Is there one true Christian church?

bucky

Ostrich
I've always been interested in theology and I consider myself Christian, so I'm among those who've applauded Roosh's conversion and haven't minded the forum's change in direction.

I came to consider myself Christian because of what I feel when I read the Bible. I consider that feeling to be the Holy Spirit confirming to me that what I'm reading is true and that Jesus Christ is the Son of God. What I can't wrap my head around is how there can be so many churches and so many believers who are convinced that their church is the only true church, and that all other believers in Jesus are heretics. You see this a lot from each of the major divisions in Christianity: Catholic, Orthodox, and the various types of Protestants, and of course from the non-Nicean groups like Mormons and Jehova's Witnesses.

Can those of you who are more knowledgeable about the scriptures tell me what the scriptural basis is for the belief that there is only one true church? I'm not interested in debating which of the above mentioned religions is that church on this thread, just whether it's scriptural to believe that there is only one true church. CS Lewis seemed to doubt this, so there's at least one highly intelligent man who had a solid knowledge of theology who felt that way.

Also, if you believe your church is the only true church, what are the consequences for those who believe in Christ but never eventually convert to it? What about non-Christians who do good works without believing in Christ? Will they burn in hell for all eternity, or something else?
 

CynicalContrarian

Owl
Gold Member
RE: One true church

Are we talking the meta-physical Church Of Christ or one of the human organizations?

As for burning in Hell for eternity. End of Revelations talks of the wicked being consumed wholly & souly in the Lake Of Fire post Day Of Judgement.
 

bucky

Ostrich
RE: One true church

CynicalContrarian said:
Are we talking the meta-physical Church Of Christ or one of the human organizations?

As for burning in Hell for eternity. End of Revelations talks of the wicked being consumed wholly & souly in the Lake Of Fire post Day Of Judgement.

The human organizations, if I understand your question correctly. I possibly should have added that I've found it impossible to become a member of any established church (e.g. Catholic, Evangelical, or any other) because although they all have many obviously Godly beliefs, they also all have what, to me, seem likely clearly man-made aspects. And yet you see members of those (to me) man-made churches who are absolutely convinced that their organization (to use your term) is the only true church of God.

Again, I'm not saying I'm sure or can prove that a Catholic, Evangelical, Mormon, etc. who believes that his organization is the only true church is wrong. As Paul said, I see everything in this world as if through a glass darkly. I'm asking what the scriptural basis is for the prevalent belief that one earthly organization represents the one true church of God.
 

bucky

Ostrich
RE: One true church

CynicalContrarian said:
As for burning in Hell for eternity. End of Revelations talks of the wicked being consumed wholly & souly in the Lake Of Fire post Day Of Judgement.

I guess that raises the question of whether or not being a member of the "wrong" church (or no church at all like me) constitutes wickedness of the type that will get you sent to hell.
 

BlastbeatCasanova

Kingfisher
RE: One true church

Every church thinks they are the one true church. Mormons call themselves by this name, Jews are “god’s chosen people,” etc. It’s like sports, but if you’re not down with the team, you’re going to burn in hell. I grew up religious but this is has always been something that I’ve had a hard time reconciling
 

bucky

Ostrich
RE: One true church

BlastbeatCasanova said:
Every church thinks they are the one true church. Mormons call themselves by this name, Jews are “god’s chosen people,” etc. It’s like sports, but if you’re not down with the team, you’re going to burn in hell. I grew up religious but this is has always been something that I’ve had a hard time reconciling

I believe there are some churches who are pretty ecumenical and teach that other churches or even non-Christian religions are valid paths to God. Regardless it's true that the belief that my church is the one true church is prevalent and hard to reconcile.
 

Roosh

Cardinal
RE: One true church

What about non-Christians who do good works without believing in Christ? Will they burn in hell for all eternity, or something else?

It's a case-by-case basis, dependent on their struggle of conscience towards the natural good (logos) as taught to them in a way that only God knows. As long as someone doesn't actively blaspheme God or reject Him, which suggests a first-class ticket to hell, it is impossible for us to know where others end up. God is all-good and all-fair, so I trust his judgment when it comes to non-Christians (including my own Muslim family members). If you're in this thread, you've likely received the Gospel at some point, including most teachings of Jesus. If you willingly reject that, you are in trouble. For people who didn't receive the Gospel, such as African villagers, God will account for that when He judges them.
 

Samseau

Owl
Gold Member
RE: One true church

All the one true Church nonsense was of course, pre-emptively rejected by Jesus. The master explicitly forbid the kind of theological nonsense you see today:

Mark 9:38

38 “Teacher,” said John, “we saw someone driving out demons in your name and we told him to stop, because he was not one of us.”

39 “Do not stop him,” Jesus said. “For no one who does a miracle in my name can in the next moment say anything bad about me, 40 for whoever is not against us is for us. 41 Truly I tell you, anyone who gives you a cup of water in my name because you belong to the Messiah will certainly not lose their reward.

He also told his disciples not to compete with each other for holy points. Luke 9:46:

46 An argument arose among them as to which of them was the greatest. 47 But Jesus, knowing the reasoning of their hearts, took a child and put him by his side 48 and said to them, “Whoever receives this child in my name receives me, and whoever receives me receives him who sent me. For he who is least among you all is the one who is great.

Both of the above sermons contradict most "Catholic" dogma about the Holy See even existing, much less being important, the idea of a Pope, or the idea that unless you have the correct interpretation of Christ you will go to hell.

All nonsense and lies designed to divide and weaken God's Church.

Although I frequent Orthodox mass, it's not because I think any other branch of Christ's kingdom is lesser than mine. If anyone at Church starts talking about which Church is bad or good, I politely point out that unless someone is actively trying to eliminate the knowledge of Christ, or persecute his followers, then we needn't concern ourselves too much with the specifics of our understanding. We're all on the same team and the ones who try hardest to prove they are the best Christians in this world will not be great in the kingdom of God.
 
The points you're likely to hear a Catholic make regarding one true Church:
- Ecclesia, the Greek word that we translate into English as "Church" cannot realistically mean "an invisible network of likeminded true believers." It meant convocation, and was the title of the government of Athens.
- The New Testament constantly makes reference to the fact that the Church must be one. John 10:16, Ephesians 4:3-6, Romans 16:17, 1 Corinthians 1:10, Phillipians 2:2, etc.
- 1 Tim 3:15 states that the Church is the pillar and foundation of the truth
- In the RC misinterpretation of Matthew 16:8, the Bishop of Rome is the rock which the Church is built upon.

I think all but the last are good points, but I also think the "one true church" vs the "invisible church" in the Catholic-Evangelical debate is a false dichotomy.

For example, when the Jesuits went to convert India in the 16th century, they found an Indian Church founded by St. Thomas, complete with Bishops, Priests, Deacons, divine liturgy every Sunday, etc. From a "one true church" perspective, the Indian Church had existed for centuries without being part of the real Church since they had no contact with the other churches. As if St. Thomas just did a really poor job teaching them about the Pope, so their entire experience was a fraud. I can't buy into that.

But this is also not to say that Christianity is a giant free-for-all and we can freely start up a new denomination anytime we want. We know from the Church fathers that we ought to listen to our bishop, unless he's a heretic, in which case we're supposed to find a new bishop. It's messy, and there do not seem to be easy black-and-white answers to the obvious questions.
 
I believe that the Orthodox Church is the One, Holy, Catholic and Apostolic Church referenced in the Bible and the Nicene Creed. I believe there is ample evidence that the One Church is a external (and internal) theanthropic (Divine and human) institution, since it is the Body of Christ, which cannot be divided.

I also believe God is all-powerful, all-merciful, all-just, and absolutely perfect in all His ways and judgments, able to save or destroy anyone He sees fit for any reason He sees fit, and that it’s not for man to judge the salvation, or lack thereof, of any other person (or even ourselves).

Can I say Orthodoxy is the truth? Yes. Can I say everyone outside Orthodoxy is automatically condemned? No.
 

Kid Twist

Hummingbird
Precisely. One of the more convincing aspects of the eastern orthodox churches is that they advocate the fullness of the truth about what God has revealed to man, yet have no take on what becomes of others, as that is God's business (and Roosh discusses that above). Those other churches that are considered part of mainstream Christianity do not teach this; that so many people assume this shows the problems that western christianity has developed in its theology over the years. And no, they aren't all bad, they just have many bad teachings among their members, I am sad to say.

As the Emperor states above, an undeniable characteristic of the "Church" is that it is one. It was one from the beginning, Christ prayed for it to remain that way, and it will remain that way.
 

Dr Mantis Toboggan

Kingfisher
Gold Member
Regarding non-Christians, I'd like to think Dante's concept of virtuous pagans would come into play. That is, they won't know the glory of God after death as Christians will but their souls will be in a comfortable place free of suffering.
 

Zoso

Woodpecker
I was raised as a Jehovah's Witness. By the age of 20 (I'm almost 27), I turned to a atheist mentality, denying God's existence. Then, kind of 3-4 years ago, I turned to a neutral position, like an agnostic one. I don't state or deny God's existence, just think that there is something bigger than us.
However, always I remember that JWs would state that what makes them the one true church is the fact of preaching the word of God from house to house. Until now, I have just seen Mormons do something similar but not at the same magnitude.
BTW, I disagree with many beliefs of JWs, but that fact always has impressed me.
 

Aboulia

Woodpecker
bucky said:
What I can't wrap my head around is how there can be so many churches and so many believers who are convinced that their church is the only true church, and that all other believers in Jesus are heretics. You see this a lot from each of the major divisions in Christianity: Catholic, Orthodox, and the various types of Protestants, and of course from the non-Nicean groups like Mormons and Jehova's Witnesses.

Truth is not an important social category. Most people don't give a damn about theology, even those in church, it's more of a social function for them. People act in this manner because they are lazy, and it's easy. If their church is the right one, and they're about as good as the other people in that church, then they believe that they don't have to do anything else. Therefore, everyone other than my church (people) is a heretic. Humans are by nature tribal.

If you don't know the Old Testament very well, if you're not reading in the original greek it was recorded in, if you're unaware of the culture at the time, and if you're unaware of the ancient definitions of the terms used. You will make serious errors interpreting, and that's not even including the misinterpretations that arise from the humans projecting their desire into what they're seeing/reading (Whether that's a justification to declare people heretics in order to do violence to them, or whether that's to justify their personal sins to themselves).

Do you see now how there could be so many interpretations and thus that many denominations?

bucky said:
Can those of you who are more knowledgeable about the scriptures tell me what the scriptural basis is for the belief that there is only one true church? I'm not interested in debating which of the above mentioned religions is that church on this thread, just whether it's scriptural to believe that there is only one true church. CS Lewis seemed to doubt this, so there's at least one highly intelligent man who had a solid knowledge of theology who felt that way.

The church is more than the bible. The bible is an artificial abstraction. Where did the bible come from? Who compiled it? Why did they include what they did? What did they exclude? What brought them to these decisions? Answer these, and that question will answer itself.

CS Lewis is a very good man and writer. As with anything, you can't remove him from the time he lived, you have to remember that he lived during both World Wars, (war has a terrible effect on morality) and he was more concerned with unifying people than coming to eternal truth.
 

bucky

Ostrich
Aboulia said:
bucky said:
What I can't wrap my head around is how there can be so many churches and so many believers who are convinced that their church is the only true church, and that all other believers in Jesus are heretics. You see this a lot from each of the major divisions in Christianity: Catholic, Orthodox, and the various types of Protestants, and of course from the non-Nicean groups like Mormons and Jehova's Witnesses.

Truth is not an important social category. Most people don't give a damn about theology, even those in church, it's more of a social function for them. People act in this manner because they are lazy, and it's easy. If their church is the right one, and they're about as good as the other people in that church, then they believe that they don't have to do anything else. Therefore, everyone other than my church (people) is a heretic. Humans are by nature tribal.

If you don't know the Old Testament very well, if you're not reading in the original greek it was recorded in, if you're unaware of the culture at the time, and if you're unaware of the ancient definitions of the terms used. You will make serious errors interpreting, and that's not even including the misinterpretations that arise from the humans projecting their desire into what they're seeing/reading (Whether that's a justification to declare people heretics in order to do violence to them, or whether that's to justify their personal sins to themselves).

Do you see now how there could be so many interpretations and thus that many denominations?

bucky said:
Can those of you who are more knowledgeable about the scriptures tell me what the scriptural basis is for the belief that there is only one true church? I'm not interested in debating which of the above mentioned religions is that church on this thread, just whether it's scriptural to believe that there is only one true church. CS Lewis seemed to doubt this, so there's at least one highly intelligent man who had a solid knowledge of theology who felt that way.

The church is more than the bible. The bible is an artificial abstraction. Where did the bible come from? Who compiled it? Why did they include what they did? What did they exclude? What brought them to these decisions? Answer these, and that question will answer itself.

CS Lewis is a very good man and writer. As with anything, you can't remove him from the time he lived, you have to remember that he lived during both World Wars, (war has a terrible effect on morality) and he was more concerned with unifying people than coming to eternal truth.

I assume you meant the Greek of the New Testament, since the Old Testament was originally written mostly in Hebrew with some Aramaic, except for the deuterocanonical books that not all denominations accept. Regardless, I know Latin fairly well and I've studied some Anglo-Saxon and Koine Greek, in additon to being conversant in several modern languages. I'm aware of the difficulties involved in translation between modern languages, let alone from an ancient language to a modern one.

I more meant that it's confusing that God would allow such chaos, and that so many are convinced that their sect is the one true church. I suppose the former is subset of the problem of why God allows evil in the first place.
 

wwtl

Kingfisher
bucky said:
I've always been interested in theology and I consider myself Christian, so I'm among those who've applauded Roosh's conversion and haven't minded the forum's change in direction.

I came to consider myself Christian because of what I feel when I read the Bible. I consider that feeling to be the Holy Spirit confirming to me that what I'm reading is true and that Jesus Christ is the Son of God.

Yes, Logos is rising. This is how my own conversion went pretty much - the epiphany of truth.

Together with my conversion came a change of mind and I asked the Lord for a traditional family while being completely off the grid with no idea how this could ever happen. This year things started moving and the forum's change of direction coinciding with my registration fits that perfectly.

What I can't wrap my head around is how there can be so many churches and so many believers who are convinced that their church is the only true church, and that all other believers in Jesus are heretics.

My impression is that most of the intentional division is influence by the Synagoge of Satan. And while I've been baptized in water by full submersion, I go along with Samseau's views and don't think of anybody else wearing their cross being a lesser Christian.
 

Tex Cruise

Pelican
Poor Mage.

giphy.gif


"I could've clogged this thread up for PAGES!!!"
 
Top