Because the Church has a history between Acts and 1536

“But what proof is there that we have a right belief in God, that we have a trustworthy and devout understanding of Him? It is that we confess the same faith as our God-bearing Fathers.” (St. Gregory Palamas, Homily On Faith- Delivered on the Sunday of Orthodoxy)

Comments

  1. b

    Perhaps I travel in ignorant circles, but I’m not familiar with the denial of the Church’s history dating back to Acts. That just seems foolish. Just as foolish to believe that the pre-1536 church is somehow closer to God’s design though historical proximity alone.

    The church has been, and continues to be a broken vessel. In the same way that the Israelites moved away from God while in His midst, the historical church (pre-1536) through today is replete with examples of how man’s lack of faith, discipline and biblical wisdom fractured the church by moving it away from God. God’s grace is challenged by man’s incompetence.

  2. Jonny

    b,
    Given that Christ assured the Apostles that the gates of hell would not prevail against the Church, do you really think that man’s lack of faith, discipline and biblical wisdom could prevail to fracture it?

  3. b

    Jonny:

    That is a great point of clarification. The gates of hell can not prevail against the
    “called out assembly” (ekkl?sia). The vessel that I was referring to was the visible church, specifically its administration, government and operation. That church is clearly fractured. To say otherwise is to deny the scandals, large and small, that each denomination has endured over the past 2000 years.

    Thank you for pointing out my poor communication.

  4. Jonny

    No worries, b. However, I must say that I find nothing in the faith of our fathers that draws a distinction between a visible and an invisible church or between the church and its administration nor anything that sanctions “denominations.”

  5. b

    Jonny:

    The visible and invisible church is a description of the difference between those who truly are parts of the body and those who “play church”. A couple of biblical references (which to me carry more weight than the faith of our fathers) to support would be Proverbs 21:2 (man’s ways vs. God’s view of man’s heart) and Matthew 7:22-23 (those who thought they were, but weren’t). There are more to be sure.

    With regards to denominations; I agree that there is no sanction for anything other than the one Holy Catholic Church. The fact that man has split the body into denominations, is further evidence of the issues surrounding the structures man has continued to build and call them “Church”.

  6. Tim Andrews

    One would add that if people truly cared about pre-Reformation Church history, they ought take a look at the Orthodox Church, and not just the Catholic one.

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