesus at night and said, “Rabbi, we know that you are a teacher who has come from God. For no one could perform the signs you are doing if God were not with him.” 3 Jesus replied, “Very truly I tell you, no one can see the kingdom of God unless they are born again.” 4 “How can someone be born when they are old?” Nicodemus asked. “Surely they cannot enter a second time into their mother’s womb to be born!” 5 Jesus answered, “Very truly I tell you, no one can enter the kingdom of God unless they are born of water and the Spirit. 6 Flesh gives birth to flesh, but the Spirit gives birth to spirit. 7 You should not be surprised at my saying, ‘You must be born again.’ 8 The wind blows wherever it pleases. You hear its sound, but you cannot tell where it comes from or where it is going. So it is with everyone born of the Spirit.” and, John 3:22 - 30 22 After this, Jesus and his disciples went out into the Judean countryside, where he spent some time with them, and baptized. 23 Now John also was baptizing at Aenon near Salim, because there was plenty of water, and people were coming and being baptized. 24 (This was before John was put in prison.) 25 An argument developed between some of John’s disciples and a certain Jew over the matter of ceremonial washing. 26 They came to John and said to him, “Rabbi, that man who was with you on the other side of the Jordan—the one you testified about—look, he is baptizing, and everyone is going to him.” 27 To this John replied, “A person can receive only what is given them from heaven. 28 You yourselves can testify that I said, ‘I am not the Messiah but am sent ahead of him.’ 29 The bride belongs to the bridegroom. The friend who attends the bridegroom waits and listens for him, and is full of joy when he hears the bridegroom’s voice. That joy is mine, and it is now complete. 30 He must become greater; I must become less.” In-Christ, Elwin Gardner
I was brought up a Catholic and am now fellowshipping in an Anglican Church. I have also visited Pentecostal, Baptist and other churches from time to time. These conclusions/observations come to mind after following Christ for about 40 years: 1. It is important to have a deep relationship with Jesus by admitting your sinfulness and accepting Him as Lord of your life. Once you do that the Holy Spirit will direct and change you from within (called sanctification). 2. I primarily consider my self a Christian whatever Christian Church I go to. 3.One of the key, Christian affirming prayers is the Apostle's Creed. Catholics and some Protestant faiths always say it in their services. But many Protestant faiths do not, unfortunately. 4. Not all faiths take the Bible literally. To me it is the only source of absolute truth.
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