The Catholic Church is the Authentic Church of Christ
Debate Rounds (5)
Let me first begin my saying that the Catholic Church is the original Church. The Catholic Church is indeed, the oldest Christian institution on the planet and is the Church founded by Christ our Lord. This statement is affirmed by both Catholics and non-Catholics alike.
"If you are a Roman Catholic, Jesus Christ began your religion in the year 33. "(Ann Landers (Jewish), syndicated columnist in the Daily Record of Morris County, N.J. (from which we take this piece) for Monday, November 11,1996 reads)
ROMAN CATHOLICISM: Christian church characterized by its uniform, highly developed doctoral and organizational structure that traces its history to the apostles of Jesus Christ in the 1st century C.E. (Marriam-Webster's Encyclopedia of World Religions " 1999, page 938 )
The history of the Roman Church, therefore, in relation to the ancient oriental churches, is in fact, the history of this claim to supremacy. The claim of supremacy on the part of the bishop of Rome rests on the belief that Christ conferred on the apostle Peter a 'primacy of jurisdiction;' that Peter fixed his see and died at Rome and thus, that the bishops of Rome, as successors of the apostle Peter, have succeeded to his prerogatives of supremacy. In this light, historians read the facts of the early history of the church---and they trace to this acknowledgment of the superiority of that see, the numerous references to Rome on matters of doctrine or discipline; the appeals from other churches, even those of Alexandria, Antioch, and Constantinople; the depositions or nominations of bishops, examination and condemnation of heresies---of which the first five centuries, especially the 4th and 5th, present examples. . . In all the controversies on the Incarnation---the Arian, the Nestorian, the Eutychian, the Monothelite---not only was the orthodoxy of Rome never impeached, but she even supplied at every crisis a rallying point for the orthodox of every church. ( Imperial Encyclopedia and Dictionary, Volume 32 " 1903)
The Church of Rome is the earliest of Christian organization; after three centuries of persecution, it was given freedom by the edict of Constantine and Licinius and acquired increased influence. Bishoprics were established in various parts of the empire, but the one at Rome remained supreme, and in time the title of Pope, or father originally borne by all the bishops indiscriminately, began to be restricted to the bishop of Rome.(The World Book Encyclopedia " 1940, Page 6166, Volume 14,)
(The Catholic) Church... traces an unbroken line of popes from St. Peter in the 1st century AD to the present occupant of the papal throne. During this nearly 2,000-year period there were more than 30 false popes, most notably during the late 14th and early 15th centuries. These men were merely claimants to the position. There have rarely been periods when a genuine pope was not ruling the church. In 1978 John Paul II became the 264th true pope.(Compton's Interactive Encyclopedia " 1996)
"The Roman Catholic church ... the only legitimate inheritor, by an unbroken episcopal succession descending from Saint Peter to the present time, of the commission and powers conferred by Jesus Christ...Until the break with the Eastern church in 1054 and the break with the Protestant churches in the 1500s, it is impossible to separate the history of the Roman Catholic church from the history of Christianity" (The Encarta Encyclopedia " 1997 says)
"33-40 A.D. The Roman Catholic Church is founded by Jesus Christ"(The Timetables of History " 1975)
"ROMAN CATHOLICISM The largest of the Christian denominations is the Roman Catholic church. As an institution it has existed since the 1st century AD, ...The Roman church owes its existence to the life of Jesus Christ in the 1st century AD" (Comptons Encyclopedia "1995)
"Roman Catholic authority rests upon a mandate that is traced to the action of Jesus Christ himself, when he invested Peter and, through Peter, his successors with the power of the keys in the church. Christ is the invisible head of his church, and by his authority the pope is the visible head." (Encyclopedia Britannica "1999)
"Roman Catholicism Christian church characterized by its uniform, highly developed doctrinal and organizational structure that traces its history to the Apostles of Jesus Christ in the 1st century AD." (Encyclopedia Britannica "1999)
"We are compelled to concede to the Papists that they have the Word of GOD, that we received it from them, and that without them, we should have no knowledge of it at all." - Martin Luther, commentary on St. John.
So we know that historically, the Catholic Church is the original Church. As stated before, both Catholics and non-Catholics alike (including Protestants) acknowledges this assertion. However, some believe that though the Church was the original Church it fell into apostasy and became corrupt but this theory is defective. If the Church went into apostasy, Christ is a liar. Jesus said that the gates of hell shall not prevail against the Church (Matt. 16:18). He also said that He will be with us until the end of time (Matt. 28:20) and will not leave us orphans (John 14:16-18). He also said that the Father will send the Holy Spirit in His name to teach us all things and to remind us of all the things that Jesus told us (John 14:26) and that the Spirit of Truth will guide them into all Truth (John 16:13). If the Church fell into apostasy, the gates of hell prevailed against the Church, the Father did not send the Holy Spirit and Christ left us orphans. The Church is the body of Christ, and if Satan was capable of infiltrating the Church by corrupting it with heresy and error, he is greater than Christ but the bible tells us otherwise (1 John 4:4).
Another point I would like to address is the Protestant teaching of Sola Scriptura. This is the teaching that the bible is the sole rule of Faith and that it is the final authority in all things. This too is heresy. Practically all of the Protestant denominations today teach Sola Scriptura and it is because of this teaching that there are so many Christian denominations to this day. By whose authority and by whose interpretation do we go by and follow? How can we trust a fallible man to interpret an infallible book? ST. Augustine said it best, "In no other way have heresies arisen, and perverse doctrines that ensnare souls and cast them into the abyss, than because the Scriptures, which are good in themselves, are ill understood, and what is thus ill understood is rashly and boldly asserted." " (In Joan. Tract, xviii. tome, iii, col. 430). We have thousands of interpretations of Scripture yet, there is only one meaning not countless. All of this confusion is not the work of God for he is not the author of confusion (1 Cor. 14:33). "No prophecy of scripture is of any private interpretation" (2 Pt. 1:20) and Scripture can be hard to understand and misinterpreting it can lead to one's destruction (1 Pt. 3:15-16). Therefore, there must be an infallible guide that can interpret it and give us the true meaning of the infallible and inspired Scripture and that is the Church.
The Church is the "pillar and the foundation of the Truth" (1 Timothy 3:15). This means that the Church uphold the Truth and keeps it stable. If the Church went into apostasy and was corrupted, the Church of course could not be the "pillar and foundation of the Truth" since it could not be considered a firm foundation making the Truth itself slump and plummet. Evidently, the Church that is the "pillar and foundation of the Truth" is the Catholic Church, since, it is the original Church therefore making this Church the Church that sustains the Truth.
In conclusion, the Authentic Church of Christ would need to have been the original Church. The Church must not believe in Sola Scriptura (and this is the teaching of the majority of Protestant denominations), the Church must not have been founded by man or by schism. The Catholic Church alone existed since the time of Christ, the Catholic Church alone is the "pillar and foundation of the Truth" and the Catholic Church alone is the Authentic Church of Christ" guided by the Spirit of Truth, preserved by Christ with his promise that the "gates of hell shall not prevail against it".
The thing that I would like to point out is that the practices of the Catholic church aren't in the bible and are wrong. Praying to Marry, having a Pope who will speak to god and can get you out of purgatory, are just a few things taught in the catholic church that are wrong.
Jesus answered, "I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me." John 14:6
Catholics also believe that you can get into heaven by your works witch is also not true,
For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God, not a result of works, so that no one may boast. Ephesians 2:8-9
I will argue all day with you about Catholic teachings and such but you need to clarify, is this debate about Catholicism being the one true christian religion? or is it about the Catholic church being the oldest organised christian church.
The persecution of the Church has nothing to do with the Church not being "unified".
"The thing that I would like to point out is that the practices of the Catholic church aren't in the bible and are wrong. Praying to Marry, having a Pope who will speak to god and can get you out of purgatory, are just a few things taught in the catholic church that are wrong."
I would like to address once again that sola scriptura itself is not biblical therefore, how could we base our teachings on Scripture alone? Also, you can interpret Scripture all you want, however, as I stated before, how do you know that your interpretation of Scripture is correct? Are you infallible? The Church is the "pillar and foundation of the Truth" not Darklordcomp. The Church alone has such authority to interpret Scripture especially since it is the compiler of Scripture.
"Catholics also believe that you can get into heaven by your works witch is also not true,
For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God, not a result of works, so that no one may boast. Ephesians 2:8-9"
You have done what ST. Paul had warned us not to do and that is to interpret Scripture to our destruction (2 Pt. 3:15-16). Ephesians 2:8-9 is not telling us that works we have done through the Grace of God do not justify us but that works done outside the Grace of God for ourselves do not justify us. Strictly speaking, the verse suggests that man cannot save himself without God's help.
"I will argue all day with you about Catholic teachings and such but you need to clarify, is this debate about Catholicism being the one true christian religion? or is it about the Catholic church being the oldest organised christian church."
Well actually by admitting that the Catholic Church is the oldest organized Christian Church you do prove that it is the Authentic Church of Christ since that means that this is the Church Christ instituted and the Church that was given the promise that the gates of hell shall not prevail against it (Matt. 16:18) and that this is the Church that the bible calls the "Pillar and Foundation of the Truth" making the Catholic Church the upholder of the Truth meaning it teaches the Truth and therefore incapable of teaching heresy or error.
I do attest that the teachings of the Catholic Church do not go against Sacred Scripture and vice versa but the teachings of the Church go hand-in-hand with the teachings of the bible. The Church has the authority to interpret Scripture and therefore is the true guardian of Scripture. Yes you can throw out Scripture verses and passages at me trying to negate my view, however, it would be to no avail since you cannot prove how your interpretation of that verse or passage is the correct interpretation of the verse or passage since you are not the "pillar and foundation of the Truth" but rather a fallible man who cannot be sure of his interpretation as any of the founders of the thousands of Protestant denominations.
We can debate at a later time individual teachings of the Catholic Church that you are opposed to such as prayer to the saints, the Papacy, purgatory, justification, etc. but let us remember that this debate is about the Catholic Church being the Authentic Church of Christ and in order to justify that it is not, you would need to show either that:
1) The Catholic Church is not the original Church
2) An apostasy did happen
3) Sola-Scriptura is biblical and is the way to go
If you cannot show these things, my judgment that the Catholic Church is the Authentic Church of Christ has been made clear and manifest.
Consider these final quotes:
Thoughtful men, with hearts craving the truth, have come to seek in the Catholic Church the road which leads with surety to eternal life. They have understood that they could not cleave to Jesus Christ as the Head of the Church if they did not belong to the Body of Jesus Christ which is the Church. Nor could they ever hope to possess in all its purity the faith of Jesus Christ if they were to reject its legitimate teaching authority entrusted to Peter and his successors. -Pope Leo XIII
Those who are seeking the true religion will never find it outside the Catholic Church alone, because, in every other religion, if they trace it up to the author, they will find some impostor whose imagination furnished a mass of sophisms and errors. - St. Alphonsus Maria Liguori
There is no middle way between Catholicism and Atheism ... Hence, Protestants have abandoned themselves to the extreme of Atheism or Materialism, denying every maxim of faith .. .Oh, God! How does it happen that these new masters of faith do not see that being separated from the Catholic Church, and having lost obedience to her, they have also lost the rule of faith, so that at the present time they have no sure rule by which they can ascertain what is of the faith or what is not; thus, they walk in the dark, changing the articles of their belief from day to day ... On the other hand, its constant uniformity of doctrine in the dogmas of faith, from its first foundation by Jesus Christ, demonstrates the truth of the Catholic Church. It has been the same in all ages, so that the truths we believe at the present day were believed in the first ages. - St. Alphonsus Maria Liguori
I will go peaceably and firmly to the Catholic Church. For if faith is so important to our salvation, I will seek it where true faith first began, among those who received it from God Himself. - ST. Elizabeth Ann Seton
Darklordcomp forfeited this round.
"Wherever the bishop appears, let the congregation be there also. Just as, wherever Jesus Christ is, there is the Catholic Church." - St. Ignatius of Antioch, "Epistle to the Smyrnaeans," c. 105 A.D.
The Catholic Church possesses one and the same faith throughout the whole world, as we have already said (ST. Irenaeus Against Heresies 1:10 [A.D. 189]).
"The church of God that sojourns at Smyrna, to the church of God sojourning in Philomelium - and to all of the congregations of the holy and Catholic Church in every place." St. Polycarp, "The Martyrdom of St. Polycarp," c. 135 A.D.
"Our Lord Jesus Christ is the Savior of our souls, the Governor of our bodies, and the Shepherd of the Catholic Church throughout the world." St. Polycarp, "The Martyrdom Of St. Polycarp," c. 135 A.D.
"The Catholic church is one." St. Victorinus, "Against Arius," c. 280 A.D.
"It is called Catholic then because it extends over all the world, from one end of the Earth to the other; and because it teaches universally and completely one end and all the doctrines which ought to come to men's knowledge, concerning things both visible and invisible, heavenly and earthly; and because it brings into subjection to godliness and the whole race of mankind, governors and governed, learned and unlearned; and because it universally treats and heals the whole class of sins, which are committed by soul and body, and possesses in itself every form of virtue which is named, both in deeds and words, and in every kind of spiritual gifts." St. Cyril of Jerusalem, "Catechetical Lectures," c. 350 A.D.
"Let us note that the very tradition, teaching, and faith of the Catholic Church from the beginning, which the Lord gave, was preached by the Apostles, and was preserved by the Fathers. On this was the Church founded; and if anyone departs from this, he neither is nor any longer ought to be called a Christian." St. Athanasius, "Four Letters to Serapion of Thmuisc," c. 360 A.D.
Darklordcomp forfeited this round.
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