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re: Church of God

De Maria's picture

Noshic,

The discussion in the 2 Tim 3:16 thread in the Biblical studies is suffering a severe case of topic drift.

So, hopefully, this will help ameliorate the problem.

Anyway, I think more than one person has asked this question. Perhaps it is interesting enough to warrant its own thread. You said:

I must state that I've found this discussion very intense and thought-provoking (despite the diversion into the subject of prophets vs apostles- which I couldn't exactly understand the relevance of)
May I though ask a humble question? What is the Church of the living God?

From a Catholic perspective, the Church, has multiple meanings.

The Church is the Body of Christ.
This is the Body of Believers all over the world. I believe this is the definition with which you are most familiar. Or at least, the one you accept.

The Church is the Household of God.
This is the Body of Christ plus the host of heaven. We believe the Church of God extends into heaven. Or perhaps it is vice versa. The Church of God extends from heaven onto the earthly plane.

The Church is the Pillar and Foundation of the Truth.
This is what we call the Magisterium. The Teaching Church. Whose doctrines will always uphold the truth.

The Church is also the local congregation.

And, of course, the Church is also the building in which we congregate for prayer.

I always understood it to be the body of true believers through the ages, the invisible church which is present within and outside the organized church(es), as opposed to any one institution that qualifies as the pillar and foundation of truth.

Well, Jesus only made one Church. So, I believe there is only one true Church.

For we know that within each visible church, and even among those in authority there, there are some who are wolves in sheep's clothing. Some of them we may know by their fruit, but ultimately only God who examines the motivations of our heart can identify His true church.

You've mixed apples and oranges in that statement. It is a classic case of non sequitur.

The first part of your statement reads:
1. For we know that within each visible church, and even among those in authority there, there are some who are wolves in sheep's clothing.

But that has nothing to do with the second part of your statement:
2. Some of them we may know by their fruit, but ultimately only God who examines the motivations of our heart can identify His true church.

Thus giving the impression that the true Church of God will have no sinners. But Jesus said that there would be weeds in the wheat (Matt 13:24-29). I believe that means that the sinners will be mixed in with the righteous in His Church until the day of judgement.

And I believe He's also able to separate those who might follow an errenous doctrine through an honest error of judgement or lack of clear understanding, from those who stick to error for reasons of material gain, power, loyality to family or tradition rather than God, rebellion, pride or prejudice. Let me add that this last remark is not directed at anyone in particular- perhaps more at myself- for I still have a tremendous lot to learn.

Everything is possible with God.

Welcome to the discussion.

Sincerely,

De Maria

De Maria's picture

re: Without further mockery...

re: Without further mockery...

That wasn't mockery. Just making a point, which I'd like to continue right here.

It is, in fact, a point of great divergence between Catholic and Protestant. It is the Catholic assumption that the Church has translated correctly the Scriptures.

Whereas, Protestants frequently ask questions such as that one posed by Noshi. And frequently, they wind up disagreeing with the traditional interpretation and make up their own.

This is, in fact, what happened to Luther. And the beat goes on.

DM, the Greek word "ekklesia" means congregation or assembly.

Among other things:
What is the ekklesia?

The word 'church' in the New Testament is translated from the Greek word 'ekklesia' which comes from two words 'ek' meaning 'out' and 'kaleo' meaning to 'call.' An ekklesia or 'calling out' was not just an assembly. The words agora and paneguris as well as heorte, koinon, thiasos, sunagoge and sunago can all mean an assembly. The word ekklesia was a political term, not a religious term. Jesus was the King and the Bible used the term ekklesia for a good reason. In classical Greek "ekklesia" meant "an assembly of citizens summoned by the crier, the legislative assembly." ....
http://www.hisholychurch.net/ekklesia.html
(Note that this is not a Catholic Website)

From "ekkalein"; to call out. The translation is good if one understands how language is used. No need to learn Greek.

As expressed above, it means more than a general assembly, but more appropriately, an assembly of elders.

Those who home church say, "Don't GO to church; BE the church." Probably sounds silly to your ears.

It is one of our understanding as well. Have you ever heard of the "domestic Church"?




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