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re: Church of God

De Maria's picture


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.


De Maria

jwmcmac's picture

JqLogan describes that we

JqLogan describes that we are all reprobates without CHRIST . . . in . . . "Please allow me to
Submitted by jqlogan on Mon, 2009-11-16 18:08.
Please allow me to strengthen your argument, Dan.

Dan wrote - Truly spiritual people know they need the Savior every day and that they must come to the throne of grace because there is no illusion of sinlessness possible on this earth."

Jwmcmac Comments:

You have arrived at the same point as Luther . . . whether or not that is where you wanted to arrive at . . . that is where I see you as being.

He, Luther, was a Catholic Priest who did not understand his weaknesses, nor from whence his sinful nature had come . . . and . . . Luther did not 'understand' the Sacramental Nature of the Church and the part that is played by the visible Church in the invisible things of GOD . . . as you also do not understand this.

I doubt that I will be able to enlighten you in this . . . as you seemingly almost absolutely reject the Incarnational, by Grace, Visible and Invisible Nature of the Church as being One thing in the Incarnate and Glorified Body and Blood and Soul and Divinity of CHRIST . . . which it is.

You . . . and Luther . . . are almost totally Catholic . . . in many of the things you say . . . and then you slide right by . . . dismissing all of the visible as if it is unnecessary 'dross' . . . which has some Truth to it . . . but which misses the 'Transforming' Nature of the Church and the Sacraments . . . these being little incarnational instruments . . . these being little 'weddings' of nature and Super-Nature, by Grace.

Was it Luther who thought a good representation of Grace was that it covered the pile of poop?

That's not it at all.

Grace Transforms the poop into Perfection and Holiness . . . and by the poop's cooperation . . . he gains a reward.

The other side has very many 'nearly true' beliefs and words . . . which are 'nearly as beautiful' . . . as the Truth Itself . . . in appearance.

The reason is that the 'covered dung' side has 'nearly the same words' but to me these only 'give the appearance' to be beautiful and true . . . but True Beauty Believes that the poop is truly Transformed . . . and does not settle for it's being only 'covered' . . . and if the poop is not . . . is not Truly Transformed . . . Incarnately . . . by Sacrament and Grace . . . as One . . . into a New and Truly 'Perfected-in-Holiness' Transformation . . . than the other side may be right.

Catholics see this Sacramental Transformation as a True Transformation . . . and see this True Transformation as the Goal of the Sacramental Life and of the Living of the Sacramental Life and Faith of the Church.

We have the same difficulty as did Luther and as many of you . . . in regards to we each being sinners.

But we don't stop and lay claim . . . that our poop is covered by Grace . . . while still not having accomplished the goal . . . of our poop being Transformed by Grace into a New Creation that is no longer poop.

We continue in the 'Good Fight' all the days of our lives . . . and we do this with the constant help of the Church, the Sacraments and the HOLY SPIRIT acting in and through CHRIST in Her and HE in us.

CHRIST is constantly and actually washing us . . . actually washing us and sealing us . . . cleansing us in Baptism . . . and washing and cleansing us . . . Spiritually by Grace . . . in Sacramental Confession . . . and in the Holy Eucharist . . . HE giving us Real Drink, Feeding us with HIS Own Real Body and Blood -- Real Meat and Real Drink -- and HE doing all of this in us through HIS Mystical Body, the Church, forming HIMSELF in us and us in HIM, Sacramentally, in a Transformational and Incarnational and Sacramental manner of doing this which completely addresses us in every dimension of our being of body and Spirit and Soul Humanity.

We don't 'think' our way through a Sacrament . . . We 'Do' it . . . according to both our Human Nature and according to our Nature in CHRIST, by Grace . . . Sacraments being outward actions and signs of an inward Grace, both as One.

If we are purely and totally only incapable 'dung', as Luther or as so many think, why would we ever get a 'reward' for our 'works' in choosing to 'follow' in CHRIST's Footsteps . . . as Scripture clearly states . . . or . . . why would be be' judged' according to our 'works' . . . as Scripture clearly states . . . and as so many of you 'ignore' or gloss over . . . you thinking and believing that a Sacramental Church of Authority just can't be true . . . so that . . . many of you thinking that Luther must have 'gotten it right' . . . when we all think he is the first to truly 'get it wrong' . . . in a very 'near' closeness to the Truth . . . perhaps the 'deceiving influence' or something like it.

Well, yes, it is True. We cannot do the least good thing without the Grace of CHRIST acting in us to accomplish this . . . but we can says yes or no . . . even to GOD.

When we say yes . . . all good things happen.

And yes! All you say is True . . . that without CHRIST, we can do nothing . . . but with and in and through HIM . . . we can be Transformed into a New Grace-filled man after that of CHRIST HIMSELF.

Sacraments are necessary because . . . CHRIST HIMSELF is a Man WHO is also GOD . . . and HE will remain so for all eternity.

If we are to be like HIM . . . it will be in an Incarnational-by-Grace manner of being Transformed . . . that does not cover a pile of dung . . . but a manner that Transforms the dung into a beautiful man perfected in Holiness by union with CHRIST in the SPIRIT and according to GOD's Plan, which is the Church.

If Luther had . . . or if his descendants ever do . . . again recognize the Church as being necessary . . . we will then 'begin' to 'see' the plan of GOD as it is meant to be on this Earth as in Heaven.

In a few very important ways . . . Luther missed it . . . HE missing the Church . . . as the Sacramental Instrument of our Transformation in CHRIST.

The Church is very abused by Her members . . . in the past . . . and also today and in every generation it seems . . . but She is still here . . . She is still doing the job of Transforming us as CHRIST commissioned Her to do . . . and yes . . . this is a miracle . . . because She is filled with sinners like you and me.

I see that there are many of those who think the Church to be only a Spiritual Reality . . . having no outward Unity or form . . . and even disallowing that any such thing can be accomplished in this world . . . even being totally opposed to anyone claiming such a thing . . . and that . . . even if these 'invisiblists' may seem to have some inward Unity . . . referring to those who do not believe the Church to be a visible institution built by CHRIST on the Apostles and their followers . . . that this 'apparent unity' of the 'invisiblists' is certainly not based on any Doctrine of Truth . . .

. . . and these holding this belief system in opposition to Sacred Scripture . . . the Scriptures often referring to the Traditions and Doctrines which have been handed on both in word and in letter.

There is a certain 'invisible' aspect to the Church . . . but the Whole Truth is that the Two become One . . . in CHRIST . . . the Two Natures . . . the visible and the Invisible become One . . . after the manner of Sacraments and Incarnation by Grace.

To me, a visible Church, like the Incarnate CHRIST and Human Body and soul Adam Themselves . . . and like us . . . only makes good sense out of GOD Creating the visible Creation of the Universe in the First Place.

If GOD wanted an invisible Church only . . . or if GOD wanted to only cover dung . . . Why did HE do all of this? Why would HE put HIS Own SON through all of that which HE did . . . Why, if the invisiblists all are correct and the Church is wrong . . . Why would GOD Do all of this Creating of the visible . . . wedding it to the Invisible . . . if it did not fit into HIS Plan forever?

In regards to man and Creation . . . an invisible Church makes no sense to me.

satan also wants a visible church . . . because that is GOD's intention as well.

GOD will actually and fully and completely accomplish this, and is accomplishing this . . . through and in CHRIST . . . WHO Sent HIS Church into the world to accomplish this in the SPIRIT and according to the FATHER's Will . . . accomplishing this in us in the Womb of Mary, in the Womb of HIS Mystical Body, the Church . . . the WOMAN of genesis and the Apocalypse.

satan will make a poor copy.

Both . . . satan and GOD . . . require of us our Yes . . . in order for this to be accomplished.

Which will we choose? And I'm not saying the choice is Protestant or Catholic . . . but it might be a choice to choose the Catholic Church . . . or to choose everything else which opposes Her . . .

. . . I might be saying the choice is clear as dung . . . just joking.

But really, this is difficult . . . and it will only get more-so as we get closer to the trying and difficult times for the Church . . . which seems to be just ahead.

I for one am looking forward to the coming time of Peace which will follow the phony one that immediately precedes it.

May HE cast a Fire upon the Earth, destroying the wicked and purifying the good.

Come soon LORD JESUS . . . lest all Flesh be destroyed.

Although Catholics do not Believe in the Rapture . . . so to speak . . . we do Believe in the Ark, Who is Mary, our Mother the Church.

GOD Bless us all.